Barbara Duran

Servae. Icone Liquide

Servae. Icone Liquide​ - 2018

The genesis of this work has been quite uncommon, a true mystical experience. a sort of “channelling”, I would describe it. At the Castle of Santa Severa, overlooking the Tyrrhenian sea, my works have appeared (in the true meaning of the word) in one single day, emerging on long stele of rice paper – a fragile, yet robust foundation. As if they where araising from the soil, awakening from those dungeons, waiting to be seen.

A pantheon of female divinities – a sisterhood, quoting Maria Zambrano – came to light. Women who shaped through their invocations the sacred area of Pyrgi. Chthonic figures of syncretic cults: Artemis, Aphrodite, Eileithyia, Eos, Astarte, Persephone, Kore, Demeter and, above all, Leucothea: the white sea goddess invoked by sailors and castaways – the goddess who dances and floats on seafoam. I later discovered that, through centuries, ancient cults were celebrated right where the Castle was built. According to different legends the contact of mortal body with sea waters transforms the protagonist in a goddess. l was struck by the aesthetic and symbolic affinity between Leucothea and the white female figure in my White video, which I created two years before: both figures dance on seafoam in an a circular and diachronic time: both as salvific figures. 

Barbara Duran

This exhibition induces a miracle, a sacred memory runs through it, a genetic mind gathering phantoms; in its ceremonious quality it waves an endless fairy tale, soaring on winged tempests, lightly grazing mythographic iconologies linked to the cults dedicated to  the numerous feminine divinities, which marked the area of ‘Pyrgi’ with their invocations, turning into tales similar to ours: they once absorbed the psyche of the moon and performed a merciful deed: now intimately related as well is the Castle of ‘Santa Severa’ as a temple, a fortress and custodian of archaic remains, of primordial enclosures turning into natural archetypes and eloquent symbols.

Ignazio Venafro 


Servae. Icone Liquide​

Pyrgi Hall | Castle of Santa Severa | 2018

Curated by Ignazio Venafro, Duran White Project and Studio Urbana under the patronage of Valentina Moncada, Fondazione Il Gabbiano, Italian Embassy in Washington, WithoutBorders, Film Festival, Regione Lazio, Soprintendenza archeologica belle arti e paesaggio per l’aerea metropolitana di Roma, Provincia di Viterbo and Etruria meridionale, Comune di Santa Marinella.

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Installation 2018

Pyrgi Hall, Castle of Santa Severa, 2018

Servae. Icone Liquide

Watch the installation video
at the Castle of Santa Severa – 2018

Servae-ICONE-liquide-#4-2018-pigment-and-mixed-media-on-chinese-rice-paper-cm 20x100 cad-barbara-duran