In Bergamo, luogo_e is a cultural project born from the transformation of a historic art library. With the exhibition ‘Master and Dog’ he investigates the power relationship underlying all relationships

A special, contained, well-kept, chiseled place. A place in subtraction, in essence , not extended and not loud, where the choice of each word (and the choice of each 'not word') is calibrated, to compose a polysymphonic, sensorial, multidisciplinary score. A capacious project, a container never detached from its content.

Luogo e, in Bergamo in via Pignolo 116, is not alone an exhibition space, it is a place where discusses exhibitions and then shows, to strengthen a collective artistic and curatorial research that tests itself to become practical.

A platform for in-depth analysis and critical and literary sharing, luogo_e reserves a place of honor for writing, keeping alive the strong literary tradition inherited from ARS arte + libri, a historic library of art that in 2017 changed its skin by renewing its format .

The right to slowness and sedimentation, to reading and rewriting

Born from the union of the forces of Chiara Fusar Bassini and Federica Mutti, students first of the Carrara Academy and then of NABA, and of Luciano Passoni, founder of the former bookshop, luogo_e is and will remain, according to the tradition inherited from Ars, a large table around which to gather to discuss culture, art and life.

Luogo_e thus claims the right to slowness, sedimentation and digestion, which are the prerequisites for a good reading and effective rewriting.

Ambiguity and hierarchies in the relationship between owner and dog

Now, with the new exhibition-observatory Master and dog, exhibited until January 14, investigates the mutual subordination - evident or implicit - of all the opposing roles and powers. It maps the ambiguity of hierarchies, but also of all forms of care and interdependence.

And it does so by staging the different domestic and ritual, physical and ascetic aspects of a special relationship, without judging and without falling into any kind of stereotype. Also because, that between owner and dog is an intricate and multifaceted relationship, daily and intense, of sharing and dependence, trust and care (which at times distorts), symbiosis and domestication. A relationship to which the man is destined to survive. A relationship for which there are no adequate words.

Read also: dogs and people

There is no relationship that does not underlie power relationships

If an official history of relations were written, it would coincide with the history of power relations. There is no relationship that does not underlie power relationships, no matter between who and who else reads in the presentation, written - by Federica Mutti who knows how to handle words - with the same maniacal, intense (insofar as) stripped-down accuracy, reserved for a story (a la Carver).

Even our relationship with ourselves, with our body , is a power ratio of the most complex and shape-shifting . The body that is sometimes our master - it governs us, keeps us in a cage - other times it is for us the dog: irreducibly faithful accepts commands, maybe pulls the leash but then wags us , accepts no questions the collar also bears the muzzle.

And if we were to carry out a systematic cataloging of power relations, we would observe that there are not many of them: recurring patterns are repeated over and over again, no matter between who and who else.

Relationships and the body, between leashes and rebellious and free races

For the twelfth edition of the festival ArtDate (Bergamo, 10-13 November 2022), to the invitation of The Blank Contemporary Art to think about the theme of the free body luogo_and responds with a small compendium of the history of relations and power relations. He tries to catalog them, to describe the free body, the trained body, the tamed body, the chained body, the constrained body, the rebellious body, the liberated body.

A book for each exhibition: interpretations, theoretical supports, chambers of wonders, collections of curiosities

Tiziana Villani is the author of Mutant bodies. Technologies of human and living selection, 2018, published by Manifestolibri, the text that luogo_and chooses as a reading-guide for the exhibition Padrone e cane.

In Mutant Bodies, the philosopher and writer chooses the dog and its relations with the like - with the pack - and with the master to talk to us about something else, to talk to us about all the relationships that underlie relationships of power, with its thorns, scars and fractures .

Fil rouge of all the exhibitions of luogo_e - full of philosophical references, often starting from suggestions born from fiction -, short extracts from the book are juxtaposed to the works on display.

The precariousness and the provisional nature

Among the exhibited works - photographs but also drawings, videos, furnishings and sculptures, by Marco Belfiore, Cinzia Benigni, Giulio Bonasone, Luca Brama , Matei Vladimir Colțeanu, Giovanni De Lazzari, Agenore Fabbri, Giovanni Fattori, Linda Fregni Nagler, Angelo Licciardello, Gabriele Longega, Edoardo Manzoni, Wisława Szymborska, Franco Vaccari, Luca Viganò, Tiziana Villani -the ambiguities and contradictions of a relationship emerge that often tends to humanize the dog, distorting its nature for (too much) care. A relationship in any case - always - all-encompassing.

Like in He doesn't Bite II, drawing of a fearsome and uncontrollable dog grinding teeth by Matei Vladimir Colțeanu. He doesn't bite it is the quintessence of the attempt to superimpose the owner's desires, expectations and delusions of control on the animal's instinct.

The photograph by Luca Brama is portrays an elderly woman sleeping hugging a pit bull. It could make us think of the fragility combined with the alleged aggression, the grandmother of fairy tales over which the big bad wolf hangs. Actually, the work is titled The Creatures I Love the Most, the Soonest I Will Lose. And it says it all. Of precariousness and preciousness.