Step in Write out
Fonderie Kugler, Geneva. Autumn 2014
Sapienza Università di Roma. October 2014-June 2015
Step in Write Out was a writing platform developed in 2 steps: one in Geneva during a residency at Fonderie Kugler in October 2014; one at Sapienza Università di Roma with Contemporary Art History students during 2 semesters in 2014 and 2015.
Fonderie Kugler, Geneva
The project was born in July 2014 as a proposal for the Open Call of the EMERGENCY ! Collective – Chiara Bertini, Élise Girardot, Maria Adelaida Samper – at their second residency at Fonderie Kugler in Geneva.
The initial concept was titled The Act of Writing and then, after being selected, it took the shape of a website and was tested from 7 to 18 of October 2014, during the residency period at Fonderie Kugler, together with other projects selected for the residency.
A computer, pens, paper sheets and an assistant were available to artists, curators and visitors who had the wish to write about artworks and projects in the residency or in response to the whole experience there.
The results – mostly in French and partly in English and Italian – were published each day and selected sentences from the writings that people and artists wrote during that period were published on the home page.
The statement of the project was the following:
STEP IN WRITE OUT is a possibility.
Give back importance to critical writing, to the real and concrete participation of the exhibition, to the genuineness of opinion.
This is a place in which open a reflection on the critic’s role, too often used exclusively as one of the pawns in the game, but who instead should be able to see, judge, criticize, to love, and make readers fall in love – exactly what artworks should do.
You will be free to write, slowly constructing a blog of written thoughts and constantly deconstructing the rules of an obsolete language mode.
Is simple as it seems: Try to put in written words what you have just experienced!
If you follow the instinct you will discover that writing is a dance in which thoughts are transformed into a rhythmic flow of words.
Sapienza Università di Roma
From the open and experimental aim that the project had at Fonderie Kugler it then reached a more academic context.
The reason was that I wanted to experiment again something that was very useful when I was a Contemporary Art History student myself and was the starting point of my passion for writing.
Claudio Zambianchi, Professor of History of Contemporary Art at University of Rome “La Sapienza”, put a great effort in promoting critical writing during the first years of his teaching.
He asked students to visit exhibitions in Rome, mostly in private galleries, and to write reviews that then he corrected and judged as part of the final examination.
The results were incredible and all students of those years (2000-2002) still remember that experience as one of the most remarkable in their educational training.
He then had to stop this activity, due to the inner changes occurred inside the Italian University system and to the growing of the number of the students.
Since years I was asking myself to propose him to do it again and, thanks to the website already used in Geneva and to the newest and genuine interest in critical writing, I propose to activate again this training.
During 2014-2015 those students who have revealed an interest in doing this activity have received credits as voluntary formation.
Instructions, list of exhibitions and final writings were published on the website.
The writings were edited by me and Zambianchi only in their most relevant mistakes and then published.
The first tranche of exhibitions was from October 2014 to January 2015.
At the end of the semester, the participating students were 15 and they produced in total 38 reviews.
After a meeting in January 2015 the same group of students with some new ones decided – together with Claudio Zambianchi and me – to keep on writing until June 2015.
At the end of the second semester we had another meeting in which some of the students decided to keep on in doing something similar by themselves that is still active: Art in Write out.
The total amount of the reviews (from October 2014 to June 2015) was 86 and the students 17.
All texts were in Italian and were collected in a Medium Publication.
The website doesn’t exist anymore but those reviews are still available to read on Medium [in Italian].