The Italian Junkyard

Thoughts, ideas, criticism about cars. Interesting news and facts from the world of the automobile. Events in Italy and Modena. What you can find elsewhere, filtered through the eyes of a discerning enthusiast. Design, style, everything on the chopping block. Nobody is safe anymore.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

9.1 International Museum of Ceramics, Faenza. Art meets elitarian supercar

No, The Italian Junkyard hasn't been cracked by a bunch of hackers with a soft spot for ceramics.

During this summer the International Museum of Ceramics (also known as MIC), in Faenza (Italy), added a new piece of art to his large collection of handcrafted artifacts. This time it wasn't a new cup from the XV century, a new Maya figure, or a Chinese vase. It was a lovely blue Pagani Zonda S 7.3.

Not only that, but as Pagani itself is famous for some of its ceramic components adopted for their four wheels creations, some of them were present as well.
It wasn't even the first time something with an engine was featured at the Museum, as in 2007 a small collection of classic and historical motorbikes were present.
Make the usual jump for the rest of the story.

Let's talk about the museum for the moment.
It is very easy to reach it as it's just 5 minutes of walk away from the train station, you can't be wrong.
The museum is very interesting to visit for its own architecture alone. Even if it's right now going under heavy construction to restore the old wing of the building, the structure is very large, much more than what you'd expect, but most important, it's well sized and the spaces are put to good use, with every room receiving the correct illumination, the various windows being correctly positioned, as well as the artifacts inside of them.

I've been in various museums previously, exhibiting various sorts of objects, and too often they don't pay enough attention to how they exhibit them. Even if each object has its own artistic and historical value, the feeling it can leave in the visitor can be quite different depending on how you're proposing it to him.
Cramped spaces, not enough distance between each stand or window, wrong position of lights with reflections almost hiding the objects, let alone enough space to take decent pictures, these are all things that should receive much attention during the development of an exhibitions.
Fortunately, that's what happened at the MIC.
It's that sort of building that once you entered it, you'd like to set your house in it, so this surely helped providing enough liberty while designing the exhibition. That said, when I was at the MART in Rovereto (TN, Italy), which is not only a much more recent building but perhaps even larger, I had to struggle to find enough space to take a shot including the whole car I had in front of me. The lights were all positioned directly on the cars, with the bodyworks reflecting them and playing weird tricks on my camera. Then you moved to the next room and there were like 3 cars in twice the space of the previous room, where there were like 6 or 7 cars.

So the building is nice and they knew how to use it properly.
What about the artifacts exhibited though?
Well, that's up to you, as I know that thousands of ceramics objects could be a bit boring for many people, while other would just feel at home in the middle of each room.

I would be a liar if I said I was into ceramics 1/10 as much as I am into cars, but I appreciated the visit nonetheless.
There is a defined path to follow in order to see a sort of evolution of this art during past centuries. You can appreciate as while at first you are looking at object used mainly as means of subsistence, after the XV century, I'd say, art and necessity began merging into these objects, with more and more decorations and purely decorative objects being featured walking trough the rooms. When you end up in the modern art section, it's pretty evident there isn't a trace of necessity anymore, they became more and more a way of expression, as portraits, sculptures or even music.

I have to say, I'm not into modern art. Yes, I like modern music, but I fail to be impressed or excited by many recent forms of art which very often appear to be more selfish and sensationalist than anything else, to my ignorant eyes. This wasn't the case with many pieces exhibited there though.
Heck, it isn't that the Zonda R, of which the front bonnet and the exhaust manifolds were exhibited, is a purely functional and most of all a useful object or car. To each his own I guess.
That said, the guard in charge of the room where there was the Zonda S was more than happy to chat a bit about the car and to know some new trivia about it and the company behind it.

Now the Zonda isn't present there anymore, as I visited the museum the last day it was featured, but if you are in the area (30 minutes of train from Bologna) and you're interested in a quite afternoon of art and ceramics, the International Museum of Ceramics is the right place.
It's also really cheap, I payed just 3 € being a student, and it would have been just 7 otherwise, if I remember correctly.
When you've finished with the museum, I'm pretty sure you'll have the chance to find something else to appeal you in the small but nice city of Faenza itself.

See you in the upcoming post for the review about the blue Zonda of course.

Teaser shot:

All Images Copyright: Damiano Garro, with the permission of MIC, Faenza.

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