In Italy, online museums enhanced too
As a result of the global lockdown that has taken place over the last few months, the physical relationship between works, those who propose them and the public has suddenly come to an end. The most sensible thing to do in order to keep the plug on was to strengthen the media branch of the entire system, differentiating it by areas of interest and target. An intense use of technology has thus guaranteed the survival of art spreading: this is proved by the attention that some of the most renowned international institutions pay to social media and site-politics. Being an example for all of us, a number of institutions launched initiatives whose purpose is to entertain fans and families through forums, live meetings with dedicated video chats, workshops, simple art quizzes and conversations of various kinds about literature and art.
To the cry of Enjoy the Art Wherever you Are, Tate Modern London advises that we keep calm and be creative, while it provides online users with interviews, authentic media contributions and unpublished archive material about Andy Warhol. The MoMA in New York is doing even more: thanks to the #museumfromhome project, it offers its users online contributions, guided tours and video chats with insiders, critics and artists, with the purpose of delving into past, present and future events (among many others, there is Starr Figura, the curator of the Félix Fénéon exhibition, who is available online to converse with the public every Thursday).
The New York Guggenheim (with Guggenheim from Home), Bilbao (with Let Art Inspire You) and Venice (with Direttamente nelle vostre Case) are doing the same. And what’s going on in the pandemic-torn Belpaese? To the call of #iorestoacasa and even more appealing slogans (Liberi di Uscire col Pensiero, “free to go out with your thoughts” – MAXXI, Rome), our museums are working hard to strengthen their online resources by providing information on the ongoing agenda and organizing active workshops and fun quizzes. MADRE in Naples, in particular, improved its technology in order to take advantage of the present situation. However, this is anything new. This institution has always been very active on its information channels; through the MADRE-door-to-door project, it publishes videos about the works and performances that have taken place over the last months, as well as original creations and detailed studies that are refreshed almost every day.
We could stop here. But there is one last thing to say. Technology mainly consists in innovation, so it is quite surprising that these institutions, which many people consider as the very cradle of immobility, were actually able to change things. On the occasion of the five-hundredth anniversary of Raphael’s death, the Vatican Museums show, in an unprecedented way, the famous rooms that were frescoed by the Master of Urbino; while they wait to see these rooms live again, online users can take an active virtual tour that provides a unique experience and amazes for freshness and creativity.