Artissima 2014, 21st Edition

Words by Violetta Sturiale - Photography by Alice Guarini

Torino, OVAL, Lingotto Fiere

In its ten years of existence, Artissima has cultivated its own unique DNA amongst international fairs linked to the visual arts. This year the fair was developed as a web that encompasses the fair at the Oval Lingotto as well as numerous activities, such as Walkie Talkies, a series of informal chats with curators from all over the world that focused attention on successful artists. Another important activity linked to the fair was Exhibiting Museums, a space dedicated to the main artistic institutions of the city through workshops, meetings and labs, in order to educate and to involve the public of the fair, along with the debate session included in the Meeting point area.

The main external event was presented by Shit and Die, an external event arranged at Palazzo Cavour, one of the most important palaces located in the midpoint of the city. Shit and Die is a result of the program One Torino, a “multi-sited museum” project unveiled last year, where unconventional collections are melted together in order to create a unique environment in which every form of visual arts become a solo voice. This year the director of Artissima, Sarah Cosulich, invited the distinguished artist Maurizio Cattelan as the curator of Shit and Die along with Myriam Ben Salah and Marta Papini. Cattelan, known for his controversial works, created a pathway made of obsessions, irrationality and patchworks of multiple stories that remind us the poems made of insanity and redemption by the British playwright Sarah Kane, in a set of a narrative experiences where the visitor could be incorporated in the artwork itself. 

For its 21st edition, Artissima’s main fair located at the Oval Lingotto represented a showcase of the finest works in the field of visual arts, with a particular attention towards international influences and experimentation amongst the arts.

The various sections of Artissima were dedicated to the artworks of 194 galleries from all over the world, throughout an international commitment to the most prestigious names in the field of contemporary arts. The Main section was dedicated to the most representative galleries from the current scene; the New Entries section was dedicated to the emergent gallerists, and Art Editions was dedicated to limited editions by contemporary artists.

The 3 sections curated by international museum directors were divided in Present Future (dedicated to emergent artists), Back to the Future (oriented towards works of artists active during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s) and Per4m, whose main purpose was an introduction of performance art as a form of contemporary projects that join the arts and physical presence of the artist as one.

This new, modern and unusual fair calls out a new perspective on the Italian value towards the arts in its contemporary forms and recognizes innovation and new artists in an exclusive cultural context. The promotion and support of visual art make Artissima a unique showcase for art enthusiasts and professionals and since its first edition in 1994, Artissima has developed and revealed its own allure of originality, audacity and uniqueness amongst the leading international exhibitions for contemporary art.