Rome Travel Guide

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Sunday, September 1, 2013

MAXXI: the Francesco Vezzoli Performance

We enjoyed Elisabetta Provoledo's July 22 article in the New York Times, describing the efforts of MAXXI, Rome's splashy, new, Zaha Hadid-designed museum of contemporary art, to attract Roman audiences while building an international reputation. 

It hasn't been easy, especially when state money is tight, the museum's collections are thin, and the
On her cell phone
young staff would prefer to play with their cell phones rather than to assist curious or lost patrons or hand out the earphones like they were supposed to do for a video exhibit (photo at right). 

One technique that MAXXI is trying is to mount hip exhibits that plug into Italy's fashion industry.  Last year, for example, the museum arranged with Zegna, an apparel company, to commission an exhibit by artists Lucy and Jorge Orta that conveniently used Zegna fabrics. 

And more recently, MAXXI mounted a visually stunning exhibit by Francesco Vezzoli, who was able to deploy his star power to bring in $525,000 at a fundraising dinner, in a city where fundraising on that level is virtually unknown. 

Vezzoli: Postmodern to a fault
Vezzoli (b. 1971, lives in Milan) has exhibited at the New Museum in New York City and the Tate Modern in London.  He's a painter and performance artist, and his sumptuous MAXXI presentation utilizes both talents.  Vezzoli plays with Hollywood and film, exploring contemporary ideas and experiences of fame and celebrity.

On the day before the Vezzoli exhibit opened, we were the beneficiaries of those cellphone-devoted museum attendants, whom we found huddled together for a chat, while only a few feet away we gingerly slipped past a velvet rope and found ourselves alone--well, for a while there was this Asian guy who had also sneaked in--with Vezzoli's as yet unseen exhibit. 

Very special.
Thanks, MAXXI, for the private showing.
Dianne and Bill

Not sure what he had in mind here, but this is how you raise money

Bizarre juxtaposition of ancient and modern...that's Lauren Bacall

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