Rinoceronte di Piazza Vittoria – Brescia, Italy - Atlas Obscura

Rinoceronte di Piazza Vittoria

This sculpture of a rhinoceros suspended above a city square is meant to evoke the weight of the human condition. 

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A rhinoceros is suspended in the Quadriportico della Vittoria, a stone’s throw from the square of the same name. It was placed in the final part of a redevelopment project by Brescia’s government. The project started with the renovation of the former Chamber of Commerce building, then continued with the restoration of the small square in front of it. The final piece of the project was this massive bronze rhinoceros. Officially titled The Weight of Suspended Time, the sculpture is also known simply as Rhinoceros.

It was created by Stefano Bombardieri, a conceptual artist known for his statues of wild animals and mythological figures. Born in Brescia in 1968, Bombardieri, who is the son of the sculptor Remo Bombardieri, combines his artistic studies with frequenting his father’s studio from an early age. Alongside the creation of figurative sculptures, mainly “monumental” and therefore of large dimensions, he creates conceptual art and video installations. Among his best-known exhibitions is certainly Animals Count Down

Even The Weight of Suspended Time - Rhinoceros is faithful to the Bombardieri line. The artist has often included themes such as the use of natural resources and environmental destruction in his work. These are difficult topics, which he tackled by choosing the animal world seen as a trait d’union between man and the Earth.

The Rhinoceros sculpture is inspired by a scene from the 1983 film E la nave va (And the Ship Sails On) by Federico Fellini. In the film, a sick rhino is tied up in belts and hoisted onto a transatlantic steamer bound for America. A bizarre vision that remained in the drawers of the sculptor’s mind for a long time. Years later, Bombardieri found himself in a situation “brutally similar” to that of the “poor rhinoceros, sick and imprisoned,” and the weight of suspended time suddenly took shape—the shape of a rhino.

The artistic installation is freely available to the public: it will remain suspended on the Quadriportico for two years.

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