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Three Grades of Foreignness – Yuval Avital

 Fondazione La Fabbrica del Cioccolato
with the endorsement of ASI Associazione Svizzera Israele – Sezione Ticino – as a testimonial

Saturday April 22, 2017 | 5pm | Blenio Valley | Canton Ticino – Switzerland

Vernissage exhibition “Three Grades of Foreignness” by
Yuval Avital

Opening: Saturday April 22, 2017 – 5pm
From April 23, 2017 to July 01, 2017   

As part of the curatorial project foreignness, Fondazione La Fabbrica del Cioccolato is pleased to announce the opening of the exhibition “Three Grades of Foreignness” by the Israeli artist Yuval Avital, realized with the endorsement of ASI Associazione Svizzera Israele – Sezione Ticino. The exhibition will open Saturday April 22, 2017 and will remain on view through July 01, 2017.  

 With the personal exhibition Three Grades of Foreignness, based on an intensive research activity carried out by Yuval Avital during his stay in Blenio Valley, the artist proposes three artworks in dialogue with the spaces of Fondazione La Fabbrica del Cioccolato, realized with the aim of exploring the complex relationship between humans and nature. The outcome, perfectly integrated with the local environment, is a work in which Avital approaches the curatorial theme foreignness with great perspicacity, revealing the ways in which man and nature continuously diverge, collide and reunite. The exhibition path winds through a symbiosis of sounds, images and lights, in which the public discovers three interconnected installations where the human being is first represented as hostile and in contrast with nature and then brought back to its primordial state, going across three phases characterizing this relationship: alienation, conflict and reunification.

In the first installation, FOREIGN BODIES, the human body is portrayed as intrusive and in dissonance with a utopian nature. Seven professional dancers, coming from the corps de ballet of well-known international theatre centres such as La Scala, Bejart and Shan-Wei, appear in seven parallel video projection, filmed and directed by the artist in several scenes shot in more than thirty places of the Valley with the support of two experienced alpine guides. Their transformation into trembling organisms incarnates body metaphors of the desire to reconnect with nature and of the inevitable distance from it, making them appear as lonely, mechanic and animalistic figures, integrated and disturbing at the same time. The framework, which comprises more than seven hours of videos, is complemented by a polyphonic electronic score of more than 90 minutes composed by recordings of the Valley’s sounds, processed and distorted.

Humans and nature come into conflict in the second installation, LANDS. Here a circle of agricultural soil is surrounded by a ring of loudspeakers spreading a polyphony both towards the centre and towards the outside. The soil delimited by artificial boundaries represents a struggle caused, on one hand, by the difficulty of separating our roots from nature and, on the other hand, by the human effort to control and shape the latter. Witnessing LANDS, visitors feel immersed in nature, where birds, insects and the breeze populate the environment. But the feeling changes soon: the chirping of the birds is gradually replaced by uncanny mechanical imitations of their voices; the word “land” starts echoing in a variety of languages through computer voicing; the wind becomes storm. The perception is then brought back to nature and again to the artificial, in a bustle of sounds that unleash a battle aimed at obtaining a hint of lost beauty and purity. Guests are invited to walk on the circled soil, sit, lie down and build their own personalized path, changing their listening perception and becoming active participants of the performance.

The last installation, REH’EM (womb in Hebrew), finally reunites man and nature, guiding the public into a restricted, dark environment, symbol of the maternal womb, where the sounds associated with the pregnancy and birth of Avital’s daughter, Alma, alternate with the sounds of seismic movements of the earth, complemented by the projection of floating diaphanous images.

Born in Jerusalem in 1977 and living in Milan, the composer, multimedia artist and guitarist Yuval Avital develops his works in a variety of places, including public spaces, industrial archaeological sites, theatres and museums, challenging the traditional crystallized categories that separate the arts. His wide-ranging career includes the realization of sound and video installations, collective performances involving sound masses in the creation of contemporary rituals, icon-sonic artworks, complex multimedia frameworks and technological projects with the participation of scientists and the contribution of artificial intelligence.
Among his works: ALMA MATER – for 140 loudspeakers, video and performers (Milan, 2015); FUGA PERPETUA – icon-sonic opera created in collaboration with and sponsored by UNHCR (Teatro Comunale Pavarotti in Modena, Brighton Festival, NEAT Festival, 2016); REKA – mass event for six traditional singers, two percussionists and a crowd of hundreds of voices (Warsaw Autumn Festival, 2014); KARAGATAN – for 100 tradition gong and bamboo musicians coming from 11 countries of South-East Asia (Philippines, 2013); OTOT- icon-sonic symphony (opening of the symphonic season of Theatre of Como, Italy); SPACES UNFOLDED – sound installation created in collaboration with NASA and ESA scientists (Italy, 2012); GARON – for 45 tubas, 6 percussion, 3 conductors, choir and live electronics (closing event of Dirty Corner by Anish Kapoor, Milan 2012); four works commissioned by Italian festivals (KOLOT 2008, SAMARITANI 2010, LEILIT 2011, NOISE FOR SYD 2013).

Fondazione La Fabbrica del Cioccolato is in charge of the cultural activity in the former industrial complex Cima Norma. The activity of the foundation begins in 2016, with the launch of foreignness, a curatorial project analysing the interaction between different art forms and the territory, intended as evolving cultural, social and political heritage. The term foreignness involves different ways of feeling foreign, different, not belonging and consequently detached from a constantly evolving environment.

Ongoing events at Fondazione La Fabbrica del Cioccolato: Paper Building, by Daniel González, visible on the main building’s façade; CacaoCollective, by Ivo Rovira and Ana Ponce, open from Wednesday to Sunday, from 12 pm to 7 pm or by appointment (requests@chocfact.ch). Future events scheduled at Fondazione La Fabbrica del Cioccolato: Spanish artist Juan López; CH.Terraforming, by the Swiss artist Miki Tallone and the video installation Luogo, Tempo, Desiderio by the film director and documentary maker Claudio Zulian. Programme updates are available on the website www.chocfact.ch.

General information:

Fondazione La Fabbrica del Cioccolato
what: vernissage exhibition “Three Grades of Foreignness”- curatorial project foreignness
when: Saturday April 22, 20175pm
bus service: for the opening free shuttle bus. More information will follow.
artist: Yuval Avital
artistic direction: Franco Marinotti
duration: from April 23, 2017 to July 01, 2017
entrance: free, from Wednesday to Sunday, from 12 pm to 7 pm or by appointment: requests@chocfact.ch/+41 79 794 00 16
contacts: requests@chocfact.ch www.chocfact.ch +41 91 972 27 14
address: Stabili Cima Norma | Strada Vecchia 100 | CH-6717 Torre-Blenio




Yuval Avital, FOREIGN BODIES ICONS N.3, 2016. Courtesy of the artist.

Yuval Avital, FOREIGN BODIES ICONS N.11, 2016. Courtesy dell'artista.

Yuval Avital, FOREIGN BODIES ICONS N.11, 2016. Courtesy of the artist.

Yuval Avital, LIGHT RECORDINGS N.6:23. Courtesy dell'artista.

Yuval Avital, LIGHT RECORDINGS N.6:23, 2016. Courtesy of the artist.


Yuval Avital, LIGHT RECORDINGS N.6:11, 2016. Courtesy of the artist.



Yuval Avital, LIGHT RECORDINGS N.6:01, 2016. Courtesy of the artist.