Discover the museum's exhibitions

14 April 2011 - 12 June 2011, Heleneum - Lugano

Amulets and Talismans

The sixth appointment in the Dèibambini exhibition cycle explores the profound reasons for children’s creativity and studies the domain of elementary control mechanisms of big and small natural determinisms. 

Foto gallery

The Exhibition

Charms and talismans are objects that have always existed in all the cultures of the world. They assume various shapes and are ‘activated’ by a peculiar power of attracting (but also of pushing away) the spiritual or material elements that affect or determine the life of individuals and groups. When handling ‘active objects’, and often by imitating strategies of mythical-magical control of realities used by their parents, children use their imagination to engender a series of interactions that allow them to trace efficient and reassuring links between the limited individual world and the wider social one.

 The museum held an introductive seminar in September to introduce the teachers to the creative project. Children from a preschool (Terzerina-Pregassona) and from four primary schools in Lugano (Breganzona, Lambertenghi, Pazzallo and Cassarate) worked on this project during six months. Guided by their teachers and didactical experts, they engaged on an enjoyable journey, navigating beyond the museum itself, towards the discovery of their own inner sphere and of an imaginative space within their reach, and into the realm of desires and fears, which is now a much calmer place. As a result, the ‘tribe of wild children’ created charms and talismans. The young preschool artists drew collective wooden shapes . After an unexpected, deep and amusing exploration of their inner world, the primary school pupils created personal charms and talismans. The exhibition displayed the children's artworks, a series of contextualizing images that demonstrated their educational journey, as well as several significant museum pieces.The exhibition layout was designed by Giulio Zaccarelli, in collaboration with Isabella Lenzo Massei (exhibition curator) and Silvia Paradela (head of the artistic project).

The exhibition catalogue was edited by the City of Lugano. It presents pictures of the young artists' creations and their own comments, as well as essays by Giancarlo Bernasconi, Francesco Paolo Campione, Isabella Lenzo Massei, Adriana Mazza, Silvia Paradela and Giulio Zaccarelli. It also contains a dossier for an in-depth examination of the museum’s artworks by Barbara Gianinazzi. 

Amuleti e talismani

a cura di Isabella Lenzo Massei
Edizioni MCL / Città di Lugano 2011, 120 pp.
Dèibambini 6
Chf 20.-
ISBN 978-88-7777-048-