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MAXXI explores its own collections through over 200 works of art and architecture
A woman looks at a piece of art as she visits the exhibition "Non Basta Ricordare - Collezione MAXXI" during a press review on December 18, 2013 at the MAXXI museum in Rome. The exhibition runs from December 20 to September 28, 2014. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS.

ROME.- Remembering is not Enough is the first exhibition curated by Artistic Director Hou Hanru who has worked with the curatorial staff of MAXXI Arte directed by Anna Mattirolo and MAXXI Architettura directed by Margherita Guccione, in an approach that emphasize the force of collective intelligence. The curatorial team includes Francesca Fabiani, Laura Felci, Anne Palopoli, Monia Trombetta, Esmeralda Valente and the technical supports of the MAXXI work force led by Alessandra Barbuto, Luisa De Marinis, Paola Mastracci, Daniela Pesce, Claudia Reale, Carla Zhara Buda. The over 200 works on show demonstrate the profound vitality of a museum collection capable of representing universal themes and stimulating critical debate and discussion.

With a layout involving the entire museum (from the piazza to MAXXI B.A.S.E., from the great lobby on the ground floor to Galleries 2 and 3 on the first floor, for a total area of over 3,000 m2) Remembering is not Enough presents works of art and architecture that create dialogues among themselves and with the space, revealing the experimentation underlying MAXXI's cultural projects and the and the desire to link the various disciplines in an innovative investigation of the meaning of contemporary creation.

“This first unified presentation of our collections marks the arrival at MAXXI of the new director Hou Hanru. I have long been convinced of the “need” for this exhibition and I am particularly satisfied” - says Giovanna Melandri President of the Fondazione MAXXI - ”Both for the commitment shown by Hou Hanru and because Remembering is not Enough valorises the MAXXI collection, the fundamental element in the museum’s identity, within which art and architecture establish a dialogue in a setting that breaks down rigid disciplinary confines and lends visible form to the identity of the new MAXXI we are eager to construct. A great platform for research, in which exhibitions of art, architecture, design, photography and film, theatre and dance projects may co-exist. In short, a dynamic incubator for that "frontier spirit" we need so badly today."

“Remembering is not Enough emphasises the need to adopt a broader vision and a more dynamic approach in order to develop and promote the museum’s collection – says Hou Hanru MAXXI’s artistic Director – not only conserving and presenting significant works of contemporary art, but also activating an ongoing process in which historical memory is continually reconstructed in order to provide new vitality. This keeps the works alive and continue to produce meaningful inspiration. Eventually, they will help us understand our own time.”

“Now more than ever a museum like MAXXI is called to invest in the growth and the value of its own collection- affirms Anna Mattirolo Director MAXXI Arte. - This exhibition displays all its vitality through a new stage that offers further suggestions and insights.”

“In this exhibition, resonating with the art, the creative dimension of the architectural project prevails” - says Margherita Guccione Director of MAXXI Architettura - Drawings, sketches, collages, videos and models intercept the themes of contemporary creativity, with an awareness that ‘architecture is too important to leave to architects alone’ as Giancarlo De Carlo once said.”

The exhibition revolves around and is animated by universal phrases and themes belonging to the lives of all of us: city and environment, joy and pain, politics and ideology, physicality and intimacy, theatre and performance. The works have been chosen to respond to these issues and presented with articulations of their aesthetic and intellectual quality and the potentials of mutual dialogues.

The city and public space are discussed in works such as Faradayurt (2001), the tent in copper fabric by Jana Sterbak that welcomes visitors in the museum piazza together with Cultural Traffic (2010) by Teddy Cruz, a structure realised with traffic cones. Inside are the Cartoline postali (Venezia) (2009) by Yona Friedman, the vertigo inspired by Nervi’s Palazzetto dello Sport (2004) as photographed by Olivo Barbieri, the expressive works of Ed Ruscha and Stadbild (219/1) (1969) by Gerhard Richter. The exhibition also features over 100 projects presented for YAP MAXXI (the programme supporting young designers run with MoMA of NY) recounted in a 10-screen video installation in the museum hall.

Theatre and staging are another two hubs around which revolve works of great impact such as Where is our place? (2003) by Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Bronzefrau n. 10 (2002) by Thomas Shutte and the irreverent A piedi pari (2006) by Lara Favaretto, alongside which are exhibited beautiful theatre designs by Aldo Rossi, Carlo Scarpa, Maurizio Sacripanti and Vittorio De Feo.

The projects by Sergio Musmeci on structures in traction, the series of photographs of the Living Theatre (1947-2000), the work of Cino Zucchi Nel Corpo della città (2010), the Saloon Photographs (1995-96) by Paul McCarthy and the photographs of Nan Goldin or Piggyback (1997) by the Chapman brothers, all talk about the body and performance.

Politics, reality, ideas and ideologies are represented by, among others, works such as the large installation The Emancipation Approximation (1999) by Kara Walker, exhibited for the first time in the MAXXI spaces, or the significant drawings and photographs of Corviale by Mario Fiorentino, also on show for the first time, to which the Stalker group has dedicated a work focussing on the story of the structure told by its inhabitants.

These are flanked by the projects for the Foro Mussolini (1929) painted by Enrico Del Debbio and others that are decidedly more political such as the radical reflections of Superstudio, the enthralling photographs of Palermo (2003) by Letizia Battaglia or the Pasolini-esque Alfa GT Veloce (2007) by Elisabetta Benassi.

Pain and hope are expressed in the works Plegaria muda (2012) by Doris Salcedo, Infinitive Cell (2004) by Alfredo Jaar inspired by Antonio Gramsci or Veronika (1995) by Christian Boltansky while more intimate works such as the notebooks of Aldo Rossi, the drawings of Francis Al˙s and the sketches of Carlo Scarpa on cigarette packets are associated with the idea of the spirit and spirituality.

In the exhibition spaces, the thematic presentation of the collection is indicated under poetic subtitles such as “Genius Room (la stanza del genio)”, “Theatre of the World (il teatro del mondo)”, “The City between Order and Chaos (la città tra ordine e caos)”, “Body in Action (il corpo in azione)”, “Infrastructural Miracles (miracoli di infrastutture)”, “Beyond the Prison (oltre la prigione)”, “The Dreamland (il paese dei sogni)”, “The Truth in Judgement (la verità a guidizio)” “Living Together (co-abitare)” and “At the End, There’s Light (alla fine la luce) “ spectators are encouraged to their own interpretations with freedom and imagination.

With Remembering is not Enough MAXXI is opening a debate over the role of the museum today and works of art that “interact” with the public. The works have been installed above all to spark reflection, involvement and participation on the part of visitors.

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December 22, 2013

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