Established as one of the most relevant sections at Artissima, Present Future has kept giving new gamechangers to the art world for over a decade. This year, the freshest and the most exciting section has been curated by Luigi Fassi, whom we had the pleasure of talking to, along with Anne Faucheret, Hicham Khalidi, Sohrab Mohebbi and Wim Waelput. The team was not gathered around any specific curatorial idea, but was rather led by the contemporary concepts pluralism and ingenuity, as well as expressiveness. At the same time, the equipe aimed to represent art ranging from the far West to the Middle-East, as widely as possible, within a very selective art fair section. Exploring the global art scene in the search for complex, innovative and multifaceted artistic solutions, the group chose twenty participants, currently presented in the central area of the Artissima's Oval Hall.
Not solely a curated segment, the Present Future is also a form of a competition, where the winner selected by the jury will be awarded the prestigious Premio Illy. Last year bestowed upon the young Alina Chaiderov, many young critics and curators are looking forward to the official announcement for the 2016 with anxiety.
As time passes by, the importance of being featured at Artissima’s Present Future section is becoming increasingly apparent, since the winner of the Illy Prize will have the chance of exhibiting at Castello di Rivoli, while all the participants of the unmistakably small group are given a lot of attention by the most relevant figures in contemporary art.
Spectating the current curatorial selection of the Present Future, our team picked out those booths that are not to be missed!
One of the strongest impressions we experienced at the Present Future section definitely came from the video piece made by Cecile B. Evans. The 40 minute piece entitled "What the Heart Wants" provides an immersive setting, expanding into an installation. The work questions our reality by juxtaposition of the digital and the actual worlds, evaluating the importance of emotions in contemporary society. During the long, intensive viewing experience, the observer is bombarded by excess information, narrated by an inanimate voice from a distant, what appears to be, an post-apocalyptic age. The video has already drawn much attention at the Berlin Biennale, and the viewing queue at Artissima appears to be getting longer by the minute.
View the Cecile B. Evans' piece at booth PF10.
Consisting of a series of object and painted pieces, booth ruled by art of Kelly Schacht provokes attention. The artist created her recent oeuvre inspired by the Abecedaire de Gilles Deleuze (From A to Z, 1988), a long film-interview of the protagonist, who insisted that the feature should only be publicized after his death. Deleuze's philosophical postulates are explored throughout the Schacht's series, by the means of visual alphabet and linguistic affirmations. Inspiring and stimulating, the installation provides an environment for the viewer to question and roam the planes of the mind, through the visions of both Deleuze and the artist.
Kelly Schacht's work is located within the booth PF8.
Voynich Botanical Studies is the name of the photo-installation made by Miljohn Ruperto & Ulrik Heltoft with the Koenig & Clinton Gallery from New York. The Voynich manuscript served as the inspiration for this creative endeavor, a 15th century document written in an unknown language, a monument to human imagination. All of the photographed plants from the manuscript were first recreatied in 3D technology and then recorded as if they were real. Still, the black and white setting places them in a rather distant plane, trying to conjure something surreal, yet tangible.
Miljohn Ruperto and Ulrik Heltoft's series is located at within the PF19.
Presented jointly by the Rafaella Cortese Gallery and the Green Art from Dubai, Nazgol Ansarinia is showcasing a series of pieces executed in different media, all of which revolve around the central idea - the investigation of the private and public space. The artist ponders the two concepts and further creates visual and spatial artistic solutions, commenting on the relationship between the public and the private, with a clear political connotation reflecting the current situation in Iranian society. Depicted in monochrome palette, pieces possess details that speak of the artist's origins and at the same time serve as universal vessels to the subject.
Nazgol Ansarinia's series of work is found at the booth PF12.
Sculptures by Eric van Hove are definitely filled with narrative. Described as "socio-economic", the pieces were created in collaboration with various skilled workers, thus exploring the position of craft in the "context of post-Fordist and postcolonial modernity". The bike presented has been created with 3D printing technology and the traditional skill of Islamic craftsmen combined. This layered presentation invites the viewer to communicate, tempting us to - not only consider the usage - but to really think about the position of human artistry in our mass-production society.
Eriv can Hove's wonder-works are located within booth PF15.
All images Copyright Widewalls. Images by Cecile B. Evans courtesy Barbara Seiler Gallery, photo by Sebastiano Pellion di Persano