Purple Night

[April 26 2018]

Carsten Höller and Stefano Mancuso “The Florence Experiment” interactive exhibition opening at Palazzo Strozzi, Florence

Celebrated German artist Carsten Höller and founder of the study of plant neurobiologist Stefano Mancuso collaborates on Palazzo Strozzi‘s latest major exhibition – an artistic and scientific project that involves the visitors and the study of the interaction between human emotions and plant behavior.

This interactive exhibition is compromised of two parts: the first being two monumental intertwined slides that take visitors down the courtyard to the second part of the exhibit. They will be handed a plant to carry with them as they spiral down a height of 20 meters to a laboratory at the basement of the palace, where a team of scientists await to analyse the plants that have picked up the emotions of the visitors as they descend the ride. At the second part of the experiment, the visitors will choose between two cinemas, one screening scenes from comedies and the other from horror movies. The results will be seen through the Wisteria plant vines at the façade of the Palazzo Strozzi, where the varying chemical compounds produced by the contrasting reactions from the two theaters travel outside by tubes and pipes and would influence the direction the plants grow. The differing outcome of the experiment will be increasingly apparent over time, further proving the complexity and intelligence of plants. Ultimately, “The Florence Experiment” intends to increase awareness of empathy between man and his botanical environment.

“With this project, so courageous and so specialPalazzo Strozzi will become a site of real contemporary experimentation and reflection, turning an architectural Renaissance masterpiece into a workshop of dialogue between art and science. Cooperation with Carsten Höller, one of the most important artists on the international scene, and with Stefano Mancuso, a Florentine scientist known worldwide for his work on plant neurobiology, offers us a spectacular opportunity to further Palazzo Strozzi’s calling as a multidisciplinary space seeking to find ever new routes to involve and interacting with our visitors,” comments Arturo Galansino, curator and general director of Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi.

“The Florence Experiment” is on view until August 26th, 2018 at Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, Piazza degli Strozzi, Florence.


Read our interview with Carsten Höller, the 30th name in our “Purple Index 76” S/S 2018 issue 29 here!

Photo Pierre Björk


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