THE WORK OF ART IN THE AGE OF DIGITAL REPRODUCTION
no matter how technically perfect,
may be as exciting and touching
as the original work.
However, photographic reproduction
of works of art has let
tens of millions of people
know and appreciate masterpieces
by the greatest artists in history
and, at same time, encourages people
to visit the places holding them
so they can be admired
in the splendour of authenticity.”
The Impossible Exhibitions arise from an instance of cultural democracy infusing the fruition and awareness of art history. The project’s precursors are André Malraux, Paul Valéry and Walter Benjamin.
“The advent of technical reproduction and its spread through photography mark, for the first time, the chance to emancipate art from the field of ritual: losing the values of uniqueness and authenticity opens up the chance of giving art new political worth; the work’s cult value is progressively replaced by its exhibition value.” Walter Benjamin
The Impossible Exhibitions present the complete œuvre or a vast themed collection of masterpieces by great Italian artists from the XIII to XVII century in one exhibition space, in the form of real-size (1:1 format), very high definition reproductions with soft rear lighting.
Thanks to digital photography and 3D printers, the works of art gain ubiquity: even for those who do not usually visit galleries, the doors of an Imaginary Museum open, gathering all the paintings, frescoes and sculptures by great artists, even though the originals are spread over museums, churches and private collections across tens of towns in various continents. Herein lies the innovation the Impossible Exhibitions introduce: allowing a multitude of visitors from all over the world to admire here and now, one next to another, not several works but
the entire œuvre of a painter or sculptor, including non-portable items, like frescoes.
Since 2003, thirty Impossible Exhibitions have been assembled in various cities: Chicago, Mexico City, Malta, Milan, Rome, Naples, Vinci, Todi and many more.