Isole Borromee Isole Borromee
The visit is included in the entrance ticket to the Rocca di Angera

18 May 2020 - 1 November 2020

Fantastic Utopias

To imagine an alternative reality
is the first step towards reaching it

Curated by Ilaria Bonacossa

In collaboration with Galleria Continua

Artists: Jonathas De Andrade, Berlinde De Bruyckere, Carlos Garaicoa, Antony Gormley, Shilpa Gupta, Ilya e Emilia Kabakov, Zhanna Kadyrova, Sabrina Mezzaqui, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Ornaghi e Prestinari, Kiki Smith, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Pascale Marthine Tayou, Ai Wei Wei, Chen Zhen.


In the spaces of Ala Scaligera, the artworks of 15 international artists give rise in their diversity to unexpected and perhaps even magical images and objects, both seductive and frightening at the same time, able to take us to alternative universes far removed from verosimilitude.

In this exhibition, curated by Ilaria Bonacossa in collaboration with Galleria Continua, the protagonist is the fantastic. Relegated to the world of childhood ever since the 19th century, it has become the means to break with conventions and imagine what seems impossible and unknown.



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”.

Today will end, Shilpa Gupta

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.

Feiyu, Ai Weiwei (credits Andrea Rossetti)
Second Hand, Zhanna Kadirova (credits Andrea Rossetti)

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.

Useful info

The visit is included in the entrance ticket to the Rocca di Angera.

Exhibition opening time:
• every day from 12am to 5.30pm – last enter | closure 6pm


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Sin dagli albori della civiltà, bene e male sono i due principi fondamentali che governano l'esistenza umana: a ognuno la responsabilità di decidere da quale farsi guidare.
Vitaliano VI ha scelto di spendere la propria vita nella creazione di un progetto che durasse nei secoli, della cui bellezza ne potessero godere tutti.
In mostra a Palazzo Borromeo "Vitaliano VI. L'invenzione dell'Isola Bella", fino al 1° novembre.
Since the dawn of civilization, good and evil have been the two fundamental principles that govern human existence. We are all responsible for deciding which one to be guided by.
Vitaliano VI chose to spend his life creating a project that would last throughout the centuries, so that it’s beauty could be enjoyed by all.
"Vitaliano VI: The Invention of Isola Bella", on display at Palazzo Borromeo until November 1st.

#artlovers #terreborromeo #isolabella #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #borromeoexperience #baroccopiemonte #estateitaliana #viaggioinitalia
Non solo mare.
@donatellabianchiofficial è venuta sul Lago Maggiore per scoprire le meraviglie che si affacciano sul blu del Verbano.
Oggi alle ore 14 su Rai Uno, Linea Blu vi farà viaggiare anche sull'Isola Madre e sull'Isola Bella.

#terreborromeo #borromeoexperience #isolamadre #isolabella #lagomaggiore #lakemaggiore #estateitaliana #viaggioinitalia
Avete trascorso una giornata sul Lago Maggiore e vorreste poter rimanere ancora qualche ora in questa cornice?

Salite al Mottarone e godetevi il panorama da un'altra prospettiva.

Ogni sabato di settembre il ristorante @rifugiogenziana propone menù dedicati per la cena.

Siamo molto felici di annunciarvi che la mostra “Fantastic Utopias" ospitata all'Ala Scaligera della Rocca di Angera rimarrà aperta fino al 1° novembre 2020.

Un appuntamento da aggiungere al calendario per un fuori porta autunnale dedicato all'arte contemporanea.

Grazie a @galleriacontinua  e @ila.bonacossa per questa stimolante collaborazione.

Alla mostra “Fantastic Utopias” all’Ala Scaligera della Rocca di Angera c’è spazio per ogni forma d’arte. L’artista ucraina Zhanna Kadyrova porta con sé la sua esperienza tra video e fotografia, scultura, performance e installazione.
Nell’opera Second Hand assistiamo ad un inconsueto accostamento: piastrelle di edifici in decadimento o distrutti diventano capi d’abbigliamento e biancheria. Un’installazione che racconta con parole differenti la storia della fabbrica di seta Darnitsky Silk Factory, un tempo una delle più importanti in URSS.
L’artista gioca con diverse forme e materiali, alla ricerca di nuovi significati. Eppure, la materia rimane ciò che dà forma e completa, prima di ogni cosa viene sempre l’idea. 
In collaborazione con @galleriacontinua
Main sponsor: @aon_italia
In the "Fantastic Utopias" exhibition at the Ala Scaligera of the Rocca di Angera there is room for every art form. Ukrainian artist Zhanna Kadyrova expresses her experience through video, photography, sculpture, performance and installation. 
In the work "Second Hand", work we see an unusual combination: tiles from decaying or destroyed buildings become clothing and linens. An installation that tells the story of the Darnitsky Silk Factory, once one of the most important in the USSR, with different words.
The artist plays with a variety of shapes and materials, in search of new meanings. Although physical matter remains, gives shape and completes, the idea always comes first.

#terreborromeo #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #borromeoexperience #roccadiangera #art #artlovers #stresa #viaggioinitalia #estateitaliana
Ciò che ci ha lasciato Vitaliano VI Borromeo non è solo la realizzazione di un progetto visionario, ma anche la testimonianza di riflessioni continue.
Un impegno tenace, la consapevolezza dei propri valori e dell’importanza di usare il tempo come spazio di crescita non solo di un progetto ma delle proprie virtù.
La mostra "Vitaliano VI. L'invenzione dell'Isola bella", fino al 1° novembre.
Main sponsor: @aon_italia
What Vitaliano VI Borromeo left us is not only the realization of a visionary project, but also the testimony of continuous reflections.
A tenacious commitment, awareness of one's values and the importance of using time as a space for growth, not only of a project but of one's virtues.
The exhibition "Vitaliano VI: The Invention of the Isola Bella", until November 1st.

#artlovers #terreborromeo #isolabella #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #borromeoexperience #baroccopiemonte
Avete mai fatto caso che alcuni dei profumi più intensi in natura provengono da fiori bianchi? Non solo gardenie, ma anche gelsomini, tuberose, zagare...
La perfezione della natura gli permette di attirare gli insetti impollinatori anche senza una sgargiante palette di colori, solo con il loro inconfondibile profumo caldo e avvolgente.
D'estate l'essenza delle gardenie in fiore nell’atrio di Diana trasforma la visita ai giardini dell’Isola Bella in un'esperienza che coinvolge tutti i sensi.
Have you ever noticed that some of the most intense perfumes in nature come from white flowers? Not only gardenias, but also jasmine, tuberose, orange blossom...
The perfection of nature allows them to attract pollinating insects without a bright color palette: using only their unmistakably warm and enveloping scent.
In summer, the essence of the gardenias in bloom in Diana's atrium transforms a visit to the gardens of Isola Bella into an experience that involves all the senses.

#terreborromeo #stresa #isolabella #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #borromeoexperience #natureaddicted #estateitaliana #viaggioinitalia