GABBI CATTANI

19 - 26 aprile 2022

Prender-si cura
La Pelanda
Prender-si cura
La Pelanda

Cos'è per te il tempo della ricerca e della sperimentazione? 

 

Quando avevo 3 anni David Rattray scrisse: Every morning at 8:45, one of my clocks plays the Meistersinger Prelude theme on a set of silver chimes, and I wake up. I lie still for another 15 minutes, staring at the pipe and the lamp on the bedside table, and at the photograph on the wall behind the lamp, of Gül, a young woman I have never been able to forget. 
At 9:00 sharp, I light the lamp’s oil-sodden wick. Aching with anticipation, I wait for the clear flame to come up, sunk back on my pillow, the pipe clasped in my left hand. I often fondle it and lick the cold, hardened pill on top of the bowl. 
A few minutes later, I roll over and smoke, all in one long drag. I lie back, holding my breath to a count of 40, the euphoria of the day’s first indulgence illuminating my entire being. 
An unmarried woman, I live just round the corner from the Royal Saint-Germain; it’s my boudoir, so to speak. At exactly 9:30 every day, the doorbell rings, and a waiter from the Royal appears, bearing a silver tray with one croissant, sweet butter, coffee, hot milk, and Le Figaro, which I scan for theater and book reviews over breakfast. I’ve declared a moratorium on the Ben Barka affair, and I don’t care what Sartre says about it. I’m not interested in the doings of Che Guevara. Nor do I share Ho Chi Minh’s optimism that the Yanks are going to be out of Indochina in the next three years, say by 1970. 
The coffee aroma, the bakery smell and the whiff of fresh newsprint never fail me. I have no appetite in the morning. These smells bring me back to life. At all other hours, the apartment, which like the house itself was built by Dulac, an associate of Gaudi, in 1904, smells of two things only: blond Virginia tobacco and opium. Pall Malls have a honey smell that never goes stale. I can’t endure the stink of Gauloises, et cetera. “I say, Max, it’s like smoking the anal hairs of an Egyptian peasant,” my friend Dédé, Dédale de Saint Maur, used to exclaim, until I begged him to desist. Then Dédé’s wife Gismande (my mistress as of a year ago yesterday) has tried to invade my place with scents like vetiver. There again I draw the line. Gismande occupies the guest bedroom. I sleep with no one. I never receive her before noon, either. At 12:00 sharp, Gismande knocks and comes in for her first pipe of the day, after I have had time to bathe, dress, and smoke three or four myself. Then I am ready to make one for her. 
This morning while awaiting the stroke of 9:00, I tried to imagine the contents of my police file. One day a few years ago, during an interview with an inspector in a fourth-floor office at the Préfecture, I saw the outside of my folder. Peach-colored and tied with a pale green ribbon, it was surprisingly slim. I had rather expected it to bulge like a telephone book. 
I had been summoned to appear because of an anonymous crank letter that denounced me (a) as an opium smoker, (b) as the notorious “Max,” a lesbian with a special foible for pubescent girls, and (c) as a UFO zombie reporting to my alien handlers in their flying saucer via a transmitter secreted in my wisdom tooth. 

 

 

In che modo la tua pratica è influenzata dallo spazio di una residenza artistica? 

 

E poi continua: I could only speculate as to what other information might be included in my dossier. It must have contained the fact that I was an orphan. That my mother had died having me. That she had been the youngest of three daughters of Etienne Bernard, whose Trotsky book had raised a hoo-ha at the Sorbonne in 1929. That my father Colonel Duhautier had earned the Croix de Guerre in the war of 1914, and that, as a still-young, childless widower in 1930, he had become the black sheep of his Catholic Royalist family by marrying the Jewish professor’s daughter in a love match unprecedented in 300 years of an illustrious family history. That as a result of his clandestine pro-Allied activities he had been tortured to death by the Gestapo in 1943. That I had lived in the streets throughout the winter and spring of ’43/’44, only to be rescued just before the Liberation of Paris by the notorious Dédale Aristide de Saint Maur—who throughout the German occupation had led a double life, that of a gilded youth often seen with the likes of Charles Trénet and Jean Cocteau while at the same time rendering important services to the Gaullist branch of the Résistance—25 when he first picked me up, having mistaken me for a boy. That at age 15 I had hired the Salle des Plantes and delivered a lecture in a zoot suit, “Defense and Illustration of Pedophilia,” for which I was arrested and fined, having been put up to it by Saint Maur. That I had subsequently used Saint Maur’s lawyer to represent my claim on the Bonn government for damages in the deaths of my father and the two aunts whom he had designated as my legal guardians. That I had won a favorable settlement of my claim and had been living on a sizable tax-free pension ever since. That I was seen almost daily at the Royal Saint-Germain and, since the publication of my radio play, chez Lipp, as well as at the Petit Pavé, often with Saint Maur, though we were not generally reputed to be lovers. The outside of my folder read (Mlle) DUHAUTIER, Édouarde Maxine; 43, rue du Bac; Profession: Writer, Born 3 August 1931, Hôpital de la Pitié, Paris. 

 

 

Come dialogano cura e ricerca artistica? 

 

E poi continua: In my opinion, a year and a day is long enough for anything to continue. This will be Gismande’s last day here. Dédé will be coming with his car at 11:00, for a couple of pipes with me and a bonjour madame to his wife when she appears. Gismande will also have a pipe or two, then go for her soak. She is regular as clockwork. At 23 she has a good body, enjoys looking at herself in my ceiling mirror, often falls asleep in the tub, and is never ready to go out before 3:00. 

All my life I have surrounded myself with strictly 1900-style Art Nouveau things. I cannot imagine living any other way than in silence and darkness, with clocks, books, pictures, and pleasant smells. 

On the bed next to me, Dédé is working with the pipe and needles. I have always been in awe of Dédé’s protean trick of mind. True to his name Dédale, he has an inventor’s hands and understands flight. He is the only source of the opium I have smoked, and where he gets it I have never known. He is friends with the Prefect. He takes care of my clocks and arranges the mechanism of my life. The pipe is trained over the lamp. In the silence I can hear the opium cook. Dédé inhales it at a drag, then lies still. I picture a sea lion resting in the sun. 

 


 
Gabbi Cattani
(Roma, 1990) vive e lavora a Francoforte. Cattani lavora tramite performance, installazione, poesia e video. I suoi lavori sono stati esposti in istituzioni e musei quali la Biennale Mediterranea, San Marino (RSM); Castello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea (IT); Cité Internationale des Arts, Parigi (FR); Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Guarene (IT); HeK-Haus der elektronischen Künste, Basilea (CH); MACRO, Roma (IT); OUTPOST Gallery, Norwich (UK); Return gallery, Dublino (IR); Tirana Art Lab (AL). Dal 2017 è membro del collettivo artistico-curatoriale ALMARE. Attualmente studia alla Städelschule con Gerard Byrne. 

 

in collaborazione con Centrale Fies, Dro

parte di

dal 1 dicembre 2021
residenze a porte chiuse
 
Prender-si cura è il nome del programma di residenze di ricerca e produzione artistica, ideato e curato da Ilaria Mancia, che si svolge negli spazi de La Pelanda del Mattatoio. Un gruppo di artiste e artisti sono invitati a sviluppare la propria ricerca, spaziando dalla danza alla performance teatrale, dall’arte visiva, alla musica e al video.
Padiglione 9B, Performer: Prinz Gholam
13 luglio, ore 12-13
SOLO SU INVITO
13 luglio, ore 12-13
13 luglio, ore 12-13