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I Clandestini (by Gigiotto Del Vecchio)

There's a series of operations that typifies every gesture and thought of Didier Courbot, involving the composition and breaking down of notions that are frequently contradictory, impersonal and intimate. His works are generated from within a simple reality, private or public, out of which emerge subtly explosive tensions. This is the case with I Clandestini, his title for the La Folie project, in which the idea is the crossing point between two desires, the first is to work in some way with the Palatino, the train that covers the Rome-Paris route in both directions, in which Michel Butor's The Modification is set, a train habitually used by clandestine migrants attempting to escape from their reality and perhaps start a new life elsewhere, while the second involves the notion of producing a work containing birds – another way of looking at the concept of transport, both physical and mental, a pervading theme of the French artist's work. A particularly sedentary species, not present in Italy migrates by travelling precisely on the Palatino from Paris to the garden of Villa Medici. The spirit of the operation contains the echo and colours of different languages – the performance with its hic et nunc (here and now) explodes and bursts into different sectors of communications. The concrete fact of the journey, the solidity of the space-time dimension within which the movement of the clandestine immigrants takes place, may be arbitrary, but these factors refer back to different, though related, values, as a result of which the performance nature of the event disappears to leave space for other interpretations. Paris, the birds, Villa Medici, the landscapes the Palatino passes through, the events that take place on the train – the mental parsing that enables us to operate outside the text, in a movement away from reality towards the language of cinema, with the emphasis placed on the technical aspect of this which is editing. This invasion of the field not only makes the work of Courbot an artistic whole, based on a three hundred and sixty degree consideration of the possible logical and semantic interpretations of the work, but also helps reinforce our reflection on the more intimate meaning that motivates the clandestine travellers – a forced journey, a change of geographical setting, all implying a wager on the possibility of adapting to life in a place that isn't your own.