VENICE, MAY 3 – In partnership with UNHCR, Rothko in Lampedusa is an independent exhibition during the 58th Venice Biennale reflecting on the inherent and individual value of refugees. The exhibition opening on May 11 will present work from international artists and younger refugee artists including Adel Abdessemed, Majid Adin, Ai Weiwei, Christian Boltanski, Rasha Deeb, Mohamed Keita, Dihn Q. Lê, Nalini Malani, Abu Bakarr Mansaray, Richard Mosse, Bnar Sardar Sdiq, Ali WakWak, Hassan Yare and Artur Żmijewski.
The project is curated by Francesca Giubilei and Luca Berta. It reflects upon the migrant crisis utilising a poignant artistic language. The common thread weaving throughout the exhibition is Mark Rothko, the artist who escaped from the repressive Czarist regime in the beginning of the 20th century. If this particular artist had not been able to explore his artistic potential in his host country, we would not have his extraordinary artworks today. Could there be a Rothko of the 21st century among the indefinite number of today’s refugees arriving daily on the European coasts?
The exhibition’s purpose is to create a dialogue between established contemporary artists and six younger refugee artists, who will be welcomed and hosted in the city of Venice. This artist in residency programme is in partnership with the island of San Servolo. Acclaimed international artists such as Ai Weiwei will play a pivotal role in presenting refugees as not societal burdens but valued individuals. (@OnuItalia)