Radically emancipated(s) is a direct antecedent of Martellata_14.09.91. The first project addresses the theft of fragments of works of art. These are commonly understood as vandalism, but somewhere between the sublime and the poetic, they are perpetrated as exercises of deep communion and admiration with the artists and / or the artworks.

A series of videos, objects and documents inquire into the different and individual reasons why some spectators feel a drive for carrying out such particular appropriations: fetishism, an act of cannibalism, the wish, an erotic compulsion, an irreverent gesture against the strict codification of the exhibition space, the intention to put the artwork into circulation, to know more about the artist, complicity, … In order locate the particularities of such acts, while differentiate from white glove thieves, I searched for the social history of art, the artistic reception and the conventions that condition it. In this way, and as can be seen in the publication No Touching, I studied cases of vandalism, destruction and theft of works. At the same time, I approached gallery settings (museums and architectures of display) as a network and chain of agreements, conventions and rituals that shape and affect visitors and personnel in terms of their behaviour, routines and performances.

Through Martellata_14.09.91 I will address for the first time a case of vandalism “by definition”[1], and one of the most paradigmatic cases of the 20th century by its transcendence into the global public sphere. Furthermore, the project represents a turning point in my artistic practice in terms of working in relation to Renaissance Art, classical monumentality and heritage in the public space that is in turn an identity of the city.

It will be through the completion of Martellata_14.09.91 that I will be able to inquire about my main thesis objective. Therefore I will know if I can (or how far I can) propose an artistic and theoretical re-reading of a radical and unconventional attitude that is considered unacceptable and problematic by the artistic institution.

As for the approach and interview with Piero Cannata, it will be the first time that I will work with a person who has repeatedly attempted against different works of art[2]. Martellata_14.09.91 will not only set a precedent for future collaborations and projects, but it will also mean working with a very particular person in terms of his dissident relationship with the art. In short, Cannata embodies the central subject of study of my body of work as an artist and researcher.

In relation to the formalizations, it will also be the first time that I will do a sculptural work of reflection on the destruction / construction of a stone, matter and culture. On the other hand, the outputs of the research will involve a particular application / adaptation of specific knowledge and instruments related to the disciplines of geology, conservation and restoration.

As for the publication, and in spite of having previously worked with editorial proposals, the book Martellata_14.09.91 will put me into the challenge of creating a story/essay; with the inclusion of ‘elements of fiction’ that will appeal to the memory of matter and build a narration from macro-micro perspectives.

[1] The term vandal was coined by Abel Greg├│ire during the French Revolution to designate those attackers of art or monuments. The aim was to condemn the vandals as barbarians in order to protect the threatened objects while uniting the French with the idea of a “national heritage”. The term has been subsequently extended in terms of its meanings and applications in different cases of destruction of art, especially in respect to the recent events related to the Islamic State and other sort of conflicts.

[2] Cannata has vandalized a total of 7 works between 1991 and 2005. The first was Michelangelo’s David. Then the fresco Le estequie di Santo Stefano by Filippo Lippi at the cathedral of Prato (October 1993); L’Adorazione dei pastori by Michele di Raffaello delle Colombaie in Santa Maria delle Carceri (December 1993); Watery Paths by Jackson Pollock at the Galleria d’arte moderna di Roma (May 1997); the Gentiluomo a cavallo by Marino Marini in the homonymous museum in Florence (February 2000); and the gravestone to Girolamo Savonarola in the Piazza della Signoria in Florence (October 2005).