Meet a Museum

The MEOC Ethnographic Museum Oliva Carta Cannas and the AAAperto of Aggius

Italiano (Italian)

Translation by Marina Dlacic

The Ethnographic Museum Oliva Carta Cannas MEOC, the largest in Sardinia, preserves a rich heritage of testimonies of the textile activity deeply rooted in the culture of this town in  Gallura, so much so that the same reconstruction proposed in the museum of the stazzo, the typical ancient Gallura house , is housed inside the building – recovered and renovated – which was the first textile school, its awards and certificates of merit are exhibited inside the museum itself.

Looms and weaving at MEOC, Chiara Marci

Looms and weaving at MEOC, Chiara Marci

The exhibition itinerary welcomes evidence of domestic environments and local productions, traditional and period costumes and above all testimonials of the art of weaving, mainly of carpets. Here the tools and techniques used over the centuries for the preparation of typical fabrics are collected, from the spinning and warping of wool to the natural dyeing of the fibers through the use of native herbs and plants.

Hanging carpets. MEOC, Chiara Marci

Hanging carpets. MEOC, Chiara Marci

In the weaving room it is also possible to attend the demonstration of the production of the hanging carpets – of which the MEOC hosts a permanent exhibition – famous for their quality and for the characteristic decorative systems. The tradition linked to this production is so alive that there are still three active workshops in the historic center of Aggius, including one right inside the Ethnographic Museum.

Weaving and carpets are part of the identity, history but also of the future of the region that has been able to take up the legacy of the great Maria Lai’s interventions on the territory, giving it continuity, transferring this production from the traditional sphere to that of contemporary art. The textile artefact has in fact become a work of art whose presence does not end within the MEOC but continues along the streets of the town in AAAperto, an open-air museum itinerary inspired by Lai herself who worked on several occasions in Aggius and who, following the project “To be is to weave” – a collective art event that was held here on July 26, 2008 – donated to the town the 14 stylized aluminum looms that constitute the first nucleus of works exhibited in the itinerary.

To this work have been added over time those of contemporary artists linked to the territory, who cross the whole country. The entire collection currently has 46 works and is still in progress. Testimonies of Maria Lai’s interventions in Aggius are also kept within the MEOC and in the spaces of the Municipality.

From “To be is to weave”, the two groups of goats were part of the installation “Filare” set up by Lai in the square of frame II, together with a third returned to the artist in conjunction  with a copy of a frame to be located inside the Ulassai Art Station. Chiara Marci

Maria Lai, “Lu contu” a work that was part of the exhibition “Weaving memories, the threads of other stories” (MEOC 2006/2007). In the Museum that became the artist’s workshop on that occasion, Lai created 7 scrolls and 31 works in which Aggius’s handcrafted fabrics became works of art. Chiara Marci

Maria Lai, “Cartigli”, from “Tessendo memories”, Aggius 2006. Chiara Marci

It is possible to follow the different museum itineraries – the red (Being is tessere by Maria Lai), the green (Where there is thread there is a trace) of photography and the blue (Contemporary Art) following the different colors along the streets of the historic center and drawn on the ‘map’ provided to museum visitors.

Barbara Pavan

English version Sono nata a Monza nel 1969 ma cresciuta in provincia di Biella, terra di filati e tessuti. Mi sono occupata lungamente di arte contemporanea, dopo aver trasformato una passione in una professione. Ho curato mostre, progetti espositivi, manifestazioni culturali, cataloghi e blog tematici, collaborando con associazioni, gallerie, istituzioni pubbliche e private. Da qualche anno la mia attenzione è rivolta prevalentemente verso l’arte tessile e la fiber art, linguaggi contemporanei che assecondano un antico e mai sopito interesse per i tappeti ed i tessuti antichi. Su ARTEMORBIDA voglio raccontare la fiber art italiana, con interviste alle artiste ed agli artisti e recensioni degli eventi e delle mostre legate all’arte tessile sul territorio nazionale.