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IIC Stockholm: the en plein air exhibition “Language is a virus”

The Italian Cultural Institute C.M. Lerici in Stockholm presents Language is a virus.  The female voice of the Italian art in search of freedom during isolation, an open-air exhibition curated by Adriana Rispoli commissioned by the Institute during the Coronavirus emergency. Art responds to the blockade of activities imposed to prevent the spread of contagion by continuing its uninterrupted dialogue with life, experimenting with new expressive formats.

“We want to communicate openly with the inhabitants of Stockholm,” says the Director of the Institute Maria Sica, “but also reach a new public and renew the dialogue between art and urban space. Above all, it seems important to show that art is not an elitist current means of expression. Perhaps, this crisis can show us new ways to reinvent the traditional dynamics of relations between art and the public. We find this exercise very stimulating, as it relates to a city where art has nourished public spaces for a long time”.

With the advertising posters technique, Language is a virus uses the streets of Stockholm as exhibition space, where, although there have been no restrictions on free movement, places of culture such as museums, galleries, theatres have been closed to the public. In this phase of forced confinement, the urban fabric offers itself as a communication space to five Italian artists: Francesca Grilli, Loredana Longo, Marzia Migliora, Rosy Rox and Marinella Senatore.

Language is a virus takes up the title of the song by Laurie Anderson, who for this song of 1986 used the lyrics of William Burroughs: “The most dangerous virus language”. The “exhibition” Language is a virus, therefore, wants to emphasize on the one hand the liberating power of Language, whether verbal or visual and on the other its potentially subversive capacity. Thanks to the use of advertising posters, the exhibition comes out of the walls of the “white cube“, i.e. the elite places assigned to art, the museum spaces, and reaches the public space, to keep alive the necessary relationship that art has with the viewer, thus stimulating a critical reflection on the challenging moment we are living.


Francesca Grilli, Loredana Longo, Marzia Migliora, Rosy Rox, Marinella Senatore 
25 May – 14 June 2020
Open-air exhibition on billboards curated by Adriana Rispoli

For further information, we invite you to consult the Institute’s website: 


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