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*Featured photo: Nicoletta Rusconi, Ph. Studio Abruzzese

Nicoletta Rusconi deals with contemporary art through independent projects and always innovative methods of dissemination and promotion in collaboration with internationally renowned artists and companies interested in investing in the production of works, exhibitions and cultural initiatives, in synergy with institutions, collectors and the public.

Tireless creator of new experiences to make art usable in different places and for different patrons, she has just given life to a new traveling project which she talks about, along with many other aspects of her work, in the interview with ArteMorbida.

Letizia Cariello, Musica delle sfere celesti, Intalaltion view at Cascina I.D.E.A., 2020, Courtesy Nicoletta Rusconi Art Projects, Foto Studio Abbruzzese

Collector, art lover, founder of alternative contemporary projects to the art gallery, your creatures include ARTbite and CASCINA I.D.E.A., a virtual platform and a residence for international artists. Can you explain what they are and how they work? 

ARTbite Project, born in 2019, is the first project in digital format that I have conceived, in the form of an Instagram profile, which exhibits and promotes, for collectors and fans of the sector, unique works in small format by emerging, mid-career and established artists. ARTbite embodies a new form of collecting, and more: it is designed for those who cannot help to collect but also for those who want to approach the world of art and design with low investments ranging from 300 to 3,000 euros.

As an evolution of the ARTbite Project, Bite & Go was born a few months ago: an itinerant project, with permanent headquarters within Cascina IDEA, which I will start to present in November, in Milan, as a pop-up showcase destined to always reach new places – to continue moving across the board in presence and digitally.

Cascina I.D.E.A., acronym for Independent Domus Exhibiting Art, is a residence for artists. The project was born in 2017, with Eva Kot’átkova, Igshaan Adams and Christian Lörh. In 2020 the residence changed its location, it moved to an old restored farmhouse in Agrate Conturbia, in the province of Novara. This space, immersed in the green of the Piedmontese countryside, is committed, with devotion, to the promotion of artists in their free expression and to the enhancement of their projects.  In 2020 Federico Pepe realized a big project virtually, later in 2021 Vanessa Safavi and then Thomas De Falco. I therefore invite two artists a year, leaving them the right to decide how much time to spend, from a few days to connect and think about a project, to a maximum of two months, for those who want to rediscover a relationship with nature: they can provide new stimuli and give life to new forms and new meanings.The residency ends with an exhibition, with which I try to give voice and visibility to their experimentation. There is an edition of Cascina I.D.E.A. also in Puglia, I.D.E.A. Salento, inaugurated for the first time in 2019 and then re-proposed in 2021 in a masseria in Casarano, in the province of Lecce, which is destined to last, to give artists the opportunity to experience a peculiar reality from a landscaped point of view.

Thomas De Falco, installation view, ph. Agnese Bedini

Commitment, competence, intuition, organizational skills: what else is behind the success of your initiatives?

I could tell you that it is the value I give to art, and the bond it has with my life and my being. I am not interested in producing wealth, I am not interested in the market as an end in itself. Each project is constantly evolving, growing in complexity and interactions because the passion and desire to find and even invent new ways to promote artists are unstoppable.

Thomas De Falco, installation view. Ph. Agnese Bedini

What are or have been the difficulties and challenges you have faced and what are the greatest satisfactions?

Difficulties and challenges are on the agenda, they make the satisfactions even sweeter. The biggest difficulty was the one that then brought me here, now. In 2004 I opened an Italian photography gallery, always with the firm intention of supporting artists who deserved to be looked at and appreciated. There were many satisfactions, yet it was the system that hindered me, put me in difficulty.Difficulty that I chose to face proactively: I was not a gallery owner and I didn’t want to be, in the mere sense of the term. This is why I then closed the gallery and chose to be independent in the articulation of independent and always different projects. Many satisfactions are linked to these, such as the projects with Sheila Hicks and Pea White during the years of the artistic direction of Vincenzo De Bellis in Miart. But surely the greatest satisfaction is that of having brought Ighsaan Adams to Italy.

Nicoletta Rusconi in Bite&Go nella sede permanente ad Agrate Conturbia, ph. Agnese Bedini

You have always followed the language of Fiber Art carefully, starting with Sheila Hicks, passing through Letizia Cariello and emerging (at the time) artists such as Igshaan Adams up to Thomas De Falco …

From painting to sculpture, photography, up to textiles or site specific installations: I have always followed all the languages ​​of great contemporary art, always trying to trigger new interactions between the works. Without a doubt I have a strong bond with the artists you mentioned, I value the relationship with them a lot. Each of them has moved me for something and I will certainly never stray from the language of Fiber Art. On the contrary … I cultivate it with perseverance and passion.

Nicoletta Rusconi e Christiane Löhr, ph. Lorenzo Palmieri

In the international arena, we see a growing interest in the textile medium and Fiber Art. What is the state of the art in your opinion, and what are the most convincing perspectives and proposals?

It is true, there is a growing interest in the textile medium and Fiber Art. In the processing of fabrics, as in the development of these works, there is an attention to sustainability, to the method of approaching natural fibers, to the enhancement of raw material.Today, art is an increasingly widespread system, in which proposals flourish on the agenda: art is, after all, a tool for reading, understanding and, above all, experiencing the transformations of our time. We have lived through a lot and we are going through its effects. Today perhaps the perspective that should guide us could be that of knowing how to transform the current reboot into a window of opportunity.

Letizia Cariello, ph. Studio Abruzzese

What paths would you suggest to young artists who are looking for opportunities to get involved?

I would suggest them to study, to deepen, to know and to see. Today there are many opportunities for young artists who want to get involved: I am thinking of residences for example, which allow a continuous exchange with multiple figures, from curators, to critics, to collectors.I am thinking of the exchange programs that academies and museums offer, especially abroad. I am thinking of the calls that the Ministries of Culture offer in many countries. Young people must be curious, they must be themselves, they must build a path that is first cultural, then institutional and then economic.

Christiane Löhr, ph. Lorenzo Palmieri

Any advice to collectors who approach the works of Fiber Art?

I would like to suggest to always look at the path of the artists, especially the younger ones, that a collector can choose to support. Before evaluating how much they sell, it is important to know the artists and study what they do, at the institutional level, of their residences.

Ighsaan Adams, installation view, ph. Lorenzo Palmieri

Barbara Pavan

English version Sono nata a Monza nel 1969 ma cresciuta in provincia di Biella, terra di filati e tessuti. Mi sono occupata lungamente di arte contemporanea, dopo aver trasformato una passione in una professione. Ho curato mostre, progetti espositivi, manifestazioni culturali, cataloghi e blog tematici, collaborando con associazioni, gallerie, istituzioni pubbliche e private. Da qualche anno la mia attenzione è rivolta prevalentemente verso l’arte tessile e la fiber art, linguaggi contemporanei che assecondano un antico e mai sopito interesse per i tappeti ed i tessuti antichi. Su ARTEMORBIDA voglio raccontare la fiber art italiana, con interviste alle artiste ed agli artisti e recensioni degli eventi e delle mostre legate all’arte tessile sul territorio nazionale.