Casa Morra

L’Avanguardia americana

Archivi d’Arte Contemporanea – Il Gioco dell’Oca – 100 anni di mostre

OPENING Friday, 28th October 2016 at 5pm






Casa Morra is a new museum area created by Giuseppe Morra at Palazzo Ayerbo D’Aragona Cassano in Naples. It is a 4,200 m2 complex that will gradually be restored to house the extensive Morra collection, comprising more than 2,000 works presented by theme and focusing on individual artists. A journey through the history of contemporary art and its fundamental movements from Gutai, Happenings, Fluxus, Viennese Actionism, Living Theatre, and Visual Poetry to the most advanced research in Italy and abroad. Thus, continues the adventure of this Neapolitan patron of the arts, who will transfer his extensive collection, the result of over forty years of active presence on the international art scene, to the Casa.

Casa Morra will not be a static exhibition space, but will become an archive of contemporary art, a place of dynamism encouraging reflection and research on society and its development. It will be a “house of ideas” where the past blends into the present and the future, defying time with a programme mapped out until 2116.

In fact, Morra has planned exhibitions for the next 100 years, using a ‘snakes and ladders’ system of references, cross-overs and turnings back.  The exhibition cycles are governed by the alchemy of the numbers 3 and 7 to coincide with the number of artists on show or the number of works and exhibition sequences.

The first event on 28th October will be a totally new dialogue of works by John Cage – Marcel Duchamp – Allan Kaprow. The principle of randomness animates the symbolic path of the snakes and ladders game on which Casa Morra bases its statutes and its becoming.  The first exhibition opens with three artists who have made randomness their creative practice, bringing about a breakthrough in the way art is seen and perceived: Cage, Duchamp, Kaprow, all brought together in an exhibition whose purpose is to create a place in which to act – to experiment with experience.

Randomness is the distinguishing feature of Stockroom (1960-1992) and as Kaprow pointed out, “… this version of Stockroom must be painted in different colours by the visitors each day: white, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and black, repeating this sequence every eight days. Those who wish to take part will find suitable brushes, rollers, a ladder and something to protect their clothing.  Feel free to take part in this process!” 

This introduction to the role of chance recalls John Cage’s Not Wanting to Say Anything About Marcel (1969), created using I Ching to decide a word or phrase, an image, composition, or colour.  For Duchamp, evoking the unpredictable is a way of conceiving art, and Casa Morra proposes an alternative reconstruction starting from the eighteen etchings dedicated to Arturo Schwarz contained in his two 1967-1968 volumes entitled The Large Glass and Related Works, and six other important works including Rotoreliefs, and À l’Infinitif. 

The opening event, a prelude to a whirlwind of activities that will continually give life to these new spaces will be celebrated in two performative projects: CAGE 1 – 13 by Daniele Lombardi, with the performance of thirteen pieces by John Cage, together with Ana Spasic, Jonathan Faralli, the puntOorg ensemble, Luigi Esposito, Bruno Persico and Maria Teresa Fico and the video installation/concert Decameron by Emanuel Dimas De Melo Pimenta, a complex work created for Morra and performed entirely in virtual reality, a world of experience open to the free participation of the public by means of three audio tracks to download and play at will in the spaces of Casa Morra using their own smartphones. 

Casa Morra thus adds a new element to the great “Il Quartiere dell’arte” project (designed by Giuseppe Morra, Pasquale Persico, Nicoletta Ricciardelli and Francesco Coppola) with the aim of regenerating an entire neighbourhood bordering the Naples old town centre, which already houses the Museo Laboratorio per le Arti Contemporanee Hermann Nitsch set up by Fondazione Morra in 2008. The public opening of Palazzo Ayerbo D’Aragona Cassano in the Materdei district and access to the works in the Collection will help enliven and give new verve to artistic and cultural debate in the city, but above all will ensure that contemporary art becomes more accessible and brings benefits to the community. Numerous conference activities, meetings, and seminars will also reflect the study and teaching role of the Casa.

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