During the exhibition opening there is free entry and no booking required. Museum rooms have a maximum capacity of 15 #people at a time.
Evgeny Antufiev relationship with the archaeological heritage embedded in our territory and belonging to our museums is a long-chaptered novel.
Thus, this is a fascination that Antufiev undergoes for the signal and symbolic stratification, for the profound echo of ancient stories that continue to speak to us in the halls of museums. What better synchronicity for an artist who has always explored the idea of immortality and regeneration through archetypes that have accompanied human existence and imagination in an endless story?
In this chapter, the encounter is with the National Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia, an important repository of the fascinating and still mysterious for some Etruscan civilization that – as well as Antufiev’s creative process – absorbed and spread the contacts and relations with multiple civilizations (from East to West, from the Phoenicians to the Greeks, to the Carthaginians) and has created a peculiar, very close relationship with the characteristics of the individual territories in which it has been located, generating something absolutely new. Antufiev’s work transports in time and space symbolic figures that have always accompanied human existence and imagination. His ceramics as well as the bronze castings, with textures and oxidized surfaces treated with patina and particular baths, evoke ancient discoveries and resemble a "gift" found in the subsoil. The presence of a figure in transformation goes well with the Etruscan iconographic repertoire which is beautifully illustrated in the objects exhibited in the Museum of Villa Giulia. The formal outcome is intriguing, labyrinthine, absolutely unique: Antufiev’s works take on a hybrid identity, they are capable of generating assonances between different worlds and cultures, but inevitably they are filtered through the culture of the artist's country of origin, Siberia, and the Russian folk tradition in the way materials are treated.
To welcoming us, in the garden, a travertine obelisk, an invitation to the celebration of what cannot be swallowed by oblivion, of what cannot die. Maybe, the ultimate purpose of a museum? A small fountain in the hemicycle is a tribute to water, a key element in the passage of time and vital transformation. Arriving at the precious Nymphaeum, a terracotta vase, in dialogue with the bodies of the caryatids, evokes the female receptive principle, the origin of life and source of nourishment.
The exhibition develops from a specific wing of the museum, by grafting into its framework and creating an exchange with its current heritage. Some small interventions in the display cabinets do not interrupt the historical collections: Antufiev reinterprets the objects – originally created for functional and decorative purposes – and transforms the vision of an artefact into a work of art. Many of these objects, found in tombs as grave goods (a testimony to the importance of a rite of fundamental passage between life and death) offer a figurative repertoire comprising, above all, fantastic animals drawn from orientalising bestiaries that have the meaning of guardians of the tombs: an iconography which is strongly present in Antufiev’s formal research.
Finally, the exhibition envisions a phantasmagorical museum room created inside the museum itself: a fictitious space in which the artist stages, inside display cases and cabinets, an imaginative relationship between objects and figures, most of which are fusions and terracotta, as a tribute to the refined Etruscan craftsmanship that was expressed above all with these materials.
03 A EvgenyAntufiev untitled 2017 ceramic cm40,5x23,5x23,5xø9,5 coperturaCm30x20 15B (3)
03 B EvgenyAntufiev untitled 2017 ceramic cm40,5x23,5x23,5xø9,5 coperturaCm30x20 15B (2)
03 C EvgenyAntufiev untitled 2017 ceramic cm40,5x23,5x23,5xø9,5 coperturaCm30x20 15B (4)
03 EvgenyAntufiev untitled 2017 ceramic cm40,5x23,5x23,5xø9,5 coperturaCm30x20 15B (1)
02 B Evgeny Antufiev Untitled 2020 bronze and carnelian stone cm 38 x 30 x 18 Detail 02
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