A visit to the Olafur Eliasson exhibition In your time, open at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence is a journey to be undertaken together strong> until January 22, 2023.
But with whom? The Icelandic-Danish artist responds directly by stating: "My exhibition is a collective experience that sees three paths: that of the visitor, that of Palazzo Strozzi and its long history and my experience as an artist".
An experience more than a visit
This is the first piece of advice: participate in Eliasson's works, not just look at them.
And it is advice to be put into action immediately, already access to the courtyard of Palazzo Strozzi, in fact, thanks to the encounter with the site specific work, Under the weather, invites the change of mental pace necessary to face the exhibition.
The artist's installations, mostly made up of new productions, use the building itself, its architecture, its paths, its empty and full spaces, as a form of art.
To be completed with your own experience of the moment. The large elliptical metal structure that welcomes visitors, for example, changes in relation to the movement and gaze of the observer: a flickering of the screen, known as the moiré effect, destabilizes both the architecture orthogonal of the building that the decisive steps of the visitors directed, almost automatically, to the entrance to the exhibition.
Palazzo Strozzi, not just a container
"In 2015, Olafur visited the spaces of Palazzo Strozzi for the first time - explains Arturo Galansino, general director of the Palazzo Strozzi Foundation and curator of the exhibition - and was struck by the architecture Renaissance, thus beginning a long conversation between him and the fifteenth-century palace, a complex dialogue whose meaning is summed up in the creation of In your time" .
Therefore, it was the special encounter between the artist and the building that stimulated in him the desire to tell, with his words as an artist, the importance of observing objects, details, architectures , with different eyes and senses, every time, because the present time is never the same.
Thus, in order not to be disoriented, it is good to immediately convince yourself that the building that houses the exhibition is the exhibition itself: in fact, in the first three rooms on the main floor, the artist intervenes in a minimal way, there are no concrete works to look at, but a continuous comparison with the windows of the building created through the play between reality and representation, presence and absence, in an alternation of lights, colors and shadows.
The atmospheres are engaging and participation, curiosity, the presence of the visitor, essential.
Awareness of the present moment
This is more than a suggestion what the exhibition teaches by Eliasson. "What is an experience? - asks the artist - Something that happens to us or that we create ourselves? I like to think that it is something that we contribute to create. Here, for example, we are at Palazzo Strozzi, a place that has been living at full speed for hundreds of years.
My exhibition suggests to pay attention to the impact of our encounter with the long journey of the building made up to today, to listen to how we feel when we enter and then understand what and if something has changed upon exiting . Because each of us brings his journey and his present moment to the encounter with these rooms and with my vision of them.
My invitation is to live the visit responsibly, so as to make it truly unique and personal."
Eliasson's work on the visual experience certainly did not begin at Palazzo Strozzi: in addition to site-specific installations, In your timeoffers various works already exhibited, such as How do we live together (2019), a large metal arch which diagonally invades the space of a room where the ceiling is covered with a mirroring surface; Solar compression, (2016), a suspended circular disc and in constantmovement, mirroring on both sides, which floods the room with a yellow light; Room for one colour (1997), where in a totally empty space the perception of the spectators is altered by immersion in the light of monofrequency lamps.
Emblematic of the artist's work and testimony to his research on vision as an action of fragmentation and complexity of thought is, on the other hand, Firefly double-polyhedron sphere experiment (2020), large colored glass polyhedron green, orange, yellow, cyan and pink.
A look to the future
Located in the underground spaces of the Strozzina is the new work with a symbolic title, Your view matter (2022), which uses VR (Virtual Reality) technology to accompany the public in discovery of six virtual spaces, accompanied by a soundtrack created by the artist.
Also and perhaps even more so in this case, the experience is totally personal, once you put on the viewer, you have the freedom to move around the proposed spaces, to switch from one to another, to go back and i interact with walls, ceilings and geometric presences. As Eliasson declares: "the experience of this work is based on an unlearning and learning again how to use the sense of sight, involving not only the eyes but also our whole body and mind".
In short, an exhibition capable of producing the same effect as a meditation practice.
Teaches to stay there, right where you are in a given instant, not to get distracted by the before and after, to savor the present and to observe what happens, what is, even if known, from new and different vantage points.