Longitudes

Video of Latitudes' lecture "Curating in the Web of Life" at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow


Curating in the Web of Lifeis in a 1-hour-long lecture presented on November 7, 2019, at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, in the context of their group exhibition ‘The Coming World: Ecology as the New Politics 2030–2100. It is in English and a Q+A follows. You can also watch it with Russian translation (voice-over). 

 Latitudes during the lecture ‘Curating in the Web of Life’. Photo: Anton Donikov. © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art.

In the lecture, Latitudes discuss how Modern art and modernist art history largely assented to the ontological and epistemological lie which imagined humanity and the humanities making their own history by themselves, while hiding the fact that their productions, relations, and economy were always teeming with biophysical processes. The increasing violence by which the limits of the planet, its feedback loops and tipping points, are forcing themselves into world events has profound consequences for how we narrate (art) history and curate exhibitions in the web of life.


Max Andrews of Latitudes during the lecture ‘Curating in the Web of Life’. Photo: Anton Donikov. © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art.
Mariana Cánepa Luna of Latitudes during the lecture ‘Curating in the Web of Life’. Photo: Anton Donikov. © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art.
 
New disciplines are broaching the separation between human activities and Earth systems – environmental law, political ecology, ecological economics, and so on. Likewise, what is at issue when artists, curators, exhibitions, and museums venture into new formations and shared rather than adjacent perspectives? What is at stake in a curatorial ecology, an environmental art history, or in integrating socio-natural processes into an institution’s account of itself, and so on? Turning to a world-systems approach as well as the insights of micro-history, Max Andrews & Mariana Cánepa Luna presented a series of curatorial and artistic perspectives on such questions, drawing from “uncomfortable objects” and “dishonest research” [1] across their exhibitions “4.543 billion. The matter of matter” ( CAPC musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux 2017–18), ‘Hemauer Keller: United Alternative Energies’ (Kunsthal Aarhus, 2011), “Greenwashing. Environment: Perils, Promises and Perplexities” (Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, 2008) and related projects such as the residency programme “Geologic Time” (Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, 2017).

[1] “Uncomfortable objects” is a notion borrowed from artist Mariana Castillo Deball, and “dishonest research” from artist Mercedes Azpilicueta.


Latitudes during the lecture ‘Curating in the Web of Life’. Photo: Anton Donikov. © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

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Conferencia ‘4.543 miles de millones y la naturaleza social abstracta’, Jornadas Eremuak, Azkuna Zentroa, Bilbao, 17–19 octubre 2019

Imagen gráfica de las jornadas. Cortesía eremuak.

Latitudes ha sido invitada a participar en las jornadas 2019 de eremuak, que tendrán lugar en la primera planta de Azkuna Zentroa, Bilbao, entre el 17 y el 19 de octubre del 2019. 

Tituladas ‘-K/-S naturak / naturalezas’, el comité de eremuak (formado por Maider Lopez, Aimar Arriola e Iñaki Imaz), pretende hacerse eco de los ‘variados aspectos de lo que tradicionalmente se ha denominado naturaleza. Desde el abandono de los espacios institucionales en busca de un afuera comprometido y renovador, hasta la inclusión de procesos u organismos vivos en esos mismos espacios, el deseo de exterioridad parece evidente.’

Evitando recurrentes simplificaciones o la reducción del eje temático a binomios humano/no- humano, los organizadores aportan al término el matiz de la pluralidad (la –k de naturak, o la –s de naturalezas) con la intención de ‘atender a una diversidad más acorde a la realidad del mundo del arte y todas las naturalezas que genera o con las que se enfrenta.’

El programa incluye la participación de una docena de conferenciantes, así como la presentación de la revista eremuak#6, Cuaderno de artista, y a modo de clausura, un concierto de Hidrogenesse (entrada libre con invitación, recoger en Azkuna Zentroa). Las jornadas son de libre acceso hasta completar aforo.


Sala de la exposición colectiva ‘4.543 billion. The matter of matter’, CAPC musée d'art contemporain, 2017–18. Photo: Latitudes/RK.

Tomando como referencia una de las diez salas de la exposición colectiva ‘4.543 milliards. La question de la matière’ (CAPC musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux, 2017–18), Latitudes analiza la noción de "naturaleza social abstracta" acuñada por el historiador ambiental e historiador geógrafo Jason W. Moore mediante la obra de cuatro de los artistas participantes: Lara Almarcegui, Pep Vidal, Lucas Ihlein y Amy Balkin.



→ CONTENIDO RELACIONADO:

Helene Romakin interviews Latitudes for artfridge.de



Over the course of the Summer, Helene Romakin (PhD candidate at the Institute for the History and Theory of the Architecture, ETH Zurich) interviewed us for the Berlin-based online platform www.artfridge.de run by the art historian and curator Anna Lena Werner.

As Helene mentions in her introduction, we met last July in Valencia, after Mariana's conversation with Lara Almarcegui on the occasion of her solo exhibition “Agras Volcano. Mining Rights” at the Institut Valencià d'Art Modern (IVAM). Afterwards, we had a lively discussion on several topics surrounding Lara's practice, our thoughts on other artistic practices tackling a range of environmental issues, the Extinction Rebellion, etc. so we were happy to continue our conversation when she proposed doing this interview looking back at several projects we produced in the mid-two thousands. 


RELATED CONTENTS:
  • Conversation for the exhibition catalogue "Limits to Growth" by Nicholas Mangan (Sternberg Press, 2016) 31 October 2016
  • In conversation with Lucas Ihlein for Artlink Magazine 5 September 2016
  • Witte de With and Spring Workshop's 'Moderation(s)' publication 'End Note(s)' is out! 5 March 2015
  • Interview with Nicholas Mangan in Mousse Magazine #47, February–March 2015 11 February 2015
  • "Focus Interview: Iratxe Jaio & Klaas van Gorkum", frieze, Issue 157, September 2013 14 September 2013

Reviews of the exhibition "4.543 billion. The matter of matter" at the CAPC musée, Bordeaux

As the ‘4.543 billion. The matter of matter’ exhibition concluded on January 7, 2018, at the CAPC musée in Bordeaux, we finished archiving all the social media posts visitors, the museum and ourselves have published – see our Wakelet feed below – since research phase to the exhibition itself, and below share the most relevant print and online reviews.
Wakelet collection of the "4.543 billion" exhibition.

December 8, 2017: Tom Jeffreys highlighted the exhibition in his "Looking Back: Paris" roundup for frieze magazine – illustrated with two works included in the show by Nicholas Mangan and Alexandra Navratil.

"A little less academic, but no less rigorous, was ‘4,543 milliards’ (4,543 billion), curated by the Barcelona-based Latitudes (co-founded by frieze contributing editor Max Andrews) at CAPC, Bordeaux. Subtitled ‘The matter of matter’, the exhibition provided a material, geological and political response to the building’s former life as a warehouse for colonial commodities and, by extension, the complex entanglement of culture, money, politics and ecological impact. Marble from Trump Tower (Amie Siegel’s "Strata", 2017) was exhibited alongside partially-burnt documents rescued from a fire at the Bordeaux municipal archives and a 1939 mock invitation to the ‘Museum of Standard Oil’, actually MoMA’s new building, issued by the then-publications director, Frances Collins (unsurprisingly fired soon after). Combining archival materials with work by 30 artists, big ideas with specificity and nuance, this was exactly the kind of exhibition I would want to return to again and again. If the selection of the next artistic director the Venice Biennale were a democratic process, I’d be voting for Latitudes."


November 28, 2017Frank Browning, Paris-based Contributor to the Huffington Post author, and former NPR Correspondent, reviewed the recently opened retrospective of Beatriz González and concluded his article with a short mention:

"Meanwhile, around the corner at CAPC there’s an intriguing assembly of stones, papers, paintings, photographs and projections that unite geo-physics, sculpture, and art history, including the conversion of the building itself from a one-time commodities warehouse into its current life as a museum.

Entitled “The Matter of Matter,” [missing "4.543 billion" years, the age of the Earth, and the first part of the exhibition title] it includes the work of 30 artists, assembled and mounted by a Spanish team, Max Andrews and Mariana Cánepa Luna. They call themselves Latitudes [wrongly published with two "T"]; they aim to excavate the world we inhabit daily, be it through the history indigo mining in Mexico and southern France (vital for fine pottery and coloring bluejeans) or oil extraction in Venezuela, gas infused sculptures or open pit diamond mining in southern Africa. All that we do, all that we eat, all that we create derives from one form of excavation or another. Simple truism as it may seem, Latitudes takes us into the intimacies of our relation with this earth and calls us to meditate on our physical and aesthetic relation to the steadily warming round rock that is our home."




September 20, 2017: Emmanuel Labails of RCF Radio did a 9-minute interview with Pedro Jiménez Morras, Head of Press of CAPC, who discussed the premises of the exhibition and some of its works. (Listen between minute 4:39 and 13:36).

August 19, 2017: Bea Espejo's ‘Cambio de tiempo’, on the Spanish national cultural supplement Babelia, in El País newspaper begins:

˝A ese pensamiento geológico del tiempo conduce la exposición 4.543 millones. La cuestión de la materia en el CAPC de Burdeos. La muestra aborda obras de arte, colecciones e historias culturales con relación a procesos ecológicos y la escala geológica del tiempo. En total, más de 35 artistas que dan valor a las discontinuidades, a las derivas y a las ausencias. La muestra almacena el tiempo como una batería almacena la energía. Y lo hace en varias capas de lectura. Una de ellas es el tiempo que lleva Latitudes, la oficina curatorial de Mariana Cánepa Luna y Max Andrews, trabajando en este proyecto, seguramente el más complejo y ambicioso, aunque esta investigación en torno a las complejas relaciones entre la ecología y el arte contemporáneo está en la base de todos sus proyectos desde 2005. Aquí no pueden ser más rotundos. Abordan la cuestión de la materia desde el lado más inmaterial, que es la memoria. Para ello, estudiaron a fondo el contexto de la ciudad bajo un programa de residencias del museo. Hablamos, pues, de un proyecto de investigación, algo que se traduce en cada pequeño gesto que recoge la muestra, y que lo expande todo. De ahí las relaciones de algunas obras con el departamento de zoología de la universidad (Ilana Halperin), el Museo de Bellas Artes (Stuart Whipps, o el préstamo de Alfred Roll), así como los muchos documentos y objetos que se incluyen de los archivos Métropole, de la Gironde y la colección geológica de la UFR Sciences de la Terre et de la Mer, de la Universidad de Burdeos.˝




July 12, 2017: Catherine Darfay's ‘Le CAPC remonte le temps’ on the local newspaper "Sudouest", was the first feature. The article was illustrated with a with an image showing Amy Balkin's ‘Today’s CO2 Spot Price’ (2009) chartering the daily price of carbon dioxide emissions allowances in the world’s largest carbon market —a changing value documented in this blog post.


RELATED CONTENT:
  • 4.543 billion. The Matter of Matter” exhibition
  • Archive of social networks posts related to "4.543 billion"
  • Photo gallery of the exhibition 
  • CAPC website (French, English, Spanish) http://www.capc-bordeaux.fr/programme/4543-milliards
  • Cover Story—December 2017: "Tabet's Tapline trajectory" 4 December 2017
  • Alfred Roll's 1878 "The Old Quarryman" exchanged with Alfred Smith's "The Grave Docks" (1884) in the exhibition "4.543 billion" at the CAPC musée 3 November 2017
  • Cover Story—November 2017: "Mining negative monuments: Ângela Ferreira, Stone Free, and The Return of the Earth" 1 November 2017 
  • 15 November 2017, 4:30–8pm: 'The Return of the Earth. Ecologising art history in the Anthropocene' study day at the CAPC musée, Bordeaux 24 October 201
  • Cover Story – July 2017: 4.543 billion 3 July 2017
  • Cover Story – May 2017: S is for Shale, or Stuart; W is for Waterfall, or Whipps 1 May 2017
  • SAVE THE DATE: 29 June, 19h. Private view of the exhibition "4.543 billion. The matter of matter" at the CAPC musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux 30 May 2017
  • Cover Story – May 2016: Material histories – spilling the beans at the CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux 10 May 2016.
  • Second research trip to Bordeaux 16 July 2016

Progress of Amy Balkin's ‘Today’s CO2 Spot Price’ (2009)



Installation of Amy Balkin's ‘Today’s CO2 Spot Price’ (2009) on the opening day, 29 June 2017. Photo: Latitudes/RK. 

Throughout the course of the ‘4.543 billion. The Matter of Matter’ exhibition at the CAPC musée in Bordeaux, the work by Amy Balkin (Baltimore, Maryland, 1967. Lives in San Francisco) ‘Today’s CO2 Spot Price’ (2009) charted the daily price of carbon dioxide emissions allowances in the world’s largest carbon market, the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. The numbering system was manually updated every morning to show the price in Euros of an entitlement to legally emit one metric tonne of CO2. Polluters—power plants or factories—receive or buy emissions allowances at auctions and trade them as needed to minimize costs.

A product of the increasing dominance of the finance sector and the expansion of financial derivatives that emerged in the 1970s, the carbon market ‘fix’ has abstracted the qualitative problem of climate change mitigation into a commodity market based on a molecule treated as the singular cause. There is a trend towards emissions that can be lucratively ‘avoided’, while there has been little effect on structural fossil fuel dependence. In this perspective, global warming is a market failure that can be corrected by governing the atmosphere via an economic instrument with no real material or historical reference.

Balkin's piece was presented alongside works by Pep Vidal, Lucas Ihlein, and Lara Almarcegui, all focusing on humans' calculations and quantification of nature and its progressive abstraction.

—Latitudes 

(Text from the exhibition guide)

4.543 billion. The matter of matter’ took place between the June 29, 2017 and January 7, 2018 at the CAPC musée d'art contemporain, Bordeaux, France.



General view of room 8. Photo: Latitudes/RK.


Work by Lara Almarcegui (wall) and Pep Vidal (floor). Photo: Latitudes/RK.


Prints by Lucas Ihlein (wall) and part of a tree by Pep Vidal (floor). Photo: Latitudes/RK.


Below a sequence of all the social media posts (mostly from Instagrammers, more on this and other works on this Wakelet feed) showing the ongoing flux of its price—which has ranged from 4,84 Eur per tonne of CO2 during the installation of the piece, to 4,93 Eur on the opening day (29 June 2017), to the last picture on record showing a whopping 7,76 Eur per tonne of CO2.

We would like to thank the KADIST in San Francisco for having given us the opportunity to, after years of corresponding over email, finally meet Amy during a residency in September 2015. Her "Incidents of Travel" day on several locations in and outside San Francisco (download the specially-commissioned itinerary here) was invaluable towards the conceptualization of this exhibition.




Installing ‘Today’s CO2 Spot Price’ (2009). Photo: Latitudes for @capc 



Taken on 2 July 2017. Photo: Latitudes. 



Image published in the Sudouest newspaper on 12 July 2017 showing 04,98 EUR/tC02.


Taken on 13 July 2017 by Hélène Lucien. 


Taken on 16 July 2017 by Adriano Pedrosa. 


Taken on 2 August 2017 by Lena Joreis. 


Taken on 19 August 2017 by Semi-Sans.


Taken on 22 August 2017 by Mads Freund Brunse.


Taken on 12 October 2017 by Tomas Mendizabal.


Taken on 17 October 2017 by @Margareth.


Taken on 20 November 2017 by @matlegall. 


Taken on 2 November 2017 by @Elénie. 


Taken on 30 November 2017 by @mllelahaye 


Taken on 1 December 2017 by @mommou.elle 


Taken on January 7, 2018, the last day of the exhibition, by exhibition coordinator Alice Cavender. 


RELATED CONTENT
  • 4.543 billion. The Matter of Matter” exhibition 
  • Archive of social networks posts related to "4.543 billion" 
  • Photo gallery of the exhibition 
  • CAPC website (French, English, Spanish) http://www.capc-bordeaux.fr/programme/4543-milliards
  • Cover Story—December 2017: "Tabet's Tapline trajectory" 4 December 2017
  • Alfred Roll's 1878 "The Old Quarryman" exchanged with Alfred Smith's "The Grave Docks" (1884) in the exhibition "4.543 billion" at the CAPC musée 3 November 2017
  • Cover Story—November 2017: "Mining negative monuments: Ângela Ferreira, Stone Free, and The Return of the Earth" 1 November 2017
  • 15 November 2017, 4:30–8pm: 'The Return of the Earth. Ecologising art history in the Anthropocene' study day at the CAPC musée, Bordeaux 24 October 201
  • Cover Story – July 2017: 4.543 billion 3 July 2017
  • Cover Story – May 2017: S is for Shale, or Stuart; W is for Waterfall, or Whipps 1 May 2017
  • SAVE THE DATE: 29 June, 19h. Private view of the exhibition "4.543 billion. The matter of matter" at the CAPC musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux 30 May 2017 
  • Cover Story – May 2016: Material histories – spilling the beans at the CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux 10 May 2016
  • Second research trip to Bordeaux 16 July 2016


    2017 in 12 monthly Cover Stories

    Another year has gone by!

    Revisit some of Latitudespast–present–future–ongoing projects through our online archive of Monthly Cover Stories, a chance to focus on an artwork, article, event, film, exhibition, excursion or ongoing train of thoughts. 


    Cover Story January 2017: "How open are open calls?", 4 January 2017

    Cover Story February 2017: "The Dutch Assembly, five years on", 1 February 2017

    Cover Story – March 2017: "Time travel with Jordan Wolfson", 1 March 2017

    Cover Story – April 2017: "Banff Geologic Time", 3 April 2017

    Cover Story – May 2017: "S is for Shale or Stuart; W is for Waterfall, or Whipps", 1 May 2017 

    Cover Story – June 2017: "Moth light—Absent Forms", 1 June 2017
    Cover Story – July 2017: "4.543 billion", 3 July 2017 


    Cover Story – August 2017: "Walden 7; or, life in Sant Just Desvern", 1 August 2017  


    Cover Story – September 2017: "Dark Disruption. David Mutiloa's 'Synthesis'", 1 September 2017

    Cover Story – October 2017: "Geologic Time at Stanley Glacier", 11 October 2017

    Cover Story—November 2017: "Mining negative monuments: Ângela Ferreira, Stone Free, and The Return of the Earth", 1 November 2017
    Cover Story—December 2017: "Tabet’s Tapline trajectory", 4 December 2017

    RELATED CONTENT:
    Latitudes' Cover Story archive,
    Latitudes' writing archive,
    Latitudes' newsletters.

    Public programme of the exhibition "4.543 billion. The Matter of Matter" at the CAPC musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux

    First public event on 30 June to the Salle des Collections de l'Unité de Formation de Biologie, Université de Bordeaux. This and following photos: Latitudes.


    On December 14 at 2pm, the mediation department of the CAPC will lead a guided visit to Ilana Halperin’s "The Rock Cycle" (2017) intervention at the Salle des Collections de l'Unité de Formation de Biologie, Université de Bordeaux. 

    The event is the third visit (earlier ones took place on October 19 and November 16) programmed in the context of her participation in the exhibition ‘4.543 billion. The matter of matter’ on view at the CAPC musée d'art contemporain de BordeauxThe next (and final one) will be taking place on January 4, three days before the exhibition closes on January 7, 2018. 

    These events are free. Booking is recommended via Léo Correa [email protected] T. (+33) 05 56 00 81 60.


    Ilana Halperin’s new project for the exhibition '4.543 billion' deals with geological intimacy and vivacity, and the uncanny fact that something as apparently inert and certain as the stone walls of the CAPC building were once marine life from a tropical ocean of the Oligocene epoch, around 32 million-years-ago. This Calcaire à Astéries (asteriated limestone) characteristic of Bordeaux takes its name from the countless tiny fossil organisms of the genus asterias (a type of sea star) that can be found in the stone alongside fossil mollusks and coral.

    Halperin addresses stone, not as dead matter or a mere resource, but as a story-laden substance that both surpasses and partners in humans’ view of the world. 'The Rock Cycle' incorporates the reading of a letter and the hosting of a number of the artist’s geological sculptures within the displays of the zoology collection of the University of Bordeaux. These ‘curios’ originated as fragments of sea-weathered brick from the Isle of Bute in western Scotland, as well as waterjet-cut sandstone, that the artist left for three months in Fontaines Pétrifiantes in Saint-Nectaire. For generations, the mineral-rich waters that percolate through the rock at this site in central France have been used to create sculptures using the same process by which stalactites form, only one hundred times faster. Objects become rapidly encrusted with new layers of stone. 


    —Latitudes 
    [Excerpt from the exhibition guide]


    Three other events have been programmed in the context of the exhibition.

    Visit with Terence Gower (participating artist) and Prof. Bruno Cahuzac. Photo: CAPC musée/Département des publics.

    8 November 2017, 5:30–7pm
    Jam Session #1—Guided tour by Terence Gower (participating artist) and Prof. Bruno Cahuzac (UFR Sciences de la Terre et de la Mer, Université de Bordeaux Montaigne).

    Guests during “The Return of the Earth: Ecologising art history in the Anthropocene” event. Photo: Latitudes.

    15 November 2017, 4:30–8pm
    The Return of the Earth: Ecologising art history in the Anthropocene”—Lecture by Jean-Baptiste Fressoz, a conversation between Xavier Ribas and Ângela Ferreira, debate convened by Latitudes. Free access. Simultaneous translation English-French.



    During Jam Session #2 event. Photo: CAPC musée/Département des publics.

    6 December 2017, 5:30–7pm
    Jam Session #2—Guided tour by Isabelle Kanor (Head association "Le Labo de Lettres” dealing with cultural issues in the Antilles and colonization), and Charlotte Bouvier and Rémi Cazamajour (Inélia, company that supplied the solar panels feeding the video installation "Ancient Lights" (2015) by Nicholas Mangan). Sign up: Stéphane Mallet, [email protected]


    Photo: Latitudes/RK.

    The exhibition ‘4.543 billion’ is the contribution of the CAPC musée to the cultural season Paysages Bordeaux 2017. Between September 11–October 6, 2017, and within the exhibition framework, Latitudes led the month-long residency programme ‘Geologic Time’ at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Alberta, Canada.

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    RELATED CONTENT:
    • 4.543 billion. The Matter of Matter” exhibition
    • Archive of social networks posts related to "4.543 billion"
    • Photo gallery of the exhibition 
    • CAPC website (French, English, Spanish) http://www.capc-bordeaux.fr/programme/4543-milliards
    • Cover Story—December 2017: "Tabet's Tapline trajectory" 4 December 2017
    • Alfred Roll's 1878 "The Old Quarryman" exchanged with Alfred Smith's "The Grave Docks" (1884) in the exhibition "4.543 billion" at the CAPC musée 3 November 2017
    • Cover Story—November 2017: "Mining negative monuments: Ângela Ferreira, Stone Free, and The Return of the Earth" 1 November 2017 
    • 15 November 2017, 4:30–8pm: 'The Return of the Earth. Ecologising art history in the Anthropocene' study day at the CAPC musée, Bordeaux 24 October 201
    • Cover Story – July 2017: 4.543 billion 3 July 2017
    • Cover Story – May 2017: S is for Shale or Stuart; W is for Waterfall, or Whipps 1 May 2017
    • SAVE THE DATE: 29 June, 19h. Private view of the exhibition "4.543 billion. The matter of matter" at the CAPC musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux 30 May 2017
    • Cover Story – May 2016: Material histories – spilling the beans at the CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux 10 May 2016.
    • Second research trip to Bordeaux 16 July 2016

    Cover Story—December 2017: Tabet’s Tapline trajectory

    Monthly Cover Story on http://www.lttds.org

    The December 2017 Monthly Cover Story "Tabet’s Tapline trajectory" is now up on www.lttds.org – after this month it will be archived here.
     

    "Rayyane Tabet’sSteel Rings and the mobile Three Logos (both 2013) slice through and loom over the web of natural histories and human natures, mineral agency and political ecology that comprises the exhibition 4.543 billion. The matter of matter. Rayyane was one of the first artists to come on board what would become this Latitudes-curated exhibition at CAPC Bordeaux. And as the show approaches the end of its journey—it finishes on 7 January 2018—it seems appropriate that this month’s cover story creates a bookend of sorts. Moreover, it gives a perfect reason to mention Rayyane’s stunning exhibition Fragments that has recently opened at Hamburg Kunstverein." Continue reading  

    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. 

    RELATED CONTENT:
    • Archive of Monthly Cover Stories
    • 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
    • Cover Story – March 2017: Time travel with Jordan Wolfson 1 March 2017
    • Cover Story February 2017: The Dutch Assembly, five years on 1 February 2017
    • Cover Story January 2017: How open are open calls? 4 January 2017

    Alfred Roll's 1878 "The Old Quarryman" exchanged with Alfred Smith's "The Grave Docks" (1884) in the exhibition "4.543 billion" at the CAPC musée

    “Le Vieux Carrier” [The Old Quarryman] (1878) by Alfred Roll (Paris, 1846–1919). Collection of the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux.
    Following the conclusion of its four-month loan period, we wave goodbye to “Le Vieux Carrier” [The Old Quarryman] (1878) portrait by Alfred Roll (Paris, 1846–1919) on November 6, 2017. Roll's portrait has been on display since June 29 as part of the exhibition "4.543 billion" at the CAPC musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux. In its place we welcome Alfred Smith's (Bordeaux, 1854–Paris, 1936) “Le Quai de la Grave” [The Grave Docks] (1884).

    Alfred Smith's (Bordeaux, 1854–Paris, 1936) “Le Quai de la Grave” [The Grave Docks] (1884). Collection of the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux.

    We are very grateful to the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux for agreeing to these wonderful loans. In turn, and in companion to three artworks from 2012–3 exhibited at the CAPC, Birmingham-based artist Stuart Whipps is presenting a new off-site work entitled "Thin Section: Scottish Shale" (2017) in the galleries of the Musée des Beaux-Arts.


    (Above and below) Views of Stuart Whipps' "Thin Section: Scottish Shale" (2017) at the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux. Photo: Latitudes.
    Photo: Latitudes.
    (Left, floor) Stuart Whipps' "Thin Section: Scottish Shale" (2017) and (right, above) “Le Quai de la Grave” [The Grave Docks] (1884) by Alfred Smith (Bordeaux, 1854–Paris, 1936), painting that will be exchanged on November 6, 2017, with Alfred Roll's “Le Vieux Carrier” [The Old Quarryman] (1878). Photo: Latitudes.

    A 0.5mm thick sliver of Scottish Shale rock (a gas-harbouring rock similar to schist) cut from a sample with a diamond saw is treated as if it were a photographic slide by being displayed on a Reflecta AFM 2000 slide projector, a model that has an in-built display monitor. The luminous minerals contained within the shale rock—quartz, calcite, dolomite, feldspars, mica, pyrite...—appear in 1:1 scale.


    (Above and below) Views of the exhibition room at the CAPC musée that includes Alfred Roll's portrait. The room includes works by Maria Thereza Alves, Ângela Ferreira, Antoine J. Aalders and Stuart Whipps. Photo: Latitudes/RK. 

    Photo: Latitudes/RK.

    Photo: Latitudes.

    Between 1878 and 1894, Alfred Roll (Paris, 1846–1919) painted a series of Realist works depicting the world of industry, and more pointedly, comprising statements of solidarity with the harsh circumstances of the worker at a time of great social unrest. Representing an elderly quarryman in his smock, “Le Vieux Carrier” [The Old Quarryman] (1878) began this sequence when it was first exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1879. It is one of the few Roll portraits whose subject remains anonymous, yet the man depicted was undoubtedly a genuine labourer rather than a model—the artist was later known to welcome miners and their families to sit for portraits in his studio. Is it not known where the man would have been working. Yet given Roll’s later depiction of stonemasons on a quayside in Suresnes, near Paris, (“Le Travail, chantier de Suresnes (Seine)”, 1885), one might speculate that “Le Vieux Carrier” represents both the large-scale infrastructural projects taking place around the capital at the time, as well as the increasing reorganization of the French workforce in the extractive industries through retiring older workers and cutting wages. 

    Roll would go on to spend several months living and working in the coal mines of Charleroi, Belgium, and Anzin, in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of northern France, and he presented the celebrated painting “Grève des mineurs” [Miners’ strike] at the 1880 Salon. Roll seems to have painted from the perspective that exhaustion unfolds through human labour systems as much as through the depletion of raw materials.

    (Unframed) Alfred Smith's (Bordeaux, 1854–Paris, 1936) “Le Quai de la Grave” [The Grave Docks] (1884). Collection of the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux.
       
    “Le Quai de la Grave” [The Grave Docks] (1884) is one of a number of Bordeaux cityscapes by the painter Alfred Smith (Bordeaux, 1854–Paris, 1936) in which the effects of the weather and the time of the day are treated with great fidelity. A mason appears to be sizing-up a large limestone block that has been brought downriver by boat. Other workers take a rest in the shade of the water tank and the sentry box during what appears to be a scorching hot summer afternoon in Bordeaux. The seasonal movement of migrant stonemasons from central France, especially the Creuse département, was an established and widespread feature of the construction industry by the late eighteenth century. Migrants had travelled by foot for centuries, but with the introduction of railways to central France in the 1850s, this began to change. Paris was the main magnet, but many young men also departed every March to look for work in Lyon, Bordeaux, and other cities. 

    Until at least the beginning of the twentieth century, construction in France was defined by the cutting, dressing, and placing of stone and the industry would have encompassed a wide range of specialist and physically demanding jobs—from quarrymen to masons, roofers, and pavers. By the time of Smith’s depiction, much of the precision of stone cutting would have been done at the quarry site itself. Finishing, polishing and decoration would have been carried out on site. Building work had started to organize trade unions in the early 1880s and a national building trades’ federation was founded in Bordeaux in 1892.

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    ‘4.543 billion’ is the contribution of the CAPC musée to the cultural season Paysages Bordeaux 2017

    RELATED CONTENT:
    • Archive of social networks related to "4.543 billion"
    • Photo gallery of the exhibition 
    • CAPC website (French, English, Spanish) http://www.capc-bordeaux.fr/programme/4543-milliards
    • 15 November 2017, 4:30–8pm: 'The Return of the Earth. Ecologising art history in the Anthropocene' study day at the CAPC musée, Bordeaux 24 October 2017
    • Cover Story—November 2017: "Mining negative monuments: Ângela Ferreira, Stone Free, and The Return of the Earth" 1 November 2017
    • Cover Story – July 2017: 4.543 billion 3 July 2017
    • Cover Story – May 2017: S is for Shale, or Stuart; W is for Waterfall, or Whipps 1 May 2017
    • SAVE THE DATE: 29 June, 19h. Private view of the exhibition "4.543 billion. The matter of matter" at the CAPC musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux 30 May 2017
    • Cover Story – May 2016: Material histories – spilling the beans at the CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux 10 May 2016.
    • Second research trip to Bordeaux 16 July 2016

    15 November 2017, 4:30–8pm: 'The Return of the Earth. Ecologising art history in the Anthropocene' study day at the CAPC musée, Bordeaux

    Xavier Ribas, detail of diptych num 7 'Caliche Fields' (2010), 22 Pigment prints on Harman Baryta paper 33 x 50 cm. Courtesy the artist and ProjecteSD, Barcelona.

    'The Return of the Earth. Ecologising art history in the Anthropocene'
    Study day
    Wednesday, 15 November 2017  
    4:30—8:00pm
    Auditorium
    CAPC musée d’art contemporain Bordeaux 
    7, rue Ferrère, 33000 Bordeaux, France 


    PROGRAMME

    4:30—5:30 pm

    Keynote by science historian Jean-Baptiste Fressoz (Paris) 
    5:30—5:45 pm
    Break
    5:45—6:45
    pm
    Conversation between artists Xavier Ribas (London) and Ângela Ferreira (Lisbon)
    6:45—7:45
    pm
    Roundtable discussion moderated by Latitudes (Barcelona)


    Free event. Simultaneous translation French/English. 

    Conference programmed in the context of the exhibition '4.543 billion. The matter of matter', CAPC musée d’art contemporain Bordeaux, 29 June 2017–7 January 2018. Curated by Latitudes.



    The work of many of the artists in the exhibition '4.543 billion. The matter of matter' explores the shared history of human activities and Earth systems. Yet this comes with a critical and political inflexion of the universalizing notion of the Anthropocene, the proposed geological ‘epoch of humanity’ that would cast all of the mankind as being responsible for the alarming damage caused by modernizing and capitalizing nature.

    With a keynote by science historian Jean-Baptiste Fressoz, and a conversation between artists
    Xavier Ribas and Ângela Ferreira—the latter both featured in the exhibition—this event hosted by Latitudes ('4.543 billion' curators Max Andrews and Mariana Cánepa Luna), sees art practice and historical research intertwining with environmental and geological narratives, and vice versa. Both Ribas and Ferreira make art that resists the generalising story of the Anthropocene that Fressoz unmasks in his book 'The Shock of the Anthropocene. The Earth, History and Us' (co-authored with Christophe Bonneuil, Verso Books, 2016). Echoing the meticulous historical approach of Fressoz, both Ribas’s and Ferreira’s projects in the exhibition deal with case studies with a very specific place and politics. Addressing mineral agency and colonial extraction, the artists will discuss their approaches to work that has sprung from diamonds in South Africa (Ferreira) to nitrate in Chile (Ribas).

    As Fressoz & Bonneuil have written, the Anthropocene “signals the return of the Earth into a world that Western industrial modernity, on the whole, represented to itself as above earthly foundation … Environmental history, natural anthropology, environmental law and ethics, human ecology, environmental sociology, political ecology, green political theory, ecological economics, etc., are among the new disciplines that have recently begun to renew the human and social sciences, in a dialogue with the sciences of nature.” The dialogue during the event will seek to discover what might happen when artists, curators, exhibitions and museums come into the mix of such emerging practices. What is at stake when artists venture beyond the conventional separation of humanities from sciences, and into environmental art history, cultural ecology, decolonial activism, and so on?


    Entrance to the exhibition at the CAPC. Photo: Latitudes/RK.

    GUESTS

    Jean-Baptiste Fressoz, formerly a lecturer at Imperial College, London, is a historian of science, technology and environment. He is based at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique, Paris, the largest governmental research organisation in France and the largest fundamental science agency in Europe. He is the author, with Christophe Bonneuil, of 'The Shock of the Anthropocene' (Verso, 2016). “This bold, brilliantly argued history of the Anthropocene epoch is a corrective to cosy thinking about humanity’s grave disruptions to Earth systems. Christophe Bonneuil and Jean-Baptiste Fressoz draw on climate science, economics and technological history to reveal how, starting in eighteenth-century France, imperial narratives that saw people and planet as a ‘totality to be governed’ laid the conceptual basis for the crisis. They call for a ‘new environmental humanities’, and a shift away from market-based approaches that feed the beast.” – Barbara Kiser, Nature.

    Ângela Ferreira’s works in the exhibition form part of a series titled “Stone Free” (2012) in reference to the 1966 hit song performed by Jimi Hendrix (1942–70). “Stone Free” creates correspondences between two voids below the ground, two ‘negative monuments’ as the artist has termed them: Chislehurst Caves, in southeast London, and Cullinan Diamond Mine in Gauteng Province, South Africa. 


    Chislehurst Caves is a man-made network of underground tunnels mainly worked in the late 1700s yet dating back to as early as 1250. The tunnels were excavated in order to mine chalk and flint. Following their use as an air-raid shelter during the second world war, the tunnels were transformed into a venue for rock concerts in the 1960s and 1970s. The Jimi Hendrix Experience played there in 1966 and again the following year, bringing Hendrix’s unique countercultural synthesis of social realism and psychedelic spiritualism based on African and indigenous-American imagery into the literal underground.

    Cullinan Diamond Mine (known as Premier Mine from its establishment in 1902 until 2003) is famed for being the source of the largest gem-quality rough diamond ever discovered, in 1905. Most of the gems cut-and-polished from this stone were used to adorn the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. The recent history of the diamond industry is inextricable from that of settler colonialism in southern Africa and a commodity cartel established by the De Beers corporation founded in 1888 by British imperialist Cecil Rhodes (1853–1902), two years before he became Prime Minister of the Cape Colony. De Beers owned all of the major mines in South Africa, as well as controlling global distribution until it began a recent sell-off of its less productive mines to the Petra Diamonds group, including divesting itself of Cullinan in 2008. 


    Ferreira was born in Maputo, Mozambique, in 1958, and lives in Lisbon, where she teaches Fine Art at the Lisbon University.
    http://angelaferreira.info

    “A History of Detonations” (2014) is a glimpse at an extensive body of work by Xavier Ribas devoted to exploring the legacy of the mining of sodium nitrate in northern Chile, which boomed from the 1870s until the early-twentieth century when it was discovered how to make the compound synthetically. Comprised of photographs taken by the artist during research visits, alongside vintage postcards and press prints bought on the internet, Ribas’s poster sequence takes us from Chile to London to the surface of Mars. The mining and trade of Chilean sodium nitrate was led by a class of British ‘gentleman capitalists’—aristocrats, bankers and merchants. The extraction of the resource not only industrialized the arid Atacama Desert at one end of the commodity chain, and enriched country estates at the other, but through its use as a chemical fertilizer and a component of explosives, it would radically alter a whole series of seemingly disparate geographies, bodies and institutions.

    Ribas was born in Barcelona, 1960, and lives in London.  He is a lecturer at the University of Brighton and associate lecturer at the Universitat Politècnica de València. http://www.xavierribas.com/

    Latitudes is a Barcelona-based curatorial office initiated in 2005 by Max Andrews (1975, Bath, United Kingdom) and Mariana Cánepa Luna (1977, Montevideo, Uruguay). They are the curators of the CAPC exhibition ‘4.543 billion. The matter of matter’, and led the related month-long residency programme ‘Geologic Time’ that took place in September 2017 at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. During 2009 Latitudes developed ‘Portscapes’, a series of ten public commissions in the Port of Rotterdam, the Netherlands (2009); in 2010–11 it was a partner organisation in the exhibition ‘The Last Newspaper’ (New Museum, New York) and in 2011 was the guest curator of the project space of the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León (MUSAC) in León, Spain. More recent curatorial projects include the solo exhibition ‘José Antonio Hernández-Díez. I will fear no evil’, Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), Barcelona (2016); ‘Compositions’, site-specific commissions for two editions of the Barcelona Gallery Weekend (2015 & 2016); and editing the online curatorial reportage initiative ‘Incidents (of Travel)’ developed in partnership with Kadist (initiated in 2016).  
    www.LTTDS.org

    Share:
    #4543billion

    #4543milliards
    @LTTDS 
    @CAPCmusee 
    #CAPCmusee

    ‘4.543 billion’ is the contribution of the CAPC musée to the cultural season Paysages Bordeaux 2017

    Views of the exhibition at the CAPC musée. Photos: Latitudes / RK.

    RELATED CONTENT:
    • CAPC website (French, English, Spanish) http://www.capc-bordeaux.fr/programme/4543-milliards
    • Sediments of the Geologic Time 4-week residency at the Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity 10 October 2017
    • SAVE THE DATE: 29 June, 19h. Private view of the exhibition "4.543 billion. The matter of matter" at the CAPC musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux 30 May 2017
    • Cover Story – May 2017: "S is for Shale or Stuart; W is for Waterfall, or Whipps" May 2017
    • Cover Story – May 2016: Material histories – spilling the beans at the CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux 10 May 2016.
    • Second research trip to Bordeaux 16 July 2016

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    Founded in 2005 by Max Andrews and Mariana Cánepa Luna, Latitudes is a curatorial office based in Barcelona, Spain, that works internationally across contemporary art practices.

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