This blog has been created to follow the progress of Streets of… 7 minutes in 7 cities around the world, a video audio installation by artist Alda Terracciano, which aims to be exhibited in 2012 as part of the London Cultural Olympiads and various other international locations.
The blog is a response to the interest generated by the screenings of the work in progress, following the first presentation in 2004 of Streets of Naples at the London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT). Over the years, people have been responding with enthusiastic feedback to Alda’s work and have been contacting her to know more about the project, its conception and current development. Blogging seemed the most direct way to keep an open dialogue with people around the world who are interested in Alda’s journey, providing updates on its progress and suggesting ways of becoming involved.
By visiting this blog you will have an opportunity to travel with Alda, follow her movements from country to country, share her experiences, be inspired by her creative process and listen, watch and comment on her project becoming yourself an inspirational source for its development.
Let’s join us in this exciting journey and discover the beauty hiding within the kaleidoscope of people, places, traditions and cultures you will find along the way…
Saba Burali, Assistant Producer of Streets of…
“Chi comanda il racconto non e’ la voce: e’ l’orecchio” (Italo Calvino)
Streets of … is a video-audio installation which moves from a research into the collective memory of seven cities around the world – Naples (Italy), Shanghai (China), Mumbai (India), Tangier (Morocco), Luanda (Angola), Salvador de Bahia (Brazil), and London (UK) – and invites audiences to take a swim in their everyday life as it naturally unrolls in their streets, alleyways and boulevards.
The project follows the artist’s autobiographical trajectory from Naples to London – two intercultural cities, which, in their different, peculiar ways, are crossroads of local/global cultural identities. The cities are pivots of two intersecting wheels whose rays reach out towards other places in the world. These places represent the incarnation of past encounters, which over centuries have progressively entered Southern and Northern Europe to become an integral part of their everyday life and culture.
Taking inspiration from the quantum physics concept of entanglement, that defines the interconnection between remote systems, the project explores the cultural DNA of the seven cities through an observation and extraction of specific memes embedded in the everyday life. Considered by some theorists as cultural analogues to genes, memes indicate units of cultural ideas, symbols or practices transmitted from one person to another through speech, gestures, rituals and other cultural phenomena. Hence, the memes observed in Naples and London are put in relation to those observed in the other cities, and organised in patterns of relationship through the dynamic interaction between the visual and the sound landscape of the video-audio edits.
Like a virtual walk around the world, the installation is a meditation on the act of seeing and listening. It takes people beyond the regime of the visual to awaken their critical approach to cultural stereotypes and current geopolitics. Streets of Naples, Streets of Mumbai and Streets of Salvador were presented as work in progress in a number of art houses, galleries and international events as reported in other sections of this blog.
The final video-audio installation will consist of 7 environments where each city is represented through a 7 minutes video-audio edit on loop connected to each other through a spiral trail. A potential location for the installation has been identified in collaboration with 198 Contemporary Arts and Learning in the Brixton Market, South London. Conversations are currently taking place with Lambeth Council to check the suitability of the project as part of their activities for 2012 Cultural Olympiads and the possibility of developing the installation in consultation with members of the culturally diverse communities living in the area. More about this element of the project can be found in the section called The Living Archaeology of the Place.
Fundraising is currently taking place to research and produce the audio-video of the remaining four cities included in the project. Any support towards this will be greatly welcomed.