“Madre” is the acronym for the Museum of Contemporary Art Donnaregina - Donnaregina being an in-house
institution that belongs to the Campania Regional Authorities and is located in the nineteenth century Palazzo Donnaregina, in the heart of the historic centre of Naples. Officially opened in 2005, the palazzo was restored and transformed by the Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza Vieira and in addition to the three floors dedicated to exhibitions, it includes a library, media centre, book shop and café area and two large courtyards. The collection
features the works of a number of major Italian and international artists straddling the previous and current centuries, such as: Jeff Koons, Anish Kapoor, Mimmo Paladino, Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Richard Serra and Robert Rauschenberg.
Considering that lighting is so important, these days the people who design these systems are held in extremely high regard. “Today in a contemporary art museum, the lighting designer is a necessary, artistic figure who is just as important as when operating in a theatre producing plays or operas. At Madre, many of the exhibitions we have staged have had absolute master lighting designers, like Cesare Accetta.
To reflect on this issue, just think of the Madre site specific collection. That is to say, the artworks which have been specifically conceived for the rooms on the museum’s first floor. Creating an installation destined to stay in the same place forever means assessing its lighting and, if necessary, adapting it to suit individual artworks (or the opposite, even if this occurs rarely). Whether it is the artist or lighting designer, who makes these decisions, they are still choices that influence the perception of the artwork, and are, therefore, in a certain sense, artistic decisions.
Some of the rooms at Madre receive a vast amount of light, at least at certain hours of the day, whereas others don’t have windows and are lit by artificial light sources only. The best way to get a clear idea of this is obviously to visit the museum in person, but if that is not possible, you can use digital alternatives like taking a virtual stroll on Street View
or the Google Arts & Culture