Duration: 15' 16"
The music of Beethoven fills the air of the construction site of Florence’s Music Park, but it’s not coming from the Theatre; it is suddenly interrupted by voices and the sounds of hammering and objects being dismantled. This grouping of sounds, noises and music is a track from Davide Tidoni’s research on the construction site of the new Theatre; a poetic track within the conflicts of a space under transformation and suspended in time.
The New Shape of Public Architecture only captures a fragment of the time that Tidoni spent on site, exploring its borders and its changing places, attempting to comprehend its evolving nature.
The title refers to an article in which the Florentine construction site is presented as looking towards the future of the new shape of public architecture. Tidoni wonders what those shapes are, but the questions remain open, and we are left with a listening in three movements, waiting for something that is supposed to happen, but doesn’t.
Introducing his work, Davide Tidoni writes:
The project The New Shape of Public Architecture transfigures the personal conflict I have experienced while confronting the shapes of the construction site of Florence’s New Theatre Music Park. Since my very first visit to the site of the new building, I have encountered many difficulties in finding an emotional distance in order to relate to the project of the New Theatre. It wasn’t easy to impartially accept the contradictory neglect shown by the site, and it took quite a long time to devise a strategy that would allow me to exalt such an aggression.
The powerlessness and frustration I felt in front of the political and cultural choices that the project brought forth put me in a difficult position, making me question the authentic value of my presence in there. In order to find myself, I listened to the daily life, events and people working on the construction site. Although these encounters still spoke to me of an indifferent and disaffected reality, I couldn’t but feel empathy for the human element the meeting called for. I held on to that feeling and opened myself to a reciprocal exchange with a group of workers.
This choice turned into a group game that included the on-site playback of the musical program performed for the opening of the New Theatre, and the creation of a series collective interventions, during which the workers and I exchanged roles and tasks.
It was only by establishing a quality relationship with a couple of workers from the site, and by taking possession of the space by means of collective interventions, that I was able to face the task and handle ‘the new shape of public architecture’ that the theatre’s project suggests. Those are the strategies I used in order not to succumb. The search for the self, the reinforcement of localized resistance, and the acknowledgement of the gratifying joy that comes from group sharing.
Davide Tidoni is an Italian artist and researcher. His research focuses on diverse listening modes and sound-space relations. His work includes site-specific interventions, acoustic territory explorations as well as sound ethnography fieldworks and listening workshops. He has presented his work at the Barbican Centre – London (2012), the Ars Electronica Festival – Linz (2011), the Venice Architecture Biennale (2010), the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Exeter (2009), and RAUM – Bologna (2009).
The New Shape of Public Architecture is a soundwork by Davide Tidoni for Nuovi Paesaggi | New Landscapes, a project by Radio Papesse and Villa Romana supported by Toscanaincontemporanea 2011. It is produced by Radio Papesse and curated by Lucia Farinati.
Thanks to all of those who contributed to the production of the piece: Laura Arlotti, Chiara Banchini, Tiziano Bonini, Francesco Canavese, Francesco Casciaro, Irene Chellini, Enzo Cimino, Attila Faravelli, Francesco Giomi, Roberta Porciani, Letizia Renzini, Pietro Riparbelli and Francesca Zardini.
Davide would also like to thank: Dragosc e Macje, Trattoria Sabatino e La Panetteria di Via Pisana, il Merlo, il Finanziere, la Sicurezza, Jonny, the Austrian couple in vacation, Tiro a Segno alle Cascine and "viola l'è èl culùr dèi mórc".