It’s Just Not Cricket!


A project by Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen and ar/ge kunst, Bolzano.

“It’s just not cricket” is more than a simple exposition of objects and equipment related to the sport of cricket, even if at first glance if may look like this. The idiomatic meaning of this expression, as quintessentially English as the game of cricket itself, gives rise to the idea that we are dealing with an injustice: In English linguistic jargon, this phrase is used to express indignation at a lack of fairness or an injustice that has occurred.

A colourful carpet, oversized gates, a ball and two bats, each made in North and South Tyrol from local materials: These are the components which make up the set of a seemingly interrupted game, now installed in the showroom and only awaiting the return of the players. A “display altar” features Alì Saqib’s private collection of bats from around the world, as well as balls and trophies won in countless tournaments. Alongside all this, a collection of shirts belonging to the numerous active teams in South Tyrol: Laives, Brenner, Sterzing, Auer, Bolzano – communities that have their own cricket teams and tournaments, but with little public awareness of their existence.

The encounter with young cricketers from Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and Sri Lanka, who in some cases have lived for decades on both sides of the Brenner Pass, offers respite from the usual rhetoric of identity, borders, and of north and south. The circular history of cricket, which has returned to Europe from the British colonies, spreading under very different circumstances, provides the opportunity to reflect on the values of today’s urban and rural environments, as well as challenging the categories of time, entertainment, spectacle and spectatorship.

“It’s just not cricket” marks the conclusion of Matilde Cassani’s research project, which was initiated and carried out at the joint invitation of ar/ge kunst, Bolzano and Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen, Innsbruck. It is the result of numerous visits by the artist that have taken place since the end of 2016 to the macro-region between Bolzano and Innsbruck. Both the exhibition at ar/ge kunst and the final exhibition of the Fellowship Program for Art and Theory at the Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen, that will be on show at the Kunstpavillon der Tiroler Künstler:innenschaft from 24 May 2018, presenting the project in North Tyrol, provide the framework for a discussion of the topics discussed above, on both sides of the Brenner. Workshops with the respective cricket communities as well as a planned game in Innsbruck at the end of June between teams selected from South and North Tyrol, should intensify public dialogue between these groups.

The opening of Matilde Cassani’s exhibition will be on February 23 at 7 pm, during the PSL (Pakistan Super League, Dubai) tournament, which will be broadcast live.


Duration of the exhibition at ar/ge kunst Bolzano: 23. 02. – 05. 05. 2018.
From May 24th 2018 to see at the Kunstpavillon of the Tiroler Künstler:innenschaft in Innsbruck in the context of the exhibition of the Büchsenhausen Fellows 2017-18.

Details of the exhibition · ar/ge kunst Bozen
Opening: Fri 23. 02. 2018, 19.00
Duration of the exhibition: 23. 02. – 05. 05. 2018


Matilde CASSANI studied Architecture at the Polytechnical College in Milan and at the TU Lisbon, followed by Architecture and Urban Culture at the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona and the UPC (Universidade Politecnica de Catalunya) in Barcelona (postgraduate degree). In her work Matilde Cassani operates at the borders of architecture, installation and event design. Her research-based practice reflects on the spatial implications of cultural pluralism in the contemporary western context. Her works have been shown in numerous cultural institutions and exhibition venues; they have also been published in media including Architectural Review, Domus, Abitare, Arqa, Arkitecktur, and MONU magazine on urbanism. Matilde Cassani has been a resident fellow at the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart and at the Headlands Center for the Arts in San Francisco. In 2011, Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York showed her exhibition Sacred Spaces in Profane Buildings. In addition, she designed the national pavilion of the Kingdom of Bahrain at Venice Architecture Biennial (2012) and participated in Venice Architecture Biennial in 2014 with the work Countryside Worship. This work was recently acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Cassani currently teaches at the Politecnico di Milano and the Domus Academy.


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