Museo Nazionale Romano, Palazzo Altemps | Elisabetta Benassi | EMPIRE
21 June – 1 September 2019
From June 21 to September 1 Museo Nazionale Romano – Palazzo Altemps will be hosting the second stage of the project by Elisabetta Benassi, EMPIRE, winner of the third edition of the Italian Council (2018), the call set up by the Directorate-General for Contemporary Art and Architecture and Urban Peripheries (DGAAP) of the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities to promote Italian contemporary art worldwide. The project EMPIRE is promoted by Museo Nazionale Romano in collaboration with the Pontificia Accademia dei Virtuosi al Pantheon.
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.