Milan - Interviews

Please, Jump on it!: an Interview with Jeremy Deller and Massimiliano Gioni

3 days ago

During the somewhat soggy opening of Jeremy Deller’s Sacrilege, a bouncy-castle Stonehenge, at CityLife sculpture park in Milan, we interviewed both the British artist and curator Massimiliano Gioni to find out more about the installation and the collaboration with Fondazione Trussardi. 

The installation will be erect until Sunday, April 15th.

With Sacrilege, Deller brings to the heart of  Milan a life-size inflatable reconstruction of the archeological site of Stonehenge – an icon of British culture and heritage, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1986.

Deller believes in the devaluation of artistic ego through the involvement of other people in the creative process and this gentle approach of his was evident throughout our interview with him as he hastily encouraged all passers; the young, the old, two legs or four to get involved, jump and play on the inflatable.

Meeting the artist: a rainy interview with Jeremy Deller

Lara Morrell: Well in true British style let’s start by talking about the weather, how perfectly apt it is? (It has been pouring with rain in Milan for the last few days)

Jeremy Deller: I know, brilliant isn’t it?! I’m soaking and we’ve spent the whole morning mopping and trying to empty the thing of water, you should jump on and have a go! (Jeremy interrupts our talk to usher a passerby and her dog onto the inflatable Stonehenge). Sorry, but the whole point is that people interact and play on it, thats what its all about, for people to enjoy it. 

L.M.: Could you tell us a little about the title – why Sacrilege? Is it perhaps a way of covering your back?

J.D.: Perhaps yes, but that’s what I called it back in 2012 and that’s how it stayed, people seem to like it. At the time I thought people may think turning a pre-historic site in to a bouncy castle sacrilege, so to ward off any criticism I called it just that.

L.M.:  ‘A week or so ago you handed out posters to commuters in stations in London and Liverpool with instructions on how to delete their Facebook profiles. Now in the light of yesterday’s Mark Zuckerburg hearing could you tell us some more about this intervention?

J.D.: Back in January I made a red t-shirt with a six step instruction on how to delete your Facebook account for an opening party at Kettle’s Yard, this was before the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke, then in its wake I was commissioned by the Rapid Response Unit News to make posters, they were printed on pink paper and handed out in Liverpool and London and also on the walls of the Facebook’s London headquarters.

The Rapid Response Unit is a Liverpool based cultural experiment which encourages artist to respond creatively to global events, believing in public engagement and free distribution.

L.M.: My Art Guides is based in Venice, you represented Britain in the British Pavilion for the Biennale in 2013 with English Magic, how has your vision of Britain and it’s ever weirder status changed since then, regarding Brexit for example? What was your experience of Venice like?

J.D.: Wow, that’s a big question and I need more time to think about it, but the show would be a lot different today, the country is ever more divided and bizarre. However in one of the rooms in the pavilion there is a reference to our relationship to Russia, with William Morris throwing a luxury yacht belonging to Roman Abramovich into the Venetian lagoon. I had a great time in Venice and the show was a great success, people reacted really well to it.

L.M.: On the topic of Brexit have you heard about the Brexiters proposal for the ‘Museum of Sovereignty’  a museum of Brexit leading to galleries displaying a selection of your old school friend Nigel Farage’s tweed jackets.

J.D.: No I haven’t heard about it, but I think its a brilliant idea, it will demonstrate just how absurd they all are!


From the curator’s perspective: a few questions for Massimiliano Gioni

Lara Morrell: How did the collaboration with Jeremy come about? When did you two start working together?

Massimiliano Gioni: Jeremy and I go back a long way, we started working together for the first time in 2004 in San Sebastian when he organised one of his first parades and then we collaborated in 2006 at the Berlin biennale and in 2009 at New Museum. We met again at the Venice Biennale in 2013 where he was not in the international show but in the British pavilion which was even greater, its a friendship and long-lasting collaboration and we wanted to bring the piece to Milan since he installing it in Glasgow and London. It took some time to make it happen on a practical level because the city has strict regulations that prohibit the erection of any sort of structure in public green spaces. So we finally found a way to do it because this park technically doesn’t belong to the city yet as it’s in transition between private ownership (those who built CityLife) and the city. So it was because of this transition period it was possible to have access, it’s a technicality but it also demonstrates the patience Jeremy has when realising a project and it worked out well as its a strange and interesting context and it happens to be near miart.

L.M.: Why this specifically this piece of his? Is there any kind of underling message to the piece in this context?

MG: I don’t even know if he had this in mind in 2012, but certainly this piece sadly becomes more relevant today when certain ideas of nationalism and populism appropriate these types of symbols with xenophobic or nationalistic messages, that was what I read in his piece but I don’t know if this was what he had in mind. In Italy this type of imagery is very much associated with the myth of origins, which are regarded with suspicion, even in England as well. We had this occasion to work together in Milan and we took it and we’ll most probably work together again in the future. Typically with the foundation during Miart we hold smaller projects like this, not it terms of scale, but smaller in ambition, one-off unique projects.

L.M: Any Milan highlights to suggest for the visitors of Milan Art Week?

M.G: This is the kind of thing you do not want to disclose to the press! Ok, let me think…This is not meant to be self serving but what I do love about the Trussardi Foundation is that in a sense it has become a compass for the hidden history of the city tracing the different places where we have held exhibitions, for example two years ago in an abandoned art deco public bath near Porta Venezia we held a show by Sarah Lucas, Albergo Diurno – that’s a really amazing space but can be accessed during special openings only ( currently it is closed).

Lara Morrell

  • Jeremy Deller at the opening of Sacrilege, City Life Park Jeremy Deller at the opening of Sacrilege, City Life Park
  • Sacrilege, Installation views, City Life Park Sacrilege, Installation views, City Life Park
  • Beatrice Trussardi, Jeremy Deller and Massimiliano Gioni Beatrice Trussardi, Jeremy Deller and Massimiliano Gioni
  • Jeremy Deller Jeremy Deller
Milan - Posts

An Exhibition of Drawings from Collezione Ramo at Casa Libeskind

3 days ago

The works on paper by six great Italian artists of the 20th century – Afro, Boccioni, Depero, Russolo, Sant’Elia and Sironi – are exhibited in the private residence of the archistar Daniel Libeskind in CityLife Park, in Milan. The exhibition, running April 15 -22, is curate by Irina Zucca Alessandrelli.

The exhibition anticipates the great exhibition at the Museo del Novecento with which in the fall the Collezione Ramo, one of the largest private collections of works on paper by Italian artists of the twentieth century.

“The exhibition of Collezione Ramo at CityLife – says architect Daniel Libeskind – represents a fantastic research into the imagination of the modern city through the eyes of these Italian artists. I believe that drawing is the expression of the city. Thanks to the sign on the map you can explore the infinite possibilities of the mind – as only Leonardo, Bernini and Michelangelo have been able to do! ”

Save the date – Collezione Ramo. La città moderna a casa Libeskind

CityLife, via Spinola 8, Milano

Opening times:
Press preview: 13 April 5-6pm
Opening: 13 April 6-9pm
Sun, 15 April 11am – 6pm
from 16 to 22 April 11am -8pm
registration at is required

My Art Guides Editorial Team

  • Mario Sironi, Paesaggio Urbano, 1920 Mario Sironi, Paesaggio Urbano, 1920
Milan - Interviews

“The Feeling of Things”: an Interview with Matt Mullican

4 days ago

Pirelli HangarBicocca presents a spectacular exhibition of over 40 years of work by Matt Mullican. Curated by Roberta Tenconi, the exhibition occupies a 5500 metres square space, presenting the artist’s prolific production in a variety of different materials including glass, stone, metal, posters, neons, photographs, paintings, videos, performances, lightboxes and computer-based projects as well as virtual reality and a large selection of iconography.

The exhibition takes us on a journey through the space and the artists’ five worlds which are split into five areas of different colours which represent the iconic cosmologies of the artist. We’ve interviewed Matt Mullican at the preview of his exhibition to talk about “The Feeling of Things“, about Glass and about his old friend Glenn..

Lara Morrell: May I firstly congratulate you on this colossal and cosmic exhibition, from what I gather this is your first major retrospective in Italy, what has it been like putting all your work together and seeing it here in a space such as Hangar Bicocca?

Matt Mullican: It is a responsibility to have a space like this, it is not an easy thing but I had lots of time and that was the key, its a space with such a tremendous ego, from a point of view which is undeniable. I didn’t want to make it into theatre which is one of the devices which other artists have used in order to to handle it. I wanted the whole thing lit and deal with it in its own terms and use it for what it can do, which for me by itself is spectacular. We always had a enough time to actually do what we wanted and the staff here have been tremendous. Everything was perfect but I have to say it was like dressing a whale, it is complicated and a chore. I have in actual fact done many retrospectives but not one in which I could build the actual museum itself, I used the low walls to create the vista. Like that scene from Citizen Kane with all the crates, you know what I mean? That shot is a feeling and gives you the scale and thats what gets you feeling. People go to the Gran Canyon not to see it but to feel it, when you see it you breath goes away and thats what this space is. You feel the scale, its so huge.

L.M.: Seeing all you work from the last 45 years together in this way, has it helped you in your quest to explain and order the world around you?

M.M.: You know the quest for what I am deciphering, what ever it is I am deciphering, I am smart enough to know that I am not going to get there and I knew this a while ago. The pieces that I guarantee that will be in shows are the pieces from 45 years ago. The pinching a dead mans arm, and the birth to death list both from 1973 are works that I can show forever, then of course there’s the hypnosis, The Meaning of Things which is the most important recent work I have done and the most important pieces are still seldom, they don’t happen all the time and I am really excited when I am onto one. I think the most important thing about this shows are the walls and the structure. Actually seeing the work here, it became my studio space, my studio is wherever I am and this is the best studio I have ever had. It lights the work up in such a particular way, I learned from the work. I got vertigo from looking up at my pictures at this scale, I have never seen them like this before.

L.M: May I ask you a more pernickety question? Our studio is based in Venice, I’ve noticed a prominence in the use of glass throughout the exhibition, what is it about glass? What does this material represent for you?

M.M: I love glass, glass has a perfection about it, it reflects us, you see through it also solid and its old and its been around for a long time. I like working through materials, I’ve worked in granite, glass, stain glass, tapestry, many different material and I am really interested in how those materials are read. There are artists in materials. In the early 80s I made the decision to go through the crafts, because I was interested in the context of the sign and I had done posters and flags and all that and then I wanted to go onto the crafts.

L.M.: Where did you blow the glass, in Murano?

M.M.: No unfortunately not, the first blown glass pieces were done in New York, where I was living at the time and in Germany and Austria. Glass has a huge place in my work, as you can see, I just love its perfection, its transparence. It plays a huge role in this exhibition and perhaps its one of the factors which makes it so perfect, although its not, at least we have an element which represents it, we feel that representation and thats again what I was interested in, when you see the sign in these different areas, and different materials and you change the sign, you change the adjectives, the adjectives are feelings and the feeling of things is vital. I’ve broken the world down into feelings not senses. What is the sense of the body? Its physicality? There is a sense, what is that? I think its mental, its the feeling of presence, its the sixth sense, the feeling of your physical body. This is the next thing I am interested in because our feeling is the nervous system, this is something I am really interested in. I am alway gravitated towards the most fun!

L.M.: On from glass to your old friend Glenn, could you tell me more about him and how he is getting on?

M.M: Glenn is the stick figure, I gave him a name to give him the image of identity like Donald Duck or Bugs Bunny so I could have a relationship with him beyond so it wasn’t just a picture it was actually a person I could have a relationship with, I was interested in the avatar-ishness of him, like a friend from the other side. Glen has a studio where he works, Glenn is there, he is always there.

L.M.: Does he stay the same or does he evolve, grow and change?

M.M.: In his essence he stays the same, in the Meaning of Things, that piece which you absolutely must read at the beginning of the show, in the first corridor on your left, you begin with The Man and His symbols which is Carl Jung and then The Meaning of Things begins, read the text and look at the pictures, thats the most important new piece of all the work and its a killer because Glenn is not Glenn anymore. You’ll see how Glenn functions.

Lara Morrell

  • Matt Mullican. Courtesy of Pirelli HangarBicocca Matt Mullican. Courtesy of Pirelli HangarBicocca
  • Matt Mullican, Matt Mullican, "The Feeling of Things", Exhibition view, Pirelli HangarBicocca, 2018
  • Matt Mullican, Matt Mullican, "The Feeling of Things", Exhibition view, Pirelli HangarBicocca, 2018
  • Matt Mullican, Matt Mullican, "The Feeling of Things", Exhibition view, Pirelli HangarBicocca, 2018
Milan - Interviews

“Conceptual Contraband and the Migration of Art and Ideas”: an Interview with Sara Raza

5 days ago

On the occasion of the presentation of the Guggenheim UBS MAP exhibition at GAM Milano “But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise” I had the chance to ask Sara Raza about the conceptual origin of the show.

Mara Sartore: We’re at the last chapter of this UBS journey which started in New York. I would like to start by asking you to tell us a bit more about the concept and the story of the title of the exhibition “But a Storm is Blowing from Paradise”.

Sara Raza: The title is derived from the writing of the German Jewish philosopher Walter Benjamin, part of the Frankfurt school and his impact on my own thinking: particularly his story was very pertinent. He was trying to escape Nazi persecution of occupied France and he travelled thought the Pyrenees to Spain, he had a visa for the USA and his intention was to arrive in neutral Portugal and from there he would cross the Atlantic to USA. However when he reached the boarder they told him that all visa would be revoked and everybody would be sent back. He subsequently committed suicide. One of his possessions was a Paul Klee painting of an angel, referred to as the ‘Angel of History’ and about which he writes very poetically. Benjamin refers to it as the angel trying to save mankind but there’s debris piling up and there’s a storm blowing from paradise which doesn’t allow him to move. There was this kind of reckoning between that essay and his life and how it all came together in terms of the project, this is because we’re facing the largest migratory footprint since World War II with the Syrian crisis in Europe, so it was really important for me to bring all this together within this exhibition. It has been also a collection-building exercise and at the same time I had to think about a curatorial project that would leave a mark, a very contemporary one.

MS: During the press conference you said that there are some invisible elements to the naked eye in this exhibition, could you tell us a bit more about the elements you where referring to?

SR: One of the curatorial strategies in this exhibitions was to look at conceptual contraband, and by contraband I mean trading of goods and ideas and particularly the black market. Contraband it’s like an alternative economy and I was interested in some of the strategies the artists employed. You will notice that there’s no provocation in the art works, they’re not provocative for the sake of provocation, but this doesn’t mean that they are not political. Actually they are indeed political, but they’re using several layered meanings that work in the same way a smuggler operates. As smugglers are able to cross borders, to go from country to country, without necessarily ever being caught or questioned, I think that’s what I was interested in when I was thinking about hidden meaning and providing value to some of those ideas that go unnoticed.

MS: I’ve noticed that not all the artists included in the exhibition come from what we conventionally think as the Middle East, for example there is Lida Abdul who was born in Afganistan and lives between Los Angeles and Kabul.

SR: Middle East is a construct. For 400 years before colonialism and the Ottoman Empire it existed as a constellation of cities and people were moving, but after the Ottoman Empire collapsed, British and Europeans really divided the region up and it became no longer a constellation but North of Africa and West of Asia is what the Middle East is understood as. You’re right in pointing out that Afghanistan is not part of that. Afghanistan is in central Asia, but Afghanistan historically has always been a buffer between East and West and in this exhibition I never ever reference directly to Syria or to the Syrian crisis, but it was really on top of my mind when I was working for the Guggenheim. I always had on my mind Syria when I was soliciting and looking for artworks to acquire for the institution, when I was enquiring about them, when I was building the curatorial concept because this is also a collection, not just an exhibition.

MS: Among the art works in the exhibition there is one in particular I would like to ask you to talk about “In Transit” by Lida Abdul.

SR: Lida’s piece is a very poetic analysis on places of post devastation, a space that has been ravished by war. She’s an artist that I have been working with for more than 10 years, I have written the Venice Biennale catalogue for her, I have written several books and essays and curated her work in several occasions. Lida is somebody who really provides a non prosaic analysis and particularly this work deals with the idea of rebuilding, a kind of reformation of a country that cannot rebuild itself, that has had decades of being ravaged by war and conflict and also internal struggles. The children in the video are able to be resilient, they’re able to move forward, when perhaps adults are not, so there’s hope. The action, beautifully portrayed, draws from Iranian cinema, from Armenian filmakers’ practice and really incapsulates what I am trying to achieve with this exhibition.

Mara Sartore

  • Sara Raza, Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator, Middle East and North Africa Photograph by David Heald © Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York Sara Raza, Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator, Middle East and North Africa Photograph by David Heald © Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York
  • Lida Abdul, In Transit, 2008. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Guggenheim UBS MAP © Lida Abdul Lida Abdul, In Transit, 2008. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Guggenheim UBS MAP © Lida Abdul
  • Installation view: But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise: Contemporary Art of the Middle East and North Africa, GAM, Milan © Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, 2018 Photo: Carlotta Coppo Installation view: But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise: Contemporary Art of the Middle East and North Africa, GAM, Milan © Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, 2018 Photo: Carlotta Coppo
Rome - Interviews

“From Screen to Nature and Back Again”: an Interview with NEEN founder Miltos Manetas

6 days ago

On the occasion of Miltos Manetas’ solo show at MAXXI, Rome we interviewed the artist to learn more about his art and practice, mostly related to social networks, selfie, fashion and the imaginary of the contemporary age.

For his solo show, Miltos (Athens, 1964) brings together with large canvases a world populated by selfies, a reality observed by Facebook, pornographic images next to fashion, the streets of the whole world he recorded by Google. A painter, conceptual and theoretical artist, recognized at international level for his internet-based works and for having founded in 2009 the first Internet Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, Miltos tells about the emotions and the imaginary of our contemporary era.

Mara Sartore: In 2000 you founded NEEN (the first art movement of the 21st century) which investigates the Post-Internet Art. How have the things changed during the time? Which is your relationship with the internet and social media today?

Miltos Manetas: Around 2001 “The Post Internet Society” was born. I remember buying a little box that year, it was a wireless modem that you could connect to your laptop and have internet everywhere! To test it, I drove to very remote places in California until I finally reached the deserts of the Death Valley. The thing always worked! But a week later, the company that was producing it cancelled it’s service, returned the money to those who had bought it and closed down it’s business, literally disappeared! Not one journalist wrote a single word about that disappearance and never again such an internet-anywhere device came back in the market. The oligarchy of phone companies – the stars of our days – was re-established. Still, it was evident that this planet had now a new atmosphere and that was internet. What we call Western Society, quickly start re-organising in that environment: to live without internet connection, would now mean loneliness and it would have a great cost to your life and profession. After 2003 already, it would take lots of guts to stay an “Unconnected”.
I think it was there, on the depths of the Dead Valley, in a location full of gigantic mosquitos where stones are rumored to move around when nobody is watching, that I experienced for the first time the frenzy of Existential Computing. Suddenly, it was as if my presence in that particular spot, the presence of the car that brought me there, all my instruments, my clothes etc, were adding ones and zeros, computing. That same year, I met John Perry Barlow and we became friends. Life for Barlow was all about “frenzy” but of another kind: getting together with people, all kind of human souls, geniuses, assholes, losers and unbearable winners of the Silicon Valley type, neo-drug addicts, meta-politicians, shy sex-exploiters, you name it.. What really Barlow was doing with us, was building up a society network – not a social one, there’s a big difference.

MS: In your work you proceed in two directions: on one hand you employ a traditional and more “classic” technique, the oil painting, on the other you experiment the web and the virtual universe. It is fascinating this dialogue between the tactile, material and physical aspects of your practice and the notions of virtuality and abstraction of your main interest. Could you tell us more about your practice?

MM: I will respond to this question with Newpressionism’s slogan: “From Screen to Nature and back again”

MS: You’ve stated: “The landscape of the screen is for us as nature was for the Impressionists. We live in contact with the landscape of the screen, so it makes sense to paint it”. Could you tell us about your concept of art and your relationship with the internet society?

MM: Yes, nature was a new thing for me, I discovered it late in 2010 when I went to sleep on a tree in the middle of the Amazonian forest. From then on I start thinking at Nature not in terms of how Nature it is called but as an attempt to naturalize a side of the creatures around us. The Indios, for example, call animals and trees “people”, there’s no division between us and nature. So when I say that computers and digital objects are nature is because they are part of the abstraction that we consider nature and they become more and more nature.
I don’t have a concept of art nor even of myself as an artist. I feel as an operator who is searching in the dark. I find myself in a sentence by Eraclitus which states: “Man in the dark lights a candle for himself when the light from his brain is over”. This is best way in which I can describe myself when I do art.
As for internet, this is a landscape that I’m floating in it, I search in every corner of it trying to find some light. What I know about it, my relationship with it is a tactile and digital feeling, it has to do with my fingers.

MS: During the Venice Biennale 2009 you launched the Internet Pavilion. On this occasion as well as in 2013 with the project curated by Francesco Urbano Ragazzi, your interest was addressed mainly to the “unconnected”, to those who do not use the internet. Do you think it is still possible for people to live without internet?

MM: Yes, there are people who live without internet. It is an unprivileged condition, proper of those people who cannot afford internet. This could sound strange but this happen because there’s a huge separation between us and them. Nowadays we cannot imagine people without connection, mobile phones, ecc… These figures become more and more significant today as they are becoming for us holy figures. This was my intention when I launched the Internet pavilion in 2009. In that context I was looking for unprivileged people among the privileged ones, because people engaged in the art are privileged. And I found them, there were unconnected, even artists that were acting without internet. These are holy figures, at least for me

MS: Could you tell us about your works from the series “Internet Paintings”, on view at MAXXI? Which is the creative process behind these artworks?

MM: I started in 2002 and it is an ongoing project. During these years, I started thinking at the possibility of existential computing. I don’t know the exact meaning of this but it was a concept that come in my brain on a rainy day in London and which I lost during the same day when I was doing a video.
According to the multiverse theory, for example, how shall we live our life now that we know that the universe is not unique but maybe it’s part of a larger system? I don’t think there are other universes around us but we are changing our vision of the reality thanks to the progress of technologies, the scientific and physic theories. If we take in consideration this possibility of multi-universes we shall think every time at the act we do or don’t do. For example, we are thirsty while working on a desk: my brain wants me to get up and have a glass of water but my body doesn’t move. What should we think? Which is the real act we did? Which is our relationship with the things around us? This is existential computing for me. I decided that I should use this exhibitions to experiment and construct quantum computer or at least test them. The idea of the exhibition was to use paintings as computational objects, as codes and databases. The space is full of codes and is still under constructions. In this context, I see myself as an operating system, a software that interrelate with the works and the environment. The most interesting thing is what we left out of our projection. What will be happing if we start making computations?

MS: You were born in Greece, lived in Italy, LA, London and now you are currently based in Bogotá. Could you tell us about this nomadic life stile and your perspective on the cultural scene of the city where you live now?

MM: I moved to Italy as Greeks didn’t want me to be an artist. In Greece my professors at school told me that I had no talent. Actually they were right as you don’t need to have talent to be an artist. To be an artist you need wisdom. In my life I moved slightly to the West because we are western people and we are used to move a little bit to the west and a little bit to the North. I first arrived in Rome, then in Milan and there I was stuck. Western and powerful cities are like blackholes, like packmen, they grab you, they eat you and they keep you there for sometimes. I stayed in Milan for 10 years. Then I arrived in New York and in this city I was stuck again. In the US I moved horizontally as this is the structure of the country. So I arrived in Los Angeles where I was grabbed by another kind of hole, the hole of a billiard play table. After that, I was bounced back to the East, as I cannot further to the West. The West ends in Los Angles. So I started coming back to the East, to New York, and then to Paris and London. I started living in a triangle, by moving frequently in these cities. In this way I become an important Western artist until I found a moment when I wanted to die.
At that point I met the South. I met São Paulo and Bogotá, in Colombia where I discover nature, and fatherhood. Here a lot of things changed into me. I had a sort of modification which affected my operating system. It happened something that obliged me to change as if a windows operating system is installed into a Mac computer. I discovered locations of the South and this brought me back to where I start, to Greece and Italy, Sabina close to Rome.This is my Google map story.
The cultural scene of the city is something I detest. Every city of our Empire world is the same. In terms of visual art there is a remaking of the 90s aesthetics. But there are peculiar and interesting situations where artists are doing completely different things which attract me. That’s why I want to collaborated with these people which I invited in the exhibition as well. So I will see them and paint them, as I am nothing more than a painter.

Mara Sartore

  • Miltos Manetas, The Italian Painting, 2000. Courtesy Fondazione MAXXI Miltos Manetas, The Italian Painting, 2000. Courtesy Fondazione MAXXI
  • Miltos Manetas, Courtesy of Fondazione MAXXI, Rome Miltos Manetas, Courtesy of Fondazione MAXXI, Rome
  • Miltos Manetas, Courtesy of Fondazione MAXXI, Rome Miltos Manetas, Courtesy of Fondazione MAXXI, Rome
  • Miltos Manetas, Internet Painting, 2000. Courtesy the artist Miltos Manetas, Internet Painting, 2000. Courtesy the artist
  • Miltos Manetas, Courtesy the artist Miltos Manetas, Courtesy the artist

Ketty La Rocca at the Biennale Donna Ferrara

1 week ago

This edition of Biennale Donna is dedicated to the work of Ketty La Rocca (La Spezia, 1938 – Florence, 1976) one of the major protagonists of the Italian neo-avant-garde. This retrospective of Ketty La Rocca follows the first anthological exhibition in Italy, realized more than fifteen years ago.

The exhibition, in collaboration with Archivio Ketty La Rocca by Michelangelo Vasta, presents for the first time to the public some materials, documents and objects belonging to the artist, related to her most famous production.

The exhibition, running April 15 – June 3, moves both on a thematic and a chronological track. A project that has never been realized will also be presented: “In principio erat verbum”, a performance game that reiterates La Rocca’s interest in gestural communication.

Save the date
KETTY LA ROCCA 80. Gesture, speech and word
Curated by Francesca Gallo and Raffaella Perna

April 14th 2018 at 6.00pm

Ferrara, Pavilion of Contemporary Art
15 April – 3 June 2018

Carla Ingrasciotta


“As the art market has gone global, collections will be looking global”: an Interview with Johan Jervøe

2 weeks ago

On the occasion of Art Basel Hong Kong and to celebrate the five year long partnership between the Hong Kong edition and UBS, we interviewed Johan Jervøe, Group Chief Marketing Officer at UBS. This year UBS Art Lounge has unveiled a major new acquisition to the UBS Art Collection by leading Chinese artist and champion of abstraction, Ding Yi. Ding Yi’s painting features in an exhibition of works by other seminal artists including Gerhard Richter, Katerina Grosse, Imi Knoebel and Sean Scully.

Mara Sartore: Five years ago you started partnering with Art Basel also in Hong Kong and now you’re exploring a new destination in Asia, could you tell us about the strategy that goes with this decision?

Johan Jervøe: Yes, we just announced a week ago that we are going to sponsor Art Taipei, but we’ve been on it for about a year. It falls along the business strategy we have in Greater China where our business is expanding rapidly since China is the future for many economies: 1,4 billion people that are coming into consumption, luxury, entertainment in large scale. Obviously they have been there forever in smaller pockets and so as a path of driving our growth and servicing our clients and having these unique experiences either in the Biennale or here in Art Basel Hong Kong or in that case Taipei, those are strategic decisions we take in order to drive our conversation with clients; most of our clients that come here have the same passion for contemporary art, we have art on the walls and 30.000 pieces in our art collection.

Magnus Renfrew who is founding partner of Art Taipei was also the original founder of Art Basel Hong Kong and through that relationship he’s a close friend and we’re looking forward to see what we can achieve together.

MS: UBS has a long lasting relationship with Art Basel, 25 years, when it comes to strategic decisions, such as when Art Basel decided to acquire Art HK, are these discussed with UBS? Are those decision taken also thinking about a common market where you are expanding?

JJ: I’m sure that Art Basel its aware that Hong Kong is a mayor market for us, we are the number one wealth management here we are number one investment bank in the southern hemisphere, the asset management we have here is strong and in the progress where they are doing business with the leading asset managers. When you look at what Art Basel Hong Kong looks like this year, how much that has gone from strength to strength to strength, in my opinion higher than any other fair besides maybe Basel.

MS: So you think Hong Kong it’s gone beyond Miami?

JJ: I think this year it’s sensational what they have on the floor.

MS: Do you mean this from an art perspective? Is it stronger than Miami in terms of market?

JJ: US is the strongest art market, 40% of global sales so of course Miami represents a large proportion of that. The quality of the show floor here in Hong Kong this year is second to none so Miami will have to step up. These things are like competitions where your competitor is not running fast enough.

MS: How much does UBS collect art as an investment?

JJ: We don’t collect for investment but just to collect. We are a living collection which means you occasionally sell something off because it falls out of the strategy. We sell a few pieces, not many, you don’t get to 30.000 pieces if you sell too much.

MS: When and how do you choose to sell a piece? What do you mean with falling out of the strategy?

JJ: We have an art collection that follows contemporary art and, for example, there will be pieces in the collection that we have kept and that might not be contemporary. When pieces fall out of this strategy we sell them off. For example when we have many pieces by a specific artist we might sell one off to buy something else. We sell very little.

MS: It’s interesting to see that you have chose to present here at the lounge this morning a Chinese artist Ding Yi, while many of the galleries in Pedder building and H Queen’s are showing European and American artists. Is the Western world trying to bring Western artists to China while the Westerns are trying to buy Chinese art?

JJ: Contemporary art in particular has always been a sort of Western European and Northern American thing: that’s where most artists came from and where most collectors where based. What happens is contemporary art in a local market like China is something different, this is why we did the Guggenheim UBS Map programme: local curators curating local art.

What has happened is that, as the art market starts growing in Asia, the first ones one buys is obviously the ones that everyone else buys. When you’re starting a collection you want to have a Warhol, an Ai Wei Wei, most of the times, unless you have a specific strategy, you want to be similar to the rest you want to have the big names. I think you will see that, as the art market has gone global, collections will be looking global. We had here a significant amount of people from Europe and the US at our opening evening at the lounge coming to Hong Kong for the first time and this is because this market has now become an interest.

MS: Could you tell me a bit more about this collaboration with the Guggenheim Museum?

JJ: Our program is called UBS Guggenheim MAP programme, and is lead by three different curators each one from a different geographical area: South East Asia, Latin America and Middle East curating 120 art pieces from those three regions describing contemporary art with the eyes of a local curator. We’re taking that on tour in Milan in April and then the pieces will go in the permanent collection of the Guggenheim because we know contemporary eyes from a region will find different art from eyes from the Western Hemisphere.

MS: So on one side it’s an acquisition programme managed through these curators and on the other side it’s a way of bringing this regional art around the world?

JJ: Yes we thought that with the appetite we have for art we would be well positioned to do that as a company.

Johan Jervøe is Group Chief Marketing Officer at UBS since 2013. Jervøe, a Danish national, joined UBS from Intel where he was global vice president of the Sales and Marketing Group and director of Partner Marketing. Jervøe joined Intel in 2009 following a thirteen-year career with McDonald’s in the US and Europe.  He also served as chief marketing officer of McDonald’s Germany.  In 1996, Jervøe was a brand manager at Kraft Jacobs Suchard and a consultant at Roland Berger in Vienna, Austria.

Mara Sartore

  • Johan Jervoe, Courtesy of UBS Johan Jervoe, Courtesy of UBS
  • UBS Art Loung, Art Basel Hong Kong 2018, Courtesy of UBS UBS Art Loung, Art Basel Hong Kong 2018, Courtesy of UBS
  • Ding Yi. Photo by : Ike Li / Ike Images. Courtesy of UBS Ding Yi. Photo by : Ike Li / Ike Images. Courtesy of UBS
  • International Media Brunch during UBS Art Basel 2018. Photo by : Ike Li / Ike Images. Courtesy of UBS International Media Brunch during UBS Art Basel 2018. Photo by : Ike Li / Ike Images. Courtesy of UBS
Hong Kong - Interviews

“Standing on the Edge of the World”: Sean Scully in Conversation with Alfredo Cramerotti

2 weeks ago

On the occasion of the solo show by Sean Scully at the Hong Kong Arts Centre, which inaugurated during Art Basel Hong Kong, we asked the artist and the curator to have a conversation to learn more about the exhibition, the artist’s practice and his personal attitude.

Alfredo Cramerotti: Sean, could you tell me what brought you to investigate abstraction as a form of physical experience? The two terms are almost contradictory, yet your work seems to merge precisely this.

Sean Scully: I wanted to bring abstraction into the world of living things, of living matter. I felt it had shifted away from being able to communicate. So I gave it a kind of physical agency mediums.

AC: The exhibition presents a cross-media selection of works. I’d like to know from you how you approach the media differently, if so. Is there a different attitude or working methodology between canvas, metal, photography, paper?

SS: Paper is delicate. Pastel and watercolour require a great sense of sensitivity, and of course with watercolour one is always trying to release the height ‘within’ the paper. Pastel requires layers that are ruffed into the paper, fried again and again. The difference between canvases and metal is significant. Metal is hard and it pushes back registering everything you do without loss of energy. Canvas is soften and requires more building of layers.

AC: You’re showing in HK for the first time. What has mainland China given to you so far, and what do you expect from HK?

SS: I don’t send my work to HK to get something. I send it to give something: since it is already made when I send it. I have a profound relationship with China, almost intimate. And I love to deepen this.

AC: ‘Standing on the edge’ is the underlying theme of the show. I have my angle on it, as a curator; but what about your take? How did you feel about when I first mentioned this to you?

SS: My work is dealing with the subject of the edge. That is the metaphor. How the plates and bodies (political and geographical) push against each other.

AC: It strikes me that your attitude towards life is powerful, direct, head-on, yet – I think – sensitive in many ways. We all have ‘secret’ aspects. For instance, what I sense is that you are a generous person, and one who takes care of people. Is there something you don’t show of yourself at first?

SS: I think at the end, I am a nurse. When I was a child, I had an animal hospital in my house, for wild injured animals. I have always been like this. And now I support this and that, and attract friends, who are on hard tries. Most people see at first that I am direct. That is also true.

My Art Guides Editorial Team

  • Sean Scully, Exhibition view, 2018, Hong Kong Arts Centre © Sebastiano Pellion di Persano Sean Scully, Exhibition view, 2018, Hong Kong Arts Centre © Sebastiano Pellion di Persano
  • Sean Scully, Exhibition view, 2018, Hong Kong Arts Centre © Sebastiano Pellion di Persano Sean Scully, Exhibition view, 2018, Hong Kong Arts Centre © Sebastiano Pellion di Persano
  • Sean Scully, Exhibition view, 2018, Hong Kong Arts Centre © Sebastiano Pellion di Persano Sean Scully, Exhibition view, 2018, Hong Kong Arts Centre © Sebastiano Pellion di Persano
Florence - News

Carsten Höller and Stefano Mancuso to Take Over Palazzo Strozzi

2 weeks ago

Curated by Arturo Galansino, “The Florent Experiment” is a new site-specific project by Carsten Höller and plant neurobiologist Stefano Mancuso, built around a fantastically innovative experiment studying the interaction between human beings and plants thanks to the installation of two monumental slides in the Renaissance courtyard and a special scientific laboratory connected to the façade of Palazzo Strozzi.

This immersive installation will allow visitors to be physically involved in the project with a descent from a height of 20 metres from the upper loggia in the palazzo’s courtyard, and two special cinema theatres in the Strozzina. The feelings of excitement, surprise, amusement and fear experienced by participants will be compared with the growth and reactions of various kinds of plants in order to study the empathy between plant organisms and human beings.

Save the date – The Florence Experiment
19 April – 26 August 2018

Opening hours
Daily including holidays 10.00-20.00
Thursdays: 10.00-23.00

Tel +39 055 2645155

Carla Ingrasciotta

  • Carsten Höller Stefano Mancuso, The Florence Experiment , 2018. Courtesy of Palazzo Strozzi Carsten Höller Stefano Mancuso, The Florence Experiment , 2018. Courtesy of Palazzo Strozzi
São Paulo - News

SP-Arte/2018 gathers over 160 exhibitors from 15 different countries

3 weeks ago

For its 14th edition, SP-Arte — São Paulo’s International Art Festival — brings together over 160 exhibitors from 15 countries, the largest selection of participants to date. The Festival extends across the city with Gallery Night, museum openings and parallel events at various cultural spaces throughout São Paulo.

The Solo sector
Curated by Luiza Teixeira de Freitas and presents 16 projects. Highlights include historical artists such as Dieter Roth (Zucker Art Books), Lotty Rosenfeld (Isabel Aninat) and Mladen Stilinovic (espaivisor) with strong emerging local artists balancing the scene: Raquel Navas (Portas Vilaseca), Bruno Faria (Periscópio) and Marina Weffort (Cavalo) among others.

Curated by Jacopo Crivelli Visconti and focuses on works produced up to the 1980s.

The sector present furniture, lighting and tapestry in addition to modern and contemporary furniture, by renowned galleries.

Performance & Talks
Curated by Paula Garcia, the five performances will take place simultaneously.
A program of Talks brings art experts like Aaron Cezar (Delfina Foundation) and collectors Betty Duker and Pulane Kingston

SP-Arte week
The week starts with Gallery Night on April 9 and 10, in different neighborhoods each day, with exhibition openings, guided visits and talks.

Check out here the full list galleries

Save the date – SP-Arte/2018
April 11 – 15

Opening Hours
Wednesday (April 11): Exclusive preview for guests
Thursday to Saturday (April 12 – 14): 1 PM – 9 PM*
Sunday (April 15): 11 AM – 7 PM*

Bienal Pavilion, Parque Ibirapuera, portão 3
Avenida Pedro Álvares Cabral, s/n
São Paulo, Brazil

My Art Guides Editorial Team

  • Courtesy of SP-Arte Courtesy of SP-Arte
  • Courtesy of SP-Arte Courtesy of SP-Arte