Longitudes

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.

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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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