Anselm Kiefer's fallen angels are us - Wishevoke

Anselm Kiefer’s fallen angels are us

The destruction that wrought the works of Anselm Kiefer lead to Strozzi Palace They are not new images to our eyes, but they still shock and disturb the soul of those who enter the Renaissance building. Not even there Gold leafwhich the German artist uses in large quantities is able to weaken the feeling of Heaviness that permeates the surroundings. The strong smell made of acrylic and oil that seeps into every room, making the exhibition experience even more oppressive. Everything starts with the fall of Lucifer, the angel of light, banished into darkness. Above his body is a wing that protrudes from the canvas, but it is not an angel’s wing, like the one flying in the yard in the work, but that of an angel Airplane. This three-dimensional image points directly to the present. If flight, man’s great achievement, means freedom on the one hand, it is inevitable not to think about it on the other Guerra. The silence that fills the rooms full of people becomes even more deafening in front of the work Just location (The Lonely Place), which sees a broken, dry surface, densely littered with the cracks typical of Kiefer’s work Teeth. Nothing remains of the fallen angels – to quote it Title of the exhibition – if not teeth, the only antem mortem identity that humans leave behind on Earth. The volatility of life, which has been invoked several times, accompanies the viewer throughout the entire journey and also echoes in the words in the final room Salvatore Quasimodo. Everyone is alone in the heart of the earth / pierced by a ray of sunshine: and it is immediately evening.

©Photo Ela Bialkowska OKNO Studio

Quasimodo’s poetry It is not the only text in the exhibition. The connection that Anselm Kiefer has with words is certainly nothing new, but here, when you think of the exhibition two years ago at the Palazzo Ducale in Venice, it is constant and even more complex. The sentences, the jaws Borrowings from philosophers and thinkers They are a pretext, or rather, the genesis of all his creative processes. What happens between the rooms of the Florentine Palace is And Encounter between antiquity and modernity. Philosophy, literature and mythology dictate the construction of the signifier and then leave the meaning free to orient and model itself on the issues of the present. Let’s think about the opera Cynaraa huge golden canvas from which gods emerge artichokes (true) covered with gold. The latter are precisely Cynara, the nymph who rejected Zeus and was therefore condemned to a tragic fate. Or even the Sunflower Room, a clear homage to Van Gogh that becomes (in every sense) a golden critique of humanity. Here the allegory is provided by the sun god Baal or more generally by all sun cults – Sol Invictus – which also remind us of it the myth of Icarus This highlights the human desire to overcome one’s limitations, ignore them, and then prove to be a failure with tragic consequences.

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“Fallen Angels” by Anselm Kiefer that’s all of us. The German artist reminds us of this today without any sweetness, but with it raw materiality that’s what sets it apart. Burnt clothing preserving non-existent bodies. Serpents that refer to sin and the temptation of evil that we give in to. Dry plants that no longer have water to feed. And then again, in the third room, a great homage to the Greek thinkers and philosophers who we so often remember and study, but who can no longer follow any of their teachings. We are the fallen angels once again We allow humanity to fall. We welcome the destruction, or we don’t want to see it. Without realizing it, we dance on the rubble of humanity which to Kiefer “are like the flower of a plant; They are the radiant climax of a ceaseless metabolism, the beginning of a rebirth.”

©Photo Ela Bialkowska OKNO Studio

The exhibition Anselm Kiefer. Fallen angel is open from March 22 to July 21, 2024 at the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence and is promoted and organized by the Palazzo Strozzi Foundation with the support of the Municipality of Florence, the Tuscany Region, the Chamber of Commerce of Florence and private individuals, the Fondazione CR Firenze, Committee the partner of the Palazzo Strozzi. Intesa Sanpaolo as main partner. With the support of the metropolis of Florence. With the support of Gagosian. Many thanks to Maria Manetti Shrem and the Hillary Merkus Recordati Foundation.

anselm kiefer |  Securityanselm kiefer |  Security
©Photo Ela Bialkowska OKNO Studio
anselm kiefer |  Securityanselm kiefer |  Security
©Photo Ela Bialkowska OKNO Studio

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