The Merchant of Venice Mission
We think that historically the Venetians had a very refined touch, a special aesthetic sensibility due to their commerce in precious textiles.
The intention of The Merchant of Venice is to develop a responsible commerce, according to the lines already given by Ruskin in the second half of the nineteen century: " To buy and sell is not only a mercantile action, but also a moral one. From here the imperative for the buyer never to encourage exploitation which mutilate or the monotony which corrupts."
The Merchant of Venice will promote only crafts in which the artists ( in the middle- age sense of the word) will be justly paid, not exploited. But also a craft in which they can freely keep expressing their own culture, attitudes, their" genius loci", without being at the same time obliged to repeat always the same subject. They may well have foreign customers, but this should happen in a way that exalts and improves the quality of the art objects . The aim is to fight the standardization of places and cultures and promote instead the value of difference. The weakening of the capacity of discerning differences and distinctions is inevitably accompanied by the inability of appreciating the Quality or essence of an object, of a landscape, of a culture. To promote, to give value to local skills and unique crafts is the best way to sustain local communities and defend them from disintegration and the alienation which are the primary cause of conflicts, war and terrorism.
The Merchant of Venice will focus on textile art having as a priority to support existing skills which are still alive in the Orient and risk extinction because of the invasion of cheap mass production and of the indifferent nihilism promoted by some of the contemporary art market, so dear to the global elite. To promote, to give value to local skills and unique crafts is the best way to sustain local communities, to defend them from disintegration and to discourage the mass emigration movements which are sponsored by the same global oligarchies. It is, ultimately, the best way to fight the alienation which is the primary cause of conflicts, war and terrorism.
Another reason for promoting textile art in our increasingly virtual world is, its essential tactile quality, its ability to bring us literally back to "senses". You have to touch, stroke textiles in order to appreciate them.
And final objective would be to break the artificial, fraudulent barrier, put in place between art and craftsmanship. As always proclaimed by the greatest Italian thinker of the last century Elemire Zolla -" An artist is just a craftsman who experience coincidences( inspiration, feeling of "deja vu" ) during his activity."-
The Merchant of Venice aims especially at exploring the wide horizons between anonymous oriental art and the western ego-centered "Art" . Therefore it would like to promote artists which like Venice live on the borderline of these two universes. ( the West and the East)
It will be a source of lively resistance against the desertification and standardization of our planet and its human activities.