Marta Roberti, IN METAMORFOSI, curated by Cecilia Canziani
La minotaura, 2021 dalla serie S’io miintuassi come tu ti inmii pastello ad olio su carta dello Yunnan cm 180 x 150
11 December 2021
13:00 – 20:00

“To celebrate the 700 years since the death of Dante Alighieri in 2021, the Italian Institute of Culture in New Delhi invited me to think about a project on the Divine Comedy.

S'io mi Intuassi come tu inmii consists of a series of drawings made on paper by Yunnan, which embroiderers in Kashmir are translating into tapestries made with the technique of the chain stitch. This complex project is now being carried out thanks to the collaboration of Italian embroidery expert Paola Manfredi, who is closely following the work.

The title is a verse from Dante’s Comedy (Paradiso IX,81) that could be translated as: if I could penetrate you, understand you, perceive you with the same empathy that makes you penetrate me. This wonderful phrase seemed to me to poetically express the idea of metamorphosis that is at the center of all the works.

I took literally the Darwinian teaching, understanding the metaphysical status of his theory of evolution: life is nothing but a process of intraspecific metamorphosis where each species is the metamorphosis of the previous one. Each creature, carrying all the others, is therefore a kind of mobile zoo.

This philosophical hypothesis described by the philosopher Emanuele Coccia, gave shape to what I had intuited in my experience and I believed I could hazard a reading of the Divine Comedy in these terms. I imagined a series of large-format drawings, depicting animals or moments of interaction between man and animal, and in particular moments of transmutation between animals and men.

Browsing through the three songs I came across a huge variety of animals: those encountered by Dante are rarely real animals, they appear mainly as similarities. There are also many mythological creatures that, like the harpies, the minotaur and the centaur, can be considered the most explicit expression of life as a process of metamorphosis, their bodies being composed of animal and human parts together. So in my drawings, rather than illustrating the poem, I played at transforming mythological creatures and female animals by inventing characters like the Centaura, the Minotaur, and Lucifer, using myself as a model and creating self-portraits in these animal mythological forms".

Marta Roberti

Z2o Sara Zanin Gallery
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Via della Vetrina 21, 00186, Roma, Roma, Italy