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ISSUE 12 spring 2018


CONTENTS 05 | SILVIA CAMPORESI Marika Marchese 26 | EWA WESOLOWSKA Flavia Rovetta 40 | URIEL ZIV Maria Sveva Scaglione 52 | SPECIAL / MIART

MIART 2018 ACCORDING WITH ARTISTS

Federica Torgano COVER |

Silvia Camporesi

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Francesca Pirillo

DIRETTORE RESPONSABILE Dario Carotenuto

MANAGING EDITOR Marika Marchese

PROOFREADER Sharon McMahon

CONTRIBUTORS Lisa Andreani | Contributor Guy Marshall-Brown | Contributor Giulia Gelmini | Contributor Federica Torgano | Contributor Flavia Rovetta | Contributor Maria Sveva Scaglione | Contributor

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ISSN | 2532-1773 Registrazione della testata al Tribunale di Cosenza N°2/17 del 10.02.2017

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SILVIA CAMPORESI _________ Marika Marchese Silvia Camporesi, photographer, winner of numerous awards tells us about her way of narrating through images. Each work is a discovery for us, because her way of seeing reality is almost a dream, a journey to places mostly unknown to the general public. Her role as a photography artist evolves to anthropology ... a unique way, made of delicacy, sensitivity and beauty to hold our landscape, our history, who we are, in one click. In this interview in dialogue with Silvia I was inspired by several authors, one is Gabriel Marcel with Homo Viator, a great work, of which we will take only part in which life is that substrate given by the pilgrimage, exploration, migration. Fundamental characters for self-discovery, in which every photo of Silvia leads us to a longing for sentiment.

(Silvia Camporesi) I usually start from a subject, a theme that comes from some reading or a commissioned topic. At the beginning there are few words, small notes in a notebook that during the weeks of work become increasingly voluminous material made of images, drawings, other notes, until you get to a real work program: if it is images to be realised at the table, the pre-production part ends with the storyboards on which I will reason for the realisation of the final image; if instead it is about going out and taking pictures of real places then all the commitment is in the organisational part of the trip. I tend to register everything in a notebook in order to keep the production process, from the idea to the finished image, as close as possible. Over the years I have developed a very precise working method and I translated it into a workshop that I brought to various cities: “Making Art. Creativity and planning in photography”. (Marika Marchese) Just thinking about your projects, looking for these “magical” places, places sometimes forgotten, others outdated by everyday life, sensitivity and delicacy with which you prepare to remember. I would like for you to share your creative path of the idea and if you see yourself as an explorer, as in the work of the anthropologist Marcel. (SC) I see myself as a two-level explorer: first of all I start from the idea (and, to talk about the work I’m carrying out now, the idea is the search for Italian places of great charm but little known to the general public),

then I fine-tune the selection of places to visit. I ask for permits where necessary and I organise targeted trips trying to unite various stages. I first look carefully at the places on the internet, so that I already have clear ideas when I arrive. I choose places where I like to go, trying to restore the aesthetic experience I feel when I visit them; so yes, maybe I feel closer to Marcel’s work. How did it all start? Did you have an enlightenment, a sudden revelation? Actually, I have always known that I am creatively driven, even as a child. I remember that at the age of 7 I made a deck of miniature playing cards for my Barbies, but I spent a lot of time figuring out what shape my desire would take. I wrote poems, stories, I tried music and finally I came to photography. I felt that this was my ideal tool, the means by which to express the inner world externally, was what I was looking for. The art of colouring by hand, was a technique of the first photographs and the pre-cinema’s films, which have fascinated many artists, one of them being the contemporary Youssef Nabil. How did you approach “this care” of the image? I call it “care” because it is a kind of wisdom, of love, of understanding that you have for that determined “shot” (you are taking an image from reality and you are making it yours, giving us your vision of that particular moment). The manual colouring was designed to give meaning to the images of Atlas Italiae, a long series of abandoned places in Italy. These were images of peeling walls,

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San Galgano Mirabilia series 2017

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Cave di marmo Mirabilia series Carrara, 2017

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Karahunj Journey to Armenia series 2013

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dilapidated buildings, a literally faded and worn matter, so I thought of the colouring as an act of care, of “restoration” of the abandoned landscape. Colouring was also bringing back to life, restoring strength, to those painfully abandoned places. And what was the first picture you did? The first image I coloured was the photograph of a glimpse of the island of Pianosa (an island largely abandoned), of a very small size, a proof therefore, and the result was surprising: seeing the picture in black and white that slowly took on colour and consistency. What kind of lighting do you choose for your works? Is it often natural? On a philosophical level, light was captured around the 12th century, the same century Euclide’s work on “luminous geometry” was translated. These concepts will be taken up again by Augustine’s “Theory of Illumination and Divine Ideas”, uninterruptedly transmitted in medieval thought. Light can be joy or frustration for those who work with photography. If I work outdoors, as it is happening in recent years, I carefully inform myself about the weather in the areas where

I have to go, in order to avoid too strong of lighting. I tend to not love the strong light of the sun, I prefer a veiled sky and, as already said, cold shades. The idea of ​​ manual colouring was also born to manually adjust the different lights that I found in the various places visited in Italy. If I work in the studio it’s obviously easier, I can keep the lighting under control and have the effect I want. What was the first museum of your childhood? I remember when I was very young when I visited the museum of ancient musical instruments with my parents, a magical place, of objects with unusual shapes that played wonderful melodies. Then as a teenager the first “real” museum exhibition: I went to Lugano with my mother to see a retrospective on Francis Bacon (I still have the catalogue) and that was the first falling in love. Are there instead artistic movements with which you feel you have something in common? Or who gave you particular strength? Until about ten years ago I was fascinated by the Pre-Raphaelite painters, for their way of representing the female figure immersed in a

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Fabbrica Atlas Italiae series Arezzo, 2015 10 | MADE IN MIND


Vulcano Monte Busca Mirabilia series 2017 MADE IN MIND | 11


timeless nature. Their works have inspired some of my photographs, in addition to the declared homage to the Millais Ophelia that I made in 2004. In recent years I have completely abandoned the human figure to devote myself to research on the Italian landscape, which is why I became interested in the authors who have recounted Italy in various eras and circumstances. Surely the group of landscapers gathered around the figure of Ghirri in the production of the Journey in Italy is always a reference of great value that still resounds in those who do research on places. Are there women in art, in cinema, in poetry, in literature that particularly attract you? What did they leave you? There are many female figures who have somehow influenced me during my studies in philosophy and in all the years of training as an artist. The spiritual reflections read in the Quaderni by Simone Weil, to whom I dedicated more than one work, and then the Italian Cristina Campo, lucid explorer of the word, of which I loved every song. The poetry and prose of Antonella Anedda have accompanied me in the most complicated moments of life and in regards to photography I cannot ignore the feeling of uniqueness and strength that triggered me upon the first vision of the photos of Diane Arbus; even if my work does not seem to have points in common with her images,

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I have to admit that I have always been strongly influenced by all that I have learned of her biography and her work over time. What books have changed you, if they did? Many books have directed me to certain paths and therefore have determined in me changes at various levels; I can tell you that the last, in order of time, is a very recent book. I’m finishing it now (it’s a tome of almost a thousand pages) and it’s 4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster, an author that I love very much. It tells the story of a boy and his family in four different variations - all credible and “working” - and makes me reflect on how each artistic idea can be developed in many different ways and can therefore take multiple directions. The doubts, the changes in perspectives, the false departures, the uncertainties in the metaphor with the book of Auster - all enter the machine of the creative process bringing wealth and complexity to the ideas. “In the possible everything is possible,” in art what is still possible? What project would you like to create? I think that the possible in art comes from the elaboration of already existing material; a new attribution of meaning to something that already exists or, in line with current times, an art increasingly


Hotel Atlas Italiae series Salsomaggiore Terme, 2015

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Fabbrica Atlas Italiae series Terni, 2015

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exposed to technology. I definitely prefer the first possibility. A project that I’m carrying forward in time, comes from the idea of putting your hands on the material collected over many years: documents, texts, stories, photographs, dedicated to the theme of the unusual, the supernatural, the absurd. Starting from this material I create, in the studio, models of the places where particular events happened and I photograph them in perspective, simulating a real existence. For me this is a way to always be mentally present and have a creative line that goes on in time, while I carry on other jobs as well. In general, it is the project of artistic continuity that I am interested in keeping alive, a constant mental vitality. You said in other interviews that you want to discover cold landscapes. Are there places or cultures that you would like to bring to photography? Surely after finishing the new work I’m doing in Italy I’d like to do a project on Northern Europe. Thanks to Silvia Camporesi for her kindness and availability.

Collegio Atlas Italiae series Porlezza, 2015

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Scuola Atlas Italiae series Isola di Pianosa, 2015

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Porticciolo Atlas Italiae series Isola di Pianosa, 2015

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Ravenna Qualche volta, di notte series 2012

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Ravenna Qualche volta, di notte series 2012

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Fantasmi (la giostra) La Terza Venezia series, 2011 Courtesy Photographica Fine Art Gallery, Lugano

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L’isola di San Michele La Terza Venezia series, 2011 Courtesy Photographica Fine Art Gallery, Lugano

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Nautofoni La Terza Venezia series Canal Grande, 2011 Courtesy Photographica Fine Art Gallery, Lugano

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Enigma dell’ora Le città del pensiero series 2015

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Il bosco bianco Qualche volta, di notte series 2012

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EWA WESOLOWSKA __________ Flavia Rovetta

Ewa Wesolowska is a visual artist that works with sculpture and interactive installation. She received her Masters of Fine Art at the Department of Sculpture from Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow, Poland, in 2007. In her artistic research, she manages to merge her traditional craft background with the use of technology, exploring different perceptions of time and memory. In her installations, the sculptured elements represent the human desire to leave a trace through history: this concept is enforced by the handprints or footprints that the artist leaves on the artworks, in order to testify her actual presence. The use of light and video projections is meant to create confusion, to generate contradiction, in order to raise awareness amongst the spectators: human existence, as well as memory, are dramatically ephemeral. Her work is an act of meditation on human fragility, but it is also an attempt to visualize immaterial concepts, making them truly perceptible. The “here and now” is evanescent and intangible for Ewa Wesolowska, that’s why she tries to materialise it in vivid forms, that assume the aspect of crystallised memories.

How did your cultural background and your studies at the Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts influence your artistic process? My background and my studies gave me huge respect towards art, considered in a traditional way, and towards the craft, considered as a profession. This allowed me to be very conscious of what I do and how I do it. It also determined the concept of my entire research, as if some sort of humbleness towards the past was at the very heart of my practice. During the whole period of my studies, I worked with clay and the technique of modelling life-size figures. That experience gave me the tools and the language for my following works and it also gave me the comfort to visualise what is on my mind. It can be a challenge to get out of this comfort zone, in which the way of talking can become more important than telling something. Skills and background are important to build the vocabulary, in order to say things or ask questions; I think it’s crucial knowing how to choose or reject words from this vocabulary. There was a moment, a few years after my graduation, I had to stop and rethink what I was doing and why I was doing this. I asked myself why I was so determined to leave the visible trace of my hand on the surface of my sculptures; I understood that this impression of a gesture was the willingness to leave a trace behind to be remembered. Like a mark or a signature, this artist’s gesture was the registration of the creative process, a record of presence.

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My background taught me one more important thing: I learned to think about art out of the commercial context. Our studios were focused on the creation and no one was having any training in developing any strategies for the future. It gives a lot of freedom, not an easy one but a valuable one. What made you realise that you wanted to work with installation, instead of traditional sculpture? I was always fascinated by minimal art and its calm impression of being into the art piece, where visitors were often faced with artworks that demanded a physical and visual response. I wanted to merge that calm feeling of being into the work, with the trace of gesture, intended as a repetitive sign of presence. It seems to be an attempt to merge the contradictions, but in my mind it all works together. Christian Boltanski, one of the artists I admire the most, calls himself a minimalist-expressionist. He often underlines that the minimalist vocabulary has the effect of tempering something that otherwise would be expressionist. I agree with that. I think installations can indicate the passage of time better than a single sculpture. They give the possibility to show the repetitious circle and the attempt to keep something, unveiling how illusory this attempt is. It also gives the spectators some sort of intimacy, as they walk into the work instead of walking around the sculpture. The interactivity works in a similar way, it makes you more conscious that what you see is only your point of view.


It’s just a matter of time TraceBoxes series Cast objects and artefacts in resins Espace Kugler, Geneva 2017 MADE IN MIND | 27


Could you describe your process, how it begins and how it evolves? I don’t work on my projects separately, they all come from one another. Literally. There is a moment, while I’m working on a project, when I need to stop and make a decision to develop it and in this timeframe, there could be a new idea coming. New projects are always the continuation of old ones. Sculptures, installations with sculptured elements, light and interactivity; they are all different mediums, pointing out different timeframes but they all hide the same questions and desires behind them. There are some repetitive aspects in my works and a meditative nature in this process, no matter if it’s about leaving a handprint or a footprint on a surface of the sculptural work,

or making the same process again and again with different materials and observing the results, or setting up the interactive part of a work and passing through the room, a few more times, in the same pattern. It’s the same action, the same desire and the same concept spread over time. There is an attempt to remake something all over again, to leave traces and some path behind us, no matter if it stays or it diffuses quickly when we disappear. I collect as much as I can about the processes of perception and memorising. I am fascinated by time, I try to visualise it, to make it perceptible in a material way. In all of this, I’ve discovered the huge importance of a coincidence that happens on the way. It took me some time, but I’ve learned to take advantages of failures, for example when something

It’s just a matter of time TraceBoxes series Cast objects and artefacts in resins Espace Kugler, Geneva 2017 28 | MADE IN MIND


breaks, or cracks, or doesn’t work as it is supposed to. I always search for the value and I often find beauty in it. Sculpture has been defined a “dead language”. Is the use of technology meant to give a second life to this medium? What is the purpose of this interaction? Yes and no. For me, the expression “dead language” doesn’t describe the sculpture itself, but rather the expectations we project onto it. I think it is more about the attitude towards the medium, rather than the medium itself. The art experience can be renewed each time we look at something, no matter if it’s about sculpture or any other medium. So, in this sense, my answer would be no. On the other hand, I think we often need stronger stimuli to experience the same amount of emotions

than people did one hundred years ago. It’s like a language that changes over time: we domesticate strong words and, as time passes, we don’t find them strong anymore. Art, especially sculpture, needs some time and reflection. These two things seem to be not only a challenge but also a great privilege nowadays. The experience of an art piece should last in time and, for me, it should be an individual experience. Technology, making an object change or last in time, forces us to contemplate it. Inside the installation, we have to move through the room to see it all, as we are not able to have a full vision of it from one place. Interactivity can pull the spectator inside. I would say that technology, used in the artistic process, forces you to spend time with the piece. But I think art always

It’s just a matter of time Installation – detail Interactive projection on fog Espace Kugler, Geneva 2017 MADE IN MIND | 29


~–∞ Ceramic Concordia Gallery, Enchede, Netherlands 2016 30 | MADE IN MIND


~ Interactive installation Ceramic Concordia Gallery, Enchede, Netherlands 2016 MADE IN MIND | 31


Suspension Public art work Ceramic Rojal Art & Film Festival, Roja, Latvia 2015

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refers to a few old familiar questions and even when the language changes, these questions remain the same, as well as in the fields of science and philosophy. Memory and human consciousness are the main themes of your works. Have you asked yourself how technology might interfere with them? Do you believe that technology gives essential support, or is it rather a dangerous contestant? I would not call technology a contestant. Well, not yet. I would consider it a tool that could be used in a dangerous way, for sure. In everyday life, I am optimistic about human nature. Unfortunately, I become more pessimistic when I think about it from a wider perspective; people have talent for using new discoveries in a bad way. Nowadays, it’s very important to ask ourselves how we use technology. Let us take the example of Artificial Intelligence or Big Data; I have a feeling it’s evolving so fast that we are a little late with the systematisation of it in an ontological sense. I think we should not be afraid of A.I. itself. We should be rather aware of how people in power use it to control and manipulate us, in hidden and unexpected ways. For example, let’s think about behavioural targeting on the internet and all of those annoying ads; they open a huge range of possibility for manipulation. I think Big Data is also making us a little lazy. There was one episode in the Black Mirror series in which most people had “grains” that remembered everything on behalf of them, allowing them to play back their memories in front of their eyes, or on a screen. We already google everything. The

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huge amount of data we collect is never recalled in our memories, it’s just researched on our devices if needed and this habit influences us a lot. I am interested in analysing it, but more in an ontological, not axiological sense. I don’t know if it’s good or bad, as an artist, I prefer to ask questions about it rather than value it. There is always a human aspect in the use of technology. It is a great tool and it’s up to us how we use it. Human beings are at the centre of your artistic research: is this the reason why the spectators have a primary role in your works? One of my professors used to repeat that we wouldn’t know what the world looked like, if no one looked at it. I think these words had a big impact on my practice. The etymology of the word look is uncertain, but it probably comes from the old Breton word lagud, meaning “the eye”. The human eye. There is no experience of art without the spectator, even if the only spectator is the artist. My work is about the consciousness that we are not able to objectively see the world as it is, and that we only rely on the image of it that we already have in our minds. As Roman Opałka said, “If there is a sense in our existence, it is just an attempt to understand what our existence is”. Could you explain in detail your installation It’s just a matter of time? This show consisted of a few illuminated glass-cases with small-scale sculptures and an object in the middle of a


O=O Interactive installation Center of Polish Sculpture Oronsko – Chapel Gallery 2015

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Music Box, detail Mobile installation DordtYart, Dordrecht, Netherlands 2013

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Music Box Mobile installation DordtYart, Dordrecht, Netherlands 2013

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room, with a cubic metre space, filled with fog and interactive video projections. The artwork was about juxtaposing different structures, referring to different temporal scales. On the one hand, there were ephemeral forms dynamically generated by the visitors’ movements and on the other hand, there were objects inspired by biological neuron-like structures and carved handprints. I wanted to display the objects in the way the artefacts and the ancient traces are presented at the archaeological museums. The interactive projection on the fog was inspired by the process of tracing particles. The visibility of the projections was different from different corners of the room and the traces themselves were changing while someone was moving around the box. Those were very delicate changes, not very obvious, so the visitors had to spend some time next to the work to figure it out. Even for me it wasn’t so evident sometimes, as there was no repetitive pattern in it. The projection was not only influenced by the spectators, but also by its own movement on the fog, an aspect I realised after setting up the show. Even when there was nobody in the room, it was somehow reacting to itself. It was a nice surprise for me, I saw a stronger message in it: it is not possible to keep anything, no matter how much we try. What is your perception of time, in general? And what is your perspective on present time? Einstein said, “Time is just something we invented

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to make motion seem simple”. I understand time as a duration of moments or feelings, coming one after another. I don’t see it as changing slides, but rather as some connected bubbles that we affect, and that depends on the context we are in. How we perceive it, it’s a matter of subjectivity. I think it’s influenced not only by emotions and different circumstances, but also by the individual state of knowledge. I have this very strong desire to visualise its tissue, how we move through it, how we perceive it, and how our actions affect its perception. It is challenging, as we can only move in one direction through it. Feeling “now” is utopia for me. A dream good to have, good to try and worth trying to feel, but unreachable. My practice investigates traces of presence as it’s all we have access to. Due to a failure of our senses, everything we can consciously perceive is somehow already a memory. A very recent one, but still a memory. How conscious we are of it, it’s just a matter of scales and points of reference. Your use of technology reveals that it is still at the service of art. What is the role of the work of art in the digital age? I think it hasn’t really changed. The definition of art is as difficult as it was. The human curiosity remains the same. The further we go, the more questions we have, but the fundamental questions stay the same. We now add those about the role of technology, Big Data and other things we have around us now, but the End, Beginning, and Vanitas are still there.


What did just Happened Sound installation Akiyoshiday International Art Village 2017 MADE IN MIND | 39


URIEL ZIV AZANCOT _________ Maria Sveva Scaglione

Uriel Ziv Azancot is a multidisciplinary artist who lives and works in Israel. He was born in 1981 in Jerusalem and is the eldest son of a very Orthodox family of seven. He studied film at the Sam Spiegel Jerusalem School and graduated from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. In 2013 he participated at the Eco Cinema Film Festival and received the Ralph Inbar Award for Graduation Exhibition. His works were exhibited in several group exhibitions. In 2014 he was given a solo exhibition at the Ramat Gan Museum of Israeli Art.

What is your view on modern technology? I think we live in an era of screens, that surround us constantly throughout our days, throughout our lives, a plethora of electronic devices is engulfing us in the public sphere as well as the private one, in the streets, and in our own pockets. Can you tell me why are you attracted to screens? I recollect my youth in an extremely Orthodox Jewish household, a household with no computer, no television, no expression on new technology but rejection and general fear. This blockade enforced on me by the educating figures in my early life has driven me towards total fascination with these forbidden screens. What is your opinion about the bond between humans and smartphones? As an artist I am fascinated by this connection between man and screen, a connection that is both physical and metaphysical. The physical aspects can be demonstrated by bodily engagements – the hand engages with the smartphone; the finger engages with the screen; our facial expression engages with the camera as we take a selfie.

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What’s the metaphysical connection then? The metaphysical aspects are somewhat more elusive, but just as present – the mirror reflection on a “black” switched off screen; the metamorphosis that the character undergoes between the moment of the photograph snapshot to the moment in which it is exhibited and manifested in social media; the dual identity and presence of a person both in a physical spatiotemporal realm as well as a representational virtual cyber realm. Has the advent of smartphones changed the concept of one’s identity? The personal screens we all own contain within them – in their digital memories, cloud storages, and social network databases – fractures of our multiple identities. Identities that are constantly constructed and reconstructed, copied and pasted, transformed and transfigured in the various online media platforms in which we engage with. What about two of your latest artworks Heaven LC-123BK and Arrow in the Eye? Heaven LC-123BK is a sculpture made out of a multitude of materials. It is a black, plastic ornamental


Arrow in The Eye Sculpture Stainless steel, trash bin, arrow, tablets creen, GIF, sound, light Photo by Nati Azenkot 2017 MADE IN MIND | 41


Arrow in The Eye (detail) Sculpture Stainless steel, trash bin, arrow, tablet screen, GIF, sound, light Photo by Nati Azenkot 2017 42 | MADE IN MIND


pond, the ones that you originally bury in the soil. The pool has a “decoration” in the form of a plastic pot with a plant, there is dark water in the pool (created by printer ink, serial number LC-123BK, and hence part of the name). In addition to white water there’s white foam (made from washing up liquid). Arrow in the Eye is a stainless steel industrial rubbish bin, with an arrow piercing the outside. Inside of it there’s a tablet playing a GIF of an eye moving obsessively. A metallic sound of a robotic camera invites the viewer to look inside the bin, but to see inside of it the viewer must slide the bin lid sideways, and this is possible as it is attached in a pendulum like axis. What are the meanings of these art pieces? Heaven LC-123BK embraces the supposedly perfect idea of “paradise” and breaks it down into the contemporary reality that exists around me and my current location: Israel. Arrow in the Eye, instead, addresses the subject of voyeurism and surveillance, vision and it’s castration. There’s a sculpture called McGuffin, a term that Hitchcock coined. Can you tell me something about it? When Hitchcock spoke about McGuffin he said: “It might be a Scottish name, taken from a story about two men on a train. One man says, ‘What’s that package up there in the baggage rack?’ And the other answers, ‘Oh, that’s a MacGuffin’. The first one asks, ‘What’s

Eyes Wide Shut (detail) Sculpture Motion sensor, ashtrays, lights, tail butt plugs, one-way mirror, stainless steel Photo by Nati Azenkot 2018 MADE IN MIND | 43


Eyes Wide Shut Sculpture Motion sensor, ashtrays, lights, tail butt plugs, one-way mirror, stainless steel Photo by Nati Azenkot 2018 44 | MADE IN MIND


Eyes Wide Shut (detail) Sculpture Motion sensor, ashtrays, lights, tail butt plugs, one-way mirror, stainless steel Photo by Nati Azenkot 2018 MADE IN MIND | 45


Vesicle Sculpture Tablet screen, aluminum, video loop, fake fur, wood, one-way mirror Video Loop: 03:11 Photo by Nati Azenkot 2013 46 | MADE IN MIND


Vesicle (detail) Sculpture Tablet screen, aluminum, video loop, fake fur, wood, one-way mirror Video Loop: 03:11 Photo by Nati Azenkot 2013 MADE IN MIND | 47


McGuffin Sculpture Mixed media, ready-made, barcode link to video on YouTube/Vimeo Video: 03:47 Photo by Nati Azenkot 2015

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McGuffin (detail) Sculpture Mixed media, ready-made, barcode link to video on YouTube/Vimeo Video: 03:47 Photo by Nati Azenkot 2015

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a MacGuffin?’ ‘Well,’ the other man says, ‘it’s an apparatus for trapping lions in the Scottish Highlands.’ The first man says, ‘But there are no lions in the Scottish Highlands,’ and the other one answers, ‘Well then, that’s no MacGuffin!’ So you see that a MacGuffin is actually nothing at all.” A portable apparatus for hanging a medical infusion which in its current incarnation resembles a high-tech robot with red eyes. At the centre of the object there is a box made of stainless steel mirrors, at the bottom of which is a barcode that links to a YouTube clip. The video portrays a kind of journey from one’s consciousness to the human body. Since the object metaphorically and visually moves

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between several spaces it reflects the concept of the McGuffin because it leads us into a physical conscious space. What’s the story besides Follow The Leader? Follow The Leader is made out of an aluminum ladder serving as the physical body of a dictator, but his head is absent and the eyes are held in his hands; the utters / stomach is illuminated by a light that simulates the one of a red incubators. It contains severed silicon tongues. At the bottom of the statue there’s a slow rotating horn with a sharp knife. This work signifies the human blindness and the tendency to blindly follow the leader while losing one’s inner self and ideas.


Joan of Arc Crying in Glowing Colors Sculpture Tablet screens, aluminum, one-way mirrors Video Loops: 03:05 (x3) Photo by Nati Azenkot 2013 MADE IN MIND | 51


MIART 2018 ACCORDING TO ARTISTS

_________ Federica Torgano

The week before Design Week, Milan has been moved by another ferment: that of Art Week. Five days of events for the art world revolving around one of the most important and international fairs in Italy today, miart. Now in its twenty-third edition, the fair does not cease to grow, both qualitatively and quantitatively, attracting more and more operators and professionals in the sector. A real week of contemporary art that involved all of Milan and that has seen many institutions, foundations and the main professionals of the field located throughout the city, starting in the centre, without excluding the suburbs. Interesting was the Art Night Non-Profit Spaces, in which the non-profit spaces of Milan notably kept their doors open until late at night with openings, performances and events. Continuing to renew itself in its contents, but not changing its artistic direction, which remains for the second year straight in the hands of Alessandro Rabottini, miart presents itself as the Italian fair with the widest range of artistic chronology. Ranging from modern to contemporary, to the brand new of the younger galleries with their emerging artists, miart succeeds in presenting itself as a fair with a wide choice, with a careful look at both the contemporary and new researches. The articulated subdivision into sections of the fair reveals a careful and precise curatorial intent, which allows the fair to escape from the mere commercial intent and to maintain solid connections with the research both in regards to the historical section and to the most recent experiments. So, a perfect combination between art and market that increases its attractiveness both for Italian and foreign galleries, confirming itself as one of the most international fairs in Italy, a factor that is also reflected in the curatorial team. Within the different sections, some of the most interesting artistic proposals come from the Established Contemporary segment, which concerned those first-market galleries that have been working with artists for years, whose recognition

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has grown along with that of the gallery itself. Among these we find Francesca Minini, Rita Urso, Zero ... and Renata Fabbri (Milan), Clearing (New York - Brussels), Spazio A (Pistoia), P420 (Bologna), which despite their consolidated experience continue their commitment to promotion of emerging artists. The Emergent section, on the other hand, counts twenty young galleries led by Sophie Tappeiner with the artist Angelika Loderer, who at her first exhibition (the gallery opened in Vienna last May) won the LCA award as the best stand, a prize that confirms support and involvement of the fair with new generations and the newest research proposals. Then there is Dittrich & Schlechtriem (Berlin) with Nicola Martini, Spazio Veda (Florence) with the installation of Emily Jones and Eastward Prospectus (Bucharest) with a solo exhibition by Sebastian Moldovan, who also presents an unpublished work by the artist for the occasion. All projects of great artistic and curatorial value that are more reminiscent of the exhibitions in the gallery than those of the booth of a fair. In fact, this year many galleries were presented with a personal exhibition, putting artistic value before the commercial one. The fair also reconfirmed the relationships with some galleries that, having participated in the previous edition in the Emergent section, were then invited to go to the Established First Step section, with a view to longterm collaboration as it was for Berthold Pott (Cologne), who reconfirms its participation at the fair after the first experience of last year. In line with the strong curatorial intent of this edition of miart, we wanted to discover the artist’s vision in relation to the context of the fair, which often presents itself as a hostile and frustrating context for the artist who has to slant his research into works, so to speak, “salable�. We asked some of the youngest artists to tell us about their experience in miart, which is an entrenched experience for some of them, and the first time for others.


MIART 2018 ACCORDING TO ARTISTS

Miart 2018 The Fair Photo by Paolo Valentini

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MIART 2018 ACCORDING TO ARTISTS

DAVIDE ALLIERI (Rita Urso Gallery, Milano) Many artists find it hard to adapt their work to the trade fair system. How did you experience miart in relation to the exposure of your work? Personally, I do not have major problems producing “salable” works. I think an artist has to differentiate his production and conceive projects according to the situation. I have a fairly precise line but I often adapt, modify, alter the work according to the place where it will be used. Selling is fundamental and is the basis for having resources to be reinvested in other works. This is my first year at miart and the feeling I had was very positive, both regarding the interest of the public for my research, and for the context in which it was presented. How did you like this edition of miart? What do you think was missing or what would you have changed? What struck you positively? This year I felt a definite improvement within the foreign galleries

selection. I could appreciate booths of big names such as Gladstone and Gagosian, and also, the quality of great artists and their works. I liked a lot of booths that faced the space by installing the works as if they were group exhibitions in the gallery. Miart is an art fair and we must remember that we are dealing with works of art and not objects, they are of the idea that a dialogue between the works and the artists is fundamental. Personally, I would have added a section, even in a separate location, where artists are invited to present large installations, something broader and detached from the market, something that makes visitors “dream”. In addition, I would have included more awards of a different nature, trying to involve public and private entities and create new ways to stimulate acquisitions. What do you think of Milan’s contemporary system / artistic ferment? In your opinion, is the city receptive to the latest artistic researches? I think Milan, and Italy in general, live locked between two opposite poles. One that pulls artists, galleries, collectors and all that is linked

Rita Urso Gallery Exhibition view at miart 2018 Photo by Paolo Valentini

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to them towards the old, such as history, the ancient, the tradition. On the other hand, I find that there is too much superficiality, too many trends, too much fashion, too much lightness and many non-professional artists. On the one hand I met young artists who are already old, boring and bored, yet at the same time, I also met young artists, still students, without identity, without a specific direction, without personality, empty and useless. Despite this, however, sometimes stand out noteworthy personalities, which leave you something you remember well, and thus you cannot forget. The problem of Milan is that it is not a metropolis, it is not sufficiently contaminated. Different “worlds” meet with difficulty; cinema does not meet art, art does not meet fashion, music does not meet art and so on. Even if some effort is noticed, in my opinion it is still not enough. How did you personally perceive the audience of the fair and of Milan Art Week? The public seemed wider and prepared, certainly thanks to social

networks like Instagram where everyone thinks of themselves as artists. It seems that there is always more and more involved in the contemporary and its scenarios. I do not ask myself whether going to see contemporary art events if it is more about tourism or more about fashion. The important thing is that there is a public, curiosity and affluence. I hope that in the future people will appreciate and attend “our world” more and more. This year miart has been organised in many specific sections, highlighting a certain curatorial approach. Do you think there can actually be a dialogue between the fair system and the curatorial practice? I noticed more curatorial effort. I think one should aim to that, also because then sales would accordingly follow, in my opinion. It occurs when a booth is well organized, with a project or with an upstream discussion and an idea.

Davide Allieri Exhibition view at miart 2018 Rita Urso Gallery Miart 2018, Milan

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MIART 2018 ACCORDING TO ARTISTS

Davide Allieri Foundations - #01 #02, 2016

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Davide Allieri Corners Fabbrica del Vapore, Milan


MIART 2018 ACCORDING TO ARTISTS

Davide Allieri Duet, 2017 Exhibition view at Rita Urso Gallery, Milan

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MIART 2018 ACCORDING TO ARTISTS

Spazio A, Pistoia Exhibition view at miart 2018 (Nona Inescu, Defence, 2017) Photo by Paolo Valentini

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MIART 2018 ACCORDING TO ARTISTS

Spazio A, Pistoia Exhibition view at miart 2018 Photo by Paolo Valentini

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GIULIA CENCI (Spazio A, Pistoia) Many artists find it hard to adapt their work to the trade fair system. How did you experience miart in relation to the exposure of your work? It is not the first time that I find myself working in the context of the fair, even with large format presentations and installations. Let’s say that I always try to work taking into account the place that will host the work with its peculiarities. That of the fair is certainly difficult, but my project was also born in response to the On Demand section, which offers artists and galleries the opportunity to present projects more articulated than the fair standards. I really enjoyed being able to work this way inside the fair, and see the work enclosed in a dedicated section, in good company.

directly concerned. In miart for sure the carefully designed sections are noteworthy, which stand out clearly with the highest quality booths. Also, the small size of the fair, which allows a calm and appropriate visit, instead of the biggest fairs, often too chaotic. During the days of the fair I imagined things that I would particularly like in addition to both the fair and the art week in general. Compared to the particular section in which I participated, I thought about an evolution of On Demand that would have allowed artists to work outside of booths with projects meant to be even for the most unusual and peripheral spaces of the fair itself. Those days, going around, I thought about how to expand a special section dedicated to even more specific and specifically designed projects. The space of the fair reflects many characteristics that could be a good topic for reflection for many artists of my generation.

How did you like this edition of miart? What do you think was missing or what would you have changed? What struck you positively? It’s a difficult question for me, I do not attend fairs unless my work is

What do you think of Milan’s contemporary system / artistic ferment? In your opinion, is the city receptive to the latest artistic researches? From Milan, as a city, I expect even more. It is changing and

Giulia Cenci Spazio A, Pistoia Exhibition view at miart 2018

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becoming more and more active, but I think it could and should go even further to offer an even wider programme for those who come during the days of the fair and for those who live it. Having never lived in Milan, I’m not sure I can make a proper judgment, I often miss the most interesting exhibitions because I live far away. But many colleagues seem enthusiastic about how the city is evolving. As a visitor, Milan is a very pleasant city, foundations and galleries are on the rise. I hope this is a line to pursue. How did you personally perceive the audience of the fair and of Milan Art Week? In a positive way. I believe that miart is always a meeting point for Italian artists who come here to meet, to meet curators and collectors, and I have noticed a growing international audience ... this, again, is a line to pursue. This year miart has been organised in many specific sections, highlighting a certain curatorial approach. Do you think there can

actually be a dialogue between the fair system and the curatorial practice? Absolutely yes. This seemed to me one of the strongest points of the fair. As I said, I imagine that these sections can get better and better. The dialogue seems clear and I believe that the public perceives it with great enthusiasm, as well as artists, of course. For me, having been able to work with a complex project during the fair was a real pleasure and a great opportunity.

SEBASTIAN MOLDOVAN (Eastwards Prospectus, Bucharest) Many artists find it hard to adapt their work to the trade fair system. How did you experience miart in relation to the exposure of your work? This has been my second fair experience, although I have been showing for 15 years. So I know very little about fairs first-hand. I am used to show site-specific work that is impossible to transplant

Eastwards Prospectus Gallery, Bucharest Exhibition view at miart 2018, Milan Photo by Paolo Valentini

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Sebastian Moldovan 968 pieces of burned paper Eastwards Prospectus, Bucharest Exhibition view at miart 2018, Milan Photo by Paolo Valentini

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or even conserve, so, yes, it was a challenge to find a work that is suitable for a booth, rather than adapting it. Exposure (of a certain kind) is what fairs offer, I guess, but that is not really my trade. The gallery should measure the exposure that it and the works receive. I work with a gallery so that it shields me from all that. How did you like this edition of miart? What do you think was missing or what would you have changed? What struck you positively? There were good works to see, shown in their respective sections in a curatorial attempt to paint a bigger picture – that was noticeable. I liked taking the tour more than once. What do you think of Milan’s contemporary system / artistic ferment? In your opinion, is the city receptive to the latest artistic researches? The encounter was brief, but it felt that way; as is somewhat predictable for a wealthy city that is in tune with its inhabitants. How did you personally perceive the audience of the fair and of Milan Art Week? Briefly. I went there mostly because I had to install a work personally, but did not sit around afterwards. I visited the fair and the city. That felt like the right thing to do. This year miart has been organised in many specific sections, highlighting a certain curatorial approach. Do you think there

can actually be a dialogue between the fair system and the curatorial practice? Yes, I think there can and should be an interaction between fairs and curatorial practices, as curators can be empowered in their research, while fairs could start making sense as a whole (beyond the obvious), tell a story, ask questions and so on.

COLIN PENNO (Berthold Pott, Cologne) Many artists find it hard to adapt their work to the trade fair system. How did you experience miart in relation to the exposure of your work? My works exhibited at the miart were individual pieces that had plenty of room to breathe within the confines of the fair booth. And the fair itself was quite spacious and expansive, so that I was more than satisfied with the presentation of my works in the context of the art fair. How did you like this edition of miart? What do you think was missing or what would you have changed? What struck you positively? In general, my experience of the fair was very positive. I was surprised by the design section – you don’t find this very often at other art fairs. It might be something specific to Italy. And perhaps it should be more clearly separated from the art galleries. What worked well was the way emerging and established

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MIART 2018 ACCORDING TO ARTISTS

Sebastian Moldovan Airbender, 2017 Eastwards Prospectus, Bucharest

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MIART 2018 ACCORDING TO ARTISTS

Berthold Pott Gallery, Cologne Exhibition view at miart 2018 Photo by Paolo Valentini

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contemporary art was presented together with modern art in one overall context. What do you think of Milan’s contemporary system / artistic ferment? In your opinion is the city receptive to the latest artistic researches? Throughout the run of the fair, I spent a lot of time in the city and saw a great deal by visiting open studios and attending the openings at the large private museums. I experienced the Milan art scene as being very lively, international, and in touch with the latest trends. How did you personally perceive the audience of the fair and of Milan Art Week? I think that it is still much more difficult for young foreign galleries to enter into a dialogue with the visitors than it is for Italian galleries. Language barriers certainly play a role here, but this is probably the case in every country and does not necessarily apply as much to younger visitors, who all speak very good English. This year miart has been organised in many specific sections, highlighting a certain curatorial approach. Do you think there can

actually be a dialogue between the fair system and the curatorial practice? I think it’s absolutely the right way to go. The fair organisers should continue to compile the fair according to a curatorial perspective. They owe this as much to the visitors as to the artists who present their work there! SOPHIE TAPPEINER (Wien) for ANGELIKA LODERER Many artists find it hard to adapt their work to the trade fair system. How did you experience miart in relation to the exposure of the work? I am answering from my own perspective as a gallerist, not in Angelika Loderer’s perspective. I don’t think artwork should be adapted to the trade fair system. Angelika Loderer (the artist whose work I was presenting) and I decided to treat the fair booth like a small exhibition space and this concept worked very well for us. How did you like this edition of miart? What do you think was missing or what would you have changed? What struck you positively? It was the very first fair the gallery has participated in and thus it

Colin Penno Solo exhibition “MOB” at Berthold Pott, Cologne September 2017

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is difficult to draw comparisons. However, the fair exceeded our expectations, we were awarded the prize for the best booth in the Emergent section of miart, which had a big impact on our fair experience. What do you think of Milan’s contemporary system / artistic ferment? In your opinion, is the city receptive to the latest artistic researches? Unfortunately, we didn’t have too much time exploring the city and we would have loved to see more of it. Milan is a city that has a lot to offer with its rich cultural fabric and history. Regarding contemporary art, it features some remarkable institutions as well as some fantastic galleries and spaces! Also, a lot of artists whose work I admire work and live in Milan.

This year miart has been organised in many specific sections, highlighting a certain curatorial approach. Do you think there can actually be a dialogue between the fair system and the curatorial practice? I don’t have a simple answer to this question. Personally, with so many art fairs around these days, I believe it is crucial for art fairs to position themselves very clearly and to provide quality. I like miart’s approach of offering a variety of sections; paying tribute to Milan’s strong design history with its Object section for instance. With these varied sections, they manage to build a fair with a strong identity that appeals to the Italian public as well as the international public. The Emergent section, which we were so lucky to be a part of, was conceived with the young galleries needs in mind, while at the same time adding value to the fair. Moreover, it was beautifully curated by Attilia Fattori Franchini.

How did you personally perceive the audience of the fair and of the Milan Art Week? The audience of miart seemed international and very varied! I found that people generally seemed very engaged, curious and interested.

Angelika Loderer Hole Bowl (Ciao), 2018 Patinated brass and teak wood 120 x 80 x 50 cm Courtesy of the artist and Sophie Tappeiner

Angelika Loderer Margins (1), 2018 Sand and iron 50 x 37 x 7 cm Courtesy of the artist and Sophie Tappeiner

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Angelika Loderer Installation view Sophie Tappeiner at miart, booth E06 Emergent section, 2018 Courtesy of the artist and Sophie Tappeiner

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