Marta Ferina, Head of Didactic Activities and of the Public Program of the PAC – Pavilion of Contemporary Art. Photography © Courtesy of the PAC
1.What is your museum about and what are its challenges?
The PAC is not really a museum, it is an exhibition space, the first in Italy built to accommodate contemporary art, and for years it has been investigating the artistic scene between experimentation and research.
It does not have a collection, although initially it was designed with this intent, and since the late 70s it has made a precise choice: to explore the national and international art scene exclusively through temporary exhibitions.
Our daily challenge is to stimulate through art a knowledge and a vision of the world far from stereotypes and simplifications, unhinging rigid interpretations, cultivating awareness and training the public to look at the world through new eyes and different perspectives. A place open to everyone to live and share contemporary culture through art.
2.What kind of remarkable digital innovation would you like to share with us? It can be online and/or in your physical space.
Like many other institutions, the PAC also had to close and revise the programming of the activities it had planned: some were canceled, others simply postponed.
We immediately understood that it was necessary to re-read the needs of our audience, in particular schools and families, and we tried to transform the crisis into opportunities, with projects on the website and social our educational offer to give continuity to what we do best: bring closer young and old to contemporary art in a direct and engaging way with the Digital Family LAB.
These are short video workshops for families that traditionally enrich our exhibitions. It starts with a comparison between two artists, one of whom has exhibited at the PAC in the past, and then experimented and played together inspired by a work or a particular technique.
We publish the workshops weekly on the PAC YouTube channel and on the website. We also started sharing the performances made over the years at PAC by artists from around the world and the series of video messages #PAC&Fiends #nonvoglioscordare, where artists, curators, critics, editors, journalists, writers, musicians, actors and friends with whom we collaborate they condensed in a few minutes what for them should not be forgotten about the lockdown experience.
3.What are the social media platforms that your museum chose for its digital presence and who are your primary target audiences?
The lockdown was an opportunity to create digital laboratories and the positive reaction of teachers and families made us reflect on the need to create a closer relationship especially with schools, based on careful listening to their needs with respect to educational content.
We will certainly continue, even after the reopening, expanding with digital educational proposals for all ages.
My experience with workshops for young and old has shown me that – citing Munari – it is precisely from the limit and from the error that the creative idea is born, just like today: in a situation full of limits, we have left our resilience free creative and we have created added value for our audience.
4.If you had to keep one social media platform to reach youngsters, which one would you pick?
Like all exhibition spaces and museums, we had to reprogram many of the planned activities, and we are working to allow visitors to safely return to the PAC as soon as possible for all the activities.
Interview by Fabio Pariante, journalist
The PAC, the Pavilion of Contemporary Art is a building by Ignazio Gardella located in via Palestro in Milan next to the Villa Reale and built between 1951 and 1953 on a project from 1949.
The interior of the pavilion consists of a single articulated environment in some hexagonal rooms and in many connecting rooms. Among the exhibitions hosted in the spaces of the building: Pixar, Armando Testa, Vanessa Beecroft and the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama.