23 Jul 2021

Iron Heel

Conversation between art, history and literature around the Giulia Cenci exhibition

Participate Arrow

Where and when

23July 2021



Museo Novecento


Giulia Cenci


Cinzia Schiavini

Anglo-American literature Scholar of the University of Milan

Michele Cento

Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Bologna

Valentina Zucchi

Head of Cultural Mediation MUS.E

Free entry

A multi-voiced dialogue around the Iron Heel exhibition by the young Cortonese artist Giulia Cenci, which can be visited until 22 August in the Duel section.

With his open critique of the post-industrial past, right from the title the artist’s work refers without any possibility of misunderstanding to that visionary masterpiece of American literature that is Jack London‘s Iron Heel, written at the dawn of the twentieth century. The cruelty and barbarism of industrial and capitalist society find an icastic materialization in Giulia Cenci‘s site-specific works, through the brutal assembly of metallic and rusty fragments of agricultural and industrial tools. Menacing machines – just like the Lion of Monterosso, a sculpture by Arturo Martini with which the artist has chosen to “duel” – but in disuse, which sanction the failure of a society, the American one at the turn of the century as well as the global one today, based on exploitation aimed solely at the achievement of profit.

The dystopian scenario that characterizes the exhibition is the background within which the conversation between Cinzia Schiavini, a scholar of Anglo-American literature at the University of Milan, Michele Cento, professor of Contemporary History at the University of Bologna and the artist Giulia Cenci herself; moderates the meeting Valentina Zucchi, Head of Mediation MUS.E. A multidisciplinary confrontation open to all, which intertwines art, social history and literature to investigate the concerns of modern man but also offers food for thought and perspectives for our near future.

We thank GIOTTO – love brand di F.I.L.A. Italian Lapis and Affini Factory, for the precious support of American Express, Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, Unicoop Firenze and Tenderly, brand of Lucart Spa.


Costanza Savelloni

Press Office Museo Novecento

Ludovica Zarrilli

Press Office MUS.E

T: + 39 393.9577255


Elisa Di Lupo

Press Office Comune di Firenze

T: +39 055 2768531



Giulia Spissu