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Video games and the many gardens of Manifesta

Over the 12 days of Christmas, Apollo contributors and guests select their highlights of 2018. View the series here.

30 December 2017

Picking out my highlights of 2018, I’d recommend taking a look at the work of three promising artists that I have been following with great interest: Ian Cheng, Magali Reus, and Sanya Kantarovsky, whose solo shows will open in London and Basel next year.

American artist Ian Cheng’s video installations (or ‘live simulations’), which explore evolution and mutation, will be on view at the Serpentine Gallery (6 March–3 June). I am a great admirer of his Emissary trilogy, ‘a video game that plays itself’, as Cheng calls it; the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo showed the first episode of the Trilogy, Emissary in the Squat of Gods, in 2015.

Emissary Sunsets the Self (2017), Ian Cheng. Courtesy of Ian Cheng, Pilar Corrias, Gladstone Gallery, Standard (Oslo)

Magali Reus’s upcoming exhibition at the South London Gallery (23 March–27 May) promises the perfect opportunity to assess the Dutch-born artist’s development, with a new body of work commissioned and produced in partnership with the Bergen Kunsthall in Norway. The series of sculptures will be the same objects shown in Bergen, but reconfigured for the London venue. The Fondazione dedicated a show to Reus in 2016, but this latest project is her biggest solo exhibition to date.

Sentinel (Vesuvio) (2017), Magali Reus. © Magali Reus; courtesy the artist and The Approach, London. Photo: Plastiques

In the late summer, I recommend you visit Sanya Kantarovsky’s solo show at Kunsthalle Basel (31 August–11 November). This will be a great opportunity to admire the artist’s recent paintings and some new works, including an animated film. In the meantime, if you happen to be in Turin, you still have time to see ‘Letdown’, his exhibition at the Fondazione (until 25 February). The show highlights Kantarovsky’s experience living under communism as a child, in the waning years of the Soviet Union.

Lastly, also in Italy, I’m looking forward to seeing the next edition of Manifesta, ‘The Planetary Garden. Cultivating Coexistence’ (16 June–4 November). The itinerant European Biennial of Contemporary Art will surely be an excellent opportunity to explore the complexity of today’s social, geopolitical, and ecological issues. This year located in magnificent Palermo, its visitors will also have the excuse to discover the beauty of the Sicilian city, a meeting point of three continents in the Mediterranean sea.

Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo is founder and President of the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin.

Keep up with Apollo’s 12 Days selection of art highlights here

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