The title of this exhibition at the Arsenale di
Venezia is taken from one of the Corto Maltese books, a fictional
character created by the Venetian writer and comic-designer, Hugo
Pratt. Corto personifies the myth of the romantic traveller: always
independent, always open to chance and risk, and always crossing
all kinds of frontiers in pursuit of his own destiny.
Taking a fictional character as inspiration is
a way of affirming that art is an imaginary construct and that fantasy
helps us towards a better understanding of reality. In the baroque
contemporary condition, we live both a drama and a paradox: we still
believe in the need for reason, enlightenment and utopia, even if
we have become their most ferocious critics from the new positions
of post-colonialism, race and gender. Passion and melancholy, trust
and desperation, pleasure and guilt, combine to define the critical
approach to the world in which we live.
Art is a fight in the symbolic order – the
most relevant creators are those who open new perspectives for linguistic,
social and ideological transformation. Today, questioning the autonomy
of art and taking aesthetics into everyday life is part of an unstoppable
widening of frontiers, of an extension of horizons that goes beyond
established models. The adventurer, the philosopher, the scientist,
the artist or the exhibition organiser, try constantly to discover
new lands and to create new possibilities of thought.
This exercise is difficult in a context where new
ideas, people and products circulate at high velocity, where the
artists mimic each other constantly, and where institutions franchise
culture and in which marketing is the principal methodology of action.
One of the main functions of the curator is to reduce the background
noise, to assign value and to organise syntax and discourses, which
introduce sense into the unending traffic of messages.
The concept of traffic is essential to the social
development, as it implies movement and interchange, not only in
the social and political, but also in the expositive and libidinal
economies. Translation and interpretation are essential to intercultural
passages, especially to global exhibitions such as biennales. Throughout
its long history, La Biennale di Venezia has become the epicentre,
the privileged context for the confluence of artists coming from
different geopolitical and cultural contexts.
Offering a chance to analyse the concept of internationality
and to redraw the contemporary topographies of alterity, La Biennale
is a unique opportunity to invent new forms of neighbourhoods between
artists, disciplines and audiences.
In this context, the exhibition Always a little
further is an essay presenting artists and aesthetic trends relevant
at the beginning of the third millennium. A visit to the Arsenale
proposes a fragmentary trip, a subjective and passionate dramatisation
to discover the zones of light and dark in our convulsed world.
This journey intends to draw the most significant lines in contemporary
artistic production and to show that art still holds a promise for
those who want to embark on the sort of voyage that made Deleuze
take Proust’s motto: the real dreamer is the one who goes
out to try to verify something.