* The following text is an excerpt from an interview made in 2016. The original version is published in PANORAMA (DIORAMA editions).
Dafne Boggeri (Tortona, 1975), attended the residencies Fondazione Ratti (Como); The Mountain School of Art (Los Angeles); Les Récollets (Paris). Her work has been exhibited at Villa Romana (Florence); Palazzo Re Rebaudengo (Guarene d’Alba); FormContent (London); Circuit (Lausanne); Italian Institute of Culture (Marseille), Marsèlleria, O ‘, Careof and Center Culturel Français (Milan); De Garage (Mechelen); Le Plateau and Galerie Michel Journiac/Sorbonne (Paris); Tensta Konsthall (Spånga); GAM (Turin); Les Complices (Zürich).
Your past is split between artistic gymnastics, basketball, graffiti. What else can you tell us about your training?
That I survived although Madonna refused to give me her autograph. It was then that I realized that I was interested in the concept of power and hierarchy as a dimension of conflict.
You were one of the first writers in Italy and one of the first women to explore this practice. You said “in those days there was no internet, and what I was interested in most were trains, to distribute what I was doing”: so now, many years later, what do you think – what kind of influence did this experience have on you?
It was important to observe as a gym. Many images remain from that period, but only one sound. The hypnotic rhythm of chewing gum of the groups of girls with whom I shared the compartment in the train I took to go painting. The last night train when leaving and the first in the morning when coming back. An insistent beat box which accompanied the entire REM stage.
You are a founding member of the collective Tomboys Don’t Cry, which since 2011 is one of the most active LGBTQI realities in Milan: how was it born, and how did it interact with the local communities?
Tomboys Don’t Cry was born in collaboration with Dj S/HE. It is an evolution of previous experiences with Pornflakes Queer Crew and with other entities, including the Pulp in Paris, Foleffet, LTTR. We try to involve an open audience and spaces capable of embracing a fluid identity. We try to give the possibility to be intercepted by chance, through flyers and word of mouth. We trust that the wrong people in the right place can change the geometry of the experiences by creating new forms. As in 2012 with the Nails Bar set up in the Mono. At first no one dared to come near to have their nails decorated, but it was a moment which generated valuable encounters. Compared with the acronym LGBTQ there are those who would like to shorten it and those who would like to extend it at least as much as to the Cambodian alphabet. For me it is complete as it is: LGBTQIXYZ.
Among your initiatives, the most relevant at local level have been carried out jointly with the non-profit and project space O’: how did these collaborations develop?
When Sara Serighelli asked me to think of a project for 2012, I proposed a timetable of dates that would have occupied an entire night, for each full moon night of the year, 13 in all. This is how FULL MOON SALOON was born. Whereas for SPRINT, having participated in events abroad that had struck me for the quality of content, attitude and organizational ethics, when O’ showed interest to face the adventure, sharing the vision: we started.
What was FULL MOON SALOON?
It served to exorcise a year that began in a complex manner (accomplices also the Maya), for which having a map of the 13 moons has served to give a rigor to my research and design a plot of partnerships that supported the entire course. In each episode we explored a world, my practice has been anchored to this structure by creating works which have accompanied the stages. Contributors: Princess Century, RIKSLYD, Ylva Falk, Carlos Giffoni and Big Muff – Key Lime High, Molly Nilsson, Sonja Cvitkovic and Michaela Meise, Barokthegreat, Busy Gangnes, Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz, Simona Rossi, Eileen Simpson and Ben White, Maria & The Mirrors, Derek Jarman in spirit, Verity Susman, Adele H, Golden Diskò Ship and Jasmina Maschina – Invisible Show, Sara Leghissa and Daria Menichetti, Bestialo Culapsus, Blood Becomes Water, Jessica Gaudino, Debrouiller, Studio Lent, Mino & Annette, Camilla Candida Donzella, Tipografia Testamento, Alfa60 and Cripta 747, Diorama Magazine, NEO BATIK, DW2<3<38 - Derek Di Fabio and Isa Griese, Sequoyah Tiger, Isamit Morales, TISANA.
SPRINT instead is an independent publishing and artist salon, which in four editions has raised both international contributions and local investments, particularly from the realities of the Isola neighbourhood. What caused the need to create this event?
I believe that what was missing in Milan was an event which would focus in an ethical and visionary way on the independent and artist publishing. Without overtightening the segment, but neither opening it at random. We offer to the members of this community a context in which they can maintain an integrity and a critical voice, also in relation to external factors (the market, gentrification, communication). For the selected entities the space at the fair is free; a way to support the artistic production. The image of the poster-catalogue accompanying the event is commissioned ad hoc and with the festival BLADE BANNER we give the artists the opportunity to realize a multiple, thus becoming part of the homonymous collection.
In general one can say that your work is split between artistic and curatorial activities. What is it that drives you to hybridize what you are doing, making your job a hinge between concave and convex?
I was told that my course arouses suspicion. I understand this as a compliment.