The City of Perugia and Munus, the museum service provider company that’s working on a project for optimising and enhancing the value of the Civic Museum in Palazzo della Penna, of the Chapel of San Severo and of the Templar Complex of San Bevignate, are pleased to present Tempo Liberato. Curated by GMGProgettoCultura and Francesca Romana Pinzari and set up in the Civic Museum of Palazzo della Penna, this exhibition features 23 contemporary artists who employ paintings, sculptures, photographs and live performances to discuss the concept of Time and the relationship between the frenetic rhythms that dominate today’s globalised society, obsessed as it is with continuous productivity, and the free time that individuals find themselves increasingly having to sacrifice.
Our personal time – the time we have for meditating, the time we can call our own, so “free” – has become one of the most precious although least-prized commodities of our era. Yet despite often being considered to be a luxury, it is intangible and non-cumulative: we yearn for it, but cannot own it; we spend it, but cannot earn it.
Today’s constantly increasing technology has given us tools for slashing in half and sometimes practically eliminating the time it takes to produce things, yet those same devices have paradoxically only served the purpose of increasing, not decreasing, the personal time we devote to our work.
In short, time is not free any more, but the slave of our social superstructures, so that even in the air we breathe we can perceive an increasingly widespread need to take back control of the natural rhythms that govern mankind’s life.
Art is the place where time is set free of the mechanisms of consumption and usability, of calculations and of predestination, and can express itself in the principles of its cyclic nature, in the potential dichotomies of contingent and transcendent, of natural and arithmetic, of space and work.
Hence the title Tempo Liberato, a play on the Italian word combination between “Free Time” and “Time Set Free” that stresses how artists, architects and town planners both past and present manage to create places with the ability to enrich the social time we spend in meditative, evolutionary spaces, bringing together spirit and matter. And the fact is that artistic cities have long proved to be particularly suitable locations for achieving that magical coincidence between man, space and time.
The city of Perugia has always taken care to leave eloquent narrative traces of its evolution over the years, keeping faith with the gentle harmony of the landscape that surrounds it.
An early example is the Fontana Maggiore, or Great Fountain, with its depictions of agricultural tasks alternating with signs of the zodiac, followed by the seven liberal arts and Philosophy.
Then there’s Pope Gregory XIII, who decided to reform the Julian calendar and replace it with the Gregorian one. To do it, he called in Father Egnazio Danti, a mathematician and astronomer from Perugia who turned his hand directly to redesigning the way we measure the times of the world in which we live.
Perugia is the virtuous example of a city that has hosted enlightened industries like Perugina and the Luisa Spagnoli fashion group, which have paid attention to considering their employees’ needs, taking care not only of the time they devote to production, but also their private time; building recreational facilities and giving everyone a chance to spend pleasant time with their families, in a context at no great removed from their workplace.
Nowadays, Time generates fear and wounds, caught up in a bruising frenzy, wrapping fragments of moments up into isolated little parcels that shift us even further away from holistic understanding.
The artists in this show express themselves in their own highly personal idioms, making a gift of their working time, which we see as a creative, ritual act, a generating presence that balances contingency with transcendence, a conscious awareness of the correspondence between space and time, a moment of choice that is extended and held, an act of care and of memory.
Art reinforces the mythical idea of Time, simultaneously young and old, fast and slow, the impudent offspring of Earth and Sky, proud and stubborn in its inexorable forward march.
Francesca Romana Pinzari
MUSEO CIVICO DI PALAZZO DELLA PENNA
Via Prospero Podiani 11, Perugia
10 am to 6 pm. Closed on Mondays, Christmas day and New Year's day
full € 6; concession A € 3; concession B € 2
Combined ticket Civic Museum of Palazzo della Penna + San Severo Chapel +
Templar Complex of San Bevignate: full € 10; concession A € 7; concession B € 5
Info and reservations +39.075.9477727