Giuseppe Linardi in Venice

The artist Giuseppe Linardi (Buenos Aires, 1971) takes part in the 56th International Art Exhibition with an installation, titled Toys, that fits fully into the theme of the Venice Biennale, “All The World’s Futures”, chosen by the curator Okwui Enwezor. Linardi conceived the idea of the Toys while observing his daughter’s bedroom overflowing with games, often unused and abandoned in their boxes, which made him reflect on the perverse mechanism of consumerism targeted to children who are bombarded with promotional messages of any kind and turned into potential buyers of unnecessary but irresistible goods. That mountain of neglected toys thus becomes a metaphor of the superfluous that surrounds us, of all those luxury items we buy induced by a compulsive desire to appear.

Jeff Koons in Florence

A new exhibition of the work of the American artist Jeff Koons is leaving its mark on some of Florence’s most famous spaces. Jeff Koons in Florence’ brings a unique dose of contemporary art to the birthplace of the Renaissance. Koons’ Gazing Ball (Barberini Faun) (2010) has been installed in the Room of the Lilies in the Palazzo Vecchio, once the beating heart of the Florentine Republic. The work is a plaster cast of a provocatively nude ancient Roman sculpture, with the addition of a blue reflective glass sphere or “gazing ball”. The naked faun sits opposite Donatello’s Judith and Holofernes (1460), legs apart as if in some sort of sensual challenge to the virtuous Judith. She seems to be looking straight at him, entranced either by his nudity or by the lustrous “gazing ball” on his lap. Outside in the Piazza della Signoria, a new sculpture has been introduced in close proximity to the copy of the David for the first time since Baccio Bandinelli’s Hercules and Cacus was unveiled in 1534

Alfred Milot Mirashi The keys of the memory

The participation of the Italo-Albanian artist, Milot Alfred Mirashi at the Sixth International Biennial Beijing 2015, which was inaugurated on 24 September at the National Museum in Beijing with the theme “The Memory and the Dream” has the real sense of bringing, in a nation that has a different way of life both memory and dreamlike, what is the perception of these emotions from a cultural point of view totally different. Milot is entirely crossed from its European culture; a millennial training vision that becomes hyper contemporary in the use of the artistic language of the third millennium, but that, after all, it contains all crossings historians that the Albanian people has had over the centuries. He reads the memorial sites using images and colors that they settle, centuries after centuries, until become the bright screen of the digital age. To the materiality of color or sculptures or installations, offset by a possibility to make effective its work through the different view electronic network.

Florence Olive Oil Festival

Olio nuovo, or “new olive oil”, is Tuscany’s end-of-year prize. Unlike wine, where longevity is associated with prestige, olio nuovo is best right off the branch, crushed and consumed immediately. Every year farmers all across Tuscany hand-pick thousands of mature olives from their fattorias, and the trees, freed of their heaviness can finally rise and sway with the expectancy of the Florence Olive Oil Festival on Sunday, November 15. Held at Piazza Santo Spirito, from 9 am to 7 pm, the festival is free, and there are countless stands offering Tuscany’s finest seasonal goods: olive oil of course, but also honey, wine, organic produce, and more. As for the olive oil itself, new oil is spicy, earth-like, and dripping with an unexpected honey lily-pad sweetness.

Sun Lian Gang At the roots of the Chinese contemporary art

“Artist Sun Lian Gang, born in Pechino in 1969, is part of the generation of artists who have certainly conquered part of their creative freedom by looking at the Western experiences but also, most of all at the traditions, capable to renovate and create a new path for Chinese art. Sun Lian Gang creates his works with a vital and creative lifeline which through the sign frees themselves from the traditional imaginary means in order to achieve a gentleness and refinement of personal expression. While fundamentally expressing himself in an abstract form, Sun Lian Gang succeeds, with the help of signs, handwritings and colors, to design a representation of balance between materialism and spirituality. His art is beyond not only geographical boundaries, but also beyond space and time”. I wanted to take this piece of introduction from the interview article that VeNews, Venetian magazine, published in October, because it perfectly embodied the idea and the concept that Sun Lian Gang has about art. An interview that ends with a beautiful phrase of Sun: “I think we should not only make art for the make of art, but use it to change the world”.

LA “CROCIFISSIONE BIANCA” DI CHAGALL DA PALAZZO STROZZI AL BATTISTERO DI SAN GIOVANNI IN OCCASIONE DEL V CONVEGNO ECCLESIALE NAZIONALE A FIRENZE

La grande mostra Bellezza divina tra Van Gogh, Chagall e Fontana attualmente in corso a Palazzo Strozzi fino al 24 gennaio 2016 è un evento eccezionale, che vede la presenza di opere straordinarie provenienti da importanti musei internazionali, mai esposte prima in Italia, come la Crocifissione bianca di March Chagall proveniente dall’Art Institute of Chicago, opera emblematica del dialogo interreligioso tra Cristianesimo e Ebraismo, e considerata l’opera d’arte più amata da papa Bergoglio. Curata da Lucia Mannini, Anna Mazzanti, Ludovica Sebregondi e Carlo Sisi, l’esposizione nasce da una collaborazione della Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi con l'Ex Soprintendenza Speciale per il Patrimonio Storico, Artistico ed Etnoantropologico e per il Polo Museale della città di Firenze, l’Arcidiocesi di Firenze e i Musei Vaticani e si inserisce nell’ambito delle manifestazioni organizzate in occasione del V Convegno Ecclesiale Nazionale, che si terrà a Firenze tra il 9 e il 13 novembre 2015.

Teatro della Pergola The stage of mysteries and crafts

In the most hidden part of Teatro della Pergola revive the nightmares of the human soul. I racconti del terrore – mezzanotte a teatro con Edgar Allan Poe is the new touring show proposed with the Compagnia delle Seggiole in the “dungeons” of the greatest Florentine theater, that create beauty on the scene. The guides of the path are Poe and all the thoughts that lay between sleep and wakefulness, between life and death, between reality and fantasy. The first cycle of stories is scheduled in November, 13-15, 18-21 and 25-28: The Tell-Tale Heart, The Masque of the Red Death, The Premature Burial. The second cycle will be presented on December, 2-5, 9-12 and 16-18: The Oval Portrait, Blackwood, The Black Cat. It starts at 11 pm.

The flood of Florence A memory still very much alive

In Florence’s calendar the date of 4th November is marked with red. Not because it is a festive day although in a way it has become one. The 4th of November is the day when we remember the last flood, that has severely hit the city in 1966, one of the most destructive in its history. However more than a day of mourning, it is also seen as the most suitable occasion to celebrate the proverbial Florentine pride. More than admirable was in fact the way in which the habitants of Florence have been able to react to the immense tragedy. Without any wailing, prompt, with courage and confidence in themselves. In those days a “Civil Protection” system didn’t exist, so it was that event which prompted government authorities to create one. The emergency and a big part of the reconstruction were faced from “the bottom” with a genuinely popular participation, demonstrating a high sense of being a community. But November 4th can also be celebrated as a day of solidarity in the name of art. Financial and volunteer aid had arrived from all parts of the world, demonstrating how much Florence was loved and felt like “their own”.

In this issue Florence is … Novembre - Decembre 2015

Exactly two year have passed since the first issue of Florence is You! published in its printed form on December 2013, and how much it has changed since then... Browsing the printed issues that have followed, with my dear friend and our patient graphic designer Manuela, we smile when we are surprised to use the same expression, which, referring to the newspaper, basically seems to say “it has changed so much”. And it is true, because Florence is You! was brought up lovingly by our hands, our ideas, our will, and is the result of the devotions of so many people: our writers and collaborators who do their best to accomplish all that is needed to make the newspaper more and more rich in content and new proposals; readers and friends that have contacted us to receive Florence is You! and it is thanks to their precious suggestions that we are now distributing it in more than 400 places; our partners, some of whom have been with us on this adventure since the beginning and that have immediately shown great faith sustaining what has become “our newspaper” and deciding to tell their stories through its pages.

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