Mind the Map!

Drawing the world from the 11th to the 21st century
Treviso, Ca’ Scarpa

Mind the Map! is part of a larger exhibition project, which is held in three different venues – Ca’ Scarpa, Gallerie delle Prigioni and the Church of San Teonisto – and is the result of a collaboration between Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche and Fondazione Imago Mundi


The exhibition revolves around the theme of the image of the world, the bold intellectual effort made by humans to draw the entire Earth and then see it all come together in a single graphic representation. Mind the Map! is an invitation to pay attention to the map, to all maps, which are often wrongly used as substitutes for reality, carelessly and without much thought.

Paying attention to them means stepping into significantly complex and intricate worlds.

The exhibition, divided into three sections (Non plus ultra, Plus ultraand Theatrum Orbis Terrarum), is complemented by the book (in Italian and English), co-published by Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche and Antiga Edizioni, which contains a wealth of illustrations. The exhibition regards globes of all eras and origins as a way to express social conventions, which have set boundaries; defined directions such as south, north, or east; reified abstract concepts such as power and dominion; vehemently claimed one’s place in the world; or conveyed intense emotions such as fragility and beauty. From the mappae mundifound in 13th-century prayer books, to the extraordinary cartographic constructions depicting and shaping the world of trans-oceanic trade throughout centuries of geographical discoveries, as well as contemporary world map rugs and Google Web Mercator projection: the exhibition offers visitors the chance to reflect on the aspects involved in building the image of the world as we now know it. A way to rediscover the archetypes which, from time to time, have changed our place in the world to the point it has become uncertain and unstable: from the centre to the outskirts, from the reassuring and conventional North to the margins of the map.

The 40 pieces on display are high-definition reproductions from North American, European and Japanese libraries. The originals of the nine world map rugs of the 20th and 21st centuries, which are part of Luciano Benetton’s geographical collections, will also be on display.


Five meetings/conferences held by experts and a programme of concerts will be scheduled during the exhibition opening to explore some of the issues it addresses.