“Culture and art: Carrara lacked planning, continuity and dialogue”

CARRARA – The crisis of the paper newspapers is now well known in the news itself, but there is someone who, starting from an online project, has managed to publish a paper magazine. Federico Giannini, co-founder of Finestre sull’Arte with Ilaria Baratta, is one of the architects of this miracle of communication that shows that online and print are destined for a synergistic coexistence. “In 2009 we started the digital dissemination project, which then in 2017 became a full publication and appointments dedicated to art and culture, while in 2019 the printed version also arrived with a quarterly product with different contents to collect, where we publish articles without deadline, that can still be read even after many years, while maintaining the same attractiveness “explains briefly the Apuan art journalist Federico Giannini, author of, among other things, some documentaries broadcast on television channels.

«Finestre sull’Arte is a national product – says Giannini, who is ready for a conversation The Apuan voice to talk about art and culture in Carrara – which is why I travel a lot in Italy (e.g. I just returned from Venice) but feel very connected to my city. I’m really interested in Carrara ».

From an artistic and cultural point of view, what was missing in Carrara in these five years, if something was missing?

“Three things were missing in my opinion: The first is the programming. A clear line was missing: there were also interesting exhibitions, but we didn’t see a clearly defined strategy. Among the positive examples I mention the exhibition on Cybei, while among the negative ones the exhibition on the Marmifera in Carmi, which is completely at odds with the spirit of the museum that housed it, and the virtual exhibition on Canova in Carmi, a side show. There was also a lack of dialogue between the different institutional subjects. On the contrary: I would like to have a fixed table to bring together the various public and private subjects dealing with art in the city in various capacities, from the Academy of Fine Arts to the Conti Foundation, from the Marble Foundation in Vôtre, to the CRC Foundation. The third element was the lack of continuity in the activities of the administration ».

Do you think the addition of museums, as you plan to do with the restoration of the Palazzo Pisani, can help expand the city’s cultural offerings?

“In Carrara we have three municipal museums: the Carmi, the Marble Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art, although this is still closed and it is not clear when it will reopen. These museums received around 16,000 visitors in 2019: an average of 5,000 per museum, low numbers for a city like Carrara. Before you think about opening new museums, you need to work on what you have. Now let’s move on to the three museums: the Carmi is a collection of objects, but after three years it still does not have a clear identity and mission, it has hosted exhibitions that did not concern Michelangelo, it is a museum mainly used as a museum becomes container. The Marble Museum is an underappreciated gem and I also see good potential for the Museum of Contemporary Art (I don’t know the project for the new museum though, so I’ll keep that aspect to himself). I don’t know how sensible it can be to open a new museum in this context. The museum project in Palazzo Pisani runs the risk of becoming a duplicate of the Marble Museum: I think it is better to create an exhibition center suitable for large exhibitions, following the example of Palazzo Cucchiari, which hosts very interesting exhibitions every year. In addition, the Palazzo Pisani could be enriched by dedicating a plan to initiatives for the city, I am thinking for example of the workshops that were activated a few years ago at the Saffi school. But I’m pretty sure we don’t need to create a museum where we can “accumulate a plethora of documents as if we were scanning a junk dealer’s stall,” to quote the mayor. There are special markets and flea markets for the stands of the junk dealers. Carrara needs less collected and more thoughtful projects ».

Is there a risk that the Marble Museum will be robbed of its contents?

«It seems to me that the risk has definitely been averted, there is now no longer talk of moving the museum, but of a new building. Therefore, there is a risk, if any, of creating a duplicate: there are rare cities that have two museums so closely linked to the territory. Finally, since 1982, the Marble Museum has been housed in a former building built between 1962 and 1965 to house the National Marble Exhibition: it is therefore right that the Marble Museum remains where it is. If anything, you need to make it known.”

What do you think of the exhibition “1972. Michelucci, Moore and Michelangelo “?

«I visited it recently, so I’ll limit myself to a few warm impressions. It is a decidedly niche exhibition that tells a little-known episode in the history of our city, the story of the never-built monument to Michelangelo, designed by Giovanni Michelucci, who also envisaged the participation of Henry Moore. It’s a good documentary exhibition which I imagine is aimed primarily at a local audience. The section on Michelucci is good (especially the drawings alone are worth a visit), the one on Moore is much worse. On the other hand, the part dedicated to Michelangelo’s fortune on the upper floor is unrelated to what the public can admire in the first sections on the ground floor, but it is a more than valid excuse to see beyond the first acquisitions the permanent collection of the museum, some very interesting works, especially an exceptional unpublished charity by Bernardino Mei, also worth a visit at the Carmi ».

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