Art Speaks For Itself :
hubs for international curators, worldwide
Since the end of the avant-gardes, contemporary art has taken countless directions with no hierarchy, allowing the development of a great variety of artistic, critical and curatorial talents. But for the last twenty years this balance has been increasingly challenged by powerful global brand companies considering art as a communication tool. Cohen sensed there was a strong need for some foundations to emerge that would counter balance that tendency. Considering this utopian undertaking to be an artistic work, he created one of these foundations, launching in Paris the first ever artist-run residential hub for international curators promoting the non-interchangeability of socially engaged art works. Around a table, through the convivial setting of Rabelaisian shared meals, the ArtSpeaksForItself foundation aims to create long-term links between international players. Arnaud Cohen initiated the ArtSpeaksForItself foundation to foster dialogue and exchange between artists, curators and critical thinkers. In the face of an art world increasingly shaped by corporate interests, ASFI seeks to facilitate meaningful artist-led encounters set in convivial settings with a view to break down traditional roles of spectatorship associated with performance. As ASFI values sincere and free dialogue, there are, unlike in the traditional art talks, no spectators and there is no restitution of what is shared among guests.
There are two ASFI residencies accross Europe. One is in Paris, run and hosted by Arnaud Cohen the other one is in Milan, hosted by Adama Sanneh. Curators, art historians and other art thinkers can apply to both. During their stay (from one night to ten days) one ASFI performance diner will be organized for them in order to introduce them to the local curators scene. In exchange, the resident, when back in her/his country, shall invite Cohen or Sanneh for an ASFI presentation, or shall, within 2 years, curate an ASFI compliant show.
Since its foundation in september 2014,
- the ASFI parisian hub has recieved curators and art critics from all over the world
- ASFI Lunch and Dinner Performances have been hosted by 57th Venice Biennale's Salon Suisse 2017 (curated by Koyo Kouoh), Dakar Biennale 2016 (curated by Simon Njami), Something Else Cairo Biennale 2015 (curated by Moataz Nasr), and are skedulled at BIENALSUR 2017 in Buenos Aires (curated by Diana Wechsler and Anibal Josami)
- ASFI has proudly contributed to Buenos Aires' UNTREF Museum hosting "Migrationes En El Arte Contemporaneo", the first ASFI compliant museum exhibition in South America, in 2015.
- Arnaud Cohen has been listed in 2015 as one of the ten french personnalities reinventing culture ( http://www.lefigaro.fr/culture/2015/02/06/03004-20150206ARTFIG00021-dix-personnalites-qui-reinventent-la-culture.php )
The ASFI Project is led by French artist Arnaud Cohen. Cohen (b. 1968, Paris) lives and works between Paris and his island factory-workshop in Cenon sur Vienne, France. His work explores the relationship between history and fiction and contemporary and postmodern mythologies. Producing multiform and protean works, Cohen often draws from Situationist traditions to unpack frames of allegory, hyper-reality and globalisation. His techniques of appropriation extend across social and aesthetic forms from the character of Mickey Mouse to reality television or the ASFI Foundation.
Arnaud Cohen’s work has been exhibited and performed extensively in exhibitions and biennales. Recent presentations include Dakar Biennale Raw Material (2016), Tout doit disparaitre, solo exhibition at Villa Ada Savoia, Rome (2016), Sisyphus is a Woman at Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2016) and forthcoming are Hunting Season, a solo exhibition organised by Kunstverein am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, Berlin (2017), BIENALSUR, Buenos Aires (2017) and Something Else, Off Biennale Cairo (2017).
(more on www.arnaudcohen.com)