Range Ta Chambre

Seth Solo Show at the Ex Mira Lanza Museum

Fuck the museum,
this is my museum

At the entrance of the Mira Lanza, two girls ask if we are sure we want to go in there. The entrance is a gap in the fence of the factory, just behind some stinky dumpsters — if you walked up that way, you’re already prepared for a certain kind of show. However, they persist with their call to abandon our intentions, because we might not enjoy that place, “it’s worse than you think”. Their words are pretty scary but we are now determined to win our fears.

Mira Lanza today is a destroyed place, full of garbage, shit and rubble, giving home to some occupants. But through its ruins you can still admire one of the most beautiful example of industrial archaeology in Rome. And since abandoning such wealth, such symbol of our history, is somehow a form of vandalism against public properties, with a civil disobedience act, Julien “Seth” Malland and 999Contemporary Gallery chose to de-vandalize the site by re-vandalizing it.

“Range ta chambre” — “Clean up your room” — is the phrase that a mother tells their children when they have better things to do, even if she knows who will do that work eventually. Maybe she just knows that when your bedroom becomes the world, you can’t even imagine to clean up this room, it’s just impossible. The children painted by Seth represent ourselves, the innocence lost in the disillusionment of our time. It’s the Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust, or the poetry of Giovanni Pascoli. It is the projection of the fundamental memory of our innocence at the time of the Internet and globalization.

Among the occupants of the factory, there’s Tito, a sort of guide who welcomes the visitors to the “museum” with a brochure and a folded poster. He takes us to the messy rooms, saying some confused explanation about the artworks, he warns of the crumbling colored columns of Palmyre and finally asks us 15 euro before he disappears. Maybe to buy some candy. There’s nothing so scary here.


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