Saturday 12 February 2022, at 6.30 pm, in Via Nazionale 28 in Borgo Val di Taro, Gods & Princesses will be inaugurated, a solo exhibition by Dina Goldstein, an artist born in 1969 in Tel Aviv (Israel), who lives and works in Vancouver (Canada).
The exhibition is curated by Bianca Maria Rizzi and Matthias Ritter of “Opus in Artem”, and organized in close collaboration with the Municipality of Borgo Val di Taro.
Dina Goldstein creates photographic tableau in which amazing images are combined with social criticism. The artist builds complex narratives, which revisit the archetypes embodied by fictional characters to contextualize mass culture.
In addition to her aesthetic qualities, Goldstein’s work functions as a sociological study, as it questions the artificial and constructed values that pop culture injects into our society. Highly controversial, Dina Goldstein’s projects continually create international debate and dialogue on social media platforms, magazines and newspapers. Her work has been addressed in numerous essays and dissertations and in art journalism, leading these projects to be studied and taught in art schools, photography programs, and gender and feminist studies.
In the exhibition Gods & Princesses in Borgo Val di Taro works from the series The Fallen Princesses and Gods of Suburbia are exhibited. The Fallen Princesses series consists of ten photographs depicting Disney princesses and other fairy tale characters placed in a modern setting. The work examines elements of the human condition and creates a metaphor for fairy tale myths, forcing the viewer to contemplate real life in its less idyllic aspects: failed dreams, the fallacy of chasing eternal youth, obesity, cancer, the extinction of indigenous cultures, pollution, ocean degradation and war. Embracing the textures and colors created by Walt Disney, who built a multibillion-dollar empire by exploiting these fairy tales, the work questions the notion of the idealistic Leitmotif “… And they all lived happily ever after”, adopted by Disney to take children all over the world to ideal spoonfuls.
With this series, made between 2007 and 2009, Dina Goldstein achieved her international success in the art market, collecting numerous television appearances and contributions that made her famous in a short time. The princesses are joined by a selection of works from the 2014 Gods of Suburbia series, which represents the third themed series created by Dina Goldstein. This work is a visual analysis of religious faith in the context of the modern forces of technology, science and secularism. Dina uses archetypes of the collective unconscious and religious iconography and places them in contemporary environments. The project challenges the viewer – religious or secular – to embark on a journey of self-reflection while contemplating the relevance of ancient ethics and morals in a society characterized by materialism and consumerism.
It should be emphasized that the exhibition is part of the exhibition concept Opus in Artem in Itinere, which is inspired by the “Freiraum” initiative already successfully implemented in Germany in the early 90s, in the period immediately after German reunification, when large unused spaces in the cities of eastern Germany were destined for cultural and artistic projects: with the consequence, also, to attract investors and private buyers to the various properties and promote their reconstruction.
Opus in Artem In Itinere works in a similar way, using temporarily free shops and shops to bring international art and culture to various points in the Val Taro. The project foresees that an exhibition space will be used for a maximum of three months, after which the initiative moves to another place in the valley. Evidently this concept can only work in collaboration with the owners of the exhibition venues, which make them available without requiring rent, embracing the idea that art can help to improve the cultural but also economic life of the citizens of the valley. In turn, the owner can use both the current exhibition and the related images and promotional material to market his property, which greatly increases the possibility of generating interest in it.
The international art exhibited in the valley attracts professionals and collectors, even from sometimes distant cities, such as Milan, Bergamo, Parma, Piacenza, La Spezia and Genoa: qualified people, who probably would never have come to our area without this cultural offer. These, in turn, bring trade to local shops and restaurants, and return to their cities with positive impressions of the Taro Valley, which they will disseminate and tell to others, thus creating a virtuous circle effect.
Dina Goldstein, Gods and Princesses, solo exhibition
Curator: Bianca Maria Rizzi and Matthias Ritter
Organization: Opus in Artem,
Town of Borgo Val di Taro
Opening: Saturday 12 February 2022, h 18.30 – 20.30
Opening season: 12 February/12 March 2022
Exhibition address: Via Nazionale 28, 43043 Borgo Val di Taro (PR)
Opening hours: Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat 11–13 / 16-18