Cremona, Maurizio Cattelan's crocodile returns to the Baptistery


Maurizio Cattelan's crocodile, or work entitled Ego, which was previously exhibited at the same venue for the first edition of Cremona Contemporanea, returns to the Baptistery of St. John the Baptist in Cremona. The work remains on view until January 14, 2024.

Maurizio Cattelan’scrocodile , or the work entitled Ego , which had already been exhibited in the same venue for the first edition of Cremona Contemporanea, the Cremona Art Week, promoted by the Cremona Department of Culture and curated by Rossella Farinotti, and created to bring contemporary art into dialogue with the city’s rich artistic and cultural heritage, returns to the Baptistery of San Giovanni Battista in Cremona .

Following the success of the event, which from May 27 to June 4 saw more than 15,000 visitors go on a discovery tour of Cremona through more than seventy works spread across the city, and buoyed by the interest aroused by Maurizio Cattelan’s work, throughout December and during the upcoming holidays the public will still have the opportunity to see the installation Ego until January 14 (opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. - closed on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1 only).

Maurizio Cattelan, Ego (2023)
Maurizio Cattelan, Ego (2023). Photo: Andrea Rossetti
Maurizio Cattelan, Ego (2023)
Maurizio Cattelan, Ego (2023). Photo: Andrea Rossetti
Maurizio Cattelan, Ego (2023)
Maurizio Cattelan, Ego (2023). Photo: Andrea Ross
etti
Maurizio Cattelan, Ego (2023)
Maurizio Cattelan, Ego (2023). Photo: Andrea Ross
etti

The work Ego inside the Baptistery of Cremona Cathedral narrates several symbologies in dialogue with the site, as well as recalling the oldest known piece of taxidermy: a crocodile hanging from the ceiling of a small church in Ponte Nossa, Italy, since the 16th century. Scholars have speculated that crocodiles were analogous to dragons, as in the biblical account of St. George, thus making the church a suitable place to display them as captives. The crocodile is displayed in the Baptistery of St. John the Baptist dating back to 1167, and is a counterpoint to Cattelan’s own horse, Novecento, kept at the Rivoli Castle. The crocodile, like the horse, is an animal loaded with cultural significance, usually the razor-toothed antagonist of children’s stories. The fable of St. George, in particular, portrays the horse as a valiant steed and the scaly “dragon” as the enemy.

“With the artist we thank the Diocese of Cremona for their willingness and enthusiasm to get involved in the project and for this extension that will allow the city and its visitors to continue to breathe contemporary,” says Rossella Farinotti. “Ego’s installation was designed specifically for the special space of the Baptistery, where the crocodile is in harmonious dialogue with the imposing dome.”

Cremona Contemporanea - Art Week is a project that through contemporary art transforms the city into a place of knowledge and discovery, including works, installations, educational opportunities and moments of in-depth study dedicated to the art of the present and the past. The first edition took place from May 27 to June 4, 2023 and involved 21 artists in 14 venues with more than 70 works, along a widespread exhibition project that was a great success with the public among citizens, tourists, professionals in the field, art enthusiasts or simple neophytes. The aim of the event is to reaffirm in Italy and abroad the value of Cremona by actualizing it through the dialogue between the city’s treasures and contemporary art practices, trying to promote the city’s cultural deposit that counts numerous historic buildings, small and large squares, private galleries and disused spaces to be reactivated. The next edition of Cremona Contemporanea - Art Week will kick off in May 2024.

Cremona, Maurizio Cattelan's crocodile returns to the Baptistery
Cremona, Maurizio Cattelan's crocodile returns to the Baptistery


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