To reconnect with the audience, every designer should add emotional value to their creations. Every month, a new tool or visual strategy used by the students at Istituto Marangoni Firenze is selected and commented on by the Editorial staff of I’M Firenze Digest. This May, we showcase the collection of undergraduate student Greta Peccia from the Fashion Design & Accessories course at Istituto Marangoni Firenze.
by Viktoriia Stanieva. Cover image: Greta Peccia, Reminiscenza, 2021
For this project, Greta Peccia took inspiration from her journey into her memories. She was striving to communicate a message everyone could relate to. The collection represents feelings and emotions, the common language each human uses to express their mood and condition. Her designs involve a massive spectrum of emotions and feelings, using garments to communicate the contrast between repressed and expressed feelings. Greta’s primary urge is “to take the risk of experiencing all types of emotions we have under our skin”. During her flat’s renovation works, Greta Peccia got inspired by the chaos and used the theme of deconstruction for her collection. She did her primary research work by taking pictures of this location and then reworked the materials and volumes around her back then. Meanwhile, her mother acted as a “mannequin” for her manipulations.
Greta Peccia, Reminiscenza, 2021
The scenery was highly symbolic, as the disrupted apartment under construction was a metaphor for the person who had to ruin the facade to express their feelings. We can also see the character’s self-reflection in many photos, either from the metallic plate or the mirrors.
Greta Peccia, Reminiscenza, 2021
The garments in her collection consist of unique shapes and materials. These shapes evoke the overwhelming sense of suffocating from clogging our feelings. For example, the rope tied around the body stand for blocked, silenced emotions, while voluminous plastic bags recall ample freedom of movement.
The exhibition “Women in Balance 1955/1965” celebrates the figure of Wanda Miletti Ferragamo and the women that contributed to a significant change in Italian society during the economic boom. Displayed at Museo Salvatore Ferragamo, the project was curated by Stefania Ricci and Elvira Valleri. From 1960 until she died in 2018, Wanda Miletti Ferragamo was the creative mind behind the Salvatore Ferragamo brand. After the death of her husband Salvatore, she decided to make an unusual choice for that time: she continued her husband’s business, transforming the women’s shoe company into a fashion house. Like many other women during the economic boom, Wanda Miletti Ferragamo searched for a balance between her private and working life, as the exhibition title suggests.
by Viola Pinori. Cover image: Claire Tabouret, Wanda Ferragamo, 2022, acrylic and ink on paper, Museo Salvatore Ferragamo, Florence.
BETWEEN PRIVATE AND WORKING LIFE
The first room we see when we enter the museum is the one dedicated to an idealised reproduction of Wanda Ferragamo’s office in Palazzo Spini Feroni: the desk is filled with family photographs, then there is the notepad where she used to write her ideas and the “W” bag that Fiamma Ferragamo, the first daughter of Wanda and Salvatore, designed for her mother. It is a very intimate space that becomes even more private thanks to a video of Wanda Ferragamo telling about the most significant moments in her life: the first time she met Salvatore, their wedding, and her choice to run the company. The actual historical context of the financial boom years is what comes in the next space. In this period, Italian families changed completely: many people moved from the countryside to big cities, which caused the birth of the so-called “nuclear family”, consisting of two parents and two children. Some videos of these years allow us to perceive the diversity of women’s ideas about their jobs: some preferred to take care of their families, while others wanted to affirm themselves through their careers.
In the Women and work section, we find examples of women who played crucial roles in the Italian economy thanks to their creativity and hard work: these include the Fontana sisters, fashion designers for the fashion house of the same name, Angela Maria Barbizzoli from Campari, the entrepreneur who took control of her husband’s company after his death, just as Wanda Ferragamo, and the Giussani sisters, who invented the famous Italian comic Diabolik.
The section dedicated to artist Giosetta Fioroni makes us understand even more the importance of women’s work in those years: she gets inspired by everyday images, art history references and private life, creating a connection with her life that she represents with symbols, words and the iconic silver colour in her paintings. All of these women contributed to a significant change in Italian society that finally started to look at the female identity from a different point of view: a new woman, able to reach success thanks to her ideas and skills.
A DOMESTIC SPACE
The entire exhibition is arranged as a domestic space, thanks to the work of scenographer Maurizio Balò. Between 1955 and 1965, the home started to become a private space to personalise. Women would decide how to arrange and decorate each room, especially the kitchen; it was where modernity met tradition, with new, colourful American-style furniture blending with Italian culinary traditions, as Wanda Ferragamo’s cookbook at the centre of the room suggests.
Another space inevitably linked to the feminine sphere is the teenagers’ bedroom: a safe area where young women could be alone or with their best friends, where they could express themselves and speak about their feelings, fears, and adventures. Today this is not so different from the past: the bedroom remains a private place, perhaps with fewer CDs or posters, but it still expresses teenagers’ identity, keeping memories, interests, ambitions, and dreams.
The connection with the present becomes even more evident thanks to the documentary Women in balance: today by Davide Rampello, where women of our times, aged from 18 to 35, are interviewed to talk about their relationship with home and work, identity and family, gender equality and the changes in society, highlighting the contrast between the role of women in the past and today.
Other collateral projects include a book about Wanda Miletti Ferragamo, Nel Libro Rosso di Tà. La vita di Wanda Ferragamo. It tells the story of Wanda Ferragamo through the eyes of her granddaughter Ginevra Visconti, who felt the necessity to reveal something more about the intimate side of the woman who started to rule her husband’s great business from one day to the next.
“A Feminine Lexicon” is an online exhibition aiming to generate a contemporary dialogue with “Women in Balance 1955-1965”. Curated by Pia Diamandis and Elena Tortelli, two Arts Curating students at Istituto Marangoni Firenze, the curatorial project gathers works by eleven female contemporary artists who explore the connection between language and identity through their own lexicons. Finally, Salvatore Ferragamo also partnered with the Ethical Fashion Initiative (EFI) to improve the social and economic conditions of women in Burkina Faso, encouraging women’s independence and empowerment.
BIG OR SMALL OBJECTIVES
Learning the story of Wanda Ferragamo and women during the economic boom can help us open our eyes and compare the society where we live with the one of the past: those women taught us that it takes small steps to achieve big goals. My generation shouldn’t forget this because, as Wanda Ferragamo wrote, “One must set objectives, big or small, because they are the driving force that gets us out of bed every morning.”
“If you have an idea in your mind, just allow yourself to let it out. Don’t be afraid of problems. Try to solve them because there is always a solution.” Enigmatic and instantly overwhelming. This is Violante Valdettaro, Head of Heritage and Archive at Maison Valentino. In this interview, held during a special lecture moderated by Tutor Francesco Brunacci at Istituto Marangoni Firenze, she expresses how the fashion house’s essence and roots have now become her lifeblood. She analyses with surgical eyes every organ of the archive. Enshrined in a delicate body, all Maison Valentino’s Heritage and Archive elements may look distant from each other. In reality, what unites them is a blood bond whose colour is the one and only: Valentino red.
by Martina Lucchesi. Cover image: Valentino Garavani’s 90th birthday, Teatro Sociale di Voghera, 2022. Courtesy Valentino.
IMF: What is your job?
VV: Now, after dealing with Sophia Loren and Elizabeth Taylor, I’m in charge of the heritage and archives of Maison Valentino. We can define the archive as a world of its own; it is an immense amount of apparently different things, but everything is clearly connected on a deeper level. Sketches, photos, videos and fabrics are the highlights. Our archive contains sixty years of fashion, from the first collection in 1959 to the present, so it grows every day. What you did yesterday becomes part of an archive.
IMF:What are you dealing with in your everyday?
VV: I’m still dealing with fashion shows – the worst! The world of fashion shows has changed over the years. People would come from around the globe to see our collection in the past, and there clearly was a mediatic side to it. Today it’s exactly the opposite; the best way to see the collection is from home because you have the opportunity to analyse everything in detail. So it is a struggle in a way because if you have many people following from home, you have a small attendance. It’s just a people match. Fashion needs to use fashion shows as a tool to communicate.
IMF:Can you share an episode or a memory from your work that you are fond of?
VV: The memory of a campaign that will always live with me is SS 2016. The collection was African inspired, so we went to Amboseli National Park, between Kenya and Tanzania. We wanted a photographer who had a different feeling and perspective, so we chose Steve McCurry. He knew just nothing about fashion. Suddenly, there was a sandstorm; obviously, he was ecstatic, and the pictures were breathtaking.
IMF: What is the power of the Valentino Archive?
VV: I think it lies in meticulous attention to detail. It’s like an obsession because whatever is in the archive is documented in every aspect: the season a dress comes from, who wore it and what inspired it. For example: the inspiration was flowers, but what are ‘flowers’ and what kind of flowers? Tulips, daffodils, roses…the options are infinite! The world of inspiration is like a maze where it is a pleasure to lose and find yourself again.
IMF: If everything in the archive needs to be documented, can we say that archiving is like an act of love, something precious to take care of?
VV: Undoubtedly, I’m sure of that. The fact of documenting, of bringing to light the history of that garment or accessory is an act of love. It’s an act of love because it means generating a second life, bringing back something already existed before. A distinctive aspect of the archive is how past and future are just one entity.
IMF: So the next questions come naturally: how can a heritage so important, which reflects a definite identity, influence the future?
VV: Everything is connected, so even time is connected. Past, present and future live in perfect balance; they constantly feed and kill each other. The past is already influencing the future, and although it may seem absurd, the past is already influenced by the future. So, the archive and the heritage have the power to influence the future, its colours, shades, and soul. Future, if we want to call it that.
IMF: Do you think all things in the archive (sketches, photos, fabrics…) are connected? Is there a fil rouge?
VV: There is a fil rouge. There is continuity in these sixty years of fashion, perceived and experienced through different eyes. Everyone can take something and analyse it through their lenses. Take a look at the past and you will see continuity. It’s like something in your blood.
IMF: What is the soul of the fashion house’s heritage and archive?
VV: Obviously what constantly moves the archive’s flow is research. Research is the most critical factor behind the seven thousand clothes and accessories we have there. This is the real soul of the archive. Archives, for me, are like paradise. You see beauty, at least by my standards. How can you complain? It’s intoxicating, and now I can’t live without it anymore.
IMF: Why does a massive archive like Valentino’s attract people?
VV: It attracts because every detail reveals the essence of the fashion house. From the inspiration to the sketches and the finished garment, you can breathe ‘THE’, not just ‘SOME’, seduction. Like it or not, Valentino seduces. It’s a fact. On a deeper level, this ability to attract lies in the people who are the label’s soul. Every person brings a new perspective because my hand is different from yours. There is a strong feeling that comes out of everyone’s soul. We are watching something real, of course, but at the same time, so ephemeral and untouchable. Blurred. Do you really need this skirt? No, but do you really need to dream? Yeah.
IMF: What is your vision of today’s fashion?
VV: My constant research is based on quality first. Today’s digital and immaterial world allows us to see many things, but the real question is, ‘What is behind it? Is there quality, or is it just an image?’ It looks great to me on a superficial level, but if you look closer, it lacks essence.
IMF: Do you have any advice for a generation of young creatives?
VV: First, think well about what you really want to do. Don’t be afraid of problems. Try and solve them because there is always a solution. If you have an idea in your mind, just allow yourself to let it out. We like a challenge, don’t we? So don’t say no to everything. Just go ahead.
NFTs and Crypto Art are the highlights of “Let’s Get Digital!”, the exhibition about the digital revolution in the art world hosted at Palazzo Strozzi. Curated by Director Arturo Galansino and Serena Tabacchi, the exhibition aims to create a connection between the audience and the most recent evolution of digital art. Entrepreneur, curator and writer Serena Tabacchi is the director of MoCDA, the Museum of Contemporary Digital Art. The Editorial staff of I’M Firenze Digest has recently had the opportunity to ask her some questions about the revolution of NFTs, their sustainability, and their impact on the new generations of artists.
By Viola Pinori. Cover image: Beeple (Mike Winkelmann), Everydays: BULL RUN, 2020. Video files (NFT). RFC Collection – Pablo Rodriguez-Fraile & Desiree Casoni. Courtesy of the artist
I’MF: “Let’s Get Digital!” is one of the first and most comprehensive exhibitions dedicated to theNFTs revolution in Italy. When did you first learn about NFTs?
ST: I learned about NFTs back in 2017-2018, and I was very fascinated by the potential of this technology at first. Not just for the art sector, but more in general for how we share our data and life experiences. Art was one of the first fields applied to NFTs alongside the financial sector, followed by gaming, fashion, music and, more recently, the metaverse. It’s a new paradigm that helps creatives work more independently and create a community for themselves. For this reason, I was always fascinated by it. Because it changes how art and culture circulate and get appreciated.
I’MF: Recently, some doubts have been raised about the sustainability of NFTs, especially when we talk about their production process and carbon footprint. Can you share your views on this issue?
ST: This industry has indeed caused a lot of interest, so the increase of artists and collectors has impacted energy consumption. That said, we should be mindful of the actual developments of this technology and what platforms and enterprises are doing to reduce their carbon footprint. Currently, global air conditioning consumes sixteen times more than the blockchain itself [https://www.lavoce.info/archives/93103/blockchain-quanto-pesa-il-consumo-di-energia/ ].
The so-called proof-of-work,the process behind the traditional blockchain system (Bitcoin, Ethereum), uses computational power to perform any action, like mining a block on the chain or creating an NFT. With the surge of new systems to govern block creation, the proof-of-stake method can drastically reduce energy consumption thanks to a governance system based on the staking of tokens (power) instead of computational work as a control source. My hope for the future is to encourage the tech community and big corporations to develop and adopt more sustainable solutions to continue evolving and endorsing a responsible use of NFTs, which are definitely here to stay. See current projects built on Tezos, Algorand and Polygon for green/greener chains solutions and art projects.
I’MF: “NFT”, “blockchain”, “Crypto Art ”… These are the keywords that define this exhibition and that, however, are not entirely familiar to everyone. How do you think the audience will react to such an original lexicon?
ST: These words may be unknown to many, but they are becoming more and more familiar to most of us… The way art tells us about a new future, merged with technology, is nothing new to us. Leonardo, for instance, was a painter and a scientist; his works embed many references. The same goes for NFTs; whether the aesthetics can be challenging at times, the pieces are often available to the audience as a gateway to a new reality closely linked to the current state-of-the-art. I expect the audience to enter the show with an open mind, ready to learn new things in an engaging environment
I’MF: Thanks to NFTs, many contemporary digital artists have had the chance to affirm themselves and showcase their works. Do you think younger generations will be able to do the same?
ST: I believe so. This tech is definitely here to stay, and it’s becoming more accessible and sustainable. Younger generations are already familiar with the concept of digital NFTs concerning art or other types of assets. Institutions are playing a vital role in endorsing and educating around those concepts. The real challenge will be when everybody makes NFTs, and the demand will be insufficient to sustain the market. Mastering the tools, creativity and talent will always emerge and be noticed by the critical mass of art lovers.
Re:mixing the city (might delete later), the new exhibition project that features the collaboration between Multimedia Arts undergraduate students and visual artist Andy Picci, I’M Mentor at Istituto Marangoni Firenze, is now online. Users can experience the project on the I’M Firenze Digest digital Exhibition platform and throughout the city of Florence through the digital lens of Augmented Reality. It explores Florence’s iconic landmarks, chosen for their relationship to the history of fashion, to install digital sculptures by Multimedia Arts students through AR filters on Instagram.
By Giulia Piceni. Cover image: Sofie Engelschiøn, I love you, 2022.
Like fashion, art is driven by an insatiable hunger for newness through a constant redefinition of itself. The pandemic has transformed the way we relate to screens, which has been an opportunity for various artistic areas (and not only) to redefine their goals and mediums. With the project Re:mixing the city (might delete later), second-year Multimedia Arts students and visual artist and mentor Andy Picci have traced a new level of interaction between the real and digital worlds, supported by other Arts Curating students from the same course. The purpose was to combine two opposite creative spheres through a new experience. Florence’s traditional and unexpected landmarks have been chosen as a venue for digital and animated sculptures for their connection to fashion history.
The audience can evoke and experience artworks with Instagram filters, a new tool that manipulates reality to share unique contrasts between intangible contemporary digital technology and the imposing past. It is a new way to experience Florence, remixing the past with the present, fashion history and the artworks of a new generation.
There are two complementary ways to experience the project: using the I’M Firenze Digest platform as an exhibition guide, catalogue, and documentation, or exploring Florence through your Instagram lens to evoke digital sculptures in seven locations across the city.
Everywhere, Here, Nowhere is the final Fashion & Art show for the graduating class of 2022 at Istituto Marangoni Firenze, displaying the works of the best Multimedia Arts and Fashion Design students together. The exclusive event will take place at Museo Marino Marini Firenze at 9 pm CET on 15 June 2022. The physical event will be by invitation only, with a live stream available online for a broader audience to join starting at 9.30 pm CET on Instagram or Facebook. The interdisciplinarity that defines Istituto Marangoni Firenze, the School of Fashion & Art, will take the attendants on a spatial journey from here to there and nowhere, through the digital, physical, and phy-gital space of our time.
Being the final art and fashion show for the graduating class of 2022, Everywhere, Here, Nowhere is the first time the two events will be held together. The event explores the space between digital and physical that connects art and fashion in service of young talents. This event is the culmination of Istituto Marangoni Firenze‘s blend of academic courses, presenting a synergic union between the artworks and the fashion collections of the school’s best upcoming artists and designers. The hosting venue, Museo Marino Marini, embodies the event’s concept of liminality, with Everywhere, Here, Nowhere being a space that transitions between borders and boundaries. Museo Marino Marini was initially a Renaissance church, later converted into an art museum; it is a place to experience the art of 20th Century Italian sculptor Marino Marini, whose primitivist works are still suspended in time and space. Museo Marino Marini will now host an event including art and fashion, spatially between virtual and physical reality.
BETWEEN EVERYWHERE, HERE, AND NOWHERE
The event will also be held as a journey through the different floors of the museum, with the art show entrance occupying the museum’s basement and the catwalk on the floor above it. Everywhere, Here, Nowhere celebrates our contemporary idea of realism, one that perceives a multifaceted reality straddling spaces that are physical, digital, or phy-gital – a mix of the two. The show will feature a series of AI generated projection mapping produced by Monogrid on the walls of Museo Marino Marini, where images of nature reassembled through machine learning interacts with the room and the attendees, highlighting the technological mediation that we perceive in visual culture today. The fashion show will showcase creations by the Best students graduating in Fashion Design in 2022, selected by an international jury. The catwalk will feature sound design by Emiliano Zelada, artist and Tutor at Istituto Marangoni Firenze, whose work emulates AI, translating inputs and stimuli into sound sequences. The art exhibition features a lineup of digital video works by the year’s Best students graduating in Multimedia Arts. During the three-year programme, they learned to use different phy-gital tools to translate their realities of being Everywhere, Here, Nowhere at the same time.
Displayed in the crypt of Museo Marino Marini, the space and the atmosphere of the peculiar physical space will play an essential role in the exhibition experience. Low natural illumination and the event’s evening schedule will bring out the resulting digital spaces, an immersive reality parallel to our own, dark yet intimate.
Everywhere, Here, Nowhere looks forward to welcoming you in its in-between space, physically by invitation only at Museo Marino Marini Firenze at 9 pm CET or online by joining the live stream at 9.30 pm CET on Instagram or Facebook.
I’M Firenze Digest has made interdisciplinary work a trademark of its editorial activity. It has become a publication covering multiple areas from visual arts, fashion, design, and cinema to digital innovation, the latest technologies, and sustainability. Would you like to stay updated on the latest news about art, fashion, and new technologies? By subscribing to the I’M Firenze Digest newsletter, you will have regular access to selected articles and projects available on the I’M Firenze Digest website, chosen by the journal’s Editorial team.
By I’MF Editorial Staff.
A new feature has arrived in May to improve readers’ experience: the I’M Firenze Digest newsletter. By becoming a member of our community, you’ll get in touch with a diverse selection of sources of inspiration to nourish your mind with positive inputs and learnings. You’ll find articles and news about I’M Firenze Digest’s latest activities, such as unique digital exhibitions, interviews, exhibition, and movie reviews.
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Florentine fashion designer Stefano Chiassai keeps his memories in a place frozen in time. In a building located in San Giovanni Valdarno, near Florence, TheCube Archive mirrors Chiassai’s life. It houses a selection of about 15,000 items dating back to the designer’s personal and professional archive. Each item narrates faces, places and atmospheres that shaped Chiassai’s creativity and essence. Each garment is a part of CAOSORDINATO, the designer’s first book, featuring the garments, analysed through a vision that moves beyond a rugged appearance. CAOSORDINATO is a disruptive photograph, an analysis of the past, present and future. The first-year students of Fashion Styling of Istituto Marangoni Firenze were able to visit TheCube Archive, and immerse themselves in the waters of CAOSORDINATO and connect their vision with Chiassai’s. TheCube Archive attracts like a siren song. There is only one rule: you need to listen.
By Martina Lucchesi.
CHAOS AND ORDER. ORDER AND CHAOS.
CAOSORDINATO and TheCube Archive. Two entities, two apparently distant lives, overwhelming and intoxicating. Internal, visceral, chaos with its order, collected in a fascinating mystery; viceversa, order has some melancholic chaos within itself. CAOSORDINATO is in Stefano Chiassai’s blood. A fashion designer of Florentine origin, he presented his men’s collection for the first time at Pitti Uomo in 1986. Today, he translates his vision into Fendi Menswear collections. Places, faces and emotions are the true highlights of the designer’s essence; a mosaic characterised by the charm of imperfection, capable of irreverently leading you into his interiors, with no room for fear of the dark. Sinking into CAOSORDINATO means to abandon oneself to currents, fog and uncertainty; it means to get naked, really.
An act of courage reduced to the bone, intimate as only the truest nakedness can be. Chiassai translates CAOSORDINATO into a shapeless body whose gaze runs on neutral shades and whose hands move between rough textures of refined fabrics. Chaos burns constantly; it escapes from prying eyes and hides the details to avoid our attention. And since it cannot be closed in a cube, Stefano Chiassai decided to do just that.
The personal CAOSORDINATO by the Tuscan designer consists of about 15,000 faces, or rather, 15,000 garments. They are not all of the same age; some date back to the 1800s, while others date to more recent collections. Each one tells a story, a piece of that mosaic that constitutes Chiassai’s being. Inevitably, through their colour and composition, they create an atmosphere that varies according to the eyes of the beholder.
TheCube Archive is their cradle, that undaunted cube containing the story of a life. The four walls reveal a selection of about 3,000 items; mainly divided by theme, they reflect Chiassai’s pure and clear vision as he navigates from the punk London 1970s to the clear waters of the minimalist 1990s.
Everyone watches you; they scan every movement waiting for your last and decisive move. All that remains is up to you; get wholly naked and connect with that gaze that has been able to look at you more deeply. This is how any creative, whether designer or stylist, manages to weave their vision and story into the garments’ own story.
All these stories are amplified through research books and selected fabrics. Anyone who wants to drown in the cosmos of TheCube Archive will always find an unusual sea inhabited by constantly changing garments, so that more luminous glances can stand out in a crowd of shadows. An intimate innovation defines TheCube Archive as a place where you can interpret your own story through the others’; other details, other emotions and other impressions.
Chiassai collected the parts of his CAOSORDINATO with ephemeral delicacy; he fed it, carried it elsewhere, abandoned it in the depths of the deepest sea and finally laid it out in the sunlight. Only in this way, after giving it as a prophet gives his word, can it be defined as chaos in order. Stefano Chiassai cannot exist without CAOSORDINATO. Just as chaos wouldn’t exist without order. Or would it?
Let’s take the elevator. Destination? Strozzina: the underground exhibition venue in Palazzo Strozzi. The NFT world has been unveiled and displayed with all its novelties through the critical eyes of Arturo Galansino, Director of Palazzo Strozzi and curator of the exhibition, together with Serena Tabacchi, Director of MoCDA (Museum of Contemporary Digital Art).
By Giulia Piceni. Cover image: Refik Anadol, Machine Hallucinations – Renaissance Dreams (2022), site-specific installation, Palazzo Strozzi courtyard. AI Data Sculpture, Video loop, LED wall. Courtesy of RAS – Refik Anadol Studio. Photo: Ela Bialkowska, OKNO studio
Even if the Palazzo Strozzi architecture is far in time from our contemporary world, the Florentine cultural institution has the freedom to experiment and play with the present between its walls. Entering its signature courtyard, we are faced with the Refik Anadol installation: a digitised colour- and shape-changing mass of digital particles that move continuously, agitated by a mysterious force. It evolves without end, just like the art world itself. This is the starting point of a new, challenging way of discovering the digital world and expanding its boundaries.
A NEW LEXICON
Descending the underground halls of Strozzina, we meet one of the main characters of the current cryptoart: Beeple. Through his NFTs, he shows all the inconsistencies of the digital art world. With ironic creations, the digital artist himself brings up the following questions: are NFTs real art or not? Are they worth the hype they generate or is it just another way to submit to a system that encourages people to shift their attention to immateriality and create a new profitable situation? A second room hosts a series of definitions to educate the audience about the new non-physical art: blockchain, digital wallet, smart contact, minting, cryptocurrency and metaverse. In the same spot, visitors to the show can also get a POAP (Proof of Attendance Protocol), a free digital badge (in this case, even personalised) that testifies the presence in a specific venue. The POAP was created by Eva Dao, an emerging collective network that aims to connect the digital and physical worlds to expand and make visitors’ experiences even more immersive.
Lights and shadows, newness, and instability about the future: such contrasts are imbued in the video installation by Anyma, a multidisciplinary project of the Italian duo of Matteo Milleri and Alessio de Vecchi. Five video screens materialise in Anyma’s dark image of a raw natural world hybridised with the most sophisticated technology. The installation is also meant to be experienced with a futuristic track that completely immerses the viewer.
All the NFTs in this exhibition are not just digital art but the expression of a global, varied phenomenon that influences how art is sold. Paradoxically, it also questions the main features that set art and average digital creations apart (if there are any). NFTs may be a trend that will last just another year, and after that, nothing will be there except for their memories, or maybe they will continue to shake the art market and win the skeptical critics.
In all this confusion, one this is for sure: the art world has finally found a new question to unfold, giving the young generation of artists a new world to define and new objectives to seek.
I’M Firenze Digest is glad to share the recent news of Grace Wales Bonner being the Guest Designer of Pitti Immagine Uomo no. 102, held in Florence starting June 14th. Pitti Immagine is one of the grandest events for the Italian fashion scene to present new collections, buy materials, network and get inspired for your own creations. Enriched by her English and Jamaican origins, Wales Bonner’s Spring-Summer 2023 collection promises to bring something new to look forward to.
By Viktoriia Stanieva. Image cover: WALES BONNER SS22 Ghana Campaign. Photo: Malick Bodian
English-Jamaican designer Grace Wales Bonner started her namesake menswear label Wales Bonner back in 2014. However, her brand also expanded into womenswear over time. Clearly, her collection strongly reflects both of her upbringings: she manages to mix British-styled sport and casual garments, the funky prints and silhouettes of the 1970s and a colour palette evoking the warm and sunny image of Jamaica. The designer’s talent was widely recognised multiple times: in 2015, she was awarded Emerging Menswear Designer at the British Fashion Awards. In 2016, she won the LVMH Young Designer Prize, and the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund in 2019. Her designs are sold by the most prominent retailers, including Net-A-Porter, Barneys, and Browns. Apart from her brand, Wales Bonner has collaborated for the Dior Resort 2020 collection with creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri to work on a modern version of the iconic New Look silhouette. Following her success, Wales has also curated her institutional exhibition, “A Time for New Dreams”, at Serpentine Galleries, London. Today, Grace Wales Bonner collaborates with Adidas for the Originals collection while running her label and making it recognised worldwide. In June, she will be Guest Designer at Pitti Immagine Uomo no. 102, presenting the Wales Bonner Spring-Summer 2023 collection. “I welcome this special opportunity to express Wales Bonner’s vision of cultural luxury at the historically important institution of Pitti Uomo,” the designer explained. Don’t miss the opportunity to see the premiere of Wales Bonner’s latest collection during Pitti Immagine Uomo no. 102, to be held on 14-17 June 2022 in Florence.
A Feminine Lexicon is an online exhibition curated by Pia Diamandis and Elena Tortelli, students in Arts Curating at Istituto Marangoni Firenze for Museo Salvatore Ferragamo. It will be available starting today, May 20, 2022, at museo.ferragamo.com. The curatorial project A Feminine Lexicon took inspiration from Women in Balance, an exhibition curated by Stefania Ricci and Elvira Valleri that will open at Museo Salvatore Ferragamo today on May 20. While Women in Balance celebrates the history of Italian women during the economic boom, a historical moment of rapid changes for women’s role in society, A Feminine Lexicon will continue the conversation of what is considered feminine today through the works of eleven international contemporary artists.
by IMF News Desk. Cover image: Johanna Toruño, Sisterhood Over Capitalism, Sisterhood is Medicine, 2017. Digital poster. Courtesy of the artist
A Feminine Lexicon aims to involve feminine artists from different backgrounds and cultures, expanding the geographical boundaries from Europe to America, from South Africa to Indonesia, and many more corners of the world, to offer a broader vision of the issues raised in the Women in Balance exhibition. By bringing together different identities and individual stories within the same curatorial setting, an attempt has been made to create a transnational lexicon that is heterogeneous and incomplete, yet able to home in on multiple aspects of contemporary women’s identities.
The digital exhibition is developed through various sections. Three different lexicons were chosen to highlight three subjects shared among the featured artists: the kins, the representations, and the struggles of feminine identities today. These three lexicons are chapters of this digital exhibition, chosen to highlight how feminine identities bond and create ties in and outside their family; how they take control of their narrative, image, and representation; and how they honor their struggles and fights and persevere. Three keywords to create a multifaceted glossary of contemporary feminine identity.
Therefore, please join us today in visiting A Feminine Lexicon at museo.ferragamo.com to experience the works of the following artists:
Monia Ben Hamouda, Stacey Gillian Abe, Helena Hladilová, Lebohang Kganye, ChongYan Liu, Reba Maybury, Alfiah Rahdini, Haruka Sakaguchi, Griselda San Martin, Johanna Toruño, Alice Visentin.
The current exhibition programme at Museo Novecento in Florence is divided into three solo shows, with three great authorial presences, three artists with different expressive languages and a single vocal frequency. On the ground floor, “Quando è il presente” by Giulio Paolini, where works from his most recent production emerge vividly through the museum’s Renaissance architecture. On the second floor, “L’illusione della superficialità,” featuring Filippo de Pisis, presents more than forty canvases by the painter from Ferrara. Finally, “D’après (de Pisis – Paolini)” shows Luca Vitone’s personal take on the two artists’ selected works.
I’MF: What do Vitone, de Pisis and Paolini have in common?
LV: They are three 20th century artists who, more or less, look at their colleagues from the recent and distant past.
I’MF: What do you discover in this dialogue between artists?
LV: A consideration on being artists, on assonances and references, which is why I would say that it is an experience that reflects on one’s own making. It is about looking at others and evaluating what they can express to deepen our research. It is about looking at an ideal place of speculation, that is the studio. At least from my point of view, concerning the works created and dedicated to both Paolini and de Pisis, I would say that the space where they were conceived and produced emerges clearly.
I’MF: What would you say is the main strength of this exhibition?
LV: The concept of dialogue. Three artists from different generations, with similarities and dissimilarities, as each period had its modes of expression. I think the exhibition works because it manages to emphasise this relationship.
I’MF: In three words, how would you like a hypothetical viewer to receive it?
LV: With a lot of curiosity.
I’MF: How did this exhibition affect your career as an artist?
LV: Each exhibition is a leg of a journey and, therefore, a growth process; some leave a more significant mark than others. I can firmly state that I enjoyed myself. It was interesting to have the opportunity to learn more about two authors like Filippo De Pisis and Giulio Paolini. The former because he is a master of the 1930s; he had always intrigued me, and it was great to be able to delve into his work.
The latter was a master for me, albeit not literally, when I was in my twenties in the 1980s. On a personal level, in addition to the satisfaction of being featured in this important exhibition, I was emotionally moved by the opportunity to engage and get in touch with Paolini, dedicate a work to him and get to know him properly. It was a complete, positive and intense experience.
I’MF: Which is a museum or ideal space where you would like to exhibit?
LV: If we think of an ideal space, I would say that it remains part of an intangible imaginary and cannot be expressed in words, so it is oneiric, utopian and confined to the mind.
I’MF: Is there anything you would like to accomplish shortly?
LV: To be in harmony with the present, a cycle of stimuli, to connect entirely with one’s reality and discover the benefits of the chapters to come. I would sum it up by wishing for serenity in the future.