As soon as you pass through the gate of the elegant villa on viale Michelangiolo, just below the iconic piazzale Michelangelo, you descend towards a black door. Upon opening it and plunging inside, you leave behind any hint of tension and the clamour of the city. Welcome to Keil Space: reaching over 500 square metres, it’s intensely dark and has already left a strong impression on everyone who has walked through its doors. An environment conceived as a suspended and surreal scenography, the advanced art space was created by artist Sam Keil to enhance brain function through heterogeneous stimuli.
Keil Space and advanced arts
Florence, the cradle of Renaissance art, hosts an exhibition space for advanced art and its application. Keil Space describes the origins of the concept of advanced arts as being “found in the first artistic crafts in the Fertile Crescent, passing through Sumerian art, hieroglyphics and the monumental statues of Ancient Egypt, evolving in Greek and Roman times, then in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, up to modern art movements. Today, advanced art finds its ideal condition of existence and expression a stone’s throw from the Arno River, in a new futuristic space, and through the works of Sam Keil”. Here, where the British artist’s works dialogue with the city’s Renaissance heritage, new emotions can be experienced. States of mind and sensations arise from the art itself, distancing and contrasting with the Florentine tradition. Keil Space offers everyone the opportunity to experience a new perception through a multisensory experience.
The Keil Space multisensory experience combines the power of visual, sculptural and figurative art with the realms of sight, smell and sound. Visitors who explored the space reported that it was “an experience similar to a soul-awakening journey”. Entering and walking through the minimalist, subterranean space entirely painted in dark colours, visitors immediately commence an introspective journey. A connection and fusion of senses is created as soon as one crosses the threshold, making participants both spectators and travellers at the same time. Each of the rooms invites you to experience a different emotion. The space seems inhabited, from time to time, by moods that visitors are ready to perceive and experience. The initial impression, instinctive and ancestral, goes beyond reason, coming before thought and words. A wide range of artistic, technological and scientific disciplines are incorporated into the same environment.
Shadows and scent
Keil Space introduces you to a synaesthetic dimension. Different sensory spheres are instantly related and connected; powerful phenomena that stimulate various emotions and perceptions. Thus, dark colours have their own olfactory expression. The fragrance that pervades the spaces of viale Michelangiolo captures and envelops you upon entering. The notes have been masterfully chosen and blended by master perfumer Sileno Cheloni according to ancient rituals. The evocative power of scent complements image and vision; before any other sense, smell is capable of reaching the most unconscious, instinctive and emotional part of every human being.
A transgenerational experience
In the first room, we find First Generation Bronze, a collection of sculptures made by the artist over 40 years ago. Bronze is a living material that changes its colours and surface over time, one of the world’s earliest art materials. It brings with it centuries-old techniques used since the earliest civilizations. To create this first collection, Samantha Keil focused on studying anatomy and the ever-evolving position of a body in space. Each sculpture captures a profound movement, a natural momentum. In the next room, Second Generation Bronze is the conclusion of the artist’s studies and investigations into dimensional, energetic and perceptual fields. The results are ancestral, multidimensional and timeless forms that draw a direct bridge between ancient civilizations, the present and those of the future. It changes and evolves as the point of observation varies. The highlight of the visit is the chamber that houses New Generation Works. Here, Sam Keil’s mastery and her unique way of working with matter have resulted in bronze fusions, marked by a new and unusual depth and evocative visual information. Holistic and surprisingly colourful, the luminous presences bring new stimulation to the brain and spirit of everyone who observes them, to the point of enhancing the participant’s psycho-physical state.
Keil Space can be freely visited and accessed by anyone by booking an appointment. The path to the works provides a multi-sensory and immersive experience, therefore visits are exclusively individual.