Curated by Alessandro Castiglioni (Little Constellation Network) and Simone Frangi
(Viafarini DOCVA) with the participation of Jennifer Ballantine Perera, Director of the Garrison Library,
and the artist Kapwani Kiwanga.
Shot / Counter-Shot is a site-specific performance created by Elisa Adami and Alessandra Ferrini for Performing History the third instance of A Natural Oasis,
a long-term research project featuring 15 European artists and researchers.
The performance is conceived as a guided tour of the Garrison Library, formerly employed by training military officers of the British Empire to learn about other colonial territories and all issues related to navigation. Structured around a core narrative inspired by the history of the library and by its peculiar collection, the performance relies on a shot / counter-shot format inspired by the language of cinematic montage. As such, this core narrative (at once factual and fictional)
is juxtapposed with a second voice narrating historical anecdotes that span different geographical areas and times (from the construction of the Great Wall of China,
to the siege of Sarajevo in 1992, and the prison musings of Black Panther's member, Mumia Abu-Jamal). By putting in relation issues of destruction,
militancy and despotism, in a binary structure that evokes the colonial model,
the performance prompts a reflection on imperialism, neocolonialism and the
relation between knowledge and power.
The script of the performance is published in The Voices of the Sirens,
edited by Alessandro Castiglioni and published by Mousse.