Our Take —
Nero is another one of those magazines that prefers to describe itself as ‘curated’ rather than ‘edited’. Fortunately for pedants, in this case it is pretty accurate since Nero is a magazine that concerns itself with culture; primarily with contemporary visual art and its related disciplines.
A handsome quarterly edging into its seventh year of publication, it’s based in Italy and, as such, much of its bilingual content is devoted to the Italian art scene or approaches the international domain with an Italian slant. Under the guidance of Editor in Chief Giuseppe Mohrhoff, Nero’s editorial staff addresses its subject matter with more or less equal attention to visual impact and text. The latter is something of a mixed bag: a diverse range of contributors offering critical responses to the visual arts through to more personal texts that are –or have the feeling of- artist’s projects.
These, together with the visual content that also often takes the form of magazine pages becoming an exhibition platform for artists, reflect an overall position (or taste) of the title that tends towards conceptualism and intellectualism. In other words, Nero is something of a niche title that is likely to appeal to those who are in step with tenets of visual culture as a cerebral and questioning matter rather than simply providing pretty decoration for consumption.
As such, it is a welcome contribution to those who are fairly informed and serious about contemporary visual culture and an important regional voice both showcasing and intrinsically documenting some of the key thinking and phenomena grabbing the attention of the Italian art world. Naturally, it also serves as a useful organ of information on the visual arts in Italy, enabling the reader to remain up to date on interesting projects and initiatives, including those in smaller or more specialised locations off the beaten track from the usual museal routes.