Exhibited at La Biennale dello Stretto

The Biennale of the Strait (Italian: La Biennale dello Stretto) in December 2022 was the first time artists, architects and photographers gathered and exhibited at the Siacci Batteria Fort. The location was carefully chosen: the fort is the biggest one in the Messina Strait, playing an important role not only during the 20th century, but in the lives of the locals, ever since the war. The community had helped preserve and restore the building and the surrounding area so it could be reopened as a tourist attraction, as well as a cultural space. The reinvented fort offers an intimate dimension in which the relationship between the artist, the artwork, and the public is played out in a unique atmosphere.
Photo showing the port of Messina.
The Biennale revolved around the question of Mediterranean identity, culture and geography, of how the area and its heritage is connected through water. The sea and its coastline, the ridgelines between the rivers and the streams that develop into permanent water flows, the river beds and the plains alongside unite the peoples of the Mediterranean. Water crosses architecture, landscape, history and art, and this exhibition successfully brought it all together. It was curated by architect Alfonso Femia (500x100) and professor Francesca Moraci within the cultural-editorial project Invisible Mediterranean(s) (Italian: Mediterranei Invisibili).
Photo showing a room in the fort with three panels leaning to the walls. The walls are bare and there is both natural light coming in from the windows and a lamp hanging from the ceiling. The artwork on the left is Grasshopper Geography's river basin map og the Mediterranean that was submitted to the Biennale dello Stretto in 2022..
Alfonso Femia was already familiar with our work, as Grasshopper Geography maps have been the part of his TEMPODACQUA project at the Biennale di Pisa in 2019. He contacted us again with a proposal that we gladly and humbly accepted. Robert created river basin maps of the Mediterranean in different formats and styles and, with the help of their amazing team, our project proposal was ready way before the deadline. One of our submitted maps got exhibited as a major attraction in a room together with Egidio Cutillo and Stefania Schirò's Relitto. and Femia's own work.
Our maps fit perfectly in the Biennale's narrative, as they show all the permanent and temporary streams and rivers that run through our lands. If you start walking from the coast in these watersheds, following the rivers and streams up to their sources, you'll find people, histories, cuisines, families which are connected to the Mediterranean and to each other through water. These maps represent our connectedness, even through our differences. They also show how the Strait of Messina has the potential to be a focal point in building a new, collaborative future for the Mediterranean.
We are proud that we got a chance to be involved in this remarkable exhibition and we're already looking forward to contribute to the next Alfonso Femia project as well.
A large panel leaning to a bare wall, showing Grasshopper Geography's river basin map of the Mediterranean that was submitted to the Biennale dello Stretto in 2022.
Some parts of the article were based on this text.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.