I have been asked to explain the reasons behind my choice of the five artists that I selected for the Strozzina's Emerging Talents award. Well, those reasons neither can nor should be the outcome of a critical reading, because it would be a phony text full of improbable considerations regarding artistic vocabularies still half-forged, still only barely hinted at. It would be rather like commenting on a promising young soccer star's performance in a championship in which he has not yet played. In short, who cares?!
In view of the fact that the award is designed to foster and develop further experience (the prizes are two study scholarships), I chose young and often totally unknown artists. But that certainly does not mean that my choices were a chance affair. Naïve though it may seem, I tried to discern the reasons that have prompted these youngsters to work, and I got the distinct feeling that compared to many artists of the previous generation, desperately seeking to do the "right sculpture" and tailoring their work to the market, these youngsters are working very much from the heart, or rather from the pit of their stomach. Anxiety, fear, solitude and obsessive panic are constant features in many of the works I was shown. Delving into what makes them tick in their innermost selves, I got the feeling that I was looking at a far broader story and I thought that maybe these youngsters are better than others at truly reflecting the spirit of their time. Because after all, this is a time of anxiety, of fear and of shock, isn't it?
Translated from Italian by Stephen Tobin