STILLS OF PEACE AND EVERYDAY LIFE
Intercultural paths between Italy and other Countries
“Stills of Peace and Everyday Life” is a project promoted by the Fondazione Aria, based on an experimental premise for creation of art and culture “events” inspired by the encounter, communication and knowledge of different cultural traditions worldwide. These events are intended to initiate the building of a global network of connections and partnerships which, through the production of subsequent events, lead to understanding and respect for the cultures themselves, reciprocally promoting beauty and wisdom. Sociology, contemporary art, sustainable economy, and education are the subjects that contribute to dialogue and common understanding of the profound existential and humanistic values forming the basis of each specific culture. In this specific project, the interest in Pakistani culture arose from the encounter with the art of Gandhara, in the Swat Valley, and the unique traditions that distinguish an “endangered” people like the Kalasha. Both are Pakistani contexts studied at length by Italian anthropological and archaeological missions that are still in constant and thriving activity. History, archeology and anthropology were the starting points for a task that led us to meet the complex contemporary world of present-day Pakistan through the art expressed by its younger generations. The contrast with what is happening in Italy was a natural and necessary step that opened up exciting paths of implications and meanings to allow us to read the specific nature of experience, one in the light of the other. Hence “Stills of Peace and Everyday Life”, an exhibition of the work of Italian and Pakistani artists to be held in July 2014 in Atri, Abruzzo, and with plans to continue in the cities of Islamabad and Lahore in collaboration with the embassies and other cultural institutions of the two countries.
The exhibition in the evocative atmosphere of the crypt of Atri Cathedral and the museum it houses, presents works by contemporary Italian and Pakistani artists. The languages of photography, video art and installations will address profound relational, social and existential issues, offering an insight into the most recent art research in Pakistan and exploration of the aesthetic research undertaken by Italian artists from the central Adriatic area. In the art world there are so many exhibits that remind, narrate, yell or repeat. “Stills of Peace and Everyday Life”, in the intention of its creators and curators, wants to be an exhibition “that thinks” and provokes thinking through the unprecedented encounter of Italian artists with the visual and mind culture of contemporary Pakistan. Overcoming prejudices, distances, diversity of education, culture and ideas, the reflections that arise are as much on the specificity of shared needs for dignity, meaning, ethics and respect, all essential to the human condition. In art, as in life, being open to exchange, when it knows how and wants to address the real and metaphorical distances from other cultures, is an opportunity for growth and openness to “innovation” in both form and concept. It is also a way to find other meanings, meeting on the common ground of the search for values that – as human beings – we seek from life.
Intercultural Dialogue: Launching the cultural identity of Abruzzo in the world through encounters with different cultures and awareness of other forms of expression and historical identities. Promoting and raising awareness of the cultural excellence found in the various regions, for the chief purpose of preserving cultural identities that risk extinction.
Anthropological Dialogue: fostering an understanding of the local region among international realities by studying its specific anthropology, culture and landscape through ethnographic research; introducing the Italian and international cultural reality to the central Adriatic region, not in terms of folklore but as a place of human relationships and a geological and anthropological environment featuring visual arts and contemporary art images and installations, expressed through the specific nature of the research and identity of artists operating in the region; discovering and highlighting these same aspects in the cultural identity of the partner country.
Dialogue for Peace: the operation of exchange and mutual understanding intends to help safeguard the region and assess the local environment and culture under threat from globalization and neglect.