The seventh edition of the Festival del Paesaggio di Anacapri kicks off: from Sept. 9 to Nov. 5, 2023, the event conceived and curated by Arianna Rosica and Gianluca Riccio returns to enliven the evocative spaces of the Fondazione Axel Munthe – Villa San Michele and various public places in the historic center of Anacapri, Capri.
Interview with curator Arianna Rosica:
This year’s festival motto is “Building new identities” – what is the message behind it?
This year’s message is the sense of giving a new identity to Villa San Michele, a place that over time has been frequented by Axel Munthe, the Marquise Casati Stampa and many intellectuals who have left their mark on the island. We invited artists to work on a place, on a space, and to make it identifiable with their poetics and through their works.
We want to create a path that induces the visitor to encounter and notice, even by chance, new things that dialogue with what is already there: a memory, a story. Constructing new identities also means giving the island a less glossy and star system-related idea. A vision that leads us to reflect on what has been, what can be and what will be.
To what extent does the Festival del Paesaggio also reflect a feminine-emancipative attitude?
Earlier, I spoke of the Marquise Casati Stampa, a very unconventional Muse of the island, an eccentric and genial friend of artists and intellectuals, who arrived on Capri in 1912 and rented the Villa San Michele. Even in the past, before the Festival, his character inspired a workshop and a book for a project I curated on the island. In general, in all of my projects I always give great attention to female artists, such as Liliana Moro, Marzia Migliora, Giovanna Silva, Ra di Martino, Carolina Sandretto, and Valerie Krause.
If you look at the selection of the artists in the exhibition, you can find the Goldschmied & Chiari duo (Sara Goldschmied and Eleonora Chiari), Elisa Sighicelli and Emilia Kabakov, artist and wife of the artist Ilya Kabakov, who died in May 2023. Emilya together with Ilya had been among the protagonists of the Festival in 2022 (this year the Festival pays homage to Ilya with the special project Flying Komarov). With their works and their attitudes Sara, Eleonora, Elisa and Emilya are important exemples of a feminine-emancipative attitude.
What role does the natural and architectural landscape of the island play?
Natural and architectural landscape is really important to us. When we conceived the Festival we started from the fundamental figure of Edwin Cerio, from his famous Conference on Landscape – organized on the island by the then mayor in the summer of 1922 – and from his Aria di Capri book, published in 1927.
Following Cerio’s lesson, we invited the artists (Humberto and Fernando Campana, Paolo Canevari, Goldschmied & Chiari, Ilya and Emilya Kabakov, Ibrahim Mahama, Matteo Nasini, Elisa Sighicelli, Alberto Tadiello) to observe the landscape that surrounds us from new and unprecedented perspectives, to strengthen the link between artistic creation and the natural world.
Are other locations being used in addition to Villa San Michele?
In 2021 we conceived the Manifesto public art project which every year involves the creation of a work to be exhibited in a series of spaces in the historic center of Anacapri usually intended for institutional and commercial communication.
After Patrick Tuttofuoco’s project in 2021 and Anna Franceschini’s in 2022, the Turin artist and photographer Elisa Sighicelli is the protagonist of the 2023 edition of Manifesto. Furthermore, visitors to the exhibition itinerary that winds through the spaces of the Villa San Michele will be welcomed by the Ghanaian artist Ibrahim Mahama, protagonist of the first edition of TheFlag project,a public art project created in collaboration with the Axel Munthe Foundation. In this way we would like to create a stronger dialogue between the artists, the works and the population of the island to really bring art everywhere.
Photocredits: Pelle Bergström, EC, Raffaele Lello Mastroianni, courtesy galleria Poggiali, Omar Golli courtesy of galleria Giustini_Stagetti, courtesy Galleria A Palazzo, Brescia, Paolo Canevari