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On 27 July 1993, outside this same building, a car loaded with explosives was the instrument of a cowardly attack. Five casualties are the result of a violence that simultaneously hits Florence with a bomb placed near the Uffizi Galleries. In Milan – at the time the nationwide symbol of the fight against corruption and the dark threads of decayed politics thanks to the judicial investigation dubbed Mani Pulite (literally “clean hands”) – this tragic event takes on the sense of a brutal opposition to the ongoing reform processes and progressive optimism. The nearby Pavilion of Contemporary Art (PAC) is ravaged and destroyed by the blast, and its ruins are raised to a powerful metaphor of this dramatic historical event.

Maurizio Cattelan, whose poetics often addresses the theme of failure and relies on the “ready-made” technique as a privileged strategy for making art, gathers the ruins of PAC to create two works that he titles Lullaby, a sarcastic allegory of the sleep of reason and hope. The version on display here features the ruins of PAC lying on pallets as if they were extemporaneous simulacra of traditional sculpture, in contrast with the elegant premises and refined furnishings of the Museum. The location chosen for Cattelan’s installation – directly opposite the iconic painting Quarto Stato [The Fourth Estate] – seems to trigger a voyage across the twentieth century. If, on the one hand, Pellizza da Volpedo’s masterpiece opened the century with a firm faith in the future and with the new social class claiming their rights and values, on the other hand, Cattelan’s installation restores the sense of tragedy and the end of any illusion felt throughout the decades. However, the metamorphosis of the rubble that finds new life through a work of art and its display in Via Palestro, in the wing of the palace that has become a museum, also marks a redemption: the desire not to give in to the inevitability of violence, resorting to a poetic and indomitable form of artistic and political resistance.



Galleria d'Arte Moderna di Milano
via Palestro 16 - 20121 Milano

Tuesday – Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Last admission 1 hour before closing
Monday closed

•  full-price ticket   € 5.00
•  reduced-price ticket  €  3.00
Free admission the first Sunday and the first and third Tuesday of the month from 14:00.
It is recommended to book the ticket on line

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