Sunday, June 26, 2011

Venice: Not Only Biennale - Caffe Florian - Pietro Ruffo: Negative Liberty

Caffe Florian - Pietro Ruffo: Negative Liberty.  Until July 31st the young yet affirmed artist, Pietro Ruffo, based in Rome, transforms the Chinese Room in the Caffe Florian in the Piazza San Marco into a graphite wood populated by 3D dragonflies.

Pietro Ruffo: Negative Liberty. Dragonflies swarm out of this forest, their four wings propelling them horizontally in frenzied flight. These slender-bodied yet fearsome predators feed on other insects, and their short lifespan and frenetic movement causes us to ponder the concept of freedom:  “positive liberty”, which is potentially totalitarian, and “negative liberty” which, according to philosopher Isaiah Berlin, stems from the absence of external constraints.  A quotation from the Lebanese poet Gibran Kalhil Gibran on one of the walls of the Room offers further food for thought: “…if it is a despot you would dethrone, see first that his throne erected within you is destroyed.”

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