Connect with Firenze Made in Tuscany

Sign up our newsletter

Get more inspiration, tips and exclusive itineraries in Florence

Mr Arbitrium photo Massimo Sestini
September 2, 2022

Mr. Arbitrium, Emanuele Giannelli's monumental sculpture lands in Florence

Until 31 October outside the Basilica of San Lorenzo

Mr. Arbitrium, the monumental sculpture by Emanuele Giannelli, has arrived in Florence and until 31 October we can see it on the left side outside the Basilica of San Lorenzo in Florence. At the same time, in the cloister of the Laurentian architectural complex, the sculptural group I Sospesi has been installed.

Mr Arbitrium photo Massimo SestiniI Sospesi photo Massimo Sestini

With the agile Sospesi and the six-metre giant Mr. Arbitrium, Giannelli brings his work to the heart of Florence. In particular, Mr. Arbitrium, conceived with the entire musculature in tension and intent on either supporting the building or pushing it away in a decisive manner, is the sculpture that represents the ambivalent game Giannelli intended to play in his work: the dual meaning that conceptually characterises the work, between pushing or supporting.

Mr Arbitrium photo Massimo Sestini

The sculptor wonders whether at a time in history such as the present, marked by great changes and by a tight and alienating pace, there is not a need to respond, arbitrarily, to the dilemma that arises regarding the necessity, expediency and will to choose between wiping out the Church with its symbolic, historical, cultural and social buildings where our traditions are rooted, or supporting and defending the Church, the millennial history of Christian peoples and the symbols and culture of the West. Mr. Arbitrium, intent on supporting St. Lawrence, opens the debate on arbitrariness, the work's intrinsic message: to support or push religion, traditions and the past. Clinging to history to protect and enhance it, or perhaps moving away from it to free oneself from such a cumbersome burden? Well, even if we do not know the outcome, we leave with the awareness of an arbitrary choice, just like its name.

I Sospesi photo Massimo Sestini

Although Mr. Arbitrium was conceived mimicking classical aesthetics, the process that led to its creation was anything but traditional, a 'B2B' between the hand of man, a clear reference to the artisanal dimension of sculpting, and the intervention of the machine that instantly transports us into the universe of robotics.

Mr Arbitrium photo Massimo Sestini

Trying to understand what sculpture represents in the age of the Metaverse and disintegrated forms is a real invitation to the imagination. One thing, however, is certain: in order to survive, artists who continue to work with the language of sculpture have had to and must face constant changes of course with the unstoppable invasion of technology, a not simple matter in a notoriously slow and unpredictable process such as that of the plastic arts, yet a fundamental support in solving many problems, speed of execution and precision.

You may be interested


Connect with Firenze Made in Tuscany