16 Tons
17 Tons: Memory as practice
17 Tons: Memory as practice
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EN / nl

Biscotti, Rossella

b. 1978, Molfetta, Italy; lives and works in Amsterdam, NL

Title One: The Tasks of the Community, 2012 Installation, lead from Ignalina nuclear power plant, variable dimensions. A Conductor, 2012. Main electrical wire, recycled copper from Ignalina nuclear power plant, 500 kg

Although she has pursued a variety of strategies in her practice, Rossella Biscotti has frequently entrusted the physical traces of sculptural work with the task of serving as an historical witness to contemporary society, creating narratives that involve a moment of material and bodily affect. Title One: The Tasks of the Community borrows its title from the 1957 treaty that established the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom), one of the documents that serve as basis of the European Union, to take an ironic, post-minimal stance toward the ideologies of environmental regulation and recycling on a broad, continental level. On December 31, 2009, despite extended popular resistance and profound economic consequences, Unit 2 of the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant in Lithuania was closed under pressure of the European regulatory bodies. Paradoxically, as part of the EU-financed dismantling process, in 2011 several materials from the site were put up for auction as what the Ignalina plant’s website described as “unnecessary property.” Biscotti attended two public auctions held at the plant, acquiring lead and industrial copper cables, which she then imported to Belgium to be used at the venue for Manifesta 9. She used the lead to produce a floor-based sculpture, and had the copper recycled into new electrical wires to supply electricity to the show. These gestures allude to the climate of social concern around the role of nuclear energy in post-Cold War Europe, but they also create a short circuit between distant social processes that typically remain opaque to the citizenry, physically inserting art, its institutions and audiences into the complex life cycle of the productive system. CM