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mein gebiet

MEIN GEBIET(Il mio campo) è un progetto realizzato a Siena per la Galleria Fuoricampo. Prende il nome dal nome della nota piazza senese, Piazza del Campo, adiacente alla galleria e dai diari di Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf. 

Si è formalizzato in una serie di disegni in carboncino realizzati durante la residenza a Siena nei mesi precedenti alla mostra e in un'azione di "auto-reclusione" di 16 ore, la notte dell'opening, in una nicchia in mattoni presente in uno dei muri della galleria.

Il progetto voleva affrontare la difficoltà del vivere in piccoli centri, quello senese ad esempio, di come questo crei delle discriminazioni verso il "diverso" e di conseguenza dei campi, dei limiti, dei confini ove il pensiero viene virtualmente recluso.

Mein Gebiet (My Camp) is a project realized in Siena for the Galleria Fuoricampo. It takes its name from the name of the well-known square, Piazza del Campo, adjacent to the gallery and from the diaries of Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf.

It was formalized in a series of charcoal drawings made during the residence in Siena in the months before the exhibition and in a 16-hour "self-reclusion" action, the night of the opening, in a brick niche in a of the gallery walls.


The project wanted to reflect on the difficulty of living in small towns, the sienese one, for example, of how this creates discriminations towards the "different" and consequently the camps, the limits, the boundaries where the thought is virtually closed.





siena, 2013, galleria fuoricampo

untitled / 2012 / 100*80 / white paper, charcoal

untitled / 2012 / 120*80 / white paper, charcoal

untitled / 2012 / 80 * 100cm / white paper, charcoal

untitled / 2012 / 120*100 / white paper, charcoal

action, 16 hours closed in a wall niche 

 Pietro Ruffo




The punishment of internal exile is regulated by the Regulation for the Execution of the Single Text

of June 18, 1931- IX, no. 773, of the Public Security laws. The aforementioned regulation prescribes

internal exile (or banishment) for individuals who are dangerous to “public security or the nation’s


Let us suppose, just for a moment, that Luca Cutrufelli is not a person who is dangerous to public

security, or to the national order: What is it, then, that drives him to seek forced confinement?

Historically, freedom has been defined in the United States as the opposite of slavery: you are free if

you are not a slave, you are free FROM a master, where the word master is to be understood as an authoritarian

state that influences your decisions in daily life1. This concept of freedom was described by

Isaiah Berlin as negative freedom, or individual freedom. What better way to assert that one does not

have a master, that one is free FROM (a master, or mastery), than becoming masters of ourselves, and

becoming our own dictators, and thus to impose self-confinement on ourselves, as an extreme choice,

and as the total assertion of control over ourselves.

This question is experienced on a daily basis in the ways in which we discipline our bodies: we have

the sensation that we are freer if we give to our bodies the form that we have chosen, practicing sport,

going on a diet, and choosing a “healthy lifestyle”. This is a form of contemporary freedom; we set

ourselves rules to feel freer, and so we feel we are dictators of ourselves, we feel we have total control,

not really knowing whether we are imposing these rules on ourselves, or whether they are imposed on

us by a wider system.

The action of self-internment could also have an altruistic meaning if we accept the most banal

statement on freedom: my freedom ends where yours begins. So, by his self-confinement, Luca Cutrufelli

would directly increase the sphere of other people’s freedom, by limiting his own. Luckily, this

statement is immediately contradicted and overturned by the question of Otherness, defined by the

philosopher Giacomo Marramao.

Marramao establishes that we are free only if we manage to inject into ourselves other people’s experience,

knowledge, and freedom; this vision allows one to move beyond the atomistic concept that

sees man as a single individual in search of his freedom, and places him directly within the collectivity

and in a network of relations which would make him truly free. According to this vision, Cutrufelli’s

self-confinement would become an act of selfishness, because it limits our freedom, given that we are

unable to introduce into ourselves his freedom.

To conclude, I would like to change our point of view. Let us imagine that we are in charge of opening

and closing the wooden panel which determines Luca Cutrufelli’s self-confinement. Considering the

various questions linked to his action, we would have to understand whether, by this action, the artist

has actually liberated himself, and whether, therefore, by opening the panel, we would be forcing him

into social slavery.

Or else we would have to understand whether Luca’s action is ill-considered: it restricts the freedom

of others, and thus he is perhaps to be regarded as an individual who is dangerous to security and

national order. The word freedom contains a great advantage: the more one studies it, the more its real essence escapes

us. This is fortunate, because when a man discovers the solution to the problem of “how to be

free”, he feels it is his duty to transmit his vision to others, thereby limiting individual freedom.

If Cutrufelli were an altruist, and realized after his experiment that he had become truly free, he ought

to encourage us to follow in his footsteps, to give us the gift and joy of freedom, thereby creating an

army of recluses.

An analysis of the various questions connected to this action would therefore force us to accept only

one solution: if we were in charge of opening the panel, the only thing we ought to do would be never


1. Berlin called the concept of freedom “negative”, as an absence of limitations or interference in what an individual

is able to do. More “negative freedom” means fewer restrictions on the individual’s possible actions. Berlin associated

“positive” freedom with the idea of mastery over oneself, in other words the ability of self-determination, and

being master of one’s own fate. Despite the fact that Berlin regarded the two concepts of freedom as legitimate

and valid human ideals, history itself teaches that the positive concept of freedom has proved to be especially

susceptible to abuses in politics.

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