The Imaginary and Eternal Prisons of Piranesi: First Friday Film Lecture, by Dr. John Marciari





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Published on Jun 7, 2013

Yo-Yo Ma investigates the relationship between music and visual art. In this film, the talented cellist plays the music of Bach in a virtual prison based on the Carceri, the imaginary prisons found in the etchings of Giovanni Battista Piranesi. Along the way, audiences hear from architect Moshe Safdie and others while learning of Piranesi's only built church project, the Santa Maria del Priorato.

The exhibition, Piranesi, Rome, and the Arts of Design, includes a complete set of the prison etchings as well as an innovative 3-D video projection based on them. Before the film, Dr. John Marciari, Curator of European Art and Head of Provenance Research, will give a lecture about the haunting, nightmarish world of Piranesi's prisons, architectural fantasies that demonstrate the dark side of Piranesi's imagination. Prefiguring the dark imagining of the Romantic era, the Carceri are thought to have been the later model for everything from M.C. Escher's designs, to the city of Fritz Lang's Metropolis, to the moving staircases of Harry Potter's Hogwarts.


Video produced by Balboa Park Online Collaborative

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