A journey in search of freedom, in a place where you can breathe true utopia and dream of a different world. At the dawn of the twentieth century, the colony of Monte Verità settled among the luxuriant woods and the gentle hills overlooking Lake Maggiore prophetically anticipated themes that are vital today, between the ecology of living and the ecology of the soul. Its founders were absolute pioneers of organic and eco-friendly living, vegetarian culture and natural body care. Since then, this history and this journey to the origins of a regenerated relationship between man and creation has been nourished by an extraordinary force of topicality.
The Museo Novecento, in collaboration with the Monte Verità Foundation (Ascona Canton Ticino), presents Monte Verità. Back to nature, the first exhibition in Italy dedicated to the famous hill of utopia, its founders and the illustrious guests who frequented it. From the anarchist Bakunin to the Hungarian choreographer Rudolf von Laban, from the Dadaist Hugo Ball to the Bauhaus architect Walter Gropius, from the artist Hans Arp to Paul Klee, from the great writer Hermann Hesse to Carl Gustav Jung, many intellectuals saw in this place a good a retreat suspended in time and away from the drama of wars and from the ideological clash between capitalism and communism that was going through Europe. Cradle of an existence based on primitive rhythms, Monte Verità became the laboratory of a new culture, a counter-culture born in response to bourgeois conformism and dominant thought, which attracted thinkers and anarchists, philosophers, theosophists, writers, artists and architects from every country.
The exhibition, curated by the director of the Museo Novecento, Sergio Risaliti, with Nicoletta Mongini and Chiara Gatti, is divided into three stages, which move from the philosophical origins of the Monte, to the development of its architecture and the art of dance, to arrive at sink into the memory of a remote place, where a community of free men has given birth to an anarchist paradise, a magnetic center of culture and spirituality that has marked an extraordinary chapter of modern history. Set up in the cloister spaces, the exhibition narrates, thanks to a long timeline, one hundred years of utopia and ideals, virtuous encounters and aesthetic research, from vegetarian practice to Lebensreform sunbathing, from the birth of theosophy to the free expressions of human genius through the harmonious exercise of the body, painting, poetry.
Vintage images, testimonies, virtual reconstructions, clothes and symbolic objects punctuate a journey at the dawn of this multidisciplinary cenacle, the fervent cradle of European counterculture, dotted with memorable figures.
The exhibition is enriched by a program with film screenings, conferences and book presentations and by a book-catalog dedicated to the history of Monte Verità with contributions by Sergio Risaliti, Nicoletta Mongini, Chiara Gatti and Luca Scarlini, complete with an iconographic apparatus that includes numerous historical images, reconstructions, projects and a summary of all the personalities who, in a hundred years, have inhabited, populated, animated, described, known, studied or even just caressed what the great architect Mario Botta defined “the laboratory of one of the most radical artistic and social utopias of the time ».
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