We were thinking about learning. Remembering what it was like when we were younger to read dense critical writing about art. It created an interesting mix of feelings that involved shades of fear, focus, anxiety, curiosity and growth. We’d read and re-read passages trying to decipher meaning. We’d attach new knowledge to old.
RO/LU’s Matt Olson has been interested in the work of Italian architect Gianni Pettena for years. As a somewhat fringe character there’s not a ton of information about him. One book is available but, it’s in French. We decided to make a work from it with our friend Caludette Gacuti who speaks French.
We videotaped Claudette. She would read a paragraph in French, casually translate it into English and then explain a connection she was making to knowledge she already had. We could watch and listen as the new knowledge became new knowledge while it changed old knowledge and, in a sense, made it new again too.