“Floating on the Floor of an AIR Ocean” at Palazzo Strozzi with Tomàs Saraceno

From human beings to the centre of the universe of Florence Humanism, up to man as part of a harmonious whole, no longer limited by ties, hierarchies, pyramidal views, geographical and social boundaries. From Anthropocene to Aerocene – a new geological era in which contemporary men deeply and amazingly connect with unusual elements such as spiders and spiderwebs becoming real works of art. From 22nd February to 19th July 2020, this is Palazzo Strozzi’s programme, featuring Argentine artist Tomàs Saraceno, born in 1973, one of the most versatile and visionary contemporary artists. With his solo exhibition Aria, curated by Arturo Galansino, he captures and moves visitors by mixing arts, natural and social sciences and by offering them the opportunity to come in contact with other creatures in a totally new and original way.

The artist reveals utopian and at the same time real worlds, inviting us to widen our horizons, losing our usual physical and mental references for a moment, and get captivated by his spectacular installations. The first one is Thermodynamic Constellation, set up inside the courtyard of the Palace – three large, suspended aerosolar balloons which take us back to the experimentation of the Argentine artist, featuring hot air balloons flying thanks to solar power alone. Inside some rooms on the first floor of the Palace, Saraceno guides us into the darkness, inviting us to lose our usual physical and visual certainties within the emotional and dreamlike “net” of vibrations radiated by wind and propagated by the silken threads of monumental webs, real art masterpieces. Because, in the artist’s words, we will manage to emerge from this deep environmental crisis only if we are ready to enter a new era of cosmic harmony, where everything will be reversed in favour of a new behavioural ecology. Saraceno’s question is “Do spiders live in our houses, or do we live in theirs?”

ARIA by Tomàs Saraceno is supported by a rich programme of events and activities in co-operation with Aerocene Fondation, such as Aerocene Flights, taking place at the Manifattura Tabacchi and Museo Aero Solar, developed with the help of IED and Publiacqua, featuring spectacular performances of flying elements not powered by fossil fuel, but by air and solar energy alone.

This exhibition is promoted and organised by Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi and Studio Tomàs Saraceno, and sponsored by the Florence Municipality, the Region of Tuscany, the Florence Chamber of Commerce and Fondazione CR Firenze. With the support of Terna, in co-operation with Manifattura Tabacchi and with the participation of IED (European Institute of Design).

(Fiamma Domestici)