DI FRAGILITÀ E POTENZA / ON FRAGILITY AND POWER
Federico Gori has devised an atmospheric installation focusing on a large suspended tree, a cork oak over seven metres tall, rising in the courtyard to stand out against the grey stone of the Renaissance colonnade. Around it, the artist has created a sculptural composition consisting of sheets of copper on whose surfaces he captures and displays the impressions of leaves, branches and bark, using a variety of different oxidation processes.
The artist has created a minimal yet highly symbolic landscape that prompts us to reflect on the relationship between man and nature. His work of art is a poetic meditation on two poles: strength and power, pitted against delicacy and fragility (...).
The installation prompts the visitor to reflect on the temporality of nature and on man's effort to dialogue with it through three elements: an oak that lived for forty years, the age of an adult human being, and died before its time; sculptural elements in copper that still bear the indelible marks of perishable organic elements; and the architecture of the Renaissance palazzo, a symbol of man's eternal aspiration to make his mark, to build something that will outlive his own short time here on earth. So the installation hints at two different temporal states that man experiences in his relationship with the cyclical character of nature between life and death: on the one hand, his own mortal nature, on the other, his aspiration to eternity.
Using copper plates, Gori manages to capture the marks of an ephemeral existence in a framework of tension between reality and the image of reality. Using special salts and oxides, the artist speeds up the metal's natural oxidation process as it comes into contact with such natural elements as leaves, branches and bark, which leave visible marks on the material, a shadow to show that they were once there. Geometrical and natural shapes come together in an encounter that took place in a finite time but that leaves its mark on sculptural elements indefinitely. The square shape of each individual module is the expression of a rational logic that dialogues with the forms of the architecture and the seemingly eternal nature of the palazzo's stone. However, these modules gravitate in an irregular spatial grid and they are set at different levels around the roots of the tree, like so many infinite, suspended fragments (...).
In his On Fragility and Power the artist creates a new configuration of Palazzo Strozzi's Renaissance space, achieving a radical and poetic transformation of the visitor's perception of this area. This work is the new contribution to a series of site-specific installations and works of open-air contemporary art designed to allow contemporary art to dialogue with history and with the harmony of Renaissance architecture.
DI FRAGILITA' E POTENZA / ON FRAGILITY AND POWER - copper engraving, natural oxidation, cork oak – environmental dimensions – installation view, Centro di Cultura Contemporanea Strozzina, Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, Italy, 2013. photo credits: Martino Margheri
DI FRAGILITA' E POTENZA / ON FRAGILITY AND POWER - copper engraving, natural oxidation, cork oak – environmental dimensions – installation view, Centro di Cultura Contemporanea Strozzina, Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, Italy, 2013. photo credits: Matthieu Pannier