Didascalie in Collezione / Captions in the Collection

4 months
Online workshop
Primary and secondary schools
On the occasion of the setting-up of the permanent collection entitled senzamargine. Passaggi nell’arte italiana a cavallo del millennio (senzamargine. Passages in Italian Art at the Turn of the Millennium), the Education Office developed a project entitled ‘Didascalie in Collezione’ (‘Captions in the Collection’) in collaboration with four primary and secondary schools classes. The project – which was the result of a process that built on previous participatory writing experiences such as ‘Il mio Iran’ (‘My Iran’) and ‘Kids Museum’ – tried to combine the wishes of teachers with the criticalities resulting from the pandemic, thereby confirming once again the role of the Museum as a permanent learning resource at the service of the community. In the first months of 2020 we were forced to inhabit domestic environments only, and public spaces, art, architecture, socialisation and relationships as we knew them disappeared. We had to rethink ourselves and our daily lives, schools had to come up with educational strategies, and cultural institutions had to build a new relationship with audiences (whether actual, potential or non-public) through the Internet. In the last year we have worked around the ‘lack’ (of artworks, museum galleries and visitors) to develop different forms of relationship and collaboration, especially with the school community and families, with the aim of creating effective learning activities to ensure that forced distance does not become absence. The ‘Didascalie in Collezione’ project, which was carried out online, was born as part of this context of reflection and dialogue with teachers and school managers in order to analyse and interpret contemporary art together with them. Through in-depth online meetings on a selection of artworks and artists, MAXXI Education Office provided teachers and students with specially designed study materials and learning tools. During the participatory writing workshops, children and teenagers wrote captions for the very works, thereby developing an alternative polyphonic narrative aimed at complementing and enriching the curatorial one. In brief, the students wrote a story based on the content of the works and their meanings written for their peers.
The resulting captions are gathered in a brochure available for free download on the MAXXI’s website. It aims at illustrating the experience and the results of the first project of the Education Office to be entirely carried out at a distance through the voices of those who participated in it: teachers and pupils. Collaborations Istituto d’Istruzione Superiore Statale Cine-TV “Roberto Rossellini”, Rome: mixed group, 4th and 5th years (2020/2021), teacher Francesca D’Alessio Liceo Statale “Giorgio Dal Paz”, Belluno High School for Scientific Studies: 3rd year (2020/2021), teacher Sara Maccagnan Istituto Comprensivo “Lucio Fontana”, sede di Grottarossa, Roma: primary school, 5th year (2020/2021), teacher Massima Ferraioli Istituto d’Istruzione Superiore “Biagio Pascal”, Ponte Milvio premises, Rome: 3rd year, section H (2020/2021), teacher Giovanna Fransoni Selected artworks Carla Accardi, Bianco argento, 2000 Carla Accardi, Bianco argento 3, 2001 Anna Maria Maiolino, Por um fio (série Fotopoemação), 1976-2010 Claudio Parmiggiani, Senza titolo, 1998-2000 Mario Schifano, Per esempio, 1990 Mario Schifano, Dolore, 1990 Mario Schifano, Chi, 1990