February 7  , 2019

All ‘A.I. Artisanal Intelligence. The Artist’s Table, the invitation of the curators Clara Tosi Pamphili and Alessio de’Navasques is to sit down at the table to “do” and discover the thrill of working with the hands together with four contemporary masters.

For its 16th edition, the artist’s and artisan’s table becomes the signifying, therefore symbolic, space of a real atelier of arts and craftsmanship at the Basement  in the heart of Rome in via Nicola Ricciotti 4. This is a self-sufficient exhibition space active since 2012, dedicated to experimentation, discussion and production of exhibition projects, presentations, conferences and publishing initiatives in collaboration with artists, curators, independent and institutional actors. An object and a place, the table, where art is done with the hands and which brings attention to the precise act of doing and the practice that generates a language and the craft of those who create. When the hands on the table elaborate, they generate their own experience and their own memory. It is no coincidence that the word “text” is a past, the past of “weaving”, while “practice” instead defines something “in the present”, something that is done “while doing it” (Cf. Devoto, 1996 ). Making a garment or making a fabric, building and restoring, caring … are precise acts that identify roles and identities in specific figures (masters) like those of the cards listed in the Encyclopedié or Reasoned Dictionary of the Arts and Crafts of Diderot and d ‘Alembert, acts of memoir of the ideals of the Enlightenment. The atmosphere that reigns at the Roma Basement exudes the past Enlightenment empiricism of doing things, of using the hands as tools around a table in the perfect interweaving of experience and practice of languages ​​and meanings.


Through this feeling a little enlightened illuminist, Clara and Alessio have been carrying out the project of Artisanal Intelligence for eight years and for the last edition of ALTAROMA they have created, with the help of the Accademia di Costume e Moda, a calendar of workshops and performances divided into three days from 24 to 26 January. At the table the masters: Andrea Anastasio with “Ceramics as second skin” (the first day); Paolo di Landro with the upcycling workshop “The redemption of the head” (the second day); Livia Crispolti, well-known brand that works on the manual loom, and the Sisters Antonini, one of the last hand-crafted plissé, who have just closed their laboratory after one hundred and twenty years of activity, saving all the old papers and machines (the third day ). It is with a dress of the Sisters Antonini that Marilyn Monroe makes the history of cinema: the white dress that flies to the wheel when the wind rises from the subway grille in When the wife is on vacation (The Seven Year Itch, 1955). What a delight, the wind of the underground!

Next to the workshops with the workshops of the masters, for the first time in Rome the work of the Turkish artist Ali Kazma. The work is composed of two videos, and is exhibited in the exhibition thanks to the Galleria Francesca Minini in Milan: Christal and Calligraphy express two forms of doing as a crystalline expression of man’s will to leave traces of himself, signs as instruments to share, the signature of the writing or a precious as fragile glass object.

Text: Elvia Lepore @elvialepore

Photo: A.I. Artisanal Intelligence