Before Art Was A Job… (And What We’ve Lost)
Source:The New Contemporary Author:Luca Lo Pinto,Kristina Kulakova Date: 2014-06-24 Size:
What if museums and galleries wouldn’t exist anymore? How many artists and curators will continue to work with art?

“What if museums and galleries wouldn’t exist anymore? How many artists and curators will continue to work with art?” – Luca Lo Pinto

Kristina Kulakova: What is your opinion of the contemporary art scene in Austria? What do you know about it so far?

Luca Lo Pinto: I was only here three times before, so I have a general kind of knowledge. Apart from the most obvious figures, I am very fascinated by the performance artists from the Vienna Group and Oswald Wiener. If we make a comparison with the Viennese Actionists, they performed with language than with their body.

KK: What do you bring?

LLP: I hope to add my kind of approach to things. It is the first time that I am working within an institution on a regular basis after ten years of freelancing, so first of all I want to get the real sense of how things work within an institution and what’s the identity of it. Of course, I did collaborations and organized exhibitions with institutions but working permanently within one is a different thing, especially in terms of the responsibility and the relationship with the audience. I think it is a very interesting point. As a curator at the institution you can really shape something. If you think about music metaphorically, working within an institution is like creating an album and not just a single song. This is something very stimulating: trying to build an identity and to use an institution as a discursive tool and to engage people. One can do it in many different ways. I am very open to a variety of languages in an exhibition, and I am very glad to work with Nicolaus Schafhausen because he has a similar vision.

KK: What kind of art interests you? What draws your attention?

LLP: I always place myself as the first spectator of what I do. I am interested in art that is surprising and helps me to discover something absolutely new, not just having additional knowledge to what I know already, but to really have a different point of view on things. For me it is about embracing everything: art, literature, theater, life, people, and individuals.

KK: What is your special field in art?

LLP: I always like to play with different instruments, that’s why I run a magazine, make books, organize festivals, and curate exhibitions. It’s always hard to define a special field for me; I am really open and not specifically interested in one thing. In the last five years, for example, I was working on an editorial project called 2014, but for me it’s conceived really as an exhibition. It is a time capsule publication that is released every five years, but all of the content has been collected five years before. So it is playing a bit with time and temporality and how it influences our way of seeing things, how reading interprets not only art but also how we look at things in general.

The magazine is conceived in the same way: It’s more a publication and a magazine of a magazine; there you can talk about anything, and I think it reflects this openness.

In a way the artwork is really one of the most open fields, which is willing to embrace anything, so I like to consider it as a large scenario, where you can insert different elements. In general I like to be surprised in this regard and to create a certain ambiguity, that things are not flat, that you see it not just from the front side.

KK: What project did you learn from the most?

LLP: The magazine is just a project in itself. It’s something that goes behind you, and it is an irrational thing. I founded it together with my friends from university. It is like a baby for us – so it’s like asking a mother: What do you think about your son?

Talking about exhibitions: I am very happy with a project that I did two years ago in the house museum of Giorgio de Chirico in Rome. First of all, I’ve always been fascinated by these sort of spaces. Not because it is different – I never approached them with an exotic attitude, which is very popular nowadays in contemporary art (everyone is bored with a white cube and wants to find something else). This particular space is very connected with the idea of a portrait; you can discover someone in a different way through private things. Giorgio de Chirico lived for 30 years in this house in the center of Rome until he died. Compared to other house museums it is quite special because it was also his studio. They’ve never had contemporary exhibitions there, so I proposed to organize one and invited several artists to contribute new works. The exhibition was a year long, which was very important for me because sometimes the idea of an exhibition being on display for only two to three months sounds crazy. Often when you make an exhibition you have many regrets after: Oh, I could have added this and changed that. I thought it was very interesting to play with time and to extend and employ this to be free in a way. And having an exhibition on display for such a long time allowed me to change the plot of the exhibition. I started with 20 works and then I added new pieces and invited new artists to participate. There was no press release because I don’t like the idea that the first thing a person must do when entering the show is reading. I did not want to alter the way in which the museum was functioning: You have to book a tour and then you walk through the exhibition with the guide who explains everything about the house and the objects. So I asked them to do the same with the works included in the show. The subject of the exhibition was not only Giorgio De Chirico, it was more complex. I wanted to add new layers and interpretations to it.

[Editor] 孙雯