Stills of PEACE and Everyday Life – 10th edi...

Stills of PEACE and Everyday Life – 10th edition is a dialogue on nonviolence

Stills of Peace is the Contemporary Art and Culture exhibition curated by Giovanna Dello Iacono that Fondazione Aria promotes in Abruzzo, in collaboration with the Municipality of Atri (TE) and the Municipality of Pescara. In 2023 the Foundation celebrates the tenth edition of the project, developing five exhibitions and a review of Italian Neorealist Cinema, under the sign of an extremely topical theme: nonviolence. In previous editions, Italy has met nine countries from around the world, establishing a dialogue, for an exchange of different traditions and languages through art. For the 10th anniversary of Stills, the curatorial team brings together more than twenty artists from the nine countries already hosted, within three different exhibition venues, between Atri and Pescara.

Purity, installation view; artworks by Ignacio Llamas, Cisterne di Palazzo Acquaviva – Atri, 2023. ph Paolo Dell’Elce, courtesy of the artist

Purity, curated by Antonio Zimarino, sets Jukhee Kwon‘s thick and light paper sculptures along with Kaori Miyayama‘s impalpable textiles within the arches of the Cisterns of Palazzo Acquaviva, not far from Ignacio Llamas‘ light installations and papers or Gino Sabatini Odoardi’s red draped tuba. Even in Mohammad Alì Famori‘s video Dance with Frequency (2021), the focus of the exhibition is clearly defined in the need to look long enough to understand, where understanding is the essence of the concept of nonviolence: the individual willing to discover with purity of gaze the other before us.

Barbara Uccelli, Clan Destino, 2023, installation, print on duratrans, ph Paolo Dell’Elce, courtesy of the artist

In the adjacent underground aisles there is a succession of works by five artists in Chiunque tu sia, curated by Mariano Cipollini, whose impactful works highlight the need for continuous sharing of values, to go along with the transformation of society and to find new points of reference, to navigate the contemporary world. We can all be part of this unfolding journey, through the experience of Wang Youngxu and Barbara Uccelli‘s dynamic sculptures, which subject us to different coexisting identities, or through Massimo Ruiu‘s suspensions and Navid Azimi Sajadi and Jean Gaudaire-Thor’s sacred and political rituals.

Nazik Armenakyan, Iskuhi Haneshyan, born 1922, Kebusiye village, Musa Dagh, Aleppo vilayet, courtesy of the artist

Instead, the Archaeological Museum tells two different stories, which in their own way establish a kindred or contrasting contact with the nature of the place. Survivors, curated by Paolo Dell’Elce, brings together the shots by Nazik Armenakyan for a project that recovers remnants of life and memory left after a genocide, that of the Armenian people, with all the rawness and atrocious simplicity that comes with it. Photography is the visual medium of all the emotions, happenings and reflections that are revealed by passing from one image to another. Stardust, curated by Eva Comuzzi, on the other hand, lifts like a veil over human existence, tracing meaningful pathways between those pivotal concepts that characterize it, starting with life and death (Banafsheh Rahmani, The river of roses, 2023), passing through classical and contemporary (T-Yong Chung, F2315, 2023), but also superstition (Anna Galtarossa, Feticci, 2020) and identity (Randa Maroufi, The Great Safae, 2014; Aryan Ozmaei, Chant for the fire, 2023).

Banafsheh Rahmani, You have nothing, 2023, oil on canvas, ph Paolo Dell’Elce, courtesy of the artist

In Pescara, Stills of Peace enters the brand new Fondazione La Rocca, with the exhibition La vita è un’altra cosa curated by Simone Ciglia, a selection from the Gianni and Giuseppe Garrera’s collection that includes many big names in art, from Yoko Ono to Cesare Pietroiusti. The rationale for the choice lies in identifying a clear nucleus with respect to the main theme of the exhibition, looking for those materials that may often escape the main circuit of the art system, but constitute a radical part of it, by virtue of the messages conveyed quickly and forcefully. Posters, flyers, books, or pins, produced from the 1960s to the present, and particularly in the 1970s, explore with the written word explicitly (or subtly) those spaces left vacant in the concrete fabric, to subvert and emphasize the state of unease in which society finds itself.

Gea Casolaro, A cosa starà pensando la persona accanto a te?, 2008, road poster, ph Daniela D’Andreamatteo, courtesy Gianni e Giuseppe Garrera

Precariousness and uncertainty are elements that have always accompanied the individual and his nature, which tends not to settle, not to remain still, because it searches, digs and questions reality, and in order to do so it stretches itself toward the unknown, creating relationships. In contemporary times, the right to knowledge is sometimes denied by events and contingencies: the role of art that transpires from what we observe in these installations is to reactivate the need for contact with the outside, to break isolation, in a nonviolent conception that consists of openness and the possibility of encounter, without barriers.

Cecilia Buccioni


Stills of Peace and Everyday Life – Edizione 10
8/07/2023 – 10/09/2023
Cisterne di Palazzo Acquaviva, Museo Archeologico – Atri (TE)
Fondazione La Rocca – Pescara


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