Florence, the photographer Julia Krahn on display at the Museo Novecento with the project ST. JAVELIN
Until 29 January 2023, the Museo Novecento in Florence hosts the ST project. JAVELIN by photographer Julia Krahn: an invitation to Ukrainian women to tell their stories through images and interviews.
On the occasion of International day for the elimination of violence against womenon November 25, 2022, the twentieth century museum started the project ST. JAVELINthe latest photographic series of German photography Julia Krahn (Jülich, 1978), in which the artist invites Ukrainian women to take refuge to tell their stories through images and interviews.
“When art becomes the spokesperson for important battles on the rights front, it manages to propagate universal messages and reach people with strength”, said the councilor for culture Alessia Bettini and the councilor for rights and equal opportunities Blessed Albanian. “So does this work by Julia Krahn who combines the denunciation of all forms of violence and gender discrimination with the drama of the war in Ukraine. In the photographic story there is also a strong message of hope, through evocative and symbolic images. Opening this exhibition on such a significant date is a way to give more voice to the drama of violence and the need to fight it with all the means at our disposal, starting with culture”.
“In the past years, the Museo Novecento has begun an artistic journey linked to the great symbolic days, such as the one for the elimination of violence against women or the Day of Remembrance, trying to reposition the role of artistic languages and to reinvent the ‘projects idea of public monument” declares the director of the Museo Novecento, Sergio Risaliti. “In this sense, it is extremely significant to use the external loggia of the museum to occupy the public space and enter directly into contact with the square of Santa Maria Novella. The ten flags created by Julia Krahn and dedicated to the stories of as many Ukrainian women refugees thus enter into the heart of the dramatic events of our time, which once again see women as victims of the inhuman barbarity of war. However, women are also the protagonists of a stubborn resistance, committed to countering the violence perpetrated against their personal history, their home, the family world together with their bodies. Each of these women has something to tell and Julia Krahn has managed to restore the sacred sense to a series of portraits of the present by using the most ancient of religious iconography, the Madonna and Child, characterized today by other symbols and messages. The museum and art thus delve into the news and try to make people reflect ‘in the face of the pain of others’, to quote a famous writing by Susan Sontag dedicated to our time and the relationship between pain, works of art and images of war . Julia Krahn does not offer us the most violent part of the war, but she transforms these female figures into heroines and saints ”.
The project takes its name from Saint Javelinan image born and spread during the war in Ukraine which depicts the Madonna holding an anti-tank missile, the javelin, symbol of resistance. The new iconography of an armed mother overturns that of Mary who supports her Son in her arms, bringing to mind death and violence more than life and love. Ten flags bearing portraits of Ukrainian refugee women will be installed in the external loggia of the Museo Novecento, a sort of secular icons that impose themselves on the space with all the strength and dignity of the message they convey, a message of resistance and peace. Within the photographic series there is also a self-portrait of the artist, immortalized while holding her weapon, the camera, in her hand, who invites the refugees to do the same, describing their weapons of daily resistance, made to build and never to destroy.
“I’m not talking about war, its impossible reasons for existing or who is keeping it going, but about the people who suffer it. Regardless of thought, position, or status, they fled to save their children and left their husbands behind. Besides propaganda, there are real people. Each with his own story. I welcome anyone who wants to share hers to the studio ”declares Julia Krahn.
A second installation will be created in the internal loggia on the first floor of the museum, where the series will be exhibited Die Taubewhich presents eight photographs printed on poster paper (affiches) and reproduced in large format.
In Die Taube the artist returns to the sacred theme ofLast Supper, to which he has dedicated himself since 2010, and through the metamorphosis of a pigeon into a white dove, then stained with an intense red, he retraces the practice of ancient sacrifices. The images, thanks to an immediate spiritual appeal and Christian symbolism, establish a lively dialogue with the loggia, in the past dedicated to retreat and meditation, and at the same time invoke, like the Ukrainian women portrayed in the sails on the ground floor, a clear message of hope, transformation and passage towards a new coexistence.
JULIA KRAHN is a German multidisciplinary artist. She was born in Julich in 1978 and grows to Aachen in Germany. To devote himself completely to art he leaves his medical studies and moves to Milan where he lives and works. During the lockdown he opens his new studio in Saint Luciain the center of Sorrento. His research questions the permeability of the gaze between the identity of the artist and the spectator. He redefines everyday objects and symbols of the past with photographs that present an ambiguous fluidity: rather than telling the passage of time or constructing a story, they crystallize, transforming from a liquid into a solid state, the fragments of a private and secret reality. His work reflects on the lost or unbalanced values of society, family and religion, to the point of bringing the lens to images that lead back to Christian icons.
Pictured: Julia Krahn, Marina, Motherhooddetail (2022)
Information about the exhibition
|Florence, the photographer Julia Krahn on display at the Museo Novecento with the project ST. JAVELIN|
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