Welch, 'Réimpression privée de l'émission fantastique de Moens', 2011.
Offset print 25 stamps, 21.5 x 15.2 cm. Courtesy of the artist.
Fermín Jiménez Landa y Lee Welch did not know each other before the invitation to participate in Amikejo,
and their working together is unique in the series in that the
collaboration is not a situation that has arisen ‘naturally’ but one
that has been imposed synthetically. As if engaged in international
diplomacy, the artists have had to get to know each other personally and
artistically over the course of developing their project. Jiménez Landa and Welch have chosen to establish their collaboration from the idea of ‘the anomalous’ in relation to the notion of the micro nation as suggested by the title of the Amikejo series and devices which delineate sovereignty – borders, stamps, anthems, flags, and so on. Their project refers to other historical episodes in addition to Amikejo itself, including the founding of island micro nations on artificial platforms including the Republic of Rose Island in the Adriatic Sea and the Principality of Sealand in the North Sea, both in the 1960s.
Their project comprises a constellation of diverse performative, discursive and exhibited elements, some of which will be directly apparent in the Laboratorio 987,
having been developed in the space in the weeks leading up to the
exhibition, while others will occur at remote locations, or exist only
in the imagination. The exhibition space will be occupied by a series of
platforms and border markers which will constitute a space of assembly and discussion. A marching band from León has been recruited to compose and perform a national anthem for a new autonomous island state. The founding of this micro nation will be thus constituted through sound and this annexation – following Amikejo within the Laboratorio 987, within MUSAC,
within Spain – will be documented in a film showing the playing of an
audio recording of the anthem on the island itself as well as interviews
made with the band members. Companioning this, another element will
comprise a series of letters sent by the artists using stamps of a design conceived as a insider joke for Moresnet, the republic which anteceded Amijeko. Jiménez Landa's and Welch's joint endeavour aims to frame a dialogue about private sensibility and public action. It considers how art can produce new understanding, memories and communicative possibilities together with an audience.
A catalogue by Mousse Publishing companioning the 'Amikejo' series will be launched in January 2012 following the conclusion of the exhibitions.
Saturday 24 September, 13:30 h
'Himno Nacional' (National Anthem, 2011) by Fermín Jiménez Landa
Duration: approx. 1h
13.30h: The band Agrupación Musical La Cena will parade through the old town of León playing the anthem starting at Plaza San Marcelo (13:30 h) and thereafter proceed to the Plaza Don Gutierre; Plaza San Martín; Plaza de Regla (in front of the cathedral); anf finalise at Plaza San Marcelo (in front of the Palacio de Botines).
Saturday 24 September, 19.30 h: Parade of the band at MUSAC's hall.
In 'Himno Nacional' (2011) a León marching band has been invited to compose a new national anthem in the most archaic tradition, markedly romantic, military and patriotic. The anthem enacts a parodic attempt to reach a futile objective: the conquering of a small island in the Aegean Sea through invasion-by-sound. Forming a journey loop from León to the island and back again, the musical representation of nationhood becomes an end in itself. During the exhibition opening, 65 musicians will parade through the streets of León in what could be seen as a playful, ceremonial or military action, and will perform an anthem that is familiar in its musical idiom and yet is completely unidentifiable. – Fermín Jiménez Landa
Fermín Jiménez Landa, 'Himno nacional', 2011. Action. Courtesy of the artist.
ABOUT FERMÍN JIMÉNEZ LANDA
Including works in video, drawing, photography and sculpture, as well as actions and public interventions, the practice of Fermín Jiménez Landa (1979 Pamplona, lives between Valencia, Pamplona and Barcelona) has embraced research into the Greek folk music Rebetiko, using a rotary kebab grill and lemons as energy sources, staging a snowball fight in mid summer and filling cracks in a pavement with whipped cream. Operating like a wayward scientist and an exuberant storyteller, the artist invites us to see that the absurd and the profound,
the tender and the iconoclastic are two sides of the same coin. He has
often dealt with process of equivalence, reversal or exchange, such as a
series of works in which the supposed weight of various historical figures and minor celebrities is converted into quotidian items which are grouped or stacked as if minimalist sculptures:
Lenin in bottles of tropical juice, Brian de Palma in shampoo. Breaking
the Deadlock in Altitude (2009) was inspired by a 14th-Century tale
from Tuscany in which a family planted trees on the the top of their
tower to make it the tallest in the town. Jiménez Landa
placed an artificial Christmas tree on the helicopter deck of the 154m
high Torre Mapfre in Barcelona, temporarily making it 2 metres higher
than its neighbouring twin, the Hotel Arts.
Solo exhibitions include: 'No muy a menudo, ni muy poco', Galería
Valle Ortí, Valencia (2010); 'Actos oficiales', Sala Montcada,
Caixafòrum, Barcelona (2008), and group shows include: 'Welcome Home',
Galería Moisés Pérez de Albéniz, Pamplona (2010); 'Kairós: Moments de
Claredat', Sala Moncunill, Terrassa (2009); 'Nostalgia del futuro',
Centro del Carmen, Valencia; Creación Injuve 09, Círculo de Bellas
Artes, Madrid (2009); 'Entornos próximos', Artium, Vitoria-Gasteiz
ABOUT LEE WELCH
Lee Welch (1975 Louisville, USA, lives in Rotterdam, The Netherlands) often works collaboratively and across a number of different registers simultaneously; he has presented photography, architectural interventions, videos and sculpture, yet has also organised exhibitions as well as directed events which incorporate elements of narrative theatre. His art works can seem as though they are evolving fragments of a circuitous script which is only partially fictitious. References and meanings appear under constant revision, titles often have an esoteric literary dimension
and different modes of address are implied between major ‘characters’
as well as anecdotes that have involved the boxer Muhammad Ali, the film
director Alfred Hitchcock or the writer George Perec, for example.
Welch’s exhibition Never Odd Nor Even (2008) was a meditation on belief
and included his explorations of an evidently faked mountaineering photograph and the illusion known as the Indian rope trick, as well as sculptures and a video related to the practice of dowsing.
Amongst his solo shows are: 'At the still point of the turning
world', Galway Arts Centre, Galway (2009); and 'Never Odd or Even and
other pieces', The LAB, Dublín (2008). Has participated in group shows
including: 'Love Letter To a Surrogate Stage II', MuHKA, Amberes,
Bélgica (2011); 'A Whole New Ball Game', The Banff Centre, Banff, Canadá
(2010); 'Lost and Found', SMART Project Space, Ámsterdam, Países Bajos
(2010); 'We have the final proof', Andreiana Mihail Gallery, Bucarest;
Clifford Irving Show, Kadist Art Foundation, París (2009); 'It’s not for
reading. It’s for making', FormContent, Londres (2009); and
'Non-knowledge', Project Arts Centre, Dublín (2008).
MUSAC | Avenida de los Reyes Leoneses, 24 | 24008 León | ESPAÑA | MAP | Tue–Fri: 10–15 / 17–20h; Sat–Sun: 11–15/ 17–21h. Monday closed.