The Gates of the Mediterranean
babelmed - 08/05/2008
The heart of the initiative will be a great art exhibition, set up in two exhibition areas in Rivoli (Italy). One part will be a historical section at Casa del Conte Verde. Here, through paintings, engravings, drawings and photographs, the relations between Piedmont and the Mediterranean will be reconstructed, together with Piedmont’s passion for the Mediterranean as a crossroads of culture and the cradle of civilisation. This passion has permeated the lives of numerous Piedmontese scholars, archaeologists and travellers. The other part will be a contemporary section at Palazzo Piozzo, which will involve 17 visual and multimedia artists, who have taken the Mediterranean as their theme, their vocation and their project.
During the twentieth century, the Mediterranean has been criss-crossed like an eventfully open gateway for masses of fleeing refugees; and it has often been a gateway that has been obtusely closed in the name of ethnic, social and religious differences, or as ever more impassable economic barriers are raised between the first world and the third. From this standpoint, the Mediterranean is not a geographic region (indeed, an art of the Mediterranean area has never existed, and never will) but is rather a metaphor or a problematic proposal whereby to reconsider human relations and ongoing cultural and social exchanges at all levels.
The contemporary section at Palazzo Piozzo will comprise interventions produced especially for the occasion by the 17 invited artists, the majority of whom will come to Turin not only for the installation of their works but also to take part in seminars, workshops and debates open to the public and to students, as well as meeting the city and its institutions. Meetings and debates will be organised in Turin for the purpose at the Accademia Albertina and elsewhere.
The artists who will exhibit are: Khaled Hafez (Cairo), Mounir Fatmi (Tangiers/Paris), Mounira Al Solh (Beirut/Amsterdam), Tsibi Geva (Tel Aviv), Agnese Purgatorio (Bari), Sonia Balassanian (Yerevan/New York), Cristina Lucas (Madrid), Mrdjan Bajic (Belgrade), Burak Delier (Istanbul), Djamel Kokene (Algiers/Paris/Cairo), Ursula Biemann (Zurich), Armin Linke (Milan), Steve Sabella (Jerusalem/London), Nabil Boutros (Cairo/Paris), Stefano Cerio (Milan/Paris), Hala El Koussy (Cairo/Amsterdam), Tarin Gartner (Milan/Jerusalem).
Casa del Conte Verde will house the historical exhibition, dedicated to relations between Piedmont, the Piedmontese and the Mediterranean. This relationship is such a deep one that it has contributed significantly to the formation of a landscape and a history characterised by the close participation in Mediterranean happenings and affairs: suffice it to look at Turin’s Egyptian Museum, second only to that of Cairo. In particular, the exhibition aims to take into consideration power, scholarship and travellers’ experiences, through chronicles, historical documents, paintings, photographs and engravings.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue, published by Skira.
Alongside the artistic events, The Gates of Mediterranean will also see in Turin three conferences dedicated to spirituality, and in particular to a dialogue among the three great monotheist traditions that co-exist on the shores of the Mediterranean: the Hebrew, the Christian and the Muslim traditions. Among guests will be Padre Paolo from Oglio (Mar Moussa – Syria), and contacts are under way with authoritative representatives of Hebrew and Islamic spirituality.
At the Museum of the Resistance, Deportation, War, Rights and Freedom, during the month of June, there will be a cinema review, organised by the National Cinema Archive of the Resistance, in which videos by some of the most interesting artists from the Mediterranean area will be shown. Concerts will also be held with groups and singers who are dedicated to representing the Mediterranean, putting into practice in their training, their choice of instruments and their repertories, the idea of cultural exchange and collaboration – the idea of a “gateway”.
Casa del Conte Verde -Turismovest tel. 011 9563020 - 9561043
Numero verde 800 329 329 - www.regione.piemonte.it
Palazzo Piozzo, Via Fiorito 6 – Rivoli (TO)
Casa del Conte Verde, Via Fratelli Piol 8 – Rivoli (TO)
Admission: 5 euro (single ticket for both exhibitions)