Barbara Stefani (Trieste, Italy)

Only for adults. ABC, Hommage à 26 artists, Ruskin Gallery

I was born in Trieste (Italy), where I live and work. While still studying at the Faculty of Economics, I pursued an artistic education by attending Paolo Cervi Kervischer’s workshop classes. Through my painted installations, I investigate the boundary between historical and collective materials and documents, and the intimate emotional level, here and now.

For PLACE I put together a polyptych of 26 paintings, a proper English spelling book to start an intercultural communication by offering the trace of a piece of art, from the universal heritage, for each letter of the alphabet. From A – apple (hommage à Caravaggio), to Y – yacht (E. Hopper), to P – pipe (Magritte) and so on.

Only for adults. ABC, Hommage à 26 artists, 2017/2018
Acrylic paint on paper glued on wooden box

My project explores the subject of language, as an essential tool for sharing and building, but also an element of otherness and prejudice. How to defuse the latter effect? By retrieving an educational device, the spelling book, that is commonly recognized as a childhood experience, from that golden age when curiosity and the hunger for knowledge beat the fear of the unknown, of the other.

The ABC enables us to learn a new language, through a short circuit between image and “name”. My ABC, through replicas of historical works of art, is an introduction to collective knowledge, a naturally intercultural experience. Each piece in the polyptych will offer a moment for meditation about language, as well as on intimate memories, and on the identity of belonging. The painted fragments, minimal and poetic, come together in one tale, promoting encounter, relationship, reciprocity. “PLACE” thus turns into an effectively endless intimate place. For a new Golden Age, for “adult” people only.