From Plato to contemporary art, passing through photography, architecture, design and technology: there is all this in MIMESIS forma imagine, the HoperAperta exhibition in Martina Franca, in the province of Taranto

From 21 June to 20 August 2024, the Palazzo Ducale of Martina Franca hosts the exhibition "MIMESIS Forma Immagine", an event organized by HoperAperta in collaboration with the Paolo Grassi Foundation.

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The exhibition, which celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the Valle d'Itria Festival and is curated by Patrizia Catalano and Maurizio Barberis, comes directly from Milan Design Week 2024, bringing with it a rich wealth of interdisciplinary experiencesthat combine art, architecture and design.

A network of international collaborations

MIMESIS is configured as an exhibition of multiple passions, involving a vast range of actors, including the Institute of Technology of New York, Department of Architecture and Design, already a partner of HoperAperta in 2022 and 2023.

This international collaboration underlines a profound dialogue between different disciplines, creating a synergy between the protagonists of the contemporary art scene, as already experienced in previous events in Milan, Genoa, Barcelona and Soglio.

Platonic theory of mimesis as inspiration for the exhibition

The exhibition draws inspiration from the Platonic theory of mimesis, proposing a reflection on the identification and transformation of designed, imagined or created objects.

According to this vision, every object presupposes three degrees of approximation: relation, transformation and representation.

Mimesis represents a process of symbiotic identification between two image-forms of different nature, exploring space-time relationships, interactions between light and movement and the theatricalisation of the image-object.

The authors on display

The artists and architects on display offer unique interpretations of these concepts.

Maurizio Barberis explores the theatricalisation of an image reduced to an object of use, while Alfonso Femia investigates the relationship between the image of the temple and the Vitruvian theatre. Armando Bruno focuses on the mimesis of Francis Bacon's conceptual cage, and Elena Salmistraro works with mirror-image contrasting figures. Spanish & Partners summarizes the relationship between light and time, while Carmelo Zappulla explores the variations of light in the contemporary city.

A significant contribution comes from the New York Institute of Technology, which presents seven projects created by graduating students from the Fabrication and Robotics course, under the guidance of Fadhil Fadhil and Alessandro Melis.

This section of the exhibition highlights the crucial role of technology and innovation in contemporary design.

Participating artists includeMaurizio Barberis, Armando Bruno, Dorian Elena Salmistraro, Studio Spagnulo & Partners, Davide Valoppi, Alberto Vannetti and Carmelo Zappulla.


The MIMESIS exhibition is made possible thanks to the collaboration with excellent companies in the lighting engineering and materials processing sectors, includingCromonichel, De Castelli, iGuzzini, Gonzato Group, Julia Marmi, Marmi Faedo, Artisans Loving Robots, Panzeri, Sprech and Zeus. These companies share a sustainable and innovative approach, enhancing the environment in which they operate.

The project is supported by AIPi, the Italian Association of Professional Interior Designers, and sees the participation of Pelliken, a startup specialized in the digitalisation of products and works of art. Pelliken will carry out a photographic scan of the entire exhibition, creating a navigable and interactive model accessible on