Gibellina : a town reborn beneath the signal of artwork (and images)

Yoshiko Yap

Even though waiting for the biennial intercontinental festival Gibellina Photoroad in 2023, let’s take a stroll amongst pictures exhibitions, artworks and museums in this western Sicilian minor city, which has been reborn beneath the signal of artwork (photography bundled), just after the disaster of the 1968 earthquake.

We enter Gibellina, which is a true position although a conceptual a single, via the monumental gate referred to as the Porta della Valle del Belice (also identified as Stella (Star) of Belice) by Pietro Consagra. The city as a full, alongside with the Ludovico Corrao Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC) and the Museum Mediterranean Styles are among the the most authentic cultural ordeals of the second half of the 20th century. And the urban centre is an open up-air museum (with performs by Consagra, Quaroni, Mimmo Rotella, to title but a few of the artists who have ‘signed’ the rebirth of Gibellina), when the rubble of the old town is concealed underneath the Cretto (The Fantastic Crack) by Burri.

As significantly as pictures is anxious, our check out begins from Baglio di Stefano (the headquarter of the Fondazione Istituto di Alta Cultura Orestiadi): situated shut to the city, it’s an instance of the standard farmhouses of the region. The Museum Mediterranean Patterns preserves the Foundation’s assortment of modern artwork, with performs documenting the artists’ continue to be in Gibellina and their contribution to the city’s reconstruction project (i.e. the magnificent equipment of Arnaldo Pomodoro for the Orestiadi, or the operates by the Italian Transavanguardia artists) as nicely as the Foundation’s long-lasting images collection.

Da Beirut ad Aleppo at Baglio Di Stefano

Fondazione Orestiadi, in memory of its founder Ludovico Corrao, offers two initiatives: in Palermo, in collaboration with Fondazione Sant’Elia, and in Gibellina. Hence, Baglio Di Stefano hosts the exhibition Da Beirut advertisement Aleppo (curated by Francesca Corrao and Enzo Fiammetta) by the Lebanese ethnologist and photographer Houda Kassatly. Her images trace the new history of the Lebanese money, from the conclude of the civil war to the aftermath of the August 4, 2020 explosion and doc the destruction in Aleppo (Syria) in the course of the war with a collection of images taken in 2018 for UNESCO. What stays of Aleppo is a reflection of the previous architectural splendour of the Mamluk sultans (13th-16th century), with shadows forged on the walls or the rubble scattered on the floor, shreds of windows overlooking useless-close courtyards. In war zones, there is no potential in sight: almost all people is gone, possibly forever. On the outskirts of Beirut, the houses have been emptied to be rebuilt in other places: deserted rooms, no symptoms of existence, only sophisticated trimmings of former prosperity.

Open up phone Fotografia Spazio Aperto

Fotografia Spazio Aperto is an Open Phone promoted by Triennale Milano and Gibellina Photoroad/Open air & Web page-certain Festival it bargains with the re-interpretation of the general public space and non permanent internet site-specific installations (the target is on a person of the city’s most emblematic squares: the Sistema delle Piazze, designed by Franco Purini and Laura Thermes ). A photographer and an architect, picked by the jury, will commit a residency in Gibellina to style an open-air and internet site-particular installation which will be held all through the 4th version of the Festival (July 28/September 30, 2023). The workshop Curatorial Practices in Community Room, in Milan at Triennale, is also scheduled. Deadline September 9, 2022 (,

Frida Kahlo, ritratto di una vita at MAC

Ruins and rebirth: this is the backlink amongst Gibellina, exactly where art has been able to mend the people’s wounds after the earthquake, and Frida, who healed the wounds of her existence many thanks to creativity and painting.

Our photographic trip goes on at MAC (the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Ludovico Corrao), wherever the exhibition Frida Kahlo, ritratto di una vita is on display in the museum’s Mario Schifano Rooms: her portraits, shot by masters of photography (which includes Imogen Cunningham, Edward Weston, Lucienne Bloch and Leo Matiz) chronicle her lifestyle, artwork, friendships, enjoys and are in an perfect dialogue with the paintings of the Italian Pop Art protagonist. B&W pictures (and some in colour) narrate Frida’s lifetime from childhood to her conference with the Mexican artist Diego Rivera, and to her demise. Also on display screen are some photos taken by her father Guillermo Kahlo, a properly-recognized Mexican photographer, who immortalised her in her personal dimension. The exhibition, promoted by the Municipality of Gibellina and structured by Diffusione Italia Worldwide Group, is curated by Vincenzo Sanfo and Tanino Bonifacio. But whoever enters the MAC, in addition to the operates by big up to date artists, can find a further treasure, photographically speaking: the permanent photography segment, with the is effective of some excellent photographers (Mimmo Jodice, Letizia Battaglia, Arno Hammacher, Mario Giacomelli, Maria Mulas, just to quote some) who advised the tale of Gibellina, the earthquake, the artwork, the reconstruction.

Gibellina selfie – Lo sguardo di tre generazioni

Even though waiting for the new version of Gibellina Photoroad, the ‘photographic’ tour requires us in the Piazza del Municipio, with the Gibellina Selfie – Lo sguardo di tre generazioni (The gaze of a few generations), established for the town in the framework of the 2019 version of the celebration by Joan Fontcuberta. It is a mural photomosaic representing the eyes of 3 Gibellina inhabitants of distinct generations. It is composed of 6075 ceramic tiles with the selfies and photographs the folks of Gibellina despatched to the artist, in reaction to an appeal on the world wide web. He recomposed them, recounting the current time and its ongoing circulation. “It’s a way to change the individual use of mass pictures in the age of the web – the selfie as personal self-representation – into a instant of collective id design, a self-portrait of the lifetime of a community”, the pageant inventive director Arianna Catania clarifies.

Paola Sammartano

Paola Sammartano is a journalist, specialised in arts and photography, primarily based in Milan.


Da Beirut ad Aleppo. Foto di Houda Kassatly
June 25 -September 04, 2022
Fondazione Istituto Alta Cultura Orestiadi
Baglio Di Stefano, 91024 Gibellina – TP, Italy
Palazzo Sant’Elia, Through Maqueda, 81, 90133 Palermo – PA, Italy


Frida Kahlo, ritratto di una vita
June 8 – September 30, 2022
Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Ludovico Corrao
Via Segesta 1, 91024 Gibellina – TP, Italy

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