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.

2) The second has the working title Sinfonia. I want to research music cultures in Naples and present this as the intervention Sinfonia: a music composition that blares out of a series of houses. In consultation with the residents I compose the symphony based on their music preference. It works best if instrumental music is chosen as much as possible. Because of the hearing distance, homes on the first or second floor are the most suitable and I prefer homes on a square. The Gesammtkunstwerk can be heard in various ways, because it changes as people walk past the houses or move away. My wish is to find the fleeting magic in the mix of the different music styles. 
I have some strong memories of how music blends into other music. In Rio de Janeiro, two bars competed for patronage with hard music. A wonderful cacophony arose. In Rotterdam I visited a Dance Parade where cars with speakers drove past the audience. Between the cars the beat changed from one sound system to the other. That yielded magical hits. I have experience with DJ-ing where I look for that specific moment.

3) Until the residence in Tirana came my way thanks to the Mondriaan Fund, Naples has been an option for becoming an episode of the series about ingenuity in the public domain, because of the street trade and the extensions to houses that occupy public space. Therefore I changed the plan: remakes of extensions to houses that occupy public space, think of the  inspiring installations of artist Marjetica Potrc.