The Others Art Fair | Decidedly Anti-Art Basel
Founded in 2010, The Others Art Fair is a hybrid project dedicated to emerging artists, a “gathering space for new voices and for the latest, most avant-garde trends of artistic research”.
Today, Turin is Italy’s true capital of contemporary art, surpassing both Milan and Rome with its cultural dynamism. Despite welcoming a relatively small amount of tourists compared to other Italian cities, Turin boasts the greatest concentration of art fairs. From November 2 through 5, the city welcomes The Others Art Fair, running parallel to Artissima — Italy’s sole art fair of international renown.
The fair, led by the trio of curators Bruno Barsanti, Ludovica Capobianco and Greta Scarpa, relies heavily on its exhibition space: after being held for five years in a former prison, the fair moved to the former hospital Regina Maria Adelaide last year. In the words of the curators, the idea is to “challenge the exhibitors to actively interact with the venue” through an atypical choice of exhibition space, miles away from the sterile white cubes we’re all used to….
Schwanzo Kollektiv — Musquiqui Chihying, The Jog, two channels video loop, 2014
Although it might be similar to fellow art fair DAMA, or the Brussels-based POPPOSITIONS, The Others Art Fair benefits from the uniqueness of its space: “Our visitors come to see the interiors of these buildings together with the art, it's part of the fascination of the fair. You wouldn't have had the chance to walk around Turin's old prison if it wasn't for The Others.”
As far as galleries are concerned, the fair remains affordable, with participation costs remaining relatively low, in order to “showcase galleries and exhibition spaces that otherwise would remain unknown.” The Others’ ambition is to put forward original presentations, which is also what attracts both gallerists and collectors to the fair. Georgia Mota of London gallery L’étrangère tells us that “our gallery is fairly young, and we hold a focus on emerging, and mid-career artists who have been overlooked or underrepresented in mainland Europe.”
Joanna Rajkowska, Burma, 2008, The Uhyst Refugee Asylum, Uhyst, Germany, C-type print, 30 x 30 cm
The gallery, whose 2016 presentation was lauded as the fair’s Best Curatorial Project, explores “artistic practice employing innovative approaches to the traditional” this year. L’étrangère is presenting “an installation of works by two Polish artists, Małgorzata Markiewicz and Joanna Rajkowska, which is a response to the on-going refugee crises in Europe.”
Among the 45 exhibitors, the presence of newcomer SUPERDEALS attests to the peculiarity of The Others Art Fair. Their project, titled Splash Effect, combines installation and painting through the works of artists Julien Saudubray and Anastasia Bay, also founders of the artist-run space Clovis XV in Brussels.
SUPERDEALS — Clovis XV, mixed media installation, dimensions variable, 2017
The Paris-based curatorial collective Curate It Yourself presents a film by Irma Name, a duo consisting of Hélène Deléan and Clément Caignart. The science-fiction film, shot during an artist residency in a primary school, was only partly scripted, and it leaves great room for improvisation on the part of the school children, who play characters who live on an asteroid after having been banned from Earth.
Curate it Yourself — Irma Name
Polisonum, Vacuum, installazione sonora interattiva, moduli di pietra sonora, generatori di risonanza e field recording, dimensioni variabili, 2017
In a setting where artists are invited to “play” with the exhibition space, the Rotterdam-based collective Performance Bar takes over one of the terraces to help visitors fight fair fatigue.