Running until 4th October 2021, the National Archaeological Museum of Naples is currently hosting a major retrospective of the work of acclaimed comic artist and designer, Mœbius.
MOEBIUS – Alla ricerca del tempo is the largest ever exhibition in Italy dedicated to visionary French artist Mœbius (Jean Henri Gaston Giraud, 1938 – 2012), widely considered one of the most influential comic creators and illustrators of all time, whose work has been published translated all over the world.
The exhibition, scheduled for 2020, but postponed due to the health emergency, celebrates the art of Moebius, but also his particular bond with Italy and Naples, the protagonist city of his story See Naples, and in the work Die and then see Naples.
The author was so strongly inspired by the Neapolitan city that he once declared: “Whenever I work on one story about Naples there are no problems: everything runs smoothly. Naples has something that fascinates me, that always touches me in a special way”.
The La Ricerca del Tempo exhibition also intends to investigate and dissect the artistic relationship between the great French comic artist, and the city that inspired him more than any other. It’s been organised by COMICON under the artistic direction of Mœbius Production, and is part of the OBVIA (Out Of Boundaries Viral Art Dissemination) project of the University of Naples Federico II for the MANN – and is sponsored by the Campania Region, Municipality of Naples and Institut Français.
Over 330 works are in display, displayed in various sections of the Museum, a veritable voyage through the imaginative universe of Mœbius. The displays look back at his iconic characters such as the warrior Arzak, Major Grubert or the space travellers, Stel and Atan, while others echo the exhibits in particular rooms, such as his illustrations dedicated to the Greek myths, one the basis for the exhibition poster.
An entire section of the exhibition , which opened 10th July, is dedicated to Dante, on the occasion of the 700th anniversary of the death of the great poet, and to Moebius’ memorable interpretation of Paradise.
Two films accompany the exhibition: an animated 3D film, directed by Moebius and BUF Compagnie, inspired by the short story La Planète Encore, and METAMOEBIUS, a 52-minute documentary by Damian Pettigrew and Olivier Gal.
An absolutely gorgeous-looking 178-page hardback catalogue, Moebius – Alla ricerca del tempo, available to European Union fans from the COMICON web shop, and Italian retailer Unilibro offer the catalogue internationally, including to to the UK, but be aware there are additional postage charges.
The catalogue has been published in Italian and French, collecting all the works on display, thanks to the in-depth research and study conducted by Mœbius Production and COMICON, with contributions by Isabelle Giraud (Editorial Director Mœbius Production), Claudio Curcio (General Director COMICON), Jean Michel Folon (Illustrator), Olivier Gal (Portait & Compagnie), Hervé Le Guyader (Professor of evolutionary biology).
There are also the institutional texts from the director of the MANN Paolo Giulierini, the President of the Campania Region and the Mayor of Naples. Plus further insights, a letter from Federico Fellini and some passages from Dante’s Il Paradiso.
(Someone seriously needs to sort out how we easily can buy such works now the UK has left the European Union, making postage costs quite high in some cases, and vice versa).
An innovative element in the exhibition project is the addition of augmented reality displays. Along the way, some paintings will come to life; just download an app and frame the works with a simple smartphone.
• MOEBIUS – Alla ricerca del tempo (Moebius – The Search for Time) runs until the 4th October 2021 at the National Archaeological Museum of Naples, Piazza Museo 1|Official site: museoarcheologiconapoli.it | View the museum’s permanent works on the Google Arts and Culture web site
This article was updated on Monday 19th July 2021 to include details of catalogue sales points – my thanks to COMICON for their quick response to enquiries