Villa Manin (Udine)
23. 3.–8. 7. 2012
On Friday 23rd March was inaugurated the exhibition “Socialist Realism: Czechoslovakia 1948-1989”, organized by the Eleutheria foundation and by the company Villa Manin, in the expositive spaces of Villa Manin in Passariano (UD).
The exhibitions aims to overview, through over 100 artworks varying from paintings and sculptures to prints and photographs the entire artistic period connected with Social Realism in Czechoslovakia. The event that received patronage from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Rome, the Italian Embassy in Prague, the Prague City and from the Italian Cultural Institute in Prague is hosted in the majestic complex of Villa Manin; one of the most important artistic monuments of North-East Italy as well as cultural centre of excellence of Friuli region. Carlo Goldoni described the Villa and its majestic park “the residence worth the king” and the marvel it provokes remains intact up to now. Exhibitions, conventions, concerts and international events take place here periodically, such as the amazing retrospective Edward Munch parallel to our exhibition.
The exhibition is curated by Genny Di Bert, Ottaviano Maria Razetto (who executed also the project of the spaces) and Francesco Augusto Razetto; the exhibition itinerary is divided into two separate sections and therefore two possible ways of interpretation. The chronological analysis on one hand has its origin in the concept that the whole artistic production connected with socialism is actually characterized by two distinctive moments. From the early ’50 up to ’60, period that can be identified with the illusion of the construction of the new society destined to develop itself around the concept of socialist man to the next period (from the ’70) when whatsoever aspiration to reach the socialist dream falls apart in front of problems of the nation living under the pressure of a dictatorship. It’s impossible not to notice, at close observation, the common suffering present in various works of art that, in spite of their rigorous schematical propagandism, express the pain and the desperation of utter hopelessness.
However, the exhibition invites also to make a comparison of various linguistic expressions of Social Realism diachronically. Two topics have been selected for that purpose: the Working Universe and the Propaganda. The first part is dedicated to factory, fields and man-worker who in these environments performs his social role.
The second part is dedicated to propaganda, from the early ’50 and ’60 when it is described as a hymn to socialist man, to a soldier and more generally to an ideal that emerges from these, to the ’70 and ’80 when everything becomes more rigid and rhetorical.
The new catalogue with the contribution of art critics specialized in the matter, written in three languages (Italian, English and Czech), containing the reproductions of all the art works exhibited was presented paralelly with the exhibition.
This initiative takes place in a territory of Friuli, North-East of Italian peninsula, that has always had a very close historical-cultural connection with the mid-Europe subcontinent.
At the inauguration were present the President of Friuli Venezia Giulia region, Renzo Tondo, the Ambassador of the Czech Republic in Rome, H.E. Petr Burianek, the Ambassador of Italy in Prague, H.E. Pasquale D’Avino, the Mayor of Prague City, Bohuslav Svoboda, the Culture Councillor of Friuli Venezia Giulia region, Elio De Anna, the Director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Prague, Paolo Sabbatini, the Director of the National Gallery in Prague, Vladimír Rösel, the Extraordinary Councillor of the company Villa Manin, Enzo Cainero and the President of the Eleutheria Foundation, Francesco Augusto Razetto.