MA Tommasina Bianca Squadrito /Italy/ - visual artists, performer, Palermo 2022

Or life at the time of the pandemic, or an increasingly concrete adhesion of space and time. The subject touches me and I can write my experience of illness, which was without much suffering, the course of which involved art, time, pandemic. And if, as soon as, the warring cultures could begin to understand where the offensive attitude they put into practice comes from, we could have some hope of evolution. I am aware that new events always arise but the virus bit me. I had the virus that tried to get me as it weakened me and I felt smaller and smaller. I supported myself in the most imperceptible way I could to keep from being revealed. Through the months in the hospital and in the rehabilitation center, I imagined, thought, perceived, felt in a very dense and generative unity of desire.

   I remember a film I saw on television many years ago Johnny Got His Gun, a 1971 Dalton Trumbo film based on his own novel. The film, set during the First World War, tells of a soldier with a disfigured face, without jaw and nose; mutilated in the body, he has no legs and arms, but alive and conscious although he is not considered as such, so that he is transferred to a closet adapted to a hospital room. The soldier perceives, feels, thinks and a nurse notices this, a touching figure, who is not believed by the doctors and officers who said about him: it is a trunk.

   I was like this soldier, wounded in a metaphorical war fought with virological rather than mechanical or virtual means, damaged by the leaps in species obtained with the the life put to income.

   I thought, imagined, perceived, considered without words expressed and also not formulated internally. The memory was alive, among other things I thought back to the moments already spent in Kromeriz, to the images and sounds that had involved me, to the clear air I had breathed, to the Flower Garden. So, living memory but legs, arms, torso motionless, I could barely move my face wrapped in the oxygen mask. The rhythm of the breath not mine, feeding by drip.

I lived through wires. I made myself as thin as I could, so that I could breathe that oxygen that was given to me, that and nothing else, that amount at that rate, otherwise I would suffocate. In that rhythm I found a different hyphenation of life.

   Doing so subtle allowed me to get one, feel the unity of the processes of life.

I could not be impalpable like the virus, certainly, but I recalled a possibility to try to enter my matter, to be a body that elaborates and considers, learning, frequenting the concreteness and generative dynamism of Ruah, Semitic name of our Spirit, feminine in my experience.

   I did all this in emergency, in captivity, in the limitation of actions, in the situation of illness; that was what I would do, that I did in the scriptures perhaps, before, not fully aware of its course while now I was, and of many passages.

   What was this making space of the vital processes that I felt directly bodily and that went from that white organ, which is the brain, to the existence in memory, beyond and infra? It was my own artistic process that gave me life, that life that fed it before. It was an experiential, bodily, nourishing process, they were vital movements in expression: the artistic praxis, the tactile thought gave me a bodily wisdom, a wisdom that fed my life not by attachment but by a tension to grasp and always leave in memory.

   The memories of childhood, the house to the angiporto, the little hill of sfabbricidi, the rubble on which I played, the continuous smell of sea. I walked the streets, I made several paths in the days and nights of therapy, all this was close to me and separated, I would say sacred if I frayed this word from many obviousness. Now I realize of the continuous rebalancing that I realized in the positions of waiting hope wisdom, yes, it was an ellipse in inconstant balance. I forgot words, I replaced them, I renewed them, I tried to recompose them in a pacification that did not know names or definitions but of extremities, edges that touched me and released me their reality. To this I connect the memory of when, for an installation, I made a roll of paper with the verbs to be to know to love written by joining every end of the word with the beginning of the other because I had known that, in the Semitic languages, there was a correspondence between them and their respective derivations, often being used as synonyms. The extensions of the way of writing the stretches of the final and initial ones were connecting lines, of confluence that I wanted without dimensions and I considered more important than the words themselves.

   All this to mention a circumstance, exceptional for me, which gave me accessibility, both less dense, and made up of all the shadows that now allow me to write it, an approach towards a singular investigation with which I would like to approach the theme of this Colloquium and to you who listen.

   I would like to remember Lelio Giannetto, double bass player with whom I worked at Maria Zambrano Station, video presented at Forfest in 2011. He was in the room next to mine when he left a part of his life. I dedicate these excerpts from the Monitulipare blog to him, I'm sure he would have expressed them with his Talking Double Bass.


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                                                                         Tommasina Bianca Squadrito

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