One Torino. Illy Present Future Award Exhibition: Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa – Vanessa Safavi – Santo Tolone

From 07 December 2013 to 12 January 2014

A New Annual Exhibition Project Around Torino and Piemonte

First Edition- illy Present Future Award Exhibition
Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa, Vanessa Safavi, Santo Tolone

A new annual initiative, conceived and produced by Artissima, realized in collaboration with the leading museums and art institutions of the city: Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, GAM – Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Fondazione Merz and Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, and a special project at Palazzo Cavour.

Of the five exhibition projects making up the first edition of One Torino, the exhibition presented at Castello di Rivoli is perhaps the one most intimately connected to the activities and spirit of Artissima. This exhibition emerges from the evaluations and reflections of the jury of the illy Present Future Award at Artissima 2012. In the competing solo presentations in the Present Future section of last year’s fair, the three exhibition curators together with Beatrice Merz, director of the museum, noted striking convergence and tension in the work of three artists: Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa (Guatemala), Vanessa Safavi (Switzerland), and Santo Tolone (Italy).

Under the curatorship of Andrew Berardini, Gregor Muir, and Beatrix Ruf, the show brings together these three joint winners of the illy Present Future Award 2012. Mainly newly composed, the works of the three artists on view meet and come apart with sympathies and tensions, pulling them together to compose a story of different energies, one flowing into the next.

Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa interlaces obsessions and elements that connect the dark, dreamlike world of his childhood in the 1980s with the historical, political and social reality of his native Guatemala. A series of drawings and a precious alpaca rug stem from a series of woodcuts that conflate Mayan geometry and Guatemalan modernism. This tendency is also evident in his video Breve Historia de la Arquitectura en Guatemala (2010-13). The performance presented at the opening of the show (now visible as a video-installation) is probably the most poignant example of his referential universe.

Vanessa Safavi composes surreal fictions that serve as self-portraits and what she calls ‘mental devices’. Here she presents a sweeping landscape of sand and a series of silicon paintings, together with a sound installation composed of terracotta vases. If Losing the Center is a reference to nothingness, contemplation and escape, the large silicones titled Vital Energy and Relaxed Being suggest utopian harmony, kissed with healthy skepticism. Meanwhile, the vases of My head is a box emit an almost imperceptible sound, a hypnotic, seductive whispering that draws the spectator into an intimate refuge.

Santo Tolone has proposed an architectural intervention that further destabilizes a space already significantly affected by the curators’ layout. His construction emphatically establishes a show within the show, featuring a series of formal sculptures of ordinary objects and of elements drawn from Italian commercials of the 1950s that, once transformed and oversized, become suddenly unrecognizable or, ironically, celebratory, the scaling and repetition disorienting. Against these familiar objects made unfamiliar, we find our own selves, chuckling perhaps, shapely and just the right size.

From 07 December 2013 to 12 January 2014