Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Carolyn Christov Bakargiev: the good the bad and the husband
Dear Tranqui2 reader, I would like to explain to you the reason of all my criticisms to C.C.B.
The point is that Bakargiev was active for years in one of the richest institutions of contemporary art in Italy, the Castello di Rivoli – in Turin – as chief curator and director. I can assure you that, regards to Bakargiev’s story as curator, Documenta 13 is not, at all, an innovative exhibition. All that theoretical confusion has been useful to give out opinions on any matter – of which she lacks synthesizing skill - and to give a lot of space to one of the artists who had already exhibited at the Rivoli: an artist of Arte Povera, a current not conceived by her, but mainly referable to Turin, the city of the Rivoli museum (Arte Povera is an artistic movement originated in Italy in the 1960s and the early 70s, but they call it "contemporary art").
The caos of Documenta 13 is useful to hide some oddities: we see the presence of Bakargiev’s husband – a performer and lecturer. And yet they say that, as an artist, he hasn’t been invited… What could be more conservative than this?
Bakargiev’s “style” bears all the features of many Italian critics of the last decades that have made this country a very difficult place for an independent creative artist: unrestrained narcissism and self-promotion that put the role of the artist in the background; absence of taste and aesthetic sense that have been replaced with exhausting intellectualism administered in such doses as to daze the observer; incapacity of starting from the work of art to understand and interpret the art: it is instead used as an illustration and a visual appendix by Mr. So-and-so abstract, academic critic. Actually, Documenta 13 could well be a congress of criticism of art.
But the cunning conjurer on the one hand puts on a show and confuses the spectator whilst on the other hand she puts into practice the same old tricks. During the CCB-years, the Rivoli was part of a chain called “Museo senza centro”, seemingly a project to promote “young art”, but actually a chain of museums aimed to give space, in the Italian art institutes, to a list of artists called “Italian Area” chosen by 4 critics: Angela Vettese (1 journalist who works together with Bakargiev for the daily newspaper "IL SOLE 24 ORE" who has been severely criticized in Italy for her conflict of interests and her absurd articles, and 1 of the "Museo Senza Centro" gang), Bertola, Farronato, Scardi. Some of the Italian artists invited to Documenta in fact belong to the Italian Area database list.
The "Museo Senza Centro" scandal: