TRA Edge of Becoming

Palazzo Fortuny, Ground Floor

The Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia and the Vervoordt Foundation present TRA. EDGE OF BECOMING – a specially curated group show of over 300 works of art at the Palazzo Fortuny, which explores the transversal links between places, history, creative heritage and universal wisdom. The exhibition runs from 4 June – 27 November 2011.

Following the path of the internationally acclaimed trilogy ARTEMPO (2007), ACADEMIA (2008) and IN-FINITUM (2009), TRA. EDGE OF BECOMING (2011), brings together the rich legacy of Mariano Fortuny, the wabi inspirations of Axel Vervoordt, the reflexions of the economic thinker Bernard Lietaer, the scientist Eddi de Wolf and the architect Tatsuro ‘Taro’ Miki, and aims to create an aesthetic, intellectual and enlightening experience which will encourage the visitor to read the world through art.

The curatorial team for TRA. EDGE OF BECOMING is composed of Daniela Ferretti, director of Palazzo Fortuny; Rosa Martínez, independent curator and art advisor; Francesco Poli, philosopher and art history professor; and Axel Vervoordt, president of the Vervoordt Foundation.

Palazzo Fortuny, View of the first floor

The exhibition will transform the four floors of Palazzo Fortuny into a complex exhibition trail where dialogue and interaction between the artworks, the viewer and the space itself is of fundamental importance. Some of the world’s most important artists will be represented in the exhibition, including Auguste Rodin, Marina Abramovic, Lucio Fontana, Miquel Barcelò, Anish Kapoor, Fernand Léger and Antoní Tápies. A large number of artists have also been specially commissioned for the show including Massimo Bartolini, Maurizio Donzelli, Fernando Garbellotto, Jannis Kounellis, Giulio Paolini, Francesco Candeloro, Dominique Stroobant, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Kimsooja, Günther Uecker, Giorgio Vigna, and Carl Michael von Hausswolff.   In addition, to commemorate this exceptional exhibition, visitors will be given a unique opportunity to view parts of the original Palazzo which have previously been closed to the public, including the Atelier of Mariano Fortuny on the first floor, three new lateral rooms on the second floor, and seven late gothic windows which have been closed since the 18th century.


About the title

TRA was chosen for its many meanings. Firstly, it can be read inversely to spell ‘art’. In Italian it is a preposition that signifies ‘in-between’ and ‘inside’, and also connotes an action that goes ‘beyond’ or ‘ahead of”. TRA is also a common suffix in many Sanskrit words such as ‘mantra’, ‘tantra’, ‘yantra’. Mantra is the literal translation of ‘instrument of thought’, man – to think and tra – an instrument or tool. ‘Tantra’ is the ancient system of knowledge that connects sexual and cosmic energy. ‘Yantras’ are the signs and drawings that act like doors for energetic healing.

TRA relates to the idea of being purified through a ritual and creative transformation. It is also the space between two dimensions and marks the moment of passage and a breach towards new experiences. In this sense, TRA connects to the Japanese notion of “ma” that indicates the empty, yet positive space between two objects. The subtitle of the exhibition, EDGE OF BECOMING, relates to the void leading to the possible powers of energy. TRA. EDGE OF BECOMING seeks the healing balance and creative interaction that unfolds every beginning.

Palazzo Fortuny, View of WABI


The Belgian musician, composer and professor Mireille Cappelle, has specially created an architecture sonore for TRA, directly inspired by the ideas and concepts behind the exhibition. A long term collaborator with the Vervoordt Foundation and the Palazzo Fortuny, Cappelle also created Anello for Artempo, Naga for Academia, and Sunyata for In-finitum. For TRA. EDGE OF BECOMING, Cappelle comments:Sonorous architectures are destined to exist in spaces which vibrate with them. They are an auditory reflection of all that is present. Every visitor entering the space will become part of this architecture with his respiration, his words, his steps…”


TRA. Edge of Becoming will be accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue published in English and Italian by the Studio Luc Derycke and MER Paper Kunsthalle, Ghent and in collaboration with Skira for the Italian distribution. The catalogue, edited by Axel Vervoordt, will feature essays by Francesco Poli, professor at the University of Turin and Milan, art critic and specialist of Arte Povera,  Eddi De Wolf, professor Physics at the Antwerp University and researcher at CERN, Geneva; Tatsuro ‘Taro’ Miki, Japanese architect in Brussels and co-author of the book ‘axel vervoordt. Wabi inspirations’; Rosa Martínez, an independent curator, art critic and international art advisor and Axel Vervoordt, president of the Vervoordt Foundation. The English version will be available before the opening of the exhibition. Another version, also available in Italian, will be available later in June, which will include images of the exhibition in situ. The first version of the catalogue will be available in the SKIRA-bookshop of the Palazzo Fortuny; the second version will be available at the same bookshop and also through the distribution of SKIRA and Exhibition International.



Venue: Palazzo Fortuny, San Marco 3780-San Beneto, Venice

Open to the Public: 4 June – 27 November 2011

Opening Hours: Every day from 10am-6pm (ticket office from 10am-5pm)  – closed on Tuesday



Full price: €9

Reduced: € 6

Residents and those born in the Municipality of Venice; citizens under 25 and over 65; I.C.O.M members; for those buying the combined ticket to the Museums of St. Mark’s Square or San Marco Plus; holders of the Museum Pass issued by the Musei Civici Veneziani

 Free admission: children 0/5 years old; disabled persons with guides, authorised guides; tourist interpreters accompanying groups*; 1 free tickets every 15 tickets with prior bookings.



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