Coincidences between art and real life at Ai Weiwei's exhibition "Libero" at Palazzo Strozzi

Wie vom Künstler inszeniert mutete die Protestaktion an: Rund 80 Immigranten stürmten den Innenhof des Palazzo Strozzi in Florenz und erklommen die Treppen hinauf zu Ai Weiweis Ausstellung «Libero».

Da dürfte der Museumsdirektor ins Schwitzen geraten sein, Ai Weiwei aber frohlockt haben. Rund 80 Immigranten, Somalier, stürmten am 12. Januar den Innenhof des historischen Palazzo Strozzi im Zentrum von Florenz und erklommen die steilen Treppen hinauf zu Ai Weiweis Ausstellung «Libero». Wie vom Künstler inszeniert mutete die Protestaktion an und warf noch einmal ein Schlaglicht auf dessen am 22. Januar zu Ende gehende Schau, die politische Willkür und die Verlierer globaler Migrantenströme thematisiert.

I love Ai Weiwei’s fearlessness of addressing political issues. And it’s amazing to see how his art could become a platform for real life as a recent exhibition at the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence demonstrated. Antenna produced the audio tour and there is also a downloadable app. The Chinese artist had transformed the entire palace into a place that empowered the awareness of refugees in Italy, framing for instance the windows of the Renaissance building with rubber boats.

However, towards the end of the show a huge group of Somalian refugees who had escaped from a fire in their emergency accommodation occupied the Palazzo Strozzi in protest. This blending of the lines between art, real life and political issues is rarely noticed by the press and social media but shows how art can develop its own life just as the artist intended.

Would be great to reflect those synergies in the follow-up of our productions and activities. 

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