CON-TEMPORARY Art Observatorium and Jizaino present

mostra collettiva su memoria e felicità

► Introductory text
► Exhibited artworks and photo gallery
► Exhibited audio and video artworks
► Exhibition video souvenir
► Catalogue
► Directions

5 - 20 August 2016
Villa Grimaldi - Lavagna, Italy

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Daria Baiocchi • Anne-Cathrin Brenner • Claire Burke
Albino Caramazza • Lily-Orthodoxia Christou • Elle
Benna Gaean Maris • Alfredo Gioventù • Claudia Grimaldi
Darren Houser • Winnie KS Hui • Caren Kinne • Mar.Gu
Mary M. • Abramo ‘Tepes’ Montini • Jaakko Myyri
Sanchis • Giuliana Silvestrini • Elle Smith
Charles Woodman • Serena Zanardi

Introductory text



Elate Memories continues the thematic subject started with the previous exhibition Future and Behind where the certainty and the values of our past were set against the instability of a crumbling modern society characterised by the uncertainty due to the feebleness' prospects of the future.

This time we want to investigate the role that memory and remembrances have in being happy. Elate memories is an exhortation to search serenity within ourselves, in our experience and knowledge: cheer up, exult for the memories.

Amusement, joy, optimism and exultation are often connected to light heartedness, holidays, diversion in the search for newness, but equally we can find these mood feelings in the cultural heritage, in the traditions. The ephemeral present becomes immortal in the memento.

Our present condition is the result of our past, of all our life, of the best choices we could ever have made. To be here and now is by itself indeed the outcome of a past full of successes.

Mass memories

We live in the selfie epoch, commonly recognised as voluptuary expression of the most superficial and individualist carefreeness, made possible by the pervasive availability of mobile phones of thousand uses, real prosthesis of the being, vanguard of the transhumanism.
They are called smartphones, intelligent telephones; well, it seems that they have replaced this brain's function in some people, even making them to appear more capable, while indeed they are addicted to the bionic symbiosis, especially in the ability to remember, by now largely delegated to the near-infallibility of the silicon memories; but, how many people lost their memories along with their own tablet, maybe ended in stranger's hands? And this is just one of the consequences caused by the expulsion of memory from the own inner being.

Remembering Fromm, after all if the technological temptation has not yet succeeded in subjugate the humans to the craze of “having”, then it corrupts them in their deepest essence: the “being.”

Anyway, billions of people produce thousands billions of pictures that, even when superficial or insignificant in front of the immense global amount, they assume a role of visual memory, today perhaps a negligible expression of the individualistic need for being at the centre of attention, but that some day will inevitably become collective memory, like the yellowed vintage photographs you may find on street markets today are: memory of beauty, memory of happy times, memory to denounce or commemorate an event. Each photograph, picture or work of art is memory in itself.

Some say that with time our mind fades unpleasant memories, leaving us an edulcorated picture of the past: that is not so to everybody; to many memory is painful, so much unbearable to need suppression.
But actually nothing of what happens is universally regrettable, because in the cosmos everything can lead back to a purpose that transcends the individual relativism. The interpretation of the occurrences depends on the point of view, on the personal attitude in front of the events. The memory is not nice or bad, but its value is always positive. This is not a question of nostalgia: the memory represents our experiential background, indispensable to face the world in a lucid and aware way.

Art, despite that is the representation of the thought pointing toward the future, is always a re-elaboration of cultural memory, that is the consequence of our past experiences; but above all it is a metalanguage with which we give shape to the intellect, soul or subconscious, or the vital essence that the technocratic society would wish to annihilate in favour of a robot-man, ignorant and excellent productive machine suiting the requirements of exclusive thinking elites. Also for this reason memory should be taken under big consideration by people, because it can keep us free and away from possible slaveries and devious subjugations; right, as mankind is historically susceptible to habit-forming: thanks or cause of its adaptation ability, it gets accustomed to any condition. Without a fundamental point, a precise existential ideal impressed in memory, the human being slowly conforms itself to the ever changing order of current time, up to become even totally dependent on its own state of subjugation.

Notoriously, modern art stood out right in the progressive self-determination that led it to the contemporary explosion of expressive styles, in several cases turning out to be the only fortress of freedom. It is during Renaissance that this sentiment emerged again, pushing some artists in the search for an emancipation from the subjection to the commission, which since Middle Ages relegated them to the condition of mere executing artisans, manufacturers of other's wills.
Since then, art returned to be that archaic metalanguage aimed to the expression of self and  ending in itself.
Art is as much materially useless as spiritually indispensable. Let us think about the cave paintings made by our prehistoric ancestors: serene recollections, sometimes disquieting epochs of fight, but in any case great events to remember, memorable deeds.
Currently, the glorification of memorable events is quite an out of practice habit: apart the disdained festivities considered just for the vacations, what people do passionately commemorate today? The street festival? The winning of a soccer match? A birthday? A general flaccid indetermination dominates, where many people feel like gripped by worries, instead of being vigorous for the awareness of panta rei, attempting to hide the insecurity in the materialist excesses, desperately trying to “live” as much as possible, but perhaps never grasping its meaning.
This incertitude generated by the lack of aims built on the base of own inner memory and a conscious rationalisation of own existence, lead even more toward the craving for the accumulation of memories in places that are external from our mind, like photos of flash-vacations, that is too busy at keeping the frenzy of a momentary living. The memory is being expelled from our inner, relegated in the memory card of a mobile telephone, it becomes a mere datum for possible use, like archived into dusty annals, dislocated from our Self, thus not naturally accessible any more and, in short, forgotten.

To evoke making own: it is one of the reasons for art does exist, like philosophy and poetry too, that Art spurring us to think, to conceive.

To be, rather than to have, memories.

(Continues on the catalogue)

Exhibited artworks and photo gallery

Exhibited audio and video artworks

Exhibited audio and video artworks

Exhibition video souvenir

Exhibition video souvenir


Ask for the catalogue on paper sending an e-mail to:

Catalogue of ELATE MEMORIES - Art exhibition on memory and happiness, Italian | English, 80 pages A4 (21 × 29,7 cm) in colour


Villa Grimaldi mansion is located in the Parco del Cotonificio park, in front of the beaches and few steps from the train station.

By foot, by train or bus: exiting the train station of Lavagna by the sea side, go to the left along the seafront until the first pedestrian underpass with the sign for Villa Grimaldi, you will face the Parco del Cotonificio park. Exiting instead from the station by the city side, go to the right along the main street until you see on your left a large car parking, you are now facing Parco del Cotonificio.
Bus stop "Piscina - Lavagna" on the fares 4-5-50, 46, 50 and 98.

By boat: on the maritime line fares Portofino / Lavagna / Cinque Terre disembark at the touristic harbour of Lavagna. Exiting the harbour, go to the right and along the seafront go to the train station, from there follow the directions above.

By car: toll road A12 E80 Genova-Livorno, exit at Lavagna, go toward the town centre, then take the state street SS1-Aurelia to the left toward Sestri Levante / La Spezia. cross the train station and after few metres enter the large parking on your left, in front of Parco del Cotonificio.

By airplane: the nearest airport is the Cristoforo Colombo in Genova, the shuttle bus VOLABUS will take you to the train station of Genova Brignole, from there you can reach Lavagna in 40-60 minutes.