ULTRASTUDIO is an innovative and free artist run space located now in three different cities: Pescara, Los Angeles and Tokyo. Its main purpose is the one of connecting various artists and producing artworks and collaborations that are representative of the current time. They have recently opened a new venue in Tokyo and were glad to answer our questions about it. Here are some insights to their artistic reality.
How do you define your space and why did you choose this particular name for it?
It is always hard to define something that by its very nature would like to escape any labels. ULTRASTUDIO is above all a team of artists who collaborate, curate and support other artists. The name itself refers to an idea of “beyond” a studio, of an enlarged vision.
What are the differences between the Pescara office and the L.A one?
The differences depend on the respective places where they are located.
Pescara represents the historical headquarters, strongly linked to a path of real exhibitions in a space. We are currently renovating the new location by continuing to insist on a show in a well-defined place and with its own particular aesthetic, that we will soon advertise.
As for Los Angeles, the formula chosen sets a hybrid space that will alternate exhibitions in real and multimedia places. It is a platform which involves a vision of a fluid space that moves between the two extremes of physicality and ether.
To give you an example, the first show set in Los Angeles was No-Where / Now-here (2018), whose main locations were a motel — where Jim Morrison vacationed for years — and the Nevada Desert.
It was a real exhibition which could only be experienced online.
What do you look for in your artists and on which aspects of their art do you usually focus on?
We like to think about the present and we try to get in touch with artists interested in translating it, to know artworks that are not yet completely historicized.
However, sometimes we make some countertrend exceptions which are functional to certain curatorial choices.
What is your idea on the fruition of contemporary art today and what do you think should be done to change or improve it?
We are getting closer and closer to a total experience and a mutation of the visitor who becomes a “user”.
We live in a present where real and hyper-real still seem to coexist in an “augmented” Universe.
Recently we have been trying to link shows to multimedia material, especially video-musical and performative, aiming at a sort of tout-court vision such as the Wagnerian idea of the Gesamtkunstwerk.
I have been told about a new venue in Tokyo. Tell us something about it.
A series of fortuitous combinations, the need to delve into music and performance, having kept constant relationships with two artists who live there — Rapahel Leray and Honami Higuchi —, are the variables that gave birth to US TOKYO.
We are really proud for the opening of this third location which together with US Pescara and US Los Angeles will complete our cultural offer.
Raphael and Honami will take care of the planning of this third location in the structure of a global and interdependent project.
We like to think that each platform should feel as free as possible to experiment every curatorial option, relationships with artists on site, in order to have more authentic projects.
What is the latest project you are working on? Anything related to the Covid-19 situation?
Certainly this world situation has been taken into consideration. It seems appropriate to start from something basic like the body. It will be an expanded program that will be developed in the three locations from September 2020 to March 2021.
It will be a gradual rise according to a reasoning made of hope and optimism. We thought about using the body as a pretext to start a climb towards a real transfiguration.
In some respects this new program could be an extended and rethought version of ENDLESS BACK-UP (Milan, 2017), which was a great success and involved international artists. Raphael Leray was one of them and that was our first collaboration with him.
Three years later we found ourselves discussing with him and Honami about the possibility of starting to work together by opening a new branch in Tokyo and we made it happen.
We’d like to keep other details undisclosed until we will have the Covid-19 situation more clear.
That is why we cannot release any other information at the moment.