National Museum: the time that remains

26 May 2016 – 2 Jul 2016

Galleria Marcolini

Emilia-Romagna, Italy


Travel Information

  • Regular trains from Bologna Centrale (approx. 40 minute journey). Car park right next to the gallery

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The first solo show in Italy of Czech artist Štěpánka Sigmundová has the generic title National Museum, without saying which museum, if it is a real place, a museum that exists here and now. Štěpánka’s project de-localizes the National Museum in Prague (in Czech Národní museum) by moving it, through Boccanera Temporary Gallery, in another place, where it settles for a little more than one month. The subtitle hints at Giorgio Agamben’s book The Time That Remains (Stanford University Press) an important and difficult book, that describes an experience of time that, in Agamben’s words, relies on the inversion of the relationship between past and future, memory and hope. The museum on show is the name without place of this experience of time, of an aesthetics, a distilled collective memory, generated and made instrumental to an idea of national historiography. The show consists in a series of photographs that crystallize the spaces, now empty, of the National Museum, where historical objects, relics of the past, are frozen into Lehrstücke. This experiment, though, does not stiffen the memory of the past, it does not make it harsher. And in this nameless museum each visitor may project her own national memory, without suffering the affront of being guided by a criterion of political correctness. Štěpánka’s Museum, in fact, does not have the political function of instructing the visitor, it rather elicits an extreme form of cathartic misunderstanding.

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Exhibiting artists

Štěpánka Sigmundová


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