The ECC Italy curatorial team is the beating heart of the Personal Structures exhibition project that in the 2022 edition develops around the idea of Reflections.
The European Cultural Centre (ECC) is one of the youngest and most international centers in the field of art, architecture and design in Venice. It has developed an exhibition center open to the exchange of international ideas through the involvement of cultural and governmental institutions, universities, museums, foundations, galleries, collectives and individual artists. It is one of the most important Foundations in Venice, its three locations – Palazzo Mora, Palazzo Bembo and Giardini della Marinaressa – play a major role within the Biennale. The ECC Italy curatorial team is the beating heart of Personal Structures exhibition project that in the 2022 edition develops around the idea of Reflections.
What is the meaning of the title Reflections within the Personal Structures project? How does it interact with our difficult present time?
For each edition of Personal Structures we choose a theme that underlies the fundamental ideas of the general project, i.e. “time, space and existence”. The theme is chosen after an analysis of the works of art submitted for selection. For this edition we have decided to synthesize in the concept “reflections” both our curatorial goal and the vision of the artists involved.
This concept has a double interpretation, a physical one, as a phenomenon of the visible and a mental one, as a meditative action. A reflection always involves two elements, a source and a consequence, both in the tangible and in the abstract worlds.
As a team of young curators, from different parts of the world, our priority is sharing and listening. We believe it is important to reflect, in order to share one’s ideas, feelings, experiences with a community which is in turn invited to reflect, thus creating a virtuous circle of ideas. These reflections will be able to become universal only if the individual reflection becomes a collective one.
In our present world where we are asked to be more and more responsible for our own choices and actions, both on an individual and on a collective level, it is more than ever essential to be able to imagine a better future also through the multiplicity of artistic expression.
What is the special role of a curator of a collective exhibition such as Personal Structures, a project which is more a platform on the contemporary than a mere exhibition?
Personal Structures – Reflections presents the works of internationally renowned and emerging artists together with academic institutions, aiming at breaking any ideological, political and geographical barrier. The reflections proposed through different artistic media and multiple approaches are enhanced by the creation of narrative paths and aesthetic juxtapositions. Paintings, sculptures, photographs, site-specific installations, mix media, video art, NFT, XR, are the fundamental “ingredients” mixed together by the curatorial team in collaboration with the artists themselves, to create an open platform, i.e. Personal Structures. Through this collective effort the artists and the curators offer the public the opportunity to interact and reflect with the theme and the works presented. Undoubtedly there is a close relationship between the selected artists, the theme of the exhibition and the various points of view of the European Cultural Centre curatorial group. This creates the ideal ground for a platform open to everybody, which deals with contemporary issues on art and society, stimulating dialogues and reflections between artists, curators and the public.
One of the main features of the European Cultural Centre project for the different editions of Art and Architecture Biennial has always been the inclusiveness of languages and geographies. How have these elements characterized the different exhibitions over the years and how do they characterize Reflections?
The European Cultural Centre exhibitions aim to respond to the changing contexts of our present. The upheaval of individuality and community we have been experiencing in the last two years has led to a re-evaluation of the self, art, the environment and what surrounds us. Through different means and languages the artists express their thoughts and emotions on these social and existential changes, presenting works on spirituality and intimacy, feminism and equality, the environment and sustainability, common and private spaces and much more. In an increasingly multicultural and “liquid” society, in the words of Zygmunt Bauman, where “the conviction that change is the only permanent thing and that uncertainty is the only certainty”, there is the need to identify with the present, with people and the surrounding environment, enhancing the power of empathy as a tool for collective transformation. Historically, artists and intellectuals have always looked at society suggesting interpretations or proposing different points of view on them. So in Personal Structures the artists “reflect”, through their works of art, on different themes and current issues such as climate change, environmental and social sustainability, ethnic and gender equality. Their suggestions range from realistic to utopian ones and the visitor can more or less recognize himself in these choices according to his ideas and beliefs.
Three different locations offering a rich variety of visions. What are the distinctive features of each of the three exhibitions?
The exhibition is set up in three different venues: Palazzo Mora, Palazzo Bembo and Giardini della Marinaressa, all managed by ECC Italy. The works on display dialogue with each different place and its history creating a unique experience for the visitors.