The project EMPIRE reflects the basic building element of ancient architecture, the Roman brick, transforming it into an element with new aesthetic potential and meaning, constitutive of a site-specific installation made of six thousand terracotta bricks impressed with the inscription that entitles the work.
The term “empire”, with its varied and contrasting meanings, suggests figures of power and grandeur, and at the same time evokes dark scenes of coercion, domination and submission. By positioning herself at the crossroads between history and memory, between symbolic and political value, verbal language and visual experience, with this project Elisabetta Benassi once again reflects on the dialectic relationship between the past and the present. Like a form of device that produces unexpected configurations, the work aims to challenge the idea of an Ancient period that is considered as accepted fact, instead presenting it as a conflicting plot, a form of resistance to the presumed inevitability of the present.
Following the Italian Institute of Culture in London, the first stage in the itinerary, where the installation was presented as a labyrinth, EMPIRE will take on a new form in the courtyard of the Museo Nazionale Romano – Palazzo Altemps. The work will then continue its journey to MOSTYN, Wales UK to then reach its final and permanent destination at Museo Nazionale Romano – Crypta Balbi in Rome, at the same time as the documentative exhibition at the Pontificia Accademia dei Virtuosi al Pantheon.
The project EMPIRE by Elisabetta Benassi has been made possible with the support of the Italian Council Directorate-General for Contemporary Art and Architecture and Urban Peripheries (DGAAP) of the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities under the direction of Federica Galloni.
It is promoted by Museo Nazionale Romano in collaboration with the Pontificia Accademia dei Virtuosi al Pantheon, the partner Italian Institute of Culture in London and MOSTYN, Wales UK.
Thursday June 20, 2019 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Museo Nazionale Romano – Palazzo Altemps
via S. Apollinare, 8 - 00186 Roma
Tuesday-Sunday 9 a.m. - 7.45 p.m.
PCM Studio di Paola C. Manfredi
Via Carlo Farini, 70 - 20159 Milano
Tel. +39 02 36769480
Paola C. Manfredi
Tel. +39 02 36769480 / M. +39 335 5455539
Electa press office for Museo Nazionale Romano