Riccardo
Rizzetto

If Only These Walls Could Talk at Tate Modern (London, UK), 2017.

The happening took place as a rapture of the Tanks Hall at the Tate modern, in a moment in which we were looking for new ways to make narrative or commentary an implicit part of visual objects.

This distribution of words and ideas in a public space is an interactive project in the meaning that every viewer can create its own path through the space trying to reconstruct the fake story behind the statement on the post-it.

It took the form of a happening since it wasn’t planned and it just happened out of an immediate reaction to the observation of the space after a talk with a colleague about space and the “lightest way” to transform the perception of a space as much as possible.

The “lightest way” has been seen in the power of words and yellow post-it that for their nature aren’t thought to stay there forever.

The public dimension is integral part of the project since the way of working of mass medias finds its roots in the public reaction and in the way words, for example, drive people’s opinions.

The use of words and language is seen as an art medium in itself.

The statements are kept as short and concise as possible, as to be able to reach the largest crowd as possible in the Tanks Hall at Tate Modern, where lots of people usually just pass by to go to the exhibition spaces. Putting unexpected things into unlikely places the space has been transformed into an exhibition and experiencing space as well, leaving behind its function of a mere connector.

It was a large-scale installation, climax of what happens every day to a human subjected to any kind of written and visual influence in the city as much as in social medias. The main actors were some disorienting post-it with words attached next to some found scratches and colour stains on the walls, trying to trace a completely random story giving a meaning to something that a meaning didn’t have.

It has been an occasion to reason about the power of words on selling, on making people seeing things with different eyes, on changing the perception, on turning on curiosity and also the short lasting life of the post-it on a wall was a metaphor of how opinions can be changed easily and quickly. Underpinned, It was both a criticism and a celebration of the power of social medias on driving the attention and on privileging the appearance rather than the substance, a problem widely diffused in society.

“There is nothing nobler than being able to capture people’s attention by speaking, directing their opinions, distracting them from what is wrong and leading them to what we value. This is the only gift that has always received recognition and value among all free peoples, and especially in states governed in peace and in balance.”
Cicerone, 55 b.c.

Happening. With Yara Boulos

 © 2019 by Riccardo Rizzetto.