Biennale Arcipelago Mediterraneo: reflections on Sicily’s historical past and futures

by Editors Staff

Biennale Arcipelago Mediterraneo: reflections on Sicily’s historical past and futures

Opening towards the backdrop of Italy’s snap common election, the third version of the Biennale Arcipelago Mediterraneo in Palermo ruminates on previous and current international conflicts, interwoven with tales from the Mediterranean

The streets of Palermo have been buzzing with power because the Biennale Arcipelago Mediterraneo (BAM), opened its third version with a sequence of occasions in varied places throughout the Sicilian capital. This was the weekend earlier than Italy’s snap common election, a proven fact that the organisers couldn’t have anticipated. ‘I type of prefer it,’ mentioned BAM’s inventive director Andrea Cusumano. ‘It’s virtually as if we’re interfering to voice our views.’

Inaugurated in 2017 – initially, to put the groundwork for the arrival of Manifesta 12 in Palermo the next 12 months – BAM has made some extent of reinventing itself with every iteration, with one fixed: the town of Palermo, geographically nearer to North Africa than Rome, stays its major protagonist. This sprawling version is centred on stay arts and experimentations, activating the town’s many hidden gems and claiming its public house. ‘My dream is to create a brand new type of Black Mountain School right here,’ mentioned Cusumano, who was beforehand Palermo’s deputy mayor for tradition and has massive plans for its artwork scene. ‘That’s why we don’t have a curatorial theme, it’s extra in regards to the setting as a signifier.’ 

Exhibition view of Voluspa Jarpa False Flag at ZACentrale, Palermo. Picture: courtesy Fondazione Merz

At Fondazione Merz’s new house inside a former manufacturing unit, a present titled ‘Isolitudine’ includes 4 solo exhibitions. There, Chilean artist Voluspa Jarpa mines declassified CIA paperwork to create room-size installations. Normally specializing in america’ secret operations in South and Central America, on this event she delved into Operation Gladio as effectively, which occurred in Europe in the course of the Chilly Battle. The Nato international locations’ intelligence companies have been concerned in clandestine anti-communist operations which have led to a sequence of right-wing terror assaults throughout Europe, together with in Italy. In a metropolis that has seen its share of violent bloodshed, her set up is certain to strike a nerve, particularly as Palermo commemorates the thirtieth anniversary of the murders of anti-mafia prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino by mafia bombings. 

Subsequent to Jarpa’s work, a shocking multi-part set up by Istanbul-based artist Guido Casaretto incorporates materials parts from his personal neighborhood’s historical past to ponder the story of the Levantines, or Constantinople Italians. Wooden from a church bench in Istanbul’s Levantine quarter and a clay amphora, for instance, are damaged all the way down to create new sculptures following strict mathematical calculations. This show-within-a-show varieties a poetic rumination on migration, advanced identities, and interwoven histories throughout the Mediterranean area. 

Guido Casaretto, Black Gap (church bench), 2021, Forged of wooden chips. Set up view of Isolitudine at ZACentrale, Palermo. Picture: courtesy Fondazione Merz

BAM’s programme will hold evolving all through its period, with extra exhibitions and occasions added at completely different instances, together with an upcoming set up by Rafael Herman at an as-yet-undisclosed location. In a apply that explores gentle’s bodily and metaphysical qualities, the artist captures landscapes in zero-light air pollution areas.

Utilizing a super-long publicity approach he has developed himself, Herman portrays nature’s unseen magnificence. Throughout a residency in Palermo’s Fondazione Sant’Elia, which culminated in a serious exhibition there earlier this 12 months, he captured nature reserves close to Mount Etna, one of many world’s most energetic volcanoes, on Sicily’s east coast. 

La Fila Lunga (the lengthy queue), a performative work by Stefania Galegati and Efi Spyrou. Picture: courtesy of the artists 

This long-term method characterises this version of BAM, with most of the works on view ensuing from artist residencies within the metropolis. Earlier this summer season, artists Stefania Galegati and Efi Spyrou invited Palermitans to take part within the efficiency La Fila Lunga (the lengthy queue), wherein 150 individuals gathered in piazza Magione for hours, forming a meandering line to attend for nothing in any respect. The occasion was filmed and a screening, providing a moody meditation on the passing of time, occurred within the magnificent but barely shabby galleries of Fondazione Sant’Elia, within the metropolis’s busy historic centre.

On the museum’s façade home windows, Ukrainian artist Daria Koltsova, who’s been in residency there for the reason that spring, created crisscrossing patterns with adhesive tape, referencing the easy means Ukrainian residents use to guard their home windows from the shock waves of explosions. Traditionally, and in the course of the refugee disaster of the previous a number of years, Sicily has at all times had a welcoming coverage in the direction of immigrants. It stays to be seen how a political flip to the far-right after the weekend’s election will affect the Mediterranean’s largest island. §

Daria Koltsova’s set up, If I can neither really feel nor suppose, the place am I then? on the facade of Fondazione Sant’Elia, Palermo. Picture: courtesy of the artist

Petra Feriancová, Vertebra, 2022. Set up view of ’Isolitudine’ at ZACentrale, Palermo. Picture: courtesy Fondazione Merz

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