[spectre] EMOTIONAL SYSTEMS, contemporary art between emotion and reason

Alessandro Ludovico a.ludovico at neural.it
Tue Nov 27 15:22:14 CET 2007

Palazzo Strozzi (Florence, Italy) announces the exhibition
from 30 November 2007 to 3 February 2008

The event marks the inauguration of the CCCS - 
Centre For Contemporary Culture Centre La 
Strozzina at the Palazzo Strozzi, a space created 
as a platform for the vast range of practices 
that characterize contemporary art and culture.

The exhibition space is located in the recently 
restored rooms under the magnificent inner 
courtyard in Palazzo Strozzi known as La 
Strozzina. In the past, these spaces housed the 
cellars of the Palazzo, a veritable jewel of the 
Italian Renaissance. From the end of the Second 
World War until the great flood in 1966, these 
rooms hosted the most important exhibitions held 
in Florence. The new centre has a total of eleven 
rooms of different sizes, with a total floor area 
of 850 square metres.
The approach chosen by the CCCS is to present a 
programme that features not only thematic 
exhibitions, but also regular installations by 
independent curators and, film and video cycles, 
workshops, performances and lectures.

"The CCCS is a place for contemporary culture," 
stresses Franziska Nori, the new centre's Project 
Director, "where projects will tackle aspects of 
urban planning, economics, social and political 
development, the sciences, technology as well as 
aesthetics and ethics, as contemporary art itself 
has already broken free of the individual 
disciplinary approach. The programme thus 
developed will enable visitors to experience and 
examine both the heterogeneity of contemporary 
art and a range of different curatorial and 
interpretive standpoints."

The inaugural installation - Emotional Systems, 
contemporary art between emotion and reason, 30 
November 2007 to 3 February - develops in three 
clearly distinct yet complementary phases: an 
Exhibition, a Publication and a programme of 
Lectures designed to investigate the topic of 
emotions, proposing a reinterpretation of the 
correlation between the contemporary artist, the 
work of art and the user, in the light of the 
latest discoveries in the neurological sciences 
about the human brain and its effects on the 

Curated by Franziska Nori and Martin Steinhoff, 
the exhibition is the focal point of Emotional 
Systems. The exhibition presents works by 
contemporary artists who engage, in different 
ways, and some more explicitly than others , with 
the corporal and sensorial, but also rational and 
cognitive aspects of the experience of emotions, 
both in creating the works and in  perceiving 

The artists in the exhibition include: Bill Viola 
(USA), William Kentridge (South Africa), Yves 
Netzhammer (Switzerland), Katharina Grosse 
(Germany), Christian Nold (Great Britain), 
Maurice Benayoun (France), Teresa Margolles 
(Mexico) Andrea Ferrara alias Ongakuaw (Italy) 
and the poets Elisa Biagini, Antonella Anedda and 
Valerio Magrelli.
The participating artists all work with different 
media. They have been chosen for the different 
ways in which their works emotionally affect the 
public, a process in which empathy often plays a 
significant role. Visitors will find themselves 
being involved at sensorial, cognitive and 
emotional levels.

Throughout the exhibition, visits will be 
accompanied by an art education programme 
(especially created for the project by Barbara 
Campaner) that will enable visitors to interact 
with the various different works and explore the 
exhibition's  themes.

In addition to essays by the two curators, the 
bilingual catalogue published by Silvana 
Editoriale, comprises original writings and 
excerpts by internationally renowned scholars, 
including the neurologists and neurological 
scientists Antonio Damasio and Joseph LeDoux, 
philosophers and anthropologists Ronald De Sousa, 
Peter Goldie, Martha Nussbaum and William Reddy 
and the art historian, David Freedberg. The theme 
they explore in their interdisciplinary 
comparison is the rationality of emotions and, in 
Freedberg's words, the "relations between the 
formal aspects of an image and the emotional 
responses" of the user.

The lectures develop the exhibition's theme from 
a multidisciplinary and scientific standpoint, 
achieved in direct encounters between Italian 
academics and experts from a variety of 
disciplinary backgrounds. Thursday evenings will 
be dedicated to psychologists, philosophers and 
anthropologists, who will present their theories, 
while Fridays are earmarked for poetry readings 
and musical performances. The programme involves 
researchers such as Giovanni Lucignani, Andrea 
Pinotti, Emilia Barile and Luigi Pagliarini, 
while the poets include Elisa Biagini, Antonella 
Anedda and Valerio Magrelli

Florence, November 2007

CCCS, Palazzo Strozzi, Piazza Strozzi, 50123 Florence (Italy)
30 November 2007 - 3 February 2008
Opening hours: 11.00 a.m. - 8.30 p.m. Closed on Mondays.
Tickets: ¤ 5.00 single entry; ¤ 7.00 multiple 
entry (up to five times in one month, including 
Catalogue: Silvana Editoriale

Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi (Foundation)
Press and communications office: Lavina Rinaldi; 
l.rinaldi at fondazionepalazzostrozzi.it
Tel. +39.055.2776461/ 06
Fax. +39.055.2646560

CLP Relazioni Pubbliche
Tel. +39.02.433403 - +39.02.36571438 - fax +39.02.4813841
press at clponline.it

This press release and accompanying images are 
also available on the website 

Alessandro Ludovico
Neural Magazine - English (http://neural.it/) 
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