Arte Fiera 2023. Towards a new challenge

Arte Fiera 2023. Towards a new challenge

We are now aware that a contemporary art fair event of great international value that has reached a certain level, taking stock of the work done to date, oscillates between the desire to remain consistent with itself and that of following the spirit of innovation that normally echoes through the corridors of the booths. This does not mean that the craving does not reward, but a good care does, especially if it resolutely takes a position on one’s condition. Arte Fiera 2023 exceeds and greets last year, now considered a case of emergency, and with relief and pride, given the very short overall organization times, opened its doors to the public with a desire to maintain, if not even exceed its place among the most important Italian fairs.

Arte Fiera 2023, overview, courtesy Arte Fiera

Being the event again scheduled in the winter season, has reassured not only the management but also the gallery owners, who have guaranteed a positive and optimistic atmosphere, also proven by some who have already sold numerous artworks during the preview. For this 46th edition of Arte Fiera, Simone Menegoi, now in its fourth year of leadership, proposes a full program of collateral events within the fair, bringing back and consolidating the primacy in Bologna as the home of performance, with a clear reference to the historic international performance week curated by Renato Barilli in 1977. The Rescue performance, promoted by the Fondazione Furla with the curatorship of Bruna Roccasalva, is staged by the Israeli collective Public Movement. The artists, involved for the first time at the fair, walking along the pavilions, sing a song, almost a counterpoint prayer, concluding their journey in a pile of rubble where the drama of the rescue is eluded by the movement of the choral dances.

Public Movement, Temporary Orders, 2018, photo by Armellin Filippo, courtesy of Public Movement and Vistamare, Milano – Pescara

Fundamental was the managerial direction of Enea Righi who, as a collector, brings attention to the essential aspects of buying and selling: relationship and hospitality, elements dear for Bologna. With these words, taken from an interview released last August to Artribune, Righi submits to the public of the fair, a careful reflection: «Why does a collector participate in a fair? For relationships, for the verification of the market, to understand how it moves, what are the trends and possible innovations, to find the piece that intrigues you, that you miss, that strikes you and that you cannot do without».

Alberto Garutti, Che cosa succede nelle stanze quando le persone se ne vanno, Ph. Emanuele Anselmi @Team99Agency, courtesy Arte Fiera

Starting from this statement it is now clear a competitive art fair event must not neglect the details that need meticulous and careful care. If you find some more funding and invest it with a precise and timely strategy, you will immediately notice the difference. First of all: each exhibitor had the opportunity to choose whether to devote more or less attention to individual artists or to collectives, having available, those who requested it, two stands instead of a single one.

MCA – Mario Cucinella Architects, Green connecting hub per Arte Fiera, courtesy MCA e Arte Fiera

For example, P420 gallery, located in two stands, proposes for the MAIN SECTION a dialogue between high-profile international artists (Helene Appel, Riccardo Baruzzi, Irma Blank, Adelaide Cioni, Filippo de Pisis, Rodrigo Hernández, Paolo Icaro, Merlin James, Marie Cool Fabio Balducci, Francis Offman, Stephen Rosenthal, Alessandra Spranzi, Shafei Xia). A significant part of the stand was dedicated to a body of late works by Filippo de Pisis, where still lifes painted with soft pastel colors appear as dreamlike traces that almost appear complementary to the works of Stephen Rosenthal, where the pictorial trace almost dissolves on the canvas, bringing to the eye the sense of purity and deep essentiality given by the white color, symbol of void.

P420, installation view at Arte Fiera 2023, ph. Carlo Favero, courtesy galleria P420

Studio G7 gallery, on the other hand, for the MAIN SECTION proposes the group show Latitude 0° (Jacopo Mazzonelli, Caterina Morigi, Anne and Patrick Poirier) as opposed to the two-person 2 of 2 (Marilisa Cosello, Davide Tranchina) for the FOTOGRAFIA IN MOVIMENTO section. Particular attention goes to the latter: the stand creates another dimension made of urban skies that with ascending and perpetual motion exceed Strade Stellari (Tranchina). In this cosmic scenography, Cosello’s instant works tell a mythological struggle between two women who fight between attractive and repulsive forces. The body of the performers, in the filmic work, seems to compose itself into a single identity and then separates and almost dematerializes, leaving their clothes as a memory.

Galleria Studio G7, installation view at Arte Fiera 2023, courtesy Galleria Studio G7

A different choice was made by Traffic Gallery: for the MAIN SECTION it focuses exclusively on Daniele Girolamo, bringing the project Correct ways to misunderstand curated by Leonardo Regano. The artist, after a long period of research on the field of protests in Hong Kong, reflects on linguistic and cultural misalignment. Cockroaches Breathe Loss and Care, is a semantic game between signifier and meaning, where metal exoskeletons with a plastic core inside recall the lightness of the natural water, element that in the photographs from the How to be the Weather series explodes and spreads like steam, recalling the brutality of protests.

Daniele Di Girolamo, Correct Ways to Misunderstand, Arte Fiera 2023, courtesy Traffic Gallery (BG)

To keep an eye on, is the solo exhibition and debut of Andrea Respino, proposed by MONITOR gallery for the section PITTURA XXI curated by Davide Ferri. In his works, Respino imagines restless places, draws almost hallucinatory scenes, where the human body inhabits mental spaces that, assembled by realistic notations, temper the excessive disruption in the delicacy of pastel tones.

MONITOR, installation view at Arte Fiera 2023, courtesy Galleria MONITOR e Bolognafiere

In conclusion, giving more breath and coherence, not only thanks to the spatiality given by the architecture of the pavilions, but also in the contents of the individual stands, arouses greater attention from a collector, from the youngest to the most established. Guaranteeing also opportunities for exchange and convivial relationships, rethinking the same space by designing a thematic and visual path and alternating it with aggregative refreshment hubs, allows the visitor to interact better and more carefully with the individual works, transforming him into a potential collector.



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