Sara Leghissa

June 23 > 28, 2020
What does it mean for you to inhabit a space during a residency period?

Since I have based my practice in public space for years, the space where the research takes place determines and shapes the work. If I think about my own artistic practice, I associate the idea of inhabiting a space with observation, reception, assimilation and exchange, so to allow the place to give indications for determining form and content—considering a close connection and coincidence between form and content. I would say it is a co-operation between the idea triggered by an urgency, a desire, an intuition, and the space in which this idea turns into practice. In my experience, the more this relationship is kept open and fluid, the more complex the vision will result. I always thought it was possible to adapt an idea to a space. When I consider an urgency and structure it into an idea, this gives me much more information in turn, and will be able to redefine itself each time, only when I am open to be in dialogue with what is there and what I find, without forcing it, nor pretending to keep it always identical. This does not mean to distort the idea, nor to shift the urgency, but rather to include in the process some information you could not foresee, which continues to determine new meaning and to teach you things you couldn’t have imagined otherwise. Therefore, to me, living in a space means to be in relation to it, to work along with it. Daniel Blanga Gubbay speaks of co-authorship in respect to creation, including space as an author in the creation process. I am very comfortable with this kind of discourse.


How would you define the space of your work and research? What will you investigate on this occasion?

As I mentioned earlier, I define space as an inherent component of the creation process. Basically, by attending the public space as a place of research and passion one realizes that often the space does enough by itself, as it is very difficult to add details or images, in addition to what already exists. In fact, what we try to do is to work by subtraction, to understand how to exploit what’s already there, in combination with the work structure. Starting from the idea that space already contains what is needed, instead of adding information we try to understand how to shed light on what is there, by adding a device that can shift the gaze, or that determines the positioning of those who look by creating a point of view. Technically speaking even the device itself can be built by using or exploiting what is already there. The use of these devices can generate some excess in respect to the gaze, an attention shift so to focus on a detail or to widen the image and the beholder’s imagination. This is what we call fiction, namely the addition of a sign that creates a small displacement in respect to what we normally see, compared to the ordinary, a temporal shift that becomes narrative by building new meanings for the beholder, by creating short circuits between reality and imagination, and by undermining the separation and the distinction between these categories.
On this occasion, I would like to try to develop a research starting from sound and sound production as a practice, specifically linked to an image. For this reason I will work together with a foley artist, who usually takes care of creating the sounds for cinematic images in a very functional way. The idea is to begin from the functionality of this practice and try to set it in dialogue with the space we will find ourselves working in, with the images already present in the public space, in real time. We will try to start with what is there to see if it can to move elsewhere.


Define “care” in three words

Listen. Positioning. Surrender.




Sara Leghissa is an artist, performer and researcher based in Milano. She graduated in Contemporary History with a thesis in Socio-Political Communication, and co-founded with F. De Isabella the collective Strasse, involved in site-specific production in public space. As associated artist for Triennale Teatro dell’Arte in Milan, Strasse works within the frames of performance and cinema, investigating the relationship between movement and urban landscape to question and intensify our relationship to reality. For the Italian scene, she organizes together with Annamaria Ajmone Nobody’s Business, an independent platform for sharing practices in the performing arts and NESSUNO, a party where artists from different disciplines gather to share their strong diversity, shuffling contexts and contents. Sara took part at the formation of the Valdoca school directed by Cesare Ronconi and in 2015 participated as a DanceWEB scholar at the ImPulsTanz, Vienna. As a performer, she has collaborated with various artists and companies such as Teatro Valdoca, -Dom, Giorgia Nardin, Muta Imago, Daniela Bershan. As Sara Leghissa/ Strasse, she has been recently resident at Sareyett (Ramallah) and La Casa Encendida (Madrid) and she has presented the work in different contexts including Santarcangelo Festival (IT), Bolzano Festival (IT), Short Theatre (IT), VAC Foundation (IT), Far Festival (CH), Oerol Festival (NL), Festival Parallele (FR), Saal Biennal (EE).