B#SIDE The River Festival brings ten international...

B#SIDE The River Festival brings ten international artists in residence in Friuli Venezia Giulia

What happens when an external gaze observes a territory and the scars that history has left there, and tries to tell its own perception through contemporary and personal artistic languages?

Organized by the Friulian cultural association IoDeposito, under the artistic direction of Chiara Isadora Artico, “B#SIDE The River” is a contemporary art festival that will bring ten international artists to spend a period of residence in Friuli Venezia Giulia until July 20th, with a rich program of public events, talks, workshop and breakfasts with the artists.

The goal is to tell the Isonzo river and the territory of the far north-east Italian border as never before. The municipalities touched by the widespread festival are many: Trieste, Udine, Gradisca d’Isonzo, Monfalcone, Cervignano del Friuli, Farra d’Isonzo, Sagrado, Staranzano, Ruda, Fogliano Redipuglia, Mariano del Friuli. Through the voices of various international artists, called to come into contact with the local population through interviews, anthropological investigations and participatory actions, the aim is to return, in the form of works of art, site-specific installations and performances, a snapshot of the concerned place.

The artists involved are Dejmi Hadrović, Lang Ea, Andreja Kargačin, Gülhatun Yıldırım, Ingrid Ogenstedt, Nathalie Vanheule, Marta Lodola, Boris Beja, Holly Timpener and Deimion “Peim” van der Sloot. A program of residencies mainly feminine, where the protagonists are united not only by criticism of gender stereotypes and by an artistic investigation that combines body, history and pain, conveyed in performances with a high emotional charge.

From Latin, limes, such as “border”, is the key word of the Festival. The impacts of the border on the population and on the area surrounding the Isonzo are a legacy and testimony of a painful past: shrines, military cemeteries, burial places dot the karst plateau, as well as industrial archeology sites and former plants often born to feed the war industry, and today abandoned following the industrial divestment following the collapse of the Berlin wall.

In July, the last five residences of the Festival will take place: starting with Nathalie Vanheule (Belgium), who from July 2nd to 9th works between Gradisca d’Isonzo, Sagrado and Fogliano Redipuglia. Her participatory performance “All Arms United” will involve thirty people in the production of imprints of their own bodies on a leather conveyor belt – as in an assembly line set in motion no longer to produce weapons, but to strengthen the indestructible human connection – will take place on July, Saturday 9th from 9,30 to 10,30 in front of the walls of the Castle of Gradisca d’Isonzo.

While, from July 10th to 16th Marta Lodola will be in Ruda (Udine). Her performance “Dissolvenze” will take place on July, Friday 15th starting at 9,00 p.m. at the Amideria “Chiozza” in Perteole, in Ruda. The artist will be the point of contact between the place and those present, recalling the suggestions and history of the former industrial site. The homonym video, dedicated to the Amideria, and presented to the international public of the Miami Satellite Art Show and produced with the support of IoDeposito association, will also be projected.

In Monfalcone and surroundings, from July 10th to 16th, the residency of Boris Beja (Slovenia) will take place. The title of the installation is “Sailing this way”, in which the real protagonist is pottery, emblem of the human ability to intervene and transform matter. The work will be created with the participation of the workers of the Monfalcone shipyards, through the collective act of shaping and then destroying ceramic artefacts: an evocative process of the history of the area, characterized over the centuries by continuous reconstructions.

The Canadian artist Holly Timpener will instead be active in Sagrado from July 17th to 23rd, where she will focus on the theme of resistance. The conversations with people from the local community will allow the artist to receive stories and experiences that will be reflected in the video performance “Embodied Resistance: Past, Present, Future”.

At the end of the festival we could find Deimion “Peim” van der Sloot (Holland), who will be in Farra d’Isonzo from July 24th to 30th. Known for his compositions with a strong visual impact, through which he constantly challenges himself and the viewer on social issues, during his residency the artist will create “Roc Mentaliteit”, a series of works created through the affixing of colored stickers on black and white prints of paintings, a way to highlight the “colonial” stratifications on the territory of Friuli Venezia Giulia.

Laura Guarnier


Various artists, B#SIDE The River
Pontebba, Udine

Marta Lodola, The Earth will take you back, CIPAF, Cyprus International Performance Art Festival, Kokkinopezoula, 2016. Ph. Skevi Laou, courtesy the artist

Marta Lodola, Covered, performance, Ophelia Exhibition, Luisa Catucci Gallery, 2016. Ph. Ruth Biene, courtesy the artist

Holly Timpener, Uroborus, performance, 2017. Ph. Adian Morillo, courtesy the artist

Holly Timpener, Encumbrance, performance, 2019. Ph. Aedan Crooke, courtesy the artist


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