A Bomb to be Reloaded

Chapter 1 (Resistant Musings)

installation, 2019

The title of the project draws on a passage from the film I Dannati della Terra (The Wretched of the Earth, 1969) by Valentino Orsini, an homage to Frantz Fanon's homonym oeuvre. The plot revolves around Fausto - a white, Italian filmmaker and professor - who is ridden with ethical and ideological angst as he attempts to complete a film on decolonisation struggles that was left unfinished by his late friend Abramo - a black, African filmmaker. Fausto defines this work as a "a bomb to be loaded so that it might make noise." This expression acts here as a methodological compass: to think about the potential intrinsic to the activation of this historical material in the present, while considering the ideological commitment that has allowed for both its formation and current preservation. As Fausto is faced with the task of paying homage to, and expanding on, Abramo's revolutionary work, similarly, Giovanni Pirelli (see Chapter 0) took it upon himself to build on Fanon's legacy. Considering the resonance of the CDFF's work today can be thought of as a similar process, thus raising many of the same questions that are voiced by Fausto in the film. Furthermore, Orsini's adoption of Third Cinema aesthetics and ethos, provides both a visual and methodological reference to the project. In the exhibition, some of the most critical musings in the film are put in dialogue with Giovanni Pirelli's self-reflexive writing within the installation A Bomb to be Reloaded (Chapter 1). Part of this work was developed with the students from Brera Art Academy in Milan.

Chapter 1 (Resistant Musings) explores Fanon’s direct influence on Pirelli, who translated and curated his work, and on the director Valentino Orsini. The installation includes historic documents, publications and quotes printed on large banners, with an interview with Kadigia Bove, a Somali-Italian actress and singer who appeared in Orsini's film. This presence also attempts to make up for women’s lack of visibility in narration of the historic context of what is referred to as “Third-Worldism”. The installation specifically reveals the importance of self-analysis and self-criticism in the authors’ writing and in the exhibition.

Read More: detailed profile of the whole project, interviews, credits and bibliography.

Commissioned by Villa Romana, Florence.