VITA DULCIS Exhibition at Palazzo delle Esposizioni

VITA DULCIS at Palazzo delle Esposizioni

Fear and desire in the Roman Empire

Living is beautiful – the title of this eclectic exhibition, taking inspiration from Fellini’s iconic movie, wants to communicate joys and pain through archaeology, contemporary art and Italian movies in the newly arranged framework of Palazzo delle Esposizioni, right in Via Nazionale. 

The exhibition is cured by Francesco Vezzoli and Stéphane Verger, it features a surprising combination of antiquity, modern world and Roman heritage and will be open until August 27.

The journey develops in seven thematic rooms, each of them connected to the central round space in the middle of the gallery, and presents works of art coming from the Roman National Museum, Vezzoli’s art works while displaying iconic movie clips on the background. The curator’s ambition is to relaunch a new course for the Palazzo delle Esposizioni, revamping its attire to fit into the international cultural scene.

Archaeological manufacts from the 1st century AD are set next to contemporary artworks without a period distinction or labels, making it easy for the visitors to mistake an old torso of an Emperor with modern times statues. Vezzoli’s works can be identified because they incorporate different elements, materials, colours and techniques in order to build a link between the past and the present times.

The seven rooms – each one recognisable with a Latin inscription – are dedicated to the central themes of the Roman live, from war and death to love, passion, the feminine world and the comedies. The last rooms illustrate the celebration of imperial power and the strength of its decadence (Mixtura dementiae). The curator’s perspective wants to be universal and cross-sectional, wishing to share with the visitors an idea, a glimpse of the Roman life through several stimuli. Many will turn up their nose in front of the curator’s risky choice but the exhibition is an opportunity to discover Rome’s archaeological past in a fun and engaging way.

Until June 5 at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni you can also visit the World Press Photo Exhibition

Francesco Vezzoli, Lo sguardo di Adriano, 2018, Roman marble head (117-138 AD), acrylic paint, cm 60 x 36 x 36, Courtesy Francesco Vezzoli, Almine Rech Gallery, Galleria Franco Noero, Apalazzogallery, Ph. Sebastiano Pellion Di Persano

Not to miss:

  • A collection of sixty nine anatomical ex-votos of female genitals, 4th -2nd century BC on terracotta in the DUX FEMINA FACTI room;
  • Adriano’s gaze, 2018, by Francesco Vezzoli
  • Sleeping hermaphrodite dating mid-2nd century AD occupying the centre of the RIDENTEM DICERE VERUM section;
  • Kim Kardashian’s portrait (Ante litteram) by Vezzoli, made in 2018, made of a marble head on a bronze body;
  • The Antinoo’s head and bust from the Boncompagni collection.
Bust of Antinous from the Collezione Boncompagni Ludovisi, head and bust 2nd century AD, portrait 17th century, Lunense marble for the bust and the ancient section of the head,
Carrara marble in the integrations, height cm 68 Museo Nazionale Romano | Palazzo Altemps, Ph. Stefano Castellani


Palazzo delle Esposizioni
Via Nazionale, 194

Opening hours:
Tuesday to Sunday: 10am to 8pm

Entry fees:

Until May 4: €10 full, €8 reduced

From May 5: € 12,50 full, € 10 reduced

From August 1: €10 full, €8 reduced

Info & tickets:

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