Personal Structures – Identities, supported by the European Cultural Centre Italy, is a biennial art exhibition returning for 2019. This year’s edition looks to the questions that define our times.
A: Where did the exhibition initiative come from and how will this edition differ from others?
ECC: Personal Structures is an international contemporary art platform which started in 2003 by bringing together a group of young contemporary artists and established names. The 2019 edition documents current developments around the philosophical concepts of Time, Space and Existence. The show aims to demonstrate the similarities and differences within approaches to these abstract themes, creating stimulating and engaging discussions around the times we are living in and the concept of identity.
A: The theme for this year looking at time, space, existence and the notion of identity. Why do you think such concepts are important for artists to respond to today?
ECC: Our sense of self is related to body, history, memory, relationships and experiences. It is unique and constantly transforming. Personal Structures – Identities will lead the visitor on different journeys, exploring ideas surrounding cultural identities, religion and sexuality.
The works also ask questions surrounding key 21st century topics including conflicts, borders and parallel realities. The presentation reveals surprising elements within familiar objects and scenarios, offering a different experience for each visitor.
A: How many artists do you have taking on the theme, and what types of projects will they be offering?
ECC: The 2019 edition presents a wide selection of pieces from more than 200 emerging and internationally renowned practitioners, including photographers and sculptors. The selection includes self-taught artists and projects from global academic institutions. Each creates a new visual language – some of them are easy to interpret, whilst others require a closer look in order to find a individual meaning. Getting lost is also part of the experience.
A: What are some of the highlights from the show?
ECC: This year we are happy to feature the work of Roman Opalka who documents the passing of time, alongside Purvis Young, whose work explores freedom and liberation. The installation Acoustic Tipi by Erin Genia is a call for unity in addressing issues of ecological decline.
A: How many different countries are represented in this show, and why is that important in today’s socio-political climate?
ECC: It brings together artists from 50 countries, creating an exhibition which celebrates the multiplicity of voices that make up our society.
A: What do you hope audiences take away from the exhibition?
ECC: The European Cultural Centre is a place for reflection, research and creation. It offers interdisciplinary encounters, as well as resources and an arena for experimentation. It is a place for investigating and discussing the most vital contemporary issues – in order to design a shared future.
We want to communicate a sense of openness, and hope that through our programme the public can find opportunities for introspection. Personal Structures is a wide and accessible platform for the breadth of contemporary art at all levels.
The exhibition runs until 24 November. Find out more here.
Lead image: VALIE EXPORT, Unsichtbare Gegner 2, copyright European Cultural Centre.