The journey in Italian creativity for which I am called upon for the selection of young artists for the JCE is always stimulating and new, and not without surprises regarding the preconceptions we all have on the younger generations. As always, the effort is to broaden the horizons as much as possible, in terms of supporting both the Genoese selection, for which I was helped this year by Emilia Marasco, director of the Accademia delle Belle Arti of Genova, and also the selection of artists from Italian cities, which was achieved thanks to GAI, the national circuit for young artists, present in this edition with Aosta, Messina, Modena, Pavia, Turin.
And yet in this panoramic summary of young research in Italy, notwithstanding the hard times of the global crisis, or maybe exactly because of this, it feels like gathering an unexpected propensity for tackling the themes of contemporaneity in terms of ease and irony, often associated to the minimal linguistic choices; the sketch, the embroidery, the writing, the object, the performance poured into video or video frames. Compared to the selection of the previous edition, which was dominated by a direct representation of the juvenile universe and the metropolitan areas which are often favored by this scenario, it seems almost impossible that, in such a short period of years, the attention has shifted towards mental spaces in which, as Cocis Ferrari writes, the work “is representative of an aerial situation”; the gaze is held behind archived objects of a distant or recent past “which look back at us” (Elena Aromando). It appears that there
is the need to recompose a minimal order of things from the chaos
(Emanuela Tortello), or to leave “only traces of something that is only residual of the experience, a residue of existence” (Marta Colombi) or even “composing allusive intertwinements, never defined, which suggest but do not resolve, that present but do not represent”, which open up to a virtual dialogue with others (Pierluigi Lanzillotta), or entrusting oneself to the synesthesia for osmotically decrypting a dishomogeneous situation (Michela Depetris).
The contact with the situation seems out of focus and deliberately ambiguous, almost a superimposition of “other” shapes that refer back to the autonomy of being artistic (Giovanni Guizzardi) or a highly sought-after confirmation of the supremacy of man over a technology that does not understand the sense of what it reproduces (Mauro Panichella). Even those who frequented street art (Gianfranco Pulitano) tend to radically change the assertiveness of the street signs, rendering a marginal humanity the protagonist, the drunkard, the tired worker, and there are still those who reassess the stereotypes of the “nowhere” to contrast the formality of the environment with the “intimate dimension of the individual during his rest” (Veronica Vierin).
Without wishing to absolutize a choice which in part is certainly attributable to my intention to base the selection on the criteria of quality, but also following the thin red line of a sensitivity which is both shared and variously declined, the smoothness of the shape, yet to which dense existential and stratified experiences correspond in the nevertheless short space of memory of this generation between their twenties and thirties, seems to be the signal of just as many spaces of individual resistance, an intimate and tendentially introspective version of the T.A.Z., Temporary Autonomous Zone, in contrast or in parallel with those conquered in social work from the empowerment of public art.