Museo Martinitt e Stelline, Milano
Pio Albergo Trivulzio
dal 20 gennaio 2009
This multimedia path recounts the lives of the children in two Milanese orphanages in the 19th century. The Martinitt institute was a boys’ orphanage, Stelline iwas a girls’ institution. The particular nature of the archive material demanded much care, in order to appropriately translate into a visual and sound language the concepts, stories and documents, while respecting their nature and intrinsic value. The journey is charming from an aesthetic point of view and offers the audience a vast repertoire of documents to read and content to examine in depth.
The visit to the Museum opens with a large projection on the stairs in which the faces, footsteps and voices of the children accompany the visitor up to the first floor.
The first room describes how children entered the institutes and the main activities that occupied their lives there. The room features an outline of the institutes’ regulations and administrative documents and small anecdotes of daily life. The next room is one of the most compelling installation of the entire journey: the classroom. Visitors become Martinitt inmates who can respond with a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ to questions the teacher puts to them about the lesson they have just sat through. The environment that follows simulates a library where virtual books can be made to appear and skimmed through.
The visit continues on the second floor. A room with big table with six irons recalls the the classrooms where Stelline students learned the art of ironing. On the surface of the table images of creased clothes are projected; visitors can iron the images and thus access brief video clips on the other activities taught to the Stelline’s girls.
The final two rooms are dedicated to the biographies of some of the benefactors of the two institutes. On a desk visitor can scroll down from a list of painting details and when stopping, they will see the portrait of one of the benefactors and a brief video clip illustrating his/her life, in a frame on the wall.