The catalogue


Entitled Vita Dulcis, the catalogue of the exhibition conceived for the Palazzo delle Esposizioni (Rome, April 22nd – August 27th 2023) by artist Francesco Vezzoli and director of the Museo Nazionale Romano Stéphane Verger is also an original and exclusive piece of design.
In the exhibition, works by Vezzoli – who has always been fascinated by the idea of creating a bridge between the contemporary imaginary and history of art, as well as with combining traditional and pop culture – dialogue with works and fragments from the Museo Nazionale Romano whose integrity and originality has been partly compromised by the passage of time. This juxtaposition is enriched by representations of Roman history taken from films produced in the Twentieth Century.

The show is articulated in six sections, topos of ancient and contemporary culture in an impactful arrangement that is considerably accentuated by the conceptual and theatrical layout created by Filippo Bisagni, not to mention the evocative and technically impeccable lighting by director of photography Luca Bigazzi.

The catalogue provides a unitary overview of the project through an extensive corpus of works photographed by Daniele Molajoli.
The accompanying texts reflect on many of the issues of contemporary thought raised by the exhibition. The ambiguous nature of the notion of originality is explored by Stéphane Verger; Donatien Grau, who runs the contemporary art programme of the Louvre, has focussed on the existential perspective of “history seen from behind”; director of the National Portrait Gallery in London Nicolas Cullinan looks back at the history of kitsch and sheds light on its relevance so some of the less familiar aspects of contemporary visual culture. Vezzoli’s own thoughts emerge in a conversation with Cristiana Perrella, who also wrote a guide to the various stages of the exhibition; a text by Filippo Bisagni offers a reflection on the practicalities of mounting exhibitions whilst looking back at the curatorial and arrangement decisions taken for Vita Dulcis. 

Vita Dulcis
Paura e desiderio nell'Impero romano
curated by Francesco Vezzoli and Stéphane Verger
144 pages
32,00 €
Publication date 2023
ISBN 978-88-229-2108-6
size 240x300 mm