Over the last months the recurring theme is obviously the coronavirus, but we must remember that the pandemic emergency has not stopped the conflicts that devastate some countries. In addition, the difficult social and hygienic conditions of these areas, added to the spread of the virus, can generate a huge catastrophe.
To draw the attention on this problem, I want to talk about some artworks by Ache77, made for COPULA MUNDI festival, organised last summer in Florence and curated by Street Levels Gallery. Street Levels Gallery has an important role for the urban art in Florence, because it doesn’t want to present itself only as an exhibition space, but it wants to interact with the urban space realising interventions in a reciprocal and dynamic exchange between gallery, laboratory and street. For COPULA MUNDI festival, Ache77 uses as support the PVC mash sheets to create the scenography that covers the structure. On this occasion, he collaborates with the photographer Pino Bertelli, who realises a touching photographic collection of 60 children from areas of world at war, from Africa to Middle East. It’s about 60 children who have experienced hunger, violences, fear on their skin and who, with simple and expressive glance, bring them to us. Bertelli’s works focus on issues of diversity, marginalization, migration and freedom. While, Ache77’s designs mix graphics, stencils and craft printing techniques to create portraits able to enter into relationships with people that randomly meet them. Undoubtedly, what connects them is the attention that both the artists pay to the gaze of the subjects represented. From Bertelli’s book, Ache77 chose ten portraits painting those marked faces, thanks to the help of a team of volunteers. Just like the book, Ache77 project is an accusation to the western world, too often indifferent and detached from the dramas that the rest of the world is facing. We don’t see soldiers or rubble, only faces of children, with their deep looks, that accuse the wickedness of all wars, as well as an invitation to peace.