Longitudes

Lawrence Weiner tote bag and sugar sachets at the McManus Museum and Galleries in Dundee

Following on our earlier post from October 26, 2018 announcing our donation of Lawrence Weiner's limited edition tote bag to Tate Archive, we now share some images of its presentation as part of Tate's "ARTIST ROOMS: Lawrence Weiner" currently on view at the McManus Museum and Galleries in Dundee, Scotland, until February 17, 2019.

Photo: Lawrence Weiner. ARTIST ROOMS. National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. ©Lawrence Weiner.

The Dundee presentation includes the limited edition tote bag and three sugar sachets with the striking typographic rendition of the statement "A CLOTH OF COTTON WRAPPED AROUND A HORSESHOE OF IRON TOSSED UPON THE CREST OF A WAVE" in Catalan, Spanish, and English, the latter first commissioned in 2008 as part of Weiner's solo exhibition at the Fundació Suñol, Barcelona.

Thank you Valentina Ravaglia (Assistant Curator, Exhibitions & Displays, Tate Modern) for facilitating the inclusion of these ephemera into Tate's collection, and to Lili Bartholomew (Curatorial Assistant, Leisure and Culture Dundee) for liaising from Dundee and sharing the images.


Photo: Creative Learning Team McManus.

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Lawrence Weiner's THE CREST OF A WAVE tote bag in the Tate Archive and exhibited at The McManus Museum and Galleries, Dundee

Limited edition tote bag designed by Lawrence Weiner in 2015. Photo: Latitudes.

We're delighted to share that Latitudes' limited edition tote bag, exclusively designed by Lawrence Weiner to commemorate Latitudes' 10th anniversary in 2015, is now part of Tate Archive.


Latitudes' donation is presented as part of 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.

ARTIST ROOMS is a touring collection of over 1,600 works of modern and contemporary art. The collection is displayed in museums and galleries across the UK and is jointly owned by the National Galleries of Scotland and Tate.


Photos: Latitudes.


Weiner's tote silkscreening process. Photo: Print Workers.

The Dundee presentation will include the limited edition tote bag and three sugar sachets with the striking typographic rendition of the statement "A CLOTH OF COTTON WRAPPED AROUND A HORSESHOE OF IRON TOSSED UPON THE CREST OF A WAVE" in Catalan, Spanish, and English, the latter first commissioned in 2008 as part of Weiner's solo exhibition at the Fundació Suñol, Barcelona.

A booklet of the exhibition, the invitation card, and an audio rendition of the statement (the track can be listed to here) based on a track by Ned Sublette and The Persuasions are also featured in Dundee.

(Above and below) Installation of Lawrence Weiner's "THE CREST OF A WAVE" at Fundació Suñol, Barcelona, October–November 2008. Photo: Latitudes.

Weiner with his work at the Fundació Suñol. Photo: Jean-Pierre Moulis.

One part of Lawrence Weiner's ‘THE CREST OF A WAVE’ project at the Fundació Suñol in 2008 consisted in an ephemeral sculpture distributed a few days prior to the exhibition opening. 300,000 7-gram sachets of sugar were printed and distributed throughout the most emblematic cafes around Barcelona. Photo: Latitudes.

100,000 sugar sachets ready for distribution. Photo: Latitudes.

Front and back of the 7-gram sugar sachet with Weiner's statement. 
(Above and below) The last element of the project manifested as an intimate event realised by the sea during the opening week: an iron horseshoe was wrapped in a cotton cloth and was tossed upon a wave’s crest. Photos: Jean-Pierre Moulis.


"Influential conceptual artist, Lawrence Weiner uses language as his medium. His text work takes many forms, but the core principle remains the same – his ideas should not be confined to the gallery but taken up by the viewer.

Adopting this principle, The McManus has worked with the artist to present his texts in different forms. One cycle of wall texts will be presented in Scots – translated by distinguished author James Robertson. Texts, a selection of posters, drawings, artist books, and ephemera will also be installed within museum displays around the building – the text resonating alongside Dundee’s rich collections of natural history, archaeology, world cultures, industrial machinery and the spectacular architecture of The McManus itself." (text from Tate's website)


Latitudes' full set of artists' totes were exhibited in 2015 at the Asia Art Archive in Hong Kong as part of Ingrid Chu's 15th-anniversary programme "15 Invitations | a short history of the art book bag". Photo: Asia Art Archive.

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Photo report: Trip to Berlin Gallery Weekend 2018 and Cologne

(Above) Detail from the K, inaugural show dedicated to exploring the work of East German designer and exhibition-maker Klaus Wittkugel. K, A Year with P. Krishnamurthy on Ebersstrasse 3 (Schöneberg) is a workshop for exhibition-making led by designer, curator, writer and educator Prem Krishnamurthy, co-director of the multidisciplinary design Wkshps, which extends his previous exhibition space and ‘mom-and-pop’ P! based in New York between 2012-2017. The project is organised in collaboration with KW Institute for Contemporary Art. All photos: Latitudes.

 (Above and below) Claudia Comte's ‘When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth’ at König Galerie's St Agnes, Berlin. 

 (Above) ‘ARTHUR JAFA: A SERIES OF UTTERLY IMPROBABLE, YET EXTRAORDINARY RENDITIONS’ at the Julia Stoschek Collection

(Above) Loris Gréaud at Max Hetzler.

 (Above and below) Lawrence Weiner and Manfred Pernice in the old/new venue of Konrad Fischer Galerie, Berlin. 

  (Above and below) Nevin Aladağ's ‘Mustrop’ exhibition at Wentrup, Berlin. 


(Above) Andro Wekua at Spruth Magers. The gallery concurrently presented exhibitions by Senga Nengudi and Kara Walker. 

 (Above and two below)  Ibrahim Mahama at DAAD Galerie, Berlin.


 (Above and below) Views of the exhibition ‘Neolithic Childhood. Art in a False Present, c. 1930’ at Haus der Kulturen der Welt.

 (Above and two below) View of ‘Hello World. Revising a Collection’ in the central nave Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin.

 (Above and below) One of the most interesting sections of the expansive Hello World. Revising a Collection’ exhibition, was ‘Colomental. The Violence of Intimate Histories’ curated by Sven Beckstette and Azu Nwagbogu. The curators commissioned four artists (Joël Andrianomearisoa, Peggy Buth, Astrid S. Klein and Dierk Schmidt) to produce work critically reflecting on the lack of contemporary art holdings of the National Galerie on the connections between African countries and Germany. Above Peggy Buth's work tracking the display and inventories in colonial museum revealing their historical narratives and representations. Below works by Joël Andrianomearisoa.
Very happy to finally be able to see this object in the flesh: "Nuage articulé" one of the most beautiful Surrealist objects firstly executed in 1937 with dry natural sponges by the German-Austrian-Mexican artist Wolfgang Paalen.
 (Above and below) Olivier Laric's ‘Year of the Dog’ at Tanya Leighton, included the European debut of his latest animation video ‘Betweenness’ (all 2018), alongside ‘Hundemensch’ a group of pigmented cast resin anthropomorphic sculptures.

 (Above and below) Becky Beasley's ‘Depressive Alcoholic Mother’ show at Galeria Plan B.

  (Above and below) AA Bronson + General Idea, 1968–2018, ‘Catch me if you can!’ exhibition at Esther Schipper.

  (Above and following two) Mariana Castillo Deball's ‘das Haut-Ich’ at Galerie Barbara Wien, taking the tonalpohualli calendar and the deity Xipe Totec as a starting point.

 (Above and below) Haegue Yang's installation ‘Silo of Silence – Clicked Core’ in the Boiler House space at KINDL - Centre for Contemporary Art in Berlin’s Neukölln district. 

Berlin skyline from KINDL's second floor.

 (Above and below) ‘Defying Gravity’ exhibition by Swiss artists Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs occupying the two floors of the Maschinenhaus (Power House) at KINDL - Centre for Contemporary Art, gathering photographs, 16mm films, sculptures and new installations from the past decade.

 4h train to Cologne. The 2017 edition of "KölnSkulptur #9" titled ‘La fin de Babylone’ added new works by Andrea Büttner, Claudia Comte, Jan Kiefer, Eduardo Navarro, Solange Pessoa, Lin May Saeed, Teresa Solar and Pedro Wirz to the existing collection; and was curated by Chus Martínez. Above and following seven photos.

 (Above and below) ‘Pumping Station’ (2017) by Teresa Solar.
  (Above) ‘The Nordic Cactuses’ (2017) by Claudia Comte.
  (Above) Michael Sailstorfer (helicopter) and Mark di Suvero.
  (Above) ‘Untitled’ (2017) by Solange Pessoa.
  (Above and below) ‘Schale’ (2017) by Andrea Büttner.
 (Above) ‘Pagliaccio non son’ (2011) by Jimmie Durham. 
(Above) ‘Garten’ (1997–1999) by Peter Fischli and David Weiss. 
(Above) Pathway into the park.
 (Above and below) View of ‘Games of Decentralized Life’ exhibition by Simon Denny at Galerie Buchholz, Cologne, around Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. 

 (Above and below) View of the exhibition ‘The Superman’ by Alex da Corte on view the at Kölnischer Kunstverein. 

(Above) Beautiful 1950s architecture of the Kölnischer Kunstverein. 

 (Above and following) View of Haegue Yang's mid-career retrospective ‘ETA 1994–2018’ at Museum Ludwig in Cologne. In this room ‘Series of Vulnerable Arrangements’ are displayed alongside ‘Seven Basel Lights’ and ‘Medicine Men’.

 (Above) ‘Mountains of Encounter’ and ‘Sol Lewitt Upside Down — K123456. Expanded 1078 Times. Doubled and Mirrored’.
(Above) Installation ‘5, Rue Saint-Benoît’.

  (Above) View of the first solo exhibition ‘ DAS – IST — DAS?’ in Germany by Ana Jotta at Temporary Gallery, Cologne. Curated by Regina Barunke and Miguel Wandschneider.



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30% off Latitudes' tote bag limited editions

 

In Spring 2015 Latitudes launched a limited edition of tote bags to mark its 10th anniversary. These four specially commissioned silkscreened tote bags feature designs by four artists with whom Latitudes has collaborated over the past decade: Lawrence Weiner (New York, 1942), Haegue Yang (Seoul, 1971), Ignasi Aballí (Barcelona, 1958) and Mariana Castillo Deball (Mexico City, 1975).

We are now offering a 30% discount, a special sale price of 35 Euros per tote (+shipping) valid throughout December 2016 (usually €50 + shipping). 

Edition: 35 + 5 A.P. (Haegue Yang's tote is ed. 20 + 10 AP)
Measurements: 38 high × 40 width × 14 base (in cm)
Fabric: 475 gsm natural chlorine-free cotton canvas
Strap: Adjustable Capacity: 15 litres
Weight: 420 gr aprox.
 

Each bag is made from natural durable cotton canvas with a reinforced base. They feature a press-stud closure, an internal pocket with a zip (never loose your keys again!), an adjustable shoulder strap, as well as smaller handles for carrying like a briefcase.

Each bag have been hand silkscreened in Print Workers, Barcelona; this is an artisanal process and each printing results in slight variations.

Place your order(s) from our website. Here some nice pics of our happy customers with their totes:





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Latitudes contribution to Kadist Art Foundation's 'One Sentence Exhibition'


To visit the exhibition,
please check ose.kadist.org

Recognizing that not everyone can visit Kadist Art Foundation venues in Paris or San Francisco, Kadist recently inaugurated a series of online projects with artists and curators around the world.

First of these initiatives is the One Sentence Exhibition (OSE), for which the foundation invites curators to write or choose a single sentence, making each word in the sentence a hyperlink to an image, video, text or website. As a result, the One Sentence Exhibition becomes a compact architecture, accompanying the reader as they explore far-reaching corners of the internet. 

Following on from the contributions by Rudolf Frieling (Media Arts Curator at SFMOMA) and Nato Thompson (Chief Curator at Creative Time) to OSE series, Latitudes has chosen the statement "A CLOTH OF COTTON WRAPPED AROUND A HORSESHOE OF IRON TOSSED UPON THE CREST OF A WAVE" by Lawrence Weiner in English, Spanish and Catalan, commissioned for his 2008 solo exhibition THE CREST OF A WAVE at the Fundació Suñol in Barcelona.

Sugar packets where freely distributed during the duration of the exhibition around Barcelona. Photo: Pierre-Jean Moulis.

Originally distributed as a free ephemeral sculpture on 300,000 sugar sachets and presented on the wall of the exhibition space, Weiner’s striking typographic rendition of the statement triggers a chronicle of mercantile, maritime and equestrian power, of trade and occupation, of spheres of influence and change, a memory of matter and of language.
 
Lawrence Weiner tote bag. Available from http://www.lttds.org/totes/weiner/

The statement is also silkscreened on the commemorative limited edition tote bag that celebrated Latitudes' 10th anniversary in Spring 2015.

As elaborated by Latitudes in the exhibition guide, "A CLOTH OF COTTON WRAPPED AROUND A HORSESHOE OF IRON TOSSED UPON THE CREST OF A WAVE indicates an object record of early human technologies (woven textiles, reusable protection for the hooves of working animals) and a marine setting. Weiner’s phrase facilitates a richly ambiguous material and symbolic universe. Why is the horseshoe wrapped? What story, personal or historical, might account for the event that is described? The artist’s statement leaves such questions open for us to consider. It is known that muslin and calico was brought to Spain by the Arab traders in the 1st Century. After the Conquest of Hispania during the 7th Century, facilitated by the Muslim cavalry’s more agile horses, cotton was cultivated by the Moors in Spain. Barcelona’s industrialization in the late 1700s and early 1800s was driven by the printing of calico and later the spinning and weaving of cotton. [1]


Poster of the exhibition at Fundació Suñol's Nivell Zero space, Barcelona.

In the manner of a biography of substances, such as Mark Kurlansky’s books Cod and Salt, A CLOTH OF COTTON... thus triggers a chronicle of mercantile, maritime and equestrian power, of trade and occupation, of spheres of influence and change, a memory of matter and of language. [2]" (...) 

(...) The statement is distributed on a sugar packet throughout a selection of Barcelona bars and cafés during the city's Mercè Festival and for the duration of the exhibition – a sweet gift to accompany one’s café con leche,
cortado, carajillo, or conversation. Printed on hundreds of thousands of standard 7 gram white sugar sachets – sugar production technology too was spread into Spain by Moorish occupation – Weiner’s striking typographic rendition of the phrase in red and yellow (the colours of both the Catalan and the Spanish flag) is accompanied by an emblem which evokes the trajectory of a certain horseshoe over a wave in diagrammatic form.


View of Lawrence Weiner's piece at the patio space of Fundació Suñol, Barcelona.

(...) On the five metre-high wall of the exterior space [of  Fundació Suñol’s Nivell Zero] we read A CLOTH OF COTTON WRAPPED AROUND A HORSESHOE OF IRON TOSSED UPON THE CREST OF A WAVE painted in Catalan, Spanish and English. The use of the same stencil font as the sugar packet layout suggests a method of functional and clear application which reinforces the fact that Weiner is dealing with the language in terms of modification and use. [3] The word for a company which produces typefaces – a foundry – neatly preserves a link to a time when type was cast from metal, in much the same way as horseshoes are made from iron."

Ceremony of the 2008 ACCA (Art Critics Association) awards which granted Fundació Suñol the best art programme of the year – a season that included two projects curated by Latitudes.

[1] See J.K.J. Thomson, A Distinctive Industrialization: Cotton in Barcelona 1728-1832, Cambridge University
Press, 2003.

[2] Salt: A World History, Walker and Co., 2001; Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World, Walker
and Co., 1997.

[3] The font is FF Offline Regular, designed by Roelof Mulder in 1988.

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

Latitudes' limited edition tote bags presented in the Asia Art Archive's exhibition "A short history of the art book bag (and the things that go in them)"


We are delighted that from August 24 (and until October 24), Latitudes' limited edition tote bags by Lawrence Weiner, Haegue Yang, Ignasi Aballí and Mariana Castillo Deball, will be presented in Hong Kong as part of Asia Art Archive (AAA)'s exhibition 15th anniversary programme "15 Invitations | a short history of the art book bag".

Organised by AAA Public Programmes Curator Ingrid Chu, the show explores the international phenomenon of the 'art book bag' in "a short history of the art book bag (and the things that go in them)". The exhibition features 'the things that go in them'—art publications, magazines, and related ephemera—alongside a vast array of these popular totes in the AAA Library. Chu has invited artists, curators, art book fair organisers, and print and online publishers to provide insight into the changing modes of knowledge production and circulation, and their influence on the recent art of Asia through Field Notes.

Latitudes' totes are presented under 'Sites for Art', the first of five categories that structure the show – others being 'Carriers of Knowledge', 'Markers of Access', 'Badges of Dissent', 'Goods of Desire'). Courtesy of Asia Art Archive.
 
Each Latitudes' tote is accompanied by a publication that relates to each artist: Lawrence Weiner will contain the leaflet of his 2008 exhibition at Fundació Suñol, Haegue Yang will include the publication which features an essay by Max Andrews' of Latitudes; Ignasi Aballí's tote will include his 2009 publication 'Nothing, Or Something' inside and Mariana Castillo Deball will have 'Amikejo', the exhibition catalogue of the 2011 cycle one of which presented works by Castillo Deball and Irene Kopelman.

Installation view of a short history of the art book bag (and the things that go in them) exhibition at Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong, 24 August–24 October 2015. Courtesy of Asia Art Archive.

Zine for "a short history of the art book bag (and the things that go in them)" exhibition at Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong, 24 August–24 October 2015. Courtesy of Asia Art Archive.
 
 Installation view of 'Carriers of Knowledge' section in "a short history of the art book bag (and the things that go in them)" exhibition at Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong, 24 August–24 October 2015. Courtesy of Asia Art Archive.
 
 Installation view of 'Badges of Dissent' section in "a short history of the art book bag (and the things that go in them)" exhibition at Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong, 24 August–24 October 2015. Courtesy of Asia Art Archive.

 Installation view of 'Goods of Desire' section in "a short history of the art book bag (and the things that go in them)" exhibition at Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong, 24 August–24 October 2015. Courtesy of Asia Art Archive.



RELATED CONTENT:

Lead Facilitators, Curating Lab 2014–Curatorial Intensive, National University of Singapore (11–14 June), symposium (14 June, 15–17h) and field trip to Hong Kong (16–20 June)
30 May 2014

A day at Hong Kong's Asia Art Archive, 31 January 2013, 8 July 2013

"Archive as Method: An Interview with Chantal Wong, Hammad Nasar and Lydia Ngai" of the Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong. Final #OpenCurating interview 1 May 2013
 
Latitudes' Open Day at Spring Workshop on 2 February 2013 9 February 2013

 
Archive of social media posts related to "Incidents of Travel" tours and photo-documentation. 



This is the blog of the independent curatorial office Latitudes. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
All photos:
Latitudes | www.lttds.org 


Archive Cover Story (May): Here’s to horseshoes: Lawrence Weiner and Sergi Aguilar


May 2015 Cover Story dedicated to Lawrence Weiner and Sergi Aguilar.


Related Content:

Cover Story #2: Beneath the Connaught Road West flyover, Hong Kong, 19 January 2013 (4 May 2015)

Cover Story #1: Wilfredo Prieto's work "Grease, Soap, Banana" (2 April 2015)

Latitudes participates in the "Readers Circle: 100 Notes–100 Thoughts" programme organised by the Maybe Education and Public Programs of dOCUMENTA (13) (31 August 2012)

dOCUMENTA (13) artists and Latitudes (24 August 2012)

Lawrence Weiner, 'Under the Sun', Espai d'Art Contemporani de Castelló (25 October 2009)

Latitudes' "out of office" photo album 2008-9 (30 July 2009)

SAVE THE DATE: 8 October, Lawrence Weiner, Fundació Suñol, Barcelona (29 August 2008)

'UN PAÑO DE ALGODÓN ...' de Lawrence Weiner (22 September 2008)




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

Limited Edition Tote Bags Commemorating Latitudes' 10th Anniversary

As announced on an earlier post, this Spring we celebrate our 10th Anniversary! 

Many of you know of our love for tote bags – as we made it clear on one of our 2013 Venice biennale posts! Well, this time we have produced our very own totes: we are delighted to mark the special occasion by presenting limited editions of four specially commissioned silkscreened tote bags featuring designs by four artists with whom Latitudes has collaborated over the past decade: Lawrence Weiner (New York, 1942), Haegue Yang (Seoul, 1971), Ignasi Aballí (Barcelona, 1958) and Mariana Castillo Deball (Mexico City, 1975).



With the summer art calendar in mind, the bags are made from natural durable cotton canvas with a reinforced base. They feature a press-stud closure, an internal pocket with a zip (never loose your biennale pass again!), an adjustable shoulder strap, as well as smaller handles for carrying like a briefcase. Versatility from vaporetto to vernissage

Each bag have been hand silkscreened in Print Workers, Barcelona; this is an artisanal process and each printing results in slight variations.
 
Place your order(s) from our website.

Launch Price: 45 Euros + delivery. After 1 June 2015: 50 Euros + delivery.
Edition: 35 + 5 A.P. (Haegue Yang's tote is ed. 20 + 10 AP)
Measurements: 38 high × 40 width × 14 base (in cm)
Fabric: 475 gsm natural chlorine-free cotton canvas
Strap: Adjustable  

Capacity: 15 litres
Weight: 420 gr aprox.



Related content:

Latitudes' 4th anniversary (April 2009)
Newsletter #22 – April 2010  
It's our 10th anniversary! (22 May 2015)
Latitudes' Limited Edition Totes


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

(Part 2/3) "The Encyclopedic Palace", 55th Venice Biennale in tote bags

Courtesy: Tucano, Milan

The biennale tote bag. Merely light and foldable marketing freebees in the form of non-rigid containers for the carrying of catalogues, innumerable press releases and checklists? Or ironic critiques of an increasingly capitalist and permissive society? Austere, poetic and challenging invitations to revalue familiar things and refocus our perceptions?

Now ever-present at the most vital and visible sites for the production, distribution, and public discourse around contemporary art, these large and often alarmingly unfastened cloth bags – typically with parallel handles that emerge from the sides of its pouch – have in the span of a few decades quietly become the unquestioned handmaiden of biennalisation. In Venice this year few dared to break with the tote's canvassed hegemony. The Dutch stuck their head above the parapet with a risky choice of clear plastic bags to accompany Mark Manders' pavilion – a whimsically aggressive engagement with issues of indispensability, and, perhaps with typically Dutch straightforwardness, transparency. 

Even if a pavilion or Eventi Collaterali can fly in Michelin-starred chefs for their dinners or legendary DJs from the South Bronx instrumental in the early development of hip hop for their parties, getting the tote bag right nevertheless remains a perilous balance of form and content, of prestige and patriarchy, greenwashing brinkmanship and sheer design cojones.

So was 2013 acqua alta for tote bags in Venice? Did any of them attain the understated brilliance of the Canadian Pavilion bag at the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007? (David Altmejd's noir classic in heavy twill boasted a separately tailored gusset.) Or did they match the game-changing 48 x 48 cm tote bag for Ayşe Erkmen's Turkish Pavilion in 2011? (designed by Konstantin Grcic, it featured an inner pocket made to fit the catalogue, and its own section on the pavilion website). There's a big wide world of tote bags out there...



This year, the Biennale organisation brought in the Milan-based Tucano to design the official tote – they've been working with the film festival for a decade or more – and they spurned the traditional heavy cloth in favor of a lightweight synthetic "skin" and webbing straps which lend the item the air of a piece of technical camping equipment. The extra-long straps allow for a certain dynamic freedom of movement that is a clear reference to the Futurists, although they may impede the shorter visitor on a busy vaporetto. Its uncompromising blackness seems to suggest mourning, yet with a vital rather than dour spirit –  "time and space died yesterday" as F.T. Marinetti once said. Good effort.


Le pavillon français opted for a nocturne in Parisian fog grey for its bag accompanying Anri Sala's "Ravel Ravel Unravel". The rawness of the medium-weight cotton – or is it hemp? – speaks of torrid emotional intensity while the contrastingly spare and delicately-kerned typography attempts to echo the phasing-in and out of the pianists in Sala's grand video installation. Only printed on one side however – a note of uncertainty?


Being in part based in Alvar Aalto's masterpiece pavilion in the Giardini, Finland's representation at the Biennale has wisely shied away from grand gestures with its bag for the exhibition "Falling Trees". The exhibition was put together with "a sinuous curating process" the organisers reveal, and their serene bag prompts us, with its ample volume and unadorned reilu meininki tailoring, to weave our way through its "contingent encounter between art and nature". Onneksiolkoon! Pidän siitä todella!


The Tuvalu Pavilion pluckily represents the third-least populous sovereign state in the world, and likely the first in line to disappear underwater as sea levels rise due to climate change. The exhibition itself, by "sensational Taiwanese artist Vincent J.F. Huang" reportedly features "a sea turtle and a group of penguins belonging to an underwater mafia ring seeking revenge on capitalism and the effects this is having on their natural habitat". Wow. More understated – though no less imaginative – the cream-and-azure coloured tote bag bears the coat of arms of Tuvalu: a shield decorated in a pattern with mussel shells and banana leaves, a hut and stylized waves. A Tuvaluan inscription reads “Tuvalu mo te Atua” (Tuvalu for the Almighty). Made from silkscreened Polyfabric™ (an environmentally-friendly cloth) it hits all the right notes for ecologically-sensitive micro-nation enthusiasts. Child-safe and odor/mildew resistant.


The tote for Jeremy Deller's British Pavilion, entitled "English Magic", was manufactured in 100% 135gsm cotton by a company based, ironically enough, in Welshpool, Wales. The reverse side depicts a line drawing of the British Pavilion which has been a staple on the British bags since at least Chris Ofili's 2003 exhibition. Given the inspiration that William Morris provides in Deller's exhibition, and the fact that Morris was a prolific type designer, it is perhaps a missed opportunity that the slogan text appears in the all-too-familiar Times New Roman. British Council directives? Nevertheless it does lend it a kind of appropriate DIY quality, and the highlighter orange colour (wondering though why it wasn't pink considering how much the artist loves to wear this colour) gives it the so-wrong-its-right touch that will secure its place on the sturdy shoulders of Deller fans, Bowie fans, cyclists, birdwatchers, tea-drinkers, stone-hand-axe experts, etc., for posterity. Not likely to appear on the Christmas list of Harry, His Royal Highness Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales. Or autocratic Russian billionaires.


2013 saw the United Arab Emirates present the work of Mohammed Kazem in the Arsenale's Sale d’Armi. "Walking on Water" comprised a projection of the sea and illuminated GPS coordinates within an chamber, but the quality of the tote bag alone was already leaving visitors feeling like they were walking on water with its speckled blue background recalling the waves of the Persian gulf. Assalaam alaykum!


Jesper Just's Danish Pavilion had to suffer the cruel injustice of technical difficulties with its complex five-screen video installation during the opening days. And to be frank, the gloomy black-on-black tote accompanying an exhibition burdened with the icky title "Intercourses" cannot have lifted the mood. An uncharacteristic error from the style-conscious Danes? In fact the design was headed by the usually-impeccable New York based Project Projects. Nevertheless, the bag looks more suited to a Bulgarian goth club or an inner tube manufacturers' convention than something to accessorize an exhibition that "challenges the viewer’s preconceived notions of space and time". Interesting pavilion. Charismatic artist. Woeful tote. Even difficult to re-gift this one.

 
Photo courtesy: Graphical House
 
Scotland! A typography-forward triumph! Impactful use of the three artists surnames in a highly refined neo-grotesque sans serif which appears not at all restrained by an attempt at upholding historical accuracy or formalities. The clarity, poise and symmetry of the white letterforms, combined with the discerning deep-blue cotton base, and the cheeky short handles say "hey, let's celebrate everything that's good about Scottish creativity!" If there was a Golden Lion for totes, this would surely be in with a roar. 


"See Venice and die," is what they say? Or is it Rome? Whatever, once you've experienced the bag for Lawrence Weiner's THE GRACE OF A GESTURE, organized by the Written Art Foundation and presented at the Palazzo Bembo near the Rialto bridge, you may have witnessed the pinnacle of totes. Or something pretty close. Weiner has already produced some bag legends – check out his audacious design for Printed Matter – yet this multilingual canvas produced in Westphalia is a perky filet mignon of a bag that makes the competition look like cheap mince. As Weiner says: “Art is the empirical fact of the relationships of objects to objects in relation to human beings and not dependent upon historical precedent for either use or legitimacy". Who can argue? 


Related posts: 
(Post 1/3) The 55th Venice Biennale: "The Encyclopedic Palace" in pictures and as seen by the critics, 1 June–24 November 2013 
(Post 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

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

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Latitudes participates in the "Readers Circle: 100 Notes–100 Thoughts" programme organised by the Maybe Education and Public Programs of dOCUMENTA (13)


| UK |

On September 9th at 19h, Latitudes will be participating in the "Readers Circle: 100 Notes - 100 Thoughts" programme organised within the Maybe Education and Public Programs of dOCUMENTA (13), for which they will be reading the publication "No. 008: Lawrence Weiner – IF IN FACT THERE IS A CONTEXT" (Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2011).


| ES |

El domingo 9 septiembre a las 19h, Latitudes participará en el "Readers Circle: 100 Notes - 100 Thoughts" programme organizado como parte del Maybe Education and Public Programs de dOCUMENTA (13), durante el cual leerán la publicación "No. 008: Lawrence Weiner – IF IN FACT THERE IS A CONTEXT" (Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2011).

"Lawrence Weiner – If in Fact There Is a Context" (2011)
by Lawrence Weiner
Series: dOCUMENTA (13): 100 Notizen - 100 Gedanken No. 008
English, 24 pp., 10.60 x 14.90 cm, softcover
ISBN 978-3-7757-2857-7
Buy here

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

Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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