H. The installation is visible from the window in front of the bar

Il giardino di Artemisia

Curated by Matteo Pacini

Women are the common thread to which Fabbrica del Vapore dedicates many of its activities this year. Gender equality is in fact the thermometer of every democracy. Feminicides, lack of wage equity, female unemployment are symptoms of a malaise that must otherwise be turned into widespread social well-being. Even within Vapore d'estate, Art and Design Week, there is no shortage of insights into a theme that must be pervasive. Mezzadri's work presents itself as a threshold and connective tissue between the different programs that characterize the month of April in Fabbrica del Vapore. His contribution is welcome, like Crespi's painting "Revolution is woman", it is a useful contribution, because males being spokespersons for a need for equality is an indispensable part of change." (Maria Fratelli) With "The garden of Artemisia", a site-specific installation, curated by Matteo Pacini in collaboration with Jessica De Simone, Matteo Mezzadri addresses the theme by reflecting on a historical episode that will end up having many repercussions on the disadvantaged condition of women in society, a theme still dramatically relevant today. This is the lawsuit filed in 1612 by the painter Artemisia Gentileschi against Agostino Tassi, which went down in history as the first rape trial of which written memory is preserved through trial records. Artemisia Gentileschi spent her life fighting to assert her freedom of expression in a world that left very little space for women, especially in the artistic field, and publicly denouncing her rapist was an act of great courage which, as still too often happens today, saw the defendants take the stage accused of having had provocative attitudes towards the accused. Artemisia never recanted, not even under torture; “It's true, it's true, it's true” is the cry of pain recorded in the State Archives of Rome that Artemisia addressed to the accused while her fingers were broken, irrefutable proof, according to the legislation of the time, of the veracity of the his accusations. Although Tassi's sentence to exile proved to be a farce since, thanks to his position, he never left Rome, unlike Artemisia who was forced to do so due to the uproar of the trial, this courageous denunciation remained in history as the first true act of rebellion against the suffocating patriarchal culture. In dealing with the complex topic, especially as faced by a man, Mezzadri makes use of materials, language and visual grammar typical of his poetics, therefore no didactic or narrative quotation, but an under-the-radar evocation that brings into dialogue, or rather , the materials and structural geometries that will give shape to the work are in conflict. The large cube of fired bricks, severe and absolute, hides and confines something inside with the excuse of protecting it; it is the paradigm of a system of power and rigid, unchangeable social conventions, a mechanism decoded by men for the benefit of men which for too long has left no room for women to affirm their freedom and dignity as human beings. The Artemisia garden symbolizes resilience, the continuous rebirth that starts from the bottom like all the greatest revolutions in the history of humanity. A break in the pattern that overturns the physical space and, as in the case of Artemisia, also the historical one.
Fabbrica del Vapore location