11 Apr 2016 2016, design, graphic communication, invitation, José Antonio Hernández-Díez, latitudes, MACBA, making of, Solo show
Exhibition announcement sent via email.
Departing from the religious and technological references included in Hernández-Díez's exhibition, the cross appears like a distorted televisual aparition.
The design was later applied on the large glass vitrine that frames the entrance to the Convent dels Àngels, respecting the presence of two video pieces also on display in this space: 'La caja' (1991) and 'Vas pa'l cielo y vas llorando' (1992), videoprojections that remain lit until midnight.
(Above) Draft design and (following) tests on the windows, vinyls being applied and final look of the entrance to the exhibition space at Plaça dels Àngels.
(Above) Façade by day and façade by night (below, photo by Miquel Coll, MACBA).
Finally, a smaller vinyl is also applied at c/ dels Àngels, easily viewed when visitors come from c/ Elisabets.
- The story behind José Antonio Hernández-Díez's 'Saint Guinefort' (1991) 29 March 2016
- Public programmes related to the exhibition 'José Antonio Hernández-Díez. I Will Fear No Evil' at MACBA 18 March 2016
- 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).
- Storify archive of tweets, instagram posts, reviews.
- Exhibition of Hernández-Díez at the New Museum, New York in 2003.
- Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)
30 Oct 2012 Below Max Andrews' frieze review on the exhibition 'Utopia is possible. ICSID. Eivissa, 1971' currently on show (on view until 20 January 2013) at the Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA). An interesting follow up is Ethel Baraona Pohl's review on Domus (published 15 October 2012) which is accompanied by a lot more photodocumentation presented in the exhibition. 2012, architecture, Barcelona, congress, design, event, knowledge exchange, MACBA, Max Andrews, modes of assembly, participation, performance, Reviews
Instant City, 1971. Col·lecció MACBA. Centre d'Estudis i Documentació. Fons Xavier Miserachs
‘This will be an ICSID Congress only 10 metres from the sea,’ read the welcoming Bulletin of the Seventh Congress of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design in 1971. ‘The environment, the climate and the sea bathing will act as a stimulant to the general business of the Congress.’ As 1,500 delegates registered at the ziggurat-like hotel venue in northern Ibiza, the more adventurous made their way to Instant City, an inflatable camp below on Sant Miquel bay. Three days of meetings, debates, performances and partying were to follow –a professional design conference that was also a beach-side experiment in leisure and the creative potential of industrial plastic. The exhibition ‘Utopia is Possible’ was not only significant as an exercise in advocating the pioneering importance of an interdisciplinary festival that predated the better-known Encuentros de Pamplona’ (Pamplona Meetings) the following year – both all the more astonishing as Spain remained under the grip of dictatorship until 1975 – but also (and following a sprawling exhibition about the latter at Madrid’s Museo Reina Sofía in 2009) as a corollary of the emergence of curatorial and exhibition history as legitimate fields of study, as exhibition.
‘Utopia is Possible’ remembered and celebrated an event that evoked a meltdown of academia, inflatable architecture, cinema, Catalan artistic vanguardism and countercultural ceremonies – part ‘Exploding Plastic Inevitable’, part technology enthusiast craft convention. Through teeming type and handwritten correspondence arranged in vitrines, hundreds of photographs, technical notes and newspaper reports – as well as four projections showing archival footage and a dozen monitors presenting newsreels and newly-made interviews with those involved – it revealed a project that clearly had a life-changing impact on those who experienced it. ICSID 1971 championed liberal social innovation and user-generated content. ‘This is an “open” congress’, declared its introductory statement, ‘a new experience […] for the first time the congress members will be able to participate to the utmost […] this is YOUR congress.’ The proceedings in the hotel comprised ‘Speaking Rooms’ with themes proposed by delegates, 65 talks including ‘The House Style of the Netherlands railway’,‘What We Are Doing in the Belgrade School of Design’, and ‘Basic Design with Computers’ – the latter led by the pioneering Centro de Cálculo (Computing Centre), a collaboration between Madrid’s Complutense University and IBM.
Down by the beach, meanwhile, the participation was of a somewhat different order – kinetic sculptural events with air, water, fire and food. Josep Ponsatí collaborated with members of the Grup Obert de Disseny Urquinaona (Urquinaona Open Design Group), who themselves collaborated in the pop-style signage of the congress, which was replicated in the show’s exhibition design. They tethered together 12 pairs of huge air-filled white plastic pillows that floated out over and on the bay like a giant flower. Vacuflex-3 (1971) by Antoni Muntadas and Gonzalo Mezza is a portable sculpture in the form of a 150-metre flexible plastic pipe which, with teamwork, can be variously carried around, used to spell out words on the sand (‘LOVE’, ‘LAND’, ‘HERE’) or floated on the sea. The opening dinner took the form of a multi-colour ritual orchestrated by Antoni Miralda, Jaume Xifra and Dorothée Selz; masked performers and diners wore green, red, blue and yellow cloaks, and feasted on similarly coloured paella and wine.
Yet Instant City took such multi-coloured experiences to architectonic dimensions, and it remains the ideological and pictorial emblem of the congress. Architecture students Carlos Ferrater and Fernando Bendito had persuaded architecture professor José Miguel de Prada Poole to transform their idea of inflatable student accommodation into reality. What resulted was a global manifesto for a new way of living intended to embrace the ‘nomadic and mobile’ values of impermanence and flexibility. Following publicity in colleges and magazines around the world, scores of volunteers came in the weeks before the congress to collaborate in stapling together a pop-up plastic community. Instant City was the backdrop to some of the exhibition’s most striking images, of bemused locals in traditional dress watching bearded design hippies building something between Hélio Oiticica’s ‘Penetrables’ and Maurice Agis’s ill-fated Dreamspace V (an inflatable environment that killed two women when it broke free from moorings in 2006). And although the taste of Utopian living was evidently challenged by the whiff of residing in sweltering polytunnel tentacles with too few toilets, it also inspired some soaring prog rock poetry that, perhaps more succinctly than any other words in the exhibition, gave a blast ofthe elaborate techno-paganism which must have blown minds at this extraordinary Congress. ‘Green cornfields alongside Instant City / Awaken to Ibizan sunrise’, read a typewritten sheet alongside module construction diagrams. ‘We are children of the future / Born into the paleo-cybernetic age / our minds extended electrically through the video sphere.’
‘Utopia is Possible’ offered a timely pre-history of participatory practice from a Spanish perspective and, against the backdrop of contemporary funding cuts, an object lesson in artistic solidarity and internationalism against the odds.
– Max Andrews
(Originally published in Frieze, October 2012, Issue 150)
Antoni Muntadas and Gonzalo Mezza Ceremonial and Vacuflex-3, 1971.
- Video where participants' discuss their experience here
- Tour of the exhibition by exhibition co-curator Teresa Grandas, here (both in Catalan)
- Latitudes' writing archive
03 Sep 2012 #OpenCurating, 2012, BCN Producció, design, interview, newspapers, participation, Paul Schmelzer, research, Walker Art Center, website
Photo: Courtesy Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.
'Beyond Interface' is the first interview of Latitudes' #OpenCurating project, which was awarded the first BCN Producció 2012 Research Grant. The inaugural interview was conducted with three key figures involved in the website of the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, which is also the #OpenCurating content partner.
#OpenCurating interview with Robin Dowden, Nate Solas and Paul Schmelzer from the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.
Robin Dowden (Director of New Media Initiatives), Nate Solas (Senior New Media Developer) and Paul Schmelzer (Web Editor), discuss the museum's new website – walkerart.org – relaunched in December 2011 following a two-year conceptual reboot and complete redesign. Styled as an online newspaper, the new site heralds a paradigmatic shift for innovative museum websites in creating an online platform with an emphasis on publishing while placing itself at the centre of generating conversations around content from both inside and outside the Walker’s activities. –ABOUT #OPENCURATINGDrawing on the emerging practices of so-called 'Open Journalism' – which seek to better collaborate with and use the ability of anyone to publish and share – #OpenCurating is a research project that investigates how contemporary art projects may function beyond the traditional format of exhibition-and-catalogue. #OpenCurating is concerned with new forms of interaction between publics – whether online followers or physical visitors – with artworks and their production, display and discursive context.The project is articulated around a series of ten new interviews with curators, artists, journalists and online strategists published as a free digital edition, a Twitter discussion moderated around the hashtag #OpenCurating and a finissage event in Barcelona (date TBA).#OpenCurating was awarded the first BCN Producció 2012 Research Grant of the Institut de Cultura de Barcelona. Content partners: Walker Art Center
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