Galeria Continua, San Gimignano
“He who walks with difficulties along the road of virtue, even if it be both rocky and full of thorns, at the end of the climb finds himself at last in a broad plain, with all the happiness he yearned for. And looking down, seeing the cruel path he has trodden amidst perils,… with great contentment blesses those labours that had earlier caused him so much pain. And so making up for the suffering of the past with the delight of the present, without toil though he tries to make those who watch him understand how the heat, cold, sweat, hunger, thirst, and hardship he suffered to acquire virtue, may free others from poverty and lead them to that safe and tranquil state…” Giorgio Vasari, Vite de’ più eccellenti pittori, scultori e architettori italiani, da Cimabue insino a’ tempi nostri (1550), quoted by Cristina Acidini Luchinat in her biography Benozzo Gozzoli* (Scala Publishing,1994).
*Notes: Benozzo Gozzoli was the artist who painted in 1464 the celebrated fresco cycle, Storie della vita di Sant’Agostino (Scenes from the Life of Saint Augustine), in the chapel of the choir in the Church of Sant’Agostino in San Gimignano.
Inspired by Gozzoli and his frescos inside out is a site-specific performance conceived by Chopra for the Galleria Continua in San Gimignano. The performance, the longest realized to date by the artist, lasted for 99 hours, beginning at 11 am on Wednesday 25 April and ending at 2 pm on Sunday 29 April. During this period of time, the artist assumed the guise of different personae to embody history and memory, and walked through the streets of the town and the surrounding countryside. In the course of the performance, Chopra produced a series of drawings of San Gimignano and of the Tuscan landscape. The drawings and their installation were executed both outside and inside the Arco dei Becci exhibition space, which was the artist’s abode for the duration of the performance. The installation, the result of four days of performance, remained on public display until 20 August 2012.
From the press release