PRINT May 2004


In the first volume of her Notebooks, Simone Weil argues that there is no such thing as collective thought but rather only that of the individual thinker. Disagreeing with this proposition, I have been happy to see it contested in the initiatives of the young Italian artist Lara Favaretto.

I refer to Favaretto’s projects as initiatives rather than works because her practice is distinguished by its orientation toward collaboration. Since her school days at Milan’s Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in the mid- to late ’90s, Favaretto has been conceiving and executing her ideas in concert with others, documenting her productions—which are almost always improvised—on video or in photographs, then editing the results. In the process, she challenges the solipsism of individual artmaking and, with her playful, paradoxical approach, betrays a fundamental distrust of formal languages. As she explains,

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