Exhibition | You were kept awake all through the night

Exhibition | You were kept awake all through the night

Dario Carratta, Ginevra Collini, Aaron Ford, Eloise Fornieles, Kerstin Kartscher, Tura Oliveira
Dario Carratta, Ginevra Collini, Aaron Ford, Eloise Fornieles, Kerstin Kartscher, Tura Oliveira

The group exhibition You were kept awake all through the night with artists Dario Carratta, Ginevra Collini, Aaron Ford, Eloise Fornieles, Kerstin Kartscher, Tura Oliveira and curated by Marta Pellerini will be held between 17 May and 21 June 2024 at the British School at Rome.
The opening of the exhibition will take place on 17 May between 6 and 8.30 pm.

In its hundreds of declinations, the category of the monster is vast and complex. The creatures that belong to it populate both mythology and cultural production across the ages: Sphinx, Minotaur, Medusa, Polyphemus, Frankenstein, King Kong, Lady Gaga, Shrek.  

Monsters, especially in ancient times, demonstrate a series of characteristics that mark their identity across diverse cultures: they inhabit the margins, they challenge conventions of gender, they show co-presence of forms; they have unique physical proportions and extraordinary strength. They have the power to reflect our fears, presenting themselves as extraneous subjects, rejects of society, and at the same time they go beyond all classifications and generate curiosity. Above all, they help us explain what we do not understand by encoding our fears, stimulating reflection on how the world works and creating alternative models to the norm. The anomaly of monsters makes them particularly suitable for questioning the cultural frame of reference.

It’s interesting to note how the concept of the monstrous has evolved over the centuries. While in the past it was often associated with mythological or supernatural creatures, today many see monstrosity in certain categories of human beings themselves in which historical, cultural or social prejudices are rooted that can lead to discrimination and stigmatisation of those involved. The new monsters are the poor, migrants, detainees, feminised and racialised subjectivities or belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community, disabled and people that do not fit within normative body ideals.

This shift in perception, which humanises the monster, brings with it an exploration of feelings such as empathy and understanding, on which artists, writers and creatives reflect, delving into the stories, motivations and inner struggles of these creatures. Perhaps it is also for this reason that some artists have identified themselves with the monster itself, as a demonstration of the rejection of social norms in favour of an individuality and uniqueness that eludes the understanding of most.

The artists selected for You were kept awake all through the night, approach the theme of the monstrous from different angles, without necessarily focusing on the condition of the monster itself, but rather on what surrounds it. Starting from the space they occupy, to the time that manipulates their perception, passing through the relationship with the divine and new technologies, the creatures in the exhibition are shaped by the context in which they live, adapting or struggling to adapt to the scenario that defines them as Other creatures.


Admission to the exhibition is free.

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