Lisa Borgiani's intelligent initiative
The artist photographed ordinary people in important European capitals and asked them "What is Europe to you?"
What is Europe to you? Is a photographic and literary project created and carried out by the eclectic Lisa Borgiani since 2019, with the curatorial contribution of Gigliola Foschi and texts by Marta Ottaviani. After a global pandemic and an anguished military conflict too close to home, an absolutely contemporary theme: Lisa asks herself about the deep significance of the word “Europe”, and the reasons for its complete uncertainty.
CENTRAL TO THE PROJECT, PORTRAITS OF THE PASSERSBY, THEIR EXPRESSIONS, BETWEEN CERTAINTIES AND DIFFICULTIES, GRIMACES AND ASTONISHMENT
From here her urban voyage begins, both in Europe and abroad. Since 2019 she has traveled to Athens, Berlin, Milan, Rome, Paris, Budapest and next October she will travel again to Milan, Verona, Malta and the Baltic countries. Guided by chance, the artist encounters, interviews and photographs men and women, girls and boys without any age limits or other rigid selection criteria, not knowledgeable about and curious about a question which now immediately bewilders and eludes them. The story of each step is told through 45 photographic portraits chosen because they convey with truth and sensitivity the human face of Europe. Although aware of the media’s spontaneity that is difficult to silence, in these the simple passerby and the average citizen become members of the European democratic people’s parliament, indirectly questioned on which directions and objectives to follow.
FOR MOST PEOPLE, EUROPE IS A DREAM, A UTOPIA, A HOPE.
FOR OTHERS A LOST PARADISE, DISAPPOINTING AND CONFUSING
A civic investigation with a strong sociological and cultural character that uses this artistic media to define a real separation in the society of the continent, called upon to examine itself in an improvised manner. At the center of the project are therefore portraits of ordinary people, their expressions, between certainties and difficulties, grimaces and astonishment. Beside these are the ideas and the texts: immediate answers, within 20 seconds assures Borgiani, of individuals caught by surprise, unprepared and as she likes to think, truthful, sincere and unique.
ANYONE CAN SEND THEIR PORTRAIT TO
THE WEYWALL PLATFORM AND BECOME PART OF THE EXHIBITION
A map, a finely woven network of emotional and ideological relationships is thus composed: for many Europe is expansion, utopia, a dream, for others it is actually a beautiful experiment,
just a hope but also in contrast a lost paradise which is inadequate, disappointing and disorientating. Above all “ I’d like to but I can’t”. The project still doesn’t stop but goes beyond: Weywall, the online platform that was created for the project, encounters the needs that have been created these last two difficult years. Anyone can access it, reply or send their own photo and participate in the exhibition and its installations.Truly an artwork in which one can participate: “It is always very touching to discover who participates beyond my intervention”– comments Lisa Borgiani – “how they react and answer my question as they reveal themselves to the camera. Nothing remains for me but to treasure the experience. After all, I have understood for a while that Europe is a big, beautiful collage.”