Curated by: Zdenka Badovinac , Giulia Ferracci
There are nine unusual angels that look out from the long window of the MAXXI and, suspended over the square, seem to observe the visitors of the museum from above: they are portrayed in large photographs, seated, in work overalls, their faces sooty, two white wings painted behind them on sheets of industrial warehouses. They are the Angels with dirty faces, the protagonists of the photographic series by Igor Grubić which portrays the miners of the Kolubara basin, in Serbia. Their strike of 2000, joined by thousands of others, marked the beginning of the fall of the Milošević regime.
Heroes unknown, but capable of influencing the course of political events and history: the exhibition “Larger than me. Heroic voices from the former Yugoslavia ”, curated by Zdenka Badovinac with Giulia Ferracci, scheduled in Gallery 3 of the MAXXI National Museum of 21st Century Arts from 5 May to 12 September 2021. Sponsor Terna. A composite and complex mosaic of nearly one hundred works by over sixty artists from different countries of the former Yugoslavia, to tell not only the difficult story of a territory crossed over the centuries by conflicts, tensions, instability, but also the utopia of a country - socialist Yugoslavia - initially built on an ideal of brotherhood between nations and unity among workers. From the time of the Second World War to the drama of the civil wars, from the independence processes to the most recent years, artists are confronted with their history, reinterpreted through the gestures of those heroes who, in different ways and times, sacrificed their own life for others or in the name of a higher, "greater" ideal, as the title of the exhibition states. In a time increasingly dominated by cynicism, fear of strangers, consumerism and the dramatic consequences of a hyper-competitive and increasingly individualistic model of society, the exhibition "Greater than me" aims to be the bearer of a message of peace, freedom , equality, brotherhood, sustainability. The exhibition is organized around eight sections, not separate but rather interconnected with each other just as the issues they investigate are connected. The first four (Freedom, Equality, Brotherhood, Hope), marked on display by the color blue, represent and tell heroic deeds, revolutions and positive values, ideals for which in the past one was willing to fight and even lose one's life, but which by contrast they bring out the deep crisis of the same in contemporary society. The other four sections (Risk, Individual, Otherness, Metamorphosis) characterized by the color red, instead describe the world of today and the most urgent issues of contemporaneity, consequences of the voracity of our times, of a time in which the human being is always less in harmony with himself, with others and with nature.