Fragilità is Particle’s first interconnected ecosystem exploring the global theme of fragility under different sensitivities and uncommon perspectives: fragility builds solidity, fragility cultivates resilience and new paths, fragility as the ebb and flow of creativity and fragility brings awareness for better futures. Fragilità offers a digital exhibition path that invites audiences to interact and engage in conversations and moments of shared reflection. The exhibition is curated by Alberto Salvadori, director of Fondazione ICA Milano, Luigi Fassi, director of Artissima Fair, and Lim Wei Ling, director of the LIM Wei Ling Gallery in Kuala Lumpur, and it was organized with the support of the Italian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur. The exhibition investigates the concept of fragility in contemporary art production, through the works of four Italian artists and four Malaysian artists: Anida Yoeu Ali, Riccardo Benassi, Anurendra Jegadeva, MASBEDO, Maria D. Rapicavoli, Wong Chee Meng, Francesco Simeti, Rajinder Singh. Fragilità features a full program of talks that enrich the theme with a diversity of voices and perspectives. Fragility Talks is the institutional program hosted by Fondazione ICA Milano, engaging the stakeholders committed to the project. A Students’ Diary is series of informal conversations among Italian and Malaysian university students, hosted by Culturit together with UniKL and Sunway University. Kaleidoscope is a livestreaming format of conversations for community-led and transformational outcomes that aims at experimenting multiple and uncommon points of contacts between distant communities. In the first 3 months, Fragilità reached +30,000 visits, with +606,000 impressions on social media and +30 publication on magazines and newspapers from different countries.
In contemporaneity fragility is accounted as a negative feature, synonym for being weak, feeble, inferior. However, reflections of art and psychological researches support the idea of an inner oxymoron contained in fragility: vulnerability is the ground for the sensitivity, delicacy and intelligence. Like the peacock protagonist of Masbedo’s video Fragile, that embodies the “fragile strength” of the sacred value of art, allowing to feel and see beyond the visible. Or Malaysian artist Wong Chee Meng, that turned his visual impediment into something to reflect upon and learn from. Fragility, that oftentimes encompasses difficulties, is not an obstacle, but becomes a condition for listening, encounter, hope and strength.
Every moment of the human condition is imbued with fragility. Fragility that is ephemerality, precariousness, but also a state of grace, an element of formation and growth through experiences, and a founding condition for the adventure of interpersonal experiences. Francesco Simeti’s work, Unrelenting, depicts a world where nature reigns supreme, in absolute indifference of the presence of man and whichever anthropocentric perspective, revealing the fleeting and frail character of human existence. In Woundbloom, while describing our bodies as constrictions that make us feel trapped and helpless, Rajinder Singh’s points, with a more positive turn, to our capacity to change the space around us, to adapt, to become. Our intrinsic fragility no longer plays the role of hindrance, but the starting point to embark in new directions, and relate to the surroundings.
Staying silent and listening to one’s own inner emotional reality, made of fears and uncertainties, hereby fragile, can trigger a flow self-expression and creativity. This is what Maria D. Rapicavoli did during quarantine, providing an acute analysis of her own domestic space and neighborhood, photographing inside her apartment for the first time, almost as turning the camera from the world outside onto her inner self. In the same way, Anurendra Jegadeva, questioned how we were all uncannily linked by this unknown enemy, namely the pandemic, that forced us to experience the solitude of confinement and isolation. Hence, our fragility, exposed by the health emergency in an unprecedented way, provokes us to find answers, embrace new perspectives, and engage in acts of creation and expression.
It’s not easy to describe fragility’s capacity to arouse “awareness for better futures”, to generate hope. Anida Yoeu Ali succeeds to do it, while telling her story of displacement, loss and faith with art. A long journey moved by hope through and despite fragility. Fragility coming from the struggle of finding her identity, following the Cambodia diaspora she experienced as a kid and, at the same time, fragility that pushed her to reconnect with her Khmer roots. On the other side, Riccardo Benassi talks about “Morestalgici humans”, that long for something apparently plausible that can’t be recalled from their past, as it has been replaced by the immersive browsing offered by the web. The fragility of our emotional reality, in perpetual subjection of the web, can then be turned into digital empathy, a tool for reshaping the future rather than creating an alliance around a seemingly shared past.