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.

Full gallery available clicking the image below

Marianna Vecellio – chief curator

Curator, researcher, and writer 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’s Before The ImagesPaloma Varga WeiszRachel RoseCecile B. EvansEd AtkinsAnna BoghiguianHito Steyerl and Cally Spooner and edited monographic catalogs such as John McCracken and Luigi Ontani. She collaborates to numerous editorial projects with particular attention to historical research in the compilation of chronological and anthological histories. She is currently working on the exhibition and publication of Michael Rakowitz in collaboration with Whitechapel, London, the exhibition of Marianna Simnett and the project with Pedro Neves Marques all opening at Castello di Rivoli in fall 2019. Her research is focused on transdisciplinary projects in which critical thought and artistic practice coexist such as Abitare il Minerale and currently Comp(h)ost with Witte de With, Rotterdam. From 2009 she is in the committee board of Public Art of the City of Torino. She has contributed to numerous Italian and International magazines. Working on Curva Blu since 2016, for INCURVA, Marianna also curated Sivilization’s Wake by Stephen G. Rhodes and Barry Johnston (Palermo, 2018).

Attilia Fattori Franchini – curator

Attilia Fattori Franchini is an independent curator and writer based in London and Milan. She is cofounder of the nonprofit platforms and Opening Times and contributes essays and reviews to international publications such as Mousse, CURA, and Flash Art International.  She has been working at Curva Blu since its inception in 2016. Attilia is currently curator of BMW Open Work by Frieze (since 2017); the Emergent section of miart, Milan (since 2017); and directed the latest edition of the Termoli Art Prize, Italy (2018). Recent projects include Could you visit me in dreams? as part of curated_by 2018, Vienna, (2018); Red Lake at Point Centre for Contemporary Art, Nicosia (2018); and ARS17+ at Kiasma, Museum, Helsinki (2017).

Past projects include: Meshes of the Afternoon, Roman Road, London (2017); Céu Torto, Boatos Fine Arts, São Paulo (2017); Morning uber, evening oscillators, Seventeen, London (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); Kuvan Kevät, Kuvat Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki (2015); Bold Tendencies, London (2015); and HAND, Barbican Centre, London (2013).

For more info:

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:

The Parents’ Room, a film by Diego Marcon, co-produced by INCURVA, is part of 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, titled The Milk of Dreams and curated by Cecilia Alemani. More info

We are pleased to share the donation of two works of art by David Horvitz to the “Agostino Pepoli” Regional Museum in Trapani and to the Ex-Stabilimento Florio in Favignana. These works, now part of the collection, will therefore be the heritage of the community and available for exhibitions, under the supervision and management of the “Agostino Pepoli” Regional Museum, which disposes of them and coordinates their use.

David Horvitz worked in Favignana in 2017 as part of Curva Blu, the artist residency program which from 2016 to 2019 took place every year in Favignana in the premises of the former Florio factory and promoted by INCURVA.

Click the above images to see the works

Shot in Favignana in 2017, Friends in a promo through which Loredana, the female clown with claws, recruits dancers for one of her upcoming shows. Beatrice Marchi has given life to many hybrid and double, comical and dissolute, vulnerable and noble characters which have been brought together and reactivated in her show at Casa Masaccio in 2019.

Beatrice Marchi, Friends, 2017 shown at “Le Amiche”, Beatrice solo show at Casa Masaccio (IT).

+390918420027 is a 1: 100 scale calcarenite maquette of a specific point of the Bue Marino calcarenite quarry.The public can activate the work by calling the carved number and listening to a story by Francesco Pedraglio. Artissima Telephone encouraged reflection on the point of passage between landlines and mobile phones, exploring the way social practices have changed since the introduction of factors of mobility (space) and simultaneity (time).

Conceived in July 2019 on the Italian island of Favignana for Curva Blu 2019, ​Ruttier for the Absent ​hung precariously as a beacon on the cusp of the Mediterranean Sea at Punta Marsala in the shadow of an abandoned lighthouse where the found materials—a sail, rope and dried palm fronds—had first been heavily mutilated by the artist, then destroyed by the force of the Mediterranean Sea. Translated into the white gallery space, the sculpture has now been manipulated by the artist with kaolin clay, ​a naturally occurring white clay often found on sculptures from Central and Western Africa as an act of cleansing and protecting the work from the exhibition space. Text Kevin Space

Babi 1 (2016), Babi 2 (2016) and Babi (2016) are the very first artworks produced at Curva Blu since the programme began. The three sculptures were produced by Lupo Borgonovo in Favignana and are now showed at ZEESTER, Lupo Borgonovo’s solo exhibition at Museo Civico Castelbuono (Palermo) on view 8th August 2019 through 29th September 2019. More info

Kore (2019), produced by Margherita Raso during Curva Blu 2019 , is part of the group show “Le Monde Ou Rien” organized by Sgomento in Naples (More info). During her residency in Favignana, Margherita Raso learned limestone sculpting with local sculptor Benito Alessandra at his “Giardino Incantato”.

Congratulations Stephen G. Rhodes and Barry Johnston for being shortlisted for the 3rd Mario Merz Prize with Sivilization’s Wake, co-produced by INCURVA. Learn more and cast your vote on

Congratulations Trisha Baga for her solo show at Greene Naftali (NYC), also featuring the cave footage shot during Curva Blu 2017. More info

INCURVA has been invited at Supercondominio, a gathering of new contemporary art spaces in Italy promoted by Castello di Rivoli and its research department, the CRRI. More info about the event

8 July 2018

INCURVA 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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