Signs is one of ten sections of Lanfranco Aceti’s installation titled Preferring Sinking to Surrender which was conceived by the artist for the Italian Pavilion, Resilient Communities, curated by Alessandro Melis for the Venice Architecture Biennale, 2021. The ten sections are: Tools for Catching Clouds; Preferring Sinking to Surrender, Part I; Preferring Sinking to Surrender, Part II; Sacred Waters; Le SchiavoneOrthósSeven Veils; Signs; Rehearsaland The Ending of the End. These sections, singularly and collectively, create a complex narrative that responds to this year’s theme How Will We Live Together? set by Hashim Sarkis, curator of the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale. 

The works of art — realized as a series of performances and sculptural, video, and painting contributions — are part of the installation at the Italian Pavilion from May 21, 2021, to November 21, 2021, (the opening and closing dates of the Venice Architecture Biennale).

The guts, as one of the inscrutable elements of the future, repository of feelings and unexplainable truths are at the center of this section. This is a section that challenges the notion that knowledge exists only as and is privilege of patriarchal rationalism. The works of art focus on the emotive unexplainable insight of women that is knowledge even if outside the remits of rational and scientific thought. They bring back from the periphery into the center the primordial forces of emotive and subconscious understandings which are based on uterus and entrails in juxtaposition to the phallic and cerebral constructs of a failing patriarchal future.

The notion of the future has become an existential dread. The absence of love towards the creation has left a world bereft of future opportunities. Darkness is cast against the beauty of what remains of the Italian landscape at this particular point in time. The works of art are a record of disattended hopes and mounting fears. The signs exist in a natural order, the flight of a bird, which is both an animal and a mechanical flying object. The trace left in the sky is open to interpretation as much as any other sign in the photographic works of art. Even the works of art become signs pointing to other signs, in the past, in the present, and in the future braiding a possible path of defiance, hopelessness, or silence.

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