THE IMPRESSIVE ABBEY OF CORAZZO (CALABRIA, ITALY). IT WAS DESTROYED SEVERAL TIMES AND ITS RUINS TELL A GREAT STORY  

*

© Roberto Alborghetti Photos

On the slopes of the Sila, in Calabria (Italy), in the province of Catanzaro, there is an extraordinary place, representing great pages of history and  culture. It’s the ancient abbey of Santa Maria di Corazzo, founded by Benedictine monks in the eleventh century, near the river Corace. It was mentioned in papers since 1060-70! It appears today in the particularity of its ruins, which give a charm to the surroundings. Almost a destiny that it was destroyed several times. It was firstly rebuilt by the Cistercian monks in the twelfth century. It was later damaged by the earthquake in March 1638, and again after another earthquake in 1783. The monastery was then slowly abandoned and stripped of his artistic works. Today, as I said, the ruins remain as wonderful tracks of the past. The abbey is located in the village of Castagna (Chestnut), in Carlopoli territory.

 

I discovered it a few weeks ago, during my tour in Calabria for lectures and launches of my new book “Nessuno resti indietro”. I met there the guide Antonio Mangiafave – he dressed a medieval monk suit  while explaing history and facts about the place – and Maria Antoinetta Sacco, councilor of Carlopoli, who led me visiting the ruins, which seem to evoke a Stonehenge atmosphere in the land of Calabria . Why the Abbey of Corazzo is so important? Not only for the fact of being an ancient Benedictine building, but also because its story intersects with that of a great man and author, Joachim of Fiore, also mentioned in Dante’s “Divine Comedy”. He took the monk’s habit,becoming abbot. Then he moved to Pietralata, before settling in Sila in the spring of 1189, in San Giovanni in Fiore where he founded a new religious order, the Florence Congregation, approved by Pope Celestine III in 1196.

 Santa Maria Corazzo was now “adopted” by the volunteers of the “Progetto Gedeone – Gideon Project” for the creation of a “Social Enterprise” animated by different purposes. They provide opportunities for job placement to people living in social-economic hardship and / or psychic, experimenting with new career paths, in forestry agriculture, social tourism and enhancement environmental goods but above all, as a place of integration and reference for the community where the disadvantaged subjects play a leading role, thus breaking down the prejudices inherent in distress. “Gideon Project” also aims to encourage activities directed to mediate and mitigate the relational and emotional problems that people encounter in their daily family life. The volunteers welcome the visitors of the ancient abbey providing informations while they lead them through the amazing ruins of an impressive place.  

PRINCE : 3 GREAT VINYL ALBUMS, 3 WONDERFUL COVERS WITH AN INNOVATIVE DESIGN

 

Prince was not only a musician and composer who has innovated styles and codes of black music, but also an extraordinary interpreter of the modern design trends. This is demonstrated by the covers of those which, for me, are three great vinyl albums of the Eighties: Purple Rain (1984), Around the world in a day (1985), Parade (1986). Yes, sounds, colors and graphic suggestions from the future, created by an artist who has always dared and experimented new ideas, frontiers and challenges.

In the photos: from my vinyl collection, the covers of the three vinyl albums by Prince.  

*

Prince non è stato solo un musicista e compositore che ha innovato stili e codici della black music, ma anche uno straordinario interprete delle tendenze del moderno design. Lo dimostrano le copertine di quelli che, per me, sono tre grandi album degli anni Ottanta: Purple Rain (1984), Around the world in a day (1985), Parade (1986). Yes, sounds, colors and suggestioni grafiche dal futuro, create da un artista che ha sempre osato e sperimentato nuove frontiere. Nelle foto: i tre album in vinile di Prince.

 

 

 

Three wonderful covers of Prince albums from Eightees…

“PURPLE RAIN”: A VISUAL ART TRIBUTE TO THE PRINCE OF BLACK MUSIC. RIP!

DSCN4979 - Copia (800x615)

© Roberto Alborghetti, Lacer/actions, Rome, April 21, 2016

MY VISUAL TRIBUTE TO PRINCE. RIP! I TOOK THIS ABSTRACT PHOTO YESTERDAY, FROM A DECOMPOSED PUBLICITY POSTER, WALKING ALONG VIA CAVOUR, IN ROME.

SPECIAL PREVIEW FROM ROME: AMAZING NEW LED LIGHTS FOR THE ANCIENT FORUM…WELCOME TO THE GREAT SHOW OF THE HISTORY!

Foro Romano, 2016, by Roberto Alborghetti (2)

© Roberto Alborghetti

Foro Romano, 2016, by Roberto Alborghetti (3)

© Roberto Alborghetti

Foro Romano, 2016, by Roberto Alborghetti (4)

© Roberto Alborghetti

Foro Romano, 2016, by Roberto Alborghetti (5)

© Roberto Alborghetti

Foro Romano, 2016, by Roberto Alborghetti (6)

© Roberto Alborghetti

Foro Romano, 2016, by Roberto Alborghetti (7)

© Roberto Alborghetti

Foro Romano, 2016, by Roberto Alborghetti (8)

© Roberto Alborghetti

Foro Romano, 2016, by Roberto Alborghetti (9)

© Roberto Alborghetti

PHOTOS: © Roberto Alborghetti

Last night in Rome I had the wonderful chance to admire a special preview of a great show: the new LED lights system  for the ancient Forum area, as shown in this photo-gallery. But there is also a great new: every Friday night, from tomorrow April 22 to end of October, the Roman Forum opens to the public. The monuments and the ruins will be illuminated thanks to the new system provided by Acea and so they will be accessible in summer through guided tours. “The moon at the Forum” is  the title of the project added to the already existing “The moon at the Colosseum”, as part of initiatives for the founding of Rome. The visits  (from 8 pm to  midnight, groups of maximum 25 participants) provide a 75-minutes picturesque journey along the Via Sacra, the Via Nova, the Arch of Septimius Severus and to the monuments of ancient Rome.

 

“SPIRITUAL GUARDS” AND JEWEL SCARABS IN FLORENCE: EXHIBITIONS IN THREE HISTORICAL AND ARTISTIC VENUES

Fig.1Fig.5Fig.1

 

The Forte Belvedere in Florence is getting set to host this year’s edition of its annual fixture with great art.  Following the two international exhibitions showcasing the art of Giuseppe Penone and Antony Gormley, the former Medici fortress’ bastions this year will be hosting the works of Jan Fabre, one of the most innovative and important figures on the contemporary art scene.  A “total” artist, Fabre, who born in Antwerp in 1958, lets his imagination run riot in the very different spheres of sculpture, drawing and installation, performance art, film and the theatre

The exhibition, entitled Jan Fabre. Spiritual Guards, promoted by the Comune di Firenze, will pan out between the Forte Belvedere, Palazzo Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria.  In fact, it will be one of the most complex and multifaceted exhibitions that this Flemish artist and author has ever produced in any public space in Italy.  For the very first time, a living artist will be expounding his art in three venues of outstanding historical and artistic importance at once.  Roughly one hundred of Fabre’s works dating from 1978 to 2016 will be on display, including bronze and wax sculptures, performance films and works made of wing cases of the jewel scarab.  Fabre will also be presenting two new works specifically devised and produced for this occasion.  The premiere is going to be an event of outstanding visual impact with strong symbolic connotations:  on the morning of 15 April, two of Fabre’s bronze sculptures will be – temporarily – joining the open-air museum that is Piazza Signoria.  One of them, an exceptionally large work entitled Searching for Utopia, will interact with the equestrian monument to Grand Duke Cosimo I, a Renaissance masterpiece by Giambologna, while the second, called The man who measures the clouds (American version, 18 years older), will stand proudly on the Arengario outside Palazzo Vecchio between the copies of Michelangelo’s David and Donatello’s Judith.  In both works observers will be able to identify the artist’s own features in his dual capacity as knight and guardian, as a mediator between heaven and earth, between natural and spiritual forces. Against art that placed itself in the service of political and financial power – the art of Piazza della Signoria with its marble giants (the David, Hercules and Neptune) and its biblical, mythological and local figures (Judith, Perseus and the Marzocco Lion of Florence) – Jan Fabre pits an art seeking to depict and to embody the power of the imagination, the mission of the artist as “spiritual guard”.  And he does this in a square designed and used since the Renaissance as a figurative agora` and stage setting, a square which has become an iconic paradigm of the relationship between art and the public space, and in which the symbolic and spectacular function of the modern monument has been configured in exemplary language. Also starting 15 April, Palazzo Vecchio will be hosting a series of sculptures interacting with the frescoes and artefacts housed in some of the rooms open to the public, particularly the Quartiere di Eleonora, the Sala dell’Udienza and the Sala dei Gigli.  The works on display will include a huge globe 2.5 metres in diameter and totally clad in iridescent beetle wing cases, its shape and size interacting to perfection with the celebrated globe in the Sala delle Mappe geografiche, made by Ignazio Danti in the 16th century.

Fig.2

The following month will see the inauguration of the exhibition at the Forte Belvedere, on 14 May, where the bastions and the villa will be showcasing about sixty works of art in bronze and in wax, along with a series of films focusing on some of the artist’s historic performances.  Curators Melania Rossi and Joanna De Vos, together with the project’s art director Sergio Risaliti, have chosen the Forte Belvedere as the thematic heart of the Jan Fabre. Spiritual Guards exhibition both for its spatial characteristic and for its historical connotations. The fortress once served not only to defend Florence from outside attack but also to protect the Medici family in troubled times, thus it was a stronghold for both external and internal defence suggesting a journey through the life, the ambitions and the woes of the powerful Medici lords and alluding to opposing human perceptions and sensations such as control and abandonment, but also to opposing needs and desires such as armed protection and spiritual elan so deep and so deep-rooted as to influence the form of architecture and the configuration of natural space, especially here at the Forte Belvedere where the need for protection in the awareness that one is still defenceless is particularly easy to grasp.

These ambiguities which form not just history but the entire experience and vitality of mankind, will be represented by two sculptural alignments consisting in seven bronze scarabs placed on the fort’s lookout posts and a series of full-figure self-portraits of the artist – all of them maintain the original silicone bronze colour for that reason they have glow reflecting surrounding countryside like a spiritual halo – which will be populating the corners of the bastions outside the villa, surrounding it.

The scarabs are angels of metamorphosis, guardians who symbolise in ancient religions and in Flemish and Italian vanitas paintings the transition between the earthly dimension and the afterlife with their ceaseless movement.  At the same time, they have a splendid carapace which dramatically highlights the vulnerability of that “regal” body. Thus also Jan Fabre, who defines himself, lives and expresses himself as a knight of despair and a warrior of beauty, who sheds and dons his weapons by deploying his army in its shining, iridescent armour in Florence’s highest point.

This legion is called on here to tell of devotion to life, to defend the fragile and pure beauty that art is capable of generating, against an invisible foe who comes from inside and outside at once, always ready to strike and to wound.

The exhibition will continue on the first floor of the villa, which will be open to the public again for the first time in many years, with wax sculptures and with films of the artist’s performances in a setting of contiguity and continuity both with the works on display outside and with the magnificent Florentine cityscape.

The spectacular bronze integration in Piazza della Signoria and the work produced with jewel scarab wing cases on display in Palazzo Vecchio will be interacting with the urban fabric and with one of the most visited historical palazzi in the city, forming a perfect visual and conceptual complement to the exhibition. The exhibition’s motto and device, Spiritual Guards, should be interpreted as an encouragement to live a heroic life, be it in war or unarmed in defence of the imagination and of beauty.

It is worth recalling here that Jan Fabre, in the course of his long career which began in the 1970s, has a long history of interaction with Florence, where his work has been shown in many collective exhibitions and where he has also brought several of his productions for the theatre.  Two of his bronze busts from the Chapters series, in which he portrays himself with astonishing horns and donkey’s ears, joined the Uffizi collections in 2012, while he received the Michelangelo Award for sculpture in the second edition of the Settimana Michelangiolesca in 2015.

 

*

Technical Data and Exhibition Services

 

Exhibition title

Jan Fabre. Spiritual guards

 

Exhibition to run

Piazza Signoria and Museo di Palazzo Vecchio 15 April – 2 October

Forte di Belvedere, 14 May – 2 October

 

Exhibition venue

Piazza Signoria, Florence

Museo di Palazzo Vecchio, Piazza Signoria, 1 – Florence

Forte di Belvedere, via di San Leonardo, 1 – Florence

 

Exhibition promoted by

Comune di Firenze

 

Art Director

Sergio Risaliti

 

Exhibition curated by

Joanna De Vos and Melania Rossi

 

Exhibition organised and coordinated by

Associazione MUS.E

 

With the support of the

Guy Pieters Gallery

 

Exhibition layout by

Associazione MUS.E

 

Opening times

 

Piazza Signoria

The square is freely accessible at all times

 

Palazzo Vecchio

From April to September
Daily except Thursday:  9.00 am –11.00 pm
Thursday:  9.00 am – 2.00 pm

From October to March
Daily except Thursday:  9.00 am – 7.00 pm
Thursday:  9.00 am – 2.00 pm

 

Forte di Belvedere

Daily except Monday:  10.00 am – 8.00 pm
Closed Monday

 

Catalogue

(Published in May 2015)

Forma Edizioni Srl

 

Information and website

www.musefirenze.it

 

Communications by

Associazione MUS.E

 

 

 

“CITTADINI DI TWITTER” WEBSITE IS TALKING ABOUT MY NEW BOOK (AND ME). AN ARTICLE BY RICCARDO CLEMENTI

Nuova Comunicazione Cittadini di Twitter 12 4 2016

***

Click the link and read the article posted by journalist and author Riccardo Clementi on “Cittadini di Twitter” website.

http://www.cittadiniditwitter.it/educazione/roberto-nessuno-resti-indietro/

 

WHAT CAN YOU CREATE WITH 4 WOODEN STICKS, 4 BOLTS, TWO LITTLE CARDS, 4 CORKS AND A SMALL PIECE OF TEXTILE? WATCH THIS WONDERFUL SHOW…

© Photo: ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI

This is an exclusive photogallery about a compelling challenge which took place in the last weeks at the “Cavagnis Infancy School” in Zogno, in Lombardy Country (Italy). The school director, Nives Beonio, said to children and to their families: “What can you create with some tiny wooden sticks, four bolts, two little white cards, four corks, some screws and aluminum powder and a small piece of textile? I think we can make a little big world named “Creativity”… So, let’s work!”

All the families received an envelope containing 10 various pieces or materials with which the participants had to create a fantasy product leaving no leftovers. Families and children (from 3 to 5 years) responded to the call, delivering incredible creations which were shown in an astonishing exhibition as final step of a beautiful and creative experience. In this photogallery, some of the objects participating to “The Festival of Creativity”. I had the pleasure to be in the jury and we had so difficulties to select the winners list…   And you, what can you create with 10 objects around you?