From 01 April 2023 to 05 November 2023
The Tassara Foundation has decided to make part of its priceless collection of carpets, donated by Romain Zaleski, available for the events linked to Bergamo Brescia Italian Capital of Culture 2023, with the aim of making some artefacts usually destined for display in temporary exhibitions in the world's major museums known and appreciated by the general public. Together with Fondazione Brescia Musei, co-promoter of the project, it has entrusted LETIA - Letizia Cariello and Giovanni Valagussa with the curatorship of the exhibition I nodi dei giardini del Paradiso (The Knots of the Gardens of Paradise), which will be held from 1 April to 5 November 2023 in the new spaces, restored and reopened to the public after about fifteen years, in the Grande Miglio of Brescia Castle, where the Museo del Risorgimento Leonessa d'Italia is also located on the lower floor.
Municipality of Brescia
Fondazione Brescia musei
Fondazione della Comunità Bresciana
The exhibition project brings together a precious selection of 35 carpets from the Turkestan area, chosen from within the extensive corpus of the Zaleski collection, which for the first time are being shown to the public alongside a nucleus of contemporary art works related to textiles by international artists, including Alighiero Boetti and Herta Ottolenghi Wedekind, which in an innovative way will be included, together with a multimedia projection on a large screen by Wladimir Zaleski with music by Alessandro Pedretti, in a unique and unprecedented site-specific installation realised by LETIA – Letizia Cariello. A “soft space” made of fabric, threads, taut ropes and carpets hung like banners or gonfalons.
The title of the Brescian exhibition refers to the threads of the carpets knotted around the warp and weft, evoking magical, paradisiacal lands, places of the sacred and prayer, warm and comfortable environments, oases in the desert. It is precisely the theme of travel that guided the choice, within the Zaleski collection, one of the most comprehensive private collections in the world, consisting of more than 1330 carpets from all over Eurasia and North Africa, of the 35 antique carpets, all restricted to a specific area. This is the immense expanse of Central Asia, in the territory that is collectively referred to as Turkestan, stretching from the Caspian Sea to western China and encompassing countries that are among the most fascinating in the world for their extraordinary landscapes and unspoilt nature, in which the caravan routes that made up the ‘Silk Road’ wound their way.
Created especially for the exhibition are the unprecedented Beauceant and Aracne installations by LETIA – Letizia Cariello. The first is made up of the carpets themselves mounted on frames supported by pulleys, marine bollards and steel brackets with the aid of red sailing ropes that run through the space, coiling on the ceiling beams, in a play of weaves reminiscent of the shrouds of sailing ships. The second is a sort of labyrinth that accompanies the visitors’ path and winds through a sequence of handrails of mirror-polished steel designed by the artist, crossed by a long red cord that guides people as if following the ancient myth of Ariadne’s thread. The orchestration of these elements is ideally inspired by the Church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri, next to the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, whose walls, next to traditional religiously inspired elements, house banners and trophies from the Battle of Lepanto. To complete the itinerary, Thinkerbell, a large brass cage, placed in the central nave, inside which Bach’s music will be played. Thanks also to the collaboration with the Fondazione del Teatro Grande di Brescia, the music will be performed live, in different circumstances, by the Bazzini Consort that will play inside the work, in a peculiar combination of auditory and visual perception.
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