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Articles by: Azzurra Giorgi

  • Events: Reports

    Open Roads New Italian Cinema at Lincoln Center

    Once upon a time there was Italian film. Back in the day when Italy was tackling a period of reconstruction and economic boom, film offered another way to dream and imagine a life paved with success. The 1950s and ‘60s marked a period of excellence in Italian cinema. Not only did Italian film enchant the world with its masterpieces, but it also reflected the hopes, dreams, and new prosperity perfectly embodied in La Dolce Vita and Cinecittà’s Hollywood on the Tiber.

    Sixty years have passed, and the memory of these films seems to have faded, particularly considering that today’s films tend to be less concerned about quality. Fortunately, some directors still have a sound and passionate love for film, and despite the difficulties, they want to try to enhance the quality of Italian films. This is why “Open Roads: New Italian Cinemawas born.

    Being the most important North American showcase of contemporary Italian cinema, Open Roads has one main mission: introducing to the American public a new generation of actors and filmmakers. “We tried to build up a various and articulate overview, not focusing on the possible themes but on the movies that we thought were interesting,” says Antonio Monda, who co-founded the festival along with Richard Peña back in 2001. Indeed, the itinerary is quite diverse.

    The showcase will open with Every Blessed Day, a comedy about intimacy, love, a child’s desires and the accompanying difficulties, directed by Paolo Virzì, who already participated in Open Roads back in 2010. The festival will also examine controversial topics, such as euthanasia, which Marco Bellocchio addresses in Sleeping Beauty, and the terrorist attacks during Italy’s “Years of Lead” with Marco Tullio Giordana’s Piazza Fontana: The Italian Conspiracy. Giordana’s film reconstructs the explosions at the National Bank of Agriculture’s headquarters in 1969, which marked the beginning of a decade of terrorism and are still today surrounded by mystery.

    The showcase has always promoted new filmmakers in its past seasons, and this year will not be an exception. Salvatore Mereu, after having participated in the Venice Film Festival, will present Pretty Butterflies, a film about two Sardinian teenagers’ journey of self-discovery, and Maria Sole Tognazzi will present I Travel Alone, a film reflecting upon the thin line between loneliness and freedom.

    This year’s Open Roads festival also features the presence of female directors who are becoming more prominent in today’s cinema. “We are happy to see many more women directors,” Antonio Monda tells us, “because they made movies of definite quality. We did not go looking for women directors, but they made beautiful movies, so we gladly decided to have them at the showcase.”

    The other three women, apart from Maria Sole Tognazzi, are Elisa Fuksas, Giovanna Taviani, and Susanna Nicchiarelli. In Nina, Fuksas explored the doubts and the uncertainty of many young people today who cannot find a stable job and establish long-lasting relationships. Giovanna Taviani, instead, follows in the footsteps of the Taviani brothers, her father and uncle, and investigates in The Rescue the life and rebirth of Salvatore Striano, the ex-prisoner of Rebibbia prison who played the role of Brutus in Taviani brothers’ Caesar Must Die.

    The documentary follows the stages of his tough life from the heart of Naples to Tuscany, Taviani’s homeland, continuing through the years he spent in jail. Nicchiarelli also travels back in time with The Discovery at Dawn, which explains what may happen when destiny gives you a life-changing second chance.

    Although presenting new films, Open Roads also wants to stress the beauty of handmade cinema, which is often overwhelmed by new digital technologies. This is why Handmade Cinema, directed by Guido Torlonia, inspects the everyday work of craftsmen, tailors, and painters who lend an incredible quality to films, oftentimes creating entire cities, such as in Gangs of New York, directed by Martin Scorsese and shot in Cinecittà.

    “We wanted to try to put together different points of view, not choosing only dramas but also other genres. We wanted to reflect the various Italian landscapes,” said Monda, referring to the many genres included in the showcase that mix dramas and comedies to reflect different emotions, societies, and cultural aspects.

    Open Roads is a wonderful chance to get closer to Italian film and explore new work that is sometimes overlooked and is just waiting to be discovered.

    June 6 to June 12 - Film Society of Lincoln Center Francesca Beale Theatre (144 West 65th Street) returns with a popular festival founded by Antonio Monda and Richard Peña.

    Open Roads: New Italian Cinema has been organized by The Film Society of Lincoln Center together with Istituto Luce-Cinecittà-Filmitalia and the support of Ministero per i Beni e le Attivitá Culturali (Direzione Generale per il Cinema) in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute of New York, Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimó and Antonio Monda.

    Below is the full list of films. To find more info >>>

    June 6th
    6:30pm Every Blessed Day by Paolo Virzì
    9:15pm Sleeping Beauty by Marco Bellocchio
    June 7th
    1:15pm Sleeping Beauty by Marco Bellocchio
    3:45pm Handmade Cinema by Guido Torlonia with The Rescue by Giovanna Taviani
    6:00pm The First Man by Gianni Amelio
    8:30pm Piazza Fontana: The Italian Conspiracy by Marco Tullio Giordana
    June 8th
    1:30pm The Discovery at Dawn by Susanna Nicchiarelli
    4:00pm Nina by Elisa Fuksas
    6:15pm I Travel Alone by Maria Sole Tognazzi
    8:45pm The Face of Another by Gianni Amelio
    June 9th
    1:15pm The Face of Another by Gianni Amelio 3:45pm Handmade Cinema by Guido Torlonia with The Rescue by Giovanna Taviani
    6:00pm Pretty Butterflies by Salvatore Mereu
    8:30pm It Was The Son by Daniele Ciprì
    June 10th
    4:00pm The Discovery at Dawn by Susanna Nicchiarelli
    6:30pm Nina by Elisa Fuksas
    June 11th
    4:30pm It Was The Son by Daniele Ciprì
    6:30pm Beautiful Butterflies by Salvatore Mereu
    9:00pm Every Blessed Day by Paolo Virzì
    June 12th
    4:00pm The First Man by Gianni Amelio
    6:15pm Piazza Fontana: The Italian Conspiracy by Marco Tullio Giordana
    9:00pm I Travel Alone by Maria Sole Tognazzi

  • Tourism

    The Beauty of Liguria

     Harbors, picturesque cities on the edges of cliffs, beautiful beaches and great cuisine: all this and more is Liguria. Located in the north-western part of Italy, Liguria is a region that is not very well known abroad, but it has very authentic gems that deserve to be discovered.

    A land of commerce and navigators due to its position and having the port city of Genoa, one
    of the Maritime republics together with Pisa, Amalfi and Venice, as its capital, Liguria has always been a place of communication with other countries and cultures. The mixing of people, trade and traditions also reflects the geography of the entire region, characterized by mountains, hills and the sea.

    What characterize Liguria the most are its beveled shores that find in 'Cinque Terre' their best expression. The little towns erected on the shore are something unusual and stunning at the same time and can hardly be found anywhere else. To seal its magnificence, UNESCO designed Cinque Terre as a World Heritage Site together with Porto Venere and three small islands in the Ligurian Sea (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto). Porto Venere is probably one of the most beloved spots by those who visit Liguria because of its rocky shores, its beaches and grottos, including Byron's Grotto, named like this because poet Lord Byron used to meditate there.

    The capital, Genoa, is a particular city that went through a long history of building and reconstruction. Back in the sixties and seventies, different shades of grey used to color the whole town from the seaport to the ancient center, but at the beginning of the new century, when Italy was facing the Jubilee and Genoa was declared 'City of Culture 2004,' the city invested money and energy into rediscovering its old beauty. Architect Renzo Piano played a very important role in this: he contributed to renew the port that eventually became an important spot for entire families because of the presence of the aquarium and the cotton warehouses. The city found color again and its palaces found their ancient luster.

    “Genoa is a very unique and surprising city: it has been an important Republic of the sea and from the second half of the 16h century it was one of the richest cities in the world. It had not only merchants but also bankers. It was in a very important situation and it had a lot of points of contacts with the world. If you come to Genoa, you can see all the palaces where the merchants and the bankers of the city lived. UNESCO decided that these palaces and the center of the city deserve to be a World Heritage Site,” said Anna Castellano, Council of the Department of Communications and City Promotion of Genoa, at an event organized by the Italian Government Tourist Board in New York. 

    In 2011, the southern part of the region was damaged by a massive flash flood, that put at risk the beauty of the land. “It is all back to normal,” admitted Damiano Pinelli, President of the local touristic system Terra Locale dei Poeti, “it was hard at the beginning but now everything is fixed.” While the coast is always the most known, there are also inland spots that are worth a visit: “We usually organize itineraries that mix the coast with some more hidden places, putting together cuisine and walking, so that everyone can know even this side of the region,” continued Pinelli. 

    Liguria is one of the most active regions from the north of Italy trying to spread its culture: “We are trying to export our products,” said Angelo Berlangieri, tourism and culture council member of Liguria, “this is our first step and the first of many events. We are trying to bring Liguria in New York.” 

  • Facts & Stories

    Emma Bonino Appointed Foreign Minister of Italy

    After a problematic and confusing period that left Italy without a government for two months after the elections, Giorgio Napolitano demanded on the day of his re-election as President of the Republic to form a new government which could face the difficult crisis that Italy is going through. After just a week from his speech, Enrico Letta became Prime Minister.

    With his election came also the designations for the various Ministers. Emma Bonino was chosen as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and will succeed Giulio Terzi di Sant'Agata, who resigned in March 2013. 

    Just few days ago, Bonino was a possible candidate for the presidency of the Republic, supported by the many who wanted a woman President that would also be concerned with social issues. She was not elected this time, but the new Prime Minister decided to entrust her with a key Ministry, such as the one of Foreign Affairs, due to her long career in International Politics.

    Being elected at the European Parliament in 1979, when she was only thirty-one, she immediately started to get involved in social matters: after only two years she founded the 'Food and Disarmament International' against starvation. This issue was not the only one that concerned her, as Bonino has always protested on the first line for the things she believed in. She demonstrated in Poland against the communist regime, before eventually being expelled from the country, and then in New York where she was arrested for distributing sterile syringes for fighting against the law that required a medical prescription for buying syringes.
     

    During the nineties, she founded the organization 'Non c'e' pace senza giustizia (There is no peace without justice)' to sustain the activities of a special tribunal for the former nation of Yugoslavia, and to promote the creation of an International Criminal Court that would judge crimes against humanity, war and genocide. All these important matters have always been a firm point of her political schedule, even after her nomination as secretary of the Radical Party in 1993.
     

    Shortly after that, she was nominated as leader of the delegation of the Italian government at the United Nations for an initiative to fight the death penalty, before eventually becoming European commissioner. The courage that has always characterized her has also put her at risk, when she was arrested in Iraqi Kurdistan while fighting against the Taliban regime. However, this gave her the chance to start another campaign called 'A flower for the women of Kabul,' in order to make people conscious about the condition of the women in Afghanistan.
     

    Her curiosity and interest in foreign affairs led her to move to Cairo, where she started a campaign against feminine mutilations, a very important cause that nobody else was seriously evaluating. Always being present on the Italian political landscape with the Radical Party, she has showed a very strong interest in what concerned other countries and their social issues. This is one of the reasons why she was chosen as Minister of the European Politics and International Trade by Romano Prodi in 2006 and, just few days ago, as Minister of Foreign Affairs by newly-elected Prime Minister Enrico Letta.
     

    Her experience, her long-lasting career, her knowledge about world's problematics, her courage and passion in her job are definitely invaluable characteristics that contributed to her designation as Minister and that will continue to guide her during the mandate.

  • Art & Culture

    "Waiting for'" Celebrates Verdi's Legacy

    There are many types of music one can listen to. In the past few years especially, a lot of new artists have emerged, bringing their own ideas and styles. However, in some cases, quality was not one of their main priorities. This is why a lot of these new 'artists' have disappeared after a short period of fame and several successful hits. But besides all this, there exists a kind of music that always finds admirers, no matter what their age is: classical music.

    Italy has had some of the most important Italian composers: Doninzetti, Vivaldi, Puccini and Rossini are some of them, but the most renowned is definitely Giuseppe Verdi.

    To celebrate the anniversary of his birth in 1813, Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo' dedicated a piano concert to him, held on April 18th, 2013. “We are very happy to bring you this concert because there is nothing more Italian and more proper to the celebration of Italian culture than Verdi. He contributed in a way that probably nobody else did to the cause of Italian unification, to give Italians a sense of belonging to a common motherland,” said Stefano Albertini, director of Casa Italiana, when opening the night.

    The Consul General of Italy, Natalia Quintavalle, also participated in the concert night, saying: “Verdi is not only a great composer, but also a beloved part of our national history because of the role his music played in the unification of the country. Some of the operas are powerfully linked to that historical period. This year all the greatest theaters around the world will host Verdi’s operas, such as the Metropolitan Opera.”

    To celebrate and stress Verdi’s world recognition, the operas performed were those that Franz Liszt paraphrased and transcribed, and the piano was played by the young and talented Gesualdo Coggi.

    The whole concert expressed classical music at its best, offering some extracts from some of the most famous of Verdi’s operas, such as ‘Don Carlos,’ ‘Il Trovatore,’ ‘Rigoletto,’ ‘Aida’ and ‘Simon Boccanegra.’ Coggi, born in 1985 in Frosinone, in the Lazio region, delighted the audience conceding an additional unexpected performance at the end of the concert.

    The event, called ‘Waiting for Verdi,’ is part of the larger program ‘Waiting for,’ whose aim is to evaluate and support the young talents in all musical fields.

    “I am very excited to be here tonight,” admitted Francesca Parvizyar, organizer of the initiative, who explained how ‘Waiting for’ was born four years ago in Milan, in collaboration with the University of Milan. “At a certain point of my life I decided that what I wanted to do was to help young talents, so I thought to evaluate the two fundamental nutriments of life: music and food. This is why we decided to give scholarships to the faculty of Food Sciences of the University of Milan,” continued Parvizyar. As for the particular choice of Liszt’s adaptations, she admitted: “It was a rediscovery for me last year on the occasion of his 200th anniversary, when I was commissioned to work on the recovery of his piano. He used to say ‘I cannot do anything but open streets for new talents,’ and this is what I want to do.”

  • Art & Culture

    'Assonanze/Dissonanze' Exhibits at the Italian Cultural Institute

    Museums are majestic and ample locations which sometimes need more than one day to be seen in their totalities. From now until May 10th, the public will have the opportunity to admire sculptures and paintings from different eras all in one place, as if they were traveling through centuries of art history.

    The Italian Cultural Institute, together with New York based gallery owner Gian Enzo Sperone, organized an exhibition called 'Assonance/Dissonance,' 'Assonanze/Dissonanze' in Italian, which puts the works of contemporary artists together with those of ancient ones. In fact, the whole exhibit focuses on the binomial old/new, showing how ancient art has influenced the modern period and how similarities can be found in centuries so far apart from each other. As one might see, these influences can be found in some themes, as well as in skills and techniques, although the contexts and environments are extremely different.

    Two thousand years of history find their place at the Italian Institute, where one will be able to observe ancient Roman sculptures, dating from around 120 to 150 AD, as well as the newest paintings from modern and contemporary artists. Focusing especially on the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, with masterpieces of Giordano, Bassano, Redi and Cardi, the exhibit will also display art works from the twentieth century including those of Pistoletto, Chia and Paladino, up to the new generation of artists that has emerged in the last decade, like Clemente and Viale.
    The visitor is encouraged to think and reflect about the possible connections and influences between these different kinds of art, together with the differences that obviously occur. Many tendencies are underlined and they all perfectly match each other in a complex and diverse environment. Starting with the Mannerist period of Cardi, also known as 'Cigoli' because of the name of his hometown, and Bassano, the exhibit continues its travel through art history with the Baroque of Redi and the Naturalism of Giordano. Getting closer to our century, Transavangarde and Arte Povera (literally, 'poor art') are well represented by Paladino, Chia and Pistoletto with both their paintings and sculptures. The last decade of art is instead depicted by Clemente and his portraits and the sculptures of Viale.
    The name of the exhibit is already a suggestion of what awaits: assonance and dissonance, similarity and difference, a bridge that connects old and contemporary art and invites one to reflect on the nature of inspirations.
    The works all come from Sperone's private collection, while his new gallery 'Sperone WestWater' is located in Bowery. Gian Enzo Sperone, one of the most important gallery owners worldwide, was one of the first to promote American Pop Art and Minimal Art, then confirming himself as the most relevant supporter of 'Avanguardia' in the United States in the eighties. Still today, his gallery offers a lot of new and peculiar art works to see and admire, and part of them are now at the Italian Cultural Institute.

     

  • Events: Reports

    Adler and Doonan: a Life in Fashion and Design

    “Through their works, they can always deliver a universe full of creativity, joy, irony and sometimes irreverence.” With these words Grazia d’Annunzio, US Special Projects Editor of Vogue Italia, introduced Jonathan Adler and Simon Doonan at the Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò on April 3rd.

    Adler, interior designer and author of three books, and Doonan, columnist and  Creative Ambassador-at-Large at Barney’s, discussed interior design, window dressing and many other arguments related to their lives and working experiences with d’Annunzio and Eugenia Paulicelli, co-Director of the Concentration in Fashion Studies at the Graduate Center at CUNY.

    

“My breakthrough moment was when one of my professors in college told me that I had no talent. Having a mean professor was my breakthrough moment,’ admitted Adler, talking about the moment in which he started his career as a designer, starting from his love for clay. This was the first material he used for his pieces and one that he keeps using even after all these years.

    On the other hand, Doonan talked about the first steps in his career, when he was working for a demolition company until he moved to London. There he obtained his first job in the display field. “I had this display job and after a while I had interested in it, and I started to do some freelance jobs. I got a job with Tommy Nutter, who was famous because he made Mike Jagger's wedding suit, and I thought 'I can do subversive and fun windows,' and I experimented doing provocative, cheeky, attention-getting windows. I could experiment.” After that, Doonan moved to Los Angeles before eventually getting his first job at Barney's.

    Thinking of himself as an engineer, Adler expanded his work to include the design of more various home elements and also launched a children’s line. “My design work is minimalist but my decorating is maximalist,” said Adler, while reading some points of the manifesto he wrote eighteen years ago in order to present his works. “I believe that design can make your life memorable,” and this is also why he wrote books about his aesthetic and his ideas on interior design - so that everyone could make their own environment healthy for their souls.

    Explaining the different Christmas windows that charm tourists and New Yorkers each year, Doonan admitted: “At Barney's I was in charge of P.R., advertising, marketing, so the windows were my fun. I would think about them in the evening and on the weekend.” During his career, he specialized in different displays that renovated the world of windows, choosing messy and chaotic elements that no one had ever used before, as well as series of characters, like Shakespeare, Cleopatra and Queen Elizabeth, made with various objects to attract and intrigue people.

    In one night, Adler and Doonan put together design and fashion, underlining the communal points that these two fields share, especially when young artists try to approach the audience for the first time. “The main due is do not care about other people’s opinions. Focus on your job and ignore everybody else,” said Adler, following the same note as Doonan, who said, “In fashion it’s pretty much the same thing, it is about self expression, so it is silly to care about what other people think.”

  • Facts & Stories

    'Six' Fights Gun Possession. Your Contribution is Essential

    Six is a short film about a child who finds a hidden, loaded gun while playing alone on a rooftop. An innocent imagination meets the awful reality of gun possession, recalling an argument that provokes damages and deaths every day.

    Five hundred and sixty one. This is the impressive number of children aged 12 and under killed by firearms between 2006 and 2010. This number will definitely increase once the records of 2011 and 2012 will be released.

    Gun possession is a massive problem nowadays, with almost 300 million guns privately owned by civilians that constitute the 300 million population of the United States. The number itself is huge and terrifying and the effects that this could cause are even worse.
     

    The last bloody tragedy happened in Newtown, Connecticut, where the twenty-year-old Adam Lanza killed 26 people, as well as himself, at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Twenty of them were innocent kids. This terrible act is one of many that occurred in the United States in the past years. Some of them are of big proportions, like the massacre at Virginia Tech back in 2007, when 32 students were deadly shot. Others are smaller but they are nevertheless a symptom of a disease that is consistently and dangerously growing. In addition to this, other deaths come from the firearms that kids can find in their own house: leaving guns or other weapons at home may be fatal, especially if they do not have external safeties.
     

    After Connecticut's tragedy, the discussion about gun control continues to take place, while the families of the victims still cannot believe what has happened. Their innocent kids, with a bright and long life ahead, were murdered for no reason - in a school, which is supposed to be one of the safest places of all.
     

    No one can give them their children back, but there is something we all can do to erase the problem. Spread the word. Talking about the issue at hand makes people conscious about the risks connected with gun possession.
     

    For this reason, a group of talented and passionate individuals has decided to make a short film in order to make everybody think about the effects of uncontrolled gun possession. The short film sheds light on the innocence of a kid exposed to the power of the guns, reflecting on the noxious and dangerous world in which we live.
     

    Six, written and directed by Frank Jerky, a young Italian director who lives in New York, is not yet finished. In fact, two more days of filming and post production are necessary to complete this work. To spread the message even more, the creators are seeking your help. Supporting this project would be a step forward in putting an end to the death of children as a result of firearms.

    The talented Italian filmmaker who currently lives in New York, Frank Jerky, spoke to i-Italy about his project, saying: “the innocence of a curious child who holds a firearm is the most frightening image that I could possibly imagine. The problem is that I didn't even have to imagine too much. Unfortunately, we are constantly more used to seeing a certain kind of image, that by now no longer affect us. For this reason, Six goes beyond that. We live everything through the eyes and the mind of the kid and often reality mixes with imagination. We are excited to follow his steps and I think that's truly the scary part.”

    You can contribute to the project on indiegogo.com, your help is essential in making Six happen.

    Facebook page >>>

  • Life & People

    'Besame Mucho' Fights Violence Against Women. Your Contribution is Essential



    There is a sore that is spreading among the society. It has always been there, but it has been kept secret by many for a long time, and only in these past years people started openly talking about it. It is violence against women, and now is time to fight it once and for all.



    This is why three people decided to create a documentary project called "Besame Mucho." A project that is meant to bring awareness to the suffering that some women are subjected to. The documentary contains interviews with professors, NYPD officers, who deal with domestic violence, lawyers, therapists but most of all former abusers. Abusers that have come to the recognition of their personality disorder after a time spent on a recovery path. Because this is what it is: a personality disorder.

     
    No man was born an abuser. Most who suffer from this condition have a tough history behind them, but this doesn't justify their actions. It is, instead, one of the conditions that likely led them to become abusive. Often abusers share personality traits:  being  insecure and having a very low level of self-esteem is very common among them.



    These elements make the abuser feel that the only way to lead his life is by using psychological and/or physical violence against his partner. The victim usually ends up with their  personality destroyed by being constantly subjected to abuse, being unable to speak and reveal the fact to someone who could help.


     
    Domestic violence against women is unfortunately internationally spread and it involves different cultures and societies. For this reason the documentary aims to pose questions and give answers, showing two different models: a personal model, talking with the abusers who discuss their problem, and a social model, as the American model, which can provide responses to this matter.

     


    The project was born on the Internet and found financial help from those who cared about this documentary and its argument. Now the creators of Besame Mucho, Marina Catucci, Roberto Vincitore and Elena Codeluppi, are seeking support to spread this important message even further.

     
    To support them, beside talking about it as much as you can, you can donate directly on Kickstarter.


    For more information >>> 

    Facebook page >>>

    Your contribution and word of mouth is essential to stop the violence against women.


  • Art & Culture

    55th Edition of the Biennale

    Known as a major art exhibition, the 'Biennale di Venezia' celebrates its 55th anniversary this year. Since 1998, the Biennale of Art and Architecture is not just confined within the national barriers, but has expanded into an International exhibition, which is now displayed in eighty-eight countries.

    The Biennale occurs every two years and the 2013 edition is entitled 'Il Palazzo Enciclopedico’ or ‘The Encyclopedic Palace.’ It is curated by Massimiliano Gioni and organized by Paolo Baratta, Biennale's chairman.

    In the past two editions, the Biennale has tried to create relationships between artists, as well as between artists and their audience, in order to form a sort of “geography of the art,” as Baratta stated. 'Il Palazzo Enciclopedico' is taking a step forward in this direction. In fact, the exposition will not present solely contemporary works, but also art from the past, mixing references, inspirations and history. In this sense, the exhibition can also be considered a research of art and its characteristics. 

    To achieve this mission, the Biennale welcomed countries that have never participated before; some of these, like the Republic of Kosovo, see this manifestation as a chance to be recognized internationally, while others, like the Holy See, the island of Tuvalu, the Kingdom of Bahrain and others, want to become known for their creativity in the arts, and not just for their Geo-political situations. 

    The name of the Biennale, 'Il Palazzo Enciclopedico,' is inspired by Marino Auriti's 'Encyclopedic Palace of the World,' a plan for a 136- floor building, occupying sixteen city blocks, that was supposed to be built in Washington D.C - a project that was never realized. The Palace, meant to be an imaginary museum that would include all the different fields of knowledge, is now taken as an inspiration because of its ability to encapsulate many themes of the exhibition, like the obsessive pursuit of complete knowledge. 

    The Biennale also includes special sessions and meetings. The 'Biennale Session' takes place for the fourth time and is offered to institutions developing research and training in the field of arts, as well as Universities and Academies of Fine Arts. 'Meetings on Art,' on the other hand, includes a series of conversations with Marco Paolini, titled 'Opifices.' Offered during the summer and autumn months, it focuses on the topic of the myth of self-taught artists. Other educational activities will be organized for individuals and groups of students of all grades, universities and academies who desire to become more involved in the Biennale's itineraries. 

    The curator, Massimiliano Gioni, is currently the Artistic Director of the Nicola Trussardi Foundation in Milan, as well as the Associate Director and Director of Exhibitions at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York

    Gioni's task was to pick a theme to promote through the artists, works and the exhibitions themselves. He chose to conduct an 'anthropology of art,' mixing together movements, inflections and countries, so that everyone could act as an influence and in turn be influenced by others. 

    At the presentation of the 55th edition of the Biennale at the Institute of Italian Culture, Gioni exposed some of the exhibition’s works, moving from photos to sculptures, to illustrations, films, drawings and portraits. In this way, every single form of art is represented, thus drawing closer to the 'obsession of knowledge' that Auriti aimed to convey with his plan for the “Encyclopedic Palace of the World.” 

    For more informations visit >>>

  • Events: Reports

    "Premio New York" Winners Exhibits at Italian Academy


    For the tenth year, the Institute of Italian Culture, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Italian Academy offered the chance to emerging artists to win the “Premio New York,” a prize that allows one to stay in New York City for four months and admire the different kind of art on display in the city.



    The last edition was won by Anna Franceschini and Francesco Arena, who will present some of their works at Columbia University’s Italian Academy on Tuesday, March 26 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. This presentation concludes their four-month experience in New York.

     
    With this prize, the two young artists had the chance to develop their creative skills staying in contact with the eclectic and inspiring artistic environment of the city. They also participated in cultural events organized by the Italian Cultural Institute and the Italian Academy, and attended architecture, film and art history classes at Columbia University.

     
    Anna Franceschini will present a collection of film and video works called “For in and out, above, about, below, 'Tis nothing but a Magic Shadow-Show, Act II.” These works will be accompanied by mechanical characters, climatic variations, glimpses of light and fleeting visions set on stage.

     
    As a graduate from IULM University in Milan, living in Brussels, Franceschini's works connect places and objects with their history, individualities and functions. For this aspect, the observer needs to take some time to look at these moving images to comprehend the resonances, the traces of their functions and uses at their best.

     
    Francesco Arena, on the other hand, will present “My Sunday in New York, 2012-2013,” a work composed of fifteen copies of the front page of the New York Times, manipulated to create and showcase the sentence “I would prefer not to,” made famous by Melville's “Bartleby, the Scrivener.” Besides this work of art, an actor will also perform “2,794,” in memory of the 2,794 victims of the attack on the Twin Towers. In this performance, the actor will repeat “9/11” 2,974 times, inviting the audience to reflect on the meaning of this overloaded phrase.

     
    Arena, born near Brindisi, was shortlisted for the Premio Furla in Bologna. His works are inspired by political and economical events that have recently occurred. Therefore, he stresses controversies, facts and debates that may have been silenced for political reasons and turns them into metaphorical works of art.   

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