Curated by: Pier Paolo Pancotto
Taking a cue from a universal iconographic and iconological repertoire, represented by simple images and gestures, belonging to everyday life, Mircea Cantor reflects on the historical and cultural components that make up reality and the various semantic nuances that articulate them. This observation procedure often originates from the artist's individual experience, which took place at first in Romania and then in France, and is expressed through many linguistic forms, some of which are represented in Rome on the occasion of his individual debut at Villa Medici. These are various works, some of which were conceived for the occasion, and distributed in various rooms scattered throughout the gardens of the Academy.
After crossing the Grande Loggia, dominated by the monumental Flag (2017), the tour opens up to the Balthus Loggia where, traced with the smoke of a candle (a technical means as ephemeral and transitory as the very meaning of the text it explains), emerges on the ceiling the written Ciel variable (2007-21) belonging to the homonymous series started by the artist in 2007 focused on the theme of the fragility of the human condition. The same loggia, on the walls of which DNA Kiss (2008-21) emerges, introduces the Atelier Balthus where the projection of a new film shot in Rome for the occasion, evidence of the bond that has united the artist to the city for many years. . Other videos - I decided not to save the world (2011), Regalo (2014) and Am I really free? (2020), with a strongly autobiographical structure - are distributed between the Piccolo Balthus, the Loggia of Cleopatra and the Gipsoteca.
In front of the Balthus Loggia, there is a geometric and practicable structure along which Chaplet (2007-21) winds, 35 meters of film marked by the artist's fingerprints which, in the manner of a rosary, unfold seamlessly. continuity on the celluloid strip to form a sort of filing of the author and, consequently, a reflection on the concept of identity and individual freedom. Festina Lente (Empire of all poetical encounters) (2017-21), consisting of a painted pallet (flat structure on which goods are placed) is at the center of Ferdinando's Studiolo, entering into dialogue with the frescoes above while the plaster relief Homo homini lupus (2021) occupies the Gipsoteca, assimilating itself to the casts of the Trajan column usually kept in this space.