The Space

MARS – Milan Artist Run Space

Tique | art paper asks eight questions to an international art institution, gallery, off-space or any other imaginable type of art organization that exhibits, promotes or sells art about their vision, practice and activities. This week: MARS – Milan Artist Run Space.

The Host MARS – Milan Artist Run Space
Location Milan, Italy

What motivated you to start?

Lorenza Boisi (founder, owner and main director): “I lived many years abroad and had encountered the artist run space scene in my younger years in Scotland, France and Holland. Coming back to Italy, in 2007, I felt Milan was missing something… a place where artists could meet more artists and just be…
A room for randomness, eventfulness and possibilities.”

How do you develop your artistic program?

I started working all alone and ran the first two years of the project all by myself, we have a show every fifteen days, it is a huge amount of work for three people only… it was hell for me, when I was the one and only director.

We shift upon diverse lines, generally: self-curated projects by invited artists, very large collective themed shows inspired by specific views on art/artifact/artist and a few solo shows by more established artists. We sometimes guest very historically established artists that find us interesting or amusing, Italian big-big names that do find the time to offer MARS some inedited works and experimental projects.

Could you describe your relationship with artists?
How do you get in touch, how do you work with them?

I am an artist, co-founders Yari is an artist, Fabio is a curator… but his partner is an artist… our friends are artists… we are all artists…
Artists like me, or loathe me.
I am an artist to them and they are artists to me.
We are an untold community and it is not about coolness of freemasonry.
I am no curator.
Some consider me a cultural agitator, some don’t.
Some think of MARS as a distant planet, some as an edible item…
Most people like MARS.
We go about MARS in very personal ways.
It is a very “familiar” environment.
Artists feel disinhibited and find MARS a niche of interest and of belonging.
Most projects or invitations are very casual… there is no profit involved, being paupers we can afford to be reckless and fall in love.

What advice would you give emerging artists?

As it is too late to go back to Uni and make a sensible/profitable future for yourselves…
My advice would be:
Don’t hurt anyone in your path- we’ve seen that, we’ve been there.
The nineties are over, the Turn of the Millennium is over.
Don’t be cynical. Don’t pretend you believe you are better than others…
It’s seldom worth it and success is quite aleatory.
Don’t sacrifice your identity, your dignity, your honesty.
Good Art is the new Cool Art… Cool Art is crap.
You don’t need to be cool, slick, young or thin… just make some good art that looks like yourself.
You are quite attractive the way you are when you are tired and feel miserable, when you enjoy your pizza or run for your life.
Make the Good Art you are.

What do you think is your most valuable or unique aspect?

After ten years… we are poor, loving and still alive.

What do you consider to be your biggest challenge?

Survive the crisis without losing our location.

What do you find the most rewarding?

We have so much public… it always amazes me.

What does the future hold?

Who knows? Do you know? Please tell me…

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