I find that I really enjoy going to museums and exhibits in a foreign country in which English is a strong second language. I could have stayed longer at the Strozzi that day because I find it interesting how the Italian is reconfigured into English. It is a great way to learn a new language as well as appreciate anew the subtle beauties in one’s own. And so I languished among the artworks that I mostly felt little connection with, until Caroline psssstted me over to see one she thought I needed to see.
“When Hitler came to Florence I was sent off with the Avanguardisti from heaven knows where, but still, all that orchestration was impressive. Yes, the city had been heavily “made up” for the event. You still couldn’t feel it, we only realised afterwards . . . And all this showing off, there was this business with the aeroplanes, you never knew how many were flying by; it seemed like a hundred, but it was only one flying by a hundred times. It was all about hiding things which there was nothing to be ashamed of.” ~ Lapo Mazzoi (Firenze 1925)
And this one:
“It was a crystal set, or cat’s whisker receiver, which as a very odd-looking little instrument containing a pin that was moved on a stone—it was a galvanic stone—and it managed to set up a contact with radio broadcasts. So the movement of the pin on the stone made it possible to intercept radio broadcasts, which you listened to through headphones connected to this little machine. It was technologically fascinating for those days. And then of course there were the radios, which were far simpler.
But the idea was that we could partly build them ourselves, using small parts. It was lots of fun.” ~ Franco de Peverelli Luschi (Firenze 1928)
- Palazzo Strozzi: The Thirties. The Arts in Italy Beyond Fascism The site is actually pretty cool and you can get a good idea of what the exhibit was intending to demonstrate. Click here… then click on ‘English’ in the top left corner. Then on the right column, click on ‘Exhibition Walkthrough’ and scroll to your heart’s content.
- Live with Art: blog post by Nora Buñuel about this Strozzi exhibit