The sea does not wet Naples: the writer Anna Maria Ortese with this book heartbreaking and fascinating at the same time declared all her suffering love for the city. She was born in Rome but is considered Neapolitan in all respects and in Naples has dedicated her most beautiful book.
Declaration of love for the city
This I thought when, arrived on the terrace of the Madre, the Museum of contemporary art in the ancient convent of Donnaregina, I opened my eyes to the magnificent panorama over the roofs of the city and the phrase that stands out on the imposing bulk of the Cathedral: the sea does not wet Naples, in fact, the work of the artists Bianco and Valente.
And looking around, between “The man measuring the clouds” by Jan Fabre and the horse of Mimmo Paladino that seems suspended between the city and the hill of Capodimonte, I thought how difficult it is for me to find the words to describe my feelings against Naples, of which I was not a Neapolitan, I fell in love twenty years ago, when I lived there for a short time. But that has definitely marked my existence: today I can say with confidence that Naples is the city that most helped to shape the woman they are today.
Years later I came back, with Michele and the little Otto, who also appreciated the warmth and the sense of friendship in a complicated but no less beautiful city.
Even in neighborhoods such as the Rione Sanità, off limits to the times when I lived in Naples, while today it is in full change and the ferment can be seen in all corners in the alleys that are full of shops and stalls located above underground excavations, where most of Neapolitan history has its origins.
This neighborhood must be visited on foot because there is never a place to park the car and also for the fact that if Naples is considered a vertical city, here it is even more so as from its womb it then rises with the lift up to Ponte Maddalena Cerasuolo, known as the Bridge of Sanità, which crosses the entire district overlooking the houses and placing those who pass by us with the large dome of the Basilica of Santa Maria della Sanità also called San Vincenzo, because here every name of street, square, church and so on, has its double.
The opportunity to deepen the knowledge of one of the areas of the city that we had never got to know until now we have given the choice of where to sleep, The Foria House, where we were guests of Carlo, but that is born from the idea of three ex. Do not make strange ideas, it is a former dental technician, Carlo, a former engineer, Richard, and a former lawyer, Roberto, who one day decided to change their lives by investing in quality tourism by opening three receptive structures with a fresh and captivating look. In addition to The Foria House, The Bellini House and The Dante House in the homonymous squares.
The first stop took us beyond the boundaries of the district, in the historic district of San Lorenzo, to visit the temple of international contemporary art, Madre (www.museomadre.it), inaugurated in 2005.
While Michele with Otto was waiting for me down I took advantage of the free visit on Monday to better appreciate the work of Darren Bader, a contemporary American artist, who offers a subtle game with the visitor in his “exhibition in the exhibition” titled @mined-oud, a play on words that derives from reading in the opposite direction of the artist’s email address.
Here at Madre, Bader calls into question the concept of what is considered “art”, “opera”, “exhibition”, “museum” and his art is based on the inclusion and sharing of the work, which includes linguistic interventions on some captions of works whose contents are reinvented by the artist. The exhibition also includes a series of performative actions: the inner courtyard has turned into a chessboard available to the public and in a hall visitors can become part of the work by choosing a fortune cookie and then reading the inside note.
An absolute first for me: to be part of a work of art and to discard the biscuit which, according to Chinese tradition, contains a card containing a wise advice. My: to participate, nothing more pointed!
Not to be missed, there is time until 30 April, the exhibition Pompei@Madre which is based on a rigorous research program resulting from the unified collaboration between the Archaeological Park of Pompeii and the Madre.
The path winds through materials that document the daily life of the ancient city compared with modern and contemporary works and documents of 90 artists from the collections of the National Archaeological Museum of Naples, the Museum and Real Bosco of Capodimonte, the Museum Pole of Campania and important national and international institutions such as the National Library and the Institut Français of Naples, the House of Goethe and the Library of the Germanic Archaeological Institute of Rome, the Fondation Le Corbusier and the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris , as well as important private Italian and international collections.