Despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic, in 2020 the Centro per larte contemporanea Luigi Pecci
reconfirmed its important position among museums and institutions dedicated to contemporary art in Italy, and with its online activities it has created a digital space to foster critical thinking and exchange within the global cultural scene.
The museum's capacity to react to the changed scenario was immediate with the creation of the Centro Pecci Extra programme and the Extra Flags initiative in March during the lockdown, and with the rich programme offered immediately afterwards, from the end of May with the reopening.
From March 15th, on a daily basis, original cultural content enriched the museums Web TV from artist' videos to in-depth analysis of the exhibitions, films screened in the museums cinema, and contributions from writers, artists and critics and on a weekly basis artist flags were commissioned and hung on the flagpole in front of the museum as a sign of resistance and hope in the real world.
With the reopening on May 21st, Centro Pecci immediately welcomed its visitors with full safety measures in place, reopening exhibitions and projects that were already underway, adding to them from June 4th the first Italian exhibition dedicated to the Chinese photographer and poet Ren Hang, who tragically died before turning thirty and who was known above all for his important research on the body, identity, sexuality and the relationship between humans and nature, centred around free and rebellious Chinese youths. It was a successful bet due to the public turnout and attention of critics, also thanks to the Instagram filter created by Centro Pecci and inspired by one of Ren Hangs most iconic photographs: Peacock.
Over the summer the museum offered Pecci Summer: a rich and varied programme of 10 sold out concerts, 6 talks and 40 films, transforming the museums open-air theatre into a new square in the city, familiar and open to the whole community.
In autumn Centro Pecci focused on new original exhibitions (which were temporarily suspended with the new closure of Italian museums in November): the first solo museum exhibition dedicated to the photographer Jacopo Benassi; the collective exhibition Protext! When fabric becomes a manifesto which, through the works of international artists, Pia Camil, Otobong Kkanga, Vladislav Shapovalov, Tschabalala Self, Marinella Senatore, Serapis Maritime Corporation and Güneş Terkol explores the role of fabric not only in critical debates about work, identity and environmental change, but also as a medium par excellence in representing dissent; the project Lithosphere, with a dialogue between the works of Elena Mazzi and Sara Tirelli and of Giorgio Andreotta Calò that stem from the desire to represent the forces and materials that have shaped our planet over the course of geological eras; the presentation of a new acquisition, RAID, the video by Marcello Maloberti.
From early November, with the new national closure of all museums and exhibitions, Centro Pecci launched its digital programme Pecci ON, with which the museum once more highlights how a contemporary art institution can act as a catalyst for its community, an antenna that captures the present by attracting ideas, voices, and artists to interpret the evolutions of our time and then returns them amplified to the territory and the world. From November 10th on the website and social networks there are alternating events and conversations in live streaming, consolidated initiatives and new formats, free of charge and open to all, such as #KeyWords. Words that open up the present, a dialogue between art and psychology, and #Museum2b, an international dialogue on the role of cultural institutions at a time of marked change.
In 2020, Centro Pecci had to rethink its approach, launching new dynamic strategies attentive to the need to gain a more active social role towards a public that was more distant but that showed up in numbers from the first day of reopening. The role of our museum today, - points out the Director Cristiana Perrella, - is increasingly to act as a collector of energies for the region, and only by strengthening Centro Peccis link with Prato, enhancing the assonances and correspondences and further strengthening the existing connections or creating new ones, can we guarantee the museum its centrality. In these difficult times Centro Pecci's wish is to continue to represent a place for those who love art and culture, a place capable of speaking to everyone. Our mission is to continue to grow with our territory, and to open again as soon as possible to the entire world.