It has been a long time since you last received a letter from Robida. Tonight I would have felt like writing to a friend, so I thought I would rather write to you.
(I’m Laura 👋)
It's 23:12 on Saturday night, I didn't go out because Thursday is the new Saturday, I’ve eaten four artichokes a la romana, had a glass of wine, a nettle tea, and now I'm craving dark chocolate badly. A small square, a puff, a piece, a sliver.
But nothing, I forgot to buy it, and I will remain like this, unsatisfied and craving.
Some hours ago, while sitting at the computer, I saw the light changing in the room, from dull to terse, from diffuse to direct. From grayish to canary. Normally this kind of change gives me a positive feeling, the more light comes in, the better. Today, however, I must admit that for a few (but so long) seconds I thought that no, I don't want all this light, this clarity, not yet, I'm not ready. For the first time, for as long as I can remember, I wished that winter would stay. Or rather, that it would return at least for a little while, since we feel it ending its shift at about three weeks ago.
This episode made me think back to Aljaz's quote: "I need a few days of rain". It had struck a chord with me, both because I find it beautiful (and I immediately included it in my private collection) and because it expresses a concept that is not at all obvious, at least to me. Having always been plagued by melancholy, which for me is a kind of two-headed, drooling fury that lurks in dark corners to pounce on me at the slightest distraction, I have always feared whatever might feed that beast. And rainy days are like fancy dinners, you know.
The fact is that I have been pondering the need to caress the melancholy more often (not that I don't, but I always approach my hand with a little dread) and now that I have realized it, the days are getting longer and the sun is beginning to melt away all the veils of the sky. (Oh dear lord, this is melancholy). And so,
a short, weightless reflection on how light affects our state of mind and how the state of mind sometimes needs the right light to manifest itself, fully.
Yesterday, in a video, I heard a philosopher saying: "Sensitivity is proportional to the degree of evolution. The more a species evolves, the more sensitive it becomes. The more sensitive you are, the more vulnerable you become”. Neglecting for a moment thoughts about what evolution means or what is meant by vulnerability, the philosopher, whose name I cannot remember, argued that as we grow, as we develop our intelligence and tastes, we become more and more sensitive and therefore more vulnerable to changes in the material or psychological conditions in which we live. That is why there are those who argue that in order to be happy we must remain in a primitive, wild state🐘.
Following this reasoning, animals are happier than humans, plants more than animals and stones, they are the happiest of all. This is because what would determine the real difference between the natural kingdoms (and thus the level of happiness achievable) would be sensitivity. And apparently, stones are completely lacking in that. [Do you agree, Ola?]
The first is an English idiom hat I discovered while researching for a job commission. It dates from the late 1800s and sounds like this: Straight from the shoulder. It means in an honest fashion, in a frank way, straightforward. It is an idiom that is derived from the sport of boxing. In boxing, a punch that comes straight from the shoulder is a punch that is delivered with full force, a punch that is effective. It that describes a sentiment that is sincerely expressed, even at the risk of seeming less than diplomatic.
[Do you know some dictionary of idiomatic phrases? I would love to have one.]
And the second one is an anecdote about Giacometti told by Saul Steinberg:
“Giacometti lived for several years in a Parisian neighborhood in the splendid "décor" of French poverty. Here he installed a telephone, forced probably by his gallery owner. After many phone calls, because he was often intent on working with chalk and his hands were smeared with chalk, that phone gradually became a "plaster sculpture by Giacometti." A sculpture that rang from time to time.”
Anecdotes drive me crazy.
It's time to say good night, taking a book and eat some (cold) milk and cookies.
Pay attention to the light at this time of the year: between winter and spring it is made of dew and crystal.
[I apologize to all English speakers/writers for my basic-half translated English (sorry Jack, I can feel your eyes bleeding, but I have other talents.) As one of my favorite memes says, in my native language I am much smarter.]
CHIT CHAT →
🎙 On March 18 in preparation for Visible's temporary parliament, which will be held on March 26 in the Red Room of Turin's Palazzo Civico on the occasion of Biennale Democrazia, Vida e Aljaz together with DAAR-Decolonizing Art & architecture with the Visible team and with Giada Giustetto of Biennale Democrazia (Turin) will discuss from their own practices on the theme A corpo libero (Free Body). You can follow the conversation on Visible project's FB page.
🎈On March 19, Robida (Elena e Vida) will participate in the birthday of Casa Punto Croce in Venice. Around 18:30 there will be a moment of collective conversation starting with Robida's experience on the themes of the home as a space of cultural production, suspension of domestication, and creative living. If you are interested the conversation will be broadcast live on Radio Robida.
✈️ On March 21 Elena leaves and goes to Brazil for more than a month (can you believe it?). We have high expectations of her baggage organization.
🏛 March 26 Robida will join the Biennial Democracy at the Palazzo Civico in Turin, Italy.
🚂 April 6 Ola and I will arrive in Topoló and stay there a few days to start working together on the most prestigious book of all time: the Izba cookbook. Anyone who would like to submit their recipe (of a meal or drink prepared, tasted or invented within the walls of Izba) can send an email with the recipe to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Our open call for Robida 9 is more open than ever! Take a look here and send us your contribution :)