Ai Weiwei standing beside the work La Commedia Umana. Photo from The National Roman Museum website

The National Roman Museum hosts the work La Commedia Umana by Ai Weiwei at the Baths of Diocletian, one of the greatest contemporary artists. Composed of more than two thousand pieces of hand-blown and fused glass by the glass maestros of Berengo Studio in Murano, La Commedia Umana is an enormous chandelier of colossal dimensions (more than six metres wide by almost nine metres high) that, with its four tons of weight, descends from the ceiling of one of the halls of the ancient Baths. It is one of the largest sculptures ever created in Murano glass and will be unveiled in the largest thermal complex in all of antiquity.

La Commedia Umana by Ai Weiwei, work in progress. Photo from The National Roman Museum website
La Commedia Umana by Ai Weiwei, work in progress. Photo from The National Roman Museum website
La Commedia Umana (detail) by Ai Weiwei. Photo from The National Roman Museum website
La Commedia Umana (detail) by Ai Weiwei. Photo from The National Roman Museum website

The monumental sculpture is the result of a three-year collaboration between the famous Chinese artist and activist and Berengo Studio’s master craftsmen, and although it was started well before the outbreak of COVID-19 its dramatic cascade of bones, skulls, and organs cannot help but conjure a striking monument to the lives lost over the course of the pandemic.

Through his work, Ai Weiwei, whose artistic creations and political activity are inseparable, sends a clear message about the mutability of life and at the same time sends a warning to think of the future, to strive for something more for the legacy of humanity beyond the bones we shall leave behind. It is a work that, in the words of the artist: “attempts to speak of death in order to celebrate life.”

La Commedia Umana (detail) by Ai Weiwei. Photo from The National Roman Museum website
La Commedia Umana (detail) by Ai Weiwei. Photo from The National Roman Museum website

The exhibition is produced and organised by the National Roman Museum and Berengo Studio with the Berengo Foundation. The installation inside the Baths of Diocletian, one of the prestigious locations of the Roman National Museum, will be open to the public from 25 March to 3 April 2002.


The info is extracted from the press release.

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