Public days:

Step 01

THE MODERN INSTITUTE

Present Future PF 2

Discover it at 02:53

Step 02

ADA

Corridor Pink A-27

Discover it at 05:37

Step 03

ZILBERMAN

Corridor Dark Blue 4 - Orange 3

Discover it at 08:43

Step 04

ARCADE

Disegni DS 6

Discover it at 11:55

Step 05

BIVY

Corridor Pink B-4

Discover it at 15:18

Transcript

Introductions

Good morning! Welcome to Artissima 2022, the most important international fair in Italy dedicated to contemporary art. This is the AudioGuide project and you are listening to track number 1 entitled To be Fair, which will introduce us to the fair in its many sections, presenting a variety of current research in the artistic field from various parts of the world. These days Turin is bursting with art, and Artissima is experiencing its 29th edition, for the first time under the direction of Luigi Fassi who replaces Ilaria Bonacossa. Confirming its uniqueness in the European cultural landscape, this year again features specific initiatives and a careful approach to experimental and research practices. The exhibition intends to present its audience with a reflection on the most innovative trends in international contemporary art and how these relate to the transformations of today's society, always focusing on the works and the historical and cultural value of enjoying and collecting art. This year's theme is in fact Transformative Experience, a concept developed by the American philosopher Laurie Anna Paul, according to whom a transformative experience is capable of opening up new horizons and perspectives to the extent that it can change us profoundly as people. "2022 is the year in which we want to return to choosing transformative moments," adds director Luigi Fassi, "experiences that become authentic revelations, dictated by a moment that is so close to our hearts, that of the privileged encounter with art, whose value is unique and irreplaceable for each of us”. This edition thus becomes a hymn to the transformative power inherent in art itself, for its ambition to anticipate future themes, languages and trends. This year's fair consists of 174 galleries from 28 different countries and includes 35 monographic projects in the three curated sections, Back to the Future, Present Future and Drawings, from this year in a dual version, physical and digital, thanks to the digital platforms Artissima.art and Artissima Voice Over. Then there are the four consolidated sections Main Section, New Entries, Monologue/Dialogue and Art Spaces & Editions, each of these with its own specificity recounts a different episode, offering a wonderful overview of the contemporary artistic universe. I would also like to remind you that the vibrancy of Artissima spreads throughout the city thanks to the active collaboration with numerous public institutions, associations, museums, foundations and galleries that promote art in the area. Before we begin our journey, I introduce myself. I am Camilla Zennaro and I will accompany you on this journey. We are ready to go. Pause your player and head for the Scottish gallery The Modern Institute, located in the white corridor at number 2. Press play once you are there. I will be waiting for you!

Step 01

We are in Present Future, a section of Artissima that hosts monographic works and emerging talents with the aim of emphasising new trends that are characterising the international art scene. The Modern Institute, presents Marco Giordano, a young Italian artist living between Glasgow and Turin. His research - through visual and audio installations - is mainly concerned with the relationship between organisms and/or elements that inhabit space, between sculpture and language. Using a polyphony of different media, the artist creates hybrid and performative ecosystems that are self-sustaining through the relationship of their component elements. This is the case with “To Disturb Sonolent Birds”, a kind of immersive installation that abolishes the binary division of day and night by focusing on hypnagogia, the fluctuating state of consciousness that precedes sleep, when the mind decides to abandon the physicality of the body. A series of coloured resin sculptures are arranged on a simple work table. They look like birds, indefinite and distorted forms attributable to fluid and otherworldly categories, pulsating with an intermittent light, evoking the nebulous and irrational state of the onset of sleep. This condition, says the artist, is particularly stimulated by the lullaby, through its repetitive and hypnotic singing. Giordano takes the title of this work from Federico García Lorca's lecture, "On Lullabies" held in Madrid in 1928, but also makes it the reference point for a broader body of work that is situated in the liminal space between human, non-human and technological experiences, and deepens the artist's interest in the expansion of the body in an attempt to overcome physicality. The immersive installation includes a sound accompaniment written and produced by artist, filmmaker and musician Luke Fowler. The intermittence between sound and light is connected to the theme of the incessant production dictated by the industrialisation of our lives, caused by a massive and alienating presence of technology. A series of small works on paper are exhibited on the outside walls, which are related to the new work presented these days at Pinacoteca Agnelli, a few steps away from the Oval. It is a visual-poem entitled Loop Pool, a site-specific work that Marco Giordano designed specifically for the circular architecture of the Lingotto runway. With Marco Giordano, we finished our first stop. Now pause your player and head for Ada, a young gallery based in Rome. You will find it to the left of the entrance, on the pink A corridor at number 27. Press play once you are there. I will be waiting for you!

Step 02

We find ourselves in Monologue/Dialogue, a section of Artissima that presents emerging or experimental galleries exhibiting a monographic stand or a dialogue between the works of 2 artists, as in the case of Ada, where the installation universe of Anna Perach meets that of Gaia Di Lorenzo. Walking along the corridors of the fair we notice how hybrid appearances, fluid identities, cyborgs imbued with technology and intimately connected with the animal and plant kingdoms, populate the physical space of the various galleries. These “post-human” subjects are certainly among the main protagonists of contemporary thinking. Post-humanism - understood as a current of thought focused on the revision of the traditional conception of man - is in fact not a new concept, it was already being talked about in the first artistic experiments of the 20th century: just think of the bizarre masks of Lavinia Schulz and Walter Holdt, who anticipated the transformative concept of the body as early as 1924. The posthuman in 2022 reappears as an opportunity - for contemporary artists - to reimagine the stories of the past in order to address the profound cultural, environmental and technological changes of today. In this vein, Anna Perach, a London-based Ukrainian artist, relativises Western anthropocentrism, distancing those dichotomies on which modern thought is based. Her anthropomorphic sculptures take inspiration from female archetypes to investigate issues of identity, gender and manual labour. The themes and processes at the root of her research investigate the role of the body as a fluid and polyform subject in constant reformulation. Each work in fact has a dual nature: static and dynamic; it begins as an autonomous installation, only to expand in space - once worn - and become the protagonist of the performative act. Collective narratives, folklore and mythology play a fundamental role in Perach's artistic practice. Her focus is particularly on female characters, as in the case of the unreleased series Mother of Monsters, three wearable corsets that, like many of Perach's works, can be performed. This new series of works is inspired by Guy De Maupassant's novella about a destitute woman forced to disguise her maternity by means of a corset, the function of which is usually to obtain a slimmer waist. The effect of the corset on the woman's pregnancy will result in the birth of deformed children, who will become a circus attraction with her. The artist's interest in ritual craftsmanship is also evident in her choice of materials and the technique she uses, tuftin: a special kind of wool embroidery on a horizontal loom that is very popular in Eastern Europe. A domestic practice that is linked to the tradition of the artist's places of origin and that alludes to a stereotypically feminine dimension, to which the artist becomes heir by subverting its conventional meaning. This is where our second stop ends. Pause your player and head for the Zilberman Gallery on the blue corridor at number 4. Press play once you are there. I will be waiting for you!

Step 03

We are now in the Main Section of the fair, where we meet a selection of the most representative galleries of the global art scene. Introducing Zilberman Gallery, based in Istanbul and Berlin, which for Artissima 2022 is presenting the works of a series of international artists whose work focuses on geographically located narratives of "collective and individual transformations". What their practice has in common is undoubtedly the use of innovative, cross-media and performative technological approaches, which become representative tools of the plurality of personal or shared contemporary situations. Prominent among these names is that of Zeynep Kayan, a Turkish artist living between Ankara and Amsterdam. She exhibited for Artissima a frame entitled Poolnet, from the larger series one one two one two three, inspired by the choreography of Trisha Brown. The title of the series alludes to the rhythm of repetition and variation typical of dance choreography used to mark time in relation to the gestures and body movements that are gradually added to the performance act. In all her works, the starting materials are moving images, which Kayan systematically subjects to further processing by acting mainly on the printing and scanning processes according to the desire to embrace, but at the same time reject, modern technology. As in Poolnet, most of its frames are in fact photographed from computer screens or taken as screenshots. Kayan's aesthetic is comparable to what filmmaker Hito Steyerl defines in her essay "In Defence of the Poor Image" as "squeezed through slow digital connections, compressed, reproduced, ripped, remixed, as well as copied and pasted into other distribution channels". The emphasised horizontal format, moreover, is reminiscent of the size of a cinema screen, while the heavy black and white contrasts and jets of shadow are reminiscent of the expressionist films of the 1920s. The result of these frames are ever-changing variations that are part of an inventory of movements aimed at expressing different emotions, including melancholy and frustration, provoked when the choreography is too complicated or the space too narrow. “Repetitions are often the result of wrong movements,” says the artist. Errors in the dialectic of movement can lead to variations and improvisations. But these failures, followed by new attempts, become opportunities for unexpected results and possibilities. This approach gives many of her works a playful, game-like quality. Nevertheless, in works such as Poolnet, there is also a strong sense of suffocation and constriction. The subject depicted almost seems to be caught by an off-screen culprit by means of a swimming pool net that protrudes from the edge of the image, covering her face. It is the artist herself doubled by her reflection in the wall. This is where our third stop ends. Pause your player and head for the Arcade Gallery, number 6 in the design section. Press play once you are there. I will be waiting for you!

Step 04

We are at drawings, a unique section in the Italian exhibition scene - which since 2017 has dedicated a focus to this expressive medium. It was included by Ilaria Bonacossa in order to favour young collectors due to the generally lower price of this type of work. She presents projects that emphasise the authenticity and autonomy of the work on paper, investigating the different facets of contemporary drawing in a variety of styles and techniques. We focus on Dapper Bruce Lafitte's work, who exhibits a series of drawings for the London gallery Arcade. His story is peculiar, Lafitte is a self-taught American artist who took up drawing at a very young age. However, he only began exhibiting following the devastating Hurricane Katrina that flooded his hometown of New Orleans in 2005, causing more than one thousand eight hundred deaths. Since this tragedy, his work has taken an almost documentary turn, so much so that he has become a key figure in the New Orleans community for his activism and social commitment. Lafitte, in fact, is among those artists whose art, since the 2000s, has taken a documentary and critical turn towards injustices related to social, cultural and political issues. The drawings exhibited here are at first sight playful and bizarre, populated by a myriad of small coloured figures arranged in a two-dimensional plane. But if we dwell on the meticulous details, we can go deeper. In fact, Daper Bruce Lafitte focused on social and political issues in his hometown related to racial discrimination against the African American community of which he is a member. With indelible ink and a consciously childlike style, Lafitte chronicled Trump-era politics on the one hand, and the rise of the civil rights movements in opposition; not forgetting constant references to key figures in African-American culture such as, for example, boxer Joe Louis, a leading figure of the anti-Nazi resistance, who helped break down racial barriers in American sport. He then goes on to narrate injustices suffered by his community in the past and present, from the events of the Ku Klux Klan to the recent wave of police violence against the African-American community, not only in Louisiana but in the United States in general. The artist also describes the popular culture of the city related to festivals and carnival by providing detailed miniatures that effectively depict the concept of assembly, both in the political and musical sense. Particularly after the devastation in New Orleans, LaFitte wanted to honour his country's musical and band culture, which has always been one of his great passions. "My work serves as an illustrative reminder of an activity that not only encourages creative thinking, but also engages young people with the community," says Lafitte and then concludes: "This is what I want to do with drawing, to leave a conscious and vibrant reminder of the culture and identity of my hometown; I want to promote social change. This is where our fourth stop ends. Pause your player and head for the Bivy Gallery, on the pink B corridor at number 4. Press play once you are there. I will be waiting for you!

Step 05

We welcome Bivy, a young gallery for contemporary art based in Ankorage, Alaska. For 2022, it is part of New Entries, Artissima's selection reserved for the most interesting emerging international galleries, with less than 5 years of activity and above all, for the first time at the fair. In 1993 in Paris, Geoff Lowe and Jacqueline Riva - Australian artists - were discussing the possible existence of fictitious worlds. A constructed world is not exactly a hypothetical setting in other times and other spaces, it is not even an alternative history. A constructed world contains “things” and it is the type of things it contains that gives it its own definition, its peculiarity also lies in being in a perpetual design phase. These philosophical digressions gave birth to A Constructed World, an expansive and collaborative project based on the notion of collectivity and innovation, whose aesthetic is characterised by a conspicuous disregard for conventional hierarchies. From the outset, the project was configured as a constantly evolving archive platform, as a process of creation and accumulation of reflections and discourses, without a precise method or purpose. This type of non-conformist attitude stems from a need to counter restrictive discourses and stale processes that pervade the space of culture and politics. A Constructed World works with actions and methodologies that bring attention to different practices, such as long performances that include up to twenty participants presenting conversations, philosophical texts, music and singing, incorporating high levels of specialisation and 'non-knowledge' as a shared space. Three performance works are exhibited at Artissima: On the left-hand wall, “Using feelings to get rid of feeling” is a macro-project consisting of seven parts, the last of which was implemented entirely by Bivy, which is structured as a palimpsest of archive materials. This as well as the other works arise from certain philosophical assumptions, but also approached in a playful manner, starting from the assumption that we do not know that we do not know. Part of this work consisted of inviting people to participate in the performance following a random script that was constantly evolving. Underlying this attempt is the desire to promote an unconstrained exchange of ideas and embrace the total presence of chaos. The central wall, on the other hand, presents "Talking to Eels", which is the development of an earlier work entitled "Explaining Contemporary Art to Living Eels", a performance repeated in various locations, where art experts were invited to convey their research to these fish; compared to the first part, now the range is wider, it is not just a matter of explaining contemporary art to eels, but of interacting with them via a speaking device, which you can see on display here. The third work on the right wall is “Assembly of Asses” a durational performance realised in 2017 in France. Originally, the painting was 15 metres long, but it was cut specially to be installed here at Artissima. Wanting to activate different levels of interaction, this section is intended as a set for performing actions, meditating or listening to music. A Constructed World thus remains consistent in reminding us that the primary purpose of art is not understanding, but nurturing collective thought forms and participatory modes of production and fruition. After this journey together I agree with them, do you? With this open question, we ended our fifth and final stop. We hope that this route has stimulated and intrigued you. If you'd like another perspective on the art fair, go back to the info point or the AudioGuides landing page and select another podcast! See you soon and enjoy Artissima!

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