Guests in the open loft of Invernomuto, alias Simone Bertuzzi and Simone Trabucchi, we have chatted about artistic experiences and eccentric characters, surrounded by audio cassettes, skateboards and marrons glacés.
Invernomuto is an audiovisual experimental group. Simone Bertuzzi and Simone Trabucchi come both from Piacenza, they met at the Academy of Fine Arts in Brera and, in 2003, they decided to venture together on an artistic path that combines different media and several suggestions. We met them in Simone’s studio and house, in the Lambrate neighbourhood, in Milan.
DROME: A predictable question, though we can’t help asking it: why did you choose the name Invernomuto (Wintermute, TN)?
Invernomuto: It comes from Neuromancer, the novel by William Gibson. Actually, we weren’t fans of the author, we just thought it was an evocative name, it sounds good.
D: At the moment, you don’t have a real studio…
I: No, at the moment we are working mostly from home. Until some months ago, we had a studio that was also our house, which was in the building of a former paint factory not far from here. Although, at first, it was supposed to be a temporary dwelling, we ended up living there for two years. It was a huge space that we were sharing with other seven people. We worked a lot, the environment created a great intellectual atmosphere. Unfortunately, we had to move out as the whole building was going to be demolished.
D: How did you start your artistic career?
I: It all started with a video and with ffwd_mag, which originally was a magazine. Over time, this publishing project changed form and attitude and, especially over the last three years, it has become a sort of “reservoir” wherein a part of our ideas flow and through which our researches take every time unknown and unexpected routes, as we select the people to involve in our projects.
D: Your works often feature references to fantastic or real characters, sometimes they are extraordinary. For example, Mr. Boomer, what is he like?
I: We found this guy while watching an American castles website. We were intrigued, so we started sending emails and materials, before meeting him in person some months ago. He is a normal old man, though a little borderline, who built his own castle in a medieval style on the mountains of Santa Cruz. We shot a feature on 16mm on this bizarre experience. All the people we involve in our research lead us to different worlds and we get intrigued not much for their charisma, but for their creativity and imagination. For example, we would like to work with the Jamaican musician Lee “Scratch” Perry.
D: You often work in non-conventional contexts. For example, the Culiarsi project, which saw you working in the town of di Primaluna (Lecco). Do you have in mind any particular place where you would like to work?
I: We have plenty, though the Vale do Amanhecer near Brasilia is definitely the first one. A community lives here, which practices a sort of a new religion with elements of Christianity, Afro-Braziliain religions and ancient Egyptian beliefs. Its followers wear special robes with bright colours and their rituals are particularly stagy.
D: What basically appeals to you most about a new place?
I: Generally we look at how much the place is “skateable”.
D: That reconnects to the site-specific installation set up on occasion of the residential programme “Le Ville Matte” in Villasor (Cagliari).
I: Yes, it’s an incredible experience. The project started off with a news item: the local fire brigade removed some structures to practice skateboarding, locking them in a depot. Some kids forced it open to get them back, running the risk of legal consequences. So, we put forward the idea of setting up a permanent structure in the village’s square, building up a sort of skateboard launch ramp with the help of some citizens. It was a team work, really physical and spontaneous.
D: Have you got any memorabilia or objects you are particularly fond of?
I: Yes, but we lost them over our several moves! In particular, there’s a set of promotional items related to the exhibition “B.O.B”, on show in 2010 at the Galleria Patricia Armocida. Our ex flatmates, after “stealing” some files from our personal computers, secretly devised the promotion of the exhibition and on the vernissage night, they organised a surprise party. There were plenty of items: from button pins to t-shirts, from rings to masks!
text by Francesca Cogoni
photos by Carlo Beccalli for DROME magazine