Non-Intentional Actions
Non-Intentional Actions

August 21-22, 2023.

Five performative actions in the Isola neighborhood, Milan.
Various objects, video.
Variable dimensions.

Next to how many other people's moments am I resting my feet?
How many stories am I dodging along my path?

Through the performative actions of Non-Intentional Actions, Gurgone lets his life and his spending be conducted by the receipts of strangers who unknowingly chose food, items, perfumes, shopping lists and clothes in her place, thus nullifying her decision-making power. The search for receipts is not without logic; rather, the artist voluntarily decides to focus on a specific area such as a neighborhood or a city.

On August 21, 2022 she collected five receipts in the Isola neighborhood of Milan, where she currently lives. The resulting activities were turned into the list of what would be her routine the next day. What might seem to be an obsessive and insistent search for temporal mimesis is instead a demonstration of the impossibility of duplicating a memory and reliving the same moment twice, since each instant is filtered by time and the personality of the person living it.

Go to the exhibition

The day before

August 21, 2022

44 Viale Stelvio, 20159 Milan, Italy.

35°, sunny and cloudless sky.

Today is a calm day for walking. Although it is hot, I can feel a slight breeze that should save me from a burn on my neck. I have never found great difficulty in spotting receipts thrown in my neighborhood, probably because between Farini and Isola many people pass through on their way to other places. Indeed, of people in a hurry there are quite a few, and those who stand still usually wait for some public transportation. Once I put the camera around my neck, I start scouting the area for manholes, hidden corners and vases treated as trash cans.

Due to the rain two days ago, many receipts look faded or ruined to such an extent that I cannot read the information needed to be replicated. Unfortunately, I am forced to throw them away and find new ones. The people around me look at what I do suspiciously: they do not seem frightened by the camera, nor do they wonder what it is that̀ I am picking up from the ground. Rather, they make me look like someone who is committing something shady or unwise.

I recently finished collecting the last receipt. I have not been able to take a good look at the contents inside of all of them but from what little I have seen, some look interesting. I took a long time talking to a gentleman, Sergio, who was intrigued by what I was doing.
What do you do? Taking pictures of the papers? What do you find beautiful about it??!

Dear Sergio, I tried to explain it to you but I'm not sure you understood. You insisted that I push for a complaint action to be sent to the mayor for the qualification and greater cleanliness of Via Farini but what escapes you is that in that case, my project would cease to exist.

Act I / Bar Castello

Receipt issued on:
16/08/2022 At: 9:47.
Found at: 44 Via Carlo Farini, 20159 Milan, Italy.
At: 16:47.
Items: 2 coffees; 1 brioche. Abandoned at: 79 mt away from the coffee shop.
We both paid with 3.50 euros in cash, no change.

August 22, 2022, 9:26.
Shy sun, white light bothering the eyes.
I admit it, I love having breakfast at the cafe. If it were up to me, I would go every morning, even if it meant giving up lunch. I'm terribly hungry and don't seem to know this cafe; therefore, I head blindly down Frini Street, hoping I don't end up eating a frozen croissant. From the outside, the place is a bit cluttered and dark: the low interior lighting makes it a bit gloomy, and the outside tables are placed as best they can be. I don't think the owner of this receipt purposely arranged to meet the person who shared the other coffee at this cafe, I imagine they both happened to be there casually, in a hurry; perhaps for a quick break or a meeting point before moving on.

I go in, however, I am alone, so that́ the second coffee I ask for takeout to bring later to my roommate. For the brioche, on the other hand (although I like to call it a cornetto, Roman style) I am pleasantly impressed with a hazelnut filling that wins the day. The bartender is pleasant enough, perhaps bored. He seats me outside, facing what might appear to be a mother and daughter, intent on chatting with each other. In splitting the croissant in half with my hands, I realize the mess I am making between the stringy filling and the crumbs scattered everywhere. Again, I will learn to eat politely tomorrow.

Place and state where the receipt was found.

Bar Castello
Documentation of what remains of performative action.

Act II / Carrefour express

Receipt issued on: 30/07/2022 At: 11:42.
Found at: Via Ugo Bassi 28, 20159 Milan
At: 14:34
Items: 1 salami sandwich. Abandoned at: 140 mt away from the supermarket.
We both paid with 5 euro cash, with change.

August 22, 2022, 11:38.
Cautious sunshine but the heat is starting to show.
The owner of this receipt is definitely one of those avid la- vorers who never takes a break for lunch but at the same time does not feel like bringing lunch from home. How can you blame him? Oil-filled Tupperware and cutlery that you never know where to put in your purse are two of the most inconvenient and anti-practical things in the world even if the supermarket sandwich though is a bit of a lifestyle overkill by my standards. It didn't take me long to find it on the shelf at Carrefour but the delay on my purchase was due to a lady who was constantly adding products at the checkout, never getting to pay the bill.

No drink, not even a bottle of water, today I have to, as they say in Tuscany, "murare a secco." I decide to an- dare to have lunch in the park adjacent to the Church of Santa Maria alla Fontana while reading a book but, despite the initial difficulty in opening the package, unlike you, my dear stranger, I was able to relax.
I hope you at least, had a canteen.

Place and state where the receipt was found.

Carrefour Express
Documentation of what remains of performative action.

Act III / Ciopa

Received issued on: 19/08/2022 At: 12:49.
Found at: Gian Antonio Boltraffio Street16, 20159 Milan, Italy.
At: 17:03.
Items: 1 scale product. Abandoned at: 120 mt away from the bakery. We both paid cash, no change.

August 22, 2022, 12:35.
The heat forces one to wish for a fan.
Ciopa is a bakery that has not been open long on the Island. Before today, I went once during the first week it was open, greeted by young, friendly owners. This receipt, like the majority among those typed by bakeries, tend to be generic, thus limiting themselves to reporting the price of an unknown product, juxtaposed with the words "scale" or "department 01."

In these cases I go by feel, trying to better identify with the story to understand what the customer who was served that day might have bought. A piece of pizza? Some homemade bread to take home? Having already eaten lunch, I ask the baker how much the loaf of bread in the upper right corner costs to use for tonight's dinner. Although the figure up and down matched the price I should have paid, the scale betrayed me, charging me a higher amount.

Place and state where the receipt was found.

Documentation of what remains of performative action.

Act IV / Upim

Receipt issued on:
08/08/2022 At: 15:21.
Found at: 23 Alserio Street, 20159 Milan, Italy.
At: 14:28.
Items: 1 men's short-sleeved sport shirt; 1 men's short-sleeved print shirt; 1 long khaki cotton pants. Abandoned at: 850 mt away from the store.
We both paid 70 euros in cash, with change.

August 22, 2022, 15:13.
The sun is not relevant because of the air conditioners in the store.
Receipts regarding garments are always the most amusing because they allow one to trace the specific item of 'clothing that the buyer bought thanks to the numerical codes written next to the product name. Evidently, since these are discount or end-of-series garments, I could not figure out first from the Upim site what the garments were, opting to ask a saleswoman to help me. By letting- me see the images in the 'archive on her display, it can be taken for granted that the owner of this receipt was a grown man. Being a curvy girl, I am not particularly fond of men's clothes.

The person in question had chosen khaki pants, a gray T-shirt with a hipster print of which there was only size XL left, and a fir green breathable T-shirt suitable for sports. All the garments she had chosen, however, were chromatically compatible, giving me the opportunity to create two different looks. After buying them and storing them in the closet, my best friend took the opportunity to steal one of the shirts from me, rightly the one that fit giant.

Place and state where the receipt was found.

Documentation of what remains of performative action.

Act V / Artico

Received issued on:
19/08/2022 At: 21:17
Found at: Piazza Fidia, 20159 Milan, Italy.
At: 15:50.
Items: 1 small ice cream cone. Abandoned at: 85 mt away from the ice cream shop.
We both paid by credit card.

August 22, 2022, 21:14.

Dark. Mild temperature. This day could not have ended better.
The Artico ice cream shop is one of my favorites, you can tell the owner of this receipt has good taste. The thing that saddens me though is the loneliness of this cone. I want to believe in a group of friends who went there, each paying for themselves.
Tonight there is not particularly a line and I can afford to take my time looking at the flavors on display while pretending to be undecided because I am not actually a fan of creamy and particularly fatty ice creams, I prefer fruit or classic flavors.

I wanted an iconic, commitment-free ice cream but the chocolate and fior di latte I chose makes me look a bit like a child.
My inability to eat repeats itself, finding myself taming this ice cream as an adventurer would against a tiger. I think I've won, though from my dirty face you wouldn't know it.

Place and state where the receipt was found.

Documentation of what remains of performative action.