Terre in Movimento at MAXXI

Terre in Movimento exhibition at Rome's MAXXI museum
Olivo Barbieri, site specific_ MARCHE 17 (earthquake), © Olivo Barbieri

Lands in Movement – MAXXI’s photographic and video exhibition – is a testament to human power

Set in the Marche, one of Italy’s most diverse regions, the Terre in Movimento (Lands in movement) exhibition shows the fierce aftermath of a land affected by a natural disaster. In this case, the artwork explores the current state of some provinces in the Marche after a series of earthquakes hit the region in 2016. Promoted by the Fine Arts and Landscape Archaeological Superintendency of the Marche, the MAXXI National Museum of XXI Century Arts, and the Associazione Demanio Marittimo.Km-278, the exhibition is a powerful demonstration of how life moves forward regardless of the rubble in its way.

The exhibition focuses on three cities in the Marche: Macerata, Ascoli Piceno, and Fermo. All three possess singular traits that, like most Italian cities, render them unique. In fact, one of the project’s main objectives was to show the various relationships that people had with their homeland, and the changes they suffered after the earthquakes. Whether it be to everyday sites, customs, and/or routines, a natural disaster can majorly affect what one would least expect. So how does one move on?

Terre in Movimento exhibition at Rome's MAXXI museum
Olivo Barbieri, site specific_ MARCHE 17 (earthquake), © Olivo Barbieri

Three artists, Olivo Barbieri, Paola De Pietri, and Petra Noordkamp were called upon to show the profound repercussions the earthquakes had on the Marche, but also how those affected by the mishap got back up on one’s feet. While the theme was in common, each artist chose represented the subject in their own way.

Olivo Barbieri, who has been showcasing his work since 1978, chose to photograph the ruins and current state of the land from different points of view; from above, at ground-level, and close ups. By doing so, Barbieri presents the viewer with an unordinary perspective on what remains standing. With bright colors, unique angles, and remarkable compositions, Barbieri shows disaster under a different lense.

Terre in Movimento exhibition at Rome's MAXXI museum
Olivo Barbieri, site specific_ MARCHE 17 (earthquake), © Olivo Barbieri

Paola De Pietri, who visited the Marche one year after the earthquakes hit, chose to portray the aftermath through black and white photographs. The shots range from people, worksites, objects found among the rubble, and even some historic artifacts. By taking on different subjects, De Pietri calls attention to what remains from life before the earthquakes, the current situation, and the life growing from the combination of the old and new.

Terre in Movimento exhibition at Rome's MAXXI museum
Paola De Pietri, Improvvisamente, © Paola De Pietri

Differing only in mode, the Dutch artist Petra Noordkamp chose to portray the aftermath in the Marche through a video installation by having two seperate videos playing at the same time. The imagery is powerful, and includes shots of empty roads, broken houses, and objects left behind in a hurry. The videos offer an intimate outlook on places that were once full of life.

Terre in Movimento exhibition at Rome's MAXXI museum
Petra Noordkamp, Fragile. Handle with care, © Petra Noordkamp

Along with Barbieri and De Pietri’s neighboring photographs, Noordkamp too offers a glimpse into what is still left standing. Once again, art captures emotions, thoughts, and instances, making them accessible to all. As you walk through the Terre In Movimento space, you may feel a special rush of energy as you admire the strength and resilience that the Marche locals have garnered after the earthquakes. The exhibition is a testament to human power, and how although circumstances can be disastrous, human perseverance is stronger than it all. Make sure you enjoy the exhibition to the fullest, and take advantage of the incredible space that is the MAXXI Museum.

Till September 1st


Via Guido Reni, 4/a

Tue-Fri, Sun: 11am-7pm, Sat: 11am-10pm

Entry Fee: €9-12


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