Time to travel and time to dream, time to die and time to stay still. If there is one thing we gained during the coronavirus lockdown, it was that we redefined our relation with time. When everything stood still, the time at our disposal expanded, acquired meaning and shed light on a reality other than the usual one. It reminded us of Proust‘s Time Lost and Regained. It reminded us of “I like America and America likes me” by the famous German artist Joseph Beuys, who spent three days in 1974 locked in a room together with a wild coyote.
With these stories in mind, and also with the words of Marina Tsvetaeva —“The best service a poet can render to his age is let it speak, express itself through him”— we thought of making an issue where the times we are going through would be expressed through Art.
So we approached artists from all over the world and asked them to create original work about time for NOMAS or provide some existing project relating to time. In this we were helped by four eminent curators who selected their preferred artists and wrote a text each about time and Art, time and Proust‘s madeleine, time and life; works and texts that ultimately speak of us and our time.
This journey across contemporary art was expanded thanks to the participation of the DESTE Foundation of collector Dakis Joannou and the Artistic Director of the New Museum in New York and Director of the Nicola Trussardi Foundation in Milan, Massimiliano Gioni; the French art historian and curator Frederic Bonnet; the managing director of Eleusis Cultural City of Europe 2021, Maria Panayides; and the well-known art historian Panos Giannikopoulos.
We are proud of the fact that in this issue you can see original works or works-in-progress triggered by NOMAS, by such great artists as Maurizio Cattelan, Jeff Koons, Nari Ward, Andra Ursuta, Kaari Upson, Paweł Althamer, Ariana Papademetropoulos, Sara Lorussoand several more.
Also, the artist Socratis Socratus talks through his work about time and war.
An original short story commissioned to the distinguished Cuban writer Reinaldo Montero, member of the Academia Cubana de la Lengua and Spain‘s Royal Academy, is published here for the first time.
Dany Laferrière, the Haitian writer of the Académie Française, starts from his astounding poetic novel L‘enigme du retour and tells us about time, memory, writing and death.
The famous photographer Duane Michals talks about time in photography, although essentially he continues with unabated enthusiasm, at the age of 88, to deliver life lessons for those willing to listen.
The great Teodor Currentzis, founder and Music Director of musicAeterna, discusses the way in which music changes our relation with time. Finally, three special journals take us into different geographic locations as we follow three different stories across time, the oldest of which was written in the 19th century by James Weddell, at the time a Master in the British Royal Navy.
NOMAS #13 is a special issue, not only because we thought of 13 as the ideal number for starting our new collaboration with Bureau Borsche, the studio of the outstanding German designer Mirko Borsche, but also because it leaves a collectable mark on time. It is a Noah‘s Ark of the precious things highlighted by the lockdown forced upon us by the coronavirus. Browsing through its pages, one may feel like embarking on a journey via contemporary art.