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Beck's Futures nomination text, by Francesco Manacorda


i-cabin is a conceptual project space and an unconventional art production hub conceived as a single artistic gesture. Unlike more traditional artist-run spaces, i-cabin inserts its own artistic practice within the conception, production and presentation of art. The three artists who run it do not see themselves as an artists group; rather they make the management of the gallery a medium for their collective artistic interventions.

This occurs on different levels, starting from a set of rules that they impose on themselves and the exhibiting artists (the strictest of which involves no hanging on the walls for the first year of programme), to a curatorial position that aims to question their role of artistic mediators. Such an approach combines playfulness and rigour in the experimentation conducted over a period of time with the codes and conventions of the gallery. Their projects range from mischievous approaches to curatorial systems(Bring your Own / Resource, an exhibition in which artists were invited to take their own work to the storage room so that i-cabin could install impromptu exhibitions lasting few minutes as a resource for the visitors to get inspired) to Gesamtkunstwerk installations (the Zoo Art Fair intervention was thought as a i-cabin retrospective in the form of a single assembled sculpture) to the specific conceptual architecture of the programme. This latter is divided into two strands running concurrently: Year One consisting of presentation of young artists asked to deal with the gallery's set of rules, respond to it and perhaps even push it further; and Year Two, conceived for more established artists under the condition that they would expand their practice beyond their known way of working.

i-cabin infiltrates the system of art production and consumption as a virus and works with it in a complicit and critical way. Institutional critique takes the form of a playful and irreverent performance in their way of working. The use of a set of rules allows a slight displacement to take place within the gallery's relation of production. This conceptual intervention functions both as an artistic and critical position to occupy. In this perspective, i-cabin elaborates further on the idea of the 'artist as gallerist' that in a completely different fashion Maurizio Cattelan has been exploring with the Wrong Gallery as an extension of his art practice