Since 2014, Liminaria’s research has been pivoting around the concept of limen or “liminal space”, referring to a geographical and cultural “threshold”, a “political boundary”, or still better a “topological space”, where the distinctions established by topography and geo-politics are blurred. More specifically, the notion of limen has proved very useful to challenge many assumptions about how we perceive and conceive of the “frontiers” between a presumed “centre” and its presumed “peripheries”, with specific reference to the complex relation between the urban space and the “remote or isolated” rural areas of southern Italy.
The project’s research method of choice is artistic practice with sound. Within the framework of the project’s art residency programme, sound art and, more in general, listening practices are deployed as a way to critically traverse the “border territories” of the rural South, challenging persisting notions about the “inescapable marginality”, “residuality” and “peripherality” of rural areas. The sound artists taking part in Liminaria’s international micro residencies all participate in an on-going, collective process of “narr-azione” of these rural spaces: a collective narration intended as an “action” or “intervention” within the territory that – while re-narrating it from different perspectives – also enhances its existing resources and promotes intra- and inter-cultural relations.
In fact, artistic practice with sound is a powerful tool and method that can help trespass fixed boundaries and transcend the flat bi-dimensionality of geographical maps, allowing for a more critical and deep engagement with a territory and its “ecological” borders, which operate at the level of the landscape as well as at the level of the body. As a research method, it can tap into the multiple flows of bodies and ideas animating a territory and its communities. It can help us perceive the transformations of the human and non-human lives inhabiting a certain “marginal” territory, thus revealing that territory’s capacity for continuous change, against any commonplace notion of its being immutable on the economic, political and cultural levels. Liminaria also aims at fostering a process of careful reflection on the listening practice as a generative, pluridimensional milieu, taking into account the complexities engendered by the encounter between an artist/researcher/curator, and sound, landscape, territory, and the body.
Liminaria’s sub-theme for the 2018 edition of the project is “transizioni / transiciones / transitions”. By this we refer to geographical, spatial, and cultural transitions – transitions from rural spaces to urban spaces and vice versa, from a certain “South” of the world to another “South” of the world, or between different places of the Third Landscape, between peripheries and margins, between different thresholds of absence, presence, memory and imagination. We will investigate the potentiality of the concept of “transitions” together with 15 artists-in-residence, 10 invited speakers, 11 associations and research networks working on several territories. This year, the project itself will be transitioning from its habitual ‘home’ – the rural micro-region of Fortore beneventano – to four different areas: the region of Molise, the area of Sannio/Valle del Titerno, the area of Cilento and finally the suburban space of Palermo in Sicily.