Radical Utopias

Beyond Architecture: Florence 1966–1976

Mercato Centrale hosts Urboeffimero by UFO

Domenico Montano, managing director of Mercato Centrale Firenze, speaks of collaboration with the exhibition Radical Utopias as “a new encounter with artists and architects that reintroduces the Mercato Centrale’s desire to create accessible opportunities for the use of art and culture. A reflection on the art of today and on the contemporary city that will go on.”

It is within this context that the fourth contemporary art event at the Mercato Centrale has seen the project and relationship with the city develop: the Mercato Centrale Firenze meets – once again strengthening their ties – Palazzo Strozzi, which from October 20, 2017 to January 21, 2018 will host the exhibition Radical Utopias.

For the exhibition, the Mercato Centrale Firenze will host an installation from the series Urboeffimeri by UFO.

UFO was the most ironic and explosive group in the Florentine radical architecture scene, founded in 1967 during the student protests that involved the Department of Architecture at the University of Florence. In February 1968, they occupied the complex of San Clemente, where they began production on the series Urboeffimeri, inflatable, tube-shaped structures made of polythene that became icons of the student protest movement and used from time to time as instruments of struggle and stimuli for behaviour.

Urboeffimero n.5 (12 meters long) will be suspended over the central aisle of the Mercato Centrale and illuminated by a system of lamps that will make it visible even after dark.
The provocative slogans that distinguished the series of inflatables will be written on the glass façades and throughout the aisles.

Whereas in 1968 the inflatables were placed in iconic locations in the city, like Piazza del Duomo and Piazza della Signoria, for the exhibition, they will be placed in dialogue with the Renaissance architecture of Palazzo Strozzi’s courtyard and with the late 19th-century courtyard at the Mercato Centrale, building a rapport between happening and architecture, art and politics.

Together with Palazzo Strozzi, the Mercato Centrale becomes an important destination and part of a project that narrates the creative revolution, a driving force of the development of the internationally-renowned art.

The challenge facing the Fondazione from the outset has been to bring international quality exhibition and cultural events to Florence and Tuscany.

On the palazzo’s Piano Nobile and in the Strozzina area the Fondazione organises art exhibitions ranging from the art of the ancient world via the Renaissance to the modern and contemporary era.

From: 20 October 2017
To: 21 January 2018


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