Aldo Giannotti. Performing the Museum
16 September 2021 – 13 February 2022
Miniature drawings with witty phrases depicted a bit lower than the ceiling of the museum, decks of cards with visual instructions and collective choreographies, sounds reverberating through the museum’s exhibition spaces – this is the Radvila Palace Museum of Art, reborn during a time of pandemic stagnation and now filled with life like a personified architectural marionette controlled by the museum visitors themselves or maybe somebody else too…
With each new visitor, the Performing the Museum exhibition rejects the traditional rules of museum as an institution: ‘Keep quiet’!, ‘No running!’ and so on. Aldo Giannotti, an Italian-born artist living and working in Vienna employs the sociopsychological phenomena of herd behaviour and questions the trends of communality as they manifest in different ways in various cultures. Encouraging us to take a slightly different look at everything, the artist raises us a challenge: who will be brave enough to ignore the rules of an institution? Will the visitors follow each other or give performances according to the instructions they are given? This is where we are faced with a question: who is really in charge of the museum: the artist, who provides the instructions, or the visitor, who breaks the museum’s rules and establishes their own? Artist Dan Perjovschi describes Aldo Giannotti’s performative expression as “occupying the museum” or “a form of revolution”. In reality, the exhibition shows no signs of animosity; the occupants and revolutionaries are us – participants of the exhibition. By entering into a dialogue with the artist’s absurd, comical drawings, we become part of the exhibition halls, taking a new look at the museum’s displays by laying on the ground, walking backwards, singing the artwork labels out loud, taking over the positions of museum security, pretending to be a tour guide etc. The exhibition forces no obligations upon us, does not push us nor restrict us… And it also encourages us to not only collectively explore what limits there are when we exist and do things together, but also to find our own limits.
Just remember that when you, the visitors, go beyond the boundaries of the paper surface, you influence the way the exhibition halls look, while the museum guides, who will also be following Aldo Giannotti’s individually prepared instructions, may change you and your views in a single day… Be careful when pushing around Giannotti’s mobile stairs, as they also are a means of collective, communal expression that might just give you a reason to go grab a coffee with a stranger today!
P. S. Please be mindful and refrain from touching the works of other artists in the museum!
Signed, exhibition curator Lina Albrikienė
Current safety regulations require the visitors to wear face masks and maintaining social distance of at least 2 m. Please follow the instructions given by the museum personnel and the signage that is placed throughout the museum floor to help encourage proper social distancing. Don’t forget to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow before coughing or sneezing.
Exhibition coordinator Kristina Alsytė
Exhibition funded by
Radvila Palace Museum of Art,
24 Vilniaus st, LT-01402, Vilnius, Lithuania
+370 5 262 0981, +370 5 250 5824