The Lia Rumma Gallery in Milan is pleased to announce the opening of the first exhibition in Italy by the Chilean artist Alfredo Jaar.
To mark his first exhibition in Italy, Jaar explores the figure of Antonio Gramsci, one of the intellectuals and political thinkers whose legacy has the most profoundly influenced culture in the twentieth century, and not only in Italy. Gramsci’s works, written mainly in prison, have enjoyed widespread acclaim and interest worldwide, including South America.
His project involves reconstructing Gramsci’s prison cell and a series of lightboxes with photographs taken in Rome. All the photographs depict situations characterized by a divide. In a less metaphorical and more direct way, the cell refers to a state of profound separation and distancing. The directly facing reflecting walls reflect the prison bars to infinity, giving the impression of multiplication and proliferation. The iron grille of the gallery windows behind the cell further emphasise this impression. Jaar believes in a correlation between ethics and aesthetics and in the active and socially responsible role of the artist. His installation represents an invitation to salvage the ties and values of society which are implied and described in Gramsci’s work.