Words Without Action Poison the Soul
a project by Eva Frapiccini
curated by Connecting Cultures and Isole
June 15-August 30 2018

 The cultural associations Connecting Cultures and Isole presented to the public for the first time Words without Action Poison the Soul by the artist Eva Frapiccini, project winner of the first edition of the 2017 Italian Council grant, a competitive grant created and supported by Directorate General for Contemporary Art and Architecture and Urban Peripheries (DGAAP – Direzione Generale Arte e Architettura contemporanee e Periferie urbane) of the Ministry of Culture, Cultural Heritage and Tourism (Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo) to promote Italian contemporary art around the world.

The project was originally designed by the artist in 2014, as part of an exhibitional project curated by Connecting Cultures, Isole and the lawyer Caterina Niccolai on the subject of legality at the Courthouse in Palermo. Between 2017 and 2018, after spending a period of time in Sicily, Frapiccini resumed her work and unveils this project thereby concluding her research on the victims and the protagonists of the mafia wars.

The photographic installation was the fruit of a participatory project that engaged historical archives and mafia think tanks, relatives of the victims, schools, and libraries in Palermo and in the rest of Italy, in a journey to research the figures that characterized the fight against the mafia from the 1970s to the 90s. The approach chosen by the artist focused on the personal and intimate dimension that is seen in the testimonies of magistrates, journalists, trade unionists, police inspectors, and private citizens who have spent their lives battling the mafia. Through photographic documentation, the project highlighted everyday tools, such as speeches, registers, notebooks, and other notes that have been collected and stored in many private archives. The artist’s work was therefore an archive in progress, which, through an accessible, searchable and engaging installation, invited the public to delve into the daily life of these individuals. The artist’s analysis focused in particular on the relationships between the lines of inquiry that had been pursued either at the same time or years later by various people. These leads were interrupted as they constituted a threat to mafia trafficking; and the artist reminds us that people have been killed precisely because they were far too virtuous by way of their Action.

The project was part of the official program of Palermo European Capital of Culture (Palermo Capitale della Cultura) 2018 and began his journey concurrently with the opening of Manifesta12. After the initial important debut in Palermo in June 2018, the installation was also exhibited at the Italian Institute of Culture (Istituto Italiano di Cultura) in Brussels and ended with the acquisition of the installation by the Municipal Museum of Modern Art, Information and Photography in Senigallia (Museo d’Arte Moderna, dell’Informazione e della Fotografia), which organized an additional, temporary exhibition open to the public until March 2019.

Words without Action Poison the Soul has been realized with the support of the Municipality of Palermo – Department of Culture and the Department for Youth Policies, School, Work, and Health and the collaboration of Accademia di Belle Arti in Palermo – Department of Communication and Art Education; Archivio Storico Comunale di Palermo; Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Brussels; Liceo Artistico Catalano in Palermo; Liceo Artistico Ragusa-Kiyohara in Palermo; MUSINF – Museo d’Arte Moderna, dell’Informazione e della Fotografia di Senigallia. Media Partner: Exibart.

The exhibition catalog is published by Silvana Editoriale, Milan.

The project is the winner of the Italian Council Grant, conceived and supported by the Directorate General for Contemporary Art and Architecture and Urban Suburbs (DGAAP) of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, to promote contemporary Italian art in the world.