Forte di Belvedere, Florence, International, Italy
The exhibition Human follows on from the success of exhibitions by Zhang Huan, which marked the reopening of the Forte di Belvedere in 2013 and Giuseppe Penone in 2014. Curated by Sergio Risaliti and Arabella Natalini, Human brings together over one hundred works by Gormley in the inner rooms of the villa, the bastions, the staircases and the terraces, to occupy every side of the 16th century fortress with its extraordinary views over the city and the surrounding hills.
The exhibition includes the artist’s seminal installation Critical Mass, an “anti-monument evoking all the victims of the 20th century”. The work was originally conceived for a disused tram depot in Vienna in 1995, to “activate the whole building and make it a site of reflection on the dark side of German history”. On view on the lower terrace of the Forte, Critical Mass acquires a new potency in relation to a renaissance city, the history of humanism and the continuing and ever-present relationship between money, militarism and power.