Longitudes

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.

dOCUMENTA (13) artists and Latitudes

dOCUMENTA (13) continues in Kassel until 16 September 2012. Over the years we've had the pleasure to work with many of the featured artists in various ways, from commissions to symposia, to interviews. Here's a partial view of dOCUMENTA (13) through the projects of Latitudes.

Amy Balkin's work in the Friedericianum documents her attempt to have the world's atmosphere added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. Latitudes presented an earlier iteration of this work, Public Smog (2004-ongoing), in Greenwashing. Environment: Perils, Promises and Perplexities at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin in 2008. She also contributed to Land, Art: A Cultural Ecology Handbook with her This is the Public Domain Project (2003–ongoing).



Amy Balkin's 'The is the Public Domain', in Land, Art: A Cultural Ecology Handbook. Photo: Robert Justamante. Courtesy: Latitudes.


Both Greenwashing and Land, Art also included the work of Maria Thereza Alves (whose work about Lake Chalco in Mexico City is included in the Ottoneum), the latter with the text 'No Brazil Without Us' by Alves, together with another dOCUMENTA (13) artist, Jimmie Durham. Latitudes also presented Alves' work 'The Sun' (2006, 5'03") in the 2008 film programme ‘A Stake in the Mud, A Hole in the Reel. Land Art's Expanded Field 1968–2008', which began at the Museo Tamayo in Mexico City and toured to eight more venues between April and October 2008. The film features the story of Viganella in the Italian Alps, a small village surrounded by a steep valley that does not allow any direct sunlight during the winter months. Viganella's 200 inhabitants decided to place a large computer-operated mirror at a strategic angle on the south-facing slope on the mountainside in order to reflect the sun on the village’s main piazza.

Mariana Castillo Deball – as uqbar, with Irene Kopelman – was one of the four exhibitions in Latitudes' 2009 series Amikejo at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León (MUSAC), León, Spain: "a psychedelic chiral ecosystem, featuring hanging papier-mâché epiphyte sculptures and ... fables among non-humans and drawings of hybrid creatures”. Castillo Deball was also part of our film programme What are we going to do after we’ve done what we’re going to do next?, for The Uncertainty Principle, at MACBA, Barcelona in June 2009, a project which functioned as a 'trailer' for Sequelism Part 3: Possible, Probable, or Preferable Futures, the exhibition we curated with Nav Haq at Arnolfini, Bristol, 18 July–20 September 2009. Both the latter projects featured Castillo Deball's Nowhere was Tomorrow (2007) her film which weaves the stories of a defunct accelerating ageing machine, a sprawling fig tree and the remains of a Roman bath in Serbia. 


Mariana Castillo Deball, 'It rises or falls depending on whether you're coming or going. If you are leaving, it's uphill; but as you arrive it's downhill', 2006. 'Extraordinary Rendition', NoguerasBlanchard, Barcelona, 22 March – 19 May 2007. Photo: Robert Justamante. Courtesy: Latitudes.

Extraordinary Rendition, which took place at NoguerasBlanchard, Barcelona, 22 March–19 May 2007, included Castillo Deball's installation It rises or falls... (2006) in which she revisited a popular legend around the looting and transportation of the colossal stone statue of Tláloc to the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City in a series of lithographs. These were presented in parallel with a selection of audio interviews with antique dealers in Amsterdam and Barcelona, who discussed their profession's role in the creation of value, and the uncertainties of the market. Roman Ondák, whose work appears in the Neue Galerie at dOCUMENTA (13) was also part of Extraordinary Rendition with the work Untitled (Traffic), 2001, as was Natascha Sadr Haghighian (whose work in Kassel can be found on a slope of the Karlsaue park), here with the short video Embargo Embargo (2003) and the sound installation Elsewhere 3 (2005/7).

Mario Garcia Torres's film Abandoned and Forgotten Land Works That Are Not Necessarily Meant To Be Seen As Art (2004) was – alongside Francis Alÿs – a part of the Latitudes' film programme A Stake in the Mud, A Hole in the Reel. Land Art's Expanded Field 1968–2008, which premiered at the Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, Mexico, in April 2008, before a seven-venue tour in Europe. Judith Hopf & Deborah Schamoni's Hospital Bone Dance (2005) was part of X, Y, etc.! a video programme made for Artissima 15 in 2008 which was motivated by the methodological project of Charles Fort, while an article about Emily Jacir by Greg Barton featured in The Last Newspaper (The Last Express).

Renata Lucas's work at dOCUMENTA (13) imagines a fictional monument underneath Kassel. She was one of the four artist tutors who led a week-long workshop during Campus, the unaccredited art school directed by Latitudes for the Espai Cultural Caja Madrid Barcelona in summer 2011.


'Emergencies and Risk' seminar at the Sharjah Biennial 8 symposium. Michael Rakowitz with Susi Platt (Architecture for Humanity's leading post-Tsunami reconstruction designer, Sri Lanka) and Mehdi Sabet (Associate Professor, Architecture & Interior Design, School of Architecture and Design, AUS). Photo: Latitudes.

Michael Rakowitz
led a seminar on 'Emergencies and Risk' as part of the three-day symposium Latitudes organized for the 8th Sharjah Biennial, the United Arab Emirates in April 2007. An interview with Rakowitz by MoMA Ps1 curator Peter Eleey – entitled 'We Sell Iraqi Dates' – featured in UOVO/14 Ecology, Luxury & Degradation, which Latitudes guest edited in summer 2007. (UOVO/14 also includes an article by dOCUMENTA (13) Core Agent Chus Martínez on Arturas Raila).


Lawrence Weiner's work for dOCUMENTA (13) is inscribed on the glass wall in the Rotunda of the Fridericianum "brain". In 2008, Latitudes presented a new project with Weiner in Barcelona's Fundació Suñol entitled THE CREST OF A WAVE. On 9 September 2012, 7pm, Latitudes will be reading Weiner's "008: Lawrence Weiner: IF IN FACT THERE IS A CONTEXT" as part of dOCUMENTA (13) "Readers’ Circle: 100 Notes–100 Thoughts".


  Gustav Metzger's RAF/ Reduce Art Flights. Photo: Latitudes.

Gustav Metzger's RAF/ Reduce Art Flights project was implemented and presented as part of Greenwashing. Environment: Perils, Promises and Perplexities at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin in 2008, and later included in the 2009 exhibition 'Gustav Metzger, Decades 1959–2009' at the Serpentine Gallery in London. Serpentine Gallery curator Sophie O'Brien wrote this feature on Metzger for Latitudes' project The Last Newspaper (The Last Monitor). 

During The Dutch Assembly at ARCOmadrid 2012, Kunstverein Amsterdam's 'KV Auction' event was hosted by Gabriel Lester, whose Music for Department Stores (2012) can be found (or rather listened to) in Kassel's Kaufhaus. Lester has a further work in the vast Karlsaue Park – Transition 2012 (2012) – which also hosts the work of Maria Loboda. Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes & des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne, at Meessen De Clercq, Brussels, Belgium, 25 February–16 April 2011 included Loboda as one of its five artists. She presented two works which incorporated printed fabric patterns inspired by the designs of Sonia Delaunay, Lotte Frömmel-Fochler and Mitzi Friedmann-Otten. Furthermore, The Dutch Assembly at ARCOmadrid 2012 also featured Rabih Mroué as the guest of BAK, Utrecht.


Tue Greenfort, Untitled, installation of 3 transparent-sided Eurobins outside the exit ramp of Frieze Art Fair, Regents Park, London, October 2008. Photo: Latitudes

Also in the Karlsaue Park is The Worldly House, a multispecies archive project put together by Tue Greenfort. Latitudes collaborated with Greenfort on several occasions, notably for a public-realm commission in London in conjunction with the Royal Society of Arts, and through contributions to the magazine UOVO/14, the exhibition Greenwashing, and the publication Land, Art: A Cultural Ecology Handbook. The latter two projects also included works by Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla. (And in addition, dOCUMENTA (13) artists Francis Alÿs, Brian Jungen and Natascha Sadr Haghighian also featured in Land, Art.)

Haris Epaminonda and Daniel Gustav Cramer's work at dOCUMENTA (13) take over two floors and the attic of an office building behind the Hauptbahnhof. 'The Garden of Forking Paths', which Latitudes presented at Maisterravalbuena, Madrid, 28 May–31 July 2009, featured the duo's The Infinite Library (2007–ongoing), a seemingly arbitrary archive of spliced publications. Elsewhere in the Hauptbahnhof 'constellation' Lara Favaretto's Momentary Monument IV (2012) comprised a dramatic mass of scrap metal. Mariana Cánepa Luna's interview with Favaretto was published in UOVO 16, January 2008 (pdf here). Haegue Yang was the subject of an interview by Doryun Chong in UOVO/14, Ecology, Luxury & Degradation.


Haegue Yang on the cover of 'The Last Star-Ledger' as part of 'The Last Newspaper', New Museum, New York, 2010. Photo: Latitudes
Yang was also our cover star for The Last Newspaper's The Last Star-Ledger, as well as presenting a major installation as part of Sequelism Part 3: Possible, Probable, or Preferable Futures, Arnolfini, Bristol. (You can download a pdf of Max Andrews's 2009 essay for 'Towards Haegue Yang’s Blind Rooms', published in Haegue Yang. Symmetric Inequality / Desigualdad Simétrica, Sala Rekalde, in English or Español. Sticking with writings, you can check out Andrews's essay on Dora García for Frieze here).


Ines Schaber, Picture Mining. In The Last Newspaper's The Last Gazette, 2010. Photo: Joel Stillman.

Ayreen Anastas and Rene Gabri – as eXplo – spoke at the symposium Latitudes put together for 'Art, Ecology and the Politics of Change', Sharjah Biennial 8, United Arab Emirates, in April 2007. Last but not least, Ines Schaber's work at dOCUMENTA (13) explores the history of the former monastery, workhouse, and correctional facility at Breitenau. For The Last Newspaper's The Last Gazette, Schaber presented Picture Mining, her research into Lewis Hine in the context of the Corbis archive, housed in a former mine in Pennsylvania.

Read our report dOCUMENTA (13), with photos and critics' comments. Full photo tour here.



All photos: Latitudes | www.lttds.org (unless credited otherwise in the caption)

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Latitudes' "out of office" photo album 2011–2012

This is the fourth consecutive year (see 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 posts) we say goodbye to the 2011–12 season with an 'out of office' post with some unseen and 'behind the scenes' moments lived in the past 11 months. 

Happy holidays/felices vacaciones readers! More Latitudes' via Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/LTTDS) and Twitter (@LTTDS). 

– Latitudes | www.lttds.org


22 September 2011: Back to the future. transfering the mp3 file of the new anthem commissioned by Fermín Jiménez Landa onto a cassette. Images of their show here.

21 September 2011: Lee Welch and Fermín Jiménez Landa talk about their show to MUSAC's staff.

21 September 2011: Newly framed works by Lee Welch (top left) and photos by Fermín Jiménez Landa (right).

22 September 2011: Watching concrete dry (Lee Welch and Fermín Jiménez Landa's exhibition plinths/bordermarks).

23 September 2011: Final rehearsal of La Cena band in the Laboratorio 987 space. Opening performance of 'Himno Nacional' here.

 Permission to parade through the streets and squares of León's centre on the 24th September.

  24 September 2011: Fermín Jiménez Landa (camera) Lee Welch (video recording) the "Himno Nacional" 'pasacalles' parade around the streets of León.
 12 October 2011: Finding 'The Last Newspaper' displayed at Walter König's bookstore while browsing for nice books during Frieze Art Fair, London.

13 November 2011: Jorge Satorre fixing one of the posters of the show, before we take off to discuss his and Erick Beltráns' project 'Modelling Standard', an interview that was published in the February issue of Atlántica magazine.

January 2012: Testing, testing... 'The Dutch Assembly' programme available for smartphones.

 18 January: "Café con...Latitudes". Informal talk with Hangar artists-in-residence. Photo: Hangar. Latitudes has been part of Hangar's Programming Comitee between 2010–13.

31 January 2012: Premis GAC 2012 award ceremony at MACBA's atrium. Mariana Cánepa of Latitudes' was part of this year's jury.

2 February 2012: "...y desde el 'backstage'" (leer aquí) de Vanessa Graell en el suplemento 'Tendències', El Mundo.

6 February 2012: Demonstration to pressure politicians to change their minds about stopping the plan for the Canòdrom to be the future Centre of Contemporary Art in Barcelona. The windows were whitewashed as it is done with unused facilities.

Artists whitewashing the Canòdrom windows. 

 12 February 2012: "Mataró Chauffeur Service" mangled at Matadero, Madrid.

13 February 2012, ARCOmadrid: Installing vinyls and posters for each of the The Dutch Assembly hourly talks, readings, artists presentations, performances, book launches, in conversations and screenings throughout the five days of the fair. See list here (and some audiorecordings). Download full programme details here.

'The Dutch Assembly' was well connected.


13 February 2012: The Dutch Assembly 'Superstructure' space by Jasper Niens and Thijs Ewalts. On the picture, the choir performance 'Care' by Rory Pilgrim, presented by De Hallen, Haarlem.


16 February 2012: Latitudes introducing Ann Demeester, Director, and Nathalie Hartjes, coordinator of the Gallerist Programme at De Appel, presented a round table discussion with (left to right): Jeanine Hofland (Jeanine Hofland Contemporary Art, Amsterdam), Rebeca Blanchard (NoguerasBlanchard, Barcelona) and Helga de Alvear (Helga de Alvear, Madrid) around the profession of the gallerist. Photo: Haco de Ridder.

Álvaro Calleja profiles The Dutch Assembly: "Un Puente entre dos naciones'/'a bridge between two nations" en el  ABCDArco, 16 February 2012.


February: At last...Lara Almarcegui's monograph is here! Edited by Latitudes. 

 16 March: Good morning Sharjah! Part one of the March Meeting report here.

Sharjah lunch with curator and 'El Cultural' critic, Javier Hontoria.

17 March: Latitudes' presentation on residencies (for artists and curators) during Sharjah's fifth March Meeting, which focused on 'Working with Artists and Audiences on Commissions and Residencies'. Latitudes' panel titled "Minding the Gap: the Critical Role of Smaller Organisations" had presentations by Hu Fang (Vitamin Creative Space, China) and Daniella Rose King (MASS Alexandria, Egypt), and was chaired by Samar Martha (ArtSchool Palestine, Palestine). More photos here. Photo: Posted during the conference on the Twitter account of @lamyaalsuwaidi

Glitzy souvenirs from Dubai, anyone? See more images of Dubai's trip.

 23 March 2012: Last day in the Emirates. Visiting Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, one of the world's largest mosques. Read more on our trip to the Emirates on the blog (part 1, part 2 and part 3). 

 29 March (29M): General Strike in Spain. Many more demonstrations to come...

22 April: One of this year's exhibitions highlights: Xavier Le Roy's "Retrospective" at Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona. On the finissage, children almost stole the show joining performers.


Here, father (performer) and son, performing together in the finissage.

10 April 2012: The happy moment of receiving copies of a Amikejo, a book we have been working on most of the winter. See images of the book here.

31 May: Manifesta 9 curator Cuauhtémoc Medina with artist Jeremy Deller. See Latitudes' photo report of Manifesta 9.

31 May: With Lara Almarcegui while she explains her work included in Manifesta 9, Genk. (see more pictures of Manifesta 9, here).

2 June: Visit to the drielandenpunt for a remote book launch. This is the apex of the triangle-shaped borders of what was Amikejo.

2 June: Friends that come to a booklaunch in a remote place, the drielandenpunt ("Three-Country Point") in Dutch, or Dreiländereck ("Three-Country Corner") in German, or Trois Frontières ("Three Borders") in French." More images here. Photo: Klaas van Gorkum

 6 June 2012: Welcome to Germany! Brussels–Kassel train journey. A little German snack at Köln's Hauptbahnhof.

 6 June: A German, a Dane and and English man meet and greet in a square. (gallerist Johann König, artist Tue Greenfort and Max Andrews' of Latitudes in Friedrichtplatz, Kassel). See Latitudes' documenta (13) photo report here.

7 June: Launch of Maria Loboda's book at Karlsaue Park with music, smoke and a pyramid of ice with 750 litres of champagne. See Latitudes' documenta (13) photo report here.

9 June: "Spain is dead" sign posted opposite Kassel's Fridericianum the day Spanish Ministry of Economy De Guindos, announced the financial "bail out".
8 June 2012: Chance meeting with Mr Weiner and Mr Weiner's tote bag in Kassel, good memories of our 2008 'The Crest of a Wave'.

15 June: Visiting lecturers, Máster en Arte, Museología y Crítica Contemporáneas, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela. The session was preceded by an evening conference at CGAC on "The Curatorial Contract: Analogies and case studies". Photo: Pedro de Llano.

 16 June: Almejas, berberechos and cold beer in Santiago de Compostela. Galicia calidade! 



 19 July: iPad-photodocumenting Haegue Yang's piece produced for "Sense and Sustainability", Urdabai Arte 2012.

 Tangle of 2012 press and work passes.

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

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Report from Urdaibai: commission series 'Sense and Sustainability', Urdaibai Arte 2012

All photos: Latitudes | www.lttds.org 

The commission series "Sense and Sustainability", curated by Alberto Sánchez Balmisa within the framework of Urdaibai Arte 2012, and organized by the Fundación 2012 Fundazioa, was launched on 19 July (info here – in Spanish) and will remain open to the public until 23 September. It comprises ten installations developed by artists: Lara Almarcegui (Zaragoza, Spain, 1972), Liam Gillick (Aylesbury, UK, 1964), Carlos Irijalba (Pamplona, 1979), Gunilla Klingberg (Stockholm, Sweden, 1966), Maider López (Donostia, Spain, 1975), Rafael Lozano-Hemmer (México DF, México, 1967), Renata Lucas (Ribeirão Preto, Brasil, 1971), Oscar Tuazon (Tacoma, USA, 1975), Pieter Vermeersch (Kortrijk, Belgium, 1973) and Haegue Yang (Seoul, South Korea, 1971).

Launch of the project in the Playa de Laga. Left to right: Gunilla Klingberg, Haegue Yang, Maider Lopez, Alberto Sánchez Balmisa, Blanca Urgell (Consejera de Cultura), Renata Lucas, Carlos Irijalba and Lara Almarcegui.

The works are produced for and presented in different locations around the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve (in the Basque Country), including urban, industrial and natural spaces.

Below images of the works as we visited them, starting with Gunilla Klingberg's "A Sign in Space" at Playa de Laga, Ibarrangelua, a tide-depending 'drawing' performance that takes place on the beach on the following days: 19, 20, 30, 31st of July; 1, 2, 14, 15, 16, 30 and 31st of August and 14, 15th of September.
Gunilla Klingberg's "A Sign in Space" at Playa de Laga, Ibarrangelua.

 
Haegue Yang, "Tectonic Texture", Cantera de Andrabide, Gautegiz-Arteaga.

 Following an excerpt from the text "Stack of evidence: Haegue Yang" included in the publication "Sentido y Sostenibilidad – Reading" written by Max Andrews' of Latitudes (you can download the full text from Latitudes' writing archive).

"Yang’s project, for Urdaibai – entitled 'Tectonic Texture' – has its beginnings and the bulk of its physical and metaphorical investment in what is perhaps the most traditional of raw materials for artistic decoration and representation: stone. In particular she became interested in the characteristic stones of the Urdaibai region – including grey limestone and Rojo Ereño, which has been quarried in the region since at least Roman times. The latter, also known as Rojo Bilbao, is technically a recrystallised limestone which is a deep meaty red colour with whorls of grey and white which are the fossilised remains of rudists, bivalves which were the major reef builders of the tropical seas of the Cretaceous. Yang proposed a stack in which 80 cm square slabs of Rojo Ereño are alternated with slabs of grey limestone. Additionally, a mason from Urdaibai was commissioned to carve the top surface – a square sandstone plate, also from the region – with a combination of his own raised geometric designs and a series of engraved handprints like impressions left in wet concrete. The five handprints are intended to encourage people to touch the form and initiate a direct contact with the materiality of the stone. 'Tectonic Texture' is installed one of the few Ereño marble quarries in the region which has not been completely abandoned and is surrounded by the stagger-cut cliff faces where millennia of excavations have cut down below the forested surface. The sculptural material of which it is comprised originated from the same quarry. The depth of the quarry witnesses the vast displacement of rock that has taken place, and the steady transposition of a section of landscape which itself originated as ocean life approximately 100 million years ago into symbolic and cultural forms – buildings facades, altars and monuments distributed throughout the Basque country and beyond.

Yang’s work is a kind of non-sculpture – perhaps closer to a memorial or a secular shrine – which connects to a highly-specific local labour tradition, through the apparent paradox of a representation of stone that is itself stone. Its form might also suggest that it is a kind of column or pedestal for an invisible form on top of it – an expectant platform articulated through the reorganisation of the excess symbolic value found in the anthropogenic landscape where it stands. The location of the quarry is somewhat hidden within the landscape of the Urdaibai biosphere reserve, and approaching the work in its context evokes a quasi-mystical feeling despite that fact the area bears the scars of modern industry. With
'Tectonic Texture', Yang was particularly interested in this strange collision of industrial exploitation and managed nature inherent in the site, as well as the Urdaibai region’s pride in its ecological fecundity as a new kind of resource with political dimensions."  
 
Haegue Yang, "Tectonic Texture", Cantera de Andrabide, Gautegiz-Arteaga. Views of the marble quarry where Yang's piece is installed.

Oscar Tuazon, "Birds" is on the way up to San Pedro Atxarre from the district of Garteiz and Akorda, Ibarrangelua. It consists of a bench of Marquina stone with a radio system broadcasting live (Radio3) within a remote and highly environmentally-protected area.


Liam Gillick, "Faceted Revision Structure (Es una clase muy pobre de memoria que sólo funciona hacia atrás)", Fábrica de Astra, Gernika-Lumo. The remodelling project of this future production centre is still undergoing, and will be presented with a finissage at the end of the project.


Pieter Vermeersch, "Untitled" in the Polígono Industrial, Gernika-Lumo. As the artist has written, these two paitings "represent a mental landscape as a subjective mirror of my experience in this region."

Renata Lucas, "El Visitante", Calle de Santa Clara, Gernika-Lumo. The project involved the planting of a Sibipiruna (Caesalpinia Peltophoroides), a tree native from the artist's birthplace, Brazil, in close proximity to Gernika's oak tree.
 
 Renata Lucas presenting her work placed in front of Gernika's oak tree.


Lara Almarcegui, "Materiales de la montaña Peña Forua", at the Antiguos Hornos de Cal, Barrio de Atxondoa de Forua. The piece consists in the calculation of the weight of the Peña Forua mountain, an active quarry, and the display of its materials in the wall of an old lime kiln.

Following an excerpt from the text included in the publication "Sentido y Sostenibilidad – Reading" written by Mariana Cánepa Luna of Latitudes (you can download the full text from Latitudes' writing archive).

"(...) (Almarcegui's) contribution to the series consisted in nothing less than the calculation of the weight of a mountain, and the display in list form of its geological composition. The Atxondo mountain is covered by Cantabrian holm oak and was known to be mostly composed of limestone, with small percentages of clay and sandstone. Once a more detailed geological analysis was concluded, a complex series of calculations took place in collaboration with geographers and speleologists which followed a 3D modelling of the mountain using the Digital Elevation Model (DEM) technique. This calculated physical volume using algorithms and mathematical formula.The final numbers were then broken down into a simple list of each of the materials which comprised the mountain followed by their weights. This list of geological composition is finally displayed within the site itself, on the wall of an old lime kiln in a nearby abandoned quarry, so that the visitor can firstly observe the staggering mountain, navigate its perimeter, before later reading its geological composition expressed in numbers. During the difficult pre-process to the final form of the work, Almarcegui and her collaborators faced two particular challenges. Firstly, the decision as to where Atxondo actually begins and ends. Secondly, the difficulty of calculating volume in a geographical site that has many internal and external chasms and caves.  

Almarcegui deliberately chose to focus her contribution in a site of continuous change. The mountain is being eaten away through the actions of an active quarry, Forua, which is dynamited in order to extract limestone, a sedimentary rock mainly used as a building material or as aggregate for the base of roads. Some of the limestone is processed directly on site where it is turned into gravel and then taken to a facility 5 km away near Gernika which processes it into concrete. It is in this process that we can appreciate a destruction and construction cycle as it loops: the mountain becomes limestone which becomes construction material. During her investigations, Almarcegui discovered that the quarry is now exploited less frequently due to the “brick crisis”. The building sector is one of the hardest hit industries in the current Spanish recession, and the raw materials are simply no longer in high demand. The effects of the economy are therefore clearly translatable into the terms of landscape and ecology: the mountain's transformation and the pace of its destruction, goes hand in hand with the growing or bursting bubble of the construction industry."

 Almarcegui presenting her project to visitors that joined the public presentation.
View of Lara Almarcegui's site in the old lime kiln of Atxondoa, Forua - also via photosynth.

Carlos Irijalba, "High Tides", Refuge in Paresi, Busturia. Irijalba's installation in this former Republican school is an investigation of a physical terrain: the result of a geotechnical drilling that Irijalba undertook on the parking lot of the former weapon factory of Astra in Gernika. 
View of Mundaka from the Refugio in Paresi, where Carlos Irijalba's work is displayed.

Maider López, "In Situ", Nine different locations around Urdaibai. Below the coordinates in front of Mundaka's Town Hall, designating where to find the yellow tiles the artist has placed which indicate daily movements, crossings, activities that happen in the area.
López (standing on right) placed a yellow tile in the market in Gernika, where Rosario (standing on left) goes daily to sell products from her farmhouse. The rest of the stalls are only joining once a week on Monday mornings.
Another of Maider López points of encounter: this is the only fountain in Gernika with drinkable water and therefore becomes a busy hub for neighbours as they fill their bottles.
 The tile marks the journey made by a boat that connects Mundaka with Laida, saving people from having to make the 24km drive.

We are missing images (our camera collapsed! but managed to rescue a photo we took with a phone) of Rafael Lozano-Hemmer's "Regar corazonadas", placed in the Centro de Biodiversidad de Euskadi-Torre Madariaga (Busturia). The piece consisted in an interactive hose located in the garden of Torre Madariaga. The hose has a sensor attached to the sprinkler which detects the pulse and makes the water flow following the heartbeat of the person handling it. The Biodiversity Center is also the info point from where to take a map and guide (includes GPS locations) to find the projects, and also screens a 'making of' video of the project.



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Newsletter #45 – Summer 2012


Newsletter #45
http://mad.ly/c60ad2 (in English) 
http://mad.ly/32fed2 (en Español)

Latitudes' current and forthcoming projects:

#OpenCurating, BCN Producció 2012 Research Grant, throughout 2012 + info...

Facilitators of the second Nature Addicts Fund Travelling Academy, 11–15 September, Kassel. Organised within the Maybe Education and Public Programs of dOCUMENTA (13). + info...

'Projects 2005–2012 / Incidents of Travel', in La Sucursal, Casa del Lago, Mexico City, Mexico, 27 September–5 November 2012. + info...

2005–12 Newsletters here.

Tour around Ghent: TRACK, Sint-Jan and "Esta puerta pide clavo" at Galerie Tatjana Pieters


Described as "a contemporary city conversation" and "a unique art experience in the city of Ghent", TRACK enjoys the participation of around 40 artists that present (more or less) site specific works in/around the Belgium city, organised in several 'clusters' (Tondelier, Tolhuis, Macharius, Centrum, Blandijn and Citadel).

TRACK was initiated by the S.M.A.K. (it is curated by its artistic director, Philippe Van Cauteren and Mirjam Varadinis, curator at Kunsthaus Zürich) with the aim of continuing the tradition of two exhibition projects also organised by S.M.A.K.: the seminal Chambres d’Amis (curated by Jan Hoet in 1986), a show that exhibited art private houses around Ghent, and Over the Edges (2000, curated by Jan Hoet and Giacinto Di Pietrantonio), which took the idea of the corner as a starting point, or as the curators put it "the boundary between interior and exterior, between indoors and outdoors, between private and public".
Pilvi Takala's posters and a sound work on the notion of ‘lost pigeons’.

Nearby Pilvi Takala's work was the video work by Swiss artists Christina Hemauer & Roman Keller, which we sadly missed as TRACK sites are closed on Mondays. Keller & Hemauer talk about 'The Postpetrolistic Internationale' choir piece here

Their work began back in 2009 in Basel and has had iterations in Rotterdam (Latitudes' project 'Portscapes') and a year later in Aarhus, Denmark, where the piece was part of Hemauer/Keller's solo show "United Alternative Energies" (also curated by Latitudes). 'The Postpetrolistic Internationale' will be part of the group exhibition 'Ballena Negra' in late 2012 in MARCO Vigo, as part of the 10 year anniversary of the Prestige oil spill.


 Lara Almarcegui's 700m3 "Concrete Mountain" in the Tondelier cluster.
The artist speaks about her work in this video.


 Pascale Marthine-Tayou, "Le défi" (2012).

[from the website] "On 16 August 2009 the Jamaican Usain Bolt took the world record for the 10-metre sprint to an unreal 9.58 seconds. In 2012 Pascale Marthine Tayou has laid out a single-lane athletics track in the heart of the Tondelier district. Until the 1960s, this part of Ghent had been full of working industries. Although most of the factories have since been demolished or put to new use, one can even now still read the history of this neighbourhood in its eroded urban skin. Pascale Marthine Tayou’s "Le défi" is a red gravel track that comes to a dead end at a wall. It is clear how the work is to be read and used, but the consequences are ambiguous. Le défi will not be recognised as an artwork by most of the local residents. It is a playful but meditative reflection on the significance of sport, the acceptance of a challenge and the generation of social change and emancipation. In this way, Pascale Marthine Tayou has created ‘an image’ of both the global, Olympic heroism of a world record and the minor hitches facing every individual."


 Teresa Margolles' Mesa y dos bancos (Table and Two Benches), 2012 in the Tondelier cluster.

 "For TRACK [Margolles] had a public picnic bench cast in cement. She mixes this neutral substance with the water extracted from cloths that had been used to clean up the blood of victims of the Mexican drug war from the streets."
 Mekhitar Garabedian's work against the Butcher’s Hall façade.

[from the website] "‘Search and Destroy’ is not only the title of a hit by the 70s nihilistic American punk band The Stooges, but also a military strategy first employed in the Vietnam War. To Garabedian, this phrase refers to the way the history of a place is handled and the way a fracture in the past continues to torment the present."

S.M.A.K. museum façade, turned into TRACK.

The ‘Museum Graveyard’ project at Citadel Park by Leo Copers.

Due to safety reasons Danh Vo's work ‘WE THE PEOPLE’ was moved to the nearby Museum of Fine Arts, opposite S.M.A.K.

Sven Augustijnen, 'Spectres' in Citadel Park.

"The starting point for [his multi-part work] ‘Spectres’ is the murder of Patrice Lumumba a few months after his election victory in the Congo in 1960. For TRACK, Augustijnen sought in vain for the tree against which Lumumba was shot. It had probably been chopped down to make charcoal. In the Citadel Park, Augustijnen sets up an installation in which this charcoal – an indispensable source of income but also a symbolic remnant of the tree – is transported by bicycle, a ‘typically’ Congolese means of conveyance. Augustijnen deliberately located this installation near the ‘Moorken’. This small black sculpture on top of artificial rocks in the Citadel Park dates from 1888 and is a reminder of the time when the Congo was still Leopold II’s private pleasure garden. The ‘Moorken’ portrays the Congolese boy Sakala, whom the pioneer Lieven Van de Velde brought back to Belgium in 1884."

 Entrance to Galerie Tatjana Pieters at Nieuwevaart 124, Ghent

'Esta puerta pide clavo' (2 June–19 August 2012), is a group show curated by Rivet (Manuela Moscoso & Sarah Demeuse) with the participation of: Philippe van Snick, Lorea Alfaro, Rey Akdogan, June Crespo, Rubén Grilo, David Jablonowski, Lisa Oppenheim, Kiko Pérez, Asaha Schechter, Daniel Steegman-Magrané and Batia Suter.

[From the press release]

"Based on an idiom that literally translates as 'This door asks for a nail,' Esta puerta pide clavo not only highlights an economy of means that informed the making of the selected works but also emphasizes the equipment-like agency of matter over and above hermeneutics. One strand of "Esta puerta pide clavo" veers towards abstraction, possibly echoing a common language of design as well as artistic actions from the 20th-century."

Entrance to the show.

(...) "David Jablonowski's sculptures [photo above and below] awkwardly materialize and juxtapose processes of scanning with generic computer visualization, digitized archival imagery as well as what look like casts spat out by 3-D printers."



(...) "Rey Akdogan's gathering of packed and piled light filters remind of the mass-produced products that are supposedly applicable anywhere and that continue to shape our mode of perception."

"Batia Suter's enlarged and superposed scans of found printed matter turn the offset image into a sculptural object, and equally obstruct indexical readings of the photographic material."

[Floor] "Asha Schechter's sculptures (belated puns to Duchamp) take stock imagery or common designs into a formal non-communicative context that prioritizes relations between infinite background and foreground." (Background, hanging) Lorea Alfaro and (right, wall) Kiko Pérez.


(left and opposite wall) June Crespo and (right, wall) Lisa Oppenheim.

"Equally focused on intermediary material components and backgrounds in the process of photography, Lisa Oppenheim's unique photograms resemble digitally designed patterns while being the repositories of a darkroom interpretation of Victorian flower arrangements."

"The other strand insists on specificity of materials and imagery. June Crespo's precise scans provide the source material for layered sculptures that force the object-image into three-dimensionality and volume."

June Crespo, "Plegada", 2010.
Lambda print on PVC, metal rivets, plastic and spray, textile. 100x70cm.

Asha Schechter (left, floor) and (right, hanging) Lorea Alfaro.

"Kiko Pérez's murals, specifically made for this occasion and interpunctuating the entire gallery space, as well as his stacked works on paper ambiguously refer to a language of branding and re-introduce the notion of gesture within this landscape."

"Lorea Alfaro's hanging paintings stem from non-descript backdrops used in portrait photography in China."

"Taking a distinctly wide-angle, associative approach, Rubén Grilo's voracious online search for 'Hobbes' gave for a randomized PowerPoint presentation of the comic strip hero, seen from two vantage points, with excerpts from Leviathan."

"Daniel Steegmann-Mangrané's slide projection installation, born from a reprise of a Jan Dibbets photo, thrives because of the confusion between surface, depth and viewpoint inherent within the photographic image."

"Philippe van Snick's Kleurmachine, though made in the 1970s, foreshadows a similar language of generic abstraction. (...) Van Snick's photography simultaneously fuses object and processed image, similarly collapsing two- and three-dimensionality."  

Jan Hoet and Hans Martens curated Sint–Jan (until 29 July 2012), an exhibition running paralel to TRACK, in which 51 artists present their work around spirituality and religion at the Saint-Bavo's Cathedral in the center of Ghent. The artist list includes Kris Martin, Navid Nuur, Michaël Boremans, Abdel Abdessemed, Berlinde De Bruyckere, Bruce Nauman, David Adamo, Luciano Fabro, Mandla Reuter, Marlene Dumas, Wim Delvoye…

Catedral of Sint–Jan in the center of Ghent.

  Mandla Reuter (on the wall, a Rubens).

 David Adamo in one of the side chapels.

 Adel Abdessemed (in the crypt)

 Luciano Fabro (in the crypt)

All photos: Latitudes | www.lttds.org

'Sad Eis' by Sarah Ortmeyer in Meessen de Clercq and "Force Justify (Part 2)" by Lucy Skaer at Tulips & Roses, Brussels

'Sad Eis' (Sad Ice), Sarah Ortmeyer's first solo show in Meessen de Clercq (1 June–14 July 2012) is  "an exhibition on ritualized happiness" as described in the exhibition guide. 

During the opening night, the artist treated guests to liquorice, fennel and wasabi ice cream as well as cocktails made of Riesling wine with lavender ice cream

 
View of 'LASSO LADEN' - An abandoned ice cream parlor. 
Eighteen silver, black and wooden ice cream parlor stools, one silver chair and two golden locks.

 View of the installation 'SAD EIS' - Monolithic ice cream displays that look like sad, chubby teenagers.
Five ice cream cones painted in Signal White, Silk Grey, Traffic Grey A,
Traffic Grey B, Dusty Grey, Telegrey 4 and Platinum Grey.
147 x 60 x 60 cm each cone.

View of the installation of MILLI VANILLI
Formally virginally white towels covered in sweet sauce.
Organic ice cream on towel: Vanilla, Strawberry, Rasperry, Currant, Pistacchio and Mango.


MARRY ME ME - Wedding cake stands as bland and grey as an anti-rainbow.
Wedding cake stands of 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 storages.
Dimensions variable.

BOW BOUQUET - A bouquet composed of cones and exotic silk, a reminiscent of Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love’s pajama wedding.
Flowers: Purple and rosé orchids
Cones: Cono Fiore, Cono Pralinex Cocco, Cono Pralinex Bianco Grande,
Cono Pralinex Nero Grande, Big Fun, Maxi Cone and Trottole.
circa 170 x 100 cm.

LA FIN - An ice cream parlor left behind with four bar tables and one tabletop.
One tabletop and four ice cream parlor bar tables.
Dimensions variable.

KISS KUSS - A room filled with aniconic carpets and tender, empty kisses.
Carpets of different colours: grey, anthracite, beige, eggshell white.
Dimensions variable.
  
 In the Wunderkammer space: 'PETER WEISS' - A white, damp, fresh and heartbreakingly canny laundry room.
Thirty-one washed towels. 

Ortmeyer was one of the five artists that participated in Latitudes' exhibition 'Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes & des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne' that took place between February and April 2011, also at Meessen de Clercq.

Abdijstraat 2A / Rue de l'Abbaye
B-1000 Brussels
BELGIUM


Lucy Skaer's solo show 'Force Justify (Part 2)' (24 May–16 June 2012) at Tulips & Roses:
  
[From the press sheet]
The ship of fools is an archetype based on the Narrenschiff by Sebastian Brandt, a medieval book in which a ship full of fools set sai to a fools utopia Narragonia.

Starting from a woodcut illustration from the book, I have made a work that inhabits and performs the allegory. (...) First the image was carved in to the floor of the K21 museum in Düsseldorf, and a large print was made from it. The floor was then lifted and moved, rearranged and reprinted in a scrambled form. The original ballast from the Düsseldorf ship was transformed from its shape as copies of Brancusi's Newborn sculptures to instead match the tile shapes from the floor of Tulips & Roses.

This "second part of 'Force Justify' the tile pattern was again replicated in a series of woven sails, rigged up in the space giving a thwarted ability to move forward. This absurdist sense of agency is typical of the project, a series of misuses of objects and ideas to make immediately appealing stop gaps."



The Good Ship Blank and Ballast (Force Justified), 2010-2012
Woven fabric, Re-cast Aluminium (Dimensions variable)

(...) The sculptures were made out of 98 aluminium copies of Brancusi's Newborn sculpture. These copies were melted down and recast to fit the ornament of the gallery's floor. The notion of 'ballast' implies something that is shaped entirely by its function - simply being dumb weight - without any necessity of representational qualities.

Liquidity in the Mind of the Fool, 2012
Glass, Enamel on copper, Tin, Bronze, Fossils, Shells, Coins, Books (Dimensions variable).

"Liquidity in the Mind of the Fool contains small Brancusi's Newborn sculptures now tumbled and submerged in melted glass or enveloped in Tin. Visible through a melted red glass panel is the original image of the woodcut, now transformed in to a specially printed secure bank note. One of the sculptures is made up of badly minted coins, which present a balance between material and symbolic, with the validating stamp sliding from the face of the metal disc."

See images of Skaer's 'Force Justify (Part 1)', also at Tulips & Roses.

19, rue de la Clé
1000 – Brussels
BELGIUM

Images 1–9: Courtesy of Sarah Ortmeyer and Meessen de Clercq. 
Images 10–13: Courtesy of Lucy Skaer and Tulips & Roses, Brussels. 

"El triángulo y el ruido" de Diego Santomé en el Colexio de Fonseca, Santiago de Compostela


La exposición individual 'El Triángulo y el ruido' de Diego Santomé (Vigo, 1966) se articula en dos espacios del Colexio de Fonseca: la Capilla y la Sala del Artesonado. En la capilla gótica del XVII, un monumental 'Triángulo' negro de más de 7 metros de altura busca "el equilibrio mediante la tensión figura-fondo, contraponiendo el objeto en primer plano con su fondo, su contrario." (Texto curatorial de la guía.)

  

La sala opuesta, la del Artesonado acoge "Ruido", una pieza sonora en la que se escuchan "discursos pronunciados por personajes relevantes de la vida política gallega en el Parlamento de Galicia durante su ubicación en este lugar, el Salón artesonado del Colegio de Fonseca, sede parlamentaria entre 1982 y 1989. Los discursos, que suenan simultáneamente, han sido seleccionados y editados por el artista a partir del archivo sonoro del Parlamento." (descripción cartela de la exposición).

Foto y video de "Ruido" (2012). Altavoces, reproductor y sonido. 20 min. Cortesía del artista y Galería Parra & Romero, Madrid.


Poster/folleto de la exposición.

Santomé también participa en la exposición "Gravity and Disgrace", en el CGAC de Santiago de Compostela, una exposición colectiva comisariada por Miguel von Hafe Pérez.



'El Triángulo y el ruido' (6–30 Junio 2012) ha sido comisariada por los alumnos de la V edición del Máster en Arte, Museoloxía e Crítica Contemporáneas de la Universidad de Santiago de Compostela.

Rúa do Franco 
15702 Santiago de Compostela

Fotos: Latitudes | www.lttds.org 
 
Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

2 June 2012: Book launch and exploration of former Amikejo

On June 2, after having visited Manifesta 9, we took the route towards the Belgian city of Kelmis-La Calamine, nearby the German and Dutch border, where we planned to launch the 'Amikejo' publication (Mousse Publishing, 2012) later that day.
Entrance to Kelmis-La Calamine. Trying to match today with the archive material included in the publication.

"The International Office for Travelling Merchants (‘Senpaga Internacia Oficejo por Komerco-Vojagxistoj’) was located in the Bergerhoff Hotel." (Hotel Bergerhoff was located on Luikerstraat, formerly Hasardstraat, in the place which today accommodates the ‘Select’ Café in Kelmis.)" in Ryszard Żelichowski, "Neutral Moresnet and Amikejo – The Forgotten Children of the Congress of Vienna", one of the texts in 'Amikejo' (Mousse Publishing, 2012. Edited by Latitudes). 

"There were as many as 135 registered Esperantists in a population then numbering four thousand. The Esperantists enjoyed the right to have two free Esperanto lessons in a primary school on Kerkstraat, which was a present to the city from the Vieille Montagne mining company. [Mr Charles] Schriever gave four lessons of Esperanto a week for children in his house on Kapelstraat, where there was a book shop with literature in Esperanto. The house also functioned as an office for the local Esperanto group and the venue for its meetings. The Esperantists’ guest houses were marked with a green star on their facades and the caption ‘Esperanta Gasttablo’; some of them survive to this day. 

What is now Park Hotel in Kelmis, built in 1843, was once the Vieille Montagne Director’s villa. Situated in a beautiful private park and with a huge ball-room, it was presented to the Esperantists by Charles Timmerhaus, the penultimate Director of the company, in 1907." in Ryszard Żelichowski, "Neutral Moresnet and Amikejo – The Forgotten Children of the Congress of Vienna", one of the texts in 'Amikejo' (Mousse Publishing, 2012. Edited by Latitudes). 

Finding our way around Kelmis-La Calamine. 
 Welcome to Kelmis–La Calamine.
Façade of the Geuldalmuseum, Göhltalmuseum or Musée de la Vallée de la Gueule (how confusing) on Maxst. 9, Kelmis/Neu-Moresnet, Belgium. Info here. A copy of the publication 'Amikejo' (Mousse Publishing, 2012. Edited by Latitudes) was donated to the museum's archive on our visit.
 Detail of the topological map of the area. In red the Drielandenpunt, towards Aachen, where we'd be going after visiting the museum.
Map of the triangular-shapped territory of Neutral Moresnet (Amikejo) in yellow and green.
First floor: Introduction to Neutral Moresnet, the first Esperanto state. Those who spoke Esperanto wore a green star (verda stelo). In the picture avid Esperantists Dr. Wilhelm Molly and french professor Gustave Roy, who in 1908 founded the first esperanto state (Amikejo, place of friendship in Esperanto) in Neutral-Moresnet. Summary of its history here.
 Wonderful panels explaining the history of Amikejo, its streets, founders, borders, flag, postcards, maps, stamps, coins, certificates, letters, lyrics of the anthem, coat of arms...
One of the original border markers.
Views of Kelmis–La Calamine and its surroundings.
Flora and fauna of the mining area.
All sorts of graphics and mineral samples of the Limburg mining area.
Stone and mineral samples displayed on pink silk, on yellow and baby blue.
Driving towards Vaals and the Drielandenpunt and going under the viaduct.
Arrived. "The Vaalserberg is also the location of the tripoint between Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands and its summit is therefore referred to as Drielandenpunt ("Three-Country Point") in Dutch, or Dreiländereck ("Three-Country Corner") in German, or Trois Frontières ("Three Borders") in French." (from Wikipedia).
 A small mention of Neutral Moresnet (1815–1919, which in 1908 changed its name to Amikejo). Between this period, the location was a quadripoint, bordering also Neutral Moresnet. See progress of the borders here.
The Drielandenpunt today.
Vaalserberg ("Mount Vaals") is 322.7 metres hill and the highest point in the European part of the Netherlands. It used to be like this.
Visitors reading about the drienlandenpunt's history and geographical situation.
 Tower from where one can observe Germany, The Netherlands and Belgium from on high.
Behind the publication the land where Amikejo was. This might be better understood here.
The 'Amikejo' book resting on the Drielandenpunt (the apex of the triangle-shaped borders of what was Amikejo). The green lines mark the borders of Germany (whole top), The Netherlands (triangle to the left) and Belgium (to the right). 
 All images: Latitudes | www.lttds.org

Manifesta 9, "The Deep of the Modern", Genk, Belgium, 2 June – 30 September 2012 in pictures and seen by the critics

 Façade of the Waterschei industrial complex of the former coal mine in Genk where Manifesta 9 takes place.

Extra materials:  
40-page 'Shortguide' newspaper as a PDF   
Digital catalogue

In her prologue Manifesta founding director Hedwig Fijen, defines the difference and the strength of the current incarnation of the European biennial: "'The Deep of the Modern'" is the first Manifesta biennial to intentionally leave behind its strictly contemporary origins as the basis of its exhibition model. As an uncompromising European contemporary art event, Manifesta 9 distances itself from the much-hyped model of showcasing only the latest artistic production by emerging talent, typical of these mega-shows. Instead it embarks on a critical attemps to foster interdisciplinary and intergenerational dialogue between the history of the site and the sometimes overlooked memories of the mining communities."

The introduction of an art historical perspective into the project has been a way to appeal to a more diverse audience, as Cuauhtémoc Medina, Chief Curator of Manifesta 9, has noted in his introductory essay: "our hope is that the long historical perspective will attact a local audience in a region that has not customarily been a consumer of contemporary art, along with a number of scholars and the descendants of the miners that built the region."



Art Agenda's review by writer and Co-Director of Tulips & Roses gallery in Brussels, Jonas Žakaitis provides the backstory:

"Genk is a town built for the sole purpose of getting the black stuff out of the ground. Early in the last century, after geologist André Dumont discovered significant amounts of coal lurking in the area, something like 60,000 people moved in from various parts of the world to work in and around the pits, building several large-scale mining complexes with the town's modest amenities sprinkled around them. When heavy industry glaciers started moving out of Western Europe in the 1980s, Genk was left with a large useless hole right in the gut. The remaining fraction of the Waterschei mine (23,000 sq. m of it) is an involuntary witness to this process of de-industrialization, a derelict but beautiful and proud building. After Manifesta 9, or so it tells me in the press pack, it "will be redeveloped as part of a master plan to create Thor park (is this name a jolly wink to the Germanic god of thunder, I wonder), a business and science complex focusing on innovation and knowledge."

 Stairs connecting the first and second floor of the Waterschei.

Kate Sutton's Artforum.com review also framed the loaded context: "Chief curator Cuauhtémoc Medina, together with co-curators Katerina Gregos and Dawn Ades, selected the Belgian province of Limburg, “a mini European Union” also known as “Euregio-Meuse-Rhine.” The region has spent much of this century heavily dependent on coal production, but, with the last mine closing in 1992, Limburg is now eager to transition to new technology. Once a kind of Emerald City for coal miners, the garden city of Genk provides the ideal venue with its massive, Art Deco–style André Dumont mine."

Top floor of the Waterschei building.

As Javier Hontoria noted in his El Cultural review, Medina wanted to concentrate everything in the Waterschei, "favoring the concept of "exhibition" versus the "festival", and consequently emphasizing the metaphor of the vertical versus the horizontal to the light of new economic systems." (...) "The idea of ​​strata" – he continues –  "so tied to the world of mining, backbones the sense of the exhibition, which, under the title "The Deep of the Modern", unfolds in a concise and accurate way throughout the three levels of the building."

As explained in the press kit, 'The Deep of the Modern' begins with '17 Tons' "an exploration of the cultural production that has been powered by the energy of memory that courses through the diverse heirs of coal mining in the Campine region of Limburg, as well as several other regions in Europe".
  
Models of the Underground from the 1950s, 3D representations used to teach 14–17 year old boys mining techniques and location of the coal layers.
Works by Manuel Durán (an 82 yeard old self-taught artist and former miner for 19 years) who has been making "Miners' heads" sculptures since the 1950s out of potato pulp, coal, salt and paint.

 Lara Almarcegui, "Wasteland (Genk), 2004–16. More than 1 hectare of wasteland in public space." For the project, Almarcegui identified a neglected plot of land and scouted, surveyed and described the land. "Through negotiations iwth the City of Genk, Almarcegui arranged to protect the terrain from development for ten years (...). For Manifesta 9, the City of Genk agreed to extend the work for an additional two years and is currently in the planning stages of protecting it in perpetuity." (text by Steven Op de Beeck included in Manifesta 9 manual "The Deep of the Modern – A subcyclopaedia", Silvana Editoriale). Latitudes' visited the site back in 2007 (see blog here).

Continuing on the second floor we encounter 'The Age of Coal': "An art historical exhibition comprising artworks from 1800 to the early 21st century about the history of art production aesthetically related to the industrial era" (...) "organized into several thematic sections with artworks in which coal played an important role. Coal as the main fuel of industry, as a major factor of environmental change, as a fossil with significant consequences in the field of natural science, as the main referent of certain forms of working class culture and as a material symbolic of the experience of modern life". 

One of the three works by Marcel Broodthaers, "Trois tas de charbon", 1966-67.

David Hammons, "Chasing the Blue Train" (1989) "focuses on the powerpul metaphor of the railroads that have tgransformed the landscape and socity of the US since the 19th Century." (text by Mieke Mels in Manifesta's "The Deep of the Modern – A subcyclopaedia", Silvana Editoriale).

 Richard Long's 26 meter long black "Bolivian Coal Line" carpet from 1992.
 
 Rossella Biscotti, "Title One: The Taks of the Community", 2012. Biscotti also contributed with "A Conductor", 2012: On December 2009, the Unit 2 of the Ignalina Nuclear Poer Plant in Lithuania closed, consequently materials from the site were put up for auction. Biscotti acquired lead which have now been reused in Belgium into the new electrical wires to supply electricity for the show. She also acquired lead, which is the basis for her floor sculptures in the spectacular Sint-Barbara's hall.
Antonio Vega Macotela (below) Study of Exhaustion — The Equivalent of Silver (2011), "a (failed) venture to export a “boleo” of coca leaves from Bolivian silver mines represented by a boleo-shaped piece of silver, roughly the amount of silver one miner gets out in a day" (Jonas Žakaitis in Art Agenda); and Rossella Biscotti (above).

Finally on the top floor, we find the section 'Poetics of Restructuring', with "contributions from 39 contemporary artists, focusing on aesthetic responses to the worldwide “economic restructuring” of the productive system in the early 21st century". 

"This archetypal kind of socio-econo-political development from industrialization to de-industrialization to post-industrial capitalism—and the corresponding forms of production, geographies, and distributions of resources—is what Manifesta's contemporary art section, mostly on the third floor of the building, is about." (Jonas Žakaitis in Art Agenda)

Manifesta educational materials and leaflets: "developed by the Manifesta 9 Education & Mediation department. There are 3 different 3x3 Newspapers for 3 age groups (12-, 12+ and 18+), so make sure you have the right one for you."

Ni Haifeng's "Para-Production", 2008-12 (ground floor) several tons of discarted fabric from trimmings originated in Chinese factories are re-sawn into a massive tapestry; and Bea Schilgelhoff's silk-screens "I'm too Christian for art" (2012) (top floor).

 Ante Timmermans' "Make a Molehill out of a Mountain (of Work)" (2012), shelves full of packed A4′s to be manually perforated in his office space during the opening days to make a heap of confetti with the resulting paper, placed on a table at the opposite side of the room and overlooking the window that frames the also "perforated" mining mountain. This tiresome and repetitive administrative task concludes with stamping each of the perforated papers (with stamps designed by the artists) and filing them in binders placed in shelves.

 Ante Timmermans' "Make a Molehill out of a Mountain (of Work)" (2012).

 View of the landscape from Ante Timmermans' space and the remaining Waterschei building (not in use).

Goldin + Senneby's "The decapitation of Money", 2010. From the exhibition newspaper: "Goldin + Senneby and team test the hypothesis that Headless Ltd. (a mysterious offshore company registrered in the Bahamas) is a reincarnation of the secret society "Acéphale", founded by Georges Bataille and friends in 1936."

Emre Hüner, "A little Larger Than the Entire Universe", 2012.

Duncan Campbell's "Make It New John", 2009, 50' video. Depicting the "history of the DMC-12, the extravagant, futuristic automobile created by American engineer and entrepeneur John Delorean (1925-2005). Campbell documents the strange attempt to use its production as a tool of social engineering. Relying heavily on archival footage, and incoporating a few staged scenes that introduce a political and biographical allegory, Campbell attempts to construct a panoramic view of the polar extremes that have characterized the social life of this icon of consumerism." (text by Cuauhtémoc Medina in in Manifesta's "The Deep of the Modern – A subcyclopaedia", Silvana Editoriale)

Back to Žakaitis analysis: (...) The weird part though is that all of these things, displayed in a generic and anemic way, are fenced from Mijndepot Waterschei, a full-blown and fully functioning museum assembled by former miners themselves back in 2004. Be sure to go there if you visit this Manifesta, and check out hundreds of mining tools, helmets, saint statues, a small train, and a 1:1 scale model of a coal shaft: great stuff that can get you really sooty.  

Miners museum in the Waterschei's first floor.

Nicoline van Harskamp, "Yours in Solidarity", 2009–12. Video, audio and archive material.

Praneet Soi's slideshow "Kumartuli Printer, Notes on Labor Part 1", 2010, which "parsed out the gestures of a printer's hands as he interacts with an ancient pedal-operated press in Calcutta. As the operator feeds paper into his anachronistic machine, it spits out grainy, high contrast images of his own hands, immersed in labor" (text by Cuauhtémoc Medina in in Manifesta's "The Deep of the Modern – A subcyclopaedia", Silvana Editoriale).

 Maarten Vanden Eynde, "Plastic Reef", 2008–12: a collection of melted down plastic trash collected while swirling in the Pacific Ocean. For more info see his comprehensive website.

As for the publication "The Deep of the Modern – A subcyclopaedia" (Edited by Silvana Editoriale), the curator writes that it has been "designed to suggest the complexity of meaning involved in the whole project as well as the richness of the individual elements themselves. (...) We have chosen to publish a book that breaks from the mould of conventional exhibition catalogues. We evoke the form of the encyclopaedia as a means of organising a whole made up of multiple unities (...). This Subcyclopaedia will thus serve as a record of the research process behind the biennial. (...) Our neologism is meant to suggest a comparison between the use of this reference book and the exhumation of modernity's underworld in the heritage, culture and history of coal mining.".  

 One of the pages of "The Deep of the Modern – A subcyclopaedia" (Edited by Silvana Editoriale).

Despite this intention of "breaking the mould", the 320-page book does include the traditional institutional forewords (to be precise, four) and an introductory curatorial essay by Medina. Many other texts are disseminated thoughout the publication, which is organised in alphabetical order A to Z, mixing concepts (starting with "Accumulation", ending with "Underground as Hell"), with artist texts by a network of over 30 writers, and essays by Gregos ("Poetics of Restructuring: On the question of production in the contemporary section of Manifesta 9") and Ades ("The Age of Coal: An Underground History of the Modern"), amongst other long form texts (by Medina himself, Svetlana Boym, as well as misfit entries such as "The Legacy of Manifesta" by Hedwig Fijen). 

Manifesta 9 curator Cuauhtémoc Medina (purple shirt) giving a tour during the opening weekend.

These and more photos (93 total) on Latitudes' flickr:




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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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