In the prestigious spaces of Palazzo Albrizzi in Venice started Ruoli Segreti e Ruoli Proibiti / Hidden & Forbidden Identities, an international videoart festival and photography exhibition which opened the doors on February the 11th with a musical interlude by Enzo Caroli and Simone Rocchi. Fifty-one video artists and twenty-eight photo artists from thirty different countries has been selected to be part of this project. The project has been curated by Luca Curci and Elis Saint Juste and organized by International ArtExpo and The Seven.
“Carnival is over. The screens are switched off. The public experienced some moments of transgression. A joke of identity: masked identities, forbidden identities in a society of images. The topic of the contest which was presented online some months ago, has found a fertile territory among artists all over the world and a special interest in declining the cultural paradigm of identity, rooted in various sections such as geography, ethnology, religion, psychoanalysis, sex. Very different proposals which I assembled above all to create a narrative structure, materialized in five different spaces at Palazzo Albrizzi, a 16th century building seated in Cannaregio, Venice, and venue of the German-Italian Cultural Society, with an intense exhibition program, including frequent Biennale shows.
What does it mean to design a photo exhibition about hidden and forbidden identities in a site like this? It is a particular challenge of adapting artistic visions to multidisciplinary contexts concerning the relationship between places and their history. Venice has its own unbeatable architectural and artistic identity which we can only enhance by working on the cultural continuity between the past and the future.
Palazzo Albrizzi, a fragment of Venetian identity, offers a unique chance to the artists selected to coexist with a historical and cultural heritage which represents the ideal basis for the contest’s request. Giacomo Casanova is still alive behind the arcades, on the search of an everlasting Carnival to ennoble his pathological features. Prestigious palaces, facing the Canal Grande, evoke the memory of magnificent luxurious masquerades which still come to life at least for one month a year. Our artists’ works are immersed into this atmosphere, contaminated by the invisible denseness of past lives and the composition of the photo show reflects the need to be narrated, to be linked to other stories, to add unpredictable layers to the pre-existent ones.
The exhibition itinerary is based on the architectural contest of Palazzo Albrizzi and evolves entirely on the first floor. By crossing two sumptuous halls with ceiling frescos where the weekly Saturday concert of classic music takes place, the visitor gets into the part of the so-called “Galleria” which is destined to temporary exhibitions. Curiosity is the motor of any kind of creativity, so I imagined the screen shot of the well known film by James Allan Mangold, Identity, written in white characters on a black background, making tremble the audience with fearful premonitions”. Elis Saint-Juste Gluckstein, 2012