With FINITE / INFINITE, Elena Giustozzi and Caterina Silva show the work done during the ARP-Art Residency Project in South Africa. An exhibition that offers itself as a journey on many levels, not the simple notion of travel, but the will to observe from and with different points of view.
The slow walks in the nature of Elena Giustozzi are revealed in comparison with the gaze from the top offered by Boomslang, the suspended walkway of Kirstenbosh Gardens, but also in a sketchbook of digital sounds collected in various corners of Cape Town. Works done in Italy, in the Marche region where the artist lives, mix with the paintings painted in Cape Town. A work wich is slow, meticulous, meditative, intimate and grandiose at the same time.
The vicissitudes of the soul of Caterina Silva, her continuous queries on the meaning of reality, and the language she would like to express it, are certainly in her large canvases, colored and wrinkled, but also in comparison with what the soul carries with its past far or near. And so, thanks to the meeting with the students of the Ruth Prowse School of Art the performance ticticfhsfhscoldcoldrainrain has come to life, and that continues a similar research just carried out by the artist in Norway.
The double solo exhibition of Isabella Nazzarri (Livorno, 1987) and Viviana Valla (Voghera, 1986) focuses on the direct comparison between the different methodological and stylistic approaches that the two artists used to build their own original pictorial language.
Focused on an essentially gestural and erratic process, Isabella Nazzarri’s painting coagulates in a series of surprising shapes, characterized by vivid and brilliant colors that stand out on monochromatic backgrounds in the papers as in the canvases. The light precipitated in the pigments becomes the material also of her sculptures, made of colored resins enclosed in glass ampoules (Monadi) or expanded polyurethane molded to evoke the rock formations and calcareous deposits present in nature.
Based on the stratigraphy of paper materials is the research of Viviana Valla, who through the reworking of post-it, clippings of magazines, pre-printed sheets, shreds of silver papers and much more builds an intimate and diaristic painting that paradoxically assumes the appearance of a geometric composition. The theme of her investigation is the conflict between emotionality and censorship, which is expressed in a continuous balance between the accumulative method, of an intuitive nature, and the rigid control exercised on the often orthogonal forms of his compositions.
Both Isabella Nazzarri’s erratic method, based on gestural trust and freedom and on chromatic and signic lightness, as well as the critical and conflictual one by Viviana Valla, articulated in a dynamic contrast between emotionality and rationality, prefigure the assumption of responsibility towards the pictorial language, used as an interpretative filter for the construction of a Weltanschauung, a vision of the world.
The title Not Provisional alludes to the committed and “non-temporary” character of the pictorial approaches of Nazzarri and Valla. The two Italian artists, in fact, differently from provisional painters who avoid the overload of expectations linked to a secular medium such as painting, accept to elaborate grammars capable of expressing the dubious, enigmatic and uncertain character that is on the origin of the visual art training.
The exhibition Not Provisional presents about thirty works – including paintings, papers and sculptures – of the recent production of the two artists.
Public art has become in recent years not only an alternative form of expression, but also a real stage with which artists confront and dialogue. We no longer speak of a conflict between an artwork that is by definition donated to the community and an artwork that is born to be sold under the rules of the market: artists more and more often move freely between these two options, until a few years ago considered in antithesis. Rome offers several examples of public art: from the fantastic intervention by William Kentridge Triumphs & Laments on the Lungotevere banks under Ponte Sisto, to the SanBa project that designed San Basilio’s public housing according to a specific urban redevelopment project, to the spontaneous open-air gallery that is flourishing in Corviale at the foot of the famous building called ‘Serpentone’, to arrive at interventions in the occupied realities such as the Tufello students’ house run by the Astra activists. ARP has made a journey to discover these realities together with the South African artists Skubalisto and Jordan Sweke participating in the residency in Rome in November and December 2017.
Both artists chosen this year by the ARP-Art Residency Project (created by the Centro Luigi Di Sarro with the contribution of MAECI and with the collaboration of Everard Read/CIRCA and RainbowMediaNPO) have an interest in the investigation of urban reality, as well it is the gentrification of the peripheral areas or redevelopment planned by social and housing policies, or even fertile ground of public artistic commission. Their investigation of the Roman reality has therefore often turned to those areas that could offer fertile inspirations. In parallel to the study that led to the realization of the exhibition REALTA’ IMMAGINARIE/IMAGINING REALITIES that was held at the Centro Luigi Di Sarro (30th November-14th December 2017), the two artists also wanted to bet on the public art front, realizing some works in the Roman suburbs: in Corviale (where they worked thanks to the hospitality of Alessandro Fornaci and the Laborintus Association and to the Prenestino, in a center for asylum seekers, a place of high symbolic value. In these years there is much discussion about what to do and how to give meaning to interculture: Art is one of the most universal means of communication and friendship between people.
“In the middle of the walk of our life, I found myself in a dark forest … (Dante, The Divine Comedy, Hell)”, the quote of the greatest Italian poet is not accidental and takes on meaning at the end of the long journey of meetings and crossings of routes that the two artists, guests of the ARP residence, have completed in the Capital. Jordan Sweke’s forest and the Skubalisto’s portraits tell of the past and the present. The immediate interest that both have shown for the urban socio-economic structure integrated with their artistic research has given rise to a very deep dialogue in their practice and with the inhabitants of the city. Dialogue that was realized with the final two-handed work performed in Corviale.
Jordan Sweke (1991) and Skumbuzo (Skubalisto) Vabaza (1987), from Cape Town to Rome thanks to ARP-Art Residency Project, will show their outlook on the City and its suburbs. People and landscapes, imagining realities: a journey that explores the present and the history of the Caput Mundi through various expressive media (painting, graphics and videos). The two South African artists produced artworks for this exhibition during the six-weeks residency period in Italy.
The ARP, a Bilateral Residency Programme for Young Artists between Italy and South Africa, is promoted by the CENTRO DI DOCUMENTAZIONE DELLA RICERCA ARTISTICA CONTEMPORANEA LUIGI DI SARRO and realized with the contribution of MAECI, Italian ministry of Foreign Affaires and International Cooperation, and with the collaboration of the Everard Read/CIRCA Gallery. In Cape Town, next February and March 2018, ARP will host italian artists Elena Giustozzi and Caterina Silva, selected to the residency programme, which will also see the collaboration of Ruth Prowse School of Art and Rainbow Media NPO.
Skumbuzo’s narrative is multifaceted (including visual art, design, music and fashion), he often incorporates contemporary figuration, imbued traditional iconography and several urban ‘graffiti’ based languages. Skumbuzo’s work aims to break down the human experience to its very core in order to expose the man made social constructs that serve to separate. His work is a bridge illustrating commonalities of consumerism, industrialization, corruption, hope, family, heart break, race , nationality and religion. His graffiti background and street art influence become obvious with his abstract use of colours and stylistic figure painting technique.
Jordan works within notions of the landscape and the natural environment. He abstractly explores ‘nature’ – a sublime and all-encompassing force. More specifically, he explores the relationship which currently exists between humanity and nature and ways in which this relationship might be reconstituted. His main focus of production lies in large oil paintings, but a rounded conceptual framework is achieved through his creation of photographs, sculptures, video works, print media and installation.
Both these young Cape-Town-based creatives have come together in ARP Rome 2017/2018 for IMAGINING REALITIES. This presentation comprises separate artworks, as well as collaborative work resulting from merging conversations between the two artists. At the Centro Luigi Di Sarro, Skumbuzo’s portrait paintings (in various mixed media) and Jordan’s landscapes (monochrome drawings, canvas based paintings and video work) are installed alongside collaborative linocuts and paintings executed together while in Rome on the ARP Residency.
The relationship between people and their environments is one of the major themes of the exhibition. IMAGINING REALITIES aims to address the notions of each person’s ‘reality’- how they see the world, and in contrast what goes on unnoticed around us all. Skumbuzo’s and Jordan’s active conversations illustrate and imagine what is taking place for many, addressing ideas of ‘marginalized poverty and the many unseen inhabitants of Rome’. This speaks about relationships between foreigners and the Roman landscapes, and serves to address “the social impact of immigrants, and the realities that lie behind the idealised ways people frame what they see and live.”
Skumbuzo and Jordan exist within the organic creative frameworks that pulsate around them in Cape Town, and both artists have an ongoing interest in periphery spaces and working-class areas. The ARP experience in Rome has served to ignite a joint conversation about the peoples in Rome, their ‘landscapes’ and the city itself. Although both artists actively acknowledge that this is a social commentary from an outsider’s perspective, they too feel ‘there are ridges of social and cultural similarities between Rome and Cape Town, that they both had been addressing in Cape Town. By creating some mural artworks in Rome both Skumbuzo and Jordan hope to reimagine the reality of what is present there. In addition to their social commentary, the artists have endeavoured to critique the juxtaposition between nature and urbanization: the kind of relationship the people in Rome have with their natural environments, and natural selves. The artists have observed there are ‘remnants of human artefacts in nature, nature is surviving in heavily built up spaces, nature it feels is versus the city, and humans are versus nature’. The artists explain: ‘Rome is like a big breasted mother who feeds the whole of Italy. All of Italy is in Rome, not just Romans. One can almost feel Rome struggling under the pressure’. IMAGINING REALITIES, investigates this reality too and gives scope to see the world re-examined and envisioned through Skumbuzo’s and Jordan’s synergistic discourse.
Emma Vandermerwe – Senior Curator Everard Read/CIRCA Cape Town
ARP-ART RESIDENCY PROJECT, designed by Centro di documentazione della ricerca artistica contemporanea Luigi Di Sarro, aims to promote and support emerging artistic talent in Italy and abroad and is part of a wider network of actions that Centro Di Sarro does through bilateral cultural exchanges in the field of visual arts. The programme has a contribution of MAECI, Italian Foreign Affaires Ministry, and the collaboration of Everard Read/CIRCA Gallery Cape Town.
ARP aims to promote mobility and knowledge of new cultural realities through the experimentation of materials, techniques and languages in contemporary art. The 6-weeks residency offers the opportunity for new creative experiences and technical and professional training, a human and artistic comparison, the study of the social, political and cultural history of the hosting country.
from left: Caterina Silva, Jordan Sweke, Skumbuzo Vabaza, Elena Giustozzi
Who are the 6th Edition between Italy and South Africa 2017/18 four winners:
ELENA GIUSTOZZI was born in Civitanova Marche (MC, Italy) in 1983.
After the diploma at Science high school, she enrolled at the Academy of fine arts in Macerata, Italy, where in 2008/2009 she obtained a Bachelor degree in decoration. In 2011/2012 she ends the Master degree in painting. Since 2013 is teaching assistant at the Academy of Fine Arts in Macerata: Painting Techniques (three years), Techniques and Technologies of Contemporary Visual Arts, Painting Techniques and Technologies Lab (Master degree course). Her selected project is Little Finite Landscapes. Different perspectives of landscape. “The perspective discloses to our eyes, not strained to the horizon like a parallel look to the ground, but cut and collected in a finite space. What do we look at? What are we listening to? The road that opens in front of us, the noise of our footsteps. My walks in the garden tell the story of the time that passes by, the seasons that follow one another, new but always the same, the earth that changes, transforms and deforms to then return to resemble every variation“. www.elenagiustozzi.com
CATERINA SILVA (Rome, 1983) explores the links between power and language from often silent or pre-linguistic places in order to elude canonical structures of production of meaning. She studied sculpture in London (Camberwell College of Arts), philosophy and Scenography in Rome (La Sapienza, Ied). Her work ranges from painting to performance. “I see my painting practice as a struggle with language and its classification’s systems. I use painting to probe at the obscure spaces of the mind, that which is impossible to explain in words but which exists and materializes into matter and then object. I create open images available to the interpretation of the observer, consequence of a process of deconstruction of my own internal superstructure carried out through the matter of painting itself and its translation into choreographic experiments and performances”. www.caterinasilva.com
JORDAN SWEKE (born 1991, Johannesburg. Lives and works in Cape Town) nel 2014 Bachelor and Honours in Fine Art, Specialising in Painting. Michaelis School of Fine Art. University of Cape Town, South Africa. Exploring and reflecting upon spatial perceptions within the natural world, Jordan Sweke aims to create “a marriage between the mathematical and the abstract, the geometric and the organic.” Working in a wide array of visual media including video, land art and urban installations, photography and oil paint on canvas, Sweke identifies each for its tactile emphasis of the material elements of his natural surroundings.The perceptions that result in his artworks transgress the usual prescribed concepts of the environment, and serve to challenge them. Fresh and uncompromising, his rendering ‘manages to reflect a Romantic beauty, a synthesis of life, death and the sublime’ and all serve to illustrate and redefine his audiences engagement and understanding of conceptual natural space. www.jordansweke.com
SKUMBUZO VABAZA, popularly known as “Skubalisto” is a visual artist from Cape Town, South Africa. Skubalisto was born in Harare, Zimbabwe, (1987) where his parents had spent their twenties in exile. His mother was studying medicine and his father as an active member of the ANC. Who primarily creates portraits in a contemporary expressionist style, channeled through muralism, wood boards and canvas. His mediums range from spray paint, acrylic, oil pastel, charcoal and ink. Since his return to South Africa he has been touring on a quest to rediscover the landscape and a connection with his country through an artist’s eyes. “I am not a writer, painting is my weapon of choice. The makings of a true artist lie in the fact that an individual can create no matter what medium they use”. skubalisto.tumblr.com
ARP-Art Residency Project 2015-2017 is concluded. The project, ideated by Centro Luigi Di Sarro in Rome now in collaboration with Everard Read Gallery Cape Town, began in 2009 and involved various important galleries as well as 13 artists. This fifth edition enjoys the contribution of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation; in the period 2015-2017 the project’s activities increased, witnessing many young art enthusiasts as well as art students actively contributing to the residencies in Rome and Cape Town of the two winners of the selection, Valentina Colella for Italy and Zwelethu Machepha for South Africa. Young curators, art historians, photographers, videomakers and students of various disciplines collaborated with the two leaders of this exchange, the artists, through training contributions and the participation to meetings and workshops. It is because of this activity, considered of high cultural, Educational and social value, that ARP project was invited this year to take part to Cape Town Art Fair in the Cultural Platforms section, next to the most important South African non-profit organisations.
The final actions af the ARP project, which enjoyed the enthusiastic support of the Italian Consulate of Cape Town since the beginning, saw two conclusive events:
The exhibition at Everard Read Gallery Cape Town, “Learning Cape Town by Valentina Colella the italian artist, who was selected for a residency in the framework of ARP Project V Edition. Paintings, sculpures, photographs and video installation to celebrate the monthly artistic residency in the Mother City for the 32 years old italian artist from Introdacqua, a small village settled on the Appennino Mountains in central Italy.
16-31 March Valentina Colella Solo Show LEARNING CAPE TOWN Everard Read/CIRCA Gallery
Saturday 25th March in Philippi the “INKCUBEKO YETHU ART EVENT” concluded the 2015-2017 edition of ARP Project.
This event, introduced for the first time in this 5th edition of ARP, will be held at TSOGA CENTRE in Samora Machel, Philippi. It was an ART DAY focussing on young and emerging artists, with music, art workshops for children, and theatrical drama. Special guests of the event – set up by RAINBOWMEDIA NPO and by the UBUNTUBETHU youth collective, which is also the force behind IQFM community radio – were the two ARP artists, Valentina Colella and Zwelethu Machepha (who created a site specific artwork interacting with the audience); during the day was also displayed, in the spaces of the Tsoga Centre, an exhibition of artworks selected among the entries for a call for U35 artists working and living in South Africa. The winner, selected by a jury of experts, received a cash prize delivered personally by the Italian Consul, Alfonso Tagliaferri.
Exhibition/Event curated by the Centro Luigi Di Sarro and presented by the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Pretoria in collaboration with Rainbow Media. Sponsor: HIP Hellenic Italian Portuguese Alliance – Italian Section e Associazione Abruzzo Sudafrica. Thursday March 9, Circa/Everard Read Gallery, 6 Jellicoe Ave, Rosebank, Johannesburg.
A visionary, hyperconnetted, contemporary dream. The Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Pretoria supports young italian artist in Sud Africa and present the exhibition/event titled FOOTPRINTS by VALENTINA COLELLA a collateral event of the bigger project ‘ARP – Art Residency Project 2015-2017’, by Centro Luigi Di Sarro in Rome, that has planned the residency of the artist in Cape Town for February and March 2017.
The show is made up of three parts: the first one is focused on Abruzzo, Valentina Coltella’s homeland, and presents a video shot in Campo Imperatore; the second displays a multimedia piece in which a route is traced starting form her town, Introdacqua near Sulmona, up to the mountains till a shelter overlooking the Peligna Valley. Then the route is transferred on the map of the same town indicating some topical points, corresponding to some places which are fundamental for the local residents. Each of this points is accompanied by pictures with latitude and longitude coordinates so allow the visitors to locate the places on GPS. The third and last part is the pictorial one, composed by 9 works on paper with studies on essential forms of the earth, the sky and the flight between the two spaces.
Valentina Colella is a concettual artist who expresses herself with different media, as paintings, drawings, installations, video and photos. After completing her studies, she started an in-depht analysis of scenarios referring to the concept of opposition intensified by the various tranfers from the reality to digital. She draws her inspiration from nature and the landscape surrounding her. That landscape is that of Abruzzo, so beautiful and wild, but deeply devastated by telluric episodes and unusual meteorological happenings in recent times. Colella exhibited her work in London, Cologne, Rome, Argentina, Taiwan. With her project “Learning”, Valentina has been selected for the ARP-Art Residency Project to a 6 week residency in Cape Town.
Congratulation to Paolo Bini! He won the XVII Edizione Premio Cairo 2016 in Milan, one of the most relevant prize focused on the emerging talents. Paolo Bini was selected for our ARP-Art Residency Project 2013 to go for a monthly art residency in Cape Town and this experience definitely opened his southafrican adventure. Now the Centro Di Sarro are very proud about this award. The ARP is an exchange programme focused to the young talents. In RSA ARP is active from 2009. The new edition will be in march 2017 in Cape Town.
Painting as a reinvented space, which loses its Newtonian definition, to rise as a thought, this is the subtitle of the show, curated by Massimo Bignardi, at the Centro Di Sarro from September 22nd to October 15th 2016.
opening: September 22nd, 6.00 pm
Mary Cinque was born in 1979 in Naples, where she lives and works. This is her first solo show in Rome and exhibits a series of medium and large paintings on canvas.
“As Merleau-Ponty wrote you can’t ‘do an exhaustive inventory of the visible’ and this is the assumption that pushes the painting, whether figurative or abstract, to celebrate the mystery of the ‘visibility’. For Mary Cinque, the city is the painting ideal accomplice in its fate to celebrate the enigma of visibility. This is very clear in this cycle of paintings dedicated to urban views, a recurring theme in her work, which she address to on canvas, paper or wooden table depicting the dimension of space as well as the dimension of the place. Essentially the artist tears away from Daedalus, mythological guardian of the arts of architecture and sculpture, the illusory certainty of space assigning it to the timelessness of the image. She does it by reducing the volumes to flat color in which architecture, the whole city, loses its Newtonian definition to rise to an amalgam of time, memory and, thus, future. Painting becomes in this sense another actual place, full of narrative value that is typical of those who try to tell the being in her own time”. (Massimo Bignardi)
Event organized during the Giornata del Comporaneo promoted by Amaci
Colonial Ghosts at the Centro Di Sarro brings together the different mediums of drawing, painting and printmaking of the young South African artist Zwelethu Machepha. Machepha capturing enthusiastically in both figurative and abstracted the intrinsic and intuitive histories and languages of a world around him. A pixilated and redefined language that is both simultaneously a commentary on the digitalized world around us but equally meticulous colors and patterns that could equate with his cultural heritage.
Most recent prints include the subtler elements of pure fluorescent white drawings on paper that contrasts with the larger scale multi-paneled monochrome and colorful paper works. These all explain the process of experimentation the artist works through. Originally based on literal renderings of his human subjects (an example has been included in this exhibition as well), the essence of this humanity permeates through the exhibition. But as the artist moves forward in time the visual references are pared down to their abstracted ‘essence’. Responding to the vibrant urban spaces around him as one moves from room to room one can feel the presence of a human beings, as they gradually lose recognizable forms. Machepha explains he is trying to capture his identity and his world as the global environment around us continues to accelerate to such a degree we lose all grounding and roots with what we know. The audience is able to experience this fractured nature in the drawings depending on how close you are to them. From across the room one can see the silhouettes of the forms and bodies, whilst up very close the identities and shapes lose all definition and become only intense lines and patterns.
Machepha includes near the end of the exhibition a small series of brand new oil paint etchings realized in Rome with the assistance of Alessandro Fornaci at Stamperia del Tevere. Recaptured here the nuisances of humanity but without the recognizable human form. This minimal narrative by Machepha touches upon a dissolving of identities and loss of figuration now is landscaped in Roman languages that impressed upon the artist in his residency. (Emma Vandermerwe – Everard Read Gallery Cape Town)