Selected press coverage
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 has been produced during the artist’s residency in Bergamo, which concluded with an evening event when the public was able to attend the final rehearsal of the performance in preparation for its 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.
Chiara Bersani (b. 1984, San Rocco al Porto, IT) is an Italian artist active in the performing arts, whose practice, both as a performer and artist, combines the languages of research theater and the visual arts. Her works—featured in museums and art galleries such as La Triennale, Milan; Centrale Fies, Trento; Tenuta dello Scompiglio, Lucca; Mattatoio, Rome; National Museum, Warsaw; the National Gallery, London, as well as in unconventional spaces and on the international circuits—involve professionals from various disciplines, and are largely addressed to an audience “close” to the stage. Her research as performer and artist is based on the concept of the Political Body and the creation of practices aimed at training its presence and action. The “manifesto” work of this research is Gentle Unicorn, a performance included in the Aerowaves circuit. For her rigor in embodying this study, she was awarded the UBU Prize as best new actress/performer under 35 in 2018. In August 2019, during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Gentle Unicorn and Chiara Bersani were awarded first prize in the dance category of the Total Theatre Awards. Chiara Bersani is an artist supported by the apap circuit—Advancing Performing Arts Project—and Feminist Future, a project co-funded by the European Union’s Creative Europe Program, until 2024.