It’s a cold and rainy day in Faenza, but the atmosphere inside the Museo Carlo Zauli is warm and welcoming: soft lighting, background music, a simple breakfast to provide some much-needed energy, and then the day begins with a press conference. “When we told the French we’d be organising the first Italian edition of Museomix with four museums, they said we were crazy,” explains Federico from BAM! during his contribution. That’s because as well as us special correspondents, who have come to Faenza to report back to you on the first Italian edition of Museomix, BAM! was also present to ensure things ran smoothly and to help the team understand and follow the process of planning and developing a prototype to be installed in the museum. BAM!’s staff, spread between Bologna, Ferrara, Terni and even Karlsruhe, are linked by ceaseless phone calls and notifications, as well as fundamental coordination and support messages.
Once the meeting with the press is over, it’s time for a few statements for the journalists and then things kick off with a guided tour of the museum spaces. The artworks and creative workshops are all presented by Matteo Zauli, the museum director, who engages everyone and captures their interest, museomixers first and foremost. The Museo Carlo Zauli is a place where people have traditionally experimented with ideas and got stuck in, resulting in the creation of an artwork. After all, getting their hands dirty is exactly what the museomixers will be required to do. During the visit, which lasts longer than expected given the particular interest displayed in the works and the stories behind them, the heart-felt relationship between the museum and the city of Faenza emerges clearly: “We should never forget what ceramics mean to Faenza. This museum is a real pulse point within the city. Carlo Zauli was a potter first and foremost and represents a specific figurehead for the local people,” emphasises Cristina Casadeithe museum’s organisational coordination and communication manager, in response to one of the many questions asked about the museum.
It’s almost a pity to interrupt the guided tour, but time is pressing and the playing fields (illustrated at the bottom of this page) are calling. The museum has proposed four separate ideas: creating a special experience for people visiting the museum on their own, ninety years of Carlo Zauli, the museum’s hidden spaces and the incorporation of pieces from other museums in the visit.
We realise at once that the playing fields shouldn’t be taken at face value, but are just a starting point for triggering ideas. Questions come pouring in and some lengthy debates ensue, and all the while lunch time is approaching. Stomachs start to rumble, but it’s not easy to stop the brainstorming session. Federico hazards a “no lunch until the teams have been formed!” but people’s desire to discuss matters seems to prevail over hunger. The open debate doesn’t stop but simply changes location. Rather than being a break, lunch time involves a barrage of ideas accompanied by an excellent risotto.
The teams are only formed in the early afternoon, a bit later than anticipated. The wine and paella probably played their part. Inspiration arrives quickly and easily once the teams have been established! The concept initially seems clear to everyone and, with the exception of a few hitches, the teams work hard all afternoon.
So, what did we see at the Museo Carlo Zauli? Day one of Museomix packed with constructive chaos. Different people, a mixture of ideas and some anxiety about keeping to the timings dictated by a format that is taking place in another sixteen museums around the world! On the other hand, creativity has no rules and often fails to meet deadlines.
Speaking of time … it’s got late and tomorrow we’ve got a very early train to catch to Ferrara, for Museomix day 2 at the Museo del Risorgimento e della Resistenza! Keep following us here and on BAM! Strategie Culturali’s social media profiles, which will be in our hands until Sunday 🙂
That’s all for today from the #mixatispeciali