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Plexus International 1988
Elisabeth Boat, Plexus Art Slaves Boat, Carloforte, Sardinia

On June 18 of 1988, in the harbor of Carloforte, in Sardinia, on board the Elisabeth boat, it was staged the third historical Plexus Art Slavery Manifesto Group Shot. Anna Saba, Randi Hansen, Luigi Mazzarelli, Annamaria Caracciolo, Giovanna Caltagirone, Antonello Dessi, Andrea Portas,  Franco Meloni, Armando Soldaini,  Stefano Grassi,  Maria Grazia Medda, Loredana Melis, Pierluigi di Todaro, Tiziana De Giorgi, Zi of the Barone Rosso, Sandro Dernini, Fabrizio Bertuccioli performed on board the Elisabeth boat its transformation into a symbolic art slaves ship, ready to leave for Dakar.  Antonio Caboni ended the action with a fire performance on board the Elisabeth.

The day after, Gaetano Brundu gave to Sandro Dernini, to be carried to Goree, a little toy art boat that he had transformed into a travelling art messenger for the freedom of art. On its sail, Brundu painted his “moustache” symbol or “lions”, on which he was working artistically since many years, inspired by the immunological messenger “interleukine two”. With a Plexus Campbell can drinking toast with also Fabrizio Bertuccioli they celebrated the little boat’s departure as a way for Plexus to fly out on board of it from local constrictions raised by  internal conflicts and competitions among local participant artists.   In Cagliari, Luigi Mazzarelli created a limited edition of large works of mail art, dedicated to Plexus voyage to Dakar: two big mail art envelopes and one postcard, one meter long by a half meter large and two mail art stamps, 30 cm large.Inside the envelopes there two handwritten large letters. The first one was a message of solidarity and collaboration addressed to Plexus Dakar Senegal at Club Litteraire David Diop; the second one was an open letter addressed to Sandro Dernini & C.

From For Sandro Dernini & C. by Luigi Mazzarelli:

Dear Sandro, in decoding your “Plexus Strategic Map”, doubts surpass certainties.  It is a good sign.  Plexus Manifest, opening itself, as the graphic which express it, on all spatial directions is a sign of these times.  I would wish it were less.  Many suggestions fascinate me (the international circuit of art managed by the artist in the first person; the myth as the re acquisition of the artist in a world from which was alienated; the metaphor as traveling factory; art as gratuity and opportunity of intersubjective exchanges behind the specific of the artistic language; the relation among artists of different nationalities and cultures etc.  Nevertheless as I said questions and perplexities are not few, starting from the problem of the organization.  The hard experience of Thelema, taught me that when a specific community of intellectuals and artists who sets as essential support to their own relationships a “freedom request,” it must know to develop at the same time a balanced form of organization (or not organization) if it does not like to have painful experiences.  It is not easy. From “the Manifest of the Communist Party” of 1848 to the freedom requests of the students cultural revolutions of 1968, the need of free human exchange, in the concreteness of its own historical development, repeated one thousand times under diverted directions the centrality of the patriarchal organization from which it tried to get free.  There is a reason of course in this fatal repetition of the historical experience.  Probably the need to channel creative energies of community members and to counterbalance together centrifugal pushes made up by libidinal impulses and or by individuals’ power addressed unwarily to the ruin of the cohesion and of the collective projecting of the community,  it brings fatally to the opponent side. In other words a balanced form of co- existence between CENTRALITY and FREEDOM, from the point of the organizative view, does not have a satisfactory answer in history. This should let understand to have not too many illusions when this problem again shows itself:  we know that also a non organization under any title shows up itself may generate monstrosity not less than a centralized organization. About this point it should be opportune to discuss for long time in the group, we should force ourselves to have a constant reference to our praxis to not allow ourselves to go out of the roads more or less by purely verbal suggestions contained inevitably in the hypothesis package of the departure. And nevertheless, there is no doubts, the request of freedom is an essential condition of how art poses itself and to which anyway it is necessary to give space.  To re-propose with strength this need, Plexus is right.  But the point that for me, in this moment is urgent, it is another.  It regards a very controversial question for which Plexus paid until now a high price. In the Plexus Manifest among others, there is this statement “Art is where is and not What is” which has a great conceptual density.  I cannot exclude that because of this reason, it easily allows misunderstandings if as I am afraid this concept is connected for relationship more or less close with the DADA praxis.  We have without doubts in the Appointing of Duchamp its more direct historical reference and the more probable reading key. As ii is known the appointing represented in the history of art a decisive jump of quality which brought to the extreme consequences the lost of the linguistic specificity of art already started with the Cubism and the functionalist movements in early years of the XX Century.  Through the appointment to decide of the artistic value of a given object or given event it is not anymore its historical linguistic specificity, contained no separable in its inner formal structure  or if you prefer its aesthetic quality, but the simple “additamento” (appointing). Therefore it is decided by the person who officiates the object or the event in which it is placed. Rather than it is decided for it by the generic artistic intentionally of whom is officiating the rite of the “appointing” or of the “re-knowing”. For example the mythic urinal of Duchamp was artistic because it was out of context respect its original environment and out of function regards to its use value.  That is it was placed in a place (an art gallery) already by itself “deputato” to confer licenses of artistic value to any kind object which was exposed intentionally within its walls.  Naturally with the appointment the artistic object looses its intrinsic use value and of communicative, relational, semiologic exchange value, if you wish, when you like. But Duchamp did not invent anything: already since long time before the commodity colonized this new realm of art.  In other words, the aesthetics, the value, the thing ness of the work, the original and intentional meaning of the message, the QUALITY and every thing else we used to associate to the work of art were reduced from this moment to little less or little more, in a sigh.


In Carloforte, Sandro Dernini with Andrea Portas, Antonio Caboni, and Stefano Grassi performed the departure from the Elisabeth boat of the Don Cherry’s Buddha statuette going to Dakar on board the little toy boat made by Gaetano Brundu.In Cagliari, Antonello Dessi by painting in blue several Nuraghic statuettes for tourists he made their transformation into new Plexus artworks to be carried in Dakar as art messengers from Sardinia. In Tuscany, at the Etruscan tomb of the Siren,  in Pantagnone,  one of the first biological agriculture community made in Italy in early 70’s, Paola Agarossi, one of the founding members with Fabrizio Bertuccioli and Alessandro Figurelli, gave a little bronze statuette of the Indian god Ganesh and several images of the Indian god Shiva to be carried in the Plexus journey to Dakar.