Cinemas closed for Covid? In Puglia, their bulletin boards host artwork in a widespread exhibition

A widespread exhibition is starting in Apulia that brings to life the bulletin boards of cinemas closed due to anti-Covid restrictions: artworks by young and established artists have been placed inside.

In Puglia, they have found a great way to bring the bulletin boards of cinemas closed due to government restrictions to counter the Covid-19 pandemic to life. Since the theaters are closed, the bulletin boards that normally display movie posters remain empty: and since an empty bulletin board is sad, in Puglia they decided to bring them to life by inserting, behind the glass, works of art. This is the meaning of the widespread exhibition Coming Soon. Art Supports Cinema, Cinema Supports Art, which started last Jan. 30.

The idea of Pierluca Cetera, Maurizio Di Feo and Jasmine Pignatelli, curators of the exhibition, was to gather twenty-six artists and bring their works, through the formula of the “poster” (historically used to inform and communicate messages, dreams, desires) within fifty roadside displays that closed movie theaters make available to each artist. The twenty-six artists, including young and very established names on the national art scene, are Mariantonietta Bagliato, Elena Bellantoni, Valerio Berruti, Silvia Celeste Calcagno, Pierluca Cetera, Matheus Chiaratti, Piero Chiariello, Michele Chiossi, Guillermina Di Gennaro, Maurizio Di Feo, Elisa Filomena, Andrea Francolino, Nunzio Fucci, Giovanni Gaggia, Claudia Giannuli, Eva Hide, Andi Kacziba, Massimo Pastore, Jasmine Pignatelli, Antonella Raio, Cosimo Terlizzi, Filippo Tolentino, Nicola Vinci, Virginia Zanetti, Claudio Zorzi and Emiliano Zucchini.

Here instead are the theaters involved: in Bari, Il Piccolo, Esedra, Splendor and AncheCinema; in Santeramo in Colle, Pixel Cinema; in Mola di Bari, Il Metropolis Multicine; in Bitonto, Cineteatro Coviello; in Barletta, Cinema Opera; in San Giorgio Ionico, Casablanca Multisala; and in Lecce, DB D’Essai. The aim is to experiment with the possibility of opening their spaces to contemporary art to continue to entertain the public, to continue to offer a moment of entertainment, but also to seal an unprecedented cultural exchange in the unusual locations outside the gallery and museum system. The title chosen for the exhibition, Prossimamente, a term widely used in film jargon, alludes precisely to the hope for a better future that will allow everyone to dive back into the magical world of cinema and the Arts all. Prossimamente also joins the Bari Solidale campaign for the Covid-19 emergency promoted by the City of Bari: with a donation, one can reserve a poster measuring 100x140 cm, among those made available by the artists. The fundraiser is run by Aps Cellule Creative of Bari (all info and artists’ posters on the event website).

The exhibition has the patronage of the Municipality of Bari - Assessorato alle Culture and is realized with the support of Cellule Creative APS and Misia Arte of Bari, Isorropia Home Gallery and Art In Gallery of Milan, and with the contribution of Antonicelli Metalmeccanica of Gioia del Colle.

“Nourishment of our progress and human and moral elevation, the Arts appear today, in the midst of a planetary health emergency, as the great forgotten or worse, removed from the priorities and needs of individuals,” says Stefano Straziota of Aps Cellule Creative. “The pandemic and related dpcm have emptied art venues, from theaters to cinemas, from concert halls to museums. Despite the limitations, artists and cultural workers manifested innovative and creative forms of resilience and never gave in to surrender.”

“As we await the reopenings of movie theaters,” say curators Cetera, Di Feo and Pignatelli, “symbolically rekindling the lights of the displays and mixing works and art forms in them is the new artistic and collective ritual to guard and protect cultural identity and places of thought. Even in their absence, the places of culture, have never been more present. One imagines a day when every art form will return more alive than ever. When will we see it again? Soon. Coming soon!”

“On behalf of the city,” comments the mayor of Bari, Antonio Decaro, “I thank the creators of this project and Aps Cellule Creative, which returns to bear witness to its attachment to our community with an initiative that combines art and solidarity in a completely original way. Artists and cultural workers are certainly among the workers who are paying the highest price of this pandemic, but Coming Soon shows how the crisis we are experiencing can become an opportunity to forge new cultural alliances, continue to produce artistic reflections and return to looking to the future. As was the case with Photographers for Bari, the artists involved have agreed to donate the proceeds from the sale of their works to the City of Bari through the IBAN activated during the lockdown to support the people and families most affected by the crisis. For the city of Bari this is a beautiful gift.”

“The idea of artists and film exhibitors teaming up to reknit the threads of a discourse abruptly interrupted by the closure of cultural spaces and restrictions due to the health emergency expresses the creative force that is the true antidote to silence and resignation,” says Councillor for Cultures Ines Pierucci. “In this case 26 artists will ”showcase“ their works in the outdoor displays of several Apulian cinemas offering them to the gaze and sensibility of passersby to promote an expanded cultural experience. Coming Soon is born in a context of great difficulties but carries with it a sign of hope that we want to cultivate together with the creators and artists involved. Once again the art world proves to be a sensitive and vital component of our social fabric.”

Cinemas closed for Covid? In Puglia, their bulletin boards host artwork in a widespread exhibition
Cinemas closed for Covid? In Puglia, their bulletin boards host artwork in a widespread exhibition

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