closed Phtongos

The show

Phtongos is the title of Fabrizio Cotognini's personal exhibition which takes place in the spaces on the third floor of the Morra Greco Foundation. For the occasion, the artist created a series of new works conceived starting from the study of the heraldry, symbols and iconography of Palazzo Caracciolo d'Avellino, headquarters of the Foundation. Through archival research and a study of eighteenth-century ornamental symbolism, its esoteric and celebratory meanings connected to the aristocracy and the history of the city and the noble families of Naples, Phtongos is a research into the historical, artistic and architectural heritage of the city , carried out through drawings, projections and sculpture.

The title of the exhibition refers with a single word to the voice of men, the voice of monstrous beings and the song of sirens. Phtongos and Ligurian aoide are in fact the words used by Homer to describe the voice of sirens, mythical figures very dear to the Neapolitan and Campanian imagination. The common thread of the exhibition is precisely the recovery, reconstruction and re-proposal of various anthropomorphic beings belonging to the iconography of the Sirens of the local area, starting from the ancient cult of the Parthenope Siren, protector of the city. Already the Latin inscription of a phrase by Epicurus – «Dum Vesuvii Syren Incendia Mulcet» – refers to this mythological being, summarizing the alchemical relationship between water and fire (male-female): the “Siren softens the ardor of Vesuvius”, a reference to the rebellions of the Neapolitan people who rose up in flames like Vesuvius.

Through his works, Fabrizio Cotognini develops a direct dialogue with some of the artistic findings discovered during the restoration of Palazzo Caracciolo d'Avellino and guides us on a journey through the man-animal, plant-animal, plant-human metamorphoses, generating a reflection on current issues such as politics, sociology and ecology.

Large drawings and tiny sculptures occupy the rooms of the Morra Greco Foundation, giving the visitor the direct possibility of a visual, but also magical, dialogue with symbolic beings who often attract our curiosity for their beauty and their bizarreness, but which they are difficult to read for the characters they contain in terms of symbolism and narration. Keepers of ancient but also current stories, so as to embark on a journey into what Agamben calls "contemporary archaeology": where current knowledge finds foundations in anthropology, in the territory and in the social.

Works on display

Timetable and tickets


Largo Proprio d'Avellino, 17
80138 Naples


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