Together Apart: #Shelter
Alessandra Stradella is an Italian artist, born and raised in Venice, living between Europe and the USA. She’s currently based in Philadelphia, where she works as Philosophy Professor. Her recent work as abstract painter is strongly influenced by her previous experience as actress in theatre and her present research in the field of Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art.
She holds a physical relation to her painting process. She thinks of painting as movement, as building in order to destroy, as discovery of what is hidden, forgotten, unseen. Painting is a visceral escape in an outside-of-concepts space, and yet holds a reflection about time and becoming.
ALESSANDRA ABOUT TOGETHER APART: #SHELTER
Presented with the challenge of moving towards a definition of shelter, I chose to leave painting aside and experiment with media I am not comfortable with. I wondered whether and how the out-of-comfort would have led me closer to a signifier for shelter. It all unfolded as a spontaneous process of de-construction of the idea of shelter in order to find shelter. De-construction and unfamiliarity inhabit both my painting and philosophical practice. Un-doing revealed abundance.
My first individual project was a simple exercise in free association so to let the hidden manifest. The second one, with a partner, explored trust and play and spontaneity_ as in bare feet communicating with each other. The last collective project was conceived as dissolution of shelter, a communion in the dissolution of language, for a non-language, so that silence and unintelligible sound could be heard. Painting came back, as erosion of what was before.
Lives in Philadelphia, USA
2008 | Ph.D. in Philosophy with a specialization in Philosophy of Art and Aesthetics, Emory University, Atlanta, USA
2000 | Diploma in Acting, Actor Studio, Venice, Italy
1991-93 | Diploma in Acting and Commedia dell’Arte, Venice, Italy
2020 | Artist, Reader, Writer, II, Da Vinci Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA
2019 | Perennial Vision, Da Vinci Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA
2019 | Stilled life, Da Vinci Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA
2019 | Art et Al., Da Vinci Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA
2019 | Joya AiR, Velez Rubio, Spain
Exhibitions, Together Apart
Artists in dialogue
During 2020, we carried out the first two sessions of Together Apart. The first session took as a conceptual and practical framework the REFUGE and the second, the NEST.
Through those starting points, both of which refer to caring atmospheres and structures for coexistence, we were able to think and create in a wide variety of directions and layers. We reflected on our pandemic context, a situation for which we had to find ourselves in the virtual non-space, but also a situation thanks to which people from many different countries were able to work simultaneously.
Assuming this complex situation, more than 20 participants per session created new pieces –some in exercise format–, took up projects that they had already worked on in the past or collectively set out to create new projects that will continue to develop beyond the scope of our meetings.
Taking these refuge and nest issues also in their complexity, we asked ourselves questions that made each of the participants involve their personal experiences, memory, memories and experiences from each of their territories. We addressed questions that sought to keep us in constant movement; at times we went through very optimistic or pessimistic visions about the possibility or necessity of having a shelter or a nest, and at other times, we were able to articulate more complex visions, enduring in intermediate and liminal states. For both, we took as a theoretical structure of support and dialogue the thought of Félix Guattari presented in The Three Ecologies (1989). His ethical-political approach that highlights the molecular domains of sensitivity, intelligence and desire, as well as his articulation of the three ecological registers (environment, social relations and human subjectivity), helped us to expand our creations and thoughts in relation to shelter and nest.
During the first session, when asked about the conditions that a refuge can have and the conditions that we would like a refuge to have, the artists (coincidentally and by chance, we had a cohort one hundred percent comprised of women) generated sculptural pieces, artists’ books, photographs, videos, dance pieces and more, reflecting on the permeability or isolation structures that a shelter can have. Also, many artists started from their bodily memories to refer to the refuge and made improvisation and performance pieces. We created in relation to the refuge conditions presented by nature and the refuges that we create to protect ourselves from certain natural conditions. Memory as a refuge and shelters for memory also arose through textile practices or from the use of jewelry or objects with which we build links. Finally, the bonds and the community as spaces that shelter and spaces that imply care was another of the axes that we explored through pieces that included readings of texts and sound activations.
Together Apart has functioned as a program that opened up possibilities for meeting and collaborative creation. It has made possible the creation of new rhythms and synchronies for a limited time but whose reverberations and echoes continue to affect in unexpected directions.
Daniela Ruiz Moreno (curator-in-residency)
- Alessandra Stradella
- Ana Vivoda
- Aneikit Bonnel
- Anna Rose
- Ariana Pirela Sánchez
- Caia Diepenbrock
- Carla Freschi
- Christine Bruce
- Dawn Langley
- Dolores Delia
- Gina Kukulski
- Giuliana Grippo
- Janette Hopper
- Jannelle Roberts
- Jill AnnieMargaret
- Judith Elisabeth de Haan
- Male Correa
- Roseanne Lynch
- Sara Minsky
- Shereen Shalhoub