Edizione 2023: Qui?

The main theme chosen for the 2023 edition of Ad occhi aperti is a double question: Qui? Come abitare oggi? (Here? How to live spaces?)

It stems from a year-long research that has gradually gathered around the concept of "abitare", inhabiting spaces.

The core of this research is the work of several artists who seem to be able to represent, from different perspectives, a kind of imbalance in our relationship with spaces: Eliana Albertini, Samuele Canestrari, Valentina D'Accardi, Jérôme Dubois, Marijpol, Lisa Mouchet, Sammy Stein, Erik Svetoft, and Miguel Vila.

Their works question not only the ways in which comics can be made, but also the visual imaginary around the idea of home, belonging, and the ways in which bodies inhabit spaces or are rejected by them.

Thinking about how contemporary comics are representing different, and sometimes unconventional, ways of inhabiting spaces is interesting because the concept of inhabiting itself is going through radical transformations.
This is a time when we are confronting the possibility of living on a inhabitable planet; when virtual spaces are becoming more livable than material ones; when a pandemic has caused a rupture in the traditional relationship between inside and outside, and has changed the very idea of home; when so many cities are offering themselves to the mass mobility market, changing their nature to accomodate the fleeting needs of temporary visitors while pushing away their inhabitants.

All these issues are social, political, cultural and philosophical, but extremely concrete at the same time. They involve the relationship between the individual and community, space, the possibility of interacting with reality.

There are many signs suggesting that we are at the end of a historical phase that has seen humans (or at least  specific categories of humans) conceive themselves as the measure of the world. We are now confronted with the ever urgent necessity set ourselves aside or, even better, to feel part of a more complex, plural and connected reality.
Both theory and fiction are drawing our attention to this necessity, even as we still struggle to understand it fully and turn it into action.

Ad occhi aperti certainly does not have the ambition to find answers, let alone solutions, to such issues. It wishes instead to multiply the questions around them, as the double question mark in its title testifies. 
Our hope is for its visitors to go home with more than just two questions in mind.