Be Ya! is an installation designed for the area that, during the summer, host the “YAP Summer Program”, in the MAXXI square in Rome.

Be Ya! is an ephemeral installation designed for public spaces, being at the same time both defined and undefined: five elements, of great size, lay, as ruins of a contemporary industrial landscape, on an elevation formed of debris of construction materials – a hill of bricks, shingles and ceramics – molded over and over, until they are fine, with strong chromatic and material-related peculiarities.

On one hand, the installation is characterized by its main elements – the ground, the masks – on the other hand and contemporarily, it is an installation tool, without a pre-determined and unchangeable specific and distinctive purpose. The installation is made of items that can be touched and enjoyed; it is tangible, not imaginary: thanks to the different sizes and positions of the five masks, the latter can be used in many ways, depending on the users, their needs and wishes and on the time of the day.

The “masks”, influenced by the Italian comedy theater and by the characters of Ettore Petrolini, are hard on the outside, but soft on the inside: users can lay down, sit or lean to see such portion of the sky emerging from the museum and the nearby trees. At night, the concavities of the masks – with an adequate set of lights – look like large moons fallen on the earth and, at the same time, may be used as scenic design and set for summer events of the museum.

The structure of the masks consist of timber’s ribs cut with a cam machine and assembled on site, secured to the ground with metal plates and bolts; then paneled on the outside and upholstered on the inside with sprayed soft polyurethane. The position of the elements is in line with the guidelines provided by MAXXI regarding the piercing of the ground only at the filling of gravel. Therefore, the installation may be assembled, disassembled and used several times, after the reconstruction of such parts most subject to wear and tear.


Colmi, lazzi, scherzi, inezie,
stupidaggini, freddure.
cose serie oppur facezie
cose molle e cose dure.

Parodie, caricature,
canzonette, maltusiani,
prese in gir, corbellature
di cervelli poco sani.

Minestrone di sciocchezze,
sale e pepe, pepe e sale
miele, zucchero, amarezze,
ruzzoloni per le scale…

Passatismo, futurismo
d’ogni luogo e d’ogni età
buonumor, menefreghismo
e parole in libertà…

Ettore Petrolini (1884-1936)