Due South

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Marianne Bernstein
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Independent curator Marianne Bernstein is pleased to announce Due South, the second project in a quartet of volcanic island-based explorations, highlighting an international exchange and exhibition between American and Italian artists. Due North focused on Iceland, and Due South on Sicily. This project is an international first, an opportunity to start a cultural and artistic dialogue between America and Sicily.

Our fascination with Sicily evolved organically when a participating artist, Serena Perrone, in Due North began to make striking parallels between Iceland and her native country. Like Iceland, Sicily’s culture is rooted in an epic, volcanic landscape and diverse cultural history as an island shaped by conquering cultures. The curatorial vision for Due South crystallized around southern Italians’ unique relationship to their tumultuous landscape through tradition, agriculture, and myth. Most importantly, Philadelphia has a unique tie to Sicily with the majority of its rich Italian-American community tracing their heritage to this Mediterranean island.

Due South will be a culmination of two years of artistic research, with leading American artists traveling and completing residencies in Sicily while beginning dialogues with their Italian contemporaries, who will also exhibit work. Select Italians will be invited to travel to the US to complete ambitious installations and works on site. American and Italian artists will also make connections with the Sicilian-American community. Each artist is committed to making work in the social sphere and through interactions with communities and histories unique to Sicily. Important to this exploration are the difficult integration of a rich past and an ever-infiltrating technological present, extremes in history and weather, and the contradictions between a seductive landscape and its inherent Mediterranean challenges. These are pressing dichotomies for the contemporary globalized moment as we try to examine history, heritage, tradition, and the evolution of a place.