Le Piazze [In]visibili – Invisible Squares

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Le Piazze [In]visibili – Invisible Squares

 

Curated by Marco Delogu

 

Studio 3 Gallery, Jarman Building, University of Kent

 

6 – 17 December 2021 and 17 January – 18 February, 10am – 5pm. Free entrance.

 

Private View: Friday 10th December 5-7pm.

 

When the first lockdown hit Italy in the Spring of 2020 the country’s famous piazze, the bustling squares at the heart of its civilisation, fell eerily silent. Empty of the usual crowds, the piazzas became – ‘perhaps for the first time in our lives’, writes curator Marco Delogu in the exhibition catalogue – ‘imaginary places “seen” like this previously only by the great artists and the minds who designed, planned, built and adorned them’. Delogu reacted to this extraordinary situation by coordinating a team of forty photographers and writers to document and respond to the nation’s temporarily unreal squares. The project involved a complex challenge as during lockdown the photographers could only go outside alone and ‘subject to explaining the reason to the relevant authorities’ while ‘for many writers it was difficult to achieve the necessary concentration’. The writers and photographers – ‘piazza partners’ – worked both in dialogue and independently of each other yet for each piazza ‘the results coincided surprisingly’.

 

The title of the exhibition Le Piazze [In]visibili (Invisible Squares) alludes to Italo Calvino’s famous novel Le città invisibili (Invisible Cities). While he was Director of the Italian Cultural Institute in London, Delogu had met the architectural historian Joseph Rykwert, visiting him in his house in Hampstead where he was shown a first edition of Calvino’s Invisible Cities (1972) with a dedication acknowledging the inspiration of Rykwert’s The Idea of a Town(1963). Rykwert has contributed an essay to the exhibition catalogue pointing out that while lockdown impoverished Italy’s piazzas it also provided a rare opportunity to ‘see their complex geometries, their bare bones, and therefore their very structure’.

 

The exhibition is an initiative of Italy’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and is shown at the University of Kent thanks to the generosity of the Italian Cultural Institute in London. Luigi Di Maio, Italy’s Minster of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, writes of the subject of the exhibition that ‘we are aware that we are facing great challenges, but nonetheless believe that we have the ability to rise to them and draw the impetus needed to overcome them from our sights firmly set on the future’.

 

Students taking Kent’s MA Curating have worked to adapt the exhibition for installation in Studio 3 Gallery.

Fascinating Fears – virtual exhibition until 10 August 2021

 

An online exhibition of art prints curated by undergraduate art history students at the University of Kent’s School of Arts will take place from 10 May to 10 August 2021.

Entitled Fascinating Fears (trigger warning: some artworks display scenes of violence and sexual violence; we do not recommend the exhibition to children), the virtual exhibition will feature works by artists such as the Old Masters Albrecht Dürer, Salvator Rosa, and Francisco Goya; modern artists like Salvador Dali and Michael Ayrton; great Japanese masters like Katsushika Hokusai;
and the contemporary artists Ana Maria Pacheco, Marcelle Hanselaar, Marcus Rees Roberts, and Jake and Dinos Chapman.

The exhibition addresses four sub-themes:

‘Nightmares Creatures’, which explores how monsters have personified various fears, and induce the uncanny feeling of horror

‘Face of Fears’, which displays the facial and bodily expression of human fears and explores the various shades of this feeling, allowing for an audience to see fear expressed in others

‘Japanese horrors’, exhibiting the ghosts and natural forces that have haunted Japan for centuries, becoming an essential part of its cultural folklore.

‘Female Fears’, which explores violence against women and the fear of their sexuality in both historical and contemporary prints, allowing the viewer to reflect upon the differences provoked by gender and social inequalities and of who is afraid, and of what.

Fascinating Fears is the result of the ‘Print Collecting and Curating’ module in Art History. Introduced in 2006, this module gives students the opportunity both to curate a museum-quality exhibition of their design and to acquire prints for the Kent Print Exhibition. This is the 9th exhibition resulting from this course.

For the exhibition students interviewed leading contemporary artists Marcelle Hanselaar and Marcus Rees Roberts, whose works are included, and the expert on Japanese prints Ellis Tinios, who taught a class for the module.

Dr Ben Thomas, convenor of the module, said: ‘Fear is a feeling we all share and understand, perhaps particularly during the current pandemic. The students have curated an exhibition that explores this fundamental human emotion, and how it has been expressed through art in different times and cultures. They have adapted brilliantly to the constraints of lockdown in devising this online exhibition.’

You can follow Fascinating Fears on Instagram.

Are You Local? opening times

 

Are You Local? is now open to the public (under Covid restrictions). The opening times are:

 

Wednesday 16 June, 11am – 2pm

Friday 18 June, 11am – 2pm

Monday 21 June, 11am – 2pm

Wednesday 23 June, 11am – 2pm

Friday 25 June, 11am – 2pm

Monday 28 June, 11am – 2pm

Wednesday 30 June, 11am – 2pm

Friday 2 July, 11am – 2pm

 

Please pre-book your visit by emailing: ac2030@kent.ac.uk or mib23@kent.ac.uk

 

Access to the exhibition is via the double doors at the rear of Studio 3 Gallery. You must wear a mask, sanitise your hands, and scan the QR code on entry into the NHS track and trace app.