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HOME | Visual Arts | Di Dei - S. Arienti and F. Di Castri

Di Dei - S. Arienti and F. Di Castri

The collaboration of two big names in Italian art, Stefano Arienti in the visual arts and Furio Di Castri in music, is what characterized the special project at the Fondazione Spinola Banna per l'Arte that opened on 15 September 2007.

DI DEI (OF GODS) represents a new and unprecedented stage in the research on the names of god and the sacred that Stefano Arienti has been pursuing for many years. Realized gradually and presented in a series of different forms and contexts, DI DEI is a work in progress dedicated to the synthesis of visual poetry, spirituality and music.
The contribution of Furio di Castri, which makes this rendition of Arienti’s ongoing project absolutely unique, opens the project in a new performative direction, using a kind of re-reading through sound of the essence of Arienti’s endeavor
At the center of the project is the un-attainability of its goal: the names of God are infinite, as are equally infinite his representations.
Di Dei evokes precisely this limit, using the large expanse of the foundation’s courtyard as a stage for this epiphany, becoming a precise evocation of the questions raised by nominalism in general.
To give a name, an image and a sound to the divine means to identify it and, even if for an instant, render it visible, knowable.
This is an impossible challenge and theologically heretical, but at the same time it is a reflection of both the multiplicity of forms for the Sacred and of its intangibility.
The small sculptures of divinities placed around the courtyard, sometimes almost hidden, speak of exactly this difficulty; the attempt to relate micro to macrocosm, quantity to quality, measurable to immeasurable. This paradoxical attempt is reflected in the very nature of the music which accompanies it. After all, and mysteriously, music has the capacity to recount stories without giving any specifics of the narrative. With this radical departure from the specifically named, music is unique among the arts in coming closer to the Platonic Ideal; pure form without the flaws that come with incarnation in the material world.
DI DEI, an experiment that tested the limits of both Arienti and Di Castri, is therefore built on a solid and learned foundation. Simultaneously, however, it maintains the freshness and immediacy of improvisation. It is a kind of sophisticated mantra while simultaneously popular in the same way as common prayers are in the liturgical tradition. Di Dei embodies a form in which, paradoxically, seeming opposites can live; Coltrane and the Buddha, Ganesh and Stockausen or even the Who and Padre Pio.


Indian tabla and percussion


The students of the Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi di Torino:


alto saxophone

baritone saxophone





STEFANIA Saglietti


DI DEI (OF GODS), The installation presented by Stefano Arienti at the Fondazione Spinola Banna focuses on the theme of traditional and contemporary religion, however it deliberately uses only particular elements.
Numerous small images of gods were placed in the open spaces of the old courtyard at the center of the Piemontese fondation’s complex. These were coupled with an entirely new work, realized specifically for the foundation and presented in the enclosed exhibition space. This was an exploration of the diverse traditions of music, art and religion.
Word, voice, rituality, music and conviviality are common elements to both the practice of Contemporary art and the practice of religion.
In Di Dei we witnessed an inversion of the normal hierarchy of these elements. Usually the visual symbols of steeples or crosses always retain their ascendancy, In this case the music was given first position while the visual images were widely dispersed and often almost hidden.

Stefano Arienti, July 2007

The Music.
A game of perspective between the sacred and the profane, elements of jazz, electronic and classical music were taken apart and reassembled with the aim of giving an earthly voice to what is divine and a divine voice to what is more earthly. These voices, the music of DI DEI, in counterpoint with the installation in the courtyard leads the visitor through a conversation at once lyrical and ironic that reveals the paradox that separates the transcendent from the immanent.

Furio Di Castri, July 2007

Di Dei -  S. Arienti  and F. Di Castri

Photogallery Corso