ARTIBUNE, 23. January 2015

2017. Quando anche la Danimarca avrà la sua Biennale

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Tra due anni a Copenhagen verrà inaugurata la prima biennale del Paese, con il titolo Ultracontemporary. Il suo fondatore, il provocatorio Thierry Geoffroy, preannuncia la selezione di quasi duecento artisti chiamati a interpretare l’attualità. Nel segno dell’immediatezza produttiva e speculativa.

La Biennale di Copenhagen mostrerà di quale materia, di quale sostanza è composto l’oggi. L’istrionico artista concettuale Thierry Geoffroy (Nancy, 1961; vive a Copenhagen)svela in anteprima il carattere che assumerà l’evento, inaugurato per la prima volta in Danimarca e co-curato da Tijana Mikovic.

Qual è la tua definizione di Biennale? A quale altro tipo di Biennale europea vi ispirate?Ogni Biennale è un format. La maggior parte delle Biennali segue precisi standard per creare una piattaforma artistica temporanea, che spesso crea un’ottima connessione tra l’arte e la città che la ospita, così come tra la dimensione locale e quella internazionale della scena dell’arte. Lo scopo è mirare a una programmazione attorno alla quale far girare, attraverso scadenze note, tutte le agende del mondo dell’arte. La Biennale oggi è uno dei soggetti principali nella scena dell’arte contemporanea. E, molto spesso, dominano anche altri attori, come gallerie e musei.

Ma secondo te cos’è veramente una Biennale?Ormai è diventato una sorta di pellegrinaggio, un evento che riunisce alcuni dei più importanti esperti, pensatori e addetti del mondo dell’arte che altrimenti non si avrebbe modo di incontrare di persona, fisicamente. Inoltre ogni Biennale è sempre brevissima e sempre intensa, nonostante si abbia la pretesa di esprimere e far radicare dibattiti di rilievo, in sincrono e, soprattutto, in una forma concentrata.

Proprio perché sono eventi che condizionano l’opinione pubblica, le Biennali sono spesso connesse ad ambiti socio-politici e ai loro sviluppi. Manifesta ne è un esempio interessante. È importante che gli artisti esprimano loro stessi attraverso temi attuali.

E voi?Noi intendiamo lavorare in un contesto biennale per raggiungere una buona visibilità e installare piattaforme di dibattito pure, reali. 

Quali temi/concetti esprime il titolo Ultracontemporary?

Ultracontemporary è l’arte dell’adesso. Il tempo di mezzo tra la produzione e la distribuzione dei lavori che svela reazioni immediate, difficili se non impossibili da registrare. L’adesso è un momento d’incontro nel quale agli artisti viene data la possibilità di un’interazione, uno scambio che richiede una presenza reale, effettiva, centrata e concentrata.

Chi è l’artista “tipo” a cui pensi?

Un artista ultracontemporaneo deve essere presente al proprio tempo. La sensibilità dell’artista nei confronti del mondo che lo circonda e le susseguenti avanguardie intuitive rendono possibili opinioni espresse nell’immediatezza, nonché visioni valutabili come linee guida per il futuro. Ma solo la presenza dell’artista rende possibile tutto questo.

La Biennale di Copenhagen inviterà non solo artisti danesi, ma anche figure internazionali; tanto coloro che hanno intenzione di applicare le loro pratiche usuali, quanto chiunque avrà la bruciante necessità di produrre lavori connessi alle urgenze tematiche che staranno avvenendo nel mondo, in quel preciso momento. Ogni artista invitato sarà comunque libero di uscire dai propri schemi speculativi e compositivi usuali, facendo sì che Copenhagen diventi una città-testimone di nuove, rilevanti esperienze estetiche e di conoscenza, secondo diverse piattaforme produttive.

Come si struttureranno questi interventi?

Attualmente sono previste tre piattaforme: la prima coinvolgerà spazi espositivi esistenti, istituzionali, e ospiterà mostre temporanee giornaliere, durante le quali gli artisti saranno in grado di creare lavori lo stesso giorno in cui li dovranno esporre, dando vita a una sorta di enorme mostra dinamica.

La seconda piattaforma attiverà numerosi spazi pubblici non utilizzati che verranno invasi dall’arte, mostrando le potenzialità di rilevare cornici non istituzionali, attraverso interventi mirati a sorprendere l’occhio non sempre attento dei cittadini. La terza piattaforma invece sarà dedicata ai media non solo come canali di comunicazione, ma anche di distribuzione attiva e critica istantanea. Inoltre, saranno imperative tre formule, tre parole che caratterizzeranno Ultracontemporary: Calvary, Contemporaneity e Contemporary Art Museum.

Indicativamente, quanti artisti saranno invitati?

Dal momento che le mostre verranno aggiornate quotidianamente, contiamo di coinvolgere all’incirca duecento artisti. Questa caratteristica dinamica di Ultracontemporary e della sua insistenza nel promuovere l’arte che insiste sull’attualità richiederà agli artisti molta flessibilità fra le liste dei nomi selezionati. Così, se un artista comparirà all’ultimo minuto, o nel bel mezzo del periodo della Biennale, con il bisogno di esprimere un progetto pressante, urgente e fondativo per l’attualità, cercheremo di non negargli questo diritto. La Biennale di Copenhagen mira a diventare una piattaforma di respiro, all’interno della quale ogni contributo risulti vivo e dal vivo: mai cercheremo di creare strutture congelate senza lasciare possibilità a nuovi artisti di esserne attratti.

Com’è composto il comitato scientifico?

Nel nostro board includiamo professionisti provenienti non solo dal mondo dell’arte, ma anche con altre esperienze formative e con differenti approcci lavorativi. Tutti, però, chiamati a interpretare la nozione e le circostanze che caratterizzano l’adesso, nonché le emergenze di oggi. Nel nostro board si annovera anche il direttore di un importante festival musicale, un detective, un filosofo e un notissimo giornalista investigativo. Questa diversità sui piani professionali arricchirà ogni singolo profilo e ci darà la possibilità di analizzare come può essere nutrita l’arte al di là del mondo dell’arte.

Cosa intendi per Emergency Art e Art format?

Emergency Art fa riferimento a quei temi che non possono attendere di essere espressi, perché domani sarebbe troppo tardi. Un Art format è costituito da una formula. Una struttura che contiene un numero di elementi invariabili che ne compongono la cornice gerarchica dei diversi partecipanti, un ordine dei diversi fattori che cambia ogni qual volta un Art format viene attivato. Accanto alle variabili stabilite all’interno della struttura dell’Art format, la relazione tra quest’ultimo, lo spazio e il tempo a sua volta muta.

Ad esempio, un Art format inserito in un museo, differisce più che sensibilmente da un Art format promosso e inserito in una galleria privata. Un altro fattore esterno che potrebbe modificare un Art format risulta, fra gli altri, essere il clima politico: un Art format installato in uno stato totalitarista avrebbe una forma completamente diversa qualora fosse, in maniera analoga, trasferito in uno stato democratico. Un Art format è un progetto, un’opera in sé, ed è legato all’arte concettuale, ma ha un focus sempre in crescita dedicato a diventare un pensiero esteso, diffuso, e a espandersi nel movimento dell’arte globale.

Dove troverà luogo Ultracontemporary?La Copenhagen Ultracontemporary Biennale è programmata per inaugurare nel 2017, attivando istituzioni, spazi pubblici e promuovendosi giornalmente attraverso diversi media. Stiamo attualmente dialogando con i musei d’arte e le gallerie della capitale danese per negoziare le esposizioni d’arte negli spazi pubblici, coinvolgendo anche un festival di musica elettronica di strada chiamato Copenhagen distortion e la televisione nazionale danese, attraverso il canale DR2.

Come verranno spesi i prossimi due anni di organizzazione della prima Biennale di Danimarca?

La Copenhagen Ultracontemporary Biennale sta cominciando a stabilire i temi che intende porsi e che compongono la nozione di contemporaneità, tanto nel mondo dell’arte quanto nell’universo delle biennali. Al momento ci stiamo presentando alle altre biennali o a quelle istituzioni che lavorano raccogliendo arte internazionale, dove il pensiero retrostante alla Copenhagen Ultracontemporary Biennale sta cominciando a creare dibattito. Il ri-pensamento delle strutture pre-esistenti, inoltre, si inserisce nella terminologia corrente, sviluppando il nostro vocabolario quotidiano verso un dispiegamento cognitivo nei confronti di espressioni come: Ultracontemporary, Consapevolezza muscolare ed Emergency Art,termini-chiave per ogni nostra presentazione. In questo senso, già precedentemente al lancio della Copenhagen Ultracontemporary Biennale stiamo proponendo i nostri format espositivi in discussioni e progetti in via di sviluppo che stanno per avere luogo sulla scena dell’arte globale.

Si direbbe che siete in fase promozionale…

Il nostro è esattamente un tour promozionale, ma non è solo un modo per ottenere visibilità, piuttosto è la formazione di un profilo basato su un’onesta volontà di creare un dialogo e uno scambio di idee tra diverse soggetti in gioco in un contesto internazionale. Il nostro futuro, primissimo, evento si terrà durante i giorni di inaugurazione della Biennale di Venezia.

Potresti formulare un pensiero, un augurio che accompagni la Copenhagen Ultracontemporary Biennale?Ultracontemporary dovrebbe dimostrare quanto il potenziale dell’arte sia necessario a rileggere il nostro tempo. Se l’arte si manifesterà in tempo, noi saremo capaci di prevenire alcuni eventi, o almeno avremo la possibilità di dibatterne prima che sia troppo tardi.

Ginevra Bria


 English version: 

Which is your personal definition of Biennale? Which other kind of European Biennale will you look at, by way of example?

A biennale is a format. Most of the biennials follow a receipt for creating a temporary art platform which often creates a good connection between art and the city as well as between the local and international art scene in order to point to the new agenda-setting trends in the art.

Biennale today is one of the main players on the contemporary art scene. Often they even dominate the other actors like galleries and museums. It is a pilgrim like event gathering some of the most import and influential thinkers, experts and other people people within the art world that would normally not meet physically. Biennials’ short but intense lifetime should give a chance to expressed and plant important debates in a concentrated form in sync with time.

Exactly because they are influential and opinion-making power, the biennials would often also be connected to the social and political developments. Manifesta is an interesting example.

It is important that artists express themselves about actual issues.We ware working in a biennial context because biennials have good visibility and are staged debate platforms. 

Could you please describe Ultra Contemporary title which kind of themes/concepts express?

ULTRACONTEMPORARY is the art of the now

” The contemporary “as we see it in the art world today is often in delay with the NOW. The time gap between the production and the distribution of the art work makes immediate reactions difficult if not impossible.

Since the word “contemporary” is use about art exhibitions that show art workes that are produced long in advance and like flea-market not reflecting on the reality of today, we had to find a new word “ULTRACONTEMPORARY” that reflects the arts closeness to the notion of now.

The unpredictability is integrated part of working with ultracontemporaneity.

The now as a moment of encounter. Where the artist meest other artists, the artwork meets the audience and the art world meets the world outside the art zone. To create a rendez vous is to share same place, same time and eventually common worries. This creates a possibility of interaction.

The encounter demands real presence. An ULTRACONTEMPORARY artist would have to be present in all sense of the word; physically, mentally and in time. Artists’ sensibility towards the surrounding world and often intuitive avantgarde registrations, make it possible to have and express immediate opinions and visions, which can be very valuable as guidelines for future developments.

The artists presence makes it possible to react on a trained reflex. In the ultracontemporary the artist has capacity to catch the ball and send it back. This reflex way of working as an artist is not only about the speed but a out well trained sense of timing. The fact that the artworks are done fast, does not mean that they are superficial, on the contrary they have a high degree of pertinence and precision because of its closeness to the moment of now.

This leads us to the training of “awareness muscle”. During COPENHAGEN ULTRACONTEMPORARY BIENNALE both the artist and the audience will be training their awareness muscle by daily critic questioning the reality we all are part of. COPENHAGEN ULTRACONTEMPORARY BIENNALE will thus be the special platform for not only presenting ULTRACONTEMPORARY artworks, but also communicating and debating art in theULTRACONTEMPORARY way.

COPENHAGEN ULTRACONTEMPORARY BIENNALE will invite Danish and international artists regardless of their usual working methods, who have a burning need to produce works that relate to what is happening in the world at the moment or would happen if we don’t act now. It could be about topics such as actual wars, critical climatic conditions, political changes and other more or less obvious factors and events that require public attention.

The participating artists will in COPENHAGEN ULTRACONTEMPORARY BIENNALE be able to step out of their usual patterns of production and make use of their important experience and knowledge on a different platform which, unlike the established exhibition contexts, has an ability to distribute works on current event fast, while these are still ongoing. Art’s relevance is a key criterium when artists pertinent works have to see the light of day. Pertinence as a criterium lifts the artworks above the aesthetic relationship between its form and message because the works primate will be evaluated in relation to the surrounding reality that goes beyond the sphere of art.

PLATFORM 1The established and existing exhibition spaces will host daily changing exhibitions where artists will be able too put on display works created on the same day as they are shown. There is a daily curating taking place, so the institution will during the biennale every day be able to welcome the audience to a new exhibition. Daily exhibition visit could be compared to the daily newspaper reading. A very large number of works will be shown, and the daily work replacements, will create a unique dynamic exhibition that will attract both the audience as well as the press.

PLATFORM 2COPENHAGEN ULTRACONTEMPORARY BIENNALE will also use the public space and activate the many alternative urban spaces as well as buildings that are not normally used for art. This will focus on art’s potential to also act outside the institutional framework. It will create artistic interventions which can bring art closer to citizens in the form of surprising and eye-opening encounters.

PLATFORM 3Media platform will not only be used as channels of communication, but also as an active distribution platforms which include a critical art spot in daily news before the weather forecast. During COPENHAGEN ULTRACONTEMPORARY BIENNALE we will be able to experience how art can become an inseparable part of news broadcasting interface.here 3 words about the emergency art dictionary

http://www.emergencyrooms.org/dictionary/colonel.htmlCAVALRY [fr. cavalerie]

In our days the artist always comes too late.Like the cavalerie in Lucky Luke.Too late to save the family from the massacre.Too late when the cows have been dead from an epidemic.Too late.Art can only make a statement of his incapacity to be on time.Art = Retard.Retard means delay in French.Contemporary art always comes afterwhen the genocide has been donewhen the iceberg have been meltwhen the innocent have been tortured.Art = Retard.Art is only contemporary of the injustice already done.CONTEMPORANEITY [fr. contemporanité]

Contemporaneity means essentially being in-time.Thus there can be no archive,no museum,no documentsand no monumentsof contemporaneity.Contemporaneity is essentially living.Or at least breathing.It is being in the sequel of events.Producing contemporary art meansproducing art now,today,at this very time.To produce art for a stock of works, is not contemporaneity.It is rather anticipating a rendez-vous of a future spectatorin an archive of yesterday.Art is usually produced that way,continually evading the very momentof contemporaneity.At the same time, this is the momentin which the Emergency Artist wantsto work.Thus the object for the Emergency Artistcan be no archive or no museum.The object for the Emergency Artist is to establish a room or a spacefor exhibiting the works or piecesat the same day they are produced.In this sense the Emergency Artist is a performing artist.The Emergency Artist is performing his piece contemporarywith it is being exhibited and it is being viewed.CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM [fr. Musée d’Art Contemporain]

The Museum of Contemporary Art is a fake construction.There is no such thing.The idea is to fool the audienceTo make the audience believe that this hanged delay is “of today”.It is even worseIt is a construction.To make us believe that the democracy generateit’s own criticin real time.But this is not true.We feel protected by having artist looking at the state of the worldso we don’t spend time to be critical ourselfBecause we think they do it instead of usThis is a fake safety.The contemporary is looking at nothingor is looking at past stuffor looking into it’s own navel.The contemporary museum wants to make us believe that the state(for instance)is interested in the problems of the suburbsBut it is the oppositeThe contemporary museum is used to clean up the suburbsThe contemporary museum is a diversionThe contemporary museum is an abuse of confidenceThe contemporary museum is a schemeto inject killing confidencefake caringnessand therefore apathy. 

Will the Biennale be organized in Internationals Pavilions or not? Mor or less, how many artists are you going to invite?

The COPENHAGEN ULTRACONTEMPORARY BIENNALE will not be organized in national pavilions. We wish not to be a platform where different nations cultural or commercial interests are promoted through art. We will try to be as independent as possible in order to give art space for communicating without national connotations.

Since the exhibition will be changing every day we expect to be able to involve around 200 artists.The characteristic dynamic of the COPENHAGEN ULTRACONTEMPORARY BIENNALE and its insistence in promoting artworks pertinent for the actually of today will of course demand flexibility regarding the artist list. So if an artists appears in the last minute or in the middle of the biennial period with a need to express about an important actual issue, we will include him/her.COPENHAGEN ULTRACONTEMPORARY BIENNALE wants to be a breathing platform where the artistic contributions are alive. COPENHAGEN ULTRACONTEMPORARY BIENNALE will not be a frozen group show but an open, welcoming exhibition structure that can attract artists and inspire the to take part in the movement.

How is Ultra Contemporary Scientific Comittee/Working team composed by?

In our board we are including professionals not only from the art field but also other professions that use different working methods when dealing with the notion of the now and emergencies of today. In our board you can also find a music festival director, a detective, philosopher a known investigative journalist. This proffesional diversity will be enriching for our profile and wish to investigate possibilities for bringing art beyond the art field. 

Talking about EMERGENCY ART and ART FORMAT concepts, could you please enlight their related contents?

EMERGENCY ART is art that deals with issues that cannot wait do be expressed about, because tomorrow might be too late.

An ART FORMAT is constituted based on a formula. The format contains a number of invariable elements that create the framework for the participants and factors that change every time the ART FORMAT is activated. Besides the variables within the structure of the ART FORMAT, the relation between the ART FORMAT, space and time also changes. For example an ART FORMAT put up in a museum would differ slightly from an ART FORMAT activated in a gallery. Other outward factors that could change the ART FORMAT could be the political climate; an ART FORMAT mounted in a totalitarian state would differ from a mounting of the same ART FORMAT in a democratic state.

An ART FORMAT is an art work in itself. ART FORMAT is related to conceptual art but has an increased focus on becoming widespread and aims to expand into a global artistic movement.The ART FORMAT incorporates psychological and sociological aspects by virtue of the relationships arising between the participants. Thus an ART FORMAT becomes a frame of interaction, form and expression, both visually, socially and conceptually.

ART FORMATS involve several hundred participants and are based on a sociological and a psychological starting point concerning debate and collaboration 

Where, exactly, will Ultra Contemporary take place in Copenhagen?

COPENHAGEN ULTRACONTEMPORARY BIENNALE is programed to take place in 2017 activating several art institutions, public space and daily media .We are dialogue with art museums , and galleries , the city of Copenhagen for negotiating art in public space , a street electronic festival called Copenhagen distortion and the national danish TV channel DR2 .

How will you spend those years (2015-2017) in organizing the Danish Biennale? 

COPENHAGEN ULTRACONTEMPORARY BIENNALE is questioning the notion of contemporaneity in art as well as the biennial as platform.At the moment we are making presentations at other biennials or imported art gatherings where the thinking behind COPENHAGEN ULTRACONTEMPORARY BIENNALE is being debated. The rethinking the established structures is incoded in the terminology we use. So unfolding our vocabulary consisting of expressions like ULTRACONTEMPORARY , AWARENESS MUSCLE and EMERGENCY ART, will thus be import part of our presentations.

In this way, already before the launching of COPENHAGEN ULTRACONTEMPORARY BIENNALE , we are proposing our formats in the discussions and developments taking place on the global art scene. The interconnection between the biennials taking place in our caravan way of touring, is not only about the visibility. It is as much part of our profile based on honest willingness for creating a dialog and exchange of ideas between different players in the international art world. Our next event will take during the opening days of Venice Biennial.

We will also be using the coming years in close dialog with artists. We are both looking for artists who already work in a ultracontemporary way, meaning in sync with the NOW and the reality of today, and establishing parallel projects that can train and stimulate artists who wish to step out of their regular way of working and try to do art in time. One of the bigger initiatives focusing on training and education of artists, is a vision about establishment of The Academy of Emergency Art.

This year we will also very focused with establishment of funding strategy and partnerships. We are at the moment looking for right partners, institutions and venues that understand how to stimulate and lift the ULTRACONTEMPORARY.

Could you please express a whish, of formulate a thought accompanying Ultra Contemporary?

The ULTRACONTEMPORARY should demonstrate the potential of art to be in time. If art is in time we might be able to prevent some accidents or at least have a chance to debate about them before it is too late.