Reaching Soglio in Val Bregaglia, a village of 150 souls in the Grisons region, is quite simple today (at least in summer). It is an extraordinarily intact small town that boasts the presence of some fine architecture, in particular from the eighteenth century. Among these Palazzo Salis, formerly House Battista, building of the noble family of von Salis, from the original structure decidedly medieval revisited in the late Baroque period.
Palazzo Salis, which has a wonderful garden dominated by two sequoia trees from the 1500s, has been a hotel of great charm for over a century.
An artist's home, always
The reason is very simple: the place has not undergone any substantial changes: the layout of the building is still the Baroque one, there are no elevators and some rooms still have an external bathroom; on the other hand, there is an important picture gallery from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and you can breathe a now forgotten atmosphere, or rather, 'outdated'.
For example, the lucky ones have the opportunity to sleep in the apartment that housed the painter Giovanni Segantini's family during his summer stays or in the more intimate one where Rainer Maria Rilke wrote some of his most beautiful poems ( elegies) on the theme of the landscape.
The Cigognani family who have managed the hotel for many years, strongly wanted to keep the atmosphere of this place intact ('the only concession is wi-fi but no TV!').
A dream in shape
The exhibition Ein Traumgedicht _ A dream in the form of a work by Maurizio Barberis inaugurated last June 18th.
The idea, shared with the curators Carlo Biasia and Benedetta Scarella, was to intervene with an installation in the most magical and remote point of the garden: the seventeenth-century stone house next to the two sequoias.
Barberis, who loves working with multiple media (drawing, photography, sculpture), conceived the installation in two moments, the first, called the Après-midi d'un Faune in the small building and the second, called the Panic Vision, in the garden, in the shade of the centuries-old sequoia.
"The experience at Palazzo Salis has a double value for me: the relationship with nature, marked by the magnificent garden and the majesty of the landscape and the history of the hotel and of those who have lived there" . The exhibition is sponsored by the Associazione Segantini Maloja (until 24 October).
From the Alps to Sicily
And from a five-star hotel de charme that represents a piece of history of the hospitality tradition in Italy. We are in Taormina in the splendid Timeo of the Belmond group.
Here, within the Mythical project born from the collaboration of the well-known group and Galleria Continua, is part of the intervention of the Cameroonian artist living in Belgium, Pascale Marthine Tayou.
Les routes du Paradis
The artist has reproduced Les Routes du Paradis, the path of happiness made of splashes of color that starts from the hotel entrance and crosses the enchantment of the sloping garden and its dry stone walls to arrive up to the Greek Theater of III century which stands out just above the Timaeus.
Around the path there are the Totem Cristal, four human-sized crystal sculptures - to which are added other smaller ones inside the hotel - with characteristics and attributes badges that "embody the uniqueness of being and the processes of creolization of cultures, celebrating the value and vitality of difference".
Says Lorenzo Fiaschi one of the founders of Continua: "Taking art out of the galleries, from the museums, from the spaces that are conventionally assigned to it, is part of the history and identity of Galleria Continua since its inception more than thirty years ago, we started doing it in the territory and in the public space and we never stopped looking for new contexts and opportunities for the artists and the public to meet.
Continuare questo nostro percorso in sinergia con Belmond fa nascere una nuova opportunità che ha creato un vero e proprio percorso creativo anche con gli artisti".
Dettaglio non trascurabile: gli hotel non devono solo essere delle location che ospitano opere d’arte ma possono farsi promotori dei progetti che ospitano, podurli e comunicarli, proprio come nel caso della collaborazione tra Belmond e Galleria Continua. Il risultato è semplice: meno spa più creatività.