K_lab cartolina front

K_lab – interacting on the reality interface V.01 / MLAC _ROME_IT / 03.12.2008 > 30.01.2009

K_ v.1 Roma  K_lab – interacting on the reality interface

MLAC – Museo Laboratorio di Arte Contemporanea di Roma > 3rd December 2008 to 30th January 2009

in collaborazione con Enrico Blasi, Sam Cole e Matthew Mountford

a cura di simonetta lux e domenico scudero

K_lab – interacting on the reality interface opens on Wednesday December 3rd at MLAC – Museum Laboratory of Contemporary Art, University of Rome “La Sapienza”. An art project by César Meneghetti made in collaboration with Enrico Blasi and Sam Cole. The sound design is by Matthew Mountford. The event is curated by Simonetta Lux and Domenico Scudero.

During the 1970s the Keita Valley, in Niger was in full crisis, hit by desertification, deforestation, agriculture collapse, population increase and rural exodus. In 1984 a catastrophic drought devastated the whole area and its 100,000 inhabitants. At the beginning of 1983, the Italian Agency for Cooperation together with the Government of Niger, developed a programme for the Rural Development of Keita aimed to relieve the affected area and aid its development. Almost 30 million new trees were replanted and the natural advance of the desert was halted. But the rebirth of Keita is mostly due to the extraordinary activity of its inhabitants.

From June to November of 2007, during several missions César Meneghetti, Enrico Blasi and Sam Cole documented the daily struggle of the local population. They collected people’s testimonies, thoughts, emotions and reflections on love, life and death. This was the basis for the creation of “ K laboratory”, an artistic multidisciplinary and interactive project. An observatory, a container of ideas, of cultures and concepts. The material collected was edited and developed in this first phase of the laboratory and the results are: video (le dernière clapper and stills/meneghetti), 8 channel videoinstallation (videocabina#2/meneghetti, 4scapes/cole), photographs (blasi/meneghetti), soundscapes (mountford). The aim is to express the morphologic harshness of the landscape but also the hard work of the local population. Portraits, details, testimonies, landscapes reveal the deep sense and the representation of “place”. The borders of reality and the technological interface, the document, the narration, the sociological converge, launching a multiple approach on a single object of observation. Reality and imagination ultimately establish an unusual relationship of complicity with the spectator. The MLAC will be this first gallery to present this work. This “work in progress” will be developed, transformed and is intended to travel to other cities like Florence, São Paulo, Paris, Havana, Berlin as well as Keita Valley in Niger.

———-

K_lab – interacting on the reality interface

The project is a very deep documentation of a reforestation process that took place in Niger after a climate disaster. During the 70’s Keita Valley, in Niger was in full crisis, hit by desertification, deforestation, agriculture collapse, population increase and rural exodus. In 1984 a catastrophic drought devastated the whole area and its 100.000 inhabitants. At the beginning of 1983, the Italian Agency for Cooperation together with the Government of Niger, developed a programme for the Rural Development of Keita aimed to relieve the affected area and aid its development. Almost 30 million new trees were replanted and the natural advance of the desert was halted. But the rebirth of Keita is mostly due to the extraordinary activity of its inhabitants. The most interesting thing is that all the process was made in a completely sustainable way: no big dams to hold water, no big excavations to reforest, no foreign companies with impressive tools, but a series of micro interventions directly made by local population, with their knowledge and work, combined with the help of scientists. And it worked. The desert has been stopped and the valley is now alive again.

The artistic project consists in a series of video-installation and big photographic portraits that want to give voice to Keita people and to their work. From June to November of 2007, during several missions César Meneghetti, Enrico Blasi and Sam Cole documented the daily struggle of the local population. They collected people’s testimonies, thoughts, emotions and reflections on love, life and death. This was the basis for the creation of “K laboratory”, an artistic multidisciplinary and interactive project. An observatory, a container of ideas, of cultures and concepts. The aim is to express the morphologic harshness of the landscape but also the hard work of the local population. Portraits, details, testimonies, landscapes reveal the deep sense and the representation of “place”. The borders of reality and the technological interface, the document, the narration, the sociological converge, launching a multiple approach on a single object of observation. Reality and imagination ultimately establish an unusual relationship of complicity with the spectator. The material collected was edited and developed consists in seven video installations by César Meneghetti and one by Sam Cole, photographs by Enrico Blasi and sound by Matthew Mountford.