TAM – Tower Art Museum

Fondazione Italia Patria della Bellezza has chosen Tam – Tower Art Museum project, one of the three economic prize-winning projects within the 2023 call for proposals. Originally planned for 2018, TAM – a private contemporary art museum – opened in Matera on December 1 2022. The project Volevo solo aprire un museo humorously recounts on YouTube and Instagram the years of waiting and bureaucratic problems encountered by the founders to open a youth social enterprise in the South. Today the tower in the heart of Matera’s Sassi, once abandoned, houses a permanent collection and two annual exhibitions featuring local, national and international artists.

In 1993 Matera was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The founding partners of Torretta srl, who were born and raised in the Lucanian city, have experienced firsthand the risk of museification that Matera runs. “The Museum that Now Exists” wants to overturn the cliché that sees the city’s history often simplified: from “national shame” to World Heritage Site. Today more than ever it is necessary to tell the story of a living and productive place. The social enterprise wanted to open a museum so that the city would not become a museum.

The award-winning project develops its cultural strategy through the curatorship of uniquely site-specific projects. In addition, Tower Art Museum serves a space for the production of external events such as festivals, exhibitions and workshops, and offers services for cultural project management.

TAM believes that the role of the museum is to create co-habitation spaces where real policies – needed to make the city more liveable – can be developed. The recent opening allows the social enterprise to give physical form to the work previously initiated by the “I just wanted to open a museum” initiative. The museum lends itself not as a witness but as an agent for communities to build a living future through the beauty that we have inherited.