Thursday, 27 February 2014

At a Glance: See Change

Things Discussed: LAX; See Change Video Installation; People to Pick Up.

written by f

Please, go pick someone up at Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX in Los Angeles. If you don't have anybody to pick up, go there anyway. 

I was there for a few minutes. I was the one someone came to pick up. I didn't have much time to spare, and I regret it. 

So please, go there and find time to spare. Go by the Bistro&Baron your left facing the arrival gatesand look at the amazing video installation in front of you

An impressive collection of videos by seventeen artists, many of which are well worth your time.

Beautiful Boxes: Custom Space, 3

Things Discussed: Punta della Dogana; Loris Gréaud, Stanley Kubrick; Digital Hippy Updates; Texturized Allure; Angles Between Two Walls.

written by f

There are many themes you can explore during your visit. Three may be the most evident: you can follow the tactile path, tracing the textures in a binge that falls short of fetishism; 

Beautiful Boxes: Custom Space, 2

Things Discussed: Marlene Dumas; Thomas Schütte; Roni Horn; How to be Liquid in Many Forms.

written by f

The aim of these posts is not to review every sigle work or exhibition choice of a visit. That's the job of more competent eyes. The thing I do feel like doing is simply mention here a couple more things. 

Like most shows based off the François Pinault Collection, there's a strong tie to the past. The past is here the Arte Povera+Mono-ha rooms downstairs and a couple of other works scattered around the Dogana space.

It is also true, though, that among the artists living and working today, there are almost no new names here. And it's not really surprising to find two of contemporary art's sweethearts: Thomas Schütte and Marlene Dumas

Beautiful Boxes: Custom Space, 1

Things Discussed: Punta della Dogana; Prima Materia; Perks; Collections; Light; Holes; Bricks, Wood, Textures; Exhibitions Built to Last.

written by f

One of the perks of being a resident in Venice, Italy, is that you get to go places for free. Musei civici, that is: those directly dependent from the municipality. An impressive array of institutions that goes from the Doge's Palace to the Correr Museum, from Ca' Pesaro to the Museum of Natural History, from Ca' Rezzonico to Palazzo Fortuny

The deal is: you pay taxes to keep us alive, in turn you can come visit us whever you please. Gallerie dell'Accademia, alas, is not one of those, because is state-owned and it's not run by the city. And so aren't the famous private ones: the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, the Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, and the two venues of the collection of François Pinault.

But wednesday is a special day. Wednesday is the day you go to Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana for free. If you're a resident, of course. That's still part of the perks.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Beautiful Boxes: Up to Tate

Things discussed: Tate Modern, guilt, Surrealism, dream, poetry, good ideas, bad seats

written by e

Talk of the Tate without being boring, redundant, repetitive?

The Tate Modern is great in so many ways: accessibility, richness, beauty and vastness of space, variety and value of works, selection of exhibitions. The permanent shows to enjoy for free and the temporary ones to see for a fee. Not to mention common areas, toilets, and a bunch of accessory services. It’s hard not to fall in love with it.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Expansion: Lost in Space, not in Meaning

Things discussed: Tomás Saraceno, being active or passive, void, Hangar Bicocca, Milan, space, time, craters, instability, quantum physics, foam, Yves Klein.

I am going to correct here my blog co-author who in a previous post wrote: 
Rudolf Stingel: when you think about art and space, his is the name that comes to mind.
Okay: I agree. But I must add a name: Tomás Saraceno. In his installation On Space Time Foam, which I experienced at the Hangar Bicocca in Milan, in January 2013, not only there is no distance between space and work, but also between space, work and you. 

All pictures © Tomás Saraceno

You become an active element of the installation, modifying its shape, balance, and in turn the balance of other active visitors. You have to be active to fully enjoy the work, because the work is an experience.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Out of Space: Francesca Blanc

Things discussed: Francesca Blanc, sculpture, suicide, bronze, naked, Giacomo Manzù, Milan football team, La dolce vita, birthday.

Francesca Blanc, via Museo Manzú
    Sculpture of Francesca Blanc 
    by Giacomo Manzú
    90 x 50 x 64,5 cm
    Manzú Collection, Ardea (Rome)

This life-size sculpture of a young girl, which I saw during my visit at the Manzú Collection aroused in me two feelings with the same degree: discomfort and grace.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Board Vision: Tales From the Battlefield

Things discussed: Spatial Dysmorphia; Aliens; Coups and Ambushes; Blackboards; Emptiness; Boxes; Dinosaurs; Institutional Inertia; Vantage Points.

© Giorgio-Sebastiano Bertoni

Mantua is a small town, capital and namesake of its own province in southern Lombardy, Italy.

Founded by the Romans, like manybut more than mostItalian city-states, Mantua has been an important centre of political and artistic activity since the Middle Ages. 

Like most, if not all, city-states turned small towns, it's been struggling with the management of its immense cultural heritage for centuries.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Expansion: Et In Synesthesia Ego

Things Discussed: Rudolf Stingel; Carpets; Sailors; Lightbulbs; the Softening Sound of Your Own Steps; Patterns Repeated.

Rudolf Stingel: when you think about art and space, his is the name that comes to mind. No distance between space and the work displayed. 

There's no work displayed: the work dresses the space. It makes the space behave differently.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Beautiful Boxes: Giacomo's Sense of Space

Things discussed: Giacomo Manzú, sculpture, Rome, boxes, scary cardinals, fighting lovers, Inge Schabel, muse, captions, forgotten museums, obsessions.

written by e

Museo Manzú, via Isola Verde

Giacomo Manzú (born Manzoni: Manzù is Manzoni in the Bergamo dialect), was born in Bergamo in 1908. From 1964 he chose a hill close to Ardea, 40 km from Rome, as his home. The hill was later called after him. He is one of the great Italian sculptors of the twentieth century, working, exhibiting and teaching in Italy and abroad.

From 1981, ten years before his death, the Manzú Collection, in Ardea, is open to the public and is also the burial site of the artist himself, since 1991.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Phil, Fit, Mambo: So Museum would, were it not Museum call'd

Things discussed: Acronyms; Dismay; Cultural Habits; Institutional Obsessions; Italian Cats; the Importance of Branding.

written by f

I'm not an expertbut are there experts on this field? Is this even a field? Experience says that, when there are so many examples of a thing to put on a list, it must be a field. 

Anyway: I'm no expert, but I have the strong feeling that many new Italian museums may have been opened only because someone thought of a pretty name.

Let me drift away for a moment with a very strategic swerve. Let's talk about acronyms.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Beautiful Boxes: A Boxful of Impressions

Things discussed: Ara Pacis; Impressionism; boxes; captions; collectors; red hair; wag artists.

written by e

I happened to be in Rome during the last Christmas holidays, and I visited Gems of Impressionism at the Ara Pacis exhibition space (December 23, 2013 to February 2, 2014). The exhibition was organized in collaboration with the National Gallery of Art in Washington, and presented a collection of 68 Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works.

courtesy: Museo dell'Ara Pacis © 2013

Right. Done with the institutional info. The reason why this is the subject of this post is not much the need or desire to speak about the content.

We are all pretty familiar with Impressionism. I will make some considerations about the box that contains the exhibitionand the way this box is lined and padded, as the venue can influence greatly the final perception of a visit, in a way or the opposite. And this goes from how far the ticket desk is from the entrance door (you will notice the importance in a rainy winter day) to the dimension of the font in which the details of the works are written under them.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Beautiful Boxes: A City of Two Tales

Things discussed: Mart; Rovereto; radial patterns; catching up; Antonello da Messina; L’altro ritratto; different ways of missing the same exhibition; dinosaurs; the things you never learn.

I’d been to Rovereto twice, with the same friend I now came to visit. Both then studying in Venice, we came here for the International Festival of Archaeological Film. That was eleven years ago. And a full six years have passed since I last saw her, in Rome, the day of my birthday, before I went back to Saudi Arabia and she took off to Spain.

So why are we here now? Rovereto is a rather sleepy, pretty small town in the Autonomous Province of Trentoitself a small town. 

Scattered in a valley enclosed by the Alps, Dante talked about it, dinosaurs used to walk here, and now there’s a Museum of Modern Art.

My friend is from around these valleys. After a lifetime of travelling, she settled here with boyfriend and daughter about a year after I saw her last.

A year before that, in 2006, when she was living in Rome, we both missed the grand and beautifulor so they all saidAntonello da Messina exhibition at the Scuderie del Quirinale. We got there the morning after it closed. She was confused, and I was pissed off.

When we learnt that, once again in her town, another massive Antonello exhibition was taking place, we decided that nothing and no one could stop us this time. We said it before it opened: we have all the time in the world. And that’s why I went to Rovereto the second-to-last day. A Saturday. Because, you know, you never learn.