Exhibitions: Eternal Flame

Eternal Flame Mount Etna, Sicily, 2022.

Otherly surreal and romantic, Mount Etna’s landscape takes my imagination back to those early XVII c. travelers who ventured astray from their Grand Tour of Italy and found themselves wondering and walking on the lunar like landscape, filled with soft rolling hills dotted with black and red rocks. They would wonder what is underneath? The same conflicted sense of fear and excitement that terrorized and attracted humans from the beginning of time. Is this the place of fiery underbelly of mysterious the sub terrestrial world that birthed the many gods of Old. Where those the gods that defied the great stories that terrified humankind of the early days until today? The great mouths are the source of destruction and rebirth, they are the source of light and heat but also where the terror and the unknown lies and therefore fertile ground for storytelling. Eternal Flame is an artistic conversation on those alchemies and that fleeting moment of collecting the flame before turns into ashes.


The exhibition presented by Monira Foundation and Basaltika Cultural Association, is a two part exhibition with its first iteration in-situ at Mount Etna, Spring 2022 with the works by the artists Aleksandar Duravcevic and Giacomo Rizzo and its second iteration, off-site in NY Fall 2022 with the documentation works by Oriana Tabacco and Giacomo Rizzo.


Eternal Flame presents the work of two international visual artists in the surroundings of Mount Etna, one of the oldest natural heritage sites in the world. Such intervention is taken by the artists with respect and devotion to the volcano,  understanding that this one is the source of all, ground, inspiration and even the materials used for their work.


Aleksandar Duravcevic’s proposal asks the viewer to slow down, seat and admire Mount Etna. By placing two benches right at the edge of one of the craters, Duravcevic’s presents Etna like the work of art, not his own. However, after a closer attention, the viewer can see that Duravcevic’s benches are shaped as two eyes, the eyes that see it all, the omnipotent eye. In them the text KILLING TIME is inscribed. A play on the simple fact of seating down and letting time pass. Providing a place for contemplation. On the other hand, Giacomo Rizzo has a much more direct approach to the site. He has gathered old burnt pieces of trees that he has collected, wrapped and carefully placed in strategic spots around the site; almost as a recovery act of the nature that has been lost. The bundles erect from the ground as homages to their previous lives. A relic combining Rizzo’s themes of materiality, surface and geography of the site. An acute mediation of the order of all things and the viewer’s place vis-à-vis what is real and what is not. Etna gives and takes away a constant, self perpetuating, circle of life.

Aleksandar Duravcevic

Born in Montenegro 1970, studied in Cetinje and Florence, Italy, and holds an MFA from the Pratt Institute, New York. His body of work includes sculptures, drawings, photography, and paintings. Through them he explores identity and duality –
across cultures, within history, and between life and death. Duravcevic received a New York Foundation for the Arts grant in 2005, and his work has been included in exhibitions at The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, and MoMA PS1, New York. His work is part of the permanent collections at The Uffizi in Florence, The Brooklyn Museum, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. A native of Montenegro and its representative at the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015, he was included again as part of the 58th Venice Biennale in 2019 with the exhibition Artists Need to Create on the Same Scale that Society Has the Capacity to Destroy: Mare Nostrum.
Duravcevic lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Giacomo Rizzo

Born in Palermo in 1977, Giacomo is a Professor of sculpture and foundry techniques at the Academy of Fine Arts in Palermo. His poetics are configured as a continuous search for aesthetics and language through direct contact with nature and its territory, which becomes a place of the soul for the artist. From the encounter with the natural space it draws strong sensations and suggestions which, together with a careful analysis of contemporary society, send, through sculpture, clear and precise messages on the relationship between man and the environment. His works and installations in relation to the territory and architecture are present in numerous public and private collections and in international museums. Some of his most recent public are: 2019, Il mare di Sebastiano Tusa, Ustica, the first marble sculpture placed in the depth of the marine reserve at the entrance of the Underwater Archaeological Park. 2019-2018, sculptures for the Kouros of Lentini, Palazzo Branciforte, Fondazione Sicilia, Palermo and Archaeological Museum of the Castello Ursino, Catania. Since 2018, three works have been exhibited in the departure area of the Falcone e Borsellino international Airport in Palermo; 2016 Respiro, Regional Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Palermo (Palazzo Riso); 2016 Matermania, Villa Lysis, Capri (NA), a work that has received the prestigious Patronato Museo Madre and the Donnaregina Foundation for contemporary arts; 2015 Ithaca, Monument to the IAMC CNR-UOS, Marine observatory on biodiversity, Capo Granitola (TP); 2014 The Pat, United Nations building, Unesco heritage, NY, USA.
Among the exhibitions, Giacomo Rizzo, Inner sculpture, Regional Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Palermo in 2018-2019, Memorie Ctònie at the Greek Theater of Taormina. Are you my mother? In collaboration with the Regional Museum of Palermo Palazzo Belmonte Riso and the Mana Contemporary, Jersey City, New Jersey, USA, at the Selinunte Archaeological Park. Spirituality in the material, published at the Salone del Mobile, Bentley Space, Fiera Rho, Milan, sponsored by UNESCO. Spirituality in material, Art for social awareness, United Nations Building (UN), NY, USA.

Oriana Tabacco

Oriana Tabacco (Catania 1977), inizia a dedicarsi alla fotografia nel 1998. Nello stesso anno verrà selezionata alla “Biennale giovani artisti dell’Europa e del Mediterraneo”; Nel 2001 conseguirà il diploma in scenografia, presso l’Acc. BB Arti di Ct, dove discuterà la tesi con il prof. Carmelo Nicosia sull’autore Antonio Biasiucci dal titolo “l’altro sguardo di Antonio Biasiucci” con il voto 110/110. Dal 2000 al 2005 sarà fotografo per l’ufficio stampa della Prov.Reg.di Ct e ancora ad oggi è freelance alcune riviste nazionali specializzate come MedioEvo Cairo ed. e testate giornalistiche locali; Dal 2003 al 2006 collaborerà per il C.N.R. sede Roma sulla archiviazione e inventariazione dei siti museali siciliani. Dal 2007 frequenterà il biennio specialistico di fotografia presso l’Acc. BB. Arti di Catania. Nel 2008 esporrà per l’Acc. BB Arti di Ct ad AgrigentoArte con l’opera My Family e nel febbraio del 2009, verrà selezionata tra i finalisti per il Premio Nazionale delle Arti con l’opera Ob- Servare. Dal 2007 seguirà gli studi di specializzazione con l’autore Carmelo Bongiorno e porterà avanti la sua ricerca sull’incontro visionario; Nel luglio 2009 discuterà la tesi “Le vite degli altri” con il prof. Carmelo Bongiorno, presso all’Acc. BB Arti di Catania – biennio specialistico di fotografia con il voto 110/110 lode. Dal 2009 al 2011 è cultore della materia Storia della Fotografia, presso l’Acc. BB Arti di Ct per la cattedra del prof. Carmelo Nicosia e e dal 2011 al 2015 è docente di cattedra a contratto annuale per le materie di storia della fotografia e documentazione fotografica. Tra le esposizioni più importanti ricordiamo la partecipazione alla Biennale di Venezia 54ed. con l’opera: “Nel Vuoto” presso il Padiglione Italia/Accademia – Tese di San Cristoforo, Venezia e nel 2012 vince il concorso Mulhouse 012 – Biennale d’arte contemporanea – Parc Des Expositions – Mulhouse FR Negli stessi anni
intraprenderà il percorso di consulente alle vendite presso la galleria Clou, intessendo diverse collaborazioni private nella provincia di Ragusa, nell’ambito artistico-cuturale, collaborerà come assitente all’artista e responsabile eventi, all’interno del progetto MAS Po Fesr Misura 3.2.3. arte a architettura contemporanea presso il Chiostro Santa Maria di Gesù in Modica RG. Ad oggi lavora come fotografo professionista.

Vive e lavora a Catania.

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