ExSitu, the project by the Salento artist Luigi Coppola, winner of Italian Council (10th Edition)

Ex Situ, the project by the Salento artist Luigi Coppola for the participation at the 7th Lubumbashi Biennial entitled Toxicity in the Democratic Republic of Congo, will soon be kicked off. 

The project is curated by Lucrezia Cippitelli (Artistic Director of Ateliers Picha and curator of the 7th Lubumbashi Biennale) and Ramdom and produced by Ramdom, is supported by the Italian Council (10th Edition, 2021) program to promote Italian contemporary art in the world by the Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity of the Italian Ministry of Culture.

Luigi Coppola’s project represents an important connection between Ramdom’s activities devoted to promoting national and international artistic research over the last ten years, and the Salento area. 

Ex Situ intends to reflect on the relationship between extractive activity and exploitation of natural resources; on the toxicity of the lands affected by neo-colonial extractive practices and on agro-ecology, a nodal theme for the Democratic Republic of Congo, where agricultural production and food sovereignty are non-existent due to more than twenty years of civil wars that have disrupted the territories.  

Picha Asbl, an independent organization based in Lubumbashi and founder of the Lubumbashi Biennial, is the main partner of the project. Here is where Luigi Coppola is leading site-specific research along with local artists to support the theoretical and formal development of the project Ex-Situ. The international dissemination of the themes that stand underneath the Biennale, will be hosted in formats such as exhibitions, residencies, panel discussions, talks, and screenings by also other international partners.

Other partners of the projects are CAD+ sr (center for arts, design and social research) (Boston, USA); Royal Institute of Art (Stockholm, Sweden); IASPIS Swedish Arts Grants Committee’s international program for Visual and Applied Artists, (Stockholm, Sweden); Framer Framed (Utrecht, Netherlands); Arts Catalyst (Sheffield, UK); Wiels (Brussels, Belgium). 

The webinar entitled Cultural and Artistic Narratives on Inhabiting Environmental Disaster that will be held at IASPIS on January 26th invites artists, thinkers, and curators from diverse backgrounds to reflect on the relationship between culture and ecology. Drawing upon the cases from three different regions, Katanga (DRC), Turkey, and Southern Italy, the invited guests discuss the role of art and cultural production in territories where land exploitation, monoculture, and industrial overproduction create environmental disasters.

How to imagine a world ethic that is socially and ecologically desirable given the end of the world? How to retrace the trajectories of chains of responsibility in Western countries? How to imagine alliances capable of rethinking the practices of agroecology as modes of shared conservation and care? And how to rethink a different temporality that interrupts short-term visions to change our imagined future? 

Starting from these questions, the webinar will be opened by a lecture of Marco Armiero Director of Environmental Humanity Laboratory (Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm), continues with a video intervention from Atelier Picha from Lubumbashi introduced by Lucrezia Cippitelli (curator of Lumbumbashi Biennale) and concludes with a conversation between 2022 IASPIS grant holders Luigi Coppola and Asli Uludag. 

Combining contemporary artistic imagination with new strategies of action, the webinar aims to discuss the role of artistic practices that promote social transformation. 

The webinar is conceived by IASPIS in collaboration with Royal Institute of Art Stockholm as part of Ex Situ. 

The project research eventually includes two periods of residency in Lubumbashi at Atelier Picha: the first one of study and the second one of formalization of the work. 

The final work, which consists of an installation of large banners painted on canvas, raw-earth vases, and material of research, study, and documentation of the entire process will be presented at the Picha Art Center and opened to the public during the next Lubumbashi Biennale.