Naked! Treasures of the Basel Museum of Ancient Art
Curated by Tomas Lochman (Basel Museum of Ancient Art and Ludwig Collection)
Hermann Geiger Cultural Foundation
Piazza Guerrazzi 32, Cecina (LI)
22 June – 13 October 2019
Opening hours 22 June – 8 September: from 6 to 11 pm
Opening hours 9 September – 13 October: from 4 to 8 pm
The representation of the naked body is a dominant motif in most ancient Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cultures. More recently, however, in museums and on social media, we have witnessed acts of censorship against artistic representations of nudity. The exhibition Naked! Treasures of the Basel Museum of Ancient Art, with its approximately 70 Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan and Roman exhibits, aims to encourage reflection on this subject, investigating the different religious, social and political reasons why the human figure has been depicted in this way over the centuries.
Nude representations of men and women, heroes and gods can be found in the ancient cultures of the Middle East and the Mediterranean, especially the Greek culture, where they became one of the highest expressions of fine art. Today, however, the political debate surrounding the role of women, gender studies at universities, and finally the viral phenomenon #MeToo are having a direct and somehow surprising effect also on the art world. Despite the undeniable relevance of these movements, cases in which nudes in renowned European museums and on social networks have been removed or concealed in the name of a misconceived form of «political correctness» give cause for perplexity.
The representation of nudity is as old as art itself. A message and a symbol not only of eroticism, it has taken on and conveyed a wide range of meanings that exalt the subject as invincible, heroic, immortal, vulnerable, sensual or in close communion with nature. Naked! Treasures of the Basel Museum of Ancient Art, through numerous pieces from the Swiss collection, aims to investigate the reasons why the human body was represented in the nude in various periods and contexts.
The exhibition, curated by Tomas Lochman and conceived by the Basel Museum of Ancient Art and Ludwig Collection, will be shown in Italy in a version adapted to the premises of the Hermann Geiger Cultural Foundation. The initiative will be held under the aegis of the Municipality of Cecina, Tuscany Region and Swiss Embassy in Italy.
The exhibition is accompanied by a bilingual catalogue with important scientific essays and photographs of the exhibits. Naked! Treasures of the Basel Museum of Ancient Art will have free admission and will be open to the public daily from 22 June to 13 October 2019 (opening hours: 6-11 pm until 8 September; 4-8 pm from 9 September).