Marzia Migliora. Voce del verbo avere 08.09.2018 | 02.12.2018

8 September 2018 – 4 November 2018 – extended to 2 December 2018

Palermo – ex Monte dei Pegni S. Rosalia, Palazzo Branciforte, Fondazione Sicilia

curated by Valentina Bruschi and Beatrice Merz

Part of the Punte brillanti di lance programme


From Saturday, 8 September 2018 to Sunday, 2 December 2018, the Fondazione Merz presents Voce del verbo avere in collaboration with the Fondazione Sicilia, a personal exhibition of the artist Marzia Migliora (Alessandria, 1972) set up in the space of the ex-Monte dei Pegni, known as “Monte di Santa Rosalia” in Palazzo Branciforte, home of the Fondazione Sicilia.

The exhibition, curated by Valentina Bruschi and Beatrice Merz, is part of Punte brillanti di lance (literally ‘brilliant lance tips’), a programme of exhibitions and events launched in 2017 by the Fondazione Merz for the City of Palermo.

The project of Marzia Migliora starts with the strong suggestions raised by the former Monte dei Pegni (pawn shop) itself, creating a link with the present starting from the historical memory of the place, to stimulate a political and social reflection on the current condition of humankind. Also called Monte dei Panni, the Monte di Pietà consists of an intricate maze of rooms with full-height wooden structures, composed of shelving where the pawned goods used to be stored. For about two centuries, people in need deposited dowries, trousseaux and personal items in exchange for a few coins, hoping eventually to come back and redeem them.

Voce del verbo avere is the ideal continuation of the Marzia Migliora’s personal exhibition entitled Velme, organised in 2017 by the Fondazione Merz at Ca’ Rezzonico in Venice. The La fabbrica illuminata installation, originally created by the artist for the Velme exhibition, will be part of the exhibition in the ex-Monte dei Pegni in Palermo, accompanied by three new works, conceived specifically for the exhibition space.

The works created by the artist for the Palermo space are based on the concept of economy, starting from the etymological decomposition of the term in oikos (home, understood as family, but also as goods and community) and nomos (rule): at the Monte di Pietà indigent people were forced to commit their family assets (oikos), to try to fulfil the rules imposed by the state and the community and to satisfy the basic needs of subsistence (nomos). The two terms represent the common conceptual element in every work on display, along with the themes of money, food and hunger. The ambiguity of money, which on the one hand frees one from being a slave, but on the other creates new slavery, constitutes a fundamental concept in the work of Marzia Migliora. Access to food also depends on money, and is a primary need for the survival of human beings: hunger is therefore the trigger to leverage and activate analogies and dissonances, relations between fullness and emptiness, wealth and poverty, indigence and security, nourishment and abstinence, inclusion and exclusion.

Another term underlying all the research is transition, the shift from one way of being to another, understood in the meaning typical of the function of the pawn shop, or that of converting personal items into cash.

in collaboration with:                            Part of:     


technical sponsors:          


Thanks to: Galleria Lia Rumma, Napoli/Milano

With the support of:                


in partnership with: