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Joana Vasconcelos meets IED Florence students

Boundary breaking, contamination and dialogue: the key words of the ongoing transformation

Florence, Oct. 9, 2023-A few days after the opening of her solo exhibition “Between Heart and Sky”-currently underway at the Uffizi Galleries-Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos met with students of IED Florence, invited by Director Danilo Venturi to follow up on “Monograph“, the series of conversations with leading figures in the international creative industry inaugurated in June with Danielle Kwateng of Teen Vogue.

By decontextualizing everyday objects and updating the connection between arts and crafts for the 21st century, Joana Vasconcelos establishes a dialogue between private sphere and public space, popular heritage, and high culture. With humor and irony she questions the status of women, consumer society, and collective identity.

“I am fully aware that I would not do the work I do if I were not a woman and if I were not Portuguese. I was born in France (my parents were exiled to France during the dictatorship) but I grew up in Portugal and have always been mesmerized by the richness of Portuguese culture and the link between arts and crafts so present in my work. The tiles, creams, textiles, embroidery, jewelry, gilded woodwork, abundance of color and use of light are all declinations of the country’s savoir-faire that made me a true Baroque artist,” says Joana Vasconcelos.

In dialogue with students from all IED courses, the artist recounted the creative process behind her monumental Works, citing among others her interpretation of Lady Dior and the Wedding Cake installed in the Rothschilds’ English garden. Joana Vasconcelos thus affirmed the value of the contamination between Design, Fashion and Art as the highest form of contemporary expression.

“Joana has shown us how the hybridization of different languages can cross all cultural and social boundaries. This is the answer to the greatest transformations taking place – including the challenge of Artificial Intelligence. This is the way to conceive of something new – since as human beings we do not have the faculty to create from nothing. This is the return to Humanism we have been waiting for,” says Danilo Venturi Director of IED Florence.