Good feelings are fragile.

(Elena Ferrante)

When we talk about fragility, we refer to something that can break. Something physical but also something non-physical, for example the mind. This condition is not always related to a positive image: if the prevailing social ideal is the strong, competitive, courageous man, it is clear that the fragile attribute defines is defined by a certain predisposition to illness, moral weakness, fear, and shyness ... The social majority views strength positively and fragility negatively, therefore there must exist a positive side of fragility, it is also true that there is a different connotation of fragility that is linked to a certain sensitivity, empathy, flexibility, elasticity, and plasticity. I have always liked a statement by Vittorino Andreoli: "fragility makes man". This is because this condition allows man to become aware of his limitations, his defects, and in this way become humble.

I made this premise to talk about a reality that moves in the opposite way with respect to the art system and that in many respects expresses the above condition. This is do ut do, a container of cultural initiatives of the Friends of the Hospice Foundation Association that aims to raise funds for the Hospice Seràgnoli Onlus Foundation which operates with the aim of improving the quality of life and alleviating the suffering of patients with incurable or advanced diseases. Every two years do ut do offers events dedicated to art, design and cultural excellence involving artists, galleries, institutions, companies, and collectors. At the base of this world, there is the "gift"; the works are given to patients. Artists, galleries and collectors deprive themselves of them to allocate them to a highly human end. The entire collection is constituted as an "act of love". A work is given not to get something in return, it is not given to receive, but it is given solely for the sake of giving. And it's something extraordinary.

"'Fragility' is nothing but the 'agility of fragments'. Agility of human frailty. The ability of lability (fallible, disabled, tame, "super-able", permeable, malleable, therefore lovable, with care like human imbalance and its beauty. I always distrust a person in one piece... And when I see it in pieces (we are in the Age of Fragmentism) I can't help but say: do! Generous and artfully generating musical note", Alessandro Bergonzoni.

The theme of the new edition of do ut do is precisely fragility and in preview, on the occasion of Artefiera 2023, the work Fragil, an imposing glass work by Joan Crous, was presented. The large sculpture is the composition of six unique works made in cast glass with manual interventions by the artist who declared: "Glass is certainly one of the elements that accompanies us in our daily lives. It is a material that has two aspects: hardness but also fragility as a whole. A glass can last a thousand years but if it falls to the ground it lasts a second. Even man is a bit like that... Man lasts a thousand years in the concept of his hardness but also has many fragilities. And with do ut do we wanted to represent this double concept".

Alessandra D'Innocenza, founder and president of do ut do, identified this theme by meeting and studying the work of Joan Crous:

We are fragile, everything is fragile around us: men, animals, plants, life on earth, our relationships, our feelings, our loves, our ideas, the sustainability of our development model, our idea of progress, our presumed centrality in the universe — said Alessandra D'Innocenzo — But if we accept our fragility, we can transform the apparent vulnerability into its opposite, human history has shown it, our fragility becomes conscious agility, that if it creates a community it can produce innovative and powerful results, the vulnerability of individuals becomes a collective strength to defend shared values and the common good.

As Gianluca Riccio, one of the curators of the exhibition project, writes:

Along the thread of this ethical, moral and aesthetic weave together, the protagonists of the latest edition of doutdo, gathered by the participatory gaze of Giovanni Gastel around a long table, are evoked by objects and food residues crystallized on the surface of the six tables that make up the large sculpture created by Joan Crus for the 2023 edition; as if the scene — and the meaning of which it is the bearer — had remained intact during these years, but the point of view had been reversed from the outside to the inside, with all those ordinary objects deployed on the horizontal plane of the table-sculpture to embody the sense of a message that, year after year, remains kept in the form of the work called to interpret it.