“Throwing Balls in the Air” – ACADEMIÆ | Youth Art Biennale 2016 at Fortezza, Alto Adige
The first edition of ACADEMIÆ, a biennial event entirely dedicated to academy, international art school and university students, has opened in the Fortezza / Franzensfeste area. The first edition, curated by Christiane Rekade and Francesca Boenzi, sees the participation of 35 emerging artists, selected in collaboration with 11 artists working as professors in as many European academies.
The event is a meeting place focused on the multiplicity of interests and approaches of contemporary art research, considering the potential of education in the art world and the artistic community as models based on openness, interdisciplinarity and mobility. An event which aims to highlight the importance and urgency for such models in current times.
The title chosen for the first edition of ACADEMIÆ “Throwing Balls in the Air” refers to a series of works by the American conceptual artist John Baldessari (National City, California, 1931). Baldessari is known for having always supported his teaching with artistic practice and is one of the most important art professors at an international level. Mike Kelley, Tony Oursler and Matt Mullican were his students, to name just a few.
With works such as Throwing Four Balls in the Air to Get a Straight Line (1972-1973) or Throwing Three Balls in the Air to Get an Equilateral Triangle (1972-1973) Baldessari presents the artistic process as the repeated attempt to create a form and the accidental creation of forms other than one had imagined, opening up to playing and the inherent risk of failure. In a broader sense, the title refers to the possibility that art and the artist has to play by combining different elements to create new perspectives.
During ACADEMIAE the fort, originally conceived as a military stronghold, is transformed from a location of entrenchment and surveillance into an open space which welcomes and includes. Within the current political scenario, Fortezza/Franzensfeste becomes the ideal place to rethink the meaning of borders, not as a dividing line, but as a meeting point of cultural enrichment. Academiae aims to offer young artists a platform for artistic exchange, discussion and the proposal of new ideas.
The selected artists will present extremely varied works as regards their conceptual and formal aspects, in a number of different environments of this historic stronghold (which already hosted Manifesta 7 in 2008) reflecting the extraordinary vitality, complexity and plurality of contemporary artistic languages.
“Throwing balls in the air” confirms the idea of art as a representation of a reality marked by contradictions, inconsistencies, unpredictable relations and the image of an artistic community with undefined contours, a mobile community that travels and meets, at Fortezza/Franzensfeste as the ideal venue, as in the rest of the world.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication that represents yet another instrument used to reflect and explore the role of art schools and methods of artistic education. It explores the meaning and differentiates between artistic education and that in other disciplines. The reason for art, the role it plays, its importance in current times and the thought pattern it represents. The publication contains the texts of the curators, Chus Martinez, curator and director of the Basel Art School, and contributions by Professors and guest artists.
The exhibition was conceived and organised by Associazione ArtintheAlps Verein. It boasts the patronage of Euroregione Euregio and the support of the Trentino/Südtirol Region and the Autonomous Province of Bolzano/Südtirol.
at Fortezza, Alto Adige
until 30 October 2016