If you are in Turin for the month of November, you will find yourself blessed by the exceptionally art driven atmosphere that inevitably consumes the city. It’s a time to discover not just the country’s rich artistic heritage, but also its prospective future. After spending almost a year in Piedmont, I’ve been very lucky to see this atmosphere in person, but more so, meet some of the great curators, facilitators, and artists who work tirelessly to promote the cities creative culture.
Enter Flashback, the Modern and Contemporary Art Fair which will be in its sixth running this year, having materialized first in 2013.
A strong contender in the Italian art world, Flashback is responsible for creating not just artistic experiences all over the city of Turin, but also culturally sensitive and inclusive exhibitions that utilize public space, historical knowledge, collected works, and that ultimately act as a proponent for important dialogue.
With a team of art pioneers — all with varied backgrounds that work effortlessly together — Flashback is the brainchild of Ginevra Pucci and Stefania Poddighe. Two strong Italian women leading the cities most progressive art fair, we sit down with Flashback to talk art, contemporaneity and the importance of training future generations of art lovers.
Q: How would you describe the evolution of Flashback
Flashback is a format that keeps on changing, not a monolithic entity but an ongoing project that changes as contemporaneity changes, without the constraints of time, or space. The fair has changed a lot during the years because the world around us has changed, Stefania and I have changed, our expositors have changed. The highlights are always the artworks, they are the protagonists and always at the top of the creative pyramid. This year many of the artworks are related to the project of 2018 “The Shores of Another Sea”, a project inspired by the sci-fi anthropology novel by Chad Oliver on the meeting of different cultures. This is how artworks such as the Venere Andiomede (venus andiomede) rising from the sea by Carrà, l’Uragano (the hurricane) by Martini or the Untitled by Savinio representing the landing of the Argonauts contribute to the storytelling.
Q: What would you like art enthusiasts and the general public alike, to walk away with?
This year’s fair is aimed at the formation of a critical sense. Flashback represents a heterogeneous but comprehensive combination of information that can be useful for collectors, critics, historians, curators, and even the general public when it comes to analysis, knowledge sharing, and interpretation around contemporaneity. Flashback represents the possibility of using what already exists, in present time, and is a real opportunity for all who participate. Collecting in the current times becomes a multifaceted activity, a “creating” that has certain characteristics of recognition and care, aesthetic and historical value but also the ethical stimulus until it gains more complex meanings of cultural, and political value. Essentially, the gallerist is presented as the interpreter of the exchange, dictated by sensibility and intuition — at the same time, playing a pedagogical role towards the market and collecting. At the end of the day, a fundamental function is to spread and transmit knowledge to the general public and to create and train future generations.
Q: Italy is known globally for having a rich cultural heritage and a rich cultural process. How do you see this cultural heritage impacting the changing narrative of Italy?
The cultural heritage has always represented a big encumbrance in the Italian “living”. An encumbrance with both positive and negative characteristics. The problem is living the heritage not as something in the past that we browse “archeologically” but as an active component of our present. I believe that one of the peculiarities of Flashback is using both the verbal and visual narration in a different way — Flashback’s originality lies in seeing with new eyes the artworks, without stopping at the date, but letting the moment of fruition be the real filter that dictates the dynamism and the relevance in the current times of the artwork. The heritage represents a useful element to reconfigure our identity and building the memory of who we were, and who we could and will be.
Q: Additionally, how do you see Flashback adding to that conversation through diversity, inclusion and the supporting of new artists?
Flashback narrates the temporal and cultural diversity, it looks at the historized art as independent from the creation period, therefore it looks at the young artists as the first interpreters of their historic moment. However, what really characterizes the format and makes it different from everything else is the attention given to every single artwork that represents the culture with which we interact. What matters is the willingness and the ability to read and understand the stories — and like that of literature, which is immense, and despite the moment when it was written (today, yesterday, or a thousand years ago) it activates the moment when it is read, and moreover the moment when it is interpreted. Art has the same power.
Flashback runs November 1 – 4, 2018 in Turin and more information can be found via the website: http://www.flashback.to.it/it/homepage/