Ejzenštejn. The Image Revolution

Sergei Ejzenštejn, The Image Revolution, the Uffizi Gallery, Florence

On at the Uffizi in Florence the first ever exhibition commemorating the seventh art, cinema. For this debut the Uffizi curators have chosen Soviet film director and theorist Sergei Mikhailovich Ejzenštejn, renowned for his epic silent film Battleship Potemkin.

Ejzenštejn, The Image Revolution, the Uffizi Gallery, Florence

On until January 7th, the Uffizi Gallery commemorates the hundred years of the Russian Revolution with the graphic works of one of the greatest cultural revolutionaries of the 20th century. Ejzenštejn, a pioneer in the use of montage, had and still has a major impact on filmmakers with both his writings and films.

Ejzenštejn, The October Revolution, the Uffizi Gallery, Florence

The exhibition explores the many facets of Ejzenštejn’s talent ranging from his activity as a designer to his work as a film director. On show seventy-two drawings, mostly all produced by Ejzenštejn between the early 1930s and 1948, which represent the constant flow of ideas that inspired his films. Observing the drawings, actually silhouettes, one can notice a tight, linear technique that echoes the 14th and 15th centuries, yet also completely shares the artistic climate of his day with its echoes of Surrealism and of Neo-Expressionist distortions.

Ejzenštejn, his drawings, the Uffizi Gallery, Florence

Ejzenštejn’s cinematographic material has also been arranged in the exhibition so as to conduct a stimulating dialogue both with the art of the past and with his approach to editing. On one hand, details and scenes from Strike, Battleship Potemkin, Alexander Nevsky and Ejzenštejn’s other masterpieces mixed with particular details from Leonardo da Vinci’s Adoration of the Magi and Last Supper and from Paolo Uccello’s Battle of San Romano, revealing significant similarities. On the other hand, the films develop a journey that visually recounts Ejzenštejn’s editing, in a “crescendo” leading from the rapid, individual shots in the first room via the frames in the second to the complete sequences in the third and fourth. The fifth room marks the apex of the director’s life and career, his final drawings combining and contrasting with the ironic, everyday images of Ejzenštejn the man taken from a series of archive videos specially selected and assembled for the occasion.

Ejzenštejn, The Russian Revolution, the Uffizi Gallery, Florence

The exhibition is included in the price of the Uffizi ticket, 12,50 Euros. Opening hours from 8.15 am to 6.50 pm.

 

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