20 Apr 2016 2016, catalogue, editorial, interview, Melbourne, Nicholas Mangan, Publication
Nicholas Mangan, ‘Ancient Lights’ (2015). Installation views, Chisenhale Gallery, 2015. Co-commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery, London and Artspace, Sydney. Courtesy the artist; Labor Mexico; Sutton Gallery, Melbourne; and Hopkinson Mossman, Auckland. Photo: Andy Keate.
We have just wrapped-up an interview with Melbourne-based artist Nicholas Mangan to be published by Sternberg Press as the catalogue of his forthcoming solo exhibition ‘Limits to Growth’, co-produced by Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA), Melbourne (opening July 20) and Institute of Modern Art (IMA), Brisbane (where it will be on view from October 29), it will later travel to Kunst-Werke Institute of Contemporary Art in Berlin (summer 2017). The five-part interview weaves together a discussion of his recent works ‘Nauru, Notes from a Cretaceous World’ (2009), ‘A World Undone’ (2012), ‘Progress in action’ (2013), ‘Ancient Lights’ (2015) and his newest piece ‘Limits to Growth’ (2016), to be premiered at Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA). Part of an ongoing dialogue with Mangan, it developed from a public conversation event that took place at Chisenhale Gallery, London on 7 July 2015. ‘Limits to Growth’ references a 1972 report commissioned by the Club of Rome that analysed a computer simulation of the Earth and human systems: the consequences of exponential economic and population growth given finite resource supplies. The overlapping themes and flows of energies in the five of Mangan’s projects discussed in the interview might be read as an echo of the modelling and systems dynamics used by the simulation in order to try and better understand the limits of the world’s ecosystems. Mangan is presenting ‘Ancient Lights’ (2015) at his Mexico City gallery LABOR on April 22, a work co-commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery in London and Artspace in Sydney.
- Latitudes conversation with Nicholas Mangan on 7 July 2015 at Chisenhale Gallery, London;
- Cover Story, July 2015: Nicholas Mangan’s ‘Ancient Lights’;
- Locating Ancient Lights signs around London with Nicholas Mangan;
- Max Andrews, Feature on Nicholas Mangan, 'Landscape Artist', Frieze, Issue 172, Summer 2015;
- Mariana Cánepa Luna, 'What Lies Underneath', interview with Nicholas Mangan, Mousse Magazine #47, February–March 2015.
29 Mar 2016 2016, behind the scenes, e-books, Exhibition, José Antonio Hernández-Díez, latitudes, looking back, MACBA, microhistory, Publication, research
Pages with the story behind Plaça dels Àngels.When giving a presentation or tour of an exhibition or project we have worked on, we are often asked how the project emerged – if there was a particular trigger or point of origin. In the case of José Antonio Hernández-Díez’s exhibition currently on view at MACBA (until June 26, 2016), our approach was a familiar one to us – we started by both delving in-depth in researching the artists previous works while at the same time looking into the history of the venue
where the exhibition was going to take place.
We are very fond of a book that has been in our library for many years – 'Histories and legends of Barcelona' by Joan Amades (Edicions 62). This two-volume tome gathers some of the myths behind Barcelona place names and includes the tales behind both familiar and obscure
buildings, streets and monuments in the city
. The story that most captivated
the chapel of the Convent dels Àngels, and it is recounted
in the essay we wrote to
accompany the exhibition (
published as the Quaderns Portàtils #32 –
pdfs available in Spanish
and epub in Spanish only). It goes as follows
:(...) "Outside the doorway of the deconsecrated sixteenth-century church that formed part of Barcelona’s Convent dels Àngels there once stood the stone figure of a dog, standing upright on its hind legs. Two separate legends account for its existence, as recorded by ethnologist and folklorist Joan Amades in the 1950s. A boorish man would routinely interrupt the services and torment the church congregation, it is said. He was punished by being turned into a dog. The other version states that the canine figure commemorates the thwarting of a robbery. The church once displayed an image of Saint Roch, the patron saint of dogs, accompanied by a hound. It is said that the prospective thieves were frightened away as the image miraculously began to bark. (The supernatural mythology of the chapel does not cease there – in 1627 an image of Christ began to sweat blood profusely.)
Sculpture of a dog once stood in front of La Capella dels Àngels, the church of the Convent dels Àngels.
Parallel to this, we started looking at Hernández-Díez’s earliest works and investigating his pieces in MACBA’s collection. We found that the museum had his 1991 work San Guinefort on long-term loan in their collection, but it had never been exhibited. As narrated in our essay: (...) "that José Antonio Hernández-Díez (Caracas, Venezuela, 1964) had already been dealing with Catholic belief and superstition in his art – and moreover, specifically addressing canine veneration – is much more than an uncanny coincidence for his exhibition at MACBA’s Convent dels Àngels in 2016." The legend behind Saint Guinefort is one of the more obscure intersections of Catholic history and folk tradition:
(...) "Writing around 1260, the Inquisitor and Dominican friar Étienne de Bourbon related his investigation into the veneration of Saint Guinefort in the Dombes region of France. He discovered that this supposed Saint was, in fact, a dog. The account he disclosed was that a knight and his wife had one day left their greyhound Guinefort to guard their baby. When they returned to the castle they found the cradle empty and Guinefort covered in blood. Assuming it had murdered the baby, the knight hastily killed the dog, only later realising his error. Guinefort had in fact fought off a snake in order to save the child, who was found unharmed. Guinefort was buried unceremoniously in the forest outside the castle walls. Hearing of the martyred dog, local people began to believe in its power to protect children and began to bring their sick infants to the grave. Étienne de Bourbon was horrified to discover the strength of the superstition that had taken root. Children were being left overnight by Guinefort’s grave in the belief that he would rid them of spirits, and several babies had died as a consequence. Defending the orthodoxy of the church, the friar had the heretical remains of the greyhound dug up and destroyed, razed the forest and outlawed the canine cult, yet there is evidence of its persistence into the nineteenth century. The episode is worth recounting in detail, as previous accounts of it in relation to Hernández-Díez’s work have been misleading."
Coinciding with our research period, in August 2014 we happened to be travelling near Lyon, France, and took the opportunity to visit to the Bois de Saint Guinefort in the Dombes region, where the story of Saint Guinefort emerged (and where the dog-saint may still be venerated every 22nd August, despite the regional tourism office assuring us the festival day was no longer celebrated). Somewhere on the road between Villars-les-Dombes and Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne one can, with the help of a tagged flickr photo and GPS, find a sign, as seen below, which briefly narrates these peculiar events from the 13th Century. Related Content:
- Video of the artist talking about 'San Guinefort' (1991)
- José Antonio Hernández-Díez, 'I will fear no evil’, Convent dels Àngels, Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), Barcelona, 18 March–26 June 2016.
- Photodocumentation of the exhibition.
- Exhibition essay on José Antonio Hernández-Díez, Quaderns Portàtils #32, free-to-read pdf (Spanish & English) and epub (Spanish).
- Social media archive of tweets, Instagram, reviews.
- Exhibition of Hernández-Díez at the New Museum, New York in 2003.
- Pdf of the 1991 exhibition catalogue of Hernández-Díez's show at the Sala RG, Caracas.
- Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)
- Works of Hernández-Díez at MACBA's collection.
01 Mar 2016 2016, Barcelona, curators, Estrany de la Mota, Exhibition, José Antonio Hernández-Díez, latitudes, MACBA, production, Publication, Solo show
José Antonio Hernández-Díez, "La Hermandad", 1994. Video installation. ”la Caixa” / MACBA Collection.Latitudes is curating the solo exhibition 'I will fear no evil' of Venezuelan-born Barcelona-based artist José Antonio Hernández-Díez (Caracas, 1964), which will open at the Convent dels Àngels del Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), on March 17. 'I will fear no evil' presents works from the beginning of Hernández-Díez’s career in the late 1980s and early nineties – several of which have not been seen since they were first exhibited – in dialogue with Filamentos (2016), a new series developed especially for the occasion.
José Antonio Hernández-Díez, "La Hermandad", 1994. Video installation. ”la Caixa” / MACBA Collection.The present exhibition looks back to Hernández-Díez’s first experimental works with video alongside early iconic screen- and vitrine-based works, including three of those presented at the time of his landmark first monographic exhibition 'San Guinefort y otras devociones', held in 1991 at Sala RG in Caracas. This exhibition heralded what the artist termed as a ‘New Christian Iconography’, offering – as artist-colleague Meyer Vaisman described – ‘a techno-pop view of Catholicism’s most beloved symbols’. An newly text by Latitudes will be published in Spanish as No. 32 of the Quaderns portàtils (Portable Notebooks) series. This MACBA-produced collection is freely distributed and downloadable from the museum website in PDF and ePUB format. An English translation will also be available as a separate PDF.Exhibition runs between 18 March–26 June 2016 and is organised and produced by the Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA).
05 Mar 2015 2013, 2015, Christina Li, editorial, Heman Chong, Hong Kong, Incidents of Travel, interview, latitudes, Moderations, Publication, residency, Spring Workshop, Witte de With
'End Note(s)' is finally out! The publication marks the conclusion of two years of residencies, discussions, editorial and exhibition projects within the framework of 'Moderation(s)', a multiform collaboration between Hong Kong's Spring Workshop and Rotterdam's Witte de With, steered by Singaporean artist and curator Heman Chong.
Latitudes participation took place in January 2013 with a month-long residency at Spring Workshop, Hong Kong, and with the production of "Incidents of Travel": an invitation extended to four Hong Kong-based artists – Nadim Abbas, Ho Sin Tung, Yuk King Tan and Samson Young – to develop day-long tours, thus retelling the city and each participant’s artistic concerns through personal itineraries and waypoints.
As announced a few months ago, Latitudes has contributed to the publication with a visual essay documenting each of the artists' itineraries accompanying them with a revised and reedited version of the May 2013 conversation with curator Christina Li (Moderation(s)' witness).
Section of the book (pp. 61–89) dedicated to Latitudes' "Incidents of Travel". Here the names of the artists and the locations visited during each of their tours.
Itinerary and photo-documentation of Nadim Abbas' tour on 19 January 2013.
(Above and below) Itinerary and photo-documentation of Yuk King Tan's tour on 24 January 2013.
Itinerary and photo-documentation of Ho Sin Tung's tour on 29 January 2013.
(Above and below) Itinerary and photo-documentation of Samson Young's tour, 7 February 2013.
Reedited version of a conversation with curator Christina Li – Moderation(s)' witness – originally published on Witte de With's blog dedicated to the project.
Here's an excerpt of our conversation with Christina:
Christina Li: The artists' tours were meant for you both to converse privately with each selected artist while getting to know their practices and the city. Did the public aspect of the Nadim Abbas' tour and your experience of the commercial tours suggest a different perspective of how the format could function from your initial perception? How has this attempt challenged your thinking in mediating and presenting the immediate experience and documentation of these tours to a larger audience?
Latitudes: Although the commercial tours were taking place regularly by prior arrangement, we happened to be the only participants on each of the days [Feng Shui tour and Tour of the Devil's Peak]. We tried to keep the artist tours casual and inconspicuous, and to respect the notion of hospitality and privacy in the same way that if we came to your house for dinner, you would not expect us to bring a group of strangers with us. In fact, the day with Yuk King Tan concluded with a household of Filipina domestic workers making food for us – women whose trust and friendship she had earned through her personal affiliations and the concerns of her art. In this case it would obviously have been completely inappropriate and something of a human safari to bring along an audience.
Visiting Waterfall Bay with Nadim Abbas was part of the public tour on 19 January 2013. Photo: Trevor Yeung.
But we had no desire to make the days exclusive or private as if they were some kind of bespoke tourist service. Other people sometimes joined for parts of the days if the artist had suggested it, yet the main point of emphasis was our commitment to the tour in lieu of the typically brief studio visit and a situation in which the artist has had ownership of planning the whole day. If there would be definitely something like an audience present throughout (that might expect to be engaged or come and go) the dynamics and the logistics would have changed.
The artist tours were conceived from the point of view of research, and we have been reluctant to burden the artists or overload the format to the degree that they become durational artworks or somehow theatrical. We are not particularly focused on tidying up whatever their ontological status as art might be and likewise we have deliberately not just invited artists whose work has a clear sympathy with performative, urban research or an obvious relation with sociability or place. We feel it is important that the format is quite malleable to the personality of each artist and that in the same way that you might browse a newspaper or share a car journey with somebody, the tours do not require a wider audience to legitimize them. In the same sense they have not necessarily required documentation to make them valid. However, we have been increasingly interested in the idea of reportage or live broadcast in terms of the ‘making of’ or ‘artist at work’ genre, while at the same time being really wary about our own positions as protagonists and photographs that might seem like they belong in a travel magazine.
The tours in Mexico City took place during five consecutive days right after our arrival, so the way we shared the photographic material was more direct via our Facebook page at the end of each day. The exhibition at Casa del Lago opened only two days after we concluded the last tour, so we had to come up with a straightforward display form. For each tour the photographer Eunice Adorno had accompanied us and in the end we projected a selection of 200 of her images as a slideshow, and displayed a few of them printed on the wall alongside a large map of the city with pins locating the sites we visited. We also had printed itineraries, written by the artists, so anyone could later follow the routes themselves if they so desired.
Visiting the Espacio Escultórico at U.N.A.M. with Jerónimo Hagerman, one of the five tours around Mexico City in September 2012. Photo: Eunice Adorno.
In Hong Kong we were using Twitter, Instagram, and Vine during the tours, so it was an experiment in documentation-on-the-fly and live journaling which was open to real-time responses. We also made a series of one-minute field recordings. The tweets were archived soon after alongside these recordings, as well as related Facebook posts. We also published blog posts about each of the tours which included many photographs (by us and others) alongside paragraphs from the artists’ itineraries. This might seem to highlight merely mundane technical aspects of the project but it also heightened our interest in further exploring the idea of the curatorial bandwidth beyond exhibition making, something we continued to investigate in following projects such as #OpenCurating.
'End Note(s)' Colophon:
Concept: Heman Chong
Editors: Defne Ayas, Mimi Brown, Heman Chong, Amira Gad, Samuel Saelemakers
Contributors: A Constructed World, Nadim Abbas, Defne Ayas, Oscar van den Boogaard, Mimi Brown, Heman Chong, Chris Fitzpatrick, Amira Gad, Travis Jeppesen, Latitudes, Christina Li, Guy Mannes-Abbott, Samuel Saelemakers, Aaron Schuster
Copy Editors: Janine Armin, Marnie Slater
Production: Amira Gad, Samuel Saelemakers, Heman Chong
Design: Kristin Metho
Printer: Koninglijke Van Gorcum
Publisher: Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art Rotterdam, the Netherlands ISBN: 978-94-9143-529-4
RELATED CONTENT: First week of the "Moderation(s)" residency at Spring Workshop, Hong Kong (17January 2013)
Nadim Abbas' "Incidents of Travel: Hong Kong" public tour (19 January 2013)
"Temple and Feng Shui Tour", a guided walk around Hong Kong Island & Kowloon (22 January 2013)
Ho Sin Tung "Incidents of Travel: Hong Kong" tour (30 January 2013)
Yuk King Tan's "Incidents of Travel: Hong Kong" tour (3 February 2013)
Tour of Devil's Peak and the Museum of Coastal Defence (6 February 2013)
Samson Young's "Incidents of Travel: Hong Kong" tour (7 February 2013)
Latitudes' Open Day at Spring Workshop on 2 February 2013 (9 February 2013)
"Archive as Method: An Interview with Chantal Wong, Hammad Nasar and Lydia Ngai" of the Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong. Concluding #OpenCurating interview (1 May 2013)
"Digression(s), Entry Point(s): An interview with Heman Chong", Singapore-based artist, curator and writer. Eighth in the #OpenCurating research series. (4 April 2013)
Archive of social media posts related to "Incidents of Travel" tours and photo-documentation.13 field recordings from 'Incidents of Travel: Hong Kong'
Witte de With opens the group show "The Part In The Story Where A Part Becomes A Part Of Something Else" on May 22, 2014 (21 April 2014)
Interview between Christina Li and Latitudes on 'Incidents of Travel' for Witte de With's 'Witness to Moderation(s)' blog (7 May 2013) – This is the blog of the independent curatorial office Latitudes. Follow us on Facebook and @LTTDS.
All photos: Latitudes | www.lttds.org (except when noted otherwise in the photo caption).
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
17 Jul 2013 2013, Christina Hemauer and Roman Keller, energy use, Fischli and Weiss, Gustav Metzger, Pedro de Llano, Portscapes, Publication, Simon Starling, solar energy, The Aarhus Art Building
Photo: Edizioni Periferia.Last week we received a copy of the wonderful publication by Zürich-based artists Christina Hemauer and Roman Keller, with whom we have collaborated twice in the past, on the Portscapes commission series in 2009 (see photos of project here and a 'making of' video here) and on their solo exhibition 'United Alternative Energies' in 2011 in Kunsthal Århus, Denmark. Christina Hemauer and Roman Keller maintain the thesis that throughout history, culture and energy have been reciprocal entities: technological change determines cultural achievements and vice versa.
Title page with contributors names. This and the following photos: Latitudes.
Their publication "A Chronology of Energy-Related Developments (2013, ongoing)" is based on the appendix of the six-volume "Encyclopedia of Energy" (2004). Its 64-page appendix sums up historical events of relevance to energy since the existence of Earth. In collaboration with 32 art historians (including Steven Jacobs, Andreas Vogel, Dorothee Messmer), curators (including Fiona Parry, Pedro de Llano and ourselves) and cultural theorists (including Yvonne Volkart, Anke Hoffmann, Rolf-Peter Sieferle) and concluding with an epilogue by Bice Curiger, former Kunsthaus Zürich's curator, the artists have supplemented the appendix (white pages) with «art-related» entries (yellow pages) in words and pictures.
Latitudes contributed six entries, those of 1901 (Giacomo Balla's "Street Light"), 1956 (Atsuko Tanaka's "Electric Dress"), two entries for 1972 (Victor Grippo's "Energy of a Potato" and Gustav Metzger's "Project for Stockholm (phase 1)", ca. 1987 (Fischli & Weiss's "The Way Things Go") and 2003 (Simon Starling's "Tabernas Desert Run").The book was made possible by a Dr. Georg und Josi Guggenheim-Stiftung 2012 grant.
Christina Hemauer & Roman Keller
182 pages, 20 x 27 cm, in two colours, linen binding
CHF 38 / EUR 30Purchase here.
This is the blog of the independent curatorial office Latitudes. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter. All photos: Latitudes (except when noted otherwise in the photo caption)