For the past few weeks, SuperGlue Collective has spoken to independent art spaces based in Geneva, Seoul, and London to explore their histories, programs, and aspirations. In order to close the loop, SuperGlue returns to Geneva and talks to Anne Minazio who runs the art space Hit. Since 2013, she has been inviting emerging artists to create projects across a range of platforms. In the following interview, she speaks to us about the genesis of Hit, her various publishing, ceramic and event projects and how the space is shaped by encounters and collaborations.
Hit facades between 2016 and 2021. Courtesy of Hit.
First of all, thank you for taking the time to speak with us! Let’s start by the beginning: What was the impetus for creating Hit ?
This space was originally my studio. I went to art school and had a practice in monochrome abstract painting and shaped canvas. However, I didn’t like that outside of my practice I didn’t have control over the way my work was displayed. I didn’t particularly like the way the gallery curators were appropriating my work. So Hit partly stems from this desire to control the entirety of my own practice. Also, restricting myself exclusively to painting seemed to be rather reductive, as for me it has always been linked to architecture, design, fashion and literature. This is also why I wanted to create a universe and position myself in the contemporary art world in another way. In 2013, all these thoughts that had been maturing in my head for a long time materialized with the opening of this space. The themes that are still relevant today and that are growing in importance, such as ceramics, publishing and meals, were present from the start. When I first opened, everything was already obvious. It was very instinctive, and it still is today.
You just mentioned the main projects carried out at Hit. Could you start by telling us about the ceramics you produce?
In the beginning I went to the pottery studio Genève Céramique and started to write texts and create patterns on already fired models. Today I still do that, but I also see these objects as spaces on which to intervene. I initiate collaborations and invite artists to come and create pieces on these objects. At the moment, I’m doing a series in collaboration with artist Thomas Liu Le Lann, for example. I like the idea of producing objects that are partly utilitarian. Moreover, these ceramics speak well of the HIT project. They are unique pieces, made by artists. And at the same time they are functional objects, which people use to eat. These plates are double-sided, so,for example, it is possible to eat the starter on one side and the dessert on the other. Also, we use these ceramics for the meals organised at Hit.
In addition to the collaborations centred on ceramics, you also invite several artists to participate in HIT’s publishing projects. How do you integrate publication projects into Hit’s activities?
The publishing project is of great interest to me because it is linked to the aspect of archiving and the notion of leaving traces. Also, it is very much linked to my practice and the way I first approached art, which was through reading. I fantasized a lot about what I saw in books, which described spaces created at a certain time and which really captured these crazy atmospheres. I also wanted to look at my own editions and think “oh yeah, at that time we did this and that”. That’s also why there are a lot of photos of people, parties and meals in the books, and I’m completely aware of this diary aspect. There was also the idea of getting away from the clichés associated with publications on contemporary art, which were often rather boring with a lot of texts that were not very accessible. Here it’s a bit the opposite, the magazines are very attractive and you can dive into them, reopen them later, and it’s pleasant to look at.
For the issue of 2020, I invited Laurence Favez, who curated a year of programming at Hit called Laurence & Friends. She produced a booklet in which she asked all the artists who had done something in the space to do a project for the edition. In 2021, it is the collective Limbo that will curate the edition.
The yellow notebook is the notebook that I make every year, which contains the entire programme of exhibitions that I have held. In this edition, there is Laurence’s entire programme, with all the texts she has written. And then it’s also a space in which I invite all the artists who also made a collaboration.
There is also a special booklet in which there are pictures of all the dinners made this past year. All the ceramic plates made by the artists are also recorded, as they are for sale and therefore not always visible at Hit. In this sense, the book also functions as an archiving platform. It’s true that this project of meals and ceramics is becoming quite important, so it made sense to have a notebook dedicated to it. Also, for each edition, someone writes a text that circumscribes all the projects carried out at Hit. For 2020, the art historian Déborah Laks wrote a piece. Also, this is the second year I’m using the cover as a space to invite artists. So far, Thomas Liu Le Lann and Ewan Mesa have taken over this new space. As you can see, each space is a pretext to invite a new person to collaborate.
The relational aspect of Hit seems to be very important, as shown by the organisation of meals and the use of the space as a place for collaboration and encounters. This characteristic resonates with the notion of relational aesthetics, a term conceptualised by Nicolas Bourriaud and describing works produced through the interaction of people. Is this a theory that somehow inspired you?
It’s true that this idea of welcoming people has been present since the beginning of Hit. I opened my studio, an intimate space, to others. I always wanted to receive people here as if I were receiving them at home, so there was already this idea of hosting guests in a certain way. And then, for example, one of the first things I did here was a dinner with artists. But it was also for me a matter of questioning the art space: what is an art space? Why shouldn’t the art space be a place of conviviality? Why shouldn’t eating together be art? So these questions had already been raised, and I asked them again in this particular context.
How do you choose the artists you invite to collaborate in the different spaces of Hit ?
It happens instinctively and naturally. I would even say that it’s more about the people I meet than the work. Often they are very young artists who have not yet done much or who are still at school. When I was managing all the projects, i.e. ceramics, editions and physical space, I proposed collaborations to artists according to the programme and the different spaces still available.
Now, for the second year, I’m inviting a curator who is in charge of all the exhibitions. I always had the idea that at some point I would like someone else to take over the space. About three years ago I met Laurence Favez, who wanted to do a project of inviting artists, and I suggested it to her and it happened very naturally. Then I met Alicia Raymond, who runs Flight of Fancyy, a nomadic curatorial project. Her performance programme interested me because I hadn’t shown that at Hit yet. Her programme HitStories runs every month until April 2022. So it’s again several things that overlap and intersect and that’s what I really love. I want to rotate spaces, to open and close them without necessarily being part of a temporal evolution.
A few final words. What are Hit’s next projects?
Over the next few months, visitors will be able to attend various performances by artists invited by Alicia. After this series, I invite the artist Axelle Stiefel to take over the space. She wants to use it organically and bring it to life by doing things and imagining projects that have not yet been explored at Hit.
Also, Laurence has started to organise lunches. This is a new space to invest in, a new time slot, which fits in with the relationship to food and conviviality that I have always developed here!
Keeping it glued since 2021