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Daniela Comani

It was me/Diary 1900-1999, Italy, 2008

Print on net Vinyl/Audio CD,
300X600 cm
Exhibition copy: 275X550 cm Audio-CD: 60 min.

Courtesy of the artist and Galleria Studio G7, Bologna, Italy
Photograph :Inke Arns (Installation view: "History will repeat itself" at CCA Ujazdowski Castle Warsaw, 2008)

This work is a unique diary created by Daniela Comani. Curator Inke Arns notes that 365 journal entries, written in the first person, report important events that occurred in the twentieth century. The fictitious narrator signs the agreement for dismantlement of the Warsaw Pact on March 31, is killed on June 2 by police bullets during a demonstration in East Berlin, blocks the path of a tank on Tienamen Square in Beijing two days later, and assaults a Vietnamese trader on the streets of Hoyerswerda in Germany on September 17. Comani has written a diary of the twentieth century as though all the events depicted happened to her. From one day to the next, from one report to the next, she is first a passive witness, then a political activist, later - a victim, and then again goes on to commit crimes. Thus she seems to instigate these historic events.

Heading the list of issues the work brings up is the question of what the resort to the first person does to a historical review, when the ā€œIā€ colours not merely the events of the past, but also those in store for us in the future. This colouring renders the onlooker involved in the history of the twentieth century, and responsible vis a vis the emerging history of the twenty-first.