If you think about the concept of wall, both in its physical or in its metaphorical sense, you would immediately connect to it the idea of something hard, unpassable, a boundary, a barrier. Something extremely resistant that you have to face somehow. Because of this feature of solidness we are used to think about a wall when someone says “I don’t know where to bang my head anymore”, while talking about his problems. With such a dramatic assertion, we are forced to imagine an enough dramatic situation, that usually (and luckily) is never materialized.
No one in a good mental health would never bang his head against a wall!
But no one in a good mental health would jump from a bridge too, still today it is safely possible to do that, let’s just think about bungee jumping.
What if it was possible to bang our heads against a wall (without hurting ourselves) too? And perhaps relieve our problems by doing that?
We took the challenge set by The Wall open call as the right occasion to realize this absurd and ironic utopia: we designed a soft-wall installation that could be a tool to bang heads and therefore “resolve” problems for citizens and tourist in Bologna.
Every installation consists of a self-supporting body that stands in front of a wall in the city. The installation’s wall is accompanied by a short double language caption and by the title printed on a sticky surface placed on the ground (f).
The installation is made of three different materials layered together with putty: one of plywood (a), one of anti-shock surface (b) and one of polyurethane foam (c). Then a thin printed lycra fabric (d) covers the two soft layers.
b. anti-shock surface
c. polyurethane foam
d. lycra fabric
f. sticky surface
Starting from the locations suggested in the The Wall open call, we identified a series of 15 spots in Bologna, where our installation could potentially be useful and/or fun to see.
We prefered places where there could be people in actual need to clarify some ideas.
We thought, for example, at workers that cross the town gates daily to reach their working place or at students that use the central library to prepare their exams.
Each wall will be 2,50 meters high and 14 centimeters deep, while the width will change according to each location.
We conceived also some backing materials for our installations idea.
An A5 (148x210 mm)postcard that, distributed around town, would spread the project by stimulating curiosity in its readers, and by helping them in finding the nearest bang-friendly spots.
A website that would help understanding the potential therapeutic side of the action proposed by our project - that apparently would seem just ridiculous and grotesque.
There will be links to websites that concern medical and psychological issues, and that teach ways to relieve stress and tensions as well as additional informations on the soft-walls around Bologna.
The website will be suggested both in the installation caption and in the postcard.