THE GREAT ROOM
Another global excursion is to be seen in this room on the first floor. Two artists, one Italian, the other American, take up the theme of South Africa yesterday and today. Yazmany Arboleda, originally from Columbia, now lives in New York, where he has developed “living sculptures” projects with the potential to change the world. In South Africa, he has set his sights on the question of buildings left empty by political and economic power. The action narrated by the drawings exhibited at Casa Testori concerns the Central Business District of Johannesburg, where nine buildings were marked one night by splashes of pink paint on their façades. Pietro Ruffo, on the other hand, has taken a look at the country’s past. The artist’s work is based on an analysis of two different pre-revolutionary moments in the history of South Africa, and is the result of a residency project at Johannesburg. The first period is 1650, before the arrival of the Dutch. The second period refers to the end of the 1980s, characterized by the revolts that preceded the end of apartheid. In the first case, Ruffo the artist reworks Dutch prints. In the second, he uses protest banners which acted as authentic arms against the regime. “Before a revolution, before the time when something changes, people have one single idea of freedom and that idea of freedom is very strong in their minds”, declares the artist. The leitmotif of this room, therefore, is the analysis orgeneration of mechanisms that lead to change.