The Uffizi Gallery
Seduzione. Koen Vanmechelen
With Seduzione, Vanmechelen brings 30 new works in direct dialogue with ancient and Renaissance masterworks of the Uffizi’s collection. The sculptures and installations were created entirely during the pandemic period, crossings of marble and glass that capture the significance of hybridity and cultural and biological diversity and offer a new narrative for, what Koen calls, a Cosmopolitan Renaissance.
The director of the Uffizi Eike Schmidt: "Vanmechelen's works seem to fit naturally into the historical collection, creating hybrids between the ancient model and contemporary expression, in ways that are similar to the biological hybridization that the artist has been personally practicing for decades in the field of nature, among various species of poultry. The image of the chicken thus becomes an avatar and mirror of man, as in Diogenes' famous commentary on Plato. In this way, artistic creation is read in an ecological key (and vice versa: nature becomes art) opening up perspectives of pressing relevance".
Artist Koen Vanmechelen: 'In this moment, in the Anthropocene, we need a new global renaissance. We need a Cosmopolitan Renaissance. This new narrative must be based on an understanding of the interconnectedness of all living beings. The parallel with the Italian Renaissance is clear. Art, being designed for the future, is the way to foster and project new narratives in the world. Art has always been the connective tissue of human existence. It clarifies, opens perspectives, and connects us through diversity. It aspires to sow Ubuntu, a Bantu term that refers to the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity. This realization comes from seeing the reflection of your self-image in the other, an image that is the bearer of the past and the future”.