Back to the Future BTTF 2
Discover it at 02:27
Corridor Red 6
Discover it at 06:00
Present Future PF 5
Discover it at 09:30
Corridor Green 13
Discover it at 12:50
Corridor Brown 11
Discover it at 17:07
Good morning! We welcome you to Artissima 2022. This is the AudioGuide project and you are listening to track number 5 entitled Transformaterial, a journey focusing on the transformative potential of objects, from waste to reuse, in relation to the consumer system and environmental sustainability. Let's start right away with a question: what do the works of Marcel Duchamp, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Burri or Rotella have in common with those of the artists we are going to meet today? They are (partly) waste, in a good way of course. Everyday objects, recycled materials, waste from industrial processes, around which an aesthetic and ethical line has developed from the 20th century to the present day. If we turn our attention to everyday life, and examine some everyday objects, we realise that everything we have used comes to the end of its life, becoming obsolescence, hence waste. However, the persistence of matter, that is its existence and essence, will be maintained over time (even if it will change state and form). The poetics and aesthetics of the twentieth century, from the 1950s with New Dada, through the Noveaux realistis to contemporary manifestations, are the spokesmen of this process of transformation, which sees the artist as a spectator, but at the same time as an advocate of the transience of matter. Since then, it is no longer a question of exhibiting common objects as works of art; it is a question of opening up a reflection on the meaning of waste, of discard in a mass society that is conDemned to endless production and accumulation. Italo Calvino in The Invisible Cities writes: 'The opulence of Leonia is measured by the things that are thrown away every day to make room for new ones'. The author provides us contemporary readers with a reflection on the issue of the accumulation of materials, which is associated with the ever-increasing depletion of resources. Before meeting our artists, let me introduce myself. I am Camilla Zennaro and I will guide you on this journey. We are ready to go. Pause the player and go to the gallery Sector 1, located in the white corridor booth 2, to begin our visit. Press play once you have arrived. I'll be waiting for you!
We are now in Back to the future, a section displaying works created from 1960 until today by pioneering artists who have made a considerable impact on contemporary generations. The Sector1 Gallery based in Bucharest presents us with one of the most important figures of the Romanian female avant-garde, Yvonne Hasan. Born into a Jewish family in 1925, Hasan experienced a troubled youth under Antonescu's military regime, before establishing herself as an artist when the Romanian Communist Party imposed a forced return to socialist realism, an ideology for which she was fairly antagonistic. In relation to this, studying at the school of Max Hermann Maxy was certainly crucial. Her practice encompasses a variety of media: film, writing, painting and particularly collage and tapestry; fabric is a recurring medium for the artist. It is no coincidence that Romania at the time had a rich and varied textile culture that Yvonne Hassan was able to revisit in a totally contemporary way. In the video indeed you see some personal images of everyday moments at the seaside that she filmed with her family between 1982 and 84; she had this fascination for an area in Romania that is very famous for its handicrafts and its folk touch, Marmuresh. The artist develops a 'synoptic' vision - manifested in her works through a collage of discarded materials: gloves, strips of fabric, coloured papers, fragments of wallpaper...apparently poor elements, but overflowing - on the one hand - with personal memories and recollections, on the other with universal stories. Indeed, it is in the found objects that the psychopathology of everyday life, with its obsessions and phobias, is revealed. Her canvases are made up of layers of meaning that cannot be redUced to a simple or unitary vision, but represent what Jacques Rancière calls the shock of the heterogeneous: a kaleidoscopic perspective of the society in which she lives and the quotidianity that surrounds her. In Hasan, the mixed techniques of bricolage, painting, object trouvé, turn out to be valuable in capturing the noise, speed, time and duration of the urban experience of the modern years; however, for her there is no will to challenge the centuries, the nature of her works is fragile and not very dedicated to the permanent. And it is a nature that transforms, evolves the material and becomes the bearer of an 'inner wound' (as Apollinaire called it), - dictated by the technique of collage -, because through this process external reality, which until then had been held at the edge of the canvas, was now incorporated into the image. Admiring the artist's pictorial compositions, we immediately notice how her gaze - still premature and unaware - is turned towards sustainability. Like the artists of arte Povera, in Yvonne Hasan there is an ante litteram ecological vision given by the free use of natural and industrial materials and waste elements in a form of total symbiosis. We have completed our first stage. Pause your player and head to the Karim Gallery on the red corridor, booth 6. Press play once you're there. I'll be waiting for you!
Here we are in the Viennese gallery Charim, which, for the Monolgoue/Dialague section, presents a close confrontation between Lazar Lyutakov and Daniel Pitìn. The two artists investigate the possible consequences of a world dominated by consumerism, waste of resources and reckless hedonism, embodied by our capitalist society. We focus on Lazar Lyutakov, a Bulgarian artist born in 1977. In his installations, he introduces discarded synthetic materials - which we usually see used in industrial construction. He deprives them of their standard function as artifacts, until they take on a new potential, becoming props and decorative motifs. What is the difference between Yvonne Hasan's object toruve and Lazar Lyutakov's lamp series? Duchamp assumes that in order to transform an ordinary object into a work of art, a shift in the context is enough. The object with its materialitỳ, through manipulation, becomes the guardian of precise messages determined by the artist. It therefore remains an object of common use, but is denoted with an artistic status. The concept of the ready-made is done. The Dadaists marked the jump of art from the concept of 'representation' to that of 'presentation', and delivered it as a legacy to the artists we will now meet. Lyutakov is interested in the readymade as a commodity indeed, as a product of technological modernism and part of mass culture. The concept of the persistence of matter and its evolutionary possibilities returns. In his practice, the technological and cultural obsolescence that turn matter into waste is overturned: industrial waste changes direction under the artist's hand and everything is reborn once again as a product. For Artissima, the artist presents two new works that explore the interrelationship between consumerism and industrial production and their effect on our planet. Lyutakov's lamps look like just that: lamps, designed objects ready to be sold, but the logical process behind their colorful light is much more complex. In this series, the artist assembles heterogeneous materials such as old plastic bowls and reused materials. The second work is entitled 'Way of the sand' and integrates acrylic glass, an industrial substitute, with handmade glass. As we get closer, we can see how the glass is presented in the form of roughly-shaped glasses full of small imperfections, revealing not only the manual work behind the objects, but also the use of recycled material. Lyutakov in this sense leads us to reflect on the age-old traditions of artisanal crafts, whose outlook and sensitivity was very much linked to the eco-sustainability of the product. He compares them - after- with the large-scale industrial production of those standardised objects that creep into the environments of our contemporary life. We have completed our second stage. Pause your player and head to the LC Queisser gallery in Present Future, booth 5. Press play once you're there. I'll be waiting for you!
We are now in the natural universe of Keto Logua, a Georgian artist based in Berlin, represented by the LC QUEISSER gallery of Tbilisi in the Present Future section, a launch pad for emerging talents. Her artistic practice is developed around a social and ecological reflection on natural and artificial phenomena and their interaction in the contemporary era as its object. Logua's works, realised through different media (sculpture, video, painting) embody the energy of floral figures and various natural types of elements which, taken out of their everyday context and placed within the museum space, acquire a masterful communicative power, a suspended, delicate and at the same time timeless intensity, detached from any surrounding element. Her is an interdisciplinary approach, searching for those moments when human technology and the technology of nature merge into each other, undermining the assumed boundaries between the objective and the subjective, the natural and the artificial. Using scientific discoveries, Logua makes objects by applying technological and artistic procedures to forms from the past: for example, 3D printing a primordial flower. This 'material translation', as the artist herself has called it, is emblematic of her research in which she often involves researchers, botanists, and architects, who help her find the language to visualise her works. For the presentation at Artissima 2022, Logua zooms into the natural systems that are not visible on the surface. The (wro)wrought-iron wall sculptures are inspired by prehistoric fossil algae, the first microorganisms to emerge on earth, and at the same time refer to residential iron fence structures, a metaphor for nature's power to endure, persist and persevere. To create them, she uses fossil imprints of marine plants from rock samples. The metal fence that violently sets the boundaries simultaneously becomes an ornamental device used as a display, for what she calls, exhausted designs of flowers and ornaments. To your right you can admire mixed media printed works on aluminum. The image, although apparently read as an abstract work, is a digitally manipulated interpretation of a microscopic image of the longitudinal section of the Calendula, generated from low-resolution scientific data. As in many of her other works, here too The Calendula, as a flower with healing properties, invites us to a regeneration of mind and body. Keto Logua, far from all those end-of-the-world narratives, places us in a primordial universe and invites us to a new participatory connection with nature. We have completed our third stage. Pause your player and head to the Michela Rizzo gallery on the green corridor, booth 13. Press play once you're there. I'll be waiting for you!
I now introduce you to the Venetian Gallery Michela Rizzo, which presents for Artissima 2022 the works of Giuseppe Abate, italian artist, who makes chicken the practice of his research. The chicken, besides being one of the most eaten foods in the world indeed, is an animal that grows very fast in any kind of context. Perfect prey for the cruel mechanisms of intensive production, it becomes nothing less than a metaphor for the flaw in the capitalist production system, with its abuses and conflicts. The selection of works presented is entitled Here Comes the Rooster, all created by Abate between 2019 until today, using different techniques: painting, papier-mâché, mosaic and sculpture. The uniqueness of Abate's works lies in the type of material he uses: waste derivatives from poultry processing, that is, bones, dried blood reduced to pigment by means of egg yolk, shells and skin. Then there are the Cards made from the inner film of eggshells, which the artist meticulously collected over the course of a year and glued together using the potential of their natural collagen. With a pyrography Abate engraved John Cooper Clark's poem, Chicken Town, which compares London and its inhabitants to a chaotic chicken coop. In doing so, he associates the text with images of the countless Chicken Shop signs he photographed during his permanence in London. The city indeed is a fundamental key in Abate's research, and it returns in The Cockpit, a series of frame depicting the champion cockfights of pre-Victorian London associated with the fights that commonly happen today in what the artist himself calls contemporary Cockpits of the city, the Chikenshops. A different work that you can admire at the center of the painted wall is made with pigments derived from blood. Here Abate acts instinctively and tells us how, in making the painting, he was inspired by a curious episode from the Promessi Sposi, starring Renzo and the capons: a metaphor for life that he has revisited in a contemporary key. With the cartons used for packing eggs, the artist created the series of sculptures Cartoni, a title that alludes both to the material they are made of and to the characters represented, inspired by various animated films. The fox Foxy Loxy, for example, with a belly full of chickens is the character of a 1943 short movie inspired by the popular fairy tale Chicken Little, which was commissioned by the US government from Walt Disney to make anti-Nazi propaganda during the Second World War. The artist's latest work is 'Walking on the wild west': a pair of chicken skin boots dyed with black tea. The cowboy boot is somehow a symbol of conquest and becomes a reflection on the colonialist tradition of the west associated with contemporary capitalism. Giuseppe Abate investigates the topic of the media, advertising and their power over the masses as creators of desires, capable of being satisfied only through the compulsive purchase of goods. Even in the popularity of the chicken, advertising has played a fundamental role, transforming the product from the 1960s to today, an emblem of contemporary consumerism. Walking on the eggshells, for instance, is the title of the series of mosaics made by the artist from eggshells whose pigmentation is natural. The title and visual reference allude to the discrepancy between undercutting, that is the low quality that the contemporary consumer interprets as a good thing, and the metaphor of walking on a risky surface. With Giuseppe Abate we have completed our fourth stage. Pause your player and head to the Schiavo Zoppelli gallery on the brown corridor, booth 11. Press play once you're there. I'll be waiting for you!
Our journey through the Main Section of Artissima continues with the Milanese gallery Schiavo Zoppelli. We have just seen how the polysemic scenario that Abate constructs is meant to reflect on the anthropocentric nature of the human-animal relationship. Around this central issue, a further artistic practice develops, that of Sara Ravelli, a young Italian artist, born in 1993 who presents for this edition of Artissima an investigation into the relationships between humans, non-humans and artefacts and how these relationships swing between dynamics of affection on the one hand, and obsessive control on the other. Ravelli questions the sentimental charge of objects and the idea of functionality compromised in capitalist society. Her installations, indeed, ride the purest spirit of the ready-made, as simple materials without any particular aesthetic value are used in a creative way, acquiring a new identity and role. This is the case with 'Special Treats', in which the artist uses industrial and recycled materials in the creation of some gifts (in this case a pumpkin head) that are fed to the zoo animals. In many zoological parks, zookeepers are in the habit of giving presents to the animals during festivals and documenting the events through pictures. Specifically TREAT #5, BOO! is the fifth in the series. The sculpture refers to the image of a squirrel immortalised by a zookeeper while playing with a pumpkin during a Halloween party. The squirrel, wearing the prize on his head, creates a playful yet pathetic situation. Sara Ravelli's work stages in the space the images of an àmbivalent relationship between decoration and domination: the grating, indeed, indicates the constrictive condition in which sometimes animals live in; the green bow, on the other hand, alludes to the various forms of domestication and the idea of disguise as a means of control. This is a recurring topic that also returns in another of her series entitled 'Tamed Love', in which Ravelli reflects on the concept of the anthropisation of animals by talking about the dressing of the horse as an act of affection but at the same time domination. When you are near the work, you may happen to perceive a strange fragrance: beaver, bark, leather and o(A)wl. These are the four elements that make up 'Unbecoming You Favoured Spot', an essential oil that simulates the smell of the four natural elements, creating an ambivalent sensation between pleasant and disgust. This combination is intended to evoke the idea of a closed space, saturated with animal presence, as a zoo cage might be. Working on the tension of an object that can simultaneously fascinate or disgust, this scenario aims to redirect attention to the interpersonal relationship with animals in contemporary capitalism. Here, Sara Ravelli, by overturning the ordinary meanings and uses of materials, transforms common objects into real symbols of the dynamics that are established in contemporary society. Ready-made, discarded objects, forms of reuse, environmental sustainability and contemporary consumerism are the topics that have guided us along this path. The crucial focus is matter and its infinite potential for regeneration. From this transformative experience, the artists met today become its direct promoters and invite us to a proactive approach in order to anticipate social, cultural and environmental needs. We have completed our fifth and final stage. I hope you enjoyed it. If you want another perspective on the fair, come back to the info point or the AudioGuides landing page and select another podcast! See you soon and enjoy Artissima!