Kenneth Goldsmith: HILLARY: The Hillary Clinton Emails

Kenneth Goldsmith: HILLARY: The Hillary Clinton Emails

Despar Teatro Italia

Kenneth Goldsmith, Cofee Table (detail), 2019. Courtesy the artist and The Internet Saga.

April 9, 2019
Kenneth Goldsmith
HILLARY: The Hillary Clinton Emails
May 9–November 24, 2019
Opening and book signing: May 9, 7:30pm, with Kenneth Goldsmith
The Mirror: May 9, 9:30pm, live cinema performance by People Like Us
Facebook / Instagram

Curated by Francesco Urbano Ragazzi

Despar Teatro Italia opens the door to HILLARY: The Hillary Clinton Emails, a solo exhibition by the artist and poet Kenneth Goldsmith organized by the curatorial team Francesco Urbano Ragazzi. The project will be inaugurated on May 9, 2019 in conjunction with the 58th Venice Biennale thanks to the combined commitment of The Internet Saga and Zuecca Projects, with the support of Despar Aspiag Service.

The exhibition will be held in the Cinema Teatro Italia which, at the beginning of the last century, was the second and largest cinema on the island. Following a meticulous restoration of its frescoes and a careful structural renovation, the building was converted into a supermarket by Despar in 2016. In this spectacular environment, Kenneth Goldsmith reflects on the intermingling between the private and public spaces in the age of mass digitalization. His starting point is the case which, exactly ten years ago, changed irrevocably the notions of privacy and transparency, propaganda and democracy in Western politics. It was in 2009 when the first doubts arose regarding a private server that Hillary Clinton was using for sending e-mails during her term as Secretary of State. Although the American senator has never been incriminated or convicted for any crime, the episode certainly contributed to her defeat—and the consequent victory of Donald Trump—during the Presidential Elections in 2016.

Using the techniques of appropriation and collage theorized in his book Uncreative Writing, Kenneth Goldsmith makes public for the first time in printed format all the e-mails which, according to WikiLeaks, were sent from the domain between 2009 and 2013. The almost 60,000 pages of documentation are printed in double copy and are on display in the balcony and in the lobby on the second floor of Despar Teatro Italia. The pile of papers is rather unimpressive, rebutting Trump’s efforts to make them monumental. In this way, Goldsmith creates the greatest poem of the 21st century, an anti-monument to the folly of Trump’s heinous smear campaign against Clinton. In an ambient somewhere between a library, a theatre stage and an embassy, the language of digital bureaucracy is transformed into a work of literature.

HILLARY: The Hillary Clinton Emails also has the aim of recreating the original function of the Despar Teatro Italia. The big cinema screen, which today is above the gastronomic counter of the supermarket, will be used to project videos and films. The programming of this temporary cinema will include a selection of works from UbuWeb, a portal which Kenneth Goldsmith founded in 1996 to diffuse avant-garde films and poems online. Among the largest of this type, the archive makes copies of thousands of rare works available for everyone, representing an essential meeting point between analogical and digital culture. The projection of UbuWeb on the big screen has the aim of showing how audio-visual formats are translated and diffused on the Internet. In the programmes—which will be transmitted every day from 6 to 7pm and which will be changed weekly—there will be, among others, works by Peggy Ahwesh, Sophia Al-Maria, Johanna Bruckner, Alex Da Corte, Cheryl Donegan, Shadi Habib Allah, Bek Hyunjin, Lev Manovich, Alix Pearlstein, People Like Us, Christine Rebet, Sabrina Röthlisberger, Sara Sackner, Leah Singer, Stan VanDerBeek, Jennifer West, Jordan Wolfson.

During the inauguration on May 9 the catalogue of the exhibition published by NERO with texts by Kenneth Goldsmith, Francesco Urbano Ragazzi and the philosopher Emanuele Coccia will be made available. Furthermore, the publishing house will present the first translation in the Italian language of Uncreative Writing and will host a special event in the Despar Teatro Italia. During the opening night, People Like Us will present the Italian premiere of her new live cinema performance The Mirror.

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April 9, 2019

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