Francesco Urbano Ragazzi

The Island - 24 Month Meditation

SS. Cosma e Damiano cloister, Venice
June 12 – Sept. 13, 2010

curated by Robert Vincent, Pier Luigi Tazzi, Francesco Urbano Ragazzi

Spot 2. – The Island

Daniele Geminiani, 24 Month Meditation, digital image, dimension variable, 2010

Works by André Eugene, Jean Hérard Celeur, Daniele Geminiani, Naomi Rincón Gallardo, Gabriel Rossell Santillán, Remo Salvadori, Matthew Stone, Nico Vascellari, José Antonio Vega Macotela.

Texts by Pier Luigi Tazzi and Francesco Urbano Ragazzi.


From the 12th of June until the 13th of September 2010, the artist-run initiative The Island transfers its physical and mental dimensions from London to the Venetian lagoon for the third instalment of 24 Month Meditation, a nomadic project lasting a total of 2 years that widens and overturns the well-established format of the Biennials.

The logic that brings the invited artists together is primarily vitalistic, depending on the artists’ biographies, which are all interconnected in various and unsystematic ways. Nevertheless, it is around spiritual forms of transcendence of being that the displayed works of art converge more directly. One of the first hot topics is formed by the sculptures of the Haitians André Eugene and Jean Hérard Celeur, members of Atis Rezistans group and founders of the Ghetto Biennale in Port-au-Prince. With their vudou assemblages, both the metaphysical geometry of Remo Salvatori and Nico Vascellari’s candle sculptures are challenged. The sculptures of the latter also light a photographic cycle of British artist Matthew Stone. Antonio Vega Macotela and Naomi Rincòn-Gallardo worked together with some Mexican prisoners: their works are characterised by claustrophobic and mortuary atmospheres which are on the other side opposing Gabriel Rossell Santillàn’s photographs and videos about the San Luis Portosì desert, where the Huicholes population lives.

Daniele Geminiani, the founder of The Island, interprets the Sala del Camino like an extension of his mind. The artist darkens all the bright sources with leather cloths, turning the space into a cave or a giant darkroom. The only uncovered skylight gives rhythm to the exhibition, determining, with the sun transit, the opening and closing times.

The show is preceded by a talk at the Bevilacqua la Masa Foundation.