No other city is so fascinating as Verona. Its history is extraordinarily
rich in artistic styles and architectures, making of Romeo and Juliet’s
city a universal heritage of mankind.
AT JULIET’S HOME
With the collaboration of the Department for Culture-Director of Museums and Monuments of the Municipality of Verona.
For the third year Abitare il Tempo can count on the event At Juliet’s home, which in the previous editions gained enormous international acclaim. A three year project, experimental and courageous, born of an agreement with the Department for Culture- Director of Museums and Monuments of the Municipality of Verona. After Giulio Cappellini and Philippe Daverio, this year the home of Shakespeare’s heroine will be entrusted to an interpretation by Tanja Solci, curator and Peter Bottazzi architect-set designer.
This will be inaugurated on the evening of 16th September from 19/21.30
Tanja Solci, curator, and Peter Bottazzi set designer,
propose to invite the public into the realm of the word.
The legend of Romeo and Juliet has been told throughout the centuries in writing and verbally, on the stage, in paintings and cinematically,…our project perhaps explores the missing language, that of perception, not so much of the familiar story but of the dream that goes with it. “To construct a ‘territory’ made up of surfaces, materials and voices which weave a language where the flow of the words passes across the senses: sight, hearing, smell, touch, Juliet’s style… Her home, her colours which become mixed with ours…”
The word is the vector, the filter, the signal which Peter Bottazzi makes three dimensional in order to facilitate the imaginary. From the façade of the house on Via Cappello is superimposed like a second skin which brushes the space of the courtyard and invades the three floors up to the neighbouring terrace.
The attempt will be of a physical reconstruction of the feeling of Juliet’s love in her house, without omitting that desire of the visitor to leave a word, even on the American chewing gum of others who have crossed that threshold before them. The whole thing will be conceptualised and turned into letters never written, into books still to be glanced at, into forgotten nursery rhymes.
The museum-house of Juliet dates back to the thirties and is a fantastical “invention” by Antonio Avena, director of the museums of Verona.
On the slender thread of the Cappello coat of arms, interpreted as the insignia of the Capulets, Juliet’s family, the area comprising the fortified house and tower, largely modified up to the nineteenth century, was transformed into what, with its 200,000 annual visitors, is the most frequented monument in Verona after the Roman arena.
Recently the city administrators undertook a programme of overhaul and maintenance, which has only lasted inside, whilst the facade has been scandalously “attacked” by the destructive passion of the fans. Subsequently, in 1997 The Director of Museums and Monuments put on show about one hundred pieces from the civic collection, which included furniture, detached frescoes, paintings, arms and ceramics. In 2002, the interior of the house was arranged using material from Franco Zeffirelli’s celebrated 1968 film “Romeo and Juliet”: the bed, entrusted by Imperiale World Services s.p.a, two costumes from Danilo Donati and some of Zeffirelli’s sketches. Meanwhile, the sculptor Pucci De Rossi designed, at our request, a table-desk where it is possible to leave messages, which are sent to the Juliet Society and from where one can access the database, which has been set up by the same association. Finally Alberto Erseghe and Flavia Pesci have made ten reading desks which underline, using William Shakespeare’s words, and photographs of scenes from the film by George Cukor, the most important moments of the story. All this, to satisfy the constant expectation of the visitors for more stimuli, to re-live the romantic, fascinating affair.
From this perspective, Abitare il Tempo’s temporary initiative, which has reached its third edition, appears interesting and useful, and in any case full of suggestion, which for some can come as a real shock. This is what happened with the “up dating” created in 2002 by Giulio Cappellini’s contemporary design, while in 2003 Philippe Daverio proposed an interpretation in gothic mode for the story of the young Verona lovers, with the contribution of contemporary artists. This year Tanja Solci and Peter Bottazzi, by way of words, will try to embody the emotions which are both universal and yet highly individual, and bring to life, in a different way daily, for each visitor, our extraordinary house-museum.
Museum and Monuments Director of the city of Verona