From 21 June to 1 September the Roman National Museum - Palazzo Altemps hosts the second stage of the project by Elisabetta Benassi , EMPIRE , winner of the third edition of the Italian Council (2018), a competition created by the Directorate General for Contemporary Art and Architecture and Urban Suburbs (DGAAP) of the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities , to promote Italian contemporary art in the world. The EMPIRE project is promoted by the National Roman Museum in collaboration with the Pontifical Academy of Virtuosi at the Pantheon.
Through the recovery and transformation of materials and symbols, Elisabetta Benassi's work investigates the relationship between the past and the contemporary era, questioning the condition and identity of the present. The EMPIRE project is part of this line of research starting from the title, which inevitably refers to the vast and complex story of the Roman Empire and its incessant political and cultural revision.
EMPIRE develops as an installation of six thousand terracotta bricks - specially made in Great Britain from a kiln in the Royal Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, with purple-black clay - embossed with the inscription that gives the name to the Opera. Two bricks made of bronze and gold alloy are added . Also on the formal level, EMPIRE traces the basic constructive element of ancient architecture, the Roman brick , transforming it into an entity with new aesthetic and significant potential.