To tie in with the Ai Weiwei. Libero exhibition, the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi’s Education Department has devised a special project entitled Oggetti Politici / Political Objects for students of the Italian and international art academies operating in Florence.
Art and politics are inseparable for Ai Weiwei: his work is at once the symbol and the tool of his struggle against repression, injustice and censorship. The idea behind the Oggetti Politici / Political Objects is to use the Chinese artist’s work as a parameter for analysing the relationship between the practice of art, activism and society, thus turning the Palazzo Strozzi exhibition into a forum for debate capable of generating critical interpretation, of activating creative processes and of exploring political and social issues.
The project, lasting from October to January, will consist of several different phases:
students will receive material for exploring the issues in greater depth, take part in guided tours of the exhibition, meet artists Gaetano Cunsolo and Justin Randolph Thompson – whose artistic research focuses precisely on the relationship between art and politics – and develop a shared working platform that will eventually lead to the creation of a publication devoted to the project as a whole, inspired by Ai Weiwei’s own Black, White and Grey Books. Teachers involved in the project will work on the theme with their students in accordance with their regular teaching methods and practices, producing works, critical essays, documentation and graphic projects that will then be built into the final publication.
The students of the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze and Laba – Libera Accademia di Firenze will present the publication containing all the work produced, in the course of a public launch at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze in February 2017.
Oggetti Politici / Political Objects is produced in cooperation with:
Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze (Gianni Pozzi)
LABA Firenze (Maurizio di Lella)
Lorenzo De’ Medici (Gianluca Maver)
New York University (Scott Palmer)
SACI (Daria Filardo)
artists Gaetano Cunsolo and Justin Randolph Thompson
Image: Taxi Window Crank, 2012
Courtesy the artist and Galleria Continua, San Gimignano/Beijing/Les Moulins/Habana