On May 19, 2020, the Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea and the Cerruti Collection reopen after temporary closure due to Coronavirus. Prototype for a “Slow Museum”
Visitors can buy their ticket and book guided tours on the website castellodirivoli.org/en/tickets.
On the occasion of the International Museum Day (May 18th), after the closure of the museums and other cultural sites due to Coronavirus, the Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea will reopen its doors to the public from 11 am to 7 pm on Tuesday May 19, 2020. Access will be limited and the public, and staff will follow new health and safety rules in line with the highest international museum standards, yet inspired by a spirit of hospitality.
“I am happy that Castello di Rivoli is one of the first museums in Italy and in Piedmont to reopen,” states Vittoria Poggio, Cultural Minister for the Regione Piemonte, “a museum that was strongly wanted by our Region when it opened in 1984 as the first Contemporary Art Museum of our country. The Museum has been upgraded to new safety rules and the experience of art at this moment is important. The Education Department can now serve to involve families at this difficult time for everyone.”
Fiorenzo Alfieri, Chairman of Castello di Rivoli affirms, “The Museum reopens the first day possible, for at least two reasons: first of all, we have equipped the spaces and updated the health protection system to ensure the safety of visitors and staff, so we are ready to open. The second reason is that a museum of contemporary art deals with the most current topics for the future of humanity and therefore opening means facing today’s urgent issues.”
“The safety of our visitors, our staff and our works of art is important,” says Director Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev. “We have prepared stringent new health measures that allow everyone to have a pleasant, interesting and stimulating experience with new guided tours and activities. The number of visitors, who will have to wear a mask and stay 2 m apart, has been reduced to offer vast viewing spaces both inside and outdoors in our sculpture garden. Our staff have adequate personal protective equipment. In line with national and international regulations and recommendations, we have not used sanitization systems with nebulization nor fumigation of corrosive products, as they damage works of art and artistic heritage, and we are not recirculating air in our upgraded CC units, but we have increased the sanitation and sanitization of environments where works of art are kept with adequate measures acceptable to our conservators, and visitors will have plenty of hand gel available. In a time when people have experienced a digital overdose on their phones and laptops, it is essential to resume a serene embodied relationship with the world. The experience of art in the safety of a museum is a perfect gym to start with.”
The Education Department of the Museum has devised a program for a gradual return of the public, which is intended to enhance the collection and temporary exhibitions, adding new narratives every day. “We aim to create and recreate new forms of public inclusion and involvement,” says Anna Pironti, Head of the Education Department, “in compliance with the security protocols, but also in view of the need to offer the public – adults and children – positive experiences of a return to socialization that the community can access through the world of culture.” In addition, since summer is approaching, the Education Department will create an innovative new Summer School aimed at children, teenagers and families, designed to reflect on the idea of community in relation to the perception of distance and social relationships. Such a summer school is a novel concept in Italy and is a particularly important community service in a country where grandparents traditionally look after children in the holidays, but where this is not currently possible in an age of Coronavirus.
Throughout the lockdown, the museum performed the essential functions of protecting artistic heritage, researching and designing the updated edition of the Permanent Collection catalog, as well as the new catalog of the Cerruti Collection. Furthermore, it has developed an intense online programming project entitled Digital Cosmos, the new virtual venue of the museum which presents new works and projects, in-depth experiences of the collections and guided tours. But now, after 70 days, Castello di Rivoli will resume its main activity of opening to the public. The reopening is in line with the mission of the Castello di Rivoli, which has always understood the museum as a community service, a safe and accessible place, a territory for artistic research and innovation projected into the future, a place for education, as well as a place for collecting the artistic heritage to be shared with society in the future.
With reference to the philosophy of the “Slow Food” movement, born in the local Piedmont Region, the Castello di Rivoli can be considered as a prototype for the “Slow Museum”: a museum rooted in its territory and yet known all over the world, where you can appreciate art through your body in the vast spaces of this baroque palace and at your own pace over a long period, without hurrying, a museum that physically at this time is aimed mainly at regional and Italian visitors, but which is open to transforming itself with the world in a network of exchange between different local realities.
Thanks to the reopening of the museum, the public will be able to return to visit the exhibition Facing the Collector. The Sigg Collection of Contemporary Art from China curated by Marcella Beccaria and featuring important works, among others, by Feng Mengbo, Ai Weiwei, Shao Fan, Liu Ding, Mao Tongqiang, Sun Yuan & Peng Yu and Zhang Xiaogang; the exhibition Giorgio Morandi: Major Works from the Cerruti Collection curated by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, with Fabio Cafagna and Laura Cantone; the special project James Richards. Alms for the Birds and the exhibition Claudia Comte. How to Grow and Still Stay the Same Shape, curated by Marianna Vecellio. These exhibitions will be extended until August 30, 2020, with the exception of the one dedicated to Morandi, which will be open until July 26.
A point of reference for international culture since its opening in 1984, the Castello di Rivoli has always supported the creativity of Italian artists by dedicating, over the years, important solo exhibitions to emerging figures. In this new period of reflection, the museum will continue to devote particular attention to the works of young Italian artists. At Castello di Rivoli, the first exhibition in a public museum of the Turin-born artist of Sicilian origin Renato Leotta (Turin, 1982) is also underway. Leotta’s works derive from a slow and prolonged observation of a place or a landscape. His exhibition, entitled Sole, is curated by Marianna Vecellio.
Furthermore, on the occasion of the reopening, the museum has commissioned the artist, filmaker and screenwriter Irene Dionisio (Turin, 1986) to make a video on safety entitled L’arte cura (solo se) (Art Heals – only if), which does not constitute a mere information tool, but is a new work of art.
The Permanent Collection with its iconic artworks, including major works of Arte Povera installed on the first and second floors of the museum, will also reopen to welcome the public with guided tours dedicated to small groups.
From Saturday May 23 the Cerruti Collection, the new house museum near the Castello di Rivoli, will be again open to the public. Inaugurated in May 2019, the Villa Cerruti, located in a large garden a short walk from the Castello di Rivoli, houses the priceless private collection of the entrepreneur and collector Francesco Federico Cerruti (Genoa, 1922 – Turin, 2015), which includes masterpieces from the Middle Ages through the 20th century, by artists such as Pontormo, de Chirico, Picasso, Bacon and Modigliani.
On the occasion of the reopening to the public, Castello di Rivoli will observe the following new opening hours: Thursday from 10 am to 5 pm and from Friday to Sunday from 10 am to 7 pm. The Cerruti Collection will be open on Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 7 pm.