On behalf of Belmond, the pioneer in luxury travel for over 45 years and a custodian of timeless heritage, we are pleased to announce Belmond’s 2022 season partnership with internationally acclaimed art gallery – Galleria Continua – entitled MITICO, which celebrates the talents of four prominent artists, as they take the spotlight in some of Belmond’s captivating landmark gardens across Italy.
Evoking a feeling of inclusivity and community, MITICO embodies a new art philosophy: it is the reinterpretation of universal customs shared amongst different societies, such as cooking, painting, observing, and appreciating, and how these are consumed in their environments. MITICO is a moment in time and history where cultures interact – ultimately it is a celebration of art de vivre.
Deepening its long-standing connection to the arts, through MITICO, Galleria Continua and Belmond invite guests to see cultures through a different lens, tapping into each individual destination’s essence and beauty.
INTRODUCING – A NEW ERA OF ARTISTIC COLLABORATIONS
COOKING THE WORLD
The 59th International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia marks the inception of MITICO, in the Casanova gardens at Cipriani, A Belmond Hotel, Venice, with globally renowned Indian artist, Subodh Gupta presenting his work “Cooking the world”, curated by art consultant Hervé Mikaeloff, from 23 April to 19 November 2022.
The artist has installed a large house fashioned from thousands of pots, pans, and utensils, discarded by their previous users, bearing witness to individual histories and narratives of past utility. Inside a fully working kitchen will be home to Subodh for the inaugural week, here he’ll be captivating observers with a culinary performance, preparing and serving food.
In Cipriani’s gardens on Giudecca Island, where 18th century city dwellers would come to enjoy fresh air and Giacomo Casanova once wooed his lovers, guests will champion the notions of sharing and imparting cultural values. In this hidden away yet naturally beautiful meeting place visitors can gather to celebrate contemporary and ancient customs alike.
VIEWING THE WORLD
In Florence, at Villa San Michele, A Belmond Hotel, Florence, Argentinian artist Leandro Erlich installed “Window & Ladder”, paying homage to its exceptional location overlooking the city of Renaissance, open from 17 May to 7 November 2022.
Perception is a key element of the artists’ work, the large-scale piece, depicting a ladder leading to a real window, challenges and manipulates viewers’ concept of reality. The piece is hidden amidst the beautiful Italian gardens, a particularly alienating spot which further draws one’s eye towards it. It embraces ideas of universal beauty through differing points of view.
Another key to Erlich’s work is architecture, where he focuses his efforts on making art and history attainable for all. “The Cloud”, consisting of multiple panes of glass, lives within the historical refectory of Villa San Michele’s walls. The hotel, a work of art itself, was once a 15th century monastery, home to preserved ancient frescos. When seen from various angles the unique floating work of art appears as a three-dimensional structure, again making the observer question – what is reality and what is illusion.
LOVING THE WORLD
Immersed in the Tuscan countryside, Castello di Casole, A Belmond Hotel, Tuscany, plays home to Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto’s four Etruscan bronze sculptures from 18 May to 14 November 2022.
Standing by ancient trees around the estate’s expansive 4,200 acre grounds, the sculptures accentuate the intrinsic connection between this property and its surrounding land. Named “Accarezzare gli alberi (l’Etrusco)” meaning “caress the trees”, these have been conceived with the beautifully restored 10th century castle in mind, the grounds where Etruscan civilization first took root. As the birthplace of this historical society, this collaboration emphasises the importance of humankind’s impact on nature and the inherent need to protect it.
The hotel land is perfect for the exploration of nature; instilled with movement as hare, pheasant, and deer roam the fields; home to over 25 acres of organic vineyards; groves of olive trees; and hives of industrious bees. Scenic footpaths link the artist’s regal statues, inviting guests to uncover more of the fascinating history behind the Etruscan society. The abundance of life and nature plays a crucial role in the sculptures’ existence, as well as in the everyday life cycle of the hotel and its ecosystem.
COLOURING THE WORLD
Perched in the mountains of Taormina, with sweeping views of Mount Etna and beyond, Grand Hotel Timeo, A Belmond Hotel, Taormina, welcomes Cameroonian artist Pascale Marthine Tayou who is colouring the world with two renewned installations from 25 May to 31 December.
The artist reinstates “Les Routes du Paradis”, meaning the path of happiness, a coloured path from the hotel’s grand entrance, through six acres of property gardens to the magnificent 3rd century Greek Theatre, beckoning guests to discover the enchanted outdoor spaces. Dotted around the path are four crystal sculptures entitled “Totem Cristal”, human-sized totems, each with unique characteristics and personalities. Dressed with elements of various origins, these embody the process of creolisation – the mixing together of different people and cultures.
On the hotel grounds Tayou explores movement, the significance of individuals moving through time and space, and how this impacts upon the convergence of identities. Through colour he celebrates life, culture, and the understanding of one’s self.
A MEETING OF THE MINDS
This inaugural partnership engages all the senses – from cooking at the Cipriani in Venice to delighting in the Florentine views at Villa San Michele, admiring the natural earthly beauties at Castello di Casole, or engaging in captivating vistas at Grand Hotel Timeo – Belmond seeks to create environments where visitors can enjoy art, culture, and nature; dismantling barriers; and opening their doors to all art-lovers alike.