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senza stato
una nazione

Sandi Hilal, Alessandro Petti
"senza stato una nazione.
Un'opera, un luogo, un libro"
Marsilio, La Biennale di Venezia, 2003
pp176, €12,00

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C’è chi chiama questo progetto di Sandi Hilal ed Alessandro Petti un padiglione Palestinese, potrebbe anche essere questo se però vogliamo considerare l’idea di un padiglione non un luogo fisico ma un luogo mentale dove l’identità di ogni individuo si forma non in contrapposizione dell’altro ma in equilibrio con se stesso. La mia idea per questo progetto voleva e vuole essere non semplicemente un gesto di riconoscimento del sogno e della lotta del popolo palestinese ma una riflessione sull’eterno conflitto fra la nostra identità e quella degli altri, sull’incancellabile confine fra gli altri e noi. Soltanto accettando la distanza che ci separa dagli altri , facendo esserci altri, credo si possa realizzare il sogno comune di definire e trovare la propria identità ed il proprio luogo. Una nazione che cerca il suo stato , come ogni individuo che nella sua eterna alterità cerca la radice della propria insopprimibile identità. [Francesco Bonami, direttore della 50a Biennale d'Arte di Venezia]


There is no avoiding it: crossing borders is part of our daily life. We leave home, we enter our place of work, we return home. And then there's everything in between: the public transport turnstiles, the motorway toll gates, customs, speed detectors, security checkpoints, electronic surveillance systems, the checkout. When you think about it, you realize that it's scarcely possible to move without crossing one or another visible or invisible dividing line. It is the spatial regime of the modern world, where life is subject to compartmentalization and protocols as if it were a scientific experiment to be carried out under strictly controlled conditions. Yet for most of us this cross-border traffic is something that barely impinges on life itself. Of course, the idea that one is being continually checked up on and monitored is not a pleasant one. But for the time being it does not diminish one's sense of self-determination. Your movements may be monitored, but your motives for moving are as yet relatively unquestioned. But what if those motives were to become the object of monitoring? Imagine if 'they' not only wanted to know where you were going, but also why. Imagine if your 'name' were not just a matter of your personal identity but also of your spatial identity. Worse still, imagine if you were not only required to declare that you are going from A to B, but also why. And why it was that yesterday you went from B to A. A world in which the powers that be want to know who you are, where you are, where you were, why you were there, why you still are in fact, et cetera. To lead such a life is no longer to pass through checkpoints, it is to become a checkpoint.

This is architecture at its cruellest. A struggle for space and for control of space. A practice concerned with erecting borders and guarding them. A continual definition of inside and outside and a war about who should be allowed to do the defining. A war not conducted by people about people, but inside people. In the long run it could lead to a spatial policy more radical than deportation: exile from one's self. Before it comes to this, a lot will have had to happen in the way we try to come to terms with mass migration. There is so much more that can be done that falls within the bounds of the humane and that results in something resembling society. There is no shortage of historical examples. If not nation building or melting pot, with an enlightened spatial policy of mixing programmes and people, then peaceful and respectful co-existence sustained by zoning, enclaves and, if need be, corridors. If not cohabitation, then straightforward restraint with gates and walls, strict surveillance, spying and other forms of spatial apartheid.

And if that is not enough, there is still deportation, the simple removal of elements people are unable to come to terms with. Despite their differing degrees of mutual trust, all these strategies attest to respect for other people's lives. But there is a form of mistrust that can no longer be conquered by the strategies that exist between community and removal. It is the state of constant scrutiny. Of endless monitoring and recording of someone's spatial history as an indication of their risk profile. For some, a stamp in a passport is a trophy of cosmopolitanism. For others it's a nail in your coffin. Architecture can not exist without its borders, any more than it can exist without a discussion about what these borders are. Stateless nation: a question of architecture.

Ole Bauman



Questa pagina è stata curata da Matteo Agnoletto.

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