“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 Künstlerschaft 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.
Under the Patronage of Italian Cricket Federation
With kind support from The Autonomous Province of South Tyrol, Department of Culture
Autonomous Region of Trentino-Alto Adige
City of Bolzano, Department of Culture
Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio, Bolzano
Barth – Interior, Bressanone
 Mattilde Cassani was invited by ar / ge kunst for the third episode of her residency programme: One Year Long Research Project, and by Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen, Innsbruck, in the context of her Fellowship for Art and Theory programme (Cooperation Fellowship).