National Archaeological Museum of Naples
Museography | Exhibition design
MANN - National Archaeological Museum of Naples
In the exhibit design for “Amori Divini”, dedicated to Ovid’s Metamorphoses, STARTT translates the narrative structure of the text into a spatial metaphor, in a dialogue between the architectural envelope and the exhibition shell.
The exhibition at the National Archaeological Museum in Naples features 80 artworks depicting the myths of the Metamorphoses, from the classical Greek-Roman and modern eras, coming from some of the most prestigious Italian and foreign museums (including the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, the Musée du Louvre in Paris, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna).
The museum spaces hosting the exhibition contain, on the ground, the spolia of pavements coming from Pompeii and Herculaneum , wonderful opus sectile paving overwhelmed by the bright colour of the walls.
The exhibition layout is inspired by the narrative STRUCTURE of the text, where each myth is introduced by the preceding one: sometimes by analogy of content, sometimes by identity of form, sometimes by transforming the narrated subject into a narrator. This nested box sequence is translated into a spatial metaphor where a continuous exhibition envelope, contained within the spaces of the museum, reveals the architecture through incisions, cuts or folds. The planimetric and vertical deformation of the shell generates a sequence of expanded spaces and caesuras that lead the visitor’s path and reveal the museum’s baroque vaults.
This wall solution allows to recreate the correct figure-background relationship, giving value to the artworks and the ancient pavements. The cladding is engraved to accommodate artworks in specific showcases; it is cropped and folded to display large paintings; engraved and turned over to obtain horizontal supports for small sculptures. Finally, the theme of metamorphosis is taken up literally in the definition of the free-standing supports of the sculptures: zoomorphic forms that allude to the transformations of Zeus’ loves.