MAXXI alongside Taobuk with the tableaux vivants of Luigi Ontani, an artist at the crossroads of different identities


By John

The MAXXI National Museum of 21st Century Arts, we know, is much more than a museum: it is a platform open to all languages ​​of contemporary creativity, a place for meetings, exchanges and collaborations. And it has the ability to reproduce. The new addition is called MAXXI Med and will be built in Messina. The Sicilian headquarters, desired and supported by the MAXXI Foundation, the Municipality of Messina and the University of Messina, will be the cultural center of reference for contemporary art of the Mediterranean and will have two houses: Villa Pacehistoric nineteenth-century residence – the first construction dates back to 1853, but was rebuilt in 1915, after the 1908 earthquake, and the Morandi Towersan industrial archeology building owned by the municipality, the terminal part of the power line that connected Sicily to Calabria, disused for twenty years.

Alessandro Giuli, president of the MAXXI Foundation, explains: «As regards the regeneration of the Morandi Towers, where a large installation financed by Pnrr funds is planned, the executive project, created by MAXXI, together with the technicians and architects of the Municipality, already has a its shape. As regards Villa Pace, where the actual “academy” should be built, we are waiting to perfect an already existing protocol with the University”.

Here’s the bridge we like: «Messina is a potential cultural capital of the entire Mediterranean, it has a decent cultural offering that needs to be enriched, and a great need for contemporary art. It is the natural place of access, of an immaterial, cultural bridge over the Strait of high symbolic value, to be combined with an idea of ​​urban regeneration necessary in the city – which, let’s not forget, experienced the tragedy of the earthquake – in a context in which it becomes easier to communicate with the Continent across the other shore but, above all, to project ourselves, with two seas at our disposal, towards the entire Mediterranean”.

MAXXI has been, also this year, alongside Taobuk, with the exhibition project «Le Ore» by Luigi Ontani. In collaboration with the Municipality of Taormina, Enel and Fondazione Oelle Mediterraneo Antico, the work, which has been on display since yesterday at Palazzo Corvaja, where it will remain until 28 July, is part of the collection of the Roman museum and is among the greatest expressions of fertility fantastic by Luigi Ontani, one of the most influential Italian artists.

Giuli continues: «It is one of the most important works in our collection, an installation of tableaux vivants by the masterin which the spectrum of 24 hours is represented with a series of photographic portraits with quotes mostly addressed to the ancient world and reinterpreted. Obviously historically contextualized in the mid-70s. In the contemporary world there is nothing more ancient and contemporary than a great artist who can coexist with the beauty of Palazzo Corvaja and with the great cultural heritage of Taormina and all of Sicily».

Antonella Ferrara satisfied with the “coup”, creator and artistic director of Taobuk: «We are very happy to renew this extraordinary collaboration with the MAXXI museum in Rome: Taobuk has always placed the relationship between literature and art at the center of its investigation. And today we have the privilege of hosting, within the most beautiful buildings of the city, thanks also to the contribution of the city of Taormina, one of the most important works by Luigi Ontani, strongly representative of the identity of the Mediterranean”.

Chiara Ianeselli is the person in charge of the MAXXI Med project. She explains: «With great courage we are carrying forward the entire project, which is already here with us, in some way». Why Alders and why Taobuk? «Luigi is perhaps the artist who has best managed to investigate identity, himself a crossroads of different identities, given his intellectual nomadism. Taobuk is an extraordinary reality which, over the years, has proven to carry out research of extraordinary quality. This year’s theme, identity, I believe is of fundamental importance today.”