Third appointment with Artissima Questions and Answers. A brief interview with the co-curator of the special exhibition project Deposito d’Arte Italiana Presente: Vittoria Martini.
When you were a little child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Not so much as a child, but as a young woman, I wanted to be a writer with a dramatic life, like the Brontë sisters.
What made you decide to move into art?
Actually I was never outside art. My shift was from modern to contemporary. At university the course on contemporary art history was wonderful… it was also monographic, but on Cézanne. After that exam I realised that I was no longer satisfied with just studying books, I wanted to work with art, in its making.
Which historical artist figure would you like to share a drink with and where?
I’d have a beer, but above all I would eat some moules-frites in a bistro in Brussels with Marcel Broodthaers, from 1964 to 1967.
What interests you the most about the most recent developments of italian art?
The Deposito approaches the last twenty years of Italian art, and most of the artists were born in the 1970s, my generation. It is an interesting point of view. The generation before that, born in the 1960s, was the last one I studied in books, and then I found myself working with the generation after mine, artists born in the 1980s. What we all have in common is the experience of a technological revolution and one of social relations, the fact that the world today is completely different from what it was just 20 years ago. In a world in which we tend to “surf” over the complexity of things, I am interested in the use of knowledge as it was understood in the 1900s, as a tool, that is, and I find that many Italian artists are doing extensive research on materials, narration, history, offering complexity, new images and viewpoints on our time.
1967-2017: 50 years of the Arte Povera, is there any book / curators / figure / go that time that inspired you the most?
Right now I am working on the analysis of an exhibition curated by Germano Celant in the mid-1970s. It might seem obvious to mention his name when we are talking about Arte Povera, but following the thread of Celant’s writings and reflections, from 1967 to 1980, a coherence and a complexity of connections emerge that make him a gigantic, unavoidable figure for an understanding of that historical period.
Art is… (in 10 words)
I will answer as Thomas Hirschhorn would: “Art is resistance as such. Art, in its resistance, is movement, intensity, belief, positiveness”.
Which is your favorite artbook?
Mary Anne Staniszewski, The Power of Display: the book that made me discover the history of exhibitions, and remains a canon for the analysis of exhibitions in the widest cultural context.