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Product Displacements

By Rhizome

Young Italian artist Alessandro Nassiri brings together the tradition of performance art with the practices of relational aesthetics to stage actions, carried-out by himself or other individuals, that disrupt the conventions of everyday life. Recently he has developed a project for the streets of downtown New York, in which a group of people, wearing white t-shirts with words forming the expression 'coming soon,' created a 'private demonstration.' However, Nassiri gained worldwide recognition with his humorous online project, 'Giubileo degli stagisti' (Jubilee of the Interns). Informed by the fact that most internships in Italy and elsewhere are not paid, he has devised a counter mechanism that converts time into calories and chocolate. For example, 0.22 pounds of chocolate equal 494 calories, which corresponds to 6 hours spent in an office. The global economy, especially in relation to technological advances, is also examined in Nassiri's latest work, which is currently being presented in Piacenza, Italy. 'TR4480C: An Odyssey of the 21st Century' consists of video reportage of the journey that the artist and a friend made between Tirana and Milan. The purpose of the trip was to buy a 1978 Volkswagen Golf and drive it back to Italy, where it resided until 1994. The car was then crashed and its debris is on view at the gallery. Through this documentation, Nassiri shows how goods are exchanged today. As he has put it, 'When we buy a new model, we throw away the old one. Often our used things are sold in other countries. Old buses from Italian cities are now used in Tirana. The motorcycle of the Italian police in the 80s is now the Albanian police's vehicle.' With irony, Nassiri thus questions the prevailing ideologies, foreign policy practices, and financial trends in late capitalist societies. - Miguel Amado

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