TOAST Project Space, the new exhibition space for independent art

a place for reflection on contemporary styles and practices

The idea behind Toast Project Space came directly from the ex-porter’s lodge at Manifattura Tabacchi in Florence.

It is the brainchild of artist in residence Stefano Giuri, who worked in collaboration with Sergio Risaliti, curator of the three-year artistic residency programme at Manifattura Tabacchi.

Toast addresses the need that was here in the Florentine area for an innovative space where young artists can develop projects which are open and challenging, and which offers them a much broader audience. Toast represents a place for the exchange of experiences, filling a gap that exists between the public and works of art, through constant commitment and the regeneration of dialectical exchange between the artist, critics, and the public.

The exhibition space opened 24 january 2019 with the installation Cuore by young artist Rebecca Moccia (born 1992, Napoli), in her first exhibition in Florence. It marked the first instalment of the artistic project Fireworks, a generational tale on the work of the artist and the romanticism of their useless gestures.

Every time an artist-run space opens it’s always an important occasion for art, and for culture in general. Having an independent space also entails a type of approach which is away from the market, and so also more liberating, it gives you the possibility to experiment and be expressive in a way that would be difficult to do in other situations.

Rebecca Moccia

“At the start of the residency, Sergio asked us to work on the theme of Care. Therefore, when I was looking at the different areas of Manifattura Tabacchi, looking at all the different possibilities in these spaces, I focused on the smallest space here, the ex-porter’s lodge in the Cortile della Ciminiera. It’s a starting point where the artist can take care of a space and, in my case, work with emerging young Italian artists, inviting them into Manifattura Tabacchi and let them experiment, taking in all the different artistic disciplines.

Toast is a process and a work of art which will open and close from time to time in a unique relationship with one or more artists. It creates a web which is always able to keep the work of the artist at its centre, without imposing formal limits upon them. The artist will be free to make mistakes and challenge themselves through working with this space. Toast is also a test of love and resilience.

Stefano Giuri