© Marie Bovo. Collezione BNL


The sea is my land – Artists from the Mediterranean, Triennale di Milano

BNL BNP Paribas Group presents at the Triennale di Milano “the sea is my land – Artists from the Mediterranean”. The exhibition conceived and produced by the Bank, curated by Francesco Bonami and Emanuela Mazzonis, is a photographic and video art show that examines the Mediterranean area, interpreted not only geographically but as a cultural basin that unites different civilizations. The exhibition will be open to the public gratuitously from Tuesday June 17th to Sunday August 24th , 2014. “the sea is my land – Artists from the Mediterranean” gathers together 140 works of 23 artists coming from countries boarding the Mediterranean, area in which BNL BNP Paribas Group has a widespread presence. From Syria to Israel, from Spain to Algeria , passing through Egypt and Albania, the message that we receive from “the sea is my land” is that the universal code of photography/art, in this exhibition describes the never ending changes of the Mediterranean, territory of cultural dialogue where art with its impartial language, is able to go beyond social barriers, religious pluralism and ethnic dispersion to favor peaceful communication among those involved.
With this appointment BNL strengthens its relationship with the city of Milan and its territory, by continuing to support culture as a growth factor and development for people and collectivity, by sustaining some of its most important cultural events.

The exhibition will be open gratuitously:
Tuesday – Sunday 10:30am to 8:30 pm
Thursday 10:30am to 11:00pm
Monday closed

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Within the over 140 artworks on exhibition, there are the works “Two Palestinian Riders, Ben Shemen Forest” (2011) of the Israeli artist Dor Guez (Jerusalem , 1980) and “Never Land” (2008) of the Cypriot artist Christodoulos Panayiotou (Limassol, 1978).
The first was awarded, “best work”, and was selected by a jury composed of experts on an international level in the art world and is now part of BNL’s collection. Francesco Bonami the curator of the show and Fabio Gallia voted with the other members of the jury: Giovanna Bertazzoni (Head of the London Impressionist and Modern Art Department, Christie’s), Daniel Birnbaum (Director Museum, Moderna Meseet Stockholm), Cristiana Collu, (Direttore del Mart: Museo Arte Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto) e Gregor Muir (Executive Director, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London). In the foto Guez catches the two Palestinian riders crossing the Ben Sherman forest. The unfocused image seems to makes of them two ghosts, that, without leaving a trace of themselves, cross the setting already infested by pic nic tables and some abandoned litter. This forest is the largest Israeli park, constructed in 1948 following the creation of the Israeli Nation. To create this green area Arab territory was strongly invaded. In the apparent violation of “Israeli space” the two riders seem to try to repossess not only the territory, but also of their ancient identity, describing one of the more profound and significant confrontations of recent history.

The second work was selected and awarded a special mention, for the particular value of the exhibited piece, which analyzes political and social aspects tied to the history of the artists native land.

Dor Guez Two Palestinian Riders, Ben Shemen Forest, 2011 | Diapositiva a colori, plexiglas, alluminio, lightbox | 125 x 300 cm © Dor Guez | Courtesy l'artista, Carlier Gebauer Gallery, Berlin

In occasion of the first edition of the exhibition, BNL organized a photographic contest addressed to artists between the ages of 18 and 40, born or working in one of the 22 countries that boarder the Mediterranean. The winner of the contest was the Sicilian artist Rori Palazzo with the work “Dream#01/La mia casa”, which has become part of BNL’s artistic patrimony and is exposed at the Triennale di Milano together with the other works.

Dream#01/La mia casa Dream#01/La mia casa, 2011 | Stampa su carta baritata | 110 x 65 cm | © Rori Palazzo