DAAR – Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti

DAAR – Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti live and work in Stockholm, SE

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DAAR – Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti, visualization of Ente di Decolonizzazione (Entity of Decolonization) – Borgo Rizza, 2022, wood, plaster, plexiglass, 350 × 600 × 45 cm © DAAR – Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti

 

The installation Ente di Decolonizzazione (Entity of Decolonization) – Borgo Rizza (2022) explores the possibilities of critical reappropriation, reuse, and subversion of fascist colonial architecture and its modernist legacy. The installation is an attempt to desecrate the rural settlement of Borgo Rizza, built in 1940 by the Ente di Colonizzazione del Latifondo Siciliano [ECLS, Entity of Colonization of Sicilian Latifundia]. Together with other rural colonies, its function was to reclaim, modernize, and repopulate Sicily, which the regime considered backward, underdeveloped, and “empty.” A very similar architectural blueprint was adopted by fascist colonial urban planning in Libya, Somalia, Eritrea, and Ethiopia around the same time.

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DAAR – Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti, The 2021 Difficult Heritage Summer School at Borgo Rizza, Sicily, 2021 © DAAR – Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti

The installation is a scaled reproduction of the village’s main building facade, which the artists have deconstructed into fifteen multipurpose modules, to be activated through decolonial assemblies: a discursive space where the public is invited to critically reconsider the social, economic, and political legacies of the fascist and colonial heritage while collectively imagining new common uses. Ente di Decolonizzazione (Entity of Decolonization) – Borgo Rizza is understood as a traveling ghost that fosters acts of decolonization of modernist-colonial-fascist architecture, providing an opportunity to initiate a series of actions and interventions that will attribute to the building other functions than those for which it was designed. The assemblies are meant to enter into a direct dialogue with groups, individuals, and associations that critically address the colonial past of the various contexts in which the work is installed. The work has already been activated in Naples and will travel to Brussels after Berlin.

Matteo Lucchetti

Exhibitions

Stateless Heritage, 2021, The Mosaic Rooms, London (UK) (solo)

56th Venice Biennale: All the World’s Futures, 2015, La Biennale di Venezia, Venice (IT)

55th Venice Biennale: The Encyclopedic Palace, 2013, La Biennale di Venezia, Venice (IT)

Home Works 5: A Forum on Cultural Practices, 2010, Beirut (LI)

11th Istanbul Biennial: What Keeps Mankind Alive?, 2009, Istanbul (TR)