Marinella Senatore's illuminations invade the Renaissance courtyard of Palazzo Strozzi

With the project 'We Rise by Lifting Others,' Marinella Senatore invades the Renaissance courtyard of Palazzo Strozzi with a work inspired by the illuminations of the South.

Entitled We Rise by Lifting Others, the project that Italian artist Marinella Senatore (Cava de’ Tirreni, 1977) is presenting from Dec. 3, 2020, to Feb. 7, 2021, in the courtyard of Palazzo Strozzi in Florence. Senatore was sent by Palazzo Strozzi to propose a reflection on the idea of community, closeness and relationship in an age when distancing is conditioning everyone’s daily life. Here, then, is what Senatore imagined for the courtyard of the Renaissance palace: a work inspired by the traditional folk illuminations of Southern Italy (which in the south are occasions for sociability), decorated with phrases on the concepts of emancipation, inclusion and participation. The exhibition is curated by Arturo Galansino, general director of the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, and the work is also accompanied by a program of participatory workshops, focusing on the idea of social activation and community building through performance practice. During the meetings, participants will collaborate on the production of a collective reflection that, starting from the courtyard installation and the contents of the sentences, will take the form of a dialogic, performative and visual work.

We Rise by Lifting Others is a work specially made for Palazzo Strozzi, in collaboration with artisans from Puglia: more than ten meters high, it is composed of hundreds of LED lights, and invades the Renaissance proportions of the palace by recalling southern popular culture (as well as the social structures of southern Italian society), in ways that have always been at the heart of the artist’s research.

“I imagine my works,” Marinella Senatore declares, “as fluid containers conceived taking into account the specific ’environment’ in which they develop and based on a potentially infinite inclusion of the elements involved. For me, art is a horizontal platform on which different but equally valuable elements generate energetic movement and thus shared narrative.”

“Contemporary art is an integral part of Palazzo Strozzi’s identity and stands as a stimulus for a dialogue with the city and its communities,” says Arturo Galansino. “Hosting at Palazzo Strozzi an artist celebrated for her social and participatory practices such as Marinella Senatore becomes an opportunity to reappropriate a renewed sense of union, closeness and encounter at a time when these concepts are being challenged, adapting to today but with an eye to the future. We want to dedicate this project to a special person who recently passed away, Donatella Carmi Bartolozzi, our board member, who had enthusiastically supported this initiative.”

The project is promoted and organized by Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi with the support of the City of Florence, Tuscany Region, Florence Chamber of Commerce, Fondazione CR Firenze, and the Palazzo Strozzi Partners Committee. The installation remains visible to the public, free of charge, in the Courtyard of Palazzo Strozzi every day from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Marinella Senatore's illuminations invade the Renaissance courtyard of Palazzo Strozzi
Marinella Senatore's illuminations invade the Renaissance courtyard of Palazzo Strozzi

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