A cura di Ilaria Bernardi

The Laboratorio del cittadino APS hosts in Gubbio an initiative with an Italian and international approach, conceived and developed by Associazione Genesi since 2021.

Starting in 2021, in fact, Associazione Genesi has started “Progetto Genesi. Art and Human Rights,a traveling exhibition and educational initiative dedicated to the theme of human rights, conceived and curated by Ilaria Bernardi, in the belief that contemporary art can take on the role of ambassador of human rights. Each of its stops – in a different Italian and foreign city – is different from the other, it is like a new and different link that, joining the others, strengthens the chain of exhibition and educational events promoted by the Association for the protection and promotion of Human Rights.

Thanks to the interest of Laboratorio del Cittadino APS, Gubbio hosts one of its stages at the Logge dei Tiratori della Lana, from March 1 to April 7, 2024, which is made possible thanks to the collaboration between Laboratorio del Cittadino APS and Associazione Genesi, and thanks to the support of the Fondazione Perugia.

The stage in Gubbio consists of an exhibition divided into two sections, introduced by the video-installation by Iranian artist Morteza Ahmadvand (Khorramabad, Iran, 1981). This work corresponds to the first work to become part of the Associazione Genesi’s contemporary art collection (the Collezione Genesi): on three screens, the symbols of the three main monotheistic religions (the Cross of Christianity, the Star of David of Judaism, and the Cube of the Islamic Kaaba) rotate on themselves transforming into a sphere, a symbol of the earthly sphere and, as it has no edges, a symbol above all of universal peace.

The first section of the exhibition presents for the first time the 15 new acquisitions that became part of the Collezione Genesi during 2023 and have never before been exhibited. Like the other works in the Collection, the new acquisitions are paintings, sculptures, photographs, and installations by artists from around the world who reflect on the pressing cultural, environmental, social, and political issues of our time. The artists in the new acquisitions are: Diane Arbus (New York, USA, 1923-1971); Nadira Azzouz (Mosul, Iraq, 1927 – London, UK, 2020); Anna Boghiguian(Cairo, Egypt, 1946); Yoan Capote (Pinar del Río, Cuba, 1977); Binta Diaw (Milan, Italy, 1995); Irene Dionisio (Turin, Italy, 1986); Petrit Halilaj (Kostërrc, Skenderaj-Kosovo, 1986); Shadi Harouni (Hamedan, Iran, 1985); Emilio Isgrò(Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto, Messina, Italy, 1937); patricia kaersenhout (Den Helder, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1966); Elena Mazzi (Reggio Emilia, Italy, 1984); Małgorzata Mirga-Tas (Zakopane, Poland, 1978); Francis Offman (Rwanda, 1987); Silvia Rosi (Scandiano, Italy, 1992), Sebastião Salgado (Aimorés, Minas Gerais, Brazil, 1944).

Sealing the transition between the first and second sections is an in-depth space dedicated to artist Simone Fattal. Born in Damascus, Syria, in 1942, she grew up in Beirut, Lebanon, where she began painting in 1969. Due to the outbreak of civil war, however, she suspended her artistic activity and fled to California, where she founded Post-Apollo Press, a publishing house dedicated to innovative and experimental literary works. Only since 1988 has she returned to creating works, making what later became her typical sculptures with thick legs and nonexistent or weakened heads as if they had been battered on a battlefield, as in the work exhibited in Gubbio entitled Young Warrior (The Trophy), 2023. Awarded the Berlin Grand Art Prize in 2024, the artist has participated in major international exhibitions including the Venice Biennale (2022), the Berlin Biennale (2022), the Biennale de Lyon (2022); and the Sharjah Biennial (2011). Her participation in Project Genesis was made possible by a generous collaboration from the kaufmann repetto gallery (Milan-New York).

Simone Fattal marks the transition between the first and second sections in that on the one hand, because of her life as an artist exiled from her country of birth, she exemplifies the condition of women in some countries of the world (a theme to which the second section of the exhibition is dedicated); on the other hand, she is one of the four artists included in an important project that the Associazione Genesi is working on, in a way related to the Collection (to which the first exhibition section is dedicated), and which will not be announced until the fall of 2024.

In each of its stages, a fundamental part of Progetto Genesi is always the educational activity, which in Gubbio is distributed in a program of free guided tours and workshops, in presence at the Logge dei Tiratori della Lana, every Saturday for the entire duration of the exhibition, at 11:00 a.m. (a guided tour) and 3:00 p.m. (a workshop), respectively, designed for different target audiences. Reservations are required and can be made through the Genesis Association website and the Progetto Genesi app, which can be downloaded for free from smartphones. Schools, on the other hand, can also book guided tours and workshops on other days of the week by writing to:

Gariwo Foundation, the forest of the Righteous participates in the educational mission of Progetto Genesi by involving local schools to participate in guided tours and workshops, while FAI – Fondo per l’Ambiente Italiano involves volunteers from FAI Delegations, and in particular the mediators of the FAI Ponte tra culture project conceived by the Associazione Amici del FAI aimed at fostering intercultural dialogue between people from different geographical backgrounds. The FAI Ponte tra culture mediators, from different countries, offer an original contribution by narrating the works of the Genesis Collection through podcasts that can be listened to from the Progetto Genesi app created by Hidonix, enriching them with direct and personal testimony.


[Cover: Courtesy Fondazione Perugia]