(R)EVOLUTION IN TRENTO: The Return of Stefano Cagol


"The New God" video installation by Stefano Cagol (1995) on view at Galleria Civica di Trento (video still c. Stefano Cagol).

The majestic border city of Trento celebrated the full circle return of its native son, Stefano Cagol, with a mid-career retrospective at Galleria Civica MART, after igniting Europe's Kundalini with The Body of Energy.


Galleria Civica di Trento is located in the historic core of the Council of Trent.


Stefano Cagol at a favorite spot across from Galleria Civica di Trento on the via Belenzani with exhibition catalogue editor Mariella Rossi (left) and Margherita de Pilati, who co-curated the exhibition with Denis Isaia.

Arriving for the 24 March bellissima inaugurazione was all of Trentino...


From left to right: Mart Director Gianfranco Maraniello, Culture Councillor for the municipality of Trento Andrea Robol, curator Margherita de Pilati, Stefano Cagol and curator Denis Isaia (photo by Mariella Rossi).

...and beyond.


From left to right: collector Giancarlo Longo, Stefano Cagol and Giacomo Nicolodi, ‎Global VIP PR Manager for Diesel (photo by Mariella Rossi).

It turned into a spring celebration of renewal for Italian contemporary art originating in the alpine city that historically united the secular and religious with its succession of bishop princes.


Neptune with his Trident in the central piazza is the symbol of Trento.

Trento was named by the Romans for its three mountains (tre-denti=three teeth). The number three is crucial to the vision of the city's border smashing native artist...


Cagol's "Tridentum" (Tri-dentum=tre-denti=three teeth) public commission is pyramid triad reflecting the three mountains which gives the city its name.  The sculpture is located in a key city roundabout, presaging the artist's return to both the city and gallery which gave him his first exhibition in 1995. See the opening here (Photo c. Stefano Cagol).

The rebirth taking place here is the paradigm shift.  The determinist dualism of linear time transmutes into the Third, the magic of kairos.

And there is a good deal of magic in the oeuvre of Trento's native son.


"Stars and Stripes" (2005) is Cagol's most realized video arising from his experiments with an optical language of the Third as the transmutation of opposites (Video still c. Stefano Cagol).


Cagol's studio in the nearby village of Revò has recently become a stop for the tour bus.

Under a portentous eclipse cycle culminating with Easter, the paradigm shift evident in the U.S. Election cycle was on view in the two decades of Stefano Cagol's journey to transform dualism through the alchemical reaction of his materials.


"Evoke/Provoke" (2010): This chilling yet mesmerizing video is an art-I-fact of Cagol's alchemical journey. The artist wields the fire transforming solid (particle) into liquid (wave) evoking the quintessential element (wavicle) of the New God (Photo c. Stefano Cagol)

That Cagol's 1995-2015 mid-career retrospective was put together in a matter of months following the culmination of his Body of Energy project in Berlin--that took him from the fjords of northern Norway to Gilbralter--was something of an Easter miracle in itself...

Cagol discussing "The Body of Energy" with the Civica curators Margherita de Pilati and Denis Isaia.

...and a cause for celebration in the magnifici palazzi of Trento.


Inside Trento's oldest palazzo with Cagol's collectors and the critic Mariella Rossi.  (Photo by Alessia de Abbondi).

Lisa Paul Streitfeld is a philospher and critic based in Berlin who traveled the globe in search of artist's evoking the new paradigm in their materials. You can find her theory of the Third at: https://hermeneuticsofnewmodernism.wordpress.com

Stephano Cagol's next "The Body of Energy" performance will be in Stadtgalerie Chur from 5-13 May fro 2 to 6 pm. For more information: http://www.thebodyofenergy.com

All photos by LPS unless otherwise stated.  All photos used with permisson of the artist.