Throwback Thursday

In looking over drafts for posts I’d always meant to publish I found a few that seem to have been completed. Now I’m wondering why I haven’t put them up. This particular item was written just was after our two week holiday driving around Sicily in May of 2011. We had been to Palermo several times during our four years in Italy but never beyond. Our trip took us to Trepani on the western tip of the Island and along the south coast to Catania on the east.  A stop in Agrigento included a stay at a wonderful bed and breakfast with a terrace view of the Valley of the Temples.

valley-of-the-temples
The view from the breakfast veranda of the strange little bed and breakfast we stayed at in Agrigento. Beyond the sprawl of the modern town lies the 2000 year old Valley of the Temples.
breakfast-agrigento
The owners were a funny old man and his daughter who gave us the “bridal room” and worried constantly about our comfort. The view alone was worth the (very reasonable) price of the room.

A New Antiquity

A New Antiquity

It may seem strange for this ancient and fragmented site to be the venue for an exhibition by a modern artist but given both his style and medium it came as no surprise that the late Igor Mitoraj’s mammoth bronzes both fitted and matched their surroundings. I’ve spoke once before of Mitoraj’s San Giovanni Batista in Chiesa di Santa Maria degli Angeli e Martiri in Rome, a beautiful but disturbing piece. There he was working with the whiteness of marble – in Agrigento his work was in bronze.

A New Antiquity

temple-4

A New Antiquity

A New Antiquity

The shades of the metal – burnished browns, dull greens and earth shades – reflected and melded into their surrounds. Like the flowers around them they were highlighted by the intense southern sun or silhouetted against a bright blue sky. Mitoraj’s subjects, style and use of bronze again seemed to be at one with the surroundings.  .

A New Antiquity

temple-5

A New Antiquity

A New Antiquity

Though his figures were all mythological his chief inspiration was the Icarus myth – the failed attempt by man to fly brought down by his own foolishness.

A New Antiquity
A New Antiquity
ssssssss
A New Antiquity

But Mitoraj’s Icraus figures had a certain majesty to them and often they seem to have been brought to earth by the failure of the world around them to understand their aspirations more than their own foolhardiness.

A New Antiquity
A New Antiquity
A New Antiquity

Most of Mitoraj’s work have what has been termed “echos of antiquity” and he himself acknowledged that he looked back at the roots of Classical sculpture and painting in his work. But he maintained that he saw them through modern eyes and as the fragments that they have often come down to us in.

A New Antiquity
A New Antiquity

Looking back on the photos and remembering the visit it’s hard to believe that these are not remnants of one of the many civilizations that colonize, built, fought over, destroyed and rebuilt Agrigento over the past two thousand years.

temple-2

On this day in 1956: Fortran, the first modern computer language, is shared with the coding community for the first time.

Author: Willym

A senior with the heart of a young'un

5 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday”

  1. Ooooo, I like those bronzes very much, especially their setting among real antiquities. And that hand grasping Icarus’s ankle — oh my. And the face looking through the cut-out on one of his wings. What a commentary!

    1. Debra – interesting on the Icarus you mentioned – it is actually a female that he referred to as Icareska (using the Polish feminine ending) and had a very feminist message. Subtle.

    1. Not sure if they qualify as follies…. these were only there for a limited time – I’m not sure where they went after that…. I do know that several of his works are major installations in Europe.

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