IN RANDOM ORDER, BOBOLI GARDEN, UFFIZI GALLERIES | FLORENCE, ITALY
This summer will see the unveiling of a major new solo exhibition by contemporary artist Helidon Xhixha curated by the director of the Uffizi Museum, Dr. Eike D. Schmidt. Set within the stunning scenery of the Boboli Gardens in Florence, the exhibition titled In Ordine Sparso, will seek to explore the ideas of Chaos and Order through an ambitious series of monumental sculptures and installations.
For this exhibition the artist has sought to explore the deeply complex themes of Chaos and Order, by taking inspiration from nature and sacred geometry. The exhibition can be understood as being split into two separate sections, where a clearly discernible difference between the worlds of chaos and order are apparent. In the Limonaia of the Boboli Gardens the artist has looked to nature in order to discover Chaos. By taking inspiration from the crystal caves of Naica, Mexico, Xhixha has designed a complex response to the seemingly random selenite formations whilst creating artworks still imbued with the signature aesthetic that the artist has become so recognised for. The Limonaia has been transformed into an artistic response to the caves themselves; great column-like structures form an impressive tangle through which the visitor can explore. The installation acts as a visual and immersive response to the idea of chaos itself, no underlying patterns or regularities are discernible within the layout; yet still beauty can be found in the abstract and the random.
For the artist’s response to Order, monumental structures have been placed in prominent outdoor locations around the Boboli garden, inspired by sacred geometric principles, whose roots are again found in nature. Perhaps most striking of all are the large-scale sculptures placed in front of the Palazzo Pitti; Conoscenza and Infinito. Situated at either side of the palace entrance, these works display intricate levels of geometric regularity that instantly capture the viewer’s attention. Conoscenza, in which curved segments of steel spiral outwards from a central point, is reminiscent of the spiralling Nautilus shell; nature’s most recognisable answer to the golden ratio, increasing in size as it oscillates. Infinito, although very different to Conoscenza, again reminds us of fundamental concepts within Order, in this case balance and regularity. Two sloping forms, fragmented and rising in opposite directions, sit side by side. They are at once the same and also entirely different; they parallel not only each other, but also the exhibition itself: a place where opposites can be understood, not as disparate entities, but instead, as highly connected concepts.