Archivio Aperto 17th edition                    24–27.10.2024                   

The Art of Memory

Refined and complex, memory is cultivated, according to an ancient tradition, with actual techniques. One remembers through images and spaces, in the well-known utopia of the memory theater, but also, as Giordano Bruno asserted, through feelings and emotions. Perhaps by remembering and feeling emotions, one actually thinks, as contemporary theories on emotional intelligence suggest.

The Art of Memory

But if memory is practiced with various techniques of notation – and what are home movies if not a technique of recording life day by day? – then feelings and desires are practiced in the same way. It’s a matter of practice. And a matter of effort, a word that has disappeared from the alphabet of success that measures our lives in the present time. Nevertheless, without daily effort, there is no joy, a term far removed from that of success. This year, we are taught this by Goliarda Sapienza, who, in her writing imbued with memory and senses, reminded us that joy, just like memory, is an art that must be learned – not without effort! – and thus can be narrated. In the opening lines of that now-cult novel, with its troubled and painful history, L’arte della gioia (The Art of Joy), never published during the writer and actress’s lifetime, who would have turned one hundred this year, the protagonist Modesta sees herself as a child – «and here I am at four, five years old, in a muddy space dragging a huge piece of wood» – and it almost seems as if she is watching and commenting with us on a fragment of a family film.


A talisman of remembrance, an activator of narratives where life expands into the realm of imagination, a propellant for a future to be written, the cinema of everyday life in small format is our training ground. Rewatching it in the effort of repeated and recurring gestures means bringing our gaze and our thoughts day by day towards the risky trajectories of a dive, a leap, a downhill somersault, a whirling round dance to be done together. And yes, together we can fall and the world can fall too, as in the nursery rhyme we sang as children, but this is called risking the revolution of change. With the art of memory and the art of joy.


The 17th edition of Archivio Aperto will be held from 24 to 27 October 2024 in Bologna.


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