To contest the tyranny against the protectionism of culture equals class, Isabelle Cornaro starts from the relativization of the categories with which we measure each day. Du proche et du lointain, a collection of objet trouvè, memories, discarded porcelains, letters, carpets, jewels, necklaces, displayed as cabinet des curiosités of the personal and subjective marvels, the translated memory of otherness as a value. A set of collections in large table-cases, from a distance the perception changes as you get closer. An images lexicon which erodes the separation between “high culture” and “low culture”, openly criticizing the solemnity and the gravity of which culture is clothed. At the same time it reveals the psychological diminutio put in place by a strategy of economic order and pure profit that acts on every aspect of reality. The global access to information, simultaneous and horizontal, popular and anti-elitist by nature, is redefining the profile of control on the knowledge and charisma of power. An irreversible cultural awareness is the revolution that will reshape the map of human consciousness and the power that could transform homo sapiens in homo humanus.
Keywords: collections and archaeology
If archaeology is one of the most ancient forms of collecting, commerce, war booties, spolia, commitment are other expressions of a practice that is principally moved by a radical curiosity. The Christian sack of the pagan Rome causes an interest and an extraordinary passion for whatever is antiquity: tombs, thermal baths and abandoned villas, decrepit monuments, columns, sarcophaguses, epigraphs, ceramics. This ravenous hunt for the antiquities results in the birth of antique dealers, some true predators, others acute investigators of history (to the point that Raffaello suggests the adequate criteria for the archaeological survey). “For the popes, the soil of Rome is the most splendid and familiar Wunderkammer” writes Schnapp. In 1533, Pirro Ligorio draws the plan of ancient Rome, but the Scandinavian antique dealers are the ones to construct a methodological implant for a rigorous archaeological research. Flints, stacks, ceramic material are the first objects to be analyzed with an almost scientific approach. Even the naturalia become object of collection, the antechamber of the chest of wonders. Starting from 16th century, the animal world, the mineral world, the vegetal world are devotedly collected within the cabinets of Ole Worm, Ferrante Imperato, Francesco Calzolari, Athanasius Kircher. The cabinets of curiosities have sophisticated and almost mysterious architectures in highlighting the construction of a complex and alchemic knowledge. Collectionism and the systematization of this material universe produces a classificatory work that will result in the chronology and finally in archaeology. To gather, study, classify and excavate with a unique desire: understand mankind and its origins. Starting from 17th century, the refusal of the sacred texts as historical sources will mark the first step towards the realistic conquering of the past. Man lowers himself in history and the first descent is arduous and dangerous: Giordano Bruno is the synthesis and the divide between ancient and modern, the revealed truth acceptance and the search for doubt. Modern archeology owes its birth and origin to philosophers, paleographers, scientists, philologists, antique dealers.
Alain Schnapp, La conquista del passato, Milano 1994