The new b#side war festival's horizon: Rome, with the installation "Prisoners"


Press release

Details: The installation will be available: from 27th to 28th May at Piazza San Silvestro, from 6.00 p.m. to 10.00 p.m.; from 10th to 11th June at the Park of ex Manicomio Santa Maria della Pietà, from 6.00 p.m. to 10.00 p.m.; Saturday the 24th June at MAAM – Museo dell’Altro e dell’Altrove (via Prenestina, 913, Rome), from 10.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m.

Infoline: www.iodeposito.org; www.bsidewar.org

After Udine, Gradisca d'Isonzo, Pirano and Genova, B#SIDE WAR FESTIVAL's tour comes to the capital city of Italy, for the first time, with a series of appointments focused on public art. These inaugurations organized by IoDeposito Ngo start with Prisoners, the conceptual public art installation by Joshua Cesa: in collaboration and with the patronage of the Municipality of Rome, the first date is set for Saturday the 27th May at 6:00 p.m., at Piazza San Silvestro (Rome, Italy). The installation, which enjoys the patronage of UNESCO, will be available from 27th to 28th May, in the area of Piazza San Silvestro, from 6.00 p.m. to 10.00 p.m. For the first time in Rome, this new artistic experience opens three upcoming events dedicated to the work of art: the second one will be on Saturday the 10th June at the Ex Lavanderia and, the third one, on Saturday the 24th June at the MAAM – Museo dell’Altro e dell’Altrove. All three Roman appointments belong to the third edition of the diffuse artistic and cultural Festival B#SIDE WAR, which is promoted by IoDeposito through numerous Italian and international events such as exhibitions, conferences and research project.

One hundred years ago, Europe looked like a big open-air prison: almost fifteen million people used to be trapped inside inhuman war jails and even more civilians were trapped between refugee camps and their own houses, living a life of destruction and deprivation. Through his installation Prisoners, the artist Joshua Cesa relates to that terrible war scenario trying to involve visitors in exploring a poli-focal historical point of view, between the past and the present. In fact, Prisoners is born from the need to investigate the experience of captivity in a perceptive sense. Starting from the historical experience of the Great War, the artwork triggers a reflection on the idea of imprisonment, a constant and invariable implication in all conflicts, impacting on the way in which we perceive the world. The installation consists in a series of cubic structures open themselves to dynamism, showing the image of many people trapped inside them, that, desperate, seek freedom. A container which become, in this way, metaphor for all the imprisonments -not only those due to overt wars, but also the ones due to concealed conflicts-, in these challenging times where man is above all prisoner of himself: so, the issue begs the unavoidable question of what are real borders of a cell. Prisoners appears to act as a veritable artistic experience, even thanks to two languages that underlie in the same work: fixity and perfection of the geometrical figure are combined with faulty and desperate gestures of those that try to achieve freedom.

A special role is played by the three locations chosen for each appointment: with the specific intention of starting from the centre and then pull away in the suburbs, the installation will enter into contact with different types of users, generating different approaches to artistic message. So, first date's path is articulated starting from town centre where, just for two days, it will be possible to face with these stories. The artwork is in dialogue with the shapes of the city, in a cultural landscape in which Prisoners is filled strengthening its message of reflection on captivity as a troublesome legacy of the global conflicts: for this city, populations and civilities have fought through the millenniums. A strong connection is established even between the installation and the second Roman location, an ex psychiatric hospital: in fact, those walls keep the memory of a painful and brutal imprisonment undergone by the one who, confined there for many years, has lost the own freedom because considered insane. Installed in a context with strong symbolic value, the cubic structures become containers and contents and, above all, they become primordial testimony of desperation: the despair of the one who does not manage to get rid, now as it was then with “patients”. Roman appointments' last date is set on 24th June, at an ex suburban slaughterhouse which is now a sui generis art museum, hosting communities and refugee camps for the immigrants and asylum seekers. Here, the problematic social emergency of immigration rediscovers the universal message of art as tool of knowledge, cultural integration and protection. So, thoughts go to social marginalisation and precariousness as prisons from which escape seems impossible: the random meeting with the artwork leads the passers-by to reflect on the encounter/clash paradox between their freedom and the exasperated condition of the prisoner, which is outside any time and any place (awakening a valuable, albeit uncomfortable, historical memory). «Is a B#SIDE WAR FESTIVAL's really important goal to be here: Roma gives deep food for thought thanks to its specific history characterized by ancient cosmopolitan and intercultural meeting» explains Giulia Di Paola, manager of the new Roman IoDeposito Ong's headquarters «in a city that stays constantly in contact with its cultural, military and historical background, Prisoners can offer a new and multi-focal point of view about war conflicts' tragedy»


Contacts
Event's link: http://www.bsidewar.org/it/prossimi-eventi/prisoners-by-joshua-cesa-7/
Web: www.iodeposito.org; www.bsidewar.org
Direction: info@iodeposito.org
Press&Communication: daniela.madonna@iodeposito.org

"Animals in the Great War”, the forthcoming eBook in Italian and English


Imperial War Museums - The British Army on the Western Front 1914-1918
A kneeling soldier is lifting up a pet dog in his shrapnel helmet, 22 December 1917


"Animals in the Great War” is a forthcoming eBook in Italian and English, edited by Se*, that will be available for free download.
Looking at the First World War from the standpoint of the animals that took part in it, allows to emancipate the Great War from textbook narrative, often exclusively focused on the European fronts and the defeats or victories of single nations.
It is an educational tool, which aims to provide the means to shift the focus to subaltern subjectivities, encouraging a broadening of horizons not only about a single historical event (namely the WWI), but also for looking more widely at the facts that surround us.
This project was one of the three winners of “Europeana Strike a match for Education”, a competition promoted by the cultural network Europeana and the civic crowdfunding platform for social innovation Goteo. As result it is involved in a global crowdfunding campaign, which - we trust - will provide money for a completely free publishing.
Your help to reach this goal is crucial, especially in these first weeks of campaign.
Please, let this project reach the widest possible audience through your social networks and back “Animals in the Great War” with a donation at the crowdfunding campaign page: http://goteo.cc/animalsgreatwar


*Se is an Italian cultural association, which aims to promote the knowledge and study of Twentieth-century history. Find out more at Associazione culturale Se

Hemingway's Piave. An article by Bruno Marcuzzo (translation by Julia Owen)

The article here below by Bruno Marcuzzo and translated by Julia Owen comes from the book La grande guerra tra terra ed acqua. Storie e memorie nelle terre basse tra Livenza, Piave e Sile fino al mare (see here to flip the full book and here for text in Italian). We invite you also to surf the site laguerradihemingway.it

Each one of us has at least one place which represents a moment which changed our life. For Ernest Hemingway - more than he could ever have said (1), nor we imagined – the river Piave (2) was that place.
Ernest arrived there as a boy (3). He thought of war as a football match and the enemy as the away team (4). He wore a made-to-measure uniform on which the stripes of a second lieutenant were stitched . Whatever their age, all the American Red Cross boys were at least second lieutenants, so, as far as the troops were concerned, they were officers. The Italian officers spent time among them, in the canteens and at the command posts; these were educated men and some of them spoke English. They were certainly much more mature than Ernest. Even the infantrymen, marked by years of combat and discomfort, seemed older. With them he shared wine and women and all those experiences which would have been unthinkable at home in America. The American Red Cross had entrusted him with running a canteen post, putting men and materials at his disposal, and even a bicycle on which he could move around without asking anyone's permission. He was a protected boy in a grown-up world, and he was held in consideration both as an officer, and also as an American.  What more could anyone have asked for in that particular time of life when unexpected freedom suddenly throws open the doors onto a seemingly limitless world?
But soon the serenity which came hand in hand with ignorance, his sky high self esteem, and the epic myth of battle,would all lie buried in a trench on the bank of the river,

Despite ARC volunteers being forbidden to go near the front line, it was not the first time that Ernest had gone to look at the Austro-Hungarian trenches. That place where the river points in an 'L' shape towards Fossalta is famous (5): just before the last battle the Czech Lieutenant Stiny went by with the Italians bringing important news about an attack. His friends from the Ancona Brigade were right there, they would not cause problems. He left his bike leaning against the last houses at the foot of the river bank and climbed the short slope. It was hot, and the men were sleeping in holes dug out under the top of the bank. By day one could sleep, it was darkness which made everything difficult: all the eyes in the world would not be enough to see what was going on on the other side of the river. In the dark all you saw was fear.

On the curve behind the river bank there was a large dug out protected by earth where he used to go to chat to the soldiers. It was dark by the time he left the command post dug out at the foot of the river bank. He went up to the trench at the top of the bank, and made his way down towards the side of the river, before walking along the tow path which passed in front of a house whose roof had been blown off by mortar fire. The smell of day's heat had been replaced with the sound of the front line. A little further on, the reflection of a flare died on the still water of the river. In the gun emplacement were gunners and a machine gun. It does not take many men to control enemy lines; there would not be any sense in sacrificing more men than necessary on a position that far forward. It was an excellent position because from that point you could see down the river in both directions. The trenches were so close that each had a clear idea of what was going on on the other side.

A whispered conversation, the glow of a cigarette, or an unexpected sound, and the Austro-Hungarians on the other side, suspecting action, would send back a bombardment on the Italians (6). ''Through the other sounds I heard a cough, then came the chuh-chuh-chuh-chuh, and then there was a flash''. The aim was perfect.
The explosion, white, then red, then purple, and the movement of air, carried him with it while taking the air from his lungs. He had no time to think, he only felt himself dying. He finished up, semi buried beneath sandbags, beams and other detritus which continued to rain down even into the water; first the largest pieces, near the Italian bank, and then smaller and smaller across onto the opposite side. In the darkness he realised that near him one of the soldiers was dead, another was crying out. The shock of the explosion had anaesthetised him (7) so that he did not feel the many splinters of shrapnel which dug into his legs. All he could hear with his ears was the buzzing of shattered metal. His heart must have been bursting in his breast while the adrenaline warmed his veins.

He should not have attacted the attention of the enemy, indeed he should never have been there at all. Now he could have stayed where he was, pretending to be dead, waiting for help to arrive; instead, automatically, he began doing what he had been taught to do which was to pick up the wounded. The height of the average Italian soldier at that time was 1.60m while he stood not far short of 1.90m. He slung the small soldier across his wide shoulders and started making for the the trench below the bank. The Austro-Hungarians, pleased to have hit their target, launched a flare to see what was going on; it exploded high, illuminating the trench and the ruins of the house on the river bank.  This scene, in a yellow flash, remained in Ernests' eyes, becoming the synthesis of his perception of the moment. The image of that house on the river bank would remain in his nightmares as the representation of distress.

From the other side of the river they began to track him with machine gun fire and hit him first on his left thigh and his right foot. He got to his feet again, made his way for another fifty meters trying to reach the shelter of the bank. He was walking badly, inside his boots his feet felt as though they were squelching in hot water. He was bleeding from a head wound and thick blood ran down his neck. He was hit by a second burst which hit him on the right knee and which sent him, and the wounded man, tumbling down into the trench on the bank where he passed out.

At first he was given up for dead. The officers were alarmed, not merely on his account but because of the trouble he had caused. They would have to answer for a great many things. Meanwhile, the Italians, put on the alert by the explosion, thinking it was an attack, started firing their artillery across the river, and the orther side immediately began firing back. The night of 8th July 1918 should have been a quiet one.
This experience destroyed any myth he might have had of a 'just war', fought with force and the purity of ideals.
He realises that many Italians do not want war. He sees signs of their mistrust towards governments, and orders that are far removed from ordinary people who want victory even when faced with the unspeakable sacrifices of soldiers, they are insulted by propaganda.
He will write (8): 'I suppose it is just the loss of the immortality... well, in a way, that is quite a lot to lose'.   
The immortality to which he refers is also that of his youthful ideals, the myths of truth and justice which were killed not so much by the explosion as by the betrayal perpetuated by greater interests which held sway over the wishes of the people and drew advantage from that. He was not frightened of dying, something that at that point he believed to be quite simple, but of dying in order to pay someone else's bill without meaning to.

The young man's illusions die on that river bank and, from there, a man who no longer believes there is anything worth fighting for walks away.
This is the detachment of the 'lost generation' - the period in which he lived in Paris that was characterised by a resigned individualism but which would slowly disappear as the tensions in Spain led to civil war. Ernest returns to pure ideology, choosing to align himself with the wish for self-determination, an absolute value which cannot fail. He defends the idea of the Repubblic because it is the only form of democratic government which he believes possible.

The war in Spain will teach him that no one can fight for what is right without remaining marked by it; you cannot fight a war without getting dirtied; someone, on one side or the other, will feel authorised to justify the violence and twist truth into propaganda thus perpetuating the betrayal of truth, of justice, and of robbing the sacrifice of the dignity of purity.
For years to come, he and his pen will fight on. But he will have his eyes wide open and firmly fixed on the the true wishes of the people. He will denounce the manoeuvres of the various systems of interests and he will remain steadfast in the struggle, which he believes to be the only true measure of the dignity of man which, even when faced with the certainty of losing, cannot betray itself.

He returned to Italy one more time to work on 'Across the River' with the old soldier spewing forth confused memories. In the silence of the morning, gazing at a lagoon landscape of almost heartbreaking beauty, he rediscovers his love for this country, a love which now he finds in a time of peace. He returns to the river bank one last time, not like those veterans do as they search for their lost youth, but in order to settle his accounts with the fear of having sacrificed himself without properly understanding or making a conscious choice.

On the river bank every trace of the trenches had disappeared, the wind caressed the grass on the top of the ridge. Ernest saw once more the house on the river bank, it had stood witness to all the events but it remained standing, and it still is now, although rebuilt. In front of the house he searched for the crater of the explosion, then he pulled down his nut-brown trousers (9), and with the delicacy of an old knight (10), he prepared for a cerimonial evacuation of his bowels.  But nothing came, so he dug a small hole in the earth and buried a thousand lira banknote which corresponded exactly to the value of the pension which received, then he filled in the hole and stamped down the earth, just as people do after planting seeds.

His sowing of the seeds had begun in 1918 with the burial of youthful illusions; it was a carelessly made sacrifice and his voluntary efforts to an ideal had been betrayed.  If he had not returned to justify his actions then his would have remained a useless sacrifice. The mature man, who had given form to his own ideals, could not leave that sacrifice without justifying it, so he returned to tie together all the paths it had taken.
He put the money in the hole. He did not want anyone else to pay for the sacrifice he himself had made. He had not done it for the money. He left the money gladly to this earth which still needed so much support.
''It's fine now,' he thought (11). 'It has merde, money, blood; look how that grass grows... It has everything. Fertility, money, blood and iron. Sounds like a nation. Where fertility, money, blood and iron is, there is the fatherland.'"
The Second World War had just finished and there were great expectations of the future. Through that ceremony he found again his careless youth, he recognised it again as the sower, justifying his sacrifice as part of the birth pangs of a new nation, and it returns to him the dignity of blood spilt by the pure of heart.

Before leaving, he concluded his visit to the old front with another ritual. He stood up between the reeds on the river bank, raised his eyes and looked across the river to the point where the enemy lines had once been, and he spat.
''It was a long spit and he just made it. 'I couldn't spit that night nor afterwards for a long time', he said. But I spit good now...'' (12)
Even a failure to spit had its justification. As a boy he had discovered that if you were frightened your mouth went dry and you could not spit. During the civil war in Spain his writer friends in the combat used to try the spitting test.  ''There was not one of them...who could not make a joke in the imminent presence of death and who could not spit afterwards to show the joke was real (13).''  

They did not make jokes out of boastfulness. Hemingway believed that truly brave men are always cheerful. The fact that he now succeeded in spitting well, right there on the very spot where fear itself had bewitched him, was proof that he had finally worked through the idea of how one might die for a just cause without remorse. Above all it was proof that the old sacrifice he had never 'wished for' now demonstrated itself to have been shared by those men alongside whom he had contributed to both freedom and its political consequences.

On the bank of that river at Fossalta where the careless young man died, another man returned; the river saw that he had never ceased to fight even with his incapacity to justify human fear. This return concluded another cycle. The man who spat now was no longer the young Ernest, but neither was he Hemingway the mature combatant. Another man went away from the Piave river: it was an old man who will no longer write of soldiers and wars because ''he declares a separate peace'', a peace where destiny welcomes courage and fear without perceiving any difference between them. Now he would write of an old man fishing in a sea he knows well, a sea which is capable of containing both good (fish) and evil (sharks), challenging both himself and destiny.
The sea is God, the patient one, who asks no questions, and allows those who wish to do so to play according to their own natures. It is in that very awareness and the wish to be part of that game that the old man finds peace: he is now at one with his role.


Notes:

(1)  Ernest Hemingway, Across the River and Into the Trees, ''This country meant very much to him, more than he could, or would ever tell anyone''
(2)  Originally the grammatical gender of the river Piave was femminine as 'la Piave'
(3)  His 19th birthday would fall on 21 July 1918
(4)  Ernest Hemingway, Letters
(5)  Ernest Hemingway, Across the River and into the Trees
(6)   This type of armaments, defined as trench artilliary, were the precursors of modern mortars. The sound when it was fired was generally more muted than that of common artilliary, so that it could indeed be confused with the sound of someone coughing. Ernest describes the mortar as having a 5 gallon or 20 liter keg which might lead us to deduce that it was a 225 m Bohler Minenwerfer. The shells launched were not stabilised in flight like artillery shells, so that during their revolution the different effects of the air produced different sounds.
(7)  The energy of an explosion expresses itself in vibrations of differing frequencies, therefore just as loud noise can cause deafness, so vibrations are capable of killing nerve endings.
(8)  Ernest Hemingway, Across the River and into the Trees
(9)  Giampiero Malaspina writing in the Piccolo of Trieste, November 1976
(10)  On the front line a soldier would never leave his trench to do his business for fear of being hit; he did it where he was and then threw it out with a shovel. The delicacy of his companions came from their taking no notice.
(11)  Ernest Hemingway, Across the River and into the Trees
(12)  Ernest Hemingway, Across the River and into the Trees
(13)  Ernest Hemingway's Introduction to Gustav Regler's The Great Crusade, 1940


World War One maps of Italy: a new majestic work soon available



A new majestic work edited by Aldino Bondesan (University of Padua) and Mauro Scroccaro (historian) will be soon available. The title is Cartografia militare della Prima Guerra Mondiale. Cadore, altopiani e Piave nelle carte topografiche austro-ungariche e italiane dell'Archivio di Stato di Firenze (Padova, Antiga Edizioni, 2017) and will become for sure a new starting point for all the researches on the Italy front of World War One. 

This impressive work collects and reproduces almost 250 war maps. Most of these maps are Austro-Hungarian and give us a clear view of the Italian war front between 1915 and 1918. The achievement was possible thanks to the cooperation of Marco Polo System, Archivio di Stato di Firenze, Antiga Edizioni, Università di Padova and Regione del Veneto. 

In the coming weeks we really hope to offer you more contents about this.

Exhibition Featuring Striking Modern Images of WWI Battlefields from Photographer Michael St Maur Sheil Opens at National World War I Museum and Memorial


 Ancient remains of the village, Fey-en-Haye,
in the St. Mihiel battlefield

Press release 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – World War I was the first “modern” war as industry enabled weapons and explosives to be manufactured in vast quantities that brought death and destruction on a scale never previously experienced by mankind. 

American Sergeant Charles S. Stevenson wrote, “Machine guns, rifles, shells, aeroplanes, and tanks — everything you read about — I saw ‘em all. We followed the first line (the attacking party) for twelve hours and ours was a sort of 'after the battle' review. I saw all kinds of German trenches, barbed wire entanglements, busted houses, burning trees, deep shell holes, torn-up railroad tracks, peaceful gardens, dynamited bridges.”
 
American 30.06 caliber unfired rifle clips in the Meuse Argonne “Pocket” 
where the so-called “Lost Battalion” fought its gallant action.

The experience of American soldiers in the Great War is documented in a free outdoor special centennial exhibition, Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace: The Doughboys, 1917-1918, which debuts Friday, March 31 in the Museum’s Memorial Courtyard. The exhibition features the incredible contemporary photographs of Michael St Maur Sheil, depicting the battlefields of the Western Front where the Doughboys fought. The exhibition, co-curated by the Museum, opens in conjunction with the centennial of American entry into the Great War and is the first large-scale exhibition of Sheil’s work in the U.S. His prior exhibitions have been seen by more than five million people across the world.

In addition, a second edition of the exhibition debuts at Guildhall Yard, the site of London’s historic Roman Amphitheatre, on April 6. The exhibition then shifts to the U.S. Embassy in London at Grosvenor Square (April 28-May 12) before traveling throughout the United Kingdom during the course of the year, including stops in Liverpool, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff.
 
Relic German stick grenade in the U.S. action areas 
in the Champagne region


“Through this exhibition, we trace the journey of the American forces in 1917 and 1918, and commemorate their efforts,” said National World War I Museum and Memorial Senior Curator Doran Cart. “It is both beautiful and poignant work and serves as another example of our commitment to understanding World War I and its enduring impact.”

When the United States entered the cataclysm of the war to become known as World War I, the global conflict had consumed many nations since 1914 and continued for years. The Armistice of Nov. 11, 1918 halted the fighting on the Western Front.

The Western Front the American forces saw when they arrived and until they returned home included scenes of environmental degradation, obliterated villages, vast cemeteries, and continuing massive destruction. Much of the landscape of the Western Front looked like an uninhabited planet very foreign to them.

“The U.S. involvement in the First World War was a hugely significant factor,” said Sheil, whose work has been featured in National Geographic and Time magazine. “Today, it is often overlooked, but it was a New World coming to the aid of an Old World, from which many of the young American soldiers – as first generation immigrants – had sought to escape. Their humanitarian effort in supplying and shipping over seven million tons of food to save the peoples of Belgium and northern France from starvation marked the advent of America as a united nation.”

Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace: The Doughboys, 1917-1918, is open through Aug. 20, 2017 at the Museum. The exhibition is presented by the Aon Foundation with additional support provided by Edward Jones, PNC Financial Services Group and Park University. The U.K. version is presented by the Aon Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Embassy. 

In conjunction with the March 31 opening, the Museum is hosting a free reception and panel discussion featuring Sheil, Cart and Museum President and CEO Dr. Matthew Naylor on Friday, March 31. The reception, which begins at 5 p.m., features a free drink and complimentary light hors d’oeuvres with entertainment from jazz musician Bram Wijnands and his trio. The panel discussion follows at 6 p.m. Individuals interested in attending may RSVP at theworldwar.org


Info:
National World War I Museum and Memorial
2 Memorial Drive | Kansas City, MO | 64108
Office: 816.888.8122
Cell: 352.278.0522
theworldwar.org 

"L'offensiva di carta". An illustrated journey from the Luxardo Collection to modern-day comics. An exhibition opening in Udine (Italy)


We're happy to announce the opening of the exhibition "L'offensiva di carta", an illustrated journey dedicated to the First World War years, from the Luxardo Collection to modern-day comics.

Infoline:
"L'offensiva di carta"
La Grande Guerra illustrata, dalla collezione Luxardo al fumetto contemporaneo
The Great War: an illustrated journey through time, from the Luxardo Collection to modern-day comics
Castello di Udine, 31 March 2017 - 7 January 2018
E-mail: civici.musei@comune.udine.it
Web: www.civicimuseiudine.it
Curated by Giovanna Durì, Luca Giuliani, Anna Villari
in cooperation with Sara Codutti and Fernando Orlandi

The exhibition opening these days in Udine (Friuli, Italy) displays an amount of artworks coming from the Luxardo Collection. Luxardo is the surname of a doctor of the Friuli area that was able to collect immediately after the end of the First World War more than 5600 magazines and monographs. The Luxardo Collection, now part of the collection of Musei Civici, is a large window from where people can view what was produced in terms of illustration and propaganda images in the different armies and fronts. The exhibition develops and takes into consideration the appearance of the cinema as an essential tool for the control of an already biased imagery. The last section of the exhibition is dedicated to the "new" art of illustration and comics, introducing to the works of artists such as Joe Sacco, Gipi, Manuele Fior, Jacques Tardi and Hugo Pratt. The exhibition will run untill the beginning of January 2018.

“Panoptico”, the sound art installation by Greta Lusoli at Castello di Duino

Opening: March, Saturday 25th at 11.00 a.m., at Castello di Duino's Bunker (via Duino 32, 34011, Duino Aurisina – Italy) - The participation to the opening is by reservation only (via mail at info@iodeposito.org or via the B#Side War App)

Opening hours: from 25th March 2017 to 2nd April 2017; from 9.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. (closed on Tuesdays). Free entry.


Infoline: www.iodeposito.org; www.bsidewar.org


In collaboration with the Gruppo Ermada Flavio Vidonis and the Castle of Duino, IoDeposito Ngo presents on Saturday 25th March at 11.00 a.m. the sound art installation PANOPTICO by Greta Lusoli, at the Castello di Duino's Bunker. The event is organized thanks to the support of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region and the patronage of UNESCO and it will be available until the 2nd April 2017: from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed on Tuesdays). This new appointment belongs to the third edition of the diffuse artistic and cultural Festival B#SIDE WAR, which is promoted by IoDeposito through numerous Italian and international events such as exhibitions, conferences and research project (www.bsidewar.org).

One hundred years ago, Europe looked like a big open-air prison: almost fifteen million people used to be trapped inside inhuman war jails and even more civilians were trapped between refugee camps and their own houses, living a life of destruction and deprivation. The sound art installation PAN-ὀπτικός by Greta Lusoli relates to that terrible war scenario trying to evoke and reconstruct in the mind of the listener the archetype prison designed by the philosopher and jurist J. Bentham at the end of XVIII century. Born with the intent to make the jails more efficient, less expensive and easier to monitor, the  Bentham's structure provided only one warden who, standing in the centre of the building, was able to guard at the same time all of the prisoners in their cells developed in a circle around the central space. In this way the prison cells became transparent: the privacy of the prisoners and the preservation of their intimacy (so, their inner identity) completely disappeared, stoking a dangerous process of objectualization and dehumanization of the prisoner.

PAN-ὀπτικός works through a stratification of its deepest meanings: there are at least three intrinsic factors related to this immaterial but complex intervention of public art. The first analysis is a sensorial one: to evoke the cruel architecture of Panopticon, Greta Lusoli project into the proxemic space of the listener a vibrant, deep, screeching and unpleasant sound that resonate inside the chest and memory of the listener with universal and archetypical echoes of a primordial energy, reminding to ancestral alert signals.  This sound create an emotional correspondence, as a summa of all the alert signals coming from the animal world, including the most primitive ones whose have been extinguished. The second level of interpretation tunes the experience of this 18th-century architecture with the tragedy of contemporary conflicts. The choice of an architecture as a symbol of an unseen reality (but too much common in our contemporaneity) hit the headlines from a mathematics and conceptual proportion trough that the sound resonate in the space: the minutes within a year are divided with the numbers of prisoners that every year, today, are victims of conflicts. In fact, the sound reverberates every 5 minutes and 53 seconds, underlining the impressive quantity of war prisoners that nowadays still loose their freedom in conflicts. Finally, a third metaphorical matrix concern to the dissociation of polarities see-be seen. The vastness of the conflicts that is gripping the entire world is not read today by our eyes but, thanks to the sound that powerfully touch the deepest strings of our soul, it can be clearly perceived in our minds.

An important role is played by the location. The Castel of Duino, completely destroyed due to its proximity to the front during the First World War, was under bombardments of the allies on Monfalcone during the Second World War. Villagers used to seek refuge inside the big Bunker, venturing into the deep cave and waiting in the dark that the worst was over. The sound art intervention, installed in the last room of the basement, take the listener at the same time in one space and in many others, comparing the “now and here” of the listener physical presence, with the “then and there” of the victims and prisoners of the conflict. A vibrant and harsh sound will vibrate inside the bunker of the castle, reflecting an old fear that can be dissolved only  by the light expectancy coming through a window in front of the sea.

Contacts:
Web: www.iodeposito.org; www.bsidewar.org
Direction: info@iodeposito.org
Press&Communication: daniela.madonna@iodeposito.org

Mario Puccini, an Italian World War One writer. The opportunity to know his work in Trieste

Press release

Mario Puccini comes back in the city which gave the title to one of the most representative Italian memorialistic war report of the Twentieth Century, his Davanti a Trieste. The critical edition curated by Tancredi Artico and published by Mursia will be presented on Friday the 3rd March at 6.00 p.m., in the Ubik book store in Trieste (Piazza della Borsa, 15). The new edition is the editorial result of a research projects undertaken by IoDeposito Ngo, in collaboration of Friuli Venezia Giulia Region and with patronage of UNESCO and Council of Europe. The study project has involved many pofessors, Ph.Ds and university researchers. The book launch of Trieste belongs in fact to the third edition of the diffuse artistic and cultural Festival B#SIDE WAR, which is promoted by IoDeposito through numerous Italian and international events such as exhibitions, conferences and research project (www.bsidewar.org).
 
The prolific author Mario Puccini (Senigallia, 1887 - Rome, 1957) was one of the literatus of «Voce» (the most important Italian magazine of the early ‘900) circle, who have been able to deeply influence the fortunes of the following history of literature affecting particularly the neorealist poetry. As many times defined by Vasco Pratolini «one of the master the Italian literature must bring justice», Mario Puccini have been also a soldier, crossing, during the First World War, all the Friuli Venezia Giulia territory, from the Carso to the Piave. From this human experience, in which the literary experience merges with the bellic one, is born a war diaries trilogy that includes Dal Carso al Piave (1918), Davanti a Trieste (1919) and Così ho visto il Friuli (1919), which represents one of the most important memorial and literary record about World War I on the international scene. 

Davanti a Trieste is a staunch and empathic portrait of war days, in which is presented the collective feeling of his comrades and is shown how they perceived reality as if they were a single organism. Lieutenant Puccini gets therefore straight to the heart of things, with his desire to pay tribute to the men who sacrificed their own lives with a valorous and touching simplicity. The writing is limpid and incisive, focused on a strong attention to the human dimension of the conflict, trough an effective formal modernity free from aesthetic temptations (which is the distinctive style of the whole Puccini's literary creation).
 
Thanks to the clear and anti-rhetorical prose, Puccini's pen is able to weave the warp of storytelling with a disarming balance between the immediate crudity of the historical evidence on the one hand and, on the other hand, the human experience transferred to the reader in the form of a poetic literary language, which yearns for salvation and redemption from a senseless and brutal war, able to engulf the reality. The pulsating and genuine compassion of the war-man intertwines with a strong sensitivity about the formal and linguistic experimentation: Puccini's triptych on the Great War is in fact a work able to represent the emotions of a great humanity and at the same time of linguistic and literary innovation, presenting itself as an organic historical evidence of events and of the past of the war. The book curator Tancredi Artico portrays Davanti a Trieste as an «exceptional direct testament of the Great War, which can be at the same level of others Italian literary war works as Guerra del ’15  by Stuparich or Giorni di guerra by Comisso»: Puccini was able to create a memorial work important for its anticlassical statute and for the peculiar chronological concatenation, which makes of writing a mean of salvation. 

(In the above images of Trieste, the quay and Via del Pane)

Contacts:
Event's link: http://www.bsidewar.org/en/upcoming/presentation-of-the-volume-davanti-trieste/
Details: Friday the 3rd March, at 6.00 p.m.; at Ubik book store, Piazza della Borsa, 15, Trieste.
Web: www.iodeposito.org; www.bsidewar.org
Direction: info@iodeposito.org
Press&Communication: daniela.madonna@iodeposito.org

"No words - no war / A Poli-focal interactive installation" at Carinarnica – bivak urbane kulture, Nova Gorica (Slovenia)



 
Press release

Opening: February, Friday 17th at 6.00 p.m., at Carinarnica – bivak urbane kulture, Erjavčeva 53, 5000 Nova Gorica, Slovenia (Carinarnica is situated on the border between Italy and Slovenia).
Opening hours: from 17th February 2017 to 3rd March 2017; from Monday to Friday, from 02:00 p.m. to 05:00 p.m. Free entry.

IoDeposito Ngo, with patronage of UNESCO, unveils on Friday 17th February at ore 6.00 p.m. the exhibition NO WORDS – NO WAR / A Poli-focal interactive installation by Natalia Tikhonova, at Carinarnica -bivak urbane kulture. In the evocative location in Nova Gorica, a new laboratory and meeting point of urban cultures, it will be accommodated the series of the Russian artist's optical installations, until the 3rd March 2017: from Monday to Friday, from 02:00 p.m. to 05:00 p.m. Tikhonova's works of art are focused on the return of the war's human and sensory dimension. Thanks to an innovative employment of historical photos and chromatic filters, the artist could reach meanings and feelings that sometimes have been pushed aside in historical books and essays: wars were made by humans against humans and so, among dates and reports of conquests, there are death, dismay, incredulity above all.

The fil-rouge of the Tikhonova's project is that our mind can condition the perception of war until making it something distant, ephemeral and non-existent. Memory and imagination in fact are able to erase not only certain details, but also to make us forget the human presence and components of war, offering an illusory image, erasing the drama of death and leaving only a memory of a desert natural scenography. This reaction, nearly to distance oneself from the harsh reality, is revealed in the series of optical installations by Nathalia Tikhonova with a game of filters that, among the blacks and greys of ancient photos, makes appear and disappear bloody and evanescent figures of soldiers: the legacy of war are read therefore through the colours, made of bright red (which presage) and dense gray (which bewail).
The descriptive language of chromaticism needs no other explanations because is able itself to tell about who has lost everything, even life, in the Russian front (which becomes a universal symbol). In this way, the artist invites the viewer to get in touch with the war's experience through the observation from different perspectives.

Carinarnica, which was inaugurated last year by Društvo humanistov goriške Carinarnica, amplifies this artistic experience because is a very significant location: the border house on the border which split the city of Gorizia in two after the Second World War. The street where is nowadays situated the urban cultural centre is half Italian (San Gabriele street, Gorizia) and half  Slovenian (Erjavčeva ulica, Nova Gorica) and so, it brings in itself a huge symbolic meaning. The exhibition belongs to the third edition of the diffuse artistic and cultural Festival B#SIDE WAR, which is promoted by IoDeposito through numerous Italian and international events such as exhibitions, conferences and research project (www.bsidewar.org).

Contacts:
Press&Communication: daniela.madonna@iodeposito.org


The exhibition "Memory as a Living Matter / international Artists for a Reinterpretation of the War Object" in Trieste



Press release

Vernissage: Saturday the 4th of February, at 6.00 p.m., at the Umberto Veruda Gallery, Piazza Piccola 2, Trieste, Italy (access via Piazza Unità walking throughout the main portico)
Exhibition's details: from 4th of February until Sunday 5th March; from Monday to Saturday from 10.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. and from 5.00 p.m. to 7.30 p.m., with the possibility of free guided tours every Friday and Saturday from 5.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m. (bookings available at info@iodeposito.org or via B#SIDE WAR App).

In collaboration with the Municipality of Trieste and the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region, IoDeposito Ngo is glad to present Memory As A Living Matter / International Artists for a a re-interpretation of the war object. The Vernissage will take place Saturday the 4th of February, at 6.00 p.m. at the Umberto Veruda Gallery (Trieste, Italy): for the occasion, a talk with the artists. The exhibition will be available for free until Sunday 5th March in the prestigious location, from Monday to Saturday from 10.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. and from 5.00 p.m. to 7.30 p.m., with the possibility of free guided tours every Friday and Saturday from 5.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m. (bookings available at info@iodeposito.org or via B#SIDE WAR App). 
The event belongs to the third edition of the diffuse artistic and cultural Festival B#SIDE WAR, which is promoted by IoDeposito through numerous italian and international events such as exhibitions, conferences and research project (www.bsidewar.org).

The exhibition Memory As A Living Matter proposes new interpretations of the war object by 10 international contemporary artists, in an original concept of "artist's museography": only a few pieces, made out of poor materials, essential and almost naked in their exposure, but yet so powerful in their expression to unlock the universal meanings, awakening the collective memory and bringing us in contact with the experience of those who have lived the conflict. Between works composed of "strong" materials - iron, cement, everyday items, ready made and objets trouvé - and works composed instead of fragile materials, ineffable and powerfully organic, that bleed to death and fade away under the eyes of the visitor - paper, burned wood, ashes, graphite, egg shells, bread -, the meaning that artists attach to the event of war becomes perceptual, immediate, it brings us back to the sense of humanity, in the world of everyone's images, where the archetypal realities speak a universal language that awakens the legacies and the memories of all of us, echoing those latent legacies of the conflicts that are stratified in our DNA.

Boris Bejas, one of the exhibition's artist, argues «I am very interested in how the social crises interact with the structure of everyday life: through the use of the spectator, art belongs to all three time-lines -past, present and future». Playing a part in the reinterpretation of the war object into contemporary artworks made with war remains, and in artworks that materialise the unexpressed war heritages, the user is immersed in a multi-focal perception of history.

Contacts:
Press&Communication: daniela.madonna@iodeposito.org

The Great War Channel on YouTube (and Mexico in WW1)

https://www.youtube.com/user/TheGreatWar

2017 has begun and still two years of "celebration" of the First World War Centenary are left. What after? And what during these two remaing years? One of the goals of this web site is to detect some initiatives and keep an eye open on what's going on around and what's worthy of mention. We try to produce also some new and useful contents. Beside of that, another goal is to remain after the Centenary as a possible starting point for people looking for resources and particular topics about that conflict. Among what is whorty of notice, we could point out the collection of short videos "The Great War", a Berlin based YouTube project still today meaningful in the digital panorama. Of course many debates can rise on the accuracy and on the editorial slant. Anyway, here below are the main contacts and finally a curious video about "Mexico in WW1".

https://www.youtube.com/user/TheGreatWar
https://www.facebook.com/TheGreatWarYT
https://www.instagram.com/the_great_war/
https://twitter.com/WW1_Series
http://thegreatwar.mkn.tv



"Is the purpose of geography to make war?" An exhibition of Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche in Treviso

Panorama - Montello hill
"Is the purpose of geography to make war?" This is the question coming from the exhibition at Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche, curated by Massimo Rossi and held in Palazzo Bomben, Treviso (Italy). The exhibition will be open from Sunday November 6 2016 to Sunday February 19 2017. Through three closely linked layouts that remain in constant dialogue, maps, atlases and works of art speak of the great communicative and persuasive force of geographic maps. Maps are a powerful means of non-verbal communication and the scenario of the celebrations of the Great War offers a valid opportunity for investigating their ability to condition public opinion when they back the point of view of the Major Nations. This is why the layout of the exhibition focuses on the historical period between the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century, but which actually spans from ancient times all the way to modern day, to tell the story of another possible geography and not necessarily based on military logics.

1918 - Italian positions along the river Piave
The exhibition begins with "Rocks and water", where we see how maps use a simple and preemptory sign - the natural border - to turn mountains and rivers into tools that are able to separate and offer physical shape to ethnic, linguistic groups, nations to transform them into the “geographical expression” of states. The second section, "Human signs", recounts the use of geographical knowledge for propagandist purposes to forcibly convey the idea of nation even before its official political proclamation. The third part, "War maps", highlights the co-existence of two seemingly irreconcilable cultural approaches, in the context of the First World War: graphic symbols representing the vast war industry disseminated on the Piave front, along with signs that bear witness to the presence of thousands of homing pigeons that by flying at more than one hundred meters of altitude and travelling great distances in short amounts of time, inform and send orders. 305 mm mortars that discharge projectiles weighing 400 kg and as big as a man, and tethered balloons suspended hundreds of metres above the ground «swaying in the sky in a long line along the Piave» as described by writer-tenant Fritz Weber, the enemy on the opposite bank.
 
A picture of the exhibition
At the exhibition visitors can appreciate how the maps provide order in an otherwise chaotic world, making it more understandable and familiar, distinguishing the objects, but most of all naming the places allowing us to recognise every single one of them. In every era, as quintessential social and human products, maps have also told the story of places through toponyms, sometimes playing an aggressive power over them. Especially when they alter the original spelling of centuries-old names or replace them altogether with new ones to make them more akin to the most recent dominators: the Dutch Niew Amsterdam becomes the English New York; the German Karfreit turns into the Italian Caporetto to then become the Slovenian Kobarid; the Hapsburg Sterzing becomes the Romanised Vipiteno. Or yet, to fulfil impellent social urgencies and to give a voice to hitherto unexpressed territorial hopes: “Alto Adige”, “Venezia Tridentina”, “Venezia Giulia”, or simply, in the case of a river, by changing its gender.
 
The century-old Piave of the log drivers changed gender in 1918 to offer greater virile resistance to the Austrian invasion, becoming “Il Piave” (male gender), to reassure the collective imagination of the young Italian nation.
 
But is it actually true that the purpose of geography is to make war? Certainly, without geography wars would not even be conceivable, but man has always been the one to make war, and is willing to use all the available knowledge of physics, chemistry, geometry or mathematics to achieve his objectives.
 
NASA Blue Marble from Apollo 17 (December 1972)
This exhibition also looks into another possible geography, a geography that urges us to reflect and act on the world when we try to observe it from above when leafing through the pages of the renaissance atlas of Abramo Ortelio, or pondering The Blue Marble, the first photograph of planet Earth taken from the lens of the astronauts of Apollo 17. A geography that multiplies its potential every time an artist decides to partake in a dialogue with a geographic map - and the exhibition displays geographic rugs and a number of works by contemporary artists.
But most of all it offers the opportunity to consider another geography, that is able to teach us to know places through an uninterrupted dialogue with the historical processes and to persuade us through the example of two authoritative pieces of evidence dating back by a century, geographer Cesare Battisti and historian Gaetano Salvemini, that «there are no natural political borders, because all political borders are artificial, meaning that they are created by the conscience and will of man».
 
Finally a few words about the set-up created by Fabrica: it is an experiential journey, on the discovery of the various geographical maps and the places that inspired them, through the creation of areas that urge visitors to follow them and interact with them. Elements with a linear and clean design, minimalist to focus solely on the works on display, combined with a graphic design that reinterprets the elements of traditional cartography in a modern style.
 
The entire design of the exhibition - set-up and communication - is combined with the spaces of Palazzo Bomben, rich in frescoes and history, in a dialogue of mutual accentuation.
 
The event, funded by the Regional Government of Veneto, is part of the programme commemorating the centenary of the Great War.
 
Info:
La geografia serve a fare la guerra?  
("Is the purpose of geography to make war?")
Representation of human beings
an exhibition of Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche
curated by Massimo Rossi and with the partnership of Fabrica
inauguration Saturday 5 November at 6:00 pm
open from Sunday 6 November 2016 to Sunday 19 February 2017
Tuesday-Friday 3:00pm-8:00pm, Saturday and Sunday 10:00am-8:00pm

Treviso, Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche, via Cornarotta 7
tel. 0422.5121, fbsr@fbsr.it. www.fbsr.it
regular entry: 7 euro, discounted entry: 5 euro, school discount: 3 euro 

Press Office:
Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche
Silvia Cacco, tel. 0422.5121, cell. 331.6351105, silvia.cacco@fbsr.it
Studio ESSECI, Sergio Campagnolo
tel. 049.663499, gestione2@studioesseci.net (Simone Raddi)