Places are worlds. Places create worlds, geographical spaces and spaces of meaning. A place-world is also the container that changes the meaning of what enters it. Moreover, when that place has always been a space devoted to creativity and art, it has the power to invest with new artistic meanings any being or object wich, even momentarily, finds itself there
222 Bowery, New York, NY, is one of those places full of meaning and with a twofold transformative capacity, which consist on the one hand in providing the backdrop for wonderful works of art that have travelled through time (through history, one might say: Fernand Léger, Mark Rothko, William S. Burroughs, John Giorno) and, on the other hand, of being a place whose intrinsic vocation is to endow the art that “lived” in it, that found a home there, with resonance. The Bunker is this special artistic-creative place-world.
Its name, which Burroughs gave it, recalls the atomic age with its connotations of terror as a weapon of deterrence, as a looming threat of a real and/or virtual enemy, an impenetrable refuge that allowed those who had access to it to think and create and temporarily forget the chaos and horror that exist outside of this magical place, while allowing themselves to be pervaded by that discomfort in order to use it as the raw material for literary, poetic or artistic works. This unique place-world has, therefore, psychogeographical value, in the sense described by Guy Debord. It is a living, vital context, whose peculiar meaning passes from one artist to another, creating hidden links between the creative events that take place within it by giving them a new and special conceptual dimension.
With his site-specific installations in the Bunker, the Italian artist Manlio Capaldi, who has been involved in research into the relationship between visual language, sound and poetry, revives that environment and the energy that bound the artists who gravited around W.S. Burroughs.