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Exhibition illustrates the multiple meanings attributed to ruins through the centuries
Jacopo e Francesco da Ponte (detti Bassano), Adorazione dei Magi, fine anni sessanta del XVI sec.
 olio su tela,
 96 128,5 cm.
 Museo Statale Ermitage, San Pietroburgo.


VENICE.- Over 250 works from the Venetian Civic Museums and the State Hermitage Museum, as well as from other Italian and international public and private collections, illustrate the multiple meanings attributed to ruins through the centuries: from the architectural and sculptural remains of the Greco-Roman, Egyptian, Assyrian-Babylonian and Syrian civilisations, to contemporary art that looks at the physical and moral ruins of today’s society.

Ruins of its architecture, cities and suburbs, but also of men and ideas, as the result of time, negligence, degeneration, natural or political tragedies such as war and terrorism.

As a result of the collaboration between the City of Venice, the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia and the State Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg – strengthened by the agreements signed in recent years and the presence of “Ermitage Italia” in the lagoon city – and following Dimitri Ozerkov’s proposal, Palazzo Fortuny is hosting the “Futuruins” exhibition from 19 December 2018 to 24 March 2019.

The exhibition reflects on the theme of ruins: an allegory for the inexorable passage of time, always uncertain and changeable, disputed between past and future, life and death, destruction and creation, Nature and Culture. The aesthetics of ruins is a crucial element in the history of Western civilisation. The ruin as concept symbolises the presence of the past but at the same time contains within itself the potential of the fragment: a fragment that comes from antiquity, covered by the patina of time, which with its cultural and symbolic implications also becomes a valid “foundation stone” for building the future. It comes from the past, confers a wealth of meaning on the present and offers an awareness to future projects.

The contemporary itinerary opens with the extraordinary environmental installation by Anne and Patrick Poirier, and is followed by other works by Acconci Studio, Olivio Barbieri, Botto & Bruno, Alberto Burri, Sara Campesan, Ludovica Carbotta, Ugo Carmeni, Lawrence Carroll, Giulia Cenci, Giacomo Costa, Roberto Crippa, Lynn Davis, Giorgio de Chirico, Federico de Leonardis, Marco Del Re, Paola De Pietri, Jean Dubuffet, Tomas Ewald, Cleo Fariselli, Kay Fingerle, Maria Friberg, Luigi Ghirri, Gioberto Noro, John Gossage, Thomas Hirschhorn, Anselm Kiefer, Francesco Jodice, Wolfgang Laib, Hiroyuki Masuyama, Jonatah Manno, Mirco Marchelli, Steve McCurry, Ennio Morlotti, Sarah Moon, Margherita Muriti, Claudio Parmiggiani, Lorenzo Passi, Fabrizio Prevedello, Dmitri Prigov, Judit Reigl, Christian Retschlag, David Rickard, Mimmo Rotella, Anri Sala, Alberto Savinio and Elisa Sighicelli.

In line with the tradition of exhibitions at the Fortuny, there are also a series of works specifically made for “Futuruins” that offer new stimuli for reflection on the present: in this case, these works are by Franco Guerzoni, Christian Fogarolli, Giuseppe Amato, Renato Leotta and Renata De Bonis.

Between the two chronological extremes of the exhibition, there is a series of masterpieces in various media – paintings, sculptures, applied arts, graphic works – to suggest the major themes being examined. Many have been selected from Venetian collections – ranging from the jellyfish by Arturo Martini and Franz von Stuck to the fire-lit nocturnal ruins of Ippolito Caffi and Urbino-made ceramics bearing themes of genesis and death – while others come from museums and private collections. For its part, the State Hermitage Museum has itself lent more than 80 works by such artists as Albrecht Drer, Mons Desiderio, Giovanni Paolo Pannini, Jacopo and Francesco Bassano, Parmigianino, Veronese, Jacob van Host the Elder, Arturo Nathan and Alessandro Algardi.

The need to work on the concepts evoked by ruins has also been made apparent in the light of recent history, characterised by wars in which iconic and symbolic aspects stand out (the collapse of the Twin Towers, the devastation of the Baghdad museum, Palmyra…) and of the increasingly extreme climate changes on our planet.






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