Maurizio Cattelan hung a crocodile in the Baptistery of Cremona on the occasion of the Art-Week

Ego, this is the title of the work, besides being of enormous visual impact, seems to represent the tension between sin and redemption.

Curated by Rossella Farinotti, the first edition of Cremona Contemporanea Art-Week aims to reactivate the places of the ancient city through art, with more than 70 works and the participation of 21 artists, including Ettore Favini and Francesco Ozzola, Olivier Mosset who lit the deconsecrated church of San Carlo in yellow, and Nicole Colombo with her aesthetic objects in the Diocesan Museum.

But the piece of the exhibition that attracts the most attention is found in the Baptistery, where Maurizio Cattelan has hung in the void a crocodile, Ego, immediately raising some controversy. This animal has in fact a strong symbolic meaning in Christian iconography, being a demonic figure – except for Saint Pacomius who crossed the Nile on his back – and also in medieval bestiaries it represented the figure of the hypocrite, the miser and the libertine.

Precisely here – and from the approval of the work by Fr Gianluca Gaiardi, responsible for the Cultural Heritage of the Diocese – we can see the tension to redemption, which is expressed in an upward movement from a condition of sin towards the light, and therefore a possible liberation. In addition, the work dialogues with another famous crocodile of the territory, the one hanging for centuries in Santa Maria delle Grazie, in the nearby Mantua area.

The crocodile will remain hung all summer, while the Art-Week is going to end on June 4.

Cover image is courtesy of Diocesi di Cremona.

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