A JOURNEY TO DISCOVER ART AND SUBURBS: the ARP art residency in Rome of SKUBALISTO and JORDAN SWEKE concluded

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

WATCH THE VIDEO

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

 

 

ARP Project – The residence as a partecipative knowledge

It’s been three weeks now since the arrival of Zwelethu Machepha from Johannesburg to Rome and the beginning of his artistic residence in the capital.

“In the last few weeks in Rome I’ve considered myself graciously fortunate to have been exposed to the richness of this beautiful nation. I’ve seen the dramatic landscape, the history these monuments carry on are full of identity which is something hard to find where I come from” says Machepha, as he works to the opening on 31st May at Centro Luigi Di Sarro.

untitled ARP INSTAGRAM DIARY

These weeks were full, engaging and always busy. ARP – Art Residency Project provides the artists selected with a “daily encounter” with Rome both in its historical and archaeological aspect and in the contemporary one.Besides such monuments as the Forum, the Colosseum, the Pantheon and the Ara Pacis, the encounter of Machepha with contemporary art and the Roman scene was “consumed” day after day through different studio visits and exhibition openings. The residence project, has been following by ARP Project team composed of young cultural workers with different roles: Emanuele Rinaldo Meschini, Angelica Farinelli and Giorgio Cristiano. The group has been constantly enriched with others artists and curators creating a dialogative and participatory atmosphere. That’s the case of Giulia Lopalco, who introduced the group at the printing/etching workshop “Stamperia del Tevere” created by Alessandro Fornaci where every weekend Machepha working on his plates. The study visits have brought us to Giuseppe Pietroniro and Marco Raparelli artists well known in the Italian contemporary art system, Giovanni De Cataldo and Leonardo Petrucci at Pastificio Cecere. Machepha had the chance also to confront with artists in residence at the various foreign academies such as Damien Duffy and Joseph Griffiths hosted during this time in Rome at the British Academy.

 

The openings to which Machepha participated were numerous, almost one a day. The solo of Vincenzo Schillaci at the Operativa gallery by Carlo Pratis, the collective show Studio System from artists in residence at America Academy, the exhibition of Camille Henrot at Memmo Foundation and the three nights so far organized by the independent space Q13 run by Carlo Caloro. Here, in an area like the Aurelio district far from any tourist tour guide, Machepha came into contact with several artists, especially with Stefan Nestoroski, Macedonian artist but with Italian training.

 

Many were also the visits to museums of which Rome such a the National Gallery of Modern Art, Macro museum for contemporary art and the Ethnographic Museum Luigi Pigorini. Among the works of public art, the group took part in a precious tour lead by Sara Spizzichino (image researcher, CO-Team Captain Shadow Puppets for the project Triumphs and Laments) to the monumental work of William Kentdrige on the Tiber banks, coincidentally another South African artist enchanted by Rome.