The seven artists involved – Elena El Asmar, Andrea Galvani, Michele Guido, Luca Pancrazzi, Giuseppe Stampone – have been called to confront themselves with the ambivalent value of the city in the tradition of a European framework: the shape produced through foundation or stratification over the centuries and its dilution in the uncontrolled expansion of the 1900s, with the dissipation of that continuity between space and citizens, which for centuries has ensured the bond linking community and generation of culture.
Hence, LA FORMA DELLA CITTA’ is a project focused on the critical right of the artist and on the way that his or her overlook can understand history. The seven artists provide an equal number of observation points in order to reinterpret architecture, urban space, the different aspects of the public sphere, between memory and imaginative vertigo, between a sense of the political and forms of the poetical. In the exhibit, the variety of the languages as well as of the formal results (in works that were almost entirely specifically made for this particular project) regroups in a journey based on two common factors: the choice of artworks that are almost always two-toned, and a variety of optical levels that oblige the viewer to move between the surface and the panoramic vision of the work of art.
Marco Neri’s wall installation portrays an urban interior with a two-dimensional weave that reveals the geometric nature of the city. Its uniformity (alienating in intensive construction), represented as a map and a portrait of the suburbs, vibrates thanks to the variation provided by individual choices. In the artwork by Michele Guido, the geometry is that of the Renaissance framework, starting from the definition of pure shapes (the circle, the square) up to the planning of colonialism. Through the screen prints, the drawings and great sculpture, Guido uses tools of the research of the ethos, in order to highlight the relationship between the idea of the city and its real image. Even the work by Elena El Asmar – here formally presented through three large tapestries – takes place as a continuous “exercise of the far”, combining the mental dimension of places with their tangible reality. Starting from the representation of memory – and its encounter with the materials – the artist’s Phoenician cities branch out along the boundaries of the Tuscan landscape, of postmodern architecture, and of imaginary space. In Andrea Galvani’s artwork, the city dissolves, introducing a nocturnal and dream-like landscape: his photographs depict the city’s neighboring areas as authentic apparitions, conducting the viewer in a vibrant and unprecedented observation of the mundane. Luca Pancrazzi’s cities on mirrors and nets reveal a glance on the margin, between steep perspectives and macroscopic visions. The artist elaborates chromatic subtractions and formal synthesis that aim to a divergent aesthetic of urban space, where the visions of the suburbs and flyovers are the symptom of a continuous movement.
Giuseppe Stampone carries out a critique of Western society’s icons: his artworks on paper create small explosions of meaning that bring into question the relationships between social power and complexity. Through a large installation, the denial of the obvious of what is visible indicates the bond between the city’s domain and its form. Margherita Moscardini’s overlook arises from the behind the scenes of a civic resistance that identifies in the scraps, in the error, in the liminal space, the possibility of new narratives, both individual and collective.
All of the artists have provided their own bibliographies pertaining to the theme of the exhibit: a selection of the books that have inspired their personal outlooks will be available at the gallery, both for consultation and for sale, thanks to a partnership with the Brac Library in Florence.