Primoz Bizjak: more than meets the eye

Primoz Bizjak: more than meets the eye

By Chiara Rizzolo

The Slovenian photographer Primoz Bizjak leads us to a sublime journey across the Apuan Alps to unveil the inner light and colors of impermanence

After a childhood spent in the fields behind his house looking for pieces from the First World War, a holy curiosity and a strong need to widen horizons drove a grown up Slovenian transport logistics engineer to finally attend the Fine Art School in Venice and become a photographer. “Now my curiosity is the source of my work” says Primoz Bizjak after several solo and group exhibitions in Italy, Spain, Germany, Slovenia and Canada.
Primoz Bizjak by Ph. Carlos Fernández

Primoz Bizjak by Ph. Carlos Fernández

Using two old analogical cameras and nocturnal shots revealing colors usually hidden in the night, Primož’s pays a special attention to landscape, to the framing and to every detail. With an eye on abandoned places or places going through a transition, his work is a record of a certain locus in a particular point in time – often, a revealing one. All compositions are front-on and stick to the essential: there’s no room for unusual perspectives – “the students’ stuff” – as he calls it. Underlying all series is the idea of an unmediated directness with the selected subject, heightened by the fact that the works undergo no degree of digital manipulation. “I’m far more interested in the object itself, what’s in front of me, and I try to show it as it is. Much more important for me is the viewpoint, both in terms of form and concept.” His photographs patiently unveil the history of places, their symbolic landmarks as well as their impermanent function. Light is crucial, in this regard, since “it can sometimes help us see the same object in different ways or even reveal things the eye cannot see” – both in term of form and concept. After all, it hasn’t been that long since early childhood explorations: that young boy is still running in the fields or climbing up a mountain to witness the ephemeral, the hidden voice or nature or maybe, just the passing of time.
Primoz Bizjak, Alpi Apuane - Passo della Focolaccia, 2017

Primoz Bizjak, Alpi Apuane – Passo della Focolaccia, 2017

Gregor Podnar Gallery recently hosted “Alpi Apuane”, a series of seven photographs taken between 2014 and late 2017 and dedicated to the vast mountain range in northern Tuscany. It took Bizjak four patient years to find the perfect moment in time revealing what is left behind – or sometimes beyond – Apuan rock walls. His analogue shots features nocturnal images surprising the viewer with a full spectrum of colors normally hidden in daylight. He gradually captured the abandoned quarries and extraction sites, defying heights and ‘no-entry’ signs to unveil what we would never be able to see.
Primoz Bizjak, Alpi Apuane - Antro del Corchia, 2015

Primoz Bizjak, Alpi Apuane – Antro del Corchia, 2015

As a Romantic explorer, the artist captures these “suspended” landscapes abstracting them from both temporal and spatial dimension and freezing them into an atemporal place in history. The viewer’s experience, on the other side, is deeply immersive, almost a religious one. We’re asked to look deeper, to be silent witness of the mountain’s breathe. Maybe this is the ‘Sublime’ feeling well described in the 18th century writings by Joseph Addison and a few other Englishmen who had experienced a journey across the Alps. Sharing the same appreciation of the fearful and irregular forms of nature, what these writers and philosophers also had in common was a strong feeling of “delight that is consistent with reason”: the experience of the journey was at once “a pleasure to the eye as music is to the ear”, but “mingled with Horrours, and sometimes almost with despair”. The very etymology of “Sublime” – from Latin Sublimis (sub, “under” + limen, literally “lintel, threshold, sill”) seems to suggest us a perfect interpretation of Bizjak’s recherche: we’re somehow asked to look carefully at all these nuances, to discover in every detail a glimpse of what lies behind and, at the same time, aspires to reach the peak of an undisclosed height.
Primoz Bizjak, Alpi Apuane - Tre Fiumi, 2015

Primoz Bizjak, Alpi Apuane – Tre Fiumi, 2015

Even a dismissed quarry can be called sublime because it ascends to the heights in a figurative and physical sense, as can every aspect of nature – as long as it has its own grandeur or is able to covey a “spiritual awakening”. Alpi Apuane thus is more than just a Proustian search of lost time. It’s a symbolic recollection of childhood’s curiosity together with adulthood appreciation of the transient impermanent. It’s a journey trhough Memory, an invitation not to forget what belongs to the past, elevating reality to the imaginary, almost mystical level.  
Obliteration is not an option.
Bizjak’s “unmediated intimacy” with the mountain is the way through an Epiphany, a sudden revelation. The micro becomes macro and viceversa: every photograph is a ‘manifestation’, that holy moment when a simple rock or a ray of light against a wall flashes out with its own peculiar meaning and makes us realize we’re maybe smaller than we think but – at the same time – higher.
For more information, visit Gregor Podnar Gallery.
Serpentine Pavilion 2018 review

Serpentine Pavilion 2018 review

by Tiziana Maggio

Serpentine Pavilion: unveiling a concrete tapestry in a garden…

Serpentine Pavilion 2018

Serpentine Pavilion 2018

This summer a dark fence is going to stand in the lawn of the Serpentine Gallery in London’s Kensington Gardens. On Tuesday 12th June, the new Serpentine Pavilion 2018 opened to the public giving at a first view very little of itself away, if not just two textured overlapping rectangles. In fact, as soon as I arrived my partner of adventures Roro stated: “It looks like a prison”.
However, from a closer look the structure reveals to be formed by undulated roofing tiles stacked together and romantically woven on to steel poles which welcome us in a courtyard-like space with a shallow triangular pool covered by a curved mirrored canopy. Also we realised that the two nested rectangular spaces are wisely placed parallel to the Serpentine Gallery one and the Prime Meridian of Greenwich the other.
Serpentine Pavilion 2018

Serpentine Pavilion 2018

I have to say that after the tree-inspired Pavilion created last year by Diébédo Francis Kéré, this black textured walls are everything but unwelcoming or rough: in fact with a cafe, chairs and light and breeze filtering through the decorative tiles, they will offer for the next four months a relaxing and intimate place to recover from the either rainy or hot city’s buzz and enjoy a calendar filled of art events.
Serpentine Pavilion 2018

Serpentine Pavilion 2018

Plus, the distorted images reflected by the ceiling and the water highlight how simple materials like cement can create complex pieces of tapestries. The Mexican architect Frida Escobedo, who was mingling around at the opening, invites us to enjoy the water and a cool splash for our suffering soles in the hopefully warm days of this London’s summer.
Serpentine Pavilion 2018

Mexican architect Frida Escobedo’s pavilion for the Serpentine Gallery, in London. Photograph Ray Tang Rex Shutterstock

Establishing her practice in 2006, she led several projects in her country, London, California and Lisbon. After Zaha Hadid inaugural Pavillion in 2000, Frida is the second solo woman to be chosen for the Serpentine Gallery’s annual commission. Also, at 38 years old, she is the youngest architect of any of her predecessors achieving the prestigious leading role, becoming the 18th architect selected to design the Pavilion.
My design for the Serpentine Pavilion 2018 is a meeting of material and historical inspirations inseparable from the city of London itself and an idea which has been central to our practice from the beginning: the expression of time in architecture through inventive use of everyday materials and simple forms” stated Escobedo.
Serpentine Pavilion 2018

Serpentine Pavilion 2018

Serpentine Director Hans-Ulrich Obrist and CEO Yana Peel explained that Escobedo’s Pavilion is “a beautiful harmony of Mexican and British influences” and an “architecture for everyone which promises to be a space of reflection and encounter”. In fact the young architect wanted to reinterpret the permeable ‘celosia’, a type of breeze wall which is a common element in the Mexican residential properties to get some restorative and cool siesta-times, creating a very previous British reference for us.

Go: the Pavilion is always worth a detour from your running around.
Don’t go: if you prefer your sofa, couch potato!
A performance by Naama Tsabar

A performance by Naama Tsabar

By Pietro Ferrazzi

Musical artworks: strange paintings with electronic cables, plugs and microphones with Naama Tsabar

Wednesday in Basel means breakfast at the Kunsthaus Baselland and the chance to stumble upon great and uncommon shows. This year the three selected artists are Rossella Biscotti, Rochelle Feinstein and Naama Tsabar. And it’s the latter who gets the main space of the museum and our attention.
Here and there, you can see strange paintings with electronic cables, plugs and microphones. And pieces of blue, red and black felt combined with wires. It looks like an unfinished stage but everything makes clear when a performance starts.
A group of girls starts playing those paintings with theatrical gestures, bringing us to a surreal and magic atmosphere delighting our ears and our feelings. What a great start to a day!
10 highlights from Art Basel Unlimited section

10 highlights from Art Basel Unlimited section

By Eugenia Bertelè

The new edition of Art Basel Unlimited program displays – for the first time at the Messe Basel’s Hall 1– a unique selection of 72 large-scale projects offering the galleries the opportunity to showcase monumental sculptures and installations. The huge and amazing space is mounted for the seventh time by Gianni Jetzer, curator at-large of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden of Washington D.C.

Unlimited - Art Basel 2018

Unlimited – Art Basel 2018

People love to interact with the Translucent Chromointerferent Environment (1974/2009) of Venezuelan artist Carlos Cruz-Diez represented by Galeria Raquel Arnaund in Sao Paolo. The installation is a light evolving work that awakes perception mechanisms into the viewers, who become simultaneously authors and actors of the animated space: everything is transforming and loses its materiality.
Carlos Cruz-Diez, Translucent Chromointerferent Environment (1974-2009) - Art Basel 2018

Carlos Cruz-Diez, Translucent Chromointerferent Environment (1974-2009)

A fantastic reality is also created by the Catso Violet, the 1967 light projection of American artist James Turrell (Bernier/Eliades gallery, Athens), where a solid cube is shaped just by the immateriality of light. Going deeper and deeper into false perceptions we meet Barbara Bloom’s installation, The Tip of the Iceberg, 1991 (Galeria Gisela Capitain – Cologne, in collaboration with Raffaella Cortese, Milan) and all of a sudden you feel underwater or directly cast in another space.
Barbara Bloom, The Tip of the Iceberg, 1991 Galeria Gisela Capitain, Cologne in collaboration with Raffaella Cortese, Milan - Art Basel 2018

Barbara Bloom, The Tip of the Iceberg, 1991 Galeria Gisela Capitain, Cologne in collaboration with Raffaella Cortese, Milan

A circular table, lit from below and above, is stacked with porcelain tableware all bearing the logo of the legendary RMS Titanic. By approaching the table, you can see that the undersides of the dishes are printed with images taken from the Titanic wreck on the ocean floor. The artist’s fascination for the connections between objects and images is clear in this work, as well as the meanings implied through their placement and combinations. Barbara Probst Exposure #85: N.Y.C., Broome & Crosby Streets, 01.11.11, 12:31pm, 2011 (Monica de Cardenas, Milan) explores subjectivity taking a portrait of the same scene from different angles at the very same moment. The fragmentation of the instant into a series of 13 shots is a tool to inspect the ambiguities of the photographic image. In A Hundred Times Nguyen, 1994 ((Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg; Galerie Lelong, New York; Kamel Mennour, Paris;Thomas Schulte, Berlin; Lia Rumma, Milan), Alfredo Jaar employs four slightly varying images of Nguyen Thi Thuy, a young Vietnamese refugee born in a camp. In a media landscape saturated with images bombarding us with no mercy, Jaar hopes to communicate a larger story by focusing simply on a little girl.
Another very provocative artwork is Robert Longo’s Death Star II, 2017/2018, created in response to the exponential proliferation of mass shootings in the United States: it consists of a suspended globe studded with 40.000 copper and bronze full metal jacket bullets. The work is a sequel to Longo’s original 1993 sculpture and it reflects the violent thread of all accidents across the last 25 years. Relative meaning and plurality of truth is the subject of the performance Alternative Facts, 2017 by Paul Ramirez Jonas.
The American artist acts as a notary certifying private lies in public documents. As this notary process requires payment in gold, the artist offers to transform the customer’s pocket change into gold. The performance shows not only the legal, but also the chemical process of transformation.
Bruce Conner - Breakaway, 1966 - Paula Cooper gallery - Art Basel 2018

Bruce Conner – Breakaway, 1966 – Paula Cooper gallery

An important part of the program is dedicated this year to video art installations. Among them, an historic piece of one of the foremost American artist of the postwar era: Bruce Conner. Breakaway, 1966, surpassed in formal daring the majority of film works made at the same time, helping to define what would became the modern music video.
Francis Alÿs, Tornado David, Zwirner New York - Art Basel 2018

Francis Alÿs, Tornado David, Zwirner New York

Belgian artist Francis Alÿs’s Tornado, 2000-2010 (David Zwirner, New York) is a footage gathered over a decade and documenting the tornados that ravage the land at the end of dry season in Mexico. The artist’s attempt to enter the vortex and capture the tension between violent, chaotic movement and unsettling quietness is a metaphor for the artist’s struggle to find a furtive moment of peace that could hint at a new realm of possibilities.
Unlimited, Goodman Gallery, kaufmann repetto, KOW, Candice Breit - Art Basel 2018

Unlimited, Goodman Gallery, kaufmann repetto, KOW, Candice Breit

Candice Breitz, TLDR, 2017 (Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg; Kaufmann Repetto; Kow, Berlin) is a video portrait of a sex workers community active in Cape Town. Pointing a finger at herself, the artist bluntly asks whether and how all creatives living a privileged life fully represent marginalized communities. All these artworks and interactive environments open up a dialogue with our time. Once more, Art helps us questioning the times we live and hopefully, better understand them. Don’t loose the chance to see Untitled if you are in Basel! For more information: https://bit.ly/2LxuYvz
Art Basel Day 1: pictures (and galleries) at an exhibition

Art Basel Day 1: pictures (and galleries) at an exhibition

By Nicola Mafessoni

The 49th edition of Art Basel opened yesterday morning to VIP guests and a very responsive Market. Look Lateral team was there with a special eye on art galleries, first-day sales and must-see works

Sol Lewitt - Open Geometric Structure IV (1990) - Art Basel 2018

Sol Lewitt – Open Geometric Structure IV (1990)

A wonderful fair. As usual for Art Basel. We are queuing at 11 am at the main entrance under the famous clock, among collectors, curators, journalists, museum directors… the complete excited worldwide art scene. All of them looking for the right piece, a historical masterpiece or the new artist on demand. Finally we are there. Turning on the right we face some wonderful Picasso’s paintings at the booth of Beyeler Foundation.
Philippe Parreno - Happy Ending (2015) - Art Basel 2018

Philippe Parreno – Happy Ending (2015)

Turning on the left we get to know an amazing oil on canvas – “Untitled (Knife and Dish)”, from 1964, by Vija Celmins at Matthew Marks Gallery. Then Ellsworth Kelly, Anne Truit, and other great artists… what a beginning! Let’s go ahead. Randomly we reach a crazily crowded Gagosian booth with Franz Kline, Ed Rusha, Damian Hirst and so la la.
Ed Ruscha - One Nightstand (1993) - Art Basel 2018

Ed Ruscha – One Nightstand (1993)

Larry is there, sat on a bench in the corridor, carefully watching, shaking hands. From time to time someone from the staff comes out to say something is sold: 2.5 millions, few hundreds and other numbers which unfortunately we can’t get. Let’s move. We are impressed by Annely Juda’s grey wall with many Kazimir Malevic drawings and we wonder how possible is to have so many Egon Shiele as Galerie St. Etienne. Congratulations!
We find a wonderful painting by Marlene Dumas on display at Zeno X Gallery and we get to know the “Three Women With Heads Cast Down” by a young Richard Prince. In a corridor, once again we come across the “Lobster” by Jeff Koons which we saw last year, and we can’t seem to get that much the point with Rudolf Stingel at Mnuchin Gallery.
Francis Bacon - Seated Figure on a Couch (1959) - Art Basel 2018

Francis Bacon – Seated Figure on a Couch (1959)

Oh. We think we just got lost… but we don’t! – Simply, Jan Mot got his booth in a different, better position this year: well deserved!
Petit Rouge en bas” is the little jewel by Alexander Calder from 1972 which Van De Veghe Fine Art is “offering” us; furthermore, here it is the funny “Spectacles” on canvas (1970) by William Copley at David Nolan.
Jiro Takamatsu - Shadow (No. 1445) (1997) - Art Basel 2018

Jiro Takamatsu – Shadow (No. 1445) (1997)

But now… let’s talk about sales!
Cheim and Read, Lisson Gallery and David Zwirner are making a fortune. But also Dvir Gallery and Esther Shipper said it’s being a fantastic day – so everything seems perfect: gallerists are thrilled, collectors too, and so we are. Art is beauty-full!
Another outstanding edition of Art Basel show is near to open its doors

Another outstanding edition of Art Basel show is near to open its doors

By Eugenia Bertelè

The 49th edition of Art Basel is a point to open in its original location in Switzerland with a premier line-up of 290 galleries from Europe, North and South America, Asia and Africa presenting modern and contemporary works by around 4.000 international artists in parallel with a very exciting program of museums shows, conversations, film, magazines, public art installations and a new edition of Design Miami Basel, where the world’s leading design galleries present curated exhibitions of furniture, lighting and objects d’art

Tony Cragg, Elliptical Column, 2016; Pair, 2015. Courtesy of Buchmann Galerie Berlin _ Lugano - Art Basel 2018

Tony Cragg, Elliptical Column, 2016; Pair, 2015. Courtesy of Buchmann Galerie Berlin _ Lugano

Founded in 1970 by a group of gallerists from Basel, Art Basel is the most important institution in the world of art fairs, organizing art shows for modern and contemporary art in Basel, Miami and Hong Kong. Beside its leading position in the art market, Art Basel experienced, during the last years, other prominent initiatives such as – since 2014 – a Crowfunding focused on the support of non-commercial art projects around the globe, and – since 2016 – Art Basel Cities, created to develop vibrant and content-driven programs specific to the individual city.
Jana Sterbak, Sisyphus Sport, 1997 2014. Courtesy the artist and Barbara Gross Galerie, Munich - Art Basel 2018

Jana Sterbak, Sisyphus Sport, 1997 2014. Courtesy the artist and Barbara Gross Galerie, Munich

This year the show is welcoming 16 galleries joining the fair for the first time, including White Space Beijing from Asia and three new exhibitors from the United States: Freedman Fitzpatrick, Essex Street and Franklin Parrasch Gallery. From Europe, 12 exhibitors are new to the show: Barbara Gross Galerie, Galerie Max Mayer, Richard Saltoun Gallery, Jan Kaps, Sandy Brown, Antoine Levi, mor charpentier, Madragoa, Croy Nielsen, Carlos/Ishikawa, Galerie Lange + Pult and Galerie Bernard Bouche.
Aude Pariset, Promession #1, 2016, detail. Courtesy of the artist and SANDY BROWN, Berlin - Art Basel 2018

Aude Pariset, Promession #1, 2016, detail. Courtesy of the artist and SANDY BROWN, Berlin

Highlights of Art Basel 2018 include the ambitious projects by historical and emerging artists in Feature and Statements sections. Feature is hosting 31-curated projects from both historical and contemporary artists, including artists as Rachel Whiteread, Alex Katz, Irving Penn, Lubaina Himid, Gilberto Zorio, among others (browse the complete list at artbasel.com/basel/feature). Statements sector instead, is presenting 18 exciting solo projects by emerging artists and including ten first-time galleries. Among them, several projects are addressing socio-political issues (artbasel.com/basel/statements). Thomas Struth, Animals, 2018. Reference image. Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman - Art Basel 2018Thomas Struth, Animals, 2018. Reference image. Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman The most expected program, Unlimited, this year is featuring 72 large-scale projects in a unique setting. Unlimited provides galleries with the opportunity to showcase installations, monumental sculptures, video projections, wall paintings, photographic series, performance art that transcend the traditional art fair stand. For the 7th consecutive year it is curated by Gianni Jetzer, Curator- at- Large at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C. Both renowned and emerging artists are taking part in the exhibition, to mention some: Matthew Barney, Robert Barry, Daniel Buren, Horia Damian, Camille Henrot, Jenny Holzer, Guillermo Kuitca, Alfredo Jaar, Mark Leckey, Lee Ufan, Inge Mahn, Lygia Pape, Jon Rafman, Michael Rakowitz, Nedko Solakov, Martine Syms, Rirkrit Tiravanija, James Turrel and Ai Weiwei (artbasel.com/basel/unlimited).
Fred Sandback, Untitled (Sculptural Study, Seven-part Triangular Construction), 1982 2011, Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner - Art Basel 2018

Fred Sandback, Untitled (Sculptural Study, Seven-part Triangular Construction), 1982 2011, Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner

In 2007, Daniel Buren transformed the escalators leading to the upper floor of Hall 1 into a kinetic sculpture titled Passage de la Couleur, 26 secondes et 14 centièmes. Messe Schweiz bought the work. Responding to this earlier work, Unlimited will open with Buren‘s Una cosa tira l’altra, an aerial walkway decorated with stripes similar to those used on the escalator in 2007, allowing visitors to view the surrounding works from a unique and unexpected point of view.
Robert Longo, Death Star II, 2016 2017 Courtesy of the artist and Thaddeus Ropac- Metro Picture - Art Basel 2018

Robert Longo, Death Star II, 2016 2017 Courtesy of the artist and Thaddeus Ropac- Metro Picture

Another highlight this year is the Creative Time project at Messeplatz, participatory installation that uses drumming workshops, rubble mounds and a temporary constructed building to question the meaning of public space. Conceived by artists Lara Almarcegui, Isabel Lewis and Santiago Cirugeda – led architecture studio Recetas Urbanas, these projects aim at raising awareness of the active role citizens have in connection with urban environment, inviting Basel residents to be part of the performing action during the Art Basel art week.
ABB17, Misc, General Impressions, PR, - Art Basel 2018

ABB17, Misc, General Impressions, PR,

Finally, to enjoy site-specific sculptures, interventions and performances by internationally renowned and emerging artists engaged with the most historical neighborhood, you should go around Münsterplatz. The Parcours program is curated for the third year by Samuel Leuenberger, founder of the non-profit exhibition space SALTS in Birsfelden, Switzerland. Keep following us on Look Lateral.com, we’ll deliver daily live contents from the Art Basel week. More information at www.artbasel.com
Manifesta 12 will shine from the heart of mediterranean

Manifesta 12 will shine from the heart of mediterranean

by Eugenia Bertelè

The 12th edition of Manifesta, the European Nomadic Biennial will open its doors in Palermo, a crossroad city located in the heart of the Mediterranean, next June 16th, 2018 until November 4th, 2018

Manifesta 12 Palermo, Palazzo Butera, 2017. Photo by CAVE Studio - Manifesta 12 will shine from the heart of Mediterranean

Manifesta 12 Palermo, Palazzo Butera, 2017. Photo by CAVE Studio

Manifesta, originated in Amsterdam during the early 1990s, was born in response to the political, economic and social change following the end of the Cold War and beginning of the European integration process. This time the exhibition titled The Planetary Garden. Cultivating Coexistence, explores coexistence in a world moved by invisible networks, transnational private interests, algorithmic intelligence and ever- increasing inequalities.
Manifesta 12 Palermo, Chiesa dei Santi Euno e Giuliano, 2017. Photo by CAVE Studio - Manifesta 12 will shine from the heart of Mediterranean

Manifesta 12 Palermo, Chiesa dei Santi Euno e Giuliano, 2017. Photo by CAVE Studio

According to the words of Hedwig Fijen, art historian Director and Founder of Manifesta: “Today biennials should be more than the sum of a series of exhibitions. The added value of Manifesta 12 is the fact that the biennial programme takes place in 2018 in the Sicilian city of Palermo, where important geopolitical, social and ecological realities of our times are arising. Palermo constitutes the deep complexities that people worldwide are facing. We hope that Manifesta 12 creates new perspectives in terms of staging the immaterial and material legacy for the future of the city.
Manifesta 12 Palermo, Orto Botanico, 2017. Photo by CAVE Studio - Manifesta 12 will shine from the heart of Mediterranean

Manifesta 12 Palermo, Orto Botanico, 2017. Photo by CAVE Studio

There are then a present and a future imagined for Palermo: a long- term series of education projects that will kick-off during the biennial in order to create a sustainable impact after the exhibition, using the fantastic energy and vibrant culture of the city. This year the international creative team is interdisciplinary and includes Bregtje van der Haak (Dutch filmmaker and journalist), Andrés Jacque (Spanish architect founder of Office for Political Innovation), Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli (Sicilian born architect Partner at OMA) and Mirjam Varadinis (Swiss contemporary art curator at Kunsthalle Zurich).
Manifesta 12, Palermo, Teatro Garibaldi Venue, Copyright Manifesta 12, 2017. Photo by CAVE Studio - Manifesta 12 will shine from the heart of Mediterranean

Manifesta 12, Palermo, Teatro Garibaldi Venue, Copyright Manifesta 12, 2017. Photo by CAVE Studio

The concept was inspired by the city itself through a preliminary phase of investigation made by the international architecture firm OMA, Palermo Atlas, which allowed a deeper understanding of social, cultural and geographical texture of the city. Manifesta 12 will look at the idea of the garden, exploring its capacity to aggregate difference and to compose life out of movement and migration. Palermo has historically been a laboratory for diversity and cross-pollination, shaped by continuous migration and mixing a vegetation from Asia, Middle East, Australia, etc.
Forcella De Seta3 Copyright Manifesta Photo by Cave Studio - Manifesta 12 will shine from the heart of Mediterranean

Forcella De Seta3 Copyright Manifesta Photo by Cave Studio

The exhibition is articulated in 4 sections: Garden of Flows, exploring toxicity, plant life and the culture of gardening in relation to global common goods; Out of Control Room investigating power in today’s regime of global flows; City on Stage, addressing the existing opportunities in the center and in the suburbs of Palermo to carry out projects so far interrupted and never realized; Teatro Garibaldi hosting a library, café and program of public events, including debates, workshops and film screenings.
Manifesta 12 features 30 new commissioned art works, public installations, performances and urban interventions, taking place in 15 iconic venues of the city. Among others, Nigerian contemporary art performer, Jelili Atiku, will set up a processional performance on June 15th, through the streets of Palermo. French contemporary landscape architect and philosopher Gilles Clément, who inspired the biennial’s curatorial concept with his book The Planetary Garden will engage in collaboration with the multidisciplinary design studio Coloco and create an urban garden in the Zen district of Palermo. Maria Thereza Alves will dedicate a site-specific work dedicated to the floral syncretism of Sicily at Palazzo Butera. London-based collective Cooking Sections will show a project on agricultural irrigation systems held in various venues. Marinella Senatore, will feature on June 16th a collective dance movement in the streets of the historic centre and Giorgio Vasta, with the project City Scripts, a digital app dedicated to the narration of Palermo. More information, click here See collateral events, click here
Giorgio di Palma: a ceramist to watch out for

Giorgio di Palma: a ceramist to watch out for

By Tiziana Maggio

Interview with Giorgio di Palma, who is pushing ceramic forward

Just one heartfelt advice: remember his name. For his disruptive approach to the ceramic, we could define him the Damien Hirst of this craft, but actually to be more precise, Giorgio di Palma is like Damien before getting his god-like attitude and marketing power.
Giorgio di Palma, Tools, Hand sculpted ceramic, glaze and platinum, Dimension Real dimension, 2013 - Giorgio di Palma: a ceramist to watch out for

Giorgio di Palma, Tools, Hand sculpted ceramic, glaze and platinum, Dimension Real dimension, 2013

In fact from his workshop in a tiny centre in the south of Italy, Giorgio is revolutionising his art. Class 1981, he studied Archeology to then actually started working as IT technician. However, after few years he finally decided to listen to his true passion, the ceramic craft, and follow his call back home in the small town of Grottaglie, which actually is historically well known for its century old ceramic tradition. It is not a coincidence then that since he moved back home in 2010, Giorgio has been producing an incredible collection of ceramic art which are starting to attract interior designers and art collectors’ interests.
Cartucce, photo Dario Miale - Giorgio di Palma: a ceramist to watch out for

Cartucce, foto-Dario-Miale

His artistic statement is all about a personal and ironic approach: ‘I work my own way, without focusing on the technique, and I always avoid giving my objects a real function. I produce ceramic items which are not needed. In an era of excess and wastefulness, my aim is to create objects fallen into disuse, useless, but impossible to leave behind. They will outlive us, because now they are made of terracotta, hence immortal. Through a special time machine called ceramics I enjoy transforming the useless into the eternal and consecrating the moment.’ I have got to know Giorgio primarily via email and it immediately transpires how down to heart and committed this artist is.
Giorgio di Palma - Cercamic objects. Photo: Dario Miale - Giorgio di Palma: a ceramist to watch out for

Giorgio di Palma – Cercamic objects. Photo: Dario Miale

Do you have a mentor in your professional and personal life?
In my life I have always been surrounded by people who inspired me, hence I don’t think I have ever had only one mentor. I might sound pretentious but I believe in myself so much that I could call myself the Giorgio di Palma’s mentor. This does not mean that I believe I can do anything I want. With time I have learnt that in every craft and industry there are experts that could be my teachers and mentors. Hence if I want to make marinated anchovies I will ask for my mother’s instructions and if I want to create a complex ceramic piece, I will ask my father for some advice.
Giorgio di Palma, Cappello, walkman, borraccia e twix in ceramica - Giorgio di Palma: a ceramist to watch out for

Giorgio di Palma, Cappello, walkman, borraccia e twix in ceramica

Who is a living artist you admire and you would collect?
My house and studio are full of art made by artists I was lucky enough to meet and get to know closely. I need to know the artist personally in order for me to collect his pieces, in fact behind every piece I have, there is a story to tell. Hence I would say I collect stories, not art.
Giorgio di Palma, Balloons Permanent Installation on a wall in Vizzini, Sicilia, Italia, Ceramic, glaze, 2015 - Giorgio di Palma: a ceramist to watch out for

Giorgio di Palma, Balloons Permanent Installation on a wall in Vizzini, Sicilia, Italia, Ceramic, glaze, 2015

What can you not stand in the art world?
I have to say I cannot stand the art world as a whole. I never wanted to call myself ‘artist’ and I always avoided the path of art galleries-collectors-price politics. Some of my pieces are displayed in museums where a wider audience can see them and enjoy them. However, I usually sell in my studio and in few selected shops: my buyers can be either the kid who needs to buy a gift for his aunt and the person who falls in love with a unique original piece.
Photo @lucamarianaccio - Giorgio di Palma: a ceramist to watch out for

Photo @lucamarianaccio

What’s your biggest achievement so far in life and career?
Maybe my biggest one has been to came back and make a living in my hometown Grottaglie, in Southern Italy.
Giorgio di Palma, Detergents, Handsculpted ceramic, glaze and decal, Dimension Real-dimension, 2016 - Giorgio di Palma: a ceramist to watch out for

Giorgio di Palma, Detergents, Handsculpted ceramic, glaze and decal, Dimension Real-dimension, 2016

Are you interested in Italian politics?
Fundamentally no. I voted just three times in my life and I deeply regretted each time. I believe citizens can’t really decide on complex topics like vaccines, Euro, etc..There are designated people with specific expertise who know what and how to decide on those matters. We should just convince them to do that. Instead on ethical choice, rather economic-political matters, citizens should decide.
Baloons phone, Giorgio di Palma, Isculpture Gallery San Gimignano, Tuscany Contemporary Art - Casole d'Elsa - Giorgio di Palma: a ceramist to watch out for

Baloons phone, Giorgio di Palma, Isculpture Gallery San Gimignano, Tuscany Contemporary Art – Casole d’Elsa

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
I see myself ‘escaping’ from Italy often but also having Grottaglie as a base for me to come back.
Artist studio, photo Dario Miale - Giorgio di Palma: a ceramist to watch out for

Artist studio, photo Dario Miale

Like his ceramic lollipop and balloons, Giorgio is a straightforward and extremely enjoyable artist who can surprise you with a genuine approach that will definitely further his career in the directions of being internationally collected and unanimously acclaimed.
The 27th edition of  arteBA opens skaking the city of Buenos Aires

The 27th edition of arteBA opens skaking the city of Buenos Aires

By Federico Curutchet

arteBA is undoubtedly one of the most important art fairs in the region. And the 27th edition- opened yesterday in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Palermo- reconfirms it

Its importance is not only measured by the great attendance of the average public registered (in 2017 there were more than 85 thousand visitors), nor by the prestigious galleries attending, both local and foreign, but rather by a permanent search for innovation and inventiveness when it comes to reinventing itself as a fair. New sections such as Stage, which gathers galleries of medium trajectory in the same corridor; renovated architecture on the Island of Editions and U-Turn, to mention some space; new redistribution of booths; a majestic auditorium and even a natural garden within the grounds of La Rural, make up this particular ecosystem with biennial features that bring up the bubbles of the champagne of the art world and shakes the entire City of Buenos Aires inaugurating the art week.
arteBA 2018, General View, courtesy arteBA Foundation - The 27th edition of arteBA opens skaking the city of Buenos Aires

arteBA 2018, General View, courtesy arteBA Foundation

This inclination to a biennial exhibition spurs the gallerists to carefully choose their curatorial proposals and respect the context. There are those who opt for more austere and minimalist proposals or, on the contrary, for a more baroque and loaded; there are also those who prefer to segment their booth and others who choose open and unified spaces, challenging the works to coexist with each other in a very fine boundary, turninf the fair into a stained museum.
CLAUDIO GIROLA, Aldo de Sousa, courtesy arteBA Foundation. JPEG - The 27th edition of arteBA opens skaking the city of Buenos Aires

CLAUDIO GIROLA, Aldo de Sousa, courtesy arteBA Foundation. JPEG

Among more than 80 galleries, hundreds of artists and works, the glamour of the opening and all gala dresses, some very interesting works grabbed our attention. There is a theme beneath all artworks, involving both the domestic and the organic, a theme leading us in this short selection of highlights of arteBA 2018.   If we consider some “drawing lines”, there’s no better way to start than highlighting the subtle aerial lines creating invisible volumes in the small and elegant sculptures of the master Claudio Girola in the Aldo de Sousa gallery (which exceed USD 80.000). Precisely, Pablo de Sousa, its director, proposes a curatorial axis and a reading hypothesis to understand the history of art highlighting the role of teaching around the figure of the artist and marking the importance of this practice in the transmission of knowledge from teacher to students. As the Director told us, “Girola, under his management as rector of the University of Valparaíso, organized in 1965 the first Amereida Crossing, whose itinerary tried to unite Tierra del Fuego and Santa Cruz de la Sierra in Bolivia.” That first poetic journey with his students was meant to help them enhance the sensitive perception of the environment.”
CLAUDIO GIROLA, Aldo de Sousa, courtesy arteBA Foundation - The 27th edition of arteBA opens skaking the city of Buenos Aires

CLAUDIO GIROLA, Aldo de Sousa, courtesy arteBA Foundation

The work of Sol Pipkin in the Zmud gallery also deals with sensitivity in capturing the environment. As if they were “networks of meaning” capturing unknown symbols and languages, his three works do not want to be called paintings, sculptures, objects or collages: rather, they stand stoically as small totems fierce and aware of their knowledge. These are wise works, made with materials at the hand of the artist, not industrial waste but rather, a kind of living nature, a silent witnesses of the time passing by. The earth dreams in a spiral or Shhhhsshhh shhhhhh (USD 2.300 each one) are some of the titles, as simple and beautiful as the Decalogue written as a technical sheet describing the pieces and listing all the materials used for their creation: wood, cotton gauze, fabric dye, burnt tin, wire, dry gourd, copper, bronze, tin, seeds. Just simple.
Simple and close is the domestic universe presented by Santiago Villanueva in his solo project with the Isla Floating gallery in the U-Turn section. Following Gumier Maier, who is considered Argentina’s first curator, the artist, researcher, and curator travelled two weeks to the River Plate Delta to rediscover the domestic curatorial model and recover the peculiarities of the famous and never well-weighed typology of he house museum. “The museum house – the artist says – mixes the personal and the general, the historical and the banal, the objectual and the experiential, the lie and the verifiable facts. What can we learn from it? How to observe it?”. With this bunch of questions, they disconcert the seemingly unconnected objects distributed in the booth: some spirals, two sticks, some pineapples, and three chairs. Soon after, interpretation finds its way: there are no insignificant objects; every object has a story to tell.
Romina Casile, in the space of the Acéfala gallery in the Barrio Joven of the fair, also shares a story through a domestic universe in her Vocal Trap (USD 21.000).
ROMINA CASILE, Acéfala, courtesy arteBA Foundation - The 27th edition of arteBA opens skaking the city of Buenos Aires

ROMINA CASILE, Acéfala, courtesy arteBA Foundation

Or rather, it is the tables and cabinets speaking loudly, in a closed circuit of zinc megaphones and labyrinthine pipes. Transposed furniture, mutated and monstrous, seizing the space and surprising all visitors for its inhumanity this seems to challenges us all with a voice.