From November 19, 2023 to February 4, 2024, at the Historical Museum of the City of Lecce, the exhibition “Yuval Avital. Lychee Forest”, the final chapter of a complex and detailed relational art project, promoted by the Municipality of Lecce – Ministry of Culture, MUST – Historical Museum of the City of Lecce, with support and funding from the Puglia Region, Teatro Publico Policie and Polo Biblio Moselle. Lecce, designed in collaboration with the Piscozzi Foundation Rambo.
“The City Museum – says Fabiana Ciccirillo, Cultural Advisor of the Municipality of Lecce – thus becomes a space to recover a unique experience, which has seen Yuval Avital active for more than a month in the bowels of Lecce, in close contact with its places and its community, conceiving paintings, sculptures and performances. They are works born here, inspired by the Lecce Forest which is a landscape that includes everything: nature, experiences, sensibilities, looks, attitudes and perspectives of an entire society in profound transformation. It will therefore be a new exhibition, entirely produced here, immersed in the genius site of Lecce“,
For Luigi De Luca, Director of Museum and Library Centers in the Puglia region, “The Lecce Forest is the result of a complex project capable of thinking about contemporary art as a real societal lexicon, far from self-referentiality and close to contemporary art.” The emotional temperature of the context, Lecce and its associations, Lecce and its cultural places, but also the suburbs and their spaces unknown to most people. Through this project, Yuval Avital once again emphasized that art is the basic condition for establishing deep relationships, which are more necessary than ever before.“.
With the project Lychee forestcurated by Lorenzo Madaro (Lecce Biblio Museum Center) and coordinated by Federica Tornezi, Yuval Avital enters into dialogue with Lecce in the process of collective creativity, performances, artistic rituals, material installations and works conceived together of citizens and artisans, resulting in the ideal transformation of the inhabitants of the Apulian capital into trees and the city To a human forest, in an attempt to reduce the growing gap between man and nature.
Involving institutions, local workers, communities and individuals in dialogue with the artist has created a consensus study in which each participant is a co-creator and animator of messages conveyed through an immersive, multimedia experience that reflects the entire city.
In MUST rooms, Lychee forest A single large immersive installation representing the entire shared artwork is created, where the chorality of the participants and the multiplicity of languages merge in a layering of experiences.
On display are several large paintings (some more than four meters long), created by the artist during his stay of more than a month in the former church of San Giovanni di Dio, made available by the municipality of Lecce as a studio also open to the public. Community.
These are paintings that enable Avital to combine the instinctive inspirations of his work with an intimate and expressive investigation of the subject of nature, particularly the forest – both imaginative and human. The anthropomorphic objects, real or invented pieces of the landscape, and then the signs and traces that reveal themselves in their primitive inspiration, form an archipelago of signs that chase each other and overlap on large painted surfaces.
Paintings and a kind of visual diary/diary created by the artist become real results of three-dimensional creativity.
The exhibition presents thirty sculptures created by the artist during his stay in the city, some of them in dialogue with local artisans – papier-mâché makers, potters, blacksmiths, mosaicists, and embroiderers – forming new contours and new inhabitants of this idyllic forest.
The imposing, iron-core, fast-weaving rise of the tree-men contrasts with the solemnity and burden of the plaster and paper sculptures. The ceramics, which depict female figures filled with foliage, resemble nature’s votives.
The performances carried out in different places in Lecce and the meetings between artists and citizens will be presented through video and photographic installations.
There are about two hundred citizens participating in artistic performances and rituals in which the artist worked using simple exercises of voice and gesture in a deep and intimate contemplation of his own experience.
Sixteen “radical” performances created with small groups, often with individuals, in places dear to them; From the home kitchen to the workplace, they were united by interacting with a small mound of lychee dirt as participants soaked their limbs.
There are four events dedicated to performing “the forest”, deliberately created in the peripheral areas of the city: Area 167, the burned forest of San Cataldo, the Emanuele Community Park, which for years has provided hospitality to those who need it most, and Tagliatelle, a new cultural center opened near the quarry. From which the lychee stone used in the construction of city buildings was extracted. During these events, through the use of branches of local Salento trees, participants transform themselves into trees, becoming part of the forest thanks to participation and relationships with each other.
A diary catalog of the artist’s activities is to be published, with texts by the curator and those who contributed to the project and a dense stock of images.
Information: Tel: 0832.241067 | www.mustlecce.it |Email for information and reservations: [email protected]; Hours of operation: Tuesday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and closed on Mondays.
Tickets: full price €5.50, reduced price €3.50 (for students, teachers, tour guides and over 65 years); Free entry for children up to 10 years old.
“Infuriatingly humble alcohol fanatic. Unapologetic beer practitioner. Analyst.”