Romy Rüegger, Are You an Underground? A Ship’s Deck or a Terrace?
Ar/ge kunst matinée, Performance


November 9, 2019 at 11:00 AM

Performance by Romy Rüegger

Duration: 20 min
Language: German
Handout in English

Followed by a conversation between the artist Romy Rüegger with public programme curator Simone Mair and artistic director Emanuele Guidi.

A canal over the Alps should have guaranteed access to sea trade routes. ‘Nobody objected that it was completely absurd for ships to cross the Alps.’ A tunnel was built instead. The railway company advertises: ‘A journey from the grey north to the blue south has always been the dream for many people.’ The train is fast, but not for everyone.

This performance relates the construction of the Gotthard Tunnel, while also weaving together evidence and text excerpts about the cotton trade, the introduction of cotton to southern Italy by northern entrepreneurs, the growth of the viscose fibre industry and the production of functional attire for winter sports.

At the same time, the performance expands the terms “border crossing” and “underground movement” by introducing various story lines that circumscribe the discovery, naming and renaming of the bougainvillea plant. The history of the ongoing excavation of the tunnel between Switzerland and Italy and the practices of racial profiling enacted on those who move across frontiers, intersects with the recently unearthed biography of Jeanne Baret, a pioneering botanist who found the bougainvillea plant while taking part in an expedition under a male name and appearance. (2015/2019)

The format ar/ge kunst matinée considers artistic practices of each exhibition through a dialogue with curators, artists and other experts over a casual breakfast. Croissants are generously provided by neighboring Pâtisserie Hofer, via museo 4, Bolzano.