Central to our introductory concept for this exhibition is the juxtaposition of significant archaeological pieces with representations of modern, mythical superheroes in order to illustrate and illuminate their origins and connections with the gods and heroes of the ancient world, including mythology, literature and history. The hero can be a mythological figure endowed with special powers (a “superhero”), or a common man fighting for justice and morality.
From the Amazons to Wonder Woman, from Frankenstein to the Hulk, from Robin Hood to the Green Arrow, legends change their appearance, but remain faithful to their original mission to guide new generations towards a better, brighter future, where action and battle are the flip side of a coin that calls for morality and responsibility.
If historical iconography depicts the hero and the heroine as individuals in perfect physical condition, able to challenge entire armies, head held high and, at the same time, to lift inconceivable weights; today, instead the value of a hero cannot be measured in relation to the size of his muscles. What rather distinguishes a hero from a common man is a strong desire for justice and equity, a push towards glory judged on his sacrifices and on his tenacious temperament. A hero is not a hero if he is not moved by a solid moral and, most of all, by a total dedication for the greater good. Aware of his role as a model to follow, the hero builds his existence firmly rooted on his integrity.
The message that the hero – and this exhibition – wish to convey is easy: superpowers are not necessary for being a superhero; everyone can become one by changing the world around them through small, daily acts of solidarity, understanding and respect.
The figure of the hero is thus analyzed in relation to:
– Mythology: primarily Greek and Roman, e.g. Jupiter, Hercules, Mars, Minerva, Venus, etc.
– History: e.g. Jeanne d’Arc, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King etc.
– Literature/Legends: main characters from all the countries of the world, e.g. North Europe: Beowulf, Ivanhoe, Robin Hood etc; Middle East: Gilgamesh, Nimrod; Spain: Don Quijote; etc.
From the heroes of history and mythology, the exhibition then explores the modern superheroes (e.g Marvel and DC) through a very extensive private collection comprised of a significant nucleus of original comic books in several languages dating from 1935 onwards (Tarzan, Lone Ranger, Prince Valiant, Flash Gordon, to name a few), hundreds of action figures from the leading series – heroes, sidekicks, villains – of varying dimensions (Superman, Batman, Cat woman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, ecc), movie posters from 1941 onwards (Adventures of Captain Marvel), still photography from leading films and TV series. The collection also includes an extensive image database related to film, TV series, cartoons, etc in video format that permits both printed materials, video projections etc. to be realized as part of exhibition design and content.
Finally, the exhibition revolves around the heroes of our modern society, such as the firefighters of 09/11 or all the doctors who worked hard during the COVID pandemics, in a highly suggestive immersive path.
In the end, hands-on activities, selfie areas and interactive devices invite the audience to be heroes in everyday life through simple and small gestures that can make the world a better place.
Textiles & Costumes
Paintings Drawings & Prints
Bricks Games & Toys
Film & Sound
The exhibition deals with Modern Mythology in: