Moving-wooden-joists is a site-specific installation that integrates into the urban context of Dakar in harmony with the habits of local users and redevelops it. It is a ‘nomadic’ work that starts in a timber storage shed on the outskirts of Milan, and comes out on the Boulevard de la Gueule Tapée in Dakar, Senegal, in the heart of the Médina district, in one of the most vibrant intersections of the city. The story of this pile of moving wooden ditches is told in a video. Exploring this popular neighbourhood, we find in the middle of a large intersection, a small square with a bright green kiosk. For years a small dump in the middle of the avenue, before a large multinational company built the “kioskou” and destining it to become a non-place. In fact the area, re-committed and ‘cleaned up’ would have remained anonymous if it hadn’t been for the taxi drivers on break, the street vendors, the mechanics of the neighbourhood, the car cleaners and the patrons waiting for the carrapids, who in turn found a “strategic stopping point” on the concrete wall, which is the border between the road and the kiosk area. We decide to enhance and transform it. Moving-wooden-joists sprouts and grows like wild grass between the cracks in the concrete, day by day it takes root and heals the cracks in that wall until it is completely enveloped. As the title explains, it is hundreds of wooden planks made from pallets, which neatly reassembled become a sort of ‘public bench’. We invite patrons to use it and not to hesitate to sit down. The rigid geometry gradually deconstructs itself into a free form and rises up, embracing the kiosk in a natural circular movement. This spontaneous architecture takes on an organic form like a growing vegetable. A video online tells of this funny animated material that moves through the peripheral streets of the city of Milan to land in Africa, as if the installation in Dakar was the result of that migration. The video becomes a naive testimony of a journey from Italy to Senegal. It is told through short sequences that give back more or less significant views of the landscape, like the Garibaldi Station in Milan and the École Médina in Dakar. Of this project remains for us artists the experience of interaction with the context and above all with the people who live in it, who work there or who simply pass through it for a moment; in this regard we remember the precious hand of the children of the terrain du basket at the Médina, the benevolence of the manager of the kiosk, the willingness of the director of the House of the Culture, the help of the men of the municipality to interact with the market of the Gulé Tapée and the collaboration of the people of the Medina who welcomed our installation with respect. Our installation is involved in the larger project Mon super kilomètre, an open-air gallery one kilometre long on the Gueule Tapée canal, where several artists from all over the world exhibited their works and each brought their own message through different languages and techniques. Mon super kilomètre, conceived by the Studio UY077, is included in the category ‘Projets spéciaux’ of the 13th edition of the African Contemporary Art Biennale, Dak’art 2018 | L’heure Rouge.
A special thanks to Cereda Legnami