FORM 13 - 2023

Outside the white cube

The ‘White Cube’ theory, a phrase coined by artist and writer Brian O’Doherty in his seminal work, “Inside the White Cube: The Ideology of the Gallery Space”, has been a central tenet in the discourse of contemporary art since its inception in 1976. The white cube is characterized as an impartial, sterilized environment, a vacuum intended to neutralize context and highlight the autonomy of the artwork on display. It symbolizes the suspension of the artwork from time and space, and its disconnection from the realities of the world.

O’Doherty posits that the white cube is a cultural construct, an ideological space whose characteristics are as much a part of the artwork as the artwork itself. It symbolizes a regime of viewing that is deeply informed by modernist notions of objectivity, detachment, and the aesthetic autonomy of art.

Fast-forward to the present, the white cube’s role and relevancy in contemporary art have become subjects of critical inquiry. The fixed, sterile, and physically confined nature of the white cube is increasingly seen as a limitation, particularly in the face of the dynamic and participatory turn in contemporary artistic practices.
Increasingly, artists are pushing their research into creating works that not only work from life but also somehow respect a certain photogenicity.
Some AI-powered spaces, can generate and emulate an art context, offering a new dimension to the presentation and experience of contemporary art.
Generative algorithms and machine learning allow these AI-powered spaces and artworks to be adaptable and responsive, defying the fixedness of the traditional white cube.

With this project, we wish to propose a change of pace, a look at the present uninterested in the market or trends that dictate the usual centrality of the object.
An attentive gaze on the new opportunities tied to contemporary image culture, and those that will develop in the future around the most recent developments related to artificial intelligence, which today already travels at the speed of light.

From generating images with sufficient photoelasticity from a text, to the generative intersection of pre-existing images to obtain new ones, generative artificial intelligence amazes entire generations of photographers and image technicians who are now seeing things materialize that were impossible to achieve just a few months ago.
In an increasingly digital world, characterized by the reproduction, the presentation and consumption of art have fundamentally shifted. As the virtual becomes a primary mode of interaction with art, it has considerable implications for our understanding of what an artwork is, how it functions, and how it is perceived.

Firstly, the digitization of art disrupts the traditional notions of originality and authenticity. In the physical realm, an artwork is often seen as a singular, unique object, valued for its originality. However, in the virtual space, artworks can be reproduced infinitely and perfectly, questioning the traditional valuation. This question was certainly raised by Walter Benjamin, but now it seems to be revived in a different light.
This project therefore delves deeply into the relationship between image and work, insinuating the possibility that what we are looking at is only documentation of a generative simulacrum, obtained from a stereotype archive to embody a stereotype, "designed as a perfect visual reference".
Brian O’Doherty’s white cube, in this exhibition, becomes a cube within a cube, a paradoxical containment, a base, a support that resonates through his image, exerting its minimalist and conceptual charm but this time through a generative AI image.

Contemporary image culture, in its formal components, seems to have never known a better and more prolific era, a real structural push, the dawn of an image different from what we have seen up to today.

The dawn of a truly new Image.