December 23, 2020 - Centro per l'arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci - Looking back on 2020
December 23, 2020

Centro per l'arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci

[1] Thomas Hirschhorn, WE ARE STILL ALIVE. Photo: Raffaele Di Vaia. [2] View of Protext! When fabric becomes manifesto - Tschabalala Self. Photo: Okno Studio. [3] View of Jacopo Benassi. Void. Photo: Okno Studio.

Looking back on 2020

Centro per l'arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci
Viale della Repubblica 277
59100 Prato
Instagram / Facebook / Twitter / Vimeo

Despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic, in 2020 the Centro per l’arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci reconfirmed its important position among museums and institutions dedicated to contemporary art in Italy, and with its online activities it has created a digital space to foster critical thinking and exchange within the global cultural scene. 

The museum's capacity to react to the changed scenario was immediate with the creation of the Centro Pecci Extra programme and the Extra Flags initiative in March during the lockdown, and with the rich programme offered immediately afterwards, from the end of May with the reopening.

From March 15, on a daily basis, original cultural content enriched the museum’s Web TV—from artist' videos to in-depth analysis of the exhibitions, films screened in the museum’s cinema, and contributions from writers, artists and critics—and on a weekly basis artist’ banners were commissioned and hung on the flagpole in front of the museum as a sign of resistance and hope in the real world. 

With the reopening on May 21, Centro Pecci immediately welcomed its visitors with full safety measures in place, reopening exhibitions and projects that were already underway, adding to them from June 4 the first Italian exhibition dedicated to the Chinese photographer and poet Ren Hang, who tragically died before turning 30 and who was known above all for his important research on the body, identity, sexuality and the relationship between humans and nature, centred around free and rebellious Chinese youths. It was a successful bet due to the public turnout and attention of critics, also thanks to the Instagram filter created by Centro Pecci and inspired by one of Ren Hang’s most iconic photographs: Peacock.

Over the summer the museum offered Pecci Summer: a rich and varied programme of 10 sold out concerts, six talks and 40 films, transforming the museum’s open-air theatre into a new “square” in the city, familiar and open to the whole community. 

In autumn Centro Pecci focused on new original exhibitions (which were temporarily suspended with the new closure of Italian museums in November): the first solo museum exhibition dedicated to the photographer Jacopo Benassi; the collective exhibition Protext! When fabric becomes a manifesto which, through the works of international artists, explores the role of fabric not only in critical debates about work, identity and environmental change, but also as a medium par excellence in representing dissent; the project Lithosphere, which places the video A Fragmented World (2016) by Elena Mazzi and Sara Tirelli in dialogue with the environmental installation Productive (2018–19) by Giorgio Andreotta Calò: two projects that stem from the desire to represent the forces and materials that have shaped our planet over the course of geological eras.  

From early November, with the new national closure of all museums and exhibitions, Centro Pecci launched its digital programme Pecci ON, with which the museum once more highlights how a contemporary art institution can act as a catalyst for its community, an antenna that captures the present by attracting ideas, voices, and artists to interpret the evolutions of our time and then returns them amplified to the territory and the world. From November 10 on the website and social networks there are alternating events and conversations in live streaming, consolidated initiatives and new formats, free of charge and open to all, such as #KeyWords. Words that open up the present, a dialogue between art and psychology, and #Museum2b, an international dialogue on the role of cultural institutions at a time of marked change. 

In 2020, Centro Pecci had to rethink its approach, launching new dynamic strategies attentive to the need to gain a more active social role towards a public that was more distant but that showed up in numbers from the first day of reopening. 

Centro per l'arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci
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