Tourists storming the Uffizi are now the focus of an exhibition, being held at the Uffizi itself

From July 30 to October 14, 2018, the Uffizi Galleries is offering the Grand Tourismo project: an exhibition by Giacomo Zaganelli featuring tourists storming the museum.

The Uffizi Galleries offers the project "Grand Tourismo," conceived by Giacomo Zaganelli, which will be held in room 56 until Oct. 14, 2018. It is an exhibition that confronts tourists with the distortion of visiting and traveling by digital technology. The project will be presented starting July 30, 2018 just inside the itinerary of the Florentine museum. In fact, it will be a room of the Uffizi, namely room 56 on the second floor, the same one dedicated until a few days ago to the Hellenistic marbles now landed at their new location in the Verone, that will host an exhibition that brings together three videos by the artist: Illusion, Everywhere but nowhere and Uffizi Oggi.

According to Eike Schmidt, the project is “an investigation and at the same time a sociological and psychological research with the aim of making our visitors think about the meaning of tourism and travel, about the meaning of museum visits in the digital age. There are visitors who only photograph the artwork,” the Uffizi director continues, “but without looking directly at it. That is, they miss the enormous opportunity to be in front of works that are unique in the world.”

Schmidt continues: "With the technological innovations of recent decades, and particularly since the arrival of digital photography at our fingertips, museum enjoyment has changed dramatically. The sheer volume of reproductions of the works we preserve is growing exponentially, altering their perception, and even the very behavior of the traveler, a collector of self-made images, is now fundamentally altered. Starting from a reflection inside the Uffizi and centered on its most frequented hall, that of Botticelli’s masterpieces, through Giacomo Zaganelli’s interpretation we wanted to draw attention to a phenomenon that, by changing the relationship between viewer and work of art, implies a rethinking of the functions of the museum itself."

Grand Tourismo features, as anticipated, three videos made by Zaganelli: Illusion, Everywhere but Nowhere, in which the Palazzo Strozzi is literally pelted by tourists equipped with electronic devices, and Uffizi Oggi, considered the true manifesto of the event, as it witnesses tourist visits to the Uffizi hall that holds Botticelli’s world-renowned masterpieces such as the “Birth of Venus” and the "Primavera," all filmed on any given Sunday of visits to the Galleries.

The objective of Zaganelli, a Florentine with international experience to his credit, is to solicit a reflection on the identity of current tourism and in particular on the habit of filtering the observation of the work of art (and not only) through the lens of smartphones, cameras, and cameras. The exhibition is curated by Schmidt himself together with Chiara Toti.

Tourists storming the Uffizi are now the focus of an exhibition, being held at the Uffizi itself
Tourists storming the Uffizi are now the focus of an exhibition, being held at the Uffizi itself

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