March 1, 2017 - MAXXI - National Museum of 21st Century Arts - PLEASE COME BACK. The world as prison?
March 1, 2017

MAXXI - National Museum of 21st Century Arts

Chen Chieh-Jen, People Pushing, 2007–08.

PLEASE COME BACK. The world as prison?
February 9–May 21, 2017

MAXXI - National Museum of 21st Century Arts
Via Guido Reni 4A
00196 Rome italy
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–7pm
Twitter / Facebook / Instagram / YouTube / Google+ / #PleaseComeBack

"War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength."
–George Orwell, 1984

26 artists and 50 works recount prison as a metaphor for the contemporary world and the contemporary world as a metaphor for prison: technological, hyperconnected, shared and ever more closely controlled.

Artists: AES+F, Jananne Al-Ani, Gianfranco Baruchello, Elisabetta Benassi, Rossella Biscotti, Mohamed Bourouissa, Chen Chieh-Jen, Simon Denny, Rä di Martino, Harun Farocki, Omer Fast, Claire Fontaine, Carlos Garaicoa, Dora García, Jenny Holzer, Gülsün Karamustafa, Rem Koolhaas, H.H. Lim, Lin Yilin, Jill Magid, Trevor Paglen, Berna Reale, Shen Ruijun, Mikhael Subotzky, Superstudio and Zhang Yue

Now that global communication also means global control, that the sharing born out of the internet and social networks as dismantled our privacy, the word prison takes on very new meanings. With the exhibition PLEASE COME BACK. The world as prison?, curated by Hou Hanru and Luigia Lonardelli, 26 artists through 50 works will be shedding light on the problems relating to the control typical of contemporary society.

The exponential development of digital technologies, the advent of the social networks, the use of Big Data, have progressively and inexorably changed our society which is witnessing the collapse of the philosophies of social and urban sharing and the establishment of new regimes that in the name of security are stripping us, with our consent, of every intimate and personal space. PLEASE COME BACK starts out from these considerations and seeks an answer to the question: what would we like back in our lives from the paradise lost of the modern age?

Hung in MAXXI’s Gallery 5, the exhibition takes its title from the work of the same name by the collective Claire Fontaine, born out the artists' thinking about the society at large as a space of imprisonment and our uncanny position in it. On this basis, PLEASE COME BACK takes as its investigative focus the condition of  contemporary society under the control of the power system, explored in both its physical dimension and in its metaphorical meaning. 

The exhibition is accompanied by a series of collateral events relating to the key issues: a film season tracing the history of the post-modern world through four films, the workshop by the artist Claudia Losi entitled Una Volta… All’improvviso conceived within a prison in order to try to involve, sensitively and non-rhetorically, the imaginations and complex affections of those obliged to remain distant, and Beyond the Wall, a workshop by the MAXXI Education Department bringing pupils from a secondary school class in order to initiate reflection on physical and virtual prisons and the restriction of freedom. To all this is added Storytelling, a story-hour hosted in the museum (April 29, from 4 to 7pm) in which the actor and radio presenter Matteo Caccia interprets the testimony of listeners to the Rai Radio2 programme Pascal invited to consider the effects of the fist global anthropological mutation to affect our civilization.

MAXXI - National Museum of 21st Century Arts
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