The facade of MAM Rio
The facade of MAM Rio. Photo: Fabio Souza/ Publicity

A The novel coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a major shift in exhibition dynamics worldwide. Museums, galleries and art fairs invested in digital and suspended physical activity for months. That's what happened to the Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro (MAM Rio), which now, after being closed for five months, reopens to the public.

On September 12, visits return, and with them they bring a series of novelties: a careful security protocol for visitors, different opening hours and a new way of entering and interacting with the museum: no mandatory admission charge. “We are committed to serving the community, opening our doors for everyone to visit. Therefore, admission to the museum becomes free with a suggested contribution”, explains Fabio Szwarcwald, executive director of the institution. Thus, MAM Rio intends to position itself as an inclusive space, which understands the connection with art and culture as vital for people's health. In this way, it intends to provide an environment for exchanges, where people can experience the museum at this time of progressive resumption of social practices following isolation.   

This is in line with what was said by the new artistic directors, Keyna Eleison and Pablo Lafuente, elected in August. They defend the idea that it is necessary to create a more organic relationship with the museum, transforming it from a visited institution into an inhabited one. “MAM is not just the space demarcated by its architecture, it is also the park that welcomes it, the passage of Guanabara Bay and the experiences of those who pass through these places. It is necessary to create mechanisms that guarantee the exchange”, said Lafuente (read our report on the announcement of the new artistic directors).


What is there to see?

On the same day as the reopening, the exhibition begins Interposed fields, which brings together around 70 works from the collection of the Rio de Janeiro museum, from different sources, made by more than 50 Brazilian and foreign artists. The group show starts from the space-thematic articulation between facade and pictorial plane and, curated by Fernando Cocchiarale and Fernanda Lopes, establishes correlations that cross the whole of Brazilian artistic production over the last seven decades. In it, you can see works by Willys de Castro, Alfredo Volpi, Nuno Ramos, Djanira, among many other artists.

Besides, exhibitions that were already mounted before the pandemic will also resume. Are they: Wanda Pimentel, Puddle/Possa, Hallucinations by the Sea e Campana Brothers – 35 Revolutions

To see them, you can opt for a simple tour of the museum – with a voluntary contribution – or for one of the scheduled visits. In this new moment, MAM Rio offers two options: the Percursos Visit at MAM and the Petrobrás Visit. The first is a special experience for closed groups, which allows exclusive access to the exhibits before the museum's opening hours. The second, designed for groups of up to 8 people, is free and offered by Petrobras, sponsor of MAM Rio. Both will be mediated by educators.

After the closing time of the museum activities, there is still a schedule. Every night, there is a presentation of opening night, an unprecedented project by Thiago Rocha Pitta. The work, composed of a sculpture and a video in projection, creates an image fire in space, alluding to the real and metaphorical fires that culture has lived in Brazil (read the article about the work). The creation can be seen by those who pass through the region and is the first of the Interventions Program, which will occupy the external areas of MAM Rio, with Carmela Gross as the next participating artist. 

Excerpt from the video "The Clopen Door", which composes the work "Open Night" by Thiago Rocha Pitta, exhibited at MAM Rio
Excerpt from the video “The Clopen Door” that composes the work “Open Night” by Thiago Rocha Pitta. Photo: Reproduction/MAM Rio


The world, however, has not yet returned to normality. Therefore, the museum has drawn up a safety protocol with various sanitary measures, providing for temperature measurement at the entrance, mandatory use of mask, sanitizing mats, guided distancing, availability of gel alcohol for visitors, among other measures.

The space also has a rigorous sanitization routine and, before reopening, it carried out a complete cleaning of the air conditioning ducts and replacement of filters. “This cleaning was something very complex, as it takes months to be carried out with quality. Now, we are delivering a more suitable environment for all our visitors, for the museum staff and for the works, since proper filtration brings enormous benefits in the conservation of the collections”, explains Fabio Szwarcwald.


Public visiting hours:
Thursday and Friday, from 13:18 pm to XNUMX:XNUMX pm
Saturday and Sunday, from 10 am to 18 pm

Schedule your visit or purchase the ticket for the Petrobrás Visit and MAM Percursos Visit

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