Giuseppe Lana's work “Crossover” was installed in Piazza Magione, Palermo, in the occasion of the Biennale Arcipelago Mediterraneo (BAM) 2019. This installation, that was entirely produced thanks to private supporters and to the Merz Foundation, consists of four mechanical barriers that form a square and rise alternately, thus allowing passage and eliminating any form of border.
BAM is an international festival of theatre, music and visual arts dedicated to the peoples and cultures of the countries bordering the sea, focused on the themes of reception and dialogue. The 2019 edition takes place in the year in which three anniversaries of strong political and symbolic significance occur: the thirty years of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Tienanmen Square uprising and the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall motions. Organized by Fondazione Merz, European Alternatives and BAM – Palermo, the exhibition is taking over the entire city until the 8th of December.
Other participating artists are Alfredo Jaar, Shirin Neshat, Damián Ortega, Francesco Arena. Patrizio Di Massimo, to name a few. More information: http://fondazionemerz.org/mostre-esposizioni/ubermauer_bam-biennale-arcipelago-mediterraneo/
Unfortunately, "Crossover", a work that rekindles more and more the question between opening and closing, reception and refusal, was suffered serious damage. Despite its several vandalisation and according to the Merz Foundation, the installation will be restored soon. Some journalists and the public opinion find that the vandalism acts had been fomented by one of the opposition leaders at the city council, Fabrizio Ferrandelli, who posted a video on hi social media account wrongly accusing the city of spending public funds in contemporary art.
The Councillor of Cultures, Adham Darawsha, stated for this act of violence that: “Works of art can be criticised but not damaged and this is why we do not intend to surrender to these uncivilised. We will carry on the Biennale by restoring the work, putting it in safety. The uncivilized will never stop the cultural change that we are carrying out”.
The artist and the Foundation agree, in fact, in highlighting that unpleasant acts such as those that have affected the work "do not fall within the logic of dialogue and acceptance that have instead been the basis of the entire Biennale".
Giuseppe Lana was overwhelmed by positive messages of support on his social media and by the press, creating fertile soil for a constructive debate around the role of conceptual contemporary art and art biennales.