Valeria Schwarz (in collaboration with Betiana Bellofatto)
inVESTIR. 2010/2012

Parallel Events Manifesta 8 / Parallel Events Manifesta 9
La Conservera, Murcia / Waterschei, Genk
Schmiede12: Zero
http://proyectoinvestir.blogspot.com

In Spanish, investir means to vest and refers to the double meaning of the word: to dress and to vest someone with something such as powers or rights.The artist randomly contacted people from different countries of North Africa through social networks (Facebook, Twitter, CS, etc) and carried out virtual dialogs with them for three months. Each week, these people from Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Algeria and Sudan received a question posted on their Facebook wall, regarding their identity, their self-image, the image of Europe, the political situation in their countries as well as the future perspective. Answers came by mail but the tool that did indeed work was the chat . Every day, the artist went online at different hours and conversed with the participants about a wide range of topics, from the most banal to more profound subjects such as how we could create a dialog between Europe and North Africa based on equality, or why nationalistic feelings exist.

After the first three months, the second stage of the project started. From all these dialogs the most relevant statements were taken and printed on T-shirts which were to be worn by volunteers in Murcia for one week. The intention was to infiltrate everyday life in a European city with the voices of these people from North Africa, and, above all, that these voices would be alive. In doing so, the dialog obtained a dimension that is hard to predict or to control. The volunteers from Murcia were to wear the t-shirt and go about their normal life. They were also asked to document the inclusion of the message they were given in the city of Murcia through pictures, videos, etc. The documentation is published on the blog so the people in North Africa could follow the project. Some fragments of the conversations from which the statements were taken were also published on the blog.

¹

    investir:

  1. to clothe; dress; robe
  2. to place or settle (something, esp. property, rights, powers, etc.) in the possession or control of someone (usually fol. by in ): to vest authority in a new official.
  3. to invest or endow (a person, group, committee, etc.) with something, as powers, functions, or rights: to vest the board with power to increase production; to vest an employee with full benefits in the pension plan.
  4. to put on vestments.
  5. to become vested in a person, as a right.
  6. to devolve upon a person as possessor; pass into possession or ownership