* The following text is an excerpt from an interview made in 2016. The original version is published in PANORAMA (DIORAMA editions).
Invernomuto is an artist collective composed by Simone Bertuzzi (Piacenza, 1983) and Simone Trabucchi (Piacenza, 1982). They studied at Accademia di Brera (Milan). Their works were featured at Istituto Italiano di Cultura (Addis Abeba), The MAC (Belfast), GAMeC (Bergamo); Raum (Bologna); ar/ge kunst e Museion (Bolzano); Bozar (Brussels), PAC (Ferrara), Pinksummer (Genova); TATE and Nettie Horn Gallery (London), Hangar Bicocca, Marsèlleria, PAC and La Triennale di Milan (Milan); No Fun Fest (New York); Centre Pompidou (Paris); Black Star Film Festival (Philadelphia); American Academy e MAXXI (Roma); ArtSpeak (Vancouver); Kunsthalle Wien (Wien), 11° Biennale Architettura (Venice).
A rhetorical question to start: who are Simone and Simone, and what is Invernomuto?
Simone and Simone come from the valley, they are valley boys. Since 2003 they experience formats related to visual arts, sound and moving images.
“We monitor many frequencies. We listen always. Came a voice, out of the Babel of tongues, speaking to us. It played us a mighty dub. “Call‘em Wintermute”, said the other.”
You said one of your obsessions is the creation of space; was it this that give birth to Invernomuto?
Perhaps we said that we are interested in the creation of worlds, in this sense we are interested in the imaginary and the phenomena which, even unconsciously, generate parallel and imaginative universes.
And how did you fill this ‘world’ in the evolution of your artistic practice?
By observing them, we gradually built a universe of signs and symbols that begin to fluctuate in a more or less outlined way now. Especially in the most recent practice, this allows us to subtend exploded narratives. Or at least this is what we want.
Your place of origin, Vernasca, has influenced you on different levels. On the one hand its history has brought the Middle Ages in your imaginary, on the other hand it has provided you with material on which to develop a research about the Italian colonization campaign during Fascism. Is there anything else that binds you to that place?
Vernasca and its valley have always been pretences to recount the landscape. In the beginning in a literal way, later on metaphorically. We’re interested in recounting that sticky and fenced in space: the suburbia. And to tell stories about it. Clearly it is not only fiction, we were born there and there is always a biographical aspect that channels and solidifies a discourse, at least at the beginning.
Negus is certainly one of the most challenging works you have developed so far, as well as being the most focused on the Ethiopian and Rastafarian culture.
Negus has already opened many subsets. We tend to think in cycles of works and projects; Negus risked to turn into a saga, but it ends with the film, at least as far as the project is concerned. It is clear that a project like Negus will influence our future production, so it will not be simple to shake it off.
In parallel to Invernomuto, Simone (Bertuzzi) carries on Palm Wine, a “post global” research blog created in 2009, which was followed by the homonymous dj set; while Simone (Trabucchi) since 2008 follows the experimental music label Hundebiss and the musical project STILL…
The research of Palm Wine brings gradually other impure fruits and awarenesses: such as Sonido Classics, a festival on the tradition of the Colombian Picos (sound system) could not have existed without it. In addition to DJ sets, Palm Wine often collaborates with the world of contemporary dance. Hundebiss is an independent label, as such it goes through moments of hyperactivity and others of silent investigation of the current sounds and visions, after years of hyper-activity I think it needs a period of healthy thought and research. STILL is a project dedicated to a very personal reinterpretation of certain digital dancehall insights, trying to meet the need to start producing and performing electronic music in a rather instinctive way.
Until 2009 you had your headquarters in Lambrate, where both Hundebiss and Palm Wine found their “public” dimension: how was that experience?
It was mind blowing and highly formative. We lived there with Lorenzo Senni, Andrea Caputo and other friends (there were nine of us at the time of the eviction). It was an important moment not only for the ‘public’ dimension to which you refer (mainly vented during the Hundebiss Nights), but, on the contrary, for the private relations that occurred between us; for the stimuli and the possibility of continuous internal comparison.
Almost seven years later, what do you think has changed in the Milanese music and cultural scene?
Basically everything. The medium-small dimension in which situations like the Hundebiss Night found an outlet has completely vanished. A city that has always been a victim of the event mentality, today has learned to live with it and everything seems slightly out of scale and less conscious. That said, it is a thriving moment: new spaces come up and other more experienced situations are established and line up with the public demand. As always Milano plays ‘safe’, so it is always richer in (not always successful) replications of what happens outside the national borders. Luckily, here they have the due date of an autumn-winter collection, so it passes quickly, without leaving indelible marks. It lacks specificity, a glue, a vision that is satisfied to take a look at today, not necessarily at the future.