»Per_forming a collection #1»

21.06.13 — in progress

A collection that, just like a living organism, grows and evolves in time, joining archive research and new productions on site, and adding the dimension of the museum as a place where people can meet and exchange their thoughts to the idea of the collection as something that can never be complete
curated by Alessandro Rabottini, Eugenio Viola

Per_forming a collection #1 is the first chapter of an ongoing project designed to develop in a number of phases over the course of 2013 and devoted to the progressive formation of the Museo Madre’s permanent collection in Naples.

In this first phase, diffused throughout the museum, the focus is not on a specific theme, group or historical period, but on artists of different generations whose works have been conceived as physical and mental instruments that link together thought and action in the form of performances, texts, theatrical actions, happenings, environmental installations, videos and films. There are thus two axes around which the presentation is articulated: on the one side the body in action, the search for an active relation between artist and public – that of Joseph Beuys in the action La rivoluzione siamo noi (We are the revolution), that of the public that activates the environment in Yard by Allan Kaprow, or the confusion between public and actors in the staging of the Living Theatre – and on the other the gesture of writing as primary expression of language and communication – as in the conceptual works of Joseph Kosuth, Lawrence Weiner, Carl Andre, of Carlo Alfano, of visual poets such Tomaso Binga and Arrigo Lora Totino, down to the collective work by Tim Rollins and K.O.S.

Per_forming a collection #1 aims to shape a collection which, like a living organism, grows and is articulated over time, combining archival research with commissions for new works to be created in situ, and uniting the dimension of the museum as a place of encounter and participation with the idea of the collection as an unending story, always open to new connections and explorations.

Through the cooperation and support of artists, collectors and gallery owners, the museum’s collection is shown as a continuing process, as a collective composition and the venue for a stratified rewriting that proposes a way to respond to the museum as a multiplicity of experiences, rethinking the concept of a collection itself as:

  • a collection of works but also of documents and testimonies.
  • a twofold instrument that takes into account the past in a living relation with the present, in which the museum is a place of memory and preservation as well as a continuing research and production laboratory.
  • a constellation of materials that make it possible to go beyond the rigid criteria of the history of art “as we know it”,as a form of narrative, rigid and defined once and for all, while instead connecting a wide range of stories and artistic disciplines (art, theater, writing, film, architecture), in which the local and the international horizons are entwined and redefine each other, as happened in the history of contemporary art in Naples and Campania.

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