Water Co-op Bar presented by Radical Intention and The Luminary

Through research-driven approaches Radical Intention expands the horizon of possibilities for collective experiences/actions focusing on the affinity between the social-political and artistic practice. Collaborative research, activism, alternative education, gatherings and the politics of hospitality play a continuing and vital role within the methodology and concepts of the group. Active since 2009, Radical Intention has organized such cultural projects as Milano Radicale, a series of events that explored the concept of radicalism and its possible contextualization in contemporary art in Milan and beyond, Becoming Rather Than Being, a project that have explored the politics of self-education, and Decompression Gathering Summer Camp, an annual workshop-residency which offers a week of decompression, communal living and group working at the end of the summer.

Valerio Del Baglivo (Rome, 1979) is a freelance curator, educator and perennial collaborator based in Italy. He is now attending a PhD Programme at Middlesex University with a research focused on public engagement and experimental pedagogy in self-initiated art institutions. In the last years he promoted public programmes aiming at understanding whether the combination of education-centered events – such as lectures, talks, workshops – with performative-driven elements can favor innovative participative curatorial approaches. He is a member of IKT – International Association of Curators of Contemporary Arts – and founder of collective Radical Intention.

Maria Pecchioli (1977, Florence) did her Masters Degree on Visual Art and Curatorial Studies at NABA, Milan (Italy), where she worked as professor in Video Art class until 2012. She collaborates in collective projects of self-production and researches in the field of filmmaking, visual arts and social practice (Lei disse sì, The Splash, Quad, Fosca, and Radical Intention).

Aria Spinelli (New York, 1981) is an independent curator and she is currently conducting a Practiced-based Phd Research at Loughborough University. She holds a BA in Contemporary Art History from La Sapienza University of Rome and a MA in Visual Arts and Curatorial Studies from NABA – New Academy of Fine Arts (Milan, Italy). She is co-founder of Radical Intention. As a curator she has been involved in long-term collaborations with Isola Art Center in Milan and CHAN – Contemporary Art Association in Genoa. She also conducted curatorial residencies at Incheon Art Platform (Incheon, South Korea) Gwangju Biennale Foundation (Gwangju, South Korea); Art and Cultural Studies Laboratory (Yerevan, Armenia), MACBA – Museum of Contemporary Art (Barcelona, Spain).

Program Description

Water Co-op Bar

In recent years, water has been central to activist discussions regarding climate change, especially amongst Italian activist circles fighting for the commons. Questions regarding this issue are quite complex and highly provocative. Water is a fundamental resource, which should not have a price or a market place. But if water is sold, how much is it worth? What kind of value should it have? On the one hand, after the rise of pollution and land desertification obtaining water has become increasingly difficult. On the other, water has become a precious resource for a growing and expanding market. But, as a natural and primary element of life inasmuch as sunlight or air, what economical value should be given to water? Given this pretext, Radical Intention proposes to use the Water Co-op Bar to create a moment for discussion on the economical and ethical value of water – starting from the question: How much is water worth?

During their residency at The Luminary, Radical Intention will use artist Steve Lambert’s Co-op Bar franchise resources as a starting point to work with a local St. Louis artist to build the mobile water bar with reclaimed materials. During the Marfa Dialogues event, the Water Co-op Bar will then be stationed at two locations across St. Louis where it will serve drinkable water. By offering water (a much needed resource during a hot summer day) at these two diverse locations, Radical Intention aims to intersect with a broad and diverse audience to bring awareness to the value of water. Those interested in buying water will be asked to make an anonymous donation and explain the chosen amount by writing down their reasons on provided forms. These forms will be collected throughout the event and published on Radical Intention’s blog.

Following Co-op Bar’s original philosophy, Radical Intention will select and invite local organizations that address water-related climate change issues. At the premises of the Pulitzer Arts Foundation Radical Intention will offer water on donations and give out information on the local organizations. On the 2nd of August, the Water Co-op Bar will move to The Luminary and fort gondo compound for the arts on Cherokee Street to present and discuss the NGO’ specific projects. A rewarding night will close up the event by giving the total amount of donations for water to the NGOs.

Special Thanks

“Water Co-op Bar” is supported by the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and Pulitzer Arts Foundation; and is supported by DE.MO./MOVIN’UP’, as part of the I session of MOVIN’UP 2014, curated by the MINISTERO DEI BENI E DELLE ATTIVITA’ CULTURALI E DEL TURISMO, Direzione Generale per il paesaggio, le belle arti, l’architettura e l’arte contemporanee, Direzione Generale per lo spettacolo dal vivo, and GAI – Associazione per il Circuito dei Giovani Artisti Italiani.