We are publishing an essay from the catalogue to the exhibition "La Città che sale. We try to build the future ", running at the MACRO Museum in Rome until the 31st of January, 2008. The piece has been written by Odile Decq, curator of the exhibition together with Danilo Eccher. Odile Decq is one of the artists who took part in Detour New York 2007.There were so many who believed, so many who hoped against hope for a precise, priceless future. They were so patient, so strong-willed. In their closed eyes, their visions were so clear-cut and so certain that their dreams could not fail to be prophetic. But their scripts were diverse and contradictory, and they became tangled up as the scenarios melted away in the uncertainty of passing time. Thecolours, too bright, faded and were washed out by too many concessions, too many doubts. They are so disillusioned today... Ideologies are dying out.
Danger is the ravine of our regrets, it is making nostalgia a poison that paralyses, making melancholy the arbiter of our failures. It would be easier to cry, to shout, to scourge ourselves and ask forgiveness. It is so dangerous to let ourselves beterrorised by the future, letting go of the steering wheel at top speed, slamming on the brakes, closing our eyes tight shut in a voiceless scream, ignoring all that comes after us and, through our own cowardice, becoming the very instrument of the collisions we fear the most. It is true: the future is disconcerting, variegated, stratified, and cryptic, since we do not understand the choices wehave yet to make. But the fight against danger creates such life-giving energy. We do not need to know where we are going in order to navigate with passion over the ocean of uncertainties. We need objectives, not visions, desires more than convictions, values that give us freedom and responsibility more than principles that, by protecting us, limit our actions. To build a future we need to give upthe convenience of binary simplification and enter the boundless territory of subtle nuances. Opposing falsity with truth, the body with the spirit, and the abstract with substance in artificial wars prevents us from taking the high road of levelheadedness. Suddenly we have not finished investigating the essence of things, for the bonds between things appear to make the world go round. To be ornot to be - this is no longer the question, nor how or what to be, but rather, in the infinite complexity of all possible truths, where are
we, and what is the nature, the value, and the power of the bond between us? Neither true nor false, neither you nor me, neither real nor virtual. Simply between.
Reinventing courtesy means no more than abandoning the problem of all that is around tofocus on what lies within. The relationship becomes what matters. It cannot be sought through analysis, but is obtained as the right dosage when collective desire precipitates into the unforeseen. Brought together by a policy of transgression, the sole, only slightly off-centre vertical of Christian de Portzamparc's Citadel in Almerelays a double foundation of conflicting centripetal and centrifugalforces that feverishly maintain its balance. Like the inaccessibility of a Zen garden dressed up in Western lyricism, the desire to create a space of shared intimacy is denoted more by a link of identity than by a social bond. The introspective places itself at the service of the collective.
From yesterday to tomorrow, the present may appear to be an unbreakable knot of fluctuating relationshipsthat are frenzied, variegated, undefined, overlapping, and unstable... This is clear. No spirit, not even the highest, even if it were armed with a lie detector, could ever control everything and plan out a perfect future without the slightest variation. We know that, in the past, faith was the mother of all fanaticism, but even though science bravely demands to understand everything, we should...