The Museum of the other and elsewhere
A walk in a very unique place: the Maam Museum of the other and elsewhere, host of the Metropoliz_Città Meticcia, in the company of Velia Littera, curator and gallerist of Pavart in Rome. Velia led me to discover a world populated by living works of art. In these environments, belonging to a former salami factory, passed to the property of a Roman group of constructions but in fact in a state of abandonment, are partly occupied by a small community of immigrants and precarious who inhabit it illegally. Besides the families that live there, in the rooms once used as abattoir, a considerable number of artists have filled spaces and surfaces with works and installations of remarkable value, artistic and ideal.
The thing that strikes as soon as you enter the exhibition spaces is the smell, at times unbearable, of mold, damp and other, not well identified. You have to be careful where you walk because the decommissioned machinery of the Salumificio clutter up the passage, the works are everywhere. The artists in fact have nested, stuck in every corner, to leave their traces. This means that every square metre is dense with objects and images.
Baby Bang Bang
A village preserves art
The web literature on the subject Maam is nourished, and I refer to the manifesto of the creators of Metropoliz, but also to the critical contributions of Art Tribune. The action of Giorgio De Finis, sociologist and anthropologist who is the creator, now also director of MACRO, does not fail to generate criticism. The artists invited to contribute to this project of employment in fact, are opposed to the policies of museification of art in our country. In the visitors ‘ judgments, however, they emerge victorious from the confrontation with emblazoned institutions (I think of the MAXXI) that offer much less things to see, emotions to try, questions to ask: In short much less art of the twenty-first century.
Surprisingly, in doing a Google search, the high rating attributed to the Maam, not already by specialized magazines, but by Trip Advisor. In fact the visitor experience is strong, rich, sometimes a punch in the stomach, but immersive and stimulating. The whole operation represents a sociological experiment implemented by means of the cultural lever. The community inhabiting the spaces annexed to the former Salumificio is peaceful (many children play and run outdoors), also involved in the choice of the works to be exhibited, which are subjected to the evaluation of a participatory assembly. The social result is worthy of observation. Here you can breathe an air of a small village inhabited by families, who guard a ramshackled container of treasures of art. We are very far from other places occupied abusively, distressing scenarios of a degradation often irretrievable.
Now the fortunes of these spaces and of this community are hung to the slender thread of the policy which must make decisions, dictated by the judgments of the judiciary, if it wants to compensate a property defrauded, without damaging the museum and without throwing in the middle of the Street people looking for ransom. The presence of valuable works, (what embarrassing to say), might be able to curb the bulldozers more than immigrant families.