Rothko in Lampedusa
di Luca Berta e Claudia Giubilei
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, presents Rothko in Lampedusa. The project displays the work of eight established artists with personal refugee experience or who have made forced displacement a central theme in their artistic research and five emerging artists who are currently refugees. The exhibition seeks to shed new light on the condition and talent of people forced to flee.
Curated by Luca Berta and Francesca Giubilei and sponsored by UniCredit Group, the exhibition points to the ideal connection between one of the most celebrated artists of the 20th century and the refugees who arrive on Europe’s southern shores in search of safety and protection today. And it shows how, under the right conditions, their talent can not only flourish, but also be of immense benefit to the communities that take them in.
Mark Rothko has been chosen as the paradigm of an existential condition faced by numerous 20th century artists escaping racial, religious and political persecution, and which is, sadly, still current today. Having fled with his family from present-day Latvia to the United States of America, Rothko was able to express his talent and make his representation of the world and of his tormented existence available to the whole of humanity, enabling us to lose ourselves in his expanses of colour. What would 20th century culture have been without Rothko? And what if, among the mediatically indistinct mass of refugees now arriving in Europe, there is the Rothko of the 21st century?
UNHCR – The UN Refugee Agency
Luca Berta, Francesca Giubilei
Adel Abdessemed, Majid Adin, Ai Weiwei, Christian Boltanski, Rasha Deeb, Mohameda Keita, Dinh Q. Lê, Nalini Malani, Abu Bakarr Mansaray, Richard Mosse, Bnar Sardar Sidiq, Hassan Yare, Artur Żmijewski