Roberto Cuoghi

Castello di Rivoli

Roberto Cuoghi’s recent exhibition, “Šuillakku,” consisted of a large sculpture, Pazuzu (all works 2008), at the bottom of the museum’s seventeenth-century staircase and a complex sound installation, Šuillakku, that occupied the entire third floor of the building. “Šuillakku” designates a choral prayer position practiced among the ancient Assyrians, whose civilization Cuoghi has studied in depth. The Assyrians built the first great empire in ancient times, one that lasted for centuries but was destroyed quickly by the Median and Babylonian armies early in the seventh century BC. The vestiges of Nineveh, the empire’s capital, were not discovered until the nineteenth century, after being shrouded in silence for hundreds of years.

Perhaps drawn to this sudden disappearance and long oblivion, Cuoghi approached the Assyrians through study but also imagination. Knowing that music played an

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