Turin in focus
Art fairs abound these days and they are generally recognised as moments in which display, discourse, commerce, and criticism collide; as well as catalysts for new projects in their hosting cities. From the 4th until the 6th of November the art world flocked to Turin to attend the annual contemporary art fair, Artissima. The fair itself is considered as an “essential” appointment on the Italian art calendar, but the city of Turin also became the locus of a myriad of new projects from exhibition openings to book presentations to performances and site-specific installations. Whilst the complexities of such a dynamic and controversial construct as the art fair – at once driven by the forces of the market and cultural incubator – are certaintly worthy of deeper analysis, here NERO has chosen to bring a number of projects into focus. These projects – both institutional and non – nevertheless remain worthy of attention.
Some of these projects were conceived for or ran parallel to the fair – worth mentioning is the exhibition Inmostra. Corpo. Gesto. Postura. curated by Simone Menegoi which includes a rich corpus of works from Piedmont collections installed in a large circular construction at Oval – and others can be visited until February 2017, such as Riflessioni. Rosemarie Trockel e le collezioni Torinesi at Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli as well as the ground-breaking itinerant retrospective dedicated to Carol Rama at GAM (curated by Teresa Grandas and Paul B. Preciado). And the show by British artist Ed Atkins, curated by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev and Marianna Veccellio at Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea and the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo is certainly not to be missed.
Exhibitions such as Jonathan Monk’s tribute to the artist Salvo at the Archivio Salvo, Puerto Rico-based artists Allora & Calzadilla’s evocative video installation The Great Silence at Quartz Studio and Treti Galaxie’s presentation of an exhibition conceived for one person, I by Alvaro Urbano, staged in the mysterious spaces of the Mole Antonelliana – have generated less attention and remain in the shadows with respect to the aforementioned institutional shows.
JONATHON MONK, THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT, ARCHIVIO SALVO 1.
Quotation is central to Jonathan Monk’s work. For this series, he printed out images of landscape paintings by the artist Salvo, and he painted over the background, saving only the trees that belong to the original composition. By isolating this pattern, Monk focuses on the concept of repetition, hence offering a new perspective on Salvo’s artistic approach, as well as reflecting on his own.
4 November – 22 December 2016
THE PASSION SECONDO CAROL RAMA, GAM
GAM presents a major retrospective exhibition dedicated to the artist Carol Rama (1918-2015). Curated by Teresa Grandas and Paul B. Preciado for the MACBA museum in Barcelona and made in collaboration with the GAM and three other European museums, the exhibition is now on display in Turin, the city where the artist lived and worked. Influenced by a series of traumatic personal and family episodes, Rama began producing “transgressive” work in the cultural and artistic sphere of Turin in the thirties and forties of the twentieth century.
With a selection of about 200 works, the exhibition traces Rama’s incessant experimentation with different techniques and vital unrest: from her first openly erotic and expressionist watercolours from the Appassionata series in the thirties and forties, to the collages/bricolages of the sixties and seventies in which compositions of disturbing materials, such as syringes, small eyes glass or rubber tubes, seem to look at the viewer from informal and lava-like pictorial surfaces, to the work and engravings that the artist created in the eighties, where bodies, dentures, language, sexual organs, animal figures and shoes inhabited by phalluses appear.
Rama’s works express a desire turned towards art and life, lived with empathetic transportation, anticipating the research of recent generations of artists.
12 October 2016 – 5 February 2016
LIFT-ON/LIFT-OFF takes shape around the Variante 200, core of an ambitious project of urban redevelopment addressed to change the aspect of the north-eastern district of Turin, redrawing the urban pattern both from aesthetic, historical, cultural, social and economical point of view.
The Association Variante Bunker and CRIPTA747 – based in the district of Via Quittengo 41/b next to the ex Vanchiglia railway yard – are moving up a significant action of the urban element, the road axis around the upcoming via Regaldi.The existing parts will be used to think, call into question and experiment the new route, the business settlement and the establishment of a fictitious but hoped social and immaterial fabric that will also become attractive pole for future destinations.
LIFT-ON / LIFT-OFF aims to reshape the perimeter of the existing building and trace a new urban front. The project takes consistency in some containers set up along the future grand boulevard of via Regaldi converting the cargo units in spaces for the artistic production, making evident the immediacy of contemporary urbanization. The containers challenge the traditional concepts of the white cube and studio encouraging artists to work in the intersection between urban planning, sociology and economics. The colony of these temporary exhibition spaces technically forms a new block, an extension of the surrounding neighbourhood. It invites artists to rethink at their practice from an original perspective and helps the community to face the change taking place in the contemporary city.
Artists include Anton Alvarez, Benni Bosetto, Sebastiano Impellizzeri, Manuel Scano Larrazabal and the urban setting is by Michele Cerruti But, Alberto Geuna, Emanuele Protti, Niccolò Suraci.
5 – 19 November 2016
ALVARO URBANO, I, MOLE ANTONELLIANA
Thanks to its collaboration with the National Cinema Museum of Turin, Treti Galaxie presents I, a solo show by Alvaro Urbano staged in the evocative and mysterious spaces of the Mole Antonelliana.
In this project, the notion of the “solo show” is turned on its head: it is in fact an exhibition designed to be viewed by a single spectator. It is a choice that is both provocative and intimate and in line with the curatorial approach adopted by Treti Galaxie, which often questions the relationship between contemporary art and its audience.
The title I refers to the last letter of the cryptogram written in an alphabet of ancient Icelandic runes which is found by Professor Otto Lidenbrock, the main character in the novel Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne. On the basis of this cryptogram, Alvaro Urbano has constructed a far-reaching project entitled My Boy, with Such Boots we may Hope to Travel Far, which consists in transforming the letters of the message into sculptural groups distributed throughout various places around the world. In I, Urbano’s ambitious project is brought together as a whole in the spaces of the Mole Antonelliana.
The sole spectator of the exhibition has been identified through the distribution of chocolate bars – provided by the historic chocolate factory A.Giordano – one of which contained a golden ticket with the instructions on how to access the exhibition.
5 November 2016
HENRIK OLESEN, THE EUPHORIA OF TURIN AND MIKE NELSON, PROCESSION, PROCESS. PROGRESS, PROGRESSION. REGRESSION, RECESSION. RECESS, REGRESS., GALLERIA FRANCO NOERO
The centre of the solo exhibition of Henrik Olesen at Galleria Franco Noero consists of an empty square, a loss of consciousness, referencing the story of Nietzsche suffering mental collapse at Piazza Carlo Alberto in the centre of Turin in 1889. (It is said that when Nietzsche witnessed the flogging of a horse, he ran and threw his arms up around its neck to protect it, and then collapsed on the ground.)
2 November 2016 – 14 January 2017
Originally made in Istanbul for Journeys With No Return, a group show held at Akbank Cultural Centre in 2009, the installation comes six years after Mike Nelson’s previous intervention in the same city, Magazin (Buyuck Valide Han), realized on the occasion of his participation in the Istanbul Biennale in 2003. Procession, process. Progress, progression. Regression, recession. Recess, regress. is an installation that conceptually predates the project of 2003, in that it exists almost as a preparatory work in relation to the initial proposal the artist conceived for the Biennale.
The title of the work playfully intertwines a commentary upon the complexity of 20th and 21st century Turkish history but also wryly makes reference to art historical genres which the work may be associated with, and comments upon the very act of its own making.
A slab of concrete is cast, the reinforcement mesh left visible as if unfinished or left as the detritus from some unspecified demolition. Old timbers taken from demolished wooden houses from the Ottoman period are then dropped into the curing concrete leaving their imprint, decades or even centuries of silent witness are embossed into its surface; the patina of the weathered grain and the carpenters cuts. What is left could almost be described as a carpet, the intricate designs supplanted by the patterns, the protruding mesh akin to loose threads. The timbers are left leaning against the wall or lying on the floor adjacent to where they have been taken, they appear almost figurative in terms of their presence reiterating a sense of observation or witness in the cast itself. The complicated relationship between tradition, modernity, and beyond reside here as a melancholic loop, accentuating the relationship of man and matter in a very direct and simple manner.
30 March – 20 December 2016
ED ATKINS, CASTELLO DI RIVOLI MUSEO D’ARTE CONTEMPORANEA AND FONDAZIONE SANDRETTO RE REBAUDENGO
The solo exhibition of British artist Ed Atkins is presented by Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea in collaboration with Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo.
The retrospective, held in five rooms on the third floor of the Castello, unfolds as a holistic installation via an innovative arrangement of works that join images, space, sound, language and color into one seamless narrative, allowing visitors to have an immersive, hypnotic and hyper-real experience.
The exhibition reflects on the combination of tangibility and absence found in the phantasmagoric dimension of the venue: an ancient castle “under a spell,” perhaps inhabited by ghosts, where the expression of a material intangibility seems to be exposed by artist via the reality of HD and digital culture.
In contrast, the contemporary architecture of the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo hosts the artist’s most recent work, Safe Conduct (2016), a three-channel video-installation whose images incorporate footage of airports that show travelers the procedure to follow in order to pass security checks. In addition to the video-installation, Atkins also presents a series of new graphic works related to Safe Conduct.
27 September 2016 – 29 January 2017
ANNA FRANCESCHINI, WHAT HAPPENED TO THE GIRL? DISPLAY NO. 1, CONFETTERIA STRATTA
What happened to the girl? Display No 1., was conceived by Anna Franceschini for the spaces of the historic Turin confectionery store, Stratta in Piazza San Carlo. The work envisages the shop window and layout as interstitial viewing devices, interludes between inside and outside, public and private, exhibition space and commercial seduction tools. A window display in collaboration with the confectionery store itself and some timely and unexpected scattered throughout the space: prosthetic tableaux (not vivant), nature semi-propelled still lives, magnetically suspended assemblies of cinematic material that reflects and emphasizes the zero degree of the image in movement and form the basis of the visual artist’s research.
4 November 2016
ALLORA & CALZADILLA, THE GREAT SILENCE, QUARTZ STUDIO
The Great Silence, a special project by Puerto Rico-based artists Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla is presented by Quartz Studio. The artists have made a single channel version of their acclaimed three channel video installation The Great Silence (2014). The video installation, presented for the first time in 2014 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, focuses on the world’s largest single aperture radio telescope, located in Esperanza (Hope), Puerto Rico, which transmits and captures radio waves to and from the farthest edges of the universe. The site of the Arecibo Observatory is also home to the last remaining wild population of critically endangered Puerto Rican Parrots, Amazona vittata, who make their habitat in the surrounding Rio Abajo forest. Allora & Calzadilla collaborated with science fiction author Ted Chiang on a subtitled script that explores translation as a device to trace and ponder the irreducible gaps between living, nonliving, human, animal, technological, and cosmic actors. In the spirit of a fable, the subtitled story presents the bird’s observations on humans’ search for life outside this planet, while using the concept of vocal learning – something that both parrots and humans, and few other species have in common- as a source of reflection upon acousmatic voices, ventriloquisms, and the vibrations that form the basis of speech and the universe itself. The text for the film was recently selected for the inclusion in the literary anthologies Best American Science Fiction 2016 and Best American Short Stories 2016.
4 November 2016 – 7 January 2017
NO FLY ZONE (NFZ)
Created as a non-conventional observatory, the project No Fly Zone presents artists and works within the walls of an un-usual open space where different media and approaches invite the viewer to re-think the complex international geopolitical panorama. The exhibition arrives in Turin after having been shown in Ncontemporary’s project space in Knightsbridge, London. No Fly Zone features serial works, visual archives, sequences or single chapters taken from a more articulated project showcasing the research process of each invited artists: Raffaella Crispino, Naomi Leshem, Domenico Antonio Mancini, Maria Rapicavoli and Julie Roch-Guerrier. In turin the show includes five projects all connected to a broad spectrum of topics such as the global control systems, migrations, the mapping of the aerial and maritime spaces, the limits and responsibilities of a global geography and the Mediterranean one. No Fly Zone is a show as well as a geopolitical journey, leading the viewer to explore places such as the Mediterranean through the maps created by Domenico Antonio Mancini (b.1980) and the Israeli desert through the photographs of Naomi Leshem (b.1963).
27 October – 7 November 2016