The works of twenty-one contemporary artists from around the Mediterranean basin went on display in Rome on Wednesday exploring through experimentation and tradition the identity of the region. “L’Uomo del Mediterraneo” runs in the Vittoriano complex until 8 July. “This exhibition is an utopia, of bringing together united in dialogue the countries of the Mediterranean, with their wealth of history and culture, too often divided by tragic conflicts” explained Maria Teresa Benedetti who along with Alessandro Nicosia curated the show which is part of the Lazio between Europe and the Mediterranean Festival.
The conceptual nature of Croatian Boris Bucan’s work, the fusion of classic and modern in the portraits of Egyptian Essem Mohammed, the myth and religion viewed in a modern and fantastic way by Tunisia’s Halin Karabibene, the mixture of photography used by Greece’s Marios Spiliopoulos to delve into memory and the combination of formal and traditional elements in the work of Albanian Milot, are all on display.
The language of the artists on display at the Vittoriano complex in central Rome is experimental and seeks to launch a message which underlines the existing historic links between the people of this region, who all face onto a sea which should serve to unite different cultures who share a common if turbulent history.
“This is a choral work which reflects the utopia, but also the hope, that the forces of good will triumph and allow the miraculous emergence of precious common roots,” said Benedetti.
Nearly half of the artists taking part are women; Zvjezdana Veselinovic, (Bosnia Herzegovina), Vesna Cadez (Slovenian) Tatiana Medal (Spain) Eleni Nicodemou (Cyprus), Celia Borg Cardona (Malta) Nawal Abdullah (Jordan), a member of the International Forum of Mediterranean Artists for Peace; Miri Segal (Israel) Fathyia Tahiri, who founded the Hassan Museum in Rabat and Insaf Saada (Tunisia)
“There is no point in denying it, the idea of a common Mediterranean identiy has been betrayed by centuries of history, of cruel wars, of tensions and fears” acknowledged the president of the Lazio region Piero Marrazzo in a statement.
“It is certainly true that today, every day, it is betrayed by the difficulty of spreading out equitably resources and opportunities to all the citizens of the Mediterranean.
“Yet there is a deep bond that united us. The light of democracy and dialogue—against the darkness of totalitarianism and intolerance. Building together the tools to fully express their common core will help consolidate the cultural, economic and political integration between the peoples of the Mediterranean” Marrazzo said.