Indispensable, to bring children closer to art, to take them around museums

As an art history teacher and artist myself, I have always said to myself
that it is important, even indispensable, to bring children closer to the arts. Bring them in
tour of museums (Naples is full of them), from an early age, so it should be
an activity to use. And here are two little ones at Madre aged seven and eight, i.e
as according to https://www.beniculturali.it/agevolazioni: “Entry into
museums, monuments, galleries and archaeological sites in the state are free for all
citizens belonging to the European Union under the age of 18″, no
they have to pay. Instead, they pay: half or four euros.
Maybe I missed something.
I have seen the small ones on other occasions (Naples Archaeological Museum, Museum of
Capodimonte), attentive observers (they are used to visiting museums, galleries,
craft exhibitions and more). Even surprised by the works of the greats
the masters of the past such as Raphael, Leonardo and others.
I wondered how children would stay in front of the caves
Lascaux, France, a Unesco World Heritage Site in which they are
preserved drawings, or rather, 17,000-year-old wall art.
Or in front of the paintings of the Sistine Chapel. For what I saw in
time, even as a teacher: amazed, bewitched, silent.
But here we must discuss the concept of art. My Prof. Umberto Schioppa
(Father Schioppa) said: “Art is that activity of the human spirit by which
he tries to express by sensible means the beauty of an idea or the power
of a feeling that he feels deeply inside.” But one must also adapt,
for example to the statements of the former director of MoMA (Museum of Modern
Art), William Rubin, who declares, “Anything can be art, right
there is a definition of art”. The emblem of this definition was the artist
Marcel Duchamp, (with the work “Fontana” opened a new vision
interpretation of contemporary art, to attribute to a utility object
common, a urinal in this case, status as a work of art).
In my communication studies, I learned that: “It’s an artist who wants to
to be “. I often asked my students this question: “What is an artist?”.
And let’s go back to the little places in front of Madre’s artwork.
Just entered one of the bathrooms where there was no paper (it happens) and
want to drink (there was no possibility to buy bottles of water, so
I recommend taking them with you), I enjoyed watching them launch against three basses
faucets hanging from the snout. When they were at the height, they hoped to drink. But that was it
A work of art.
Those present at the moment when we missed two special months, that is
March and April 2022, and the free public program organized as part of
exhibition “Rethinking Nature: 40 artists rethinking nature and art”. Meetings with
artists, guided tours and “urban” explorations outside the museum, including a
special cycle of visits to the Naples Botanical Garden by the artist Maria
Thereza Alves with botanists and historians, to deepen the themes in
Rethinking Nature exhibition. Pity! Who knows the effect on children.
But they definitely saw:
Anish Kapoor, Dark Brother: “In the hollow in the floor, Kapoor wears it
the viewer’s gaze towards infinity and towards the bowels of mother earth, with
a large displacement effect “; A black rectangle that he offered me

the opportunity to explain to them some physical effects of color. Nevertheless, no
they appeared very “off” even though the rectangle is not available,
protected by a Plexiglas wall, perhaps for fear that someone might try
to understand whether there is a gap or not.
Which of course there isn’t.
They seemed struck by Francesco Clemente’s work, Ave Ovo: “The artist
has created a fresco of monumental proportions, divided into two rooms, and a
ceramic floor, rediscover places and places with the memory of childhood
old symbols in Naples “; it was a continuous: “what is this, what is that and
why this and why that”, referring to the images. Indeed, it would have been
nice that instead of the sheets inserted in special display cases (when there were), given it
row of the many free spaces on the walls (even a whole room
completely empty. But perhaps the artist intended to exhibit the “void”,
or “the white”, the non-existent …), it would have been desirable if there were
spaces dedicated to explanations for those who are presbyopic or young in age, or even not
he will touch plasticized sheets (when there are), touched by others. The covid continues
to be scary.
In any case, it was an occasion to talk about the Lascaux caves. The mobile phone
he allowed me to show them some scenes painted on the walls of the caves
more than 15,000,000 years ago and explains that they may be telling hunting stories. View
that we were there, I reminded him of the Sistine Chapel, seen in Rome. Explains
them that the technique was the same: the fresco. “But these colors have faded!” have
responded the child who loves strong colors in his works.
I admit I was stupid enough not to understand the big one
still rusty (really big!), leaning against a wall, it was
a work by Jannis Kounellis, “Untitled”. I should have explained that to them
“Leaning its weight, even metaphorically, on the floor and giving life to one
linking references to the historical role of Naples with a view of the sea”.
Too complex.
We paused to observe by Jeff Koons, Untitled: “large canvases
they re-read in a critical key the practice and dynamics of the means of communication
of our time through the art tradition”. They know I paint, they do
saw my empty or painted canvases and the question was: “Why does no one have us
painted something?” I explained to them that the canvas itself is a medium for
announcement. However, they are “children of the digital age” and one in three users have fewer
Three years. Fortunately, the one of the two who draws a lot seemed convinced.
I think we missed Mimmo Paladino’s work, Untitled (horse):
“The work is based on the combination of figurative sculptural elements (the statue of
horse and the bas-reliefs inserted on this) and architectural elements (the structure
in regular blocks reminiscent of the opus quadratum of the ancient Romans); me though
it seems strange that it could have gone unnoticed.
Maybe it wasn’t there.
Instead, we have always seen:
Mimmo Paladino, Untitled: “A Whole Formed of Hermetic Signs
scratched on the rough surface of the walls and the sculpture that protrudes into the room
they take on an environmental meaning that immerses the viewer in a whole
epiphanic “;

Personally, I was very impressed by Rebecca Horn’s work, Spirits: “From a
of the skulls (“capuzzelle”) in the Fontanelle cemetery in Naples, the artist has
made, in cast iron, the reproductions, flown above by circles of neon lit by a
mother of pearl light”. Although I don’t seem to have heard “the music there
spreading in the hall is actually the song of a single voice, the musician’s
Hayden Danyl Chisholm, able to simultaneously articulate different sounds and
different shades”.
It reminded me of the monks’ cemetery in the great monastery of Certosa di San
Martino with the bronze skulls and also the fact that in Naples, long ago, for
via delle catacombe developed “the cult of pezzentelle souls”. That is: the
women in the quarters “adopted” a capuzzella taken at random from the catacombs,
they took her home and dedicated to her a decorated altar where she could recite a
prayer to ask for thanks and communicate with the dead. I think the use is in
decommissioned.
I won’t take away the “thrill” by describing everything for you. Actually
Donnaregina Foundation – Mother Museum (it must be said that whoever thought of
the name must really be a brilliant person), he would remember
disappeared artist Marisa Albanese, symbolically exhibits three of her own
“Fighters”, unfortunately until February 14, 2022.
So we missed the works.
The Madre’s artistic director since January 2020 is Kathryn Weir. Of origin
Australian Kathryn Weir, born in 1967, with a curriculum matured on
National Gallery of Canberra and later as director of the department
of cultural development of the Center Pompidou in Paris, where in 2015 he created
Cosmopolis, a platform for artistic research and collaborative practice.
The kids asked me why the manager isn’t Italian, but that was too much
complicated to answer, well, in truth I asked myself: maybe
are the italians not smart enough? They should first “get their bones” out
of Italy?
Back to what I remember seeing: Sol LeWitt, Scribbles: “The Five Walls-
drawings (mural drawings) with the title Scribbles”.
“The project of the work is the prerogative of the artist, while its realization is
trusted assistants”.
Explaining to the children that the work was not made by the artist was difficult,
however, I could tell them that Michelangelo was also helped by his students.
Which isn’t quite the same, but that’s okay.
To return to the definitions of the concept of art, I reminded them (I am not sure
having been understood) that art “is the philosophical presentation of the idea of
time and therefore the concept of art and its definition changes with his
protagonists, times and history”.
Getting kids to talk too much about important matters is absolute
inadvisable, in fact I think many of us remember the adventures of Hans Christian
Andersen with the title “The Emperor’s New Clothes”: The day of the great is coming
parade, imperial parades and the following behind, pompous, for sure! But a scream rises from
an innocent voice, from a child: “The king is naked!”
The little ones never know what to say in their innocent ignorance.
Finally, remember that at the main entrance (closed) you will find a notice: “We
we inform that for maintenance work the entrance to the Madre museum will take place
temporarily from Vico Donnaregina (right side of the Diocesan Museum)”.

I don’t know how to rate it “temporary”. I definitely know I’ve seen tourists
Japanese go around in circles looking for the temporary entrance and a couple
girls have done the car route by mistake (we saw them later
about an hour, Fantozzi style). Which we also did in the beginning until,
under the July sun we realized that the secondary entrance was located at
largo Donna regina, i.e. behind. (Bring cold water bottles). That
The Museo Madre, located in Via Settembrini 79 in Naples, is open from Monday to
Saturday (closed Tuesday) from 10:00 to 19:30 and Sunday from
10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Although a website showed that “The Mother Museum currently offers more
for temporary and permanent exhibitions, useful spaces such as a library, a
media library, a bookstore / cafeteria”. We couldn’t find inside
a place of refreshment. Apparently not just us, because from “Tripadvisor,
“LucB632017. Bologna, Italy137 contributions” says in June 2022: “Too bad
which, despite the very large outdoor space, currently does not work a
refreshment place”. We should have read it first.
An advice. If you could, it would be nice to be able to visit Santa’s church
Maria di Donnaregina Vecchia and the new one. Naples is full of art even outside
of museums.
Bianca Fasano

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