I'm not Roberta
images selection, a prayer, text.
Whithey Museum and different venues, 2010.
I thought about an everyday prayer so that something who could destabilize the cliché of the
Whitney Biennial would happen and say something significant about the focus on United States
that this event traditionally presents.
Before starting to pray every day I intervened (02-14-10) on the “dead zone” which separates
the prisoners’ cells in Guantanamo from the external boundary wall. This intervention had no
defined time and space connotations. It was a rectangle made of black dust, laid out on the sand.
This intervention was completely instinctive and had no connection with my intentions about the
Biennial of the Whitney Museum.
This attitude of mine is similar to a kamikaze’s, between an exaggerated spiritualism and the
fact of being “cretino” ("stupid",“fool," "idiot," "dumb," "moron,"). This because the prayer is
something serious, but it is "cretino" to think of taking part in the Whitney Biennial without even
going there and imposing on oneself the support of the distance. It’s curious that in Italian the
root of the word “cristiano” (Christian) is the same of the word “cretino” (stupid).
When the Biennial started, I started my everyday prayer. I started analyzing the many images
that users posted on the Net and on flickr.com, looking for significant events. I found this image,
almost completely black, with some faces emerging on the foreground. It seemed that the clearer
sand had repositioned itself on my rectangle made of black dust and defined some unfocused
This image refers to some people waiting inside the lift of the Whitney Museum, exactly
during the 2010 Biennial (02-24-10).
Some days later, the Icelandic volcano started erupting dust (18-04-10). This blocked many
people in a sort of collective waiting. It was a forced collective waiting, but it forced everyone
to appreciate real distances. This is interesting because appreciating distances involves a new
consciousness about distance itself, but also about the place where one is.
Some days later (29-04-10) oil started spilling always from the underground in the Mexico
Gulf, some kilometres far from the American coasts. It was the same oil that allows us to reduce
distances. Another image of a black rectangle.
The choice of the title, too, is definitely consistent with the project. When I was asked to remove
the name of Massimiliano Gioni from the fake account on Facebook, I did not know which name
I could choose. And, since Roberta Tenconi was the one who contacted me to ask me this, I
temporary put her name. Then Facebook did not allow me to change it again, so I was forced to
write periodically “I’m not Roberta” on the wall. I liked the total arbitrariness of this choice; it
was exactly the spirit I would use to take part in the Whitney Biennial.
My gambling has displaced me, making my role confused, but certainly richer in possibilities.