The Restless Earth

Terra Inquieta, Triennale di Milano, Massimiliano Gioni



Last week to see the exhibition "Terra Inquieta" presented at the Triennale di Milan in partnership with the Trussardi Foundation. This exhibition, orchestrated by curator Massimiliano Gioni, offers the look from about 60 contemporary artists on immigration and the refugee crisis.



The visitor is firstly welcomed with the installation Territories from Pravdoliub Ivanov. The Bulgarian artist, with a stripe of flag covered and modeled with mud, proves again that more than 60 years after « Flag » painting  from Jasper Johns, the flag has not lost its semantic power.


Following then on two floors are exhibited artworks of more than 60 artists coming from nearly 40 nationalities, offering as many artistic choices and a perpectives on  immigration.


One of the greatest strengths of the exhibition is the historical perspective set between Italian immigration from the late 18th century and the contemporary refugee crisis. Reproductions of some headlines from "Domenica del Corriere" are thus paralleled with the photographs of the recent winners from Pulitzer Prize 2016.



 About the form, there are also some ingenious scenographic methods, as for the video installation of the Belgian artist Francis Alÿs, where two screens reproducing contemporary scenes face each other, obliging the visitor to choose his angle, his reality.





Don’t cross the bridge before you get to the river (2008), Francis Alÿs




Last but not least, the preponderance of the documentary approach among the artists exposed is to be noticed, as if facing the gravity and the actuality of the facts, artists could not remain on a purely poetic and symbolic register, but had to give visibility and flesh to exiled individuals.




Bouchra Khalili's The Mapping Project is a series of videos describing in detail the journey of several migrants through the concrete narrative of their journeys, traced on a world map.


Through "Terra Inquieta", the curator Massimilaino Gioni has here succeeded to offer an exhibition that is both striking and engaged, and takes its full meaning in a contemporary Italy torn on this social matter which is is immigration.



Julia Rajacic

Independent art curator

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