MOURNING BECOMES ELECTRA – Void, Derry, 10-20 December 2013

Opening Saturday, 7 December 5-7 pm

MOURNING BECOMES ELECTRA is an exhibition of work created by four young artists from Void Art School and four photographers from Istituto Superiore di Fotografia e Comunicazione Integrata in Rome. The work was produced during a series of workshops in Rome and Derry facilitated by Paola Bernardelli and Ottavio Celestino.

This exhibition is the final phase of the first year of ‘The Trilogy’, a triennial cultural exchange programme curated by Maria Rosa Sossai and Claudia Rampelli (Accademia Libera delle Arti, Rome) and developed by ISFCI and Void Art School with the aim of enabling eight young artists to take part in a career development experience that facilitates intercultural dialogue, questioning differences and similarities in the approach to art making in both cultural traditions.

The works on display originate from the idea of loss, which is not seen as definitive and absolute, but as an existential condition that queries one’s conscience and view of the world: “Mourning Becomes Electra – whose title is inspired by the famous trilogy by the american playwright Eugene O’Neill – examines the idea of loss seen as a starting point for exploring moods, feelings and psychological states experienced in life that affect relationships, the timings of the exchange and fields where they grow and transform. Imperfection, death, desertion, end of a relationship, the sudden absence of the measure of all things, a lack of courage: these are the agents able to activate the interface between inner and outer landscape or, on the contrary, capable of producing breakage. Processing these experiences means finding the self in the uninterrupted flow of change and the unpredictable, thus affirming the right to obtain an understanding of the world through the use of images.” Maria Rosa Sossai.

Eamonn Brown, Claudio Cerasoli, Nicole Furlan, Carlo Lazzari, Eve Logue, Richard Magee, Emma Nicholas and Agnese Sbaffi used diverse creative approaches, working either individually or in collaboration. The concept of memory, as a natural progression of loss, emerges constantly in their work: “The fragments of memories transformed by the intervention of the mind will be distorted and corrupted to create a new reality, the effect of a layering of authentic experiences and evanescent memories.” (Emma Nicholas and Agnese Sbaffi). Loss is also collective memory revised through a process of re-adaptation of the narration of past events published in the pages of a well-known Italian magazine of the 1960s.


ALA – Accademia Libera delle Arti, is a platform for contemporary art and education founded in 2012 by Maria Rosa Sossai. ALA elects the artist as the central figure of the process of learning and teaching intended as a space of creative freedom. The artists invited by ALA experience educational actions in different contexts, aiming to produce alternative social ideals and enable a change of perspective, thus sharing positive role models and democratic dissemination of knowledge through contemporary art.

ISFCI – Founded in Rome in 1985, in the historic district of San Lorenzo, the Istituto di Fotografia e Comunicazione Integrata has quickly established itself as an important reference in the educational training of professional photographers. From the very beginning, the mission of the school has been to provide students with up to date professional tools for inclusion in the labor market, along with the ability to develop their creative talents independently, constantly aware of new contemporary photographic languages capable of crossing cultures, borders and markets.

VOID Art School – VOID Art School was established in 2006 alongside the Artist-in-Residence scheme with artist Damien Duffy. A model autonomous Art School that exists outside of curriculum based schooling and formal education, it provides a supportive, exploratory and rigorous learning environment for young Artists. Originally established to introduce A level students to Contemporary Art practice it has developed its remit to include young Artists at both the secondary and tertiary levels of education as well as early career Artists. The school has established a rigorous teaching programme based on studio practice. Practical projects are developed through one-to-one tutorials, and Artists are encouraged to develop a more critical engagement with work observed and created. In this respect Void Art School is unique in its training of young Artists in contemporary art beyond curriculum based teaching.