Italy and Armenia between Atri and Pescara at Stil...

Italy and Armenia between Atri and Pescara at Stills of Peace 2022

Fondazione Aria chose to set the 9th edition of the contemporary art exhibition Stills of Peace and Everyday Life between Atri (TE) and Pescara, which host from July 10 to September 4, 2022 a dialogue between Italy and Armenia, celebrating the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two nations. A team of five curators presented together with the director Giovanna Dello Iacono, the president Dante Marianacci and the authorities the five exhibitions and the movies screening Cine Armenia. This year the fragments of peace have seen as protagonists of the dialogue sixteen artists, each of them with his/her language gave the public the opportunity to reflect on the events of a people, filtering knowledge through beauty.

…e l’angelo si è scordato di te is the group exhibition curated by Mariano Cipollini, located between the Roman Theatre of Atri and the Museum of Modern Art Vittoria Colonna in Pescara, in which the oblivion suffered by the twentieth-century Juan Del Prete and the desire to recover his innovations is flanked by the feeling of rediscovered identity, aimed at Armenian history. In both cases, the exhibition wants to rehabilitate what was hidden, to shed light on a personal and collective memory, focusing on a fundamental element that is the inexorable flow of time.

Feelings and human destiny are shattered in a continuous happening: together with the paintings and sculptures of the Italian Argentine artist, there are in fact the mysterious works of Liana Ghukasyan, who projects on the canvases nightmares and emotions in deformed and tormented shapes. Gianluca Chiodi completely denudes the individual from every superstructure and equivocal interpretation, to attempt an extreme, but perhaps possible, reconnection with the truth and the Mother Earth, in a suspended chronology. Together with the two performances by Giuseppina Piunti, Matthias Ludwig and Alex Ricci, the installations by Sonya Orfalian outline a romantic dimension and a contact with traditions, necessarily linked to the present.

Apparizioni, legami curated by Antonio Zimarino makes way for us with the installations of the young Apo Yaghmourian in the cisterns of Palazzo Acquaviva, and here the process of making hats from recovered waste is the intermediary of peasant symbols and a craftsmanship sensitivity. This essence is also evident in the Teste series, wax faces shaped by Ugo Giletta, almost ghosts floating in space, introducing the concept of difference and transformation, revealing expressions and thoughts, always different depending on the light and angle, defined and undefined at the same time.

This compression of motions is counterbalanced by Legami (2019; 2021; 2022) and Diario (2019) by Mikayel Ohanjanyan, which in their static appearance make reside that eternal dichotomy between protection and destruction, between union and separation. In the first case the brilliant steel cables cut through the wood or marble, in a vise that wants to avoid the rupture of the body; in the second instead the tension becomes foundational of the grip between the two blocks of basalt, which conceal the names of people not to be forgotten, and that the artist tries to stop in the continuous becoming of the real.

Cannibals, Kings and Gifts is the exhibition curated by Eva Comuzzi: the title is inspired by the study of anthropologist Marvin Harris “Cannibals and kings. The origins of cultures”, a combination translated into the works of Spartak Kachanov and Tommaso Sandri. The power, especially the male one, and the conflicts that it generates are analyzed and lived by both, as a refugee or as a migrant: in the drawings and photos then glued in the plates, the two artists walk paths mined by tragedies, trying to bring out new connections between people and their traditions. The continuous exchange triggered by Sandri and the study of the cocoon-monuments of Kachanov place us in a complex planetary network, in which the flows follow one another relentlessly, mixing stories and building others.

Qui è come altrove, curated by Paolo Dell’Elce, looking for a parallelism between Armenia captured by the four photographers and the reality that we live: lives and events are not only a personal matter but flow involving a group, becoming a collective fact. The values and situations described by Nazik Armenakyan and Zaven Khachikyan are part of the global existence, a daily life that today faces pandemics and wars, uniting us under a unique and multiple identity by investigating the sense. The narration of the pain that pervades the search for beauty of their shots, joins the compositional care of the form, in the images of the younger Ani Gevorgyan and Aram Kirakosyan.
Armenia, un giorno qualunque projects us in the streets and in the houses of the villages where Giovanni Iovacchini has photographed affections and authentic expressions, in a journey without filters with familiar tones.

The views, places and landscapes of the soul that each artist puts in his speech are the emblem of a care for the truth and its beauty, and manifest the importance of making it known through a universal language. In this way respect and relations between peoples can move in peace and encounter.

Cecilia Buccioni


Stills of Peace and Everyday Life – Ed. IX
Italia e Armenia
9/07 – 4/09/2022
Atri – Pescara

Aram Kirakosyan, Gyumri, 2019, courtesy the artist

Mikayel Ohanjanyan, Legami #35, 2022, site specific installation, chestnut wood, stainless steel cables, oxidized iron wedges, photo credit Paolo Dell’Elce, courtesy the artist

Nazik Armenakyan, Bread seller in the 3rd district, Yerevan, 2019, courtesy the artist

Spartak Khachanov, Cocoon, 2022, Produzione Fondazione ARIA, photo credit Paolo Dell’Elce, courtesy the artist


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