Issue 359: FICTION AND AUTOFICTION winter 2022–23

Issue 359: FICTION AND AUTOFICTION winter 2022–23

Flash Art Italia

Valerio Nicolai, Sole con le code, 2022. Pastels and acrylics on wood panels, performer, 395 × 300 × 150 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Clima, Milan. Photo: Marco Davolio.

December 13, 2022
Issue 359: FICTION AND AUTOFICTION winter 2022–23
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“All art has its share of fiction, but not all fiction is art.” With these words, art historian Romy Golan opens the latest edition of Critic Dispatch in our winter 2022–23 issue, titled “FICTION AND AUTOFICTION.” Analyzing three important exhibitions that took place in Italy between 1967 and 1970—Lo spazio dell’immagineArte povera più azioni povere, and Amore mio—Golan traces a resolute conception of fiction in Italian art of the 1960s.

Even in more recent artistic productions, there is a progressive disappearance of real data. This deficit of the real is perhaps transformed into something else hidden within the processes of autofiction. According to Luca Panaro, this is especially true in photographic practices, as he identifies in the work of Italian photographers Cristian Chironi, Daniela Comani, Alessandra Spranzi, and Paolo Ventura, whose works “are the representation of a broad narrative where the author presents himself as a character other than himself, while drawing on elements that are in some way autobiographical.” Photography is also used to implement both self-representation and autofiction in the work of Irene Fenara, Karim El Maktafi, and Silvia Rosi. The methodologies of these three photographers are surveyed in this issue by Elisa Medde, who begins by reflecting on the words of Anneleen Masschelein: “The authorial subject that manifests itself in autobiographical narratives or memory reconstructs itself again but in an openly fragmentary or fictitious form.”

Avatars are another device that artists can use to appear in the guise of someone or something else. This is relevant to Theo Triantafyllidis and Eleonora Luccarini who, as Tommaso Gatti writes, resort to avatars and role-playing “to explore that gray zone in which the self fades.” A similar process of reconstruction and reworking of images can be seen in the paintings of Valerio Nicolai, who is the subject of this issue’s cover story. According to Alessandro Rabottini, Nicolai’s work “never regresses before the banality of source materials, but on the contrary seems to want to pursue their extreme consequences, exploring their formal and poetic potential.” The artist appropriates any readily available image, inserting it into a system of pictorial research that seeks to find its “breaking point.” Through various representational strategies, the artist reflects on the relationship between painting and the politics of the gaze. Luca Bertolo also questions both the potential and the limitations of the image. His work is permeated, according to Davide Ferri, by a discursive and meta-pictorial character. The artist’s research is conducted via a painterly approach that simultaneously suggests and denies forms that can be traced back to reality.

The latest installment of One to Watch is dedicated to Costanza Candeloro, in whose work we can once again trace a process of elaboration and appropriation of something else. According to Vincenzo Di Rosa, the artist “draws freely on the space of the imagination, bringing literary and cinematographic motifs into play in her works, but they are rewritten and reformulated.” In Candeloro’s works, fictional scenarios intersect to the point of merging with personal references.

Also in this issue: a visual project by Lorenzo Lunghi, accompanied by a conversation with Laura Tripaldi on the possibility of transforming everyday technologies into parasitical agents of capitalist society; Émeline Jaret traces the activity of Philippe Thomas and the agency readymades belong to everyone®, which operates by “continually questioning the functional status of authorship and its very name”; Michele D’Aurizio investigates the artistic practices of Jorge Eielson, Betty Danon and Antonio Dias, who, although they come from distant and divergent roots, “are motivated by a critique of the presumed universal character of contemporary art languages.”

Simon Dybbroe Møller What Do People Do All Day / Boulevard of Crime Francesca Minini, Milan / Trisha Baga TIME MACHINE Gió Marconi, Milan / Dora Budor Incontinent GAMeC, Bergamo / Vasilis Papageorgiou Why does heat make things blurry UNA Galleria, Piacenza / Arthur Jafa RHAMESJAFACOSEYDRAYTON OGR, Turin / Emma Talbot The Age/L’età Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia / Massimo Bartolini Hagoromo Centro per l’arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato / Jonas Mekas Images Are Real Mattatoio, Rome / Marzia Migliora Fame d’aria Galleria Lia Rumma, Naples

This issue will be available at Artefiera, Bologna.

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December 13, 2022

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