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Rossella Biscotti, The Prison of Santo Stefano (still), 2011

Super 8 transferred to digital video, color, silent, 10 mins. 16 sec.

“YOU MUST ACT; YOU MUST HIT; YOU MUST STRIKE FASCISM IN EVERY CASE AND BY ALL MEANS!” Thus reads one of the statements Rossella Biscotti repurposed for The Anarchists Do Not Archive, 2010, a work that draws from the records of early-twentieth-century Italian radicals. The texts are set in movable lead type—monumentalized and readied to print in the same sculptural gesture. It’s one of the artist’s greatest strengths, this compacting of fraught political histories and their archival afterlives into a dense objecthood. A new version of this work and four other efforts will be on view in Biscotti’s first solo show at an Italian museum. The earliest is The Prison of Santo Stefano, 2011, for which she cast in lead portions of cell floors from a panoptical prison that opened in 1795; the most recent is a new site-specific video for Bolzano. A catalogue will include essays by the curator and Chus Martínez.

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