Underground: Perhaps not the first word that comes to mind for somewhere as busy and bustling as the Florian Caffè in Venice or its sister establishment in Florence
So what is Florian-Underground?
The idea came up about a year ago during a meeting with the Florian’s President, Andrea Formilli Fendi, who is passionate about contemporary art. We wanted to give space to young artists at the Florence Florian but the spaces were already mostly filled by the Florian Conteporary Art Collection. So we thought of using the cellars. However, there was a problem – the cellars do not meet safety standards for public access. So we hit upon the idea of placing an artwork underground and showing it via video feed.
The first in the series of young artists to be represented is a writer: frenopersciacalli.
His work, which was selected with the help of the architect Gloria De Ruggiero, is an homage not to the notable figures who have frequented the Caffè in Piazza San Marco over the centuries, but to those unknown, the anonymous guests who have come and enjoyed the Caffè for almost 300 years.
His work is an homage to that vivacious spirit, that anonymous group who continue to be the life and soul of the Caffè, a place where guests may recapture, if only for a few minutes, a more human dimension, where one can talk about art, politics or anything at all. This because we live in a world where we communicate ever more via the internet and, worse still, we meet in faceless shopping centres that are the same whether they be in Milan or Hong Kong.
Stefano Stipitivich – Artistic Director