Viaggio in Sicilia 7. The artists

Marianna Christofides | Gabriella Ciancimino | Malak Helmy | Andrew Mania | Pietro Ruffo | Luca Trevisani |
Leonardo Scotti


Marianna Christofdes (1980, Nicosia, Ciprus. Lives and works in Athens, Cologne and Berlin) is a visual artist and flmmaker. Influenced by the experience of growing up in a divided island, Marianna’s work addresses intricate stories that make up the different layers of multi-identity places. The juxtaposition of geology with socio-historical stories is at the center of her practice. Archival research, long-term observations and reviews of the known sites are the means that provide the tools to deal with the complicated and fragmented stories of a region. Moving, asynchrony and the poetic transfer are constitutive parts of her visual language that is expressed using different media, from photography to installation, from video to drawing.
She studied Visual and Media Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts, Athens and the Slade School of Fine Art, London. She completed her Postgraduate Degree in Media Arts and Film at the Academy of Media Arts of Cologne. In 2011 Christofdes co-represented Cyprus at the 54th International Art Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia.
Marianna Christofdes has received numerous grants and scholarships, among them are: Academy of the Arts of the World Cologne, Hartware Kunstverein, DAAD, Jean-Claude Reynal Foundation, Onassis Foundation and was shortlisted for the Deste Prize, Athens, in 2013. Residencies include: Atelier Galata, Istanbul (2015); Light Cone, Paris (2015); IASPIS, Stockholm (2014); Villa Aurora, Los Angeles (2014); Gasworks, London (2013). Recent solo exhibitions: Of(f) the Ground, Kunstraum Fuhrwerkswaage, Cologne (2015); But see, even that is only appearance, basis, Frankfurt (2015); Physis, Annaelle Gallery, Stockholm (2014); Here let me stand, Galerie Campagne Première, Berlin (2014); l’histoire d’histoire d’une histoire, Kölnischer Kunstverein OG2, Cologne (2013); Reluctantly Real, Laveronica, Modica (2012). Group exhibitions include: The Equilibrists, Benaki Museum, Athens (2016); Between the Pessimism of the Intellect and the Optimism of the Will, 5th Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art (2015); Nel Mezzo del Mezzo, Museo Riso/Albergo dei Poveri, Palermo (2015); Recorded Memories, Museum of Yugoslav History, Belgrade (2015); Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre, Nicosia (2014); CER Modern, Ankara (2014).



Gabriella Ciancimino (b. 1978, lives and works in Palermo, Italy) took her degree at the Fine Arts Academy of Palermo (2004) and, in those years, she practiced journalism together with political activism. The experience that she considers important in her education and development has been the participation in some residency programmes in Europe and Africa as the Research residency at Centre Culturel Blaise Senghor in Dakar and the Expedition 9 / Montagnes du Rif (Morocco),. She showed in exhibitions at American Academy, Rome (2009), at L’appartement 22 (Rabat, 2010/2012), and the Biennale Benin (2012), at Kunsthalle Mulhouse (2013), at PAV (Turin, 2013), at Museo Villa Croce, (Genova, 2013), MACBA (Barcelona, 2014), at Prometeogallery (Milan, 2016); as well as, she participated at the Volume 1, Sentences on the banks and other activities, exhibition project at Darat al Funun (Amman, 2010), at Working For Change. Project for A Moroccan Pavilion at the 54th International Art Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia (2011). Her works are in public collections, such as: Museo del Novecento (Milan), RISO – Museo d’Arte Contemporanea della Sicilia (Palermo), Frac Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (Marseille), Museo Villa Croce (Genova).
This is her artists statement: “My research focalizes on the concept of relationships transforming artworks in moments of meeting/confrontation among individuals. Starting from the assumption that I strongly believe in the role of art as a catalyst for social change, the ideal testing ground becomes public space. In my recent works, I analyse the relationship between man and plants in Nature by the creation of a landscape that becomes a “place” of reflection and at the same time safeguards the historical memory and collective action. This anthropological study is accompanied by experimental research, which aims to identify dissonant elements to be included in the landscape, thus generating a visual crack that modifies reality, but in an eco-friendly way. So, I have developed a practice through site-specific actions and collective works using diverse media – as drawing, video, installation and sculpture. My work is an invitation to a dialogue on the concept of resistance and freedom applied to the relation with the environment”.



Malak Helmy (1982, Alexandria, Egypt. Lives and works in Cairo, Egypt) is an artist working with writing, video and sculpture to set up environments and narratives in which language and landscape collaborate to perform and possess each other’s action at will. She was born in Alexandria, raised in Doha, Qatar and now based in Cairo.  In her work she engages a personal and historical consciousness of place.
Her projects include Music for Drifting, a sound work which explores the loss of bearings when love and political times are unhinged, which was presented at the 9th Mercosul Biennial and the 64th Berlinale Expanded Forum. Records from the Excited State explores referents and characters on the edge of narrative on a site of leisure on the coastline of Egypt, of which video and sculptural works have been shown at the Aspen Art Museum, 63rd Berlinale Expanded Forum, and the Gwangju and EVA International Irish Biennial amongst others. She co-initiated Emotional Architecture a writing and publication project conceived as an exercise in addressing the social, intellectual and psychic legacies of entering and leaving collaborations, of which are two publications and several talks.
Currently she is co-curating Meeting Points 8: Both Sides of the Curtain, which takes place in Cairo, Beirut, Brussels and Istanbul. She is the recipient of a Delfina Foundation research fellowship in collaboration with Iniva and Goldsmith’s Curatorial/Knowledge pHd program in London in 2014, a resident at the Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha in 2014, at the Center for Curatorial Knowledge (Serpentine Gallery) in London in 2013, at Fondazione Spinola Banna per l’Arte in partnership with the Resò3 programme in Turin in 2013, NIFCA (Helsinki) in 2006.
Her writing has been published in forums including Ibraaz, Bidoun, Stationary magazine, (the Lithuanian/Cypriot pavilion of the 55th Biennale di Venezia), Mada Masr, Log — Journal for Architecture and Urbanism and other online exhibitions. She received her MFA from the California College of Art and her BA from the American University in Cairo.



Andrew Mania (1974, Bristol, UK, where he lives and works) is a visual artist, graduated at Chelsea Collage of Art, London, who works with different media, such as painting, collage, drawing, sculpture and installation. He usually creates descriptive paintings, which sometimes have a pop flavour, constructed with realistic care: often these depict anonymous faces, without narration, with floral, lanscapes or neutral backgrounds. Sometimes placed in small wall installations, Mania’s paintings are integrated with recycled materials and relics of the past, resembling enigmatic devotional objects.
The artist describes his visual research, in this statement: “I am like a collector of curiosities and histories, or a cultural vagrant; sometimes recycling found images like old master drawings or photographs, then adding my own obsessions or dialogue. Abstractions invade otherwise stable images. My work has a romantic and affectionate aesthetic but can be be unsettling and odd, with an irreverent nostalgia for art history. The pictures seem to be going through a state of mischief. They form clusters, spills, columns or concentrations on the wall or more likely off the wall.  Within these arrangements of collections and fragments a narrative is set up. I mostly draw portraits of friends and acquaintances that have been described as expressing a melancholy longing. I also make work about a similar nostalgic yearning for a place, often the prewar Poland of my late parents or a fictional art collector. These are best expressed through my multi discipline installations.”
Among his solo exhibitions: BAD Brera Arte e Design, Francesco Pantaleone, Milan (2012); BloomsbergSPACE, London (2009); Holburne Museum of Art, Bath (2007). His latest group shows include: APT Gallery London (2015); Simon Oldfeld Gallery London (2014); Museum Modern Art Oxford (2013). In 2004 he was awarded the Rome Scholarship residency at The British School at Rome and his work is collected in various museums around the world, such as: the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Yale Centre for British Art, USA; Bristol City Museum, UK; Tang Museum of Art New York, USA and the Mills College Art Museum, California USA.



PIETRO RUFFO (1978, Rome. Lives and works in Rome) holds a Master’s degree in Architecture and his art is linked to the basic elements of his training: project, paper and drawing. All his work originates from a meticulous design, detail oriented, and takes shape on paper with a delicate but incisive trait. Through drawing, combined with carved paper, Ruffo realizes large panels and installations, in which the surface of ancient geographical maps is symbolically crossed by beetles and dragonflies, natural metaphor of the concept of defense and of freedom of expression. The two-dimensionality of the paper, through this carving techinique, acquires a third dimension. The result is a layered work, with multiple visual and semantic interpretations, which explores the main themes of world history, in particular those of freedom and dignity of the individual, constantly threatened by contemporary society.
He was assigned the prizes “Cairo” in 2009 and “New York” in 2010. The latter included a full research fellowship at the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies of Columbia University. He has been an artist-in-residence at the ISCP, New York (2010); at the Nirox Foundation in Johannesburg, South Africa (2012); and at the Fountainhead Residency program in Miami (2013). Among its selected solo exhibitions deserve special mention: Breve storia del resto del mondo, Fondazione Puglisi Cosentino, Catania; Terra Incognita, Delhi; SPAD SVII, Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Rome; The Political Gymnasium, Blain Southern, London; A complex Istant, Moscow, a special project for Moscow Fourth Biennale; Irhal Irhal, Galleria Lorcan O’Neill, Rome; Six Nations, Galleria Lorcan O’Neill, Rome.
In addition, his works have been exhibited in numerous Italian and foreign museums and foundations, among which: MAXXI, Rome; Centre for Contemporary Arts Luigi Pecci, Prato; Italian Cultural Institute, Los Angeles; Centre for Visual Arts ‘Pescheria’, Pesaro; Museum of Art and Design, New York; MACRO – Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Rome; Kaoshiung Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan. His artworks are included in several museums and private foundations collections, e.g.: Deutsche Bank Foundation, MAMBO Bologna; MACRO – Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Rome; MAXXI Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Rome; Ravenna Museum of Contemporary Art; Pastificio Cerere Foundation, Rome; Giuliani Foundation, Rome; Depart Foundation, Rome and Los Angeles; Guastalla Foundation, Switzerland; Lodeveans Collection, London.



Luca Trevisani (Verona, 1979, lives and works in Milan, Berlin and Palermo) pursues a research that ranges from sculpture to video, and crosses border disciplines such as the performing arts, graphics, design, experimental cinema or architecture. In his installations the historical characteristics of sculpture are questioned, if not actually overturned. A characteristic of his works is instability, a magnetic and changing evolutionary condition which, without pause, expands and contracts the borders between each single element of a work and the environment, which at times becomes irradiated and, at times, the undisputed protagonist.
He achieved awards and exhibitions in important centres for art and museums like, MAXXI Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Roma; MACRO – Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Roma; Magasin, Grenoble; International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia; Manifesta7; Museion, Bozen; Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; Daimler Kunstsammlung, Berlin; CCA Andratx, Mallorca; Giò Marconi, Milan; Mambo, Bologna; Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin; Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin. In 2013 he presented a feature film at the International Film Festival of Rome, Glaucocamaleo, a diary of a trip between mountains and plains, around the theme of water. Rain or ice, hail or soft snow, it is the continuous changes of state of water that show us the true nature of things, their eternal metamorphosis. For Trevisani nature is the mirror in which man sees his own image and, recognizing it, builds its own history. The artist reflects on the origin of places, looking for clues to a future that seeks its form.
He has published the following books; The effort took its tools (Argobooks 2008), Luca Trevisani (Silvana Editoriale 2009) and The art of Folding for young and old (Cura Books 2012).
Since 2010, he manages the editorial platform



photographer: Leonardo Scotti (Milan, 1988. Lives and works in Milan) is a freelance photographer. Interested in art since he was young, after having graduated the CFP Bauer school of photography in Milan he started collaborating with different italian and international magazines (Wallpaper, FlashArt, Rollingstone, Icon, L’Officiel, etc.) and several brands and advertising companies, shooting both in digital and analogic and specializing in still life and interior photography.
He has also participated to many shows, group and personal; his personal projects are focalized in street photography, landscapes, and travel.
Also he is part of the ToiletPaper team (magazine founded by Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari) with whom he grew up and continous to work in all their projects.

Subscribe the newsletter