The facade of Palazzo Strozzi has been transformed by the acclaimed French contemporary artist JR, who has reinterpreted the frontage of the Renaissance palazzo with a site-specific installation.
“La Ferita” translates from Italian as “The Wound.”
With La Ferita, JR proposes a direct and evocative reflection on accessibility, not only to Palazzo Strozzi but to all cultural sites in this pandemic era.
Palazzo Strozzi becomes the spectacular stage for a symbolic yet painful wound suffered by all cultural institutions both in Italy and abroad: museums, libraries, cinemas and theatres forced either to restrict audience access or to shut down altogether.
Looking “inside”Palazzo Strozzi also has the makings of an act of voyeurism designed to reveal that which cannot be seen: the depiction of a reality that goes beyond what one can customarily behold.
“La Ferita” imagines the Renaissance palazzo with a deep wound or gash revealing the interior of the building with some of Florence’s most iconic artworks occupying the space.
Measuring 28 metres tall and 33 metres wide, this monumental photographic collage installation covers the primary façade of the Palazzo Strozzi and 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.
Rising 28 metres high and 33 metres wide, JR’s high-impact installation offers a sort of crosssection of Palazzo Strozzi, which is real and imaginary at the same time.
Designed as a black-and-white photographic collage, in accordance with the artist’s hallmark style, the installation is constructed as anamorphosis, an illusion that, when observed from a certain point of view, opens up various spaces of Palazzo Strozzi (the colonnade in the courtyard, an imaginary exhibition hall and a library), as if one were actually inside the wound.
By referencing a real place like the library of the Institute of Renaissance Studies, the French artist provides a forthright reflection on the accessibility to cultural centres during the pandemic.
Project: The Wound
Client: Palazzo Strozzi
Photographers: Valeria Raniolo