Fornasetti Theatrum Mundi

Complesso Monumentale della Pilotta, Parma

Fornasetti Theatrum Mundi, Complesso Monumentale della Pilotta, Parma - Photo © Cosimo Filippini
Fornasetti Theatrum Mundi, Complesso Monumentale della Pilotta, Parma - Photo © Cosimo Filippini

Fornasetti Theatrum Mundi creates a dialogue between the architecture and artworks of the Pilotta and the imagination of Piero and Barnaba Fornasetti, creating a true ‘theatre of the world’. A network of iconographic references and cultural suggestions reveals the intellectual mandate of the objects and images on display, highlighting their depth and offering exciting and universal implications.

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Beyond the Galleria dell’Incoronata, the exhibition then enters the heart of the Teatro Farnese, a masterpiece of 17th century architecture built inside the Complex on the model of the Vitruvian theatre, the same architectural structure that inspired the idea of the Theatrum Mundi, formulated by the neoplatonic rhetorician Giulio Camillo (1480-1544). Camillo’s utopia involved figures and symbols arranged in a precise order within the Vitruvian theatre, with the idea that this functioned as a sort of artificial mind, endowing the imagination with the ability to understand, reconstruct and interpret the world: an idea that has a deep affinity with Fornasetti‘s creativity.

A real “Theatrum” as the term was understood in the sixteenth century, articulating in the infinite variety of the world the encyclopaedic entirety of knowledge to which classicism aspired, in the Renaissance, in the 18th century and even, as playfully interpreted by Fornasetti, in the modern age. The exhibition’s itinerary is divided into various cells relating to the main themes of Fornasetti’s work: ruins and the use of the past as a fragment, architecture, music, variations on a theme, drawing, graphics, collecting, everyday objects, and the dimension of illusion and dreams.

Fornasetti Theatrum Mundi, Complesso Monumentale della Pilotta, Parma - Photo © Cosimo Filippini
Fornasetti Theatrum Mundi, Complesso Monumentale della Pilotta, Parma - Photo © Cosimo Filippini

Curated by Barnaba Fornasetti, Artistic Director of the Milanese Atelier, Valeria Manzi, co-curator of cultural activities and President of the Fornasetti Cult association, and the director of the Complesso Monumentale della Pilotta Simone Verde, the exhibition is part of “Revitalisations of the Contemporary,” an initiative conceived to mark Parma 2020+21, Italian Capital of Culture.

Fornasetti Theatrum Mundi, Complesso Monumentale della Pilotta, Parma - Photo © Cosimo Filippini
Fornasetti Theatrum Mundi, Complesso Monumentale della Pilotta, Parma - Photo © Cosimo Filippini
Fornasetti Theatrum Mundi, Complesso Monumentale della Pilotta, Parma - Photo © Cosimo Filippini

Open to the public until July 25, 2021.

Photo © Cosimo Filippini