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

CARRARA – The crisis of the paper newspapers is now a fact in the news itself, but someone has managed to publish a paper magazine from an online project. One of the architects of this communication marvel, which shows that online and print are destined for a synergistic coexistence, is Federico Giannini, founder of Finestre sull’Arte with Ilaria Baratta. “In 2009, we started the digital dissemination project, which then became an in-depth publication in 2017 and on appointments dedicated to art and culture, while in 2019 also arrived the print version with a quarterly product with different content, collector’s item, where we publish articles without deadline, which can 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 agrees to have a chat with The Apuan Voice to talk about art and culture in Carrara – that’s why I travel a lot around Italy (for example I just returned from Venice), but I feel very attached to my city. I really care about Carrara ».

In these five years, artistically and culturally, what, if anything, was missing in Carrara?

“I think there were three things that were missing: the first is programming. A clear line was missing: there were also interesting exhibitions, but we did not see a well-defined strategy. Among the positive examples I mention the exhibition on Cybei, while among the negative ones the exhibition on the Marmifera in Carmi, totally out of line with the soul of the museum that housed it, and the virtual exhibition on Canova in Carmi, an afterthought. There was also a lack of dialogue between the various institutional topics. On the contrary: I would like to have a permanent table to bring together the different subjects, public and private, that deal with art in the city in different 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 administration’s actions ».

In your opinion, could adding museums, as you plan with the restoration of Palazzo Pisani, increase the city’s cultural offerings?

“In Carrara we have three public 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 had about 16 thousand visitors in 2019: an average of 5 thousand per museum, low numbers for a city like Carrara. Before you think about opening new museums, work on what you have. We continue to examine the three museums: the Carmi is a collection of objects that, however, after three years still does not have a clear identity and mission, there have been exhibitions that did not concern Michelangelo, it is a museum mainly used as a container. The Marble Museum is a small valued gem and I also see good potential for the Museum of Contemporary Art (however, I am not familiar with the project for the new museum, so I prefer to suspend my judgment on this aspect). I don’t know how useful it can be to open a new museum in this context. The museum project in Palazzo Pisani risks becoming a duplicate of the Marble Museum: I think it is better to create an exhibition center suitable for large-scale exhibitions, following the example of Palazzo Cucchiari where very interesting exhibitions are held every year. Furthermore, 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. However, I’m pretty sure we don’t need to create a museum where we can collect “a large amount of documents as if we were scanning a junk dealer’s booth,” to quote the mayor. There are special markets and flea markets for the stalls of the second-hand dealers. Carrara needs less collected and more thoughtful projects ».

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

«It seems to me a risk that has been definitively set aside, there is now no longer a question of moving the museum, but of establishing a new museum. Therefore, in any case, the risk is to create a duplicate: there are rare cities with two museums that are so strongly dedicated and connected to the territory. After all, the Marble Museum has been there since 1982, in a building that was also earlier: it was built between 1962 and 1965 to house the national marble exhibition: it is therefore only right that the Marble Museum remains where it is. If there is something, you have to make it known.”

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

«I recently visited, so I will limit myself to a few warm impressions. It is a decidedly niche exhibition, telling 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 foresaw the involvement of Henry Moore. It’s a good documentary exhibition, which I think is mainly aimed at a local audience. The Michelucci part is good (especially the drawings alone are worth a visit), the Moore part is much poorer. By contrast, the section on the upper floor dedicated to Michelangelo’s fortune is completely separate from what the public can admire in the first sections on the ground floor, but it is a more than valid pretext to look beyond the first acquisitions for the permanent collection of the museum, some very interesting works, especially an extraordinary unpublished Charity of Bernardino Mei, also worth a visit to the Carmi ».

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