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Preview: Centered

— In dialogue with the gallery owner Massimo De Carlo and the artist Matt Mullican —

05/25/2021

Through a general presentation by the gallerists, curators and directors of art spaces and insights by the words of the artists involved in some of our selected exhibitions, PREVIEW will guide you on a series of imaginary tours of Milan's galleries.


In this new appointment we spoke with the gallery owner Massimo De Carlo and the artist Matt Mullican on the occasion of the opening of the new exhibition Centered (on view from 25 May to 26 June 2021).


Could you tell me about the exhibition, through a series of adjectives / images, in order to suggest and anticipate what our readers will discover in the gallery?


Massimo De Carlo: Matt Mullican's cosmology is astonishing: a vocabulary of symbols that reveal the mechanics of the world and of thought. Visiting a Mullican exhibition is a revealing experience 


In the course of your artistic production you have developed a vocabulary and an apparatus of signs and symbols that offer a multifaceted vision of the universe. Could you illustrate the genesis of these symbols and their distribution in the so-called "five worlds"?


In 1975 I began to map reality through the various symbols that I happened to observe around - at home, in public places, in short, everywhere - until I came up with a true cosmology, a system of classification of all reality that I then divided into five worlds. Each of these worlds corresponds to a different level of perception and is represented by as many colors: green for physical and material elements; blue for everyday life; yellow for elements that acquire value through culture and science, such as art; black for language and signs; red for subjectivity and ideas.


I conceived all of this well before the iPhone was invented, even though we now conceive of having to constantly interface with symbols as very normal. What I appreciate about this exhibition is the mixture of the old and the new - the iPad with which it will be possible to enjoy the 3D sculpture - and how the details of the floor and ceiling recall and form a whole with the symbols of my cosmology.


In the exhibition we find several rubbings, of which the first one dates back to 1984. Could you illustrate the technique with which this type of works are made?


M.M.: With rubbing we mean a technique that in some ways follows the so-called "frottage"; this was the first way in which it was possible to duplicate an image and therefore can be considered the first form of mass media. I usually proceed using a cardboard plate on which I place the canvas, then rubbing with a stick of oil the cardboard reliefs, the shapes become visible on the canvas, and as a result we get something that is not there, like the shape of a copy. Rubbing represents what the eye sees; it is the relief.


The rubbings exhibited by Massimo De Carlo have the same background, in the sense that they are made from the same relief, the only difference is in the colors used to represent the five worlds. 


The practice of hypnosis has been part of and influencing your artistic production for several decades now. Could you illustrate your relationship with this technique, also in relation to this particular exhibition?


M.M.I've been working with hypnosis since the 1970s, mainly as a means to explore the possibilities and limits of the subjectivity of perception and to question my aesthetic and existential position as an artist. What I appreciate about this practice is that it doesn't allow you to predict what is going to happen, as the psyche is completely altered by it, out of bound and crazy, and it is this trance state that I am interested in. 


This, in my opinion, is a good starting point for the fruition of my banners - in the exhibition we find one of them exposed -, which appear as colored flags, completely singular and authoritarian, and you can't really understand what they represent, if not when you can really "enter the painting" and reach this state of trance 


I would like to talk about the work 3D Overall Chart, how was this work born and what characterizes it?


In 1991 I was the first international artist to create a 3D painting and to entertain an artistic approach with virtual reality. 3D Overall Chart is a virtual work, which, through the use of augmented reality, redefines the spatial coordinates altering the perception of reality. It is a 3D model, built on a chart that I created in 1982, within which are contained all five worlds, each floor is a different world. During the exhibition, with the help of an IPad it will be possible to go inside the sculpture, moving virtually inside this architecture. Even entering a virtual reality, just like reaching a state of trance, implies immersing oneself in illusory parallel realities. 


 The exhibition will be open at Massimo De Carlo Gallery - Sede Piazza Belgioioso Piazza Belgioioso 2, Milan, from 25 May to 26 June


Interview by Camilla Stecca

Preview: Di Amici, di Uomini e di Pontormo

— In dialogue with the gallery owner Monica Bottani and the artist Corrado Levi —

05/19/2021

Through a general presentation by the gallerists, curators and directors of art spaces and insights by the words of the artists involved in some of our selected exhibitions, PREVIEW will guide you on a series of imaginary tours of Milan's galleries.


In this new appointment we spoke with the gallery owner Monica Bottani and the artist Corrado Levi on the occasion of the opening of the new exhibition Di Amici, di Uomini e di Pontormo (on view from 19 may to 16 july 2021).


Could you tell me about the exhibition, through a series of adjectives / images, in order to suggest and anticipate what our readers will discover in the gallery?


Monica Bottani: The exhibition presents a selection of works, all from the Eighties, almost all unpublished and built around the theme of the body, understood by the artist as a privileged place for experiences, sometimes portrayed in an evident, classic or direct way, other times evoked through allusions and references. 


Upstairs two large canvases: Tracce di nudo (1982) and Serie Autunno (1982) where the bodies of some friends, loves and life partners are translated into fast and tangled signs, quick gestures in bright colors. To complete the exhibition on the floor, two works inspired by the figure of Jacopo da Pontormo; on the one hand the work Undici volte col Pontormo (1982) and in front, as if suspended in the sky, the silhouette of the same Pontormo man in a wooden version to whose foot a rear-view mirror of a car is anchored and entitled Ce I 'ho in un piede (1987). 


Going downstairs, you will first come across a smaller version of the Pontormo in bronzo, a link between the upper and lower floors that introduces a denser and more primordial atmosphereThe works Radio Amico  (1986) and Uomini di Corrado Levi in fact reproduce a more alluring and shameless sensuality. The exhibition ends with a large canvas hung as a banner and painted with the spray, with a technique close to graffiti, a current that the artist was able to experience directly in the years of frequenting the East Village in New York 


As can be seen from the title of the exhibition and the works on display Undici volte col Pontormo and Ce l’ho in un piede, the figure of Pontormo, a precocious talent but subsequently misunderstood during his maturity, was a strong inspiration for the your artistic production (particularly during the course of the 1980s). Could you illustrate the nature of your connection with the painter?


Corrado Levi: Some people say that what links my figure with that of Pontormo is a certain restlessness in living and thinking, an affirmation that I do not feel I can fully agree with. Pontormo is first of all one of the artists I love the most, starting with the Deposizione di  Santa Felicita, and thanks to which I was incredibly  conferred with the chair of Architectural Composition at the Polytechnic of Milan by Paolo Portoghesi, who was fascinated by my reading of Pontormo's "Diary" during a student occupation in the Sixties.


When, at a young age, I saw the drawing protagonist of Undici volte col Pontormo at the Uffizi Gallery, this irremediably impressed itself on me and, during the years of Italian terrorism, I found myself over and over again redesigning it, based on the imprinted figure in the memory of my mind, through a series of small touches of a pencil, as if immersed in a sort of hypnotic raptus through which I retraced and explored the represented body. In this work we find my reproduction of that drawing multiplied eleven times, and each copy is diversified by a stroke of color, each time different, which veils its sex.


Where does the need to exhibit paintings made forty years ago come from? Would you say that in some way the events of those years influenced the production of these works? 


C.L .: This exhibition at the Ribot gallery is inevitably in continuity with the one we created in 2017, which acts like a flashback for this new exhibition. Together with Monica we decided to reopen this parenthesis of the 80s, selecting some of my works that had not seen the light for some years, together with other unpublished ones that had never been exhibited before, thus giving the public the opportunity to enjoy them.


 These works are very different from each other, because the contexts in which they were made are different (I mention for example La Spezia and New York), but among which it is possible to grasp a certain coherence and continuity, and for this reason we decided to make them again, or finally, to retrieve from my archive. A further connection that can be found between the period in which these works were produced and the strange period we are experiencing is that in the 1980s. For reasons of a different nature but just like now, we lived most of our time closed at home, afraid. 


The centrality of the body is a recurring feature of your artistic production, which appears in the exhibited canvases as well as evoked in its absence, and therefore paradoxically invisible. Where does this urge to depict - and consequently explore - the male body come from, and, the object of your pictorial activity is always another body or is it also a way to get in touch with the physicality of your own one? 


CL: The body, in particular the body of others, is something that has always interested me, and that has taken root in me as a sort of obsession, which, as the title of the exhibition also suggests, has had as its main object the body of the people I frequented daily, like friends of the time, but also this naked figure protagonist of a cycle of frescoes by Pontormo.


I created Tracce di Nudo and Serie Autunno literally positioning the bodies of some friends on the canvas, subsequently retracing their silhouettes with the brush, through the creation of an abstract sign which, however, has as its starting point the physicality of closed people. In Undici volte col Pontormo instead, my obsession with this reclining figure of Pontormo is evident, but I personalized it with these touches of color, coming to mention an aspect that I would define “sensual and sexual”. Having also actively participated in the first movements to emancipate homosexual rights, it was somehow inevitable that the issue of the freedom of the body would also become dear to me.


 The exhibition will be open at Ribot Gallery, via Enrico Nöè 23, Milan, from 19 May to 16 July


Interview by Camilla Stecca

Preview: Bello Bellissimo// Marco Siciliano

— In dialogue with the curatorial collective Superfluo and the artist Marco Siciliano —

04/26/2021

Through a general presentation by the gallerists, curators and directors of art spaces and insights by the words of the artists involved in some of our selected exhibitions, PREVIEW will guide you on a series of imaginary tours of Milan's galleries.


In this new appointment we spoke with the curatorial collective Superfluo and the artist Marco Siciliano on the occasion of the opening of the new exhibition Bello Bellissimo// Marco Siciliano (on view from 27 April to 22 May 2021).


Could you tell me about the exhibition, through a series of adjectives / images, in order to suggest and anticipate what our readers will discover in the gallery?


Superfluo: Once used, patches completely lose all function and value, and therefore are among the most easily lost and forgotten objects, despite having been in contact with our fragility and intimacy. Through the physical and digital showcase, Bello Bellissimo // Marco Siciliano  intends to accompany the viewer on a journey of re-evaluation of what is no longer necessary.


Superfluo connects to Marco's solo show, Vergissmeinnicht (Forget me not) at Hošek Contemporary, developing a research on how, in his work, the superfluous changes into super-fluo (highlight / give visibility). The artist, loading the abandoned patches with experience and intimacy, transforms them into coordinates, then into bright stars, and finally into new constellations with which to re-interpret the zodiac man: medical theory based on the awareness that in the individual it is enclosed the universe. 


Your collaboration with Superfluo for this exhibition is closely linked to your personal Vergissmeinnicht (Forget me not) and the release of your book of the same name at Hošek Contemporary in Berlin. Could you tell me about the fil rouge that unites these three elements?


Marco Siciliano: The Vergissmeinnicht exhibition is inspired by Ludovico Ariosto's Orlando Furioso in which the knight Astolfo goes to the moon, a place where all the things lost on Earth are collected, in search of Orlando's lost wisdom. The light of the moon, which illuminating from under the beams of the gallery / boat floor in Berlin, will make visible the interstices that allow you to lose the objects inside, thus giving value to the void. A collection of patches photographed in the streets of Milan and geolocated on the urban map are thus transformed from abandoned objects to stars in the celestial vaults. The constellations created will form a new zodiac which, inspired by the zodiacal man, will remodel the cosmic influences applied to the body. Bringing attention back to it through the psychosomatic expression of a microcosm. And it is precisely the body through his hands that will mix with the pages of the book made of opaque tracing paper, allowing us to see through our own skin and reminding ourselves not to forget again.


Since 2018 you have started taking photographs of patches found on the street, among the most intimate objects with which we interface but also those we get rid of faster once their usefulness has ceased, to create real maps in which we find represented the geolocation of the same. On display we find a curtain that serves as the surface of the map; what motivated the decision to combine these two elements?


M.S.: Photographic archiving and geolocation were a way to give new light and dignity to this intimate object. Ariosto's poem through its metaphors focuses on how something abandoned can, simply by accumulating on the moon, turn into a star. The collaboration with Superfluo has exactly this premise. But more than the heroic act of crossing universes in search of them, we wanted to celebrate the everyday life that is the basis of the myth. And so the map, the key to understand the path and research of the exhibition in Berlin, becomes a decoration on an everyday and familiar element like a hand-sewn curtain which, with its imperfection, presupposes a distracted body looking at the stars.


Psychosomatic pains, very often symptoms of a deeper and therefore latent malaise, are a constant theme of your artistic production. Can this in some way be connected with the conception of the plaster, as well as as a device with which to treat a wound, as a pseudo-protective layer to go instead to operate a concealment - with consequent neglect - of the wound itself?


M.S.: Yes, my research has focused on psychosomatic pain as a communicative method of an unconscious that is unable to express its discomfort and turns into physical pain. The title "Forget me not" wants to focus attention on our body which asks not to be forgotten like a plaster on the ground. And this is how this exhibition wants to emphasize the importance of the change of point of view, of how the void or something forgotten can resonate in unison with the cosmos. There is a step in Astolfo's journey to the moon in which once he arrives on the satellite he turns and observes the earth, which appears so small, and with it also its problems.


The exhibition will be open at Superfluo, via Francesco Reina 9, Milan, from April 27th to May 22nd.


On the same dates, the exhibition Vergissmeinnicht (Forget me not) will be on view at the Hošek Contemporary gallery in Berlin.


Interview by Camilla Stecca

Architectures of life | HERE

— In dialogue with the artist Jitka Hanzlovà —

04/23/2021

The extensive retrospective hosted at the National Gallery in Prague last year curated by Adam Budak, has anticipated the solo exhibition of the Czech artist Jitka Hanzlovà, which can be visited until May 8 in Raffaella Cortese Gallery’  spaces of via Stradella 1 and 4.


The exhibition Architectures of life, the fourth with the gallery, collects photographs taken from various series created by Jitka Hanzlovà over the last thirty years. In the wake of Silences at the National Gallery in Prague, for the first time we find the photographic series exhibited not in an isolated and autarchic way, but rather interconnected through a different way of looking, with the intention of creating a constellation of relationships between some of her most significant shots. 


Deeply convinced of the fact that "nothing can exist alone", after 30 years of shooting the artist began to feel the urge to make explicit the common thread between all the series that she shot. The intuition towards a subject, the form in which this is portrayed and the final content of the shot are three recurring elements in her series, as well as a non-hierarchical composition of the portraits, driven by intuition for which the background is essential in the composition of the photo as much as the portrayed subject.


Furthermore, for Jitka Hanzlovà, behind the apparently mechanical gesture of hanging photos on the wall hides the expression of a real linguistic act - the photos are not exhibited as icons but as if they were real linguistic and musical utterances -  confirming the fact that through photography Hanzlovà was able to express what it was impossible to do in words. The attention to the layout is also evident with regard to the choice of colors, if in fact each series is marked by the different color of the frames. Moreover, for this particular exhibition the artist carefully selected the color of the walls, fil rouge of the elements belonging to different series and whose decorative function becomes secondary. Of extreme importance for the photographer, in addition to the element of color, is the distance between the frames on display, never the same between one photograph and another and, according to the artist, fundamental to the rhymths and textures that contain the subjects.


Following, the artist Jitka Hanzlová about the series HERE.


In the years 1997-1998 I intensively explored the area here in Essen and around photographically. I was interested in the effect of urban nature in an industrialized area, I first called it Civilized Nature. Landscapes, in the middle of the biggest agglomeration, Composed of many cities with overlapping borders. There the hills, valleys, primeval forests, waters that were not, were strange to me. Contradictions that have become part of our modern industrialized life, that also characterize landscapes and these again characterize man: separated from nature, elevated above nature and yet dependent on it, ever more distant from it in consciousness. I felt my longing for closeness to the elements. I felt this alienation, and contradictions around me, wanted to transform these, sublimate, visualize, convert into images, and then yet deep inside always sought a connection. I found many contradictions, could not cope with it inwardly and also no further and broke off the work.


 In 2005, after completing of the work Forest, collected for 5 years in the forests of my childhood, I took the red-labeled box with Civilized Nature again in hand, leafed through the working prints and began again to play with the thought, here to work on the opposite, on the contradictions, to stop traveling far and work here on the doorstep of my adopted home. Partly with desire, partly with frustration, I went where I know it and yet never been, discovered landscapes that were foreign to me. I stayed HERE in the radius of about 20 km. And so I let myself drift - into areas where the borders of the cities flow into each other, often I didn't even know where I was. Not seldom an inconsolable area, the overgrown wounds of war and coal mining visible as traces. In the 2nd world war the industrial area was widely bombed down to destroy industrial facilities. And from below, in order to mine coal, was extensively hollow out in the depths, during decades. With self irony I called it "Home Sweet Home" for now, took the thought and two pictures from the box Civilized Nature, continued to collect my new experience in new and old places, in front of and behind the fences -und pictures of people and places.


 The deeper I got, the greater my doubts, questions, where do I belong, the longing for the roots, for closeness to nature, a dichotomy. How foreign and how familiar am I in front of my own door? What does home look like under the sign of industrialization, globalization and mobility - also of the soul? 


I was looking for signs of life in this area. A cosmos, which one accepts, always developed further, that has taken on a life of its own. It has got its very own form. 


Article curated by Camilla Stecca.

Preview: Tamed LOve

— In dialogue with the gallery owners Federica Schiavo and Chiara Zoppelli and the artist Sara Ravelli —

12/04/2021

Through a general presentation by the gallerists, curators and directors of art spaces and insights by the words of the artists involved in some of our selected exhibitions, PREVIEW will guide you on a series of imaginary tours of Milan's galleries.


In this new appointment we spoke with Federica Schiavo and Chiara Zoppelli, owners of Schiavo Zoppelli Gallery, and the artist Sara Ravelli on the occasion of the opening of the new exhibition Tamed Love (on view from 12 April to 15 May 2021).


Could you tell me about the exhibition, through a series of adjectives / images, in order to suggest and anticipate what our readers will discover in the gallery?


 Federica Schiavo and Chiara Zoppelli: Visiting Sara Ravelli's Tamed Love (Domesticated Love) exhibition, you move between tactile, visual and emotional sensations: the hardness and, at the same time, the fragility of the raw clay vibrate on the enveloping and warmth of the fleece, while the roughness of the rope and the cold metal are mitigated by the softness of the cloth, or by the delicacy of a bow. Until you discover that among those materials there are presences, at times more evident and at other barely hinted, evoked.


In this path, suggested by the traces of salt left on the ground, the tension between the need for affectivity and the control of the bonds, which derive from it, melts in the sweetness of the story.


First of all, Sara, could you tell me about the title of  Tamed Love exhibition, which is also the title of one of the two installations we find on display?


Sara Ravelli: The title of the exhibition recalls a larger work that includes a small book of the same name that I wrote collecting a series of personal and non-personal stories, scientific facts and news stories, where the interactions between human and animal subjects are the protagonists. Analyzing specifically the tools of domestication, Tamed Love refers to the recurring dynamic whereby some relationships of affection hide relationships of power and violence. The costumes for horses, the book and the curtains are three elements that arise from the same thoughts formalized in different ways.


Starting from the title Tamed Love, can your reference to these relationships between man and animal, in which the aspect of care always implies also one of control, be read in some way in the light of the Foucaultian conception according to that every social relationship is also always a relationship of power?


S.R.: The research that led me to Tamed Love was born thinking about the relationship between human and artifact. Discovering that I was interested in talking about power relationships, the focus shifted to the relationships between human, artifact and animal. Among these three subjects in particular, the dynamics of submission and the instruments of control are evident and more interesting, because they are guided by an alleged affection. I believe that investigating the relationships between human and non-human can be a way to deconstruct the relationships between man and man as well.
If I had to quote a philosopher I would say Paul B. Preciado with Amour dans l'anthropocène, a text that I feel very close.


The two installations on display are presented as multi-materials, starting with the use of different fabrics (such as nylon, polyester ...) but also salt and raw clay. How does the selection process take place that subsequently leads you to choose the materials with which you make your works?


S.R.: I select the materials in such a way as to assemble them conceptually and emotionally. I often choose them for their functional use or for the stereotypical imagery to which they refer. Then I overturn its meaning, trying to create tensions between the formal elements and between the materials themselves. I never commission the work to third parties, not for an authorial question but because I prefer to experiment the techniques personally and intuitively, trying to understand their limits and possibilities. This approach helps me to better understand how materials respond to external factors: how they fall, how they bend, how they get dirty or how they change over time. In this sense, matter always becomes an encumbrance and at the same time an evocative element.


The exhibition will be open at Schiavo Zoppelli Gallery from April 12th to May 15th. For appointments, email to  info@schiavozoppelli.com


Interview by Camilla Stecca

Samson Young, Closer Reading | Sonata for Smoke

— In dialogue with Ordet's director Edoardo Bonaspetti —

04/09/2021

Research and reflections on the meaning of form were the starting point for the artist Samson Young in the creation of the works exhibited on the occasion of his first solo show in Italy, Closer Reading, which can now be visited at the Ordet exhibition spaces.


This series of polysemic works - in addition to the video installation protagonist of the first hall we are in fact presented with drawings, sound works and installations - it represents the fruit of a few weeks' residence at the oldest Zen temple in Kyoto, Kennini-ji, in which the Chinese artist involved last year.
The result is an articulated and immersive environment, to the point that the viewer will happen to find himself  in the same meditative atmosphere of the Buddhist temple where Young has found inspiration for the works on display.


The video installation Sonata for smoke - made in 2020 but adapted 2021 for this one particular exhibition - it consists, in addition to a seven-minute video, of a book of Zen writings which shows an Enso circle on the cover - symbol of illumination, infinity and the absolute universe - and a pair of pieces in clay on whose surface
we find engraved decorative elements of the Kennin-ji temple.
In the video, which is structured by a series of recurring scenes and images in which the artist is always present in an attempt to record the soundtracks of the elements in motion, both the book of Zen writings and the two clay sculptures appear, thus contributing to the composition of a real meta-work.


Following, Ordet's director Edoardo Bonaspetti on the work Sonata for Smoke.


The principles of Buddhism reveal a transitory reality where the world is reduced to forms compound and not fixed. I think that these conditions have favored the artist to produce works that are co-present and active on multiple levels, in search of different possible configurations. The video itself is a path, clearly poetic and allusive, in which Young is perhaps trying to find a way out.


Article curated by Camilla Stecca.

Digital Mourning | Screen Talk

— In dialogue with the artist NeÏl Beloufa —

03/25/2021

Digital Mourning by NeÏl Beloufa, curated by Roberta Tenconi, is the first solo exhibition dedicated to the Franco-Algerian artist by an Italian institution, currently on display in the exhibition spaces of the Pirelli HangarBicocca foundation - which we await to reopen to the public.


Exasperated contemporaneity is the central theme of the exhibition. Starting from the title Digital Mourning, aiming to underline the paradoxicality and duality of the digital dimension; which certainly allows the creation of alternative fictitious worlds as well as emulators of the real one, the nature of which is however very fragile but powerful enough to weaken - sometimes even annihilating - our primary reality.


The narration of Digital Mourning is set in a scenario that vaguely recalls that of a music festival with high volume music and neon lights but it also coincides with the shooting set used by the artist for the movie set in the fictional city of Agrabah - specifically in a well-known amusement park that appears now to have been abandoned. The exhibition is polysemic, starting from the focus on contemporary society and the ways in which it is reproduced and mediated by digital interactions and technological systems the interventions, specifically created for Pirelli HangarBicocca, present videos, films, installations and sculptures, which consist of adaptations of works previously realized by NeÏl Beloufa.


The exhibition itinerary opens with Screen Talk, an experimental online project which comes from an adaptation of the video dating back to 2014 in a mini-series for the web Home is whenever I'm with you and is divided into contiguous thematic sections, through which the visitors are guided by the continuous and sudden interventions of the three hosts - false sculptures and digital entities that embody certain stereotypes and attitudes.


Following, the artist NeÏl  Beloufa on the work Screen Talk.


Home is whenever I’m with you was a video that I wasn’t super satisfied with, and that I never really finished. When it was made, it was hard to understand, it was a bit goofy and weird even to me. When the pandemic happened, the relationship between people happening only through the digital made finally sense and the project appeared like a weird mirror of the present.


As I wanted to try to still diffuse culture and produce artworks during the lockdown, we decided to finish it and to find a context for it to be displayed that would play with the life we had at the time. We decided to create a funny old fashion website with games that look like spams, block chain certified editions that you could print at home and make, around that film as a mini-series. What was interesting to me was that I would have never shot a movie about the pandemic during the pandemic, because I do not work with actuality. So the timing and the difference with the movie added an interesting distance to the project. 


Although the pandemic probably gave attention to the project, what was interesting to me is that the mini-series real subject, which is «how do humans relate to one another through technology and digital space», was something that was to me necessary to address during the lockdown. 


Normally when I create an artwork, it is shown at first in the physical space, and then mediated through the internet as a document, as if for «artists», the digital was a lower place to diffuse or if this space was not a space for art. During the lockdown, culture was mostly consumed through it at a rate that I guess never happened before. Bringing back into an installation - as the entrance of the show Digital Mourning in Pirelli HangarBicocca - was a bit of a joke to reverse that mechanic, to document internet into the physical space, and also to mark the fact that I was happy to do something physical again, while considering that the real space of existence of Screen-talk is digital.


Article curated by Camilla Stecca

Preview: Past

— In dialogue with Alessandra Minini and the artist Jacopo Benassi —

09/02/2021

Through a general presentation by the gallerists, curators and directors of art spaces and insights by the words of the artists involved in some of our selected exhibitions, PREVIEW will guide you on a series of imaginary tours of Milan's galleries.


In this new appointment we spoke with Alessandra Minini of Francesca Minini gallery and the artist Jacopo Benassi on the occasion of the opening of the new exhibition Past (on view from 9 February to 27 March 2021).


Could you tell me about the exhibition, through a series of adjectives / images, in order to suggest and anticipate what our readers will discover in the gallery?


Alessandra Minini: The adjectives with which I would describe Jacopo Benassi's first exhibition at the gallery are: surprising, unexpected, curious and strong. Past will be a real surprise for the visitors, especially for those already familiar with the artist's work, both in terms of represented subjects and in terms of what awaits them in the final room, which I am sure will hit them. There is a sort of short circuit between Past and Vuoto (Void), which is currently on view at Centro Pecci in Prato. The latter is a summa of Jacopo's production, comprising some of his most intimate works, while in Past a new direction converges. The result is nevertheless highly recognizable, as Jacopo's approach and the formal aspect of his works are always the same.would not like to reveal further but instead maintain an aura of mystery, inviting the readers to directly enjoy the surprise I have mentioned and to visit this exhibition that I believe is not to be missed.


The protagonists of the photos on display are fish and their natural habitat, the sea and the water. Can you tell us how the relationship between you and this habitat has influenced the portrait?


Jacopo Benassi: This year I decided to spend the summer in Monterosso, after several years in which I had not been to the seaside anymore, and I bought an underwater camera. So, I started spending evenings on the shore, taking pictures of fishes, feeling like we were having a sort of fixed appointment everyday. Immersing yourself in water allows you to have access to another dimension, you see things from another perspective, and the result in the photos is that the subjects are enlarged compared to how they appear when viewed from behind the mask. They were extremely intimate moments, almost meditative in nature, which is strange for me as I am a person much more inclined to action and with a tendency to have several projects at the same time.


Past is your first solo show at the gallery, on this occasion several of your unpublished works will be exhibited. How does this exhibition represent a moment of transition towards a new phase of your artistic production?


J.B.: The shots I decided to exhibit at Francesca Minini are the result of this summer's work, so they were made just after the spread of Covid-19 and in a time when the health emergency seemed to have at least partially subsided. Furthermore, Past comes after my exhibition at Pecci, on which occasion of which I had to empty my entire studio in order to partially rebuild it in the museum, and this was a very strong experience for me. Consequently, immersing myself in water, as if assuming the perspective of fish, allowed me to see the photograph through another perspective, The water represents a purifying element of reflection, which opens up to infinite successive possibilities.


Although Past represents a turning point in your artistic career, black and white remains your stylistic imprint. What connotations does it allow you to impress on the protagonists of your shots?


J.B.: I've only been taking black and white photos for fifteen years now, because that's the way I see things best. On the other hand, color influences me too much, as it conditions my way of conceiving the final result of a photo, leading me to judge a part of it interesting and another part less interesting. With black and white, instead, I am interested in everything in the same way, as it neutralizes the elements putting them all on the same level, and the result appears so homogeneous. So, it is true that black and white continues to be present, but the real elements of novelty lie in the surprise effect of the last room of the gallery, which Alessandra has already mentioned.


The photos on display are all surrounded by a dark wooden frame, partly burned, while the glass that covers them has two vertical incisions. Where does this stylistic choice come from and what hidden meanings does it bring with it?


J.B.: I have been burning the frames of my photos for a couple of years, especially since my collaboration with galleries began, allowing me to grow artistically. I burn them to warm them up and sometimes finish them off with ax blows. This gesture allows me to leave the world of photography and enter the contemporary art one. I like to work wood on a sculptural level, as a sort of final gesture, and the same thing goes for the engravings on the glass. These are gestures that I used to hate, but whose potential I now understand. The burns and cuts allow me to change the appearance of the photograph, transforming it into something else, almost a sculpture, and I become like a sort of a painter who creates unique pieces, each bearer of his own story.


The exhibition will be open at Francesca Minini gallery from February 9th to March 27th. For appointments, email to  info@francescaminini.it


Interview by Camilla Stecca

Preview: Abglanz

— In dialogue with the curatorial duo Twenty14 and the artist Alina Maria Frieske —

05/02/2021

Through a general presentation by the gallerists, curators and directors of art spaces and insights by the words of the artists involved in some of our selected exhibitions, PREVIEW will guide you on a series of imaginary tours of Milan's galleries.


In this fourth appointment we spoke with the curatorial duo Twenty14 (Matilde Scaramellini and Elena Vaninetti) and the artist Alina Maria Frieske.


Can you tell me about the show, through a series of adjectives / images,  to suggest and anticipate what our readers will see in the gallery?


Twenty14: In the works presented at the gallery, fragments of photographs uploaded on online sharing platforms and social networks are assembled into new images, as if they were pieces of different puzzles, mixed and matched in a single tableau.
It's an echo of last year, during which virtual relationships have profoundly marked our daily life and altered our perception.
Alina presents a new cold and evocative imagery which, starting from the huge source of the web, reconstructs everyday scenarios with a pictorial delicacy even without using a brush.


First of all, Alina, could you tell me about the title of the exhibition (Abglanz, in english " Reflection"), and in which way it can suggest to the viewers a possible key to interpret the works on display?


Alina Maria Frieske: The title Abglanz refers to the way how we present ourselves online on social media profiles. I was interested in the dissemination of daily snapshots and self-portraits, looking for a way to reflect about the material from a distance.


The starting point for your collages are images you select from the Web. Why don't you choose images that you have taken yourself? 


A.M.F.: The aim was to create a collective portrait and to combine different viewpoints of the singular and the multitude. I am interested in how other images are constructed and aim to look for commonalities and patterns in the usage.


The deliberately grainy and undefined effect of your works - which is reminiscent of low-definition photos - produces a kind of estrangement effect in the viewer. The lack of clarity in the features of human faces seems to echo the theme of a fluid and confused identity, and the natural setting of these subjects seems to be that of the dream dimension. What effect does this type of image aim to suggest? 


A.M.F.: It is a lot about both estrangement and familiarity and the difficultly to differentiate between them. The work is based on the experience that many aspects in daily live shifted to the digital sphere, which also brings up feelings of doubt and uncertainty. In this way I question when a fragment begins to shift its meaning and becomes something else.


Your research is based on the study of the intersection between photography and painting. How do these two techniques come together in your artistic production? 


A.M.F.: From the photographs that I collect I focus on small details which become detached from their original source.The fragments themselves turn into a palette or brush strokes. In the process the work develops over a longer period of time and often in repetitive actions of being re-photographed and newly arranged.


 The exhibition will be open by appointment at the gallery Twenty14 Contemporary in Milan, via Aurelio Saffi 9, from 5th February to 31st March 2021, for appointments write to twenty14contemporary@gmail.com.


Interview by Camilla Stecca

Preview: Pools and Voids

— In dialogue with Raffaella Cortese and the artist Nazgol Ansarinia —

02/04/2021

Through a general presentation by the gallerists, curators and directors of art spaces and insights by the words of the artists involved in some of our selected exhibitions, PREVIEW will guide you on a series of imaginary tours of Milan's galleries.


In this fourth appointment we spoke with the gallery owner Raffaella Cortese and the artist Nazgol Ansarinia.


Can you tell me about the show, through a series of adjectives / images,  to suggest and anticipate what our readers will see in the gallery?


Raffaella Cortese: Nazgol Ansarinia works mainly in her studio, whose intimacy is reflected in the usually small scale of her works. The new series presented at our space in via Stradella n. 7, deals with possible memories of the inhabitants of her own city Teheran. As in the series Connected Pools, in which she found the exact construction year of the numerous empty pools of the city, late 1960s, which nowadays are only characterised by a worn out light blue / blue color. These abandoned and silent "voids", that have never been demolished or reused, speak of nostalgia and become guardians of the desires born in those years


 “By dissolving substances, water helps the imagination in its task of de-objectifying and assimilating. Water is the element of dreams, the element that in helping us dematerialize the objective world inspires us to dream.” — Gaston Bachelard, Water and Dreams. This is the quote you selected as the introduction to the exhibition press release. What motivated you to choose it and what key to interpreting the exhibition would you like it to suggest to the viewers?


Nazgol Ansarinia: Water or the lack of in the case of the empty swimming pools is what the project Pools & Voids revolves around. I am exploring the conceptual significance of water in the Iranian context through the containers that have been build to hold this substance physically. In the above quote Bachelard describes a physical attribute of water that leads to one of its most significant psychological effects and so I thought it provides the most befitting way to enter this new work series.


It is undoubtedly curious, first of all considering the rapidity with which the demolition and construction (or reconstruction) of buildings usually proceeds in the city of Tehran, that these pools, although unused, continue to exist. According to your personal interpretation, the continued presence of these pools expresses “... a desire to be reused in an unexpected future, but at the same time they keep the memory of when they were filled with water and used”. As a result of your research, were you able to discover the real reason why they were prevented from being demolished?


N.A.: Throughout this process, I was less interested in arriving at a defendant answer and more in observing a situation and exploring its various aspects.


Looking at the composition of the Connected Pools sculptures, which reflect the shapes of these abandoned swimming pools not only in terms of their perimeter but also in terms of height and depth, it almost seems as if we are looking at a small utopian/dystopian city. Is there this connection and, if so, how would you imagine such a city?


N.A.: In my research I became interested in the sheer number of these pools and how once brought together their total area would be close of that of a lake. Connected Pools are the first step in thinking about how the combination of these forms can represent a collective desire. The connected pools allow for the flow of water and move from the private to the public. I am not sure as you put it, they are a manifestation of a utopian or a dystopian vision but they contains within them some kind of movement as oppose to the current unchanging state of the empty pools.


I would like to talk about Dissolving Substances, a video installation supported by two parallel screens. How did this work come about and how does the duality of the support allow you to develop the theme of the work?


N.A.: Dissolving Substances, follows the dilapidation of an empty pool over the course of time. As the paint cracks and the sun fades the colour, the patterns created as the result of decay start to resemble the surface of moving water. The videos move back and forth in time and play with the memory of water and the possibility of the empty container being filled.


 The exhibition will be open by at Galleria Raffaella Cortese in Milan, via A. Stradella 7, from 4th February to 24th April 2021, for appointments write to galleria@raffaellacortese.com. 


Interview by Camilla Stecca

Preview: Dulce de leche muy amargo

— In dialogue with Antonella Magalini and the artist Stefan Milosavljevic —

01/29/2021

Through a general presentation by the gallerists, curators and directors of art spaces and insights by the words of the artists involved in some of our selected exhibitions, PREVIEW will guide you on a series of imaginary tours of Milan's galleries.


In this third appointment we spoke with the gallerist Antonella Magalini and the artist Stefan Milosavljevic.


Can you tell me about the show, through a series of adjectives / images,  to suggest and anticipate what our readers will see in the gallery?


Antonella Magalini: For his first project at The Flat, Stefan Milosavljevic freely moved between paintings, drawings and installations, transforming colors and objects in the pursuit of the limit between visible and invisible. At a first look, what stands out are the harmonious colors and the variety of shades of the 20 canvases that embrace the gallery. But a closer reading to the captions, indicates that the paintings were made by mixing tempera colors with chemicals related to the recreational world of sex. Indeed, all the titles, while specifying the ingredients used to paint, accompany and reveal the entire exhibition.


As for example in the drawings of the "Interrupted Rainbow" series - made with markers and testosterone - where the artist invites a different vision that goes beyond the colors of the rainbow. The fil rouge of the exhibition is therefore based on paradox, contrast and transformation. There are also two sculptures in the project room, made with exclusive shopping bags made in support of the LGBTQI + community, containing elements whose portability is obviously unlikely: they are filled with heavy marble slabs and with fragile glass vases. Also present in the exhibition are two floor installations realised with shiny metal flakes in different colors describing a geometric shape on which stand out some spheres of natural minerals. The artist's intent is to underline the propensity of the elements to transform and become something different from what they originally were.


First of all, Stefan, could you tell me about the paradox of the title of the exhibition and how it reflects on the works on display, through a recurring cycle of creation and destruction?


Stefan Milosavljevic: The title of the exhibition "Dulce de Leche muy amargo" alludes to an unthinkable but absolutely possible paradox of the transformation of taste from sweet to bitter. This happens with an exaggerated sugar intake and this feature of contrast is an integral part of each work. The relationship between creation and destruction is always present and lives in the form and intention of the entire exhibition, starting from the installations made with powders metals and precious crystals spheres, crossing the entire cycle of colored canvases and sculptures, and ending with the drawings of twelve broken rainbows.


I'm interested in that moment that precedes an end, a great explosion or a catastrophic event. The instant where anything is possible, even having a completely different ending to the story. This moment is made up of fear, melancholy, courage, and why not, of hope, which I have tried to convey in my works.


I would like to talk about the sculptures "Sweet Summer Sweat" and "Heart of Glass", how are these works born and what characterizes them?


S.M.: These works arise from the idea of making an immobile action over time and space. The two sculptures have been realised using Ikea's LGBTQI + themed promotional (and supporting) bags, filling each of them respectively with colored glass vases and recycled marbles. The nature of these bags is utilitarian, that is, they should be used to carry out something while promoting a political message. This potential action is unfulfilled as the movement of the bags would cause in one case the rupture of all the vases and in the other the breakage of the bag itself due to the weight of the marble. Through these metaphors, I wanted to create a visual paradox that fully recounts how the LGBTQI + community's civil rights are in fragile yet firm condition.


The rainbow symbol is a constant of the works on display. Could you explain to me, what is the meaning you attribute to it and, in general, what motivates your choice in the use of colors?


S.M.: The rainbow is an optical phenomenon that occurs when sunlight passes through water droplets in the air. It is both real and not palpable, it’s uncontrollable and always lasts too little. What fascinates me the most is the fact that it is not tamable and that it is for anyone to be observed. I am very interested in choosing colors that are part of nature, a wild and inaccessible nature that is rarely encountered. I need to read a story inside the colors, a past or a strong intention and this need applies not only to my works.


On your canvases, besides markers and tempera, you use very particular substances (such as adrenaline, testosterone ...); where does the idea of using these substances come from? And given their particularity also on a chemical level, do you do the tests in the studio first?


S.M.: The chemicals I use always come from personal experiences. They are all invisible and transparent but they greatly characterize the transformation of the body, the brain processes as well as the character of those who take them. For this reason I am more into their intrinsic and conceptual meaning rather than into their formalization. Several tests are made, for example, in works such as the drawings, even a little error can irreparably compromise the result, thus risking to start over from the beginning. The realization of these works oscillates between the ability to patiently concentrate and the burning desire to see the finished work.


The exhibition will be open at the gallery the Flat - Massimo Carasi in Milan, via Paolo Frisi 3, from 4th February to 20th march 2021, from Tuesday to Saturday h 2.30 P.M. to 7.30 P.M. or by appontment.


Interview by Camilla Stecca

Preview: Once upon a time, today...

— In dialogue with Jessica Tanghetti and the artist Gianluca Patti —

01/27/2021

Through a general presentation by the gallerists, curators and directors of art spaces and insights by the words of the artists involved in some of our selected exhibitions, PREVIEW will guide you on a series of imaginary tours of Milan's galleries.


In this first appointment we spoke with the curator Jessica Tanghetti and the artist Gianluca Patti.


Could you tell me about the exhibition, through a series of adjectives/images, so as to suggest and anticipate what our readers will discover in the gallery?


Jessica Tanghetti: The title of the exhibition Once upon a time, today ... evocates its content, recalling a fairytale dimension that becomes the medium for telling the story of today. This is precisely the main reference of the exhibition, expressed through a continuous, constant and dynamic alternation between shapes, colors, games and movements. Color is central and in continuous transformation, manifesting itself in a fluctuating and incessantly dynamic, both in the seemingly monochrome ["Frequencies" series] and in the multicolored works ["Noise" series]; as well as in the "White Past" work, at the end of the exhibition, where the two series merge. There are also two installations on display, "The Game" and "Frequencies", which emphasize the key themes of the artist's practice, referring to the playful dimension as an innate, pure and immanent feature of the individual evolution. Colors and shapes, as well as games and movements are all connected with the story of time which is narrated by the stratifications on all the works on show, as a result from the use of materials close to the artist's intimate history. Thus, a metaphor for memories and traces of the past.


 The exhibition features two series of work and research, respectively the monochrome ("Noise" series) and the multicolor ("Frequencies" series) one. How do they relate?


Gianluca Patti: Although they seem different, the series share both the same research and creative process, articulating two kinds of works. As a matter of fact, both are the result of superimpositions of colors and matters, what changes are the moods I experience which, in some cases are represented in the "Noise" series and in others in "Frequencies" one. In any case, the works communicate with each other and if gathered, it is possible to grasp their synergy.


Your research is based on the study of matter and color. Which artists have inspired your practice?


 G:P.: At the beginning of each path it’s important to set some reference points through which personalise your own practice. I was lucky to be self-taught. Free to choose and to be influenced. Above all, there was J.M Basquiat whose color associations struck me, even before I read his story. I was captured by how perfect his "imperfection" was. As if, all the drawings, the writings and the figures chaotically shown in his works, by magic took shape in my mind.


Another artist who influenced me was Giuseppe Penone. I prefer his installations and the works related to Arte Povera. Thanks to him, I began to give importance to “things” that were next to me, decontextualizing them from their normal use and giving them different meanings.


I would like to talk about the site-specific installation "Frequencies", how was this work born and what characterizes it?


G.P.: The idea is to reproduce a "frequency" of colors that take on different meanings depending on who observes them. Thanks to its vibrations, color evokes sounds, noises or images. You just have to let yourself be carried away and forget about all the superstructures that We have. I would like to quote V. Kandinsky: "The starting point is the study of color and its effects on men", an inspiring and crucial sentence to me.


The reference to the playful dimension is a constant in your works (as it is evident in the installation "The Game"). Is there a connection between your childish perspective and Pascoli's poetics of the child?


G.P.: Although Pascoli's poetics fascinated me, I was never a model student. Listening to the child in me has always been quite natural. I think it’s visible in all my works from the colours I use to the materials that, over time, I discovered have always belonged to me. In this installation the invite is to get involved, no matter how old we are, who we are or what profession we practice. Life offers us opportunities and we must know how to seize and make the most of them. The Game represents the well known tic-tac-toe game, which simply and immediately puts us in front of choices. In the installation, the game is still open, prompting the viewer to reflect on who will make the next move ...


During the first visits to this exhibition, I was amazed to observe people’s curiosity and interest in this game they played when they were children. A blast from the past triggering the desire to continue our personal game: LIFE.


The exhibition will be open by appointment at the gallery BIANCHIZARDIN in Milan, via Pietro Maroncelli 14, from 20 January to 27 February 2021, for appointments write to info@bianchizardin.com


Interview by Camilla Stecca

Preview: Leaving no trace

— In dialogue with Renata Bianconi and the artists Ditte Ejlerskov and Pedro Matos —

01/22/2021

Through a general presentation by the gallerists, curators and directors of art spaces and insights by the words of the artists involved in some of our selected exhibitions, PREVIEW will guide you on a series of imaginary tours of Milan's galleries.


In this first appointment we spoke with gallery owner Renata Bianconi and artists Ditte Ejlerskov and Pedro Matos. 


Could you tell me about the exhibition through a series of adjectives / images, to suggest and anticipate what our readers will see in person as soon as the gallery reopens to the public?


Renata Bianconi: The exhibition Ditte Ejlerskov & Pedro Matos. Leaving No Trace, puts in dialogue two international artists represented by our gallery, the Danish Ditte Ejlerskov (1982) and the Portuguese Pedro Matos (1989). The whole project focuses on the process of subtraction and annihilation of the image in contemporary painting. As the curator Domenico de Chirico writes in the accompanying essay, Leaving no trace is the title of the exhibition in which the real meaning of “trace” is investigated from two different points of view: on one hand the implied presence, the legacy and the hint, which powerfully emerges from the work of Pedro Matos; and on the other, the vibrant and intimate displacement and the non-presence, that features in Ditte Ejlerskov’s work. 


The works on display, all new and created specifically for the exhibition, were deliberately realized by the artists in two vertical formats, one large (cm 180x160) and the other smaller and more domestic (40x30 cm). The exhibition is fluid and dynamic, it does not present the works in separated compartments, but creates a path that flows harmoniously, like a musical symphony whose notes are tonal passages, from Ditte Ejlerskov's bright colored backgrounds to the new abstract graffiti figurations by Pedro Matos.


I would like to talk about your works "Dream Gradients", how do you achieve these shaded surfaces of colours, and, in general, what motivates your choice in the use of colours (considering that they will be continuously altered by the reflection of light)?


Ditte Ejlerskov: I paint with a large soft brush designed for floor varnishing. I apply many thin layers of medium and pigment - a secret recipe I have worked on for years. If the mixture is slightly different than I intend it is harder for me to work with and I need to apply many extra layers to restore the image. I am going for a hazy matte and soft gradient, but I do not want the works to lose the human quality that the brush work entails as I am not going for an airbrush look.


When I start a painting, I just pick up some pigments and begin the process. I do not plan or reflect on what I choose. I am convinced that my hand picks up whatever colour I need to stabilize mind and body. Therefore, I do not really plan a show - I paint what I need to paint. During the course of the painting period the colours change. I apply layers where I have corrected the pigment in the mixture. Perhaps I need the middle colour to do something slightly different from what is happening on my canvas, so I change both blending colours quite dramatically. I am not consciously dealing with this. It just happens. I think this urge to relate oneself to colour is well explained by different ancient Indian philosophies; in fact the term “chromotherapy” is originally from India meaning therapy with colours. Also, in 1025, the Persian thinker Avicenna saw colors as a decisive factor in both diagnosis and treatment of people’s problems. I wish this practice could be taken more seriously today as well.


For several years I have been in a process of clearing my life and my creation from external influences such as mainstream culture, politics and general negativity. It became extra necessary during the preparations for the birth of my second child, after a traumatic experience the first time. I was so afraid. Scattered. Here this painting method helped me a lot to balance my root chakra.


The title of the exhibition is "Leaving no trace", which in your case is to be understood as a barely visible trace, of which nothing remains but a legacy. How is this theme reflected in the works on display?


Pedro Matos: That is correct, it's an idea that is very present in my paintings, leaving a trace, making a mark, striving for eternity while at the same time, and ironically, being completely ephemeral. The title of the exhibition Leaving No Trace came from a conversation between Domenico de Chirico, Ditte and I in which the starting point was a text work I have made of vinyl lettering that says, "Leave No Trace". I originally saw that expression associated with mountain trekking or nature explorers who have this message written as a way of reminding each other not to leave trash behind and preserve the natural habitat as it is. I was very intrigued with it and the relationship it could have with my other series of "graffiti paintings" - and even other suggestions it may arise - such as in covering up your tracks, being unnoticed, and so on. It is very open ended. It was also the perfect anchoring point between Ditte's work and mine, as it is beautifully explored in Domenico's essay. It has multiple viewing points and I wouldn't want to suggest one over another.


The works in the space, despite the fact that they present contrasting characteristics both visually and semantically, dialogue perfectly with each other. Which aspects of your works do you see enhanced or challenged through this dialogue with Pedro?


D.E.: I think the process of dealing with traces in our paintings make for a good dialogue. Pedro is studying marks and traces, taking them into consideration, mapping them. Human traces, that is. Seemingly careless or hurried marks from people’s hands becomes his objective. Also, even though they are fast, the scribbles he studies says something about a person’s state of mind. It is a fast tracking of a mental feeling: “SARA”, “SEX”, “I AM”. With my hands, with mark-making I try to eliminate my own mark-making. Melting it. Through my marks though I am also mapping my human condition. My emotions. Not by intention but by layering and dealing with the colours my body crave. I find compelling the space between these two very different approaches to seeing, to mapping and to painting. And then, the works look really good together.  


The artworks in the space, although visually and semantically opposite, are in perfect dialogue with each other. Which aspects of your works do you see enhanced or challenged through this dialogue with Ditte?


P.M.: I think that there are many aspects of the work that are enhanced by the dialogue between Ditte's work and mine. From the formal aspects of colour, scale, format, painting technique, the flatness, the removal of the artist's hand, how "analog" painting is informed by technology, and so on... I also believe we both thrive for some sort of spiritual and contemplative way of experiencing painting. All of these aspects are what bring our works together and fed the idea of doing a collaborative exhibition like this one. However, I don't see how it would challenge the work in any negative way. Each work is an individual work. In this exhibition experience they will live together in the same space for a limited time, and this relationship makes them culturally and contextually richer, but they will live on independently and unchallenged after the exhibition. It's an exploration, an exercise, a suggestion, that doesn't define each individual work or artist.


The exhibition, presented by an essay by Domenico de Chirico, will be open by appointment at Galleria Bianconi in Milan, via Lecco 20, from 20 January to 31 March 2021, for appointments write to office@galleriabianconi.com 


 Interview by Camilla Stecca

Roberto Fassone | Vicino a Fano

— A dialogue with Ermanno Tassi (Spazio Sanpaolo Invest) and Rossella Farinotti (curator of the exhibition) —

12/03/2020

Article present only in italian 

miart 2020

— A digital edition —

09/12/2020

Over the last few months the art world has been forced to reinvent itself, experimenting new ways to reach the public, finally using the digital world as a space of proximity and sharing. This year, after months of uncertainties and slippages, miart, the international fair of modern and contemporary art in Milan, presents its first online digital edition from 11 to 13 September 2020.  


Although the new format, organized by Fiera Milano and directed by Alessandro Rabottini, does not offer the possibility of physically entering the stands of more than 130 national and international exhibitors, it is much more effective than expected. The digital platform developed in collaboration with Artshell, in fact, is very intuitive and impressive, thanks to the division into thematic areas that allow a clear view of the works and galleries. As a result, the usability of the event is immediate and less chaotic than a classic fair, a useful online archive that can be consulted at any time. But the fair is a space of interpersonal relationships, of meeting with the works and also of emotions; we cannot imagine a future of only big digital events. That's why the fair also highlighted the events of Milano Art Week, held in various locations in the city from 7 to 13 September 2020, proposing a combination of online and offline events. An anticipation of how we will live the next edition? The fair in 2021 will take place both physically and online, a winning combination that highlights the potential, demonstrated by digital, to support everything we cannot give up, the human and tangible experience.


Here is a selection of 10 picks from the editorial staff of That's Contemporary; scroll down the images on the left.

SALOON MILANO, un archivio di progetti artistico culturali

— -a cura di Berfu Turkmenoglu- —

08/08/2020

Intro


Saloon è stato creato come una piattaforma digitale collettiva dove archiviare i tanti progetti artistico culturali di natura partecipativa lanciati in tutto il mondo durante il lockdown causato dall’emergenza Covid-19. Tra il periodo dell'equinozio di primavera e il solstizio d'estate, in 93 giorni le redattrici di Saloon hanno raccolto e archiviato 96 progetti e 41 interviste. Abbiamo chiesto loro di raccontarci i temi, i pensieri e le ansie comuni che hanno osservato durante il lockdown, il futuro di Saloon, le prove affrontate dalle loro società e come progettano il futuro.


Rossana Ciocca


Il tempo della quarantena è stato un tempo che abbiamo dedicato alle domande, a capire il presente, un tempo condiviso nei desideri e nelle perplessità di tutti noi, così i nostri pensieri fluttuavano nel silenzio ridondante del pianeta terra.


Tra le molte interviste di Saloon quella di Claudia Losi ha messo a dura prova il mio animo, leggendo le sue parole ho compreso che l’epidermide non è solo uno strato della pelle, ma un confine fra noi e il mondo; per alcuni come lei o come me, immaginare un mondo senza contatto fisico era come immaginare una non vita, inimmaginabile.


Il tempo della quarantena è stato un tempo lento, come quello della storia dell’uomo, un tempo in cui un piccolo virus ci ha fatto improvvisamente capire che forse dovevamo togliere il piede dall’acceleratore delle nostre vite.


Giorgio Galli nella sua intervista ci ricorda che la nostra società e la sua presunzione di onnipotenza proviene da 5000 anni di patriarcato, da 500 di capitalismo e da appena 100 di diritto al voto alle donne, e che forse è questo il tempo in cui possiamo cambiare a partire dalle conquiste di genere fino alle arti.


Saloon è stato un momento di coprogettazione intenso, in cui l’incontro è stato, come Giuliana Ciancio l’ha ben definito, un incontro Bidimensionale, mediato solo dalle tecnologie, in un tempo lento e in uno spazio piatto; abbiamo lavorato molto e intensamente sulla costruzione di un archivio del momento, Saloon ha mappato progetti partecipativi rendendo palese l'inesistenza di ogni forma di politica culturale italiana, che non significa solo un'idea di tutela del lavoro di progettazione culturale, ma della comprensione del valore sociale della cultura, cosa che il 2020 ha reso non solo evidente, ma che l’online ha posto come vero problema.


Mi auguro per cui che Saloon non resti semplicemente un archivio di progetti e che tutte le persone coinvolte vogliano essere non solo mappatori o archivisti, ma attori di un cambiamento, che è più politico che sociale, ma più culturale che politico, perché consapevoli di quanto è stato fatto dai creativi durante la quarantena.


Sabrina Drigo


I 96 progetti, le 41 interviste archiviati su Saloon hanno dato una prima e importante risposta alle conseguenze, in primis psicologiche, del virus tentando di mantenere viva la connessione tra le persone e con l'esterno. I temi trattati, le pratiche attivate, sono espressione eloquente di quella ricerca continua e multiforme che le arti attuano da sempre sulla percezione della realtà individuale e collettiva. E’ sorprendente poi notare come con poche risorse siano state proposte così tante attività e di grande efficacia. Resta però una domanda in questo tempo che oscilla tra un pre e un post pandemia:


Quale sarà il futuro dell'arte e della cultura?


Sicuramente è una questione complessa, ma è certo che non rimarremo in uno stato di isolamento permanente, gli ingressi contingentati finiranno e torneremo a ballare ai concerti, ciò nonostante penso che non sarà più possibile ragionare come se il Coronavirus non fosse esistito. Il blocco delle attività, determinato dalla sua circolazione, ha evidenziato la fragilità e al tempo stesso la rilevanza del settore artistico culturale che, ora più che mai, ha una grande opportunità per ripartire dal suo valore ecosistemico. Ad esempio in questi mesi siamo stati costretti a sperimentare la presenza virtuale e se da un lato, come operatori culturali, dobbiamo riportare le persone nello spazio fisico, dall'altro abbiamo compreso l’importanza dell'accessibilità dei contenuti.


Analogamente nell’impegno di far rivivere gli spazi pubblici o condivisi percepiti come poco sicuri non possiamo più prescindere dal considerare il valore della natura, dell’ecologia, della cultura di prossimità. Gli stessi progetti archiviati su Saloon e le interviste sono la cartina al tornasole di come la cultura sia stata una risorsa per la collettività durante la quarantena.


Quindi cosa resterà di Saloon, di questa intensa esperienza di condivisione e di coprogettazione? Vorremmo che ci fosse una maggior presa di coscienza dell’importanza strategica del settore artistico culturale, dunque stiamo lavorando affinché tutto il materiale archiviato possa rappresentare non solo la memoria di un tempo in cui tutto il mondo è stato messo sotto scacco da un minuscolo virus, ma diventi un campione utile per realizzare un modello di “bilancio culturale” che metta in luce sia gli aspetti legati alla sua vitalità intrinseca (ricerca, sperimentazione, qualità), sia l’impatto economico sociale generato.


Susanna Ravelli


Sono impressionata dalla capacità dei 96 progetti di creare opportunità con pochissime risorse, con grande competenza, conoscenza e una ricerca puntuale della bellezza in forma condivisa. Sono emerse linee comuni che hanno attraversato idee ed esperienze: la parola ed il linguaggio (lemmi, vocabolari, alfabeti…), l’archivio come generatore di memoria contemporanea e fonte di ispirazione con uno sguardo al passato e come traccia di memoria futura; una presenza femminile con uno sguardo profondo che emerge dalle interviste e dalle fonti, i libri, che in questo periodo sospeso ci hanno guidato e insegnato a desiderare.


Il lavoro di Saloon ora è una ricerca sul bilancio di valore del patrimonio immateriale e progettuale tra arte e design. Il Covid-19 ha fornito un campione interessante per formulare modelli e valutazioni di bilancio culturale come strumento di governance. Quanto vale la cultura? Quale valore ha l’arte nella sua essenziale presenza nelle nostre vite? E’ importante evidenziare la qualità di questo valore in termini di investimento sulla cultura diffusa che genera dal basso processi di crescita e sensibilizzazione e per l’efficacia che la bellezza ha nella felicità che tutti cerchiamo.


Saloon è principalmente una rete plurale, di istituzioni a diritto pubblico, associazioni e organizzazioni del terzo settore, imprese culturali creative e sociali, fablab e centri di sviluppo di innovazione digitale che in questa esperienza sono stati capaci di attuare progetti con processi collaborativi flessibili e agili, continuando a sviluppare valore culturale.


Ora è importante fare di questo valore un bilancio culturale che possa entrare negli strumenti di governance pubblica e far parte dei piani di sviluppo come investimento consolidato e legato alla competitività/attrattiva del territorio e benessere collettivo.


Isabella Mara


Il mio lockdown è stato pregno della presenza di Saloon e del centinaio di progetti che lo compongono. Un filo rosso che ha accompagnato tutto questo periodo. Quello che mi ha colpito, sono di sicuro le interviste, i pensieri e le parole che la pandemia di Covid-19 ha scatenato negli intellettuali che hanno donato a Saloon una loro intervista. Tutti hanno riflettuto in maniera molto lucida su una condizione di vita che sarebbe risultata inimmaginabile ai più solo qualche mese prima, le lettere e i vocaboli che compongono i loro racconti fanno molto riflettere sulla situazione vissuta, pre e post pandemia.


Ripesco tra le molte che mi hanno colpito, una citazione di Leonardo Caffo: "Chiusi nelle nostre case, posto che anche la chiusura in casa esprime un problema legato alla lotta di classe che avevamo ignorato col falso mito del benessere collettivo, oggi ognuno di noi sa che nulla sarà come prima...”


Saloon nasce come archivio di testimonianze di un determinato momento storico, legato appunto alla pandemia di Covid-19. Al momento stiamo riflettendo su come portare avanti il progetto, con piccole azioni in questo senso, ma è ancora presto per parlarne.


Da anni collaboro con uno dei soggetti attivi in Saloon, Non Riservato. Durante il lockdown abbiamo portato avanti una mappatura online di tutte le azioni partecipate e condivise che ci sono state a Milano, per sostenere le persone chiuse in casa. Abbiamo cancellato tutti gli eventi in programma nella sede di via Paisiello e tutti quelli che avevamo nello spazio pubblico.


Siamo tornati operativi da un mesetto circa, con una bellissima mostra di Vittorio Corsini in sede e con delle azioni legate ai progetti sparsi per la città, come il Monte Stella o Green Me Up Milano, in Cascina Biblioteca. La voglia di cominciare, continuare, fare è alta..


Giulia Restifo


Una pandemia non ha pregiudizi di razza, classe sociale, sesso o background culturale. Una pandemia colpisce, trasversalmente. Una pandemia insegna? Il mio augurio è che abbiamo imparato un pò di più a non essere dicotomici, giudicanti e distanti. A crogiolarsi - chi può permetterselo - nel proprio stato di sicurezza economica e sociale. Ignorando la vista dell’altro.


Mi auguro che risponderemo come ha scritto Raffaella Cortese, in una delle interviste su Saloon che più mi hanno arricchito, “in modo straordinario”, ricordando quanto la nostra umanità sia il valore più alto.


Molti dei progetti ricevuti si basano su pratiche partecipative rivolte alla comunità dell’arte o all’intera comunità, ponendo un’attenzione particolare in termini di gentilezza, di accoglienza, di ricerca e di conoscenza dell’altro. Ho percepito una maggior gentilezza anche nel rispondere, nel proporre, nel confrontarsi. Forse abbiamo capito che facciamo parte di un insieme, di una comunità e che senza curare la natura intorno a noi, non curiamo noi stessi, poiché non siamo un’entità esterna, ma viviamo e siamo al suo interno.


Saloon mi ha fatto bene, mi ha dato tanto, mi ha fatto esperire il valore di una redazione collaborativa, Saloon è infatti un progetto nato da un insieme di persone ognuna con la sua realtà da gestire, ma con la voglia di incontrarsi quotidianamente alle 9.00, davanti a un caffè, quasi a voler abbattere il muro digitale che ci separava, per poi procedere con l’analisi dei progetti di arte, di cultura e di design che più avessero una significanza sul tempo presente.


Così siamo riusciti ad archiviare e a pubblicare uno o due progetti al giorno, tre interviste a settimana, un abecedario pandemico “Gifclash” realizzato da Nicola di Caprio e una sezione di libri. Mi auguro che dalle esperienze archiviate su Saloon riusciremo a generare una sintesi di pratiche e di modelli che possano entrare a far parte di abitudini di socialità rinnovate e collaborative. Per incontrarsi, di persona, come persone un pò più curiose.


 Saloon: https://www.saloonmilano.org

BIANCHI ZARDIN CONTEMPORARY ART

— Intervista di Gianluca Gramolazzi —

03/03/2020

Dall’incontro tra Gaia Bianchi e Andrea Zardin, nasce in via Maroncelli 14 BIANCHI ZARDIN CONTEMPORARY ART, una nuova galleria che assume un formato ibrido. Lo spazio espositivo ha inaugurato la propria programmazione con la personale di Brigitta Rossetti, Gli stivali di Peter Pan, visitabile fino al 4 aprile 2020.


Gianluca Gramolazzi: BIANCHI ZARDIN CONTEMPORARY ART nasce come punto di incontro tra le vostre attività passate. Quali e in che modo queste esperienze confluiscono nel nuovo progetto?


Gaia Bianchi: La mia esperienza estera nel settore educational ci permetterà di completare l’attività della galleria con appuntamenti connessi alle mostre e divisi per fasce d’età e preparazione artistica.


Andrea Zardin: Da sempre vivo il mondo delle gallerie e nel corso degli ultimi anni ho sviluppato un’affinità spontanea con i giovani artisti, proponendo loro progetti curatoriali di vario tipo. Continueremo a promuovere la cultura selezionando mostre interessanti e progetti che possano essere esportati nelle grandi capitali estere.


G.G.: La vostra galleria assume un formato ibrido, in cui da una parte c’è la ricerca e la promozione di giovani artiste/i a livello nazionale e internazionale, dall’altra l’apertura a un pubblico di appassionati e professionisti nell’ottica della creazione di momenti di incontro, confronto e approfondimento. Questo è un atteggiamento che già altre gallerie stanno attuando e mi sembra importante per l’avvicinamento di un pubblico più ampio all’arte contemporanea. In questo scenario, quali credete siano le possibili evoluzioni della galleria come spazio non più esclusivamente commerciale?


G.B e A.Z.: Alla base di ogni attività commerciale che funzioni ci deve essere una community di persone che la sostiene. Il forza reale di una galleria d’arte deriva dal valore in termini di crescita culturale che è in grado di portare alla propria community.
Ci auguriamo che la nostra galleria diventi un punto di riferimento ed un modello da copiare. Oltre a fare cultura desideriamo promuovere progetti in partnership con altri colleghi sia a livello nazionale che internazionale.
Come già spiegato da Gaia, ogni mostra avrà degli eventi correlati per poter vivere pienamente l’arte esposta. In particolare prevediamo uno studio visit, una cena in galleria, un laboratorio per bambini e ragazzi, un laboratorio per le aziende ed un incontro con altri professionisti del settore che possono essere curatori, storici o professori.


G.G.: In un mercato che vede aprire e chiudere molteplici gallerie e spazi d’arte nel giro di poco tempo, qual è il senso e la necessità di aprire una nuova galleria a Milano?


G.B. e A.Z.: In una Milano sempre più all’avanguardia e con un pubblico internazionale vogliamo contribuire alla crescita della nostra città.
Noi vediamo la galleria come un luogo di ricerca, scambio e crescita culturale: un spazio adibito all’incontro, dove differenti modi di pensare e diversi bagagli culturali portano a una più ampia conoscenza. In quest’ottica, la galleria deve assumersi il compito di entrare nel profondo degli argomenti che decide di affrontare e di formare poi il pubblico che le gravita attorno.
Da qui la necessità di educare all’arte e al collezionismo: oggi sempre più di frequente si acquistano opere d’arte per il solo investimento, seguendo indicatori differenti dal valore artistico e culturale dell’opera acquistata e questo in molti casi porta il collezionista ad acquistare delle meteore passeggere.
È quindi necessario mettere a disposizione della città luoghi di scambio e crescita dove formarci e dove poter formare non solo chi già colleziona ma anche coloro che decidono di accostarsi per la prima volta all’arte e al collezionismo.


G.G.: Come avete già accennato, BIANCHI ZARDIN CONTEMPORARY ART vede come uno dei perni principali la collaborazione tra diversi attori e attrici della scena artistica. In questo caso la galleria diventa sia un centro di produzione dell’arte, che un attivatore della rete sociale. Qual'è secondo voi la forza e l’importanza di questa rete in un contemporaneo in cui, nonostante tutto, l’individuo rimane tale anche nella collettività?


G.B. e A.Z.: Il mondo dell’arte necessita di tutte le figure che lo animano, promuoveremo la connessione piuttosto che la competizione. Daremo valore ai singoli ma sempre in un’ottica di grande progetto composto da più elementi la cui unione produce cultura.
Solo con il confronto si può crescere veramente.


G.G.: Come primo progetto espositivo avete deciso di proporre Gli stivali di Peter Pan, mostra personale di Brigitta Rossetti. Come mai avete scelto questa artista per inaugurare la galleria?


G.B. e A.Z.: Brigitta è un’artista completa che esprime la sua creatività attraverso più media. Rappresenta in pieno lo stile della galleria che non vuole limitarsi nella sua ricerca artistica. Entrambi ci siamo ritrovati nella delicatezza e, allo stesso tempo, nella profondità delle sue opere. Calziamo “gli stivali di Peter Pan” per iniziare un viaggio che fa tesoro delle esperienze passate e ci trasporta verso il futuro.


G.G.: Quali saranno le prossime attività di Bianchi Zardin Contemporary Art?


G.B. e A.Z.: Stiamo valutando con attenzione a quali fiere partecipare e quali progetti presentare al pubblico mantenendo lo stesso input curatoriale. Prima del periodo estivo prevediamo due mostre: una collettiva e un’altro solo show supportato anche da una installazione esterna

Olaf Bruening - Ironic Insight

— Interview by Francesco Valli —

02/07/2020

The 30th of January 2020 - it can be visited until the 28th of March - has opened in the Milan venue of Galleria Poggiali the new personal exhibition of Olaf Breuning, We are all in the same boat - The weight of the color, curated by Lorenzo Bruni.
We met the artist for a chat about his works showed and to let us tell this colorful and busy times.


Francesco Valli: A piece of the title of this exhibition is the weight of color. There are many works very colorful (like the photos and the installation) and then we have the drawings: a black and simple line on a white surface. How these two aspects of your production are reconciled?


Olaf Breuning:  I started drawing ten years ago and at the beginning it was something only for myself. I consider drawing on the basis of artistic practice. It is something simple, clean and immediate. The drawings I do are simple at first glance, but if you looking at them more deeply they have a deeper meaning. They are the expression of a breath of fresh air and fun and at the same time they make think the spectator through a simple language.   


F.V.: Some of your works reflect about the theme of the view: the protagonists are staring something that goes beyond the viewer and it’s seems that we are not know what they are looking at. Could you tell about the relationship between the spectator and the subjects inside the works?


O.B.: My works concern always life and what surrounds us. I try to create works that are attractive in some ways, that catches the eye. About the theme of the view and the theme to being seen I think that is all revolves around the idea that everyone can see different things: the artwork has various meanings and who is looking at my works perceives a message, an idea about what I want to say, but I think there are more embedded meanings inside of it. For me, contemporary art and of course the works I create are determinate by a big visual part.


F.V.: There are billions of images around Internet, especially after the arrival of social networks like Instagram. How it influenced your practice? Do you think that after being bombed from so many images at the end of the day there is nothing left in our mind?


O.B.: It happened to me often to think about this theme and I also wrote about it. Of course we are using every day Instagram and the Internet - I have more than 60k followers! - but what I think we remember the quality of the work and the idea beyond it. I don’t think to create something more beautiful compared to other artists, but after you have seen my works what you have left is the meaning within them.
I am ironic about the digital communication through my work, for example in
Emojis (2014) where I overlap with Photoshop the emoticons on the faces of the subjects. I think it is a way to highlight how the Internet and this new cybernetic language has become our new way of speaking and how it is rooted in our society.


F.V.: On this issue I think about artificial intelligence and its social and political consequences on contemporary society. What do you think about it?


O.B.: I don’t think it is about politics, but more in relation to how the images are transmitted quickly and in real time. It’s a huge revolution. We are living in a time where everything is new and fascinating, but I think in the future it will be more and more extreme.

Ultragender: Patrick Tuttofuoco al di là della donna e dell'uomo

— Intervista di Gianluca Gramolazzi —

12/21/2019

Ultragender, l’ultimo progetto di Patrick Tuttofuoco (Milano, 1974), creato in esclusiva per YOOX, è stata presentato il 5 Dicembre 2019 attraverso un talk a cui hanno partecipato, mediati da Beatrice Trussardi - curatrice della sezione Design+Art di Yoox - l’artista, Francesca Vecchioni, Milovan Ferronato ed Eva Robin’s. L’opera si interroga sul conflitto tra generi e sulla sua risoluzione attraverso il superamento dello stesso genere, sottolineando la potenza della componente personale. Ultragender si inserisce nel lungo e proficuo percorso artistico di Tuttofuoco, decretandone un’ulteriore evoluzione.


Gianluca Gramolazzi: Durante il 2007 ti sei trasferito a Berlino. Mi ricordo che dalla fine degli anni ‘90, grazie a una rinnovata positività derivata dalla recente riunificazione, molti amici si sono trasferiti là; Lehman Brothers è poi fallita, sconvolgendo tutti gli equilibri economici. Come Berlino e la successiva crisi ha influenzato la tua opera?


Patrick Tuttofuoco: Quando mi sono trasferito a Berlino, la città era già cambiata molto rispetto alla fine degli anni 90. In quel periodo è cresciuto un fervore culturale e artistico - come l’istituzione della biennale di Berlino - che mi hanno spinto a visitarla tre o quattro volte all’anno. Poi mi sono trasferito, ma la città aveva già cominciato il cambiamento, mantenendo però la configurazione di “territorio aperto”. C’erano tanti spazi fisicamente liberi, che davano molte possibilità, e c’erano anche pochi soldi, che creavano più indipendenza dalle linee del mercato. Per questo, ho trovato visioni alternative e un approccio diverso alle cose che ha messo in discussione le mie posizioni. La crisi del 2008 si è sentita poco a Berlino perchè anche prima di quella data le risorse erano poche, mentre l’ho sentita a Milano, dove l’horror vacui si percepiva nell’aria. Questo accadimento economico ha agito a ogni latitudine in maniera più profonda, poiché ha messo in discussione, in prima istanza, una visione di occidente e, di conseguenza, di ogni aspetto della vita. Il momento del mio trasferimento ha decretato per il mio percorso un cambio abbastanza netto di modalità di creazione e concepimento del lavoro: nei dieci anni precedenti, a Milano, ho cercato di intercettare dei processi industriali per poterli traslare nel mondo dell’arte; a Berlino, invece, ho deciso di produrre tutto da solo. Ho preso uno studio, perché era più accessibile economicamente, e ciò ha contribuito enormemente a farmi avere un approccio diverso al modo di lavorare. Infatti, produrre in maniera autonoma mi ha fatto rendere conto dei limiti che un singolo può avere rispetto a un sistema che si avvale di individui che hanno competenze di processi di produzione più complessi. Per quanto dura, è stata per me una decisione presa a tavolino, razionalmente. Berlino ha influenzato, senza che me ne accorgessi, la mia vita a ogni livello, e di conseguenza anche la mia opera.


G.G.: La tua ricerca si è sempre basata sull’identità: da sociale a personale, per poi tornare a parlare di collettività. Questa evoluzione, come dicevamo, è stata influenzata molto dal tuo trasferimento, che ti ha permesso un cambio di prospettiva. Potresti parlarmi del modo in cui si è evoluta la tua ricerca su questa tematica?


P.T.: Quando sono arrivato a Berlino, era un momento positivo. Poi la società e l’economia sono crollate e, di conseguenza, ero spaventato e scosso nell’esistenza. Ero nello studio, nel momento più solo, e ciò mi ha dato la possibilità di fare un lavoro su di me, sicuramente con molta difficoltà perchè il problema era diventato più profondo e come un’onda lunga ha travalicato le tematiche ed è entrato nell’esistenza. Cercavo di ricostruire un’immagine di me, un’identità mia. Questo lo posso dire solo a posteriori, al momento era un’urgenza che cercavo di processare praticamente. Dopo di che mi sono mosso verso un’idea di identità più ampia: non cercavo di capire in che posizione dovevo mettermi - se pure ancora adesso non so dove, perchè siamo sempre in cambiamento - ma cercavo di capire come era cambiata la figura di un individuo che ha subito uno strappo così grande, non solo la crisi, ma anche un’accelerazione folle sia del mercato, sia della tecnologia, che indubbiamente ha aiutato ma ha reso più complessa l’esistenza. In cinque anni i concetti di identità e singolarità sono esplosi, cambiando la forma e la pelle al singolo che si relaziona con un mondo radicalmente cambiato. Gli sconvolgimenti economici e sociali hanno modificato la visione di occidente e il concetto di futuro. Da quel momento in poi, quindi, sono riuscito a rivolgere di nuovo lo sguardo a una collettività. Nel caso di Ultragender, la specificità del tema accoglie sia una riflessione su di sè, ma anche su un’identità più ampia. La tematica è nata grazie alla connessione con il mondo di YOOX, che dà la possibilità all’utente di costruirsi in maniera leggera e divertente ogni volta con una forma diversa. Ciò che mi interessa maggiormente è pensare alla collettività con una consapevolezza e uno sguardo più ampio.


G.G.: Ricordo un incontro in Accademia dove presentasti, a me e ai miei compagni di studi, l’opera pubblica ...Mom, dad - opera pubblica creata durante miart 2015 - dove era presente Nefertiti. Questa antica regina ritorna nuovamente in Ultragender, permettendo di fare un discorso più approfondito sul tempo. Perché hai scelto questa immagine? Come ti relazioni al tempo e alla storia?


P.T.: Prima del 2007, l’idea di futuro e di pratica artistica doveva essere legata al concetto di progresso, fosse esso tecnologico o inteso come ricerca. In quel momento non sentivo la necessità di relazionarmi con il tempo e la storia in maniera diretta anche perchè eravamo in una situazione di forza, di sicurezza e di tranquillità. Dopo il 2008, ho sentito l’urgenza di ricostruire un rapporto con la storia e di uscire da una dinamica temporale presente, trovando una figura che non venisse cannibalizzata dal mercato e dalle sue tendenze. In questo paradigma, riportare il tempo e lo spazio in una dimensione più assoluta e quindi essere in grado di creare connessioni con un passato antichissimo, ha generato una dimensione altra e alternativa che sembrava più vicina a un’idea di salvezza.


G.G.: Come Nefertiti può attivare un pensiero sul nostro tempo, quindi?


P.T.: Lo attiva con una prospettiva diversa, perché diventa una forma di trascendenza completamente laica e adogmatica. La nozione di tempo per me, adesso, non è più lineare e deve poter essere fuori dalle partite del consumo del mercato. Relazionarmi con gli strumenti e la tecnologia, mi permette di creare un ponte temporale che va al di là del consumo e della novità. Nefertiti è un paradigma talmente diverso che permette di connettere differenti temporalità. Creare un ponte con il passato e collegarl