Who do you consider the most disruptive artist of all times – someone you wish you had in one of your exhibitions?
I always invite all the artists I want for my exhibitions, and I don’t recall anyone declining... except Kai Althoff: he was scared of taking part in dOCUMENTA and wrote me a letter, which we showcased in an empty room. But his refusal had nothing to do with me: it was about Germany and dOCUMENTA’s history. There are many artists I wish I had known though: Malevič, Warhol, a young Matisse, Manet, Masaccio… Women too: Sonia Delaunay, Lou Salomé – who was not an artist but a woman of great imagination, in the late 1800s: she was very close to Nietzsche and became a psychoanalyst after meeting Freud – or Annie Besant, a theosophist. I’ve met all the contemporary artists and learned so much from Luciano Fabro, Alighiero Boetti, Gino de Dominicis.
What is the future of art?
I think contemporary art is a movement that straddles the 20th and 21st century, and soon there will be a huge shift. We will understand that this art, representing the “here and now”, is a real movement in the development of human culture. Museum collections will be reorganized according to new criteria, and I don’t think we’ll use today’s categories any longer. Our current concept of art was born in the 1700s during the Enlightenment, and has been the lens through which we have interpreted all of the cultural creations of humanity. In the future, our concept of art will be tied to all forms of creative expression.
Do you think art can influence the way people think, and therefore bring change in today’s complex and contradictory world?
Absolutely. Art is nothing but people processing the problems they see. It’s an attempt at understanding the world. Art has always been part of the education of the leading class. Since after the French Revolution, our times have believed in the utopia of civics – so art can certainly have an impact, but perhaps an indirect one through a general change of paradigm in society.
Interview by Barbara Palladino
© Castello di Rivoli
© GAM Torino