Present Future is the section of Artissima devoted to solo shows of emerging artists. It has become a significant platform for new visions and approaches of the contemporary art scene. A committee of four international curators ( Fatima Hellberg, Lara Khaldi, Natalia Sielwicz, Fatos Üstek), coordinated by Luigi Fassi, has selected twenty young artists that will exhibit, with their galleries, new and innovative works in an apposite space of the fair. In addition, there will be a solo exhibition by the American artist Rachel Rose, winner of the last edition of the Illy Present Future award, at the Castello di Rivoli (opening on the 6th of November). This year the members of the jury of the Illy Present Future award are Daniel Baumann, Dieter Roelstraete and Maurizio Morra Greco.
I ask Fatos Üstek, an independent curator and writer based in London, some questions about the artists and projects that she has selected for this edition of Present Future.
ATP: During the selection of the four artists (Broomberg&Chanarin, Katie Patterson, Elena Nemkova and Rodel Tapaya), which point led you to choose them? Is there a particular one or just an ensemble of aspects (education, personal research, exhibitions…)?
Fatos Üstek: I wanted to bring together a prolific set of artistic positions and pronounce the confluence of disciplines and the prominence of influences across arts, sciences, folklore and tradition, for the section that is dedicated to predicting future voices and its greats. In this regard, it was important for me to underline the evolution that visual arts is going through at the Present Future Section of Artissima. Additionally, I wanted to bring in positions from differing geographical affiliations and immediate concerns. And most importantly, I wanted to bring together a set of four artists, whose artistic practice and engagement awes me personally. I have worked with three of the artists before. I was part of the same research group with Elena Nemkova, had the privilege to work with Rodel Tapaya at the 10th Gwangju Biennial and to work with Broomberg&Chanarin only recently at fig-2 in London where the duo realised a week in my 50 week long exhibition series taking place at ICA Studio. With Katie Paterson, it is my first collaboration, although I have been following her work for a while now.
ATP: These artists come from different parts of the world (South Africa, Great Britain, Russia, Philippines) and their art deals with various themes and mediums. Beyond these diverse backgrounds, can you see some links between their works?
FU: It was crucial for me to provide a snapshot of the bigger picture, thus not to repost from a specific region or a continent. Thus I aimed at selecting artists from four different countries, regions, who have a successful profile and strong body of work. All the works share strength and ingenuous approach, that I believe links them to one another. From an intrinsic point of view, I think Elena Nemkova and Katie Paterson would be related due to their interest introducing bridges between the scientific and visual through exploring formations of knowledge generated by science and studies on cosmos; while Broomberg&Chanarin and Rodel Tapaya amplify political tangents and strong commentaries on regimes of control in their works.
ATP: As you told me, you have also taken part in the choice of the artworks that will be exhibit in the booths of the four galleries (Lisson, Galerie Sisso, Parafin, and Arndt). Could you tell me a bit about this process of selection and creation? Did you have a close dialogue with the artists?
FU: I made the initial selection and then suggested to the artist, followed by a conversation with the gallerist. All the artists and gallerists have been very supportive and engaged during the selection process. And I always like a close dialogue.
Are you satisfied with the outcome of the projects? How will you sum up them in a few words?
I am very happy with all the projects and their public outing. I look forward to observing the audiences and collecting their responses.