Matera 2019

The timeless beauty of numbers and mathematical relations with the universe of art.
This is the theme of ‘The Poetry of Primes’, reflected in the content of the third great exhibition of Matera 2019, under the scientific direction of the eminent mathematician Piergiorgio Odifreddi with installations by the Open Design School. This amazing exploration of the art of numbers, produced with the Museum Service of Basilicata, started at the National Archaeological Museum of Metaponto with the exhibitions
‘Numbers in time. Counting, measuring, calculating’ curated by Claudio Bartocci and Luigi Civalleri and ‘Filling the void. From the symmetries of M.C. Escher to contemporaries’ curated by Federico Giudiceandrea.

From Metaponto we move on to Matera, where Palazzo Acito reopened on Sunday 23 June with the inauguration of three exhibitions: ‘Numbers’ with works by Ugo Nespolo, who has always created images relating to mathematics and to reason; ‘Elements of transcendental
calculation’ with works by Tobia Ravà, a symbolic approach through the infinite possibilities of combining numbers; and ‘Computed Art’, with works by Aldo Spizzichino, interwoven with mathematics and incredibly profound. Three visions, three different pathways that explore the close relationship between art and mathematics.
Elsewhere, in the unique setting of the archaeological area of Metaponto around 1,500 visitors attended the stellar ‘Night with Pythagoras’ on Saturday 22 June. This special event featured performances by actors David Riondino and Valeria Solarino, who played Pythagoras and Hypatia from an original text by Piergiorgio Odifreddi with musical interludes by the pianist Alessandra Celletti. This was followed by the
eminent Piero Angela, the star turn of the evening, who gave a biographical talk on ‘Science and technology in modern society’, focusing on the key themes of communication, the falling birth rate and ageing.
The long night continued with a fascinating lecture by Guido Tonelli who explained the origin of the stars, accompanied by Eleuteria Arena on the cello. At dawn people stretched their tired muscles with a yoga lesson by Rosalia Stellacci and Andrea Stella to the sound of a beautiful concert by the pianist Alessandra Celletti, who played music from her latest wonderful album, produced in vinyl and inspired by the
maths of Pythagoras.
The long weekend closed with two interactive talks in the Auditorium of the University of Basilicata: ‘Prime numbers and their applications’ by the British mathematician Ian Stewart and a reading of ‘Mathematical Adventures’ by winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature John Maxwell Coetzee, alternating with readings by Piergiorgio Odifreddi.