Longitudes

Photodocumentation of the five commissions 'Composiciones' now on flickr

'Composiciones', five new commissions for the Barcelona Gallery Weekend, 1–4 October 2015.

We just uploaded photos of the five new commissions "Composiciones" on Latitudes' flickr. These projects by artists active in the Barcelona art scene complemented the first Barcelona Gallery Weekend (1–4 October 2015) programme of exhibitions and events

Each intervention responded to site and context-specific private and public location outside the contemporary art circuit – a private psychoanalytic library, the former home of the director of a ceramics factory, a public botanical collection, the home of a former priest and an invertebrate fossile collection.

Pinpointing some lesser-known aspects of the city's cultural history and municipal life, Composiciones offered moments of interruption, intimacy and immersion throughout the weekend.


 Map of the five locations for the temporary projects. 

Also on our website (highlighted in yellow where to locate it) you'll find the links to the audio and video documentation of the three talks led by Dora García as part of her intervention at the Biblioteca del Campo Freudiano. We recommend you read a nicely written account of these three sessions (in Spanish) by two of its participants.



On the same page and under 'Related content' you will find links to the press coverage related to 'Composiciones'. The most extensive and in depth review so far has been this considered and detailed blog entry by Barcelona-based art critic and curator Fede Montornés, which of course made us really happy

And last but not least, we gathered the many tweets, instagram, press links, etc. that appeared in the last few weeks in Storify.






#BarcelonaGalleryWeekend
#Composiciones

Related content:


Storify – Social media archive 

Details of the Barcelona Gallery Weekend programme

Instagram of the Barcelona Gallery Weekend
 
PRESS RELEASE: Latitudes curates "Composiciones", a series of five artists' commissions for the first Barcelona Gallery Weekend, 1–4 October 2015 


NOTA DE PRENSA: Comisariado de "Composiciones", cinco intervenciones artísticas para el primer Barcelona Gallery Weekend, 1–4 Octubre 2015



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.

'Compositions' a programme of five artists' interventions for the first Barcelona Gallery Weekend, 1–4 October 2015

'Save the date' cards of the Barcelona Gallery Weekend. Graphic design: Hey Studio.

Latitudes is curating Compositions a programme of five newly commissioned temporary interventions specially produced for the first Barcelona Gallery Weekend (1–4 October 2015).

With the aim of distinguishing the Barcelona gallery weekend from similar initiatives, Latitudes' project Compositions compliments the existing calendar of exhibitions in galleries and museums by commissioning six artists active in the Barcelona art scene, to develop a series of public interventions responding to singular locations – sites significant for their architecture or their history. Here's a map of the five locations.

Latitudes has invited artists David Bestué (Barcelona, 1980. Lives in Barcelona); Dora García (Valladolid, 1965. Lives in Barcelona), Jordi Mitjà (Figueres, 1970. Lives between Lladó and Banyoles); Rasmus Nilausen (Copenhagen, 1980. Lives in Barcelona) & Pere Llobera (Barcelona, 1970. Lives in Barcelona) and Daniel Steegmann Mangrané (Barcelona, 1977. Lives in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) to produce site-specific temporary installations and one-off performances. Pinpointing some lesser-known aspects of the city's cultural history and municipal life, Compositions offers moments of interruption, intimacy and immersion throughout the weekend. 



Cosme Toda factory complex. 
Home of the former director of the ceramic factory Cosme Toda. c/Enric Prat de la Riba 60, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat.
Opening hours: Thursday 1 October, 5–9pm;  
Friday 2, Saturday 3 and Sunday 4: 11am–8pm.

David Bestué is primarily a sculptor who is fascinated by architecture – not with its hubristic icons or celebrity heroism, but by the very normality with which architectonic tropes underpin an emotional understanding of form.

For Compositions Bestué is producing a new installation in the form of a sculptural timeline defined by ignition and invention, fat and oil, obsolescence, fluorescence, luminescence and incandescence – a history of humanity from antiquity to the present day told through the evolution and refinement of lighting technology. Sited in the domestic setting of the Director’s house within the former Cosme Toda ceramics and tile factory, the installation is companioned by a sculptural intervention recuperating pieces found in the factory, linking to Bestué's ongoing interest in the evolution of architectural materials and building techniques.



Freudian Field Library in Barcelona located at Avinguda Diagonal 333, 3º 1ª. Opening hours: Thursday 1 and Friday 2 October 5–9pm; Saturday 3 October 10am–2pm. Sunday 4 October closed.

Dora García's collaborations and performances engage with radicalism, inadequacy and the marginal. Her contribution to Compositions consists in pointing out the wealth of information and the activites programmed by the Freudian Field Library in Barcelona, an organisation founded in 1977 by Argentinean Oscar Masotta (1930–1979). García's intervention considers the library as a knot which ties together art, psychoanalysis and literature.

A display of publications drawn from the library shelves and three conversations will activate the space over consecutive days. The first talk (1 October, 7pm), a "solo" by García, will focus on the library's holdings of literary fiction. The second talk on October 2nd, at 7pm will be a group conversation moderated by García, amongst Miquel Bassols, Enric Berenguer, Rosa Calvet, Estela Paskvan and Montserrat Rodríguez, who will discuss the founding of the library and its ongoing role in Barcelona, and the final event on October 3 at 10am will be a conversation around the work of Irish novelist James Joyce and French psychiatrist and psichologist Jacques Lacan, between García and psychoanalyst Xavier Esqué and Patrick Bohan, who has worked at the James Joyce Center in Dublin. 


Former priest house, Gardens of La Central del Raval, located at Carrer d'Elisabets 8. Opening hours: Thursday 1 October, 5–9pm; Friday 2, Saturday 3 and Sunday 4: 11am–8pm.

Rasmus Nilausen and Pere Llobera are painters that approach painting with a respect – at times melancholic, sometimes parodic – for its traditional genres and its ancient integrity as a craft. Nilausen’s canvases have often taken on ‘minor’ or anecdotal subjects such as candles or vegetables. Llobera frequently addresses the perils virtuosity and painterly heroism in his paradoxical, restless works. Nilausen and Llobera share a workspace in the Salamina studios in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat – which they cofounded – yet the invitation to collaborate in a presentation for Compositions is the first time they are exhibiting together.

In the Gardens of La Central del Raval their works occupy a former priest's house and explore "acheiropoietic" images – those that have supposedly come into being not by human hand, but miraculously. The Veil of Veronica, for example, refers to various Catholic relics and icons which tell of a piece of cloth said to have been imprinted with the image of the face of Jesus.


 

 Geological Museum of the Seminary of Barcelona is in Carrer de la Diputació, 231.
Opening hours: Thursday 1 October, 5–9pm; 
Friday 2, Saturday 3 and Sunday 4: 11am–8pm.

Jordi Mitjà’s recent “povera” approach to sculpture, has comprised works utilizing discarded wood, metal, burned paper and clay. His contribution to Compositions takes place in the Geological Museum of the Seminary of Barcelona – an institution dedicated to paleontology and the study of fossils since 1874.


Mitjà considers the borders between evolutionary biology and the ancient geology of Catalonia in an installation which focusses on a primitive relationship between materials and morphology. A series of overheard projectors illuminate the central space of the museum with a panoply of images, shadows and geometries – layers that are unearthed by Mitjà’s exploration of the geospatial taxonomy of this unique collection of 70,000 specimens.


 
Opening hours: Thursday 1 October, 5–9pm;
Friday 2, Saturday 3 and Sunday 4: 11am–8pm.

The art of Daniel Steegmann Mangrané hinges on the natural and the geometric, often splicing the unfathomable dimension of the forests of his adopted home Brazil with the clear lines of abstraction and man-made order.

His contribution to Compositions takes place amongst the subtropical plants of the 1887 Umbracle (shade house) in the Parc de la Ciutadella and centres on the acoustic installation “Surucuá, Teque-teque, Arara” (2012). We hear sounds that were recorded along a 60 metre transect through a section of the Atlantic Rainforest of Brazil, the tropical forest that Portuguese colonists would have encountered on their arrival in the year 1500. The sound loop reproduces the disembodied calls of colourful birds such as trogons and macaws which merge with the ambient sounds of the city. As if a 1:1 scale collage, the artifice of an urban botanical collection becomes intertwined with an acoustic slice of the authentically wild.

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Calendar of Related Events and Guided Visits

Thursday 1 October, 5pm:
Guided tour of the intervention by Jordi Mitjà at the Museu Geològic del Seminari de Barcelona by the artist and Latitudes.
c/ Diputació, 231

Thursday 1 October, 7pm:
Guided tour of the intervention and talk by Dora García on the library holdings of literary fiction, Biblioteca del Campo Freudiano de Barcelona (Library of the Freudian Field).
Avda. Diagonal 333, 3º 1ª
Limited seating. Reservations: [email protected]

Friday 2 October, noon:
Guided tour of the intervention by Daniel Steegmann Mangrané at the Umbracle del Parc de la Ciutadella by the artist and Latitudes.
Passeig Picasso, 13

Friday 2 October, 7pm:
Conversation moderated by Dora García with Miquel Bassols, Enric Berenguer, Rosa Calvet, Estela Paskvan and Montserrat Rodríguez, on the origins of the Biblioteca del Campo Freudiano de Barcelona, its founder Óscar Masotta and the Barcelona of 1977.
Avda. Diagonal 333, 3º 1ª
Limited seating. Reservations:
[email protected]

Friday 2 October, 7:30pm:
Guided tour of the intervention by David Bestué at the house of the former director of the Cosme Toda factory by the artist and Latitudes.
c/ Enric Prat de la Riba, 60
L’Hospitalet de Llobregat

Saturday 3 October, 10am:
Conversation between Dora García and the psychoanalyst and psychologist Xavier Esqué at the Biblioteca del Campo Freudiano around James Joyce and Jacques Lacan.
Avda. Diagonal 333, 3º 1ª
Limited seating. Reservations:
[email protected]

Sunday 4 October, noon:
Guided tour of the intervention by Rasmus Nilausen and Pere Llobera at the Jardines de La Central del Raval by the artists and Latitudes.
c/ Elisabets, 8

Additionally, ARCO Foundation offers ARCO Gallery Walks, five free guided tours around the galleries throughout the weekend. Limited places. Pre-registration required: [email protected]

Thursday 1 October
Route Eixample South
Meeting place: Galería Joan Prats at 5pm

Friday 2 October
Route Ciutat Vella – Born
Meeting place: Galería Senda at 11am

Route Montjuïc – L’Hospitalet
Meeting place: Galería Carles Taché at 5pm

Saturday 3 October
Route Ciutat Vella – Raval
Meeting place: etHALL at 11am

Route Eixample North
Meeting place: ADN Galería at 5pm

The Barcelona Gallery Weekend is an initiative of the Asociación de Galerías de Arte Contemporáneo Art Barcelona and is supported by the Ajuntament de Barcelona (ICUB), the Generalitat de Catalunya (ICEC), the Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte; and the Ajuntament de L’Hospitalet de Llobregat.

http://www.barcelonagalleryweekend.com/

Visita de la Comisión de Programas de Hangar a los estudios de los artistas residentes, 24 Abril 2013, Barcelona

Cartel "Salvem Can Felipa" de Quim Packard colgado en la zona común de los estudios en Hangar.

El pasado 24 de Abril, cinco miembros de la Comisión de Programas 2010–2013 de Hangar (formado por Àlex Mitrani, Joan Vilapuig, Jordi Mitjà, Dora Garcia (ausente) y Max Andrews y Mariana Cánepa Luna de Latitudes) realizó una de las visitas periódicas a los artistas residentes en el centro de Poble Nou, en este caso a Llobet y Pons; Quim Packard; Aggtelek; Rasmus Nilausen; Marla Jacarilla, Raúl Nieves (blablabLAB) y Mireia c. Saladrigues

A continuación un breve sumario que recoge los tuits que publicamos durante la visita (véase https://twitter.com/lttds).

Llobet y Pons (dúo formado por Jasmina Llobet y Luis Fernandez Pons) acaban de participar en la Setouchi Triennale 2013, Japón, donde han presentado la pieza "No one wins – Minibasket". Asímismo hemos visto sus últimas investigaciones con piezas realizadas con pasta dental endurecida; al pulido de diamantes que realizaron durante una residencia en Lokaal01, Amberes, o sobre la reconversión de materiales, como es el caso de 'Ex-Fork' presentada recientemente en Can Felipa. 


Quim Packard actualmente está desarrollando "Historias de amor y odio", un "relato en formado dibujo que se emite diariamente, a partir del 15 de abril, vía redes sociales (véase tumblr aquí) y que finaliza en un concierto / performance en la Capsa Jove de Tarragona, el día 24 de abril a las 19h; en motivo de la presentación de la publicación 2012 del CA Tarragona Centro de Arte" (web de Hangar).

 
En el estudio del dúo Aggtelek (Gema Perales and Xandro Valles) vimos la serie de pinturas realizadas a partir de collages que envían a una de las fábricas de producción (prácticamente mecánica) de pintura en China para su realización. Éstas han sido recientemente presentadas en la Galería José Robles en Madrid, y próximamente se presentará un conjunto similar en 18a edición de la feria Liste en Basilea con la galería Exile de Berlin.


Marla Jacarilla fue ganadora de la reciente convocatoria BCN Producció 2013 con el proyecto "Acotaciones tras la cuarta pared" que inaugurará el próximo 15 de Mayo en el Espai Cub de La Capella en Barcelona. "'Acotaciones tras la cuarta pared' es un drama en cuatro actos cuyo tono oscila entre lo trágico, cómico, fársico y metalingüístico. Una historia en la que un presunto demiurgo conversa con personajes existentes que pertenecen a otras obras teatrales y que se han trasladado al momento actual" (web de La Capella).

En el 2012 Rasmus Nilausen expuso 'Sisyphus, rhopography and a headless chicken' (ver video) en el espacio de La Capella (como ganador de la convocatoria BCN Producció 2012), Barcelona y en el 2013 tuvo la exposición 'Still' en la nueva galería madrileña García Galería.


Raúl Nieves del dúo blablabLAB nos presentó su trabajo con impresoras 3D y herramientas de código libre que realiza a través de talleres programados periódicamente desde Hangar.

La entrevista con Mireia c. Saladrigues tuvo lugar en skype ya que se encuentra preparando 'No tocar, por favor', una exposición colectiva en el ARTIUM de Vitoria, comisariada por Jorge Luis Marzo (blog del proyecto aquí) que inaugura en un par de semanas en Vitoria.


All photos: Latitudes | www.lttds.org (except when noted otherwise in the photo caption)
 

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Photo & review tour: 'ILLUMInations/ILLUMInazioni', 54th Biennale di Venezia 2011

ILLUMInations / ILLUMInazioni
54th Biennale di Venezia
4 June–27 November 2011

Much has already been written about this year's biennale which officially opened last Saturday, 4 June (professional previews 1–3 June). We have selected some excerpts of reviews that have appeared so far to accompany our photo-tours.
We'll begin with the main exhibition 'ILLUMInations / ILLUMInazioni' curated by Bice Curiger at the Padiglione Centrale in the Giardini and at the Arsenale.

On the
inclusion of three Tintoretto paintings in the Padiglione Centrale, Giardini:
Adam Kleinman, “ILLUMInazioni – ILLUMInations”, Art-Agenda, 5 June 2011: At first reading, it seems that we might be in for a show on the artistic play of light and shadow. (…) Normally the suffix –tion alerts the reader that some process has affected the host word it is tagged to, i.e., illumination is the condition of being lit. But at the Biennale, curator Bice Curiger instead turns a homophonic pun by tying –nations to nations, as in states, in the exhibition literature. (...) "Why they [three Tintoretto's paintings 'The Last Supper' (1592–1594), 'The Stealing of the Body of St. Mark' (1562–1566), and 'The Creation of the Animals', (ca. 1550)] were there, exactly, is a bit hard to ascertain, especially since all three of these paintings have been on view to the public in Venice for some time now." (…) In addition, the ahistorical juxtaposition of trusting the work in the center of a contemporary exhibition could blur some notion of antiquarian historicism."
Adrian Searle, 'The Venice Biennale's balance of power', The Guardian, 6 June 2011: (…) Shuttling the canvases across Venice from the Accademia and the church of St Giorgio Maggiore to the Giardini was the perilous bit. But they don't belong here, and add nothing but a frisson of High Art, an intimation of the certainties of the past. In the climate-controlled half-light, they just look big, excessive and out of place.
On Maurizio Cattelan's 'Others' (2011) a re-creation of his 1997 piece 'Turisti' (also presented in the Biennale) with 200 stuffed pigeons and pigeon shit on the floor – also by Adrian Searle: Excess in one way or another marks this biennale more than most. Cattelan's pigeons are everywhere in the central pavilion. He had them here before, in 1997, but they have bred. It's a running gag. [this time 2,000 stuffed pigeons are placed in every room's roof except in Gabriel Kuri's space].

On the German, the Swiss and the Polish pavilions:
Adrian Searle, 'The Venice Biennale's balance of power', The Guardian, 6 June 2011.
(…) Schlingensief was still planning his work when he died, and the final show is an over-the-top mixture of theatre sets and artistic works, film and documentation from his project to build a school and opera house in Burkina Faso. The whole thing is a mock-cathedral of disquiet and rage, loud with recorded voices, fragments of filmed performances and archival footage, copies of Joseph Beuys drawings and diagrams – as well as x-ray images of Schlingensief's own ravaged lungs. I felt hectored. An extraordinary man though Schlingensief undoubtedly was – as much a social critic as an artist – at what point does the artist's work end and curatorial surmise begin?
Germany seemed excessive, but Thomas Hirschhorn filled the Swiss pavilion with a wonderland of gaffer-tape, cardboard and Bacofoil, bevvies of Barbie dolls and other uncountable props. It's great, in a rackety Doctor-Who-set way, but one might say that Hirschhorn is doing what he always does. (This was also Mike Nelson's problem, as I wrote last week.) – Great photos of the pavilion here by Contemporary Art Daily.
(…) More pointed and focused was Israeli-Dutch artist Yael Bartana trilogy of films '... And Europe Will Be Stunned', in the Polish pavilion. This felt right. Bartana's idea is a call for over three million Jews to return to Poland, and her film follows the setting up of a Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland. The whole thing is both real and unreal, heartfelt and parodic. Perhaps such a movement may now become a reality. Bartana's final film ends with the funeral of the assassinated leader of the movement; there is an implicit critique of Israeli politics, and of xenophobia and nationalism everywhere.
Adam Kleinman, “ILLUMInazioni – ILLUMInations”, Art-Agenda, 5 June 2011: (…) Yet, these cross-pollinations become even more laughable and glib in the exhibition ephemera as the curator rambles, in one of many examples, that the Tintoretto works somehow have a relation to Urs Fischer’s 'Untitled' (2011), in which a giant modeled souvenir candle of Giambologna’s 'Rape of the Sabine Women' (1574–82), is melted away because they both share some connection to “art history”, or likewise, that James Turrell’s sci-fi light “echoes” Tintoretto’s palette.
Adam Kleinman, “ILLUMInazioni – ILLUMInations”, Art-Agenda, 5 June 2011: (…) Within the context of the show’s half-formed pairing of light, or let’s say, vision & power, Amalia Pica’s Venn Diagram (Under the spotlight) (2011), is the only work that truly brought notoriety to this coupling, while also touching on ideas of togetherness, socio-political history and the like. Here two lights, each with their own colored gels, shot two beams onto a wall in the Central Pavilion. (…) one beam produced a red circle of light on the wall, and the other a blue light completed by a slight overlap between the two. Underneath these blinkers was a handwritten wall caption on an irrational prohibition by the dictatorship of Argentina in the 1970s. This censorship banned Venn diagrams (…) due to the subversive implications of these models of heterogeneity. As such, these fundamental pedagogical devices were removed from primary school textbooks and overt public usage. (…) Blended in the center of the red and blue surveying alarms was a bright, clear spotlight, which pointed to a need to watch all political and nationalistic colorings.
On the overall focus, the four 'para-pavilions' and, again, the inclusion of Tintoretto:

Franz West's para-pavilion at the Arsenale.

Monika Sosnowska's para-pavilion at the Padiglione Centrale, Giardini.
Oscar Tuazon's para-pavilion in the Giardini, with works by Asier Mendizabal and Ida Ekblad.

Article by Georgina Adam and Jane Morris, 'First impressions of “Illuminazioni” exhibition at Venice Biennale. Elegant, intelligent and well paced, but its curator Bice Curiger takes few risks', 3 Jun 2011, The Art Newspaper (web only): (…) Curiger has organised a show that despite its conceptual underpinnings also focuses on the classic themes of form, composition and materials. (…) The critical reaction generally favoured Curiger’s other innovation: the creation of four “para-pavilions”, in which Franz West, Song Dong, Monika Sosnowska and Oscar Tuazon were invited to create individual spaces that could also house works by other artists. West is showing a “reproduction” of his kitchen in Vienna with works that usually hang there by his artist friends. The works are displayed on the outside of the structure. Inside is projected Dream Villa, a work by Dayanita Singh. (…) Ossian Ward, the art critic and art editor of London’s Time Out magazine, said: “The Arsenale is the stronger of the two venues, but overall 'Illuminazioni' fails to take any real risks. Besides, that is, the parachuting of three Tintorettos into its midst, which neither steal nor cement the show.”On the Italian Pavilion, “L'Arte non è Cosa Nostra” in the Arsenale curated by Italian polemicist, politician and art historian Vittorio Sgarbi:

Cristina Ruiz, 'Italian Pavilion: Vittorio Sgarbi’s sprawling, sexed-up show', The Art Newspaper, 3 June 2011: (…) When he announced his decision to include 200 artists selected by 200 intellectuals, the pundits said it couldn't be done. In fact, Scarbi has displayed the 200 he said he would, and then added another 60 for good measure. (…) The resulting display has the sprawling randomness of a flea market. There are works featuring sex, religion, violence, nudity, as well as a giant pomegranate and a polar bear.

Adrian Searle, 'The Venice Biennale's balance of power', The Guardian, 6 June 2011: (…) Sgarbi, a maverick critic and TV personality who hates most contemporary art, has invited leading Italian writers and intellectuals, Dario Fo and Giorgio Agamben among them, to select the works. Boorishly provocative, the resulting show is full of horrible, kitschy things, appallingly installed; with its cliched sentiments and rubbishy populism, it is like a tour of Silvio Berlusconi's brain.
Roberta Smith, 'Venice Biennale: The Enormity of the Beast', The New York Times, 2 June 2011: (…) A new and historic Biennale low is reached in the vast Italian Pavilion where Vittorio Sgarbi, an Italian art historian, television personality and former under-secretary of culture, has overseen a ludicrously dense installation of work by some 260 Italian artists, almost all of it unredeemable still-born schlock. Bristling with an unbelievably venomous hatred of art, the exhibition would be a national scandal, if Italy weren’t already plagued by so many.


Jerry Saltz, 'The Ugly American', Artnet.com: “This makes me embarrassed to be an American,” the mega-curator of an extremely well-known U.S. art museum groaned to me. (…) Artists Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla have placed a 60-ton army tank. It’s a real one, shipped from England at who knows what expense, turned upside-fucking-down, turret and gun barrel on the ground, steel treads to the sky. Atop this warlord wedding cake, they’ve installed a treadmill where a world-class runner works out for 15 minutes of every hour. It’s the health club from Hell, Afghanistan in Venice, and it makes a humongous racket that can be heard all around the Giardini. I looked back at the curator and said, “I think being embarrassed to be an American is partly what this is about.”

Adrian Searle, 'The Venice Biennale's balance of power', The Guardian, 6 June 2011: America, of course, has been flexing its muscles and telling the world to screw itself for years. I heard that Obama personally approved the US pavilion's show Gloria, by Jennifer Allora and Cuban-born Guillermo Calzadilla. Their work really depends on the Olympic athletes who run on their tank-track-powered running machine, and who perform amazing gymnastics on American Airlines first class seats. They leap, fling themselves about, defying both gravity and the imaginary confinement of air travel, slumped on the beds. Extraordinary rendition was never like this. Was this all about American power and choreographed, muscle-bound might? Allora and Calzadilla pirouette on the line between politics and entertainment. The runners go nowhere, and the upside-down tank looks impotent and vulnerable, though it makes a lot of noise – a roaring excess. (video on the US Pavilion, UK Pavilion, Swiss Pavilion, Tintoretto and Maurizio Cattelan at the Central Pavilion, Urs Fischer at the Arsenal)

Carol Vogel, 'Venice Biennale: Money Talks, Make That Sings', The New York Times, 3 June 2011: (…) There is only one A.T.M. machine in the whole of the Giardini, the gardens at the tip of the city that is home to the national pavilions. It’s in a space of its own at the back of the American pavilion. But this is no run-of-the-mill A.T.M. The brainchild of the artist duo Allora & Calzadilla, it is a pipe organ with an A.T.M. embedded in its belly that is computer-programmed to play a tune when a person puts in their pin number. (…) During the first three days of the Biennale’s V.I.P. preview earlier this week, more than 100,000 euros were withdrawn from the machine. That amount, Lisa Freiman, commissioner of the pavilion said, is three or four times the normal activity of an A.T.M. in Italy, according to BNL, the bank that operates it. When it gets low on cash, gun-toting guards can be seen coming to replenish it.

Roberta Smith, 'Venice Biennale: An Installation Art Contest', 1 June 2011: At that pavilion [Czech Republic], a little-known artist named Dominik Lang, barely 30 years old, has mounted a strangely affecting time-capsule-like installation featuring a great deal of generic postwar figurative sculpture by his father, Jiri Lang (1927-1996), who stopped making art years before his son was born. It serves as a sobering reminder of the obscurity that awaits most of the art produced at any given point in time, as well as the ability of art objects, being objects, to wait out different phases of neglect.


Rachel Withers, 'Mike Nelson at the Venice Biennale', The Guardian, 3 June 2011: Nelson's concept for Venice is to test out ideas of repetition and duplication on a giant scale. He tells me he's going to "build a biennial within another biennial" by reconstructing his 2003 Istanbul piece. But he's not stopping there. The Istanbul work was housed in a remarkable building: the Büyük Valide Han, a vast, once-palatial 17th-century travellers' inn that survived, in 2003 at least, as a crumbling warren of artisans' workshops. (…) His goal, he insists, is not to produce a replica of the Han but to realise a memory of it, in all its cobbled-together confusion and curious beauty. (…) "Making the pavilion disappear" means three months of intense work for the artist and his small team of technicians. In the present age of artistic fabrication and delegation, this hands-on approach is relatively uncommon.

On the Spanish Pavilion, 'The Inadequate / Lo inadecuado / L'Inadeguato' a project by Dora García:


Javier Hontoria, 'Dora García, inadecuadamente oportuna', 31/05/2011: Tras varias ediciones frustradas, el pabellón español de la Bienal de Venecia alberga a partir de hoy un proyecto de altura, acorde con las exigencias y expectativas de la cita que mayor visibilidad concentra en el calendario del arte contemporáneo internacional. (…) La artista vallisoletana presenta desde hoy en el pabellón español de los Giardini venecianos un proyecto titulado Lo Inadecuado. Es un concepto que implica, como le dijo a Paula Achiaga en una reciente entrevista “un sentimiento de malestar, de desajuste, de torpeza”. (…) El proyecto que ahora presenta en Venecia es también inadecuado en su forma. Esta no es una exposición al uso. Aunque tiene su emplazamiento en el interior del pabellón español de los Giardini, no está pensado para ser instalado en un lugar sino para que se extienda en el tiempo. (…) Diseminados en el interior del pabellón vemos diversos elementos que no constituyen obras de arte en sí mismas sino apoyos, atrezzo para situaciones que tienen su curso a lo largo de la Bienal. (…) Es un proyecto, digámoslo sin paliativos, de una enorme complejidad pero en el que la artista se reconoce plenamente. Toda su obra, toda su trayectoria, toda inquietud se concentran en estos meses de Bienal. La necesidad de empujar los límites de todo aquello a lo que se enfrenta es visible en cada situación. Lo inadecuado lo es a todos los niveles, formal, conceptual. (…) Durante la Bienal se sucederán las situaciones en forma de performance, charlas y encuentros en los que participan diferentes actores, fundamentalmente italianos, muchos de ellos profesionales del arte contemporáneo.

Ángela Molina, 'Dora García, entre un gato y un ratón', El País, 04 Junio 2011: "De repente entendí la no adecuación de la bienal y de su público como algo interesante. Decidí que mi intervención tendría que hacerse de espaldas al público, en un espacio de precariedad. No se tocan las paredes del pabellón, ni apareceré como autora del proyecto. Se trata de prescindir de la platea, pasar por allí sin mancharse. Tampoco es un proyecto colectivo, sino algo iniciado" (…) "El artista es algo incidental que cede su voz a los marginados. Trato de investigar la idea de exclusión, el autismo, lo que no se entiende o no tiene sentido."

Catalonia and the Balearic Islands also had a pavilion at the
Magazzini del Sale, in Dorsoduro, with new works by Mabel Palacín:
Natàlia Farré, 'Mabel Palacín revisa el papel de la imagen en la era digital', El Periódico, 2 Junio: [180º] El propio título de la obra ya remite al séptimo arte, puesto que la regla de los 180º es aquella que asegura que la relación entre imagen y espectador es la correcta, es decir, que la cámara siempre esta en el mismo lado de un eje ficticio para no desconcertar al público. Y lo que hace Palacín es evidenciar que en un mundo en el que cada día se cuelgan 100 millones de fotos en Facebook y se visiona el equivalente a 150 siglos de vídeos en Youtube, el estatus de la imagen ha cambiado y las normas se han roto. «No hay diferencia entre emisario y receptor», apunta Torres. Y añade: «La imagen ha pasado a calificar la realidad». Pero aún hay más: fotografía y vídeo confluyen y se confunden. «Todo es lo mismo» – Better images here and a video tour of the exhibition.


Klara Lidén's garbage cans collected from the streets of various cities, view in the Arsenale.

On the
54th Venice Biennale awards announced 4 June, Artforum.com: "The Golden Lion for best national participation went to Germany, represented this year by the artist Christoph Schlingensief, who died last August. The Golden Lion for best artist went to Christian Marclay for his piece The Clock, 2010, on display at the Arsenale, while the Silver Lion for a promising young artist went to Haroon Mirza. The jury—comprising Hassan Khan (Egypt), Carol Yinghua Lu (China), Letizia Ragaglia (Italy), Christine Macel (France), and John Waters—also assigned two special mentions, one to the Lithuanian pavilion, which was represented by Darius Miksys, and one to Klara Lidén’s work Untitled (Trashcan), 2011, on display in the Arsenale. Additionally, according to Curiger’s proposal, the artists Sturtevant and Franz West were awarded Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement."In case you are thirsty for more, here other recommended sources to read/see: for the next two weeks Roberta Smith will discuss one of the 'pieces that stuck with her for good or for bad' on the The New York Time's under the title 'Everyone's a Critic' - you can contribute with your impressions writing 6 words; sweet storytelling NYTimes blog with illustrations by Christoph Niemann, or the ever useful and always growing Center for the Aesthetic Revolution blog by cultural agent, independent curator, exhibition organizer, amateur researcher, public editor, occasional writer, museum-art fairs-collections adviser, retired architect, and aesthetic dilettante Pablo León de la Barra.

And finally, before ending with full slideshows of the Biennale, an interesting article titled
'The Venice Effect' by Olav Velthuis (The Art Newspaper, 3 June 2011) to read on your way to Basel focusing on the dealers’ credo: “See it in Venice, buy it in Basel.”

Slideshow of the Giardini:



Slideshow of the Arsenale:


Slideshow of the Eventi Collaterali:




Some numbers on the 54th Venice Biennale:

  • 83 artists
  • 28 country pavilions in Giardini, used by the 30 official countries considered permanent participants.
  • 89 participating countries this year(77 in the 2009 Biennale)
  • 37 Collateral Events
Bice Curiger portrayed by Thomas Kilpper, Danish Pavilion.

2011 Venice Biennale director Bice Curiger, is an art historian, critic and curator. Her curatorial activity at Kunsthaus Zurich parallels her important work in the publishing sector. In 1984, she co-founded the prestigious art magazine “Parkett”, of which she is editor-in-chief. She has been publishing director of London Tate Gallery’s magazine “Tate etc” since 2004. She is the author of a number of publications on contemporary art, among which “The Collected Writings” (Lindinger+Schmid, Regensburg, 2002), “Looks and tenebrae” (Peter Blum Editions, New York and Zurich, 1983), and a monograph on Meret Oppenheim, “Spuren durchstandener Freiheit” (ABC Publisher, Zurich, 1982, English translation 1990, MIT Press, Boston).

All photos: Latitudes | www.lttds.org

Conversation between Dora García and Isidoro Valcárcel Medina, ProjecteSD, Barcelona, 12 April


Talk between Dora García and Isidoro Valcárcel Medina. Photos: Latitudes

Last night, a fascinating conversation between Dora García and Isidoro Valcárcel Medina took place at ProjecteSD, Barcelona, coinciding with the opening of the exhibition Forever, which featured works by both artists as well as Joe Scanlan.
García led the dialogue which began around the concept of the over-excluded or the super-excluded artists in relation to Pierre Bal-Blanc's 2009 Secession exhibition and essay 'The Death of the Audience' (interview with the author here). Besides talking about this long-term interest of García around 'the marginal', the artists also discussed the role and sense of mission attributed to artists, censorship (and self-censorship), what it means to work ethically (or the ethics of work), the definition of quality and regret.

One of the highlights was this short exchange:

Dora García: Do you identify with the idea of an artist without work?

Isidoro Varcárcel Medina: Is that possible?
DG: Well, there's a few examples in history...
IVM: With or without a catalogue...?

Dora García
(Valladolid, Spain, 1965) studied Fine Arts at the Universidad de Salamanca and was resident at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam (1989–1991). Recent projects and exhibitions include Kunsthalle Bern (2010), Index (Stockholm 2010) and Schirn Kunsthalle (Frankfurt, 2009). She participated amongst others at the Lyon Biennial 2009, the Sydney Biennial 2008, and Skulptur Projekte Münster in 2007. Dora García will represent Spain at the upcoming Venice Biennial (2011) with her new project The Inadequate.

Isidoro Valcárcel Medina (Murcia, Spain, 1937) moved to Madrid at the age of nineteen to study Architecture and Fine Arts. From 1972 on, after taking part in the Encuentros de Pamplona on conceptual art, his work involved actions and works for public spaces. He is one of the leading Spanish Conceptualists, not only historically, but also as an artistic referent for a new generation of creators. Valcárcel Medina had a retrospective exhibition at the Tàpies Foundation in 2002, exhibitions at MACBA in 2006, and at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in 2009. In 2007 he received the Premio Nacional de Artes Plásticas and recently (2011) he was awarded in the first edition of the Premios Arte y Mecenazgo.

ProjecteSD
Passatge Mercader 8, Baixos 1
08008 Barcelona
T | F: + 34 93 488 1360
[email protected]
www.projectesd.com
Tuesday to Saturday 11–19h

'THE LAST REGISTER' AVAILABLE NOW! #3 issue of the 10 Latitudes-edited newspapers for 'The Last Newspaper' exhibition, New Museum

Issue 3: The Last Register
(READ IT ON ISSUU)

October 20, 2010


Cover: ‘Exhibit: Exposed!’. Installing 'The Last Newspaper' wall text
Report: ‘Reaction Distraction’: Gwen Schwartz on the TLN talk with participating artists Nate Lowman, Aleksandra Mir and Sarah Charlesworth
Focus: Doryun Chong on TLN artist Adrian Piper’s Vanilla Nightmares (1986)
Media Habits: Dora García
Dirt Sheet: Janine Armin on truth and fiction
Picture Agent: Sergio Vega
The Next Newspaper: Paul Schmelzer on the American Independent News Network
Feature: ‘Broadcasting’, Joe Salzman on the representation of the journalists on TV
Exclusive interview: Latitudes with TLN cartoonist Francesc Ruiz
‘Patricia Esquivias on...The French Revolution’
100 Years Ago…: New York Tribune
Feature: ‘Hyphen-ated’ by Stephen Spretnjak
Photo essay: ‘Behind the Scenes’, Installing ‘The Last Newspaper’
Cartoon: ‘The Woods: Scratch Lottery’ by Francesc Ruiz
Advertising: Ester Partegàs with Adam Shecter



This Week's Headlines
 

Philadelphia Newsstand (2010), installation at Temple Gallery, Philadelphia.
Courtesy the artist and Galeria Estrany-de la Mota, Barcelona.

“Before the internet, newsstands were the closest thing we had to web browsing”

Barcelona-based artist Francesc Ruiz is creating ‘The Woods’, a specially-commissioned cartoon strip for the back cover of each of ‘The Last...’ newspapers. The Editors-in-Chief of ‘The Last Register’ caught up with him as he prepared for an exhibition in Cairo.


Latitudes
: Is 'The Woods' a family, or is it a place?

Francesc Ruiz:
They're kind of a family or a community, as well as a place. The name was inspired by the last part of François Truffaut’s 1966 film based on Ray Bradbury’s 1953 novel Fahrenheit 451. It’s set in a totalitarian society in which books have been made illegal and are being burned. A group of people go into hiding in the woods and decide to memorize great works of literature. They create a community that transmits books orally from generation to generation. Each of them incorporates a different book: there are five ‘Moby Dick’s, four ‘Don Quixote’s, and so on. It talks about the power of human knowledge to adapt to difficult and new situations, which is something that – although under a completely different perspective – is happening right now with the threat to printed matter and the adaptation of content to new formats. In ‘The Woods’ I'm using the city newsstand, magazines and newspapers, as a way of talking about different lifestyles, about specialization and ideology. I want to create a kind of masquerade ball in which everybody is represented or at least plays a role in the social architecture, something also very related to web 2.0 and platforms such as Facebook.

L: Where if anywhere do you draw the lines between art and design, or artists and designers?

FR: It’s all about self-consciousness and a critical perspective. As long as cultural object producers (which is what I consider both artists and designers to be) look at their work as something critically produced, to me it makes no sense to establish differences. Looking at it from a slightly different angle, someone asked me recently if I’d ever produced a ‘mainstream’ comic. I think comic books and design can be understood in different ways, just as both experimental cinema and popular cinema coexist. I try to work on the experimental side, but whether this work is read as art or not depends entirely on the context in which it’s received.

 
L: Can our readers follow the cartoon strip as an ongoing narrative?  

FR: No it doesn't follow a linear narrative – each issue shows a situation. The whole cartoon strip creates a series of scenes which build on my recent experiences working with a newsstand scenario before in Philadelphia, and now in Cairo. I did consider creating something more narrative led using characters that keep reappearing, but decided against it.
 
Cairo Newsstand (2010), installation at the Contemporary Image Collective, Cairo.
Courtesy the artist and Galeria Estrany-de la Mota, Barcelona.

L: Specialist magazines target a public that has already been identified, yet they can also create new and perhaps unexpected followings. How does the newsstand feature in this relationship?

FR: Before the internet, newsstands were the closest thing we had to a web browsing experience. You could go there, buy specialist papers and magazines, check out the contacts sections, the classified ads, and see all the niches you could initiate yourself into. Through the printed press you were able to discover new things, it was the main knowledge distribution channel. With most of this now moving online the fetishistic element is not the same. Although there are some web-based attempts to create a similar interface to the newsstand, its visual power of the newsstand is unique.
For me a newsstand is a form of information architecture, a superstructure or a special building with inhabitants that change periodically. It’s an amazing tool with which to analyse the world and contemporary society. The matter of what will happen to newsstands as printed material begins disappears is something that is already visible: they're converting into lottery card retail points, as well as beverage and snack stands. But maybe they will have a different use in the future? I'm thinking of creating ‘The Newsstand Museum’, a museum with different newsstands from different countries and periods. Every stand will show the content exactly as it was in a specific time and place. For example September 10, 2001.

L: Can you tell us more about the Philadelphia project you mentioned, made for the Philagrafika 2010?

FR: I presented a newsstand for which I created all the printed content: a magazine formed by 120 covers and a newspaper which reproduced 12 different front pages. With these two publications I was able to build the ‘skin’ of the newsstand. I added speech bubbles to the covers, and recreated some important characters of the city mixed in with references to different neighborhoods, institutions, shops and bars. My idea was to create an analogy of the city and my experiences, initial reactions and perhaps prejudices about Philly after having been there for just a short residency period. I added a narrative layer around three main subjects: the city as the place where graffiti culture started, the city through which the AIDS crisis was imagined in the 1993 film Philadelphia, and finally the city’s Mural Arts Program, a (successful to some) anti-graffiti initiative. Through the different layers of newsstand I attempted to approximate the complexities of the city, as well as race, gender and class issues. I'm now creating a new newsstand for the Contemporary Image Collective in Cairo and it will take the form of a typical Egyptian street newsstand, only it will be made with newspapers covers that I've modified with a dialogue between the stones that are used as paperweights.

Cairo Newsstand (2010), installation at the Contemporary Image Collective, Cairo.
Courtesy the artist and Galeria Estrany-de la Mota, Barcelona.

L: What difficulties and luxuries has this very particular format of the serial cartoon strip present to you as an artist?

FR: I made a comic strip series with artist Pauline Fondevila in which we explored the bars of a city nearby Barcelona. Basically it was an autobiographical comic strip in wich we drew ourselves getting drunk and having adventures. We published forty different comic strips and they were published daily, the problem was that after a while the energy and the inspiration weren't there any more – and we had very bad hangovers! On the one hand it was very nice and a special format to play with in order to recreate worlds, but on the other you end up feeling a little like a slave to the daily production process.
This ten week trial for ‘The Last Newspaper’ is a great period to develop another small universe – that's essentially what I'm trying to do. The weekly frequency is fine compared to a daily routine. I recently showed a daily comic strip for Creative Time Comics, but all of these projects need a lot of commitment.  

L: Is there a particular newspaper cartoon you admire or took inspiration from?

FR: I don’t think Tales of the Beanworld by Larry Marder was ever published in a newspaper. I'm a big fan of George Herriman’s Krazy & Ignatz originally published daily in the New York Evening Journal, and that has always has been a source of inspiration to me. The genre ambiguity, the bricks, the accent of the characters and those amazing landscapes, I love it all! Of course there are now a lot of people working on digital comic books and digital comic strips. It's interesting to see how scrolling works very well when reading linear narratives, actually better than the page-by-page structure. Scott McCloud is for me first author who successfully started to explore the potential of the comic book medium. But my favourite author is Kang Full, the Korean Manhwa webcomic artist. The funny thing is that he later prints his comics in paper format which entails a very interesting re-adaptation. And this seems a very apposite process for this period in between two regimes, the page-based former one and the web-based new one.

– Interview by Latitudes, October 2010


Hamsterwheel & Jiri Kovanda, Centre d'Art Santa Mònica, Barcelona

El viernes 16 se inauguró la exposición-consulta 'JIRI KOVANDA vs EL RESTO DEL MUNDO', comisariada por la agencia curatorial Work Method dirigida por Guillaume Désanges y François Piron. La exposición presenta fotografías de performances realizadas por Jiri Kovanda en los 70 (presentadas en la zona superior blanca) acompañadas de fotocopias con obras de la cultura occidental que sugieren conexiones con la obra del artista (en la zona inferior gris). La muestra ha ido viajando por diversos centros (gb agency, Paris; De Appel, Amsterdam...) y en cada uno de ellos se reedita el material expuesto y se presenta una pieza nueva realizada por el artista checo.


También incluimos fotos de la instalación de 'HAMSTERWHEEL', un proyecto de Franz West, comisariado por Antonio Ortega y con la participación de Reinhard Bernsteiner, David Bestué/Marc Vives, Songül Boyraz/Peter Holl, Philippe Bradshaw, Jean-Marc Bustamante, Urs FischerOlivier Garbay, Gelitin, Douglas Gordon, Heiri Häfliger, Rachel Harrison, Sarah Lucas, Bernhard Martin, Rubén Martinez, Mel O’Callaghan, Antonio Ortega, Rudolf Polanszky, Anselm Reyle, Tamuna Sirbiladze, Una Szeemann, Piotr Uklanski, Frank West y Toby Ziegler.

Centre d'Art Santa Mònica
del 09/11/2007 al 03/02/2008
La Rambla, 7 | 08002 Barcelona
Tel. 93.316.28.10 | Fax. 93.316.28.17
[email protected]
Martes–Sábado; 11-20h domingos y festivos: 11-15h. Lunes cerrado. Entrada Gratuita.


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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