Feeling the pulse of the contemporary art world, one mistake one could make is to consider only the product of art, its works, techniques and large individual exhibitions that showcase somewhat abstract visions and concepts. More concrete, however, are the dynamics of the art market and its fairs, moments in which art reacquaints itself with its more entrepreneurial side, bringing to the forefront the relationship between artists, gallery owners, impresarios, and only then the observers.
Italy’s most important contemporary art fair is Artissima, now in its 29th edition, which has just ended and was staged at the Lingotto in Turin.
Collater.al was a guest of the car manufacturer Jaguar, which presented its work ‘An Alchemic Experience’ at Artissima 2022, an immersive tunnel of colours and sounds from which we started to decipher the meaning of the event and how art can tell the story of how we live transformative experiences in our lives.
The theme of Artissima 2022 is inspired by the essay ‘Transformative Experience’ by the American philosopher Laurie Anne Paul, a guest of Jaguar in Turin. In that continuous quest to open new horizons to our senses, enriching the experience of the unknown, the fair maintained its aspect of a more institutional event, exclusive if seen only by putting oneself in the shoes of the museum visitor but complete in its ability to show faces of a prism that are hidden in museum experiences in favour of feeling and passion.
The discourse on the art market was opened up in Turin thanks to 174 international galleries and eight thematic sections that in different ways gave visibility to leading realities, new faces and others to be recovered in the historical memory, to reconsider works and artists surpassed by trends but that can once again become entrepreneurial possibilities for gallery owners.
It is no coincidence that a gallery owner, among the plasterboard stands, confessed to me that he would rather have a work that he does not appreciate but is easy to sell than one that is beautiful but in which no one is interested. This is a discourse that does not conceal a sincerity and an aspect of the art market that hardly emerges in museums, or at times when the uniqueness of the art object is attempted and beauty is sought above all practical reasoning.
In addition to the many fine projects presented at Artissima, such as Anderson Tegon’s for Jaguar, the added value of events like the one in Turin perhaps lies in their ability to trigger a discourse on entrepreneurial education in art. This allows for multiple points of observation, pointing from the abstract concept of the Yale philosopher, the new techniques of making works to the price tag with a few zeros explaining what all those people in jackets are doing in front of that frame.