As in the past editions, reacting to the title suggestions is an opportunity to think about ways to present artworks inside the spaces of ATR ex deposit and to make them coexist with the festival forms and rhythms as a counterpoint and theoretic counterpart.
This year the problem is twice significant: the suggested theme tests the ability of the works of art to get out of the conceptual and self-referential hinges facing a strictly human dimension (and yet also literary and mythological). A reflection about the father can cause dizziness, create a forever unsolved and potentially inexhaustible exhibition.
So it took shape the hypothesis of a room (that I like to call “the father’s room”) more than an exhibition, a place where to collect some artworks about the father that I met over the years, often diverging from the poetics of the artists who made them. The works in the room belong to different languages and look at the father from different points of view and in various ways: they can be portraits, double portraits, self-portraits, devices able to raise the identity problem in an autobiographic and vaguely narrative way; to develop stories and tales kept inside them as secret figures; to hint at the father in terms of traumatic absence or loss, or force to fight and reaffirm, till redefining its outlines in a more indefinite and archetypal form.
The room is also a space for words. Sunday afternoon Daniele Balicco and I will chair a discussion day – with artists, writers, directors and theorists – with reflections, conversations and stories about the figure of the father, which fluctuates between two poles: the one of the natural father and the one of the chosen father, of the mentor.