In the exhibition project “Stages of Adulthood,” curated by Luigi Alberto Cippini, Cornelia Mattiacci, new and recent works by three Italian artists – Costanza Candeloro (b. 1990), Alessandro Di Pietro (b. 1987), Niccolò Gravina (b. 1986) – are showcased in the Sitterwerk Art Library and Material Archive, a space in the guise of a now (in)accessible technological Kafkaesque Castle. “Stages of Adulthood” revolves around the urgent discomfort and eternally archaeological quest of actualizing artworks from the past, an unconditional reflex at “looking at art for new models of political action and social understanding.”
“Stages of Adulthood” is inspired by Peter Weiss’ novel The Aesthetics of Resistance (1975 – 1981) that focuses on three working class students, aged 16-17, who gather in 1937 Berlin’s museums and galleries, and whose discussions explore the affinity between political resistance and art. When paintings or books are decried as degenerate by the new rulers, then they “feel all the more strongly about including them in the registers of sabotage acts and revolutionary manifestation.” In the scene that opens the novel, the protagonists find themselves in front of the gigantomachy of the Altar of Pergamon; through the narration, unpunctuated dialogues span from Classic mythology to the work of the new banned Modernist masters and literary authors. Weiss’ novel is a rare account on art and culture as foundational roots to explore critical formats of friendship, self-determination, bonding and youth creative and political force.