Che l'assenza sia dichiarata/The absence is declared

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Che l'assenza sia dichiarata (2019)

live performance, mixed media, 11' 

produced by Art Contemporary Museum of Rivoli 

For an Imaginist Renewal of the World. The Alba Congress: 1956-2019 is a poetic reenactment of the First World Congress of Free Artists that took place in Alba from September 2 to 8, 1956, which was a founding moment of the Situationist International, prior to 1957. It is drafted by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev and Caterina Molteni.

The Congress was organised by Asger Jorn, Piero Simondo and Pinot Gallizio in Alba, Gallizio's hometown, today the heart of wine and truffles Piedmont. It gathered artists and intellectuals from eight different countries, with the participation of representatives from Lettrism, the Movimento Arte Nucleare and the CoBrA group (1948-1951) from Copenhagen, Bruxelles and Amsterdam. It was coordinated by the Laboratorio sperimentale del Movimento Internazionale per una “Bauhaus Immaginista” (MIBI), founded by Jorn, Gallizio and Simondo in September 1955.

Irene Dionisio recalls the absence of Guy Debord at the Congress of Free Artists in Alba, giving it a new meaning. Guy Debord's accusation makes this act a poetic statement: life is more important than art, cinema is dead and we are just cultural ghosts with no real meaning.

Artists will reinterpret historical participants of the 1956 Congress, literally taking on their roles.

Reports and reenactments by:


Michael Rakowitz – Pinot Gallizio
Piero Simondo – Piero Simondo
Amelia Simondo – Elena Verrone
Liam Gillick – Asger Jorn or Guy Debord (absent)
Alice Visentin – Enrico Baj

Alex Cecchetti – Gil J. Wolman
Cooking Sections – Pravoslav Rada and Jan Kotik (they arrived late due to visa issues in 1956)
Ludovica Carbotta – Constant
Renato Leotta – Ettore Sottsass
Irene Dionisio – Guy Debord (absent – he sent Gil J. Wolman)

Exhibitions/Screenings

For an Imaginist Renewal of the World. The Alba Congress curated by by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev and Caterina Molteni