Eva Neklyaeva direttrice artistica del Festival Internazionale del Teatro in Piazza di Santarcangelo di Romagna.
What is the most exciting art institution in Italy now?
For me, it’s definitely Macao in Milan.
And now it’s under threat of eviction.
After spending some days at Documenta, the most precious thing I’ve "learnt from Athens" is:
it’s not only about What, it’s about How.
It doesn’t really matter what kind of amazing content we create as art organisations; if we don’t find the way to restructure the production process to reflect the same values we advocate for in our programs (feminism, anti-capitalism, ecological or post-colonial perspective...) - we are doomed. The critical space we claim to sustain in the society should be produced on the principles of fair play. As a art producer, I am never fully satisfied with this part of my work, but recently Macao has been an inspiration.
Macao is one of the rare examples of successful organisations that invent and employ innovative formats to govern and sustain the organisation financially. While functioning outside of the realm of public funding, Macao never makes compromises to the private sector. Always radical, but super accessible and joyful place to be.
After occupying a venue in one of the biggest abandoned areas in Europe, Macao crew renovated it and is running now a very diverse program, including public debates, some of the best techno parties in Italy, theatre, music and design events. A lot of happenings are offered for free.
Any other city would be happy to have such a cool place. Imagine, you don’t invest anything from the municipal funds but the art field organizes itself, and you reconfirm yourself as a place of art and culture and freedom. Well, not the case here.
I feel that often when occupied places are evicted we are not protesting hard enough, accepting the illogical rules of private property. But this is silly. Organisations that work for public good have a right to expand to spaces that stand empty and will stand empty for years.
Anyways, Macao just launched a campaign to persuade the city council to let them buy the building and they need our help in growing the numbers of supporters. Pre-register for the new global association to support the campaign here: