FOR THE FIRST TIME THE MUSEO ARCHEOLOGICO ANTONIO SALINAS, PALERMO, HOSTS A MAJOR EXHIBITION FEATURING SIX CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS
Curated by Valentina Bruschi, this exhibition is the result of the impressions absorbed during the artist’s nomadic residency, which took place in September 2016 during grape harvest, and the artists’ reference to the Salinas Museum collection. Amongst the most important archaeological exhibition sites in Europe, the museum opens to contemporary art for the first time, enhancing its constant opening to different media, which are increasingly orientated to the present, in order to look at the art of the past with new eyes.
The exhibition features six artists belonging to the same generation – Marianna Christofides, Gabriella Ciancimino, Malak Helmy, Andrew Mania, Pietro Ruffo, Luca Trevisani – who traveled through Sicily and visited different places, getting in touch with people and their stories. Actually, Italy is one of Italian regions richest in myths and legends. Landscapes and symbols sparked their imaginations, giving life to stunning works designed for the Antonino Salinas museum spaces – from sculpture to drawing, from photography to video, that perfectly harmonize with the collection of the Salinas Museum. A path of contemporary artworks will be aligned, parallel to the museum’s new collection display, around the two sixteenth-century cloisters and includes the ex-cells of the northern corridor of the Greater Cloister of the former Olivella Monumental Complex.
According to the museum’s Dierctor Francesca Spatafora states: “The project is the result of a collaboration between a public institution and a private company that has always been interested in the promotion of art and culture, which aims to stimulate visitors to the Museum to look at ancient works of art through the point of view of contemporary artists. This is a way to reduce the erroneous perception of a gap between the art of the past and that of the present and to foster in the visitors the idea of dialogue between artworks of different ages and types”.
How can two different themes, such as “maps” and “myths”, dialogue with each other? Myth in Sicily is a constant undercurrent, used since ancient times to explain the majestic natural phenomena, from the sea – that surrounds the three-pointed island, whose triangular shape has fed legends – to the perpetually active volcanoes, from Etna to Stromboli. Maps have an ancient tradition, perfected by Arab geographers. In a continuous line running from the majesty of the Greek temples, clearly visible and impressive to those who came from afar, to the Norman fortified churches, the castles of Frederick II, the geography of these places disseminated the Sicilian territory with symbolic meanings, places of protection and identification. In contemporary art, maps have become one of the many languages of artistic expression, starting in the sixties, from those created by Jasper Johns of the United States to the global ones conceived by Alighiero Boetti. For these artists, scale and precision are of no importance and the entire map becomes a work of art where the places may be recognizable although not represented with geographical accuracy.
Viaggio in Sicilia. Maps and Myths of the Mediterranean
Museo Archeologico Regionale Antonino Salinas
piazza Olivella – 90133 Palermo
+39 091 6116807
open to the public: Saturday July 1st – Sunday September 10th 2017
opening times: from Tuesday to Saturday, 9.30 am – 6.30 pm; Sunday and holidays, 9.30 am -1.30 pm