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PARADISO group show | Opening March 7, 2018

February 9, 2018 by Staff



AlbumArte and Italo-Latin American Institute (IILA)

Marlon de Azambuja, Elena Mazzi, Estefanía Peñafiel Loaiza
Juan Esteban Sandoval, Óscar Santillán 

Curated by Rosa Jijón 

Opening reception on Wednesday, March 7th 2018 at 6:30pm
Open to the public from March 8th to April 21st, 2018


AlbumArte, a non-profit independent space for contemporary art, and IILA, International Italo-Latin American Institute, co-present PARADISO curated by Rosa Jijón, a collective exhibition organized in the spaces of AlbumArte in via Flaminia 122 in Rome. The exhibition shows the works of four Latin-American artists living in Europe and an Italian artist whose work shares similar themes: Marlon de Azambuja (Brazil), Elena Mazzi (Italy), Estefanía Peñafiel Loaiza (Ecuador), Juan Esteban Sandoval (Colombia), Óscar Santillán (Ecuador). 

Many international artists have been invited to AlbumArte in recent years; they came from various countries – not only from Europe, bringing together through their artworks different gazes from different realities that produce multiple, interesting visions.

Regarding the artists coming from Latin America, in 2015 AlbumArte hosted young Colombian artist María Jimena Herrera on the occasion of an international prize finalists exhibition, and she won the second prize.

In 2017, AlbumArte hosted a talk with Mexican artist Teresa Margolles, who brought her precious and painful testimony regarding the violence suffered by many women in some areas of Latin America.

However, this is the first time that we welcome four artists all coming from vital and changing part of the world: the South America. We wish to thank all the insitutional partners who have supported PARADISO: the Italo-Latin American Institute (IILA) and the Embassies of Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador in Italy.


The curator of the exhibition Rosa Jijón is also an Ecuadorian artist, actually living in Rome and working as a Cultural Secretary of the Italo-Latin American Institute (IILA). Rosa was inspired, as she writes, by the various concepts that refer to ‘paradise’, with the aim to overturning the concept of an ideal place: from the Paradise of Dante’s Divine Comedy, to the sensual Paradise of José Lezama Lima, passing through John Milton’s Paradise Lost. 

Today Latin America became an experimental place for participatory democracy and social change. These are interpreted by the works of the five artists in PARADISO, who present an exhibition made of various languages, bound together by the theme of ethico-political intolerance for the arbitrary use of the environment and for the uneven exploitation of human resources. The exhibition presents video works, installations, works realized with mixed techniques and with natural materials. All these interventions introduce a reflection on where we are going and how we are making this journey, after the globalization of the economy and the changes in the social, economic and political fabric of nations and cities. 

All four Latin-American artists have extensive international experience and collaborations with important museum such as the Jeu de Paume in Paris and the MUAC in Mexico City, and their works feature in prestigious collections such as the Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno (CAAM), Las Palmas in Gran Canaria and the Fundación Helga de Alvear. Newcomer Elena Mazzi – who is enriching her curriculum with respected prizes and artist residencies – has been artist-tutor at the Spinola Banna Foundation in Turin in 2016/2017.


Marlon de Azambuja (b. 1978, Porto Alegre – Brazil). He studied at the Edilson Viriato Center for Contemporary Art in Curitiba, Brazil. He currently lives and works in Madrid.  His solo exhibitions include: Brutalismo at Galería Max Estrella in Madrid, Spain, 2014; Construction of the Icon, at the CAAM (Atlantic Center of Modern Art) in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain, 2011; Niveles (Levels), at Casal Solleric in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, 2010; Projeto Moderno, at Galeria Luisa Strina in Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2009; and Potencial Escultorico, at Matadero in Madrid, Spain, 2009. Group shows in which he has participated include: On Painting, CAAM, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain, 2013; 11th Havana Biennial in Havana, Cuba, 2012;11th Cuenca Biennial in Cuenca, Ecuador, 2011; 8th Mercosul Biennial in Porto Alegre, Brazil, 2011; and 12th Cairo Biennale; 2010.  His work is included in the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Paraná, and the Oscar Niemeyer Museum in Curitiba, Itau Cultural Sao Paulo, and Banco Espiritu Santo in Brazil; Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno, Canarias, Sabadell Bank, Maria Cristina Masaveu Peterson, OTR, the Ministry of Culture, Helga de Alvear collections in Spain; and the Nomas Foundation in Rome, Italy, among others. 

Elena Mazzi (b. 1984, Reggio Emilia, Italy; lives and works in Venice, Italy). After studying History of Art at Siena University in Tuscany and Visual Arts at the IUAV University of Venice, she spent a semester as a guest student at the Royal Academy of Art (Konsthögskolan) in Stockholm. Mazzi has participated in several solo and group show, among others 16th Art Quadriennale Altri tempi, altri miti, Rome; GAM, Turin; 14° Istanbul Biennale. She was the winner of Thalie Art Foundation grant 2017 and the VISIO Young Talent Acquisition prize, Eneganart prize, ntcm e l’arte 2016, m-cult media and technology program 2016. She is a tutor and visiting professor for the project ‘Energy atlas’ at Spinola Banna Foundation in collaboration with GAM Modern Art Gallery of Turin.

Estefanía Peñafiel Loaiza (b. Quito, Ecuador; lives and works in Paris). After studying arts at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, she moved to France in 2002 and entered the Beaux‐ Arts (ENSBA) in Paris, going on to obtain two postgraduate degrees from the Beaux‐Arts in Paris and Lyon. She has participated in many shows in France, Ecuador and elsewhere, she has had solo exhibitions at the following venues: at FRAC Franche‐Comté (à rebours, Besançon, 2016); La Maison Salvan (casa tomada, Labège, 2016), the CPIF (fragments liminaires, Pontault‐Combault, 2015); at the Crédac (l’espace épisodique, Ivry‐sur‐Seine, 2014); at the Villa du Parc (la dixhuitième place, Annemasse, 2013); at art centers in Cuenca (en valija, Sala Proceso, 2013) and Quito (exposición, Arte Actual, 2012) in Ecuador; at the Al Ma’mal Foundation (la visibilité est un piège, Nuit Blanche, East Jerusalem, Palestine, 2012); at The Hangar (no vacancy, Beirut, Lebanon, 2011); at the Centre d’Art Bastille (à perte de vue, Grenoble, 2009. Selection of recent and forthcoming shows include: Insurrecciones at Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (Barcelone, 2017) et at MUNTREF (Buenos Aires, 2017), Soulèvements at Jeu de Paume (Paris, 2016), Horizon at Magasin (Grenoble, 2016), Les propriétés du sol at Espace Khiasma (Les Lilas, 2015), C’est pas la mort! at Musée d’Ethnographie (Neuchâtel, 2015), Nouvelles Vagues at Palais de Tokio (Paris, 2013). She has also participated in several seminars, colloquiums and among the residencies: with Triangle France in the Tassili desert in Algeria, with La Galerie in Noisy‐le‐Sec, with The Hangar in Beirut and with the Centre photographique d’Île‐de‐France, in Pontault‐Combault. She has had two public commissions in 2014/2015: one for the secondary school “Barbara” in Stains (récoltes), the other in Chalezeule with the DRAC Franche‐Comté (oeuvreuses). 

Juan Esteban Sandoval (b. 1972. Medellín – Colombia; lives and works between Colombia and Italy). He has exhibited internationally since 1994. He is the co-founder of el puente_lab art collective in Medellín – a platform for artistic and cultural production, which uses contemporary art as a tool for the social development of local communities. Since 2002 is the director of the Art Office at Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto in Biella, Italy. Among selected exhibitions and festivals there are: Fare l’immateriale, PAV, Turin, Italy. Serie Inversa, Tram grupo Diogene, Turin, Italy. Contraexpediciones, Museo de Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia. 10a Bienal de La Habana, Habana, Cuba. L’isola interiore, l’arte della sopravvivenza, Esposizione internazionale d’arte, Venice Bienale, Italy. Fabbrica Europa 2009, Florence, Italy. Praghe Biennale 2, Bienal de Praga, Prague, Chec Republic. Negociating us here and now, Leeds city art gallery, Leeds, UK. Shake Staatsaffare, O.K. Centrum, Linz, Austria. 

Óscar Santillán (b. 1980, Ecuador, lives between Ecuador and Netherland). Santillan’s work insinuates the existence of a territory where the limits of what is possible can be trespassed: what happened, what may have happened, and what is presented are equivalent terms. Unexpected events occur there, the beat of drums get synchronized to the abundant sweat of a person, the unrealized desire of a dead person is fulfilled, a phantom island is reconstituted, or the weight of all the sunlight over planet Earth is perfectly embodied by a stone. Santillan received a Sculpture MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University – VCU (US), and attended residencies at Davidoff International AIR (DO), Delfina Foundation (UK), Jan van Eyck (NL), Fondazione Ratti (IT), Skowhegan (US), and Seven Below (US). His work has been displayed at Witte de With (NL), Irish Museum of Modern Art (IE), IV Poli/graphic Triennial (PR), Centraal Museum (NL), ‘Carrillo Gil’ Museum of Art (MX), STUK (BE), Fundacion ODEON (CO), The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art – SECCA (US), Nest (NL), Sala Miró Quesada (PE), Galleria Mazzoli (IT), Copperfield (UK), Bonnefanten Museum (NL), NoMINIMO (EC), Marilia Razuk Gallery (BR), XIII Bienal de Cuenca (EC), Kröller-Müller Museum (NL), Vogt Gallery (US), Bienal de Arte Paiz (GT), among other venues. And, Santillan’s work has been the subject of articles, reviews, and interviews published on Frieze magazine, Art Pulse, Art Forum, Art Nexus, Art News, Art Monthly, Exibart, Metropolis M, The Blank, among others.




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