an exhibition, beyond the book
5 December 2013 - 9 February 2014
Gilgamesh, l'epopea del re di Uruk (Gilgamesh, the epic of the king of Uruk), Gilgamesh, the Sumerian king of Uruk, is on display at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome from 5 December. So now not only a book but also an exhibition celebrate the valiant hero in search of his human nature, returning from the distant past to live once again in the pages of a volume illustrated in ink and watercolour by French graphic artist Laurie Elie and Iranian painter Forough Raihani, with words by journalist Alessandra Grimaldi.
Gilgamesh, l'epopea del re di Uruk (L'Asino d'oro edizioni, 72 pages, € 20.00) is a book, an audio-book read by Francesco Pannofino and now also an exhibition comprising plates, sketches and photographs taken whilst the book was being made and jewels inspired by the illustrations and the story of this mythological hero.
The inauguration of the exhibition, Gilgamesh, l'epopea del re di Uruk, is part of the "More Books More Places" programme in the 2013 edition of the small and medium publishers' trade fair "More Books More Freedom". The inauguration will be attended by the three authors whose highly individual artistic experience and careers have combined, thanks to their passionate research, to evoke this timeless epic.
Dating back to before the better-known epic poems by Homer and written in cuneiform characters, the oldest tale in the world has come down to us on twelve clay tablets discovered in Mesopotamia in the late 19th century. Recounting the adventures of the hero Gilgamesh, they can be dated to between 2,600 and 2,500 B.C.
The saga tells the story of the human tribulations of Gilgamesh, a hero beloved of the gods, who wishes to discover immortality, but his travels lead him to the discovery of his fate as a mere mortal member of mankind. An allegorical tale of crisis, challenge and a search for humanity, the epic story of the king of Uruk unfolds amid struggles, joys, encounters, passions, monsters, disasters and a variety of characters, including the fearless and wild Enkidu, the hero's alter ego.
The book also contains an appendix with the story of the discovery and deciphering of the clay tablets found by archaeologists in the Mesopotamian "tells", mounds of earth and ruins that have guarded over the centuries the secrets of the magnificent, archaic civilisation which developed between the Tigris and the Euphrates. Gilgamesh. The Epic of the King of Uruk is also an audio-book read by actor and dubbing artist Francesco Pannofino. The MP3, with the music of Giorgio Giampà, can be downloaded from the website of L'Asino d'oro edizioni using the code provided inside the book.
The jewels on display at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni, inspired by the authors' illustrations, were created by Raffaella Corvino.