06.06.2016. Art & culture
It was in 2011 that Laurie Anderson and her husband Lou Reed first visited the cloister of Santa Caterina a Formiello, an abandoned church in Naples that had served, under the Bourbons, as a military uniform factory, and later as an illegally-occupied shoemaking bazaar.
Five years on, the ruined Renaissance-era courtyard has been restored for use as an exhibition space and crafts and design hub by a civic group called Made in Cloister. And artist and musician Anderson has come back – sadly without Reed, who died in October 2013 – to inaugurate The Withness of the Body, a show of her artworks that will run until 30 September, produced by the Fondazione Tramontano Arte.
Meditating on the limbo that comes, in the Buddhist world-view, between death and reincarnation, the thirty works the New-York-based artist has selected for her Neapolitan show all feature the couple’s much-loved dog, Lolabelle – who was also the star of Heart of a Dog, Anderson’s dreamlike first feature film, which played in competition at the 2015 Venice Film Festival.
A couple of days after the Anderson vernissage, the final stage of Rome-born contemporary artist Gian Maria Tosatti’s three-year project Seven Seasons of the Spirit was unveiled. Using the city of Naples as his canvas, and working with one of the city’s most forward-thinking art institutions, Fondazione Morra, with support from leading gallerista Lia Rumma, Tosatti’s site-specific work has played out, since September 2013, in a series of abandoned buildings across the city.
Inspired by Saint Teresa of Avila’s 16th-century devotional work The Interior Castle, in which the human soul is envisaged as a castle divided into seven mansions, but also by Dante’s Divine Comedy and by Tosatti’s desire to “understand the limits of good and evil in man”, the project culminates with the installation ‘Terra dell’Ultimo Cielo’, on view until 30 June in the church of Naples’ former military hospital.
until 30 September
Santa Caterina a Formiello
Piazza Enrico de Nicola, 49, Napoli
Open 9.30am-7pm, closed Tue and Sun
until 30 June
ex Ospedale Militare
via Santa Lucia al Monte, Napoli
Open 2pm-8pm, closed Mon