ARTE FIERA OBSERVATORY

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Massimo Torrigiani

Massimo Torrigiani is a founder member of Boiler, a creative agency with offices in Milan and Barcelona, and Fantom, a non-profit organization exploring the realms of photography, sound and the visual arts. They design and produce exhibitions, installations, live performances and editorial and recording projects.
Fantom will curate the PHOTOGRAPHY AND MOVING IMAGES Section of Arte Fiera 2019.

 

Why Art Museums? Any consideration by – and even about – Alexander Dorner, what he imagined, wrote and accomplished with museums, artists and art is always welcome. His views will always be pertinent, even tomorrow. 

Dorner sided with the “degenerate” artists, abstract art, and the Bauhaus. An opponent of Nazism, he sought refuge in the United States, publishing his revolutionary ideas on artworks and their place in the world - and putting them into practice with synesthetic immersive shows. Just published by the MIT Press in partnership with the Rhode Island School of Design, which Dorner directed from 1937 to 1941, this book presents a different take on the man’s artistic development, especially during his American period.

Why Art Museums? A very topical question, especially today when museums are springing up everywhere but when the words ‘museum’ and ‘art’ have become hackneyed, and expressions like ‘synesthetic’, ‘multimedia’, ‘immersive’ and experiential’ are now marketing jargon. To try and restore meaning to all this, welcome back Dorner and his soul mates: El Lissitzky, Gropius, Malevich, Moholy-Nagy, Panofsky, Schwitter and others, with their sensitivity, intellect, propensity for exploration and eagerness to challenge, change, connect and invent. Started one hundred years ago, their work was never completed. Nor can it be, for it is infinite, as the subtitle to the book suggests: The Unfinished Work of Alexander Dorner.

WHY ART MUSEUMS? The Unfinished Work of Alexander Dorner

 

PS While I write this note my mind is full of the news of the death of Carlo Santamaria of the Raucci Santamaria Gallery of Naples and Milan. Together with his fellow traveller Umberto, Carlo is one of the most curious, enthusiastic, welcoming, generous, knowledgeable and surprising people I have ever had the good fortune to meet. Any encounter with him was full of warmth and fun. I want to remember him as he always was: with smiling eyes. Carlo will forgive me if I sound sentimental.