Sull’idea di identità vana (panopticon) (On the idea of useless identity (panopticon)) is a site-specific installation conceived by Giuseppe Di Liberto. His research focuses on the devices of control and domestication of bodies and minds; referring to the biopolitical studies of Foucault, Di Liberto examines a series of psychological mechanisms of subjection typical of places of imprisonment.
Inside the cell, a plaster sculpture lies as a simulacrum of a person, whose stacked clothes are the only thing left. The loss of identity imposed by the prison environment is reiterated by the metal grid that lowers the ceiling and forces the viewer to engage with the work in an uncomfortable position. Outside of the cell, a warning sign informs the visitors of the danger of electric shock if one touches the grid; in this way, Di Liberto seeks to highlight how the process of control actually begins with domestication that may be first mental, then physical. Still, the only relationship between outside and inside is the wooden entrance door, a visible threshold between freedom and imprisonment, between bios and thanatos.
Giuseppe Di Liberto (Palermo, 1996) He studied Visual Arts at IUAV, Venice and is currently a resident artist at Bevilacqua La Masa. His work has been recently presented at: Galleria Poggiali, Milan (2021); APlusA Gallery, Venice (2020); Ex Ospedale degli Incurabili, Venice (2019); Haus der Kunst (Verein Dusseldorf-Palermo), Cantieri Culturali alla Zisa, Palermo; Spazio Y in collaboration with Bridge Art (Border Crossing) during MANIFESTA 12, Palermo (2018); “Venti Contemporanei”, contemporary art festival (2018) and La Valletta European Cultural Capital 2018, Malta.