The exhibition “Edipo. The Appearance in Itself ”, curated by Superintendent of the National Institute of Ancient Drama Antonio Calbi on the occasion of the season of classical shows at the Greek Theater in Syracuse, organized by the Inda Foundation. The exhibition will be open until next 6 November.
Exhibited works by twenty-seven artists, many of whom were present at the crowded vernissage, on the figure of Oedipus. Modern and contemporary writers of different generations, languages, poetics, who have already dealt with the theme, some even in the theater, or who have created new works for this exhibition.
The exhibition is promoted and organized by the Palazzo Bellomo Gallery with support from the Department of Cultural Heritage and Identity of the Sicilian Region, in collaboration with the Municipality of Syracuse and Civita Sicilia and with the patronage of the INDA Foundation.
Oedipus represents an articulate and complex subject, subject to different nuances and perspectives: the search itself, the way to discover the truth, the unconscious, to be the victim and protagonist of one’s own destiny, division, riddle, the will of the gods and the individual, plague and disease, passionate lust, incest, murder, fatherhood, power, perseverance, gaze and vision, self-punishment through glare and more. Oedipus is undoubtedly one of the “totemic” figures in Western theater and culture and has crossed millennia, while retaining the charge of its complexity and its dilemma.
A figure already present in Homeric poems, he finds complete fullness on stage in works by Aeschylus and Euripides (lost) and by Sophocles, who dedicate two tragedies to them, King Oedipus and Oedipus a Kolonos, engraved as a paradigm of Greek tragedy. A figure of rare power, he spans centuries and art, with works that have become iconic, one above all: Oedipus and the Sphinx by Ingres. It is revived again in the twentieth century, thanks to Freud, who examines it as a paradigm for the journey into the unconscious. It is the subject of study and research for all the avant-garde, from expressionism to surrealism, from symbolism to metaphysics: Moreau, Ernst, De Chirico, Cagli, Bacon. Stravinsky composes the oratorio Edipus Rex, in 1927 André Gide and Jean Cocteau dedicate works to him, Pasolini dedicates a film to him in 1967, up to Giovani Testori, who in 1977 in Edipus makes him one of the main characters in his “scarrozzanti” , in a mocking and furious language, and Steven Berkoff, who plays it out in London’s nineties.
The exhibition is composed of associations and empaths, with works and artists who have revealed themselves in mysterious and enigmatic ways, which is the first stamp in the myth of Oedipus. The face and its duality, therefore the mask, the action of sight, and therefore the eyes, the mirror, the light and the darkness, the pain of a true passion, the sinking and loss of the self, are the beginning or arrival of the exhibited artists, expressed through their works.
Inside the museum’s space, the works interact with the works in the historical collection, triggering references, counterpoints, mutual improvements. On the ground floor works by Arnaldo Pomodoro, Mimmo Paladino, Vettor Pisani together with creations made for the exhibition by Andrea Chisesi, Umberto Passeretti, Stefania Pennacchio, Vassilis Vassiliades, along with repertoire works by Giovanni Migliara, Giuseppe Pulvirenti, Nicolo Toirce. Also on display are costumes by Oedipus and Jocasta designed by Antonio Marras for the Elfo Puccini Theater in Milan and by Maurizio Balò for a staging of the INDA Foundation at the Greek Theater. Upstairs, works and installations, created ad hoc or on loan, by Alfredo Pirri, Michele Ciacciofera, Giovanni Migliara, Matteo Basilè, Alfredo Romano, Stefano Ricci, Mimmo Paladino, Gianfranco Notargiacomo, Nicola Toce, Corrado Bonicatti, costume Daniel by Oinip for the company Marcido Marcidorjs and Famosa Mimosa, Leo Kalbinsky, Silvia Giambrone, Brando Cesarini, Hermann Nitsch and Emilio Isgrò.
The museum made use of the scientific advice of Ornella Fazzina and Michele Romano.
The Regional Gallery of Palazzo Bellomo, in the heart of Ortigia, is the city’s museum of ancient art and illustrates the development of figurative culture in Syracuse and more generally in the southeastern part of Sicily. Preserves the proclamation of Antonello da Messina, one of the most emblematic works on the artist’s stylistic path, in which it achieves the difficult balance between the elements of Flemish painting and the skilful use of the “geometric-luminous” perspective and the monumental dimensions, which are typical of Italian Renaissance school. Among the exhibits, Madonna Enthroned with Child between Saints Eulalia and Catherine of Alexandria by Pedro Serra, a fourteenth-century Catalan painter, and two important tables from the fifteenth century, San Lorenzo’s retable and the polyticon of transformation of Christ. The paintings of Mario Minniti, a Syracuse painter who was strongly influenced by Caravaggio’s influence, date from the end of the sixteenth century: it was this artist who hosted Caravaggio in 1608, on the run from Malta. Palazzo Bellomo also preserves 18th and 19th century crib figures in wax, ceramics, stucco and papier maché, of particular historical-artistic and ethno-anthropological interest.