The street artist and photographer JR started out his artist practice in the streets of Paris. Using the pseudonym JR, the artist is keeping his identity hidden from the public.
La Ferita (The Wound) imagines the Palazzo Strozzi with a deep gash revealing the interior of the Renaissance building with some of Florence’s most iconic artworks occupying the space. Measuring 28 metres tall and 33 metres wide, the monumental photographic collage installation covers the primary façade of the Palazzo Strozzi and works like an anamorphosis, an illusion in which, observed from a specific viewpoint, various areas of the Palazzo Strozzi – the colonnade in the courtyard, an imaginary exhibition hall and a library – open up as a wound.
By including iconic works of Florence’s art heritage and directly citing real places such as the library of the Istituto Nazionale di Studi sul Rinascimento, JR proposes a direct and evocative reflection on accessibility not only to Palazzo Strozzi but to all cultural sites in the era of Covid-19.
Palazzo Strozzi becomes the spectacular stage for a symbolic yet painful wound suffered by all cultural institutions both in Italy and abroad: museums, libraries, cinemas and theatres forced either to restrict audience access or to shut down altogether. Looking « inside » Palazzo Strozzi also has the makings of an act of voyeurism designed to reveal that which cannot be seen: the depiction of a reality that goes beyond what one can customarily behold.