Home Magazine Times are Changing: the Forum of Italian Contemporary Art

Museums without artworks, libraries without books, theatres without words, the world of culture is emptied of its actors. This is just a part of the landscape that we have come to know during these months, and that we could get used to seeing if we do not act quickly and in a functional, programmatic and unitary way. In order to try as much as possible to counter this possible panorama, the Forum of Italian Contemporary Art (born in Italy in 2015) in the early days of the Covid-19 emergency, had issued a statement in which it asked about the future of art in Italy.

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Now the Forum is launching an unprecedented online version in this following ways:

1) The holding of six working tables lasting about three weeks made up with artists, curators, artistic institutions 'directors, scholars and operators in the sector.

2) An open blog to collect consistent interventions through the debate and in order to contribute on the tables work: forumartecontemporanea.wordpress.com

3) An online plenary assembly, on May 30th, which will gather the proposals elaborated at the working tables and that will be open to speeches.

«In an open discussion with a wide range of interlocutors, the Forum of Contemporary Art, therefore, proposes a debate to develop various proposals that could be put on a discussion table with the public administrations, which allows the implementation desired of urgent support policies and medium and long term defence of skills and knowledge put in check by the current contingency and by the structural weakness of the Italian artistic system ", explain from the Forum.

This six tables, characterized by a transversal approach, address different themes by clearly bearing in mind the urgency of exploiting this moment of crisis and to start a structural change in the Italian art system. The dialogue is extended over time, carried out through the tables and the blog, where the evolution of the discussion will be visible. The blog is interactive, and it allows to send contributions and interact with the work tables.

Maria Rosa Sossai, who spoke at board 1, will discuss the unlearning (which means learning differently) and the undercommons  (subversive and underground actions through which one tries to escape the control of politics, taking possession of common goods). "From the creative city to the city of care, proposals for new relational paradigms", coordinated by Pietro Gaglianò, Emanuele Braga and Marco Baravalle. Sossai spoke about a sort of reversal of perspective: "The creative activity is already among us, without it being necessary to move to the places designated for art and in the absence of the artist recognized as such by the art system and the market prices".

"This is time to transform the Italian Council into an autonomous and permanent support organization" is the title of board 2 coordinated by Matteo Lucchetti and Valerio Del Baglivo, extends to a speech that concerns new methodologies and new formats to rethink research and artistic production. "Among the various ideas that emerged, we note the need to develop new programs that promote co-creation processes between artists. A change of statute and lexicon is also necessary."

The first item on board 3 agenda is  "Public affairs: law and necessity. What prospects for artistic institutions? ”, coordinated by Lorenzo Balbi and Anna Daneri with Federica Patti and Silvia Simoncelli. This table concerns experimental post-coronavirus practices restart, medium and long-term planning routes. 

Board 4 is centred on the dialogue between society, politics, economy and system of culture, thanks to the coordination of Neve Mazzoleni and Aria Spinelli.

Harmonizing VAT rates on the purchase of works of art, incentivizing patronage through tax benefits, favouring companies that have a publicly displayed corporate collection, imposing a clear rule for possible taxation of collectors. These are some of the proposals made by Maria Grazia Longoni Palmigiano, lawyer, partner and head of the LCA Studio Legale Art Team, who spoke at board 5 titled "What future for the art market?", and coordinated by Cristina Masturzo and Adriana Polveroni. While a greater consideration of gallery owners and their recognition as fundamental operators of the country's socio-cultural system is the request of the gallerist Alberta Pane. Establishing specific legislation for Cultural Enterprises, differentiated from galleries for commercial purposes only, is the proposal by Beatrice Bertini and Benedetta Acciari (Ex Elettrofonica Gallery in Rome).

A glance on the recent past in order to understand how we get into this situation, will be open on board 6 with the discussion "Work in art: if normality was the problem", coordinated by Francesca Guerisoli and Elena Mazzi, of AWI - Art Workers Italy. «The table intends to address specific issues in order to direct concrete proposals aimed at restructuring the system itself, starting from two observations: the lack of legal, economic, fiscal and social security recognition of the contemporary category of visual arts; poor management and use of the work of artists and visual arts professionals, whose economic treatment appears to have drastically deteriorated in the last decade" this the coordinator's statement. 

All of the results and proposals emerged in each board, will be announced on May 30th.

Cover image: Image courtesy Francesco Scarlata.

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