Azienda Speciale Palaexpo

Mattatoio - Pavilion 9B


Sensitive Devices

curated by Angel Moya Garcia


This project, entitled "Sensitive Devices", meets one of the challenges contained in the Azienda Speciale Palaexpos's programme guidelines for 2020-22 on the convergence between methods, aesthetics and pratices in the visual and performance arts. The project's main goal focuses on implementing these guidelines in Pavilion 9b at the Mattatoio, where activities will be coordinated with those of the Pelanda and with the Azienda's Programme Table through a series of multidisciplinary devices following a constantly developing presentation model.


The project, curated by Angel Moya Garcia, sets out to produce, develop, convey and communicate a broad overview of contemporary performance practices. With the definitive enfranchisement of this artistic language in the major international event circuit and with its inclusion in the planning of museums, foundations and institutions throughout the world, performance art has become a crucial factor in the programme that the Azienda Speciale Palaexpo devotes to the spaces of the Mattatoio of Testaccio, thus completing its cultural offer in the field of the contemporary visual arts.


In this programme, the implementation of a series of multidisciplinary devices by artists whose research focuses primarily on performance art is intertwined with educating visitors to look through a cross-disciplinary, stratified formative experience capable of providing them with the tools required to independently and critically decipher each individual experience. In that sense, a total amenability of language, an aptitude for cross-contamination, the possibility of a formal display such as an exhibition and, above all, the overturning of the spectator's status, all confer on performance art an immediacy and an unparalleled ability to attract new audiences while simultaneously confirming the loyalty and interest of audiences already acquired. Thus the Mattatoio becomes a space for production and formative education in which we can ask questions regarding the role and responsibility that artists have and take on in today's reality and the manner in which they can have an impact on its ongoing reconfiguration.


If we accept that contemporary society emerges and reveals itself in increasingly rapid, complex, fluid and ceaselessly changing ways, we may be able to succeed in defining it through its constant rifts, adopting Alain Badiou's concept of "event." In its meaning as the local alteration of a given multiplicity rather than merely an interruption and radical resumption, it is used in this instance to describe the constant succession of endless social, educational, political, ideological, technological and economic changes that ceaselessly interrupt the terms of our daily lives. An irrepressible metamorphosis in which every instant becomes an ephemeral episode and in which our major paradigms become obsolete in front of the fragmentary, isolated, marginal and rapidly forgotten micro-narratives that are such a feature of our contemporary world.

A situation in which the most important urgency, particularly for artists, is focused on recognising or causing, recording or increasing, analysing or exhausting the concrete possibility of an "event" within a sphere of daily life, in which the instantaneous nature of its becoming outstrips the effective importance of its occurring. In this contingency, the artists involved in the project are called on to gradually determine a concatenation of collective rifts and lacerations through relational, participatory, empathetic or driving methodologies. These artists become activators of communities through an inclusive dimension over the area in which they are working, not as anthropologists of the contingent but as catalysers of these devices, in a series of attempts to establish a settling principle for culture in society capable not only of spawning an expanded web of relations but also, indeed primarily, of becoming a constituent part of the community's conformation.


Each one of the devices proposed will have the ability to capture, to intercept and to contextualise the problems, needs and urgencies of individuals who will find themselves no longer immersed in static emotional perception but participants in an approach based on constructive involvement. A series of stratified platforms interlocking as settings for formally defined action and at the same time as constantly stimulated vessels; a weekly public programme that unfolds not in the shape of a succession of parallel activities but as an organic and integral part of the project in which the device is seen as an initial and preparatory element for performance practices, talks, lectures, encounters, debates, seminars and workshops that transform and remodulate our interpretation of our own research.


The first appointment, which is due to kick off in July, will be produced by Andrea Galvani (Verona, 1973. He lives and works in New York and Mexico City). In a consistent interdisciplinary pathway that embraces photography, sculpture, drawing, performance art, video art and audio installations, the artist documents collective actions, visionary experiments and phenomena of a physical nature whose spectacular monumentality is ironically unstable and ephemeral. The relationship with experience, physical effort, failure ane the restrictions of the means and of the place in which the artist works are seen as crucial factors in the development of complex projects which are frequently the product of collaborations with institutions, universities and reseach laboratories.

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