Ivana Spinelli _ MINIMUM

“Minimum tackles the ethical and political essence of translation between idea and action. Minimum positions the worker’s body in the capitalist social relation, where wages translate body into a commodity, translating into money the minimum reproduction of that body: its minimum repeatability, its livelihood and, in final analysis, its very possibility of existence. Thus, the capitalist economic relationship between capital and labor translates into a social relationship that turns the worker’s power in bargaining commodity: the economic and social relationship translates into law, and the law is reflected in the biological body of the worker and his/her emotional and social relationships in daily life.” Silvana Borutti


From Orient to North Africa, returning to Eastern Europe and until South America: different countries, even different continents, contribute to create “Made in Italy” products. Italian brands design and commission to other countries textiles, accessories, embroidery, clothing segments. After the production, they travel (backward) to the headquarters where they become final products. “Made in Italy”, therefore, means made in the world. Geography explodes. Languages meet. Each language conveys a different way to see reality, therefore to change language is equivalent to a perceptual gap.

Minimum puts in place, through the act of translation, different ways of codifying and regulating the worker. It focuses on language used in the laws about minimum wage in those countries that mostly contribute to the production of Italian textile sector. Language establishes categories, definitions; it quantifies the worker’s time and space, his/her duties, skills, level.

Through translation, a language exchange and a trip take place, where the minimum wage laws of eight of the countries that mostly contribute to produce the Made in Italy and the same Italian law are taken into consideration. The project focuses on the textile industry (fashion as production of objects and imaginary) for building a dialogue, through laws on minimum wages, among countries offering the brand (the imaginary) and countries providing packaging or manufacturing (either in whole or in part). An existing and at the same time continually changing dialogue, in the most obvious form as exchange of goods and business, but also strongly as exchange of views.

The artist’s research results in the exhibition with a series of new works – installations, sculptures and drawings – exchanging meaning between image and text, between idea and action, approaching themes of philosophical aesthetics. Minimum is also an artist’s book where translation is an encounter of differences. The book includes critical texts written by Franco Berardi Bifo, Silvana Borutti and Matthias Reichelt.


#minimumwage #translation #madeinitaly #code #worker #artistbook #body #unemployment #babilonia #povertyline #explodedgeography


Ivana Spinelli (1972) lives between Berlin and Italy, where she teaches at Fine Art Academy since 2012. Among her latest solo shows: Décou(r)âge (Nomos Value Research, Rome 2015), Kaboom, double solo show (Artcore, Bari 2014); Baustelle (BeoProject, Belgrado (2013); Art Goes City (Postaja Raumau, Slovenj Gradec 2013); Loverrs/Fuckerrs (OltreDimore Gallery, Bologna 2012). In 2016 she took part into 5th Mediations Biennale a Poznań, Poland. In 2015 she took part into various group shows, among which: Dodici Stanze (Museo CIAC, Genazzano, Rome); Il sangue delle donne (Casa Internazionale delle Donne, Rome); Exploring Resilience (Mila Kunstgalerie, Berlin); Progetto Italiano n.3 – “Avere fame di vento” (The Workbench, Milan); Topophilias (Kreuzberg Pavillon, Berlin). Her artworks could be found in different publications, among which: Manon Slome, The Aesthetics of Terror (Charta, 2009); Raffaele Gavarro, Caos #2 (2010); Matthias Reichelt, Global Fight Club (Distillery, 2011). In 2012 Revolver Books in Berlin published her drawings book Global Sisters – The Contradictions of Love.


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