Stefano W. Pasquini
Project for the City of Pfyn, Cultural Capital of Switzerland
The project I wish to develop has a double aim: first and foremost, I would like it to be a sort of apology for the occupation of the Roman Empire, secondly I would like it to be something that would start an inner thought about the city.
I was informed that two trees were going to be cut down in the center of the town as they pose a threat to the little shed that stands underneath them at a cross road. I would like to take this opportunity to build a big wooden sign from the wood of the trees to welcome visitors coming from the southern part of the country.
The logs would be cut and assembled in order to form the words PFYN to be freestanding on a newly constructed roundabout at the southern border of the city.
The sign will be built by Rolf Dähler under the artist's supervision with the help of Ueli Stump, the local smith.
On one of the logs there will be a small plaque to state that the sign was built in 2011 on the occasion of Pfyn being Cultural Capital of Switzerland.
The plaque will also mention that underneath the sign there is a time capsule with memories made by the citizens of Pfyn.
THE TIME CAPSULE
The idea is to have the local smith build an iron waterproof case to hold a series of postcards filled in by the population in order to give a memory of the city in this particular occasion.
On the preprinted postcards, citizen are asked to write, draw or paint their idea of Pfyn, their fondest memory, whatever they wish Pfyn to be remembered for.
On August 1st, 2011, on the national holiday occasion, the project will be presented to the population and I will ask citizens of Pfyn to fill in the postcard for the time capsule.
Furthermore there will be a call for a mail art project open to all that would explore what outsiders know about Pfyn around the world.
Some of the interventions will be scanned and posted on the website of the Swiss Cultural Capital.
The time capsule will state that it should be opened in the year 2112.
During the ceremony of the unveiling of the sign I would like to have a very short performance after the mayor's speech. I would ask a local Albanian resident to recite the words “A cry of sorrow for the dead of Pfyn caused by the Roman Empire” in his own language, and then have a girl from the local brass band, in a black night dress, play the french horn on her own, a short melody especially written by me with the help of musician Alessandro Linzitto.
With this poignant, short, and slightly surreal performance, I would like to raise some doubts about the relationship between the western world and the immigrants, seen from a historical point of view.
Rendering of the sculpture.