E Trallerallera is a further initiative implemented by our foundation to celebrate the centenary of the publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses in Paris on 2 February 1922 by Sylvia Beach’s ‘Shakespeare & Company’.
James Joyce (born in Dublin on 2 February 1882 and died in Zurich on 13 January 1941) took eight years to write (and rework) the 265,000 words of which Ulysses is composed. Inspired by the structure of the Odyssey, the time narrated is one day – 16 June 1904 - in Dublin, in its complexity and multiplicity to represent the universe, the world, history, the city, people, the body, the psyche: in short, life in all its sublime and sordid aspects, until death. There is an extraordinary variety of approaches to and levels of reading of this book, which is still current and which has not been affected by the time that has elapsed since its first publication.
From my conversations with the artist Susanna Baumgartner – on this multifaceted book, on the biography of the author and that of Sylvia Beach, on the intricate events of the writing of the text, its printing and the related translations - the common desire to create a choral project, which also involved other artists, arose: to place at its centre the poetry, the lightness, the musicality, the playfulness, inherent in Ulysses: E Trallerallera, in fact, an exhibition curated by Susanna Baumgartner and a book published by Artphilein Editions.
Susanna Baumgartner, in her curatorial approach, continued the plurality of voices inherent in Ulysses, weaving a conversation between herself and the 17 invited artists: each artist suggested an atmosphere, offered words of sound or colour as a gift, to allow everyone to identify an episode or a theme from which to draw inspiration and ideas. An alchemical dialogue between 18 artists was born with the 18 episodes of Ulysses: each one grasped this potential, relating to an episode, to a detail or to a characterising element. This approach on a horizontal level, for parallel and contemporary associations, leads to an amazing overall harmony of the 18 works – exhibited from 23 November 2022 to 28 February 2023 at the ArtonPaper Space in Paradiso.
The publication E Trallerallera, by Artphilein Editions, emerges at the end of the exhibition: it keeps a mnemonic trace of the works on display, to complete and expand them with conversations conducted by Marco Arrigoni, Carla Burani and Orio Vergani. The graphic design is a tribute to ancient Irish Celtic symbols and is deliberately inspired by the colours and typefaces of early publications of Ulysses. E Trallerallera is an artist’s book, not a mere catalogue: it invites us to pick up James Joyce’s Ulysses in order to continue the dialogue with further, future interlocutors.
Caterina De Pietri – Director of the De Pietri Artphilein Foundation