PRESENZA - A Dialogue Between Past, Present and Future

There are so many ways of understanding a cultural asset today.

For Foundation Augusto Rancilio one of the meanings which gives way to a place of culture is to understand it as a place of presence. For a long time Villa Arconati was a place of absence, closed to the public and uninhabited.

Today Foundation Augusto Rancilio brings you Presence:

Physical presence of an audience that can enter and own the culture of a place. This is fundamental for FAR to open the public to Villa Arconati and share the work done. Presence as an external aspect that tells others a place. For this reason, FAR not only exhibits Villa Arconati but continuously seeks new content through the realization of activities. Presence as a consciousness of a place and its meanings. For this reason FAR promotes studies and research through its Research Center. Material presence of a place to be protected. For this reason FAR leads an important recovery project of Villa Arconati.


These are the signs that characterize the project of valorization that Fondazione Augusto Rancilio is conducting in Villa Arconati-FAR and with this exhibition FAR wants to begin to reflect together with the public on the meaning of the presence today of a cultural asset. Villa Arconati-FAR is present not as a museum of the past but as a place of culture for the future. For a long time Villa Arconati was a place of absence, closed to the public and uninhabited. Today FAR brings you Presence.



With this exhibition Fondazione Augusto Rancilio reopens to the public a part of Villa Arconati for a long time closed, bringing its presence in all its perceptions. In these rooms are exhibited works from the Kiron Espace collection, chosen by the Foundation for dialogue and confrontation with Villa Arconati. In line with the term "presence" taken from the Italian language, the exhibition presents some of the meanings of this word by approaching the interpretation of the three subjects on display. Each room therefore deepens one of the 4 significances of presence that also characterizes the Foundation's project Augusto Rancilio.



Preṡènza [from Latin. Praesentia, derivative of praesens -entis «present»].

1. Being in a certain place, or intervening, to attend something

2. Self-awareness

3. With reference to material things, it simply indicates existence in a certain place

4. Exterior appearance, way of presenting


The rooms have not been renovated and on this occasion we want to show as they come to us so that visitors can independently discover the traces of the presence for over 300 years, here he lived.


Artists on displayPierluigi Bellacci, James Brown, Barbara Chease Riboud, Emanuele Gregolin, Jean-Luc Guérin, Jean Guitton, François Martin, W. Riley Maynard, Eduard Pignon, Francesco Podesti, Andoche Praudel, Andrei Prychodko, André Queffurus, Michel Random, Antoni Taulè, Ommer Uwe, Varozza, Xavier Zimmerman.




A new section enriches the exhibition "Presence"

From Sunday 3 September 2017, the "Presence" exhibition on the ground floor of Villa Arconati-FAR is enriched with a new sectionexceptionally exposed the latest works by American photographer W. Riley Maynard, deep and expressive looks that push to question about their own life.

Six photographic reproductions, each one showing the face of a person amplified by exaggerated magnitude (190 x 112 cm): this allows you to enter the most personal and intimate sphere of these people, who look at us with polemical look and totally without shame or fiction.

They are the souls of a pre-industrial life marked by poverty and pride. Observing their faces, one can perceive the sounds of the road and the fragments of life flowing from the past to the future. There are glances that do not allow us to go beyond without asking questions about the meaning of life. In them nothing is hidden.

The looks are full of "presence".


Maynard is the fourth photographer on display that adds his personal "look" to the French Xavier Zimmermann's Facade, in which the presence is shown with an objective simplicity, with no sign of affection; To German Owe Ommer who with his Sabrina shows the illusion of the presence between reality and the construction of the image; And Michel Random, with his portrait of master Federico Fellini.

The United States is featured on display by two other major artists: the sculptor Barbara Chase-Riboud from Philadelphia, whose works are exhibited at the collections of Metropolitan Mueum and MOMA, and evoke the delicate intertwining of common inheritances between blacks and whites in American cultural evolution.

And finally, Californian James Brown, who creates his works from geographic maps: the physical presence of these objects combined with the rarefied and subtle symbols used from time to time evokes the journey as an inner tale.




Presence: a dialogue between the past, present and future

Ground floor of Villa Arconati-FAR

Available on Sundays until October 22, 2017

From 10.30 to 18.30

Free admission (after payment of the entrance to the Villa - € 5,00)

Hyper Real - W Riley Maynard Show Review

Professor Byrd Williams IV,  Collin College

Professor Byrd Williams IV, Collin College

Hyper Real

"Viewing W. Riley Maynard’s new work is like sitting on the front row at the movie theater.  You walk into the room and catch a startling glance of a large face peaking from behind a partition. As you approach, the human head grows larger and larger until you are looking up into a six-foot face. There is Bamboo. There are street sounds. There is detritus of life. Mr. Maynard transports us to Northern India where the distance in miles is as far away from us as the distance in culture. These images are not a glimpse from a tour bus window but a microscopic view of faces that are formed by a pre-industrial life lived in poverty and pride. You can see the passage of time in these faces as well as unfamiliar adornments such as Vermillion Bindi marking purity with turbans and unexpected jewelry. They study ‘us’ with a confrontational gaze that is devoid of shame or pretense. We can see into the pores of their skin and up their noses and in their mouths. This is an examination of their flesh and humanity, executed as if W. Riley was a doctor of medicine.  Nothing hidden. We cannot invade personal space in polite in society nor can we stand for hours examining these anatomic landscapes yet W. Riley Maynard has provided this privileged appointment with art and Hominina through his patience and ethnographic warmth."

Review by Byrd Williams IV, Professor, Collin College

Author of "Proof: Photographs from Four Generations of a Texas Family"


L’ iper-reale – Recensione della mostra fotografica di W. Riley Maynard

28 luglio 2017, Professor Byrd Williams IV, Collin College


“Una visone delle nuove opera di W. Riley Maynard e`paragonabile all’ essere seduti in prima fila al cinema. Si entra in una stanza e si e` sorpresi da un grande viso che sbircia da dietro una partizione.  Piu` ci si avvicina, piu` la testa umana si  ingrandisce finche` ci si trova a guardare un volto alto sei piedi. C’e` del bambu`. Ci sono tipici suoni di strada. Ci sono frammenti di vita. Mr. Maynard ci trasporta in un’India Settentrionale tanto distante da noi in miglia quanto in cultura. Queste immagini non sono scorci catturati dal finestrino di un autobus turistico ma una visione al microscopio di volti forgiati da una vita pre-industriale marcata da poverta` ed orgoglio. Si puo` vedere il passare del tempo in questi visi ma appaiono anche ornamenti inconsueti come il Bindi vermiglio che indica purezza unito aturbanti e gioielli soprendenti.  Loro studiano “noi” con sguardi polemici totalmente privi di vergogna o finzione. Possiamo guardare dentroi pori della loro pelle, su per i loro nasi , all’interno delle loro bocche. E`, questo, un esame della loro carne e della loro umanita`, eseguita come se W.Riley fosse un dottore in medicina. Niente di nascosto. Non possiamo invadere in modo educato lo spazio privato all’interno della societa`, e nemmeno possiamo soffermarci per ore ad esaminare questi paesaggi anatomici, eppure W. Riley Maynard offre questa possibilita` all’arte ed agli Ominidi grazie alla sua pazienza ed al suo calore nei confronti dell’etnografia.”


Recensione di Byrd Williams IV, Professore, Collin College, autore del libro “ Proof”. Sue opere possono essere trovate all’Amon Carter Museum e al Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.