Article updated April 15, 2016
Works by multidisciplinary Belgian artist Jan Fabre are now in Florence for Spiritual Guards, an exhibition taking place in piazza della Signoria, Palazzo Vecchio and, later, Forte Belvedere. The show will feature bronze sculptures, wax works, Fabre’s signature beetle shell compositions and films of his theatrical performances, all dating from 1978 to 2016.
Two monumental sculptures were installed in piazza della Signoria this morning. The first is Searching for Utopia, a giant turtle juxtaposed with Giambologna’s equestrian statue of Cosimo I; the second, The man who measures the clouds (American version, 18 years older), contrasts with the copies of Michelangelo’s David and Donatello’s Judith.
Palazzo Vecchio is also displaying a series of Fabre’s sculptures, connected with various frescoes and artifacts preserved in the Hall of Justice, the apartments of Eleonora and the Hall of Lilies. In addition to the sculptures, a large globe coated in beetle shells is on display, aiming to be viewed in relation to Ignazio Danti’s famous globe in the Hall of Maps.
The exhibition will expand to Forte di Belvedere beginning May 14, where 60 works in bronze and wax will be on display, along with films highlighting Fabre’s past performances. Self-portraits and bronze beetles alluding to the idea of metamorphosis will make up a significant portion of the exhibition.
Curated by Melania Rossi and Joanna De Vos and sponsored by the City of Florence, the exhibition will stay open until October 2 in all three locations.
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