A huge symbolic scar has appeared on the facade of one of the symbols of the Renaissance in Florence, Palazzo Strozzi. The temporary installation, by French contemporary artist JR, is called, aptly, “The Wound”.
The monumental photographic collage installation seems to tear away a piece of the main facade of the iconic Palazzo Strozzi, a masterpiece of Renaissance civil architecture, and one of the most beautiful palaces in Florence, built by wealthy merchant Filippo Strozzi in the 15th century.
Measuring 28 meters high by 33 meters wide, the installation offers an excerpt of an imagined interior, created through a black and white photo collage, typical of JR's art (he himself took the photos he put together for the work).
As explained on the Palazzo Strozzi’s website, the installation “works like an anamorphosis, an illusion in which, observed from a specific viewpoint, various areas of the Palazzo Strozzi – the colonnade in the courtyard, an imaginary exhibition hall and a library – open up as a wound.” The imaginary exhibition space features the world-famous paintings Primavera and Birth of Venus by Botticelli, on display at the Uffizi, and you can also catch a glimpse of the Rape of the Sabines by Giambologna, the sculptor of the Medici family, who commissioned this statue that still stands in the Loggia della Signoria, next to Palazzo Vecchio in Florence.
The work aims to highlight a highly debated topic currently, the (lack of) accessibility to places of art and culture in the times of Covid-19.
The installation is part of Palazzo Strozzi Future Art, a new program that sees the collaboration of Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi with entrepreneur Andy Bianchedi, whose goal is to create a platform for contemporary art.
“This work awakens so many things in all of us and what interests me most is that everyone will interpret it based on his story, everyone will have a different reading,” said JR during the presentation of the artwork. “A work of this kind stays for only a few months, but its image will stay in people's heads in the future and I think that, when it is no longer there, the people who have seen it will be inspired to go and see what is behind that wall.”
Born in 1983 in France, JR uses photographic collage as his signature technique. As he himself states: "I have the largest imaginable art gallery: the walls of the whole world.”
The installation is on display at Palazzo Strozzi until August 22, 2021. For more information visit the website.