The project “Camera Lucida and the Black Magic Box” aims to turn the museum identity into an architectural statement. Since the Marubi Museum is a photography museum with a strong emphasis on its vintage collection of XIX century prints and plates, the architectural concept moves from a traditional, almost literal, understanding of analog photography: the dialectical relationship between light and shade. As a consequence, the museum’s atmosphere will issue from a nuanced and dynamical orchestration of bright and dark areas.
Aside from the windows, natural light filter from the U-glass rear facade overlooking the garden filling the interior with steady and diffuse lighting, while at the center of the museum a big scaffolding-like structure produces right inside two dark and artificially enlightened rooms. The dichotomy between light and shade is embodied in the concept of an architecture space rooted on the relation between the dark core of the Black Magic Box – respectively dedicated at the ground floor to archive and preservation, and at the first floor to video installations and projections – and the bright areas surrounding it, specifically designed for temporary and permanent exhibitions.
If the archives of every museum are unquestionably the physical and metaphorical space where collective memory, images, stories and identity are stored and preserved, with the curatorial and architectural concept of “Camera Lucida and the Black Magic Box” the backstage of the museum becomes one of the centers of the viewing experience, the place where the institution reveals its functioning and where light and shade meet.