Deserters is a live installation by Chiara Bersani (b. 1984, San Rocco al Porto, IT) consisting of a performance interpreted by three performers with motor impairments and a large environment in which bodies meet and interact without any aid, leaving traces of their movement. Deserters addresses the issues of vulnerability and interdependence, interweaving the languages of visual art and performance, welcoming the audience into an immersive scenic environment that undermines those stereotypes related to the spheres of intimacy, identity, and sexuality that frequently affect people with disabilities. Through this work, Chiara Bersani questions new relational practices that take into account plural prerogatives and investigates—from an aesthetic perspective rooted in proximity and relationality—the broad concept of accessibility, accounting for the political valence of disabled bodies that, after having suffered a violent increase in situations of segregation during the pandemic, here regain space through the unveiling and sharing of sonorities and chants of pleasure. The work will be produced during the artist’s residency in Bergamo, which will conclude with an evening event when the public will be able to attend the final rehearsal of the performance in preparation for its debut/premiere at the Kunsthaus Baselland, which will host Bersani’s first solo exhibition in a European institution.
Deserters is the winning project of the 11th edition of the Italian Council, the program aimed at supporting Italian contemporary art in the world promoted by the Directorate General for Contemporary Creativity within the Italian Ministry of Culture.