E cos favz s’appicn – Fake things are flamable

August 5 – September 19, 2018, Foothold, Polignano a Mare (Ba), curated by Like A Little Disaster

a solo show by the artist Sofia A. Ginevra Giannì – SAGG NAPOLI

 
SAGG NAPOLI – E COS FAVZ S’APPICN – FAKE THINGS ARE FLAMABLE
Edited on the occasion of the solo show E COS FAVZ S’APPICN – FAKE THINGS ARE FLAMABLE by SAGG NAPOLI, curated by Like A Little Disaster. Contributors: SAGG Napoli, Plasticity, Like A Little Disaster
 

“Quando Napoli era una delle più illustri capitali d’Europa, una delle più grandi città del mondo, v’era di tutto, a Napoli: v’era Londra, Parigi, Madrid, Vienna, v’era tutta l’Europa. Ora che è decaduta, a Napoli non c’è rimasta che Napoli. Che cosa sperate di trovare a Londra, a Parigi, a Vienna? Vi troverete Napoli. E’ il destino dell’Europa di diventar Napoli. Se rimarrete un po’ di tempo in Europa, diverrete anche voi napoleta-ni.”In uno scenario dominato dalla chiusura delle frontiere nazionali, dalla paura e il sospet-to razziale, da pregiudizi culturali e sessuali, la ricerca di SAGG NAPOLI si interroga sui concetti di produttività, autocontrollo e realizzazione personale, così come su quelli di inferiorizzazione culturale, sub-alternità, soggettivazione gerarchia e divenire. La sua pratica può essere vista come un processo teso a smontare le strutture di oppressione che governano il modo in cui i corpi marginali vengono percepiti in relazione/opposizione a un ideale nord-centrico. Il corpo, l’abbigliamento, gli ornamenti, gli atteggiamenti di SAGG NAPOLI diventano strumento per un azione personale e politica. Il corpo periferi-co diventa spazio di resistenza, caratterizzato da quella cultura segregata di opposizione che è la risposta critica al dominio. E’ dal margine che le norme dominanti vengono messe in discussione, minacciate dalle pratiche materiali del corpo.

“To be the margin is to be part of the whole but outside the main body.”

SAGG NAPOLI opera attraverso una cartografia contemporaneamente contratta ed estesa, che trasforma il Sud da oggetto subalterno, messo a tacere da un progresso proposto in maniera unilaterale, in una forza critica attiva. Il suo lavoro riesce a smuovere il retaggio di un’eredità che da diversi secoli soffoca il Sud in una serie di stereotipi e invenzioni che negano i rapporti asimmetrici di potere che traducono processi storici e politici in rapporti geografici, creando i sud subalterni e subordinati al Nord del pianeta. La narra-zione è per l’artista un mezzo attraverso il quale poter esplorare questo complesso grovi-glio socio-politico, le sue sedimentazioni storico-culturali e le sue connessioni geo-politiche. Il Sud diviene la dimostrazione di un sé capace di creare una nuova coscienza critica del mondo contemporaneo e della “microfisica dei poteri” che governano i corpi, i desideri e le scelte degli esseri umani.
Napoli, la sua città natale, è il punto di partenza di una racconto antropologico che parla di dominazione e lotta, vittorie e sconfitte, di una “città porosa”, capace di assorbire, contaminare e contraffare modelli e imposizioni straniere. Attraverso una pratica costante che mescola osservazione critica, auto-biografica e di coinvolgimento profondo, le opere in mostra – dentro e fuori lo spazio / online e offline – rappresentano una sfida storiografi-ca che collega la questione meridionale non solo agli altri sud nel mondo, ma anche al senso critico del tempo presente che li produce e pensa di essere in grado di spiegarli.

People can view “SAGG NAPOLI” as a brand-like acronym, as a project name or a nick-name…
It’s up to them.
South aesthetics is not just about a place. It is the result of the historical socio-political relationship existing between the north and south of Europe. Throughout history the south has been viewed and represented as popular, almost folkloristic, and therefore dismissed by mainstream cultural production. At the same time, society is intrinsically indebted and drawn to the north, which is seen as representing the future, thanks to its economical strength. But the south is still the place that
produces things for northern Europe. This cultural and economical phenomenon gener-ates an aesthetic relationship in which the south mimics cultural production (music, art, architecture and fashion) in the north, yet the south is often what inspired and manufac-tured this cultural production, and is therefore twice removed from the original source: itself. As a result everything looks a bit outdated, a bit run down, a bit off… The ques-tion is: what can we do with it, and can we at least recognize it? This is what I call #southaesthetics.

“When Naples was one of the most illustrious capitals in Europe, one of the greatest ci-ties in the world, it contained a bit of everything. It contained a bit of London, a bit of Paris, a bit of Madrid, a bit of Vienna – it was a microcosm of Europe. Now that it is in its decline nothing is left in it but Naples. What do you expect to find in London, Paris, Vienna? You will find Naples. It is the fate of Europe to become Naples.”In a scenario dominated by the closure of national borders, by racial fear and suspicion, by cultural and sexual prejudices, SAGG NAPOLI’s research questions the concepts of productivity, self-control and achievement, as well as those of cultural inferiorization, subordination, subjectification, hierarchy and becoming. Her practice can be seen as a process aimed at dismantling the structures of oppression that govern the way in which marginal bodies are perceived in relation/opposition to a north-centric ideal. The body, the clothing, the ornaments, the attitudes of SAGG NAPOLI become a tool for personal and political fight. Peripheral body becomes a space of resistance, characterized by that segregated culture of opposition which is the critical response to domination. It is from the margin that the dominant norms are questioned, threatened by the material practices of the body.

“To be the margin is to be part of the whole but outside the main body.”

SAGG NAPOLI operates through a cartography simultaneously contracted and extended, which transforms the South from a subordinate object, silenced by a progress unilaterally proposed, into an active critical force. Her work manages to undermine the legacy of an heritage that for several centuries has stifled the South in a series of stereotypes and in-ventions that deny the asymmetric power relationships that translate historical and polit-ical processes into geographical relations, creating several South completely submissive to the North of the planet. The narration is for the artist a means by which to explore this complex socio-political tangle, its historical-cultural sediments and its geo-political connections. The South becomes the demonstration of a self capable of creating a new critical consciousness of the contemporary world and of the “microphysics of powers” that govern the bodies, the desires and the choices of human beings.
Naples, her hometown, is the starting point of an anthropological tale about domination and struggle, wins and losses, about a “porous city”, capable of absorbing, contaminat-ing and counterfeiting foreign models and impositions. Through a constant practice that mixes critical observation, self-biography and deep involvement, the works in the exhi-bition – inside and outside the space / online and offline – represent a historiographic challenge that connects the “South question” not only to the global South, but also to the critical sense of this present time that produces them and thinks of being able to explain them.

People can view “SAGG NAPOLI” as a brand-like acronym, as a project name or a nick-name…
It’s up to them.
South aesthetics is not just about a place. It is the result of the historical socio-political relationship existing between the north and south of Europe. Throughout history the south has been viewed and represented as popular, almost folkloristic, and therefore dismissed by mainstream cultural production. At the same time, society is intrinsically indebted and drawn to the north, which is seen as representing the future, thanks to its economical strength. But the south is still the place that
produces things for northern Europe. This cultural and economical phenomenon gener-ates an aesthetic relationship in which the south mimics cultural production (music, art, architecture and fashion) in the north, yet the south is often what inspired and manufac-tured this cultural production, and is therefore twice removed from the original source: itself. As a result everything looks a bit outdated, a bit run down, a bit off… The ques-tion is: what can we do with it, and can we at least recognize it? This is what I call #southaesthetics.