Longitudes

Helene Romakin interviews Latitudes for artfridge.de



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

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


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

PUBLICS' Library in Helsinki incorporates Latitudes-edited publications


We are glad to announce that PUBLICS in Helsinki now has all Latitudes publications available for consultation in their library (with the exception of the monograph "Lara Almarcegui, Projects 1995–2010" which is out of print). Our first publication, "LAND, ART: A Cultural Ecology Handbook" (RSA/Arts Council England, 2006, also out of print), was already in their library

PUBLICS library is the third location where the whole set of Latitudes' publications reside, together with the Library of the MACBA Study Centre, Barcelona, and the Paul D. Fleck Library & Archives, The Banff Centre, Canada.

We also donated a few books we have contributed to with essays or interviews, such as "Antoni Hervàs. ‘The Mystery of Cabiria" (Ajuntament de Barcelona, 2016), "C-H-R-I-S-T-O-P-H-E-R-K-N-O-W-L-E-S SO LISTEN UP" (NoguerasBlanchard, 2017), Rasmus Nilausen, ‘Soups & Symptoms, Paintings 2011–2016’ (Ajuntament de Barcelona, 2016) and "Lara Almarcegui. Béton" (SilvanaEditoriale, 2019).



PUBLICS library is located at Sturenkatu 37-41 4b 00550 Helsinki.

Latitudes' publications available at PUBLICS Library (bibliography online):

Joan Morey: COLLAPSE
Various locations, Barcelona
September 2018–January 2019
Exhibition guide/programme guide, opuscule, poster


4.543 billion. The matter of matter
CAPC musée d'art contemporain, Bordeaux
June 2017–January 2018
Exhibition guide & symposium guide

Amikejo
Catalogue of the exhibition series, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León (MUSAC), León
April 2012

United Alternative Energies
Christina Hemauer & Roman Keller
Catalogue of the exhibition, Aarhus Art Building, Centre for Contemporary Art, Århus
January 2012

Campus
Catalogue of the project, Espai Cultural Caja Madrid, Barcelona
July 2011

Also available online.

Portscapes
Catalogue of the commission series and exhibition 'Portscapes', Port of Rotterdam / Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam
February 2010

Martí Anson, Mataró Chauffeur Service
Catalogue of the project, 'No Soul For Sale', Tate Modern, London
January 2011

The Last Newspaper
Catalogue of the exhibition 'The Last Newspaper', New Museum, New York
October–December 2010

Lawrence Weiner: THE CREST OF A WAVE
Booklet of the exhibition, Fundació Suñol, Barcelona
October 2008

Simon Fujiwara: The Incest Museum–A Guide
Artist book, 'Provenances', Umberto di Marino Arte Contemporaneo, Naples
May 2009

Ignasi Aballí: 没有,有 Nothing, or Something
Catalogue of the exhibition, Suitcase Art Projects, Beijing
July 2009

Ecology, Luxury & Degradation
UOVO #14
Summer 2007

Greenwashing. Ambiente: Pericoli, Promesse e Perplessità 

(Greenwashing. Environment: Perils, Promises and Perplexities)
Catalogue of the exhibition, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin
February 2008



→ RELATED CONTENT

Latitudes' "out of office": wrap up of the 2018–2019 season

Seen in Malasaña, Madrid. Photo: @marianacanepaluna

This is our tenth ‘Out of Office’ post, a tradition which started with this 2008-9 post in pre-Facebook, pre-Twitter, pre-Instagram days. We’ve come a long way, but remain faithful to the idea of sharing behind-the-scenes moments. Below we share a selection of the art we’ve seen, the trips we had a chance to take, the conversations we began, the meals we shared, and (oh, we particularly love these) installation scenes. Subverting the institutional convention of the year-end report, our ‘out of office’ mixes official and unofficial photos, screengrabs and we-fies, even! Revision, reflection, remembrance, re-ignition. Create or die!

September 1, 2018: New season, new month, and new cover story on the Harald Szeemann exhibition in Bern (cover story archive here).
September 5, 2018: Launch of a new dispatch of ‘Incidents (of Travel)’ from Buenos Aires, Argentina. In this eighth episode, Móvil co-founder and curator Alejandra Aguado followed the itinerary devised by the artist Diego Bianchi around the self-regulated community Velatropa, the buzzing commercial area of Once, identifying human and non-human flows and interactions. This became an entry point for discussing Bianchi’s interests in how, as consumers, we define a particular zeitgeist and appropriate trends that enable us to affirm our identities.

Each of the 20 photographs is augmented by one or more extra assets – a brief commentary, a sound or a caption – accessed by clicking the words overlaying the images. 

‘Incidents (of Travel)’ is an ongoing editorial project edited by Latitudes and produced by KADIST. Earlier offline conversations have taken place in Chicago (USA), Jinja (Uganda), Suzhou (China), Lisbon (Portugal), Terengganu (Malaysia) and Yerevan (Armenia).


September 11–15, 2018: Installation and opening of the exhibition ‘Cream Cheese and Pretty Ribbons!’ at Martin Janda Gallery, Vienna. 

But before that, works like those by Eulàlia Rovira and Adrian Schindler were carefully crated and traveled to Vienna from their studio in Barcelona.


Photo: Eulàlia Rovira and Adrian Schindler.

Installation process of ‘Cream Cheese and Pretty Ribbons!’. Photo: Martin Janda Gallery.

Exhibition file with correspondence, floor plan, artist's CVs, checklist, price list, technicians notes, etc. Above and following photos: Latitudes.

Mariana installing David Bestué’s ‘Trencadissa’ (2013).

(Left) Eulàlia Rovira and Adrian Schindler’s ‘Els peus fixats al terra delatant cap impaciència’ [THE FEET FIXED TO THE GROUND BETRAY NO IMPATIENCE] (2016) and (right) photograph series by Sean Lynch, part of the installation ‘A BLOW BY BLOW ACCOUNT OF STONE CARVING IN OXFORD’, (2013-14).


Eulàlia and Adrian holding their print. Where shall we hang it?

With Sean, Eulàlia and Adrian. Unanimously decided Adrian’s arm was the longest and therefore would perform better as a ‘we-fie’ stick. 


September 14, 2018: The day after the opening Eulàlia and Adrian presented “One motif says to another ‘I can't take my eyes off you’” a new performance produced for the occasion at the gallery (focus of the October Cover Story), and Sean Lynch performed the lecture ‘A Blow by Blow Account of Stonecarving in Oxford’, parrots and owls! More photos.
October 2018 cover story. Archived here.

September 2—18, 2018: Intermittent installation of Joan Morey’s exhibition ‘COLLAPSE’ at the Centre d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona — Fabra i Coats.


Deciding among the two options for the façade banners. Italics or not?

Last-minute proofreading of exhibition captions and panels.
Planning the next steps during the installation with technician guru Alberto Calvete.
A heads up to visitors.
Listing the contents in each vitrine.
Wall labels, exhibition guide, essay and remote controls.

September 19, 2018: Opening of Morey’s exhibition ‘COLLAPSE’, Centre d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona – Fabra i Coats. 


 Opening photos: Eva Carasol. 

September 27, 2018: First reenactment of Joan Morey’s performance ‘POSTMORTEM. Pour en finir avec le jugement de Dieu’ [POSTMORTEM. To have done with the judgment of God] (2006–2007) interpreted by Sònia Gómez, in the context of the exhibition ‘Desiring machine, Working machine’ at the Contemporary Art Centre of Barcelona – Fabra i Coats.

‘POSTMORTEM. Pour en finir avec le jugement de Dieu’ [POSTMORTEM. To have done with the judgment of God] (2006–2007) published in frieze magazine Instagram.

September 28–October 7, 2018: Research trips to London  during Frieze art week (blog post here, art-agenda round-up here) and Liverpool for the Liverpool biennial (photo report here). 


While in London we met with Valentina Ravaglia, Assistant Curator, to donate Lawrence Weiner's limited edition tote bag, designed in 2015 to commemorate Latitudes’ 10th anniversary. Shortly after, the tote was included in Tate's ‘ARTIST ROOMS: Lawrence Weiner’ exhibition, on view from November 2, 2018, at The McManus Museum and Galleries in Dundee, Scotland, until February 17, 2019.

(Above and below) View of ‘Lawrence Weiner. ARTIST ROOMS’, National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. ©Lawrence Weiner. 

October 11, 2018: Second reenactment of Joan Morey’s performance within the exhibition ‘Desiring machine, Working machine’ at the Contemporary Art Centre of Barcelona – Fabra i Coats. ‘LLETANÍA APÒRIMA’ [APORIC LITANY] (2009) was interpreted by Jordi Vall-lamora.

Joan Morey. LLETANIA APÒRIMA (2009). Performance reenactment within the frame of the exhibition ‘COLLAPSE. Desiring MKachine, Working Machine’ (2018–2019). Photo: Noemi Jariod. Courtesy the artist.

October 12, 2018: art-agenda.com publishes Mariana Cánepa Luna’s Frieze Roundup review. Read it here.


October 12–14, 2018: Train to Arlès to visit the exhibition ‘Picture Industry: A Provisional History of the Technical Image’ at LUMA Arlès (Max Andrews’s review was published in December).



Frank Gehry’s building under construction. 
 A large exhibition devoted to Gilbert & George works. 
Saturday morning reception at LUMA.
Before the morning reception, a quick walkthrough Arlès busy Saturday market. 

October 19, 2018: (Secret) Site-visit to La Modelo prison with Joan Morey (artist) and Esther Doblas (executive production) to check the spaces, discuss script possibilities (plan A, B, C, D...), identify mobility issues, etc. At this point in time, nobody knew the location of the event which was only disclosed the very same evening of the performance.

Salvador Puig Antich, the last political activist executed by Franco’s dictatorial regime, was jailed in this wing, in the cell 443. He was garroted in March 1974 in a room where parcels were delivered to the prison.
 Advanced tangle wiring techniques.
 Central space. Morey makes notes on his map of all the access, exits, gallery numbering, etc.
 Exit to the largest prison yard.
 Cisterns placed outside the cells in cages to avoid prisoners hiding anything in them.

 Joan taking further notes nearby the room where prisoners were given methadone.

Joan, Esther and Mariana discuss options in the Panopticon-inspired central space (this cabin is not the original structure).

October 25, 2018: Fifth reenactment of Joan Morey’s performance within the exhibition ‘Desiring machine, Working machine’ at the Contemporary Art Centre of Barcelona – Fabra i Coats. ‘GRITOS Y SUSURROS. Conflicte dramàtic cinquè (amb l’obra d’art)’ [CRIES & WHISPERS. Fifth Dramatic Conflict (with the Work of Art)] (2009) was interpreted by Carme Callol and Tatin Revenga.

Carme Callol and Tatin Revenga rehearsal. Photo: Joan Morey.

Joan Morey, ‘GRITOS Y SUSURROS. Conflicte dramatic cinquè (ambos l’obra d’art)’ [CRIES & WHISPERS. Fifth Dramatic Conflict (with the Work of Art)], 2009. Interpreted by Carme Callol and Tatin Revenga. Performance reenactment within the frame of the exhibition ‘COLLAPSE. Desiring Machine, Working Machine’ (2018–2019). Photo: Noemi Jariod. Courtesy the artist.

October 26–27, 2018: Attending the opening of ‘Te toca a tí’ in Espai d'art contemporani de Castelló (EACC). Mariana’s review of the exhibition would be published on
 January 7, 2019, in art-agenda


Teresa Lanceta’s work, exhibition view of ‘Te toca a tí’ in Espai d’art contemporani de Castelló (EACC). 

November 1, 2018: Morey’s first performance of the series is this months’ focus on Latitudes’ home page. 
November 13, 2018: frieze.com publishes the review of Pere Llobera show at Bombon Projects and SIS galería by Max Andrews. Read the review here. Also included in the January-February 2019, issue #200, page 242.

November 15, 2018: Fourth reenactment of Joan Morey’s performance within the exhibition ‘Desiring machine, Working machine’ at the Contemporary Art Centre of Barcelona – Fabra i Coats. ‘BAREBACK. Fenomenología de la comunión’ [BAREBACK. Phenomenology of Communion], (2010) was interpreted by Manuel Segade.

Preparation of Manuel Segade’s outfit before the reenactment of the performance ‘BAREBACK. Fenomenología de la comunión’ [BAREBACK. Phenomenology of Communion], (2010) by Joan Morey. Photo: Noemi Jariod. Courtesy the artist.

Portrait of Manuel Segade at the end of his performance ‘BAREBACK. Fenomenología de la comunión’ [BAREBACK. Phenomenology of Communion], (2010) on Max Andrews’s Instagram.
November 18–22 Vienna Art Week; November 22-25 Amsterdam Art Weekend: This blog post documents the exhibitions and studios visited during our trip to Vienna, hosted by the Vienna Art Week. As part of the programme, Latitudes participated in a panel discussion on ‘Some Current Positions of Curating’ at das weisse haus.


(Above and below) Photos by eSeL.


November 22, 19:30h: Unfortunately due to our earlier engagement to attend the Vienna Art Week and a sudden change of dates, we were unable to attend the opening of Joan Morey’s ‘COS SOCIAL’ at Centre d’Art Tecla Sala, the second chapter of ‘COLLAPSE’. Below some install shots when the works arrived from Lleida’s La Panera.


Morey striking a pose on the façade of Tecla Sala. Photos: Latitudes.

November 22-25, 2018: Amsterdam Art Week. Visited De Appel, Rijksakademie OPEN Studios, Andriesse, Oude Kerk, RongWrong, Stedelijk museum, Ellen de Bruijne, Fons Welters, tegenboschvanvreden, andriesse eyck, a.o. Photo report here (with photos from the Vienna Art Week, too).

November 29, 2018: Fifth reenactment of Joan Morey’s performance within the exhibition ‘Desiring machine, Working machine’ at the Contemporary Art Centre of Barcelona – Fabra i Coats. ‘IL LINGUAGGIO DEL CORPO. Prólogo’ [IL LINGUAGGIO DEL CORPO. Prologue] (2015–2016) was interpreted by Catalina Carrasco and Gaspar Morey.

The final shot of ‘IL LINGUAGGIO DEL CORPO’ published on Max Andrews' Instagram (later deleted by Instagram due "not following their community guidelines on nudity").

December 1, 2018: Following on our recent trip to Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum to see their historic Brueghel exhibition, we decided to dedicate December’s cover story to another of their current shows: ‘Spitzmaus Mummy in a Coffin and Other Treasures’ conceived by filmmaker Wes Anderson and his partner Juman Malouf. 
December 2018 cover story on www.lttds.org

December 2–4, 2018: Short research trip to Madrid to visit exhibitions: group show ‘Querer parecer noche’ at the Centro de Arte 2 de Mayo in Móstoles; Lúa Coderch’s ‘La vida de O.’ at CentroCentro; comprehensive solo shows by Luigi Ghirri, Luis Camnitzer, Dorothea Tanning, and Dierk Schmidt at Museo Reina Sofia; Lina Bo Bardi at Fundación March; works by Portuguese artists Alexandre Estrela and João Maria Gusmão + Pedro Paiva at La Casa Encendida; and a few solo exhibitions in commercial galleries such as David Goldblatt at Elba Benítez; Alejandro Cesarco in Parra & Romero; Eva Fàbregas at garcía galería; Enric Farrés Duran at NoguerasBlanchard and Daniel Jacoby at Maisterravalbuena. We also had time to squeeze in a visit to the Museo Geominero, a place we’ve long wanted to visit and never managed to find time for. And it didn’t disappoint. Highly recommended to everyone not only into minerals and stones but also nerds (as we are) on exhibition display and cabinets.

Lúa Coderch’s ‘La vida de O.’ at CentroCentro.
Alejandro Cesarco at ParraRomero, Madrid.

Above and below: Museo Geominero, Madrid.


Group exhibition ‘Querer parecer noche’ at the Centro de Arte 2 de Mayo (CA2M) in Móstoles.


Dierk Schmidt at Museo Reina Sofia’s Palacio Velázquez.

December 13, 2018: Sixth and final reenactment of Joan Morey’s performance within the exhibition ‘Desiring machine, Working machine’ at the Contemporary Art Centre of Barcelona – Fabra i Coats. ‘TOUR DE FORCE. El cos utòpic’ [TOUR DE FORCE. The Utopian Body] (2017) was interpreted by Eduard Escoffet.


Backstage makeup and application of fake tattoos – in the hurry the ‘Memento Mori’ tattoo on one on Escoffet’s arm was upside down. No big deal. 

December 20, 2018: frieze.com publishes Max’s review on the exhibition ‘Picture Industry: A Provisional History of the Technical Image’, a survey exhibition at LUMA Arlès captures the history of mechanically-reproduced imagery from the 19th century to the present. Read the review here.
January 7, 2019: art-agenda publishes Mariana’s review of the group exhibition ‘Te toca a tí [It's your turn]’ at Espai d'art contemporani de Castelló (EACC). Read the review here.
The review is also the focus of our January’s Monthly Cover Story on Latitudes home page (archived here).
January 8–10, 2019: Set up for the performance ‘Schizophrenic Machine’ by Joan Morey, the closing event of the three-part project ‘COLLAPSE’. Both exhibitions at the Centre d’art contemporani de Barcelona – Fabra i Coats and Centre d’art Tecla Sala close on January 13, 2019. 



January 10, 2019, at 7pm: Performance ‘COLLAPSE. Schizophrenic Machine’ by Joan Morey. Performance structured in a prologue and five acts inside Barcelona’s La Model prison. A group of people was driven by coach to the location from each of the two art centres that hosted the first two parts of ‘COLLAPSE’. The performance was integrated into the architecture and the memory of the building, creating an imposing immersive experience. Public restricted by capacity to 113 spectators. Attendance had to be requested in advance and was subject to prior selection and the acceptance of specific rules and a strict dress code. More here.

‘COLLAPSE. Schizophrenic Machine’ by Joan Morey.© 2019. All documentation photographs by Noemi Jariod. Courtesy of the artist.

January 14, 2019: frieze.com publishes Max’s fan letter on ‘Frank Zappa’s Genre-Defying ‘Civilization Phaze III’’. Published in Issue 200, January - February 2019. Read the text here.
February 1, 2019: New cover story focusing on Morey’s closing performance ‘COLLAPSE. Schizophrenic Machine’ at La Model prison in Barcelona.
February 8, 2019: Launch of a new ‘Incidents (of Travel)’ dispatch from Reykjavík (and cover story on Latitudes’s home page between March-April 2019). In this new itinerary, Canadian curator Becky Forsythe and Icelandic artist Þorgerður Ólafsdóttir navigate Reykjavík’s surroundings considering Þorgerður’s “current interest in Icelandic Spar (a form of transparent calcite), its double refraction and light-polarizing properties. In a race with daylight, they travel between sites, collecting moments and considering the ways in which geologic time surfaces in the context of human time.”

Each of the 27 photographs is augmented by one or more extra assets – a brief commentary, a sound or a caption – accessed by clicking the words overlaying the images.


‘Incidents (of Travel)’ is an editorial project that began in Spring 2016. It’s edited by Latitudes and produced by KADIST as part of their online projects. Earlier offline conversations have taken place in Chicago (USA), Jinja (Uganda), Suzhou (China), Lisbon (Portugal), Terengganu (Malaysia), Yerevan (Armenia) and Buenos Aires (Argentina).




February 20, 2019: After a few weeks facing the screen and months mining hard disks, we finally upload Latitudes’ redesigned portfolio, available to download for desktop/laptop/tablet view (83pp, 30.9 MB), for mobile (164pp,15.8 MB) or for print (164pp, 155.3 MB).



February 26–March 1, 2019: Three intensive days navigating ARCOmadrid events. We enjoyed Reina Sofía’s exhibitions dedicated to Chicago-based artist H. C. Westermann (reviewed by Mariana in the April issue of L’Officiel Art International) and Mapa Teatro’s site-specific installation as part of the Fisuras programme; David Bestué’s solo show at García Galería; Catalina Lozano’s exhibition ‘Winning by Losing’ at CentroCentro; Charlotte Moth’s subtle play with three works from CA2M’s collection in Móstoles, and Armando Andrade Tudela also at CA2M.


Above and below: David Bestué solo show at García Galería, Madrid.

(Above and below): Following on from Joao Laia’s earlier exhibition ‘Transmissions from the Etherspace’ in the same institution, his latest exhibition ‘Drowning in a sea of data’ —despite the ubiquity of the topic of the incessant presence of technology and algorithms in our daily lives — included great works such as Clemens von Wedemeyer’s film and Tomasz Kowalski’s small canvases.


Downstairs the highlights of this year’s Generación 2019 were Susanna Inglada and Lucía P. Moreno.

 Catalina Lozano’s group exhibition ‘Winning by Losing’ at CentroCentro. Above: work by Patricia Esquivias. Below: Work by Asier Mendizábal and (next images) Jorge Satorre and Xavier Salaberría.
(Above and below) Bravo to Charlotte Moth’s subtle play with three pieces in CA2M’s collection in dialogue with some of her work. A highlight was the two-part theatre backdrop painted by Leonor Fini in the 1950s and commissioned by Antonio el Bailarín for the 1956 International Festival of Granada.


March 13, 2019: Max’s review on ‘Domènec. Y la tierra será el paraíso’ exhibition at adn galería, Barcelona, published on frieze.com (also included in frieze, issue 202, April 2019).
23 March–16 April 2019: Montevideo (family trip) and Buenos Aires (work trip). Read a fully documented report of our week in Buenos Aires here.

Max Andrews and Lara Marmor conversation ‘First Things First: Making Exhibitions for a General Audience’ covered the contradictions for curatorial and artistic strategies addressing larger audiences. Photo: Art Basel.

In ‘Beyond the Museum: New Institutional Frames for Art’ Mariana Cánepa Luna and Solana Molina Viamonte discussed some of the current transformations institutions undergo, as well as identifying forthcoming challenges. Photo: Art Basel.

Pizza and fugazza at El Cuartito with Alejandra Aguado.

April 2019: Two articles were published this month. Latitudes wrote a 14-page feature on Joan Morey for THE SEEN—Chicago’s International Online Journal of Contemporary and Modern Art, and Mariana wrote a review of H. C. Westermann’s retrospective ‘Goin’ Home’ (Volver a casa) exhibition at the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid, published in L’Officiel Art International’s issue #29. More on our writing archive.


The first page of the 14-page feature on Joan Morey’s performative practice published on THE SEEN—Chicago’s International Online Journal of Contemporary and Modern Art.

Views of the H. C. Westermann's retrospective "Volver a casa" exhibition at the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid. Photo: Latitudes.

Additionally, a third text appeared this month: the essay ‘Thinking like a drainage basin’ for the exhibition catalogue ‘Lara Almarcegui. Béton’ published by Silvana Editoriale, accompanying her solo exhibition at CAIRN centre d’art in Digne-les-Bains in southern France.

In 2011 Latitudes-edited the monograph ‘Lara Almarcegui. Projects 1995–2010’ published by Archive Books.

(Two above) IVAM’s new sculpture park under construction.



(Two above) Views from their current permanent collection display ‘TIEMPOS CONVULSOS. Historias y microhistorias en la colección del IVAM’.

(Above and below) Views from the exhibition ‘Ice and Earth: The Shimmering Abstractions’ by Anna-Eva Bergman at Bombas Gens, Valencia. Read here


May 2–4, 2019: Trip to Valencia to research for an article on the Valencia art scene in the framework of IVAM’s 30th anniversary (to be published in November 2019 in frieze magazine).

May 6–31, 2019: Intense jury duty selecting Barcelona Producció awardees of the 2019–2020 season. Three long weeks reading 259 applications, debating with the rest of the jury, and interviewing 32 shortlisted candidates in order to award 15 production grants, an initiative of La Capella.


On June 3, winners are announced. Latitudes will tutor three of the fifteen awarded projects: ‘Joc d'infants’ [Children’s game] by Lola Lasurt (solo exhibition, June-October 2020, dates TBC), the offsite project ‘La Balena del Prat al Prat’ [The El Prat Whale to El Prat] by Consol Llupià, and the research ‘Nombrar, poseer. Crítica de la práctica taxonómica’ [To name, to own. Critique of taxonomic practice] by Agustín Ortiz Herrera.
May 29, 2019: Frieze published Max’s review ‘Ice and Earth: The Shimmering Abstractions’ on Anna-Eva Bergman’s retrospective of the terrestrial geographies at Bombas Gens, Valencia. Printed in the September 2019 issue of frieze (#205). 

Exhibition catalogue ‘Lara Almarcegui. Béton published by Silvana Editoriale.

June 4, 2019: We received copies of the publication ‘Lara Almarcegui. Beton’ (Silvana Editoriale, April 2019), which includes Latitudes' essay ‘Thinking like a drainage basin’. 


One of the cleverest interventions: (Theresa) ‘May you live in interesting times’, Venice Biennale 2019.

June 10–14, 2019: Visiting the Venice Biennale. Highlights: Jannis Kounellis at the Fondazione Prada; in the biennale enjoyed works by Khalil Joseph, Ed Atkins, Gabriel Rico, Hito Steyerl, Otobong Nkanga, Haris Epaminonda, Ulrike Müller, Michael Armitage, Gauri Gill (a highlight of Documenta14), Cyprien Gaillard, Jimmie Durham and Lara Favaretto, et. al. The group show at Punta della Dogana (always impeccably installed) had great pieces by Hicham Berrada, Charbel Joseph H. Boutros, Stéphane Saade, and Ari Benjamin; Christopher Kulendran Thomas at V-A-C; mixed feelings about Luc Tuymans at Palazzo Grassi; visited the empty Lithuanian (performances were only on Saturdays, Wednesdays has now been added to the schedule). In the Giardini, we enjoyed the presentations in France, Brazil, Belgium and Switzerland, and elsewhere Ghana, Cyprus, Wales, France, Madagascar, Dineo Seshee Bopape's work in the South African, the maze-like Italy and Hong Kong. Future Generations is always good to visit, though we'd be grateful if they could provide a leaflet or sheet with information on the exhibited works and artists. We enjoyed the presentations by Toyin Ojih Odutola, Jakob Kudsk Steensen, Daniel Turner and Gala Porras-Kim and had time to swing by Victoria Miro which presented great paintings by Njideka Akunyili Crosby. Others photographed below.


Detail from Cathy Wilkes’s work at the British Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2019.

Ingela Ihman’s work at the Nordic Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2019.

 Sergio Prego’s sculptures at the back of the Spanish Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2019.

Yu Ji sculptures in the Central Pavilion, Giardini, Venice Biennale 2019

Jimmie Durham’s ‘Black Serpentine’ in the Central Pavilion, Giardini, Venice Biennale 2019.

Lara Favaretto's ‘Thinking Head’ in the Central Pavilion, Giardini, Venice Biennale 2019.

Haris Epaminonda in the Arsenale, Venice Biennale 2019.

Joël Andrianomearisoa at the Madagascar Pavilion, CorderieVenice Biennale 2019.

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s paintings at the Ghana Pavilion, Corderie, Venice Biennale 2019.

 Irish pavilion with work by Eva Rothschild, Corderie, Venice Biennale 2019.

Welsh Pavilion presented work by Sean EdwardsVenice Biennale 2019.

July 1, 2019: New cover story rewinding 10 years to Francesc Ruiz's (visionary?) participation in the group show ‘Sequelism, part 3: Possible, Probable and Preferable Futures’ in Arnolfini, Bristol.
July 11, 2019: Conversation with Lara Almarcegui at the Institut Valencià d’Art Modern (IVAM) in the context of her new exhibition ‘Lara Almarcegui. Agras volcano. Mining rights

Photo © Institut Valencià d'Art Modern (IVAM).

July 16, 2019: Website update with a new page on our forthcoming participation in PUBLICS’s ‘Today Is Our Tomorrow’ art festival taking place in early September in Helsinki. Running parallel during the same week (9–15 September), Frame Contemporary Art Finland is organising ‘Gathering for Rehearsing Hospitalities’, a six-day gathering in which artists, curators, researchers and other critical minds ‘are invited to rehearse and debate hospitality towards diverse ways of knowing and challenging of dominant knowledges’.
July 19, 2019: As a board member of the Fundació Privada AAVC governing HANGAR since 2015, Mariana attends the last HANGAR board meeting before the Summer break. This is a longer than usual session as 2018 accounts have to be approved. Enjoying the blue sky and bright colours before entering spreadsheet world.


Nearby building to HANGAR on c. Marroc / Espronceda.


July 22, 2019: We learn Joan Morey is one of the eight beneficiaries of the 27th edition of the Botín Foundation’s International Visual Arts Grants. Yey! 

July 26-28, 2019: Trip to Madrid to catch a few exhibitions before they finished and the August exodus. Henrik Olesen, David Wojnarowicz, Miriam Cahn, Sara Ramo and Rogelio López Cuenca at the Museo Reina Sofía; Inéditos 2019 at La Casa Encendida; Eva Fàbregas and Aimée Zito Lema at CentroCentro; the recently inaugurated Paloma Polo at CA2M in Móstoles; Joël Andrianomearisoa (at Galería Sabrina Amrani) and Darío Villalba at Sala Alcalá 31, two shows ending this weekend.


 Joël Andrianomearisoa at Galería Sabrina Amrani.

 Above and below: Darío Villalba at Sala Alcalá 31

 Eva Fàbregas ‘Gut feeling’ at CentroCentro.

  Paloma Polo, ‘A Fleeting Moment of Dissidence Becomes Fossilised and Lifeless After The Moment Has Passed’ 2014, at CA2M in Móstoles.

 Henrik Olesen, ‘SOME GAY-LESBIAN ARTISTS AND/OR ARTISTS RELEVANT TO HOMO-SOCIAL CULTURE BORN BETWEEN C. 1300–1870’ (2007) at Museo Reina Sofía.

David Wojnarowicz's photograph ‘What Is This Little Guy’s Job in the World’ (1990) at the Museo Reina Sofía


The 2019–2020 season will kick off on 9–15 September. We'll be in Helsinki participating in two events. Firstly the art festival ‘Today Is Our Tomorrow’, a three-day event (12, 13 and 14 September) initiated by PUBLICS presenting a collaboratively curated program of temporary public art commissions, live performance, music, dance, theatre, literature and symposia, local and international organisations. Latitudes’ has invited Mercedes Azpilicueta to present the performance ‘Yegua-yeta-yuta’ (2015) at Club Kaiku, an underground music venue renowned for hosting an innovative lineup of DJs. 


Skype conversation with the artist Mercedes Azpilicueta and Paul O'Neill from PUBLICS.

And secondly, we'll be part of Frame Contemporary Art Finland's ‘Gathering for Rehearsing Hospitalities’, a week composed of a series of talks, performative dialogues, interventions and screenings developed in collaboration with a number of local partners.

A few days later, we'll be participating in the 2019 EXPO CHICAGO/Red Bull Arts Global Curatorial Initiative visiting a range of institutions and artists in Chicago (17–21 September) and Detroit (21–23 September).


11 de julio 2019, 19h: Conversación con Lara Almarcegui en el Institut Valencià d'Art Modern (IVAM)

‘Volcán de Agras. Derechos mineros’. Fotos: Lara Almarcegui.

El próximo 11 de julio a las 19h, la artista Lara AlmarceguiMariana Cánepa Luna (comisaria, Latitudes) mantendrán una conversación abierta al público con motivo de la inauguración de exposición individual de Almarcegui ‘Volcán de Agras. Derechos mineros’ en el Institut Valencià d'Art Modern (IVAM), un proyecto coordinado por Sandra Moros, conservadora del museo valenciano. El evento es gratuito y tendrá lugar en el auditorio del museo.

A continuación de la charla, se podrá visitar la exposición en la que Almarcegui ha investigado sobre los derechos mineros del volcán de Agras en Cofrentes, lugar que fue explotado como cantera por la industria cementera desde mediados de los años setenta hasta los años ochenta. La exposición se podrá visitar hasta el 27 de octubre.  


Tapa del catálogo ‘Lara Almarcegui. Béton’ publicado por Silvana Editoriale (2019) con motivo de la exposición de Almarcegui en CAIRN Centre d'art en Digne-les-Bains, Francia.

Lara Almarcegui es seguramente la artista con la que Latitudes ha colaborado en más ocasiones. Han incluido su trabajo en la publicación ‘LAND, ART: A Cultural Ecology Handbook’ (2006) y en la revista UOVO #14 ‘Ecology, Luxury and Degradation’ (2007). Han escrito textos sobre su trabajo que han sido publicados en la revista Mousse Magazine, así como para los catálogos de los proyectos ‘Estratos’ en Murcia (2008) o ‘Sense and Sustainability’, Urdabai Arte (pdf aquí) (2012), y recientemente para el catálogo de su exposición monográfica en el CAIRN Centre d'art, France (2019). 


(Arriba y abajo) Conversación con Almarcegui y el crítico y comisario Cuauhtémoc Medina en TENT, Rotterdam, mayo 2011. Photos by Aad Hoogendoorn.


En el 2011 moderaron una conversación con la artista y el crítico y comisario Cuauhtémoc Medina en TENT, Rotterdam, y editaron su primera monografía ‘Lara Almarcegui. Projects 2005–2010’ publicada por Archive Books (2011). Asímismo le han encargado proyectos para proyectos en el espacio público como ‘Portscapes’ en el puerto de Róterdam (2009–10), el puerto más grande de Europa, y presentado su trabajo en exposiciones colectivas como ‘Greenwashing. Percoli, promesse e perplessità’ [Greenwashing. Peligros, promesas y perplejidades] en la Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo en Torino (2008) y ‘4.543 milliard. La question de la matière’ [4.543 billones. La cuestión de la materia], en el CAPC Musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux (2017–2018).


Monografía ‘Lara Almarcegui. Projects 2005–2010’ editada por Latitudes (Archive Books, 2011).

(Arriba y abajo) Febrero-mayo 2008: Obras de Almarcegui presentadas en la exposición colectiva ‘Greenwashing. Perils, promises and perplexities’, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Torino. Fotos: Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo.

(Arriba y abajo) 8 Noviembre 2009: 80 personas se sumaron a la visita guiada a cuatro de los diecisiete terrenos baldíos documentados por Almarcegui para el proyecto Portscapes en el Puerto de Rotterdam. Fotos: Paloma Polo/SKOR. Más fotos aquí.

(Arriba, pared) Junio 2017–Enero 2018: Materiales de construcción realizadas por la artista entre el 2005 y el 2008 incluidas en la exposición colectiva ‘4.543 billion. The matter of matter’, comisariada por Latitudes en el CAPC Musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux, Francia. Foto: Latitudes/RK.


→ CONTENIDO RELACIONADO:
  • ‘Thinking like a drainage basin’ essay in the catalogue of the exhibition ‘Lara Almarcegui. Béton’(8 April 2019)
  • Report from Urdaibai: commission series 'Sense and Sustainability', Urdaibai Arte 2012 22 July 2012
  • Launch of the monograph 'Lara Almarcegui. Projects 1995–2010', edited by Latitudes at 'The Dutch Assembly', ARCOmadrid, 15 February, 19-20h 14 February 2012
  • Monograph ‘Lara Almarcegui. Projects 1995–2010’, Archive Books, 2011
  • Photos 'In conversation with Lara Almarcegui', 19 May 2011, TENT, Rotterdam 6 June 2011
  • Editing the forthcoming publication 'Lara Almarcegui. Projects 1995–2010' 18 March 2011
  • Portscapes bus tour: Lara Almarcegui wasteland tour and Christina Hemauer & Roman Keller's 'Postpetrolistic Internationale' choir performance 10 November 2009
  • Text on Lara Almarcegui's project for Expo Zaragoza 2008 and exhibition at Pepe Cobo, Madrid 28 October 2008
  • Catálogo 'Estratos', texto sobre Lara Almarcegui, PAC Murcia 2008 28 Mayo 2008
  • Lara Almarcegui in Frieze Art Fair 19 Octubre 2006

Cover Story—June 2019: ‘Thinking like a drainage basin: Lara Almarcegui’s ‘Concrete’

Latitudes' homepage www.lttds.org

The May 2019 Monthly Cover Story ‘Thinking like a drainage basin: Lara Almarcegui’s ‘Concrete’’ is now up on Latitudes' homepage: www.lttds.org

Lara Almarcegui’s current exhibition at the CAIRN art centre in Digne-les-Bains, southern France, focuses on the nearby Bléone river, its geology, and its exploitation. Latitudes has written an essay entitled ‘Thinking like a drainage basin’ for the accompanying catalogue. Lara’s project Béton (Concrete) has two parts. The first, seen here, involves the floor of the art centre being covered with crushed cement, gravel and sand. This raw material is the remains of several concrete structures — weirs — that were placed in the river in a failed attempt to stabilise a riverbed that had been extensively dug out over the preceding decades to produce gravel for the construction industry. The watercourse and its ecology is now being restored, and the weirs were recently removed.”

—> Continue reading
—> After May it will be archived here.


Cover Stories' are published on a monthly basis on Latitudes' homepage featuring past, present or forthcoming projects, research, texts, artworks, exhibitions, films, objects or field trips related to our curatorial activities.


RELATED CONTENT:


‘Thinking like a drainage basin’ essay in the catalogue of the exhibition ‘Lara Almarcegui. Béton’


(Above and below) Installation views of the exhibition ‘Béton’ by Lara Almarcegui at the CAIRN centre d'art, Digne-les-Bains, 2019. All photos: François-Xavier Emery.

Lara Almarcegui's exhibition ‘Béton’ opened on April 5 at CAIRN Centre d'art, in Digne-les-Bains, France, and will be on view until June 30th, 2019.

Latitudes has collaborated in the bilingual catalogue ‘Lara Almarcegui. Béton’ (French/English) recently published by Silvana Editoriale on the occasion the exhibition, with the new essay ‘Thinking like a drainage basin’. The publication includes an introduction by Giulia Pagnetti (curator of the exhibition and director of CAIRN Centre d'art), a second essay titled ‘Lara Almarcegui's building sites’ by Natacha Pugnet, and a conversation between the artist and Winfried Dallmann (Associate Professor, Department of Geosciences, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø) titled ‘Earth Calculation’.



As Latitudes' writes in the essay (...) ‘As part of her most recent project for CAIRN Centre d’art, Almarcegui has produced ‘Roches et Materiaux du Bassin de la Bléone’ (2019), an inventory of the different types of geological matter comprising the entire drainage basin of the Bléone river from its source near Prads-Haute-Bléone to its confluence with the Durance at Chateau-Arnaux, a terrain of some 906 km2.

In discussing how storytelling might integrate with environmental science, anthropologist Julie Cruikshank poses the rhetorical question, “are glaciers ‘good to think with’?”[1] She suggests that glaciers and glacial stories be allowed to disrupt and exceed conceptual fields and dominant frameworks of knowledge. Ecologist Aldo Leopold coined the term “to think like a mountain” in his 1949 book ‘A Sand County Almanac’, proposing that history could be narrated, or indeed art could be made, from the point of view of non-human actors. Are drainage basins good to think with? What might it entail to think like the rocks and topological forms that funnel water into a river in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence département in southeastern France?’



‘Lara Almarcegui. Béton’
April 2019, 48 pages, 24 x 17 cm
Texts by Natacha Pugnet, Latitudes and an interview between the artist and Winfried Dallmann. 
French/English 
Published by Silvana Editoriale
March 2019
Edited by CAIRN centre d'art
ISBN 9788836640904
Purchase here for 10 Euros.

RELATED CONTENT:
  • Writing archive on Latitudes' website;
  • Review – ‘Domènec. Y la tierra será el paraíso', adn galería, Barcelona, frieze.com, 13 March 2019
  • Opinion – ‘Frank Zappa’s Genre-Defying ‘Civilization Phaze III’’, frieze, January-February 2019, Issue 200, and frieze.com, 14 January 2019
  • Review – ‘Te toca a tí’ [It's your turn], Espai d'art contemporani de Castelló, art-agenda, 7 January 2019
  • art-agenda review of Frieze week 2018 15 October 2018
  • Catalogue essay – ‘The Kørner Problem’, in the monograph ‘John Kørner', ed. by Maria Nipper. Published by Roulette Russe, 2017. 19 February 2018

(Part 3/3) The 55th Biennale di Venezia: National Pavilions and Collateral Events in pictures and as seen by the critics, 1 June–24 November 2013

Browsing 'The Ideological Guide' on iPad.

If you haven't been to this year's Venice Biennale and plan to go soon, download 'The Ideological Guide', a free app developed by the Dutch artist Jonas Staal. As reported in artinfo.com "the smartphone app offers information about each participating country’s 2013 pavilion, from its commissioner and curator to the sources of its funding, while also providing historical information about past pavilions, and charting that nation’s economic and political alliances with other participating countries. The app, according to its creators, shows that the Venice Biennale’s distribution of national pavilions around the city is in many ways a more accurate reflection of nations’ geopolitical position than any geographical map.

Allora. So. Let's begin with the Spanish Pavilion, not only as it's the country where Latitudes is based, but also as it's the first pavilion one encounters when entering the Biennale area, walking towards the Padiglione Centrale. Quinn Latimer
 in Art Agenda wrote: "In her discreetly powerful Spanish Pavilion, meanwhile, Lara Almarcegui also tread some familiar contemporary-art modes and ideas, though they were insistently material. And the pavilion was a natural: streaked with sunrays from the skylights above, the piles of stone, wood, glass, and dirt—the exact same amounts that were used in the building of the pavilion itself—were immediately comprehensible, inevitable, lucidly effective." [Press Release and more photos here, video interview here]

  
'Raw' mountains of the various materials that compose the very building where they were presented: the 1922 Spanish Pavilion.

Continuing with Latimer
: 

"Surrounded by Massimiliano Gioni’s larger show, the somewhat airless “Encyclopedic Palace,” with its Documenta hangover of late, and serious crush on cleanly framed taxonomies, the national pavilions’ representatives of culture and country felt antique and obvious and a mess—but also a relief. Gioni’s turning of private cosmos and personal struggle into a stylized interior design aesthetic was definitively lacking in the disordered, disparate pavilions, where taste was usually the least concern. Yet lack of taste does not always equal distastefulness, which often arises instead from an excess of the stuff. If sometimes bad taste materializes as poeticized and/or politicized kitsch (see the pavilions of Canada, the US, Israel, and, at moments, the Netherlands), other pavilions broke through the visual chatter."

On the Netherlands' presentation, Adrian Searle of UK's The Guardian commented that Mark Manders' "Room with Broken Sentence" (...) "is a sensitively conceived and quietly dramatic tableau, like the interior of a mind as much as an actual space. The human presence emerges and disappears, conjoins with furniture or is sandwiched between stacks of timbers." 

Following on from our previous post on biennale tote bags, we'd like to add that the Dutch press package gets our bravo for the most beautiful, comprehensive and effectively-designed communication materials (and what a great pavilion catalogue too, with contributions by 37 international writers invited to reflect on individual works by Manders, published by Roma Publications). The press folder includes a full-coloured booklet with beautiful installation views of the pavilion; an 8-page booklet with an interview between the pavilion curator, Lorenzo Benedetti, and the artist alongside black and white photos of the works on show and a floorplan of the exhibition; two double-sided thick card A4 postcards of the artist's work; and a copy of Manders' "fake newspapers" which also covers the entrance to the pavilion. You can see images of the materials on the website of Amsterdam-based designer Roger Willems, or read more in the website of the pavilion. Gefeliciteerd!

  
 (Three above) Installation views of Mark Manders's "Room with a Broken Sentence" (2013) at the Dutch pavilion. More photos via Contemporary Art Daily.

Latimer laments the somehow shy presentation of Valentin Carron at the Swiss Pavilion which according to her "provoked nostalgia. Bruno Giacometti’s austere, 1952 modernist idyll is one of the finest pavilions in the Giardini. If two years ago Thomas Hirschhorn [see a few photos here onwards] obliterated Giacometti’s clean lines with his overwrought, über-hoarding installation, this year Valentin Carron erred on the side of caution, hewing too close and careful to those very same lines."

 View of Valentin Carron's presentation at the Swiss Pavilion.

Despite Latimer's comments on the "disordered, disparate pavilions", Jörg Heiser was amazed to find a common thread: "Even in the national pavilions of the Giardini – which are not under any over-arching curatorial supervision, but in each case are commissioned according to very different agendas – there are numerous signs that artists are groping in the dark of the unconscious and the (supposedly) ‘primordial’: grottoes and caves all over the place, clay sculptures, enigmatic allegories, prehistoric flintstones, (pseudo-)fossil findings. Is this parallel between the curated show and the national pavilions merely coincidental or does it tell us – as it steers art away from sober abstraction, calculated boutique chic, and more straightforward forms of realist social comment – something about the current state of things, the position of art in society (and economy) at large?"

And speaking of clay figures and rocks, according to Carol Vogel Sarah Sze's 'Triple Point' spread beyond the US Pavilion, with a few merchants in Castello displaying simulations of her pieces adorning rooftops, balcones and shop windows. "Ms. Sze is asking questions of her audience: “What objects in your life have value, and how is value created?” she explained. “I wanted to show objects that we know and have seen in our bag or on the shelf of a store which have the residue of emotion... Ms. Sze, who is known for creating site-specific environments from everyday objects like toothpicks, sponges, light bulbs and plastic bottles, arrived here in a snow storm on March 28 and has been hoarding, foraging and installing ever since." [Full article here, you can also read another review here, watch a video interview with the artist or have a 360 degree virtual tour of the Pavilion].

(Above) Sarah Sze's 'Triple Point', United States of America Pavilion.


The mentioned 'spiritual turn' is also shared by Corinna Kirsch in her review in Art F City, which reads: "It seems there’s something in the air about The Encyclopedic Palace’s “dream of a universal, all-embracing knowledge” (...) Science fiction and spirituality, in particular, are present in the pavilions as well as Gioni’s exhibition, though the way these themes play out are to entirely different stylistic ends... Overall, these works are less emotional than Gioni’s; even when they’re grounded in science fiction and spirituality, they’re grounded in the concerns of the here-and-now. Simply put, Gioni’s artists tend to live in their head, and the pavilions’ artists, in the world." 

According to Kirsch, examples of this are the British pavilion with Jeremy Deller's "English Magic" [see a video of Adrian Searle visiting the pavilion], where the artist has "the grandest presentation on view of epic creation and destruction myths, and on a national scale." [Watch the full-length of the video 'English Magic' here]. Paul Teasdale went on to say that Deller delves in the "antiquated, faintly ridiculous notion of the ‘national pavilion’ and the antiquated, faintly ridiculous notion of Englishness itself that Deller is exploring. And the almost magical way in which we so quickly forget the past."

(Above) Visitors queue to have their own prints of "William Morris returns from the dead to hurl Roman Abramovich's vast yacht Luna, which blighted the waterfront beside the Giardini at the 2011 Venice Biennale, into the waves." (Adrian Searle) and of a Hen Harrier grabbing a Range Rover.

 Above: A steel-drum orchestra played A Guy Called Gerald and Bowie's The Man Who Sold the World during the afternoon of the opening day.

Moving on. The almost bare Romanian Pavilion presented a "retrospective history of Venice, with actors as breathing archives of the Biennale itself" as Kaelen Wilson-Goldie has described in her Artforum diary review. Adrian Searle went on to recommend everyone to visit "the Pavilion, where Alexandra Pirici, Manuel Pelmuş and a small group of performers restage dozens of works from the previous 54 Biennales: using nothing more than their own bodies, they act out and mime Picasso's Guernica, Hans Haacke's famous destruction of the German pavilion's floor in 1993, paintings by Modigliani, sculptures by Rodin, performances by Marina Abramović and photographs by Nan Goldin. Both homage and parody, these quick-change charades in the otherwise empty pavilion take place all day, every day. Marvellous, funny and affecting, An Immaterial Retrospective of the Venice Biennale is much more than a parlour game. It is about history and memory – and it shows that the real encyclopedic palace is not to be found in a collection of objects, but in people themselves." [see a video of Searle visiting the Romanian Pavilion, starting at min. 2.30 while the 'living sculptures' are performing a reenactment of Allora and Calzadilla's 2011 piece presented in the US Pavilion].


(Above) An Immaterial Retrospective of the Venice Biennale, Romanian Pavilion.


Above: 'Bang', a so-so installation assembled by 886 three-legged wooden stols by Ai Weiwei, at the entrance of the German Pavilion (this year housed in the French Pavilion).

More Giardini. For the Austrian Pavilion, Mathias Poledna takes us to the movies. "... to a very short movie, that is. At just over three minutes long, “Imitation of Life” should feel like a slap in the face to the hulking structure in which it sits (both literally and figuratively). But the single animated scene, which reproduces to exacting detail the process used by film studios in the late 1930s and early 1940s, is a joy. It’s simple, light (at least on the surface), heartwarming even, and then it ends leaving one wishing for more." Jörg Heiser of frieze adds: "Poledna shows a four-minute musical animation in the style of Disney’s Bambi or Snow White – realized, in Los Angeles, with specialists able to do it the classical way. It’s not an original found object, but a kind of new reconstruction. Poledna does not rely on readymade or parody, thus generating a kind of double perception: I see the film projection and am inevitably reminded of childhood experiences – don’t I know this cute donkey with drooping ears in sailor outfit? – that I never could have had. He taps into our real-existing, pop-cultural affect reservoir, while diverting it into perfect fiction."


Still from Poledna's “Imitation of Life”.

Adrian Searle also mentioned Anri Sala's "Ravel Raval Unravel": "... Albanian artist Anri Sala, representing France, is in the German Pavilion. He drew big queues last week for his three-part film installation, based on performances of Maurice Ravel's 1930 composition Concerto in D for the Left Hand. Impeccably staged though it is, Sala's is a minor work on a major scale." [Watch video here]

 A (poor) photo of Anri Sala's video installation.


Midwaythrough a 2-hour queue under the rain to enter Anri Sala's exhibition on Friday 31 May.
  
Other National Pavilions in the Giardini not very much mentioned by the press, but worth visiting: Czech Republic & Slovak Republic, exhibiting work by Petra Feriancová (first room) and Zbyněk Baladrán (with the film "Liberation or Alternatively", at the back). Feriancová's project takes "Venice as a starting point and theme disappears in a return to intimate history: although pigeons, shells, masks and cityscapes are universal figures with a specific information value right here in Venice, their photographs or their collections were taken for purely personal reasons (the artist and her family) and have in fact nothing in common with Venice." [More images and text via Mousse].
the exhibition project Still the Same Place by Petra Feriancová and Zbyněk Baladrán curated by Marek Pokorný. - See more at: http://moussemagazine.it/55vb-czechoslovak-pavilion/#sthash.hhxgS6c4.dpuf


Also, Lebanon was represented by a wonderful new film, "Letter To A Refusing Pilot", by Akram Zaatari. The story is centered on a powerful real-life account of an Israeli Air Force fighter who was sent to destroy a school outside of Saida, the artist hometown, in the early 1980s but refused to do so, and instead dropped the bombs in the sea. As a kid, Zaatari would hear the story from his father, director of the very same school. Years later Zaatari discovered the story wasn't a rumor and that the pilot was real. 

Nina Siegal includes a quote by the artist on her New York Times article: “The importance of the story is that it gives the pilot a human face,” Mr. Zaatari said. “It gives what he is about to bomb, which is considered terrorist ground; it also gives that a human face. I think it’s important to remember in times of war that everyone is a human being. Taking it to this level humanizes it completely, and we’re not used to this at all.” 

"The film was shot in the neighborhood around the school, which has been rebuilt and incorporates aerial photographs, drawings, computer imaging and some personal documents from Mr. Zaatari’s own life to tell the story from the perspective of a teenage boy. In the Lebanese Pavilion at the Biennale, it is part of an installation that includes a reel film projector, a single movie theater chair and a number of cylindrical stools."

Zaatari's film in the Lebanese Pavilion in the Corderie.

Holland Cotter of the New York Times wrote on Alfredo Jaar’s show at the Chilean pavilion [two photos below], which is "centered around a sculpture that moves, an exact model of the Giardini campus that emerges from and sinks back into a vat of fetid-looking water. Mr. Jaar is telling a story about the alignment of art and power: Many of the older, pre-World War II pavilions are relics of a murderous nationalism were built as cultural trophies by economically competitive nations that created colonial empires and eventually led Europe into war."
 

Elsewhere in Venice, a number of Pavilions bid for our attention. Not least Angola, which won the Golden Lion for the Best National Participation. The question here was, as rightly stated by Filipa Ramos in her Art Agenda review, "How much of the Golden Lion for the best National Participation was due to Edson Chagas's "Luanda, Encyclopedic City" and how much of it was due to the gallery of Palazzo Cini, which hosts the Angolan Pavilion?" The impressive Cini collection of Renaissance works (Piero della Francesca, Filippo Lippi, Fra Angelico, Botticelli, Pontormo...see photos below) is rarely open to the public. Chagas's low pillars of twenty-three off-set takeaway posters à la Felix González-Torres (though displayed on pallets), marked a contrast between classical products of Western culture and the photographed images of the streets of Luanda.

"The images consisted mostly of depictions of large pieces of junk (the seat of a broken office chair, a tattered soccer ball) that were displaced and then photographed by the artist in Luanda. Visitors were invited to collect the different images, thus producing a supersized album of all the gathered prints. Despite the naïve dualism generated by the blatant contrast between the two worlds (the location of production and location of display), the project presented an almost magical and secretive discovery to its visitors that was much in harmony with Massimiliano Gioni's exhibition's focus on parallel and lesser-known art histories."




Do check out – and leave plenty of time for – the Cyprus-Lithuania in Palasport "Giobatta Gianquinto" nearby the Arsenale entrance. The sports centre building alone is worth a visit. You'll be surprised to see such a large venue in what is seemingly such a small island. As Dan Fox of frieze writes "The Pavilion of Lithuania and Cyprus, held in a building one would never expect to find in Venice. An almost Brutalist-looking edifice, tucked next to the Arsenale, housed a huge, modern school gymnasium, where curator Raimundas Malasauskas had organized a show of performances, sculpture, painting, and dance in an environment that was about as un-Venetian as one could get ... What on earth was going on? What was the work and what wasn’t? For once it was nice to simply enjoy the mystery." 

Back to Quinn Latimer: "Maria Hassabi performed her intricate movement-based work on the steep, cinematic steps of the gymnasium, while far below, an installation of temporary walls made up of recycled walls from previous pavilions (by Gabriel Lester) and works by various artists—Jason Dodge, Elena Narbutaitė, and Dexter Sinister, among twelve others—looked, from above, as small and distant as a diorama." [Watch a video with interviews and images of the exhibition]


(Above) New York-based performance artist Maria Hassabi during Intermission (2013), surrounded with works by Phanos Kyriacou.


Another one to not miss is Richard Mosse's 'The Enclave' in the Irish Pavilion. The photo below doesn't do justice if you want a better idea to watch this wonderful 7min. video 'The Impossible Image' produced by frieze (and Vimeo staff pick!) in which you can hear the artist talking about the process of making the works. 

(Above) Multi-screen installation of Richard Moss' The Enclave in the Irish Pavilion in the Fondaco Marcello. 

Not to forget the Scottish Pavilion in the Palazzo Pisani which has one of the most solid shows in town, composed of three artists – Hayley Tompkins, Duncan Campbell and Corin Sworn. Filipa Ramos noted that "Hayley Tompkins’s floor installation of photographs and paintings puts together different scales of familiar, commonplace scenes and objects (from the depiction of a traffic jam to an electric plug or to the proliferation of plastic bottles) in such a way that they all become part of a set of recognizable, familiar presences."


Detail of  Hayley Tompkins's "Digital Light Pool (Orange)" (2013), composed of Acrylic on plastic trays, stock photographs, wooden boxes, glass, plastic bottles, watercolour.

Elsewhere in the city, dozens of Eventi Collaterali and other exhibitions piled up. Christy Lange wrote about one of the most talked-about events (particularly as queues became a real 'trending topic' in any conversation). Lange writes: "organized by the Fondazione Prada, the exhibition ‘When Attitudes Become Form: Bern 1969 / Venice 2013’ at Ca’ Corner della Regina ambitiously sets out to reconstruct Harald Szeemann’s seminal exhibition ‘Live in Your Head: When Attitudes Become Form. Works – Concepts – Processes – Situations – Information’, originally staged at the Kunsthalle Bern in Switzerland in 1969." (...) "The show also recreates the tile and wooden floors of Bern, and even imported and installed authentic radiators. The effect is not seamless; nor is meant to be. Instead, there are visible gaps where the white walls had to be cut to fit around the classical Venetian moldings, and the intricately painted wooden beams of the palazzo remain exposed overhead." (...) "Along with Szeemann’s preliminary sketches for the show’s poster, we also get to see evidence of the harsh reception the show received in the Swiss press: illustrated by several ridiculing cartoons in national newspapers, like one in which a cleaning woman forgets her mop bucket in the gallery, only to have it interpreted as a work of art by a museum guide."

Carol Vogel of the New York Times puts the exhibition into historical perspective: "Originally organized by Harald Szeemann, the Kunsthalle’s director at the time, the show is considered the first major exhibition of what was then regarded as radical art. It included little from outside the  Western Hemisphere and little by women, but it was the first big show to acknowledge a broad range of mixed-media work that fell under freshly coined terms like Arte Povera, Process Art, Anti-Form, Conceptual art and performance art. Its nearly 70 artists included Claes Oldenburg, Joseph Beuys, Eva Hesse and Bruce Nauman." (...) "Featured in the show, which ends on Nov. 3, are works from artists who were then emerging, including Carl Andre, Richard Artschwager, Alighiero Boetti, Sol LeWitt and Keith Sonnier. And when the curators were unable to locate a work of art, they just left a dotted outline of where the piece should have been placed — a ghost of what once was."

Ramos reminded readers of "Celant’s ongoing inquiry upon the possibilities of reproducibility—a line of research he has pursued since his early years as an exhibition maker—a step further, as he attempts to reproduce the unrepeatable, indeed to repeat the irreproducible."

Jannis Kounellis' "Untitled" (1969) was originally installed in the lower floor of the Kunsthalle Bern. Here it's on the second mezzanine floor of Ca' Corner della Regina. 

 Walter de Maria's "Art by Telephone" (1967). Reenacted.


 Richard Serra works from 1969.
 General view of the Schulwarte (third floor in the Fondazione Prada) which displayed works by Pino Pascali (floor), Marinus Boezem (left), Frank Lincoln Viner, Thomas Bang, Michael Buthe, Pier Paolo Calzolari, Paul Cotton, Ger van Elk, Rafael Ferrer, Hans Haacke, Roelof Louw, Emilio Prini, Allen Ruppersberg, Frank Lincoln Viner and William T. Wiley.

 Giovanni Anselmo's "Untitled" (floor, right); "Il cotone bagnato viene buttato sul vetro e ci resta" (left, wall) both from 1969; and the 1968 "Untitled" in the corner. (Displacement)

Szeemans' (pre-excell!) spreadsheet listing the artist's names, place of residence, title, technique, and measurements of the work to be displayed, and a projected travel and production budget.

Another interesting exhibition was the Future Generation Art Prize housed in the incredible  Palazzo Contarini Polignac nearby the Accademia. More photos here.

 Entrance to the exhibition. 

 Emily Roysdon, "Our Short Century", 2012. 

 Eva Kotátková, "Theatre of speaking objects (Becoming objects)", 2013.

Detail of Rayyane Tabet, "Architecture Lessons", 2012. From the series "Five Distant Memories: The Suitcase, The Room, The Toys, The Boat and Maradona". 

 Aurelien Froment, "Pulmo Marina", 2010.

And last but not least, the Palazzo Grassi's inauguration of Tadao Ando's Teatrino (or rather "Teatrone" as it's 1,000 square-meters and holds 225 seats), as stated by Ramos "a truly remarkable event for a country known for its epidemic of closing-down cinemas." During the opening days, the Teatrino screened Anri Sala’s "1395 Days Without Red" (2011), Philippe Parreno’s "Marilyn" (2012), and Loris Gréaud’s "The Snorks: A Concert for Creatures" (2012). This was undoubtedly the best contribution Pinault brought to this year's biennale. We agree with Christy Lange on that the exhibition "Prima Materia", curated by Caroline Bourgeois and Michael Govan at the Punta della Dogana "managed to reduce even good works of art to macho collections of ‘things’". The only room that was somehow 'saved' was the space mixing Japanese Mono-ha and Arte Povera with works by Merz, Paolini, Boetti, Penone, Sekine, Suga, Ufan, Koshimizu, Enokura (photo below). Adel Abdessemed's 2011 four life-sized sculptures of Christ modeled after the Crucifixion made of razor wire was one of the low points in Venice.
 
All photos: Latitudes | www.lttds.org (except when noted otherwise in the photo caption)
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Report from Urdaibai: commission series 'Sense and Sustainability', Urdaibai Arte 2012

All photos: Latitudes | www.lttds.org 

The commission series "Sense and Sustainability", curated by Alberto Sánchez Balmisa within the framework of Urdaibai Arte 2012, and organized by the Fundación 2012 Fundazioa, was launched on 19 July (info here – in Spanish) and will remain open to the public until 23 September. It comprises ten installations developed by artists: Lara Almarcegui (Zaragoza, Spain, 1972), Liam Gillick (Aylesbury, UK, 1964), Carlos Irijalba (Pamplona, 1979), Gunilla Klingberg (Stockholm, Sweden, 1966), Maider López (Donostia, Spain, 1975), Rafael Lozano-Hemmer (México DF, México, 1967), Renata Lucas (Ribeirão Preto, Brasil, 1971), Oscar Tuazon (Tacoma, USA, 1975), Pieter Vermeersch (Kortrijk, Belgium, 1973) and Haegue Yang (Seoul, South Korea, 1971).

Launch of the project in the Playa de Laga. Left to right: Gunilla Klingberg, Haegue Yang, Maider Lopez, Alberto Sánchez Balmisa, Blanca Urgell (Consejera de Cultura), Renata Lucas, Carlos Irijalba and Lara Almarcegui.

The works are produced for and presented in different locations around the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve (in the Basque Country), including urban, industrial and natural spaces.

Below images of the works as we visited them, starting with Gunilla Klingberg's "A Sign in Space" at Playa de Laga, Ibarrangelua, a tide-depending 'drawing' performance that takes place on the beach on the following days: 19, 20, 30, 31st of July; 1, 2, 14, 15, 16, 30 and 31st of August and 14, 15th of September.
Gunilla Klingberg's "A Sign in Space" at Playa de Laga, Ibarrangelua.

 
Haegue Yang, "Tectonic Texture", Cantera de Andrabide, Gautegiz-Arteaga.

 Following an excerpt from the text "Stack of evidence: Haegue Yang" included in the publication "Sentido y Sostenibilidad – Reading" written by Max Andrews' of Latitudes (you can download the full text from Latitudes' writing archive).

"Yang’s project, for Urdaibai – entitled 'Tectonic Texture' – has its beginnings and the bulk of its physical and metaphorical investment in what is perhaps the most traditional of raw materials for artistic decoration and representation: stone. In particular she became interested in the characteristic stones of the Urdaibai region – including grey limestone and Rojo Ereño, which has been quarried in the region since at least Roman times. The latter, also known as Rojo Bilbao, is technically a recrystallised limestone which is a deep meaty red colour with whorls of grey and white which are the fossilised remains of rudists, bivalves which were the major reef builders of the tropical seas of the Cretaceous. Yang proposed a stack in which 80 cm square slabs of Rojo Ereño are alternated with slabs of grey limestone. Additionally, a mason from Urdaibai was commissioned to carve the top surface – a square sandstone plate, also from the region – with a combination of his own raised geometric designs and a series of engraved handprints like impressions left in wet concrete. The five handprints are intended to encourage people to touch the form and initiate a direct contact with the materiality of the stone. 'Tectonic Texture' is installed one of the few Ereño marble quarries in the region which has not been completely abandoned and is surrounded by the stagger-cut cliff faces where millennia of excavations have cut down below the forested surface. The sculptural material of which it is comprised originated from the same quarry. The depth of the quarry witnesses the vast displacement of rock that has taken place, and the steady transposition of a section of landscape which itself originated as ocean life approximately 100 million years ago into symbolic and cultural forms – buildings facades, altars and monuments distributed throughout the Basque country and beyond.

Yang’s work is a kind of non-sculpture – perhaps closer to a memorial or a secular shrine – which connects to a highly-specific local labour tradition, through the apparent paradox of a representation of stone that is itself stone. Its form might also suggest that it is a kind of column or pedestal for an invisible form on top of it – an expectant platform articulated through the reorganisation of the excess symbolic value found in the anthropogenic landscape where it stands. The location of the quarry is somewhat hidden within the landscape of the Urdaibai biosphere reserve, and approaching the work in its context evokes a quasi-mystical feeling despite that fact the area bears the scars of modern industry. With
'Tectonic Texture', Yang was particularly interested in this strange collision of industrial exploitation and managed nature inherent in the site, as well as the Urdaibai region’s pride in its ecological fecundity as a new kind of resource with political dimensions."  
 
Haegue Yang, "Tectonic Texture", Cantera de Andrabide, Gautegiz-Arteaga. Views of the marble quarry where Yang's piece is installed.

Oscar Tuazon, "Birds" is on the way up to San Pedro Atxarre from the district of Garteiz and Akorda, Ibarrangelua. It consists of a bench of Marquina stone with a radio system broadcasting live (Radio3) within a remote and highly environmentally-protected area.


Liam Gillick, "Faceted Revision Structure (Es una clase muy pobre de memoria que sólo funciona hacia atrás)", Fábrica de Astra, Gernika-Lumo. The remodelling project of this future production centre is still undergoing, and will be presented with a finissage at the end of the project.


Pieter Vermeersch, "Untitled" in the Polígono Industrial, Gernika-Lumo. As the artist has written, these two paitings "represent a mental landscape as a subjective mirror of my experience in this region."

Renata Lucas, "El Visitante", Calle de Santa Clara, Gernika-Lumo. The project involved the planting of a Sibipiruna (Caesalpinia Peltophoroides), a tree native from the artist's birthplace, Brazil, in close proximity to Gernika's oak tree.
 
 Renata Lucas presenting her work placed in front of Gernika's oak tree.


Lara Almarcegui, "Materiales de la montaña Peña Forua", at the Antiguos Hornos de Cal, Barrio de Atxondoa de Forua. The piece consists in the calculation of the weight of the Peña Forua mountain, an active quarry, and the display of its materials in the wall of an old lime kiln.

Following an excerpt from the text included in the publication "Sentido y Sostenibilidad – Reading" written by Mariana Cánepa Luna of Latitudes (you can download the full text from Latitudes' writing archive).

"(...) (Almarcegui's) contribution to the series consisted in nothing less than the calculation of the weight of a mountain, and the display in list form of its geological composition. The Atxondo mountain is covered by Cantabrian holm oak and was known to be mostly composed of limestone, with small percentages of clay and sandstone. Once a more detailed geological analysis was concluded, a complex series of calculations took place in collaboration with geographers and speleologists which followed a 3D modelling of the mountain using the Digital Elevation Model (DEM) technique. This calculated physical volume using algorithms and mathematical formula.The final numbers were then broken down into a simple list of each of the materials which comprised the mountain followed by their weights. This list of geological composition is finally displayed within the site itself, on the wall of an old lime kiln in a nearby abandoned quarry, so that the visitor can firstly observe the staggering mountain, navigate its perimeter, before later reading its geological composition expressed in numbers. During the difficult pre-process to the final form of the work, Almarcegui and her collaborators faced two particular challenges. Firstly, the decision as to where Atxondo actually begins and ends. Secondly, the difficulty of calculating volume in a geographical site that has many internal and external chasms and caves.  

Almarcegui deliberately chose to focus her contribution in a site of continuous change. The mountain is being eaten away through the actions of an active quarry, Forua, which is dynamited in order to extract limestone, a sedimentary rock mainly used as a building material or as aggregate for the base of roads. Some of the limestone is processed directly on site where it is turned into gravel and then taken to a facility 5 km away near Gernika which processes it into concrete. It is in this process that we can appreciate a destruction and construction cycle as it loops: the mountain becomes limestone which becomes construction material. During her investigations, Almarcegui discovered that the quarry is now exploited less frequently due to the “brick crisis”. The building sector is one of the hardest hit industries in the current Spanish recession, and the raw materials are simply no longer in high demand. The effects of the economy are therefore clearly translatable into the terms of landscape and ecology: the mountain's transformation and the pace of its destruction, goes hand in hand with the growing or bursting bubble of the construction industry."

 Almarcegui presenting her project to visitors that joined the public presentation.
View of Lara Almarcegui's site in the old lime kiln of Atxondoa, Forua - also via photosynth.

Carlos Irijalba, "High Tides", Refuge in Paresi, Busturia. Irijalba's installation in this former Republican school is an investigation of a physical terrain: the result of a geotechnical drilling that Irijalba undertook on the parking lot of the former weapon factory of Astra in Gernika. 
View of Mundaka from the Refugio in Paresi, where Carlos Irijalba's work is displayed.

Maider López, "In Situ", Nine different locations around Urdaibai. Below the coordinates in front of Mundaka's Town Hall, designating where to find the yellow tiles the artist has placed which indicate daily movements, crossings, activities that happen in the area.
López (standing on right) placed a yellow tile in the market in Gernika, where Rosario (standing on left) goes daily to sell products from her farmhouse. The rest of the stalls are only joining once a week on Monday mornings.
Another of Maider López points of encounter: this is the only fountain in Gernika with drinkable water and therefore becomes a busy hub for neighbours as they fill their bottles.
 The tile marks the journey made by a boat that connects Mundaka with Laida, saving people from having to make the 24km drive.

We are missing images (our camera collapsed! but managed to rescue a photo we took with a phone) of Rafael Lozano-Hemmer's "Regar corazonadas", placed in the Centro de Biodiversidad de Euskadi-Torre Madariaga (Busturia). The piece consisted in an interactive hose located in the garden of Torre Madariaga. The hose has a sensor attached to the sprinkler which detects the pulse and makes the water flow following the heartbeat of the person handling it. The Biodiversity Center is also the info point from where to take a map and guide (includes GPS locations) to find the projects, and also screens a 'making of' video of the project.



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Manifesta 9, "The Deep of the Modern", Genk, Belgium, 2 June – 30 September 2012 in pictures and seen by the critics

 Façade of the Waterschei industrial complex of the former coal mine in Genk where Manifesta 9 takes place.

Extra materials:  
40-page 'Shortguide' newspaper as a PDF   
Digital catalogue

In her prologue Manifesta founding director Hedwig Fijen, defines the difference and the strength of the current incarnation of the European biennial: "'The Deep of the Modern'" is the first Manifesta biennial to intentionally leave behind its strictly contemporary origins as the basis of its exhibition model. As an uncompromising European contemporary art event, Manifesta 9 distances itself from the much-hyped model of showcasing only the latest artistic production by emerging talent, typical of these mega-shows. Instead it embarks on a critical attemps to foster interdisciplinary and intergenerational dialogue between the history of the site and the sometimes overlooked memories of the mining communities."

The introduction of an art historical perspective into the project has been a way to appeal to a more diverse audience, as Cuauhtémoc Medina, Chief Curator of Manifesta 9, has noted in his introductory essay: "our hope is that the long historical perspective will attact a local audience in a region that has not customarily been a consumer of contemporary art, along with a number of scholars and the descendants of the miners that built the region."



Art Agenda's review by writer and Co-Director of Tulips & Roses gallery in Brussels, Jonas Žakaitis provides the backstory:

"Genk is a town built for the sole purpose of getting the black stuff out of the ground. Early in the last century, after geologist André Dumont discovered significant amounts of coal lurking in the area, something like 60,000 people moved in from various parts of the world to work in and around the pits, building several large-scale mining complexes with the town's modest amenities sprinkled around them. When heavy industry glaciers started moving out of Western Europe in the 1980s, Genk was left with a large useless hole right in the gut. The remaining fraction of the Waterschei mine (23,000 sq. m of it) is an involuntary witness to this process of de-industrialization, a derelict but beautiful and proud building. After Manifesta 9, or so it tells me in the press pack, it "will be redeveloped as part of a master plan to create Thor park (is this name a jolly wink to the Germanic god of thunder, I wonder), a business and science complex focusing on innovation and knowledge."

 Stairs connecting the first and second floor of the Waterschei.

Kate Sutton's Artforum.com review also framed the loaded context: "Chief curator Cuauhtémoc Medina, together with co-curators Katerina Gregos and Dawn Ades, selected the Belgian province of Limburg, “a mini European Union” also known as “Euregio-Meuse-Rhine.” The region has spent much of this century heavily dependent on coal production, but, with the last mine closing in 1992, Limburg is now eager to transition to new technology. Once a kind of Emerald City for coal miners, the garden city of Genk provides the ideal venue with its massive, Art Deco–style André Dumont mine."

Top floor of the Waterschei building.

As Javier Hontoria noted in his El Cultural review, Medina wanted to concentrate everything in the Waterschei, "favoring the concept of "exhibition" versus the "festival", and consequently emphasizing the metaphor of the vertical versus the horizontal to the light of new economic systems." (...) "The idea of ​​strata" – he continues –  "so tied to the world of mining, backbones the sense of the exhibition, which, under the title "The Deep of the Modern", unfolds in a concise and accurate way throughout the three levels of the building."

As explained in the press kit, 'The Deep of the Modern' begins with '17 Tons' "an exploration of the cultural production that has been powered by the energy of memory that courses through the diverse heirs of coal mining in the Campine region of Limburg, as well as several other regions in Europe".
  
Models of the Underground from the 1950s, 3D representations used to teach 14–17 year old boys mining techniques and location of the coal layers.
Works by Manuel Durán (an 82 yeard old self-taught artist and former miner for 19 years) who has been making "Miners' heads" sculptures since the 1950s out of potato pulp, coal, salt and paint.

 Lara Almarcegui, "Wasteland (Genk), 2004–16. More than 1 hectare of wasteland in public space." For the project, Almarcegui identified a neglected plot of land and scouted, surveyed and described the land. "Through negotiations iwth the City of Genk, Almarcegui arranged to protect the terrain from development for ten years (...). For Manifesta 9, the City of Genk agreed to extend the work for an additional two years and is currently in the planning stages of protecting it in perpetuity." (text by Steven Op de Beeck included in Manifesta 9 manual "The Deep of the Modern – A subcyclopaedia", Silvana Editoriale). Latitudes' visited the site back in 2007 (see blog here).

Continuing on the second floor we encounter 'The Age of Coal': "An art historical exhibition comprising artworks from 1800 to the early 21st century about the history of art production aesthetically related to the industrial era" (...) "organized into several thematic sections with artworks in which coal played an important role. Coal as the main fuel of industry, as a major factor of environmental change, as a fossil with significant consequences in the field of natural science, as the main referent of certain forms of working class culture and as a material symbolic of the experience of modern life". 

One of the three works by Marcel Broodthaers, "Trois tas de charbon", 1966-67.

David Hammons, "Chasing the Blue Train" (1989) "focuses on the powerpul metaphor of the railroads that have tgransformed the landscape and socity of the US since the 19th Century." (text by Mieke Mels in Manifesta's "The Deep of the Modern – A subcyclopaedia", Silvana Editoriale).

 Richard Long's 26 meter long black "Bolivian Coal Line" carpet from 1992.
 
 Rossella Biscotti, "Title One: The Taks of the Community", 2012. Biscotti also contributed with "A Conductor", 2012: On December 2009, the Unit 2 of the Ignalina Nuclear Poer Plant in Lithuania closed, consequently materials from the site were put up for auction. Biscotti acquired lead which have now been reused in Belgium into the new electrical wires to supply electricity for the show. She also acquired lead, which is the basis for her floor sculptures in the spectacular Sint-Barbara's hall.
Antonio Vega Macotela (below) Study of Exhaustion — The Equivalent of Silver (2011), "a (failed) venture to export a “boleo” of coca leaves from Bolivian silver mines represented by a boleo-shaped piece of silver, roughly the amount of silver one miner gets out in a day" (Jonas Žakaitis in Art Agenda); and Rossella Biscotti (above).

Finally on the top floor, we find the section 'Poetics of Restructuring', with "contributions from 39 contemporary artists, focusing on aesthetic responses to the worldwide “economic restructuring” of the productive system in the early 21st century". 

"This archetypal kind of socio-econo-political development from industrialization to de-industrialization to post-industrial capitalism—and the corresponding forms of production, geographies, and distributions of resources—is what Manifesta's contemporary art section, mostly on the third floor of the building, is about." (Jonas Žakaitis in Art Agenda)

Manifesta educational materials and leaflets: "developed by the Manifesta 9 Education & Mediation department. There are 3 different 3x3 Newspapers for 3 age groups (12-, 12+ and 18+), so make sure you have the right one for you."

Ni Haifeng's "Para-Production", 2008-12 (ground floor) several tons of discarted fabric from trimmings originated in Chinese factories are re-sawn into a massive tapestry; and Bea Schilgelhoff's silk-screens "I'm too Christian for art" (2012) (top floor).

 Ante Timmermans' "Make a Molehill out of a Mountain (of Work)" (2012), shelves full of packed A4′s to be manually perforated in his office space during the opening days to make a heap of confetti with the resulting paper, placed on a table at the opposite side of the room and overlooking the window that frames the also "perforated" mining mountain. This tiresome and repetitive administrative task concludes with stamping each of the perforated papers (with stamps designed by the artists) and filing them in binders placed in shelves.

 Ante Timmermans' "Make a Molehill out of a Mountain (of Work)" (2012).

 View of the landscape from Ante Timmermans' space and the remaining Waterschei building (not in use).

Goldin + Senneby's "The decapitation of Money", 2010. From the exhibition newspaper: "Goldin + Senneby and team test the hypothesis that Headless Ltd. (a mysterious offshore company registrered in the Bahamas) is a reincarnation of the secret society "Acéphale", founded by Georges Bataille and friends in 1936."

Emre Hüner, "A little Larger Than the Entire Universe", 2012.

Duncan Campbell's "Make It New John", 2009, 50' video. Depicting the "history of the DMC-12, the extravagant, futuristic automobile created by American engineer and entrepeneur John Delorean (1925-2005). Campbell documents the strange attempt to use its production as a tool of social engineering. Relying heavily on archival footage, and incoporating a few staged scenes that introduce a political and biographical allegory, Campbell attempts to construct a panoramic view of the polar extremes that have characterized the social life of this icon of consumerism." (text by Cuauhtémoc Medina in in Manifesta's "The Deep of the Modern – A subcyclopaedia", Silvana Editoriale)

Back to Žakaitis analysis: (...) The weird part though is that all of these things, displayed in a generic and anemic way, are fenced from Mijndepot Waterschei, a full-blown and fully functioning museum assembled by former miners themselves back in 2004. Be sure to go there if you visit this Manifesta, and check out hundreds of mining tools, helmets, saint statues, a small train, and a 1:1 scale model of a coal shaft: great stuff that can get you really sooty.  

Miners museum in the Waterschei's first floor.

Nicoline van Harskamp, "Yours in Solidarity", 2009–12. Video, audio and archive material.

Praneet Soi's slideshow "Kumartuli Printer, Notes on Labor Part 1", 2010, which "parsed out the gestures of a printer's hands as he interacts with an ancient pedal-operated press in Calcutta. As the operator feeds paper into his anachronistic machine, it spits out grainy, high contrast images of his own hands, immersed in labor" (text by Cuauhtémoc Medina in in Manifesta's "The Deep of the Modern – A subcyclopaedia", Silvana Editoriale).

 Maarten Vanden Eynde, "Plastic Reef", 2008–12: a collection of melted down plastic trash collected while swirling in the Pacific Ocean. For more info see his comprehensive website.

As for the publication "The Deep of the Modern – A subcyclopaedia" (Edited by Silvana Editoriale), the curator writes that it has been "designed to suggest the complexity of meaning involved in the whole project as well as the richness of the individual elements themselves. (...) We have chosen to publish a book that breaks from the mould of conventional exhibition catalogues. We evoke the form of the encyclopaedia as a means of organising a whole made up of multiple unities (...). This Subcyclopaedia will thus serve as a record of the research process behind the biennial. (...) Our neologism is meant to suggest a comparison between the use of this reference book and the exhumation of modernity's underworld in the heritage, culture and history of coal mining.".  

 One of the pages of "The Deep of the Modern – A subcyclopaedia" (Edited by Silvana Editoriale).

Despite this intention of "breaking the mould", the 320-page book does include the traditional institutional forewords (to be precise, four) and an introductory curatorial essay by Medina. Many other texts are disseminated thoughout the publication, which is organised in alphabetical order A to Z, mixing concepts (starting with "Accumulation", ending with "Underground as Hell"), with artist texts by a network of over 30 writers, and essays by Gregos ("Poetics of Restructuring: On the question of production in the contemporary section of Manifesta 9") and Ades ("The Age of Coal: An Underground History of the Modern"), amongst other long form texts (by Medina himself, Svetlana Boym, as well as misfit entries such as "The Legacy of Manifesta" by Hedwig Fijen). 

Manifesta 9 curator Cuauhtémoc Medina (purple shirt) giving a tour during the opening weekend.

These and more photos (93 total) on Latitudes' flickr:




FAQ: Where can I find the publications edited by Latitudes?

We often receive enquiries from folks interested in purchasing our publications. As editors (or contributors) we only hold a few copies, which over the years have been mostly entirely gifted to colleagues and donated to expand institutional archives.

MACBA’s Centre d'Estudis i Documentació (MACBA Study Centre) and The Banff Centre Library (Banff, Canada) hold reference copies of all of our publications – including the 2006 publication 'Land, Art: A Cultural Ecology Handbook' (out of print); exhibition catalogues such as Amikejo (2011), 'Greenwashing. Environment: perils, promises and perplexities' (2008) and The Last Newspaper (2010), the monograph 'Lara Almarcegui, Projects 1995–2010’ (2010) publications accompanying projects such as Ignasi Aballí's Nothing or Something (2009), Simon Fujiwara's Museum of Incest (2009), Mataró Chauffeur Service (2010), Campus (2011) or Portscapes' (2010) limited edition which includes Jan Dibbets' DVD with his commissioned film '6 hours tide object with correction of perspective' (1969–2009); exhibition booklets of the exhibition 'Exposition International...' at Meessen de Clercq in Brussels, and that dedicated to Lawrence Weiner 2008 exhibition at Fundació Suñol.

MACBA's library also holds two further references: a recording of the conversation we organised as part of our #OpenCurating research with Dia Art Foundation Curator, Yasmil Raymond in 2013, later published as the #7 in the download-free edition; and Charley Independents, the issue that appeared coinciding with our participation in the second iteration of the festival 'No Soul for Sale' launched at TATE Modern in 2010. 

Below is a list of all our publications and links to the distributors from where you can purchase them:

'Amikejo' (Mousse Publishing, 2012)
+ info on the exhibition series.

'Lara Almarcegui, Projects 1995–2010' (Archive Books, 2011/12)
+ info on the publication
 
Roman Keller & Christina Hemauer, 'United Alternative Energies: Christina Hemauer & Roman Keller' (The Århus Art Building, 2011)
+ info on the exhibition

Martí Anson and Latitudes,'Mataró Chauffeur Service' (Save As...Publications, 2011)
Available via La Central (stores in Barcelona & Madrid)
+ photos 
+ info on the project

'The Last Newspaper' (Latitudes & The New Museum, 2010)
Available via Motto Distribution (Berlin) and La Central (stores in Barcelona & Madrid). Special edition (in the box) available via the New Museum store (New York)
+ photos
+ info on the exhibition

'Portscapes' (SKOR / The Port of Rotterdam, 2009)
Available via Motto Distribution (Berlin) and La Central (stores in Barcelona & Madrid)
+ photos 
+ info on the commissioning series

Simon Fujiwara, 'The Museum of Incest' (Archive Books, 2009)
Available via Archive Books (Berlin) and La Central (stores in Barcelona & Madrid)
+ photos
+ info on the exhibition


'Greenwashing. Environment: Perils, Promises and Perplexities' (The Bookmakers Ed. / Archive Books, 2008)
+ photos
+ info on the exhibition

Three of our earlier publications are out of print:
'Land, Art. A Cultural Ecology Handbook' (Arts Council England & Royal Society of Arts, 2006)
Out of print. Available for consultation at MACBA's library.
+ photos
+ info on the publication


UOVO #14 (The Bookmakers Ed., 2007)
Out of print. Available for consultation at MACBA's library.
+ photos
+ info on the publication

Ignasi Aballí, 'Nothing, or Something' (Today Art Museum, 2009)
+ photos
+ info on the exhibition

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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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