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Paolo Vivian, Italy

Solo exhibition
Site-specific multimedia installation

MARE NOSTRUM, Paolo Vivian exhibition, 2024, HOSTGALLERY.
Video 3:15 min., HD; ambient sound; photo installation, 2016. Exhibition prints – 2024, digital print on foam board, 40 pcs., 20x20cm.

The artist for the artwork

In my works, through signs or symbols that express concepts, I try to materialize my emotions and the voice of my intuition. I believe that collective memory is the stamp of what unites us, and I would like to stimulate this thought through art.
In this sense, MARE NOSTRUM is a work dedicated to hope. My work, provoked by migration and refugee issues in particular, focuses on the theme of the border – both internal limit states and external confines. This feeling, expressed through a multitude of constantly moving, repetitive abstract images, primarily decided in blue, is a visual metaphor for the ever-changing concepts of boundaries – geographical, religious, ethnic, political, economic, cultural, but also internal, reaching to the most extreme limit in all of our lives, death.

MARE NOSTRUM is a site-specific work, analogous to human nature, which is influenced by the environment and circumstances in which it finds itself. Looking for the hypnotic poetic type of impact on the audience, I put conditional emphasis on the video, which “inhales” a space with the spirit of the blue color and ambient sound without interference. And this is the other aspect of my work, the one that is more related to the inner journey in search of hope, where sometimes we ourselves are the refugees, running from ourselves and drawing our own borders and/or prisons. In my work, the geometric form of the cube and the square symbolizes the collective memory – a completely abstract container where the collective memory is stored. The photo installation, as an integral part of my work, reflects this aspect, and there the sea is present as an element of collective memory and a symbol of hope.

Paolo Vivian on the MARE NOSTRUM project

MARE NOSTRUM, Paolo Vivian, 2016.
Photo installation. Limited edition of copies – digital print on forex, 15×15 cm, 32 pcs.

About the exhibition

Just as art is a way of handling reality, of resisting limitations, of expressing and realizing the desire for freedom, the creative act is a declaration and symbol of identity in the mirror of memory – collective and individual, transforming the simplicity and disruption of Being into Sign.
Guided by this poetics and following his interests in the field of collective memory, of identity and their reflection on social relationships, the Italian artist Paolo Vivian offers his audience a journey along the trail of hope.

MARE NOSTRUM is a multimedia installation, a site-specific video impression, symbolic and poetic, dedicated to the inner journey in search of hope, provoked by the problems of migration and the tragedy of the everyday life of people looking for their new Arcadia. This is a quiet conversation about love, memory and inner transformation. The artist uses a common everyday object and creates an unreal world of hypnotic and metamorphic beauty. A world of shadows and dreams. Intangible, transparent, diffuse, provocative, intriguingly overwhelming.

Quiet sea – bright, sensual, gentle, eternal, irresistible, as love is.
Black Sea – inhospitable, secretive and cruel.
An occult sea that hides memories and submerges hope.
Our sea – the one that is constantly moving and constantly changing and you don’t know which shores it hugs.
A sea of fear and pain. A sea of strength and ecstasy.

Through constant rhythmic repetitions of shots, with a gentle almost imperceptible overflow of tones and shades, using the colors of passion and spirituality, Vivian skilfully delineates the fine line between real and unreal, between myth and dream, between a boundary and archetype, between life and death, between earth and inner heaven. The limits and the horizons, the transience, the hope and the sleep. Hypnotic shots and ambient sound, a sea enclosed in a square, Vivian’s allusion to collective memory serve the artist to provoke his audience to explore the mysteries of existence, the inner cosmos and awakening.

Dora Bulart, art critic and curator of the project, Contempo Gallery, Italy

MARE NOSTRUM, Paolo Vivian, 2016.
Photo installation. Limited edition of copies – digital print on forex, 15×15 cm, 32 pcs.

Presentations & Bibliography | MARE NOSTRUM by Paolo Vivian

2024 Bulgaria, Sofia, HOSTGALLERY, solo exhibition;
2023 Italy, Bergamo, BACS gallery of the group “Artists and Sociologists” within the international project “Mediterraneo. Society at Risk’, curated by Patricia Bonardi (international e-symposium and monograph);
2019 Italy, Pergine (Trento), Contempo Gallery, international project “The Cure of Folly”, curated by Raul Zamudio (New York) (brochure);
2017 Italy, Trento, Palazzo Trentini Museum, the exhibition “La Nave di Teseo”, 2017 (catalogue);
2016 Belgium, Brussels, BPRoom, international video contemporary project;
2016 Italy, Milan, Visual Container Video Art Gallery [.BOX], solo exhibition (catalogue/brochure).

Information & Credits

Idea project, concept, video camera and photographs – Paolo Vivian
Video/audio editing – Luciano Olzer
Conceptual Framework and Critical Text – Dora Bulart, Contempo Gallery, Italy
Italian/Bulgarian translation – Dora Bulart
Production – 2016
Limited edition of 3 copies + 2 samples for the artist

Photo credits – Paolo Vivian
Copyright of the texts – Paolo Vivian, Dora Bulart, Contempo gallery
Courtesy Contempo Gallery, Italy

©All rights reserved, the reproduction of the work and/or parts of it, including video and photo, as well as the texts, is possible only with the written permission of the author.