Maraya Art Centre hosts an innovative environmental art project
Maria Rebecca Ballestra discusses her globe-spanning project - 'Journey Into Fragility'
Sharjah, 16 June 2012 - Maraya Art Centre at Al Qasba with the support of Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du) hosted a lecture by Italian artist Maria Rebecca Ballestra on her seminal project 'Journey Into Fragility' on Thursday the 14thJune. Ballestra offered her own unique insights into this thought provoking and globe-spanning project, inspired by the 'Arenzano Manifesto for the Earth and the Human Being', conceived and created by Massimo Morasso at Arenzano, Italy, in 2001.
Commenting on her motivation for speaking at Maraya Art Centre, Ballestra said, "I'm very pleased to present the itinerary art project 'Journey Into Fragility' at Maraya Art Centre and through art raise awareness of the environmental problems we live with. Hopefully this lecture will teach audience about the fragility of the heart we live on and suggest a reflection about a common heritage such as food, resources and energy. The lecture would like to be an opportunity to build a plural dialogue with the audience about environment, art and science."
Focussing on art as a land of encounters, discussion, and interaction between different disciplines such as science, ecology, politics, biotechnology, and renewable energy, as well as art as an opportunity to build a constructive dialogue and plural relationships regarding such important common heritage as the environment, food, resources and energy, Ballestra has developed sub projects (community projects, installations, videos, and site specific projects) in twelve different places around the world, with the aim of developing an open and constructive dialogue on the environment and the value of living on Earth. Each sub project, inspired by one of the twelve statements inthe Arenzano Manifesto, involves a scientific partner and a different curator, creating a constructive venture, able to bring new technologies and solutions for the health and benefit of the Earth, independent of the economic and political situation of the host country.
Mamia Bretesche, curator for the fourth stage of the project, which is taking place in Dubai from the 10th to the 17th June, remarked, "When Maria first contacted me about 'Journey Into Fragility' I was delighted to work with her for many reasons. The first one is her responsible behaviour as an artist, looking beyond the artefact, the artwork itself. She is doing more than creating, but addressing a message to the world through art and over 5 continents, delivering today in Maraya Art Centre what has been deeply rooted in the Arab soul for ages: preservation of water and resources in hostile environments."
During stage four of the 'Journey Into Fragility' Ballestra is creating a photographic work on one of the most sustainable cities in the world, Masdar City. An open technological platform that provides its partner companies with the unprecedented opportunity to develop, test and validate their technology on a large scale and in a real environment, Masdar City currently has some of the innovative clean tech research in progress and through innovation and technological experimentation have brought some of the most interesting and sustainable pilot projects on the planet.
Remarking on incorporation of Masdar City into the project Bretesche commented that although issues such as water conservation and desertification are reasonably new concerns, they have been focal points in the Arab world for much longer. "For Arab countries, conservation of water and food resources have been an issue for centuries not only decades, our fathers were the first ecologists: the source, "masdar" in the Arabic language, is the source of water but also the source of all of the efforts that our fathers have taught to us in order to preserve nature in a harsh environment. It is now our turn to continue and pass on their legacy to future generations," she concluded.