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Plexus International 1993
The NYU Rosenberg Gallery Show

From November 3  to 15 of 1993, at the NYU Rosenberg Gallery, it was held The Living Plexus Black Box of “The Voyage of the Elisabeth, the last Plexus art event to be inquired by Sandro Dernini within the time limitation of his Ph.D. study. This event took the form of a two weeks Atelier des Arts  performance, curated by Frank Pio and Sandro Dernini. The two weeks of Plexus events at the Rosenberg Art Gallery tested the possibility to develop further some already existing channels of communication with cultural and artists organizations in the Lower East Side, such as the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, the Rivington School, Plexus International and CUANDO Community Cultural Center.  But it was very complex and hard because of the diversity of positions,  from one side the homogeneous institutional academic system of New York University and, to the other side, the heterogeneous  complex of the Lower East Side community. At the entrance of the Rosenberg Gallery, as a mandala,  there was George Chaikin’s optical blueprint. Under the George’s blueprint,  there was a photo made in Rome in my house in June of 1991, showing George and Giancarlo Schiaffini in front to the same retina’s blueprint. A copy of the poem The Box by Alfa Diallo was placed under the retina.  On the right wall, near the entrance it was placed the Metateatro boxing ring image,  performed in many past Plexus events since 1988,  with at its center the photo made in 1990,  at the Teatro in Trastevere in Rome,  in occasion of the symbolic delivery of “Plexus Black Box” to Mons. Dante Balboni.  All ll around there were many other Plexus records and relics.  At the bottom of boxing ring,  there was the dossier “prehistory”,  the first of 14  Plexus Black Box folders, documenting one per year Plexus activities. Next to it was made an art altar, with an earth mound on the floor, made by an icosaedron sculpture by Ray Kelly, inspired by Bucky Fuller, with inside a picture of the Rivington School before being shut down by the City of New York in early 1993, next to the Nuraghic Warrior sculpture which was buried in 1989 in the ground of Rivington School, and then recovered in June 1993, as part

of Sandro Dernini's field research for the Summer Institute. This small installation served to display some Consent Forms for Research Activities Involving Human Subjects.  The audience, to pass in the main room, had to pass through two cocoons sculptures reflecting life and death by Frank Pio. The small copy of the black box floating sculpture by Ciro Ciriacono was suspended from the ceiling, above the American Indian statuette, placed next to a large amount of records and relics of Plexus activities.Off center of this set there were two wood Buddha statuette, placed facing opposite sides, above the Magic Box, a sculpture by Aaron Barr. At the right side of this second art altar, there was Eve Vaterlaus’ Homunculus sculpture, showing a little man closed in a large bottle full of water. On the south wall near to the east corner there was a gem sculpture by John Torreano, with a copy of Sandro Dernini's dissertation proposal displaced.  On the west side wall there was a photo documentation by Georgetta Stonefish from the 1992 Carloforte Well Being Columbus event.  From the opening day to the closing day, every day there was a full calendar of activities involving artists, community people and art students from the course “Current Issues in Art Education” in which both Frank Pio and Sandro Dernini were part of as students. As a conclusion, two boxes overflowed of Plexus records and relics, placed inside and outside of them and before to be sealed, it was signed by participants and audience the original "Plexus Boxing Ring of Freedom," from the first appearance of  the Plexus Black Box in Rome at the Metateatro show in 1989. These two sealed boxes were then carried out from the Rosenberg Gallery by Jose Rodriguez, John Shuttleworth, Rolando Politi, Alfa Diallo and David Boyle, as a symbolic repatriation of Plexus into the community.

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