Badarchin (the hermit)
performance (felt, thread , rope)
A mobile one-person shelter, a spherical cocoon made of local felt, a material very common in Mongolia: this sculpture is a potential as well as precarious dwelling. In a performance hidden to the public, untouched by spectacle, Francesco Bertelé looked for spots where he could set up the self-sufficient shelter and lay down and rest inside. When he arrived on top of a mountain, his cocoon naturally fell into place beside a religious totem. How to make oneself comfortable in unknown places? What can be learnt from yaks and horses and their ways of crossing rivers? How do animals survive by themselves?
Francesco's project is absolutely low-tech. He is cocooning inside a felt ball – a small capsule with references to architecture and biology (the smallest unit of existence, the cell). By withdrawing into the felt, he also subscribes to the decentering of humans, a process of reverse modernism. This piece is part of a body of work that deals with shelters and survival techniques – a series of experiments on how to live like a tramp. One might want to add: exercises in solitude and meditation. [Vera Tollmann]