Palazzo Strozzi in Florence hosts a major exhibition devoted to Tomás Saraceno, whose multi-disciplinary practice encompasses art, social life, and science. “Tomás Saraceno. Aria“, curated by Arturo Galansino, greets visitors with a site-specific installation in the institution’s courtyard comprised of large, reflective spheres. The piece embodies Saraceno’s interest in challenging our approach to environmental issues by envisioning a future free from borders and fossil fuels. It is ideally propelled by the interdisciplinary artistic community initiated by the artist titled, “Aerocene”. The sculpture builds on Saraceno’s research into solar balloons capable of floating using only the heat of the sun. It encourages visitors to rethink the way we inhabit our planet in a poetic way.
The exhibition at Palazzo Strozzi is organized around Saraceno’s “arachnomancy” cards — a set of thirty-three cards that pay homage to the interconnectedness of all things. Viewers are invited to consider the spider and its web, where the “arachnomancy” determine and announce each room in the exhibition. The composition composes new threads that connect otherwise disparate elements.
Saraceno’s “arachnomancy” cards aid in transforming the palazzo into an arena of experimentation and participation, and a pathway to imaginative experiences. Visitors are urged to rethink the ways in which humans inhabit the planet now and in the future. The artist also focuses on prioritizing practices of multispecies care, over anthropocentric ideologies.
The exhibition continues with large-scale installations, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in evocative settings suggesting alternative futures.
“Connectome” is a set of suspended sculptures that suggest weaire-phelan geometries — a complex 3-dimensional structure representing an idealized foam of equal-sized bubbles.
“Sounding the air” and “webs of at-tent(s)ion” contain the sensorial worlds of spiders and webs and the elemental atmospheres they compose; “how to entangle the universe in a spider web?” is a study into the relationship between dimensions, as communicated by a spiderweb; “particular matter(s) jam session” and “aerographies” are both installations that look into the connections between cosmic dust and the dust that litters our planet and lungs; meanwhile, “a thermodynamic imaginary” is an absorbing experience of the universe’s desire to defy scale; and finally “flying garden” forms a sculptural provocation that seeks to displace our conventional notions of boundaries and territories.
Photographies by: ® studio tomás saraceno 2020
® ela bialkowska, OKNO studio 2020