Lara Favaretto – Clandestine Talks

in the frame of the project Thinking Head 2017-2020

As a contribution to the exhibition “The Clouds and the Cloud” at MGKSiegen, Lara Favaretto realises as part of her ongoing project “Thinking Head” (20172020) three “Clandestine Talks”. The series of meetings will take place behind closed doors, inside a bunker. There are no spectators. Each talk is held in the format of a livestream to be found on the websites and

Originally realized for her solo exhibition “Absolutely Nothing” at Nottingham Contemporary in 2017 and further developed in 2019 at the 58th Venice Biennale in the Central Pavilion within the main exhibition "May You Live in Interesting Times" curated by Ralph Rugoff, Thinking Head (2017–2019) is a complex and decentralized artwork that implicitly mirrors the functioning of the human brain. Referencing Alighiero Boetti’s sculpture Mi fuma il cervello (1993), a self-portrait whose head literally fumes, Favaretto installed in Nottingham and Venice vapor-producing machinery on the roof of the institutions, so that a constant mist obscured their façade, as if dissolving their cultural authority. In a far less visible part of this work, the artist and a group of thinkers periodically gather during the course of an exhibition for clandestine discussions in order to reflect each time on a single word from a list of 50 different key words. The ‘secret’ character of these talks is designed to encourage the possibility of creating an independent “guerrilla” knowledge, which will be shared with the public through different information channels.

The words to be discussed are linked to groupings of objects that are bound to change: objects may move from one group to another or new ones may be added, during the course of the project, the arrangement only becomes definitive when the talks have been completed. Some objects come from the artist’s personal archive, things she found and selected over the past 25 years. The artist intention is that these objects together with the words will be processed in each viewer’s mind and the result will be something similar to a very advanced, hyper-technological dimension. What at first sight could be considered ‘archaic’ will turn into the most advanced augmented reality.

In the Clandestine Talks, which will continue at MGKSiegen, up to four participants discuss a single word from the original list of key words. The ones that have been chosen for Siegen are: Control, Borders and Identity. Each group of thinkers, all coming from different disciplines, will contribute to the discussion with their own perspectives.

Thursday, October 08, 2020, 7pm
with participants: Mustafa Kizilcay, Hubertus Koch, Michael Nassauer


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Lara Favaretto, Clandestine Talks in the frame of the project Thinking Head, 2017-2020,