Sarah Piergiovanni

Che dura tutto l’anno… Tutti gli anni, 2021

300 news articles copied and printed on A4 paper sheets, 19th-century iron scale, 90 x 62 cm

The etymology of the word perennial conceals a secularised shift in meaning: its sense has changed over time from annual to eternal. It is the same path of violence in society: in Che dura tutto l’anno… Tutti gli anni, the artist has collected a dossier of 300 news articles concerning sexual assault. The single-armed scales, an ancestral symbol of justice historically acknowledged, becomes a vehicle for denouncing the perpetuity of violence. A perpetuity that is difficult to reset, that survives social, political, and historical changes.


In our view, talking about perennial topicality means talking about our perception of time, history, and human interactions. As we considered this project a collective debate, we’d like to hear more about your ideas as well. What is your perception of perennial topicality? And which element of this idea do you think that the artwork that you presented wants to portray? 

What has been established over the ages is unlikely to cease to exist overnight. Perennial topicality is what occurs and affects us as social persons who live in the society, who live in a society. And society lives, in its transformation, and through us. Through art, which does not need to speak in order to be heard. It is the only way to expose the relevance of this silenced violence. We urgently need to do justice, to realize that this violence affects us as individuals and is just a reflection of a violent and corrupted society, which has always remained quiet in the face of this reality. Society forgets, frequently closes its eyes, and hushes other voices. In creating my work, I was inspired by the word perennial, which I perceive as something very heavy. This is how my research into weight, words, and violence was born. The word perennis has originated over long centuries in the suggestion that something that lasts forever lasts all year, every year. Like the repetition of these injustices.

We are all the sum of our experiences, which shape our personality and perception. How did your personal history affect the creation of your artworks and in what way did you bring it into your project? 

All my artworks are part of me and define the sensitivity with which I perceive the world, in all its nuances. The theme I have addressed with my installation particularly touches me and is a reality that lives within me constantly. It is a perennial fear, almost a torture, and being able to express it in my installation gave me a way to deal with it. I worked on the weight. The common and perennial weight of violence. In particular, the weight of rape, which is a weight that has no gender, that has always existed and that still lasts, unfortunately. When I think of this violence, I think of the weight that the victims carry with them every single day. And many of them do not even have the possibility to report or to be heard. Many of them are minimized, hidden by a society that does not want to listen. I have been thinking about the victims and doing justice to their voices, which are forgotten in the constant flow of information. It concerns me as a woman, it concerns me as a person, tired of the violent and corrupt system of our society, which does not cease to exist. We need to bring these voices out in order to realize how heavy they are.

Due to the centrality of technology as well as the redefinition of our personal space, in these pandemic times the intimacy and the lack of it are now not only lived but conceived differently. How would you describe your perception of intimacy, relationships, and connection today?

The pandemic situation we faced in this last year has undoubtedly led us to live certain experiences in a different way from our previous normality. The Internet has been experienced as a means of recreation from the ”new” normality we have been forced to experience; but above all, its usefulness has been in supporting online communication. The loss of a healthy exchange of relationships is certain, but we must also recognize that today, the Internet defines us and digital consumption has become our daily meal. The pandemic has only amplified its use. The Internet is now like an extension of us and its centrality has redefined our personal space. Art always manages to survive, precisely because it is the sensitivity of the artist producing it that makes itself heard, and the situation of forced closure has produced great thoughts that can be translated into art. The intimacy of today’s relationships and connections has not ceased to exist, it simply lives in change and manifests itself differently according to the sensitivity of each of us.

What do you expect from the audience’s experience after viewing your work in this digital environment? How do you think that our endless consumption of digital content is affecting the production and the fruition of artworks? Do you think the virtual exhibition experience will continue to be a possible tool for presenting your research?

I believe that the work of art needs to be experienced. Being able to visit an art exhibition is one of my favorite things in the world, and being able to stop in front of every single work of art, for minutes, hours… makes me feel infinite, connected to the spiritual dimension of the work itself and to the reality of the person who produced it. A world of immense beauty and awareness opens up to me. The infinite consumption of digital content, however, allows us to open up to new possibilities, as in this case, to be able to exhibit anyway, in a virtual exhibition space. And, in my opinion, the maintenance of virtual exhibitions as a possible future exhibition tool, should be maintained in conjunction with Live exhibitions. Both for the benefit of those who do not have the means or ideal tools to visit a live exhibition and for those who, after the tour, want to go deeper into various aspects of the works on display and be able to observe them in detail. Art lives through change and cannot pretend that the digital era in which we are immersed does not exist. This continuous consumption of digital content is an unconscious mechanism that also influences art and its production, but this is not necessarily a bad thing; the artist must embrace this dimension in order to expand his language. The rejection of any change leads to repetition and therefore to the “death” of art. My installation carries a very hard message that is linked to the reality of many people. I hope that the viewer will be able to perceive the heaviness of these actions in the work, in the hope that they will be recognized with the importance they deserve. My work, in addition to the strong sense of justice it manifests, is also an encouragement to find the courage to be heard.


Sarah Piergiovanni (1999, Arezzo, Italy) graduated from the Human Sciences High School “V. Colonna” in Arezzo in 2018 and currently attending the third year at the Libera Accademia di Belle Arti (LABA) in Florence, Department of Visual Arts, Painting. In 2017 she participated in the National Poems and Rhymes Competition A poem from the drawer 2 at Cultural Association Paidòn Pòiesis. The poem “Intrappolata” with which she participated in the competition was published in the book Una poesia dal cassetto 2, edited by Mario Dino. In 2019, she participated in the group exhibition Oltre ego, curated by Tannaz Lahiji, at Zoe Bar in Florence, and, in 2021, she participated in the exhibition a Posted Project, at LABA, Firenze.