Il Centro Luigi Di Sarro a Città del Capo

Il 3 febbraio 2010 l’ambasciatore Elio Menzione inaugura la mostra di Erik Chevalier “L’album di famiglia”
secondo passo del progetto di scambio fra Italia e Sud Africa con la Erdmann Contemporary


Ambassador Introduction:

Erik Chevalier is an Italian artist with a strong international vocation and projection.  Born in Rome, from a French father and a Danish mother, he has lived in Canada, Denmark and Ghana, and has studied Ethnography at Aarhus in Denmark and Photography and Visual Communication at the European Institute of Design in Rome.  After a nomadic life, he has settled down and presently lives on the beautiful Island of Sardinia.
With such a background, it is not surprising that Erik Chevalier has chosen, for this exhibition of beautiful and intriguing photographs, the leading thread of a travel through different European countries, an itinerary which materializes in a hypothetical family album, made up by re-elaborating new and old photographs with various techniques.  The final result is moving and sometimes ironic allusion to human condition and to the nomadic spirit which has deep roots in this artist’s personal experiences and view of life and which characterizes our time, a time of massive migrations, of constant and often dramatic uprooting, of exiles, of displacement of individuals, families and larger social groups.
I would like to thank Heidi Erdmann’s Photographers Gallery of South Africa for hosting this beautiful exhibition, which provides a valuable contribution to the thriving cultural life of Cape Town, a city in which I will have the privilege to spend the next weeks. My thanks also go to the Centro Luigi Di Sarro, which has promoted this South African adventure of an exhibition that started its life at Fotografia – Festival Internazionale di Roma of 2009;  and to all of you, for attending this opening and for accompanying us in this travel, evocated by these highly suggestive and intriguing photographs.

Opening by Alessandra Atti Di Sarro

Buonasera. thank you very much for coming.

I’m very happy to be here, because this is a project that I strongly wanted. I and my husband, Claudio, have been in South Africa many times, starting more than ten years ago. We learnt to love this country and his people. That’s why I tryed to do something to give back. Than when I met Heidi Erdmann, the idea of starting a swop project to promote south african art in Italy and italian art in South Africa was – how can I say? – the best way to say thank you for the emotions and the warmfull hospitality that you and your country gaved us. And I must thank the italian consul in cape town Emanuela Curnis, for helping and encouraging Heidi and me to go on in this adventure.

I and my family work in Rome to promote and document the contemporary art reserch with a no-profit cultural association witch is in name of Luigi Di Sarro, my uncle, physician and artist, who tragically died at 37 years old, 30 years ago, in a period of political turmoil. He works a lot, between science and art, and left us a lot of works. So we decided to follow his passion and transform his medical studio in a place where other artists can find a space to show and discuss. Step by step, we followed his traces, and… this is another trip, witch I hope could be a long and emotional way for all.

so today I’m really very proud to introduce you Erik Chevalier.

Opening by Erik Chevalier

I’ve always been fascinated by family albums in general, for what they say but especially for what they don’t say. these pictures were taken in the countries that are important to my personal history but the triks they contain, the missing parts are about what they, as all family albums, don’t say.
My personal family, as far as I’m concerned, starts in the spring of 1915 when my two grandfathers fougth the same battle on opposite fronts. It’s considered one of the lowest points of history, the first time poison gas was used. it was fierce, cruel and immoral.
but the next generation set up family together and started another album….
I’de like to thank all the people who were involved for made this possible and expecially the italy’s ambassador in south africa Elio Menzione for being here and for opening the show.