I would like to introduce the term ‘choral’ to define a ‘non-collective collectivity’: (Con)Temporary, partial, fluid, and linked to a specific occasion or project, rather than to a pre-established shared worldview.
We could consider it a whole willing to become plurality, inclined to participation, and attracted by a sociality in which it recognizes worth (while also being a pleasure in sharing and meeting, even when this entails clashes) without this crystallizing into an established community or fixed identity. Indeed, guaranteed by the game conditions in which it is practiced, it always exorcizes this eventuality.
Unlike the collective, which is opposed to the individual, the choir does not provide any agreement between subjects that results in the construction of an identity, and therefore inevitably sacrificing a part of the diversity contained in being singular. The collective surely conforms, standardizes, and defines itself through a manifesto, choosing its specific ‘We’, and thus often finding itself condemning any discrepancy as eccentricity. On the other hand, the celebration of the singular, of the individuality of the artist praised to the point of believing it is possible to sever any link with one’s contemporaneity, as in the tired theory of the Genius, for example. Two immeasurable positions, then: the individual oppositional couple versus the collective couple finds in the choral a way out of the impasse of having to choose whether to sacrifice the ego or the political and the social.
A choral is a set of singularities, even anomalies, which decides to collaborate in the creation of a common but combative space, which means a space for comparison where everything is relative and a possible object of discussion minus the value inherent in the difference.
In my art and curatorial projects, every call to the arts has always been made by imagining it within a porous and generous but varied and fruitfully conflicting space: able to produce ‘cathedrals’ and not religions.
Giorgio de Finis works as an anthropologist, artist and independent curator in Rome. He is the founder of MAAM Metropoliz – Museum of the Other and Elsewhere, the MACRO Asilo, which is the relational and hospitable project that for two years transformed the museum of contemporary art in Rome into a piazza, and he is now developing the Museo delle periferie a Tor Bella Monaca (RIF) at the edge of the metropole.