Per_forming a collection. An Art Archive of Campania, Madre – Donnaregina Contemporary Art Museum

Per_formare una collezione (“Per_forming a collection”) is the project (2013-in progress) devoted by the Madre to the gradual formation of its permanent collection, meant as a “per_formative” organism that explores in real time the identity and the functions of the museum. From 2016 Per un archivio dell’arte in Campania is part of this project and completes it as a progressive survey dedicated to the artistic practices active in the territory of the Campania region and in which the Madre museum operates.

In the corridor that leads to the Columns Gallery (“Sala delle Colonne”, first floor) the works of Carmine Rezzuti (Alfabeto arcaico, “Archaic Alphabet”, 2014) and Enza Monetti (Swinging, 2016) are the archetypal representations that explore the relationship between the iconic sign and its possible natural referents.

In the Columns Gallery the works of Matteo Fraterno (Certosa, 1995), Maurizio Elettrico (Glamtstaxpalaman, 2005) and Vincenzo Rusciano (Not So Bad #1, 2016) draft the outlines of fantastic cultures and possible worlds suspended between the past and the future, recognisability and invention, ludic dimension and critical analysis. The work Sacchi di notti napoletane (“Saks of Neapolitan Nights”, 1986) by Lello Masucci functions as the background in which the pictorial representation of a volcano immersed in a starry sky becomes a three-dimensional matter and acquires a three-dimensional consistency. Rosaria Matarese (Alzati e disegna un mondo nuovo, “Stand Up and Draw a New World”, 1965) understands the exploratory and liberating potentialities of the work of art by activating a collage of fragments of existence – objects, cut-outs, drawings – in an attempt to bring together, in the precarious but necessary synthesis of the space and time of the work, an intimate dimension and the public sphere, whereas Quintino Scolavino (Fare orecchio da mercante, “Turning a Deaf Ear”, exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 1982) accentuates the ironic character of his intervention both by combining mechanical elements and heterogeneous materials such as feathers, wood and terracotta and transforming the title of the work in a pun.

In the next room, the photographic works of Salvino Campos (Redemption, 2007-2013) and Luciano Ferrara (Res e Bis, 2010) transform the reproduction of the objective and documentary data into an exploration of the potentials of the reality, revealing its intimate plurality. In the same room the works of Mafonso (Tempo, “Time”, 2008) and Luigi Auriemma (DIO_GENE, 2016) seem to give shape to the language, analyzing the interconnection among thought, word, image and the spacetime dimension of the exhibition experience.

On the second floor, in the first of the Front Galleries (“Sale Facciata”), the environmental installation by Lello Lopez (Companion, 2012) deepens this interconnectedness unfolding as a narration for words and images that the artist situates in the interMediterranean cultural context, and the work of Anna Maria Gioja (Senza titolo, “Untitled”, 1987) – presented along with the works already in collection by Mathelda Balatresi, Tomaso Binga, Maria Adele Del Vecchio, Gruppo XX and Rosa Panaro – elaborates the density of the pictorial material as a performative body which, while representing it also reflects on its own point of view and on his own relationship with the outside world.

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On the ground floor, in the Show_Yourself@Madre Gallery, is displayed the multimedia installation The First Ship (2018) by Maurizio Igor Meta, realized with the support of Fondazione Campania dei Festival – Napoli Teatro Festival Italia: an open narration about the history of a family that becomes a reflection on the dynamic archive/memory/invention, a story of the just passed “short Century” and its reverberation on a contemporary individuality in transit.

Finally, on the border between the inner Courtyard and the Sculpture Courtyard is presented the permanent work of Paul Thorel, Passaggio della Vittoria (2018), a large porcelain and enameled stoneware mosaic, realized with the support of Mutina for Art and inspired by the white mosaic which covers the vault of the Galleria della Vittoria, the 609-meter driveway connecting the city of Naples from east to west and vice versa. A set of shapes, segments, parabolas, horizons and colors, on a white background, that accompanies the visitor from one point to another of his visit.

Madre – Donnaregina Contemporary Art Museum
The Madre · museo d’arte contemporanea Donnaregina is located in the heart of old Naples, on what is known as the “Via dei Musei,” just a stone’s throw away from the Duomo, the Museo Archeologico Nazionale and the Accademia di Belle Arti, where the ancient San Lorenzo district is situated.

The Museum takes its name from the building that hosts it, the Palazzo Donnaregina, which like all the surrounding area owes its name to the Monastery of Santa Maria Donnaregina, founded by the Swabians (13th century) and then expanded and rebuilt in 1325 by Queen Mary of Hungary, wife to Charles II of Anjou. All that remains of the ancient monastic complex is the church of the same name, which overlooks Piazza Donnaregina, built in the Baroque period, and the “old” 14th-century Gothic-style church of Donnaregina, which has previously hosted exhibitions and special events organized by the Museum.

Madre Museum is the witness of a story that made Campania region a crossroads of contemporary arts, oriented to studying and documenting the past through contemporary sensitivity and languages and so able of acting in the present and outlining the future.