la strozzina - palazzo strozzi, florence - centre for contemporary culture

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istallazionestrozzina.jpg Contemporary art in the heart of Florentine Renaissance

The Centre for Contemporary Culture la Strozzina (CCCS) has opened to the public on 30 November 2007 with the exhibition Emotional Systems. This new space at the Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, has been created as a platform for the vast range of practices that characterise contemporary art and culture. The CCCS space is located in the recently restored rooms under the magnificent inner courtyard in Palazzo Strozzi known as la Strozzina. These spaces formerly housed the cellars of the Palazzo, a veritable jewel of the Italian Renaissance. From the end of the Second World War until the great flood in 1966, these rooms hosted the most important exhibitions held in Florence. The new centre has eleven rooms of varying sizes, with a total floor area of 850 square metres.
The inaugural exhibition, Emotional Systems - Contemporary Art between Emotion and Reason, on view from 30 November 2007 to 3 February 2008, will investigate the topic of emotions. It proposes a reinterpretation of the correlation between the contemporary artist, the work of art and the user, in light of recent discoveries in the neurological sciences about the human brain and its effects on the emotions. Curated by Franziska Nori and Martin Steinhoff, the exhibition presents works by contemporary artists who engage in different ways, and some more explicitly than others, with not only the corporal and sensorial but also rational and cognitive aspects of the experience of emotions, both in creating the works and in perceiving them.
Emotional Systems will comprise three clearly distinct yet complementary phases: an exhibition, a publication and a programme of lectures designed to investigate the topic of emotions. The artists invited to take part in the exhibition are Bill Viola (USA), William Kentridge (South Africa), Yves Netzhammer (Switzerland), Katharina Grosse (Germany), Christian Nold (Great Britain), Maurice Benayoun (France), Teresa Margolles (Mexico), Andrea Ferrara alias Ongakuaw (Italy) and the poets Elisa Biagini, Antonella Anedda and Valerio Magrelli. The participating artists all work with different media. They have been chosen for the different ways in which their works emotionally affect the public, a process in which empathy often plays a significant role. Visitors will find themselves being involved at sensorial, cognitive and emotional levels as they experience the multimedia installations, videos, digital animations, monumental paintings and other visual, audio and corporal stimuli. The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue, published in English and Italian by Silvana Editoriale, with essays by the curators, Franziska Nori and Martin Steinhoff, and contributions and excerpts from specialised publications by internationally renowned scholars, including the neurologists and neurological scientists Antonio Damasio and Joseph LeDoux, philosophers and anthropologists Ronald De Sousa, Peter Goldie, Martha Nussbaum and William Reddy and the art historian, David Freedberg. The theme explored in their interdisciplinary comparison is the rationality of emotions and, in Freedberg’s words, the “relations between the formal aspects of an image and the emotional responses” of the user. An art education programme has been especially created for the project by Barbara Campaner, to enable visitors to interact with the various different works and explore the exhibition’s themes. Lectures will develop the exhibition’s theme from a multidisciplinary and scientific standpoint, achieved in direct encounters between Italian academics and experts from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds. Thursday evenings will be dedicated to psychologists, philosophers and anthropologists who will present their theories, while Fridays are earmarked for poetry readings and musical performances. The programme involves researchers such as Giovanni Lucignani, Andrea Pinotti, Emilia Barile and Luigi Pagliarini, while the poets include Elisa Biagini, Antonella Anedda and Valerio Magrelli. The CCCS will present a programme that features not only thematic exhibitions but also regular installations by independent curators and film and video cycles, workshops, performances and lectures. “The CCCS is a place for contemporary culture,” stresses Franziska Nori, the new centre’s Project Director, “where projects will tackle aspects of town planning, economics, social and political development, the sciences, technology as well as aesthetics and ethics, as contemporary art itself has already broken free of the individual disciplinary approach. The programme thus developed will enable visitors to experience and examine both the heterogeneity of contemporary art and a range of different curatorial and interpretive standpoints.”
Centre for Contemporary Culture la Strozzina (CCCS)
Palazzo Strozzi, Piazza Strozzi, 50123 Florence
Information: Ph. +39 055 264 5155 and
Opening hours:
Daily 11.00 to 20.30. Closed Mondays
€ 5.00 multiple entry (up to five times in one month, including lectures)
€ 4.00 schools (up to five times in one month)
€ 10.00 Strozzina and ControModa exhibition

From APT - Agenzia per il Turismo di Firenze (Florence Tourist Office)

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