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Galeries-anti-Galeries

“Nous transmettons ainsi le matériel de notre candidature relative à l’appel à candidature pour l’Université d’été de la Bibliothèque Kandinsky. Les sources au travail: Galeries-anti-Galeries, 1-10 juillet 2020.”


NOMADIC LANDSCAPE

Since the 90s in Italy contemporary art galleries had an audience almost exclusively of professionals; a wider exchange has failed, starting a reflection about the self-reference of artistic research. Often, galleries need to sell material works, excluding less objective searches (like experiential or performing art, etc.). We have observed a cultural and linguistic disconnection with society and an ever-growing gap between “functionally different” product-processes: a product that focuses on the existential self-sufficiency of art (dear to collecting), and planning (respondents to the opportunities offered by banking foundations and EU), which claim a social utility for artistic and creative projects.

To get out of the impasse, we need to find new type, for urban and geographical collocation, of exhibition spaces; to experiment relational/linguistic dynamics for dialogue with a society (unaware of the history of art of the last 70 years); to research methods able of progressing without to become “social teaching” but while being able to seek funding.

For us, the construction of an alternative route was not intentionally outlined as an anti-galleries; it was a consequence of the inability of the galleries to respond to the “ontological”, and economic, sustainability needs of our researches.

Put into discussion the type of exhibition space (the white cube, the non-lieu [1], the space abstracted from any context), infinite possibilities of “improper” spaces are opened but with them change the exhibition needs and new problems, design possibilities, emergencies from the place stand out.

Making some examples among our experiences I mention the editions of the «Sardinia art fair», care of Mauro Cossu, realized inside the Lido of Cagliari (2005 and 2006) and the former agricultural penal colony of Castiadas (2008): in the first the spaces were the lido’s cabins, in the second the ex-prison cells. The locations have had an important influence on the projects that the artists have chosen to carry out, both for theme and set-up; similar for  decodation by users, imagine a fair, among the daily used umbrellas on the beach, invaded by 15000 international visitors in three days. The same has happened in the projects carried out within the former SEFE furnaces of Scianica di Sellero and former SEB water tank, which deal with an ex-industrial landscape in regenerated contexts, giving rise to dialectical processes with the history of the sites and their architectural peculiarities.

The relationship with the place, whether of a content or architectural heritage, becomes a constant and profoundly influences the research that, almost necessarily, begins to tackle particular and empirical problems. Problems that, being temporary spaces, are always changing, and just in the repetition of this “exercise” over the years emerges a “method”, an approach, a universalization and sometimes a language. These aspects take more importance than objectiveness, temporary, set up of the artistic work.

One great interesting aspect of the process, for the repercussion on artistic practice, was the communication. The choice of terminology, aesthetics and means of diffusion considers the type of interlocutor. Our interlocutor, far from the dynamics of the artistic environment, took a decisive role. What we have experienced has been a progressive stripping from the “technical” terms, up to the renunciation of any self-definition, as an art event or artists, to leave space for the free interpretation/placement by the interlocutor. This has led to a radical misunderstanding, that we now intentionally pursue, by proposing performative and relational, synaesthetic and experimental practices, in contexts that are entirely “other” by theme – receiving an unexpected following of the public and interested institutions. Mostly the grafting took place in green-therapeutic practice; educational projects; “musealization” of archaeological sites, up to proposing themselves in socio-health projects. The artistic manifestations too are proposed in a diffused way on the territory without contextualizing the works in a precise interpretative artistic context (the Benjaminian contemplative fruition [2]) that create an immediately valuation like something difficult to understand and very far/hight culture.

Now a pilot project, called “Nomadic Landscape” [3], collects in a format, many of the ideas that we have developed about exhibiting and operating on the territories. It’s
– a traveling pavilion, both exhibition and residential,
– who will travel on connecting routes between the participating entities (following part of two European paths, E1 and E10),implementing, at each stage, a collection of materials and reworkings on the post-industrial [4] landscape
– documented by a periodic publication about its stages and evolutions.

An exhibition space that is also for life; a place that deals with lieux in transformation and will be transformed every time it’s assembled; a littered and transmedial [5] collection that is physically stored at the participating entities and online, on an internet site and many archives disseminated among servers, media, share platforms.

The first tour is scheduled between 15th May and 31th October, 2020.

Francesca Conchieri
Saviore dell’Adamello 7/ 03/ 2020

SOURCES- NOTES

[1] Non-lieu is a Marc Augé concept introducing in «Non-lieux. Introduction à une anthropologie de la surmodernité» (1992). Augé used this terminology for indicate a place that not keep a relationship with the anthropological context, because i’s created for fast consume, quickly crossin.  I use this concept apllied to the white cube not for the time of consume that characterizes it but for to underline the intentional “not-identity” of space: the intentionality creation of, not a lieu, but only a space; a space abstract from the values identity in which it has fallen, the lieu (city, country, etc.).
[2] Walter Benjamin in «The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction» (1935) explain the different way of fruition than interesting different form of art; one way contemplative and one tactical and absent-minded, own of cinema and architecture. The second one is typically of the things of the world too, the objects than we use and meet daily.
[3] Conceived and care of by Francesca Conchieri and Mauro Cossu.
[4] “Post-industrial” is a concept analyzed particularly in sociology and economy. I can mention among its theorizers D. Bell for the close connection between an economy based on services (rather than on object production) and the technology of information that characterizes Post Industrial society and individual perception. Or the “programmed society”  of A. Turaine, specially keep in relationship with the theories on authentication process, by institutions and power, of J. Clifford (anthropologist, in «The pure fruits go crazy», 1988). In this text i used this formula for mean the life that a place leved after its industrial use. I’m interested to keep the focus not on one process ( for example achitectural, or cultural, regeneration) but on all kind of transformations happened in a singular lieu…see thorught with awareness of the theories than have studed the macro-transformations.
[5] Transmedia is a concept that appeared for the first time of Dick Higgins’s article «Statement of Intermedia», published in 1965, in his magazine «Something Else Newsletter». The concept, (other than cross-media) focuses on how the use of different media to express content, creates different products and new contents. The concept was developed in the transmedia storytelling by Henry Jenkins (2006). Postmedia is theorized by Rosalind Krauss (2005), and is the metabolization of the modality of the advertising and communication, (through their kind of media, video in primis), against the Hic et Nunc of the product of a specific classical media.
Postmedia and transmedia are two polarities inside the confront of the artistic research with the possibilities offered by industrial and post-industrial (programmed, informational and technology) age.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Walter Benjamin, «The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction» – 1935
James Clifford. «The Predicament of Culture: Twentieth-Century Ethnography, Literature, and Art» Published by Harvard University Press – 1988
Brian O’Doherty, «Inside the White Cube. The Ideology of the Gallery Space» (essays published from 1976 on the magazine Artforum)  The Lapis Press Santa Monica San Francisco – 1999
A cura di Mariselda Tessarolo, «L’arte contemporanea e il suo pubblico Teorie e ricerche» Ed. Franco Angeli s.r.l. Milano – 2009
A. Turaine, «The post-industrial society. Tomorrow’s social history: classes, conflicts and culture in the programmed society»; Hardcover – 1971
Rosalind Krauss «L’arte nell’era postmediale Marcel Broodthaers», ad esempio Ed. Postmedia – 2005

WEB SITES

Recent project on landscape theme on Alps
http://www.postindustriale.it/paesaggio/
Curatorial projects in Sardinia and our portfolios
http://www.ruinascontemporaneas.it/
http://www.ruinascontemporaneas.it/Mauro%20Cossu/index_mauro_cossu.html
http://www.ruinascontemporaneas.it/Francesca%20Conchieri/index_francesca.html
European Paths
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_long-distance_paths

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