by Luisa Grigoletto
Hi Giacomo, tell us how the idea of Contemporary Cluster came about.
Cluster derives from the need to speak in a cohesive way of the contemporary. Any thought must be articulated in its complexity – compartmentalization for its own sake has only caused damage, draining and collapsing all sectors at the creative level and therefore also at the financial one. For example, the crisis of traditional galleries is evident to everyone; at this point, this is an old and culturally antiquated way. Each avant-garde was composed of various elements that were gathered under a single concept, and artists consistently experimented with their research but also invaded other sectors through specialists from other sectors.
Contemporary Cluster is far from what many tend to associate with the traditional definition of an art gallery. What does the concept of cluster applied to the artistic field mean to you?
Frankly I don’t care what many think, because the “common thought” does not belong to me, because what I design and produce is not for most, actually quite the opposite … and I’m happy with the level of research we are producing, with more and more presence of international figures of reference. I also understand that it’s hard to admit that the galleries and the typical art system are now old and anachronistic, again for most! CLUSTER works in art producing projects where the artist dialogues, compares, and experiments projects that start from what’s typical, but that bleed into other areas: shifting attitudes and reformulating one’s thinking through a visual and project-based dialogue.
CC celebrates its first anniversary at its headquarters of Via dei Barbieri 7: let’s take stock, shall we?
Evaluations are always made at the end, but I can tell you that we are happy, because for me the first season was a great warm-up; the next we’ll take it to a completely new level, the projects are much more complex and international and the developing themes are very contemporary and international.
In the wake of the latest international trends, CC combines art in the most institutional sense with the idea of a concept store. How do you think the city of Rome has accepted this experimentation?
Time is only on our side. Obviously, what we propose has never been done in this city, but development and “support” are growing rapidly, quality is gathering within our space, this is a reason for great satisfaction. The idea of a concept store does not belong to me because everything that you find at Cluster has a motive and a reason, the space is not being rented out or anything like that, you are there only if you are in my mind, which becomes a project.
What was the event you’re most proud of in this first year?
OLIVIER DE SAGAZAN was an event of incredible power.
What are the international models that inspire you?
The theories of the great historical avant-gardes from De Stijl to Fluxus, from futurism to DADA.
How did the collaboration with Drago start?
Paulo and I, in short, were already doing the same job, but from different ZONES, so to speak; un single meeting was enough to define the partnership based on the strong desire to bring ROME back where it deserves. Every single day we underestimate how much this city could go back to being a destination for great international culture, and we will do just this.
Contemporary Cluster has several faces. What is your curatorial approach when choosing the artists and projects we find in the various floors of Palazzo Cavallerini Lazzaroni?
I start from an idea that becomes a chapter, a concept; then I identify all the actors that could characterize it or, better, tell it simultaneously, as if I had a dice with 12 sides – same core but with different spins.
From Saturday, October 6th, Contemporary Cluster will host Fangophilia by Taro Hanabusa, a rather sui generis project within the contemporary art scene. How does it fit into the declination of mutation that CC has explored with its latest exhibitions?
For starters, Taro is himself a great mutation, we’re talking about a successful surgeon who has given up everything to make mold jewelry, so who better than him, being himself a mutation and provoking it through his objects for the public, could represent this concept? We also talk about an artist who is adored by great international stars, like MARILYN MANSON and LADY GAGA just to name two.
What are the upcoming events at CC and which artists will you present?
With great enthusiasm, on October 20th we celebrate BAUHAUS and its hundredth anniversary. The project is called CLUB BAUHAUS, with 9 artists involved who, through their research, are healthy carriers of that theory and tradition: Marco Casentini, Brad Howe, Carlo Bernardini for the art sector; Mario Caruana for fashion; ARTIVA for graphic design; Sergio Picciaredda and Stefano Barattini for photography. Also, collaborations with big companies like MASCHIO // CAFETWIN.