** This stream contains brief nudity and graphic meat eating **
On 29 November 2019 Kunstraum, London hosted Ambiente X, a durational performance by Benni Bosetto with Xenia Perek, curated by Giulia Civardi. Ambiente X is a newly commissioned performance that explores everyday rituals and the transformative power of magical thinking through sound and choreographed gestures.
Over the course of an afternoon the performance looped six times: a patch of the carpet was scrubbed clean six times, Benni and Xenia killed time together six times, they ate six roast chickens and the gallery fell into an uneasy darkness six times.
This video documents one of Ambiente X’s six iterations but is edited as a seamless loop. It was premiered as a live stream loop over 3 hours on Friday 27 March 2020.
Benni Bosetto’s exhibition Il Portico at ALMANAC, Turin is sadly closed due to the lockdown but for more info see here (documentation will go online tomorrow).
Ambiente X takes the form of a day at the office. Two workers perform mundane tasks of a routinised work activity: they file paperwork, make coffee, talk on the phone. Gradually, this conventional language transforms. They begin to speak in reverse, chant, talk to mirrors. The lights go off – system anomaly. The set recalls a near past. Simultaneously, it stages the ever-present collective timescape of work and productivity.
Ambiente X conflates different temporal layers in a progressive negotiation of linear time. It fuses the measurability of work performances with magical thinking, namely that which is imaginative, illogical, ineffable, and therefore, technically inoperative. Gestures and movements are used as devices to construct a different experience of reality for therapeutic purposes, to preserve one’s autonomy in moments of uncertainty, and create new body-languages. Bosetto turns to magic, the primitive, and dance rituals to investigate the potential of recollecting ancient memories and exploring different reality- systems alongside the given one.
The performance score is played on a loop to reach a state of trance that alters the perception of time. Through repetition and endurance, the body incorporates the ability to record like a mechanical device. By alternating everyday ‘rituals’ – understood as a series of social customs, practices, or conventional acts – from the dominant socio-economic order with imaginary and symbolic gestures, the performers create small interruptions. Gestures open up different frames through which view reality, reinforcing it, and making it known again.
Ambiente X and the publication are kindly supported by Q-International, La Quadriennale di Roma and patrons Diego Bergamaschi, Massimo De Palma, Oliviero Falconi, Marco Martini, and Paolo Mauri Brusa.
Sound composition: Vito Gatto
Costume design: Timna Weber
Camera: Johnston Sheard
Photos: Nat Urazmetova
Benni Bosetto and Xenia Perek are represented by ADA, Rome.
Benni Bosetto (b. 1987 in Milan, Italy) works in sculpture, drawing and performance. She graduated from Brera Academy in Milan and studied at the Universitat der Kunst in Berlin and Sandberg Instituut in Amsterdam. Bosetto had solo exhibitions at Almanac, Turin (2020); Villa il Cerretino, Prato (2019); Fonderia Artistica Battaglia, Milan (2018); ADA, Rome (2018); FuturDome, Milan (2017); Tile Project Space (2016), Milan. She is the recipient of Fondazione Fiera Milano Prize (2019) and 61st Premio Termoli (2018). Her work has appeared in group exhibitions at Villa Medici, Rome; Artissima Special Projects, Turin; OGR, Turin; MAMbo, Bologna; Fondazione Baruchello, Rome; DeAppel Art Center, Amsterdam; DAMA Turin; Marselleria, Milan among others. A forthcoming solo exhibition will take place at ADA in Rome.