The exhibition will be open at the Duino Castle, from 6 July to 5 August 2018, from 9.30 to 17.30, information on the admission ticket on: www.castellodiduino.it (Grand opening with the artists on Friday, July the 6th, at 11.00 pm. limited seats, reservation is mandatory: firstname.lastname@example.org)
www.bsidewar.org +39 375 5532009
Ruins represent an intrinsic ambivalence: they are at the same time victims and survivors of the destructive time. “The ideas that the ruins arouse in me, are great. Everything is annihilated, everything perishes, everything passes. Only the world remains. Only time lasts […]. “, wrote Diderot, in that eighteenth century, intimately appreciating the poetics of lost things.
The eighteenth century, in which Piranesi with his prints was spreading throughout Europe the images of Roman ruins, diffused a”figurative projection of the Sublime, where the aesthetic pleasure is made more intense by a beauty threatened by omens of death” (Ottani Cavina).
It is the transience of beauty, the impermanence of things that has always fascinated the human mind and that, through the iconography of Vanitas, tried to foreshadow the terror of death, especially in times of war.
This same language is resurfacing today, through different media and forms, in the works of contemporary artists who rework the legacies of the conflicts that have plagued the last century. A century marked by wars that strongly destroyed even the stuff builded to survived the passing of time, inexorably changing the world and the rhythms of life.
The incessant oscillation of the clock hand between two fixed points, photographs – family portraits- with erased faces, vases marked by cracks, skulls, ashes and flames, impressions of what we were: these are the elements that thanks to the work of the artists (Boris Beja, Claudio Beorchia, Lorenzo Bordonaro, Silvia Cavallari, Cosima Montavoci, Angela Alexander-Lloyd, Stelios Manganis, Nathalie Vanheule) allow us to question ourselves about our impermanence, fragility and decadence, in the suggestive setting of the Castle of Duino.
The grandeur and luxury of this castle, nowadays a museum, is contrasted by the view of the ruins of the medieval settlement on the nearby cliff. Building a new castle next to the old, as to remind the viewer of the fate of man and his work, is a memento that defines the Stimmung perceived in this fortress, also enhanced by the artists who resided there (it will be during his stay at the Castle of Duino that Reiner Maria Rilke, in 1912, on the threshold of the First World War, will find the inspiration for his Duineser Elegien, a cycle characterized by the theme of the inconsistency of human life).
Still, are the beauty, sensitivity and art that a hundred years later allow us to face a reflect on the same questions: death, the passage of time and what remains of human activity (in one world: ruins). Similarly to the title of the sculptures by Boris Beja, at the end of our journey into the imagination of vanities, they make us sigh “Still Alive”.