Shilpa Gupta at Ala Scaligera, Isole Borromee

The group exhibition ‘Fantastic Utopias’ displays art work by Shilpa Gupta at Ala Scaligera at the Rocca di Angera on Isole Borromee, Italy. On display are the works of 15 international artists who, in their diversity, give rise to unexpected and perhaps even magical images and objects, both seductive and frightening at the same time, able to take us to alternative universes far removed from verosimilitude. The fantastic, relegated to the world of childhood ever since the 19th century, has become the means to break with conventions and imagine what seems impossible and unknown. Each of these works uses the fantastic to talk of fantastic utopias into which society and its idiosyncrasies are transformed. These artists testify to how imagining an alternative reality offers the first step towards reaching it. The exhibition has come about from the premise that in our post-real world, in which conflicts and political and environmental crises seem to follow each other in rapid succession, the fantastic and its representations have returned to being at the centre of contemporary reflections. Phenomena and trends such as the worldwide success of Harry Potter, the Oscar for the film The Shape of Water (2017) or TV’s obsession with Game of Thrones (2011–2019) are the proof of this. With the aim of escaping reality, we dream of being surrounded by magical creatures, we live thinking about monsters and battles between dystopian worlds, as though the secularisation of society were to lead to the need to imagine ourselves in other worlds. In collaboration with Galleria Continua.  April 20 – September 27, 2020.