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Palazzo Strozzi's Tomás Saraceno: Aria exhibition reopens Monday 1 June
Tomás Saraceno, Argentina, 1973. Aerographies, 2020. Courtesy the artist; Andersen’s, Copenhagen; Ruth Benzacar, Buenos Aires; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York/Los Angeles; Pinksummer Contemporary Art, Genova; Esther Schipper, Berlin © Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno.

FIRENZE.- After being suspended for three full months, Palazzo Strozzi's major exhibition Tomás Saraceno. Aria will be ready to welcome visitors again starting Monday 1 June, extended until Sunday 1 November 2020.

For this "second phase" of the exhibition, Palazzo Strozzi will be implementing safety measures designed to cope with the current health situation by proposing new ways of enjoying the exhibition and of booking tickets. At the same time, the institution are proposing new events, activities and initiatives to continue experimenting with new ways of involving the public, thus confirming their commitment to the city of Florence and Tuscany as a whole under the banner of the values of accessibility, research and innovation: a site of excellence for culture at both a national and international level.

“Throughout these months in which the exhibition has been closed, our activities have never ceased” – remarked Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi Director General Arturo Galansino – “We have been determined to keep the courtyard with its large site-specific installation by Tomás Saraceno open as a symbol of hope and we have developed our online project called IN TOUCH in order to stay in contact with our audience, without ever forgetting our mission which is to stimulate a lively, contemporary dialogue with art.

While taking care to comply with the necessary safety measures, it is important for people to return to visiting our exhibitions, our museums and our cultural institutions. A direct rapport with art is an important part of everyone's life and right now, in this singular moment in our country's history, reopening Palazzo Strozzi is a significant contribution to the promotion of our heritage and our cultural offer, first and foremost for the people of Florence and our local audiences, but we hope in the coming months, by our national and international visitors. It is something we felt duty-bound to do for our communities' cultural life but it also marks the rekindling of social and economic life in our region”.

A new way of visiting and enjoying Palazzo Strozzi’s activities
The Tomás Saraceno. Aria exhibition will be open to the public once again from Monday 1 June and will run until Sunday 1 November with the following opening hours: daily from 14.00 to 20.00 and Thursdays from 14.00 to 23.00. Visitors are strongly encouraged to book their tickets online using the website (where the advance booking fee has been waived) and all visitors are required to observe a series of measures designed to safeguard their and others' health and
safety in compliance with local and national health and safety regulations.

A great new feature that Palazzo Strozzi have introduced is that visitors can now use the exhibition audioguide free of charge on their own smartphones, with new content and with the voice of Tomás Saraceno in person. A special digital education kit for families, which is also included in the price of admission and which can be used via visitors' own smartphones, suggests a different way of visiting the exhibitions with thoughts and activities for exploring the exhibits and spaces in the exhibition in greater depth.

Over the coming weeks Palazzo Strozzi will also be offering remote digital activities designed to allow audiences to feel involved. The first appointment will be with a cycle of free lectures in streaming on the environment in conjunction with the Fondazione CR Firenze, where the guests will include Stefano Caserini (Politecnico di Milano), Franco Miglietta (CNR Istituto di BioEconomia) and Antonello Pasini (CNR Istituto di Ricerca sull’Inquinamento Atmosferico).

Also available by prior appointment (while places last) is a series of individual readings of Tomás Saraceno's arachnomancy cards: every Wednesday starting at 18.00 on the Zoom platform, psychotherapist Gianmarco Meucci will be meeting with anyone who wants to see how they measure up against the cards created by the artist as a tool for interpreting our lives and our interconnections with the reality all around us. The exhibition programme is completed by a remote special offer for people suffering from Alzheimer's or Parkinson'sthrough Palazzo Strozzi’s Moving Free and With Many Voices schemes, an offer that first got under way during lockdown thanks to direct contact with local and regional nursing homes and families. These two flagship schemes have been redesigned to prevent the physical distance we are bound to observe from translating into isolation, and to guard against the risk that "social distance" turns into social exclusion.

The Palazzo Strozzi are also continuing their cooperation programme with the exhibition's sponsors Manifattura Tabacchi, IED, Publiacqua and Unicoop Firenze. Following the huge success of the online chat with the artist on 13 May, a virtual exhibition organised by the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi and IED is due to kick off on the Manifattura Tabacchi website on 18 June 2020, involving students from Florence's Academies of Art who will be producing works of art and other content in dialogue with the themes and works of Tomás Saraceno. On 30 June 2020, on the other hand, they will be launching a new project devoted to the Museo Aero Solar which was due to fly a large hot-air balloon made of plastic bags collected directly by the public at the Parco delle Cascine on that date. The project, promoted in conjunction with IED and Publiacqua, will take on a new form in the shape of the creation of a digital hot-air balloon on the website. All visitors will be urged to contribute their own content to upload onto the platform, thus causing the hot-air balloon envisaged a few months ago to fly in a new way: a field of collective imagination reflecting on the notions of participation and sharing. Also planned for the coming months are a series of initiatives organised with the support of Unicoop Firenze including a Glossary of the exhibition, a digital project produced in conjunction with Florence University's SAGAS Department and The Art School, a remote workshop with contemporary artists by prior appointment. The first appointment, with Leone Contini, is scheduled for Saturday 27 June.

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