Barbara Duran project


Rome, Ex Cartiera Latina

Nagasawa room

Via Appia Antica, 42


October 30 - November 21, 2021





The exhibition WHITE. Project by Barbara Duran "hosted in the Nagasawa Room of the Ex Cartiera Latina in Rome from 30th October to 21st November 2021, aims to retrace the artist's work from 2016 to 2021 through approximately one hundred and eighty works, of which one hundred twenty-two unpublished - oils on canvas and on wood, mixed pigments and techniques on rice paper, watercolors on paper, silver tip on hand prepared paper, video. The entire project, consisting of four cycles of works, in the light of a circularity of time between past and present, fil rouge of the exhibition, is linked to an idea of ​​secular sacredness, which strongly refers in its formal development to an ancient and modern iconography. “Alongside memory, there is also a strong feeling of pain, which arises from a reflection on the violence and oppression typical of authoritarian regimes, in which all forms of human dignity are canceled. In this context, the female figure reconfigures herself in her salvific role, as the architect of collective salvation, the one who welcomes and generates, who defends and protects herself and the other. " (B. Duran).


The exhibition, curated by Studio Urbana, avails itself of the patronage of: Lazio Region, Appia Antica Regional Park, MIBAC, the Archaeological Superintendence of Fine Arts and Landscape for the metropolitan area of ​​Rome, the province of Viterbo and southern Etruria, Il Gabbiano Foundation, Without Borders Festival, Valentina Moncada, Galerie Metanoia, Center Culturel Italien Paris. Project management by Silvia Savoca. The catalogue, published by Editore d’Arte Studio Urbana, is enriched with texts by Renato Miracco, Ignazio Venafro, Barbara Duran, Benedetta D’Ettorre, Silvia Savoca, Simona Cirelli, Maria Azahara Hernando Ibáñez. The exhibition will be inaugurated on Saturday 30th October from 16.00 to 20.00.


As Barbara Duran herself writes, "WHITE is a work of subtraction in the sensory and structural overlaps that cloud the image today, it wants to be the door that, through white noise, can open perception to empathy. Contemporary icons of the world introduce us to understand that the joy and pain that collide in the existence of humanity can be traced in essence to an absence of the perception of the other, which is other than us only if we deliberately ignore that our being is, only in the relationship to another from oneself, in the present of time, in the understanding of difference".


The exhibition

The project that takes the name of WHITE is a journey into the hidden archives of the artist Barbara Duran through multiple visual languages ​​such as painting, drawing and video. Three cycles of works have already been presented: White in Paris in 2016, Appearing through invisible at Torino Esposizioni again in 2016, Servae. Liquid Icons at the Castle of Santa Severa in 2018. The unpublished works were created from 2018 to 2021 and make up the fourth cycle: IS Land presented on this occasion for the first time.

Silvia Savoca writes: “The Ex Cartiera Latina, in Rome, hosts the White exhibition; it is a place that brings with it a soundtrack made up of birds chirping and the sound of the flowing water of the Almone river from which the whole structure is caressed on its length. The Nagasawa room, the central body of the former paper mill and beating heart due to its primary function of housing all the production machines, is the designated place for our exhibition. The grandeur of the space available was the starting point and inspiration for our set-up: the high roofs, equipped with beams, and the depth of the room seemed to us at Studio Urbana the ideal factors for creating a ship on which to embark all together and abandon each other until the end of the journey precisely because WHITE is an embrace of people, between people. An embrace of places, between places".


In the "White" cycle, the large canvases are the result of a very close relationship of space / time between the classical, Renaissance, Baroque and contemporary image in an éclat, an explosion that produces light, so strong that it is made of every color, White. A white noise, a dull noise that expresses total pain, where there is no longer any space between visible and invisible. Here the female figure appears in the interpretation of Barbara Duran: the great mother / stepmother, Eva / Lilith, and then the Deposition: the Christological image that collects too many and dramatic contemporary Depositions, thus Artemis / Artemisia in the encounter between those who in different moments of historical time, have suffered a violence and defend their dignity with strength, the indomitable spirit attributed to women who have within them the archetype of Artemis. There is no transcendence in the looks of Piero della Francesca's Madonnas, but innocence and malice, and the deposed Christ turns to our eyes every day.


The White video, inspired by the beautiful frames of Emma Goldman, a Russian anarchist who loved to exclaim "if I can't dance then it's not my revolution!", is strongly linked to the short film La Danza made for the project Dimora del Tempo, in 2009, in which the compositional and iconographic structure of the moving image turned to subtend a fragmented space, a broken line, cut and evanescent in tearing itself into a binomial of the female myth: one abandoned, the other transformed. Both salvific figures, like the dancing figure in La Danza (2009) [https://vimeo.com/99647845] of a little girl who protects and through a childish motion restores dignity and strength, in White (2016) [https: / /vimeo.com/375384792] an adult woman dances and appears, as an epiphany, also saving (and sorrowful) waiting, defending, remembering and protecting like the archaic divinities, an archetypal figure, a modern-day Artemis dancing in front of a beautiful and hostile Mediterranean, ancient and contemporary.


In the second cycle Appearing through invisible, the diaphanous, white, ectoplasmic figure of a woman who dances "brings us back to a new way of perceiving reality", where the moving image tears itself apart in a duplicity of the female myth, redeeming and light, weightless, part of the air it crosses to exorcise the contradictions that mark the earth, leaving traces of it. It dances and appears, disappears, tracing signs, as an epiphany: an Artemis archetype that "questions the known order".

The figures of the third cycle, Servae. Liquid Icons, as Ignazio Venafro points out, are "liquefied apparitions, mazes and tremulous living and moving [...], an organic reminiscence that becomes an event as a person, a theater of the soul as if it were dawn, as perhaps an air that crosses the being in her circular being, in her multiple epiphany of Artemis Leucotea Aphrodite Ilizia Eos Astarte Persephone Core Demeter, and Antigone, the one who questions the known order and shouts, shouts, shouts: 'I am not here to unite in hatred but in love ... '"


With a view also to civil commitment, Barbara Duran's own words illustrate the meaning of the fourth cycle IS Land with one hundred twenty-two unpublished works: "In a contemporary that afflicts the dignity of being, that dirties and floods every possible serenity of the soul, which cuts the circuits of human co-existence, which does not respect and honor the nature of things, blind, deaf but not dumb. A dull and overbearing vulgarity tramples the earth without reason, without spirit and leaves the task of soothing and disappearing to the water. […] Yet nature has a life of its own, it does not admit strategies and even less submissions and compromises: natura naturans. Nature for those who still have eyes to look, ears to listen and a heart to love, selflessly, with purity and charm and with equal awareness and conscience, integrity, with equal strength in reconditioning, breaking down greed and selfishness [...] Yet an island, in the distance - the distance of the mind and sometimes of the heart - appears. Is it epiphany? Epilogue? Dream, vision? It is an apparition. It is everything and it is nothing, but it is there. Everyone can decide what to do with it, seeing it with the intrapsychic gaze that creates the medium: contemplate it, reach it, land, go further, change course, approach it, the choice of an action determines a consequence, and the island is a Telos. "



Because, as the verses of a poem by the artist recite, the island is luxuriant nature, belonging, myth, chimera, apparition, rarefaction, "the island disappears ... and reappears ... and disappears ... the island is land".

Benedetta D’Ettorre writes in the catalogue how to approach the IS land series means clashing with the power of color. “At times it becomes dense, full-bodied but, at the next glance, acquires absolute lightness. Here the color takes on total ambiguity: at a certain time, that powerful yellow, that sanguine red, the impenetrable blue and the subtle blue become water, sky or perhaps earth. Brown, gray, white, black at the same time outline and obscure everything". The border between sea and sky becomes blurred, the blue envelops waters that are now calm, now agitated and at the same time evanescent skies; the yellow becomes bright, the purple builds, with powerful but vaporous brushstrokes, domes, enchanted cities, perhaps reminiscences of a suspended Venice.

As the exhibition itinerary testifies, Barbara Duran WHITE's project therefore starts from afar and “is dedicated to all those who flee from wars, injustices, torture. To women, mothers, sisters, men, brothers, children. To all living beings who suffer and who have the right to live. Dedicated to our sisters and our brothers”. Renato Miracco underlines in his text how, to do this, Barbara Duran transforms herself into an Artist-Shaman.



The Artist

Italian artist of cosmopolitan origins, Barbara Duran lives and works between Orvieto and Rome. She has lived and worked in France, Greece and Latin America.

Artistic director of Studio Urbana with Corrado de Grazia - Independent Cultural Production Space - opened in 2007 as an exhibition space, she has curated solo and group exhibitions collaborating with institutions and art galleries.

Her work is expressed through multiple languages ​​including painting, photography and video art. She began exhibiting around the 1990s, participating in group exhibitions and making solo exhibitions in Italy and abroad, he has produced and made short films and videos as part of his own exhibition projects. Her work is currently exhibited in private and public collections, both Italian and foreign.

About Duran have written, among others, Domenico Guzzi, Maria Teresa Benedetti, Ignazio Venafro, Ruggero Savinio, Annelisa Alleva, Marco di Capua, Renato Miracco, Ornella Fazzina, Teresa Macrì, Lele Luzzati, Marco Bechis, Gaston Troiano, Anna Gioioso, Patrizia de Rachewiltz, Massimo Nicotra, Marc Higonnet, Anna Pintus, Amerigo de Agostini, Antonio Sammartano, Darine Rajhi, Simona Cirelli, Maria Azahara Hernando Ibáñez.




Title: “WHITE. Barbara Duran project "

Location: Ex Cartiera Latina, Sala Nagasawa, Via Appia Antica, 42, Rome

Period: 30 October - 21 November 2021

Edited by: Studio Urbana

Project manager: Silvia Savoca

Catalog: Art Publisher Studio Urbana

Texts in the catalog by: Renato Miracco, Ignazio Venafro, Barbara Duran, Benedetta D’Ettorre, Silvia Savoca, Simona Cirelli, Maria Azahara Hernando Ibáñez

Press conference: Friday 29 October at 11.30

Inauguration: Saturday 30 October from 16.00 to 20.00

The conference and the inauguration will take place in compliance with anti-Covid safety regulations in compliance with current legislation.


Exhibition hours: Tuesday to Friday 12.00 - 18.00; Saturday and Sunday 11.00 - 18.00.

Closed on Mondays (by appointment only)

Free entry

For information:

Silvia Savoca (project manager) cell. 340.8016108; silviasavoca16@gmail.com

Sara Serpilli (room manager) cell. 351.8772850; sara.serpilli2@gmail.com

How to get there by bus: bus 118

Parking spots available: Via Appia Antica, 50


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Press Office: Paola Saba, cell. 338.4466199; paolasaba@paolasaba.it