On Wednesday, January 25, 2012, the SRISA Gallery of Contemporary Art hosted Adalberto Abbate’s Firenze Says exhibit. This new edition of work continues the artist’s research on the themes of civil liberty, urban revolt and the freedom of expression. This site-specific project, was first presented with the title Palermo Says in Palermo in 2010 for the exhibition Rivolta at the galleria Francesco Pantaleone. It considers the potential for self-determination in the individual and the freedom of expression and rebellion that underpins the act of writing words of protest and dissent on the wall of the city.
Abbate does not take a moral or political position on the messages contained within the written statements, but rather highlights the importance that such acts have in disturbing the silence. A silence that is broken by those with something to say but no voice, that in exasperation, write on the walls and find that they have a voice.
In these photographs, the artist is depicted as he mimes the act of writing the statements on the walls, and in doing so he lends a face to the anonymous authors. He presence is not one of appropriation but rather completes the act and implicates the need for personal responsibility.