The Butterfly Effect. Occurrences and Recurrences of History

Aggiornamento: 18 feb 2019

A glimpse of Valeria Costa’s works

curated by Valentina Gioia Levy


"A tyrant institutionalizes stupidity,

but he is the first servant of his own system"

Gilles Delueze

This series of Valeria Costa’s works, which is exhibited for the first time outside Italy, was realized between the end of the '70s and the first half of the' 80s.

Those were troubled years for Italy both in domestic and in foreign politics. Inside, the country was shaken by a series of violent terrorist attacks between extreme right-wing and far-left groups facing each other. While outside Italian politics was facing several challenges including that of mediating with a sometimes cumbersome ally like the United States. By adopting choices that were often defined by the media as pro-Arab, Italy was trying to play a peacemaker role between the mediterranean countries.

The drawings on display were made by the artist between the end of the 70s and the beginning of the 80s. Costa liked to visually rework the news reported by Italian media that in those years mingled with those of the crisis and conflicts in Nord Africa and Middle East.

Valeria Costa. "Portrait of Muammar Gaddafi" (1981) drawing on paper, copyright © 2018 Valeria Costa Piccinini Heritage Fund all rights reserved

The portrait of Muammar Gaddafi, for example, was made by the artist during the years of tension between Libya and the United States of Regan. Some decades later, after the violent death of the dictator and the dramatic events that followed, this portrait seems to put the observer in front of many questions about the present and the future of Libya and the neighboring regions.

The three paintings, on the other hand, are part of a series of neo-expressionist works that the artist created around the seventies, focusing on the suffering of the human being and, in particular, of women. The horrors of the war that the artist lived in the years of her youth revived in her memory every time the newspapers transmitted images of conflicts in the Middle East.

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