During the Torino Art Week, the art fair The Others returns with its twelfth edition. However, today, we don’t want to provide the usual report on the booths or the widely debated artwork depicting Giorgia Meloni with a fascist tattoo. Instead, we’d like to focus on the three projects that won the Open Call for Curators, which is launched every year by The Others. This is undoubtedly the perfect opportunity to discover more about the emerging contemporary art scene, which, this year, in response to the Call for Curators, necessarily engages with three foreign galleries. We are talking about the projects “Ballad of Species” curated by Niccolò Giacomazzi, “Grieve with Me” curated by Julia Fidder, and “Fernweh” curated by Caterina Angelucci and Andrea Elia Zanini. Let’s delve deeper into what these projects entail.
Exploring Shared Grief Rituals
In an attempt to challenge the normative thinking caused by capitalism and the privatization of grief due to neoliberalism, Julia Fidder‘s project – “Grieve with Me” – explores shared grief rituals and communal mourning in today’s world. Presented by the nonprofit gallery Oksasenkatu 11 from Helsinki, the booth features works by four young artists engaged in a dialogue. Sara Blosseville, Mallaury Scala & Grégoire Schaller, and Juliana Irene Smith explore various facets of grief and its material and abstract expressions through different media. Juliana Irene Smith’s work, titled “Rainbow Catharsis,” is particularly striking, featuring large colorful textile collages hanging on the wall. Photographs, fabrics, and writings intertwine to evoke a tangible memory. Imperfections, flaws, and a sense of urgency reflect the artist’s desperation to expel, as she puts it, the “bad things” from her body and move on from the past. An example is the phrase “goodbye fuckers” accompanied by an image of a blood-stained bed. In this case, grief is metaphorically understood as the need to “bury” a painful past.
The two side walls feature frames from the film “EKKRINO,” created by Mallaury Scala & Grégoire Schaller. The video is a full-length film capturing a dance at the volcanic site of the island of Nisyros in the Dodecanese. The work combines the elements of body, landscape, and loss. We follow the emotional and dance reactions of an elderly woman in front of the remains of a recently deceased young man. “EKKRINO” is a performative ritual aimed at transforming grief into a source of hope and addressing social change, embracing movements such as feminism, LGBT+, anti-racism, and environmentalism. It seeks to create new visions and a better collective narrative in an ever-evolving world. Finally, at the center of the booth, there is a small altar created by the artist Sara Blosseville for her dog. In this sense, it’s evident that the artist intends to explore the concept of an altar, a tool of connection used by humans to commune with their deceased loved ones or simply to remember and pay tribute to them.
Challenging Human Centrality in Favor of Flora and Fauna
The “Ballad of Species” project curated by Niccolò Giacomazzi contemplates the human potential to move away from an anthropocentric condition and disrupt the way humans perceive themselves. The curatorial text states, “We must question human centrality and incorporate it into a more inclusive system.” Through the projects of three artists, Greta Maria Gerosa, Roxie Ren, and Wang Yuxiang, the viewer is taken on a poetic journey that transitions from a digital and artificial plane – in the case of Gerosa’s and Ren’s video works – to a primordial one, as seen in Yuxiang’s cages. The project is presented in collaboration with DOSE Art, a contemporary art platform based in Los Angeles.
A Journey Through Time and Space
The third of the three winning projects, “Fernweh” curated by Caterina Angelucci and Andrea Elia Zanini, captivates the viewer with a familiar sound. It’s an audio loop that combines the last five seconds of various film soundtracks, created by the artist Friedrich Andreoni. The atmosphere is melancholic, as in any proper ending. The sound emanates from a speaker placed at the center of the booth, creating the idea of a continuous sequence of endings. Andreoni’s work is in dialogue with Roberto Casti‘s “Aleph” series, which, like Andreoni, has contemplated the poetic line suggested by the two curators: a reflection on collective paralysis and the idea of escape expressed in James Joyce’s novel “Dubliners.” Casti presents three separate moments in terms of space and time. Three urban elements serve as portals to another dimension, in this case, Tokyo, New York, and Thailand, allowing the artist to explore the contemporary concept of ubiquity. Sounds recorded in these locations emanate from these elements, subsequently altered into ambient soundscapes, nullifying space-time data.
The Others Art Fair is open until Nov. 5 at Pavilion 3 of Torino Esposizioni