28 July 2008 - 05 October 2008, Heleneum - Lugano
Three rooms, three works of art from the South Seas, three colors, one single leitmotif. These are the basic elements of the temporary exhibition "Ethnoart. La lettura dell'opera d'arte etnica nel nuovo allestimento del Museo delle Culture", which aims to raise public awareness of the new organizational project behind the permanent exhibition in the Museo delle Culture. It is an unconventional exhibition inviting visitors to go “backstage” to discover the principles and objectives ruling the museum’s activities.
Each of the ground floor rooms (which are reserved for temporary exhibitions) display a work of art that was chosen to represent the respective room and to introduce the corresponding exhibits, rearranged according to a new system, on the second and third floors. The first room is entitled “alla Polinesia” (Polynesia) and displays a fine Maori hei-tiki pendant. The second room is dedicated to the cultural area of Asmat and presents a doroe, an intriguing funerary mask. The third room is reserved for the sub region of Melanesia exhibits a finely carved vayola shield from the Trobriand Islands.
In order to promote a better understanding and appreciation of a particular exhibit, each room has an explanatory panel divided into three colored parts. Black, the color of nighttime, mystery and emotions, presents a reflection on the exhibit through thoughts, sentences, poems and an artist’s engraving. White, the symbol for clarity and intelligence, offers an accurate and absorbing explanation of the item. Yellow, the chromatic representation of community and sharing, displays several evocative photographs that contextualize the object.
This small and curious exhibition, expertly prepared and illuminated, clearly marks its leitmotif and invites the visitor to follow it on a fascinating journey through ethnic art.