Assange and Art

Art can’t make you a better person, it can only make you worse. The only thing that can make you better is reality, if you look it in the eye.

From May 11, 2020, the Sala Fotana Gallery of Palazzo Delle Esposizioni will host the exhibition “The Assange Condition”, which will not accept visitors, even if the galleries are allowed to open their doors to the public. It will contain a series of about forty portraits of Assange painted by Miltos Manettas in the period between February and May this year

”Diogenis, once when in Corinth everyone was preparing for a siege, rolled his jar, pushing it backwards and forwards. They asked him why. “To help in the common struggle,” he replied. This made me decide also to paint a portrait of Assange for every day he spent in prison: so far 480 days. Not that art can help Assange – only changing the world can help him. Painting him, though, I feel a relationship with him which I call #assangepower. I feel as if my own struggle – very different, of course, from his – is meeting with his! And because all the portraits I do I give for free to anyone who asks me on social media, I feel as if Our Struggle is also Their Struggle, at least for those few who are watching me online.

The Palazzo Delle Esposizioni in Rome decided within two days to hold an exhibition. It usually takes two years to organize one. This time it took two days! The exhibition opens on May 11th. The works left today. Forty and more paintings. They go there and put them on the wall, but the Palazzo is closed due to COVID-19. The opening will be on Instagram and on the CondizioneAssange account. Around May 18 the museum will reopen, but the exhibition, called “Situation Assange”, will remain closed. Because you can’t see Assange. If a miracle occurs and he gets out of jail, the exhibition will open to the public. Or if they murder him with COVID19, which seems quite possible, the exhibition will become – it already is de facto – iconic for the situation we have been living through in recent months. Inmates.”

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