FOTO: Andrea Rum, Luca Bazzini,
Simone Lingua
VIDEO & RENDER: Luca Bazzini
WEBDESIGN: Enrico Fico


site specific project _ curated by Tiziana Tommei _ promoted by Domus Art Gallery Athens _ Palazzo Drago Airoldi _ Palermo 2023 _ ph Andrea Rum


_ site-specific project
_ curated by Tiziana Tommei
_ Palazzo Drago Airoldi _ Palermo _ 2023

The mirror is the undisputed protagonist in a dialogue set forth between the environment, the spectator and the installations. Kinetics, refraction and distortion of reality are all implemented in the search for new masterpieces. This is the first stage of a larger project that will extend from Porta Felice to Porta Nuova. After Florence, Rome, Pisa and Gaeta Contemporary Illusions chooses Palermo.

Contemporary art encounters the architectural works of Palermo with the intention of uniting people and places while looking to the future. Connections is the title of the exhibition debuting on Sunday 25th June at Palazzo Drago Airoldi; Simone Lingua’s first solo show in Palermo. The show is curated by Tiziana Tommei, promoted by Domus Art Gallery Athens, sponsored by the Municipality of Palermo and created thanks to the contribution of the Pietro Barbaro Foundation. The exhibition is made up of two parts, one connected to the other: on one side the first act of a larger project linked to the city of Palermo, on the other a series of kinetic works and site-specific installations. Palazzo Drago becomes a creative tool, not a mere container or background, and everything evolves through the concept of the mirror, a constant in the work of the artist. The mirror, with its infinite potential and multifaceted nuances, throws the visitor into a dimension in which kinetics, refraction and alteration of reality merge. Here we find multiform Connections in a coalescing exhibition. All this unfolds along a path that becomes a metaphor for the contemporary, fragmented and stratified, at times it is destabilizing, and is all obtained from the reflecting surfaces.

Connections is an experiment. – explains Simone Lingua – I imagined my works expanding and multiplying in a myriad of fragments. And so, like portions of a mirror, they pervade the rooms of the Palazzo following the natural flow of the architectural shapes and the art works. Divide to reunite. Each fragment of mirror is a tool for establishing new connections; connections between the works themselves, with the environment, between man and art, and above all between human beings”.

The exhibition aims, on the one hand, to link places, city and building, and on the other to create a link with people, with (and between) our partners as well as with the visitors to the exhibition. Hence the involvement of companies and workers, both local and creative.

We worked for several months on the creation of this one-man show hosted at Palazzo Drago Airoldi. – comments the curator, Tiziana Tommei – This is Simone Lingua’s first exhibition in Palermo and, we hope, the start of a partnership with the city and territory that will allow projects of a more consolidated and detailed nature to develop”.

It all begins with a journey of discovery of the city; Lingua is left fascinated and enraptured by the Palermitan energy. The show at the end of June is a first stage: for the near future Lingua has created a study for an installation that will involve the urban fabric, from Porta San Felice to Porta Nuova, along the Cassaro axis. A design that is part of Contemporary Illusions, a concept that brings together art, architecture and nature through the application of mirrors on the surfaces of buildings and historic monuments in some of the main Italian cities. First Florence, Rome, Pisa, and Gaeta and now Palermo.


The exhibition, whose undisputed star is the mirror, opens with a shower of lines suspended in the center of the courtyard. From the outside to the inside, in the rooms on the ground floor and in the reception rooms, sculpture, design and installation find a connection: plexiglass and Supermirror steel (materials typical of the artist’s research), glass and mirror, and lights, work in harmony with plaster, stone, moldings and frescoes, while kinetic art, the trait d’union of the exhibition project, meets the classicism of Palermo’s eclecticism. In Lingua’s creations, the movement of the work is left to the spectator: it is he himself who induces the kinetic effect. Along the path traced out between the spaces of the building, the spectator is invited to place himself in the surrounding environment, and – through his reflection – into the works themselves and thus to engage with the effects of the various mirrors. Mirrors are suspended in the courtyard; mirrors that insert themselves like fissures between the stones of the stables; mirrors in concave and convex shapes that create the illusion of altering the environment; mirrors that include space and art works. The invitation is to look at the environment in an unprecedented way, it is an exhortation to question oneself about possibilities and limits of perception. The mirror amplifies and becomes an instrument of connection. A continuous dialogue in which the visitor is called to observe himself and reality, himself in relation to the environment and to the infinite potential of perception. The building, Palazzo Drago, chosen for its location and for its historical and architectural peculiarities, contributes to the staging of the mechanisms of vision and perception at the basis of the dialogue with the works.

For the first time site-specific works and installations are connected with projects aiming to amplify and diversify kinetic and refractive effects as well as having an impact on altering reality, all of which are continually present in the poeticism of art. – explains Tiziana Tommei – “Connections” is the principle that defines the design of the exhibition in its entirety. As usual, the author’s work unfolds on distinct but complementary levels: the more immediate, exciting and engaging aspect that draws one into the work interpenetrates with a more powerful and complex impact, not at all frivolous and which shuns any immediacy, amusement or playful intent”.

And for the first time, inside the exhibition, it will also be possible to admire the Klinve jewelery line designed by Simone Lingua and made by SEMAR. The line comprises creations in 18-karat white gold and sapphire glass, born from the union between goldsmith art and kinetic art, design and high craftsmanship.

The technical sponsors who supported the creation of installations and works are Fortezzza, Luce5, Aikit by Riflessi, Artelinea, Palermo Mediterranea, Sinergie Group. Thanks also go to Brugnano and Visiva marketing tools.

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