ANDREA BRANZI “ERME” / FRANCESCO ARENA “STONE”

October 2, 2021 - November 2, 2021

Villa San Michele, Fondazione Axel Munthe, Anacapri, Italy

FESTIVAL DEL PAESAGGIO

FIFTH EDITION – Casa come isola

Curated by Arianna Rosica and Gianluca Riccio

 

The last moment of the fifth edition of Festival del Paesaggio will be hosted in the garden of Villa San Michele in Anacapri on Saturday 2 October 2021, 6pm, with the presentation of a series of eight terracotta sculptures entitled ‘Erme’ (2021), especially created for the occasion by Andrea Branzi and the work ‘Stone’ (2020) by Francesco Arena in an open-air installation conceived for the garden of the ancient villa and made possible thanks to the support and collaboration of the Axel Munthe Foundation.

The work of the young Apulian sculptor – set up in the front courtyard of Villa San Michele in dialogue with the archaeological fragments that dot the perimeter – is conceived, in the words of its author, as a large “block of stone subtracted from its destiny of becoming an artifact, to then be transformed into sculpture”, and exist as a support to a famous sentence by Virgina Woolf in To the lighthouse (‘The very stone one kicks with one’s boot will outlast Shakespeare)’. Witnessing the resistance of matter to human action, Arena’s work in this new exhibition evokes the stratification of the multitude of existing times and alludes to the relationship we have with the things that surround us and their existence and survival before and after us.

The series of sculptures ‘Erme’ by Andrea Branzi – arranged to mark out the long pergola of Villa San Michele’s garden – accompany like a motionless dance the shady construction of the colonnade of the villa through a light course “above which,” as Branzi himself noted in the preparatory notes for the project, “other unexpected objects (the three-dimensional relief of a small house with a primitive flavor, the cast of a skull, the miniaturized reproduction of a donkey, etc.) like fragile, dull surprises, or a small donkey, as if it was a child. as fragile surprises, dance immersed in a fragrant vegetation”.

Thus, following the exhibition journey through the external spaces of the Foundation, if in the great monolith of Arena is engraved, through the mute presence of an inanimate object and the phrase that accompanies it, the furrow that opens between the time of man and the time of history, in the eight terracotta pillars designed by Branzi, intimately connected to the secret places of the ancient Latin Metropolis and dedicated to a peasant memory of antiquity, they stand out in space “indifferent to history” drawing inspiration from the “typically Mediterranean agricultural pergolas”. With their presence in fact, the Erme speak to us of times and places “of the dead but also of the living, of poets, of the sea and the volcano, of politics and eternal commerce…” and evoke a time and a space in which “the Gods are confused with slaves and poor art with rich art, masterpieces with free-range chickens…”.

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