Exhibition: The life of a Swiss Guard, a private, view


Acriter et Fideliter exhibition – Jubilee 2016

In 2016,on the highly anticipated occasion of the special Jubilee of Mercy declared by Pope Francis, the Vatican Museums will inaugurate the first ever exhibition revealing the life of the Swiss Guards. The exhibition will capture the previously unexplored places that characterize the daily lives of the members of a military force that holds unparalleled historical significance. Titled Acriter Fideliter, the motto of the Guard which translates to “strenuously and loyal”, the photographs will weave a narrative about the core morals and practices of the Guard, as protectors of the Holy Father. The exhibition will be displayed in a courtyard of great significance and attention, La Cortile Delle Corazze. All visitors to the museum walk through this space as it is part of the prescribed path one takes, and will have the opportunity to learn about the Swiss Guards, but also the Pope. As the Swiss Guards are a direct extension of the Pope and thus
must always be in accordance with his mission as a holy, and global religious leader, the exhibition will touch on the social influence and goals of the Pope. The exhibition has been curated by the Patrons office and Father Mark Haydu L.C., under the supervision of Dr. Romina Cometti, with contemporary photographer Fabio Mantegna. Alongside the images are extensive text panels which craft edu- cational themes and narrative.  On display will also be examples of the Swiss Guard uniforms, armor, etc..


Photographs and items
“My dear Fabio, you have the eye of a Sherlock Holmes poet”. With these words Arturo Schwarz, a major and eminent international scholar, art historian, poet, writer, lecturer, and curator, expressed his appreciation to Fabio Mantegna. The photographs on display in the Acriter and Fideliter exhibition are beyond the mere documentary, sterile and impersonal reportage. The artistic identity given by Fabio Mantegna to his photographs creates time and space in the surrounding environment. This young artist give us a privileged glimpse into stolen moments, characterized by poetic and personal research, not mystified by the filter of the camera lens. Revealing the inherent individuality of a military body, always shrouded in an aura of mystery, Fabio Mantegna evokes, through harmonic language and an authorial gaze, not only a collective identity, but an intimate, social, mystical consciousness made of ideals and honor. The aesthetic and conceptual honesty with which Mantegna chose to observe a unique reality, like the one of the Swiss Guards, is a vehicle to pass on the memory of an Army of unparalleled value. The photographs were taken over several weeks during which Mantegna was able to participate in the daily life of the Military Corps. An unusual and rare “full immersion” in the Swiss Quarter has allowed the realization of unique shots(oath, leave, confirmation, marriage, sports and military training, dressing, personal rela- tionships). In order to enrich and complete the photographic section, made up of prints of various size, in color and in black and white, the following will be also exhibited:

•  The official Swiss Guards’s uniform-blue, red and dark yellow, with distinct Renaissance traits and other uniforms of Officials, Generals and Commanders.
•  Helmetor’ Morion “- silver hats, adorned with ostrich feathers of different colors depending on the degree of military and some examples from the 1500.
•  The seventeenth century armor raised on special occasions
•  Weapons, halberds and swords

‘Your   historical   uniforms  speak  to  pilgrims and tourists from every part of the world of something that in spite of all does not change, in other words they speak of your commitment to serve God by serving the “Servant of his servants”.’

Address of  his Holiness Benedict XVI to the Swiss Guards And Their Relatives Prior To The Swearing-In Ceremony Clementine Hall Mon- day, 5 May 2008.

_MAN0055Cultural and Social value
The intrinsic value of such an exhibition is to be found in the oneness of a multidisciplinary and experiential path, where the enjoyment is inseparably linked to learning. Perfectly in line with the philosophy and the approach of His Holiness Pope Francis, an intimate and introspective itinerary, made of snapshots and objects of various kinds has been created. Through this media, an international audience of different social, cultural, and religious backgrounds can enjoy a unique and once in a lifetime show.

The Target audience to whom this exhibit is addressed is massive and heterogeneous. Such exposure could arouse interest in an age range between 12 and 90 years old. Our goal is to involve Middle and High Schools-Universities, institutions, and organizations of various kinds in Italy, as well as tourists and pilgrims who will come to Rome during the 2016 Jubilee.

The Cortile delle Corazze is a perfect location for such an exhibition, as it is the central location and provides easy access. Using a banner placed outside the entrance to the Museum, with a section dedicated to the colophon (GSP, the Vatican Museums, Patrons of the Arts) the resonance and flow that such a show could get would bean undoubted success. At the bookshop desks, the exhibition catalogue and other information materials will be sold.

_MAN5418Financing of the project
We are seeking the support to organize this temporary exhibition in the Cortile delle Corazze, Vatican Museums. This support will cover costs including the printing of the photographs, the framing of these images, hanging the exhibition, display cases for the armors, helmets, swords etc.) Printing didactic materials and panels, and publishing a catalogue. We would also like to tour the exhibition after its period at the Vatican to reach beyond the visitors of the Museums. We plan to tour the exhibition to the institutions in the cities were we have active Patrons and Chapters. We look forward to honoring the Patrons who are able to support this project with status of guest of honor at each exhibition opening, hosting private Patrons viewings sharing our work and attracting new members, as well as securing public legacy in the cultural institution where the exhibition is held. For touring the exhibition, funds will be raised by the interested Chapters used to secure proper shipping of all didactic materials, artwork, and objects such as the armor, swords, etc.

Analysis of Costs
Printing and framing for 50-60 photographs different sizes: € 4.000,00
Mounting of the Exhibition, 12 panels for the display, showcases for the armors, helmets and objects, 4 perspex cylinders for protection of the mannequins (all these items are completed and ready for packing the entire exhibition and send it oversea if required), 6 totems to indicate the exhibition and location, 2 banners, tombstone labels for photographs, 16 “alabarde” in plate to decorate the panels, graphic, lights and other equipments: € 70.000.00
Graphic Design; € 2.500.00
Texts and Contents: € 2.000,00
Catalogue in 2 languages Edizioni Musei Vaticani  IT and EN: € 30.000,00
Translation: € 2.000,00
Editing: € 1.500,00
Curatorial and Photographer: € 10.500.00

The invitations and Press Releases will be organized by the Vatican Press Office and the Vatican Museums will organize the venue.