From 8 December 2019 the PALP Palazzo Pretorio of Pontedera hosts the exhibition Arcadia and Apocalypse. Italian landscapes in 150 years of art, photography, video and installations, conceived and curated by Daniela Fonti and Filippo Bacci di Capaci and promoted by the Pontedera Cultural Foundation, the Municipality of Pontedera, the Pisa Foundation, with the patronage and contribution of the Tuscany region. The exhibition, which will continue until April 26, 2020, aims to investigate the way in which the landscape was perceived and represented artistically from 1850 to the present day, highlighting the changes in the field of aesthetics and of representative codes and at the same time trying to raise awareness among visitors about environmental degradation.
Through a long story that uses pictorial, sculptural, decorative arts, photography and new media – from the mid-nineteenth century to today – the exhibition revolves around creative thinking about the landscape, a pictorial genre inherited from the eighteenth century as a reflection of nature in art, in contrast to mythological and historical painting, which frees itself from its stereotypes but does not disappear, due to the ability of the landscape itself to profoundly renew its meanings and representative codes, to reflect the radical transformations of Italian artistic culture and society as a whole.
The exhibition is divided into several chapters, with different extensions, which, using painting, photography, later than video, film and installations, lead the viewer to immerse themselves in the feelings and reflections that – from decade to decade – the landscape has inspired authors and photographers to appreciate and understand works that want to be, besides engaging images, also documents in which the entire culture of an era is poured. Landscape painting is in fact the fruit of a very complex process of interpretation and “reconstruction” of nature, which involves the historical moment of reference with its system of relationships, the artistic culture to which the author belongs and the individual history. Feelings and reflections that in the course of the long transformation of the Bel Paese, pierce from the discovery, in the nineteenth century, of an “Italian landscape” inherited from the “Grand Tour” offered to modernity as a frame of unaltered beauty, to the testimony of the sometimes violent actions history has inflicted on Italian territory (from demolitions to the ravages of wars), to the upheavals linked to the post-war reconstruction period, to the definitive decline of the post-romantic myth and its replacement with such invasive and devastating transformation actions to make us predict a upcoming Apocalypse.
Arcadia and Apocalypse. Italian landscapes in 150 years of art, photography, video and installations was with the consultancy of Paolo Antognoli, Giovanna Conti, Alessandro Romanini and Francesco Tetro.
The photography section is curated by Maria Francesca Bonetti.