Runo Lagomarsino participates in the group exhibition The Warmth Of Other Suns at The Phillips Collection, Washinton DC, US. Looking at his work Mare Nostrum, the neon text changes between spelling out “MARE NOSTRUM” and “MARE MOSTRUM”. Mare Nostrum implies unreconciled memories; it signifies a reciprocal fear, dating back over half a millennium, that has witnessed attempts at pacification of an entirely political and rarely cultural nature. This fear is also marked, however, by great reciprocal curiosity, a voluntary and necessary quest to find shared ground. And so in speaking of the Mediterranean, how could one help but think of Braudel and his concept of it as a locus of proximity, a concept that has also bolstered the idea of an ever smaller place, a true borderland between two worlds, which have come to be multiple worlds.
The Warmth of Other Suns: Stories of Global Displacement presents 75 historical and contemporary artists—from the United States as well as Algeria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Egypt, Ghana, Iraq, Lebanon, Mexico, Morocco, Syria, Turkey, UK, Vietnam, and more—whose work poses urgent questions around the experiences and perceptions of migration and the current global refugee crisis.
Through installations, videos, paintings, and documentary images, The Warmth of Other Suns explores both real and imaginary geographies, reconstructing personal and collective tales of migration. Overlaying historical experiences of migration to and within the United States with the current plight of refugees around the world, the exhibition brings together a multitude of voices and exposes the universality of migration as an experience shared by many. The exhibition also focuses on how artists bear witness to both historical events and more subtle shifts in cultural landscapes.
Borrowing a line from author Richard Wright (1908–1960), and sharing its title with Isabel Wilkerson’s award-winning book on the Great Migration, The Warmth of Other Suns is anchored by an important reference to the decades-long exodus of over six million African Americans from the brutality and discrimination that ruled the American South. Selections from Jacob Lawrence’s powerful Migration Series (1940-41), a cornerstone of The Phillips Collection, will be among the historical works featured in the show.
The Warmth of Other Suns is curated by Massimiliano Gioni and Natalie Bell in partnership with the New Museum, New York, and based on the exhibition The Restless Earth, which was shown at the Triennale in Milan in 2017.