Arrêter le jour, 2014
Performance within the exhibition You Can’t Take It with You, Institut Culturel Italien, Paris, October 2014

Elisabetta Benassi fires five shots from a rifle onto a ticking clock. Arrêter le jour (2014), the title of this performance, suggests a strong image that directly refers to the notion of time blocking described by Walter Benjamin in his final text On the Concept of History, reporting a spontaneous event that took place in the first hours of the insurrection of the Paris Commune in 1871: “On the first evening of fighting it turned out that the clocks in towers were being fired on simultaneously and independently from several places in Paris. An eye-witness, who may have owed his insight to the rhyme, wrote as follows:

Who would have believed it! We are told that new Joshuas
at the foot of every tower, as though irritated with
time itself, fired at the dials in order to stop the day.” 
Walter Benjamin, “On the Concept of History”

Courtesy the artist and Magazzino, Rome