'Io combatto' (I fight): a performance to promote disarmament


Ca’ Foscari and ESU — the regional agency for the right to university education — are promoting the project “Io Combatto” (“I fight”), which aims to promote disarmament and to discourage gun culture. 

This is the meaning of the performance by Sarah Revoltella. This “ritual” has been going on for years, spreading its message, involving people and thoughts. In 2017, during the Biennale d’Arte in Tesa 105 (Arsenale), Ms Revoltella’s performance was streamed in five countries around the world. Five performers engaged in the same gesture, the same ritual, sharing the same message while expressing it in their own, unique way. 

The performance took place on 12 May at 11:00 in the courtyard of Palazzo Foscari

The artist and approximately 10 students collaborated on the performance. In the current historical context, this is a call for peace — a message in favour of international disarmament. It symbolises a pact, a promise, an invitation to act against gun culture. It asks us to change our attitude and our way of relating to one another.

Have a look at photos of the performance on our Flickr gallery:

The history of the “Io combatto” project

After being performed in Venice, the project was performed in Rome at the Archivio Centrale dello Stato. Firearms and grenades made of ceramic were destroyed, shattered into pieces, to remind us of what weapons do, of how they shatter life. At the same time, these shattered pieces represent the seeds of a new beginning, hope for a different future — one in which humanity learns from its mistakes and no longer allows death to be perpetuated as a useless sacrifice. 

This international project is made up of three pieces that focus on the topic of disarmament. The first is the performance “Io combatto”, which uses ceramic reproductions of weapons, made by artisans from Nove, Veneto (Italy). It was performed at Arsenale di Venezia in 2017. The second piece is “Stelle e conflitti”, a tapestry made by weavers in Nule, Sardinia (Italy) in 2019. This piece, which explores correlations between black holes in the universe and war-torn countries, was displayed in Complesso dell’Ospedaletto in Venice (curated by Giacinto di Pierantonio). Finally, the third piece is a suit of armour “La difesa”, made in Muran glass and currently on display in Scuola Grande di San Marco (until 18 September).

The aim of this project is to highlight the way in which the economy related to the world of art can be used in opposition to the war economy. All these pieces were made possible by the efforts of artisans who collaborated with Ms Revoltella to make these works of art and promote the local territory. The aim is to create a bridge that connects the people who have participated and will participate in this project on disarmament, to promote the idea that we can create a more ethical and sustainable economy. Ms Revoltella is “fighting” with poetry and politics — she takes the instruments of war and turns them into a possibility to change war culture with disarmament and dialogue, with the hope that art can help society to change and evolve, and to promote life over death.