Artissima 2018. Seven must-see shows

As Turin contemporary art fair kicks in, Domusweb has selected seven highlights not to miss during the Art Week.

mousset hana hana 2018

As the 25th edition of Turin contemporary art fair opens, time has come to explore wide stretches of urban landscape beyond the logistic wasteland surrounding the main venue, picking cherries from the large amount of choices provided by a more and more responding city. The reader can find here a sevenfold intinerary, crossing the fair areas and the post-industrial lands of Borgo san Paolo (where the exhibitions at Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo — reviewed on Domusweb — are located), diving into the city centre to finally get back to the fair dimension after a worthwile off-city trip.

Zheng Bo, Weed Party III — PAV Parco Arte Vivente, from November 4, 2018 to february 23. 2019

PAV hosts the first Italian solo show of Chinese artist Zheng Bo, curated by Marco Scotini;
Bo explores the connections between plants, society and politics since 2003; “Weed Party III”, conceived for PAV, investigates the relationship linking two uncontrollable entities: political movements and so-called parasite plant. Thus, ecce all possible future configurations of social and environmental activisms showcased in the park greenhouse for After Science Garden; ecce seven young men queering the debate, through their intimate intercourses with the ferns of a Taiwanese forest for the Pteridophilia videos.
The once marginal urban backyard hosting PAV would have hardly imagined to become such a debate arena for a phytophile criticism against over-discussed Anthropocene.

Melodie Mousset, Hana Hana full Bloom — Ex MOI, from October 26 to November 15, 2018

Treti Galaxie takes over the Modernist arcades of the former Turin Wholesale Market designed Umberto Cuzzi, and brings back life into a case of apparent urban death by hosting the first sho in Italy for French artist Mélodie Mousset.
Mousset's immersive installations collapse virtual and material into an investigation on the formation of identity: HanaHana, a VR representation of the artist’s body unconscious, is a world-laboratory, sand, coloured water and stone structures, where any guest can build sheer endless architecture made of open hands, first and most antique tool for the whole mankind. The final articulation of the project has been developed involving as artist’s assistants the children currently hospitalized at Regina Margherita Hospital.

Petrit Halilaj, Shkrepëtima — Fondazione Merz, from October 29 to February 3, 2019

The former power station of Lancia plant hosts the synthesis of a threefold process, started by the Kosovan artist in his hometown, Runik, and curated by Leonardo Bigazzi.
Shkrepëtima is the lightning, the sudden intense thought reactivating consciousness: Halilaj aims to modify the processes in collective history construction of his community, bringing it back to its origins and questioning its models. The spatial medium for the project, the House of Culture in Rupnik, has been revitalized during a first performing phase, and reproduced inside the Fondazione to host materials, videos and re-steging of the performance, to demonstrate how the generative power of places is not necessarily tied to one single city or nation.

Mike Nelson, L’atteso — OGR Officine Grandi Riparazioni, from November  2 to February 3, 2019

The narration translated into space by the British artist in Turin — a project curated by Samuele Piazza — is based on stretching an urban eterotopia between between vastness and intimacy. In some kind of a movie scenery where no interpretation is imposed to the visitor, the transformation of architecture and the disposition of objects generate a multilayered experience, shifting from daydreaming to science fiction.
A huge wooden structure creates a threshold for Binario 1 room, to a dark landscape where 20 abandoned cars are parked on smashed debris. Through a general reduction of light and sounds, Nelson models a physical and emotional limbo drawing its substance from Michelangelo Antonioni and Dario Argento or artist Ed Kienholz.

Hito Steyerl. The City of Broken Windows, — Castello di Rivoli, from  November 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019

Artificial Intelligence does learn: it shows most commonly in the field of security industry and technology, where AI is trained to recognize the sound of breaking windows. Moving from Steyerl’s investigation on how such players are influencing the urban landscape, and alternative acts of painting can spring in public space, the exhibition curated by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev and Marianna Vecellio occupies the Castle’s Manica Lunga space with as little material as possible, although being necessarily bound to materiality: two videos, an atonal symphony of altered sounds, wall text and a trompe l’oeil by Chris Toepfer.

Francesco Vezzoli, C-CUT Homo Ab Homine Natus — Galleria Franco Noero piazza Carignano, from November 1, 2018 to January 12, 2019

A radical shift of scenario (we suddenly moved to a 18th century palace overlooking the plastic masses of  Palazzo Carignano by Guarino Guarini) ushers in a radical shift in artist’s approach: Francesco Vezzoli practices “an arbitrary combination, yet based on irrefutable historical criteria. (…) A reinvention of a common practice in Roman times, which was that of copying older Greek works, without making any distinction in value between the original and the copy.”
C-CUT is based on a typical twentieth-century concrete garden sculpture and leads to a “superhuman” birth, in which a man comes into the world violently bursting through the back of another man.  The display installation concept by Filippo Bisagni welcomes and bids farewell to the visitor, through an immersion into continuous recalls of Italian horror films from the 1970s, and exacerbating score by Wendy Carlos.

Two articulations of a fair, in-show and off-show

Artissima Sound — OGR Officine Grandi Riparazioni

A new development at the 25th edition of Artissima, “Sound” is the new curated section of the fair dedicated to contemporary sound explorations: 15 individual sound projects selected by Yann ChateignéTytelman (HEAD Geneva) and Nicola Ricciardi (OGR).
The logic of visual art is questioned more and more in the contemporary, and sound is one of the most relevant fronts of the debate: used to transform space and its perception, it evokes and reveal an intangible, always mutable reality. This the source of an need for a dedicated section and award (the OGR award) within the fair system.

FLAT. Fiera Libro Arte Torino — La Centrale, Nuvola Lavazza, 2 – 4 novembre 2018 

Legitimacy and authority in art is largely based on published pages, and that’s a fact. Taking these pages out of the bookshop system, instead, is a challenge. In this scenario FLAT takes position as an exhibition of artist books and contemporary art books, opening in the new spaces of Nuvola Lavazza and hosting 40 exhibitors from 12 countries — selected by founders Chiara Caroppo, Beatrice Merz e Mario Petriccione with the consulting of an international scientific committee —  combining the air to an exhibition on the work by Dieter Roth and a series of meeting where the current role of books as platforms for distribution and communication of art is debated with experts.  

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