Sea by the City
The second exhibition in the series "Ljubljana Bows to Slovenia" is crossing the national border to present in the Match Gallery contemporary artists from far and near who have set up a home in greater Trieste.
Having been considered historically a window on the world for Slovenians, this port had a strong cultural and economic impact on the region and on artists of Slovenian descent. Despite being in conflict with all kinds of regimes and policies, or maybe it was due to such divisions, it was Trieste where they were looking for internationalism, cultural diversity, business opportunities or refuge. Massimo Premuda, a curator from the Ugo Carà Museum of Modern Art (Museo d'Arte Moderna Ugo Carà), head of the DoubleRoom Gallery and member of the board of curators in the Revoltella Museum, Trieste, has opted to stick to man's universal contact with the sea rather than explore the expressively historical politicisation of the area. The character of the Trieste coastline being defined strongly through the port city, he conceived a poetical notion of the sea being connected with the city and its people, and invited artists who had reacted to this connection intimately to participate in the exhibition.
Sea by the City
The exhibition in Ljubljana presents the sea of Trieste, a strongly marked "urban sea". Eight international artists from the Trieste art scene tell of the sea of Trieste in various ways, presenting it as a meditative mirror at the crossroads of nations and cultures, the sea being the element of encounters and exchange. Predrag Matvejević has combined masterly his personal and universal experience of the sea by saying: "We do not discover the sea ourselves, nor do we view it exclusively through our own eyes. We see it as others have seen it – in the pictures they draw, the stories they tell. We cognize and recognize it simultaneously." At the first anniversary of his death, the exhibition pays homage to the great Croatian writer with the Mediterranean Polyphony (Polifonia mediterranea) audio installation by Mila Lazić, in which 13 different people are reading the Mediterranean Breviary by Matvejević in a polyphony that ripples like the sea.
MarePlurale by Elio Germani is a gigantic photomosaic composed of an endless series of photographs taken with the help of refugees: portraits of inhabitants of Trieste, tourists and new citizens are set along the coasts of the city, creating a wide sea they all share with each other. The Port of Trieste by Fabrizio Giraldi is a taciturn feature on the industrial port, the main roles played by the cargo, lorries, containers and ships telling of international exchange between the city and the rest of the world. This is also the part of the city that everybody talks about, yet nobody really knows. The Cross-eyed Sea (Mare strabico) video installation by Emanuela Marassi uses white seashells to encourage the sensual perception of the sea. Emotional Resonance by Claudia Livia invites the audience to interact with the work of art, harmonising the rhythm of the falling drops with the heartbeat of visitors participating in the installation. Reflected Light (Gibigiana) by Cecilia Donaggio Luzzatto-Fegiz projects to the gallery ceiling a compilation of sun’s reflections on the surface of the sea, reminding of the children’s game of reflecting mirrors.
The video document of the Fluid Sirens (Sirene Fluide) performance by Nina Alexopoulou and Nika Furlani, which will also be featured in the exhibition programme, uses a contemporary rendition of a classical act where fish, molluscs and crabs are projected on a naked body to tell of hybrid creatures from the Mediterranean mythology with fluid personalities. Exploring sirens, chimaeras and contemporary divas, the performance also touches upon gender-related issues.
Production: Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana
Exhibition curators: Jani Pirnat, Massimo Premuda
Artists: Nina Alexopoulou, Cecilia Donaggio Luzzatto-Fegiz, Nika Furlani, Elio Germani, Fabrizio Giraldi, Mila Lazić, Claudia Livia, Emanuela Marassi
Acknowledgments: Giuliana Carbi Jesurun (Trieste Contemporanea), Cristina Sain (Trieste Film Festival), Massimiliano Schiozzi (Cizerouno)
The exhibition was made possible by: City of Ljubljana, Varcare la frontiera, Cizerouno, Regione Autonoma Friuli Venezia Giulia, DoubleRoom, Casa dell'Arte Trieste
1 January, 1 November, 25 December: Closed
24 and 31 December: 10:00–14:00
This year's Match Gallery programme began in a committed fashion – with "Private", an exhibition by Siniša Labrović, the most socio-politically committed Croatian artist. For this exhibition, he, as a prisoner of his own existence, permanently inscribed the pain of isolation on his own body, always the main and indispensable part of his artistic statements due to its strong presence.