7 - 10 pm  |  opening and performance in collaboration with STASIS
{Aniela Piasecka, Olivia Norris, Isabel Palmstierna, Paloma Proudfoot}

19.04 - 19.05.17 — exhibition

Marsèlleria via privata Rezia 2, Milan


05.05.17 — BLACK MARIA cinema

7.30 pm - midnight  |  screening
Donna Haraway: Story Telling for Earthly Survival {2016} by Fabrizio Terranova.
Born in Flames
{1983} by Lizzie Borden, in collaboration with Cinenova
& a special installation of Donna Haraway Reads The National Geographic on Primates {1987} 
Bar, terrace and basket court with site-specific works by Dafne Boggeri, special cocktail Dry Eye and Dj set by Maria Guggenbichler {Side Room, Amsterdam}, book Born in Flames by Kaisa Lassinaro {2011, Occasiona Papers}

Cinema Beltrade via Oxilia 10, Milan

19.05.17 — PAAUW
6 - 10 pm  |  sound performance by TISANA {Adele H, Dafne Boggeri, Isamit Morales} in collaboration with Babakoto, Hazina, Elena Radice

Marsèlleria via Paullo 12/A, Milan

Photographic/video documentation

by Sara Scanderebech and the artist

LIANE~LINEA~ALIEN is a project by Dafne Boggeri curated by Giulia Tognon for non-profit space Marsèlleria. It took place in Milan, between April and May 2017, and included three events and three venues. Here you can find photos, videos, sounds and texts

that document this month-long journey


With LIANE~LINEA~ALIEN Dafne Boggeri shows how her work circulates in the cultural scene of Milan well beyond the visual arts. Dafne’s practice exceeds categories: she is committed to awakening queer and feminist spirits, organising parties and events with collective TOMBOYS DON’T CRY, for which she also designs t-shirts, posters and flyers; she enables discussions on printed matter by coordinating SPRINT, a salon dedicated to independent publishing; she regularly claims her love for sound, odd instruments and old-school visuals with the team members of TISANA, experimental music project with Adele H and Isamit Morales.

Dafne invited me to be curator of her project and together we spent a great deal of time interrogating its very conditions - space, format, duration - and realised that the direction taken required strong coordination skills. We gathered three spaces and thirteen other people, fourteen if we include the virtual presence of Donna Haraway, to confirm to ourselves that we do things better with others. The result is a small program that features an exhibition of new works by Dafne in the space on via Rezia, an evening of cinema screenings and site-specific installations at Cinema Beltrade and a sound performance on via Paullo, in a hazy space filled with psychedelic lights, that marked the end of this month-long journey.


Months ago I wrote: ‘LIANE~LINEA~ALIEN is the first one-woman group show by Dafne Boggeri’. It was a way to dispel the anxiety of having to rationalise the ideas and references Dafne had laid on the table. Entering the virtual space of the exhibition in-the-making, one had the impression of attending an imaginary lunch reuniting a group of legendary women we felt profoundly attached to. In order to condense into an exhibition the contrasting energies of such strong personalities, I would have needed the diplomacy required to coordinate a banquet. But like in real life, when guests decline their invitation or turn up with friends, all the interferences in the exhibition manifested themselves spontaneously. Meanwhile, digging into Dafne’s practice, the myriad identities spontaneously recomposed into her first one woman group show.


Dafne’s artistic work is inseparable from the tangle of aesthetic and political practices affecting her as a subject. But instead of trying to, abstractly and arbitrarily, to untangle it, I realised that its complexity could be an invitation: to allow ourselves, and the artists we are in conversation with and care about, to be unruly, to accept that our interest may grow out like lianas.  What might seem like an obstacle, could become a non-linear way to speak to bring together a public or more publics. Do not expect an explicit conversation between the theoretical political of the feminist enterprises we present at Cinema Beltrade and Dafne’s aesthetic operations. The project as a whole is a slow queer and feminist infusion. As Dafne said ‘there’s no nucleus but there are filaments’. 


Dafne works with common, cheap, synthetic and cold materials with a lo-fi aesthetics: despite the importance of the body in her research, her process abolishes every organic traces of manufacture from objects and rather registers the ordinary passage of light, evokes distant energies and layers of meaning revealing non-linear narratives. The works filling both her apartment and hard-disks tend towards non-monumentality and seem to fit perfectly in vitrines, unexpected corners, empty spaces on bookshelves, communal balconies, exposed to the meeting of gazes.


LIANE~LINEA~ALIEN, the wavy anagram that functions as title of the project, is the only trace left in the show of the explicit actions on language that are part of Dafne’s concerns and practice, shaped by an early passion for Writing. Although in the act of reading it out loud the accent naturally falls on last word, we hope you’ll realise this is a very worldly project: despite its need for a hyper-active imagination, it is nourished by our present at risk, by our breathing bodies, by living creatures. If you’ll encounter aliens and astronomers along the way, it’s not because we’re looking for new worlds but because we’re looking into the distance. 


With LIANE~LINEA~ALIEN Dafne confirms her interest for an ironic subversion of concepts of regulation and function, she claims and brings her spaces together: images, sounds, queerness and feminisms. She defends a strong attraction to bodies, to multi-sensorial atmospheres catalysed in moments of exuberance and celebration, where desires, personas and subjectivities merge in sweat and find each other in physical proximity. This time bodies translate into sound: on the occasion of the opening, the Glasgow-based dance group Stasis performed a new site-specific piece, creating powerful echoes in the space.


This introduction, which drew on my propensity to good hosting, something I felt was one of my responsibilities in this project, is simply a long footnote to Dafne’s work, to her writing, to the reflections we shared in the past months — by Giulia Tognon

Dafne Boggeri (Italy, 1975) is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice operates at the intersection of images, places, languages, people and bodies more or less in motion. Her work regularly flows into curatorial projects related to sound experimentations and independent publishing. She has collaborated with performance group Barokthegreat and she is part of TOMBOYS DON'T CRY, queer collective that promotes a post-identity  agenda within culture, activism and adventure. With artist Isamit Morales and musician Adele H she founded the experimental band TISANA.


Her solo shows include: Vitrine 270° Gam, Turin, 2013; FULL MOON SALOON, O’ Milan, 2012; I dadi sono sul tappeto, Italian Cultural Institute Marseille, 2010; Vorrei che il cielo fosse bianco di carta, Careof, Milan, 2008; Relax, It’s Only Me, S 1107 Alvarado St., LA, 2007; Approximately Infinity, Studio La Citta’, Verona, 2007; Hidden Line on Explicit Surface, French Cultural Institute, Milan, 2006; Dispositif 1.0, Le Plateau, Paris, 2004. 

Her group shows include: BAZZAR Localedue, Bologna, 2016; Here We LTTR: 2002–2008, Tensta Konsthall, 2014; The Alphabet to Feeling Bad, Les Complices, Zurich, 2013; Password/Space of the Self, Montehermoso, Vitoria-Gasteis, 2011; Have a Look! Have a Look! FormContent, London, 2010; You-We+Ablo, Rotonda di Via Besana, Milan, 2010; Gender Blending, Galleria Michel Journiac Università Sorbonne, Paris, 2010; Un indiano in giardino, Isola district, Milan, 2009; Festival Les Urbaines, Circuit, Standard Deluxe, Losanna, 2008; Noi adesso siamo qua, Villa Romana, Florence, 2008; Dai tempo al tempo, Fondazione Sandretto Re Baudengo, Palazzo Re Rebaudengo, Guarene d’Alba, 2007; Looking for the border, De Garage, Mechelen - Cultural Center Strombeek, Belgium - Palazzo delle Stelline, Milan, 2007. 

Her curatorial projects include: SPRINT Indipendent Publishing and Artist's Book Salon, O', 2013-ongoing; FULL MOON SALOON, O’ Milan, 2012, MOTHER, with Noga Inbar, Berlin (2011), London (2010), Tel Aviv (2009).


a conversation

Giulia Tognon: Part of your practice consists of forwarding invitations. On the occasion of your participation in residencies and exhibitions you have in turn invited visual artists, musicians and performers to share with you a stage, a moment of visibility, always keeping some traces of your work on display.  This was also one of the first elements you pointed at when initially discussing LIANE~LINEA~ALIEN. Is it a critique of the artist as author or rather a desire to bring people together?

Dafne Boggeri: Both, it’s a mix of these perspectives. In this case I was particularly interested in collaborating with performance and dance collective Stasis, a group of people with internal codes and dynamics that would devote themselves to interpret movements only perceived by the public as sound. I like to think that in the mezzanine of via Rezia a small community was generated during the opening, with an alphabet of movements of the body related to gravity, in dialogue with the rest but with its own autonomy.

G.T.: The choice to invite TISANA and musicians Babakoto, Hazina, Elena Radice on the occasion of PAAUW resonates with your practice of creating choral moments through sound. Yet for BLACK MARIA cinema the symbolic and political importance of the projects presented opens the question of the distribution and transmission of specific contents…

D.B.: BLACK MARIA cinema, long before the themes, was born out of the desire to establish a connection between Marsèlleria and another space in Milan with a strong identity, in order to open and widen the trajectories between these two spots, both physically and symbolically. The choice of Donna Haraway: Story Telling For Earthly Survival came after seeing the poster on the catalogue of Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Bruxelles. I immediately tore off that page to keep it, I was amazed by its incredible declaration of proximity with another video by Donna Haraway from 1987, little known and self-produced, that continues to surprise for its originality: Donna Haraway Reads The National Geographic on Primates. That’s when I considered the idea of screening the two titles together to offer a more complete reading of the highly powerful imaginary of the philosopher. I’ve been wanting to promote Born in Flames in Italy for years and when, thanks to Cinenova, I got in touch with Lizzie Borden, I was hoping the film would resonate less with our current political situation than it did after the American elections. It’s important to highlight the intergenerational nature of the projects, to give a voice, a visibility to experiences like Haraway’s and Borden’s.

The three video documents should be able to give life to a panorama full of possibilities and perspectives, reinforced by the extraordinary opening of the spaces adjoining the film theatre, the cocktail Dry Eye, the light sign designed by Kaisa Lassinaro, the DJ set by Maria Guggenbichler and the installation in the basket court on the theme of the Third Landscape, term by Gilles Clément that defines those fragments of land that abandoned by man are restored to the control of nature.

G.T.: How did you first encounter Donna Haraway?

D.B.: It was initially through cyberpunk and cyberfeminist theories. Even if I come from hip-hop culture, in a very physical and unmediated way, I encountered personalities like Rammelzee, Afrika Bambaata and experimental musician Sun Ra, that contributed to securing some ties with those worlds. But I only got to understand the specific character of Donna in 2012, collaborating indirectly with Silvia Casalino on her project No Gravity, a film on women in space that Haraway contributed to with a long interview. 

G.T.: Where does your passion for astronomy - which features as your official occupation on your ID - come from?

D.B.: It’s an ancestral feeling that I link to my first episode of self-diagnosed melancholy. I was 8 years old, my mum had left for a few days and I spent a whole night sobbing looking at the sky. The only thing that could comfort me was staring at the stars searching for signs of reassurance. Years later I found myself deeply attached to that nocturnal dimension when painting as a writer, outdoor, under the night sky. Somehow I feel like I know how to interpret it, but I have no feedback in that respect. I’m also really fascinated by the architecture of observatories, among my favourite buildings in every city I visit. The Griffith in L.A., combined with images of the Hoepli in Milan, was the subject of a video I presented at the 2008 edition of Netmage curated by Xing, in Bologna, with live contributions by the special band Rhythm King and Her Friends. 

G.T.: Even the title of the closing event of the project - PAAUW - is linked to an observatory.

D.B.: Paauw is the native name of a group of mountains in California, first renamed ‘Sierra del Palomar’ in 1840 by the Spanish govern, and eventually Mount Palomar, home of the Palomar Observatory. The structure was fundamental in the research by Vera Rubin, evoked in the exhibition with a detail from the cleaning of the mirror of the Hale telescope.

G.T.: In this respect anecdotes have such a specific presence and materiality in your practice, that origins and coordinates of objects become a defining part of your works. In the continuous observation of your surroundings I can imagine you finding and accumulating objects that seem to be waiting for you; if it’s impossible to move them you capture the details you’re interested in: puns, catchphrases and jingles, mutations imposed by nature, non functional anomalies. Is the anecdote a legitimation of your work, the opportunity to create narratives and imagine scenarios or is it a way to evoke your encounters with these objects?

D.B.: I think it might be the possibility or the illusion that the destiny of both of us might be changed in this encounter and that this change might be renewed every time the anecdote is recalled. Compared to legends or historical facts, anecdotes are met with less expectations or pressure. They’re more chilled.

G.T.: Talking about aliens, I realised that the fingers in the poster you included in the show might as well be the artificial hands missing from our bizarre E.T. It turns around, scanning the room but doesn’t seek any contact. It’s that gesture of reaching out we were missing!

D.B.: The contact is created with the poster people can bring home.

G.T.: Posters are often part of your shows. What was the transition from the D.I.Y. atmosphere of collectives and parties, where posters have a specific function of documentation and promotion, to becoming art works?

D.B.: I might be a victim of the Félix González-Torres’ complex. I love collecting poster and enjoy situations where multiples or editions are accessible to the public. I am trying to replicate this experience.

G.T.: So behind your obsession for printed matter there’s a practice of accumulation. 

D.B.: There’s the idea of accumulation yes, but also the idea of creating opportunities for making gifts and an anxiety towards the concept of uniqueness. If you say ‘unique copy’ I start feeling imaginary symptoms. To me ransforming these multiples into unique copies - by touching, rolling and bringing home the posters - has a therapeutic value.


G.T.: Tell me about two elements you seem to be attached to and you included in the show: radiators and stencils.

D.B.: During the residency at Fondazione Ratti (Como) we visited the kindergarten Sant'Elia designed by Giuseppe Terragni and I was struck by the traces of dust over a number of radiators. To me they were four voices of a choir and became the subject of an edition of posters. Rather than documenting the architecture by Terragni, I felt it was important to keep record of traces that soon would have been deleted, to give visibility to what was considered out of place, non functional, an interference. That message of time, a choreography of air, needed to be shown and appreciated. In the space of via Rezia the work on the radiators wants to create a different perception of the room, turning elements that are usually invisible to our eyes suddenly into fundamentals components, radiators now transformed into launching pads. 

Stencils are a supports to generate signs that, despite being standardised can be highly expressive, are in their nature somehow sculptural. The illusion they attempt to enforce - of uniformity and universal rules - is both reassuring and and disturbing. I collect them like letters of an alphabet I don’t know. 

G.T.: You confessed that at home you have a collection of objects you stole from exhibitions. Are you hoping something will be stolen from your show at Marsèlleria?

D.B.: Yes, it already happened and it was beautiful. The final result is always the opposite of the initial gesture! It was on the occasion of an installation I did at the Galleria Civica di Trento in 2007 where someone stole a copy of the dyke zine KUTT by Jessica Gysel, project that has evolved into Girls Like Us magazine, which unfortunately was the only exemplary I had. I like to imagine that behind this episode were the spirits of Jean Genet and Violet Leduc who, frantically running across the spaces of the Galleria, found the perfect object of their desire.

The rest of the interview is published here on NERO   

more words

Dafne Boggeri | Marsèlleria by Marco Arrigoni on ATP

Il sublime alieno di Dafne Boggeri by Gloria Maria Cappelletti on ID Italia

Perché dobbiamo cambiare il modo di raccontare la realtà per sopravvivere by Giulia Trincardi on MOTHERBOARD

Il film distopico anni '80 che racconta il femminismo di lotta by Giulia Trincardi on MOTHERBOARD

LIANE~LINEA~ALIEN by Marta Collini on ZERO