In recent years, street art has gained increased attention in academia, which reflects the growth and expansion of different forms of street art in relation to place. Local governments have been enabling street art as part of a strategy for place branding or, more holistically, as placemaking. The city becomes a canvas with both aesthetic and symbolic value. For the artist, it is an opportunity to create art while using the public space, for example, for socially strong messages. But are these still subversive and voicing the subcultures they belong to, or are they becoming commodified? Is the transformative potential of street art augmented or reduced in such a context? It is in this framework that we will explore the work of Bordalo II, work which is born of a creative artistic expression of political communication, and it has now become not only welcome but also a desired – and (somehow) commodified – creation in many cities around the world.
In the 19th century, Florence became celebrated as the cradle of the Renaissance. Countless museums were founded which fragmented collections along the lines of disciplines, most importantly science and art. Nowadays, visitors to Florence can be overwhelmed by the tremendous number of museums and archives in the city. The fragmentation of its collections makes it difficult to understand their interrelations, as well as the historical context in which all this wealth was created.
The GAGAPALIZI is a new institution which employs architecture to make the relations between existing museum collections more explicit. By means of an architectural intervention it integrates three existing museums that are at close proximity: the Galilei Galileo Museum, Palazzo Vecchio, and the Uffizi. The GAGAPALIZI tells the whole story of Florence, including the darker side of the Renaissance.