One of the main aims of the project is the creation of a new and permanent public library, with an adjacent temporary exhibition space, within the Calidarium of the Botanical Gardens, part of the Sistema Museale di Ateneo (SiMUA) dell’Università di Palermo. A project, which is part of the official collateral events of the contemporary art biennial Manifesta 12, and whose objective is to offer students and the wider public of the Botanical Gardens a place for the study of Art and of Nature in the year in which Palermo is Capital of Culture in Italy.


The project involves the creation of a permanent reading room inside the eighteenth-century Calidarium pavillion of the Botanical Gardens: a library with a collection of books by leading international publishing companies, curated

by Eveline Wüthrich (co-founder and coordinator of “I Never Read, Art Book Fair Basel”, an art book fair based in Basel and held every year, from 2012, simultaneously with Art Basel), in collaboration with the SiMUA of Università di Palermo, a space in which the public can research the themes of Art and Nature.


On the occasion of Manifesta 12, the project room will present a programme of four exhibitions (Allora & Calzadilla, Katinka Bock, Björn Braun, Ignazio Mortellaro) curated by Valentina Bruschi and Ignazio Mortellaro, with the artistic coordination of Vittorio Rappa. The project is inspired by Pliny the Elder’s Naturalis Historia (a collection of 37 books which treat, in an encyclopedic form, all the topics concerning Man and Nature, written around 77-79 AD). Some passages taken from the monumental work of Pliny are inscribed above the octagonal hall of the Gymnasium, the central building of the Botanical Gardens.


In the framework of the four exhibitions, Radiceterna hosts a series of avant-garde electronic live performances curated by Luca Mortellaro, aka Lucy, founder of the Berliner record label Stroboscopic Artefacts, a renowned name in the global underground scene. The four artists invited to perform represent the epitome of contemporary electronic music: Chevel (IT) on May 19th, Kangding Ray (FR) on July 12th, Rrose (USA) on September 7th, and Lucy on October 10th.


The project also includes the creation of a new book collection consisting of a series of monographs in Italian and English (format 9x12cm, 64 pp. col. and b/w) edited by hopefulmonster, a publishing company based in Turin.

These catalogues are envisaged as an in-depth research tool on each individual invited artist with critical essays and images of the works installed in the Calidarium.

A project by

Ass. Cult. Radiceterna Arte e Ambiente

In collaboration with

Sistema Museale di Ateneo dell’Università di Palermo

Conceived and curated by

Valentina Bruschi, Ignazio Mortellaro and Eveline Wüthrich

Artistic coordination

Vittorio Rappa

Music director

Luca Mortellaro

Università degli Studi di Palermo

Prof. Fabrizio Micari, Rettore

Dott. Antonio Romeo, Direttore Generale

Prof. Paolo Inglese, Direttore del C.S. Sistema Museale di Ateneo

Prof. Rosario Schicchi, Direttore Orto Botanico

Scientific committee

Giuseppe Barbera, Marco Carapezza, Paolo Inglese, Beatrice Merz, Cristiana Perrella, Vito Planeta


Erika Urbelevic

Photography (catalogues and installation view of exhibitions)

Fausto Brigantino and Andrea Cristaldi

Assistant curator

Giulia Anselmo

Production assistant

Riccardo D’Avola

Installation design

Ignazio Mortellaro and Vito Priolo

Sound technician

Armando Sorge

Press office

Margherita Baleni, Studio Battage

Graphic Design

Azoto projects & communication


Francesco Costantino

Publications hopefulmonster, curated by

Valentina Bruschi and Ignazio Mortellaro



Dates and opening hours

Opening: May 19th 2018 6 pm

Duration: May 19th – November 4th, 2018

Mon - Fri 9 am - 1 pm and 3 pm - 6 pm. Sat 9 am - 1 pm. Sunday by appointment


Calidarium, Botanical Gardens, Athenaeum Museums System, University of Palermo

Via Lincoln, 2, 90133 Palermo, Italy


Allora & Calzadilla

19th May - 2nd July

Astronomy and Meteorology

Saturday May 19th

10 am _ press preview with book presentation

06 pm _ opening

08 pm _ Chevel ambient live performance

Katinka Bock

Geography of Western Europe

Thursday July 12th

10 am _ press preview with book presentation

06 pm _ opening

08 pm _ Kangding Ray ambient live performance

Björn Braun

7th September - 6th October

Geography of Eastern Europe

Friday September 7th

10 am _ press preview with book presentation

06 pm _ opening

08 pm _ Rrose ambient live performance

Ignazio Mortellaro

Geography of Africa, Middle-East and Turkey

Wednesday October 10th

10 am _ press preview with book presentation

06 pm _ opening

08 pm _ Lucy ambient live performance

Orto Botanico

Università degli Studi di Palermo

Via Lincoln, 2

90133 PALERMO, Italia

Codice Fiscale 80023730825, Partita IVA 00605880822


+39 91 23891236