Perspectives the Advisory Committee
One of the most important new entries in this year’s team of miart is the Advisory Committee for the Emergent section. Four among the most cutting-edge, yet established gallerists are going to suggest, in a trust chain-relationship, the most promising young galleries in the world. Indeed, the shift from having a single curator of the section to having a Committee serves to the need of miart to give a much broader overview of the young energies who decided to set sail in the contemporary art sea.
Michael E. Smith, Installation view at ZERO…, Milan, 2016. Courtesy of the artist and ZERO…, Milan.
Our fantastic four are Emanuel Layr from the homonym Viennese gallery; Paolo Zani from ZERO… in Milan, Dave Hoyland from Seventeen in London, and Marco Altavilla from T293 Gallery in Rome, who they not only share the enthusiasm about joining the committee, but they are also great admirers of each other. In such occasion indeed, according to Hoyland, it is fundamental “to be able to share ideas about the current state of the art and its system” with people who alike are always updated about the new energies landing to the market, a thought well-received also by Zani and Altavilla. Here the Committee will have the opportunity “to see new and different approaches, in terms of artists and programme,” as Layr told us, but also to support them “and advise when possible over their participation at the fair,” Hoyland added.
Tschabalala Self, “The Function,” Installation view at T293, Naples, 2016. Courtesy of the artist and T293, Rome.
As one can imagine, also these prominent figures have had mentors and stories that played a great influence on them, both in terms of what to do and not to do. Having listed gallerists such as Sadie Coles and Daniel Buchholz, the key factor for Layr is their commitment towards the tandem of “growth and integrity,” and how this has nurtured “such a stable and interesting network of artists and art related people over so many years.” Yet part of his role models were also “galleries and artist-run spaces which tried to question the system,” that very same realm wherein T293 was born. Indeed, developed out of a curatorial space opened by Paola Guadagnino in 2002, the current version of T293 as a gallery keeps nevertheless “the initial, non-linear model, the passion towards the research, and the commitment in giving to the artists the opportunity to realise ambitious projects, even if they are on their debut,” as Co-Director Altavilla told us. That very strong relationship between gallerist and artist, which is always accompanied by an equivalent sense of responsibility, is something which also Zani sought out when he envisioned his project. Interestingly, Hoyland had no model when he opened Seventeen and, as he confessed, “I am not sure I exactly knew what I was doing. Notwithstanding this, my aim was always to be showing artists I admired, creating a critical context for their work and supporting their career no matter how challenging their practices were/are.”
Lily Renaud-Dewar, “Safe Space,” Installation view at Emanuel Layr, Wien, 2016. Courtesy of the artist and Emanuel Layr, Wien.
But what about the future? The occasion was to succulent not to take advantage of it, so we asked to the Committee also a couple of suggestions for today’s young gallerists. Whilst Zani proposes to “reformulate the relationship between space/time/speed” and to reorganize one’s project accordingly, Layr is keener on shifting “the investments of the gallery, namely 70 % to artists and content, and 30% to network and marketing.” Essential though is still “to take the risk, believe in your project and make it last. The market needs the work and research of young galleries, whose role is to put quality over the rest,” Altavilla adds. So, in Hoyland’s words, “stay strong, don’t compromise, and keep showing what you think is good versus what the market wants.”
Megan Rooney, “Animals on the bed,” Installation view at Seventeen, London, 2016. Courtesy of the artist and Seventeen, London. Photo: Damian Griffiths
Cover image: Megan Rooney, “Animals on the bed,” Installation view at Seventeen, London, 2016. Courtesy of the artist and Seventeen, London. Photo: Damian Griffiths