'MITICO', Belmond's artistic series in partnership with Galleria Continua, returns for its second season launching internationally with installations in Spain, Italy, UK, and Brazil
APRIL 2023 - Building on the success of its Italian debut in 2022, MITICO, an artistic collaboration between Belmond and internationally renowned art gallery Galleria Continua, launches onto the global stage for its second season, presenting works by seven contemporary artists in seven of Belmond’s captivating grounds in Spain, Italy, UK, and Brazil.
The 2023 season showcases contemporary art installations at La Residencia, A Belmond Hotel, Mallorca; Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, A Belmond Hotel, Oxfordshire; Copacabana Palace, A Belmond Hotel, Rio de Janeiro; Villa Sant’Andrea, A Belmond Hotel, Taormina Mare; as well as returning to Grand Hotel Timeo, A Belmond Hotel, Taormina; Villa San Michele, A Belmond Hotel, Florence; and Castello di Casole, A Belmond Hotel, Tuscany.
This year’s installations focus on the interaction between human identity and the natural world, as well as the inevitable clash between technology and raw landscapes. By taking the unique views, gardens and facades of legendary Belmond properties as their backdrop and canvas, the art installations reframe these iconic vistas in a new light, giving the spectator a unique insight into our place in the world.
The natural versus the man-made: Arcangelo Sassolino at La Residencia, Mallorca
Nestled in Mallorca’s UNESCO protected Sierra de Tramuntana, in the heart of the renowned artistic village of Deia, La Residencia, A Belmond Hotel is drenched in bohemian spirit, playing home to writers, artists and musicians seeking inspiration, for decades. Within this natural oasis and creative escape, Italian artist Arcangelo Sassolino’s work will stand in harsh juxtaposition. Hunger (2006/2007) features a hydraulic claw driven by an oil pump, moving like an oversized mechanical spider from side to side, reminding spectators of the brutal destructive impact of the construction industry.
Through this oversized claw composed of large steel blades, the artist strips the industrial object of its function and context, placing it on a flat surface where it cannot gain traction - thus rendering it obsolete. The claw however continues its mechanical motions, desperately attempting to rip and uproot the ground beneath it - a slow and poetic dance that further nullifies its original strength. Although unable to uproot the beautiful surrounding landscape, the continuous lacerating motion of the claw leaves furrows on the concrete as if it is seeking to sculpt a new identity within La Residencia’s beautiful gardens. A stark representation of the irreversible effects of human technological accomplishments. It is not lost on the viewer that when put to another use, the ancient olive groves that surround La Residencia would be at risk from this machine, which has now been made powerless by the artist.
The art installation will be available to view by guests and visitors alike, from 2 May until the end of October 2023.
Identity and society: Yoan Capote at Grand Hotel Timeo and Villa Sant’Andrea, Sicily
High up in the Taormina Hills, Grand Hotel Timeo, A Belmond Hotel offers a front row on the eternal island’s beauty. Here, artist Yoan Capote installs a selection of bronze interventions, including handcuffs encircling an olive tree, entitled “Stress”, “Self-portrait”, “Speechless”, “On our shoulders”, “Deriva”, and “Urban Nature”. These will be showcased throughout the hotel’s expansive gardens overlooking the force of nature that is Mount Etna volcano. In this environment, it’s impossible not to feel the full creative and destructive forces at play. These works represent acts of resistance, moments where human instinct is to revolt in the face of neglect or domination by global forces.
On the beautiful shores of Taormina Mare, Villa Sant’Andrea, A Belmond Hotel, will display Capote’s Family Portrait (2022), an ode to the artist’s own heritage. Hailing from Cuba, he portrays the sea as a force of both connection and isolation - a means of escape but also a barrier to do so. The work, consisting of glass cases and mirrors, will both encase and reflect the private Bay’s unique marina landscape, as the fragments bounce off the beautiful sea bed, the reflections intertwine with the pristine nature, opening up questions of identity and belonging.
The work also alludes to the song ‘Foto de familia’ by Carlos Varela, one of the most emblematic songs for Capote’s generation in Cuba, which bravely reminds the viewer of the many different connotations and sentiments evoked by the sea. It is a painful reminder that the sea - a symbol of joy, beauty and calm for many - is also a place of tragedy, loss and despair. Viewers will be encouraged to feel compassion and empathy when contemplating the powerful work.
The art installation will be available to view by guests and visitors alike, from 10 May until the end of October 2023 at Villa Sant’Andrea, and from 7 January 2024 at Grand Hotel Timeo.
Hyper-realism and existentialism: Sun Yuan & Peng Yu at Villa San Michele
Villa San Michele, a 16th century monastery with uninterrupted panoramic views of the city of Florence, will present ‘Teenager & Teenager’ by Chinese artists Sun Yuan and Peng Yu, both reputed for the often disorientating and provocative nature of their works, as well as their uncanny use of materials. The positioning of these works under the monastic century arches of the hotel entrance and inside the hotel corridors is particularly intriguing, as they are rendered oblivious of the architectural majesty of a Renaissance masterpiece inspired by Michelangelo.
The works represent hyper-realistic sculptures of people seated on a sofa and armchairs whose heads have been replaced by huge rocks, thus preventing the viewer from identifying these mysterious characters, as well as erasing any possible form of communication. Both a humorous and sinister representation of society in modern times.
Sun Yuan and Peng Yu are known for their meditations on the human condition, which they achieve by stripping us of our conventional methods of filtering and framing the world. In this case, their interest lies in the nature of communication, as well as its limitations. By exploring the rules that are imposed on us — or that we impose on ourselves — the artists invite the viewer to free themselves of limitations and approach our place in the world with a new perspective.
The art installation will be available to view by guests and visitors alike, from 16 May until 17 September 2023.
Childhood innocence and guilt: Nari Ward at Castello di Casole
Castello di Casole’s grounds span over 4,200 acres of rural Tuscan countryside, providing the ideal home for Stallers (2013) by American artist of Jamaican origins Nari Ward, known for his sculptural installations created with discarded materials. Stallers, a play on the word ‘strollers,’ consist of giant strollers, a seemingly playful reference to childhood encouraging viewers to stop, sit and relax as they move around the hotel gardens.
Strollers symbolically mark that critical moment when children leave their parents' arms to be ‘pushed into the world’. Here, the disproportionate size and concrete wheels create a strong contrast to the original, flimsy childhood forms. The title, created from the verb ‘to stall’, reinforces this idea of blockage and immobility. Visitors are encouraged to sit in these forms and slip back into a meditation on our origins and youth, as well as reflecting on how our personal identities change over time depending on our environment.
The art installation will be available to view by guests and visitors alike, from 23 May until 12 November 2023.
Nature in all its glory: Loris Cecchini at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons
Le Manoir Aux Quat'Saisons, A Belmond Hotel, Oxfordshire presents Arborexence (2023,) a sculptural installation by Loris Cecchini, composed of a lattice of stainless steel that spreads harmoniously over the façade of the hotel. The property is distinguished for its impeccable and idyllic gardens, transforming seasonally, an emblematic representation of nature’s cycles. The artists’ sculptural piece highlights science through its molecular composition, branching out and expanding on the building’s facade, mirroring the ivy’s natural propagation. The sculpture becomes a second skin, tracing, restoring and renewing the building itself.
Going beyond the purely aesthetic aspect of nature, Cecchini seeks to discover what lies beneath the surface, using scientific means to unveil complex structures and chemical bonds. Framed by the bountiful gardens of the property, spectators will be reminded of what lies within the beauty of nature and its forms. Cecchini’s work and Le Manoir’s gardens are a perfect synergy, both, in their own ways, a celebration of nature and a reminder to protect it.
The art installation will be available to view by guests and visitors alike from July until late 2023. Exact dates to follow.
More to come on the art installation at Copacabana Palace, A Belmond Hotel, Rio in due course.
Alexa Withers, Senior Manager - Global Product Communications
Anastasia Aya Aroukatos, Manager - Global Product Communications
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