In the horizon of a near future, inevitably linked to the hyper-fluid dimension of the present, identity frees itself from its chains, rediscovering itself in metamorphosis as a perpetually changing entity, devoted to the search of its true self. Those who give shape to its various declinations are the voices of the roman artist-run space Spazio in situ’s artists, which outline identity’s future visions of the next millennium.
CRISTOPHE CONSTATIN – Contemporary
1 – Art’s identity it’s an ever-changing chrysalis, which in particular moments can induce an experiential déjà vu. When intimately related these two dimensions contribute to the creation of the symptomatic gap which makes the work of art what it is. In the near future how will change the declination of this phenomenology of the contemporary?
It’s the concept of “contemporary” that has been surpassed, it conveys ideas and concepts that nowadays have been re-elaborated too much, often losing their deepest meaning, revealing just an empty shell of content. This word has been used to define art for over a half-century as if it was the alternative to modernity, but while “modernity” was a word that defined both art and the reality of the times, the “contemporary” defines only art, inducing it to detach itself from the world from which it came. In his book “The Radicant” Bourriaud introduces the “altermodern” terminology, which by itself could mark a reconciliation between art and contemporary society, an alternative to the drifts and to post-modern production, which by celebrating itself has become a caricature of itself. Art’s salvation can be achieved by trying not to be such, becoming more real than reality itself which, we must underline that, has become some sort of big artistic show too. We are all waiting for a new possible movement which, by looking around a bit, already exists. I qualify it as “pop-romantic”, because I sense in today’s production many reminiscences of the XVIII century movement, by developing this idea both in my artistic and curatorial production. Nevertheless, I still hope that one day there will be a schism from the most renowned art of the last 30 years, an art which brings back to the scenes artistic activism, the awareness of the need to continue to bring forth new ideas, not slogan taken from the internet. Surely here in Italy are gathering new ideas, which can bring their art back to its former glory, after over 40 years of stagnation. Maybe this long ride through the desert will trigger a global revolution of the concept of art itself. I can’t be sure of that, but I’m glad to notice this excitement though out the peninsula, the return of initiatives created by the artists and not by those working in the sector. I believe in the reconquest of the mastery by the artists, and I believe that we can start to hope again in a future for our “contemporary” culture.
C. Constantin, Petite Annonce, 2018.
MARCO DE ROSA – Architecture
2 – How do Architecture and Space interact with the artistic practice and what can we expect from their interaction in the future?
I think that in the world of art there has always been a relationship between space and artistic practice since the artworks, besides having a dialogue with the viewer, have always struggled with the concept of space. I think that in contemporary art this bond is becoming tighter, because it’s being deepened not only as a vessel in the broadest sense of the word but holds various questions on the society and the times we are living in. I think that exists a thin balance between the work of art and its perception, where space goes becoming one of its parts, accompanying its fruition. The risk, however, is that the set-up and the aesthetic which it is created between artwork/object and exhibition space could overshadow the content of the work, transforming itself in settings end in itself.
M. De Rosa, Nastro Segnaletico, 2018.
FEDERICA DI PIETROANTONIO – Linguistic Universality
3 – If we can say that the act of subversion represents nowadays one primary component of a universal language, which are the predictions regarding the future of linguistic universality?
Thoughts about language are quite recurring in my research, and it’s a push that comes from the actual need to define the Contemporary and all its movements. The paradox in which we live it’s the utilization of a variety of languages, with popular or mediatic origins, that were born in an experimental and experiential way, whose definition, continuos and never stable, occurs through the utilization itself, and not through a conscious choice. Besides, the mediatic nature allows a direct confrontation with the community, which assumes a role both active and passive at the same time in the future planning of a universal language, and whose signs evolve from time to time. The core of the expressed feelings and the emotional sphere remain instead untouched, forever trapped in a context of continuous translations in a sublime effort to escape from them.
F. Di Pietrantonio, Le mort sur le dancefloor, 2020.
ANDREA FROSOLINI – Pop image and Depersonalization
4 – In these “fluid” times, identity anesthetizes itself in the act of depersonalization. Which are the drifts that in a long term this process will bring and how it’s going to be affected by the contaminations of the pop image which converge in it?
If the scenery with which we identify ourselves is the one we live in, mankind cannot step back from the socio-cultural attitudes offered to us by our generation. In its own existence, the individual will have to learn how to handle the contradictory messages to which is subjected, that belongs to the marketing and pop scene, in which news and réclame come together in the imaginary scene through the same communicative methods. He finds himself forced to modify his own desires, in order to survive the paradox with which he has to co-exist. The inputs he receives disguise every information, they filter reality so that every input can have the same style. This system, disguised as equal opportunity in sharing information, tends to flatten the individual value in order to obtain a standardization of the content. This “flat-line” becomes a surface of appearance for reality, which manages to synthesize every kind of content into an image. In a collective scene saturated with images and products, human personality is questioned, it mutates with time, becoming a hybrid product, composed by the overlay of an emotional and public imaginary. The declared attempt is that to strengthen human personality through aesthetic, appearance. The individual is induced to consume through a series of weaknesses linked to his own personality, induced by the capitalistic system itself, which exploits a precisely human vulnerability in order to co-exist with its own contradictions. This creates, during the formation of human personality, a clear confusion, which brings with time dormant unhappiness, a basic dissatisfaction which will create inside of the individual a partially unconscious frustration, disguised as a positivistic slogan.
A. Frosolini, Way too damn needy, 2020.
FRANCESCA CORNACCHINI – Distopias
5 – Which will be the dystopias of the new millennium and how they’re gonna affect the life we all know?
All right, let’s play this game! Let’s talk about immanent dystopias: winning trips on Second Life with celebrities? Why not? The great perv of the internet? Google… is watching. The porn industry will go bankrupt, the true “wet dream” will be avatars, the prosthetic pretenders of the new sexual revolution. Drones for private use will ruin more and more intercourses, by becoming tedious voyeurs of unaware lovers. The social networks will be unified in a single one, and the cookies will know long before your hormonal changes. It’s the “natural” relationship process between body and technology, a cyber sensorial and biologic partnership, of which we are just starting to learn the importance. We will need to change symbols and terms because we are fort technology what the bee is for the flower.
F. Cornacchini, Ruins of me, 2020.
SVEVA ANGELETTI – Transitions
6 – The present’s time discontinuity is accelerating the transitions of the experienced in an unpredictable way. How will the concept of identity survive in the future which tends to erase the memories of its past?
Personally, I’m not so pessimistic to think that the individual may bend to an evolution that leans towards the elimination of the past and therefore of himself. Thus the relentless need to remain is quite far from its decline. We are still in a phase of human evolution in which the waves of young passionate revolutions incline to reject the past come crashing in the shores of revaluation, first of all of the parents and of all humanity at the age of 25-30 years. It’s rather an identity the thing that’s more subjected to great mutations since it became possible to fraction and multiply it. Actually, on this matter we should understand which possible identity to select for the historic memory, or else we should settle with the concept of “multiple identities”, which will replace the contents of each one of them, becoming the actual core of the testimony. In a society where one is born and dies in a split second, where one lives in different spaces at the same time, I’m more inclined to the second statement, which will corroborate the multiplicity instead of the singularity, a common feeling instead of individualism.
S. Angeletti, !, 2020.
ROBERTA FOLLIERO – Mechanization
7 – How the human data and the automation of mechanization will co-exist from now on?
Machines were created through references to human experiences. The given automation, for instance, through logic or elaborative circuits, is used to reduce to a minimum level man’s intervention. For what concerns my artistic practice is interesting, sometimes, the full substitution which occurs with the transfiguration of a person in a more or less complex machine. The latter interposes itself inside of the artwork through an often performative process, which otherwise, in my own opinion, would be projected too much towards personal experiences. The repetition of an infinite gesture, through the automation of devices, allows me to detach any reference to my emotionality. Art has always nurtured itself with new technologies and developed through and thanks to them. I find therefore interesting the utilization of machines, but I think that at the base of the artworks lies the idea, and that which you want to ask the user with this idea, by making the machines, in this case, a mere medium.
R. Folliero, Valzer, 2020.
GUENDALINA URBANI – Sensitive tensions
8 – Emotion and feeling collide inside of the space of art, generating a sensitive tension capable of interpreting the events of the world. How will the perceptive ability sharpen and to what will the artists’ attention be more sensitive?
If we want to talk about phenomenology of perception we will need to take into consideration other elements too (psychics, experiential, cultural, and so on) because – as we already know – this is a philosophical discipline that deals with perception, but in relation to a series of phenomena, which influence or disrupt the natural experience of human perception. In this sense, perception itself appears as an essential tool to the comprehension of the world, even with changeable connotations. Taking into account every possible variable makes it difficult to say how will it develop in the future. In the years to come many artists will work to consolidate the idea that joining forces in an obsolete and indifferent art system can still make a small difference.
G. Urbani, Ed è subito sera, 2015.
DANIELE SCIACCA – Triviality
9 – If triviality can be considered the leitmotiv of present times, of what will consist the one of the near future?
I make a small premise since I don’t want to specify what I mean with “triviality” inside of my artistic production. In my work, the concept of triviality remains loyal to the original meaning of the word, which is “common for all”: common sense intended as the obvious. This is because, inside of my artistic research, I try to uncover those common points that we all share, by dealing with trivial and “low” themes that show us the affinities between all human beings. Having said that, I don’t think that this triviality is the leitmotiv of the hour. On the contrary, I think that there is right now a big push into the search of the particular, of the “determinant” that makes us different from the other and helps us identify into something; that something which the Noveau Realisme used to define “collective identities”. This tendency pushes us to search in the other affinity out of difference, with the consequent tendency to divide instead of uniting. I rather think that in this historical period, in which one’s afraid of the other and hides behind these collective identities, we must search exactly for triviality and, on its basis, we must build a common thought, that could unite us through the concept of triviality. By taking into account the triviality as a common ideologic field and by taking your statement for granted, I hope, but I hardly doubt it, that the consequence of the triviality may be a formalization and a theorization of this common sense for the construction of a real cultural and global structure.
D. Sciacca, zaman & Momin Story, 2020.
CHIARA FANTACCIONE – Privacy
10 – In the perimeter of the battle between privacy and vision, how does the action of the freedom of being and acting unfolds, and whose of both sides is winning?
Let’s think about the evolution of the word “privacy”, initially referred to as the right of privacy, today, after technological development, indicates the right to retain control of our own data. The right to privacy transforms itself in the acceptance of its violation. No matter how each one of us can limit his own exposition, we are part of a mechanism that keeps leading us to see and to be seen. There is a paradox in the coexistence of phenomena such as the willful sharing of images, without knowing the range of public reached, and that of surveillance, in which the produced images don’t have a human public, but are still perceived as a violation of our own intimacy; maybe the difference just lies between the active action of sharing and the passive one of being seen, even if by machines. I think that today we can’t talk anymore about an actual clash between the two parts, but rather of a forced but civil coexistence.
C. Fantaccione, Paesaggio (Take Away), 2019.
ALESSANDRA CECCHINI – Borders
11 – What lies beyond the borders designed by reality and by technologies themselves and how will identity live its renewed freedom by trespassing them?
I think that nowadays these borders are extremely labile. Reality is more and more contaminated by images, by virtual reality (not necessarily in a bad sense) and we can’t avoid taking into account that we live our everyday life in a hybrid space, made by the continuous overlapping of different levels of reality. I think nevertheless that art plays a key role in the redefinition of the reality we live in: the artist has the responsibility that lies in the possibility of also tracing new roads in this mutant space.
A. Cecchini, Contenere il cielo #2, 2019.
PORTER DUCRIST – Visions
12 – For what concerns the theme of identity, which do you imagine will be the visions we’ll be able to be witnesses of in the future in the curatorial field?
I think that the curator’s role, as we intend it today, is already unnecessary. The actual rise of realities such as the “artist-run space”, is deeply changing this figure’s status, leaving it with a marginal role compared to the new movements and to all the new dynamics that are shaking up the italian art system. Artists are gathering in this type of space, with the aim of representing and art outside of conventional canons of galleries, disrupting the norms of a field in a state of decay, which demonstrated its inability to reinvent itself. In a near future, we will see more and more figures of artists-curators, capable of fulfilling both roles, opening new paths of investigation in the showing device, taking back the entire set-up to its former status of artwork. Surely the curator’s figure will still be needed for big cultural events, but I wouldn’t be surprised, in a near future, to see an artist in charge of some major cultural event, maybe in charge of the Biennale di Venezia. I hope that this figure of an artist-curator may bring back to the scenes the criticism, allowing the history of art to be back on the road again, after the break it took in these last decades.
Translated into English by Matteo Annechiarico.
Cover: Image courtesy of Spazio in Situ.