Image and writing, word and vision, history and present, East and West. ALL’INDICE — Biblioteca Angelica / Siria, andata e ritorno (“BLACKLISTED – Biblioteca Angelica / Syria, return ticket”) is the title of an exhibition (March 23 – April 29, 2016, Diagonale gallery, Via dei Chiavari 75, Rome) where Ileana Florescu conjoins these factors, ever-destined to exist in a complementary relationship, but in this case represented in an unicum that is characterized by fusion, overlapping and communion.
27 works, printed in ink jet on cotton paper (15 x 20 inches): a path, a journey, a memory, an emotion that sets others in motion, stirred by the suggestion of a banned book and of a place at risk of extinction, to become a universal warning against every form of censorship.
Ileana Florescu describes the genesis of this exhibition as follows: “Between December and January 2011 I was in Syria for a little more than a week. During my journey there, I took typical tourist photos, as hundreds of people with good equipment and a bit of luck might do. Certainly I didn’t know that shortly thereafter these very shots would take on a completely different significance. Two months after returning to Rome, coinciding with the first uprisings in Syria, I began working for the Biblioteca Angelica on the subject of the Roman Inquisition. Meanwhile, to enhance the critical texts in the catalogue, I obtained authorization to photograph a selection of original publications subjected to censorship by the Holy Office from 1559 on. Just ten days after the exhibition Libri Prohibiti opened, on 21 May 2015, stricken by the taking of Palmyra by Daesh, I began to juxtapose the photos of works I had examined, installed in the Angelica — and other censored texts I care deeply about — with those I had shot in Syria.”