Longitudes

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

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    ‘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

    Sediments of the Geologic Time 4-week residency at the Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity




    September 11, 2017:
    Banff is a town located within Banff National Park in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, Alberta. Elevation: 1,383 m. We'll be spending four weeks at The Banff Centre, at the foot of Sleeping Buffalo Mountain (Tunnel Mountain) overlooking the Bow Valley. 


    The programme conceived by Latitudes (Lead Faculty), and with the participation of Irish artist Sean Lynch as Guest Faculty, asked how a geologic lens might affect artistic and curatorial practice.

    Participants: Justy Phillips & Margaret Woodward (A Published Event) based in Hobart; Semâ Bekirovic, based in Amsterdam; Caitlin Chaisson based in Vancouver; Becky Forsythe, based in Reykjavik; Chloe Hodge, based in London; Shane Krepakevich, based in Toronto; Caroline Loewen, based in Calgary; Penelope Smart, based in St. John's, Newfoundland; and Camila Sposati, based in São Paulo.



    Views of the Banff Centre campus from the Vistas dining centre, the trees slowly starting to turn yellow.


     

    Group photo of 'Geologic Time' 10 participants and Lead Faculty – participant Penelope Smart and Guest Faculty artist Sean Lynch are camera shy.


     

    The door to Latitudes' Studio 317 in Glyde Hall.



    Stunning views towards the Banff Springs Hotel and Sulphur Mountain from the GH 317 studio.



    'Geologic Time' dedicated section in the library.



    Campus tour with local legend Jim Olver, Customer Service at Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity, "passionate about river canoeing, geology, ski-touring & curling!"



    September 16, 2017: Hike up to Tunnel Mountain, with panoramic views of the town, the Bow and Spray River valleys, and the Banff Springs Hotel site. The Stoney people (indigenous people of Western Canada) had long called the mountain "Sleeping Buffalo", as it resembles a sleeping buffalo when viewed from the north and east. The name Tunnel Mountain was given in 1882 when a proposed route for the Canadian Pacific Railway was to be blasted through. An alternate route costing much less money was put around the mountain, but the name Tunnel Mountain remained.



    September 17, 2017: (Above and below) Hoodoos Trail descends to the river and follows it east and north under the cliff face of Tunnel Mountain. We were interrupted by a herd of elk (wapiti) so decided to turn around.





    September 19, 2017: Lecture by the legendary Rocky Mountains expert Ben Gadd, 71 (pictured above), one of Canada’s better-known naturalists, geologists, and mountain writers.



    Some of the rock specimens brought by Ben Gadd to his lecture – including some very fetching custom cushions sewn by his wife.



    Ben Gadd during his Q&A with Geologic Time participants.



    Gadd holding a 170-95 million-year-old coast mountains granite.



    September 20, 2017: Morning visit to the archive of the Whyte Museum in Banff, a museum that collects, preserves, and exhibits all kinds of materials related to the cultural heritage of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.



    September 20, 2017: Afternoon visit to Bankhead and Lake Minnewanka ("Water of the Spirits" in Nakoda).

    Bankhead is an abandoned coal mining town in Banff National Park. The mine began in 1903 and ceased operations in 1922 when it was generally understood that mining had not been profitable. In 1926, many of the town's buildings were moved to Banff and Canmore. Bankhead was located at the foot of Cascade Mountain, which contains high-grade anthracite coal deposits. The Bankhead coal mine was operated by the Pacific Coal Company, a subsidiary of the Canadian Pacific Railway, which needed the coal to fuel its steam engines.





    Air powered (fireless) locomotive on display at Bankhead, Alberta.



    (Above) Rhubarb grows out of jet-black anthracite: high-grade coal formed 100 million years ago. At its peak in 1911, the Bankhead mine that once stood on this site at the base of Cascade Mountain employed 480 men. Its tunnels produced half a million tonnes of coal that year, destined for the furnaces of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Miners came mostly from Poland, Italy, Britain, and Russia, while a group of 90 Chinese men were brought to Canada to sort rock from coal for minimal wages. Unwelcome in the town, they set up on the far side of the slag heaps, where they made a shanty town from scrap wood. They also created a kitchen garden, where they cultivated, among other plants, the hardy rhubarb that still thrives today.

    Apart from it being forbidden to remove plants from what has been a part of Banff National Park since its designation in 1930, the whole site is contaminated with dioxins from waste oil. So no crumble today.



    'Wave Sound' (2017) piece by Anishinaabe artist Rebecca Belmore commissioned by @landmarksreperes2017



    Rocky Mountains beauty by Lake Minnewanka.



    A Jeff Wall-esque shot of the group by Lake Minnewanka.



    September 21, 2017: (Above and below) Geology tour around campus with Jim Olver (Director of Customer Service, Banff Centre) "reading" the campus, its formations and fossils. Olver has worked at the Banff Centre for 35 years.





    (A
    bove) A well rounded composite rock and (below) finding rocks around campus.


    September 23, 2017: (below and following six) Stunning Bow Lake hike with independent curator and BICI resident, Heidi Rabben.













    September 24, 2017: (Below) Visual Arts + Digital department excursion to Lake Louise, named 'Lake of the Little Fishes' by the Stoney Nakota First Nations people.

    Lake Louise's impressive emerald colour of the water is due to the silt-like rock flour continually being carried into the lake by melt-water from the surrounding glaciers. The tiny and uniform particles become suspended in the water, refracting blue and green wavelengths of light.









    September 25, 2017: (Below) Monday weekly meeting and afternoon group seminar led by Caroline Loewen, Shane Krepakevich and Semâ Bekirovic around Don McKay's essay “Ediacaran & Anthropocene: poetry as a reader of deep time” inducing imaginative speculation through geopoetry. Guest Faculty
    Sean Lynch arrives from Ireland.





    September 26, 2017: (Below) Afternoon lecture by "Geologic Time" Guest Faculty Sean Lynch on the value of conversations, Bardic traditions, stone-carvers James and John O'Shea, and fried chicken.





    September 27, 2017: (Below) 1:1 sessions with Sean Lynch and a bit of time to dig into the library and read the beautifully written book "The Writing of Stones" by Roger Caillois (1970) with an introduction by Marguerite Yourcenar: "Those fusions, pressures, ruptures, imprints of matter in matter have left traces inside and out which sometimes almost exactly resemble writing and which actually do transcribe events from millions of years ago."





    September 28, 2017: Evening seminar in the Banff Upper Hot Springs, elevated at 1,585 meters it's the highest hot water bathing in Canada.



    September 29, 2017: (Below) "Geologic Time" hike to the Stanley Glacier in the Kootenay National Park in British Columbia, led by guides Rona Schneberger and Jane Whitney. At the base of Mount Stanley, we turned over some rocks and found 505-million-year-old Burgess Shale trilobites, soft-body fossils from the Eldon formation.





















    September 30, 2017: Second screening night led by Sean Lynch.

     
    October 2, 2017: (Below) Final week of the programme. Last Monday weekly meeting, this time under the snow. Third and final afternoon workshop led by 'Geologic timers' Becky Forsythe, Caitlin Chaisson and Chloe Hodge around Hito Steyerl's text "In Free Fall: A Thought Experiment on vertical perspective" (e-flux journal #24, April 2011).






    October 3 and 4, 2017: Final 1:1 conversations with participants, and open studios by the Independent artists.
     
    October 5, 2017, 5—7pm: (photos below) The Open event of
    Geologic Time in the library, followed by a visit to Illuminations, "a participative artwork experience by Sarah Fuller, Moment Factory and Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity".

    The closing event of Geologic Time was conceived as a two-hour infiltration into the pages, shelves, and display possibilities of The Banff Centre library. Featuring storytelling, documentation, annotation, sculpture, video, conversation and other live situations, the event presented some sediments of the ten participants’ ongoing research and lithic collaborations. Pdf of the event programme here.


    Caitlin Chaisson has been researching a former experimental farm station in Agassiz, British Columbia, and a forgotten centennial time capsule buried under a granite marker there. Caitlin also presented a cut-and-paste station on the table next to the photocopier, and a display for the tall vitrine just behind it. If you plan on attending the Agassiz Fall Fair and Corn Festival around September 14, 2018, Caitlin will be there, lending an extra hand in the rocky relay that is the shape of time. Pickles may be involved. 

    Meanwhile read her reflections on her "Geologic Time" experience.


    Also on the main floor, Chloe Hodge made an arrangement of book spreads and purloined texts on a large desk on the side of the library that faces Sulphur Mountain. From 1956–1981 the latter peak was the site of a high altitude geophysical laboratory, a Cosmic Ray Station. Chloe’s presentation filters the macro-perspective enabled by this buoyant micro-history through into a speculative research-workshop around freefall, the loss of perspective, and groundlessness. 



    Becky Forsythe has been making plans for a future exhibition inspired by the artist and naturalist known as Petra, who spent decades collecting stones and minerals from the mountains in Stöðvarfjörður, Iceland. Camila Sposati has been reflecting on the various “extractions” of a residency and exhibition that took place in the Amazon in 2004, gradually turning them into a script for a play. Becky and Camila are collaborating for this event on a procedural work using the library photocopier on the main floor (Receding Agate and Rhodochrosite). On the upper floor, they present two further collaborations via the media of “chairs and view” – Looking at the mountains and The mountain at my back – that recontextualize the interior space with respect to vistas of Mt Bourgeau, the Massive Range, Pilot Mountain, and so on.


    Chloe is also one of eight 'Geologic Time' narrators whose readings can be heard through speakers on the main floor. What we are hearing are excerpts from Lost Rocks (2017–21), a growing library of short fiction books commissioned by Justy Phillips & Margaret Woodward (A Published Event). Described by the Hobart-based duo as “an accumulative event of mineralogical, metaphysical and metallurgical telling”, the books that have come into the world to date have been incorporated into the library’s holdings alongside a glossary and can be found in the geology section upstairs.



    Caroline Loewen has put together documentation at the top of the stairs, along the narrow “bar”. Caroline delves deep into the story of sandstone in Alberta, a rock that gained widespread favour for building and decorative use following Calgary’s Great Fire of 1886. The black-and-brown Rundle Rock that was once quarried at the base of Banff-Centre-neighbour Mount Rundle and was used extensively in creating the Banff Springs Hotel also joins a conversation that anticipates an exhibition scheduled for next summer at Lougheed House in Calgary. (The same Lougheed dynasty lends its name to the Jeanne and Peter Lougheed Building (JPL), the Banff Centre’s media headquarters.) 



    For these two hours in the library Semâ Bekirovic employed a number of external hard drives to act as pedestals for small stones. How many terabytes can a hunk of rock hold? What fragments of data detritus, chunks and grains of documents, broken off images, or weathered files, might be read and written, stored or retrieved? We might ponder this as we stand by the “bar” looking towards Sulphur Mountain. 


    An audio narration drafted by Penelope Smart was also heard on the upper floor via a Bluetooth speaker in the stacks, near “memoirs and narrative”. Here, an image of the exquisite marble bust by Giovanni Strazza animated Penny’s writing during the last weeks. It came to St.John’s, Newfoundland, in 1856. Ring the bell to the right of the main door of the Presentation Convent adjoining the Basilica in St.John’s and maybe one of the sisters will let you see it.



    Shane Krepakevich has been prototyping an exhibition display system, or running a 1:1 scale artist-run research institute, in his studio overlooking Mike MacDonald’s butterfly garden. Shane has been thinking about design impulses, transparency, support structures, and the refraction of light through glass, sometimes during the hours he has spent sanding and polishing a series of bronze paperweights, or prospecting the library for textual gems. For the library presentation, Shane made 8.5"×11" arrangements of found sentences, printed them, and then squirrelled them away inside selected library books, alongside images he has photocopied for his display system project.



    A number of commemorative posters by Latitudes are presented in the meeting room upstairs. These mark some of the excursions and talks that have formed a part of the last weeks through the motif of the human hand as a geologic scale device. 



    Finally, if we ever need reminding about the mystery and power of geological formations, 'Picnic at Hanging Rock', the 1975 Australian film directed by Peter Weir, was screened on a monitor on the upper floor.

    Special thanks to Mark Black, Brandy Dahrouge, Peta Rake, and Angela Schenstead. 

    October 6, 2017: Exit interviews, pack up, and departures.

    'Geologic Time' participants: Justy Phillips & Margaret Woodward (A Published Event), based in Hobart; Semâ Bekirovic, based in Amsterdam; Caitlin Chaisson based in Vancouver; Becky Forsythe, based in Reykjavik; Chloe Hodge, based in London; Shane Krepakevich, based in Toronto; Caroline Loewen, based in Calgary; Penelope Smart, based in St. John’s, Newfoundland; and Camila Sposati, based in Sao Paulo.

    'Geologic Time' was a residency programme of the Banff International Curatorial Institute (BICI), organised by the Banff Centre for Art and Creativity in Alberta, Canada. The 2017 residency took place between September 11–October 6 within the framework of the group exhibition 4.543 billion. The matter of matter curated by Latitudes at CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux, France, on view until January 7, 2018.


    RELATED CONTENT:

    “Thinking with” geology at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity


    Greetings from the Banff Centre in the Canadian Rockies!

    For the next four weeks, Latitudes will be Lead Faculty of the residency programme "Geologic Time" organised by the Banff International Curatorial Institute (BICI) at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity

    Curators, artists and writers Justy Phillips & Margaret Woodward (A Published Event) based in Hobart; Sema Bekirovic, based in Amsterdam; Caitlin Chaisson based in Vancouver; Becky Forsythe, based in Reykjavik; Chloe Hodge, based in London; Shane Krepakevich, based in Toronto; Caroline Loewen, based in Calgary; Penelope Smart, based in St. John's, Newfoundland; and Camila Sposati, based in Sao Paulo, are here for a month to discuss geological formations and timescales, while speculating about a more expansive and longer-term view of art, exhibitions, and their institutions. 

    Through fieldwork, seminars, and independent study, 'Geologic Time' we will be thinking with geology as a potential way to consider non-conventional, deep-time perspectives on curating, exhibition making, programming, and fieldwork within contemporary art.

    Programme on Banff's website.

    On September 12, 4 pm, Latitudes will give a lecture presenting their practice at the Jeanne & Peter Lougheed Building 204. Everyone is welcome!

    "Geologic Time" is a thematic residency programme of the Banff International Curatorial Institute (BICI), Visual + Digital Arts organised by the Banff Centre for Art and Creativity in Alberta, Canada. Within the framework of the residency, Latitudes curated the group exhibition "4.543 billion. The matter of matter" at the CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux, France, on view until January 7, 2018.  


    Entrance to one of the two wings of the exhibition "4.543 billion. The matter of matter" at the CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux, France, on view until January 7, 2018. Photo: Latitudes / RK.

    RELATED CONTENT:

    Latitudes' "out of office" 2016–2017 season

     Downtime for physical and mental "reparations" begins. 
    Photos: Latitudes (except where noted otherwise).

    It's the end of the 2016–17 season, at last. Following a Latitudes' tradition we mark the summer downtime with an "out of office" post (see the 2008-9, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012–13, 2013–14, 2014–15, 2015–16 ones) with a series of "behind the scenes" and "making of" moments from the year gone by. Here are some glimpses of the past season, from September 2016 to July 2017.

    We'll be back in September 2017, when we'll be leading a residency programme at Banff Centre in the Canadian Rockies!

     
    15 September
    2016: The 2016–17 season started with glitter and sparkle as Antoni Hervàs' "The Mystery of Caviria" exhibition opened in La Capella. The eight chapters of his complex scenario revolved around the legend of Jason and the Argonauts’ expedition in search of the Golden Fleece. The spectacular scenography took as its point of origin the section of the tale in which the expedition led by Jason stops for a few months in Lemnos, the island of fire, in the northern part of the Aegean Sea. Taking this fragment, Hervàs explored the transformist and genre-bending possibilities of drawing, a medium that enabled him to unite two mythologies: the Cabeirian rites of Classical Greece and figures from Barcelona’s dwindling cabaret scene. Photos of the exhibition here.

    Toni's exhibition was the focus of the September and November Cover Story series on our home page, archived here.



    Photos above: Latitudes and Toni Hervàs.

    18 September 2016: More sparkle awaited on the former site of the Copacabana club and nearby frontón court. The former is currently a parking lot used by the Department of Culture of the Catalan Government. The lone castanets master Juan de la Cruz el Rosillo interpreted a moving repertoire of popular Spanish coplas. For the second part of the event, the audience walked a few meters up Las Ramblas towards the frontón, where Gerard López, Senior Spanish Champion in male rhythmic gymnastics, interpreted newly-commissioned choreography with specially-produced music by Norman Bambi, while wearing a Hervàs-designed garment (exhibited as part of his exhibition).


    20 September 2016: Just as we are catching our breath from the memorable exhibition opening and the first event related to Toni's exhibition, street banners popped up around the city announcing the second Barcelona Gallery Weekend.


    26–28 September 2016: Installation of "Composiciones" projects, five site-specific commissions for the second iteration of the Barcelona Gallery Weekend. Three days of intense preparations! Curated by Latitudes for the second time (see 2015 edition), the project further explored Barcelona as a rich fabric of the historic and the contemporary, the unfamiliar and the conspicuous.

     Above and below: Lola Lasurt at the Biblioteca Pública Arús. 
    (Above) Lúa and Mariana admiring the serendipitous finding of "El Espejo equivocado" painting at the Club Billar Barcelona. An almost spooky, yet incredibly fitting find. 

    (Above) With Rafel Bianchi and Gina Giménez unpacking Gina's works and spreading them around the former textile factory Can Trinxet, L’Hospitalet de Llobregat. 

    Silkscreened outfits for the runners finally ready to be worn throughout the weekend. Photos: Robert Llimós.

    Runners pass by Galeria dels Àngels. Photo: Gabriela Moragas.
     Testing the resistance of a pair of Levi's jeans in preparation for Wilfredo Prieto "Pantalones Rotos" at the Mounted Unit of the Barcelona City Police.


    29 September–2 October 2016: Opening and guided visits around the five "Composiciones" interventions by Lúa Coderch (at the Club Billar Barcelona); Regina Giménez (at the former textile factory Can Trinxet, L’Hospitalet de Llobregat); Lola Lasurt (at the Biblioteca Pública Arús); Robert Llimós (connecting all the participating galleries) and Wilfredo Prieto (at the Mounted Unit of the Barcelona City Police) in unique sites across the neighbourhoods of the city. Their projects offered moments of intermission, intimacy and bewilderment throughout the weekend, highlighting some lesser-known aspects of the city’s cultural heritage and municipal life.

    Storify archive of social networks posts. Photographs here.

    Guided tour by Lúa Coderch in her intervention at the Club Billar Barcelona.

    Guided tour by Gina Giménez to ARCOwalks group in Can Trinxet. 

     Speaking for the radio at the Mounted Unit of the Barcelona City Police.

     
     TV presenter Josep Paris modeled Robert Llimós' 1972 updated runners design during the weekly cultural TV programme Àrtic. Photo: Àrtic.

     Double spread on "Composiciones" in the cultural supplement "Tendències" by national newspaper El Mundo. Photo: Vanessa Graell.

    26 October 2016: Launch of Rasmus Nilausen book "Soups & Symptoms" at Múltiplos, which includes an essay by Max Andrews. For the event, Rasmus and Max served up a carrot soup (potage crécy) and requested questions from friends, family and collaborators which would be accepted as long as they fitted onto Jacob's Cream cracker.

    The catalogue was produced thanks to the funding from Premi Art Nou 2015, Art Barcelona, Associació de Galeries d’Art Contemporani in collaboration with the Institut de Cultura de Barcelona, García Galeria (Madrid) and Estrany de la Mota (Barcelona). It can be purchased in La Central.

    Max and Rasmus prepare the carrots for a large pot of Potage Crécy, questions are written on a Jacob's Cream crackers (that will later accompany the soup) and book launch at Múltiplos.


    3 November 2016: Runway show at La Capella with some costumes from the 1980s and 90s designed by actor and impresario Victor Guerrero. Part of the activities programmed on the occasion of the exhibition.

    Photos: Latitudes.

    8 November 2016: Mariana Cánepa Luna's review on Ana Jotta's exhibition published on art-agenda, focused on "her ongoing series 'Notas de rodapé' [Footnotes] [which] provide a key to understanding the semantic complexity of her work. It comprises a selection of the eclectic bits and pieces which Jotta has gathered for decades and that coexist in her studio alongside works that she has fabricated." Continue reading


    23-24 November 2016: Latitudes participated in a two-day summit "You are such a curator!" organised by the Curatorial Programme of De Appel, Amsterdam. With contributions by Mira Asriningtyas, Lucrezia Calabro Visconti, Renata Cervetto, Mateo Chacon-Pino, Galerie (Adriano Wilfert Jensen and Simon Asencio), Natasha Hoare, Kati Ilves, Prem Krishnamurthy, Inga Lace, Latitudes (Max Andrews and Mariana Cánepa Luna), Ariane Loze, Shona Mei Findlay, Fadwa Naamna, Kim Nguyen, Emma Ines Panza, Aneta Rostkowska and Kuba Woynarowski, Chris Sharp, Niels Van Tomme, Huib Haye van der Werf, and others. We took the opportunity to extend our stay on the occasion of the Amsterdam Art Weekend 2016, which included the opening of Jordan Wolfson's at the Stedelijk and the Open Studios at the Rijksakademie.


    Latitudes' presention "Following the Holy Greyhound" reflected "on the disinterment of a sculpture from 1991 – part of an exhibition by the Venezuelan artist José Antonio Hernández-Díez curated by Latitudes at MACBA, Barcelona, earlier this year – and their approach to a group exhibition in preparation for CAPC Musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux in Summer 2017. Full report here.

      Photos: Carina Erdmann/De Appel.

    November-December 2016: Two of Latitudes' projects ("Composiciones" commissions for the Barcelona Gallery Weekend and "El misterio de Caviria" by Antoni Hervàs) are shortlisted for the best exhibition of the year by the TV culture programme Tria33. The audience casts their votes online until January. Antoni Hervàs won with 40% of the audience votes. "Composiciones" ends in the third position with 17% of the votes.



    January 2017: Issue of frieze magazines includes Max Andrews' "Salon Selectives" text in the Opinion section, discussing "How open are open calls?":

    "While competition organizers typically trumpet the volume and cosmopolitanism of applications received an ebullient endorsement, others may rue the sheer amount of collectively wasted effort made by the also-rans. (In Spain, Bilbao-based studio Taller de Casquería estimated that the hours involved in the 1,715 submissions received for the Guggenheim Helsinki open call for designs represented over €18 million worth of speculative work.) In Gary Hustwit’s 2011 documentary film, Urbanized, Rem Koolhaas stated that such competitions were a ‘complete drain of intelligence’, inviting mass creative thinking with the guarantee that the vast majority of it will be discarded. This addiction in the field of architecture appears to be gaining traction in contemporary art as a means not only of generating exhibitions but of programming institutions."

    The text was the January Cover Story on our website.


    25 January 2017: Presentation of Antoni Hervàs' La Capella publication at the Antic Teatre in the background of one of his scenographic drawings dedicated to Gilda Love (this was the second time this had been displayed in this space, following the recording in May last year of Gilda performing, a video later included in the exhibition). The evening was followed by the "Desplume" monthly cabaret show.




    16 February 2017: A moving evening seeing Toni Hervàs receive the Premi Ciutat de Barcelona for visual arts exhibition of the year at the Sala de Consell de Cent in the Barcelona City Hall. The jury recognised "the artist's research in linking Greek mythology with the Barcelona cabaret scene from the 1960s–80s and for the recuperation of its vitality."

    Toni receiving the award from Barcelona mayor Ada Colau and during his speech. Photos: Latitudes.

    1 March 2017: Launch of the fourth 'Incidents (of Travel)' episode, in which Galician curator Pedro de Llano met Lisboeta artist Luisa Cunha in Lisbon. Their offline day took place in early December and went through key locations in the artist's life – from Ar.Co, the School of Visual Arts in Almada where she enrolled at age thirty-seven, to the Largo da Academia de Belas Artes in Chiado, where she conceived a public project that never materialised.
    Above: captures from the project website.

    2 March 2017: Opening of Joana Hurtado Matheu's "Nostalgic Dissidence" exhibition mentored by Latitudes as part of the Barcelona Producció 2016 season. Repairs and conservation work in the Baroque cupola had delayed the opening by three months, so we were all pleased the day finally arrived. 

      Working on the exhibition layout.

    Francesco Arena's "Mare della tranquillità" (2013) is activated by a performer. "An old wooden table, taken from the family dining room, has been cut into four pieces to form the corners of a much bigger new table. Enlarged with inserts of metal, its size evokes the table on which, on May 7, 1945, the signing of the German surrender ended World War II in Europe. The work is the support for a participative action which consists of walking back and forth on the five-metre table a total of 155 km, the length of the Berlin Wall. Every day during the two months of the exhibition someone will get up on the table and, wearing shoes that have never touched the ground and holding a tally counter, walk from one end to the other 596 times." (exhibition wall label by the curator)

    Photos: Pep Herrero/La Capella and Marc Llibre Roig.

    January 2017: The artist Alexandra Navratil pots an image of the work she will present in the forthcoming exhibition "4.543 billion" due to open June 29 at the CAPC musée in Bordeaux.


    22–24 March 2017: Third trip to Bordeaux. Packed with meetings. Three months to go to the opening of "4.543 billion" exhibition. In two weeks deadline to submit the texts for the gallery guide. 

     Running through each work through our sketch up exhibition rendering with the curatorial, collections, registrar, press and installation teams.

    23 March 2017: Meanwhile in Barcelona, Toni Hervàs wins yet another award – for the best exhibition of the year, and given by the Catalan Association of Art Critics. 

    Hervàs during the award ceremony. Photo: ACCA.

    April 2017: A bit of a website refresh – these things are so darn tedious yet they feel so good when they are done and dusted!


    26 April 2017: Fifth 'Incidents (of Travel)' episode online narrating the encounter between curator Simon Soon and artist Chi Too. Their offline day took place in April 2016, when they visited the Malaysian state of Terengganu, where chi spent some time in 2013, surrounded by "men and women who work(ed) multiple jobs as a fishermen, house builders, boat builders, farmers, coconut pickers, food producers, and everything else that matters."

    'Incidents (of Travel)' is a chartered day-long itinerary as an alternative to the standard studio-visit, inviting an extended conversation between a curator and an artist. Previous destinations have included Chicago, US; Jinja, Uganda; Suzhou, China; and Lisbon, Portugal. Produced by Kadist; photographs and video by Awang Ketut; site built by The Present Group.



    Above: captures from the project website.

    3 May 2017: Conversation with Korean-born, Berlin-based artist Haegue Yang at the Fundació Tàpies, Barcelona. The evening discussion analysed Yang's practice from the perspective of historical development and cyclic fluctuations, asked, as phrased by sociologist and economist Giovanni Arrighi – what is accumulative, what is cyclical, what is new? 

    Photos: Fundació Han Nefkens.

    May 2017: After three intense weeks of jury process, eighteen selected projects of Barcelona Producció 2017 grant scheme are announced. We begin the year-long mentoring process of three projects out of the seventeen selected projects this year as part of the Barcelona Producció 2017 production grants. David Mutiloa's SYNTHESIS (18 July–25 September 2017) is first to occupy La Capella's 15th-century exhibition space. The other two projects mentored by Latitudes are a publication by Anna Moreno and an exhibition "Artengo2000" at the small exhibition space by Camille Orny and Magda Vaz.

     Jury searching for a solid wifi spot to watch video documentation sent by an applicant.

    12 June 2017, in Basel: Max Andrews of Latitudes contributed the essay "C-H-R-I-S-T-O-P-H-E-R-K-N-O-W-L-E-S. SO LISTEN UP" about the spoken-word works, "typings", poetry and paintings of Christopher Knowles. The publication is made to accompany his solo presentation in the stand of NoguerasBlanchard gallery at Liste art fair in Basel. The exquisite short-run publication is designed and printed by Barcelona-based independent publishers and Riso printers Do The Print. Read on.

     Photos: Latitudes

    Photo via @gal_NB


    12 June, in Barcelona: Following the announcement of the awardees of the 2017–18 season of Barcelona Producció production grants, we visit David Mutiloa's temporary studio in Hangar. Mutiloa is the first artist to open the season and his exhibition "SYNTHESIS" will take place in the central nave of La Capella from July 18. 

    "Using sculpture, video projections and human presence, David Mutiloa’s exhibition Synthesis proposes that this condition has led to the appearance of pharmacologically managed depression, “an illness of responsibility”. It has also induced a terrible form of boredom – the spectre of both the boundless outsourcing of undesirable labour to the developing world and automation leading to a world without work. – Text from the gallery guide, written by Latitudes (pdf here). 

    Here is a short video documenting the exhibition.

     Photos: Latitudes

     
    19 June–2 July: We're off to Bordeaux for the installation and opening of "4.543 billion. The matter of matter" exhibition in ten days. After two years of preparation, it's a truly exciting moment to see it all coming together.  

    —> Press release here
    —> Ongoing archive of social media posts here.

    Lucy Skaer's 26 coal and resin sculptures after Brancusi's 26 different editions of "Bird in Space".

    Deciding the layout of Félix Arnaudin's incredible suite of photographs kindly lent by the Musée d'Aquitaine Bordeaux.

    Photovoltaic panels charging the batteries that power Nicholas Mangan's double video projection "Ancient Lights" (2015). 

     Anne Garde's photos documenting Richard Serra's "Threats of Hell" (1990) production from Dillinger Hütter (Germany) to its exhibition at the CAPC nave, to its current location at a private collector home on the banks of the Garonne, where it changed its name to a happier "Hopes of Paradise".
     Part of the CAPC installation team having a coffee break enjoying Stéphane's awesome chocolate cake.
     Rayyane Tabet's mobile pieces arriving from Hamburg at the CAPC.
    Registrar thick checklist file.
     François measuring Lara Almarcegui's works before placing them on the wall.

     Construction of the warehouse and jetty. Statements of works by engineer and architect Claude Deschamps.
     Christophe moving the 600kg rock by Hubert Duprat to the entrance.
     Pascal lighting the exhibition.

    Christina Hemauer and Roman Keller stretching their new work "Untitled (Blue)" (2017), for a work focused on indigo and colonial trade. 

    Christina Hemauer and Terence Gower listening to Pep Vidal explaining his sculpture work "19-metre tree cut in 7 equal volumes" (2015). 

     One of the many guided visits for press, staff, friends of the museum during the opening days. Photo: Latitudes/RK.

    11–14 July 2017: Installation of "SYNTHESIS" in La Capella. David Mutiloa's solo exhibition is the first of the 2017–18 season of Barcelona Producció. Opening on July 18, on view until September 25.

    "In the modern office workplace, spatial design and brand communication have evolved in step with novel notions of management, business efficiency and a labour market that progressively favours flexibility and adaptability. The typical Western office worker – their physiology as well as their psychology – has also been overhauled. Twentieth-century time-and-motion studies first standardised and rationalised the salaried worker’s time and space. And today the twenty-first-century worker is increasingly a co-working independent contractor who navigates an entirely dissolved working-week structure, continuous competitive ‘disruption’ and the so-called ‘gig economy’." – Text by Latitudes from the exhibition sheet.

    Scheme to help assemble the platform.

     Artist at work.



    24–26 July 2017: Trip to Copenhagen to visit the impressive solo exhibition by John Kørner, "Altid Mange Problemer" at Kunsthal Charlottenborg, curated by Marie Nipper—the largest exhibition of his works to date. Max Andrews of Latitudes has been invited to contribute an essay for his forthcoming monograph published by Roulette Russe which is due to come out in November 2017. Max has previously written on John's work for his 2006 exhibition "Problems" at Victoria Miro Gallery in London. Our first visit to Copenhagen to see John's work was precisely the subject of our first blog post in September 2006!

    Everything in Copenhagen seemed to have turned yellow – we knew John's love for the colour (first image below), but also Mark Leckey's exhibition at the x-room of the Statens Museum fur Kunst, seemed to have been inspired by "the Nyboder yellow" hue – the historic row house district of former Naval barracks in Copenhagen. 


    Mark Leckey's exhibition ‘He Thrusts his fists against the posts but still insists he sees the ghosts’ recreated the ramps underneath the M53 motorway bridge in Ellesmere Port. 

    Example of the "Nyboder yellow" hue – the historic row house district of former Naval barracks in Copenhagen. 

    27 July 2017: Visit Ricardo Bofill's Walden7 and his nearby studio Taller de Arquitectura with Anna Moreno. Moreno was awarded a grant of Barcelona Producció 2017 to produce the publication "The Drowned Giant", a project focusing on a performance–happening staged by Bofill in 1970 to promote his unrealised architectural project La Ciudad en el Espacio in Moratalaz (Madrid). The publication will be launched in late November 2017 and is mentored by Latitudes. As part of Moreno's ongoing research on Bofill's practice, she has been living in Walden7 for the past month in order to carry research for a forthcoming commission for the Spring 2018 exhibition "Beehave" at the Fundació Miró. 


     (Above) Taller de arquitectura studio. (Below) Walden7 in Sant Just Desvern (Barcelona).



    At the time of writing, we are frantically preparing for what will be an intense September. On September 10 we'll travel to Banff, where Latitudes will be Lead Faculty of the month-long residency programme "Geologic Time" at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity which will bring together 10 curators/artists/writers from around the world to discuss geological formations and timescales, while speculating about a more expansive and longer-term view of art, exhibitions, and their institutions. We will be “thinking with” geology (beyond the depiction of the landscape) as a potential way to consider non-conventional, deep-time perspectives on curating, exhibition making, programming, and fieldwork within contemporary art. 

     Julius Schoppe (1795–1868), “Illustration of giant stone near the Rauenschen Mountains near Fürstenwalde”, c. 1827. Public domain – Wikimedia Commons.

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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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    Latitudes
    2005—2019