Interview: Luisa Bianco
Luca Curci talks with Luisa Bianco during FRAGMENTED IDENTITIES, second appointment of BORDERS Art Fair 2020, at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.
Luisa Bianco was born in Catanzaro, Italy in 1983. Graduated in Mediterranean and Eastern cultures and societies at La Sapienza University of Rome, she obtained a PhD in “Society, politics and cultures from the late Middle Ages to the Contemporary Age” at the same university. She has conducted research in Morocco and has worked as an intercultural mediator in various Italian regions collaborating with social cooperatives and non-governmental organizations, including the NGO EMERGENCY Onlus. She is the author of the book “Emigrating from Morocco. Socio-environmental imbalances and exodus from a mining center (Khouribga) 1921-2013” published by Rubbettino Editore. Since 2015, she has been working with UNHCR as Protection Officer with the UNHCR Representation for Italy, the Holy See and San Marino. Constant explorer of the human soul and limits/boundaries related issues, she translates her intuitions into different artistic languages including painting, sculpture, writing, photography and music.
Luca Curci – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
Luisa Bianco – My background is focused mainly on three areas concerning studying humanistic sciences and law, in particular languages, contemporary history and legislation on international protection; operating as a cultural mediator and legal counselor on behalf of asylum seekers and refugees, and developing my attitude to search, mainly elaborating on Life and truth related issues in their wide spectrum of expressions and nuances.
Passing through deep pain caused by living, directly or indirectly, experiences perceived as unfair have influenced my work especially during moments of crisis related to personal growth and evolution.
LC – What is art for you?
LB – Art is a search tool and, at the same time, a language of the imperishable and incorruptible Infinite. The latter can be grasped through intuition as presence living in the essence of things, events and living beings. The artistic search helps essence to be visible and to emerge to soul’s eyes.
LC – Which is the role the artist plays in the society? And the contemporary art?
LB – Artist plays the crucial role to facilitate connections. Indeed, experiencing and exploring in a rigorous manner life, Artist feels the huge responsibility to share discoveries made and to accompany human beings in enhancing their capacity to recognize truth and core essence, dwelling in what surrounds us, which only apparently is separated from us. Contemporary Art, like Art of all ages, directly carries the participant, who is experiencing the artwork, to different levels of perception of reality and truth, beyond temporary contingencies and rationality, towards what resists time and space, by causing a deep sense of connection among fragmented parts inside and outside him/her. In the contemporary society, where an overestimated value is recognized to standardized and, often, empty appearance and to material possessions and rationality to the detriment of peculiarity of individual essence of Life’s articulations, spirituality and emotions, Art is called to contribute to reverse the overturned order of things passing from superficial layers to the hearth of things through an immediate (e.g. not mediated) experience of harmony and beauty.
LC – What is your creative process like?
LB – The creative process in this moment of my life is strongly linked to existential related issues, necessary to grow up in harmony with what Life demands to each one of us. As a consequence, artworks are directly generated during reflection processes which include a number of aspects of life, such as dreams, relationships intended in its wide interpretation, complexity of interactions between spirituality and materiality, etc. These reflections are elaborated upon specific life experiences and they emerge as synthesis and spontaneous visions of what I’m focusing on. They help to elaborate further on the search by translating into different artistic languages my intuitions.
There’s not a specific language I avail myself of, as each vision has its own ‘preference’. This can be paint, draw, writing, photography, sculpture, etc. However, the common denominator, especially for what concerns mixed media, is to find the necessary component of the artwork directly at the place where I stay in that moment. Indeed, many of my creative processes, reach always a specific moment when I feel the necessity and the urgency to transpose the idea into material form, and it means that I have to find what I need almost immediately, within what surrounds me. As a consequence, I prefer to use recycled objects and common items, also consistently with a sustainable and ecological perspective.
LC – Are your artworks focused on a specific theme?
LB – The fil rouge passing through artworks is to provide dignity and voice to challenges a human being is exposed to and, sometimes, subjected in the daily life. These above-mentioned challenges are related to very ordinary daily experiences, such as dealing with desires that cannot be granted, and humility to accept temporary painful reaction in view of lessons learned that every sufferance can bring, whether heard properly and wisely discerned.
LC – What do you think about the concept of this festival? How did it inspire you?
LB – The concept of this festival was very inspiring and resulted in connecting the dots between a strong experience lived in 2019 which led me to give birth to ‘Prometheus’ and continuity I perceived with the one collectivity has been subjected to in 2020 due to COVID-19. Fragmented identities and borders/limits are indeed part of human beings’ existence and related feelings and reactions have been always present. The opportunity of this unique festival created a concrete framework to meet different visions on the same topic and to appreciate so many different angulations and perspectives this problematic area is stimulating in actors involved in the artistic process.
LC – We were attracted by your last artistic production, has the artwork presented been created for the festival or as a part of preexisting works?
LB – ‘Prometheus – Apology of the chains’ was conceived in June 2019 while experiencing difficulties in managing intimate forced cohabitation with conflicting feelings. Indeed, in some periods of my life, I’ve been called to confront myself patiently, but in a rigorous and determined way, with human shadow represented by different life aspects such as loneliness, pain, loss and death. Indeed, what happened during the COVID-19 lockdown expresses something not only related to the temporary contingency, the pandemic, but periodically lived by human beings in their intimacy. Forced stay inside our homes and ourselves, where the gaze, no longer being able to concentrate on the outside, turned to our intimacy, like Prometheus’ chains, represent the necessary limit to re-establish the functional and essential balance of Life on this planet, of which man is a part and not an exclusive guest. The myth of Prometheus is the only one that best represents the consequences of titanism, intended as an attraction towards overcoming the limit at all costs, a metaphor for the human hubris which, through the use of the technique and the loss of a lifestyle in harmony with the living, goes beyond the laws and the sacredness of nature. The titan is then punished by Zeus, forced to daily tortures that force him to coexist with suffering.
The immediate and imposed interruption of vicious circles and automatic consuming habits, consolidated over the last centuries, constituted the containing and painful chains and, at the same time, a limit within which it was possible to take advantage of a protected space and an environment useful for reviewing human values and for a potential and silent metamorphosis. Now it’s necessary to understand whether the human being is able to grasp the importance of this opportunity as a first step towards a rebirth of which the awareness of respect for limits is an essential element.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
LB – ITSLIQUID GROUP is an original and unique opportunity to create, maintain and enhance relationships among actors involved at international levels, and in their different capacities, in Art. Considering difficulties true artistic language is experiencing nowadays, this Group is furthermore undertaking a courageous challenging in promoting and sharing artworks which not always respond to the afore-mentioned standardized patterns of beauty, glimpsing and encouraging substance, efforts and rigour showed in all artworks I’ve got the great pleasure to visit at the exhibition and on the website. Apart from what ITSLIQUID GROUP represents for artists, I would say that it constitutes a strong message as well of being, notwithstanding present contingencies, available to the entire society.
LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
LB – In a nutshell, it has been perfect. Showing a high level of dedication, professionalism and humanity through the whole process of thorough selection, organization and presence during the event, both in person and virtually.
LC – Would you suggest a collaboration with us? What do you think about our services?
LB – I will surely highly recommend a collaboration with you, by promoting services you offer particularly in terms of sharing artworks and their messages at international level with high-quality standard, which is undoubtedly one of your great added values.