Casa Balla. From Home to the Universe and Back
In 1915, Giacomo Balla and Fortunato Depero wrote one of the most emblematic texts in the history of the twentieth-century avant-gardes: the manifesto Futurist reconstruction of the universe. Through visions and inventions, and with the intention of realizing a “total fusion in order to reconstruct the universe by making it more joyful, in other words by an integral re-creation”, the two artists not only envisaged a formal revolution of the known world, but also declared their ambition to re-establish existence by immersing oneself in an art that can provide a “dynamic, simultaneous, plastic and noise-ist expression of the universal vibration”. The concept of a total aesthetics of the futurist cosmos takes shape through onomatopoeias, typographies, objects, unusual materials, actions and a constant recourse to the synaesthesia between vision and sound.
In those same years, Balla brought this aesthetic to the personal and domestic world by reimagining the universe in his Roman apartment in the Delle Vittorie district. Casa Balla came to be called the “Magician’s house” due to the bright colours and the decor, which explodes onto every surface, including furniture and clothes of those who lived all their lives there: Giacomo Balla, his wife Elisa and their daughters, the painters Luce and Elica. Today, Casa Balla is open to the public for the first time as an integral part of this project.
Casa Balla. From the house to the universe and back, an ambitious project articulated between cultural heritage and artistic production, is not only a tribute to this extraordinary total work of art created by the Master of Futurism and his daughters, but also a journey through time to rediscover of themes that animate the contemporary world as they anticipated it.
Today, in addition to representing one of the most important art histories of the twentieth century, Futurism is strongly rooted in our way of conceiving creativity as a functional and central thought system in its social and cultural dimension. The typical avant-gardist project of breaking down disciplinary barriers is thus found in the work of the eight contemporary authors invited to re-read Casa Balla as a symbolic form of existence. In a dialogue and an intertwining beyond the boundaries of historical times, artistic seasons and creative languages – from visual art to design, from graphics to fashion, from performing arts to architecture and the expressions of the virtual – and in a vision of art that affects all fields of life, the exhibition at MAXXI intends to return to Futurism all its innovative and experimental strength.