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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Il borgo si anima, le strade e i giardini si riempiono di profumi e colori.
Da oggi, Terre Borromeo ti aspetta per vivere nuove esperienze nella magnifica cornice del Lago Maggiore.
Visita il nostro sito al link in bio.


The hamlet comes alive, the streets and gardens are filled with scents and colors.
From today, Terre Borromeo is waiting for you to enjoy new experiences in the magnificent scenery of Lake Maggiore.
Visit our website at the link in bio.

#TerreBorromeo #IsoleBorrommee #BorromeoExperience
#LagoMaggiore #Italia #Stresa
Prendiamo in prestito le parole di Gustave Flaubert con cui racconta il Lago Maggiore. Commenta con un aggettivo che attribuiresti a questa meravigliosa destinazione.


Let us borrow the words of Gustave Flaubert with which he depicts Lake Maggiore. Comment with an adjective you would attribute to this wonderful destination.

#TerreBorromeo #IsoleBorrommee
#LagoMaggiore #Italia #Stresa
Eleganza, natura e cultura: il Teatro Massimo è lo scorcio ideale per una foto ricordo della tua visita a Isola Bella.
Ti aspettiamo a partire dal 16 Marzo.

Crediti Fotografici: @susy_mezzanotte_photog 


Elegance, nature and culture: Teatro Massimo is the perfect spot for a souvenir photo of your visit to Isola Bella.
We are waiting for you from March 16.

Photo credits: @susy_mezzanotte_photog 

#TerreBorromeo #IsoleBorrommee
#LagoMaggiore #Italia #Stresa
“Il Pellegrino” ha terminato il suo viaggio! 
Il quadro è arrivato nel Museo di Santa Giulia a Brescia per la mostra: “Miseria&Nobiltà. Giacomo Ceruti nell’Europa del Settecento”. 🖼

Nelle sale di Palazzo Borromeo verrà esposta una copia fino al ritorno dell’opera originale. 🎨

Rivivi con noi il suo viaggio!
“Il Pellegrino” ended its travel!
The painting has arrived in the museum of Santa Giulia in Brescia for the exhibition: “Miseria&Nobiltà. Giacomo Ceruti in eighteenth-century Europe”. 🖼

In the halls of Palazzo Borromeo a copy will be exhibited until the return of the original one. 🎨

Relive the journey with us!
#terreborromeo #PalazzoBorromeo #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #BorromeoExperience #storia #IsolaBella #IsoleBorromee