11 Sep 2015

Firenze suona contemporanea: Alfredo Pirri at the Museo Novecento

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Where and when





Museo Novecento

Alfredo Pirri & Alvin Curran, Steps, 11 September – 31 October 2015

Firenze suona contemporanea
– now in its eighth edition – is an international festival that combines twentieth-century and contemporary music with contemporary visual art. The artistic direction of the festival is a team effort between the two musicians and curators Andrea Cavallari and Luisa Valeria Carpignano, who deal with complementary aspects of the event. The festival, by its vocation, establishes dense lines of connection between contemporary arts and Italian historical tradition. Thanks to constant research on the Florentine territory, concerts, performances and installations relaunch symbolic museum spaces in a contemporary key.

And so from this edition, the festival expands to a new important Florentine venue dedicated to the contemporary, the Museo Novecento. This collaboration brings with it an innovative flow of projects aimed at experimentation. Alfredo Pirri will consecrate this new collaboration, with his intervention that will transform the cloister of the museum into an audio-visual installation that will also see the collaboration of the American musician Alvin Curran.

“The cycle of works that carry as common title Passi originates from a work of 2003 at the Certosa of Padula and since then there are many places where they were made. They have always been important places from the historical-artistic or political point of view, or, even better, places where these characters merged into one. The Museo Novecento in Florence is one of these places, where the historical features are combined with specific traits representative of the role that Florence had and continues to have in the collective world imagination. In a sense. Florence is the city of all the 900 that have crossed the history of humanity, even before the advent of this century.

Passi, this time, is therefore set not only inside a place, within this magic number, creating a synthesis of all the 900 of the past and those to come. The mirrors, which will shatter under the feet of visitors generating the sound that the musician and composer Alvin Curran will process live, this time, unlike others, will not occupy the entire available space, but only its “built” part, a square divided in the center by a cross that then creates other squares, flowerbeds of a homogeneous green that will be framed within the compact blue sky and the gray of the stone with which the building overlooking the cloister is made. The straight and regular paths will break under the weight of the bodies that will pass through them, recreating a painful and multifaceted image of a place and an era that has tried to reconcile the logical reasoning with the religious and symbolic aspect.

For the first time, thanks to the live contribution of Alvin Curran, the acoustic character that the opera Passi maintains in my imagination will become more evident. This aspect has always had an essential role, undoubtedly neglected until today, as it is mainly considered as a comment on the image rather than a factor inherent in the work itself. On the contrary, this time, Passi will be a kind of musical instrument embedded within the architectural space. An instrument that everyone will be called to “play” with its mere presence and its simple movement inside the space. 

The space of Passi is composed as a cross inside a square and a round well in the welding point between the two lines/path, almost a head that unites the two figures, a crucifixion inside a square, a perfect synthesis of humanism and faith, a junction that this work will try to make more obvious to be able to criticize and disassemble it at the same time. That is to say: art is not (more or more) a mirror of the world but its representation and transformation (acoustic).

The project is co-financed by the Estate Fiorentina.

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