Longitudes

More from OMONOIA – Athens Biennale 2015–2017 on our December Cover Story

International Summit Synapse 1 at New Rex of the National Theatre of Greece. 'Session II: Rethinking Institutions': (from left to right) Leo Panitch, Maria Hlavajova, Adam Szymczyk, Amalia Zepou (moderator), Hilary Wainwright, Emily Pethick, Latitudes (Max Andrews & Mariana Cánepa Luna) © Eva Galatsanou.

The above picture by Eva Galatsanou was taken during 'Session II: Rethinking Institutions' one of the
Summit panels that launched OMONOIA, the Athens Biennale 2015–2017. Latitudes participated in this panel on November 18, as one of the speakers. Our current Cover Story on Latitudes' home page features this event at the National Theatre of Greece, New Rex.  

Below some more photos of that day and the working group meetings that took place at the former Bageion Hotel (18 Omonoia Square) on November 19, 2015.

 Omonoia Square. On the left the Bageion Hotel (with the orange banner), HQ of the Athens Biennial 2015–2017.
 
Omonoia Square from the first floor of the Bageion Hotel.

 Artistic Director Massimiliano Mollona, and Athens Biennale directors Xenia Kalpaktsoglou (left) and Poka-Yio (right) welcome guests to the second day of the Summit "Synapse 1: Introducing a laboratory for production post". 

 After the welcoming words, guests joined closed-door working groups sessions around the building on 'Cooperativism', 'Commons & Urban Welfare', 'Alternative Currencies' and 'Solidarity Networks'.

 10am–1pm: Latitudes joined the 'Commons & Urban Welfare' working group which had representatives of Avtonomi Akadimia (GR), Omada Metavasis / Transition (GR), Omikron Project (GR), Sarantaporo (GR), Votanikos Kipos Squat (GR), Athens Wireless Metropolitan Network (TBC) (GR), Green Park (TBC) (GR), Luigi Coppola (Parco Commune dei Frutti Minori, IT), Sylvia de Fanti (Teatro Valle, IT) and Federica Giardini.

2–5pm: During the Open Assembly, artist, activist and Berlin-based curator Margarita Tsomou feeds back to the audience what was discussed during the 'Solidarity Networks' working group which had representatives from Refugees Welcome (GR), Solidarity4all (GR), HYLE[Ύλη]matter (GR), Notara Squat (TBC) (GR), The Other Human (TBC) (GR), Metropolitan Community Clinic at Helliniko (GR), European Village (GR), Ivor Stodolsky (Perpetuum Mobile) (NO).

Potent voices like that of Tsomou raised questions about a proposed 'open' biennale format and the possible (in)adequacy of visual arts to host activism. "I do my activism in the street" – she exclaimed. (Tsomou has recently interviewed Adam Szymczyk (artistic director of documenta 14) for DIE ZEIT – download here.)

 Other speakers were more direct in their pragmatism and asked the forum "What do we have? Do we have a hammer? Do we have chairs?" to which Mollona and Poka-Yio responded the biennial has the Bageion Hotel building and in-kind sponsorship for production, everything else has to be decided and invented collectively for the next two years. 

 End of the Open Assembly at the Bageion Hotel.

 Stairs of the Bageion Hotel.


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Latitudes in the 'OMONOIA' Summit of the Athens Biennale 2015–2017

1960s view of Omonoia Square (Concord Square) in Athens – one of the many views of the site shared in this Flickr.

Latitudes will participate in one of the three panels that will comprise a two-day International Summit (18–19 November) that initiate the next two years of activities of the next edition of the Athens Biennale, titled “OMONOIA” (Concord). Intuitive towards the institution of biennales, the Athens Biennale intends to revise its identity and bridges the past with the present and the future by merging the fifth edition (2015) with the sixth (2017). 

The Summit is framed within the "Synapse 1: Introducing a laboratory for production post" the first synapse of what will be an ongoing series of events that will run over the next two years. 

The first day (18 November, 9:30–20h: National Theatre – New Rex, 48 Panepistimiou ) of the Summit will be organised under three panel discussions – Alternative Economies, The Performative in the Political, Rethinking Institutions. See the programme here.

The second day (19 November 2015, 9:30–20h, Bageion, 18 Omonoia Square) will host a series of working groups between scholars, self-organised initiatives, cooperatives and activists as well as an open assembly that will summarise the proceedings and discuss potentials for the future.

The aim of the Summit is to promote transnational knowledge-exchange and consider common grounds among academics, artists, activists and initiatives involved in practices of commoning, urban welfare and grassroots participation and kickstart the urban laboratory that the Athens Biennale aims to become for the next two years.

#AB5to6
#ΟΜΟΝΟΙΑ
#AthensBiennale


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This is the blog of the independent curatorial office Latitudes. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
All photos: Latitudes | www.lttds.org (except when noted otherwise in the photo caption).

Work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Latitudes "Out of office", 2013–2014 season

This is the sixth consecutive year [see 2008-9, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012–13] that we wave goodbye to the season as many of us say 'hello, holidays' by sharing what has become something of a Latitudes' tradition. Our yearly 'out of office' includes some unseen and 'behind the scenes' moments from the last season. This casual yearly report has always been a welcome opportunity to revise the many photographs that have been buried on hard drives, to reflect on the past year, the fantastic people we met, enriching things we have seen, and to recharge for future challenges. 

This post heralds a short period of deceleration of our online activity (that is tending to our inbox, as well as this blog, Facebook and Twitter). We'll take a short break during August, but will be back in September with renewed energy. Until then, have a great summer break/Feliz verano dear readers!   

11–16 October 2013: 'Agora', Athens Biennial 4, Greece. Read the full report here
Beautiful Acropolis floor.
Afternoon light over the façade of the National Archaeological Museum.

An astonishing exhibition presenting severely-eroded antiquities recovered from the legendary shipwreck off the islet of Antikythera, south of the Peloponnese. (Hello, Matthew Monahan and Thomas Houseago!)

21–28 October 2013: As part of the Young Curators Invitational programme (YCI) coinciding with FIAC, we were invited to visit several institutions, gallery spaces and studios in Paris – Click here to read the full report of that week, or here for the archive of our tweets


Group photo of the Young Curators Invitational programme (YCI) 2013 participants nearby one of the massive and over-the-top fountains at Versailles. Some 1980s (or maybe 1880s?) dance moves going on for some reason.


We were looking forward to visiting this particular 18th-Century cabinet of curiosities, but only managed to take this one photo before we were told off. It's the Cabinet de Curiosités de Joseph Bonnier de La Mosson, at the Médiathèque of the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle at the Jardin des Plantes. Quite a lot of fluff has been written about Cabinets de Curosités and exhibition-making, and some terrible art made in its name, but this slice of history is quite extraordinary, beautiful and shocking and 'very much of its time' to put it mildly. See some better photos here

16 November 2013: Seminar for "Curating the present. Theory and practice of the contemporary art exhibition", organised by Tania Pardo, Sergio Rubira and Alberto Sánchez Balmisawith  La Casa Encendida, Madrid.


About to begin our lecture... 

During our Madrid visit, we visited Roman Ondák's intervention at Palacio de Cristal (above) which got a short mention in our Roman Ondák lecture in Glasgow a few days after.

20 November 2013: At the kind invitation of the wonderful The Common Guild in Glasgow, on 21 November we gave a lecture about the work of Roman Ondák – read the text here. We also took the opportunity to do some studio visits – see full Report from Glasgow (posted on 4 December) – including Lucy Skaer's exhibition at Tramway; see Max's Frieze review.




27 November 2013: Mariana Cánepa Luna gave an afternoon seminar on a range of Latitudes' projects for the course 'On Mediation – Theory and Curatorial Practice in Global Art’ at the Universitat de Barcelona.



25 January 2014: Opening of "The Margins of the Factory" a solo show by Rotterdam-based Iratxe Jaio and Klaas van Gorkum, at ADN Platform in Sant Cugat (Barcelona). Photos of the show here, reviews and exhibition leaflet here and all the social media posts archived here.
Photo via Facebook of Miguel Ángel Sánchez, posted with the caption: "Curators backing up the artist! The awesome outcome of this team effort at ADN Platform. On view from Saturday 25th".


 Klaas installing the series of photos that form part of Producing time in between other things (2011).

Exhibition guide designed and produced by Latitudes includes texts on each piece and an A3 sized fold-out poster. Download in English and in Spanish

Nathaniel Mann's opening performance included his singing the Basque popular song “Oi Peio Peio” – a dialogue between a woman worker and her cruel boss, who insists that she carries on working throughout the night. Watch video of the performance here. Photo: Joan Morey

 Photo published by Amanda Bernal in her exhibition preview at Tot Sant Cugat.

19–22 February 2013: Since November 2013, Latitudes had been guest Tweeting from @ARCOmeetings, advancing content and profiling the +70 participants of the seven Professional Meetings that took place during ARCOmadrid art fair. During the fair, we live-Tweeted each session as well as the 'III Meeting of Museums of European and Iberoamerica'. Our reportage and commentary spanned over 1200 Tweets – they're archived here.


Welcoming words by Joao Fernandes, Deputy Director of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, before kicking off the 'III Meeting of Museums of European and Iberoamerica'.

The "Biennials at the Periphery" session was masterfully moderated by the SITE Santa Fe team.

18 March 2014: Max in conversation with Dutch artist Remco Torenbosch at the Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona, in the context of his exhibition at NoguerasBlanchard.
Photo by @priscilaclementti.

12 May–7 June: Visiting Curator Programme of Gertrude Contemporary in Melbourne, Australia, in partnership with MADA: Monash School of Art Design and Architecture. Our month-long residency is documented in this Storify thread.


Central Melbourne.

On May 14, we gave a lecture and an afternoon seminar with PhD candidates in Curatorial Practice at MADA | Monash University in Melbourne, focusing on 2012–13 research project #OpenCurating, and in particular the published interviews with the web team from the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis; with Badlands Unlimited in New York; with research curator Steven ten Thije of the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven and with Dia Art Foundation Curator, Yasmil Raymond.


Photo: Courtesy MADA.

During our Melbourne residency we made more than thirty studio visits, and also met curators, graphic designers, writers, editors and University professors. We also paid visits to galleries (Neon Parc, Sarah Scout, Sutton Gallery, Utopian Slumps, Tolarno Gallery, Anna Schwartz Gallery...), bookstores (the jewel-box that is World Food Books), non-profits, curator-led projects and artist-run-spaces (West Space, Slopes) and of course museums such MUMA at Monash, the Ian Potter Museum, the National Gallery Victoria, or the fantastic Heide Museum, which hosted a solo show of Emily Floyd (pictured below).


 
On May 23rd we shadowed a site visit to the fascinating Living Museum of the West (photo below) in Maribyrnong, a social history museum and former industrial site which will be the focus a forthcoming project by West Space with artists Susan Jacobs and Geoff Robinson, among others. Below their analogue archive over interviews, with plenty of cassettes, binders and filing cabinets.

We had one day to explore the stunning Great Ocean Road. We saw a couple of wild koalas as well as local-speciality birdlife including Rufous Bristlebird and Hooded Dotterel, plus many surfers waiting for the perfect wave, before driving back to the city.

26–31 May 2014: Visiting Sydney and the 19th Biennale of Sydney.


 A great welcome to Sydney sunset by the Opera House.


Bianca Hester's 'fashioning discontinuities', 2013–14, at Cockotoo Island was one of the (frankly very few) highlights of the 2014 edition of the Sydney Biennale.


One of the best things we saw in Sydney was a one-room show dedicated to 'Tehching Hsieh: One-year performance 1980–1981' at Carriageworks.

 Entrance to the artist-run space Alaska Projects, whose creative base camp is level 2 of Kings Cross Car Park.

1 June 2014: Short trip to Hobart in Tasmania to pay a visit to professional gambler and philanthropist David Walsh's extravaganza, the Museum of Old and New Art (MoNA). Despite the tech-geek owner and the 'O' device (iPod devices which function as extended audio guides, digital captions and location trackers), photography is not officially allowed inside the galleries, although you can, in fact, find plenty of shots on social media. Here instead are some views from the museum while waiting for the Bond-villain ferry to take us back to Hobart.



11–14 June 2014: Singapore Curating Lab 2014 begins! This 9-month programme began with a 3h morning lecture by Latitudes, followed by an afternoon workshop in which we asked participants to imagine an institution by defining a succinct "about us" paragraph for three imaginary institutions. Following the root of word "institution" (to establish, to set up), the task involved considering what practices were to be initiated, how programmes were to be established, and for what public. Read more here. Below the Tweets published, explaining each group's task.
 

14 June 2014: Symposium "When does an exhibition begin and end?", National Library of Singapore. With the participation of Shabbir Hussain Mustafa (Curator, National Gallery Singapore), Charles Lim (artist); Anca Rujoiu and Vera Mey (Curators, CCA — Centre for Contemporary Art, Singapore) and artist Shubigi Rao.


Curatorial Intensive participants live-tweeting, mapping concepts discussed during talks, photo-documenting and taking notes for future posts on Curating Lab blog. Photo: @nusmuseum.

Symposium moderators taking notes during the conference. Photo via @hemanchong

16–20 June 2014: Curating Lab 2004 Overseas Field Trip to Hong Kong, where participants were introduced to the programme and spaces of Spring Workshop, Asia Art Archive, Para/Site and M+. The many tweets published by ourselves and the participants are archived here.


Afternoon discussion at Spring Workshop.


Christodoulous Panayiotou and Philip Wiegard's exhibition at Spring Workshop. 


Curating Lab 2014 group photo in Hong Kong airport before boarding to Singapore.
 
31 July 2014: Master Class for the 2014 Open Set Summer School at Witte de With, Rotterdam. After a lecture on the tour as an artistic/curatorial format, participants work towards developing prototype guided tours for Rotterdam. More photos here.



Also great to finally be able to visit "The Part In The Story Where A Part Becomes A Part Of Something Else" exhibition curated by Heman Chong and Samuel Saelemakers at Witte de With, the epilogue to Moderation(s). Here interacting with Haegue Yang's 'Sonic Nickel Dance' (2013).

 Photo: @ymessen.

The night before the workshop, a great catch up a picnic with 'Portscapes' collaborators (Liesbeth Bik & Jos van der Pol, better known as Bik van der Pol, Lara Almarcegui, Nienke Terpsma and Rob Hamelijnck of Fucking Good Art and graphic designer Samira Ben Laloua). Ahhh, good memories!



During the past weeks we've been proofreading layouts with documentation of our 2013 residency and four "Incidents of Travel" tours we realised in Hong Kong, our contribution to the forthcoming publication "Terms & Conditions" published by Witte de With, Rotterdam as part of the Moderation(s) project steered by Heman Chong.

In the past months, Max Andrews has published the following texts in frieze magazine: Exhibition review of Pablo Helguera's ‘Librería Donceles’ (Donceles Bookshop, 2013) at Kent Fine Art, New York, issue 160, January–February 2014;
Review of Lucy Skaer's solo show at Glasgow's Tramway, issue 161, March 2014; Postcard "On a Shoestring. Institutions in Catalonia", issue 158, October 2013; and a Focus, Iratxe Jaio and Klaas van Gorkum, Issue 157, September 2013. Max has also contributed to the publication that will accompany the forthcoming Frieze Art Fair, London (out in October 2014).



In January 2014, Mariana wrote a text on Time/Bank for the digital catalogue of the exhibition "7.000.000.000" curated by Arlandis/Marroquí for the Espai d'art Contemporani Castelló (EACC).

17 July 2014: Jointly published an art-agenda review on Andrea Buttner's "Tische" show at NoguerasBlanchard, Barcelona. 

View of Andrea Büttner, Tische, NoguerasBlanchard, Barcelona, 2014. Courtesy of NoguerasBlanchard, Barcelona. All photos by Roberto Ruiz.

One of the most widely-read blog posts of the year has been the analysis of the 2013 report that the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports dedicated to the state of culture in Spain (La cultura en España (2a parte): estadísticas, cifras y porcentajes del 2013, a follow up to the 2012 analysis), quite symptomatic of what has been another difficult year for the cultural sector.

Related posts:

Latitudes' "out of office" photo album 2008-9, 30 July 2009
Latitudes 'out of office' photo album 2009–10 season, 30 July 2010
Latitudes 'out of office' photo album 2010–11 season, 1 August 2011
Latitudes' "out of office" photo album 2011–2012, 31 July 2012
Latitudes' "out of office" photo album, 2012–2013 season, 31 July 2013



This is the blog of the independent curatorial office Latitudes. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
All photos:
Latitudes | www.lttds.org (except when noted otherwise in the photo caption)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Report from Athens: "AGORA", 4th Athens Biennale 2013

The former stock exchange displayed nine digital price boards, a work by George Harvalias.

The tumultuous events of the last years in Greece have seen hundreds of thousands of people rallying, striking and rioting to protest the waves of austerity measures imposed on the debt-stricken country. Protestors have repeatedly clashed with police, lives have been lost, unemployment has skyrocketed, and the government warned in 2010 that the nation was "on the brink of the abyss". This year's Athens Biennale set itself the courageous task of asking, "Now what?". Taking its cue from the notion of the agora as a place of gathering and collaborative reconciliation, the Biennale transposed an ancient discursive framework onto the holy mess of the present. Its bitingly resonant main venue was the former Athens stock exchange, not quite a ruin, but a scarred shell of a building in the centre of the city.



  
The main hall of the former Athens stock exchange building on Sofocleous Street. This neo-Classical building opened in 1876 and was the trading floor for shares listed on the ATHEX exchange until it moved to another venue in July 2007. The nine digital price boards (the actual boards of the former exchange) was a work by George Harvalias, perhaps the touchstone of the biennial. It reproduced the share prices from the last day's trading in the building in 26 June 2007 when prices were near their peak value, with no sign of the subsequent catastrophic market crash to come. 


 






The text work on the balcony of the stock exchange hall was part of series entitled "New Behavioral Notes" (2012) by Dimitris Dokatzis, an Athenian artist of the same generation as Harvalias born in the 1950s. The words read "Money – Money! That is always the danger with you", a fragment taken from an Agatha Christie novel.



Among the younger generation of Greek artists and the more veiled comments on the financial crises, Constantinos Hadzinikolaou showed "Peacock" (2003–13), a Super 8 loop of a male Peafowl's extravagant courtship display.

One of at least three Spanish artists in the Biennial (besides Catalans Núria Güell and Ester Partegàs), Fernando García-Dory focused "on Pacific, Caribbean and Mediterranean islands as semi-enclosed ecosystems that stage the classic neo-liberal drama in which local economies succumb to the promissory spectacle of worldly paradise."

The guts of the Biennale were a series of discussions, workshops and roundtables, and on 12 October 2013 the main venue hosted a fascinating, sobering and graph-filled economics conference, featuring blue-chip economists from around the world including Heiner Flassbeck, Director of the Division on Globalization and Development Strategies of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Poka-Yio, Biennale co-founder and co-director introduced the conference (photographed above). 


Paolo Manasse, Professor of Macroeconomics and International Economic Policy at the University of Bologna.


This year's biennale is fully online and can be followed on twitter #AB4AGORA, facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Vimeo and YouTube platforms. Alternatively, for an overview of what's coming up, check out the biennale calendar.

AB4 was put together by a large group of contributing curators and collaborating correspondents as well as through an open call for projects. One of the features of the exhibition was the presence of a number of artists from Chicago, reflecting the engagement of Stephanie Smith, Deputy Director and Chief Curator of the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago. (Stephanie was a contributor to the Latitudes-edited "Land, Art: A Cultural Ecology Handbook"). Among them, Geof Oppenheimer stood out with his "Reversals" (2013) new work which grew out of the sifting of archival advertising and press images to comprise ambiguous montages of economic affluence and political intrigue (photographed above). 



At the Contemporary Art Meeting Point (CAMP, on 4 Eupolidos & 2 Apellou str.), material related to four decades of socially engaged art in Chicago was presented under the name "Never the Same", the archive led by Daniel Tucker and Rebecca Zorach (photographed above). 



Of the artists more familiar from the better-worn paths of contemporary art, Gabriel Kuri presented "Quick Standards" (2005), which comprised four emergency blankets taped on wooden sticks.

We were very grateful to curator and art historian Christoforos Marinos and his partner Xenia Kalpaktsoglou (co-founder and co-director of the force that is the Athens Biennale) for helping us in setting up some impromptu meetings with some impressive artists while we were in Athens. We managed to meet Vangelis Vlahos, Kostis Velonis, Rallou Panagiotou, AlexandrosTzannis, Kernel (an artist/architect curatorial collaboration of Pegy Zali, Petros Moris and Theodoros Giannakis) and Dora Economou


(Above) Kernel (Pegy Zali, Petros Moris and Theodoros Giannakis) at the café of the Athens Biennial.

Apart from the Biennial, elsewhere in Athens, the Deste Foundation/Dakis Joannou Collection presented "The System of Objects", a show inspired by Jean Baudrillard's 1968 book of the same name. Curated by Andreas Angelidakis with Italian curator Maria Cristina Didero, the show extended over densely-installed rooms which were, as Angelidakis suggested "a little bit like floating down that river of the internet... Cypriot antiquities float alongside major installations by Maurizio Cattelan, paintings by Jeff Koons and worn out red vinyl tights from American Apparel? A seminal Archizoom chair from 1968 floats next to a painting by a Cypriot artist given to Dakis ages ago? Really?".
 

 

And of course what visit to Athens could ignore the treasures of the National Archaeological Museum? Of the objects on show, the finds from the Antikythera shipwreck were perhaps the most astonishing. Dated to 60–50 BC, they came from what experts believe was a freighter packed with Greek art headed to Italy. Ancient reminders from the dawn of the art trade, the antiquities – half consumed by the sea – were brought together for the first time in a special exhibition. 


 


This is the blog of the independent curatorial office Latitudes. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
All photos: Latitudes | www.lttds.org (except when noted otherwise in the photo caption)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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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2005—2019