The gift of a glass of water at the center of the performance of the artist Chiara Mu, who arrived in Genoa in 2001 as a protester
Genoa – Corso Italia, main building, a woman with two large bags on her shoulders, bell on an intercom: “Hello, I’m Chiara, an artist, I can offer you a glass of water? “. “No thanks”. “Can I at least explain why? 20 years ago I was at the G8 and the Genoese threw water at the demonstrators to help them stand up until the end of the marches. Today, I want to return that water. Ah does not go down? Can I at least leave the glass below, then do you drink it when you have time? Thank you”.
From Sturla to Piazza De Ferrari, along the route of the procession of 300 thousand people on 21 July 2001, the Roman artist Chiara Mu, for 15 years in London, he played – the July 14 from 10am to 7pm – to all the bells to realize his performance Water / Water, between 20 of the review Another World Now curated for the twentieth anniversary of the G8 by Anna Daneri, Francesca Guerisoli and Carlotta Pezzolo.
Many the doors that have not opened, in line with the character of the Genoese “but also – says the artist – the sign that the wound is still open. In general people would hang up the intercom when they heard the word G8. For all, central is the figure of Carlo Giuliani, for better or for worse: with many people I had to bite my tongue because my intent was to return the water to the Genoese who, by watering us from the windows, lowering the baskets with the bottles, even the few bartenders who had not closed, gave the bottles to the demonstrators to help them finish the march. And then after the charges they tried to interrupt by shouting from the balconies to stop and let go “.
At the time of the 2001 G8, Mu had arrived in Genoa to demonstrate with the Global rights network: a network that included Piero Bernocchi’s Cobas to social centers. “For months we had worked on precarious work and we had the thematic square in Piazza Paolo da Novi: the first to be” taken “by the black bloc and then attacked” still remembers the artist who, on the repression suffered that day and the next, had already made a performance, “Police and violence” in 2009 in London, dedicated to the Diaz school.
“That was one very violent performance, in which I put all the anger and frustration for the unjustified violence of the police – he adds – For the twentieth anniversary I chose a different operation: the return of water, a central theme then and now, as a symbol of resilient dimension of the Genoese in that situation. They didn’t leave us alone, I wanted to thank them “.
Not everyone, however, accepted the gift offered by the artist: “If I have to count – continues Mu, on the phone from London – I would say that 7 out of 10 did not accept, very few went down to drink the water with me, someone came down after accepting that I left the glass in front of the door “.
“Chiara Mu is a visual artist with a strong social commitment who has been working for many years works with performance focusing on the relationship with the other – explains the curator Francesca Guerisoli who signed the Another World Now project together with Daneri and Pezzolo – these are actions that appear very simple but which, thanks to this simplicity, are really able to penetrate certain themes in an insightful way “.