Stop to souvenir stalls and their spreading commercial colonization in Florence main squares. It is time to step back and re- think over the deeper meaning of historical sites, witnesses of our shared past memory. Let’s public places stop to be misused and turned into soulless and trivial spots. That ‘s the issue of the debate, opened these days, by Mr. Givone, the culture councillor at Palazzo Vecchio, seat of the government of Florence.
“Let the squares in the hands of artists” he says against any dangerously contagious shabbiness. Consequently the cultural, international week Florens 2012, as a part of a broader program, has made an outdoor exhibition center of Piazza Santa Croce.
Mimmo Paladino, one of the most famous artists of the Italian movement called Transavanguardia has set here his installation, a huge holy cross. The event, kicked off on November the third, 2012 is going on up to the 11th . It is meant to be an amazing call, an artistic epiphany, giving back the square its original role and an on-going crusade moving from Santa Croce to the other Florentine squares.
In front of Paladino’s work, both a game by an imaginary cyclops or just a large- scale amusement of a child playing with beach pebbles, visitors curiously stop. In front of the fragmented blocks they are implicitly suggested to reflect on the meaning of the place. The austere monumental cross, made up of Carrara marble blocks, is able to establish a dialogue with the magnificent Franciscan basilica, bordering the square. The variously coloured, shaped blocks, from 2 to 5 feet tall, have been scratched by symbolical signs, faces and limbs thus drawing back to the mysteriously figurative relationship with an archaic memory. The result is a fantastic sacred precincts of primordial times, covered with a thick carpet of white pebbles, magically reflecting, at night, mystical light around. Through the vitality of figurative archetypes, the art of Paladino reproduces, in a contemporary milieu, the original communication of the medieval church which employed symbols and images to reach an illiterate community. Coming back to the roots a bridge between past and present is strongly established.
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