As artistic director of the BoCs Art Project in Cosenza, I invited about 33O artists from all parts of Italy to the Calabrian city. Among them is Susanne Kessler, who comes from Germany but has lived for many years in Italy. We could consider her also a citizen of the world for the many travels made and places lived in. I believe that her personality, open towards other cultures, is perceived in her work in Cosenza, which is essentially focused on the creation of geographical maps, territories, places, crossings realized through in- and outdoor installations.
In Cosenza, the artist made two works during the period of her residency, one of which was donated to the city and selected for the inaugural exhibition of the Museum of BoCs Art. This work is the result of a skilful assembly of her unique mix of techniques and fabrics, making use of gauzes, wire and recovered materials. The colored planisphere emerges from the bottom of the composition. The other work that is the subject of the present catalog is a hybrid of performance and installation. But I leave this directly to the artist who had anticipated the project through these lines:
“I came to Cosenza with the idea, still not completely defined, to somehow draw a line from the Swabian Castle to the river. I did not know the modern part of the city, so during my morning exploratory walks through the city, I found many inspirations right there, and I slowly developed a new idea. Now I realize minimal linear interventions in the urban space. First of all I created for this purpose, in my studio “Box” the line, a rope 15 m long consisting of wire and strips of cotton fabric, which had to be irregular, like a drawn line that thickens and dilutes, sometimes delicate and visible only with a sharp eye.
In the early hours of every day I go with my line in my backpack for about 10 km. The physical crossing of the city is equally important to me in this project. I go following my thoughts, at random and so I meet the places where I intervene randomly. There I stretch my cross line, in a zigzag, sometimes in parallel. It is an action that is always very fast and followed by taking photos.
This action can only take place in the morning hours, because after 10 am it is too hot in the streets”.
With this project, investigating the urban spaces of the city through a personal idea of how to tread a path through the places she meets, Susanne Kessler intended to investigate the neighbourhoods of Cosenza. This is in effect an operation of a conceptual nature that sees the rope she created become the protagonist of these solitary incursions. A line that from time to time has gone to circumscribe and connote the different places crossed, and modifying, through its intervention, the way they can be perceived. This is a way to appropriate the places crossed and at the same time to show the inhabitants of the city known places under an unprecedented point of view that in fact has transformed them into new places.
Text of the Italian art historian Alberto Dambruoso for the book “Susanne Kessler – Ulysses in Cosenza”, 2018