Inside Outside Does MAXXI

John Hill
17. February 2021
Photo © Musacchio, Ianniello, Pasqualini - courtesy Fondazione MAXXI

A Story for the Future is a new exhibition that sees MAXXI, the contemporary art museum in Rome, looking back at its first decade of existence. Inside Outside, the Dutch firm of Petra Blaisse, designed the immersive exhibition as a response to the curved walls of the museum's Zaha Hadid building.

A Story for the Future: MAXXI's First Decade is billed as "a passionate work of research, reflection and debate" that is organized into five sections corresponding to the exhibition's major themes: city, square, worlds, reality, and believe. These five sections served to organize the layout of the exhibition, which is located in Gallery 4, a long, contorted space at one end of the museum's first floor. Inside Outside used MAXXI's decade-long timeline as "the spatial backbone of the museum," in their words, creating an image-saturated "enfilade" that leads to colorful rooms with multimedia installations.

A Story for the Future is on display at MAXXI until August 29, 2021.

This sketch shows the decade-long timeline as a rippling surface that defines the five spaces. (Image © Inside Outside)
A model of the exhibition design shows the timeline — rectilinear, as distinct from Hadid's curving walls — flanked by spaces with immersive colors. (Image © Inside Outside)
This montage shows the spine's contrasting black and white surfaces and the slots of color calling attention to the adjacent yellow, blue, and red rooms. (Image © Inside Outside)
Gallery 4 seen from the atrium, at far right in the model above. (Photo © Musacchio, Ianniello, Pasqualini - courtesy Fondazione MAXXI)
The exhibition as seen from the far end of the timeline, which takes visitors from the present back to 2010, the year the museum opened to the public. (Photo © Musacchio, Ianniello, Pasqualini - courtesy Fondazione MAXXI)
The rooms adjacent to the main spine are visible as slots of color that stand out against the walls. (Photo © Musacchio, Ianniello, Pasqualini - courtesy Fondazione MAXXI)
Two rooms are located at the farthest end of the exhibition: a dark trapezoidal space and a tapered yellow space with audio installations. (Photo © Musacchio, Ianniello, Pasqualini - courtesy Fondazione MAXXI)
Another one of the tapered rooms — an outcome of Inside Outside's angled walls interacting with Hadid's curved walls — is devoted to a decade of MAXXI publications. (Photo © Musacchio, Ianniello, Pasqualini - courtesy Fondazione MAXXI)

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