Alice abita ancora qui

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“Alice abita ancora qui is our new publishing adventure: a book designed to celebrate the thirtieth year of the gallery’s activity and to symbolically pay homage to all the artists who have “lived” with their works regardless of the physical location, that has now taken on the most intimate dimension of a Home Gallery right in a private house, that of the director Giuseppina Frassino.

The protagonists of the anniversary book are two exceptional young illustrators who have created unpublished plates specifically for this project giving their own reading of the novel by Lewis Carrol: Ahmed Ben Nessib and Samuele Canestrari.
The tables of the book will be on display at the Roman gallery from 20 May to 27 June 2021 (visits by reservation).

A text by Ascanio Celestini enriches the book

I would like to talk about Utopia.

I would like to say that we can no longer afford to speak in public about utopias that are too lofty.

I seem to remember that Marx attributed to certain socialists the lack of a scientific analysis of reality. I think he said they were a bit abstract. Unprofessional. And he called them utopians. Then in the course of the last century, we realised that even the scientific nature of the Marxist method turned out to be a bit abstract, not very applicable and in some ways a failure. Many jokes were told in the Soviet Union. One of them I seem to remember went something like this: do you know the difference between communism and capitalism? Capitalism is the exploitation of man by man.

Communism is precisely the opposite.

I seem to remember that in the last century there was also talk of negative utopias, for example about George Orwell and his 1984. In my literature book, there was a sentence like this: sometimes ideals inspired by the realisation of a perfect world inevitably lead to the building of an oppressive and inhuman world.

Alice abita ancora qui (Alice still lives here). It is the title of a book published for Tricromia’s 30th anniversary. Although this gallery has moved at least twice. Maybe three times. Maybe more. A book published at a time when people were asking questions about their homes. Someone had chosen to live far from the city. He had isolated himself so as not to be distracted by the confusion and found himself completely alone. Someone had found a small house trusting in the human wealth of the city and found himself confined in a hole surrounded by an empty city. Someone else was happy to spend some time in his beautiful home that he had never had time to enjoy. And after a while, he couldn’t take it anymore either. Even a big house can be a prison. Mixing time and space in an unbalanced way creates problems. Prisoners have too much time and too little space, for example. In fact, they ask to spend less time in jail. Alternatively, they ask for a little more space.

I would like to talk about utopia.

I would like to say that we need a model that looks like the world, but is a little better than the real world. Made from the best parts of the real world, but cleaned of the rotten ones. Agreeing on which ones are rotten and which are healthy would already be a step forward. Perhaps Giuseppina has asked Ahmed and Samuel to design this model of the world. Perhaps for thirty years she has been asking artists to draw this utopia made from the good parts of the world. If the utopia works, they will be able to use the pencil to draw them, but also the rubber to erase the wrong pieces from the world. Perhaps Giuseppina has been asking artists to design a house for her Alice for thirty years. Maybe she is Alice.

I would like to talk about utopia.

I would like to say that it has something in common with dreams where we can have incredible experiences without using pieces of other worlds. In dreams, there is the same world that we encounter when we are awake. It is made of the same material. When I was a child I had a dream that made me reset everything I had thought about dreams up to that moment. That is, I realised that I was dreaming and I did not wake up. Therefore, I tried to pilot the dream. That happens to many people. At that point, I realised that it wasn’t easy at all. That I could not dream of things I did not know. I could see things bigger or smaller. I could mix them up, but they were more or less the same as when I was awake.

I would like to talk about utopia.

I would also like to say something about dreams. That is, I would like to say that these two things work in a similar way. That to represent utopia you have to learn how to do it. You have to be a professional. The same applies to dreams. Dreaming is like driving a car. With a little effort, anyone can get their licence and drive a Panda. It takes a little more effort to drive an 18-metre articulated lorry. Only a few can race in the Formula One Grand Prix without killing themselves on the first corner. The same applies to drawing and writing. We can all draw a picture and write a sentence. However, how many people can write a novel or paint a picture? The same criterion applies to a small novel or a small painting.

Alice abita ancora qui. (Alice still lives here). It is a title made of words. For me Alice is Giuseppina. Living is what she has done for thirty years trying to find a place for her and her artists. Professional people of dreams and drawings like Ahmed and Samuele. Still is an adverb. It indicates that an action or a fact is not concluded, but continues, continues in the present. It says so in the dictionary.

Here is utopia.
                                                                            Ascanio Celestini

AHMED BEN NESSIB was born in Tunis in 1992 and is a designer and director of animated short films. His drawings have been published in several newspapers and magazines including “Internazionale”, “Lo straniero” and “Cavallino Rivista” of which he is co-founder.
He studied animation at the EMCA in Angoulême and at the school of the book in Urbino.

His first short film EKART was published in volume 5 of the DVD Animazioni, Cortometraggi Italiani Contemporanei, and was awarded in France and Italy. “Ekart” (animated drawing, charcoal on paper) is very introspective and is the simple reflection of a girl who, In a flooded house, he looks at the glass and transfigures his gaze. With Libri Somari, the publishing house that he founded together with Samuele Canestrari, a young illustrator and director from Urbino, already winner of several awards, he published “Ekart/ la tecnica del nuotatore”, his first comic book and “L’assassino è sempre più confuso”.

He collaborates with Tricromia Illustator’s International Art Gallery (Rome) where in 2019 he presented his first two exhibitions “L’assassino è sempre più confuso” and Ekart/la tecnica del nuotatore”. In 2020, also in Tricromia, he exhibited the drawing made for “Open art week”, the Italian/Tunisian festival on the theme of “Nouvelle Frontiäre”, a project that saw the participation of Lab 619 (collective of Tunisian comics) and a group of twelve Italian cartoonists.  The works were exhibited in both Tunis and Perugia and then posted in the subways of both cities.

In 2021, together with Samuele Canestrari published “Alice abita ancora qui”- t/20, for editions Tricromia edited by Giuseppina Frassino with a text by Ascanio Celestini accompanying the exhibition of the same name.

SAMUELE CANESTRARI was born in Fano in 1996. In 2017 he received the Scuola del Libro award in Animavì – International Festival of Poetic Animation Cinema in Pergola. He has collaborated with various magazines, Internazionale , Gagarin orbite culturali, This Is Not A Love Song, Destroy Brandina, Malamente, Progetto Metastasi and Cavallino Rivista (2017). Among his exhibitions: “La linea d’ombra”, Corte Zavattini 31, Cesena 2018, “Mosto e caviglie”, Odeon Gallery, Bologna 2019. “An overwhelming smell of soil” in 2020 at the Chrysalid Gallery, in Rotterdam, where he is represented. With Libri Somari, the editorial project that he founded together with Ahmed Ben Nessib, a young illustrator and director of short films, awarded in France and Italy, published in 2018 Gli uominicane non hanno la coda and in 2019 Mosto, Libri Somari e Maledizioni. Other publications include This is not La dolce vita TINALS 2020 and Il Battesimo del porco, MalEdizioni 2020.

He collaborates with Tricromia Illustator’s International Art Gallery (Rome) where he presented his first exhibitions “Gli uominicane non hanno la coda”, 2019 and “Il battesimo del porco” in 2020.

In 2021, together with Ahmed Ben Nessib published “Alice abita ancora qui”- t/20, for editions Tricromia edited by Giuseppina Frassino with a text by Ascanio Celestini accompanying the exhibition of the same name.

Alice still lives here.

It is a title made of words. For me Alice is Giuseppina. Living is what she did for thirty years trying to find a place for her and her artists. Professional people of dreams and drawings like Ahmed and Samuele. Anchor is an adverb. It indicates that an action or fact is not concluded, but continues, lingers in the present. It says so in the dictionary.

Here is utopia.