The Place of Art and Art as Place: On designing and redesigning the sense of space through art

9 November 2021, 5.15 PM - 9 November 2021, 7.00 PM

Prof. Paolo Bartoloni (National University of Ireland, Galway)

Online Zoom

In 2017 The Commune of Florence invited the Swiss artist Urs Fisher to exhibit the 12-meter-high aluminium sculpture Big Clay in Piazza della Signoria, the historic centre of Florentine political power, and worldwide symbol of Florentine Renaissance art. The exhibition would prove extremely controversial and was criticised for altering and damaging the artistic harmony and beauty of the square. Implicitly, the discussion of Big Clay transformed the “place” Piazza della Signoria into Piazza della Signoria “the work of art”, and the work of Urs Fisher into an act of vandalism and disfigurement.

 This paper discusses the meeting between Piazza della Signoria and the work of Urs Fisher.  It keeps in mind that the impermanence of our period may also be a window on the impermanence of the past, and that “cultures themselves”, as Seyla Benhabib has intimated, “are not holistic but polyvocal, multi-layered, decentered, and fractured systems.” How do we negotiate our hesitant and conflicting experience of multicentricity and the lingering attraction to belonging via unity and order? The paper will address this question while debating the institutionalisation of place, and the design to transform it.

Contact information

Zoom link for event:
Meeting ID: 973 3804 7165
Passcode: 125278

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