"Imago Mundi - Mediterranean Routes"

Imago Mundi

Cantieri Culturali alla Zisa, Zac, Zona Arti Contemporanee, Zisa, Palermo

The Mediterranean Sea, an ancient crossroads of civilizations, cultures and histories. Dedicated to the peoples of this common space, “Mediterranean Routes” is an exhibition of Imago Mundi collections from the 19 countries bordering the Mare Nostrum, on display in Palermo from 18th February to 10th March as part of the Biennale Arcipelago Mediterraneo at Cantieri Culturali Alla Zisa - Spazio Zac - Zona Arti Contemporanee.

The waters of the Mediterranean, navigated since ancient times by fishermen, merchants, soldiers and explorers, are a place of meeting and intersection, fusion and socialization, synonymous with prosperity and openness for the civilizations born on its shores, and for those nearby, who turn their gaze to the sea.

Imago Mundi has chosen to dedicate this new exhibition to the Mare Nostrum (Our Sea, as the Mediterranean was known to the Romans), whose ‘our’ aspires to be an expression of belonging on the part of all nations who share this sea, this cradle of Western civilization: from the Middle East, with Palestine and Israel, Syria and Lebanon, to the African coast, with Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, crossing Europe from the far west of Portugal to Greece and Turkey through Spain, France and Italy, with a focus on Campania and Sicily, and beyond, through Albania, Montenegro, Croatia and Slovenia.

The exhibition offers an unprecedented and original contemporary insight into this area with the sea at its heart: the 21 collections, almost 3,500 artworks by as many artists, collectively explore new routes across this sea which in recent decades has also become a barrier, identified with tragedy, despair and death.

The show includes the exhibition “Shame and Soul”: British photographer Giles Duley and Syrian artist Semaan Khawam, exiled in Lebanon, both present in their respective Imago Mundi collections, dialogue with each other through their own art. A video-documentary traces the highlights of their meeting, which took place in Beirut in January. Their story becomes a symbol of how no  barriers exist between humans, when hearts beat as one. “Mediterranean Routes” thus proposes a comprehensive picture of the Mediterranean Sea, which, despite the dramatic events of our times, still wishes to be a constructive symbol of hope, opportunity, future and beauty.

Imago Mundi is the non-profit contemporary art project promoted by Luciano Benetton: artists from around the world, established and emerging, take up the challenge of the same medium, a 10x12 cm canvas; to date 20,000 artists from 120 countries, regions and peoples, have become involved in the project. The result is a mosaic of stories, passions, dreams, actions and contradictions, where each work lives by its own light but at the same time is part of a global image.

Opening of the Imago Mundi exhibition Mediterranean Routes

Leoluca Orlando (Mayor of Palermo), Luciano Benetton, Andrea Cusumano (member of Palermo City Council), Semaan Khawam (Artist) and Giles Duley (photographer) at the opening of Imago Mundi exhibition - Mediterranean Routes, Zisa, Palermo

Enrico Bossan, Francesco Pantaleone (curator), Ignazio Mortellaro (artist) at the opening of Imago Mundi exhibition - Mediterranean Routes

Francesco Pantaleone (curator) and Luciano Benetton at the opening of Imago Mundi exhibition - Mediterranean Routes

The Imago Mundi's sicilian artists Gianfranco Anastasio, Linda Sofia Randazzo, Nike Pirrone, Stefania Artusi, Andrea Kantos, Ignazio Mortellaro, Angela Sottile, Alessandro Librio, Stefania Cordone, Ciro Cangialosi, Massimiliano Patrizio Milia, Vera Carollo at the opening of Imago Mundi exhibition - Mediterranean Routes, Zisa, Palermo

Renata Pucci di Benisichi and Luciano Benetton at the opening of Imago Mundi exhibition - Mediterranean Routes, Zisa, Palermo

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