Cristina Lavosi

Cristina Lavosi A Choral Accomplishment, (video still), 2023.

Year granted: 2022 Website: Part of Prospects

Cristina Lavosi (1993) researches power structures, specifically focusing on the oppression of certain groups based on class, ethnicity, or gender. She generally makes audiovisual installations. An example of this is A Choral Accomplishment (2023), which she is showing at Prospects. The work is rooted in Lavosi’s research into Sardinian shepherds, which she started when protests against the low prices of sheep’s milk broke out in 2019. These prices had dropped so dramatically that sheep famers decided to dump the milk in the streets. However, this is but one example of the many struggles these workers are faced with. “Many of their problems stem from the fact that they do not own, but lease their land,” Laviosi explains. This makes their position precarious. The dramatic drop in the price of wool led to yet another problem: the shepherds were unable to sell the wool, but also forbidden to simply dispose of it, as the wool is considered special waste. Lavosi noticed how the shepherds had fallen victim to neoliberal market mechanisms, and therefore started encouraging them to unite through collectivization.

In the video A Choral Accomplishment (2023), we see how three performers — all members of different cooking collectives — are jointly making cheese in a communal kitchen. Lavosi uses the cheese, and thus the sheep’s milk, as a metaphor. “Milk is an immensely political product that is strongly technologized — made in the most aseptic way possible.” To Lavosi, this reflects isolation and neoliberalism, thereby uncovering the source of the problems. Using magical realism, Lavosi’s work presents the power of the collective as a means of resistance.

Text: Milo Vermeire

Translation from Dutch to English: Marie Louise Schoondergang