A cura di Ilaria Bernardi

Horti – Almo Collegio Borromeo brings to Pavia an initiative with an Italian and international approach, conceived and developed by Associazione Genesi starting in 2021.

Thanks to the contribution of the Fondazione Banca del Monte di Lombardia, Pavia is hosting one of its stops, at the Horti dell’Almo Collegio Borromeo, from May 4 to June 2, 2024.

The stops of Progetto Genesi always take their cue from the themes investigated by works from the contemporary art collection of the Associazione Genesi (the Collezione Genesi), which includes artists from around the world engaged in the most pressing contemporary cultural, environmental, social and political issues.

The exhibition in Pavia is dedicated to one of the six thematic areas of the Collection, The Safeguarding of the Environment, in line with the mission of the Horti where natural habitats, contemporary art, ethics, equity and social inclusion are intertwined.

On display are works from the Collezione Genesi on the theme of the environment or feature iconographic references to nature, all created by women artists from different countries around the world. They offer a female perspective on an important issue currently on the agenda of all heads of state, still predominantly men. For this reason, proposing works by women artists means at the same time inducing a reflection on the role of women (and in particular of women artists) within specific historical and geographical contexts.

The works exhibited are by the following artists: Leila Alaoui (Paris, France, 1982 – Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, 2016); Anna Boghiguian (Cairo, Egypt, 1946); Anne de Carbuccia (New York, NY, USA, 1968); Binta Diaw (Milan, Italy, 1995); Irene Dionisio (Turin, Italy, 1986); Shadi Harouni (Hamedan, Iran, 1985); Zhanna Kadyrova (Brovary, Ukraine, 1981); Tala Madani (Tehran, Iran, 1981); Elena Mazzi (Reggio Emilia, Italy, 1984); Otobong Nkanga (Kano, Niger, 1974).

As an anticipation and opening of the exhibition we find a space exclusively dedicated to the internationally renowned artist Monica Bonvicini (Venice, Italy, 1965). In addition to constituting a perfect opening of the exhibition by dealing with the theme of environmental disasters, this focus is dedicated to Monica Bonvicini as she is one of the four artists selected for a major project that the Associazione Genesi is working on and that will not be announced until fall 2024.

Finally, à pendant to the exhibition but detached from it, as a sort of general teaser of the Associazione Genesi, there will be the video-installation by Iranian artist Morteza Ahmadvand (Khorramabad, Iran, 1981): it corresponds to the first work to become part of the Associazione Genesi’s contemporary art collection: 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, symbolizing rotate on themselves, transforming into a sphere, a symbol of the Earth’s sphere and, as it has no edges, a symbol of peace and universal balance.

In each of its stages, a fundamental part of Progetto Genesi is always the educational activity, which in Pavia is distributed in a program of free guided tours and workshops, to be booked through the Associazione Genesi website and the Progetto Genesi app, which can be loaded 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:

Fondazione Gariwo, 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 will involve 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, will offer an original contribution by narrating the works of the Collezione Genesi through podcasts that can be listened to from the Progetto Genesi app created by Hidonix, enriching them with direct and personal testimony.


[Cover: Courtesy Almo Collegio Borromeo, Pavia]