CONCILIO Stefano Cagol
54th International Art Exhibition - la Biennale di Venezia
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The World is not Enough

Gregor Jansen

Churches have always been special sites for exhibiting because, in them, the works of art themselves serve the true owner of the House of God for edification and glorification of gospel and are thus dedicated to the sole universal ruler. The cleansing of the churches by the Protestants and the prohibition of graven images by the iconoclasts prompted the—visually powerful—catholic reaction during the seventeenth century in the form of the baroque. Imaged-based propaganda was juxtaposed with rhetoric, with the word of God, and created—both pictorially and architecturally—an overloaded century of the new world order. The sixteenth century Council of Trent (Concilium Tridentinum in Latin, Concilio di Trento in Italian) represented a step in this direction on the part of the counter-reformation.

Developed through the joining of opposites, the splitting of like entities, through “parallel convergences” that generate a liminal landscape and a territory on borders, the solo show CONCILIO has an ideal starting point in the Stefano Cagol’s place of birth, a territory marking the passage between South and North, Rome and Wittenberg, between Italy and Germany: Trento, Trentino South Tyrol. Cagol states it is not just a site, a landmark, but also what is nowadays defined as a “highly unpredictable event,” the controversial influence of which reaches out from a distant past and impinges upon the everyday complexities of our lives. Therefore, identity and history become the points of departure implicit in the title of the exhibition, but also the idea of a posited tension with regard to the unknown and the unforeseen resonates.
Between the pyramids as symbol for eternity and power and borders as a symbol for inclusion/exclusion and power, the interior of the Church of San Gallo in Venice becomes a perfect context for religious background and intellectual power. In the world—between the terrestrial, the political and the religious—spiritual power is not enough.

* The text has been published on Illuminations. 54th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, Marsilio Editori, 2011
And it is part also of an essay published on new Stefano Cagol's monograph PUBLIC OPINION, Charta, 2011

CONCILIO Stefano Cagol . 54th International Art Exhibition - la Biennale di Venezia . Curated by:  Gregor Jansen . Scientific Direction:  Gabriella Belli, Andrea Viliani
Chiesa di San Gallo (San Gallo Church), San Marco, Venice . 10 am – 6 pm . Free entrance . Monday closed . May 31 – November 27, 2011
Promoting Institutions: Mart – Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto . Fondazione Galleria Civica – Center of Research on Contemporaneity of Trento  .