On 6 June, the exhibition VIRGINIAPERTUTTE Exhibition/Operation/Action inspired by Virginia Woolf’s ‘A Room of One’s Own’ opened in Bologna. An international and socio-cultural participatory art project by Patrizia Benedetta Fratus curated by Ilaria Bignotti, Connecting Cultures by Anna Detheridge and the Butterfly Anti-Violence Centre of Brescia.
VirginiaPerTutte is intended as a participatory, inclusive, extended work, to involve women from all cultures, but also scholars and professionals from various disciplines. Patrizia Fratus has subdivided Virginia Woolf’s work ‘A Room of One’s Own’ into sentences of a maximum of two lines, sent it, through a call to action, to all those who would like to translate it into the languages and dialects of the world, transcribing it on white cloth with indelible ink or embroidering it with red thread. Spreading like wildfire, relying on the Women’s Anti-Violence Centres with which the artist collaborates, the ‘verses’ were a huge success, in fact 2,690 of them were sewn and as many as 143 languages were collected.
The work of translating into all the mother tongues of the world, which began as a poetic and political gesture and to highlight the total lack of access to culture still called ‘feminist’ has actually become a journey to discover the power of words and narration in our lives. We are daughters and sons of a narrative, our worldview is given by the narrative of our birth culture. The work has become an invitation to become authors, ourselves, of our own story. In this way we also become authors of other worlds.
The project, as it should be by nature and attitude, thus becomes a multidisciplinary, mutable yet cohesive work in progress.
As stated in the Manifesto of ‘Virginiapertutte’, “A Room of One’s Own’ is an essay that traces the human and literary life of the author Virginia Wolf, aimed at claiming for the female gender the right and the possibility to be part of the cultural world that at the time was exclusively the preserve of men. Starting from this central desire, the essay attempts to unhinge and deconstruct male and patriarchal language itself both in the literary and, more broadly, the social and political spheres, freeing women from centuries of silence and subjection.”
The artist will donate to the Orlando Association the first chapter of the participatory artwork: of ‘A Room of One’s Own’ by Virginia Woolf, realised on white cotton cloths, written in red and embroidered by groups and individual women, translated into various languages and dialects of the world.
Patrizia Benedetta Fratus is a multi-material artist, she uses discarded media to initiate participatory works, involving those who, in doing so, become a living part of them. She searches in language maps for the roots of the imaginary possible beyond stereotypes. “In words lies the power to generate worlds, infinite worlds”.
Information: Italian Women’s Library, Chiostro Santa Cristina via del Piombo 5, Bologna, Tel. 051-4299411
Dates: Tue 06 23 to Fri 06 23
Venue: Complex of Santa Cristina alla Fondazza, Bologna
Hours: Monday to Thursday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.