Il Ventre di Napoli, Naples, Italy
My interest in urban realities and different cultures often results in site-specific work such as videos, installations or interventions where the presence of a public or the collaboration with a public is important.
In 2014 I did research in busy Naples, in the South of Italy, for a future artist-in-residence at Il Ventre di Napoli, an artist-in-residence organized by curator Patricia Pulles.
Among other things, I noticed that there was a lot of rubbish, poop and cigarette butts on the street, and that many people looked angry or indignant. I asked myself: What does this city need, what do people need here? The outcome of the short research residency: three proposals for work by and with Neapolitans.
1) The first plan is called Mi piace la sua maglietta (Italian for: I like your shirt). Many people wear T-shirts with texts. Anywhere in the world. With English texts or it should pass for English. I also come across it a lot in Indonesia where I live part of the year. It has become clear to me that non-native speakers often do not know the meaning of what is on their shirt. I find that very funny.
During the work period I made photo portraits of Neapolitans in shirts with positive texts. Those lyrics about love, optimism and positivity contrast sharply with the relative poverty in Naples. The idea is to offer a workshop to have Neapolitans screen-printed their own t-shirts with texts. Portraits of the participants in their shirts are displayed on billboards around the city.