Talking in the Mediatheque: #2, boîte magazine

Posted on May 16, 2012


Let’s continue guest blogging with MoTA and Mediatheque project.

Let’s talk about boîte, a box of art, studies, ideas and other thoughts.

boîte is a publishing project in a cardboard box by Federica Boràgina (b. 1986) and Giulia Brivio (b. 1981). It involves university professors, art critics, students, professionals and artists. It is inspired by Marcel Duchamp’s boîte-en-valise, the boxes in which he put his explanations of the masterpiece Large Glass (1915-23) and small reproductions of his artwork.

The aim of boîte is to talk about contemporary art with a strong reference to the history of art and to involve an extended audience in art, trying to explain with passion the meaning and the importance of visual arts today as well as in the past. Each issue of boîte has a monographic theme to deal with. The last issue, Spring 2012, is about Fluxus.

1. How did “boîte” magazine start?

Boîte was born in the twilight of a university classroom, in a November day when Milan began to cool the hands and the light of the projector produces images that capture your attention magnetically. Thoughts thicken around those images and understand that it takes at least fifty years to understand an artwork… There weren’t any magazines with an editorial focused on history of art to understand the present. At that time we (Federica Boràgina and Giulia Brivio) were collaborating with lots of free press full of information, advertising and press release and so we decided to create our own publishing project, taking more care of the words, the language and critical and historical issues.

2. Could you explain why do you choose physical and conceptual shape of a “boîte”?

We did it because we live in a world of virtual and ephemeral words and objects. We believe in the importance of things, that you can touch, feel and collect. The box protects what it’s inside and you can put anything else in it, fill it with your personality and your dreams.

From a conceptual point of view boîte is inspired by Marcel Duchamp Boîtes, where the artist inserted notes regarding his masterpiece La Mariée mise à nu par ses célibataires, meme. We want to point up the critical role that the artist had in the history of contemporary art and the explanatory value that the Word assumes if associated with the work of art.

3. When I open and I touch your magazine, I have the strong feeling that involved artists and curators have been cuddled. Am I right?

Yes, you are. It takes a long time to choose the artists, because each issue is dedicated to a monographic theme and the artists involved are 3 from 3 different generations. Once the artists are chosen, we often start a kind of relationship with them and their work, when it is possible, we visit their studio or meet them in a bar (because we have no office! We have only a mountain of cardboard boxes in our flats). We want to make them feel free to express their research, with the most appropriate words and at the same time we like to discuss and to question it constantly: we think that is important to contradict ourselves often!

4. In your opinion, what would be the ideal ”boîte” reader?

Any age, any educational background, with a strong curiosity and open-minded. With the desire to discover something different in the realty of everyday life, through the art and the language…


5. Secret wishes (in the box)?

To have a huge box where meet people and talk about life and art, a place where to read, to study and to do research… and the time to do that!

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