Fondazione Officine Saffi presents Disco Tornio (Potter’s Wheel Disco), by Chiara Camoni and Centro di Sperimentazione, a participatory performance that subverts some of the fundamentals of making. The romantic, almost sacred practice of the potter, a demiurge totally absorbed in doing things “in the right way”, following strict doctrines and ancient techniques, is transposed to a nightlife venue, where people are invited to break free of behavioural constrictions. Blending sacred and profane, the gallery is transformed into a discotheque, the potter becomes a DJ, visitors are invited to dance, watch and make. Rules are rewritten, the wheel becomes a dance, an ecstatic and liberating activity. A celebration to which everyone is invited to take part, and at the same time a workshop, a collective project. In this way, Chiara Camoni topples intellectual hierarchies and educational techniques, along with some of the legends of craftsmanship and progress, in part interpreting the thought of French philosopher Jacques Rancière in Le Maître ignorant (The Ignorant Schoolmaster): “knowledge is nothing, and instead, action is everything, the sciences were not created to be explained but to produce new discoveries and useful inventions”.

Disco Tornio is part of a series of works emerging from a love for traditions and crafts, in which the artist attempts to demystify the romanticism linked to the world of ceramics. It is an invitation to rethink the potter’s practice, extended to the general public. In fact the artist’s processes are often communal, recovering an idea of shared authorship, of choral work, but also a method of operation that demonstrates a profound respect for the material, which is explored in its archaic, ritual and objective nature.

The event was planned following the artist’s participation in Officine Saffi Award 4. On that occasion, the Foundation awarded Chiara Camoni a special prize consisting of the organisation of an exhibition project.

Born in 1974 in Piacenza, Chiara Camoni lives in Alta Versilia (the Apuan Alps above Viareggio). She works with drawing, vegetable prints, videos and sculpture, and above all with ceramics. Her works are often made in cooperation with friends and relatives, in extemporary groups or at organised seminars and workshops. With other artists, she formed MAGra, Granara Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Vladivostok group. Her recent exhibitions include: La Meraviglia, CEAAC, Strasbourg, FR (2021); Deux Soeurs, CAPC, musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, FR (2021); Our Silver City, 2094, Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, UK (2021); IO DICO IO, Galleria Nazionale di Arte Moderna, Rome, IT (2021); 17th Rome Quadriennale, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome, IT (2020); Artifices instables, Ceramic Stories, Nouveau Musée National de Monaco – Villa Sauber, Monaco (2020); About this and that. The self and the other. Like everything, Mostyn, Llandudno, Wales, UK (2019).

Images: Chiara Camoni in collaboration with Il Centro di Sperimentazione, Disco Tornio, 2021, various materials, environmental dimension, detail, Photo by Camilla Maria Santini, Courtesy SpazioA, Pistoia