Inhabit us

by Silvia Berry
curated by Valentina Bonsignore Zanghi e Micol Califano

Materials: colorful acrylic yarn intertwined with crochet
Dimensions: central body diameter 99 cm, gloves 56 cm long and 15 cm wide, 1 cm thick.

The concept of dress as an extension or root of living was the starting point of this project, continuing with the desire to deepen the idea of a dress as a relationship. The intent is to develop clothes that can be worn by two or more people at the same time, becoming relational clothes. The desire is to restart from the relationship to rethink it, investigate it, study it, put it to the test, challenge it and give it a shape through the surface of the dress.

The project wants to start from the context of conviviality. A very strong moment of sharing is certainly that of the meal, a situation that was profoundly lacking during the pandemic. The dress then takes the form of a tablecloth precisely to bring back the imagery described above. The tablecloth therefore embodies the function of a disobedient object, which thrives on a contrast: it has the aim of creating a reunion through relationship and a tactile perception (symbolized by gloves), but at the same time it is a symbol of the social distance to which we have been forced. This plurality is also reflected in the fluid shape of the dress that transforms and adapts to different types of contexts.

Inhabit us is the result of the research developed by the curators Micol Califano and Valentina Bonsignore Zanghi who, together with the artist Silvia Berry, have proposed their own vision of what it means to "live in disobedience". Disobeying is a fundamental right, an act of power that counts as a choice and stance towards a situation and context. Disobedience is a social response that can unite or divide according to the point of view from which it is viewed. Living there is therefore a duty, learning to use it with care and with a social conscience.

"Abitar - ci" (inhabit us) is therefore the first level to be faced, and that is to learn first of all to inhabit ourselves, our bodies and our possibilities without being afraid of disobeying. Inhabit us was born during the pandemic and has the desire to re-learn to inhabit our bodies starting from the contact. Here Silvia Berry weaves a collective dress that recalls the image of the tablecloth, a shape that refers to an idea of conviviality and to the moment of strong sharing that is the family meal. The fact that this work can be worn simultaneously by several people embodies the disobedience of wearing and the need to return to a deeper human contact care. Inhabit us even when worn by one person calls for connection, with its long arms extending out of it.

text by Valentina Bonsignore Zanghi and Micol Califano 

Silvia Francis Berry is an Italian-English artist born in Lodi in 1998. She is about to start the course of Visual Arts and Fashion in Venice, IUAV, after having recently completed the three-year course of Painting and Visual Arts at NABA (Milan).

Taking advantage of drawing, sculpture, installation and performance, her artistic practice is made up of first approaches, lightness and irony. The body is the starting point, which generates an image translated into a form and then returned to the initial body through a performative act.

Valentina Bonsignore Zanghi was born in Acqui Terme (AL) in 1995. She lives and works in Milan where she is finishing her master's degree in Visual Arts and Curatorial Studies at NABA.

Valentina Bonsignore Zanghi's practice moves between the artistic and curatorial ones. Her research develops from the support structures, theorized by the artist-architect Céline Condorelli. Support structures are invisible and secondary structures that support things. However, they are fundamental in everyday life and are rooted in various contexts, such as relational, physical and sound landscapes but also in the context of the exhibition display, becoming real objects.

Micol Califano was born in 1997 in La Spezia, Liguria. She lives and works in Milan, where she is currently finishing her BA in Visual Arts and Curatorial Studies at NABA.

Her artistic practice moves in different fields, from the curatorial to the artistic one. What is important to investigate are the relationships that are generated between the visitor of an exhibition, the space and the works on display. Exhibition design plays a central role in creating such experiences, becoming a key element in understanding the exhibition itinerary.