This book documents the exhibition no fire zone held at the Fondazione Merz in Turin from 10 March to 18 April 2010. The project was commissioned by the Fondazione Merz to document the great event that closed the Wolfgang Laib’s exhibition in June of 2009, when the German artist brought forty-five Brahmins from the Indian region of Tamil Nadu to celebrate the Hindu fire ceremony at the Fondazione. Gianluca and Massimiliano De Serio take the Mahayagna – the fire ritual that is celebrated for the wellbeing of the entire world and all living creatures – as the starting point for their reflection upon the Sri Lanka Civil War and its implications for the Tamil ethnicity, which the Brahmins belong to. The two artists were struck by the strong contrast between the two contradicting situations: on the one hand the religious ritual and man’s quest for harmony and on the other, the oppressive abuse of power that causes unbalanced situations and overwhelming human distress. Their installations interact with Laib’s work: they juxtapose the images of Laib’s exhibition with the harsh images of the war, and the reality of the Tamil’s Diaspora as if trying to find the way to a possible dialogue in this clash. The exhibition features a multi-video installation that unfolds through the Fondazione spaces according to a circular path. It ends in the lower level where it begins again with Soul diaspora, the pivotal work around which the entire project no fire zone revolves.
Gianluca and Massimiliano De Serio are twins and they were born in Turin in 1978. They live and work in Turin. Massimiliano graduated in History of Art Criticism, and Gianluca in Film History at DAMS, in Turin. They have been worked together since 1999 and during the years they have produced numerous films among which: Zakaria, My Brother Yang, Maria Jesus. Their works have been selected for various film festivals among which: Oberhausen Film Festival, Edimburgh Film Festival, Torino Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival. In 2010 they had the solo exhibition Bakroman at Arge Kunst in Bozen; they also participated in the group exhibitions at Galleria Comunale d’Arte Contemporanea (Monfalcone), Galleria Civica di Arte Contemporanea (Trento), Maison Rouge (Paris), Centre d’Art Nei Liicht (Dudelange, Luxembourg), Participant Inc. (New York), Annet Genlink Gallery (Amsterdam), MAXXI (Roma).