“Le Storie della Vera Croce”: the full project by Luigi Presicce on view for the first time at Mattatoio in Roma

Words by Alessandra Bellomo
February 15, 2021

Il Mattatoio in Rome hosts the project by Luigi Presicce “Le Storie della Vera Croce”, here shown in its full version for the first time. It is a cycle of ten episodes, which first saw the light in 2012 and now forms a monumental work made of ten chapters and eighteen performances all presented in video recordings with painting as a central motive. Besides the video, a weekly palimpsest of six tableaux vivants takes place, along with painting sessions by other artists, exploratory dialogues, and a film retrospective.

To work on “Le Storie della Vera Croce”, Luigi Presicce drew inspiration from different sources. The story about the Holy Wood is based on ” La Legenda Aurea” by Jacobus de Varagine (1228-98) and the Holy Bible. This story also inspired Agnolo Gaddi and Piero della Francesca to produce two of the most iconic cycles of paintings in Italian history back in the 14th and 15th centuries, in the churches of Santa Croce in Florence and San Francesco in Arezzo.

Luigi Presicce took this material as a starting point for monumental research, alternating video representations of the depicted cycles and accurate research on the painting medium. Through the ten chapters of “Le Storie della Vera Croce”, the artist developed a wider study, mixing the sacred stories with hints of current political issues and figures, mythology, history, esoterical references, and a reflection on religion as the trigger of wars. Around the videos, the collateral programme of live performances and activities also weaves a complex net of quotations and citations to popular culture and folklore, sacred sphere, and contemporary and modern history.

The exhibition is the second chapter of the three-year programme “Dispositivi sensibili”, created by Angel Moya Garcia for the Mattatoio to support and communicate current performative practices.

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