The April 2018 monthly Cover Story "Dates, 700 BC to the present: Michael Rakowitz" is now up on Latitudes' homepage: www.lttds.org
"As Michael Rakowitz’s fourth plinth commission is unveiled in London’s Trafalgar Square, this month’s cover story image revisits Return (2004-ongoing) a related project by the artist that also speaks about the turbulent history of Iraq. And dates. In London, Michael has deployed thousands of date syrup cans to make a 1:1 scale recreation of Lamassu, the fantastic winged bull that graced the gates of the city of Nineveh from 700 BC until it was destroyed by Isis in 2015."
—> Continue reading
—> After April it will be archived here.
Cover Stories' are published on a monthly basis on Latitudes' homepage and feature past, present or forthcoming projects, research, writing, artworks, exhibitions, films, objects or field trips related to our curatorial activities.
- Archive of Monthly Cover Stories
- Cover Story – March 2018: "Armenia's ghost galleries" 6 March 2018
- Cover Story – February 2018: Paradise, promises and perplexities 5 February 2018
- Cover Story – January 2018: I'll be there for you, 2 January 2018
- Cover Story – December 2017: "Tabet's Tapline trajectory", 4 December 2017
- Cover Story – November 2017: "Mining negative monuments: Ângela Ferreira, Stone Free, and The Return of the Earth", 1 November 2017
- Cover Story – October 2017: Geologic Time at Stanley Glacier 11 October 2017
- Cover Story – September 2017: Dark Disruption. David Mutiloa's 'Synthesis' 1 September 2017
- Cover Story – August 2017: Walden 7; or, life in Sant Just Desvern 1 August 2017
- Cover Story – July 2017: 4.543 billion 3 July 2017
- Cover Story – June 2017: Month Light–Absent Forms 1 June 2017
- Cover Story – May 2017: S is for Shale, or Stuart; W is for Waterfall, or Whipps 1 May 2017
- Cover Story – April 2017: Banff Geologic Time 3 April 2017
Amy Balkin's work in the Friedericianum documents her attempt to have the world's atmosphere added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. Latitudes presented an earlier iteration of this work, Public Smog (2004-ongoing), in Greenwashing. Environment: Perils, Promises and Perplexities at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin in 2008. She also contributed to Land, Art: A Cultural Ecology Handbook with her This is the Public Domain Project (2003–ongoing).
|Amy Balkin's 'The is the Public Domain', in Land, Art: A Cultural Ecology Handbook. Photo: Robert Justamante. Courtesy: Latitudes.|
Both Greenwashing and Land, Art also included the work of Maria Thereza Alves (whose work about Lake Chalco in Mexico City is included in the Ottoneum), the latter with the text 'No Brazil Without Us' by Alves, together with another dOCUMENTA (13) artist, Jimmie Durham. Latitudes also presented Alves' work 'The Sun' (2006, 5'03") in the 2008 film programme ‘A Stake in the Mud, A Hole in the Reel. Land Art's Expanded Field 1968–2008', which began at the Museo Tamayo in Mexico City and toured to eight more venues between April and October 2008. The film features the story of Viganella in the Italian Alps, a small village surrounded by a steep valley that does not allow any direct sunlight during the winter months. Viganella's 200 inhabitants decided to place a large computer-operated mirror at a strategic angle on the south-facing slope on the mountainside in order to reflect the sun on the village’s main piazza.
|Mariana Castillo Deball, 'It rises or falls depending on whether you're coming or going. If you are leaving, it's uphill; but as you arrive it's downhill', 2006. 'Extraordinary Rendition', NoguerasBlanchard, Barcelona, 22 March – 19 May 2007. Photo: Robert Justamante. Courtesy: Latitudes.|
Michael Rakowitz led a seminar on 'Emergencies and Risk' as part of the three-day symposium Latitudes organized for the 8th Sharjah Biennial, the United Arab Emirates in April 2007. An interview with Rakowitz by MoMA Ps1 curator Peter Eleey – entitled 'We Sell Iraqi Dates' – featured in UOVO/14 Ecology, Luxury & Degradation, which Latitudes guest edited in summer 2007. (UOVO/14 also includes an article by dOCUMENTA (13) Core Agent Chus Martínez on Arturas Raila).
Gustav Metzger's RAF/ Reduce Art Flights project was implemented and presented as part of Greenwashing. Environment: Perils, Promises and Perplexities at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin in 2008, and later included in the 2009 exhibition 'Gustav Metzger, Decades 1959–2009' at the Serpentine Gallery in London. Serpentine Gallery curator Sophie O'Brien wrote this feature on Metzger for Latitudes' project The Last Newspaper (The Last Monitor).
|Tue Greenfort, Untitled, installation of 3 transparent-sided Eurobins outside the exit ramp of Frieze Art Fair, Regents Park, London, October 2008. Photo: Latitudes|
Also in the Karlsaue Park is The Worldly House, a multispecies archive project put together by Tue Greenfort. Latitudes collaborated with Greenfort on several occasions, notably for a public-realm commission in London in conjunction with the Royal Society of Arts, and through contributions to the magazine UOVO/14, the exhibition Greenwashing, and the publication Land, Art: A Cultural Ecology Handbook. The latter two projects also included works by Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla. (And in addition, dOCUMENTA (13) artists Francis Alÿs, Brian Jungen and Natascha Sadr Haghighian also featured in Land, Art.)
Haris Epaminonda and Daniel Gustav Cramer's work at dOCUMENTA (13) take over two floors and the attic of an office building behind the Hauptbahnhof. 'The Garden of Forking Paths', which Latitudes presented at Maisterravalbuena, Madrid, 28 May–31 July 2009, featured the duo's The Infinite Library (2007–ongoing), a seemingly arbitrary archive of spliced publications. Elsewhere in the Hauptbahnhof 'constellation' Lara Favaretto's Momentary Monument IV (2012) comprised a dramatic mass of scrap metal. Mariana Cánepa Luna's interview with Favaretto was published in UOVO 16, January 2008 (pdf here). Haegue Yang was the subject of an interview by Doryun Chong in UOVO/14, Ecology, Luxury & Degradation.
|Haegue Yang on the cover of 'The Last Star-Ledger' as part of 'The Last Newspaper', New Museum, New York, 2010. Photo: Latitudes|
Ayreen Anastas and Rene Gabri – as eXplo – spoke at the symposium Latitudes put together for 'Art, Ecology and the Politics of Change', Sharjah Biennial 8, United Arab Emirates, in April 2007. Last but not least, Ines Schaber's work at dOCUMENTA (13) explores the history of the former monastery, workhouse, and correctional facility at Breitenau. For The Last Newspaper's The Last Gazette, Schaber presented Picture Mining, her research into Lewis Hine in the context of the Corbis archive, housed in a former mine in Pennsylvania.
All photos: Latitudes | www.lttds.org (unless credited otherwise in the caption)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
The New York Times' review by Robert Smith sets the tone: "Ms. Christov-Bakargiev has assembled an immense, unruly organism of a show. It is alternately inspiring — almost visionary — and insufferable, innovative and predictable, meticulous and sentimentally precious. I would not have missed this seething, shape-shifting extravaganza for the world, and I’d rather not see its like again, at least not on this dwarfing, imperious, self-canceling scale."
Filipa Ramos' review on Art Agenda "Postcard from Kassel", begins unraveling the Kunsthalle Fridericianum where we started our tour.
(...) the total bareness of the first rooms of the canonical core, the Kunsthalle Fridericianum, is broken by the display of Kai Althoff’s letter to Christov-Bakargiev explaining his decision not to take part in the exhibition (“life” was more important)—although a work of Althoff’s is, despite this, still featured in the Rotunda [not in the catalogue].
(...) "Before getting there, Ryan Gander’s breeze, I Need Some Meaning I Can Memorise (The Invisible Pull) (2012)—a light wind that caresses one’s skin and hair—and Ceal Floyer’s audio piece, a melodious promise, repeated to exhaustion, of “So I’ll just keep on… till I get it right” (‘Til I Get It Right, 2005), hail the most attentive spectators.
The Guardian's critic Adrian Searle, also highlighted one of wonderful treats in the Fridericianum, the "(...) 400 beautiful, modest postcard-sized paintings of different varieties of apple, by Bavarian pastor and artist Korbinian Aigner. Imprisoned for his anti-Nazi sermons, Aigner worked as a gardener in Dachau and Sachsenhausen, where he cultivated several new varieties, one for each year of his internment. There's pathos here, among these rows of painted apples." [3D view of the room here]
(...) In the Fridericianum’s cramped Rotunda space, the exhibition displayed the kinds of curatorial flourishes that often seem to accompany a certain kind of anthropological curating that capriciously mixes anthropological artefacts and found objects with artworks. This kind of museological, cabinet-of-curiosities approach, having already been a trope of contemporary artists for a while now, seems especially dated in the hands of a curator. In this darkened space crammed with spot-lit vitrines, I had trouble making the connections between Giorgio Morandi’s paintings, displayed along with actual objects from his studio, and the neighbouring vitrines containing ‘Bactrian Princesses’ – a series of small sculptures of seated women created in the late 3rd and early 2nd century BC in what is now modern-day Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Afghanistan. While these artworks and artefacts are no doubt fascinating, there is no apparent justification for their inclusion together, other than their need to be housed in vitrines, and the fact they probably couldn’t have been procured for any contemporary art exhibition other than this one.
Christy Lange continued to the Ottoneum, which in her opinion "(...) yielded some predictable ‘eco-related’ contributions scattered among the natural history museum displays of taxidermied animals and animal skeletons. (...) it’s worth the trip upstairs to see Mark Dion’s specially commissioned installation. Here he designed an elaborate wooden display case to house the Ottoneum’s unique ‘Schildbach Xylotheque’ – a ‘wood library’ made in 1771–79 of several hundred books carved out of different species of trees. The books are actually boxes that house dioramas inside. Dion’s installation and Schildbach’s library is a felicitous match made in nerd heaven." [360º panoramic view here]
"Nearby in the Neue Galerie, several visitors were fawning in unabashed awe and wonder over Geoffrey Farmer’s impressive installation, which evokes that same sort instantaneous reaction that Christian Marclay’s The Clock recently did, perhaps because of its sheer scale, meticulous detail and the obvious time and manual labour it took to create it." [See panoramic view here]
Rossella Biscotti, The Trial, 2010-12, in the Neue Gallerie. Concrete sculptures made from casts from the architectural features of the courtroom where members of the extra-parliamentary left-wing Autonomia Operaia (including Antonio Negri and other intellectuals), were accused of being ideologically and morally responsible for Italian terrorism in the 1970s.
Adrian Searle also favourited Sehgal's "(...) magnificent performance piece behind a decaying Huguenot house. Performers stamp and sing, whisper, holler and dance. They go through little routines as I stumble between them. Sehgal's exhilarating 'This Variation' is among the best things in Documenta, as is choreographer Jérôme Bel's Disabled Theatre, a confrontational performance made in collaboration with actors with learning difficulties. Both Bel's and Sehgal's work concern presence and presentness, what it means to be a spectator." [In depth text on Sehgal's 'This variation' art-dance-music piece also by Adrian Searle here].
Carol Bove's tableau of elements in the Flora garden of the Karlsaue Park.
Huyghe's piece photographed 100 days after during the last week of documenta (13).
Jerry Saltz wasn't at all convinced about their contribution, and labelled the work 'immoral': (...) "viewers ride in a helicopter to heights corresponding to their net worth. The work is supposedly about wealth accumulation and is an anti-market gesture. Surely it cost more to stage for a day than many museums and galleries can spend or generate in a year, or than most artists earn in a lifetime."
Additional images here by Contemporary Art Daily.
More detailed photos via Contemporary Art Daily.
And then concludes with a long description of his experience when seeing Jérome Bêl’s 'Disabled Theatre' (2012) performance piece which "carried all the way through 90 minutes of uneasy, preconception-probing estrangement and empathy."
When describing the effect of seeing this piece, New York Magazine Jerry Saltz wrote he "was shaken to the core by the formal and emotional pathos in Jérôme Bel’s “dance” involving people with Down syndrome who simply stood onstage, danced for two minutes, then spoke about their perceptions of us watching them. A fourth wall shattered here into a fifth dimension."
Michael Rakowitz, an artist who led a stone-carving seminar in Bamiyan near the site of the stone Buddhas destroyed in 2001, was equally frank. “To ask how art might be enlisted in the service of rebuilding the culture of a devastated land and people,” he said, is “an incredibly problematic gesture, and that is what makes it good and important.” He sourced his decision to participate in the program to the realization that not participating would be a submission to his own sense of guilt, “which is related to political correctness,” which he sees as a sort of reverse-racism. [3D tour of his contribution here]
More detailed images here via Contemporary Art Daily.
Detail of Rakowitz's installation.
Another Afghan artist involved with the “Archive Practicum” project (...) took the mic. (...)“It’s hard, if not impossible,” he said, “to stay out of the mess of politics and war when involved in the cultural realm; one is translated onto and into the other. But what I discovered through these seminars,” the artist said -- lapsing into the kind of vague academic jargon that is all too popular on the international art circuit -- “is that it’s not about finding the ‘appropriate’ translation for an idea or a context, but rather problematizing the translation process and making space for its contradictions and limitations.”
A great 360º panoramic view here.
A lot more detailed images here by Contemporary Art Daily.
Fully comprehensive website here (with videos, agenda, blog...).
One final observation from Quinn Latimer's review on Art Agenda:
"(...) despite the attention fostered by both Christov-Bakargiev herself and her critics on her vaunted interest in the nonhuman world, what I found most startling about Documenta 13 was how entirely human it was, and how engaged with the world that we (joyfully, sorrowfully, weirdly) inhabit. If that sounds lamely human-centric and passé, so be it. It’s a deeply intelligent, stringent, surprising, and entirely committed (yes, that word again) showing of the potentiality of private lives accorded the most public of stages."
And, more final statements by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev when interviewed by Rotterdam artists Bik Van der Pol: (...) "In order for democracy to move forward, we have to constitute the subject as a subject and give up any pretension of ownership and exclusivity that we might have about subjectivity. It is about empowering, and the right to determine the environment in which we all live."
More photo reports via Contemporary Art Daily and Flash Art online and Universes in Universe and preview videos via Vernissage TV and below our slideshow with over 200 pictures:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Entourage of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, crown prince of Dubai leaves the fair.
The Pavilion Downtown Dubai hosted the show "Living with Video" curated by Paris-based galleriest Chantal Crousel and a banner commission by Lara Baladi curated by Juan A. Gaitán. More on the exhibitions at The Pavilion Downtown on our following post.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
'THE LAST EVENING SUN' AVAILABLE NOW! #7 issue of the 10 Latitudes-edited newspapers for 'The Last Newspaper' exhibition, New Museum
(READ IT ON ISSUU)
Table of contents:
Cover: 'Without Rain Partial Nights Aerial Days', a special cover by Julia Rometti & Victor Costales (continues page 12)
Feature: Artist and writer Kathleen Ritter misreads the incomprehensible newspapers of Mark Manders
Focus: Simone Menegoi on Pavimento, Tautologia (1967) by Luciano Fabro; plus notes on 'Fabricating Fabro' by the New Museum Chief Preparator, Shannon Bowser
Special pull-out poster: Installation pictures and a checklist of 'The Last Newspaper' and New Museum's Facebook fans and Twitter followers reporting a sentence of personal news
Feature: 'Thomas Hirschhorn ♥ Queens' Charity Scribner on Thomas Hirschhorn
Feature: 'Red and black all over, again' Irina Chernyakova follows the design and production of 'The Last Evening Sun'
Focus: Inaba/C-Lab's 'Cloudy with a chance of Certainty'
Media Habits: Michael Rakowitz
The Next Newspaper (Profiling the organizations, projects, initiatives and individuals redefining ink-and-paper news): WikiLeaks
Dirt Sheet column: Janine Armin at the Taipei and the Gwangju Biennials
Picture Agent-Our singular picture agency: Maria Loboda
100 years Ago…: 'Palestine Daily Herald' (Palestine, Texas) 1902-1949, November 17, 1910
Cartoon: 'The Woods: Flavor of the month' by Francesc Ruiz
'Advertising Department': Ester Partegàs
Joshua Edwards, Exhibitions Manager at the New Museum, mops the floor and lays the previous day’s New York Times
to create Fabro’s Pavimento, Tautologia (1967). Photos: Latitudes
Curator and writer Simone Menegoi on Luciano Fabro’s ‘Pavimento–Tautologia’, the earliest work in ‘The Last Newspaper’
My grandfather had a sports car, a Lancia Fulvia coupé. He always kept it polished and would only use it on certain occasions. He was so afraid of getting it dirty that he never took off the plastic wrapping that covered the seats when he bought it, even after years of use. His zeal was not particularly unusual in Italy those years (the 1970s), as many people left on the protective plastic film that brand new sofas or chairs would have when purchased. This habit came from two decades earlier, when memories of war and poverty were still lurking. The first consumer goods purchases were the result of laborious saving, so things had to last for as long as possible.
Pavimento–Tautologia (Floor–Tautology) by Luciano Fabro is based on the same logic that drove people like my grandfather to keep the car seats wrapped: a logic that gave up the pleasure of being able to touch the leather or the fabric of the seat in exchange for the satisfaction of knowing that, beneath the protective plastic, the surface was kept intact. In Fabro’s work, a portion of the floor (sometimes an entire surface) is cleaned, polished with wax and then covered with newspapers. Beyond the ephemeral protection of paper – “a cheap and lightweight Carl Andre” as Jörg Heiser has written – the floor disappears, we cannot appreciate its lustre, but we know it’s being kept immaculate, and we know this will be preserved, even if we walk on the papers.
In 1978, a decade after presenting the work for the first time in Turin, Fabro wrote "in my town... the floor is cleaned and then covered, at least for the first day, with papers, newspapers or rags to avoid getting it dirty... on that first day, in those two or three days that it was covered with paper, no one saw the floor clean. This particular way of accounting for the labour and its preservation, not for ostentation but as a private affair, seeks to ensure that the effort made doesn’t end up in anything too quick.”
The comparison between the newspapers on the floor and plastic on the new car seats, however, applies only within certain constraints. There is a fundamental difference between the work required for you to buy a car and the work involved in cleaning the floor. In Italy, in those years, the second had a clear gender dimension: it was a domestic job regarded as part of the housewife’s duties. Fabro was fully aware of this and it is no accident that he presented Pavimento for the first time in a gallery inside a private apartment, a space that preserved a domestic environment. Fabro was also aware of the position he was adopting as a male artist presenting it as a piece. The sculptor sided with the housewife, with her modest and under appreciated task that was repeated daily. "We experience seeing our work destroyed daily" Carla Lonzi, a friend and admirer of Fabro, wrote in 1970 in the Manifesto di rivolta femminile (Manifesto of feminist revolt), a key text of Italian feminism.
Forty years onwards, what is the effect of Pavimento in the context of an American museum, one so different from when the work was presented for the first time? Is it still effective? The vernacular appearance of the work, its provincial and quotidian dimension is probably hard to grasp today, particularly outside Italy. The political aspect – gender politics – is certainly less visible now than it was in the late 1960s, although its historical importance cannot be questioned. Pavimento remains current with the idea of "care", caring as an essential dimension of the relationship with a work. Pavimento consists only of this: in taking care. "Every experience related to this handmade piece is linked to maintenance," Fabro wrote in 1967. A piece that is not to be contemplated, but to be done. Its only legitimate spectator is the one who realised it and looked after it. In short, perhaps it is its only spectator. (Since to the rest of us, the polished floor remains invisible.) Fabro referred to caring in a material sense, as a symbol of all the other ‘cures’ that a piece would require: of a critical or political kind, for instance. In this sense, Pavimento was for him a sort of manifesto, as he stated that a work can never be taken for granted, but must be constantly redefined, reiterated, and defended. In its ‘infrathin’ layer of paper and floor wax, Pavimento–Tautologia guards a surprising depth of meaning.
– Translated from Italian by Mariana Cánepa Luna
(sidebar) FABRICATING FABRO
Courtesy of the Luciano Fabro Estate. Photo courtesy: Katie Sokolor / Gothamist.
Shannon Bowser: "I've been installing the piece every weekday since the exhibition opened in October. The layout uses all the pages of an issue yet the arrangement can be a little haphazard. We can lay the pages facing different directions and it doesn't need to be too precise or follow a set dimension, even though the barriers that surround the piece help as a guide to square it up to the wall. I throw down extra sheets here and there but it usually works out to be the same size each day overall no matter how many pages there were in the previous day's issue.
We have a specific subscription for the New York Times for this piece. Every morning I pick up a copy to keep it for the following day and I have with me the one from yesterday ready to go. I find myself reading the news while installing the work and so sometimes I have to pause to read properly, and I end up finding out about stuff that I would normally wouldn't. I wish I had time to read the New York Times every day, because there are so many good articles. Sometimes I flip through pages when I'm laying them down, so if there's an annoying full page with glaring women facing upwards I can choose to turn it around. It's really interesting to see yesterday's newspaper all laid out on the floor and realize the actual physical size of it, because you cannot really read the New York Times on the subway for example, because it's so big – it's so impractical!
Doing it definitely adds time to my morning routine so I've been coming in early every morning to be able to install the Fabro and then get everything else sorted as all these shows require a lot of maintenance. But it has been really interesting, I definitely feel like I'm participating in an artwork."
Watch a 'making of' video of the piece here.
Shannon Bowser (Chief Preparator) installs Pavimento–Tautologia on Wednesdays, Thursday and Fridays.
Victoria Manning (Registrar) takes charge on Saturdays and Joshua Edwards (Exhibition Manager) on Sundays.
Sharjah Biennial 8 (2007) part 2 publication with transcripts of the 3-day conference organised by Latitudes and the RSA, London
Above images of the recently published catalogue of the Sharjah Biennial 8, United Arab Emirates [25º 22’N, 55º 24’E] titled 'Still Life: Art, Ecology and the Politics of Change (Part II)' which includes installation shots of the exhibition as well as transcripts of the 3-day conference Latitudes organised in collaboration with the Royal Society of Art's Arts & Ecology programme (today the RSA Arts and Ecology Centre) back in April 2007 (+ info).
The symposium (images here) considered today’s uses and abuses of the ‘eco-’, notions of artistic agency and critical practice, as well as the role of the public realm in today’s artistic and institutional practices. How has it become fashionable (or profitable) to be seen to be eco? How has what we mean by ecology been transformed and evolved through the uses of terms such as ‘environmental’, ‘green’, ‘ethical living’, and so on?; How do some artists desire palliative results, while others offer strategies of friction or resistance? How far are the sources of materials a consideration for artists, designers and architects? And how does this relate to wider questions of resources—water, energy, oil in the Emirate and beyond?
The symposium included focused presentations by keynote speakers such as Bruce Sterling (read his paper here), critical panels with participating artists Sergio Vega or Peter Fend as well as Van Abbemuseum director Charles Esche, or Smart Museum's Curator of Contemporary Art Stephanie Smith as well as breakout seminars with participating artists Tomás Saraceno and Michael Rakowitz.
You can download the symposium programme, exhibition guide and view press-related materials in this archive.
'Sharjah Biennial 8. Still Life: Art, Ecology and the Politics of Change (Part II)'
568 pages, 233 x 165 mm, softcover 350g. Art Matt Card
Paper: 80g. offset wood free and 135 g. Art Matt
Publisher: Sharjah Biennial, www.sharjahbiennial.org
ISBN 978-9948-04-328-6 Part II