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  > James Bradburne, The Centro di Contemporanea Strozzina
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> Francesca Dal Lago, China Is So Far Away

> Wang Jianwei, Why Must We talk about“China”, now?

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> Lothar Spree, 40+4 Art is not enough, not enough!

> Li Zhenhua, Multi-Archaelogy

> Zhang Wei, Throwing Dice

  The Centro di Cultura Contemporanea Strozzina
James M. Bradburne
  The mission of the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi is to revitalize the public spaces of the Palazzo, one of Florence’s finest examples of Renaissance domestic architecture, and to establish it as an exciting, dynamic and international cultural destination for visitors of all ages and interests. Already the exhibitions held in the Palazzo’s grand spaces on the first floor have attracted international attention. The Palazzo’s courtyard now hosts a café and a permanent exhibition on the history of the Palazzo and the Strozzi family, as well as a varied programme of concerts and performances. From the outset, a key part of the Palazzo Strozzi project was to create a centre for contemporary culture at the
very heart of Florence, and the Centro di Cultura Contemporanea Strozzina (CCCS) was created as platform for the different approaches and practices that characterize the production of contemporary art and culture. The centre is located in the recently restored spaces under the magnificent courtyard of Palazzo Strozzi—known as “La Strozzina”—which previously housed the cellars of this Renaissance monument, and which hosted Florence’s most important international exhibitions in the years after the Second World War until the flood of 1966. The Centre comprises eleven rooms of different sizes, approx. 850 square metres. The absence of natural light enables individual curators to interpret the space in new ways and makes it possible to adapt and reshape the entire environment in accordance with the settings required by the various projects. The challenge posed by the Renaissance architecture of Palazzo Strozzi for contemporary art is taken as a
stimulus to stage each new event and project as though in a theatre, constantly pursuing new possibilities of artistic communication and presentation. The Palazzo Strozzi is visitor-centred. One of the things that make the Palazzo Strozzi experience special is its attention to “visible listening”—the recognition that culture is made of many voices—and the importance of making different voices visible. The art of the Tang dynasty will be presented in Florence at the exhibition At the Court of the Emperors, 7 March – 8 June 2008. The Tang dynasty was China’s Renaissance, and was characterized by an exceptional openness to foreign influences, which were absorbed and then transformed into a uniquely Chinese visual language. Chinese art is currently experiencing another renaissance, and the exhibition CinaCinaCina!!! provides a platform for three Chinese curators to showcase some of the most important currents in Chinese contemporary art. Both exhibitions, new and old, demonstrate the Palazzo Strozzi’s belief in the centrality of tolerance, respect and diversity in contemporary society—a message as important today as it was 1500 years ago, in the Tang dynasty.