Post World War II Italian Literature is characterized by the conflict between politically and socially engaged writers and the very characters they wrote about who were often consumed by existential pain.
“Neorealism” perfectly summed up the intellectual model of investigating social reality while trying to improve it.
Writers such as Moravia and Pasolini fully endorsed this new creative system that influenced the literary and cinematographic landscape.
In books such as Gli Indifferenti and Ragazzi di Vita or in movies such as La Ricotta and Teorema they analyzed the discomfort of the lower classes against the backdrop of a decadent Bourgeoisie.
The two intellectuals believed a new kind of consumer fascism was taking over our society, obliterating cultural differences and heritage, creating a homogenized mass who would be easy to control and manipulate.
Reflections on consumer fascism can be also found in the works of Anglo-Saxon authors such as J.G.Ballard and his novel Kingdom to Come. The embodiment of this new consumer ideology is expressed in the book through the protagonists affiliation with a sporting fan club, itself sponsored by a shopping mall chain, the temple of this new consumer religion.
In this full-blown consumer society a new generation begins to take shape. Often characterized by a creative immobility as well as ongoing social and personal discontent and alienation.
In the London Art Scene of the 90’s we witnessed the "boom" of the YBA. An artistic movement where, quoting Pasolini: “The cultural models moved further away from the proletarian and peasant’s Heritage to embrace an hedonistic ideology supported by the New Media”.
In those artists work we see an emerging kind of discomfort and disorientation, represented often in the form of apathy, like in Tracey Emin’s My Bed, or in the formal ruthlessness of The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living by Demian Hirst.
Using very different aesthetics both are engaged in representing the dichotomy “reaction / indolence “ produced by the consumer society.
In contemporary Europe we are witnessing an interesting process that is leading to a new concept of Geo-European Policy.
The European Community in experiencing ongoing pressure caused by economically endangered countries such as Greece, Italy and Spain; new political uncertainties caused by newly affiliated nations; or similar pressure from nations that wish to be included such as states in the Balkans: the Blasted of Europe. The E.U. finds itself forced to take charge and face up to these new economic and political challenges. These pressing issues, coming from problematic areas, have pushed The Old Continent to reexamine the parameters and politics of annexation. This is done to keep at bay the separatists forces inside the Union striving to terminate its very existence.
In the work of many young contemporary artists you may still see the frustration characterized by the YBA’s, or the influence of Sarah Kane’s writings characterized by ongoing violence intertwined with an apathetic condition. At the same time a new kind of energy, reaching out for change, also emerges.
An energy that seeks change is present in many contemporary urban architectural reassessments. The transformation of the metropolis is designed and implemented through urban interventions in suburban areas. The suburbs are no longer seen as mere dormitories but as places that can provide sparks of energy that will give dignity back to the cities of the future.
Blasted, more than being an exhibition, wishes to be a public declaration: an artistic intervention that points out the urgency of change.
The works included have a rhizomatic identity. They come together in an installation that has no specific entry or exit point. It proceeds through the space underlining the precise intention to defy a hierarchical order.
Presenting itself in a fluid manner making use of a complex multiplicity which claims, as in Glissant’s writings, the right to be opaque, giving up the idea of a “Sovereign Order” with it’s predetermined forced unity. - Zara Audiello
Participating artists: Rebecca Agnes, Basma AlSharif, Ludovic Bernhard, Eirene Efstathiou, Zoe Giabouldaki, Goran Micevski, Stefania Migliorati, Maria Mitsopoulou & Tina Voreadi, Campus Novel, Mariagiovanna Nuzzi, Giorgos Papadatos, Bojan Radojcić, Société Réaliste, Ivana Smiljanić, Slobodan Stošić, Salon de Vortex (Yiannis Isidorou-Yiannis Grigoriadis).