Elena Rivoltini
Archive of Voices
curated by
Irene Angenica per Threes
Bassiano (LT), Lazio

Elena Rivoltini’s project looks at the concepts of archive, voice, care and community. It involves the creation of an emotional archive of the villagers’ voices, the pressing of a vinyl record, and the creation a site-specific audio installation in the former church of Santa Maria, located in the village’s historic centre.
On the opening day, the artist led a workshop to prepare the community for the group listening session dedicated to side A of the record, transforming the event into an immersive, participatory experience.
The B side is like a blank page, a score still in the process of creation, taking shape between June and September with more visits to the village by the artist, and collective operations such as shared field recordings, soundwalks, the preparation of a meal, and recording sessions in the villagers’ houses.
The vocal archive acquires physical form with the production of a record, which will become wholly available only at the end of the project, when it will be given to the Museo delle Scritture Aldo Manuzio (Aldus Manutius Museum of Writing).
The artist’s approach is in contrast with the production-based logic typical of the art market, as she is committed to shaping spaces for physical listening, without falling into the cultural extractivism that is often a feature of the contemporary artistic context. Archive of Voices explores the theme of stratified memory, creating a vocal archaeology that is translated into an archive of vestiges for the future.
By means of episodes of listening, dedication and receptivity, the artist invites the public to share convivial spaces and dialogues, developing an authentic relationship with the people of Bassiano, a town struggling with depopulation, whose fragile memory is entrusted to oral tales and a language, the Bassiano dialect, that is disappearing.

Elena Rivoltini, Archive of Voices, 2024. Sound installation, vinyl, letterpress printing.
Ex Chiesa di S. Maria, Piazza S. Maria, Via Aldo Manuzio.
Graphics: Francesco Tosini. Mix e mastering: Vittorio Giampietro
Opening hours: Fri - Sun 11 am - 7 pm.
All others days by appointment, please call: +39 0773 153 0402 (La Taverna del Brigante)

The village has several stairs, not easily accessible to people with disabilities.

Parking in Piazza Giacomo Matteotti is recommended.ㅤ

Reflecting on the root meaning of the word “curate” as “caring for”, I’ll try to develop archival practices that suggest alternative understandings of time, space, and affects that are obscured within dominant history by focusing on the voice, the ephemeral and the micropolitical spaces of bodies.

Elena Rivoltini (Varese, Italy, 1994) graduated in 2017 from the School of the Piccolo Teatro, Milan, in the program selected by Luca Ronconi. Simultaneously, she pursued musical studies, specializing in ancient vocal polyphony and electronic music. As performer, sound artist, and curator, Rivoltini explores voice, body proprioception, and breathing to create site-specific performances and projects. She made her theatrical debut as a performer for Bob Wilson in Odyssey (2015); in the following years, she worked as an author and performer for the Venice Biennale Musica and Biennale Teatro; Piccolo Teatro and Teatro Franco Parenti, Milan; Teatro LAC, Lugano; Teatro India and Teatro Argentina, Rome; Teatros del Canal, Madrid; and Théâtre National, Wallonie-Bruxelles. She has created performative installations for fashion and design brands as well as art and music institutions like the Triennale di Milano, Fondazione Modena Arti Visive, and Villa Panza in Varese. In 2022, she participated in the training project La quinta parete with Romeo Castellucci at the Triennale di Milano and completed the high-level training course ‘Malagola’. Practices of complexity: creative processes in contemporary vocal and sound research.’ She curates an archive of glossolalia, has been selected for the 2023/24 edition of FONDO, a network for emerging creativity, and will debut in July 2024 at the Santarcangelo Festival with a new work.

My research revolves around the construction and deconstruction of bodies and landscapes through performative arts. I investigate voice, breathing, and corporeal phenomena to recount history, build community, and transcend the boundaries of language.

Bassiano (LT)

The village Bassiano has medieval origins, as shown by the majestic castle walls built by the Caetani family in the 13th century, and by the settlement's distinctive spiral structure. A series of stairways create countless routes amongst the alleys and hidden passages, leading up the hill dominated by the church of Sant’Erasmo and the square with the Civic Tower. The three gates to the village are not simply openings in the walls, but a point of contact between two worlds: rural and urban, interior and exterior. Entering the village through the Porta Nuova arch and looking out from the belvedere terrace, you find yourself immersed in a sea of green made up of oaks, holm oaks and beech trees. The medieval village comprises ancient homes known as “Case Torri” (Tower Houses) interlinked by a series of fascinating alleys.
In addition to the evocative hilly panorama, in Bassiano you can admire the Church of Sant'Erasmo, the Santuario del Crocifisso, and the Santuario della Santissima Trinità (Shrine of the Holy Trinity). The Museo delle Scritture Aldo Manuzio (Aldus Manutius Museum of Writing) – built in honour of the village's most famous citizen – which is a centre for research, preservation and promotion of textual works is very interesting.

Thanks to: Anna Botta, Paolo Calandrini, Isabella Massa, Mattia Pacilli, Quirino Cifra, Marisa Lepre, Leonida Pietrosanti, Pietro Mercuri, Rossana Noimi, Angela Centra, Teresa Bianconi and all the voices of Bassiano.