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Fantastic Utopias: in the dialogue between works and spaces, poetry and the unexpected in the exhibition at the Rocca di Angera

Today will end: this is the warning, written with words formed from electrical wire filled with tiny light bulbs, that welcomes us at the entrance to the Fantastic Utopias exhibition. The initiative has been organised in the restored spaces of the Ala Scaligera at the Rocca di Angera, within the sphere of the artistic project promoted by Princes Vitaliano and Marina Borromeo Arese. Prepared for opening on 20 April, the itinerary of the contemporary art exhibition remains “suspended” in all its glory inside the castle in Angera in expectation of visitors being able to admire all its beauty live.

The work with lights positioned at the entrance is by Indian artist Shilpa Gupta and speaks of time and the relationship we each have with our memories and emotions, an extremely topical theme in the social context in which we are now living. Ilaria Bonacossa, curator of the exhibition in collaboration with Galleria Continua, comments as follows:

Its inevitable truth seems to prompt each of us to become aware of our actions, to live the present moment as if it were the last, but at the same time it suggests an absolute temporal dimension in which the today of each of us is used up, becoming meaningless in the flow of history.

The protagonists of the exhibition are unexpected and perhaps magical images and objects, which are both seductive and frightening, capable of taking us to alternative universes far removed from reality. And this also happens thanks to the awe-inspiring spaces of the Rocca di Angera, into which the works have been cleverly inserted with the precise intention of creating a “fantastic” effect. As in the case of the work by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei in a frescoed room that is reached via a corridor: from here we glimpse hanging a monumental flying fish with large spread wings, flying towards a window from antiquity looking out over Lago Maggiore and its islands. The symbolic flight towards the lake is an exhortation not to give up our dreams and desires.

Going up a floor, we enter a room where we are surprised to find worksite scaffolding. Are there works in progress? Are they restoring the Rocca? The small set of scaffolding that occupies the front wall almost becomes a room, an architectural space occupied by phantasm figures, clothes without bodies that evoke the presence and the absence of the human being at the same time. It is the work Second Hand by Ukrainian artist Zhanna Kadirova: in this artistic expression, the resistance of the materials evokes that of her fellow countrymen to the violent changes of post-Soviet society. Her work emits the vital energy of a generation that believes in the future and in change.

This preview offers just a few examples of how the works of the fifteen international artists give rise to unexpected objects filled with meaning and of how they have found the perfect setting against the majestic backdrop of the Rocca di Angera.

Main sponsor Aon

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