Yuri Ancarani. The Roots of Violence

Curated by Marcella Beccaria

July 9 – November 10, 2019

Second floor, Castello, Rooms 29-30-31


The exhibition Yuri Ancarani. The Roots of Violence presents for the first time the film trilogy San Siro (2014), San Vittore (2018), and San Giorgio (2019, shooting reel edit). This trilogy outlines an additional chapter in Yuri Ancarani’s research dedicated to places of socialization, of work, and of social control. The artist’s practice focuses on the interaction between human bodies, architecture, technology, and the resulting emotional relations of communities.

The work San Vittore won the second edition of the Italian Council (2017), a competition conceived by the Directorate-General for Contemporary Art and Architecture and Urban Peripheries (DGAAP) – an organism of the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities, to promote Italian contemporary art in the world. San Vittore stems from the artist’s reflections on the condition of children whose parents are in prison. Ancarani came into contact with a non-profit association that has been working for years in Milan’s prison San Vittore to protect relationships between parents in jail and their children, safeguarding their rights. The film by Ancarani lingers on details of the complex world of children, focusing on those who each day enter and leave the prison. The film also describes the strict security measures minors are subject to once they enter San Vittore to visit their parent. The ways in which children’s imagination elaborates the prison world are narrated by the artist through drawings made by the minors themselves. In some of these, as if by eerie magic, the jail becomes a castle, inhabited by kings and queens.

San Vittore expands the research dedicated to iconic locations in Milan, the city where the artist has lived and worked for the past 25 years, already begun with another film on view, San Siro (2014). Set in the eponymous stadium, the film San Siro is an unexpected and powerful portrayal in which this famous place of leisure and amusement is presented as if it was a big machine that is constantly cared for by skilled technicians. The work is characterized by tension in crescendo, alluding to the energy that gradually grows during sports events.

At the center of the exhibition, a first and experimental version of San Giorgio (2019, shooting reel edit) is also presented. The work explores the idea of banking, institutions that have accompanied the history of our civilization since the Middle Ages and whose pervasiveness in our social system entails, at the same time, the notion of secrecy. The sequence of images leads visitors inside hidden places that guard enormous treasures and ends up with a focus on the strict protocol of destruction that paper documents with sensitive information are subject to.

The exhibition Yuri Ancarani. The Roots of Violence follows the artist’s solo show held in 2018 at Kunsthalle Basel that was supported by the Italian Council thanks to a competition won with Castello di Rivoli. As part of this prestigious international collaboration, the Kunsthalle Basel and Castello di Rivoli are working on the first catalog dedicated to the artist’s work. The publication will include essays by Elena Filipovic, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Marcella Beccaria, and a conversation between the artist and Massimiliano Gioni.


Yuri Ancarani(Ravenna, 1972)is an Italian video artist and filmmaker. Drawing upon documentary film traditions and original poetic investigations, his works are able to explore realms of the everyday that are hard to see, according to a practice aimed at analyzing our present, which the artist embarks upon first-hand. Ancarani’s works have been presented in numerous exhibitions internationally, including: Manifesta 12 (Palermo, Italy); Kunsthalle Basel (Basel, Switzerland); 16th Quadriennale d’Arte – Altri tempi, altri miti, Palazzo delle Esposizioni (Rome); 55th Esposizione d’Arte Internazionale, Il Palazzo Enciclopedico, La Biennale di Venezia (Italy); Beursschouwburg (Brussels, Belgium); CAC, Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève (Geneva, Switzerland); Centre Pompidou (Paris, France); Fondazione Sandretto, Re Rebaudengo (Turin); Hammer Museum (Los Angeles, California); AMACI, Museo del Novecento (Milan); MAXXI, Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI secolo (Rome); R. Solomon Guggenheim Museum (New York, USA); Palais de Tokyo (Paris, France); RaebervonStenglin (Zurich, Switzerland); Stiftung Insel Hombroich (Neuss, Germany).The artist has also taken part in numerous festivals, such as New Directors/New Films, MoMA (New York, USA); Desert Exhibition of Art (Palm Spring, California); True/False Film Festival (Columbia, Missouri); SXSW South by Southwest (Houston, Texas); Ann Arbor Film Festival (Michigan, USA); Hot Docs (Toronto, Canada); TIFF Toronto International Film Festival (Toronto, Canada); BIM Biennale dell’Immagine in Movimento, Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève (Geneva, Switzerland); Locarno Film Festival (Locarno, Switzerland); Viennale (Vienna, Austria); 67th and 68th Festival del Cinema di Venezia (La Biennale di Venezia, Italy); IFFR International Film Festival Rotterdam (Rotterdam, Holland); 23rd IDFA International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (Amsterdam, Holland); Cinéma du Réel (Centre Pompidou, Paris, France); CPH:DOX (Copenhagen, Denmark); Festival International du Film de La Roche-sur-Yon (La Roche-sur-Yon, France); Beat Film Festival (Moscow, Russia); Taipei Film Festival (Taipei, Taiwan). He has also won many awards and prizes, including the “Jury Special Prize CINÉ+” Cineasti del presente, 69th Locarno Film Festival (Locarno, Switzerland); five nominations at the Cinema Eye Honors (New York, USA); “Grand Prix in Lab Competition,” Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival (Clermont-Ferrand, France). The artist is represented by the Isabella Bortolozzi Galerie, Berlin, and ZERO…, Milan.