“Recent international conflicts have led us to create a new exhibition that investigates the meaning of war,” says director Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, “to ask ourselves how some particularly empathetic human beings – artists – process the organized violence of war, with its armies and tactics. They highlight its horror and its inexplicability, suspended as it is between rational calculations, on the one hand, and utter unpredictability on the other.
Artists in a Time of War includes loans from important Italian and international public and private institutions, as well as two new commissions, created for the occasion by the Afghan artist Rahraw Omarzad (Kabul, 1964), and the Ukrainian artist Nikita Kadan (Kiev, 1982).
The exhibition features art of the past and present, including Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes’ Desastres de la Guerra (Disasters of War), 1810-1815, and develops the theme of war and post-traumatic subjectivity through historical works and new projects by leading contemporary artists. The itinerary highlights the practices of Omarzad, artist and key figure of the Afghan cultural scene, who found asylum in Italy and Germany, and Kadan, an artist who lives between Kiev and Bucha. Both artists offer a message of great emotional and human, as well as social and political impact. Originating from war-torn countries and scenes of profound geopolitical turmoil, they reflect on the importance of finding narratives of care and peace through creative expression.
Drafted by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev and Marianna Vecellio