Come in, come in. Or should I say, "Get Out!" Get outside and get OUTDOOR 2016, one of my favorite art festivals for some gorgeous urban art, aka a three-day weekender of installations, performances, laboratories, films, DJs and conferences. Outdoor is my kind of fun, with a soundtrack.
Envision a large and empty industrial space where warehouse after warehouse is dressed up in art. 2016 marks Year 2 that Outdoor has had the privilege of being hosted at the Ex-Caserma, the Flaminio neighborhood's former military barracks complex which conveniently happens to be across from the MAXXI museum- ideal for an arty afternoon. This year's vibe was kinetic and static, calamity and organization- a complete visual and auditory feast from aNUfactory / Google Cultural Insitute collaboration, and best when you have the space all to yourself*. Though I was less impressed with the installations - a bit more decorative than I had hoped- I'll admit, they were perfect Instagram shots, which not only got my shutter clicking, but brought in a lot of visitors just for the photos. To be frank, there is something to be said about Rome dedicating a singular and large space entirely to contemporary, urban art- a genre and era barely audible in the Eternal City.
As in year's past, Outdoor brought artists from around the world to take over the barracks- 2016, Italy, France, Norway, Spain, Great Britain, USA and Norway represented in technicolor, black and white, strobe light, inflatables and confetti. I'll admit I had fun taking photos of Craig Costello (USA)'s paint spill but my heart swelled from the painterly beauty of Sebas Velasco and Xabier Anunzibai's peek-a-boo painting and installation. Gorgeous painting, damn gorgeous skills.
Yes, I loved "Beyond Divisions" by Tundra & Kuril Chto (Russia). For me, it was an experiential laser storm, reminding me of the Y2K LA rave scene where Kylo, Rey and Finn fight the snowy, rainy light saber battle. And I couldn't get enough of Alex Fakso (Italy)'s gorgeous "In Your Face"- a floor-to-ceiling sepia-toned photo of subway tracks. I could have stood there for hours. All of the work was photogenic, but too heavy on the set up and too light on the thought. In any case, I was with two 14-year-olds and an 8 year old, and they thought the entire show was a gorgeous, selfie fun house. If that's how you get kids to art, then I dig it.