For its first collaboration with MUSE, the Science Museum of Trento, Berengo Studio and Fondazione Berengo are delighted to present the exhibition “Anima Mundi – The Carousel of Life.” 

Fondazione Berengo and Berengo Studio are always seeking to create a future for the world of glass that is expansive and evolving, unfixed and filled with energy. Part of this is reworking and redefining the very concept of art itself. In the past, the lines between the disciplines we now view as arts and sciences were not so distant, and were instead blurred and intermingled. The material of glass is itself a scientific fascination, a miraculous naturally occurring phenomenon that humans have managed to master. For this exhibition a selection of three artists was made whose work spoke to the unique location of the group show.  

Set within the Renaissance Palazzo Delle Albere (Villa of the Trees) the show features a series of carousels that aim to depict the “Soul of the World.” Each structure has been interpreted by a different contemporary artist, each bringing their own creative spin to the project. “In the carousels, opposites revolve and chase each other in an eternal spinning kaleidoscope, driven by the Anima Mundi, the world soul,” says Stefano Zecchi, President of MUSE. Curator Beatrice Mosca describes it as “an exhibition between art and life.” The immersive group show takes visitors through sounds, lights, and dramatic installations, exploring light and darkness, angels and demons, origin and becoming, life and death, and flying and roaming animals.  

Photo credit Matteo Di Stefano

The three artists chosen for the project are the Belgian artist Koen Vanmechelen, Polish artist Marta Kolonowska and the Dutch-Croatian-Indonesian designer Sebastian Brajkovic.

Vanmechelen’s work has been preoccupied with the interaction between science and art for years. On learning about the central theme of the carousels the artist observed that the architecture of the structure is one of “evolution in motion,” and evolution is one of the central conceits of his artistic practice which he explores through two carousels: the Carousel of Life and the Carousel of Biodiversity. Marta Kolonowska’s inventive sculptures also take their central inspiration from the natural world, and her large-scale animals felt like a perfect fit for the museum. Her subjects are taken from the paintings of great masters, in which pets are presented side by side with the protagonists, acting almost like prestigious objects that are exhibited as synonyms for wealth and power. Through her artworks Kolonowska releases these domesticated animals from their human trappings and sets them centre stage once more. To construct the sculptures, she starts with a metal skeleton that is then carefully covered with sharp shards of coloured glass, meaning her works also draw attention to the ways in which glass can be used as a creative medium in unexpected and untraditional ways.

Photo credit Matteo Di Stefano

Berengo Studio first worked with Sebastian Brajkovic to create his Mathematical chandeliers for the exhibition Glass to Glass in 2021 which ran alongside the Architecture Biennale in Venice that year. The Mathematical Chandelier was born out of Brajkovic’s fascination with natural systems of order and mathematics was implemented to create the stunning functional work of art which now hangs in the exhibition above a revolving platform of shattered glass.

Head to Trento to uncover the creative inventions of the artists within the exhibition. The show will run from the 13th of July till the 29th of October 2023 and also marks the museum’s 10th anniversary!

ANIMA MUNDI – The Carousel of Life

📌Palazzo delle Albere, MUSE- Trento Science Museum

🗓13 July—24 Sept 2023
⏰Tuesday – Friday 10am – 6pm | Saturday, Sunday, 10am to 7pm | Closed on Monday


For more information and to book tickets please head to the MUSE website via the link here.