Curated by: Marcello Smarrelli
The Memmo Foundation presents Conversation Piece | from 8 February 2021 Part VII, the new appointment in the cycle of exhibitions, curated by Marcello Smarrelli, dedicated to Italian and foreign artists temporarily present in Rome, or who have a special relationship with the city.
The exhibition stars Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys (Belgian duo of artists), Benedikt Hipp (current winner of the Rome Prize at the German Academy Rome Villa Massimo) and Apolonia Sokol (currently fellow at Villa Medici - French Academy in Rome) .
The succession of the parts that mark the various editions becomes a story in chapters that deal with ever-changing topics related to the critical debate on the contemporary, touching on aspects that concern the history of art, but also topical issues, on which the artists are invited. to confront each other through an open debate between them and the curator.
Towards Narragonia, the subtitle that characterizes the choices and the exhibition itinerary at each edition, for this seventh chapter refers to the fictional location told in the poem La nave dei folli, by the Alsatian poet Sebastian Brant, published for the first time in 1494, illustrated by Albrecht Dürer. The text tells of the fantastic journey of a ship packed with madmen, through different destinations: Narragonia - the "paradise of fools" -, the country of Cuccagna - a land of abundance and pleasure -, up to the tragic epilogue of the shipwreck. With a strong allegorical attitude, The Ship of Fools is a moralizing fable, a critique of the vices and human weaknesses of the time. In the following centuries, the poem suggested further interpretations: the famous one of the French philosopher Michel Foucault, who in his History of Madness in the Classical Age (1961) starts from the image of the Stultifera navis to address the theme of madness.