MARGHERITA MOSCARDINI

Both day and night, for 2375 hours from October 26, 2018, to January 30, 2019, over a thousand pastors and ministers from various churches and denominations worldwide alternated in celebrating an uninterrupted worship service in The Hague. Thanks to a Dutch law prohibiting authorities from interrupting a religious rite, this service provided the time and space necessary to shield the Tamrazyan family within the Bethel Chapel from an executive order to expel them from the country. This powerful act of civil disobedience performed by the Bethel community succeeded in inhabiting the intermediate spaces of the law and expanding them to create an exceptional time and space outside the State. Simultaneously, it initiated a dialogue with the government, leading to a review of the case and ultimately renewing the residence permit for the Tamrazyan family and around 700 other families in similar situations. As a possible continuation of this exceptional condition of immunity created by the over three-month-long ritual, artist Margherita Moscardini has realised Bethel Chapel’s Annex (2023), a 500-square-metre sculpture in the form of a carpet exhibited as the first mobile annex of the Chapel, a protection surface that can be unfolded and used as a grounding for the ritual celebration in support of the human beings who need its activation. Derived from Bethel Chapel’s Annex, the work Anywhere and Anytime (2023-2024) is a sonic composition that autonomously disseminates through OTO SOUND MUSEUM. It echoes the voices of some of the participants from the religious rite: they are men and women who occupied a 'here and now', generating a performative action consisting of the alliance of bodies, voices, and sounds emitted by the more than one thousand people who took turns in the uninterrupted celebration of the ritual. In order to illuminate this action, Moscardini asked them to intimately pronounce the words 'here and now', with the desire to reinforce the spatiotemporal essence of the rite and underscore the urgency of protecting people globally and legally on the basis of their right to move, rather than on the basis of territorial belonging and blood ties. The sum of their contributions - the totality of the 'here and now' pronounced freely in English and Flemish - seems to resonate as an auspice, where the repetition of such an event can become a rule and no longer just the exception in a dominant system, spreading 'anywhere and anytime’.

The project was created in collaboration with Derk Stegeman, minister of the Protestant Church of The Hague (NL); Bethel Chapel, The Hague (NL), STEK, The Hague (NL) and Theo Hettema, minister and at the time chair person of the Protestant Church of the Hague. It was exhibited for the first time in 2023 on the occasion of the exhibition The Continuous Service, organised within the Gian Marco Casini Gallery in Livorno.

Margherita Moscardini

(b. 1981, Italy) is an artist who, through different means, seeks to generate sculptures understood both as objects and as walkable places that are legally differentiated from the sovereignty of the land they occupy. For the past few years, her practice has been trying to become a tool for imagining forms of inhabiting and citizenship finally freed from territorial belonging and the bod of blood. Her works include: Istanbul City Hills_On the Natural History of Dispersion and States of Aggregation (2013-2014), a mixed-media work in which Istanbul's recent urban transformation is told through the glass disposal system; 1XUNKNOWN, to Fortress Europe with Love (2012-2018), a series of 21 short videos that narrate the remains of the Atlantic Wall defense line: 15. 000 bunkers built by the Third Reich along Europe's Atlantic coast, from the Pyrenees to Norway, with the aim of defending "Fortress Europe"; The Fountains of Za'atari (2016 - ongoing), whose main purpose is to reproduce in Europe the courtyards with fountains built within the Za'atari refugee camp (Jordan), in the form of public sculptures legally regulated as common resources that cannot be subject to the sovereignty of any state. 

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