The Italian Cultural Institute of New York takes part in the large-scale exhibition “Cantica21. Italian Contemporary Art Everywhere“, a joint initiative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Ministry of Culture to promote and enhance Italian contemporary art. As part of the initiatives planned for the XVII edition of the Italian Contemporary Art Day, Giovanna Silva‘s photographic exhibition ‘Archives, Synthesis‘, among the projects selected by the “Cantica21” Public Notice, opens in New York and will be on display until January 8.
The project stems from the desire of photographing Italian archives and collections, an often-unknown heritage, full of beauty and history. The selected archives contain both museum and private collections. Giovanna Silva has worked over the years taking pictures of the archives in Italy in an unsystematic way, but an invitation made at the beginning of 2020 by the MACRO Museum in Rome – to photograph what is not always accessible to visitors, and then to show the result of her work to the public – led Silva to take note, not only of the heritage contained in the archives of museums, but also of their invisibility.
At the center of this survey will be about thirty archives of public Institutions (including ASAC – La Biennale di Venezia, Pompeii Archives, Naples State Archives, MAXXI Archives), and of personalities from the world of art, architecture and design (Carol Rama, Achille Castiglioni, Enzo Mari, Renzo Piano). The artist’s aim is not only to document the content of the archives themselves, butalso the places and methods of archiving, therefore building a narrative within which, in addition to the works and documents, it is possible to describe the places and, through them, Italy.
Giovanna Silva (1980). Lives and works in Milan She teaches at NABA in Milan, at the IUAV in Venice and at the ISIA in Urbino. In 2020 she won the ‘Enel Italian Fellow’ in Architecture, Urban Design, and Landscape Architecture at the American Academy Rome. In 2012 she founded the publishing house Humboldt Books of which she is editorial director. In 2010 she founded the architecture magazine San Rocco with which she participated in the 13th International Architecture Exhibition 2012. From 2005 to 2011 Silva collaborated with the magazines Domus and Abitare. Among her books: Desertions (2007, A + M bookshop); Narratives / Reports: Baghdad, Green Zone, Red Zone, Babylon (2012); Libya: Inch by Inch, House by House, Alley by Alley (2013); Foxtrot Gate: Cyprus (2014); Syria: a Travel Guide to Disappereance (2016); Afghanistan 0Rh- (2017); April 17, 1975 (2018); Tehran (2019), all Mousse Publishing; Good Boy 0372 (2016) and Walk like an Egyptian (2017, Motto books); Palmyrah and Niemeyer 4ever (2019, Art Paper Editions); Mr. Bawa, I Presume (2020, Hatje Cantz); UN (2020, brown); Never Walk on Crowded Streets (2021, NERO Editions). In 2014 she participated in the 14th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice with the project Nightswimming, Discotheques in Italy from the 1960s until now; a book on the project was published by Bedford Press (Architectural Association, London).
Cantica21 is a joint initiative by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Ministry of Culture which promotes and enhances Italian contemporary art, supporting the production of works by emerging or already established artists, and showcasing them at the Italian Cultural Institutes, the Embassies and the Consulates.