Curva Blu [2016]

Curva Blu is INCURVA’s artist residency programme. Curva Blu unfolds in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, on the Island of Favignana, a diverse natural environment, a territory of exploration and discovery.

Its specificity and peculiar location intend to harmonise with the artists’ processes and researches.

The project aims to offer a place for artists who search a totally unique condition, where geographical, historical, and social peculiarities can become source of inspiration, base for experimentation, new dialogues and exchange.

The first edition of Curva Blu, held in September and October 2016, focuses on the dialogue between artists and the territory.

Seeing the concept of dialogue as a dialectical form of encounter and exchange, in this first edition the curators have paired artists from diverse nationalities, Lupo Borgonovo (IT) and Samara Scott (UK); Nicola Martini (IT) and Stephen G. Rhodes (USA).

The artists are invited to use the time offered on the island to research and deepen themes and processes already present in their work, whilst being contaminated by the other artist’s presence and the specific characteristics of the territory.

By using each practice’s process and discourse as creative point of departure we wish to initiate new forms of artistic production focused on collaboration encouraging also new critical perspectives and visions.

Marianna Vecellio and Attilia Fattori Franchini

September 2016

Lupo Borgonovo (b. 1985, Italy)

Lupo Borgonovo searches for the boundless pleasure in experimenting with materials and shapes. He proceeds through mixing and associating materials, confronting solids and liquids, existing and imaginary objects, refined and brut materials. His surrealist sculptures seem to (re)become organic and living, edible, adoptable. Yet hard to grasp, since they emerge from a chemical and poetical kitchen which provokes a strange fascination, as if something exotic; extraterrestrial organs, mutant machines, transfigured moods. The impermanence of the process and the instinctive dimension of the relation to the material urges Borgonovo to create sculptures that seem ready to convulse. (Marie Villemin)

Samara Scott (b. 1985, UK)

Samara Scott uses materials that mix the bodily with the industrial or chemical which create confused reactions of both familiarity and disgust. Her work has an intimacy and repulsion that is tied up within the body, which combined with such familiar everyday materials, has a sense of place rooted in contemporary culture. Samara Scott’s practice revolves around the devouring of stimuli, her interdisciplinary background has given her a thirst for discovering the material properties of substances. She often equates material with her experience of the body and uses everyday matter to describe sensations and evoke feelings.

October 2017:

Nicola Martini (b. 1984, Italy)

Nicola Martini’s practice is characterized by an intrinsic dualism in which empirical research and ritual coexist. Ancestral procedures such as baking, mixing and melting take Nicola Martini’s work to a sort of ground zero of sculpture, in which the artist allows the physical properties of the substances to guide the final form of the object (or of the space activated by the artist’s intervention) that is almost dictated by the physical characteristics of the materials and their reciprocal interactions. This cognitive tension, expressed through continuous experimentation, emerges into a category of thought that is common to different cultures and eras: revelation. Revelation to be interpreted as the vital link between material and idea, a link through which a chemical process dismantles preexisting paradigms in favor of a new system of understanding, and a mathematical formula opens the way to metaphysical speculation. Through his works, Nicola Martini reveals to himself – as well as to the viewer – the fundamental relativity of physical and perceptive assumptions. Incongruous materials such as bitumen of Judea, shellac, concrete and colophony interact to create reactions that change with time, that generate physical tensions and unstable equilibriums, which remind us that matter is never static nor inert.

Stephen G. Rhodes (b. 1977, USA) & Barry Johnston (b. 1980, USA)

Starting with references ranging from myths about the first president of the United States, George Washington, to the biographies of historical thinkers like Immanuel Kant and Aby Warburg, or films like Walt Disney’s The Song of the South (1946), William Friedkin’s The Exorcist (1973) and Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980), Stephen G Rhodes builds up immersive multimedia installations that collapse the distinctions between immediacy and representation, history and fiction, conscious and unconscious. Using Hollywood green- screen technology, Rhodes might insert himself into a preexisting filmic source, while also using the cinematic apparatus as a sculptural element, whether by projecting it onto or through disparate surfaces, or by setting the projector itself into motion. These mechanisms destabilize our relations to cultural conventions, and throw even the position of the viewer into doubt. (Andrew Maerkle, Extract from «(NON) POSSE (NON) PECCARE», in: ART-IT online, 29.01.2016)

Barry Johnston’s sculpture, poetry, and performance are simultaneously destructive and ecstatic. Drawing from a wealth of influences ranging from Jean Genet to Norman O. Brown to Patti Smith, Johnston’s work asserts the liberatory potential of a kind of violent celebration of presence, each piece another attempt to find the exit, another temporary threshold further into the present moment.

Marianna Vecellio – chief curator

Curator, researcher and writer she is an art historian. In 2012 she has been appointed as curator at Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rivoli/Torino – where she works since 2007.  She has curated various exhibitions and publications such as Andres Serrano’s Via CrucisMassimo Grimaldi’Before The Images, Intenzione Manifesta ePaloma Varga Weisz, and the monographic catalogues John McCracken e Luigi Ontani. She collaborates to numerous editorial projects with a particular attention to historical research in the compilation of chronological and anthological histories. From 2009 she is in the commitee board of Public Art of the City of Torino. She has contributed to numerous Italian and International magazines.

Attilia Fattori Franchini – curator

Attilia Fattori Franchini is an independent curator and writer based between London and Milan. She is co-founder of the online platforms bubblebyte.org and Opening Times and contributes critical essays and reviews to publications such as CURA., Flash Art International and other independent magazines.

She is the curator of BMW Open Work at Frieze and Curva Blu, a residency project in Favignana, Sicily. She is also curating the project Red Lake premiering in May at Point Centre for Contemporary Art, Nicosia, (CY); will be part of the Curated by Festival in Vienna, 2018 and will direct the next edition of the Termoli Art Prize, Italy. Recent projects include the Emergent section of miart and ARS17+ at Kiasma, Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki.

Past projects include: Meshes of the Afternoon, Roman Road, London, June, 2017; Céu Torto, Boatos Fine Arts, São Paulo, BR, February 2017; Dawning, Capitán Gallo, Mexico City, MX, February 2017; Morning uber, evening oscillators, Seventeen, London, November 2016; Lonesome Wife, Seventeen, London, October 2016; Europa and the Bull at LambdaLambdaLambda, Pristina, Kosovo, 2016, Oa4s, Temra and David in 4 parts, Sorbus, Helsinki, 2016; Yves Scherer, Snow White and The Huntsman, Mexico City, 2016; Guest Curator, Kuvat Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki, 2015; Bold Tendencies 2015, London. http://attiliaff.com

Curva Blu studios are set in the wonderful estate of Museum Ex-Stabilimento Florio delle Tonnare di Favignana e Formica.

Heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped and experienced Curva Blu in 2016:

Isabella Bortolozzi Galerie, Galleria Monica De Cardenas, Ermes-Ermes, Kaufmann Repetto, The Sunday Painter, Giuseppe Pagoto, Luigi Biondo, Renato Alongi, Calogero Gammino e il team delle guide del Museo, Peppe Nnue, Renato Leotta, Gianni Politi, Ignazio Mortellaro, Laboratorio Saccardi, Laura Barreca, Orit Gat, Thom O’nions, Dominik Arni, Lisa Rampilli, Jacopo Menzani, Nicola Ratti, Elena D’Angelo, Ilaria Orsini, Lara Favaretto, Rosario Riginella, Lorenzo Barbera, Manuela Trapani, Grazia Palmisano, Fabio Pantaleo, Antonio Lo Presti, Gaspare Ernandez, Pina, Antonio De Luca, Vincenzo Ritunno.

Curva Blu is supported by our forward-looking technical sponsors:

Curva Blu is made in partnership with the following institutions:

Some of the works conceived during the Curva Blu 2017 residency are on show at Loom Gallery, more info here.

9 May 2018

We are glad to see part of the research that took place during Curva Aperta 2017 surfacing in Gianni Politi’s exhibition “2017”. More information here. 14 Apr 2018

Some of the research carried during Curva Blu 2016 by Nicola and Jacopo on show at Mega Off-site. More info here 14 Apr 2018

Trisha Baga’s work produced during Curva Blu 2017 residency was exhibited at The Whitney Museum of American Art (New York City) Art Party, sponsored by Birkenstock. 20 Nov 2017

“Egadi (il mondo di ieri)” (2016), shot in Favignana by Renato Leotta, is on view at Quadriennale di Roma 2016. 26 Mar 2016

INCURVA is a not-for-profit organisation that aims at making western Sicily a fertile ground for research in contemporary art, re-activating its public spaces and stimulating dialogue with its local communities through a platform for residencies, talks and exhibitions. Established in 2016.

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