SIGHT dalla selva oscura alla luce (from the dark wood into the light)
In a year rife with difficulties such as the one that is about to draw to a close, the spirit of Christmas will be different from that of other years. Respecting the restrictive measures put in place to contain the ongoing health emergency means that our daily lives have been and continue to be revolutionised, with each of us called upon to make a constant effort. For some time now, we have been facing the challenge of staying close but at a distance, accepting, in every walk of life, that we must forego our habitual routines and find alternative ways not to lose touch with one another, which more often than not can only be through visual means.
In this context, the city of Florence is courageously and generously reviving the traditional event F-Light, the Firenze Light Festival, whose 2020 title, Sight, dalla selva oscura alla luce (Sight, from the dark wood into the light), is a tribute to Dante. In fact, never before as this year has each and every one of us longed and strived to leave behind the dark wood of Dantesque fame and come into the light. Light intended not merely as ephemeral decoration of urban space, but a metaphor and vision of the future in which we place our trust, a signal sighting for everyone, like the three columns of light that will be projected from the city centre into the sky.
Sponsored by the City of Florence and organised by MUS.E, with artistic direction by Sergio Risaliti, F-Light Sight, from December 8, 2020 to January 6, 2021, will fill the urban spaces with new light, thanks to video-mapping, projections, lightshows and art installations. This event is one of the most important of its kind in Italy, and a landmark on the European scale.
The festival has been made possible by the contribution from the Florence Chamber of Commerce, with valuable support from Terna Spa as well as CONAD and MUKKI. As always, it will involve numerous city spaces, redefining the night-time cityscape: from the main squares to Ponte Vecchio, from Forte Belvedere to the medieval towers and gateways, from Palazzo Medici Riccardi to the Museo Novecento, as well as neighbourhoods outside of the historic centre. A special tribute will be paid to the hospital structures, a precious bulwark in resisting the enemy that has so devastated our present-day lives.
The protagonist of the event will be, as usual, light, a universal source of energy and a visual metaphor for the rebirth in which we all place our trust. This year’s edition will feature two videomappings that will bring Palazzo Medici Riccardi to life (artistic projection curated by MBVision) as well as the Ponte Vecchio, transforming their surfaces into canvases using evocative special effects inspired by the theme of this year’s festival. Ponte Vecchio, thanks to the light installation “The other side of the life” curated by Sergio Risaliti and created by The Fake Factory, will be “frescoed” with a series of geometric or figurative images and excerpts of verses from Dante’s poem. We will all be invited to reconstruct the original tercets and cantos behind these fragments. The Chamber of Commerce building will have a new face created by a play of coloured lights and projections, again inspired by Dante’s verses. Meanwhile, the facade of the Museo Novecento, a former Leopoldine building, will host a light installation by the collective artist Claire Fontaine (curated by Paola Ugolini and Sergio Risaliti, from December 12 to March 11). The words “Siamo con voi nella notte (We are with you in the night)” will project a message of sharing and solidarity towards the city and world, a message of compassion that makes us all feel part of a collective and global challenge, in which the categorical imperative is to take care of others in life’s darkest and most uncertain moments.
The THREE ARTIST TREES will also be revived again this year. This initiative was first presented at the 2019 edition, a Museo Novecento project based on an idea by Sergio Risaliti, involving three internationally renowned artists who try their hand at developing a universal symbol of Christmas by creating actual site-specific works. The artists will once again be Michelangelo Pistoletto, Mimmo Paladino and Domenico Bianchi, whose artists’ Christmas trees will be installed respectively in Piazza Gino Bartali, Piazza Santo Spirito (these two from December 8) and Piazza Santa Maria Novella (this last from December 15). An opportunity for contemporary art to interact with the art of the past, which connotes the identity of the places where these works are installed, becoming a means to convey knowledge and wonder.
Silfi Spa will be curating the new lighting for Piazza Indipendenza and its statues, thanks to a permanent system which, as is now the tradition, will be inaugurated on the occasion of the festival, confirming F-Light’s commitment to leaving a “lasting mark” on the city with the new permanent lighting for some monuments and symbolic places, in addition to the temporary Christmas lighting. There will also be permanent new lighting for Via Calzaiuoli and other streets and squares in the city centre. Many of the symbolic places will be decorated with dynamic coloured lights for the duration of the festival: among these, for the first time, Forte Belvedere, which will have a custom-designed scenography. Silfi Spa will also use coloured light to illuminate the pool on the ramps at Rampe del Poggi, the Loggiato dell’Istituto degli Innocenti, the towers Torre di San Niccolò and Torre della Zecca, and the historic Florentine city gates: Porta alla Croce, Porta al Prato, Porta Romana, Porta San Gallo and Porta San Frediano.
F-Light locations also include Piazza SS. Annunziata (with the artistic projection of Bright Festival), Via Tornabuoni (curated by Confcommercio) and Piazza San Firenze.
During the 2020 edition, F-Light will also go outside of the historic centre, into all four suburban neighbourhoods, with designer lighting installed in various spots: for Q2, Piazza delle Cure, the Artemio Franchi Stadium and Piazza Niccolò Tommaseo in Settignano; for Q3, Piazza Gino Bartali in Favinana and Piazza Niccolò Acciaiuoli in Galluzzo; in Q4, Piazza dell’Isolotto and Piazza Paolo Uccello; finally, for Q5, Le Piagge – Viper Theatre and the San Donato Park in Novoli.
To pay tribute to the resistance of the city’s hospital structures during the ongoing health emergency, and to remember the suffering of the many devastated by the disease, three columns of light, created in collaboration with Silfi Spa, will be projected upwards into the sky on an evening close to Christmas Day. The light installation, titled “I fari della resistenza. Fede, Speranza, Carità (The beacons of resistance. Faith, Hope, Charity)”, will symbolically begin in Piazza della Repubblica, at the Column of Abundance, the Baptistery of Florence, the city’s spiritual foundation, near the Column of San Zanobi, and near the Hospital of Santa Maria Nuova.
Also joining F-Light Sight is the Municipality of San Giovanni Valdarno, which is participating in the installation of the lights, again overseen by The Fake Factory, on four buildings in the main square, including Palazzo d’Arnolfo, home to the Terre Nuove Museum. This initiative is one of the festival’s schedule of side events.
Artistic direction by Sergio Risaliti
Sponsored by the City of Florence
Organised by MUS.E
MUS.E Tel. +39 055 2768224 – email@example.com
The complete schedule is available at www.flightfirenze.it
Davis & Co. for MUS.E
Caterina Briganti +39 340 9193358| Eleonora Saladino +39 340 1456137
email: firstname.lastname@example.org – www.davisandco.it
City of Florence Press Office
Elisa Di Lupo
Tel. +39 055 2768531