Second Order Reality

Carola Bonfili

Second Order Reality is a project that envisions the construction of a work of art under the form of a video game inspired by the text La Tentation de Saint Antoine by Gustave Flaubert, which describes the repeated hallucinatory states experienced by its protagonist. These liminal spaces can be associated with virtual experiences where the perception of the body and that of the surrounding environment are presented in altered ways. The narrative of the project derives from  a collaboration with a group of children aged 8 to 12 years old, and aims to explore the potential of the virtual environment as a hybrid perceptual experience.

We will present The Stone Monkey (2023), a video work that resulted from the first iterations of the workshop. It was developed through two forms of media narrative: a CGI video trailer and a navigable VR environment that recounts the journey of a small monkey who suddenly witnesses certain parts of its body undergoing a slow process of petrification without any apparent reason and embarks on an initiatory path of healing.

Then, a workshop will be held by the artist where she will work alongside children to design a video game, following the existing narrative of past iterations of the workshop. The workshop for families aims to create a shared moment where children and parents, after a guided visit to the show, will compose a new story inspired by the artist’s work using the Cadavre Exquis technique.

Date: Sunday, November 19
Time: 12- 14 h
Age: children 6 to 10 and their families
Duration: 2 hours
Free of charge
Please book writing an email to:

Project curated by Daniela Cotimbo and Ilaria Gianni.

Workshop and exhibition will be held at La Capella, as part of the Concèntric programme, and presented within the framework of LOOP video art Festival in Barcelona.


Promoted by: Fondazione SmArt Polo per l’arte

In collaboration with: The Green Parrot and La Capella

Supported by: Italian Council (2022), Directorate General for Contemporary Creativity, Italian Ministry of Culture

Sound design by: Lorem

Sponsored by: HTC Vive

Carola Bonfili (Rome, 1981) lives and works between Brescia and Rome. Taking inspiration from natural forms and cognitive mechanics, her work is structured in multi-layered narratives that develop towards mixed-source texts. A performative matrix is aoften found in the production process. at the basis of her sculptural works and environmental installations, which are immersive in nature and tend to forms of transmedial narration. Her work has been presented in various institutional locations in Italy and abroad, including: the MAXXI Museum, Rome; the Milan Triennial; the Los Angeles Italian Culture Institute; the GNAM National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rome; the Ludwig Museum, Budapest, the Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva, MAMbo – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna, the MACRO Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome. She has received various prizes and awards, including the 2022 Italian Council 11th edition; the 2020 Re:humanism Prize; the 2011 LUM Prize; the 2008-2009 Rome Prize and the 2009 Strozzina Prize, Florence, while also participating in residences at the American Academy of Rome (2009) and MACRO, Rome (2012). Works of hers in public collections include those at MAXXI Museum, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Farnesina Collection and the MACRO Museum in Rome. Since 2004 she has been working with Nero Editions, with which in 2011 she began publishing her Names of Numbers, a series of monographic books on drawing.