from 7 November to 17 December 2014

smuggling anthologies

a conference and an exhibition in Trieste




The initiative is the concluding part of SMUGGLING ANTHOLOGIES, a two-year project conceived and organised by the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rijeka (Croatia), the Idrija Municipal Museum (Slovenia) and the Trieste Contemporanea Committee (Italy).
The project is realised with the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union.

The theme of smuggling is always a subsurface part on the administrative and political maps of the planet, which change constantly.  The geographical area identified by the organizers of Rijeka, Idrija and Trieste for Smuggling Anthologies covers the areas of Istria, the so-called Rapallo border, the Slovenian coast, the Gulf of Trieste and the various borders therein in the twentieth century. 
The scenarios both of the national boundaries moved by the wars and of the changes which gradually occurred in customs agreements between countries, but especially those of the most complex relationships sea-continent, Yugoslavia and Italy, socialism-capitalism,  strongly influenced these lands.  It was therefore thought to involve around sixty artists, historians, sociologists, theorists, border officials and police,  and art experts in a project with an interdisciplinary approach:  to work on a rare case study of how the stories of the ways, places and periods in which there is the presence of an illegal economy of this kind can turn into meta-historical material and become a part of cultural heritages at the crossroads of cultures, societies and everyday life. 

The conference. To this end, rather than the serious and lucrative trafficking committed by international criminal organizations, while heavily present, the imagination of the local community and ways of survival in these border areas, where petty smuggling took place, would be examined. 

On the borders of Europe – a continent that wants to be seen today as a network challenging its "creative" development – the stories of smugglers, mainly unwritten and told today through many generations, their narratives of hidden and lost stories imbued with both history and fantasy, their distance from the real truth of the occurrences officially transcribed, are the theme of the project’s research, that will be presented at the conference of Trieste.

These "anthologies" have also fascinated the artists called to collaborate on the project. 

The exhibition in Trieste will display the artworks on the theme by Cristiano Berti, Tomislav Brajnović, Marco Cechet, Lorenzo Cianchi and Michele Tajariol, Dušan Radovanović and Tanja Vujasinović and a selection of video art works produced by European artists on the contraband. 

The new documentary film Blue and Black Jeans will also be presented in its première, that refers to the huge phenomenon of trade in jeans that began in Trieste at the end of the Sixties and lasted through the Seventies.  At the time, this garment/emblem of the West was illegally entering and spreading behind the Iron Curtain as far as Moscow, or up to the Non-Aligned Movement leader city of Belgrade. The film is a co-production Videoest-Trieste Contemporanea.

The works of art, videos, lectures and theoretical texts produced for the project, together with archive and documentary material, will be collected in an overall publication in January 2015, at the end of the project. 

the programme