IN THE DIM LIGHT OF CASAMARI ABBEY (ITALY) HIGH EXPRESSION OF MONASTIC GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE

Presenting my latest book (“Social or dis-social?”) that tells about the responsible use of technology and digital communication between the walls of one of the most important and historic Italian abbeys, that of Casamari (Comune di Veroli, Frosinone, Lazio), founded in 1203, high expression of monastic gothic architecture, still home to a community of Cistercian monks, which animate a library of medieval origin and craft workshops for the production of ancient traditional products, from liqueurs to different types of honey. So, I really had an exceptional setting for the presentation meeting of my book “Social or dis-social” – with illustrations by Eleonora Moretti, and published in Italy by Funtasy Editrice leaded by Paolo Sandini – with the students of the secondary school hosted in the abbey. Obviously I did not miss the opportunity of a visit. It was an evocative experience to walk and stop in the silence and dim light of the ancient church.

The abbey of Casamari is situated in the territory of Veroli (Frosinone), on the Via Maria, mid-way between Frosinone and Sora, and lies on a rocky hill sloping down to the torrent Amaseno, at about 300 metres above sea-level. It was built on the ruins of an ancient Roman municipium named Cereatae, being dedicated to the goddess Ceres, at Marianae, for it was the birthplace, or at least a residence, of Caius Marius, from whom the abbey later derived its name. The documents witness the presence of a Benedectine monastic community in the 11th century, under the name of Casamari.

The monastery soon showed a strong vitality both spiritual as well as social and economical, but, in the early 12th century it was affected by a rather long crisis due to a sort of ungovernability (which is witnessed by the frequent resignation of its abbots) caused by both a decline of the Curtis system and the political and religious confusion of that period. During the schism of Anaclet II (1130-1138), when Bernard of Clairvaux, by his persistant work of mediation, became the leading promoter of the Church’s unity through the recognition of Innocent II as pope, Italy became acquainted with the Cistercians while all Europe watched and supported the Order’s astonishing, miraculous expansion.
It was with that political and religious background that a large number of Benedectine monasteries applied for incorporation to this religious Order which guaranteed absolute faithfulness and the popes themselves promoted an aggregative movement. The abbey of Casamari, too, was incorporated to the Order of Citeaux through Bernard’s personal initiative and became the XXIX direct daughter-house of Clairvaux.
The Cistercians started the construction of the monastery which we can still admire today, following the Order’s typical planimetry, pulling down some parts of the ancient Benedectine building and using others as a “valetudinarium” (hospital). In 1203, Pope Innocent III blessed the first stone of the church, the construction of which went on under the management of Fra’ Guglielmo of Casamari until 1217. On September 15th of that year; the basilica was consecrated and dedicated to Our Lady Received into Heaven.
Casamari suffered heavy damages in the early 15th century when Ladislaus of Anjou, after storming Veroli, besieged and plundered the monastery. ln 1417 the mercenary troops of Muzio Attendolo Sforza, at the service of Queen Joan II of Naples and allied to the pope, attacked the armies of Jacopo di Caldora and the Count of Mondrisio, both supporters of Braccio di Montone, who were barricaded in the monastery. It has been said that the western wing if the building was damaged in the clash.
After the war, the cause of Casamari’s decline, and that of other monasteries too, was the institution of the commendam. It was extended to the abbey by Pope Martin V, in 1430, in favour of his nephew Cardinal Prospero Colonna and it was suppressed only in 1850 by Pope Pius IX. During Napoleon’s first campaign in Italy some French soldiers, on their way back, plundered the monastery and desecrated the Eucharist, although they had been received with open arms by Prior Simon Cardon. Some of the monks were able to escape, but six of them, among whom the prior himself, were slain while gathering the sacred particles. They were thus considered martyrs of the Eucharist and later buried in the abbey church. In 1873, owing to the laws of suppression, the abbey was deprived of its possessions and the following year; was declared a national monument.
In spite of endless change, Casamari is still one of the Cistercian monasteries in which monastic life has had no interruptions since its foundation, except for the short period 1811-1814.  Owing in part to the influence of the Trappists’ severe observance in the 18th-19th centuries, common prayer; above all liturgy and lectio divina, is very important to the Congregation’s spirituality. They spend a large part of their time in work, by which they earn a living for themselves and some aid for the poor and missions. Their occupations vary from teaching to sacred ministry as well as scientific, handicraft and agricultural works. In 1830 the Congregation, entrusted by the Holy See, introduced the Catholic monasticism into Ethiopia. From the mother-house, Casamari, have come other groups of monks, giving life to some new monasteries, one of which is in the United States of America and another in Brazil. According to the latest statistics, the Congregation of Casamari now consists of sixteen monasteries and three residences, with 220 monks.

Photo by Roberto Alborghetti (8)

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NATURAL CRACKS & CORROSIONS / LIKE MAPS TO NOWHERE #2

© Roberto Alborghetti (4)

© ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI

© ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI

© ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI

Cracks & Corrosions  like Maps to Nowhere… These are some macro and abstract photos I took walking along the streets of Bitonto, a beautiful city in Apulia, Italy. They are part of “LaceR/Actions”, a multidisciplinary project and research about the apparent chaos of ripped and decomposed publicity posters, natural cracks, crevices, scratches and urban and industrial signs and tokens. Transferred on canvases, reproduced on lithographic prints or textiles, re-built on collages or scanned in videoclips, the images of torn and disfigured posters and natural cracks, corrosions and scratches give new meanings and expressions to paper lacerations and matters decompositions.

These images give us the illusion of consulting imaginary paths, jealously guarded in the soul of so many of our cities.

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Interested in purchasing these images in exclusive and original copies? Please contact: funtasyeditrice@gmail.com

ACS GALLERY CELEBRATES ART BASEL MIAMI WEEK PRESENTING “KEFALONIA 1943”

© ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI, LACER-ACTIONS, CANVAS

 

ACS Gallery is celebrating Art Basel Miami week online at Artsy (www.artsy.net/acs-gallery/artists) Presenting

“KEFALONIA 1943, VICTIMS & MARTYRS” by Roberto Alborghetti;

Abstract Photo on Canvas + Raisin; 21 3/10 × 33 1/2 in $1,500

#acsgallery #artsy #artbaselmiami #context #artmiami #untitledartfair

#artbaselweek2018 #spectrum #aquamiami ACS Gallery

https://www.artsy.net/artwork/roberto-alborghetti-kefalonia-1943-victims-and-martyrs

So honored and moved for this! And so grateful too. This artwork is an homage to thousands of young Italian people who lost their life during the II World War in the terrible massacre by nazist army. It wants to be a message of peace for all the Nations in the World. r.a.

https://www.artsy.net/artwork/roberto-alborghetti-kefalonia-1943-victims-and-martyrs

 

NATURAL CRACKS & CORROSIONS / LIKE MAPS TO NOWHERE…#1

© Roberto Alborghetti (3)

© Roberto Alborghetti 

© Roberto Alborghetti (2)

© Roberto Alborghetti 

© Roberto Alborghetti (1)

© Roberto Alborghetti

Cracks & Corrosions  like Maps to Nowhere… These are some macro and abstract photos I took walking along the streets of Bitonto, a beautiful city in Apulia, Italy. They are part of “LaceR/Actions”, a multidisciplinary project and research about the apparent chaos of ripped and decomposed publicity posters, natural cracks, crevices, scratches and urban and industrial signs and tokens. Transferred on canvases, reproduced on lithographic prints or textiles, re-built on collages or scanned in videoclips, the images of torn and disfigured posters and natural cracks, corrosions and scratches give new meanings and expressions to paper lacerations and matters decompositions.

These images give us the illusion of consulting imaginary paths, jealously guarded in the soul of so many of our cities.

*

Interested in purchasing these images in exclusive and original copies? Please contact: funtasyeditrice@gmail.com

BLACK FRIDAY, BLACK WEBS: MACRO PHOTOS ON SIGNS IN THE ASPHALT

 

These abstract and macro photos are of “Lacer/actions”, a multidisciplinary project and research about the apparent chaos of ripped and decomposed publicity posters, natural cracks, crevices, scratches and urban and industrial signs and tokens, like these black webs on the asphalt   (I’ve collected so far more than 100.000 photos…). Transferred on canvases, reproduced on lithographic prints or textiles, re-built on collages or scanned in videoclips, the images of torn and disfigured posters and natural cracks, corrosions and scratches give new meanings and expressions to paper lacerations and matters decompositions.

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Interested in purchasing these images in exclusive and original copies? Please contact: ro.alb@alice.it ; funtasyeditrice@gmail.com

MY NEW BOOK: THE FAIRY TALE OF MARCELLINA AND THE SHOP OF SUSPENDED TIME

 

“Believe it or not, all things have a story. A voice indeed”.

This message that can be read on the back of the cover of “Marcellina and the shop of the suspended time” (in Italian: “Marcellina e la bottega del tempo sospeso), my new book – published by Funtasy Editrice with the graphic by Eleonora Moretti – as a gift for the upcoming Christmas holidays.

The publication brings the reader into an almost fantastic dimension, in a sort of modern fairy tale focused on Marcellina Pinzi Pinzuti, extraordinary character of Amiata, owner of a historical shop that has been in the medieval  town of Abbadia San Salvatore for sixty years. (Siena).

The cover of the new book “Marcellina e la bottega del tempo sospeso”, di Roberto Alborghetti, Funtasy Editrice. Cover by Eleonora Moretti.

For the territories of Mount Amiata, in Tuscany, Siena Country,  Marcellina is a very important person. A sort of symbol. An institution. She runs an old and incredible shop – Pinzi Pianzuti – along Via Cavour, in Abbadia San Salvatore. But it’s not correct saying “shop”. It’s a real emporium of creativity and imagination, where everything can be found, where an incredibile number of things are exposed in a cheerfully confusion, but everything at your fingertips, in a clever logic that only Marcellina knows.

As reported in the book, Marcellina is the great animator of this fascinating place, where you can travel back in time, looking for an old object, an ornament, a tin toy, an old book, a cloth, a teapot , a ceramic plate, calendars, food locally produced, as the wines of the Organic Farm Pinzi Pinzuti. Yes, it’s a magic cave, open till late, and whose lights are shed on the outside, like to recall the hasty passers. It’s impossible not to be enchanted by this place, where time seems to stand still, together with Marcellina, who welcomes you with ease, knowing how suggest you in purchases, with great discretion and kindness.

So, this book leads you in this unbelievable world that we thought no longer existed, because gone with the advent of technology. As I wrote in the book, at Marcellina shop we can retrieve the value of the magical things. And it’s really great in these times which are running very fast and seem to drag all away, pushing us to lose the sense of the objects, the flavor of the memory.

For infos: funtasyeditrice@gmail.com

Cattura 1 (2)

300.000 VIEWS! A NEW VIDEO THANKING YOU FOR THIS GREAT ACHIEVEMENT

Many Thanks to all of you for stopping by my Blog! 300.000! It’s a wonderful achievement. So, this is a new video (from my YouTube channel) to celebrate it. It’s “The torn (publi)city”. It represents my project. It represents my research through the amazing dimension of decomposition of matters, urban and industrial signs, natural cracks and scratches around us. Enjoy the video. And thank you so much!