Venus in Furs

Venus in Furs

March 9, 2024 – April 6, 2024

The novel Venus in Furs (1870) by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch has remained imprinted on the collective memory. In the book, Severin, a sober man, tells of his absolute devotion to Wanda, whom he identifies with Venus, the goddess of love. In Severin’s room stands a painting. He claims it was inspired by Titian’s ‘Venus with a Mirror’, which depicts a fur-clad Venus of the North: the incarnation of the painter’s ideal woman. But our heroine rebels against the fire that burned in Severin’s soul, releasing herself from the ideal and stripping herself of the fur that imprisoned her in unwanted role. At a deeper level, Venus in Furs is the ultimate affirmation of the desire for self-expression, and of how the creative instinct can act as a generating force. 

The “Venus in Furs” collective brings together a group of artists who have chosen to express their creative vision as the passion for life, or what Freud called “Eros”, inspired by the name of the Greek god of love. 

Each artist in the collective works as part of a dialogue, using different media to explore areas that investigate the contemporary fabric of existence. We talk about the theme of memory and the perception of time, our recollections, or the unexplored corners of the unconscious, seen through the female body, sinuous and floating like a veil or sculpture. The woman, and her role in modern society, is looked at in a new way, separated from her classic role as custodian of the hearth. We see the Feminine painted in stifling domestic scenes permeated by clusters of flowers, or busy with household chores. We also explore the hot topics of the modern world, touching on social issues such as anti-speciesism and other streams of thought linked to the female world, pursuing paths that may be painful to tread but lead to rebirth and rediscovery of the self. Art has a social value and can be a source of unity and rapprochement, like a collective ritual guided by the Greek principle of ‘kalocagathia’, where what is beautiful is also good. 

The “Venus in Furs” collective was made possible thanks to the hard work of Loredana Galante, Marta Mez and Antonella Casazza, the members of the founding committee. 

Rebecca Delmenico

Artists on display
Silvia Beltrami
Marianna Bussola
Anna Caruso 
Antonella Casazza
Elisa Cella
Eleonora Chiesa
Cristina Costanzo
Ilaria Del Monte
Loredana Galante
Debora Garritani
Giovanna Lacedra
Coquelicot Mafille
Florencia Martinez
Marta Mez
Elena Monzo
Saba Najafi
Ieva Petersone
Alessandra Rovelli
Marta Sesana
Milena Sgambato
Tina Sgrò
Sanda Skujina
Vania Elettra Tam
Francesca Vitali Boldini

Letter from the Committee 

A group of twenty-four artists, formed from the collective vision of the Committee: Loredana Galante, Antonella Casazza and Marta Mez. The three founding members imagined an exhibition all about women, and made it a reality. 
This anthology of artists is a synergistic experiment, whose aim is to investigate and restore a spectrum of conceptual and aesthetic declinations of an artistic experience relevant to women. The exhibition project covers a range of different media, styles and genres, including painting, sculpture, fibre art, collage, performance art videos and photography. 

The invitation to the public is to see the complexity of the Feminine world through a project in which the narrator is the artistic process, but the choice of the female artists is clearly made by Friends. 
During a period of critique, there is a need to unleash. Everything is “hairy”, starting with the image on the front cover: an open shell with tufts of dark hair that captivate or repel. 
The result is a complex, structured exhibition, a discussion of ideas and a geography of heterogenous contemporary landscapes. 

Et voilà! We see the gaze of the twenty-four Artists, our own way of capturing, exploring and restoring to the viewer. Each has her own particular language. 
The title of the exhibition was chosen by curator Rebecca Delmenico, who wrote the texts for Venus in Furs. 
This is the question posed by the Committee to visitors: 
“In a women-only exhibition, are there common elements dictated by an inclination, sensitivities, a category with its own propensities, aptitudes and biological peculiarities?” If these things exist, can they form the basis for the creation of value and recognisable content for society?” 
How to become the creators and curators of an inclusive exhibition of 24 artists? How do you go about creating this shared journey, this instantaneous initiative by three friends and artists, with infinite patience 
and hard work? THANKS to a space: the SAC Contemporary Art Space, and our curator and content writer, Rebecca Delmenico, who has supported us from the start. 

Antonella Casazza, Loredana Galante and Marta Mez