“SPIRITUAL GUARDS” AND JEWEL SCARABS IN FLORENCE: EXHIBITIONS IN THREE HISTORICAL AND ARTISTIC VENUES

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The Forte Belvedere in Florence is getting set to host this year’s edition of its annual fixture with great art.  Following the two international exhibitions showcasing the art of Giuseppe Penone and Antony Gormley, the former Medici fortress’ bastions this year will be hosting the works of Jan Fabre, one of the most innovative and important figures on the contemporary art scene.  A “total” artist, Fabre, who born in Antwerp in 1958, lets his imagination run riot in the very different spheres of sculpture, drawing and installation, performance art, film and the theatre

The exhibition, entitled Jan Fabre. Spiritual Guards, promoted by the Comune di Firenze, will pan out between the Forte Belvedere, Palazzo Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria.  In fact, it will be one of the most complex and multifaceted exhibitions that this Flemish artist and author has ever produced in any public space in Italy.  For the very first time, a living artist will be expounding his art in three venues of outstanding historical and artistic importance at once.  Roughly one hundred of Fabre’s works dating from 1978 to 2016 will be on display, including bronze and wax sculptures, performance films and works made of wing cases of the jewel scarab.  Fabre will also be presenting two new works specifically devised and produced for this occasion.  The premiere is going to be an event of outstanding visual impact with strong symbolic connotations:  on the morning of 15 April, two of Fabre’s bronze sculptures will be – temporarily – joining the open-air museum that is Piazza Signoria.  One of them, an exceptionally large work entitled Searching for Utopia, will interact with the equestrian monument to Grand Duke Cosimo I, a Renaissance masterpiece by Giambologna, while the second, called The man who measures the clouds (American version, 18 years older), will stand proudly on the Arengario outside Palazzo Vecchio between the copies of Michelangelo’s David and Donatello’s Judith.  In both works observers will be able to identify the artist’s own features in his dual capacity as knight and guardian, as a mediator between heaven and earth, between natural and spiritual forces. Against art that placed itself in the service of political and financial power – the art of Piazza della Signoria with its marble giants (the David, Hercules and Neptune) and its biblical, mythological and local figures (Judith, Perseus and the Marzocco Lion of Florence) – Jan Fabre pits an art seeking to depict and to embody the power of the imagination, the mission of the artist as “spiritual guard”.  And he does this in a square designed and used since the Renaissance as a figurative agora` and stage setting, a square which has become an iconic paradigm of the relationship between art and the public space, and in which the symbolic and spectacular function of the modern monument has been configured in exemplary language. Also starting 15 April, Palazzo Vecchio will be hosting a series of sculptures interacting with the frescoes and artefacts housed in some of the rooms open to the public, particularly the Quartiere di Eleonora, the Sala dell’Udienza and the Sala dei Gigli.  The works on display will include a huge globe 2.5 metres in diameter and totally clad in iridescent beetle wing cases, its shape and size interacting to perfection with the celebrated globe in the Sala delle Mappe geografiche, made by Ignazio Danti in the 16th century.

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The following month will see the inauguration of the exhibition at the Forte Belvedere, on 14 May, where the bastions and the villa will be showcasing about sixty works of art in bronze and in wax, along with a series of films focusing on some of the artist’s historic performances.  Curators Melania Rossi and Joanna De Vos, together with the project’s art director Sergio Risaliti, have chosen the Forte Belvedere as the thematic heart of the Jan Fabre. Spiritual Guards exhibition both for its spatial characteristic and for its historical connotations. The fortress once served not only to defend Florence from outside attack but also to protect the Medici family in troubled times, thus it was a stronghold for both external and internal defence suggesting a journey through the life, the ambitions and the woes of the powerful Medici lords and alluding to opposing human perceptions and sensations such as control and abandonment, but also to opposing needs and desires such as armed protection and spiritual elan so deep and so deep-rooted as to influence the form of architecture and the configuration of natural space, especially here at the Forte Belvedere where the need for protection in the awareness that one is still defenceless is particularly easy to grasp.

These ambiguities which form not just history but the entire experience and vitality of mankind, will be represented by two sculptural alignments consisting in seven bronze scarabs placed on the fort’s lookout posts and a series of full-figure self-portraits of the artist – all of them maintain the original silicone bronze colour for that reason they have glow reflecting surrounding countryside like a spiritual halo – which will be populating the corners of the bastions outside the villa, surrounding it.

The scarabs are angels of metamorphosis, guardians who symbolise in ancient religions and in Flemish and Italian vanitas paintings the transition between the earthly dimension and the afterlife with their ceaseless movement.  At the same time, they have a splendid carapace which dramatically highlights the vulnerability of that “regal” body. Thus also Jan Fabre, who defines himself, lives and expresses himself as a knight of despair and a warrior of beauty, who sheds and dons his weapons by deploying his army in its shining, iridescent armour in Florence’s highest point.

This legion is called on here to tell of devotion to life, to defend the fragile and pure beauty that art is capable of generating, against an invisible foe who comes from inside and outside at once, always ready to strike and to wound.

The exhibition will continue on the first floor of the villa, which will be open to the public again for the first time in many years, with wax sculptures and with films of the artist’s performances in a setting of contiguity and continuity both with the works on display outside and with the magnificent Florentine cityscape.

The spectacular bronze integration in Piazza della Signoria and the work produced with jewel scarab wing cases on display in Palazzo Vecchio will be interacting with the urban fabric and with one of the most visited historical palazzi in the city, forming a perfect visual and conceptual complement to the exhibition. The exhibition’s motto and device, Spiritual Guards, should be interpreted as an encouragement to live a heroic life, be it in war or unarmed in defence of the imagination and of beauty.

It is worth recalling here that Jan Fabre, in the course of his long career which began in the 1970s, has a long history of interaction with Florence, where his work has been shown in many collective exhibitions and where he has also brought several of his productions for the theatre.  Two of his bronze busts from the Chapters series, in which he portrays himself with astonishing horns and donkey’s ears, joined the Uffizi collections in 2012, while he received the Michelangelo Award for sculpture in the second edition of the Settimana Michelangiolesca in 2015.

 

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Technical Data and Exhibition Services

 

Exhibition title

Jan Fabre. Spiritual guards

 

Exhibition to run

Piazza Signoria and Museo di Palazzo Vecchio 15 April – 2 October

Forte di Belvedere, 14 May – 2 October

 

Exhibition venue

Piazza Signoria, Florence

Museo di Palazzo Vecchio, Piazza Signoria, 1 – Florence

Forte di Belvedere, via di San Leonardo, 1 – Florence

 

Exhibition promoted by

Comune di Firenze

 

Art Director

Sergio Risaliti

 

Exhibition curated by

Joanna De Vos and Melania Rossi

 

Exhibition organised and coordinated by

Associazione MUS.E

 

With the support of the

Guy Pieters Gallery

 

Exhibition layout by

Associazione MUS.E

 

Opening times

 

Piazza Signoria

The square is freely accessible at all times

 

Palazzo Vecchio

From April to September
Daily except Thursday:  9.00 am –11.00 pm
Thursday:  9.00 am – 2.00 pm

From October to March
Daily except Thursday:  9.00 am – 7.00 pm
Thursday:  9.00 am – 2.00 pm

 

Forte di Belvedere

Daily except Monday:  10.00 am – 8.00 pm
Closed Monday

 

Catalogue

(Published in May 2015)

Forma Edizioni Srl

 

Information and website

www.musefirenze.it

 

Communications by

Associazione MUS.E

 

 

 

LENNO, LAKE COMO (ITALY): THE ENCHANTING MEDIEVAL PLACE WHERE  MY EXHIBITION OPENS ON FRIDAY JULY 3…

 

 

 

© Photos by Roberto Alborghetti – Lenno, Lake Como, 2015

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My upcoming solo exhibition – “Colors Of An Apocalypse 2015″ – will take place in the amazing Romanesque Baptistery on Lake Como, Italy, on July 3-4-5,  in the beautiful and medieval Lenno (its origins are from Roman times).

The octagonal Baptistery and its enchanting structure will give strenght and evocative power to my exhibition which will show 25 works from my “Lacer/actions” project. Each artwork will be introduced by a phrase  from “The Apocalypse of John”. Images and words to suggest a trip through hopes and tragedies of human life and beings.

 

  • Opening Hours / Friday July 5: h.4-10 pm; Saturday 4 and Sunday 5: 10am-12am; 2,30 pm-10 pm. Venue: St. John Baptistery, Piazza XI Febbraio, Lenno (Comune Tremezzina), Lake Como
  • Aperture mostra: venerdi 5 Luglio 2015, ore 16-22. Nelle giornate di sabato 4 e domenica 5 luglio: 10-12, 14,30 – 22,00. Il Battistero di San Giovanni si trova in Piazza XI Febbraio.

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 INFOS:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenno

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https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenno

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http://www.tripadvisor.it/Tourism-g1076867-Lenno_Lake_Como_Lombardy-Vacations.html

 

IF VISUAL IS SENSUAL / MY ARTWORK PERFUMING AS… “CHANEL CRISTALLE”: A GREAT STORY BY AN AMERICAN SCENTS EXPERT

Lanier Smith ( Michael Smith) is an American friend and fellow blogger, author, artist and film maker (give a look at his YouTube channel: you’ll be finding incredible re-makings of the most important movies). He lives in San Francisco (California, USA) and he masters an huge and professional knowledge and experience about scents and fragrances history, culture and marketing.

On his blog –  “Scents Memory” – he wrote a great story about one of my “Lacer/actions” artworks which will be on display in my upcoming “Colors of an Apocalypse” show scheduled on Lake Como on July 3-4-5, at the Romanesque Baptistery we admire in Lenno.

Nothing new, someone will say. But Lanier Smith really did something unprecedented. He translated the “feelings” and the inner sensations of my artwork (an abstract photo of cracks) in an unique and extraordinary olfactory description, associating the image to the prestigious Chanel Cristalle.

Lanier Smith is an expert and researcher of essences and perfumes . And he is in love with Italy. In his post – that I reblog in its full version, pictures included – he splendidly combines scents, colors and feelings recalling a famous place in Rome: Villa Borghese and its wonderful Gardens.

LACER/AZIONI! CHANEL CRISTALLE…

By Lanier Smith

Read the original story at: 

https://sentsmemory.wordpress.com/2012/12/01/lacerazioni-chanel-cristalle/

How do you escape the noise, pressure and the maddening crowds of a city? It is something we all can do; all you need is a park and the sky. Lying on the soft grass on your back looking up at the sky is an instant escape. Everything sinks into the earth beneath the soft damp grass you are lying on. Work, time, pressure, anger, frustration, worry, they all slide away as you seem to levitate toward the sky. The one thing that doesn’t slide way is your sense of smell.

My friend and fellow blogger Roberto Alborghetti is a wonderful artist. When I became enamored of his new works entitled Lacer/azioni,  “Lacer /actions”,  I got to know him over time. Roberto creates his amazing works from decomposing publicity posters and city signs. It is really amazing to see because there is not a trace of the source material in the finished pieces and you would never guess where they originated. He photographs details of posters and street signs and then transfers them to canvas, and video, and even to silk scarves. He is a renowned Journalist in Italy as well as the author of over 30 books and a television producer. But it is obvious from his passion about his work that this is where is heart resides, in his wonderful art. 

LANIER 2

ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI

Roberto came to me with a challenge recently. Was it possible to find inspiration in one of his artworks that could lead to comparison to a particular perfume? Could I unlock the connection between visual and sensual? That was indeed at first a baffling idea to me, so I accepted the challenge.  It took months of looking at the painting once a day and smelling a different scent in conjunction with the visual. Each attempt lead to zero, nothing clicked and I was beginning to think the task was an impossible one.

In Thursday’s mail I received a bottle of perfume I had been looking for and waiting to try for many months. Filled with that anticipation we who love perfume all share, I opened the box and tested the perfume on my arm. Instantly I understood what had been missing in my quest for the perfect scent to go along with Roberto’s artpiece. Chanel Cristalle Eau De Parfum entered my senses and opened my eyes with a fresh point of view about the picture.

LANIER 3

THIS ARTWORK (ABSTRACT PHOTO OF NATURAL CRACKS) INSPIRED THE STORY BY LANIER SMITH.

I was transported to the Villa Borghese, the wonderful and enchanted park in the center of Rome. The smell of the earth moist after a May rain shower meets the nostrils with a primal pungent primavera punch.  Flowers washed clean in the rain add to the aroma as you look up look up into the same sky in which Michelangelo must have envisioned God creating Adam amongst the clouds. There is a deep rich smell of bark in the background, the unmistakable smell of a city park. This is what I saw when I looked into the artwork by Roberto as I was entranced by Chanel’s Cristalle’s very deep green and floral Chypre notes. I was lying on my back looking up at the most beautiful sky in the world.

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CHANEL CRISTALLE

Cristalle opens brightly through the sun dappled leaves of the trees with a superb blending of exotic Mandarin, with hardy warm Sicilian Lemons. These are perfect Mediterranean citrus notes.  There is a little juicy peach in the back of the park warm and fuzzy in the sun adding a bright lush taste, up front at the entrance to the park Lilly of the Valley and bergamot join in right. It is going to be lovely here in the Villa Borghese.

In the middle notes just far enough into the park that the city sounds fade with the there is the “Chanel” Jasmine, like no other jasmine in the world it enfolds you in pure delight like the laughter of a beautiful woman in the dark. Rich earthy Iris adds a note of dangerous glamour and reminds you to dig your fingers into the moist richness of this experience. Hyacinth and Rosewood are found in this part of the urban forest and only enhance and deepen the sensuality of this fragrance.

LANIER 1

ROME: VILLA BORGHESE, THE LAKE AND THE GARDENS.

At sundown near the edge of the park the base notes of green woody vetiver and oak moss enhance the beauty of your visit to this place where the sky meets the city and there is escape for anyone seeking it. Cristalle is marketed as a female perfume yet it is not at all overwhelmingly feminine. I would categorize it as a very bold uni-sex scent. Longevity is good and the silage respectable.

So at last I found the scent that met the challenge, at least for me. I am sure when you look at the works by Roberto Alborghetti you might find a special scent in your perfume wardrobe that it inspires.

To learn more about Roberto and his magnificent art please visit his blog:https://robertoalborghetti.wordpress.com/

“INTO THE PLACE CALLED ‘MEGIDDO’ ” / SPECIAL PREVIEW # 3 OF MY “COLORS OF AN APOCALYPSE” EXHIBIT

ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI - LACER/ACTIONS

ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI – LACER/ACTIONS

16:16
“He gathered them together into the place which is called in Hebrew, Megiddo”.
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“Radunarono I re della terra in un luogo che in ebraico si chiama ‘Armaghedòn’ ”.
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2012, Tela / Canvas/ Mixed media
70×50

This is not a painting or a digitally made picture, but an abstract photo of a decomposed and torn publicity poster (seen in Amsterdam City center)
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My upcoming solo exhibition – “Colors Of An Apocalypse 2015″ – will take place in the amazing Romanesque Baptistery on Lake Como, Italy, on July 3-4-5, in the beautiful Lenno town.
The Baptistery stands 50 meters from the lake shore and it’s considered one of the most stunning examples of Romanesque art in Northen Italy. Dedicated to St. John (The Baptist) it was built in the 11th Century. Its octagonal structure looks incredibly simple and essential: we see a squared bell tower and an apse pointed to north. The vault, the portal with three archs, fragments of medieval frescos and a baroque pictorial cycle are other interesting elements of the temple.
The octagonal Baptistery and its enchanting structure will give strenght and evocative power to my exhibition which will show 25 works from my “Lacer/actions” project. Each artwork will be introduced by a phrase from “The Apocalypse of John”. Images and words to suggest a trip through hopes and tragedies of human life and beings.

“A FLAME OF FIRE” / SPECIAL PREVIEW # 2 FROM MY UPCOMING “COLORS OF AN APOCALYPSE” EXHIBIT

F 2

ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI,  LACER-ACTIONS, CANVAS

© ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI, LACER-ACTIONS, CANVAS

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1:14

His eyes were like a flame of fire. Aveva gli occhi ardenti come fuoco. * 2010, Tela / Canvas/ Mixed media 62×42

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This is not a painting or a digitally made picture,

but an abstract photo of a torn and decomposed publicity poster  

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My upcoming solo exhibition – “Colors Of An Apocalypse 2015″ – will take place in the amazing Romanesque Baptistery on Lake Como, Italy. My show is scheduled for 3 days, on July 3-4-5,  in the beautiful Lenno town, in the historical center –  50 meters from the lake shore! – where we admire one of the most stunning examples of Romanesque art in Northen Italy.   COLORI DI UN'APOCALISSE - COLORS OF AN APOCALYPSE SHOW, 2015 The Baptistery is dedicated to St. John (The Baptist) and built in the 11th Century. Its octagonal structure looks incredibly simple and essential: we see a squared bell tower and an apse pointed to north. The vault, the portal with three archs, fragments of medieval frescos and a baroque pictorial cycle are other interesting elements of the temple. The octagonal Baptistery and its enchanting structure will give strenght and evocative power to my exhibition which will show 25 works from my “Lacer/actions” project. Each artwork will be introduced by a phrase  from “The Apocalypse of John”. Images and words to suggest a trip through hopes and tragedies of human life and beings.

“COLORS OF AN APOCALYPSE”: THE OFFICIAL FLYER OF MY NEXT SOLO SHOW ON LAKE COMO (ITALY)

COLORI DI UN'APOCALISSE - COLORS OF AN APOCALYPSE SHOW, 2015

COLORI DI UN’APOCALISSE – COLORS OF AN APOCALYPSE SHOW, 2015

The Official Flyer of my next solo exhibition – “Colors Of An Apocalypse″ – taking place in an amazing Romanesque temple, on Lake Como, Italy. My show is exceptionally scheduled for 3 days, on July 3-4-5, 2015, in the beautiful Lenno town, in the historical center –  50 meters from the lake shore – where we admire one of the most stunning examples of Romanesque art in Northen Italy: St. John Baptistery (XI Century), a really beautiful setting for my upcoming show. The image-symbol of the show is a limited-edition silk scarf created for my “Lacer/actions” project with the collaboration of Italian textile designer Bruno Boggia. As you see in the flyer, the silk scarf looks like a dove…It’s a sign of hope, because I think Apocalypse Book in itself is a story of hope…