#SBLAD: from 6 to 14 November UniTS will host ten talents from the artistic world

10 November, 2023

This is the first time that an Italian university will launch an artist residency project: the University of Trieste is opening its doors to eleven contemporary artists, who will be hosted for a week in the halls of residence.

#SBLAD - Shine Bright Like a Diamond aims at showing the richness and complexity inherent in every discipline, the uniqueness and versatility of the human being through the artist's gaze. The core of the project, which is one of the university's flagship initiatives to celebrate its Centenary, will take place on the week from 6 to 14 November.

The artists will have the opportunity to live in close contact with the students, lecturers and researchers of the University: the ten departments will each host one artist (actually two of them will work in a pair) to inspire them to create an original work of art.

Various techniques will be used: from installation art show, to drawing, sound design, sculpture, photography and painting.

The first contacts – a source of inspiration for the artists – started on Monday 23 October with a visit to the departments, to the most symbolic places of the University and with meetings with those whose daily lives unfold there. Departments are already places of knowledge, but for the event they will be transformed into incubators of free and shared thoughts, reservoirs for artistic suggestions, transversal dialogues, and bridges between disciplines. Working among (and with) students and teachers, young talents will be inspired by themes, research and ideas. Stimulating concepts like care, biodiversity and the future of mankind shall be developed in a series of pieces that will come to life in special areas, the 'artist's rooms', along the main building's staircase, a symbolic place of great visual and communicative impact.

The private opening is scheduled for Tuesday 14 November at 6 p.m., while the exhibition will be open to the public from 15 November until December 2024.

The #SBLAD - Shine Bright Like a Diamond project has been made possible with the collaboration of two regional agencies in charge of cultural heritage (ERPAC - Ente Regionale per il Patrimonio Culturale) and student services and support (ARDiS - Agenzia Regionale per il Diritto allo Studio Friuli-Venezia Giulia). The title, a quotation from a famous song, deliberately refers to ‘Ricorda e splendi’ (remember and shine), a motto of the city, but also the title of the University's art catalogue. Artistic creations will be on display from 15 November 2023 and will then go on to become part of the University’s collection, the rest of which was acquired during the National Exhibition of Contemporary Italian Painting of 1953.

‘Artist residencies applied to the academic environment, in the unique way that we deeply desired at UniTS, are a formidable tool for expressing the strong symbiosis binding science and art: two sides of the same coin,’ affirmed the Rector, Roberto Di Lenarda. "The works that the artists will create will also bear witness to the strong interdisciplinarity of knowledge, which is the hallmark of higher education experiences. I wish to thank the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region and ERPAC for having believed in this project and supported it from the very beginning, and also ARDiS, which will allow the artists to have a fully academic experience’.

"On the occasion of the University’s Centenary, the regional council, through the Regional Agency for Cultural Heritage of Friuli-Venezia Giulia (ERPAC), will promote art production in public areas, as it considers contemporary art essential in all public art collections. On this occasion it does so by using artist residencies and site-specific projects that will culminate in the production new pieces of art and installations as the result of shared practices and knowledge of artists, teachers and students,

embracing the ethos of collaboration,' says Mario Anzil, Vice-President of Friuli Venezia Giulia and Regional Councillor for Culture and Sport.

The selected artists are Umberto Chiodi, Antonio Della Marina and Alessandra Zucchi, Giulia Iacolutti, Nicola Martini, Ryts Monet, Ruben Montini, Michele Seffino, Michele Spanghero, Aryan Ozmaei and Alba Zari.

The project is curated by Eva Comuzzi – historian, teacher and curator of contemporary art, specialised in the work of young artists. She highlights 'Residencies have always given artists the opportunity to interact with each other and the place hosting them. In this specific case, residencies will be further enriched by direct contact with professors from all departments, an element which will further contribute to their research and experimentation. Not only will pieces be created for the final exhibition and for the University collection, but in several cases the foundations have already been laid for the creation of more art".

This initiative will be further developed and enriched over the course of 2024 with a number of site-specific interventions by four local artists: Serse Roma, Manuela Sedmach, Antonio Sofianopulo and Elisa Vladilo. They will work in two other particularly evocative locations of the University of Trieste, not only rich in culture but also important for the city: the San Giovanni Campus, where one can find the Department of Life Sciences, and the Regional Writers' and Cultural Archive.