Anacapri Landscape Festival returns from 10.09 to 5.11.23

Festival Anacapri
Villa San Michele, Giardino ©Lello Mastroianni

An edition dedicated to the theme of out-of-the-box identities.

The seventh edition of the Anacapri Landscape Festival, an event conceived and curated by Arianna Rosica and Gianluca Riccio that returns to enliven the spaces of the Fondazione Axel Munthe – Villa San Michele and various public places in the historic center of Anacapri, is under way.

Arianna Rosica Gianluca Riccio ©Amedeo Benestante

Conceived in 2016, the festival was created with the aim of reaffirming the island of Capri’s as a place of artistic production and as a privileged observatory for a wide-ranging reflection on the contemporary landscape, its interpretation and possible different readings, both natural and cultural, through the involvement of Italian and international artists and the creation of site-specific installations, special projects, public art interventions and artistic residencies, always conceived and developed in close connection with the territory.

The Festival this year questions the concept of out-of-the-box identity-hence the title “Building new identities” -while redefining the Island’s cultural identity beyond stereotypes and its glamorous veneer. The new edition is dedicated to the Ukrainian artist who died in May, Ilya Kabakov. His wife, who together with Ilya had been among the stars of the review in 2022, pays tribute to him with the special project Flying Komarov, a never-before-seen animation video made by the couple.

Ilya and Emilia Kobakov – Flying Komarov

The cue for the edition is the lively artistic climate that existed on Capri between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the landing place of illustrious international cultural figures. Starting from the tradition that identifies Capri as the privileged territory for experimenting with new social behaviors and recognizes it as the ideal place for defining other identities and a new relationship with the landscape, the guidelines of the 2023 edition are developed.

In a historical phase such as the present, in which the meaning of being human is being challenged by the pervasive action of agents and artificial intelligences, we are interested in reflecting on possible strategies of resistance to this techno-scientific framing, which tends more and more to reduce individual identity to a set of data to be mined for commercial purposes or, worse, to a territory of capillary control and surveillance. In the cultural history of Capri we have traced a set of aesthetic experiences and artistic biographies that, at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, had recognized in the Island the perimeter of a viable and in some ways replicable utopia, which translated into the possibility of experimenting with existential models alternative to the dominant ones and of realizing community projects inspired by participatory logics, in the wake of a direct contact with the natural landscape. Therefore, we decided to pick up the thread of an interrupted story and invite a series of artists of different generations and from different backgrounds to give birth to new cultural, aesthetic, social models“, the curators recount.

Welcoming visitors to the exhibition itinerary that winds through the Villa’s spaces will be Ghanaian artist Mahama, the protagonist of the first edition of The Flag Project, a public art project created in collaboration with the Axel Munthe Foundation.

Ibrahim Mahama, Untitled, 2023 ©courtesy Ibrahim Mahama and Galleria A Palazzo, Brescia

Mahama has been cultivating for several years a research that, through the transformation of humble materials-drawn from Ghanaian historical, cultural and socio-political reality-addresses issues and problems related to migration, processes associated with globalization, labor and the movement of goods and people across borders and nations. The Untitled project assigns new semantic values to the three majestic flagpoles at the entrance of the Villa, which usually house the Swedish, Italian and European flags. In their place are three maxi jute banners from multinational corporations abusing African raw materials. The site-specific intervention appeals to national identities to testify to the Western world’s exploitation of so-called Third World countries.

Ibrahim Mahama, Untitled, 2023, rendering for The Flag project ©courtesy Galleria A Palazzo, Brescia

In the cloister spaces on the ground floor, Venetian artist Alberto Tadiello presents 13, a 2015 sound sculpture rethought specifically for the Villa’s context. Two speakers, arranged opposite each other, look at each other from above their respective metal stands. So close together, the two speakers allude to the presence of two mouths locked in a mechanical body: two abstract presences, two identities lost in time, of which only the sound of a sweet melody remains – Thirteen, a track from the album Hospice by the American band The Antlers.

Paolo Canevari, La Marchesa Casati

Paolo Canevari has conceived a series of sculptural interventions that will reach from the large bedroom on the second floor into the garden. Sculptures, made by assembling pipes inferred from the world of construction, are employed in this context to construct and experiment with new identities; Goldschmied & Chiari will present a series of mirror works of different shapes and sizes, created specifically for the Festival and scattered within the apartment on the second floor; the ancient Cubiculum at the southern end of the Villa San Michele garden will feature the sculpture Cativeiro Chandelier by Humberto and Fernando Campana, a large bronze candelabra with vaguely zoomorphic and theriomorphic forms, is a new addition to the Brazilian Baroque collection created by the two great Latin American designers with the collaboration of ancient Roman craft workshops.

Humberto and Fernando Campana Cativeiro Chandelier ©Omar Golli courtesy of Galleria Giustini Stagetti

Matteo Nasini is the author of the sound installation Welcome Wanderer. In the work, the sound in the spaces located above the ancient cubiculum comes from a remote space, connecting the terrace near the belvedere of the Sphinx in which it will be installed, with the vault of heaven above it, transforming the passage of the billions of stars in the Milky Way into a sound composition.

Villa San Michele Sphinx © Raffaele Lello Mastroianni

Elisa Sighicelli is the protagonist of the third edition of the Manifesto public art project, which each year involves the creation of a work of art to be exhibited in a series of spaces in Anacapri’s historic center usually used for institutional and commercial communication. The artist and photographer from Turin held an artistic residency on the island between late March and early April, during which she worked on a repertoire of slides from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, taken by anonymous tourists during their fleeting stays on the azure island, depicting typical motifs of Capri iconography and unprecedented glimpses of the island landscape. Sighicelli’s works, in the enlarged form of the poster, function as a display of images and text, comprising within them both the reproduction of the ancient images and the format of the slides, on which transcribed appear the technical production data of the film or, sometimes, the annotation of personal details of the ancient authors.

Elisa Sighicelli, Manifesto

The 2023 edition of the Anacapri Landscape Festival is promoted by the Associazione Il Rosaio with the Municipality of Anacapri, organized with the support of the Fondazione Axel Munthe/Villa San Michele, realized with the support of Seda and Capri Palace Jumeirah, and with the contribution of Fondazione Italia Patria della Bellezza.

Villa San Michele, Sculpture Loggia ©Pelle Bergström
Villa San Michele, Axel Munthe Bedroom ©Pelle Bergström
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