The striking project Sette Stagioni dello Spirito (The Seven Seasons of the Spirit) by Gian Maria Tosatti was an experience that, in terms of method and practice, went well beyond the traditional concept of an exhibition, first and foremost its duration, which was three years, from 2013 to 2016.
Retracing the model of The Interior Castle, a book written by Saint Teresa of Ávila in 1577, Gian Maria Tosatti embarks on his long artistic, existential, physical and yet also metaphorical journey, in which the seven mansions imagined by the saint of ecstasy are in turn transfigured by him into seven huge environmental installations. All of them are strictly site-specific and all for different reasons, have an identitary relationship with the city of Naples. The Seven Seasons of the Spirit thus led to the gradual opening of some great historic buildings that had been abandoned or neglected in various parts of the city. These places have become radiant points for “environment-works” that extend out from the human fabric to that of the city, often bringing to life entire districts. The Seven Seasons of the Spirit was a project designed to redefine the relationship between the realm of art and that of living, as well as between art and community. Tosatti refers to this as a single great visual, but especially performative, “training novel”, consisting of seven chapters on the human soul. A soul constantly torn between the antithetical and yet complementary extremes of good and evil. This book is published on the occasion of the final exhibition devoted to the project, at the Madre museum in Naples.