miart 2014
              Filipa Ramos
              Milan, a city that cultivates its world-famous reputation as the capital of fashion and design, is currently taking big steps to relaunch its identity as a center for artistic production, and miart, its two-year-old upstart art fair, has been playing an essential role in this reinvention. With its access-controlled, rational grid plan, the fair’s architecture gives the impression of visiting a city within a city; its perfectly linear alleyways intersecting other equally perfect linear alleyways, its circulation system and signs, its various accommodation settings and meeting points, and its diverse sectors allow one to reflect on miart’s own relationship to the revamping of Milan’s cultural politics. The fair’s unavoidable sprawl is replete with a gentrified center where the old meets the new, and traditional, conservative enclaves meet newly developed areas. The fact that miart is on a vastly smaller scale than the city of Milan itself—one that can be traversed and observed in a couple of hours—makes it an optimal site for testing out a paradigm of vision Irish writer and artist Brian O’Doherty conceived in close connection to contemporary art. O’Doherty’s “vernacular glance” refers to the fast mode of attention by which we process the city’s overwhelming multitude of visual …

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