Marc Quinn presents HISTORYNOW at the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Venezia, marking a new material chapter in his decade-long History Paintings project. Forty-eight new paintings and an accompanying STELE sculpture are presented in dialogue with the museum’s own collection from classical antiquity, inviting reflections on society past and present.
Quinn’s works, which begin their life as iPhone screenshots, replicate the digital portals through which humans absorb, consume, and share news, a phenomenon markedly accelerated by the events of the last two years. Through screens, society witnesses world-shifting cultural events, incidents of human tragedy, and natural disasters, alongside moments of pop cultural levity in one endlessly refreshing stream.
HISTORYNOW replicates a scrolling journey through digital feeds, the content of which oscillates between celebrity news and global current affairs. Unveiled in a space usually reserved for reflections on the past, connections are uncovered between the HISTORYNOW series and the museum’s classical sculptures, offering commentary on the method and momentum with which news and stories have been communicated across history. In this exhibition Quinn returns to themes explored throughout his career, posing questions concerning societal ideals and the human condition.
The exhibition HISTORYNOW, on view during the 59th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, will allow for an extended reopening of the entrance to the Archaeological Museum in the Piazzetta after over twenty years of closure to the public. The courtyard is notable as the only one of the Procuratie wholly built to Vincenzo Scamozzi’s original design. The event of its reopening is marked by the exhibition of one large sculpture by Marc Quinn to be displayed among ancient Roman sarcophagi, elegant cylindrical altars of Greek origin, and the impressive statue of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa sent from Rome for the Grimani of Santa Maria Formosa.
With the reopening of the courtyard, a single ticket will allow visitors to access the Procuratie Nuove complex from Doge’s Palace without having to cross St. Mark’s Square. The aim of this initiative is to enrich the visitors’ experience and understanding of the network of museums that occupy the heart of Venice and St Mark’s Square. The HISTORYNOW exhibition provides an ideal opportunity not only to experiment with an additional access route to the museums of St. Mark’s Square, but also to revive the centuries-old presence of the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Venezia in St Mark’s Square by broadening its audience and the cultural interests, age, and nationalities of its visitors.
HISTORYNOW is curated by Francesca Pini and Aindrea Emelife.
Thursday, April 21, 2022 to Sunday, October 23, 2022
The Museum is open every day, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (last entry h 4:00 p.m.)
From April 21 until April 30, the National Archaeological Museum of Venice will offer free access from Piazzetta San Marco 17.
For the holders of the ticket "Musei di Piazza San Marco" the entrance remains from Museo Correr, Ala Napoleonica delle Procuratie.