Italian Video Today: Social and Individual Identity

January 5th – February 13th , 2011
Opening Reception: Thursday, January 13th, 2011, 6-9 pm
Location: The Ice Box
Hours: Wed – Sun 12-6pm

Curated by: Ludovico Pratesi with Shara Wasserman

Crane Arts presents Italian Video Today: Social and Individual Identity, a program devoted to current Italian video art, with a particular focus on those artists who direct their artistic research towards the definition of a current Italian identity through an investigation of the contradictions and the uncertainties of their political, social and cultural condition.

These artists bluntly investigate through the narrative vocabulary of video the contemporary human complexity, from diverse but complementary points of view including the destruction of the landscape, the decadence of the governing class, the underdeveloped south, the relationship with immigrants, the failures of post colonialism.

The video selection reveals an Italy freed of its stereotypes, engaged in a bitter self criticism and harbinger of an ethical investigation.

The artists are:

Meris Angioletti, Patrizio Di Massimo, Domenico Mangano, Giulia Piscitelli, Nico Vascellari,
Rä di Martino, Vanessa Beecroft, Marzia Migliora, Lara Favaretto and Diego Perrone.

These artists are making their careers in the global art world, and have participated in various international exhibitions including the Venice Biennale, Manifesta, Istanbul Biennial, and in contemporary art museums in the United States and Europe.

The program will be presented in the two spaces of the Crane Arts, the Grey Area and the Icebox.

This exhibition is presented within the context of the International Curatorial Exchange (ICE), Crane Arts’ most recent program initiative. Building upon previous international projects, the I.C.E. program invites commissions from international curators and artists that would be installed within the 125,000 cubic feet of the Ice Box Project Space, and/or that would utilize its new 2,500 square feet video wall and sound system. The mission of I.C.E. is to present cutting edge international arts projects in support of Philadelphia’s and the East Coast’s diverse arts audience, and to provoke discourse that internationalizes the region’s art audience and its growing community of artists.

Philadelphia is intimately connected to Italy both in the composition of its resident population and in the more conceptual makeup of its aesthetic. Philadelphia has one of the oldest and most numerous populations of residents of Italian heritage of any American city. Italian culture and taste are present on many fronts. Philadelphia boasts some of the best and most authentic Italian food products and restaurants. Italian opera is a focal point on the programs of local music halls. The Italian language and culture are the features of many Philadelphia-based institutions. The Italian Consulate actively promotes Italian culture through film, music and language; the University of Pennsylvania through its Center for Italian Studies sponsors the highest academic research in Italian language and Italian studies; the America-Italy Society of Philadelphia prepares lovers of Italy in the rich language and culture of all regions.

Ludovico Pratesi is the artistic director of the Centro Arti Visive Pescheria in Pesaro, Italy. In addition, he is the curator of the Palazzo Fabroni museum of contemporary art in Pistoia, Italy, an advisor to AMACI (Association of Italian Museums of Contemporary Art) and an independent curator. Pratesi is a critic for the daily newspaper la Repubblica and author of many books, including L’arte di collezionare arte contemporanea, Castelvecchi ed., 2010. Pratesi lectures on contemporary art to diverse audiences. He is fluent in Italian, English and French.

Shara Wasserman is instructor of contemporary art and Director of Exhibitions at the Temple University Rome Campus in Rome, Italy. In this capacity, she has organized nearly 100 exhibitions, with accompanying catalogues and didactic texts. She received her graduate degree from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, and worked for a number of years at the Guggenheim Museum, New York, before relocating to Rome. Wasserman is an independent curator, focusing on the foreign artists residing in Rome and in particular curates exhibitions in public spaces for the Municipality of Rome. She is currently investigating possibilities of introducing emerging and established contemporary Italian artists to an American audience.

Download Complete Artist Biographies

Download “Beyond the Screen… Real Life” – Reflections on current Italian video art. Written by Ludovico Pratesi

Generous support of this exhibition comes from Consolato Generale d’Italia a Filadelfia and to Temple University Rome.

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