Rimini, at the Gambalunga library “Signs of Peace” for students at LABA Academy

Communicate peace in wartime. Gambalunga Library is open to all forms of expression, eager to constantly update the communication codes with the public, to speak primarily to the younger generations, and welcomes “peace thoughts” from 1st year students among the libraries on the open shelf. Graphic Design Course at LABA Academy of Rimini. Under the guidance of teacher Cristina Serafini, the students worked on an institutional communication project inspired by the current war in Ukraine, where they processed signs and symbols learned by the masters of 20th century graphics or invented their own.

Not really an exhibition or an exhibition essay, but a silent dialogue between books and visual characters that tell a desire for peace. This is how the artist Vittorio D’Augusta introduces them to the public in the accompanying text: “In the world, not far from us, in ancient and civilized Europe, the barbarism of a war is raging. Inside a library – in the Gambalunga Library in Rimini – thirteen posters, produced at an art academy, have no other function than to be a silent, ‘powerless’ testimony of a desire for peace. Their poetic and expressive dimension lies in their ‘impotence’, in the ‘silent uselessness’ of their presence. They are not ‘exhibited’, they do not manifest themselves in an ‘exhibition’ self-referential rhetoric. They are thoughts of peace, visual signs that lie on bookshelves; on the contrary, they are confused and interact with books, which have always been the most natural, authentic signs of civilization. “

Fredstegn_Vittorio D’Augusta, 30 May 2022

In the world, not far from us, inside ancient and civilized Europe, barbarism is raging with a war. Inside a library – in the Gambalunga Library in Rimini – thirteen posters, produced at an art academy, have no other function than to be a silent, “powerless” testimony to a desire for peace. Their poetic and expressive dimension lies in their “impotence”, in the “silent uselessness” of their presence. They are not “exhibited”, they do not manifest themselves in an “exhibition self-referential rhetoric”. They are thoughts of peace, visual signs that lie on bookshelves; on the contrary, they are confused and interact with books, which have always been the most natural, authentic signs of civilization.

In the face of war, art appears powerless, in fact, “appears”, it “seems” powerless. It was useless too Guernica: Picasso’s dramatic protest – his party against Franco’s dictatorship and the Nazi bombings of 1937 – certainly did not prevent World War II from breaking out two years later. But that cry and that dove have remained eternal symbols rooted in our collective memory, in our conscience, reminding us that every war renews the same ancient atrocities: death, rape, hunger, ruins. This time, too, the age-old “bread war”, the atavistic and barbaric weapon of famine, is added to the sophisticated technology of increasingly destructive and stupidly “intelligent” weapons.

With young eyes, the students of the poster writers, born in the millennium, who are confronted for the first time with the theme of war and with the raw images of the news, collect and deepen the memory of Guernica and the legacy of other artists and graphic designers who, like Albe Steiner, have transferred their bourgeois commitment to the forms of art. And it moves, in the students’ works, the new hope of peace, which we also discover in the naive but healthy, necessary, removal of a violent, outspoken expressionism which was present in the manual skills of the twentieth century and which does not belong their generation “digital”. For example, a Ukrainian student, author of a manifesto, confronted with the tragedy that directly involves her, seeks refuge in the flower-like forms of a soothing fantasy of freedom.

Today, May 30, another journalist died on the war front in Donbass: Frédéric Leclerc, 32, French. I suggest that this review of peace be dedicated to the heroic narrators of war, in vain protected by the inscription PRESS.

The memory of their authorship will find a natural home among books and library readers.

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