Issue 348: "VETRINOLOGY"

Flash Art Italia

March 5, 2020
March 5, 2020

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This issue considers the conceptual and aesthetic relationship between the framing of art objects and commercial goods, exhibition design, and, more generally, how display is utilized in the visual arts. Like vision, display operates as an “opaque” reflection, an ideal veil existing between the object and the observer. It hinges on that feeling of erotic tension you get when you look through a shop window and want what lies beyond, in a ritual that repeats itself.

Transparency — enabled by large panes of glass, which emerge at the end of the nineteenth century as a mode of display — is no longer confined to a material dimension. The showcase is significant as a device that interests designers and artists, who concentrate their practices on the display and staging of the object, bringing together fine arts, fashion, and design. All of these forms of creative expression have converged on the notion of transparency as a conceptual space for reflection and experimentation.

The props visible in the special cover design VETRINOLOGY, conceived by Anna Franceschini for this issue, are indexes that invite us to probe the function of the display and to (re)consider staging as a device.

From Tiffany & Co. window displays on Fifth Avenue in New York to Franceschini’s cinematographic framing; from theatrical staging in contemporary art installations to the ritualistic mise-en-scène of Alessandro Michele’s show space; from the stratigraphy of wood fibers in the most recent project of Formafantasma to the “structures” of Enzo Mari, to whom a dossier is dedicated that reconsiders the primacy of programmed experiences to his production of industrial forms.

Also in this issue are texts on Mariuccia Casadio’s fascination with display; Joe Colombo’s “environmental design”; “androgynous architecture” by Alessandro Bava; Queering-Display as theorized by Vincenzo Di Rosa; theatricality in the installation work of Rebecca Ackroyd, Augustas Serapinas, and Tomaso De Luca; and Maurizio Cattelan’s use of images, starting with Comedian (2019).

Reviews: Salvo, Gladstone 64 (New York); Scrivere Disegnando. When Language Seeks Its Other, Centre d’Art Contemporain (Geneva) in collaboration with Collection de l’Art Brut (Lausanne); Henrik Håkansson, Franco Noero (Turin); Jared Madere, Galleria Federico Vavassori (Milan); Marc Bauer, Istituto Svizzero (Milan); Yona Friedman, Galleria Massimo Minini (Brescia) and Francesca Minini (Milan); La rivoluzione siamo noi. Collezionismo italiano contemporaneo, XNL Piacenza Contemporanea (Piacenza); Gregorio Magnani and Nicole Wermers, MUT – Mutina For Art (Fiorano Modenese); Franco Vaccari P420 (Bologna); AGAINandAGAINandAGAINand, MAMbo (Bologna); Sonia Elizabeth Barrett, Villa Romana (Florence); Esther Kläs, Fondazione Giuliani (Rome); Piero Golia, La Fondazione (Rome); I sei anni di Marcello Rumma, Museo Madre (Naples); Parabasi, Galleria Tiziana Di Caro (Naples); Kiluanji Kia Henda, MAN (Nuoro)

Flash Art #348 will be available at artmontecarlo, Art Brussels, Art Cologne, Art Dubai, Art Paris, miart, Paris Photo NY.

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