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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance

Arcus Italy

Our Virtual Pride Art exhibition, curated by Vittoria de Petra

Pride Month, celebrated every June, looked quite different in 2020, being celebrated with alternative means. Arcus Italy is reaffirming its active commitment towards inclusion and diversity and has partnered with a local gallerist and an art historian to curate two virtual galleries.

'Stages of Change', curated by Vittoria de Petra

Vittoria de Petra, art historian and freelance consultant, has curated a set of artworks that reflect upon the overall nature of change, investigating its relationship with time, language and the human body. Through communication and confrontation, each change is welcomed and recognised in the knowledge of the before and in the awareness of our today.

Since the 1970s, Italy has been witnessing a transformation thanks to the mighty efforts of LAMBDA, Fuori! and Brigate Saffo, to cite a few. In 1978, Turin became the first Italian city to host a gay Pride event; only ten years before that, the film Teorema (Theorem) by Pier Paolo Pasolini, which was among the favourites to be awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Festival that year, had been censored as obscene.

Porpora NYC

1990 © Lina Pallotta

Photography

Courtesy of the artist

Those years are brought back to mind by a series of photographs that photographer Lina Pallotta has over time dedicated to her friend Porpora Marcasciano, a sociologist, human right activist and president of the transgender movement Movimento Identità Transessuale, in a time suspended between the intimacy of a strong connection and the young feminine grace of a complex and unique identity.

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Porpora NYC

1993 © Lina Pallotta

Photography

Courtesy of the artist

Lina Pallotta, a documentary photographer born in Italy, has been living in New York since the late 1980s and with her photographs tells a story of the daily and the mundane, bringing to the forefront the protagonists of the quieter stories. Among her well-known works is Porpora, a series of photographs dedicated to Porpora Marcasciano.

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Alì

2017 © Xenia Perek

Video performance

De School, Amsterdam SWEAT, 2019, curated by Léon Kruijswijk
Courtesy of the artist and ADA, Rome

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Free expression, when not censored or threatened or concealed, becomes active and is (always) a performance. If removing chains is an action, it is one that precedes or follows each change. Xenia Perek's performances usher in a radical transformation using the body, dance, masks as an expression of that desire that is born underground but cannot be confined. First there's instinct, then comes change. Her performance works are a dialogue with the audience which, both seduced and rejected, can choose to seek introspection or to dance.

About Zu

2019 © Xenia Perek

Solo performance ft. Arthur Guilleminot
7 min
Vertoon: Queer In Transition
Compagnie Theater, Amsterdam
photo by Raymond Van Mil
Courtesy of the artist and ADA, Rome

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The artist wears her mask, be it that of a demon or of a fighter, just like in the rituals of ancient Rome, a mix between entertainment and battle for a superior and divine purpose. Xenia Perek is a Polish artist, since childhood she has been fascinated with androgynous characters such as Xena, the Warrior Princess, and has made performance art the fulcrum of her work, breaking down the prejudice that energy and physical strength belong solely in the male world.

Maschera per una sgualdrina

2020 © Diego Gualandris

Oil on canvas

Courtesy of the artist and ADA gallery, Rome

It is language, be it verbal or body language, that creates the short-circuit blessed with attracting the attention of all resistance, laying bare each face from its mask. When this "magic" power is recognised, change has already happened. The mask is already off. And in our time and place, where each diversity is labelled, language can be both the elastic that holds the mask in place or the hand that removes it. As in the works of Diego Gualandris and his masks whose perspective we cannot understand, is it I, or the person I am looking at, who is wearing the mask?

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Maschera (Isaiade triptych)

2019 © Diego Gualandris

Oil on canvas

Courtesy of the artist and ADA gallery, Rome

A mask tells us that for every behaviour deemed different a word exists that invites to cover-up, to not show, to hide. But the eyes, that observe the world and its progress, can choose to embrace, to understand and to love every change, in every moment of its determination, in each shade of pride and pridefulness.

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Betta Naan Stop! (Prateek Sachdeva) Delhi, India

2018 © Lorenzo Castore

Photography

Courtesy of the artist

As do the eyes of the subject of the works of Lorenzo Castore, photographer whose research has encompassed many places: from apartments to streets, going from the darkness of mines to mountaintops, telling us intimate and never before told collective stories, shot in Italy, Poland, India, Cuba and New York.

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Betta Naan Stop! (Prateek Sachdeva) Delhi, India

2018 © Lorenzo Castore

Photography

Courtesy of the artist

In the dyptich Betta Naan Stop! (Prateek Sachdeva) Delhi, India the camera is a first barrier separating the observer and the subject. A grate, almost resembling a cage, is the second hindrance. But the direct and melancholic magnetism of this powerful subject is able to shatter them both, finding a strong form of communication in the art of maquillage, and the valorisation of one's features and one's nature. A look that need not be classified, a change that must be collective.

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About Arcus

Arcus is our global inclusive employee network open to all Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans*, Intersex, Queer people and their Allies​​​. Arcus aims to encourage an inclusive and integrated culture within Clifford Chance that gives colleagues the choice to be open and out.

Learn more

A special thanks to: Alessandro Sciarra from Clifford Chance; Jacopo Miliani; Niccolò Fano for his collaboration and for the participation of Lina Pallotta and Lorenzo Castore; Galleria ADA, Rome for Diego Gualandris and Xenia Perek participation.

For any inquiries about the artworks, contact the curator.