Copy Club at ZSENNE
A project by Nicolas Galeazzi in connection with a residency at the Franz Masereel Centrum and i-propeller.com
There are many stages for performance. A simple sheet of paper is one of them. This 'canvas' is not only a carrier of ink and signs, having a dance with the reader - paper is a playground for acting with thoughts, for performing with facts and for playing with emotions. An empty page is a free space which provokes procedures of negotiations for its potential content, and its space of dissemination, wherein the paper is its own prop, is a ground for performance between various actors. In collaboration with Joël Verwimp, Nicolas Galeazzi has been working with these different functionalities of paper for several years under the name of VerlegtVerlag.
This 'displace-publishing' - as this german homologism could be translated - is using the performative materiality of paper to research and experiment with structures of artistic collaboration, searching for new forms of sharing and generating knowledge.
Facing the neoliberal educational policies and the debates on intellectual propriety, it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain that knowledge and the practices of exchanging is common property. Attempts to democratize the access of knowledge, like for example the worker's club movement at the beginning of the last century, appear to have become historical exceptions in times when knowledge is being economised and patented, where education is being privatized and copying is made a crime.
The collaboration of Verwimp and Galeazzi generated a variety of different work procedures for radical democratic exchange of knowledge which takes the individual approach as much in account as the fact the knowledge only makes sense as a shared and common good.
In this situation Galeazzi aims to launch something like a copy shop: a Copy Club as a centre for the exchange and transfer of knowledge. The interlinked residences at the Frank Masareel Centre in Kasterlee and the ZSenne Gallery in Brussels shall be used as a test ground for a real- but artistically set up- copy shop. For this test the space is used to rethinking the structure of the worker's club designed by Rodchenko for the Design Fair in Paris 1925. This is not only a copy of Rodchenko but also a self-copy of what Galeazzi's project at Nadine in Brussels 3 years ago. Copy shops and call centers are, unlike museums, archives or academies, popular hubs for the practical transfer of mundane knowledge with free access. They act as an analogue 'server' for spreading, transferring reproducing, collaging, over-laying or censoring information.
This models shall be used to create a hybrid space in ZSenne, which provides a place for performance, discussion, instant archiving, print practices and copying of various medias into other forms.
Galeazzi's Copy Club should provide discussions about different types of cop(y)ing mechanisms, which are questioning the common within the singular and the individual within the social. In this sense, this project not only draws a line back into the last century through Rodchenko, but also seeks to relate Walter Benjamin's thoughts of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction to the contemporary situation and the artistic practices around this project.
Around the practice of a copy machine many other analogue practices of knowledge production can be situated. A copy center can function as an interface between an archive and a conference, between a bookstore and a scriptorium, between a theoretician and a graphic designer, between an artist and a public space. A Copy Club can be a place which provides a transfer between the generating of discourses and their translation into haptic temporary products.
In collaboration with his audience, Galeazzi is going to the core of what a printing performance might be. He anatomizes a copy machine and analyses the functionality of each part in order to translate them into an artistic and collaborative practice. This should lead to different spheres, offering different working procedures, discuss or think procedures for the public. The mechanic analogy shall provide a systemic view on the intuitive and unconscious needs in any collaboration and develop the human/machine discussion towards the human incapacity to deal with the idea of a non-authorship.
Nicolas Galeazzi uses performance as an act of research. His work focuses on developing social discourses through artistic research projects and is articulated in concepts, installations, performances and printed matter.
Originally trained as a theatre director in Zurich (ZHdK), he worked as actor, director, set designer, and musician in theatre context. This experience provoked the need to search for a redistribution of the responsibilities for the 'artwork' and to develop new models for collaboration and dissemination of art.
Galeazzi sets up performative research frameworks where audience can experiment with political and social conditions. Galeazzi calls such events Mise-en-Discourse.
In collaboration with several artist collectives, such as GASTSTUBE°performance or the Berlin n@work EMANUELLE, he devised several long term performance projects in international contexts.
After ten years of practical engagement in art, he investigated the theoretical side of his practice in the MA Contemporary Art Practices and Dissemination (MACAPD) at Dartington College of Arts (UK).
Together with Joël Verwimp, Galeazzi develops the COYOTL Yournal published by Verlegt Verlag - a dispersed journal in a non-negotiated space for printed performance.
Galeazzi is dedicated mentor and member of the artistic board at the artistic research environment [a.pass] Advanced Performance Training in Antwerp as well as artistic mentor at the MA SODA in Berlin. He also works as a tutor at Flutgraben Workspace in Berlin.
Lately he organised 'Don't Know! An Artistic Conference on Knowledge Production' in Brussels in collaboration with a.pass.