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Archivio della mostra/Exhibition Archive
Artist: Francesco Lasala
Title: Every man’s husband, every woman’s wife
Artist statement: I decided to take one of the pillars of Italian sculpture, “La Pietà” by Michelangelo, and modify the face of the dead Christ with Caesar’s head, from “The death of Caesar” by Vincenzo Camuccini, to convey an idea that in ancient Greece and Rome was considered “outdated”, but today is still seen as a taboo.
Caesar was described by Cicero as “Every woman’s husband and every man’s wife”, and today we would say that he was openly bisexual. This ease in expressing one’s sexual orientation was not exactly typical in Rome, but it was widespread among those who could boast a culture steeped in Ancient Greece.
There was therefore greater sexual freedom, which arguably had a paideutic rather than a sentimental purpose, but was nevertheless accepted. This freedom, however, was stifled in the centuries to come by the Church, and this is the reason for the choice of Michelangelo’s Pietà: replacing Jesus, a central figure of Catholicism, a reality that absolutely opposes the LGBTQIA + community, with the head of Caesar, represents that idea of a change of course, of a society that moves forward, progresses while referencing the past. The perspective of the image, not the classic one of the Pietà, but from above, conveys a different view of sexuality, and in general of society nowadays, and of the issues that we have finally begun to face.
Artist: Annalaura Sica
Title: The creation of the patriarchy (God is a woman)ì
Artist statement: This piece consists of a re- interpretation of “The creation of Adam” by Michelangelo, and aims to criticise the patriarchal and sexist narrative that is still prevalent in Italian art and society.
In the picture, we can see two hands, recreating the position of God and Adam’s hands in the original artworks, with long and polished nails, in a style that would be stereotypically described as feminine.
This piece aims to offer a cue to reflect on the roles of women within religious and artistic narratives.
Artist: Annalaura Sica
Title: Michelangelo’s Pride
Artist Statement: David is probably Michelangelo’s most famous work, and the one for which he is remembered the most. It could therefore be argued that, if Michelangelo could give us his opinion, he would define David as his greatest pride.
However, what is often obscured about Michelangelo is his homosexuality, a fundamental aspect of the artist’s life. In art history lessons, and in telling Michelangelo’s life and works, this aspect of the artist’s identity is often overlooked. In fact, Michelangelo, along with many names in the history of Italian art, such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Caravaggio and Botticelli, was accused of sodomy.
I dressed David as if he was going to a 21st century pride march, to symbolize the hypocrisy of a society that assigns to David gender stereotypes and attributes that for many are a symbol of heterosexual masculinity, without taking into consideration the identity and sexual orientation of the artist who gave bi.rth to this wonderful piece.
Artist: Francesco Salese
Title: He(Him)ndro M(Hoe)ntanelli
Artist statement: The original sculpture, made by Vito Tongiani, depicts the famous Italian journalist Indro Montanelli and is located in the public gardens in via Palestro, in Milan.
Ever since it has been installed, the statues has been object of harsh criticism due to Montanelli being a controversial figure in Italian history.
I decided to represent the statue like this to create an opposition between the conservative ideology stemming from Montanelli and the battles that are being fought in Italy by people who are trying to gain their rightful place in modern society which, due to the cultural heritage left by some school of thoughts, still struggles to evolve.
Artist: collettivo Magd@mariachiarasica
Title of the project: Gener_azioni (gener_actions)
Artist statement: This project is simple: it consists of three pictures of HIV-positive patients, who are acting in nude poses inspired to the statues that compose the Stadium of the Marbles at the Foro Italico. The whole complex of the Foro had a strong political message: focus the attention on a historical period that promoted a strict education and a precise idea of health and bodies, obviously only depicting masculine bodies.
These bodies are indeed bodies of HIV- positive men, because despite HIV being common in 2021, people with HIV still cannot show their identities.
The three portraits, rigorously in black and white, combine the subjects and their experience of living with HIV with strength and elegance, through a collage of words conveying a precede message; a collage that is put in place of the subjects’ heads, giving us a different meaning.
By focusing on the human figures in their nakedness dressed with thoughts, we want to convey feelings and emotions related to living with HIV, exploring the theme in a slow-paced manner, opposed to a world that changes fast. These are undressed bodies and naked words that could result in a change in indifferent consciences.
Artist: Andrea Lasala
Title: Monument of the Four Moors – Pop Tricolour
Artist Statement: The Monument of the Four Moors is a famous sculptural group located in the city of Livorno.
The raised central sculpture represents Federico I, founder of Livorno, but it is the 4 bronze statues, chained to its pedestal, that give the work its name. The term “Moor” is still often used today in a non-Islamic context to refer to Muslims.
In this context, the Moors represent barbarian pirates. The four men tied to the foot of the pedestal are very suggestive, from the realistic nature of the forms and their plasticity, up to the twisting of the bodies and their anatomical perfection. They are represented naked, covered only by a cloth, with a shaved skull and a tuft of hair on top of the head, a typical hairstyle of slaves.
The Napoleonic army in 1799 tried to tear down the statue, seeing in the work an insult to the principles of freedom and equality. Unfortunately, the attempt was thwarted.
My reinterpretation in colours, inspired by Pop Art and with the addition of the tricolour band on the bust of Federico I is intended to strongly criticise a sculptural group that still stands in the centre of Piazza Micheli in Livorno. The addition of the Italian flag is meant to underline how nowadays there are often cases of ethnic discrimination in Italy, not only on a social level, but also on a political level.
The choice of the Pop Art style is inherent in the countries where this artistic trend has seen its maximum expression, namely America and Europe. Also, in this case, I want to criticize the consideration of an ethnic superiority that does not only concern Italy, but extends to all nineteenth- century colonizers. The bright red colour that surrounds the slaves below is a reference to the perpetual pain that black slaves, but in general the whole black community has had to endure for centuries.
Title: Feeling the Venus
Artist: Andrea Sica
Artist statement: This video represents a tale of the sensations and feelings of Andrea, a blind young man, after visiting the Uffizi Gallery in Florence and listening to a description of the Birth of Venus by Botticelli. This work wants to present a story about a different way of living art. Many galleries and museums are not very accessible to people with disabilities still today, and we still have a long way to go before the arts become representative and inclusive. Andrea’s story helps us reflect on the different ways in which art can be lived and felt by the visitors in a museum.