a letter from museum for preventive imagination

MACRO – Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome
Via Nizza 138
00198 Rome

T +39 06 696271

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I am pleased to inform you that my new website http://www.museomacro.it is now online, a digital space that will go hand in hand with the three-year programme of my new Artistic Director Luca Lo Pinto, extending across this time span as a single, multifaceted initiative.

As if I were an exhibition, Museum for Preventive Imagination is my title: I’m like a device in which to experience an elastic interdisciplinary structure that puts artists and their thinking at the centre, and in which—alongside more traditional activities—experiments and projects with different spatial and temporal dimensions can coexist.

In a moment of history when the concept of the museum and its identity are being challenged by social and economic developments, as well as by the languages of art itself, it is essential to explore alternative models in which imagination can be the main driver for reflections on the purpose of artistic production and its reception. Hence the choice of organising my programming on a grid of formats open to improvisation, as if I were a three-dimensional magazine composed of columns and heterogeneous features. This perspective takes on even greater meaning in the context of the health emergency and the radical transformations it is causing on multiple levels.

Today I’m still closed, waiting for completion of the restoration work and the opening of the exhibition-manifesto Museum for Preventive Imagination — Editorial. 55 works will enable viewers to discover the architecture and the renovated spaces of the MACRO from multiple vantage points and pathways—some of which are fragmentary and anomalous—suggesting directions, positions, imaginaries and languages I have set out to explore.

In the meantime, thanks to the new website, with the EXTRA section I am starting to distribute materials in the form of writings, images, videos and sound contributions connected with the exhibition, as well as new initiatives in addition to those already in progress on my digital channels.

I have also launched Dispatch, a series of podcasts to offer an audio bulletin that brings together excerpts from books, essays, aphorisms, poems, articles, press releases, soundtracks and stories in a diachronic dimension. You can listen to the first episode here.

In a moment when interpersonal relations happen almost exclusively in digital form, the artist Olaf Nicolai has created a work titled Museum as Bureau of Communication for me. The museum takes on a communicative function, acting as a mediator between two people who want to exchange a message in the form of a postcard. Each postcard will be illustrated with a different work selected from my collection on the basis of the message’s content, activating a chain not only of communication but also of interpretation, between sender, museum and addressee. Send your message here.

On my Instagram and Facebook accounts the project How Can We Rethink a Contemporary Art Museum? continues, after its launch at the beginning of March. It outlines my manifesto through works and images gravitating around ten key concepts. Created to accompany my opening, the programme continues to expand its reflections on the purpose of the museum and the central role of artists, also in relation to this particular moment in history.

With JOMO — Joy of Missing Out, I have invited artists, musicians, poets and architects from various parts of the world to supply me with original contributions. Along the lines of the imaginary museum of André Malraux, they produce clips that become chapters of a single expanded visual narrative posted every Friday, Saturday and Sunday on my IGTV channel, and also available on my YouTube channel. The participants include: Assume Vivid Astro Focus, Laetitia Badaut Haussmann, Elisabetta Benassi, Cara Benedetto, Daniel Blumberg, Hugo Canoilas, Matilde Cassani, Antoine Catala, Pierre Charpin, Daniel Eatock, Emily Jacir, Ana Jotta, Phanos Kyriacou, Adriana Lara, Carlo Lavagna, Marc Leschelier, Marcello Maloberti, Eileen Myles, Carsten Nicolai, Olaf Nicolai, G. T. Pellizzi, Angelo Plessas, Peter Shire, Luca Vitone, Lorenzo Vitturi.