concept and direction Elisabetta Consonni
with Daniele Pennati
assistant Francesco Dalmasso
promotion Vittoria Lombardi
winning project of AiR – Artisti in Residenza 2021
We are always haunted by the myth of our potential… «All of us lead two lives, the one we live and another to the side, a parallel life, that we never realize, that we live in our mind, the life we wish for and fantasies about: the risks we never took, the chances we’ve missed or we were not granted. We call it unlived life because somehow we believe we could have lived it but for some reasons it was not possible. […] We share our lives, in a sense, with the people we have failed to be: an elegy to needs unmet, desires sacrificed and roads untaken».
The project takes inspiration from the essay written by the english psychoanalist Adam Philips, In Praise of the Unlived Life, which offers an interesting perspective on the contemporary neurosis of a never ending wishing, wanting and longing for a different life, constantly living in the gap between who we wish one day to be and who we are at the present. In a society based on inflating the specialness of the self as a singular unit aimed at optimizing and making maximally productive the lived life, we grow up thinking we are made to be special but soon we realize how accidental we are and though we are expected to enjoy a world where we are nothing special— “on a par with ants and daffodils”. Therefore we constantly seek our satisfaction in the perpetual present of consumer capitalism, in which “knowing ourselves” means “simply knowing what we want to have”.