The art of today belongs to us / Take me (I’m Yours)

Last Sunday, January 14th, finished the art exhibition Take me (I’m Yours), born from an idea by Christian Boltanski and Hans Ulrich Obrist, at Hangar Bicocca in Milano. Presented for the first time in 1995 at Serpentine Gallery in London, and then displayed in varying iterations worldwide from 2015 on, Take me (I’m Yours) breaks the laws of traditional enjoyment of the artwork, destroying, re-building, re-inventing and interpreting itself any time. The visitors are invited to interact with the artworks not only in a passive way, but also in an active one, and, finally, to do everything is normally banned in museums: touching, taking, drawing, pasting, eating, and giving their own contribution in a spontaneous and free way.

The artists – many of the most important names of contemporary art – are invited to present projects and artworks that can be taken or modified by the people. For example, the pins by Gilbert&George, which bring the screaming slogans by the Britannic duo, in a dialogue between irreverent irony and criticism, or the giant piles of second-hand clothes – a Boltanski’s project from 1991 named Quai de la Gare – where the visitors have been invited to pick out the clothes and carry them off in a bag printed with the word Dispersion. The artworks could be modified as well, for example in the Esposizione in tempo reale N.4 by Franco Vaccari, where the visitors could take a selfie and share it on the artwork’s instagram account, or in Homage to Each Red Thing, by Alison Knowles, the public can bring one personal red object to join the others and complete the installation.

There are the Crasten Höller pralines, packed in a printed paper with the word Future, or the skeleton by Daniel Spoerri, with marzipan bones, laying on a dusty bed of brown sugar. Spoerri, the Eat Art founder, always concentrates his researches about the collective and spiritual meaning of the food for humankind, through his laid tables with the food remains, trapped in an unfinished lunch forever. This time, however, Spoerri thinks about the theme of death, opposed to an extremely vital action as eating.

The contributions can be physical and leave a sign, a trace of themselves, or they can be instructions to make, in the present or in the future, in loneliness or with someone else, but all the artwork are actually experiences that the visitors have lived, to share, to recreate, to remind in the future. Take me (I’m Yours) finally open our eyes about the art identity, denying its elitist representation but presenting it as a collective expression: everybody with no exception can participate in this exhibition. Instead of the playful mood, the visitors have an important task: they should try to draw their own conclusions. Everything we touched, took or switched, is not just the symbol of the artists’ thoughts, but in reality it is the reflection of our society, of the reality around us, of the system drawn by ourselves and of the relationships between all of us. It’s the reflection of our life.

The art exhibition curated by Obrist and Boltanksi has the delicate task to get in touch with a society full of contradictions and differences. From art experts to abituèe, from curious passerby to skeptical, Take me has been part of our life for three months full of events, talks, performances, and especially a powerful thought: au Em I Art Bilong Yumi / The Art of Today Belongs to Us, through the words of the temporary tattoos by the artist Lawrence Weiner.

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