The Sea Is My Land
MAXXI - Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo
July 03, 2013 – September 29, 2013
Curators: Francesco Bonami, Emanuela Mazzonis
The exhibition of photography and video art entitled “the sea is my land. Artists from the Mediterranean” will be held in Spazio D at the MAXXI (the National Museum of the Arts of the 21st century) in Rome from 4th of July to 29th of September 2013.
The project – conceived by BNL and curated by Francesco Bonami and Emanuela Mazzonis – brings together the work of 22 artists from 22 countries bordered by the Mediterranean Sea: Spain, France, the Principality of Monaco, Italy, Malta, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. In a series of photographs and videos the exhibition makes an artistic exploration of 46.000 km of coastline and of the four cardinal points of the “Mare Nostrum” which touches three continents (Europe, Asia and Africa). Each artist presents works inspired by the theme of the project: the dialogue between different peoples who share the fact that they all belong to this extraordinary place.
The aim of “the sea is my land” is to use the universal language of images to highlight the incessant metamorphosis of the Mediterranean, an area of cultural dialogue where the impartiality of art has the power to overcome social barriers, religious pluralism and ethnic dispersion, and foster peaceful communication among all those concerned.
As the etymological origin of the word Mediterranean – the sea “in the middle of the land” – shows, this area is a crucial intersection that lies at the heart of complex social and cultural mechanisms, multiple ideologies, singular affinities and heterogeneous harmonies: forces that make it an enduring source of inspiration for art.
The large planisphere entitled Viaggio nei progetti, painted by Mario Schifano, has been the main source of inspiration for the exhibition, as the heart of its project is the Mediterranean seen as a fertile arena for innovation and the interpretation of the new technologies.
An international jury, that includes — apart from Francesco Bonami and Fabio Gallia — Giovanna Bertazzoni (Head of the London Impressionist and Modern Art Department, Christie’s), Daniel Birnbaum (Museum Director, Moderna Meseet Stockholm), Cristiana Collu, Director of MART (the Contemporary Art Museum of Trento and Rovereto) and Gregor Muir (Executive Director, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London) will examine the works by the participating artists — around 150 pieces in all — assessing their originality and artistic merit. The winning work will be purchased by the Bank and become part of its artistic heritage. The Bank’s collection currently boasts around 5.000 works including classical and modern masterpieces as well as works by talented young contemporary artists.
The exhibition offers a relevant number of works by the following artists: Ammar Abd Rabbo (Syria), Yuri Ancarani (Italy), Taysir Batniji (Palestine), Mohamed Bourouissa (Algeria), Marie Bovo (Spain), Aleš Bravnisar (Slovenia), Stéphane Couturier (France), Fouad Elkoury (Lebanon), Mounir Fatmi (Morocco), Dor Guez (Israel), Adelita Husni-Bey (Libya), Mouna Karray (Tunisia), Panos Kokkinias (Greece), Irena Lagator Pejovi (Montenegro), David Maljkovic (Croatia), Mark Mangion (Malta), Mladen Miljanovi (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Moataz Nasr (Egypt), Adrian Paci (Albania), Christodoulos Panayiotou (Cyprus), Agnès Roux (Monaco), Arslan Sukan (Turkey).
The exhibition also presents the photographic work Dream#01/La mia casa by the Sicilian artist Rori Palazzo, that won the online photography competition staged by BNL to elicit the involvement of young artists from the various countries.
The work was featured in the official catalogue of the exhibition, published by Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Editore.