The Artissima international fair of contemporary art is taking place at various locations across Turin, running from November 3 to 6.
Now in its 23rd edition, the renowned project brings together 193 galleries from 34 countries, and is host to over 52,000 visitors. Directed by Sarah Cosulich, this year’s Main Section of the fair will be held at the Ovalin the glass pavilion that was originally built for the 2006 Winter Olympic Games.
The fair is split into seven sections: The Main Section, which includes 105 carefully selected galleries, Back to the Future, focussing on the re-discovery of avant-garde works, Present Future,dedicated to emerging artists, Per4m, devoted exclusively to performance art, New Entries for emerging galleries, and Art Editions, which hosts limited prints and editions, as well as Dialogue, a section for specific commissioned projects.
Settled in the heart of the Palazzo Capris decor in Torino, Italy an exhibition by Michael Armitage,Paul Kneale and Tabor Robak at first raises the question of the iconographic tradition. It’s presented by ARTUNER during Artissima, running from November 5 to 12, and curated by Eugenio Re Rebaudengo, in a historic 17th century setting. The new bodies of work, by the three artists showing for the first time in Italy, are organized according to the architectural setup of the place; each participant proposing his own hanging in his own space. The rooms, sometimes autonomous –as with the ‘Miami Beach Trashcans’ and chromatic panorama of prints on linen in Kneale’s Room 2 –and sometimes linked to each other, divide spaces and articulate three solo shows, which dialogue with one another, as well as stating their own perspectives. Combining tradition and technological innovation, their respective approaches confront their techniques and media (scanner-printers on linen, acrylic paintbrush on lubugo and digital compositions on flat screens) to speak about the image, digital tradition and pictorial perception.
Kneale’s prints unite the classic notion of landscape with the painting form and the generative potentiality of the digital image. Spreading, multiplying and mocking, the work mimics the modus operandi of the image in the Age of the Internet. Using a scanner for a camera, Kneale aims to embody the imperceptible phenomenon of light, atmosphere, and time, watching for the appearance of the virtual in physical reality.
This mythology of the flesh is also at work in Armitage’s paintings on lubugo, through said resistant surface made from bark in Uganda. The iconography of East Africa, its urban or rural landscapes, its vernacular architecture, its luxuriant vegetation, its animal or human representations are here literally translated in paint and applied with a brush in an almost visceral movement. It leaves physical tracks, depositing its load of energy. Nevertheless this powerful physicality originates from the arborescence of a virtual database fed by the artist.
Taking his sources from online headlines, Armitage’s environment echoes the two screens of Robak, very much some kind of computer construction or maze-based game, such as Tetris, Snake or SimCity. These painting-panels actually mythologize the first uses of video animation through their museum display and their almost vintage aesthetic.
Always between tradition and technology, these three children of the 80s have been influenced by video games imagery and the advent of the internet, feeding traditional notions of art history –landscape, light, composition –with technical, formal but also intellectual shapes of digital advancements. “The thing that we call ‘Internet’ is a whole way of being in the world. It’s the Internet you know from your browser window, but also the Internet of things and materials, and also the Internet of minds, of tastes and feelings”, Kneale one told i-D inan interview.
The ultra-powerful and imperious matrix that the internet has become in almost two decades, finally re-defines the physical limits of a world that becomes a paradox, dissolves in time and in representations. Armitage, Kneale and Robak’s works try to chase the image to report its marks, what remains of it; trying to thwart its strategies of existence –or perhaps persistence. A ‘Selfiecide’ as is the name of one of Kneale’s large scanner-print capturing the vibrations of movement and light. Even if all of these images would finally disappear into Kneale’s twinkling and bright high tech garbages bins, the trash disappears to keep memory alive. **
The fair, which garnered attention from the international art market for its innovative research for over 20 years, will invite critics, curators and collectors to award six prizes—five from past editions as well as the Reda-Artissima Prize for exploring “the language of photography”.
Coinciding with International art fair ARTissima and Luci D’Artista, Italian music festival #C2C13 in Torino is running again this year, from November 7 to 10. Under the theme ‘TWINS’, in reference to the other cities holding their own, including Istanbul, Milan and London (that would make them quadruplets, right?), and the possibilities for fostering genuine relationships with the artists from said regions, the festival will be showing 35 international artists over four days and four nights, throughout the city.
Our picks include a strong cast of UK talent including Four Tet, Factory Floor, Forest Swords and The Haxan Cloak, as well as shock artist cum musician Dinos Chapman, RVNG Intl PhD candidate and frequent Reza Negarastani collaborator Holly Herndon, as well as German/Japanese trio Diamond Version.