Castello di Lajone – International Art Exhibition
30/09 – 05/11/2017, Lajoneart, Alessandria, Italy
Julie Riis Andersen (DK), Emilie Bausager Astley (UK), Tim Bruening (DE), Diego Caglioni (IT), Desmond Church (UK), COMPOSIT (FR/BE), Bady Dalloul (FR), Ilona Falk (DE), Anne-Charlotte Finel (FR), Philip Gaißer (DE), Virginia Gamna (IT), Davide Mancini Zanchi (IT), Stefan Marx (DE), Florian Mermin (FR), Julia Metropolit (FR), Enzo Mianes (FR), Martin Monchicourt (FR), Roman Moriceau (FR), Hanako Murakami (JP), Nøne Futbol Club (FR), Anna Ørberg (DK), Zazzaro Otto (IT), David Stjernholm (DK), Guillaume Valenti (FR), WeAreVisual (DE), Anne-Charlotte Yver (FR), Driant Zeneli (AL).
Curators: Claudia Buizza, Pietro Della Giustina, Liberty Adrien, Jacques Heinrich Toussaint, Nikolaj Stobbe
When Giovanni Boccaccio writes The Decameron in the middle of the 14th century, Italy suffers a period of cultural turbulence and radical social change. It occurs as a moment of transition between the Middle Ages, dominated by a metaphysical vision of the world and the Renaissance, in which a recognition of the worldly life flourished and marked the beginning of a more secularized society.
Italian Renaissance society is notable for its deep instability: cultural and scientific renewal as well as a new trust for human potential often being obscured by harsh political divisions, wars, plagues and religious conflict. Philanthropic minds of the Italian nobility foster the development of several centres of cultural production and diffusion, delegating them the role as primary catalyst for the advancement of the arts. Despite the anxiety of the time, the establishment of a substantial network, promoted by constant exchanges and relations among cultural and artistic individuals, allows Italian Renaissance to transgress the peninsula’s borders and spread its values and knowledge. In hindsight a movement regarded as inciting the establishment of a common European cultural identity.
Nowadays the crisis of values such as tolerance and the sense of collectivity, on which the idea of modern Europe is anchored, lead to a pessimistic and dystopian vision about the future of European population. Frequent terrorist attacks, rise of populist pressures, the climate crisis, social disparities and the negative consequences of globalization, are, at this point, contemporary realities that force us to consider possible antidotes and feasible solutions in order to obstruct the progressive ethical and moral decline of humanity. Through the participation of twenty-seven artists coming from nine diverse countries, Castello di Lajone – International Art Exhibition, establishes a platform from which intellectual cooperation and dialogue among different cultures can take place.
In The Decameron, a group of young people takes shelter in the countryside outside Florence in order to escape the Black Death. They spend the days narrating stories of prosperity, desire, slyness and fortune. In the same way, Castello di Lajone becomes a refuge for the participating artists who are invited to create works inspired by the historical and geographical context of the castle, the anachronistic approach to both its architectural conservation and interior decoration, and its tradition of lore and local legends. The exhibition expands as a visual and spatial narrative within the rooms of the castle and in the surrounding park.
From the fusion of reality and fiction, emerges a multi-layered story, (re)interpreted, enriched or completed by the artists through the realization of site-specific, or site-sensitive artworks. Isolation from the city and everyday life permits the artists, like Boccaccio’s characters, to look with a critical eye at such events, which are shaking contemporary society, in order to propose a new and different reality.
Art and artists contribute to the cultural development of society by promoting values like freedom of expression, peace and inclination to multicultural dialogue. New generations should assume a central role in the diffusion of these positive values that are at the base of a European community united in its diversity, by encouraging on the one hand an inclusive and equal exchange and on the other a disavowal of hostile attitudes of division and closure, which are symptoms of the decay of these ideals.
Operating as a platform for meeting and a catalyst for ideas, Curate It Yourself invited the art space Âme Nue (Hamburg) and Nikolaj Stobbe, co-founder of the exhibition space Vermilion Sands (Copenhagen), to undertake an artistic Intereuropean cooperation in order to highlight the dialogue among works by several artists coming from different backgrounds. Castello di Lajone – International Art Exhibition has the objective to promote intercultural European exchange, to diffuse international artistic creation in the beautiful surroundings of Monferrato, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.