The Collection of the MAXXI Museum in Rome, opened to the public on 28 June with a new set up. Fuori Tutto (Out with it!), curated by Bartolomeo Pietromarchi, is the title of this new museum project conceived as an ‘open repository’ in which visitors can explore the museum’s works and its research and conservation practices, which are usually not visible to the public.
Recently acquired works or those in storage make up the majority of exhibits on display on this occasion, promoting a dynamic museum space that unveils operations not usually seen by the public. The repository – a literary topos and a place where secrets and treasures are hidden, deposited as sediment along with objects classified as “too much” – is understood here as a museum practice exposing the behind-the-scenes, between labels and stamps on the backs of works and canvases in the process of being restored.
Indicating the way on the ground floor gallery is the large Gian Ferrari Quadreria, consisting of 39 works arranged on metal mesh, behind which the plexiglass plates of the work Compagni e Angeli (Comrades and Angels) by Alfredo Pirri, dedicated to Antonio Gramsci, can be glimpsed.
The works of other great artists follow on from this, including Veduta con Segnale Animale (Landscape with Animal Sign) by Mario Schifano, Piccolo Sistema (Small System) by Gianfranco Baruchello, Autoritratto di Schiena (Self-portrait from the rear) by Michelangelo Pistoletto, Kounellis and many other important international artists.
The idea of the warehouse, used by the curator as a metaphor and model, is reflected in the spatial articulation, the organisation of the works – e.g. the space dedicated to Gabriele di Matteo’s China Made in Italy series, in which rolled overlapping paintings recall messy attic studios – and captions on thick cardboard reminiscent of packing boxes.
On the upper floor, MAXXI highlights its connection to the city of Rome and its photographic patronage by dedicating the ‘Sapienza Atlas’ project to Rome’s first university. The photographic campaign, which involves five artists, each with their own style, narrates the life of the university city, from Antonio Biasiucci’s erased blackboards to Silvia Camporesi’s intimate shots inside departments.
In the Claudia Gian Ferrari Room, on the other hand, ‘In Restauro’ (Undergoing Restoration) can be seen, an initiative which aims to make the conservation and restoration of works in the collection accessible. The project takes its name from the expression usually used to indicate that a work from the collection is absent, having been transferred to the laboratory for conservation. In this case, ‘undergoing restoration’ refers to the presentation of the restoration work in a workshop specially set up for public viewing. The work Sternenfall by Anselm Kiefer is currently being worked on by the ICR (Central Institute for Restoration) team.
Fuori Tutto showcases research and conservation workshops as part of its public outreach, enriches visitor experience and promotes awareness and appreciation of behind-the-scenes museum work by encouraging reflections on the accessibility and transmission of cultural heritage over time.
immagini (all) FUORI TUTTO, MAXXI © Fondazione Maxxi, ph: Riccardo Musacchio & Chiara Pasqualini / MUSA