Animal Palace [2017]

In July 2017, Emiliano Maggi, supported by INCURVA, worked in Trapani (Sicily) alongside maestro Platimiro Fiorenza, one of the last living masters of coral artisanry.

This experience directly informed the production of a series exhibited, among other works, at Animal Palace,Emiliano Maggi’s solo show at Museo Civico di Castelbuono curated by Laura Barreca and Valentina Bruschi, Aug 11th -Nov 4th 2017.

The exhibition aims to deepen some of the key themes of Emiliano Maggi’s artistic research, related to emotional participation, symbolism, the mystery of ancestral nature, myth and popular iconography. These are investigated by the artist through an original creative research that interlaces different media such as performance, sculpture, visual and sound experimentation. After a period of residency in Sicily, working closely with the local artisans, Emiliano Maggi created a new series of sculptures in ceramic and coral, working in Trapani with Platimiro Fiorenza, one of the most important masters of Sicilian coral work. These sculptures are freely inspired by the iconography of the plaster decoration by Giacomo Serpotta and his workshop in the Palatine Chapel of the Ventimiglia Castle in Castelbuono, home of the Museum. An articulated project, set up thanks to the collaborative work with INCURVA, a cultural association for the promotion of research and production in contemporary art.

The opening of the exhibition will start with a performance which will leave at 12.00 am, noon, from Castelbuono’s main central road, in front of the fountain of Venus Ciprea (XVth century), which once decorated the entrance of the ancient Ypsigro. The “happening” will involve the musicians of the Associazione Culturale Ensemble Luminis Musica of Castelbuono, interpreters and authors of ancient, medieval and Renaissance music. The musicians will begin a bizarre and joyful “parade” through the streets of the town, accompanied by the actors of the cultural association Neuroninatto, who will carry some of the sculptures created by the artist and will wear masks, costumes and some props resulting from the children’s activities of the Museum’s educational workshops. The Luminis’ fairy-tale music repertoire and the free improvisation of the actors will interact with the surreal works of the visionary Roman artist, resulting in an “animalistic” ceremony where music, theater and dance converge in a dimension of great participation and collective empathy. The procession will end at the Castle where the sculptures and the ceramic and coral masks will be installed for the exhibition. Part of these sculptures will be donated by the artist to the permanent collection of the Museum.

Finally, for the fourth consecutive year, during the evenings of the concerts of the main stage of the Ypsigrock Festival (11-12-13 August) a video by Emiliano Maggi will be projected onto the facade of the Ventimiglia Castle of Ventimiglia, transforming the architectural monument into a huge and evocative visual surface.

For this exhibition, the artist directed a series of educational workshops with children at the Museum, assisted by Vera Carollo and Stefania Cordone, to produce some of the masks and other items used for the parade.

The Museo Civico di Castelbuono wishes to thank for their precious collaboration: the musicians of the Ensemble Luminis Musica (Giuseppe Aiosi, Emanuele Antista, Alessandro Barrovecchio, Aldo Castiglia, Sergio Leta, Davide Sottile) and the actors of the cultural association Neuroninatto, Platimiro Fiorenza, the ceramic laboratory Castelbuonoarte, Lorcan O’Neill Gallery and Operativa Arte Contemporanea, Rome.
The Museum also wishes to thank for their support: the Hotel Sphere – Palermo, Grand Hotel delle Palme, Villa Catalfamo – Cefalù, Fattoria Mongerrate – Isnello, Hotel Paradiso delle Madonie, the b&b Donjon and the Cin Cin bar in Castelbuono.
Finally, we thank Silvia Macchetto for her invaluable collaboration towards the communication of the exhibition.

Emiliano Maggi (Rome, 1977) lives and works in Rome. His multifaceted artistic research has always been able to combine psychedelic scenarios with mythological symbolism, ritualism and rural iconography made of fairy tales and dreams to hypnotic horror Italian settings of the ’70s. All told with a multifaceted production ranging from performance to jewellery design, from the highly acclaimed music project, Estasy, to photographic and pictorial works. Amongst the solo shows: Duet Duell, performance, Palazzo Zambeccari, Bologna, 2017; 5 mostre, American Academy in Rome, 2017; Secret in the Carbon Atom, Podium, Oslo, 2016; L’Albero della Cuccagna, Certosa di Padula, Salerno, 2016; Choral Spectral (performance), Lorcan O’Neill Gallery, Rome, 2016; Levitate!, Q21, Vienna, 2015; La scrittura degli echi a cura di NERO, MAXXI, Rome, 2015; Il Museo delle Palme, L’A Project Space, Palermo and Operativa Arte Contemporanea, Rome, Orto Botanico, Palermo, 2015; The Nymph Song, Mona Museum, Tasmania, 2014; The Draftmen’s Congress, Swiss Institute, Rome, 2013; Moon Ra, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2012.

INCURVA wants to thank

Congratulations Stephen G. Rhodes and Barry Johnston for being shortlisted for the 3rd Mario Merz Prize with Sivilization’s Wake, co-produced by INCURVA. Learn more and cast your vote on

Congratulations Trisha Baga for her solo show at Greene Naftali (NYC), also featuring the cave footage shot during Curva Blu 2017. More info

INCURVA has been invited at Supercondominio, a gathering of new contemporary art spaces in Italy promoted by Castello di Rivoli and its research department, the CRRI. More info about the event

8 July 2018

Some of the works conceived during the Curva Blu 2017 residency are on show at Loom Gallery, more info here.

9 May 2018

We are glad to see part of the research that took place during Curva Aperta 2017 surfacing in Gianni Politi’s exhibition “2017”. More information here. 14 Apr 2018

Some of the research carried during Curva Blu 2016 by Nicola and Jacopo on show at Mega Off-site. More info here 14 Apr 2018

Trisha Baga’s work produced during Curva Blu 2017 residency was exhibited at The Whitney Museum of American Art (New York City) Art Party, sponsored by Birkenstock. 20 Nov 2017

“Egadi (il mondo di ieri)” (2016), shot in Favignana by Renato Leotta, is on view at Quadriennale di Roma 2016. 26 Mar 2016

INCURVA aims at making western Sicily a fertile ground for research in contemporary art, re-activating its public spaces and stimulating dialogue with its local communities through a platform for residencies, talks and exhibitions. Established in 2016.

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