Virtual, never banal. Contemporary art in Italy, after the first days of understandable disorientation (museums, exhibitions, private galleries closed, postponed the most important fairs, such as MiArt, which will be held in September instead of April, as usual), got to work. In his way. Self the great museums use digital (#museichiusimuseiaperti in addition to #iostoacasa is the hashtag to follow on Instagram) to show their permanent collection and create splendid virtual tours (we talked about it here ), something different is expected of contemporary art.
Dialogue, co-creation, participation, sharing: the quarantine has – right neck – stimulated even more artists, institutions, foundations, museums, galleries who deal with contemporary art. The first few days were a break-in, but now we can say that the spring of contemporary art has exploded on digital, to the delight of many art lovers. New formats and new languages were born. We present you the ten best projects, those that we believe deserve follow-up.
The Prada Foundation in Milan
Fondazione Prada, a laboratory of ideas
The website (www.fondazioneprada.org) and social channels have turned into an agile platform in which to test new formats (which could find further development in the future, beyond the current emergency, explain by the Foundation). ‘glossaryFor example, it represents a glossary where you can unravel between the projects carried out up to 1993 to date. It ranges from art to dance, from cinema to philosophy: videos, archive images and unpublished texts available at the click of a button. ‘Inner views’ instead replaces the physical visit of the recently opened exhibitions (including “The Porcelain Room” and ‘Storytelling’ we talked about here ). Then ‘‘readings’, one podcast series free downloadable where you can listen to the reading of texts extracted from the books published by the foundation: it is a kind of “sound anthology”, with more than 50 critical essays and texts by authors such as Nicolas Bourriaud, Massimo Cacciari, Simon Castets, Germano Celant, Udo Kittelmann.
Marina Abramović in the video message left on the Palazzo Strozzi website
Palazzo Strozzi gets in touch
Palazzo Strozzi in Florence transforms his blog on the palazzostrozzi.org site into one platform for texts, images, videos, stories and insights creating a new contact with the public: we start from the exhibition ‘Air’ of Tomàs Saraceno (in progress before closing) to talk about the present time of possible futures, of connection and isolation, of participation and meditation. Here the director Arturo Galansino explains the project to which Saraceno replied with a video message: «Our movement influences the speed with which the particles move in the air. We reduce our movements to slow down the movement of particles and help everyone stay safer, “said the Argentine artist. Even Our Lady of Performance, Marina Abramović , sent a video message to Palazzo Strozzi, where one of his most visited personal was set up last year (the full video is here ): “The Italians are showing great courage, a deep sense of community and humanity. We have to fight together. It is something that will pass and what will remain will be a truly important experience: human consciousness must change, our approach to the world and planet must change. This is the lesson we need to learn. Italy, I love you. My heart is with you, “he said.
The Triennale recites a new one Decameron
The format launched for two weeks by the Milan Triennale has been very popular, inspired by the famous Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio (where it is said, during the ruinous black plague of 1348, of a group of young people who kept company for 10 days in the countryside, just outside Florence, telling stories to pass the time). Unfortunately it was understood that the fortieth will be much longer, but these «stories streaming in the era of the new black plague“, Live on the institution’s Instagram channel, are working (they are broadcast live, at 17) also thanks to the mix of guests (from Linus to Michela Murgia and Sandro Veronesi).
Palazzo Grassi for teens
The headquarters of the Pinault Collection in Venice is one of the few to directly involve teenagers, those who are suffering a lot from the “social quarantine” and are most struggling to comply with the exit ban rules. Palazzo Grassi has chosen to ask them to transform themselves into “digital culture propagators” by creating audio-video content to be shared on the official channels of the museum: on the teens.palazzograssi.it website a new encyclopedia of the artists and works presented at Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana is being rewritten in the language of adolescents, in remote collaboration with the institution’s staff.
Mother goes “door-to-door”
The Mother of Naples has in recent days packaged a digital program directly on its site http://www.madrenapoli.it/: it is a work in progress whose heart is the session ‘On air … the collection where the pieces of the museum’s rich collection of contemporary art are shown on video, as well as a section ‘In site …dedicated to the exhibition that celebrates the talent of Marcello Rumma, gallery owner who revolutionized, in the very few but intense years of activity, the way of conceiving the craft in our country, launching for the first time the role of patron-talentscout-inspirer of contemporary artists (The six years of Marcello Rumma, 1965-1970). Mother also threw one call to action to artists and creatives called to reflect on the new role of art and also on the different forms of fruition of the works (‘How to change the world from your linving room‘).
GAMeC opens a radio
The GAMeC Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art in Bergamo has opened a radio, live streaming and soon also on air. In the city that is currently going through dramatic days, a cultural broadcaster “from the front” has just been born to share news, reflections, testimonies: aired every day at 11.30 am, live from the museum’s Instagram account (and later on website https://gamec.it/nasce-radio-gamec/) the transmission is conducted by the journalist Leonardo Merlini who for half an hour, together with the most varied guests, offers information, news, art, literature.
“In these closing weeks we have asked ourselves a lot about what a museum can and should do at such a difficult time for its community – said the director of GAMeC, Lorenzo Giusti -. The first thing was to launch one fundraising campaign in support of the Pope John XXIII Hospital, to support doctors, nurses and volunteers who are fighting for all of us in these dramatic hours. But the role of a museum in Bergamo, at this stage, is not only that which is essential to gather around its community: it is also that of helping it to look up and to work immediately on its rebirth ». Runenan artist Dan Perjovschi generously created for the occasion from scratch a series of drawings ‘illustrate’ the project cultural – charity of the museum.
Pirelli Hangar Bicocca relaunches #ArtToThePeople
Pirelli HangarBicocca has further enriched its already full-bodied digital programming on Instagram, Instagram Stories, Facebook and Twitter. Two the most interesting sections of the whole #ArtToThePeoole project: in #playlists you will find the new PirelliHangarBicocca profile on Spotify, where artists and personalities linked to the Hangar will share their favorite playlist, to create a contemporary sound imagery while #AskTrisha is a special project created with the artist Trisha Baga (whose exhibition was in progress before closing) which tells the public about its world of real and digital, surrealism and everyday life. And then there is always Street View Google Arts & Culture: Pirelli Hangar has poured a lot of material onto the platform to explore the permanent work I Seven Heavenly Palaces by Anselm Kiefer and walk virtually among the light installations of Cerith Wyn Evans.
At Pac Family Lab digital
The Pavilion of Contemporary Art in via Palestro has thought of a project that is exquisitely aimed at families: i family LAB Digital del Pac are short videos designed as a web extension of family workshops che Milanese space has been organizing its exhibitions for years. For now they are visible on Instagram and Facebook channels of @pacmilano, but soon they will also be available on Youtube.
Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Foundation “Ispeakcontemporary”
If you already follow on social media at the Sandretto Foundation, founded by Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, collector, patron and art-passionate, you know that she made irreverence her communication practice: always active on social media, she has now launched new initiatives. Here are a few: ‘Try This AT Home ‘ through one series of posts on Instagram involves students and teachers at home to implement the activities proposed by the ebook, Art at Times, a fun interactive map to explore the world of contemporary art, available in Italian and English. ‘Let’s read Instead, it was born from the series of meetings that the Foundation created with the Turin Civic Libraries: now that it can no longer be read together, reading becomes shared on Instagram Stories @fondazionesandretto with the hashtag #letsread. Also active I Speak Contemporary https://www.ispeakcontemporary.org/ebook an e-learning project to bring the general public closer to contemporary art using the English language: video lessons are available dedicated to six great contemporary artists (including Maurizio Cattelan and Paola Pivi ).
And even fairs go digital
Art Basel Hong Kong, which should have been held in these days in the Asian city, has turned into a “virtual fair” in 48 hours and even in Italy the fairs are rethinking themselves. Artissima, contemporary art fair held in Turin in the autumn, proposes the project on its website and social channels /genealogy/, to build, day by day, an intimate and personal “family tree” of contemporary Italian art. Every day a selected artist (Marcello Maloberti has started) will be called to indicate in the Italian panorama two artists to whom he feels particularly attached, electing one as his ideal reference and one as his own descendant. During this period of lockdown iHowever, where the artists continue to create, a digital “database” will be created, accessible to all creatives and certainly useful for the next program of the fair. Bologna Art Fair instead, he wants to show his closeness and support to the galleries, now closed for weeks, which they exhibited in its latest edition: with the digital format IN THE GALLERY , offers a rotating online showcase for its exhibitors.
What will remain of all this virtual and digital production, when we can return to go out, to visit exhibitions, galleries, museums and fairs, it is too early to say, but there are already those who bet that after the quarantine, nothing, in the great circus of art contemporary, it will be more like before.
Top photo: Marina Abramović. “The Kitchen. Homage to Saint Therese”