Spooning in Florence

Discovering Contemporary Art in a City of Masterpieces

Coming across the unexpected in Florence. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Coming across the unexpected in Florence. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Taking the scenic route from the Ponte Vecchio back to the Soggiorno Battistero in Florence, the Brawny Sherpa and I become a little lost. Wandering a bit aimlessly, we try to work off cappuccinos and gelato and our overwhelm from the art in the city generally and from the gold jewelry that flashes us from window displays on that bridge. Not in too much of a rush, we turn a corner and come across the unexpected—a tribute, of sorts, to the spoon.

A spoon is a spoon is a spoon . . . until it is affixed to a hotel’s façade? An installation by artist Simone D'Auria at a hotel in Florence explores concepts of nourishment. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

A spoon is a spoon is a spoon . . . until it is affixed to a hotel’s façade? An installation by artist Simone D’Auria at a hotel in Florence explores concepts of nourishment. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

An installation called I Eat Earth by artist Simone D’Auria presents the spoon, that first piece of flatware so many of us use, in multiple ways. Some spoons—red ones, white ones—are affixed to the exterior of a hotel. One spoon serves as a bench. One spoon digs into the Earth. The artist was reportedly inspired by an expo that had a theme of feeding the planet.

A lure for pica children and flatwire admirers, an art installation in Florence depicts a spoonful of Earth. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

A lure for pica children and flatwire admirers, an art installation in Florence depicts a spoonful of Earth. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Located on the exterior of the Lungarno Collection’s Gallery Hotel Art, the work offers the opportunity to explore nourishment, which, at least the physical sort, is derived from the Earth. It’s just some of us that eat dirt directly. Used to food’s transmogrification from cells and seeds to appetizing edible, some of us too easily forget the earthy origins of everything we put into our mouths. Would our reaction to this installation differ if forks were on display? Chopsticks? Knives?

Babies are the ones who use spoons the most, and possibly very old or infirm people, those in need—of Earth, of sustenance. We all need those spoons. We all need that Earth, seed to fruit, water to wine. We all need transmogrification.

It’s an interesting idea to explore in this city that is a tribute to art and to miraculous transformation. The art installations at the hotel change periodically.

 

Lungarno Collection’s Gallery Hotel Art, Vicolo dell’Oro, Firenze (Florence), Italy

—Lori Tripoli

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An art installation called "I Eat Earth" by Simone D'Auria at the Lungarno Collection’s Gallery Hotel Art in Florence. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

An art installation called “I Eat Earth” by Simone D’Auria at the Lungarno Collection’s Gallery Hotel Art in Florence. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

 

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