TURIN — I was woken up in the middle of the night by Giallo, a Sicilian artist who is staying in our living room, looking to use my computer; or possibly by Luca, in town from Milano, who wondered into my room looking for the bathroom.
I was asleep before everyone else in my house and when I woke up this morning everyone was gone. This is a rare, rare day. I’m usually the first to wake up at 10am. I try to wake up “early” because I’m shooting a 28-day film of morning rituals connected to my waking temperature, but with the artists sleeping in the kitchen this week it is nearly impossible. Anyway, this morning by 8am everyone was gone. They left me some cold pizza and another new temporary kitchen-installation. First day of Artissima!
The anticipated presence of Matthew Higgs, from White Columns in New York, at the fair was going to be a huge point of pride for its organizers this year. They specifically highlighted his attendance on the press release: “Artissima introduces in 2012 a new section dedicated to Art Editions…White Columns from New York, [will be] taking part for the first time in an Italian art fair.”
The other institutions in the Art Editions section are ICA, Other Criteria, and White Chapel, which are all from London, GDM (Galerie De Multiples) from Paris, and the replacement for White Columns: local project space Cripta 747.
While it is unfortunate that White Columns could not make it to the fair, the decision to invite the local artist-run space, Cripta 747, was a wise one. Like White Columns, Cripta 747 is an experimental platform that nourishes a strong local community of artists. In the next days, they are involved in a number of projects that I will certainly discuss in the coming days.
But before the major fair begins a number of smaller spaces had openings, including GUM studio, where last night’s opening ended with everyone walking to the local billiards joint where on Wednesday nights the public is invited to sing and play on the amplified instruments provided, including a drum set. I missed the “music,” but painter/dancer Lisa Perrucci mentioned that Namsal Siedlecki, the artist who runs the GUM studio apartment gallery with his partner Helena Hladilová, was playing some pianoforte rifts with Frederico Barbon and Luca De Leva, two Italian artists visiting for Artissima. The exhibition at GUM studio, Enhance yr Spectrum, was a two person-show by Ian Edmonds and Giovanni Sortino, and it was their first collaboration.
Edmonds and Sortino performed on instruments connected to fruits and vegetables, knives, and themselves. The sound of the electric current would change when the fruit was being cut or when Ian and Giovanni touched. The exhibition had one large painting, painted specks on the gallery store-front window, confetti on the floor, a shirt made of canvas linen hung on the wall, a flag created by a friend hung on a broom in the corner, and green apples, potatoes and other living fruits and vegetables in one area of the gallery. I noticed most the moments of color and the smell of cut onions.
The two created the show by arranging their individual works within the space. There were two works in the show that were created by the two of them together; one was the plaster nose guards worn during their performance and the other was the text available as the announcement of the exhibition (on A4-sized paper in the gallery and on GUM studio’s website). The writing is strong and strange, it anchors all of the pieces in the gallery space:
She couldn’t exorcize her awkwardness and lack of conviction. She sat dappled in light occasionally staring at the sun which screamed from in between the emerald mesh of leaves. A book had told her that dappled light is the best for humans. This was later confirmed when she learned of Brion Gyson resting on a train. The dappled light flitted across his closed eyelids and induced hallucinations. She would hallucinate of triple black diamonds if only she could escape reality.
“HAHAHHAHA!” She laughed out loud.
If only I could escape reality … She thought to herself. She knew the real problem was confrontation with reality. As a post-op mermaid nearing the end of the two years of surgeries and skin grafts from various labs in various petri shaped patches she would walk in under three years and jog in five. The specialists would fuse her long spine and then split it in half. They would snip her giant liver down to the size of a sea slug (13%) leaving her yellowed and weak. Her psychoanalyst learned just how powerful her advanced genes had made her mind but she found her “opposite of asperger’s!!!!” only a burden. The only thing she wanted was to be able to ski. She would douse herself in perfume in the hopes that someone would take her for a winter hare and not a spring salmon. Some true exercise! She didn’t want to be the Darryl Hanna of Splash! but the one of Blade Runner. Not a mythical being of singularity but the replicant without an original thought. She had heard a lot of pop music in her time on land and her emotions seemed predictable enough.She was conceived in the semen filled seas of Blubber Bay where two hipsters on a Ryan McGinley photo shoot came to mate with the herring under the pink curtains of aurora borealis. She spent most of her life alone. In the early 80′s she fell in with a pod of porpoises near Hornby Island but she could never hit the high notes and didn’t care much for their whines anyways. She met Errol there. He loved her chelsea. She thought he was nice until she found out he didn’t know what “NO” meant. After that she bummed around the Mediterranean. She made money how anyone in her position would. She took advantage of religious people. In this one village near Messina she found people throwing money into the sea. She threw a rock back.
A bunch of us stayed for hours sitting on the floor near the living fruits and vegetables talking. We sat long enough so that a few friends made a pasta and the evening continued. Giovanni advised me to visit Torino’s Fruit Museum where there are thousands of fruit cast in bronze from the 19th century.
And tomorrow, Artissima.
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