Memory Containers

How is History formed and how can art make it visible? What is important to remember and what to let fall into oblivion? How much can reflection on the past influence and affect our future?

Inspired by the work of Anselm Kiefer and his exhibition at Palazzo Strozzi comes Memory Containers, a project aimed at seven national and international art academies based in Tuscany, with the goal of opening a space for reflection and artistic production through a shared theme.

Young artists, critics and designers are invited to confront the thought of the great German artist, to take in his inspirations, different cultural references, and extend his suggestions through an individual path to enter into the heart of a reflection dedicated to our relationship with History.

Radical polarizations coexist in our age: on the one hand, the phenomenon of cancel culture – in ancient Rome it took the name of damnazio memorie – has initiated a process of removing inconvenient images, characters and symbols, based on the revision of history according to contemporary moral and cultural values; on the other hand, we live with the obsessive need to record what we do and say. Everything we retain – words, images and experiences – must be archived, so as to ensure a copy of our world accessible in a hypothetical future. The sheer volume of this intangible memory is such that immense data centers, the physical locations of the servers that hold our digital memory, are being designed and built.

Students involved in the Memory Containers project will be joined in discovering the exhibition Anselm Kiefer. Fallen Angels at Palazzo Strozzi, will receive research materials, participate in collective review sessions and will be able to explore the theme in its many facets through direct discussion with some of the guests.

The students will have the opportunity to publish their project in Microcosmo Palazzo Strozzi, the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi’s annual magazine that collects a year’s worth of exhibitions and educational projects through the contributions of young artists, curators and graphic designers.

The magazine will be presented at a public event at Palazzo Strozzi, Thursday, July 18, 6 p.m., in the Maria Manetti Shrem Educational Center spaces.

Involved in the project are: Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze (professors Veronica Montanino and Marco Raffaele), Accademia di Belle Arti di Carrara (professors Elmar Giacummo and Mara Nerbano), Accademia Italiana (professors Walter Conti, Franco Fiesoli, Dario Orlandi, Chiara Ruberti), California State University (professor Marsha Steinberg), Fondazione Studio Marangoni (professor Lucia Minunno), LABA Libera Accademia di Belle Arti (professor Matteo Innocenti) and Istituto Marangoni Firenze (professors Carolina Gesti and Davide Daninos).