February 9 > June 27, 2021
curated by Angel Moya Garcia

The story of mankind has been constantly peppered with wars and conflicts triggered by religious, political, cultural and economic motives. By the same token, the present day cannot seem to succeed in shaking off or in differentiating itself from these issues which appear to be intrinsic and ancestral, thus the uncertain times that beset us tend to spawn a daily situation that is systematically submerged beneath ceaseless attempts at destabilisation in a search for domination, control and the enforcement of certain ideologies, fact that marks and highlights the topical urgency of Luigi Presicce's project presented in Rome's Mattatoio exhibition spaces.


This project brings together a cycle of ten episodes entitled "Le Storie della Vera Croce" which first saw the light of day in 2012  and which now make up a single monumental work being shown in its entirety for the very first time. Ten chapters comprise a total of eighteen performances presented through the medium of video recordings initially produced by Francesco G. Raganato and subsequently by Daniele Pezzi, in which painting becomes the nerve centre of the display. This initial juxtaposition spawns a weekly palimpsest consisting of six tableaux vivants around which a specific number of guest artists create painting-from-life sessions, together with four exploratory dialogues and a film retrospective.

The Le Storie della Vera Croce cycle takes its inspiration from the eponymous story of the Holy Wood based on the "La Legenda Aurea" of Jacobus de Varagine's (1228–98) and on the Holy Bible. These are the two texts to which Agnolo Gaddi (1350–96) and Piero Della Francesca (1416–92) referred when producing two of the most important painted cycles in the history of Italian art in the 14th and 15th centuries, one in Santa Croce in Florence and the other in San Francesco in Arezzo. Luigi Presicce takes these ten stages to review and address episodes from the story of the Holy Wood on parallel planes mingled with historical and contemporary events and figures of social and political importance and with alchemical and esoteric symbologies, without overlooking the theme of the wars triggered by clashes between religions that have peppered our history. The sets, which are deliberately inconsistent with the events' true era, build a succession of anachronistic narratives through static pictures that observe us and invite us to enter a highly unique imaginary space bringing together opposites such as pathways for initiates and post-modern materialism, mystic faith and scientific refutability.
Following a research associated with often very different media such as painting and performance art, and setting mythology, history, beliefs and religion side by side, Luigi Presicce's project alternates between the presentation of his performances in video format and obsessive research into painting. The end of the videos leads to performances, encounters and film screenings focusing on painting from life and on tableaux vivants through an eclectic tangle of quotations and echoes mixing street culture and mysteric cult, folklore and the sacred, and ancient and contemporary history in a totally free and independent fashion.

On the one hand the artist devotes constant attention to man and to his search for the immaterial, while on the other he offers a reflection on the role that the figure of the artist plays within that pathway. Thus the Mattatoio's Pavilion 9B is transformed into a space inviting the visitor to build his or her own initiate's pathway of attention to history, to knowledge and to a cultural heritage possibly now hazy yet crucial for the definition of our identity, which stands out and comes back through an aesthetic composition studied with meticulous obsession.



Luigi Presicce's Le Storie della Vera Croce project is the second chapter in the three-year Dispositivi Sensibili (Sensitive Devices) programme devised by Angel Moya Garcia for Rome's Mattatoio, focusing on the convergence of method, aesthetics and practice in the visual and performance arts through a constantly evolving presentation model. 


The exhibition was made possible thanks to the institutions and people who supported and contributed to the development of the cycle "Le Storie della Vera Croce" since 2012 such as Watershed/Intramoenia Extra Art, Barletta; MACRO, Roma; Arte a Capo, Gagliano del Capo (LE); The Blank, Bergamo; ArtOnTime, Castello in Movimento, Fosdinovo (MS); Museo Marino Marini, Firenze; Centrale Fies, Dro (TR); MAGA – Museo di Arte di Gallarate and Azienda Speciale Palaexpo - Mattatoio | Progetto Prender-si cura.


Special thanks goes to Francesco G. Raganato and Daniele Pezzfor the realisation and the concession of the videos.

23 July 2020 > 31 December 2022
The project, curated by Angel Moya Garcia, sets out to produce, develop, convey and communicate a broad overview of contemporary performance practices.

Pavillion 9b, from July 13
Prinz Gholam. While Being Other
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday from 11.00 am to 8.00 pm
Friday and Saturday from 11.00 am to 10.00 pm

Free admission

Pavillion 9a, until August 22

World Press Photo Exhibition
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday from 11.00 am to 8.00 pm
Friday and Saturday from 11.00 am to 10.00 pm

tickets with compulsory booking

Restricted numbers apply to contain Covid-19, the capacity of the pavilions that host the exhibitions is 50 people per hour



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May 20, 2021
from 6.00pm to 7.00pm and from 7.00pm to 8.00pm

June 3, 2021
from 6.00pm to 7.00pm and from 7.00pm to 8.00pm

June 17 > May 17, 2021
from 6.00pm to 7.00pm and from 7.00pm to 8.00pm