Elisabetta Benassi: EMPIRE

13 Jul 2019 – 27 Oct 2019

Regular hours

10:30 – 16:30
10:30 – 16:30
10:30 – 16:30
10:30 – 16:30
10:30 – 16:30

Cost of entry


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Wales, United Kingdom

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Elisabetta Benassi's EMPIRE is an installation of terracotta bricks, hand-crafted in the UK from clay ranging in colour from red to black.


EMPIRE is a project by Elisabetta Benassi, winner of the third edition of the 'Italian Council (2018)' call set up by the Directorate-General for Contemporary Art and Architecture and Urban Peripheries (DGAAP) of the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities to promote Italian contemporary art worldwide. 

EMPIRE reflects the basic building element of ancient architecture, the Roman brick, transforming it into an element with new aesthetic potential and meaning, constitutive of a site-specific installation made of six thousand terracotta bricks impressed with the inscription that entitles the work.

The term 'empire', with its varied and contrasting meanings, suggests figures of power and grandeur, and at the same time evokes dark scenes of coercion, domination and submission. By positioning herself at the crossroads between history and memory, between symbolic and political value, verbal language and visual experience, with this project Elisabetta Benassi once again reflects on the dialectic relationship between the past and the present. Like a form of device that produces unexpected configurations, the work aims to challenge the idea of an Ancient period that is considered as accepted fact, instead presenting it as a conflicting plot, a form of resistance to the presumed inevitability of the present.

Following MOSTYN’s presentation, EMPIRE will take on a new form in the courtyard of the Museo Nazionale Romano – Palazzo Altemps, then reach its final and permanent destination at Museo Nazionale Romano – Crypta Balbi in Rome, at the same time as the documentative exhibition at the Pontificia Accademia dei Virtuosi al Pantheon.

The project EMPIRE by Elisabetta Benassi is curated in MOSTYN by Alfredo Cramerotti, Director. It has been made possible with the support of the Italian Council Directorate-General for Contemporary Art and Architecture and Urban Peripheries (DGAAP) of the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities under the direction of Federica Galloni. It is promoted by Museo Nazionale Romano in collaboration with the Pontificia Accademia dei Virtuosi al Pantheon, the Italian Institute of Culture in London, and MOSTYN, Wales UK.

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Alfredo Cramerotti


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