An initiative of Roberto Lambarelli resulted in the founding of the «Arte e Critica» magazine in 1993. It was a revolutionary magazine for the time and would become a reference point for everything revolving around the international contemporary art and art critique scenes. Today, this editorial project is celebrating its twentieth anniversary. The in-depth analyses, debates, essays, interviews and statements published in this quarterly over the years have offered an interpretation of the idiomatic transformations of several generations of artists, policies adopted in museums and academies as well as those related to art’s impact on the country. All of this comes to us through the voices of active protagonists from the sector.In an article recently published in «Arte e Critica», which we are presenting again in its entirety – with the permission of its author -, Lambarelli reconstructs the cultural climate back in 1993, the year zero for the magazine, when working on laptops and with the web meant a «revolution of many professions, especially those connected to the press and publishing». Lambarelli recalls, «Even if we did it instinctively, we tried to form a front and put together a research lab that would make it possible for us to find ways to avoid surrendering to the glamour that had enveloped contemporary art like a smoke bomb. Instead, we wanted our lab to make it possible for us to pay close attention to detail without ever losing sight of an overall vision. Without the perspective of an overview, details would lose their historical and cultural meanings».
This kind of spirit, instinct and curiosity is what has led Lambarelli’s vision «as the attention shifted from the work to the artist’s conduct; from the artist’s conduct to the context and from the context to the environment.» All of this meant having an understanding of the transformation of idioms into increasingly more hybrid forms like the need to capture all reciprocal crossovers. This has also directed attention to technological art forms and (on the same level) books, catalogues, graphic art, architecture and poetry. Getting a grasp of and registering these shifts to then open up to such a radically interdisciplinary vision in 1993 – during such a peculiar moment in history – meant taking a courageous leap in faith. Nothing was taken for granted back then, no matter how much it might seem so today. Just think, it was during that period that Internet was beginning to be accessible. Its first browser, MOSAIC, was released that yeaItalian history in the sphere of international events can be traced through the history of this magazine; through reading the great critics of the past, or the voices of the new generation that survives roles (those of critics) that are becoming more and more of a rarity in the new configuration of the current art system.
Lambarelli concludes by commenting, «We started off in the early 1990s from the threshold of a profound transition and we have arrived at the beginning of the second decade of the 21st century. We have a feeling that another change is on its way. It might not be quite as radical as the other but it will be just as profound. This change will be the object of our commitment in the years to come.» It is important to go back in time during this very delicate and fascinating moment in order to recover the matrix of some of the transformations whose processes have eluded us. These steps are essential to the comprehension of the most avant-garde idioms so that we can get our bearings in the «dizziness» of information and production.
Here below is available the full-text of the article by by Roberto Lambarelli (Italian). It appeared on «Arte e Critica», year 20, number 76, July-December 2013, and here proposed with permission of its author.