curated by Alessandro Romanini and Massimo Scaringella
On the occasion of the eighth edition of Collector's Night in Pietrasanta, the annual event promoted by the art galleries of the Versilia town, on Saturday 24 June at 6 p.m., the exhibition "Animula Vagula Blandula" produced by The Project Space, Lis10 Gallery, Tg Residency and curated by Alessandro Romanini and Massimo Scaringella with works by Brice Esso, Armand Boua and Aron Demetz will be inaugurated at The Project Space (Ex Marmi - Pietrasanta, via Nazario Sauro 52). Both Esso and Demetz will be present at the event and meet the public. The exhibition extends from The Project Space, to the courtyard of Via Garibaldi 44 in the historic centre and the Piazzetta San Martino adjacent to the cathedral square, where some of the sculptures will be on display. The title 'Animula Vagula Blandula' (Little Delicate Soul), is a quotation of the last words in the form of an epigram attributed to the dying Emperor Hadrian quoted in Marguerite Yourcenar's famous text 'Memoirs of Hadrian'. Words referring both to the psychologically fragile and uncertain and, in archaeology, to the representation of the soul of the deceased. The three artists present in the exhibition, net of their disciplinary, technical and stylistic peculiarities, are united by a research that crosses a metalinguistic reflection on the role of art and the artist today, with a careful meditation on socio-political events and the analysis of phenomena that intersect history with the chronicle.
Brice Esso (Dabou, Ivory Coast, 1991) is a singular figure of a multidisciplinary artist who has quickly come to the attention of international critics, able to develop his research straddling painting, sculpture, photography and fashion design. Brice Esso will also be one of the protagonists of the exhibition in the Versiliana park that will be inaugurated on 9 July and will be present with an installation in the Torre dei Mattoni next to the cathedral in Pietrasanta. His research is between traditional African sculpture in wood, ivory and metal and that of the western 'classical' tradition, in marble and bronze, whose history and practice he has studied over the last few years in the territories symbolic of this culture, between Carrara and Pietrasanta. In the exhibition, he presents his new cycle of works - including the famous 'tête de bébés' - made both in bronze and with various types of marble, stones and precious minerals, representations of an idea or even 'psychological self-portraits' of a migrant people in search of its identity, straddling millenary roots and contemporary demands.
Armand Boua (Abidjan, Ivory Coast, 1978), painter, veteran, like Aron Demetz, of his participation in 2022 in the 59th Venice Biennial and the Dakar Biennial, as one of the protagonists of the National Pavilion of the Ivory Coast, develops a pictorial style, which, using salvaged and recycled materials taken from the streets, is aimed at giving identity and symbolic dignity to that anonymous, wandering and sorrowful mass (in particular the cycle of "Les Enfants de la Rue". ..the street children) that populate the outskirts of Abidjan; a place that becomes a symbol of all outskirts and of human identities living on the margins.
Aron Demetz (Val Gardena, 1972), a sculptor, has in recent years returned from a series of high-profile international exhibitions and events to present in Pietrasanta a cycle of works that represent his thirty years of inexhaustible research around the human figure; Erosed, battered, burnt and often hollowed out to the extreme limit of the structural sustainability of the material, Demetz's figures are symbolic of the tyrant Cronos's incessant work on the individual and on what exists, and of the human being's useless striving in the illusory search for identity through manifestations of the power of the ego.