a city-wide exhibition curated by Cristiana Perrella
7 - 10 September 2023
Back again from 7 to 10 September 2023 Panorama is the cultural project that ITALICS – the first institutional network to bring together seventy of the most authoritative art galleries in Italy – annually dedicates to some of the most extraordinary locations in our country.
After the editions of Procida (2021) and Monopoli (2022), both curated by Vincenzo De Bellis, ITALICS chose L’Aquila for the third edition of Panorama and invited Cristiana Perrella – curator and art critic – to conceive a multi-site exhibition for the Abruzzo capital.
L’Aquila was founded on the slopes of Gran Sasso in 1254 and rebuilt in 1266 by Charles I of Anjou. It was initially part of the Kingdom of Naples, then of the Hapsburg kingdom and then the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. In its long history, it has known moments of power and splendor alternated with phases of decline, destruction, reconstruction and rebirth, related to the violent earthquakes that have struck it throughout its history, including the particularly dramatic one of 2009. Over the centuries, the city’s location in the heart of Italy, surrounded by imposing mountains, forests, lakes and waterways, has given it wealth and a strategic importance both politically and religiously, as well as economically and culturally. Today, there is still strong evidence of this history in the architecture and artistic heritage, and the legacy is kept alive through religious rites such as the Perdonanza Celestiniana and the prestige of institutions such as the Conservatory, the University and the Academy of Fine Arts.
The focus in the new edition of Panorama, curated by Cristiana Perrella, will be on L’Aquila’s vast historical heritage - with its medieval stratum reflected in the city walls, its Renaissance stratum recognizable in numerous palaces and churches, its Baroque and then Neoclassical stratum related to 18th-century reconstructions - in part still damaged by the last earthquake and in part rebuilt and restored to their original splendor. The Spanish Fortress with the room where an extremely rare mammoth skeleton found in 1954 just outside the city is preserved in its entirety, the Baroque Oratory of Palazzo de’ Nardis, the Giorgio de Marchis Foundation, the Casino delle Delizie Branconio, the National Museum of Abruzzo, the MAXXI L'Aquila, as well as palaces, courtyards, public spaces and places of everyday life, will be inhabited by works of ancient, modern and contemporary art and will interact with works created for the occasion.
The venues of Panorama L’Aquila will not be simple “containers” of works but generators of content per se, making the multi-site exhibition unique, and benefiting from the fertile relationship with the cultural fabric of the city and its long tradition.
The exhibition project by Cristiana Perrella for Panorama L’Aquila grew from the suggestion of the evocative term wit(h)nessing, coined by feminist theorist, artist and psychoanalyst Bracha Ettinger with the aim of extending the concept of witnessing, understood both as an affirmation of one’s knowledge and as passing on a story.
“The experience of bearing witness is a relational action that involves coexistence”, Cristiana Perrella emphasizes. “Memory and community are pivotal words for L’Aquila, words for relating to history, culture, places and people. I would like the effort to involve the territory to take the form of collaborations with local, productive, cultural and social organizations, invited to engage in dialogue with the artists chosen for the exhibition”.
Panorama L’Aquila is certain to be a unique exhibition experience, an expression of the values of ITALICS. With its capacity to unite the ancient, modern and contemporary, multiple styles, techniques and thoughts in art itineraries, the visitor can explore the most authentic and least known aspects of our Country, continuing in person the extraordinary journey that began in 2020 on the web pages of the Italics.art platform. The member galleries wanted and shared the format of Panorama with a view to collaborating with the territories involved. The intention is to progressively expand this commitment into a program and into alliances aimed at reaffirming the central nature and role of art galleries in a cultural system, both local and global, that is constantly evolving.
Panorama L’Aquila is realized under the patronage of UNESCO, the Ministry of Culture and the Municipality of L’Aquila.
Jigsaw Puzzles - BIENALSUR
29.07.2023 - 31.12.2023
This exhibition is conceptually inspired by a new version of Regina Silveira's Latin American Puzzle. It brings together images from different social, cultural, and political horizons of the region into an open and largely associative picture, in which each piece is individually identified and, at the same time, related to the others in order to give each viewer a possible reading of history in an attempt to understand the reality of Latin America.
The selection of works featured in Puzzle reveals the complexity of the construction of any kind of narrative, considering the variety of converging realities. It is worth bearing in mind that the territory of the symbolic is shifting, elusive, and unstable. Any certainty in this regard is open to question as changes occur in the socio-cultural and temporal parameters that guide us through them. However, this weakness of the symbolic, or rather of images, is also its strength. Hence, it is worth making the effort to think with images and to creatively broaden the horizons of meaning.
With this premise as a starting point and bearing in mind the impossibility of a single narrative, let us explore uncertainties from this present and in the plural to imagine critical positions that help us think about decentralisations, exchanges, appropriations and re-appropriations in a multiple, diverse, reciprocal, and global sense.
Andrea Alkalay (ARG), John Berger (GBR), Filippo Berta (ITA), Fernando Bryce (PER), Adriana Bustos (ARG), Daniel Canogar (ESP), Paula Castro (ARG), Harun Farocki (CZE/DEU), Anna Bella Geiger (BRA), María Gimeno (ESP), Luis Hernández Mellizo (COL), Erin Johnson (USA), Glenda León (CUB), Ryts Monet (ITA/AUT), Elodie Pong (USA/CHE), Juan Pablo Renzi (ARG), Nicolás Robbio (ARG), Regina Silveira (BRA), Sergio Vega (ARG), Agustina Woodgate (ARG), Horacio Zabala (ARG)
La sostanza agitata
Palazzo Collicola, Spoleto
23.06.2023 - 15.10.2023
The ground floor of Palazzo Collicola hosts a group exhibition that includes the proposals of some of the most interesting emerging profiles of contemporary art active in Italy. La sostanza agitata, this is the title of the exhibition curated by Saverio Verini, presents the works of eleven artists under 35: an exhibition with a strong generational implantation, which seeks to account for the variety and vitality of artistic research in our country. In addition to the anagraphic cut, the artists in the exhibition are linked by a common interest in the installation and plastic dimension and, in general, in the relationship between the work and the environment that hosts it. The title, La sostanza agitata, refers to the experimental and difficult to classify character of the works in the exhibition, to the heterogeneity of the materials used and to an approach that-between lightness and monumentality, between irony and issues reflecting current social changes-declares its sculptural derivation. The choice to propose a series of artists who today reflect on the sculptural language and its legacy is intended to recall the artistic tradition of Spoleto, which has been inextricably linked to the plastic dimension since the experience of Sculptures in the City (1962).
The invited artists are: Francesco Bendini (Sansepolcro, 1996), Paolo Bufalini (Rome, 1994), Lucia Cantò (Pescara, 1995), Giovanni de Cataldo (Rome, 1990), Binta Diaw (Milan, 1995), Bekhbaatar Enkhtur (Ulan Bator, 1994), Roberta Folliero (Rome, 1993), Jacopo Martinotti (Milan, 1995), Lulù Nuti (Rome, 1988), Giulia Poppi (Modena, 1992), Davide Sgambaro (Padua, 1989).
La sostanza agitata wants to characterize itself as a yard of proposals-some of them unpublished and made by the artists on site-a workshop open to different looks: each artist is entrusted with a room, thus offering visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in individual poetics, between organic and industrial materials, verticality and horizontality, movement and staticity, works formed by unique pieces and others that tend toward dissemination if not outright multiplication.
La Natura delle Cose
Museolaboratorio - Ex Manifattura Tabacchi
17.06.2023 - 06.08.2023
curated by Enzo De Leonibus
From June 17 to August 6, 2023, the Museolaboratorio - Ex Manifattura Tabacchi in Città Sant'Angelo (PE) will present the project La natura delle cose by the artist Giuseppe Stampone, winner of the "PAC2021 - Plan for Contemporary Art" promoted by the Ministry of Culture's General Directorate for Contemporary Creativity. The work will be unveiled to the public on Saturday, June 17 at 6 p.m. officially becoming part of the Museum's Collections.
The title refers to the six-book philosophical poem by Lucretius, written in 50 B.C., in which the Latin poet outlines the molecular constitution of the universe, the soul and its destiny, the fear of death and the individual characteristics of human beings (body, senses, thought and love). The last two books are devoted to the creation of the world, including natural phenomena such as weather systems and the development of civilization. In this work Lucretius seeks to place humanity in a broader and more universal context, investigating man's place in the natural world, both at the molecular and astrological levels.
Stampone started from this starting point to create the project La natura delle cose (The Nature of Things): about sixty works - including photographs, drawings and a video installation - designed to stimulate a reflection on the landscape and the "place" that man occupies in relation to the planet on which he lives.
The artist returned to two places dear to him, Gran Sasso and Maiella, in Abruzzo, elevating them to a paradigm of this idea. During long walks, Stampone personally took a series of photographs of the mountains and then made graphite drawings of them. The intent of the process was to create an archive of images for future generations, who, because of man's lack of care for the planet, risk seeing the habitat in which they live changed forever. It is now scientifically proven that land consumption, pollution and the unbridled exploitation of natural resources are having tragic and almost irreversible effects on the very fragile ecosystems.
Departing from the main mode of operation of the works of recent years (the artist has often taken images from the Internet to create his works), in this new project Stampone chose to use the camera personally with the intention of rediscovering the affective value of the portrayed subjects, his identity and his origins. After drawing the mountains reproduced in photos, the artist put the original images into Photoshop to obtain the numerical references of the Pantone colors of the snapshots, thus comparing the graphite of the drawings (the natural) with the chemical colors used to make the prints; as industrial colors, created to imitate nature, the hues were then juxtaposed with the images of nature to blur the boundaries between natural and artificial elements.
The entire process was documented in the video displayed in the exhibition, which chronicles the project stage by stage: from the artist's high-altitude excursions, to the taking of the photographic shots, to the production of the drawings to the selection of the Pantones. The video, entitled Gran Sassa, was made in collaboration with artist Maria Crispal, the artist's life and work partner.
This interest in industrial processes can be read as a desire of the man/artist to imitate nature, but also as an attempt to master it that nullifies our sense of precariousness and limitation. Graphite, on the other hand, is a material that implies a precise-not deceptive-relationship with time, and a choice of the author; drawing is a process that nurtures reflection and helps to reformulate our relationship with time; working with pencil does not allow the process of making a drawing to be accelerated; using graphite is thus Stampone's chosen way of opposing the accelerated pace of life today.
Gran Sasso and Maiella, "Stampone's mountains", are both autobiographical and universal. They are images that the artist carries within himself, linked to his identity and memories, but also mythical iconographies, figures that inspire awe and monumentality. In this work, the mountains have given substance to the artist's reflections, who has returned to his childhood places in an attempt to trace a deeper connection with things; for us as observers, the work is an opportunity to rethink our role in the world through art, ethics, and a sense of responsibility toward our host environment and other living things.