Emilio Isgrò cancels Brixia. Archeology and contemporary in comparison between music and theater – Brescia

Emilio Isgro, The sloth of the disco thrower, acrylic on canvas, 170 x 118 cm | Photo: © Andrea Valentini | Courtesy Emilio Isgro Archive

Brescia – Three artistic touches to erase the ancient Brixia, thanks to a swarm of bees on the run responsible for removing the inscriptions from the Roman epigraphs, or a large globe that fell by chance on a lawn, devoid of toponyms, except for the name Brescia.
We are not facing the bizarre threat of an antihistoric artist, but in the presence of the great genius Emilio Isgrò, ready to strengthen the bond to the city of Lombard through a new project designed specifically for its space.
The appointment is from June 23 to January 8 within the main sites of the Brescia Romana Archaeological Park (the largest in northern Italy) and the Santa Giulia Museum.
AfterIndelible victorythe monumental installation presented in October 2020 in the Brescia metro to celebrate the return to the city of winged victory, the Sicilian artist will bring his exhibition project entitled Isgrò cancels Brixiacurated by Marco Bazzini, produced by the Brescia Museums Foundation and the Municipality of Brescia.
The intervention, which will evolve from the Capitolium to Roman theater, from the Renaissance monastery to the Viridarium Gardens, will set dialogue with archeology and contemporary art, history and the present, classical culture and its persistence in our time.

Emilio Isgrò cancels Brixia.  Archeology and contemporary in comparison between music and theater – Brescia
Emilio Isgrò, Agora’s candle, acrylic on canvas, 170 x 118 cm | Photo: © Andrea Valentini | Courtesy Archivio Emilio Isgrò

Three interventions are expected: a series of monumental installations (physical and digital), the staging of a autograph drama in the Roman theater in Brescia and a exhibition of 14 works original in the rooms of the museum in Santa Giulia, interventions that will demonstrate how much the roots of the great Mediterranean cultural protagonist, with ancient Rome, also in the Brescia area, are alive and deep in the production of Isgrò.

The works of art, all of environmental dimensions, will be specially designed and created by the artist for the occasion in close connection with the atmospheric spaces that will host them. For the undisputed father of cancellationa – an act that Isgrò began experimenting with in the early 1960s and which still retains the same liveliness and creative audacity today – Delete Brixia becomes an opportunity to revive the city in new and unexpected forms, to transform erasure from a simple act of destruction to a complex experience of knowledge.

“The project Isgrò cancels Brixia – explains Francesca Bazoli, President of the Brescia Museums Foundation – ferries towards the goal of 2023, the year in which Brescia becomes Capital of Culture, and crowns the road that the Brescia Museums Foundation has committed now two years ago, around back to the city Winged Victory, of which a large and varied cultural program has emerged, and invests the new large “construction site” of the Roman theater. Not only that: the Brescia Musei Foundation’s involvement of a great master of Emilio Isgrò’s caliber, after Francesco Vezzoli, the protagonist of the recently completed exhibition itinerary Archaeological stagesconfirms the Foundation’s willingness to read the richness of Brescia’s artistic heritage through all the languages ​​of art, up to the present. “


Emilio Isgrò, Aphrodite’s columns, acrylic on canvas, 170 x 188 cm, Photo: © Andrea Valentini | Courtesy Archivio Emilio Isgrò

The ambitious and complex project divided into three levels, including various languages, from the material and digital installation dimension, to the traditional exhibition dimension, which runs in the rooms of the museum in Santa Giulia, up to the performative part contained in the theatrical show directed by Giorgio Sangati.
“A project that is so much the more important because it is not volatile – declares Stefano Karadjov, director of the Fondazione Brescia Musei – as it will allow the city to include new works of contemporary art in its cultural heritage, enabling, thanks to the collaboration with Arte Sella, to bring life and talk about the project and the city of Brescia beyond the space-time limits of the exhibition “.

The exhibition itinerary will ideally cover the monumental space affected by the Unesco corridor, a project that will be completed during the exhibition’s opening period, and which involves the creation of a single majestic itinerary, free of charge, which runs inside the spaces of the archeological park next to the Santa Giulia Museum. The review begins at the main hall of the Capitoliumhome of the spectacular installation, created with the most futuristic digital techniques, with the title Virgil’s beer. A swarm of bees on the run, a symbol of sociability and industriousness, will erase the inscriptions on the Roman epigraphs placed on the wall. Like Aeneas, confronted with the sudden appearance of souls who, like a swarm of bees, wandered in the valley of the mythological river Lethe, the spectator, immersed in this environment, will be amazed. By moving to the Santa Giulia Museum, visitors will immerse themselves in the other three episodes of the exhibition project. In the enchantment of the Renaissance monastery, they will encounter the monumental Harmonium of the crazy larksan enigmatic musical instrument, on the circumference of which runs a sequence of piano keys.


Emilio Isgrò, After Marathon, acrylic on canvas, 118 x 170 cm | Photo: © Andrea Valentini | Courtesy Archivio Emilio Isgrò

In this silent context the air of Casta diva from Norm by Vincenzo Bellini, which takes place in the Roman Gauls. The version of the piece that enchanted Richard Wagner is the one transcribed by Fryderyk Chopin for piano, as a tribute to the Brescan pianist Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, interpreted by the chirping of a lark accompanied by a chorus of birds. This work, presented for the first time in Brescia, will be created by the Brescia Musei Foundation in co-production with the Arte Sella modern art park. At the end of the exhibition, the work is given a permanent location inside the park, in the open space that the artist himself has identified.

In the exhibition halls of The Museum of Santa Giulia 13 large canvases – where the illustrated pages of a book about the daily life of an ancient Greek policeman have been canceled by a white line – characterize the unprecedented cycle of paintings entitled Rooms like Athens. In these works, Isgrò brings the erasure back to a full imaging practice, and no longer just a conceptual practice, and regains an operative modality he experimented with from the early 1980s.


Archaeological site of Brixia Romana from above In Photo Brescia Musei

The journey ends in the gardens of the Viridarium, a public park inside the Santa Giulia area, where a large globe, as if it had fallen on the lawn, is devoid of toponyms, erased by Isgrò, with the exception of the name Brixia.
This large public work created on stainless steel with cutting-edge digital printing technology will remain in the city and permanently enrich the bourgeois collections.
From museum to theater. Isgròs’ intervention in Brescia does not neglect the theatrical skills of this multifaceted artist, who in the early 1980s marked a central step in modern dramaturgy with the trilogy ofOresteia staged on the ruins of the ancient Gibellina earthquake.
On Thursday 23 June, the Roman Theater, another fascinating piece in the archeological itinerary of ancient Brescia, will host the premiere of Dido Adonais Domineone of the plays written by Isgrò, produced by the Bresciano Theater Center, starring actress Sandra Toffolatti and directed by Giorgio Sangati.
The text was written in 1983 and was staged only once, in August 1986, at the Mandanici Theater in Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto (ME), the artist’s hometown.
The show is offered in addition to the premiere on June 23 in six repetitions: Friday the 24th and Sunday the 27th of June, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of July.

Also read:
• Indelible Vittoria: a gift to Brescia from Emilio Isgrò
• Isgrò cancels Brixia
• Vezzoli and the ancient Romans: an unprecedented encounter to be discovered in Brescia

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