by Gianni Caverni
7 November – 22 November, 2013
The exhibition opens the 2013 SUNY Stony Brook / FUA annual conference, sQuola, 8 – 9 Nov. 2013
In occasion of the academic conference “Florence: A City of Many Appetites”, promoted by sQuola and SUNY / Stony Brook, Florence University of the Arts is pleased to host Florentine Appetites, a photography exhibition by Gianni Caverni, curated by its arts and photography schools. The works on display are visual and hallucinated reflections on Florence under the assault of bulimic tourists; the city however, remains intact, being able to rework this process into healthy appetites. Shown for the second time in the Tuscan capital, with the exclusion of three previously unreleased large formats, the photographs become the mirror of contemporary fluidity, which requires, among other things, presentness, no matter how fleeting and decisive in the moment.
The words by Antonio Natali, introductory to the first public appearance of the images, clarify their meaning and nature.
Giuseppe Bencivenni Pelli, cultured director of the Uffizi during the bright season of the Lorraines, wrote in his journal, in 1787: “I believe that a population accustomed to daily confrontation with beauty, is more intelligent than a population steeped in barbarism.” However, these words must be read while also keeping in mind those written in the same journal nearly a decade later: “We visit the beautiful things for fashion. But, we must not have prejudices to visit a gallery with decency and profit. We need to have a certain taste shaped by the studies, free from prejudices and preconceptions.”
Of these thoughts, I do not find illustration more truthful and poetic than the formal inventions of Gianni Caverni. In front of a civilization attacked (and eventually annihilated) by the cultural industry, Gianni represents a heritage besieged by a convulsive humanity, that recklessly repletes and swerves in front of sublime figurative texts, now reduced to simulacra by a society exclusively devoted to money.
Precisely “preconceptions” and “prejudices,” deliberately created and alimented to make easy money, define the routes of tourism. As a mythical room of the Uffizi gives measure: between the napes emerges the rusticated edge of the palace which parades in the Announcement by Leonardo. Near this area, the theological concept underlying the moving plot by da Vinci is depicted as a symbol. Gianni knows it cannot be appreciated by those observers, though innocent and inclined as they are, to the same devotion that devotees reserve for the miraculous icons. It is sad to know that today, instead of instilling into people the desire for new knowledge, we only mind to aliment the craving for the pursuit of the same simulacra. A worshiped simulacra, almost never comprehended.
Director of the Uffizi Gallery