Old or contemporary? Isgrò cancels (and rewrites) the history of Brescia – Brescia

Isgrò cancels Brixia. Photo by Ela Bialkowska OKNO Studio

Brescia – A swarm of bees hovers among the old balls. They will settle on the Roman epigraphs, erase inscriptions from almost two thousand years ago and compose new words. History and contemporaneity mix, transporting the spectators into a state of wonder resembling Aeneas, surprised by the many souls who, like bees, according to Virgil’s story, wandered in the valley of the Lethe river. We are in the central hall of the Capitolium, the stage for a spectacular digital choreography by Emilio Isgrò, and the installation Virgil’s beer it is only the starting point of the suggestive path created by the Sicilian master to the archeological site of Brescia.

Old or contemporary?  Isgrò cancels (and rewrites) the history of Brescia – Brescia
Emilio Isgrò, Virgils beer. Photo by Ela Bialkowska OKNO Studio

From the Capitol to the Roman theater, up to the Santa Giulia complex, Isgrò intervenes on the remnants of the past with its famous deletions. The indignation is only apparent: for him, erasure means offering a new and vital sense of the old, where the roots of Brescia, Italian, Mediterranean and European identity pulsate. From tomorrow, Thursday 23 June to next 8 January, a visit to the ruins of ancient Brixia will mean traveling between past and future, between monumental ruins and site-specific environmental installations and waiting for the great celebration of Bergamo-Brescia’s Capital of Culture 2023 Produced by the Brescia Musei Foundation and the Municipality of Brescia and curated by Marco Bazzini, the project Isgrò cancels Brixia is not limited to the visual arts: in the framework of Roman theater will go on stage the drama Dido Adonàis Domine by Isgrò himself, a multifaceted artist with a passion for ancient literature and with a background in contemporary theater (performances from 22 to 24 June and from 1 to 3 July).


Emilio Isgrò, the Armonium of the Crazy Larks (detail). Photo by Ela Bialkowska OKNO Studio

Isgrò cancels Brixia is an extremely ambitious and complex project, which develops on three levels, including different languages, from the material and digital installation dimension, to the traditional exhibition that develops in the museum in Santa Giulia, up to the performative part with the theatrical show. for directed by Giorgio Sangati, ”he explains Stefano Karadjov, director of the Brescia Musei. “A project that is all the more important because it is not volatile, as it will give the city the opportunity to include new contemporary works of art in its cultural heritage. An important path that will also make it possible, thanks to the collaboration with Arte Sella, to bring the project and the city of Brescia to life and speak beyond the space-time limits of the exhibition “.


Emilio Isgrò, the Armonium of the Crazy Larks (detail). Photo by Ela Bialkowska OKNO Studio

From the Capitol, as we said, Isgrò’s imagination spills over into the spaces of the archeological park, up to the Santa Giulia Museum. Here on the lawn of the Renaissance monastery we find The harmonium of crazy larks, enigmatic musical instrument, on whose perimeter the keys of a piano run. In the silence the notes of Casta diva from Norm by Vincenzo Bellini, set in Roman Gaul, in Chopin’s transcript: a tribute to the city’s history, but also to the pianist from Brescia Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, which comes to life in the chirping of a lark accompanied by a chorus of birds. Produced by the Brescia Museums Foundation in collaboration with Arte Sella, the work will, after its debut in Santa Giulia, find its final home in the nature of the Dolomites, which already houses several sculptures and installations.


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

In the Brescia Museum, the journey continues with the cycle of paintings Brixia as Athens: 13 unpublished large canvases where Isgrò develops the image potential of deletion awakens everyday life in the Greek polis. In the gardens of Viridiariumpublic park close by Domus dell’Ortagliaa giant globe seems to have fallen on the lawn: all the globes’ toponyms have been erased by the artist, with the exception of Brixia, where the work remains permanent after the exhibition ends.


Emilio Isgrò, Virgils beer. Photo by Ela Bialkowska OKNO Studio

“The project Isgrò cancels Brixia ferries towards the goal of 2023, the year in which Brescia becomes the capital of culture, and crowns the path taken by the Brescia Museums Foundation, now two years ago around the return to the city Winged Victory“, he claims Francesca Bazoli, President of the Brescia Museums Foundation: “Not only that: the involvement of a great master of the caliber of Emilio Isgrò, after that Francesco Vezzoliprotagonist 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. ”


Isgrò cancels Brixia. Photo by Ela Bialkowska OKNO Studio

Also read:
• Capital of Culture 2023: Bergamo and Brescia unveil the “Illuminated City”
• Open Doors: the participating museum according to Francesca Bazoli
• At the Brescia Photo Festival all kinds of portrait
• Edward Weston at the Brescia Photo Festival. Curator Filippo Maggia speaks
• In the streets of the Renaissance: Brescia between art and the sacred

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