October 16, 2014 - MAXXI - National Museum of 21st Century Arts - Open Museum Open City
October 16, 2014

Open Museum Open City

Open Museum Open City
24 October–30 November 2014 

MAXXI – National Museum of XXI Century Arts
Via Guido Reni 4A
00196 Rome
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11–19h,
Saturday 11–22h

T +06 399 67 350
info [​at​] fondazionemaxxi.it


Open Museum Open City looks to the future. But the future is an unknown world. It’s an adventure full of uncertainty. The only certainty you have is that your life may be changed.”
–Hou Hanru 

Immaterial, immersive, omnipresent, invisible, sound is the most radical and experimental aspect of contemporary art, the perfect instrument to conquer spaces for freedom of expression, an unexpected perspective from which to observe and analyze reality. Hosted in the entire museum, Open Museum Open City examines some crucial topics of our times by means of sound.

Curated by Hou Hanru, the exhibition will transform the museum into a performative stage for dialogues by “emptying the building” and filling it with the sounds. Occupying the galleries of the museum in an immaterial but still spectacular way, the sound projects and the actions of artists and public, transform the galleries in urban, intimate, virtual, digital, spiritual and political spaces. These items redefine the nature of the spaces of the museum and its public significance. 

The site-specific installations
Ryoji Ikeda explores the evolution of the note “A,” the point of reference for the Western intonation, in a straightforward manner. This minimalist work evokes the maximum experience to help us contemplate the question of origins, even the origin of the world. 

Bill Fontana introduces the sounds of water flowing across the city through the famous Roman aqueduct system, encountering many different urban and social situations. It acts as a beautiful reminder of the dynamic flow of time, from the ancient era to the contemporary one, as a major force forging the identity of the Eternal City. 

Other artists share this strategy of transporting and amplifying exterior sounds inside the museum: 
Haroon Mirza creates a device to directly “blow” sounds in from the outside, while Justin Bennett installs a 3-D sound-cube to transform a section of a gallery into an urban plaza, an oracle to answer our most hidden desire: to know the future. 

Having lived through the uprising against gentrification of Taksim Square in Istanbul, Cevdet Erek converts the museum space into a place of unrest and urban revolt.

Philippe Rahm, a multitasking architect, uses the architectural context of the museum to deconstruct and recompose a piece by Claude Debussy. 

There is no one more courageous and mad than the Don Quixote created by Cervantes and loved by Jean-Baptiste Ganne, who has conceived a translation in Morse code with flashing red lights: the dumb show of a solitary warrior, an invitation to take action, a dose of brave utopianism. 

Francesco Fonassi and his interactive installation invite the public to experiment with the existential rigor inherent to a private world of freedom, coming to terms with the tension between desire and restraint, curiosity and obstacle.

Lara Favaretto suggests we face the contradiction between the effort required by sculpture and vacuity of that same effort. 

The radio
With a radio station designed by H.H.LIM, RAM radioartemobile transmits on the web and in the museum the contributions of the artists and the public: the radio is part of the global network and can reach the entire world.

The daily events
Integral part of the exhibition the performative events: from music, dance, theatre, cinema, storytelling and poem reading to improvisational gatherings and speaker’s corner style “agitations.” Chiara Fumai, Elisa Strinna, Valentina Vetturi and Marinella Senatore involve the public in their personal stories of reality. Nina Beir, Marco Colombaioni, Valentina Vetturi, Raphaël Zarka and Italo Zuffi are the protagonists of three days of performances with popular games of their invention. Based on the book by Rem Koolhaas, who created the set designs as well, the OHT group presents a performance on the lack of communication. 

Included in the projections of films and photographs are works by Chantal Akerman, Gianfranco Baruchello, Ila Bêka, Cyprien Gaillard, Amos Gitaï, Armin Linke, Santiago Serra, Olivo Barbieri, Francesco Jodice, Guy Tillim, and Francesco Zizola.

Open Museum Open City at MAXXI, Rome
MAXXI - National Museum of 21st Century Arts
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