Grand Tour: the MACTE of Termoli

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This article is published in number 23 of Vanity Fair on newsstands until June 8, 2021

I arrived in Termoli at the end of August 2020, the city was overflowing with tourists and the museum had seen many more visitors than the previous summer. I was there to settle as director at MACTE after deciding to settle in Molise to closely follow everything I had to take care of to form a museum at the beginning (it was born in 2019), but which has its roots in the Termoli Award, the event founded in 1955 which over the years has brought to the city many artists, artists, curators, critics.

The result was a beautiful collection of works, all kept in our museum. Hearing my Lombard accent, many worry. They imagine that I feel isolated here, “on the outskirts”. The truth is, I’m really happy. After years of living and working abroad, I have finally returned to my country, at the head of an institution with great potential and ambitions. Molise – what I attest: it exists! – is closer to home in London, where I studied as a curator. Not to mention Auckland, New Zealand, where I lived from 2011 to 2014 to direct the Artspace center for contemporary art: a humanly and professionally beautiful experience, yes, but a 30-hour flight from Italy. On my return from the antipodes, I tried to find a job equal to my experience in Europe, in vain. So, in 2017, I left for Singapore. I returned to Italy in October 2019, tired of a nomadic life and all those flights, without a job or a concrete plan waiting for me. I was offered the direction of MACTE in the summer of a difficult year, marked by the lockdown. When many have lost their jobs, I have found it. Now the museum has finally reopened with the exhibition of the 62nd Termoli Prize and the works of 12 finalist artists for the Visual Arts Section and 27 finalist projects for the new Architecture and Design section. We launched a digital channel on the site, commissioning works developed for this virtual space. Many projects. I feel lucky. Then it is truly priceless to enjoy the sea in all seasons.

PHOTO by STEFANO SCHIRATO

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