With a royal ordinance, in the XIX century the king Victor Emmanuel I of Sardinia commanded that Turin's roofs be covered with the vast porches that still run along the beautiful Via Po. The reason for the decree was to offer shelter from the rain to the monarch and his entourage during their route from the Royal Palace to the Church of Grande Madre di Dio. Turin is the city with the largest porticoed area in Europe – here, the porches join together the most representative buildings in town,... [more]
Long-necked blue cranes lurch over ancient churches filled with forged relics. Stiffly clothed bourgeois stroll under weeping Chinese maples, leaves burned and creamed, and past high-booted prostitutes shivering in the autumn chill. A woman in a distant window waves to an unseen lover. The symphony of umbrellas opening as travelers step out from the underground. Click, whoosh, click, whoosh, click-click, whoosh.
Torino is my favorite autumn city. The wide regal streets ringing with trolleys, the r... [more]
Turin is gearing up for the 20th Artissima, and judging by the enthusiastic tone of the press releases, directors anticipate strong sales and record visitor numbers. The ambitious fair was recently named one of the world’s best by New York-based Skate’s Art Market Research, ahead of vaunted names such as Frieze and Art Basel Miami Beach. This accolade isn’t undeserved; Artissima’s distinction lies in its enthusiastic experimentation, even if returning director Sarah Cosulich... [more]
Turin rises up along a natural handle, the point where two rivers – the Po and the Stura – join together. The town seems to find its refuge there, and grows to the South multiplying its reticulum of streets and blocks. It resembles a reserved beautiful lady, adorned with yellow autumn leaves and magnificent stone facades – she softly reclines on the Piedmontese hills and looks towards the Alps, whose embrace protects her from the Northern winds.
Turin, especially in autumn, is so... [more]
Fault Lines by Allora & Calzadilla is the first major solo exhibition of the work of the American artists Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla in Italy. The artistic duo that represented the United States of America at the 2011 Venice Biennale is known for their socially engaged videos, installations, sculptures and performances. Their work has been featured in many major exhibitions around the world. For their collaboration with Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Allora & Calzadilla conceived an ex... [more]
To paraphrase Augusto Boal, art may not be the revolution but it is the rehearsal; in the case of the 13th Istanbul Biennial, however, the revolution arrived before the rehearsal. The Biennial’s focus, “the notion of the public domain as a political forum”, was announced in January, before the city it meant to take as both site and subject found more urgent occupiers with higher stakes. Fulya Erdemci who has curated past Biennials intended this year's “Mom, am I a Barbar... [more]
NUART FESTIVAL: WALLS ARE TALKING by Jonathan Roze Aiko, C215, David Choe, Martha Cooper, Dot Dot Dot, Dotmaster, Dal East, Faith47, Hush, M-City, ROA, Strøk, Vhils, Martin Whatson, Ernest Zacharevic at NuArt Festival
September 7th, 2013 - October 20th, 2013
Stavanger is a medium-sized town located in the southwestern coast of Norway. Since 2001, the city has hosted Numusic and Nuart festivals, both created by Martyn Reed; Nuart came after the Numusic festival, and could be considered as the visual answer to the first festival. Whether it is about electronic music or street art, Nu events aim at letting the underground and emerging scenes develop their own expressive potential.
Faith47, mural in progress, Nuart Festival, 2013.
Since 2005, Nuart has just focused on street art; by combining street interventions, exhib... [more]
It was a pivotal week to be in Norway, since a new right-wing coalition had just moved into government. The tension is particularly pronounced in the artistic community, not only because artists of course tend to be left-leaning but because in Norway the government has had a generous attitude towards supporting the arts for a long time – offering controversial state bursaries that subsidize artists – until now. Yet the topic of Oslo’s art scene especially has been a prickly one... [more]
The exhibition Alexander Calder – Avant-Garde in Motion at K20 Grabbeplatz – Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen in Düsseldorf (Germany) is dedicated to Alexander Calder’s work of the 1930s and 1940s. The exhibition begins with the time when Calder began to translate abstract forms into motion. The show aims to show how Calder was part of the art scene in Paris in the 1920s and 1930s and how he was influenced by the constructivists and the surrealists, and how he influenced them. This v... [more]
In a scene from Nathaniel Mellor’s 2010 video, Ourhouse Episode 1 – Games, the patriarchal character Daddy emerges from underwater. He stands in the center of a small indoor swimming pool squinting at his two sons as they hover hesitantly at the edge. The sons have a letter for him from council services. Not pleased by the call from bureaucracy, Daddy yells for the letter, which one son throws towards him. The letter becomes soaked and torn falling into the pool, but Daddy reads it an... [more]
Anri Sala represents France at the 55th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia in Venice, Italy. The exhibition is titled Ravel Ravel Unravel, which is a play on words based on the verb ravel, as well as a reference to the French composer Maurice Ravel. The videos on display show two pianists and a DJ who tries to sync the two different performances.
This year, France and Germany have swapped their pavilions in the Giardini, so Anri Sala’s project has been conceived for the space of the Ge... [more]
Terike Haapoja’s solo exhibition in the Nordic Pavilion is one of two exhibitions that Finland presents at the 55th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. The exhibitions are presented under the heading Falling Trees, a title that refers to an event that happened at the 2011 biennale: The Finnish pavilion was severely damaged when a large tree fell on the building. While Antti Laitinen deals with the exhibition concept in the Finnish Aalto Pavilion, Terike Haapoja c... [more]
In Anticipation of Missing Something
New national pavilions – Angola, Bahrain, and Holy See – with Gabriella Picone
It’s nearly impossible to see every work of art at the Venice Biennale and although many attempt to complete this glorious task, they often fall short. The biennale is just too monumental with the eighty-eight participating national pavilions, the extensive exhibition hall and hundred subsidiary events spread around the city. Inevitably there are always g... [more]
It’s nearly impossible to see every work of art at the Venice Biennale and although many attempt to complete this glorious task, they often fall short. The biennale is just too monumental with the eighty-eight participating national pavilions, the extensive exhibition hall and hundred subsidiary events spread around the city. Inevitably there are always going to be one or two forgotten national pavilions tucked away in the pockets of the city or an installation by an emerging artist located... [more]
My tour through the national pavilions goes on (see Part I). We have imagined it like an artistic dérive from the material to the immaterial, from the substantial to the ephemeral. But the word ‘material’ has not only to do with the physical consistency of things. The term denotes something concrete, actual and real – a type of pragmatic and exact knowledge. The accuracy of historical analysis as well as the pragmatism of political discourse can both be included into the... [more]
The Pavilion of Georgia at the Venice Art Biennale 2013 is an extension to an old building in the Arsenale site of the Biennial. The structure is called a “kamikaze loggia”, designed by Gio Sumbadze, who is a researcher of the typology of these vernacular architectural additions, which have been created since the 1990s after the fall of the Soviet Union to increase the living space. It’s said that a Russian journalist named them “kamikaze”, drawing a parallel betwee... [more]