press release

02.07.2022 | 19.02.2023


Francis Alÿs, Francesco Arena, Stefano Arienti, Benni Bosetto, Mario Cresci, June Crespo, Thomas Demand, Paolo Gioli, Massimo Grimaldi, Bronwyn Katz, Esther Kläs, Oliver Laric, Tala Madani, Anna Maria Maiolino, Marisa Merz, Luca Maria Patella, Hana Miletić, Luca Monterastelli, Frida Orupabo, Pietro Roccasalva, Mario Schifano, Elisa Sighicelli, Paloma Varga Weisz, Danh Vo, Dominique White, He Xiangyu

Bartolomeo Pietromarchi, Alessandro Rabottini

A large international group show with 26 artists of different generations, comprising new commissions and site-specific installations, historical works from the MAXXI Collection and monographic rooms with works ranging from the 1960s to the present day. Afterimage is a reflection through images on the themes of memory and metamorphosis, and looks at those forms, both material and metaphorical, by which what has passed remains around us and in us.

The title of the exhibition refers to the optical illusion called afterimage, a phenomenon whereby a visual stimulus - such as a camera flash - produces an impression on the retina that persists even after it has passed.

Conceived as a visual poem, Afterimage is a reflection on the coexistence of permanence and transience as a universal condition, rooted in the very nature of human existence, in the destiny of artefacts, places, meanings and images.

The spectator is invited to establish intuitive and spontaneous associations between the works, the history and architecture of the rooms of Palazzo Ardinghelli and the history of L'Aquila, a city that bears daily witness to the balance between memory of the past and the impulse towards transformation, and that makes manifest how much the principle of metamorphosis retains what has been and generates what will be.

Spanning a wide variety of media, Afterimage includes photography and video, spatial interventions, paintings and sculptures and explores the intersections between fragmented iconographies, changing materials, perceptual memories and bodies in transformation.

Four narrative lines run through the exhibition: the material and the memory, the changing image, the unveiled body, and the inner architecture. Thus suggesting a formal and immaterial architecture within the physical architecture of the museum.