When art shows the way to defence nature

According to a WWF report that is called “Pandemics, the Boomerang Effect of the Destruction of Ecosystems”, the spread of Covid-19 depends, to a large extent, on the increasing devastation of huge territories, including, first of all, forests. There is a very close link between the health of an ecosystem and that of the species that inhabit it. After Tomàs Saraceno’s “Aria” exhibition at Palazzo Strozzi, in Florence, was closed (it was curated by Arturo Galansino and should have run from 22.02.2020 to 19.07.2020), the artist said, “Let’s reduce our movements to slow down the movement of particles and help everyone be safer… let’s move differently for a better future”. Saraceno’s art combines natural and social sciences, inviting people to observe reality from a different perspective, connecting with natural elements such as dust, spiders and plants, which he features in his installations as metaphors of the cosmos. The artist converses with the Renaissance atmosphere of the famous palace in Florence and invites us to stop considering man as the centre of the world, and start to see him as a part of a universe that deserves our respect. It is possible to imagine a different era – from Anthropocene to Aerocene – an era that is marked by a new ecological sensitivity.

The works at Palazzo Strozzi invite us to feel a part of a universe to respect

As Galansino writes in the catalog of the exhibition, “Aria” “aspires to warn us to respect the planet and its atmosphere”. In the courtyard of the palace, three suspended mirror spheres float in the air. These sculptures, which are prototypes of areosolar balloons, evoke the image of a planet that is free from frontiers and fossil fuels (Thermodynamic Constellation). The exhibition revolves around the image of a Spider and its web. The same way spiders emit vibrations through their webs to connect with the reality that surrounds them, Saraceno’s works encourage the perception of ultra-sensory phenomena. In the halls of the piano nobile visitors can step through the representation of a map of neural connections in the brain (Bolle di connectoma). Sounding the Air and Webs of Attent(s)ion plunge visitors into a sensory world of cobwebs that become the image of the universe. The oracle of our past, present and future, the spider is the symbol of the exhibition. Today, that spider weaves its web outside the closed museum, thanks to the “In Contact” project: over the last months, the blog of the Palazzo Strozzi website has become a platform to make texts, images and videos available to everyone. Let’s help that spider invade the world.


Tomás Saraceno
Palazzo Strozzi
Curated by Arturo Galansino

Michele Ciolino




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