The first laying statue you find is exposed in a Sala degli Uffizi in which there is a group of twelve ancient sculptures, Roman copies of Hellenistic originals, coming from the finds that took place in Rome during the sixteenth century. Purchased and restored, they were first placed in the Villa dei Medici and only in 1770 they were permanently exhibited in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, in a room designed by Paoletti which takes its name from the myth of Niobe, narrated by the Latin poet Ovid in the "Metamorphoses".

According to the Greek myth, Niobe, daughter of Tantalus and wife of Amphion, king of Thebes, had fourteen children, seven girls and seven boys. The woman was so proud of her offspring that she dared to laugh at the goddess Latona, who had only two children, the gods Apollo and Artemis. To punish her pride, Latona sent her two sons to kill those of Niobe. With bows and arrows, Artemis aimed at females and Apollo at males. According to some versions, they killed them all, according to others a boy and a girl managed to save themselves. The Latin poet Ovid narrates that out of terror, Niobe turned into a block of marble, and her tears of pain gave birth to a spring, on Mount Sipilo, in Lydia (now Turkey).
The evident educational intent of the myth - the warning against the damages of pride - made it become the theme of many artistic representations.

The Group of Pan and Daphnis instead is dated high imperial age (1st-2nd century A.D.) and has been in the Villa Medici in Rome since 1722 and moved to Florence in 1787. The pair of figures represents the god Pan, with goat-like features, seated beside the shepherd Daphnis, intent on playing the pan flute. Daphnis, son of Hermes and the nymph Daphne, embodies, in Greek myth, the ideal of the eromenos, the child of unparalleled beauty capable of fascinating every man or divinity. In addition to Apollo, Daphnis was also Pan's lover who, in this group, encircles the young man with his left arm, while with his right arm he seems to guide him in the use of the instrument. Several replicas of this group are known from literary sources and archaeological finds, the original of which was perhaps attributable to late Hellenism. The erotic character, however, gives way here to a more complex serie of references, including the themes of nature, bucolic poetry and tragic death.
Pride is Rauchenberger’s contemporary interpretation of these sculptural groups.
The artist highlights often unnoticed details, such as the expressions of the faces and the gestures of the figures creating a new story: the musicality, sensuality and the fierceness of the bodies which are fully in contrast with the deepest desperation represented by the various figures of the marble statues. This video shows the transition between the lying, lifeless body of Niobe’s child and the mischievous complicity of a pair of lovers transforming death into life and love and underlying the contrasts through the use of digital music.
The use of color variances does even more accentuates this oxymoron.
In Pride there is a profound link between the colours, the movement of the video footage and the original musical composition, that is, the contemporary reinterpretation of Antonio Cesti’s Intorno all’idol mio. The sequence and the overlapping of the images, the echoes of the artist’s voice and the electronic sounds create an unexpected dialogue between the two groups of sculptures. Thus, the observer passes from observing a scene of violence to being involved within a suspended atmosphere where he/she contemplate the sensuality and the fierceness of the body.
Experience watching to these statues listening to the digital interpretation of Intorno all’idol mio from Cesti.

Voice: Maria Katharina Rauchenberger
Sound Designer: Roberto Prezioso

PlaceFlorence, Uffizi MuseumTechniqueDigital Video colour filteredYear2022

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