Default19 – recap

Default19, the fifth edition of the masterclass in residence project promoted by Ramdom, has ended last Sunday.

Methodologically conceived to encourage research as a separate moment from production, the fifth edition focused on the idea of the extreme, seen and analyzed from three different perspectives: the territory of Cape Leuca, where Ramdom is located – historically considered an extremity, even if located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea; the Alentejo region, an internal area of Portugal and extreme west of Europe – or penultimate land?; and the conceptual extreme (state of mind), investigated as a psychological predisposition.

Claudio Zecchi and Paolo Mele coordinated the first two days of the Masterclass, focusing on the work carried out by Ramdom on the territory through research projects and productions. The artists then explored the territory of Gagliano del Capo, focusing in particular on the Ciolo area, together with Domenico Licchelli, (Astrophysicist and geologist; Education and Public Outreach Specialist, Wildlife Photographer – Astrophysical Observatory R.P.Feynman, Project POLARIS and Salento Sommerso) and Daniela Palma (WWF Guide; Made for walking).

With Eleonora Marzani, artist and researcher at CHAIA – Evora, a focus on Portugal and more precisely on the Alentejo region was initiated. This was investigated not only as another geographical area but also as a platform to rethink, reorient and question the idea of extreme, starting from the feeling / idea of Saudade. From this the participants were invited by the tutor to reflect and identify those feelings or concepts proper to their mother tongue and difficult to translate into others.

During the final days of the Masterclass the artists worked with Francesca Girelli, Content Operations Manager for Frieze (London), curator and writer, focusing on the concept of extreme as a state of mind through a frontal lecture that aimed to feed the following question: for centuries, the concept of finis terrae has captured the imagination of dreamers and adventurers driven by the desire to reach remote frontiers and by the mapping of unexplored territories. Can we assign a psychological profile to those seeking the end or the end?

Starting from this, the artists have dedicated themselves to the construction of an essential glossary aimed at declining the concept of “extreme” from different perspectives. The glossary has become an instrument through which to visually decline the final publication methodologically based on a community based process.

Default19 will formally end the next few months with the presentation of an artistic publication where the reflections of each individual participant in the masterclass will be presented.

Ramdom thanks the artists who participated: Julie F Hill, Sarah Maple, Charnjeev Kang, Xiaowen Zhu, Joey Chin, Tommaso Gorla and Giulia Cacciuttolo; the project partners: Regione Puglia, ArtHub Asia, New Art Exchange, ASEF and CHAIA; and tutors: Paolo Mele, Claudio Zecchi, Domenico Licchelli, Daniela Palma, Eleonora Marzani, Francesca Girelli, Heba Amin.

Some moments of Default19: