Longitudes

(Part 2/3) "The Encyclopedic Palace", 55th Venice Biennale in tote bags

Courtesy: Tucano, Milan

The biennale tote bag. Merely light and foldable marketing freebees in the form of non-rigid containers for the carrying of catalogues, innumerable press releases and checklists? Or ironic critiques of an increasingly capitalist and permissive society? Austere, poetic and challenging invitations to revalue familiar things and refocus our perceptions?

Now ever-present at the most vital and visible sites for the production, distribution, and public discourse around contemporary art, these large and often alarmingly unfastened cloth bags – typically with parallel handles that emerge from the sides of its pouch – have in the span of a few decades quietly become the unquestioned handmaiden of biennalisation. In Venice this year few dared to break with the tote's canvassed hegemony. The Dutch stuck their head above the parapet with a risky choice of clear plastic bags to accompany Mark Manders' pavilion – a whimsically aggressive engagement with issues of indispensability, and, perhaps with typically Dutch straightforwardness, transparency. 

Even if a pavilion or Eventi Collaterali can fly in Michelin-starred chefs for their dinners or legendary DJs from the South Bronx instrumental in the early development of hip hop for their parties, getting the tote bag right nevertheless remains a perilous balance of form and content, of prestige and patriarchy, greenwashing brinkmanship and sheer design cojones.

So was 2013 acqua alta for tote bags in Venice? Did any of them attain the understated brilliance of the Canadian Pavilion bag at the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007? (David Altmejd's noir classic in heavy twill boasted a separately tailored gusset.) Or did they match the game-changing 48 x 48 cm tote bag for Ayşe Erkmen's Turkish Pavilion in 2011? (designed by Konstantin Grcic, it featured an inner pocket made to fit the catalogue, and its own section on the pavilion website). There's a big wide world of tote bags out there...



This year, the Biennale organisation brought in the Milan-based Tucano to design the official tote – they've been working with the film festival for a decade or more – and they spurned the traditional heavy cloth in favor of a lightweight synthetic "skin" and webbing straps which lend the item the air of a piece of technical camping equipment. The extra-long straps allow for a certain dynamic freedom of movement that is a clear reference to the Futurists, although they may impede the shorter visitor on a busy vaporetto. Its uncompromising blackness seems to suggest mourning, yet with a vital rather than dour spirit –  "time and space died yesterday" as F.T. Marinetti once said. Good effort.


Le pavillon français opted for a nocturne in Parisian fog grey for its bag accompanying Anri Sala's "Ravel Ravel Unravel". The rawness of the medium-weight cotton – or is it hemp? – speaks of torrid emotional intensity while the contrastingly spare and delicately-kerned typography attempts to echo the phasing-in and out of the pianists in Sala's grand video installation. Only printed on one side however – a note of uncertainty?


Being in part based in Alvar Aalto's masterpiece pavilion in the Giardini, Finland's representation at the Biennale has wisely shied away from grand gestures with its bag for the exhibition "Falling Trees". The exhibition was put together with "a sinuous curating process" the organisers reveal, and their serene bag prompts us, with its ample volume and unadorned reilu meininki tailoring, to weave our way through its "contingent encounter between art and nature". Onneksiolkoon! Pidän siitä todella!


The Tuvalu Pavilion pluckily represents the third-least populous sovereign state in the world, and likely the first in line to disappear underwater as sea levels rise due to climate change. The exhibition itself, by "sensational Taiwanese artist Vincent J.F. Huang" reportedly features "a sea turtle and a group of penguins belonging to an underwater mafia ring seeking revenge on capitalism and the effects this is having on their natural habitat". Wow. More understated – though no less imaginative – the cream-and-azure coloured tote bag bears the coat of arms of Tuvalu: a shield decorated in a pattern with mussel shells and banana leaves, a hut and stylized waves. A Tuvaluan inscription reads “Tuvalu mo te Atua” (Tuvalu for the Almighty). Made from silkscreened Polyfabric™ (an environmentally-friendly cloth) it hits all the right notes for ecologically-sensitive micro-nation enthusiasts. Child-safe and odor/mildew resistant.


The tote for Jeremy Deller's British Pavilion, entitled "English Magic", was manufactured in 100% 135gsm cotton by a company based, ironically enough, in Welshpool, Wales. The reverse side depicts a line drawing of the British Pavilion which has been a staple on the British bags since at least Chris Ofili's 2003 exhibition. Given the inspiration that William Morris provides in Deller's exhibition, and the fact that Morris was a prolific type designer, it is perhaps a missed opportunity that the slogan text appears in the all-too-familiar Times New Roman. British Council directives? Nevertheless it does lend it a kind of appropriate DIY quality, and the highlighter orange colour (wondering though why it wasn't pink considering how much the artist loves to wear this colour) gives it the so-wrong-its-right touch that will secure its place on the sturdy shoulders of Deller fans, Bowie fans, cyclists, birdwatchers, tea-drinkers, stone-hand-axe experts, etc., for posterity. Not likely to appear on the Christmas list of Harry, His Royal Highness Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales. Or autocratic Russian billionaires.


2013 saw the United Arab Emirates present the work of Mohammed Kazem in the Arsenale's Sale d’Armi. "Walking on Water" comprised a projection of the sea and illuminated GPS coordinates within an chamber, but the quality of the tote bag alone was already leaving visitors feeling like they were walking on water with its speckled blue background recalling the waves of the Persian gulf. Assalaam alaykum!


Jesper Just's Danish Pavilion had to suffer the cruel injustice of technical difficulties with its complex five-screen video installation during the opening days. And to be frank, the gloomy black-on-black tote accompanying an exhibition burdened with the icky title "Intercourses" cannot have lifted the mood. An uncharacteristic error from the style-conscious Danes? In fact the design was headed by the usually-impeccable New York based Project Projects. Nevertheless, the bag looks more suited to a Bulgarian goth club or an inner tube manufacturers' convention than something to accessorize an exhibition that "challenges the viewer’s preconceived notions of space and time". Interesting pavilion. Charismatic artist. Woeful tote. Even difficult to re-gift this one.

 
Photo courtesy: Graphical House
 
Scotland! A typography-forward triumph! Impactful use of the three artists surnames in a highly refined neo-grotesque sans serif which appears not at all restrained by an attempt at upholding historical accuracy or formalities. The clarity, poise and symmetry of the white letterforms, combined with the discerning deep-blue cotton base, and the cheeky short handles say "hey, let's celebrate everything that's good about Scottish creativity!" If there was a Golden Lion for totes, this would surely be in with a roar. 


"See Venice and die," is what they say? Or is it Rome? Whatever, once you've experienced the bag for Lawrence Weiner's THE GRACE OF A GESTURE, organized by the Written Art Foundation and presented at the Palazzo Bembo near the Rialto bridge, you may have witnessed the pinnacle of totes. Or something pretty close. Weiner has already produced some bag legends – check out his audacious design for Printed Matter – yet this multilingual canvas produced in Westphalia is a perky filet mignon of a bag that makes the competition look like cheap mince. As Weiner says: “Art is the empirical fact of the relationships of objects to objects in relation to human beings and not dependent upon historical precedent for either use or legitimacy". Who can argue? 


Related posts: 
(Post 1/3) The 55th Venice Biennale: "The Encyclopedic Palace" in pictures and as seen by the critics, 1 June–24 November 2013 
(Post 3/3) The 55th Biennale di Venezia: National Pavilions and Collateral Events in pictures and as seen by the critics, 1 June–24 November 2013

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

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(Part 1/3) The 55th Venice Biennale: "The Encyclopedic Palace" in pictures and as seen by the critics, 1 June–24 November 2013

 Poster announcing the biennale nearby the Accademia.

Following previous years reports (2009, 2011 biennale posts and 2007 photo album 1 and 2) we'd like to share our photo-documentation alongside some articles and interviews related to this year's biennale that we have been reading before, during and after our Venice trip. 

Bit first a bit of recent history. Massimiliano Gioni (Busto Arsizio, 1973), currently Associate Director and Director of Exhibitions at the New Museum as well as Artistic Director of the Fondazione Nicola Trussardi in Milan, was appointed Director of the 55th International Exhibition of the Venice Biennale at the end of January 2012. In October 2012 he announced the title and overall concept of "The Encyclopedic Palace" (Il Palazzo Enciclopedico) and in March 2013, he announced his artist list (over 150 artists from 38 countries, map of the venues here). A real tour de force.


 IL ENCICLOPEDICO PALAZZO DEL MONDO (The Encyclopedic Palace of the World) Marino Auriti (1891–1980), Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, c. 1950. Wood, plastic, glass, metal, hair combs, and model kit parts. American Folk Art Museum, gift of Colette Auriti Firmani in memory of Marino Auriti, 2002.35.1. 

Both frieze magazine and Artforum had published interviews previous to the exhibition's opening. The former with Milan-based art critic Barbara Casavecchia and the latter with the Artistic Director of the 2003 Venice Biennale, Francesco Bonami. A third interesting article to give some background if you're planning a trip to Venice is by Carol Vogel in the New York Times, narrating the previous weeks to the opening.

In the above mentioned interview with Bonami, Gioni describes Il Palazzo Enciclopedico as an attempt "to conceive of the biennial as a temporary museum more than simply as a show that captures the supposed zeitgeist." (...) The title comes from the self-taught Italian- American artist Marino Auriti, who conceived of his own impossible, imaginary museum: a building that would house all the knowledge in the world. Obviously his was a dream that remains only a model, a failed project. By using this title, and by looking at the figure of Auriti, I also hoped to connect to the history of Venice, because it’s the oldest biennial; founded in 1895, it has its roots in the format of the world’s fair, going back to the Great Exhibition of 1851. I wanted to acknowledge the link to the tradition of the universal exposition but also to suggest the failure of that model right from the beginning."

29 May 2013, 9.45am. VIPs and Press gather in front of the door.

On the spirit of the biennial, its zeitgeist and the oft-heard ‘It’s a museum show, not a biennale’, Dan Fox of frieze writes: "During the opening week, I wondered why I felt like giving little more than a shrug of the shoulders whenever I heard the criticism that ‘It’s a museum show, not a biennale’. Long gone are the days when a show such as this – or for example the Sao Paulo Bienal, or the Whitney Biennial – would be the one of the few opportunities one would have to be brought up to speed on the latest art being made in various parts of the world."

With regards to the exhibition design and parcour, Paddy Johnson of Art F City rightly notes that "the grandeur of the Arsenale was greatly diminished through near-obsessive wall building. That decision kept the architecture from overwhelming the work, a godsend to the biennale, which has historically been burdened by relying on spectacle to compete with the architecture." New York-based architect Annabelle Selldorf reconfigured the space into a museum-like suite of  white cube galleries projecting large walls that covered almost entirely the populated columns in the Arsenale, hidding its (rather charming) crumbling walls. This made the visitor focus on the many paintings, drawings and vitrines on display.
Room 1, Arsenale: Auriti's model welcomes visitors in the first room of the Arsenale. Behind one can observe the high walls built to 'block' the grandeur of the Corderie spaces.

Room 1, Arsenale: J. D. 'Okhai Ojeikere's black and white photos of Nigerian women's hairstyles and head wrappings accompanies Auriti's architectural model.

Vincenzo Latronico introduces the linearity of the exhibition: "Gioni’s exhibition focuses on the encyclopedia as an idiosyncratic struggle—the impossible, yet nonetheless deeply human attempt at knowing the structures of the world. The part of the exhibition taking place in the Arsenale is linear and suggests a possible evolution of the way this structure has been imagined. It opens with the Palazzo Enciclopedico, a utopian architectural model for a museum of all human knowledge, patented in 1955 by Marino Auriti, a retired car mechanic. It closes with a sequence of chaotic and overcrowded video works (most notably Stan VanDerBeek’s immersive 1968 Movie Mural), offering a stark rendition of how such encyclopedias have been approximated by the Internet."
 

Room 13, Arsenale: Stan VanDerBeek’s 1968 Movie Mural closes the linear section in the Arsenale (though strictly speaking the show finishes with Walter de Maria's 'Apollo's Ecstasy' (below, Room 16) from 1990, a loan from the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam). More photos of De Maria's piece via Contemporary Art Daily.


Centering on the much-discussed inclusion of "professional/insider" and "outsider" artists, Holland Cotter argues that the "The outsider art concept is tired by now, even ethically suspect, the equivalent of “primitive art” from decades ago. Mr. Gioni finesses the problem without really addressing it by integrating outsider-ish-looking inside art (there’s more and more of this around) so the two designations get blurred." 

Cotter continues "with a blend of insider-outsider and art-nonart components, it could have been stimulating. But the objects had little to say to one another. I feel a lack of surprise in Mr. Gioni’s show for the opposite reason: Its pairings — spiritualists paintings by af Klint and Emma Kunz, digital-printer abstractions by Alice Channer and Wade Guyton — are too neat and museumy. Yet at the same time, the show’s curatorial line is so firm, its choice of artists so strong and its pacing so expert that you are carried along, and ultimately rewarded."   

In an interview with Francesco Bonami, artistic director of the 2003 biennale, wittily argues that "crossing the line between insiders and outsiders is a very dangerous one" (...) "a lot of these artist—outsiders—were presented in a standard label, describing their pathologies, but I think it would have been interesting going a little farther (...) if you want to describe art through the pathology, it should have been presented as all artists are freaks. Like, Bruce Nauman, this guy is a freak that lives in Galisteo, [New Mexico], or Walter De Maria is a freak that lives in a power station in Manhattan, in a small space with a space heater. I mean, that would be, maybe, a fair thing to do, but it would not have been allowed, probably, as an insider artist. So I think that is the only critique that I can bring, that the outsider artists at the end they are presented, but also taken advantage of."
   Room 3, Central Pavilion: Hilma af Klint (wall) and Roger Hiorns (floor) "atomised" altar from and English church. [See profile of the artists]

 
 
Room 12, Arsenale: Alice Channer's digitally stretched images anchored at the floor by slabs of marble.


During a recent Q&A with Gioni at the ICA in London in March 2013, an interesting question arose from a member of the public about interpretative materials, and how the wonderful history that each work encapsulates was going to be received by the viewer. Gioni responed that he was inspired by a show he saw curated by Roger Buergel where the captions created a parallel narrative rather than utilising a more didactic tone, and he has since been writing "extended captions" in collaboration with artist and writer Chris Wiley.

The choice of the works by more contemporary artists often has a outsider "look" that is often played-up by these captions. Such is the case with Eva Kotátková (video here), whose rather beautiful "Asylum" (2013) installation is described as a piece in which she "collaborated with patients at the Bohnice pshychiatric hospital outside Prague, resulting in an installation based on the social hierarchies and modes of communication envisioned by the patients" (Exhibition Guide, text by Rachel Wetzler).

 Room 21, Central Pavilion: Eva Kotátková's "Asylum" (2013), shares room with Anna Zemánková's drawings (wall).

To this much-debated insider-outsider wrangle, Dan Fox of frieze adds: "perhaps Gioni did stack the number of artists expressing dense personal cosmologies rather high in places throughout the show – at points it was a little like going to a party where every guest wishes to corner you and talk intensely about their definition of the universe rather than ask you how you’re doing – but I was never short of something to discover, think about, learn from, agree with or push against."


 Room 7, Central Pavilion: Oliver Croy and Oliver Elser's The 387 Houses of Peter Fritz (1976–1992).

Adrian Searle writes humourously about the exhibition's megalomaniac ambitions: "You expect Gioni to leap out of Auriti's tiered architectural cake of a building yelling: "Today we curate the biennale! Tomorrow, the world!"" He then continues, "throughout Gioni's exhibition, we are asked where meaning lies. So many artists here seem to be speaking private languages only they can understand: here is a Theosophist, there is a Shaker, and over there are some horrible occult tarot drawings by Aleister Crowley, the satanist once described as the most evil man in the world... What unites this vast rag-bag of sculptures, tantric blobs, errant modernists with esoteric beliefs, and outsiders who fill drawing after drawing with lurching interior worlds, is a sense that everyone here is trying to make sense of the incomprehensible. Much of the time, they just add to it."


 Room 10, Central Pavilion: Enrico David's recent work with distended figures, totemic sculptures and patterned tapestries. More views via Contemporary Art Daily.

An important question is raised by Bonami in the interview: "How to avoid geographic flattening, in which everything from everywhere is thrown in? But then how do you avoid that kind of flattening with respect to history? How do you achieve historical specificity? That is the challenge if you are adopting a Wunderkammer, or encyclopedic, approach." To which Gioni responds "well, it might resemble digital Wunderkammer, or computer desktops." Something to keep in mind...

Room 5, Central Pavilion: (Vitrine) Ron Nagle's moon-rock formations and coral-like spires; (Walls) Anonymous Tantric Paintings produced between the 1960s-2004.

Starting with the Central Pavilion (previously called the "Padiglione Italia"), Vincenzo Latronico
writes in Art Agenda that "one of the Giardini’s most delicate rooms, for instance, displayed French Surrealist Roger Caillois’s collection of over a hundred rare geodes—their flamboyantly colored geometrical patterns and crystalline structures arranged in progressions, suggesting both a museum of natural history and the visionary maps of an alien landscape."


Room 14, Central Pavilion: Collection of Roger Caillois rocks from the Musée National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris. Caillois shares room with Guo Fengyi, whose ballpoint pen, pencil and ink drawings she created to alleviate her acute arthritis.

Vincenzo Latronico also highlights another central piece: Peter Fischli and David Weiss’s Plötzlich diese Übersicht (1981–), "a collection of over a hundred small clay sculptures offering a depiction of the world through an arbitrary selection of significant minor events. From Einstein’s parents staged at the moment after the conception of their son, to Jacques Lacan first seeing himself in a mirror at age two; from a group of potatoes (asking how they ever got to Europe) to Jagger and Jones going home satisfied after writing “I can’t get no satisfaction” it is an ironic and yet oddly sensitive encyclopedia of banal mysteries and everyday epiphanies. The display, however, is particularly significant. In 2008, when Gioni showed the piece in a Fischli and Weiss retrospective he curated in Milan, he arranged the sculptures’ individual plinths in a linear sequence of groups, suggesting both an intrinsic order and a path the viewer could follow to obtain a complete experience of the work. In the Biennale, however, these are scattered around the room, giving the labyrinthine feeling of a mass of knowledge that could never be fully apprehended."

Room 13 (upper level), Central Pavilion: Peter Fischli & David Weiss, 'Suddenly This Overview' (1981–2012).

Another absorbing piece in the Central Pavilion is Kohei Yoshiyuki series of black-and-white infrared film photographs “The Park” (1971–1979) in which the artist photographed unaware couples having sex in parks at night. An interesting piece of context is that the pictures where originally presented in a dark gallery, offering the possibility of recreating the gloom depicted and making viewers complicit in the act.


Room 17, Central Pavilion: Kohei Yoshiyuki, “The Park” (1971–1979).

Writing about this years's Golden Lion awardees, Amy Sherlock points out that music features heavily in the encyclopedic video Grosse Fatigue (2013) by French artist Camille Henrot in which "computer windows showing photographs, video clips and morphing Wikipedia pages flicker and accumulate to a pulsing baseline whose steady tempo links a primitive, cardiac rhythm with the heady erotic charge of the dancefloor."


Room 3, Arsenale: Still of Grosse Fatigue (2013) by Camille Henrot.

"Tino Seghal picked up a Golden Lion as best participant in the main pavilion for his piece in which performers sit on the floor, beatboxing, singing and humming in a shifting melody of voice and rhythm."


Room 2, Central Pavilion: Tino Sehgal shared room with Rudolf Steiner's blackboards filled with coloured chalk (background).

Also in the Central Pavilion, Italian Marisa Merz and Austrian Maria Lassnig, Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement of the 55th International Art Exhibition, share room 24. See video of the award cerimony. [More photos of Marisa Merz via Contemporary Art Daily.]



In the above-mentioned interview with Bonami, Gioni described that "a few artists in the show will use theatrical stagings or, simply, live actors. But I think of these less as performances than as living sculptures. Tino Sehgal is making a new piece, comprising a mise-en-scène with other works in the main pavilion. It’s on a smaller scale than his most recent works, but it is going to be quite intense. (...) John Bock is creating an installation that will include actors speaking in imaginary languages and what he calls a “house of maggots."
(Above) John Bock's 'Above the Point of Glowing Silence', a 2013 work commissioned by the Biennale at the Giardino delle Vergini. More views of his installation via Contemporary Art Daily.

Sam Thorne: "The Arsenale – the stronger half of the exhibition, I think – is episodic, even insistently narrativizing in its form. It tracks a kind of evolutionary process. The beginning, for example, is pointedly about beginnings of different kinds – Stefan Bertalan’s drawings of the life cycle of a sunflower or the whole of R. Crumb’s illustrated Book of Genesis. Indeed, the refrain of a great new film by Camille Henrot is ‘In the beginning…’ These early stages are also filled with animals and evocations of the natural world: Eliot Porter’s exquisite 1950s photos of birds in flight, Christopher Williams’ forensic photos of Harvard’s collection of glass flowers (1989)."   



Room 2, Arsenale: Christopher Williams, Angola to Vietnam* (1989). A suite of 28 gelatin silver prints of glass flowers from Harvard's Ware Collection portraying the hyperrrealistic glass specimens made by Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka. 


Room 6, Arsenale: R. Crumb's 207 pages of 'The Book of Genesis' (2009).

Having not seen Gioni's much-celebrated '10,000 Lives', 8th Gwangju Biennial (2010), we asked to those who had seen it for their impressions. Back then, Gioni also described it as an exhibition that dealt with ‘our obsession with images’ and has referred to 'The Encyclopedic Palace' as a continuation of this exhibition model proposed in 2010. In Gwangju, Gioni also included several of the works also exhibited in Venice: Shinro Ohtake's scrapbooks (1983); Paul McCarthy’s Children’s Anatomical Educational Figure (1980); Eliot Porter’s colour dye-transfer prints of birds caught in flight; and repeated numerous participating artists such as Dahn Vo, Bruce Nauman, Carl Andre, Stan VanDerBeek, Fischli & Weiss, Aurélien Froment, Morton Bartlett, Dieter Roth, Ryan Trecartin, Christopher Williams, James Lee Byars, Matt Mullican, João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva, Henrik Olesen, Hito Steyerl, Maria Lassnig, Emma Kunz, Mark Leckey, Pawel Althamer, Tino Sehgal and Cindy Sherman, amongst others (see Gwangju images here).

Room 13 (lower level), Central pavilion: Shinro Ohtake's obsessive scrapbooks produced since 1977.
Room 8, Arsenale: Aurélien Froment's new work "Camillo's Idea" (2013), a film featuring a mnemonist in the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza who demonstrates her own feats of memory and recites the history of mnemonics from teh system devised by Greek lyric poet Simonides of Ceos to Giulio Camillo's Fifteenth-century "Theater of Memory". (Exhibition guide, Text by Chris Wiley)

Room 5, Arsenale: Danh Vo installation with an imported colonial-era Catholic Church from Vietnam. [More photos of his installation via Contemporary Art Daily.]

Room 9, Arsenale: Pawel Althamer's 90 "sci-fi" sculptures with masks of Venetian citizens and plastic bodies are one of the downers of the Arsenale. As Adrian Searle warned "watch out for Pawel Althamer's room of flayed figures, and avoid them if you can."

It would seem that Gwangju's "unauthorized, partial reconstruction and unannounced tribute" of Mike Kelley's 1993 'The Uncanny' exhibition is in Venice echoed with the invitation extended to Cindy Sherman, who curated an excellent show-within-a-show in the Arsenale (Room 10). Sam Thorne describes it as a space with "figures of all shapes and sizes: signature pieces by Charles Ray, Duane Hanson and George Condo, some slightly more surprising inclusions like John Outterbridge and Jimmie Durham, through to Haitian vodou flags and even Sherman’s personal collection of photo albums. It’s quite a coup."    


Vitrines with Shermans' collection of photo albums.


Other highlights (unfortunately not all with photo-documentation to accompany): Tamar Guimarães and Kasper Akhøj's 16mm film examining a map created by a member of Brazil's Spiritists community, one of the few intimate moments in the Arsenale; João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva's immersive room with 16mm projectors presenting a new repertoire of films shot in Mozambique; Eduard Spelterini's black and white 1890s photographs of his ballooning expeditions; Sharon Hayes' video [see interview here] inspired by Pier Paolo Passolini's 1965 documentary Comizi D'amore, in which the artist interviews American women students, executives, artists, poets about their sexuality; Rossella Biscotti's minimal sculptures produced in compost created in collaboration with the inmates of the women's prison in the Guidecca island, accompanied by an hour-long sound piece where the women describe their dreams [see interview here]; and Michael Schmidt's Lebensmitten [Food] (2006–10) photo series for which the artist spent four years documenting all aspects of industrial food production in Europe.

 Room 3, Arsenale: Eduard Spelterini's black and white 1890s photographs of his ballooning expeditions.

 Room 8, Arsenale: Michael Schidt's Lebensmitten [Food] (2006–10).

 Room 8, Arsenale: Sharon Hayes, 'Richerche: three', 2013. 23'

Hito Steyerl's tucked-away video in the Giardini delle Vergini, was certainly one of the best pieces in Gioni's exhibition. Michael Connor of Rhizome has written about the 14 min. video, describing it as an "instructional video informing viewers how to remain invisible in an age of image proliferation". (...) "In the context of the Venice Biennale, which explores the theme of human knowledge and its limits, this discussion brings up fundamental questions about how much of our knowledge is derived through representations of the world, through images and data, and the limits of such knowledge." [Read full text here]

Hito Steyerl, How Not to be Seen: A Fucking Didactic Educational .MOV File (2013).

 Erik van Lieshout's new work Healing (2013), an outdoor drive-in movie installation with a 5 meter LED screen, involves the artist' micro-cosmos: the work and ideals of his family members.

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All photos: Latitudes (except when noted otherwise in the photo caption)

Latitudes conversa con el artista Alejandro Cesarco en la Parra & Romero, Madrid


El pasado 4 de junio Latitudes mantuvo una conversación con el artista Alejandro Cesarco (1975 Montevideo, vive en Nueva York) con motivo de la inauguración de su exposición individual "La noche agranda su silencio", en la galería madrileña Parra & Romero.


La conversación se centró en los trabajos presentados en su exposición en la galería (las películas 'Zeide Isaac' y 'Present Memory' de 2009 y 2010 respectivamente; dos pies de página en vinilo [Footnote #20 y Footnote #24] y la serie de cuatro fotografías 'Where I'm Calling From' del 2012), e incluyó preguntas enviadas por amigos (novia del artista, el actor Daniel Hendler que aparece en varias de sus películas), colegas artistas (Jack Pierson, Julie Ault, Nicolás Guagnini) y comisarios con los que ha colaborado en años recientes (Sarah Demeuse desde Nueva York, Jacob Fabricius desde Copenhague o Ellen Blumenstein desde Berlin).



Cesarco trabaja con Murray Guy en Nueva York, Tanya Leighton en Berlin y Ignacio Liprandi en Buenos Aires. "La noche agranda su silencio" (vistas de la exposición a continuación) es la primera exposición de Cesarco en Parra & Romero, Madrid.


Fotos cortesía de Parra & Romero, Madrid.

Interview between Christina Li and Latitudes on 'Incidents of Travel' for Witte de With's 'Witness to Moderation(s)' blog

From April 2013 onwards, writer and curator Christina Li (HK/NL) takes up the role of a designated Witness to Moderation(s) the year-long programme of exhibitions, performances and residencies that unfolds between Witte de With in Rotterdam and Spring in Hong Kong. As such, Li is invited to post regular blog entries responding to the multi-faceted projects part of Moderation(s).
Christina Li has been a part of Moderation(s) since its inception, and participated in the research and development workshop that took place at Witte de With in October 2012. Li will also be one of the four curators –together with Lee Ambrozy, Amira Gad, and Xiaoyu Weng– organizing the day-long conference Stories And Situations: The Moderation(s) Conference to take place on 5 October 2013 at Witte de With.


The interview published below between Li and Latitudes was originally published on Witte de With's website on May 2, 2013. 

 
Christina Li: Incidents of Travel” in Hong Kong is the second iteration of a project that you started in Mexico D.F in 2012, could you talk a little bit about how the idea of inviting artists to plan an itinerary functioning as both an artistic encounter an alternative studio visit came about?

Latitudes: The idea of the tour guide is of course not new. Back in 2009 while we were doing a year-long project in the Port of Rotterdam, we organised a series of bus tours to the port where we would present projects by Jan Dibbets, Lara Almarcegui or Christina Hemauer and Roman Keller, etc. Listening to the feedback of the group that took part during those tours, we realised there was something very valuable about the idea of being (kindly) trapped in a bus for a day and to be taken around with a group of people whom you shared interests or even friendship with. Some were co-workers and took the day to talk about non-work related issues, to admire the landscape, to listen to the soundtrack that accompanied the bus tour and basically to enjoy a day away from the keyboard. We wanted to repeat what we thought was a successful format and thought our trip to Mexico DF was a perfect occasion for that.



 Tour with Lara Almarcegui and botanist Remko Andeweg around the Port of Rotterdam, 8 November 2009. Photo: Latitudes. More images of the tour here.

While preparing a small exhibition of our eight years of practice for Casa del Lago in México DF, we felt we needed to add a ‘here and now’ contribution, and suggested inviting five artists (Minerva Cuevas, Tania Pérez Córdova, Diego Berruecos, Terence Gower and Jerónimo Hagerman) to develop a day-long tour for us. The choice of artists was mixed, some we had met before (Jerónimo or Terence) but didn’t know their work in much detail, and others (Tania, Minerva and Diego) we had been following their work for a while, but never met them in person. Our invitation was very open, our idea was for them to develop an itinerary that helped us understand their creative world, and that included them taking us to their favourite (or hated!) museums, libraries, markets, monuments, housing states, shops, restaurants, etc. that were special to their lives or to their artistic practice. We offered all artists a fee, covered all food and tickets-related expenses and had a car to take us around 9am–6pm, after that, we used public transport. Experiencing any city accompanied by a local friend always offers a much deeper insight into any city, but navigating it with an artist whose work you admire, is even more meaningful as each site amplifies a personal connection.



 Photo: Eduardo Loza

Li: Did you choose to adopt a different approach in your invitation to the artists in the Hong Kong edition? As far as I understood, Nadim Abbas’ tour was open to the public, while Yuk King Tan’s, Ho Sin Tung’s and Samson Young’s were conducted in a more intimate manner within a smaller group; what was the reason behind this decision? What were the responses to Nadim Abbas’ tour?

Latitudes: No, the invitation was the same in both occasions, though in Hong Kong we mostly used public transport. We also had more time to prepare and digest information, as were a month in residence at Spring. In the end it worked out as one tour per week as that suited best the artists’ schedule. Nadim’s tour was the first and was indeed open to the public, it has been the only tour so far with this aspect, although it was still a small group, initially of around fifteen people. We were interested in pushing the format and of course this meant that Nadim had to consider practical issues like distances and locations more carefully (ie. avoiding long walking distances, accessibility for groups, food availability…) in order to be realistic with the timings. A few people joined on and off, some engaged more actively than others. It was wonderful to see that Hong Kongers were also discovering sites they had never been to, like the Waterfall Bay Park or the nearby Waterfall Bay. Somehow we were all tourists for a day.



Nadim Abbas tour, 19 January 2013. Waterfall Bay Park's waterfall. Photo: Trevor Young
 
Li: Since these tours have always been meant for you both to converse privately with each selected artist and to get to know their practices and the city, has opening these tours up conjure a different perspective of how these tours could function for you both initially? How has this attempt challenge your thinking in mediating and presenting the immediate experience and documentation of these tours to a larger audience?

Latitudes: The tours were conceived from the point of view of research, and we haven’t wanted to necessarily burden the artists or the format with the expectations that they were participatory performances or some kind of touristic spectacle. We’ve tried to keep them quite casual and inconspicuous in this sense, and to respect the notion of hospitality in the same way that if we came to your house for dinner, you wouldn’t expect us to bring a group of strangers with us! Indeed this was literally the case in the day with Yuk King Tan, which concluded with a household of Filipina domestic workers making dinner for us – women whose trust and friendship she had earned through her personal affiliations and the concerns of her art. It is really not a question of us making the tours exclusive or private – we have not actually prohibited anyone else from coming along if the artist suggested it or was anyway okay with it. Yet it somehow seemed important to be able to commit to spending an entire day with them, and as soon as there is definitely something like an audience present (that might expect to be entertained or decide to leave) the dynamics and the logistics change.


The tours in México DF took place during five consecutive days right after our arrival, so the way we shared the photographic material was more direct via our Facebook at the end of each day. The exhibition at Casa del Lago opened only two days after we concluded the last tour, so had to come up with a fast solution to present our explorations: we projected a selection of 200 images as a slideshow, and displayed a selection of printed photos on the wall alongside a large map of the city with pins that located the sites we visited and the actual itineraries we followed written by the artists, which contained short descriptions of each site (we printed extra copies of these and made them available in the exhibition so one could pick them up and follow the route. These are now available to download from our website.)



 Photo: Adrián Villalobos

In Hong Kong we were able to tweet during the tours, so it was an interesting process of documentation-on-the-go, of keeping a live diary of one’s journey, and to receive real-time responses from colleagues all over the world – the tweets have now been archived alongside some thirteen sound recordings, Facebook and blog posts. We also published blog posts of each of the tours which include extensive photo-documentation (by us and colleagues who took part) of the day interconnecting each photo with paragraphs of the itineraries are written by the artists and our own impressions.

Li: You also have been to some other more specialised tours on offer during your stay in Hong Kong, were there more specific aspects of Hong Kong you were hoping to explore which guided your choices in attending these tours as a sightseer and a cultural tourist?


Latitudes: We were interested in studying what kind of readings the city offered away from the usual tourist sites (the Tian Tan Buddha, Victoria Peak, shopping tours, a day in Macau,…). We wanted to see if we could find more ‘marginal’ sculptures or sites that presented vernacular displays far from the polished and pre-packaged tourist experience.



  1km of floating boardwalks, Deep Bay, Mai Po Marshes. Photo: Latitudes.

We picked up hundreds of leaflets in the information office and found a couple interesting ones offered by the Walk Hong Kong company we thought were somehow out of the usual menu. We have always been interested in environmental issues and wanted to approach the high density of Hong Kong from another angle, from its relation to the surrounding nature. We visited the Mai Po Nature Reserve in the New Territories, a wetland on the Australasia migratory route, and ended the day in Long Valley in Sheung Shui, observing birds and farmers collecting large amounts of lettuces and watercress. This also tied in with another wetland we visited later with Ho Sin Tung, the Nam Sang Wai area, in the northwest of Hong Kong. This is to say that our own interests ended up tying in nicely with the sites, we visited with the artists. Samson Young took us to a nearby area on his tour, to the border fence that separates Hong Kong with mainland China where we listened to “Liquid Borders”, a soundtrack he has been recording placing contact microphones in the wired fencing and mixing it with the sound of water of the Shenzhen River.

Another tour we joined was the Feng Shui tour led by Susan Braun. We started visiting Norman Foster’s Hong Kong HSBC building in Admiralty built according to strict Feng Shui principles and finished at the Chi Lin Nunnery. The final one was with Martin Heyes, a former British Army officer and passionate World War II specialist, who took us to Devil’s Peak at the eastern extremity of Kowloon and to the Museum of Coastal Defence, to learn everything about the 1941 Japanese invasion of Hong Kong.

A group of Japanese tourists visit the battery on Devil's Peak. Photo: Latitudes
 
Li: As a whole, what would you say about the kinds of insights you have gained about the city from these tours, which might be seen as complements to the knowledge produced from the more casual encounters you have had through “Incidents of Travel”?

Latitudes: The Walk Hong Kong tours were an opportunity for us to specifically learn about birds, marshlands, Feng Shui and the 1941 Japanese invasion, but most importantly it was an opportunity to discuss with our tour leaders issues that went beyond the tour script so to speak, issues like immigration, recent historical events such as the 2003 SARS outbreak, the current economic climate, the relationship to mainland China, etc. Curiously, all of the tour leaders were expats that had lived in Hong Kong for many years, so for us it was very interesting to hear how it was to live there today. The same goes for the artists, we absorbed a great wealth of information from each other beyond discussing the sites we were taken to. We talked about books, films, about the art world, what it is to be an artist and a curator today, etc. ‘Incidents of Travel’ and our residency was very much in line with what Heman Chong, moderator of the Moderation(s) the program, explained during the January press conference: Moderation(s) is about stretching time. Not surprisingly, the image he chose to illustrate the long term collaboration between Spring Workshop and Witte de With was a clock. That image stood out very clearly during our time there. The offered time gave us the chance to generate conversations with the artists, to find a common ground, to generously share and exchange some kind of knowledge, and to engage in multiple and repeated dialogues with locals and expats, a rare luxury one is not often given.


 Latitudes' talk on 'Incidents of Travel: Hong Kong' and their practice during 'Open Day' at Spring Workshop, 2 February 2013.

  
Related contents:



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

"Archive as Method: An Interview with Chantal Wong, Hammad Nasar and Lydia Ngai" of the Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong. Final #OpenCurating interview.


"Archive as Method: An interview with Chantal Wong, Hammad Nasar and Lydia Ngai" of the Asia Art Archive in Hong Kong, is available on ISSUU to view on screen and is also downloadable. It is also available as pdf format via Latitudes' web. 

…And last, but certainly not least, our #OpenCurating research concludes with an interview with three members of the amazing Asia Art Archive in Hong Kong.
 

Asia Art Archive (AAA) was founded in 2000 with the mission of documenting, securing and making easily available information on the history of contemporary art in Asia within an international context. Based in the Sheung Wan district of Hong Kong, the non-profit organisation holds hundreds of thousands of physical and digital items. AAA aims to stimulate dialogue and critical thinking about how the region’s art histories are told and to “facilitate understanding, research, and writing in the field, enrich existing global narratives, and re-imagine the role of the archive”. Through its website – aaa.org.hkAAA offers access to a wealth of digital material including scanned images, correspondence, artists’ personal documents, audio and video of performance art, artist talks, lectures, and events. A broad range of initiatives including the journal Field Notes, research grants, residencies, symposia, exhibitions and teaching workshops address the core of AAA’s commitment “to create a collection belonging to the public, existing not in an enclosed space, but in a space that is open and productive, generating new ideas and works that continually reshape the Archive itself”.

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@AsiaArtArchive
   
ABOUT #OPENCURATING

What "old rules" about art programming, production and distribution has the internet broken? What challenges, expectations, and new possibilities does digital culture and social media present to contemporary art institutions? To what degree are curators, media teams, publishers and archivists concerned with a dialogue with their audiences? #OpenCurating has investigated these questions through how new forms of culture, participation and connectivity are being developed both on site and on line.

The research was structured around three elements. Ten new interviews were produced and published as free digital editions as well as via Issuu; a Twitter thread was moderated around the hashtag #OpenCurating; and a public conversation (transcribed as interview #7) between Latitudes and Yasmil Raymond, Curator of Dia Art Foundation, New York, was held on 19 February 2013 at the Auditorium of the Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA).


#OpenCurating was a research project by Latitudes produced through La Capella. BCN Producció 2012 of the Institut de Cultura de Barcelona. 









 
Content partners: Walker Art Center

 




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Visita de la Comisión de Programas de Hangar a los estudios de los artistas residentes, 24 Abril 2013, Barcelona

Cartel "Salvem Can Felipa" de Quim Packard colgado en la zona común de los estudios en Hangar.

El pasado 24 de Abril, cinco miembros de la Comisión de Programas 2010–2013 de Hangar (formado por Àlex Mitrani, Joan Vilapuig, Jordi Mitjà, Dora Garcia (ausente) y Max Andrews y Mariana Cánepa Luna de Latitudes) realizó una de las visitas periódicas a los artistas residentes en el centro de Poble Nou, en este caso a Llobet y Pons; Quim Packard; Aggtelek; Rasmus Nilausen; Marla Jacarilla, Raúl Nieves (blablabLAB) y Mireia c. Saladrigues

A continuación un breve sumario que recoge los tuits que publicamos durante la visita (véase https://twitter.com/lttds).

Llobet y Pons (dúo formado por Jasmina Llobet y Luis Fernandez Pons) acaban de participar en la Setouchi Triennale 2013, Japón, donde han presentado la pieza "No one wins – Minibasket". Asímismo hemos visto sus últimas investigaciones con piezas realizadas con pasta dental endurecida; al pulido de diamantes que realizaron durante una residencia en Lokaal01, Amberes, o sobre la reconversión de materiales, como es el caso de 'Ex-Fork' presentada recientemente en Can Felipa. 


Quim Packard actualmente está desarrollando "Historias de amor y odio", un "relato en formado dibujo que se emite diariamente, a partir del 15 de abril, vía redes sociales (véase tumblr aquí) y que finaliza en un concierto / performance en la Capsa Jove de Tarragona, el día 24 de abril a las 19h; en motivo de la presentación de la publicación 2012 del CA Tarragona Centro de Arte" (web de Hangar).

 
En el estudio del dúo Aggtelek (Gema Perales and Xandro Valles) vimos la serie de pinturas realizadas a partir de collages que envían a una de las fábricas de producción (prácticamente mecánica) de pintura en China para su realización. Éstas han sido recientemente presentadas en la Galería José Robles en Madrid, y próximamente se presentará un conjunto similar en 18a edición de la feria Liste en Basilea con la galería Exile de Berlin.


Marla Jacarilla fue ganadora de la reciente convocatoria BCN Producció 2013 con el proyecto "Acotaciones tras la cuarta pared" que inaugurará el próximo 15 de Mayo en el Espai Cub de La Capella en Barcelona. "'Acotaciones tras la cuarta pared' es un drama en cuatro actos cuyo tono oscila entre lo trágico, cómico, fársico y metalingüístico. Una historia en la que un presunto demiurgo conversa con personajes existentes que pertenecen a otras obras teatrales y que se han trasladado al momento actual" (web de La Capella).

En el 2012 Rasmus Nilausen expuso 'Sisyphus, rhopography and a headless chicken' (ver video) en el espacio de La Capella (como ganador de la convocatoria BCN Producció 2012), Barcelona y en el 2013 tuvo la exposición 'Still' en la nueva galería madrileña García Galería.


Raúl Nieves del dúo blablabLAB nos presentó su trabajo con impresoras 3D y herramientas de código libre que realiza a través de talleres programados periódicamente desde Hangar.

La entrevista con Mireia c. Saladrigues tuvo lugar en skype ya que se encuentra preparando 'No tocar, por favor', una exposición colectiva en el ARTIUM de Vitoria, comisariada por Jorge Luis Marzo (blog del proyecto aquí) que inaugura en un par de semanas en Vitoria.


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

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"Free Forms: An interview with Lauren Cornell", Curator, 2015 Triennial, Digital Projects and Museum as Hub, New Museum, New York. 9th in the #OpenCurating interview series.


"Free Forms: An interview with Lauren Cornell" is available on ISSUU to view on screen and is also downloadable. It is also available as pdf format via Latitudes' web.
 
After serving for seven years as Executive Director of new media non-profit Rhizome, in 2012 Lauren Cornell was appointed “Curator, 2015 Triennial, Digital Projects and Museum as Hub” of the New Museum, New York. During her tenure at Rhizome – a New Museum affiliate – Cornell initiated programmes including the annual Seven on Seven conference series, which bridges contemporary art and technology fields by pairing technological innovators with visual artists and challenging them to develop something over the course of a day. At the New Museum, Cornell was part of the curatorial team for The Generational: Younger Than Jesus (2009) and has curated exhibitions including Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries’ Black on White Gray Ascending (2007), and Free (2010), a group show that examined “how the internet has changed our landscape of information and our notion of public space”. She is currently preparing the 2015 Triennial, the institution’s signature exhibition, which she will curate together with artist and filmmaker Ryan Trecartin.

Follow:
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@newmuseum
@lcornell
#MuseumAsHub

ABOUT #OPENCURATING

Drawing on the emerging practices of so-called 'Open Journalism' – which seek to better collaborate with and use the ability of anyone to publish and share#OpenCurating is a research project that investigates how contemporary art projects may function beyond the traditional format of exhibition-and-catalogue. #OpenCurating is concerned with new forms of interaction between publics – whether online followers or physical visitors – with artworks and their production, display and discursive context.

The project is articulated around a series of ten new interviews with curators, artists, writers and online strategists published as a free digital edition [read here the published ones so far], a Twitter discussion moderated around the hashtag #OpenCurating and an public conversation with Dia Art Foundation curator which took place at MACBA on the 19 February.

#OpenCurating is a research project by Latitudes produced through La Capella. BCN Producció 2012 of the Institut de Cultura de Barcelona. 










Content partners: Walker Art Center

 




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Report from the 2013 congress of the International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art (IKT) in Madrid, 18–21 April

The programme of the 2013 congress of IKT, the International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art, included meetings at the Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo in Móstoles as well as at Centro Cultural Matadero Madrid and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, where the IKT Members Forum, Symposium and General Assembly were held.

"Curating Value", the topic of this year's symposium organised by Brussels-based independent curator Zoë Gray, included the participation of Barnabás Bencsik (the recently forced-out director of the Ludwig Museum in Budapest), French artist Pierre Bismuth, Spanish curator and consultant María de Corral, London-based curator and theorist Dr. Simon Sheikh and Greek artist and Athens Biennial co-director, Poka-Yio

Following is our photo diary documenting a few moments of these five days in Madrid alongside the organisers' schedule, starting the Pre-Congress programme on Thursday afternoon with a first meeting at Espacio Trapézio at the Mercado de San Antón and ending on Monday morning with the Post-Congress programme which included studio visits to Fernando Sánchez Castillo and Cristina Lucas.

Friday, 19th April 2013
 
Buses depart from Plaza del Emperador Carlos V/ Atocha (opposite the renowned El Brillante bar) for Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo (CA2M) in Móstoles. 



IKT Members Forum. Opening of the congress, welcome and greetings.


Each of the +/- 120 members and guests had 90 seconds to introduce themselves to the rest and quickly explain what projects they were currently developing.

Exhibition visits: Pop Politics: Activismos a 33 revoluciones curated by Iván López Munuera and Hailil Altindere curated by CA2M Director, Ferran Barenblit.

Lyota Yagi, Vinyl (2005) plays the melodies of Debussy's “Clair de Lune” and “Moon River” by Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini on a record player from a record made of ice created with a silicon mould.


Lunch offered by CA2M at the Terrace.

Buses depart for Fundación Banco Santander (Boadilla del Monte) to visit the exhibition "Out of the House. Contemporary Art Cranford Collection", curated by Anne Pontégnie and Muriel Salem.


 Sci-Fi-like building of the Fundación Banco Santander in the Ciudad Financiera, Boadilla del Monte.


The exhibition space holds a collection of Spanish currency. Here, the last pesetas notes that used to circulate before 2002.


 View of the galleries presenting London's Cranford Collection. Holdings include mostly British art (Sarah Lucas, Rachel Whiteread, Damien Hirst, Phil Collins, Paul Noble, Eva Rothschild, Rebecca Warren, Gillian Wearing), but also pieces by Franz West, Albert Oehlen, Martin Kippenberger, Pierre Huyghe and Thomas Schütte. 
You can also visit it virtually.


 More blue chip works, by Damien Hirst (Something or Nothing, 2004).


 Our Love Is Like the Flowers, the Rain, the Sea and the Hours, 2002 by Martin Boyce.

 (Foreground) Jim Lambie's Sweet Exorcist, 2005.

 (Foreground) Rebeca Warren, Log Lady, 2003.

Franz West, Appartment (2001)

Buses depart for Ivory Press. Exhibition visit: Ilya & Emilia Kabakov.


 Tour through Ivory Press' artist books production with heavy weights like Noguchi, Chillida, Kapoor, Kiefer, Bacon...


...and of course Damien Hirst (again). Here The Holy Trinity explained in percentages, a part of a much larger sculptural/archive piece produced by Ivory Press.

View of Ilya & Emilia Kabakov's show Vertical Paintings and Other Worlds.

Walk to Galería Liebre. Exhibition visit: Ideas y presupuestos. Curator: Martí Manen. 


Ideas and budgets for possible artworks by artists Sebastian Beyro, Black Tulip, Bonus Extra, Kalle Brolin, Priscila Fernandes, Guillem Juan Sancho, Sandra Paula Fernández, Ana García Pineda, Luis Pérez Calvo, Iratxe Jaio & Klaas van Gorkum, Laramascoto, Connie Mendoza, Carlos Motta, Carl Palm, Pepo Salazar, Yes.
 

Visit to the Tabacalera Espacio Promoción del Arte. Exhibition visit: José Manuel Ballester “Bosques de Luz”. Curators: María de Corral and Lorena Martínez de Corral.


Entrance to Tabacalera, Espacio Promoción de Arte.


Tabacalera also shares spaces with La Tabacalera Centro Social Autogestionado (follow @latabacalera), where over 30 organisations self-manage their own spaces sharing, garden areas, storage, a stage, bar facilities, etc.


Saturday, 20th April 2013

Caixaforum. Exhibition: 'Maestros del Caos. Artistas y Chamanes'.

Walk to Medialab Prado, Calle Alameda 15, which officially opened its doors a day before our visit.




Walk to La Casa Encendida, Ronda de Valencia 2.
Exhibitions: Generaciones 2013. Proyectos de Arte Caja Madrid.
Albert Oehlen, Moderne Farbkonzepte. Curator: Christian Domínguez.
 

Lunch offered by La Casa Encendida in their terrace.
 


Buses depart for Matadero Madrid, Plaza de Legazpi 1, 28045 Madrid. 


Manuela Villa, Head of Contents at Matadero introduces the different areas of the 80,000m2 of the former slaughterhouse and its programmes, including the Programa de Pensamiento Matadero Madrid; Intermediae Laboratory for the production of projects and social innovation and Archivo de Creadores (Documentation of 150 Madrid-based contemporary artists).


   Fernando García-Dory of Campo Adentro working at Matadero Madrid.

Archivo de Creadores de Madrid, offering "physical and online documentation on 150 young artists or collectives of 17 different nationalities with links to the city of Madrid."


 IKT Symposium “Curating Value” at the Cineteca.  

"Curating Value" symposium at the Cineteca, Matadero Madrid. 
Left to right: Zoë Gray, Pierre Bismuth, Dr. Simon Sheikh Poka-Yio, Maria de Corral and Barnabás Bencsik.

Exhibition visits. Abierto x Obras: Candela. Los Carpinteros . Curator: Manuela Villa; and Arqueológica, curated by Virginia Torrente. Followed by a dinner and party offered by Matadero Madrid.


Candela, site-specific work by Los Carpinteros at the Abierto x Obras space.


 Pedro Barateiro's piece The Negative Reader, 2012-13, included in the group exhibition Arqueológica in Nave 16.

  Mariana Castillo Deball, five dance costumes produced by artisans in Yautepec in Morelos, used to perform the Brinco de los Chinelos dance during the Carnival. Part of the group exhibition Arqueológica in Nave 16.

Sunday, 21th April 2013

IKT General Assembly in the Auditorio 200, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (MNCARS).  



One of the issues to discuss during the General Assembly was to decide on the next venue/city to host the IKT Congress 2014 and 2015. The members voted that CCA Derry-Londonderry would host the 2014 event (the bid included visiting the biennial Eva International in Limerick) and that Vienna's Kunsthalle Wien to host the following year.

Here Johan Lundh co-director of CCA Derry-Londonderry during his presentation for Derry-Londonderry to host the 2014 IKT Congress.

Exhibition visits: Colección I. 1900-1945; Colección II. 1945-1968; Colección III. 1962-1982; Cristina Iglesias; Robert Adams. el lugar donde vivimos. Una selección retrospectiva de fotografías; La invención concreta. Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros; and Azucena Vieites. (Programa Fisuras).


 Favourite Gego mobile, "Reticularea" (1973–76), in the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros. 

 Favourite Jesús Soto, "Pre-penetrable" from 1957 in the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros. 
 
Wonderful 1967 Tropicália by Hélio Oiticica in the "Colección III, 1962-1982" (above and below).

 
(End of congress & beginning of Post-Congress)
 

Afternoon gallery visits around c/ Doctor Fourquet:
 

NoguerasBlanchard, with the exhibition "Can’t Hear My Eyes" curated by Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk.
 

MaisterraValbuena, with the exhibition "Entre lo fugitivo y lo infinito" curated by Anja Isabel Schneider.


Isidoro Valcárcel–Medina, Conducto, 2013. From the press release: "On the occasion of this exhibition project, Isidoro Valcárcel Medina proposes a site-specific intervention on the floor in the gallery’s entrance zone. With a critical, at times provocative stance towards the art market, voiced among others in Ley del Arte - Ley reguladora del ejercicio, disfrute y comercialización del Arte (1992), Valcárcel Medina’s work sees art and life interrelated, inviting the spectator above all to an experience."

García Galería with the exhibition "En la zona gris" curated by Virginia Torrente.


Joaquín García of García Galería introducing the meteorite piece by Belén Rodríguez González

Moisés Pérez Albéniz with an exhibition of Antoni Muntadas (below).
 


Helga de Alvear with an exhibition of works by Prudencio Irazabal.

Fúcares, with the exhibition "Escópico-Esconder(se)-Escaparcurated" by Juan Francisco Rueda.
 

Visit to artists studios at Rampa in the Carabanchel neighbourhood, Madrid.

Found photograph in the former car repair shop that existed before Rampa.
IKT members listening to Rampa's presentation and questions on curating and the artist-curator relationship.

Bus departs for Colección Inelcom at the Ciudad de la Imagen, Pozuelo de Alarcón, Madrid. Artistic direction of the collection: Vicente Todolí.



The circa 3,000m2 headquarters at Ciudad de la Imagen, hold 72 works by 24 artists, including Pavel Büchler, Anthony McCall, Markus Schinwald, Ernesto Neto, Sophie Calle, Kader Attia, Candice Breitz, Ceal Floyer, Fiona Tan and Fernando Bryce's 'Work in Progress' (2006) a suite of 80 ink drawings (below).


 
Monday, 22th April 2013 

Visit artists studios: Fernando Sánchez Castillo and Cristina Lucas.


How many curators can you fit in an artist studio?

Espacio Valverde group show included a work by Antonio R. Montesinos, one of the members of Rampa.


AVE back to Barcelona... end of journey.

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

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"Digression(s), Entry Point(s): An interview with Heman Chong", Singapore-based artist, curator and writer. Eighth in the #OpenCurating research series

 Cover of the interview. Photo: Joan Kee.


Interview available for download as a pdf or readable on ISSUU via Latitudes' web.

Heman Chong’s art practice is comprised of “an investigation into the philosophies, reasons and methods of individuals and communities imagining the future”. His ongoing project, The Lonely Ones, looks at the representation of solitude and the “last man on earth” genre in art, film and literature, and is the basis for a forthcoming novel entitled Prospectus. Chong’s recent solo exhibitions include LEM 1, Rossi & Rossi, London (2012), Calendars (2020–2096), NUSMuseum, Singapore (2011) and The Sole Proprietor and other Stories, Vitamin Creative Space, Guangzhou (2007). He has participated in numerous group exhibitions including the Asia Pacific Triennale 7 (2012), Performa 11 (2011), Momentum 6 (2011), Manifesta 8 (2010), Busan Biennale (2004), and the 50th Venice Biennale (2003) representing Singapore. Amonograph of his work entitled "The Part In The Story Where We Lost Count Of The Days", edited by Pauline J. Yao, will be published in June 2013 by ArtAsiaPacific

The interview was initiated at Spring Workshop, Hong Kong, in the context of Chong’s invitation to Latitudes to make a curatorial residency as part of Moderation(s), a year-long series of programming between Spring and Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam. "Digression(s), Entry Point(s): An interview with Heman Chong" also includes a guest spot with Gotherburg-based artist and writer Anthony Marcellini.

Follow:
@LTTDS 
#OpenCurating 
@HemanChong
#Moderations

ABOUT #OPENCURATING

Drawing on the emerging practices of so-called 'Open Journalism' – which seek to better collaborate with and use the ability of anyone to publish and share#OpenCurating is a research project that investigates how contemporary art projects may function beyond the traditional format of exhibition-and-catalogue. #OpenCurating is concerned with new forms of interaction between publics – whether online followers or physical visitors – with artworks and their production, display and discursive context.

The project is articulated around a series of ten new interviews with curators, artists, writers and online strategists published as a free digital edition [read here the published ones so far], a Twitter discussion moderated around the hashtag #OpenCurating and an public conversation with Dia Art Foundation curator which took place at MACBA on the 19 February.

#OpenCurating is a research project by Latitudes produced through La Capella. BCN Producció 2012 of the Institut de Cultura de Barcelona. 










Content partners: Walker Art Center

 



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Report from Dublin and Derry-Londonderry: research trip to Ireland, 8–14 March 2013

View of Dublin's 1816 Ha'penny Bridge nearby Temple Bar.

Invited by Dublin City Council: The Arts Office, Latitudes visited art spaces, artists' studios and galleries in Dublin and Derry-Londonderry throughout the week.

The schedule included visits to the Red Stables Studios; Temple Bar Gallery + Studios; Fire Station Artists' Studios; Green On Red Gallery; Kevin Kavanagh Gallery and Project Arts Centre - Visual Arts, as well as talks by
Latitudes to students of the MA in Visual Arts Practices (MAVIS) (8 March, 3pm), and at the recently inaugurated CCA Derry~Londonderry (9 March, 7pm) as well as participation in the seminar "Within the Public Realm" at the Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane (12 March, 2–5pm), alongside curator Aisling Prior and the artist Sean Lynch.





 Latitudes was invited to Dublin in the context of the Barcelona Mayor's visit to Dublin and the renewing of the twinning agreement between the two cities. Here a coffee table at the Lord Mayor's Mansion House displays "Atlas of the Irish Rural Landscape" and "Barcelona" books.


 Talking to MA in Visual Arts Practice (MAVIS) students at The Lab on 8 March. Photo: @lemuela


9 March: After +4h bus ride north, we arrive at Centre for Contemporary Art in Derry–Londonderry for a talk that evening at 7pm.

View of CCA's galleries hosting the touring exhibition The Grand Domestic Revolution GOES ON (GDR), which in Derry-Londonderry "focuses on the contemporary working conditions of caregivers—primarily mothers and grandmothers—in the domestic sphere."


 In the galleries, two of the London-based design collective Åbäke (Patrick Lacey, Benjamin Reichen, Kajsa Ståhl and Maki Suzuki), building a bed inspired by a 1970s design by Enzo Mari.
 

Collection of books on domestic spaces, DYI, cooking, gardening, self-build architecture, urban planning, etc. accompany the The Grand Domestic Revolution GOES ON (GDR) exhibition.


Aileen Burns and Johan Lundh, co-directors of CCA Derry–Londonderry, hosted a wonderful Thai pre-talk dinner.


Sunday walk around the Bloody Sunday Memorial and the Bogside area of Derry-Londonderry.


Two of the murals around Bogside.


Ernesto Che Guevara Lynch mural in Derry-Londonderry's Bogside.


With Aileen and Johan at Kinnagoe Bay in Donegal, site of 1588 shipwreck of one of the Spanish Armada ships.


11 March: Back to our temporary home in Dublin's The Red Stables in St. Anne's Park.


A windswept North Bull Island looking towards the city.

  Visitor Centre at North Bull Island.


12 March: Studio visits at Temple Bar Studios + Gallery in the heart of the city.


Temple Bar Studios + Gallery, a former shirt-factory building, celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.

 
Studio of artist Alan Butler, one of the 30 on site.

 
Setting up for the 2–5pm talk at The Hugh Lane Dublin City Gallery organised by MAVIS, The Hugh Lane and Dublin City Council.


After the seminar, artists Sean Lynch and Michele Horrigan took us to see the 'failed' Richard Serra nearby the Guiness factory.


13 March: Visiting the sculpture workshop facilities of Fire Station Artists' Studios with Development Manager Liz Burns and Director Clodagh Kenny.

Studio of Martin Healy in Fire Station Artists' Studios and his work around perpetual motion. 


Artist Maria Mc Kinney research on wheat weaving and straw craft techniques for her project 'Garlands'.


Karl Burke "wooden drawings" photos and renderings.


Crossing the Sean O'Casey bridge to begin a gallery tour including Green on Red Gallery, Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Project Arts Space and Temple Bar Studios + Gallery, with Dublin-based critic, curator and Senior Lecturer at the School of Irish, Celtic, Folklore & Linguistics, Caioimhin MacGiolla Leith.


Group show "Material Fact" at Green On Red Gallery included works by Silvia Bächli, Paul Doran, Dennis McNulty and Gerard Byrne (photographed), one of the more well-known Irish artists.


'Detached' group show at Project Arts Centre, guest curated by The Artists' Institute director and founder Anthony Huberman, recently appointed Director of CCA Wattis in San Francisco.


Alice Channer's "Amphibians" (left) and Sunah Choi's "Abdrucke (Imprints)", 2011-13 (wall)

 

Temple Bar Studios + Gallery, hosted 'Or tears, Of Course' a solo show of British artist Ed Atkins (photos above and below).

 

Gathering plenty of material during studio visits, lunches, dinners and meetings.


14 March: Morning visit to the wondrous Natural History, a 1857 building displaying "animals from Ireland and overseas, also geological exhibits from a total collection of about 2 million scientific specimens".


 Ground floor gallery dedicated to dedicated to "Irish animals, featuring giant deer skeletons and a variety of mammals, birds and fish".




The minimal education department are doing a great job at dynamising the nicknamed "Dead Zoo" or "Museum of Museums": The 5 year old giraffe has her own twitter account @SpotticusNH and they will soon host a "night at the museum" event where a few kids will be able to sleep (or try to) in the museum galleries.


 The stunning upper gallery was "laid out in the 19th Century in a scientific arrangement showing animals by taxonomic group. This scheme demonstrated the diversity of animal life in an evolutionary sequence." Unfortunately the second and third floor balconies have been closed due to a safety review as they do not comply with current safety regulations, which impedes visitors from seeing, amongst many other things, the museum's unique collection of glass models manufactured in Dresden in the late 19th Century by the father-and-son team of Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka




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

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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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