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“Somewhere in the World” is the theme of the International Biennale of Photography held in prestigious venues in the city of Brescia from 12th June to 14th September 2008. One of the highlights of the 2008 edition is a personal exhibition by Vanessa Beecroft at the Piccolo Miglio and Grande Miglio at the Castle, in collaboration with Galleria Massimo Minini and Galleria Lia Rumma. Vanessa Beecroft presents her latest work on Darfur, photographs of last year’s performance at Pescheria di Rialto during the 52nd Biennale in Venice and a series of photos taken in Sudan.

The war in Darfur is never-ending. The number of deaths caused by the civil war has confirmed the most pessimistic forecasts and Vanessa Beecroft has wanted to focus on the problem for many years, wishing to raise awareness of a crisis that is paradigmatic of the intrinsic imbalance in apparent world order.
The term “tableau vivant” has often been used to describe the images of performances created by Vanessa Beecroft. The artist delved into this concept in Venice, giving it shape literally by painting an enormous canvas with imitation blood splattered on the bodies of thirty African women lying on it. There are clear references to Jackson Pollock and his “drippings”, and also to Hermann Nitsch and Actionism. The work is representative of the artist’s statement in tackling pose and shoot, seeking the very limits and highlighting critical points in our relationship with our bodies, and especially those of the models. Based on the protest sit-ins of forty years ago, and staged in the chic setting of the Venice Biennale, the performance highlighted the social and intentionally controversial side of the recent work of a leading creator of the idea of image.

VB South Sudan is a project launched in 2005 during a trip by the artist to Sudan. Unlike the usual icy, impassive models, the subjects in these images present many similarities with Christian iconography of the past. The artist herself appears in some of the photos as a white Madonna with tiny twins at her breast. The image recaptures a popular iconographic repertoire and refers to Beecroft’s personal experience during her three trips to Sudan, where she spent most of her time in the local orphanage, where she breast-fed the black twins. The other pictures also represent a Christian matrix, a black woman with two children on her lap and a black Jesus on the cross. As do her previous projects, these works display the constant quest for a perfect image. All the photos have a great formal equilibrium and show insistent focus on the arrangement of the figures. While on one hand the image of the white Madonna with the two black children can be considered emblematic of ethnic supremacy, on the other, by virtue of the loving gesture it performs, it symbolizes the universal union between two people.

The Biennale is promoted by the Brescia Town Council, the Civic Museums of Art and History, the Brescia Musei Foundation and Bresciatourism. It is organized by the Ken Damy Museum and sponsored by the CAB Foundation, Banco di Brescia and the ASM Foundation.
The exhibition of works by Vanessa Beecroft is presented in collaboration with Galleria Massimo Minini and Galleria Lia Rumma.