Longitudes

Report: Trip to Chicago and Detroit in pictures, 18–25 September 2019

Good morning Chicago!

As we shared in our recent newsletter, in mid-September we had the opportunity to visit Chicago and Detroit, thanks to an invitation from Stephanie Cristello, Artistic Director of EXPO Chicago, who we met last year during the 2018 Amsterdam Art Weekend. As participants of the inaugural collaboration between EXPO CHICAGO and Red Bull Arts Detroit Global Curatorial Initiativea smaller selection of participants had the opportunity to extend their trip to Detroit (21-23 September), in an effort to foster dialogue with the greater Midwest.


18 September 2019: Visiting the Chicago Cultural Center (photo above), the main venue of ‘And Other Such Stories’ the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial curated by Yesomi Umolu, Sepake Angiama and Paulo Tavares. Personal highlights: works by Forensic Architecture, Clemens von Wedemeyer, Theaster Gates, Vincent Meessen, performances by Jimmy Robert, Alexandra Pirici, and the powerful collaboration between the Settler-Colonial City Project and the American Indian Centre. In the afternoon, we visited the Art Institute Chicago and attended a performance by Samson Young at the Chicago Symphony Center.


(Above and below) Museum of Oil— The American Rooms by Territorial Agency on display in the Chicago Cultural Center's Exhibit Hall.
(Above) Work by Oscar Tuazon.
(Above) Work by Clemens von Wedemeyer. 

(Above and below) Room with works by Theaster Gates and Vincent Meessen.
(Above) Works by Wendelien van Oldenborgh (left) and Do Ho Suh (right).
(Above) Movimento Sem Teto do Centro (MSTC) fights on behalf of families experiencing homelessness.
One of the examples of the impactful collaboration between the Settler-Colonial City Project and the American Indian Centre.

The American Indian Centre also contributed with a Land Acknowledgement.
 Performance ‘Descendance du nu (Chicago)’ by Jimmy Robert.

 ‘Re-collection’, 2018–ongoing, a performance by Alexandra Pirici situated in the Grand Army of the Republic Rotunda of the Chicago Cultural Center, a memorial to Civil War veterans.
(Above and three below) ‘In a Cloud, in a Wall, in a Chair: Six Modernist in Mexico at Midcentury’ at the Art Institute Chicago, exploring the impact Mexico had on the lives and artistic practices of Clara Porset, Lola Álvarez Bravo, Anni Albers, Ruth Asawa, Cynthia Sargent, and Sheila Hicks. 
Also at the Art Institute Chicago we were surprised to see that this work by Andrés Jaque on Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona pavilion that recently entered the collection. Can't help to think such work should have been acquired by a Spanish collection, not to mention a Barcelona collecting institution?
A great exhibition with very few photographs by Sara Deraedt at Art Institute Chicago. Since 2008 the artist has been photographing vacuum cleaners as she encounters them in places where they are sold. 
The Flax project started in 2012 by Dutch artist Christien Meindertsma.
Before Samson Young's performance and Q&A at the Chicago Symphony Center.

19 September 2019: Morning session at the Graham Foundation. But first, stop at their beautiful bookstore and their current show by Tatiana Bilbao. In the afternoon, we visited EXPO CHICAGO until we got fair exhaustion and later caught Abraham Cruzvillegas' impressive solo show at The Arts Club of Chicago.

Marking the commencement of the 2019 Curatorial Exchange and Curatorial Forum was a keynote lecture by Artistic Director Zoe Butt from The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre in Ho Chi Minh City.
Mid-morning tour around EXPO CHICAGO.

One of the best stands was this presentation by Brazilian gallery Bergamin & Gomide, an art and architecture atlas of modernist and contemporary Brazil. Curated by Sol Camacho.
“In/Situ” section curated by Jacob Fabricius (artistic director of the Kunsthal Aarhus in Denmark) around EXPO CHICAGO.

We caught ourselves in this picture by Casa Bosques browsing at books in the Index Art Book Fair. 
(Above and below) Solo show ‘The Ballad of Etc.’ by Abraham Cruzvillegas at The Arts Club of Chicago.

20 September 2019: On our last day in Chicago, we joined closed-door presentations by the  2019 Curatorial Exchange participants, moderated by Art Institute Dittmer Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art Hendrik Folkerts (Above). Later we attended a lunch at EXPO CHICAGO, and in the afternoon took off with a couple of colleagues, to enjoy the impressive wealth of exhibition-centres the University of Chicago campus has to offer: the Logan Center, The Renaissance Society, the SMART Museum, the Oriental Institute, and the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society.

Above: Assemble and Duval Timothy in collaboration with Demond Melancon and the Material Institute, New Orleans, an exhibition at the Logan Center, The University of Chicago.
 (Above and below) LaToya Ruby Frazer's "The Last Cruze" at The Renaissance Society also in The University of Chicago campus. 
 (Above and two below) Michael Rakowitz's work in one of the galleries of the Oriental Institute also in The University of Chicago campus.
(Above and below) Frederick C. Robie House, aka The Robie House, a landmark building by Frank Lloyd Wright on 5757 S Woodlawn Ave, in the University of Chicago campus.
(Above) Exhibition by Martha Rosler at the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society (also in The University of Chicago campus) centred primarily on her interest in flowers, gardens, and related “green” motifs. 
(Above and two below) "Samson Young: Silver Moon or Golden Star, which will you buy of me?" at the Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago campus.

University of Chicago campus.
In the evening, we attended the opening of the solo exhibition by Vienna-based artist Sarah Ortmeyer at the project space Chicago Manual Style, curated by Stephanie Cristello, artistic director of Expo Chicago. Latitudes collaborated with Ortmeyer in the 2011 exhibition ‘Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs...’ at Meessen de Clercq, Brussels.

One of the outdoors installations at the MBAD African Bead Museum, Detroit.

21 September 2019: Upon arriving in Detroit in the afternoon, our local host Scott Campbell took us to visit the MBAD African Bead Museum, 18 outdoor installations using iron, rock, wood and mirrors by visual storyteller Olayami Dabls on the corner of Grand River and West Grand Blvd, Detroit. (above and three below)



22 September 2019: (Above and 8 photos below) Morning tour by Laura Mott, Senior Curator of Contemporary Art and Design, and curator of the exhibition ‘Landlord Colors: On Art, Economy, and Materiality’ at the Cranbrook Art Museum. "Materiality, a large-scale exhibition and public engagement series that brings together artworks from five international art scenes that have experienced economic and societal upheaval: Italy (the 1960s-80s), Korea (1970s-80s), Cuba (1990s–present), Greece (2009-present), Detroit, USA (1967-present). The exhibition showcases the work of more than 60 artists from a wide variety of backgrounds to highlight shared themes of ingenuity, resourcefulness, and resistance highlighting seminal historic works and new work from contemporary artists such as Reynier Leyva Novo, Zoë Paul, Kostis Velonis, Matthew Angelo Harrison, and Scott Hocking."

Matthew Angelo Harrison, ‘Dark Povera Part 1’, 2017.
Two chairs by Olayami Dabls of the Dabls’ MBAD African Bead Museum.

Afternoon visiting Red Bull Arts Detroit studio and gallery space. We are taken around their current show ‘Sick Time, Sleepy Time, Crip Time: Against Capitalism’s Temporal Bullying’ by the Red Bull Arts Detroit Curatorial Fellow Taraneh Fazeli.
Anders Ruhwald’s installation occupies an entire apartment in Detroit’s Eastern Market neighbourhood. 
In the afternoon we had time to squeeze in a visit to The Heidelberg Projectin the McDougall-Hunt neighbourhood on Detroit's east side. (Above and 10 below) Since 1986 artist Tyree Guyton (1955) has progressively transformed vacant houses and lots on Heidelberg street into one large outdoor installation. Guyton's "grotesque materialism" project is one of the most visited sites in Detroit, attracting 200,000 visitors annually.



23 September 2019: Morning studio visit with artist Matthew Angelo Harrison (no photos), and pm appointment with Executive Director Elysia Borowy-Reeder and current
Ford Curatorial Fellows Jova Lynne and Tiziana Baldenebro of The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, which was in between shows. MOCAD is the keeper of Mike Kelley's ‘Mobile Homestead’"located on the grounds of the museum, it is a full-scale replica of the home in which Kelley grew up: a single-story, ranch-style house in the Detroit suburb of Westland. Kelley, who died in Los Angeles in 2012, sought to ensure that the Mobile Homestead remain relevant to the cultural interests and concerns of its local communities. In that spirit, the home was designed with a detachable facade, allowing it to be driven to neighbourhoods throughout the city, offering public services during its travels."



The official programme finished and we had time to visit the Michigan building on 220 Bagley Avenue (above and two below) which was designed for Detroit philanthropist and movie theatre tycoon John H. Kunsky. It opened in August 1926 with the film "You Never Know Women" with Florence Vidor and Lowell Sherman, and could seat over 4,000 people who enjoyed a programme of five shows daily. It hosted live performances by The Marx Brothers, Betty Grable and Bob Hope, and many others. The theatre was built on the site of the small garage where automobile industrialist Henry Ford built his first automobile, the quadricycle (the garage was later disassembled and moved to The Henry Ford Museum in the nearby suburb of Dearborn). It closed in 1976 after operating as a nightclub named The Michigan Palace. In 1977 the building's owners paid $525,000 to gut the theatre and build a three-level, 160-space parking deck inside it. The site of Ford Motor's birthplace replaced by a movie theatre, reclaimed by the automobile.


Evening walk to see Canada on the other side of the river.

24 September 2019: (Above and below) On our last day, we visited the Detroit Institute of Arts, home to Diego Rivera murals and an impressive 19th and 20th Century collection. The "Detroit Industry" murals (1932-1933) were conceived by Diego Rivera (1886-1957) as a tribute to the city's manufacturing base and labour force of the 1930s. Rivera completed it in 11 months and was paid a 20,000 U$ fee. Rivera's murals show the automobile manufacturing process, Coaltulicue (the Aztec goddess of creation and war), the production of the 1932 Ford V-8, personnel involved in the industry as well as managers and Henry Ford, giving all of them equal stature.


Our last expedition was to John K. King Used & Rare Books on 901 W Lafayette Blvd, holding over a million books in stock. No computer search, just browsing.


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Participants of the 2019 EXPO CHICAGO/Red Bull Arts Global Curatorial Initiative, Chicago and Detroit, 18–23 September 2019


Photo: Latitudes. 

Latitudes has been invited to join EXPO CHICAGO’s Curatorial Exchange programme. This year their visitor programme has been expanded with the introduction of the Red Bull Arts Global Curatorial Initiative, taking place surrounding the eighth annual exposition between September 18–23, 2019. 


The 2019 Curatorial Exchange will bring ten curators working in countries including Brazil (supported by Red Bull Arts Detroit), Canada (supported by the Consulate General of Canada in Chicago), Denmark (supported by the Ministry of Culture of Denmark and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark), Italy (supported by the Italian Cultural Institute in Chicago), the Netherlands (supported by the Dutch Culture USA program by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York) and Spain (supported by Red Bull Arts Detroit).

Participants:

Iben Bach Elmstrøm, independent curator, Copenhagen (Denmark).
Marcella Beccaria, Chief Curator and Curator of Collections Castello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea Rivoli, Torino (Italy)
Zippora Elders, Curator and Artistic Director, Kunstfort Vijfhuizen (the Netherlands)
Bas Hendrikx, Artistic Director, Kunsthalle Amsterdam, Amsterdam (the Netherlands)
Jaimie Isaac, Curator of Indigenous and Contemporary Art, Winnipeg Art Gallery (Canada)
Sarah Robayo Sheridan, Curator, Art Museum at University of Toronto (Canada)
María Inés Rodríguez, Curator-at-Large, Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP) (Brazil)
Julia Paoli, Director of Exhibitions & Programs, Mercer Union, Toronto (Canada)
Roberta Tenconi, PirelliHangarBicocca Curator (Italy)
Max Andrews and Mariana Cánepa Luna, Latitudes Co-Founders, Barcelona (Spain).

Conceived as a two-part professionalisation and cultural immersion programme, the Red Bull Arts Global Curatorial Initiative provides 2–4 of the invited curators the opportunity to participate in EXPO CHICAGO’s 2019 Curatorial Exchange programme, followed by the opportunity to visit Detroit (September 21-23) and engage the city’s artists, galleries and institutions in an effort to foster dialogue between global cultures and the greater Midwest.

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Cover Story – March-April 2019: Icelandic refraction


Latitudes' home page www.lttds.org

The March-April 2019 Monthly Cover Story “Icelandic refraction” is now up on Latitudes' homepage: www.lttds.org

“It has been speculated that Icelandic spar was at one time used for navigational purposes,” reflects curator Becky Forsythe. Her account of a short Reykjavík day spent with artist Þorgerður Ólafsdóttir is the latest episode of Incidents (of Travel), the series edited by Latitudes and produced by Kadist.”


—> Continue reading
—> After April 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:

  • Archive of Monthly Cover Stories
  • Cover Story–February 2019: Schizophrenic Machine (1 February 2019)
  • Cover Story—January 2019: “Seesaw” (7 January 2019)
  • Cover Story—December 2018: "Treasures! exhibitionism! showmanship!" 1 December 2018
  • Cover Story—November 2018: "Joan Morey—postmortem judgement reenactment" 1 November 2018
  • Cover Story–October 2018: "I can’t take my eyes off you: Eulàlia Rovira and Adrian Schindler" 1 October 2018
  • Cover Story–September 2018: Harald Szeemann’s travel sculpture, 10 September 2018
  • Cover Story–August 2018: Askeaton Joyride, 2 August 2018
  • Cover Story–July 2018: No Burgers for Sale 2 July 2018
  • Save the date: 13 September, 6–9pm. Latitudes-curated exhibition ‘Cream cheese and pretty ribbons!’, Galerie Martin Janda, Vienna, 21 June 2018
  • Cover Story—June 2018: Near-Future Artworlds Curatorial Disruption Foresight Group, 4 June 2018
  • Cover Story – May 2018: Shadowing Roman Ondák, 7 May 2018 

Cover Story–September 2018: Harald Szeemann’s travel sculpture

Latitudes' home page www.lttds.org


The September 2018 Monthly Cover Story "Harald Szeemann's travel sculpture" is now up on Latitudes' homepage: www.lttds.org

"Summer vacations have a habit of turning into busman’s holidays in Latitudes' agenda. Undoubtedly the Swiss curator phenomenon Harald Szeemann (1933–2005) also often sensed or engineered, that trips for pleasure and travel for research and work would inevitably dovetail. Museum of Obsessions, a fascinating but flawed exhibition dedicated to his life and work has just closed at Kunsthalle Bern (it will tour to Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Castello di Rivoli, and the Swiss Institute, New York)."

—> Continue reading
—> After September 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:


  • Archive of Monthly Cover Stories
  • 1 Diciembre, 20:30h: Latitudes introducirá el documental italiano "Harald Szeemann. Appunti sulla vita di un sognatore" (2016) 27 noviembre 2017
  • Cover Story–August 2018: Askeaton Joyride 2 August 2018
  • Cover Story–July 2018: No Burgers for Sale 2 July 2018
  • Cover Story—June 2018: Near-Future Artworlds Curatorial Disruption Foresight Group 4 June 2018
  • Cover Story – May 2018: "Shadowing Roman Ondák" 7 May 2018 
  • Cover Story – April 2018: "Cover Story—April 2018: Dates, 700 BC to the present: Michael Rakowitz" 3 April 2018
  • Cover Story – March 2018: "Armenia's ghost galleries" 6 March 2018
  • Cover Story – February 2018: Paradise, promises and perplexities 5 February 2018
  • Cover Story – January 2018: I'll be there for you, 2 January 2018

A report from the symposium 'How Institutions Think' organised by the LUMA Foundation and CCS Bard College, Arles, 24–27 February 2016

All photographs: Latitudes.

[The following text was originally published on Frieze Blog on 9 March 2016].

Co-presented by the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College with the LUMA Foundation, the four-day symposium ‘How Institutions Think’ [pdf of the programme] met to reconsider the habits and rhetorics of contemporary art institutions and curatorial practice. The event, held at the Parc des Ateliers, Arles, from 24–27 February, was developed in partnership with a long list of collaborators (Valand Academy of Arts, Gothenburg, Sweden; Afterall Books and the Exhibition Histories programme at Saint Martins, London, UK; Goldsmiths, London; the V-A-C Foundation, Moscow; and de Appel art centre, Amsterdam).

Taking its title from the 1986 book by British anthropologist Mary Douglas, the symposium played out on the site of the future LUMA Arles, a 20-acre former railway yard that includes a new building designed by Frank Gehry scheduled to open in summer 2018 as exhibitions spaces, archives, residency and study facilities, as well as a restaurant, hotel and park. Introduced by CCS Bard’s Paul O’Neill and LUMA founder Maja Hoffmann, the presentations were hosted in the recently-restored L’Atelier des Forges spaces in the middle of this construction site. O’Neill took the work-in-progress status outside as an invitation for the more than 30 speakers and around 150 delegates to debate not only what the future of art institutions in general might be, but more immediately, how new ways of operating could underpin this nascent institution in the south of France. 

LUMA Arles is located in the former railway yards of Arles and includes a new building designed by Frank Gehry and the renovation of the industrial buildings on the Parc des Ateliers by Selldorf Architects.

Yet what transpired was something far more pervasive. An amplification of the noun ‘institution’ and the verb ‘instituting’ soon engulfed not only a discussion of art and academic establishments, but law, governance, and the psyche of the French state, post-November 2015 Paris attacks. The grim predicament of a Europe in the depths of the refugee crisis – as the symposium took place, at the other end of the country, Calais’s ‘Jungle’ camp was being dismantled – became the lens for considering nothing less than the spectral institution that is Western European colonial imperialism. In the first evening’s fragmented keynote by Zahia Rahmani, the writer and historian gave an account of the ‘Made in Algeria’ exhibition of colonial cartography she has curated for the MuCEM museum in Marseilles. She argued that we cannot plausibly think about the future of any institution without confronting the terrible failures and opprobrious injustices of the past, most glaringly what she characterised as the ‘toxicity’ of Western Europe’s colonial system. 


Céline Condorelli's 'All our tomorrows' (2015) hanging curtain.

‘Is institution building still desirable?’ wondered artist Céline Condorelli in her presentation the following day as she evoked All our tomorrows (2015), her installation that humbly corralled the symposium’s setting, comprised a large hanging curtain inspired by the ‘poor architecture’ of Lina Bo Bardi’s SESC Pompéia, the social and cultural centre established in São Paulo. 

Reflecting on his own transformative experiences made while directing the 2014 edition of the São Paulo Biennial, Charles Esche – Director of the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, Netherlands – astutely articulated both the decisiveness of Western Imperialism’s poisonous effect on the rest of the world, and the nervousness about whether anyone can even venture to be hopeful about the future. Esche persuasively argued that Western museums must make decolonialisation fundamental to their missions and no longer a marginal issue by analysing the entrails of neoliberalism’s ‘dogged persistence’ and, soothsayer-like, intuitively sensing the ‘weak signals’ of a more just politics.
 
 Question from Mick Wilson, artist, educator and Head of the Valand Academy of Arts, University of Gothernburg, Sweden, and moderatior of one of the sessions.  

Attendees gather outside the symposium venue at the Parc des Ateliers.

Sociologists Luc Boltanski and Arnaud Esquerre spoke of France’s deep investment in what they termed the ‘economy of enrichment’ in observations that were particularly prickly given the art-destination place-making unfolding on the very site of the symposium. They submitted that the luxury brands that dominate the image of the country abroad enjoy a close but officially-unacknowledged complicity with heritage and culture. They argue that this compound myth of the French art de vivre accounts for the country consistently being the globe’s most visited tourist destination, yet also that, less innocuously, France’s defiance of normative economic rules about price and value make it both a haven for inequality as well as unusually susceptible to instability. Put candidly, the presence of refugee and terrorists is not conducive to tourism and handbag sales. Later, speaking about ‘turbo-fascism’ and a transition to ‘necropolitics’ (a term coined by philosopher Achille Mbembe regarding the politics of sovereignty over life and death), philosopher Marina Gržinić contended that we are living in a time of war in which our institutions battle to preserve this ‘good life’ at any cost. 

Céline Condorelli, Artist, Professor at Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti, Milan, and Founding Co-Director Eastside Projects, in conversation with Helena Reckitt, Senior Lecturer in Curating at Goldsmiths, University of London.  
 Clémentine Deliss, Independent Curator and Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Study (Wissenschaftskolleg).

Turning more specifically to art’s institutions, independent curator and editor Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez argued that they are so often so deeply implicated in an economy of precarity that they spawn new toothless art forms of ‘safe participation’ and ‘soft interactivity’. ‘Stubborn’ institutions thus appeared to be both the problem and the solution. Accordingly, Clémentine Deliss – recently dismissed as the Director of the Weltkulturen Museum in Frankfurt – delivered a scorching critique of the racism and intransigence persisting in ethnographic museums founded in the 19th century, particularly in Germany and France. She characterised how the hundreds of thousands of objects ‘salvaged’ from the frontline of the colonial project are now trapped in a legislative embargo, reduced to little more than dormant entries on databases. Access to these hoards of material culture and their restitution is critical she asserted, yet young curators are too afraid to deal with them – contemporary art offers an easier ride. 

In the context her work directing the SBG Gallery in Montréal, Canada, curator Pip Day discussed Canada’s settler-colonialist legacy, the evasions allowed by conceiving of decolonization as merely a metaphor, and her advocacy of the work of First Nation artists such as Maria Hupfield. Bassam El Baroni, an independent curator based in Alexandria, Egypt, later presented a paper that threaded a bewilderingly dense route through a tangle of cognitive philosophy and ‘prometheanism’. Yet Day’s case studies, as well as those discussed by Mélaine Bouteloup, curator of Paris’s Bétonsalon, regarding the recently opened Villa Vassilieff which is now the second site of that institution, helped to link such abstraction to more practical curatorial and artistic thinking-in-action that addresses the past while creating new knowledge. 

Gehry’s LUMA building will comprise presentation and exhibition spaces, archive, library, offices, seminar rooms, artist-in-residence facilities, café-restaurant and hotel and is due to open in summer 2018.

Yet it was through the presentations by writer Dave Beech and especially architect Keller Easterling that the symposium actually approached something resembling a strategy to address what had been almost uniformly painted as the shameful, broken state of the contemporary institution. According to both Beech and Easterling, we should be paying keener attention to infrastructure rather than institution per se. Following her book Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space (2014) Easterling’s bruising and exhilarating contention was that an enveloping urban medium (including preposterous towers, mall sprawl, special-trade-zone legal lacunae) defies consideration as a thing and is better thought of as a global operating system, a ‘disposition’ that thrives on saying one thing and doing quite another. 

Ljublijanan philosopher, theoretician and artist Marina Gržinić; writer and professor Dave Beech and curator and theorist Simon Sheikh.

At the start of the symposium artist Liam Gillick – one of LUMA’s luminary consultants alongside Tom Eccles, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Philippe Parreno and Beatrix Ruf – had asked somewhat rhetorically, ‘can an institution be thought collectively on this scale?’ It was clearly not only Charles Esche who looked out at the spine of what will be a 24,000 square metre Frank Gehry-designed tower and noticed that the institution’s die was cast already – and thanks to an architect long synonymous with the art museum as an importunate form of trophy. Following Keller’s strategic spatial repertoire of ‘counterbalances’, ‘interplays’, ‘toggles’, ‘incentives’ and ‘ratchets’, as well as her talk of heeding the dynamics of joke-telling or dough-tending, she implied that if we are going to formulate a resilient future for art institutions, we had better start feeling our way – and get a whole lot more canny. 


Max Andrews is a contributing editor of frieze and, with Mariana Cánepa Luna, runs Latitudes, an independent curatorial office based in Barcelona, Spain.
– 

 LUMA Foundation spaces under construction.

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Report from Bordeaux: Visit to CAPC/Musée d'Art Contemporain's shows of Franz Ehrard Walther and the group show "Ce qui ne sert pas s'oublie"

 Views of Franz Erhard Walther's show "Le Corps décide" from CAPC's mezzanine.

The exhibition 'Franz Erhard Walther: Le Corps décide' was initiated by WIELS Centre d’Art Contemporain, in Brussels – see a video of its iteration here – and has been co-produced together with CAPC musée d'art contemporain in Bordeaux, alongside The Franz Erhard Walther Foundation. The exhibition is accompanied by a beautiful publication that includes brightly colored pop up shapes that spread throughout the book. 

From Wiels' website... "Franz Erhard Walther’s exhibition offers an in-depth look at an influential German artist whose pioneering work straddles minimalist sculpture, conceptual art, abstract painting, and performance all while positing fundamental questions about the conventional idea of the artwork as an immutable, obdurate pedestal or wall-bound thing. Bringing together pivotal works made between the 1950s and the present, this exhibition focuses on Walther’s ability to transform notions of object-hood and perception through drawings, paintings, fabric sculptures, participatory forms, language-based works, photographic documentation and archival material."



On the second floor, CAPC just opened 'Ce qui ne sert pas s’oublie' (What Cannot be Used is Forgotten) (22 January–3 May 2015) a group show curated by Mexico-based Colombian-born curator Catalina Lozano, that includes works by Mathieu K. Abonnenc, Sven Augustijnen, Mariana Castillo Deball, Sean Lynch, Pauline M’Barek, Museo Comunitario del Valle de Xico, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Uriel Orlow, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz and Jorge Satorre.

The exhibition "deals with the mutating statuses of objects in relation to the possible historical narratives, especially those related to colonial past an present and the layers of cultural, spiritual and identity production that stem from them. Objects carry a wealth of immaterial aspects in and around their materiality, constituted by means of the relations they form with others, both human and non-human... This exhibition seeks to understand how our relation to the material world entails endless processes of assimilation, acculturation, re-appropriation, ritualisation which in their complexity whiteness and embody the historical binds in which they are caught." [this and following quotations describing each work are taken from the exhibition leaflet].

The exhibition is accompanied by a French/Spanish publication (Les Presses du Réel, 2015) with contributions by Mathieu K. Abonnenc, Mariana Castillo Deball, Catalina Lozano, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz and Jorge Satorre.

Entrance to the group exhibition "Ce qui ne sert pas s'oublie".


The first room of the exhibition featured 'Killing Pots' (2013–14), a series of sculptural works by Jorge Satorre (1979, Mexico). Information about these pieces can be found in this extensive text by curator Caterina Riva.


 
Sean Lynch (1978, Ireland), 'A blog-by-blow account of stone-carving in Oxford', (2014) an installation composed of photographs, sculptures and a video projection "exploring the oeuvre of nineteenth-century stone-carvers John and James O’Shea, who carved monkeys, cats, owls and parrots on buildings in Oxford and Dublin."

Sean Lynch, 'A blog-by-blow account of stone-carving in Oxford' (2014). 


(Left) 'Nocturne' (2015) a video by Beatriz Santiago Muñoz (1972, Puerto Rico); (right) Mathieu K. Abonnenc (1977, French Guyana) 'Sas titre (des corps entassés'), (2012) and 'Names and surnames' (2012-13).


(Left) Sven Augustijnen (1970, Belgium) series of photographs 'L'Histoire Belge' (2007) "question the monumentality of Belgium's history and any optimistic relation to its past, including its colonial incursions in Africa"; (right) 'Nocturne' (2015) a video by Beatriz Santiago Muñoz (1972, Puerto Rico) focusing on syncretic religions from the Caribbean, namely Haitian Vodou, characterised by the flexibility they show towards drastic change, be it geographical, social, material or natural".

  (Detail of) Sven Augustijnen (1970, Belgium) series of photographs 'L'Histoire Belge' (2007).


General view of the exhibition. (Right wall) Museo Comunitario del Valle de Xico (Community Museum of the Xico Valley), a community organisation founded in 1996 "entrusted with the safeguard and display of pre-colonial remains found by the neighbours of the locality over the past few decades."


(Above) Detail of Mariana Castillo Deball (1975, Mexico) "Le Problème de Molyneux" (2001) "addressing the immediacy of experiencing an object without seeing it and the subjective construction of its image".

Room with "Showcase" (2012), "Rope" (2013), "Trophy stands" (2011) and "Semiophores" (2013), all works by Pauline M'barek (1979, Germany).


(Above) Wendelien van Oldenborgh (1972, The Netherlands), "La Javaise" (2012). "Shot in the former Colonial Institute in Amsterdam, explores the links between colonialism and globalisation through the example of Vlisco, a Dutch firm producing textiles for the African market."



The show closes with two works produced in 2007 by Uriel Orlow (1973, Switzerland): "Lost Wax" and "A Very Fine Cast (110 Years)". The first deals with the production of brass-casting artifacts in Benin City, Nigeria, produced via this already out of use technique. The latter (below) is a series of 28 engravings displaying descriptions of artifacts from museum cataloging systems, revealing the racist and colonial narratives that lie within the looted objects that are now part of European museum collections.




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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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