MASBEDO, Fragile, 2018, Installation view at Vestfossen Museum Norway
Curated by Demetrio Paparoini
In 2018 Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium is delighted to welcome its visitors to a veritable fireworks display of art in the Main Building. The exhibition has been designed by Italian curator Demetrio Paparoni, who also enjoys renown as a writer, lecturer and publisher. He has curated many exhibitions and written several books about art, particularly modernism and contemporary art.
The title Contemporary Chaos will seem well suited to the visual experience that meets the visitor, for this exhibition embraces a huge variety of expressions and media: painting, photography, video, performance, and site-specific installations created for this occasion. As a whole, the exhibits reflect the plurality and diversity that typifies contemporary art. Despite their huge variety in visual vocabulary the works do share, however, a common awareness about the time and world in which they have been created.The last decades have seen the ever-increasing globalisation of art. New markets and the ease of access to knowledge made possible by the technological revolution have resulted in a deluge of information about art. The 60 artists participating in this year’s exhibition represent four continents, many artists with roots in regions that were previously regarded as peripheral to the main art narrative. Trends in the art world are affected by art that springs from many more sources than before – and this is reflected in the exhibition.
All art is an expression of the times in which it is created. In a society marked by technological innovation, and where digital manipulation and artificial intelligence blur the lines between reality and fiction, we find ourselves in a state of surrealism. Contemporary art meditates on this reality, exploring how and why society has arrived at its present state. This is expressed through a new technological paradigm and within new economic and global models. Not that today’s artists are oblivious to the art traditions of which they are part or to the footsteps in which they follow. On the contrary, contemporary art uses some of the same codes as the post-war avant-garde. The result is the chaos of artistic languages to which we are witness, a chaos that allows all possible permutations and sets up improbable and even contradictory associations.
In contrast to the post-war avant-garde’s visions of the future, there is no utopian perspective to the art of the present day. The search for ‘the new’ will, of course, always direct the attention forwards and guarantee disruption and transgression, but the future perspective has been drastically foreshortened. Scenarios of the future have been delegated to technology and science. In many ways this leaves contemporary art imprisoned in the present day. What, then, is the role of art in today’s society? Taking our cue from the historic avant-garde, we have traditionally regarded the exercise of art as a critical position with the power to reflect on, comment on, and, in the final instance, also change the world in which we live. Can art influence the complex structures of society, or has art become just one more communication strategy?
Ljubodrag Andric (Canada), Paola Angelini (Italy), Ghazaleh Avarzamani (Iran), Nadiah Bamadhaj(Malaysia), Domenico Bianchi (Italy), Andrea Bianconi (Italy), Thomas Braida (Italy), Vanni Cuoghi (Italy), Espen Dietrichson (Norway), Lars Elling (Norway), Sergio Fermariello (Italy), Barnaba Fornasetti/Valeria Manzi (Italy), Letizia Fornasieri (Italy), Giovanni Frangi (Italy), Helgi Þorgils Friðjónsson (Iceland), Daniel & Geo Fuchs (Germany), Daniele Galliano (Italy), Timothy Greenfield-Sanders (USA), Gottfried Helnwein(Austria/Ireland), Paolo Iacchetti (Italy), Liu Jianhua (China), Bree Jonson (Philippines), Tamás Kaszás(Hungary), Ruprecht von Kaufmann (Germany), Chiara Lecca (Italy), Justin Lim (Malaysia), Sverre Malling(Norway), Masbedo (Italy), Sebastiano Mauri (Italy), Rafael Megall (Armenia), Alessandro Mendini (Italy), Maria Mulas (Italy), Kristoffer Myskja (Norway), Marco Neri (Italy), Nunzio (Italy), Georg Óskar (Iceland), Tony Oursler (USA), Ruben Pang (Singapore), Francesco Polenghi (Italy), Laurent Reypens (Belgium), Bernardí Roig (Spain), Anne Samat (Malaysia), Nicola Samorì (Italy), Christoph Schirmer (Austria), Andres Serrano (USA), Vibeke Slyngstad (Norway), Doug and Mike Starn (USA), Tjook (Norway), Liliane Tomasko(Switzerland), Natee Utarit (Thailand), Ronald Ventura (Philippines), Nicola Verlato (Italy), Luis Vidal (Spain), Wang Guangyi (China), Wang Qingsong (China), Wang Youshen (China), Peter Welz (Germany), Rose Wylie(United Kingdom), Sun Xun (China), Yue Minjun (China).
June 8, 2018