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Urboeffimero

from october 20, 2017
to january 21, 2018
at the Mercato
Centrale Firenze
by UFO
PROJECT ARTE MERCATO
It’s a pleasure and an honour to host URBOEFFIMERO n°5 by UFO inside the Mercato Centrale Firenze. Our collaboration is part of a project that has characterized the Mercato Centrale’s activities since the very beginning, which has already brought to life important projects in our spaces by three of the top names in contemporary art: Daniel Buren, Michelangelo Pistoletto and Ai Weiwei. We began with the very simple idea that the places of everyday life and places of art don’t need to be separate. These days, art is no longer a privileged experience, something to be accessed only in the hallowed halls of museums and galleries, with the illusion, for those not directly involved in the work, of suddenly transforming from individuals immersed in our daily life, routine and social rapports into free and educated consumers of a message of beauty and truth, or into intelligent witnesses of a “unique” revelation, that is, the interior world, outside the ordinary, of the artist. Contemporary art seeks us out, it wants to reach us in the same places we live out our social lives; it asks us to be ready, “open,” at all times, for a dialogue with the forms, images and situations that can introduce into our lives – be it our work, our consumptions, amusement or relationships with others (and with places, histories, conversations) – the buzz for critical thought, the provocation of something “different,” the flutter of the contradictory – the insistent question of the meaning of what we are and what we do, here and now.Domenico Montano
The Mercato Centrale Firenze presents URBOEFFIMERO N.5 by UFO
For the exhibition Radical Utopias: Beyond Architecture: Florence 1966–1976, promoted and organized by the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, Fondazione CR Firenze and the Osservatorio per le Arti Contemporanee, Palazzo Strozzi and the Mercato Centrale Firenze continue their collaboration with two installations from the series Urboeffimeri by the radical group UFO.An exposition that celebrates the extraordinary period of radical architecture in Florence in the 1960s and 70s, which broke with the status quo in those years, making this city the center of a shift in thinking that marked the development of art on an international level.The Urboeffimeri are inflatable, tube-shaped structures made of polythene and graced with sarcastic puns and provocative slogans. Symbols of the student protest movement, they were used from time to time as instruments of struggle and stimuli for behaviour, through statements like “Colgate con Vietcong” and “Potere agli Studenti,” spectacularizing the architecture in the attempt to transform it into an event, an urban and environmental “guerrilla” action.
In 1968, during the student protests in the Department of Architecture at the University of Florence, some models were placed in iconic contexts throughout the city of Florence, like Piazza del Duomo and Piazza della Signoria, representing an alternative way to protest the oppressive power of academia through architecture made of air.In an early celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 1968 student protest movements – which will happen in 2018 – the two Urboeffimeri models made especially for the exhibition Radical Utopias, one in the form of a missile and one shaped like a dollar, will be placed in dialogue with two emblematic locations from Florence’s past and present day: the Renaissance courtyard of Palazzo Strozzi and the late 19th-century courtyard at the Mercato Centrale Firenze, building a rapport between happening and architecture, art and politics.URBOEFFIMERO N.5 is suspended over the central aisle of the Mercato Centrale Firenze. On the sides of the missile, 12 meters long, some of the series’ most common provocative slogans are written in tape. To further contextualize the work, the same slogans are also written on the two glass facades of the Mercato and throughout the aisles.
GLI UFO e la SUPERARCHITETTURA
UFO was the most ironic and explosive group in the radical Florentine architecture scene, founded in 1967 during the student protests that involved the Department of Architecture at the University of Florence. UFO included Carlo Bachi, Lapo Binazzi, Patrizia Cammeo, Riccardo Foresi, Vittorio (Titti) Maschietto and initially Sandro Gioli. Massimo Giovannini, Mario Spinella, Rodolfo Bracci and Claudio Greppi also belonged to the group for a time. After 1972, the group’s activity was personally managed by Lapo Binazzi, custodian of the UFO’s happenings from its foundation to today (1967-2017).The name is no longer the symbol of invincibility; its members have broken away over time. An aspect of precariousness, in addition to evident craftsmanship, have characterized the group’s creations since February 1968, when UFO burst onto the scene installing their “work site” in the university branch in Palazzo San Clemente, occupied by restless architecture students. The common aspiration was to break the long-held rules on composition, to deconstruct the solid relationships between form and function associated with the field of architecture. UFO expanded and amplified a widespread anti-academic and anti-modernist feeling with interventions based on utopian and interdisciplinary motivations, transversality and especially linguistic ambiguity, with spontaneous behaviours and doses of improvisation meant to be demonstrative and communicative.
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