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La cultura en España (2a parte): estadísticas, cifras y porcentajes del 2013

Hace poco más de un año analizamos los resultados ofrecidos por el Anuario de Estadísticas Culturales 2012. Hace unos días el Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deportes ha publicado el del presente año, el Anuario de Estadísticas Culturales 2013, una publicación que aporta datos de los principales indicadores del quinquenio 2008–2012. Se puede descargar en formato pdf e incluye 345 páginas, así que paciencia. 

Tal y como han resaltado varios periódicos, portales de noticias y blogs, las estadísticas desprenden ya claros datos sobre el devastador impacto que han tenido los recortes en la cultura, aunque sólo recoge datos sobre los últimos 4 meses del 2012 cuando subió el IVA al 21%, así que habrá que esperar al año próximo para ver con más claridad (¡si es que aún hubiese dudas!) el tremendo impacto que están teniendo los recortes en la economía española. Pero vayamos por partes. 

Como es de esperar, desde las administraciones (Gobierno central, local y Ayuntamientos) se ha invertido menos en cultura. La Administración General del Estado, por ejemplo, ha pasado de invertir 1.051.000 de Euros en el 2010 a 957.000 millones en el 2011, un descenso del 8,9% – no hay datos del 2012. 

Estadística de Financiación y Gasto Público en Cultura, desarrollada por el Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte. Descargar pdf aquí.



Estadística del empleo cultural en el 2012. Descargar pdf aquí.

El número de trabajadores dedicados a la cultura, en consecuencia, ha pasado de los 481.700 del año 2011 a los 457.600 de 2012, lo que supone un descenso de 24.100 empleos, según desprende el informe. Así mismo, se han perdido 1.978 empresas cuya actividad económica era la cultura (pasando de 103.320 a 101.342 en el mismo periodo).

Seguimos atónitos viendo cómo el Ministerio califica los datos de positivos, al reflejar que el sector cultural supone un 3,5% del Producto Interior Bruto (3,6% en el 2009), dato que incluye la aportación vinculada con la propiedad intelectual, y que genera un 2,6% del empleo total en España. El Ministerio ha recurrido una vez más a la recurrente frase que recalca "el significativo peso de las actividades culturales dentro de la economía española", y vuelve a señalar su importancia en la comparativa con otros sectores com la Agricultura, Ganadería y Pesca (2,5%), la industria química (1,1%) o las telecomunicaciones (1,8%).

No obstante, el gobierno hace oídos sordos a las continuas demandas del sector en aplicar un IVA super-reducido a la Cultura tal y como tienen nuestros vecinos europeos – recordamos a partir del 1 Septiembre del 2012 España soporta el IVA cultural más alto de la Unión Europea, y que sólo los libros impresos, periódicos y revistas disfrutan del 4% de IVA, el resto de actividades sufrieron la subida del tipo del 8% al 10% (música y cine) o mayores subidas de 13 puntos, del 8% al 21% en CDs, DVDs o importaciones de obras de arte y del 18% al 21% en la venta de obras de arte.

En relación al cine: El número de festivales españoles de cine han descendido dramáticamente, pasando de 80 en el 2011 a 36 un año después. Este descenso se sigue reflejando prácticamente en todas sus cifras: en millones de espectadores (98,3 millones en el 2011 a 94,2 en el 2012); películas estrenadas (511 en el 2011, 472 en el 2012), y se han producido menos cortometrajes (249 en el 2011, 228 en el 2012). El cine, no obstante, sigue siendo el espectáculo cultural con más demanda, seguido por la asistencia a espectáculos en directo.

 Estadística sobre el cine y el video. Descargar pdf aquí. En más detalle aquí.

Más datos. Ahora libros (descargar pdf de las estadísticas). En el 2011 se inscribieron 111.907 libros en ISBN, en el 2012 han sido 104.724 (80.094 de ellos en soporte papel, 24.630 en otros soportes). 7.183 libros menos para disfrutar, y un 6.4% menos de un año a otro. En cuanto a editores, en el 2012 contamos con 96.910 editores privados, frente a 7.814 públicos (eran 104.118 en el 2011, frente a 7.789 públicos), ahí hay 7.208 editores que han terminado su actividad, y como siempre ocurre en cualquier caso, la cadena que genera de descenso de empleo para diseñadores, impresores, distribuidores y para lectores, claro está, que caen en picado. 

Más llamativo es el dato que aporta el apartado 18, el titulado "Cuenta Satélite de la Cultura", cuando vemos que por sectores culturales el sector que más aporta al PIB total, es el sector de Libros y prensa, con una aportación total que representa el 38,1% en el conjunto de actividades culturales, seguido por Audiovisual y multimedia (25,9%), las Artes Plásticas (15,2%), las Artes escénicas (9,1%), el Patrimonio, archivos y bibliotecas (6,9%) y una zona gris del 5,8% perteneciente a "lo interdisciplinar" (¡a saber!). También fue el sector de los libros, quien tuvo el comportamiento más favorable del comercio exterior, con exportaciones por valor de 540,1 millones de euros (véase gráfico 6 de Comercio exterior de bienes y servicios culturales).



 Gráfico de la "Cuenta Satélite de la Cultura", descargable aquí.

En el 2012, el español ha gastado una media de €289 Euros en cultura, €24 menos que en el 2011, la mayoría de este gasto se ha invertido en "equipos y accesorios audiovisuales de tratamiento de la información e Internet", seguido por servicios culturales (cines, teatros, entradas museos, bibliotecas, etc...). 

A pesar de los datos aportados por los 18 capítulos (hubo 17 en el anuario pasado, este año se ha añadido "Asuntos taurinos" como nº 17), y de encontrar datos aislados sobre el comportamiento de las artes plásticas (¡esa terminología tan demodé!), no encontramos ningún gráfico específico a las artes visuales contemporáneas. 


Para completar el estudio, finalizamos aportando datos de una reveladora estadística que ha publicado recientemente el periódico El País sobre la representación de las mujeres españolas en el sistema del arte, con datos recogidos por la asociación Mujeres en las Artes Visuales (MAV). Y lo complementamos con un post publicado por NIAL Art Law sobre la obligación del Ministerio de Fomento a destinar en los contratos de obras públicas una partida de al menos el 1% (conocido como el "1% cultural") a trabajos de conservación o enriquecimiento del Patrimonio Cultural Español. 


Analicemos primero el artículo de El País. Lamentablemente, en él constatamos lo que ya sabemos: que en el sistema artístico también se reproduce la estructura piramidal que existe en otros sectores profesionales. Mientras que las mujeres predominan en las carreras de Bellas Artes (65% de las titulaciones) e Historia del Arte (74%), así como en los departamentos de coordinación y conservación de numerosos museos y centros de arte (un alto 81%; o un 67% que ha pasado por oposiciones para solicitar cargos de conservación en museos públicos), pocas ocupan puestos de responsabilidad (22% son directoras de museos o centros de arte contemporáneo) o de reconocimiento profesional (ninguna mujer española ha sido, por ejemplo, galardonada con el Premio Velázquez. Y aunque ya sabemos que éste es sólo un premio de los muchos existentes, es el que mejor dotación económica tiene: 100,000 Euros en 2013).


Representación de las mujeres españolas en el sistema del arte publicado en El País.

En cuanto a la adquisición de obra realizada por mujeres, museos como el Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (MNCARS) en Madrid han ido, desde 2008, adquiriendo obra con criterios paritarios (46% mujeres y 54% hombres), aunque las cifras de su colección permanente (un 4% de obras y un 6% de artistas españolas en su colección) arrastran, como apunta el artículo, un notable desequilibrio. 

Lo mismo le ocurre al Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), cuya colección tiene sólo el 9.5% de piezas producidas por mujeres frente a un total de 5,314 obras. El Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo (CAAC), es único museo que trabaja con criterios de estricta paridad en programación y compras desde 2010, aunque su colección permanente sólo tiene un 13,9% de creadoras de un total de 537. 

Y para finalizar, volvamos al llamado 1% cultural. El pasado 15 de octubre la ministra de Fomento y el ministro de Educación, Cultura y Deporte han firmado un acuerdo con el que se amplía la aportación del 1% destinado a los citados proyectos de restauración y enriquecimiento del Patrimonio Histórico al 1,5% Cultural (no aquellas obras que excedan los 601.012,10 Euros totales, o aquellas que afecten a la seguridad y defensa del Estado, así como a la seguridad de los servicios públicos). ¿Quién puede solicitarlo? 

Como bien apunta el post de Nial Art Law y recoge la web del Ministerio es el propio Estado (las Comunidades Autónomas, Ayuntamientos, Diputaciones Forales y Provinciales, Consejos y Cabildos Insulares), Universidades públicas o Fundaciones públicas o privadas sin ánimo de lucro quienes pueden solicitarlo. Está por ver qué procedimientos se seguirán para su gestión, si se regirán bajo los deseados principios de transparencia y qué requisitos se establecen en las convocatorias públicas, pues ya sabemos que muchas veces la redacción, expectativas, plazos y términos que éstas imponen determinan quienes serán los destinatarios de tales ayudas.

Una de las medidas más preocupantes, tal y como lamenta el post de Nial Art Law, es que en la gran mayoría de las ocasiones, las medidas van encaminadas a favorecer la conservación y el mantenimiento del patrimonio cultural ya existente (mayormente en inmuebles declarados de interés cultural o similares, véanse por ejemplo las actuaciones llevadas a cabo en el 2011), y no necesariamente a favorecer la generación de nuevo patrimonio cultural, es decir, a apoyar a creadores activos, peligrando en consecuencia la generación de futuro patrimonio y el apoyo a la creación actual. Y es que a este paso, si no fomentamos a la producción actual, no tendremos patrimonio futuro que queramos exponer para generaciones venideras.

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Artist-run art schools – which educational models might work in Spain?

A few days ago Rachel Spence of the Financial Times published an interesting article on "Artist-run art schools". It features a range of initiatives that are being developed with different profiles and results: from Ryan Gander's Fairfield International, a residency for artists set to open in 2015 (with business partner, creative consultant Simon Turnbull), to Wael Shawky's MASS in Alexandria or Marina Abramovic's eponymous institute with a focus on 'long durational work' (and her ego?) in upstate New York for which she has already raised more than $660,000 through a crowdfunding campaign. 

Rendering of the Fairfield International art school to open in a former Victorian primary school building in Suffolk. Photo: Fizzy Dawson Mayer.

In the article, Spence makes an interesting point about the differences between the Gander and the Shawky approach: a key element of Shawky’s Independent Art Studio & Study Programme are the trips abroad "as the contemporary art scene is still limited in Egypt". Last year its participants worked as interns at the Sharjah Biennial and visited Documenta 13 in Germany, initiatives that helped them think “about the concept of the work rather than how they craft it. The discussions they have when they come back about what they have seen are really important", as Shawky explained.

At Gander's Fairfield International – read more about his plans in this Artforum '500 words' feature – there will be a sense of it being a retreat and its by the seaside, away from "all the art world distractions that don’t help an artist work". As Gander explains, “the two most valuable elements for artists are time and space with no need to earn money”. Here residents will be chosen according to both artistic excellence and financial needs, becoming "something between an art academy and a residency, entirely free to the [12] students who are also provided with a living stipend."

The article also highlights the common reasons for starting such projects: the failure of the public sector to provide a service [artistic education] and, secondly their sense that "artists who have enjoyed certain opportunities, have a duty to fill the gap". 

This makes us think about which artistic-led educational model could be more applicable in a Spanish context – Shawky's "outwards" or Gander's "inwards"? A mixture of both? And in particular, which financial models could make it happen in a context with little philanthropic tradition or the luxury of a "sense of duty" to fill the very same gap Gander and Shawky talked about? Perhaps what we are really missing the most is an internal debate within the artistic community about if such models are desirable and if so, how can they be taken forward. 

In summer 2011, we initiated Campus at the Espai Cultural Caja Madrid in Barcelona as a tuition-free, unaccredited, pilot art school. Four one-week working sessions were held during consecutive weeks, each under the guidance of international artists. This was a one-off temporary project (the Espai closed later in December 2012) which in part aimed to provoke such a debate in the context of the diminishing arts infrastructure of Barcelona and the upsurge in artists leaving the city to pursue careers abroad.

Work space during week 1. Photo: Latitudes

Having visited Glasgow and Dublin in recent months, two cities more-or-less comparable in size to Barcelona, and visited a wealth of artists, impressively well-equipped studio facilities, and numerous artist-run-spaces, one can clearly trace back the importance of generating a robust artistic community from a strong basis of residency-based models and art schools [Glasgow School of Art's Master in Fine Art being a particularly key example of this]. These feed directly back into the artistic capacity and ambition of the type of work being produced, as well as creating exchange, an influx of new blood, aweness of the work of international peers, and generating curatorial discourse.

Related reading on artist-run / self-organised art schools initiatives: 

– In 2012, frieze featured 'New Schools' profiling artist-run art academies and education programmes The Silent University, The School of Global Art, The External Program, MASS Alexandria, SOMA in Mexico City and Islington Mill Art Academy.

– 2010 frieze also featured Piero Golia and Eric Wesley's The Mountain School of Art in Los Angeles. 

– Most recently, David Batty of The Guardian [@David_Batty] wrote 'Alternative art schools: a threat to universities?' profiling the tuition-free OpenSchoolEast, which began last September in London, backed by c. £110,000 from the Barbican and Create London. In return for a year's free tuition and studio space, their 12 participants give one day a month of their time to community activities in the borough.

 
This is the blog of the independent curatorial office Latitudes. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
All photos: Latitudes | www.lttds.org (except when noted otherwise in the photo caption).
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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Report from Glasgow: Lecture at The Common Guild and studio and gallery visits

Late last month we made a trip to Glasgow at the invitation of The Common Guild to give a lecture about the work of Roman Ondák, who currently has an exhibition there (until 14 December). We took the opportunity to stay a few days in Glasgow to see exhibitions and do some studio visits with the many artists who call the city home. A big thank you to Kitty Anderson and Katrina Brown for the invitation and hospitality.

Tea and biscuits with our talk at The Common Guild.
In our lecture on the evening of 21 November we talked about some key works by Ondák – including SK Parking (2001) and The Stray Man (2006) – suggesting how fin-de-siècle Vienna provides a lens with which to focus on its negotiation of both the cliché of "life as art" and the grim stereotype of "the everyday" in the former Eastern Europe. 

Ondák's show at The Common Guild filled the galleries of its present home in a Victorian townhouse near Kelvingrove Park with a series of works in vitrines which couple early still-life paintings and drawings by the Slovakian artist alongside the actual objects depicted. A chair, a length of rope, a twig, a vase, and so on, become caught in a humorous riddle about reality and its representation and when the "real" work of an artist can be said to have begun.


Roman Ondák at The Common Guild.
The previous day we'd visited the studio of the amazing filmmaker Luke Fowler, who was about to go to Huddersfield for their Contemporary Music festival and a collaboration with David Toop. We also met with Corin Sworn, who was one of the three artists representing Scotland at the 2013 Venice Biennial, though in fact none of them was actually Scottish. Scotland + Venice 2013 – whose final week was during our visit to Glasgow – was conceived and produced by The Common Guild. (We were also delighted to be able to meet the great filmmaker Duncan Campell, another of the Venice artists later in the week).

We'd also had time to check out the eclectic Hunterian Museum (the oldest museum in Scotland), Aaron Angell & Jack Bilbo's show at SWG3 Gallery, as well as The Modern Institute's two venues. At the Aird's Lane branch was a show by furniture designer Martino Gamper while the Osborne Street HQ, a former bathhouse, has a show by Chris Johanson.


The Modern Institute Aird's Lane: Martino Gamper.
The Modern Institute at Osborne Street: Chris Johanson.
Aaron Angell & Jack Bilbo's show at SWG3 Gallery.
In the south of the city, we were glad to be able to visit Tramway, the multi-use arts venue that's been running since the late 1980s and now also hosts the Scottish Ballet, as well as a huge exhibition space with an important history of shows. It hosted an impressive show by Lucy Skaer entitled "Exit, Voice and Loyalty", as well as a "House Style" a series of commissions made in response to Roundabout a series of film from the 1960s and 1970s designed to promote Britain as a progressive world leader to south and south-east Asian audiences. 

Lucy Skaer at Tramway: Exit, Voice and Loyalty takes its title from economist Albert O. Hirschman’s essay on how change comes about through dissent.
Lucy Skaer: tenmoku glazed ceramics.
Lucy Skaer: works based on ticket punch holes.
House Style, curated by Panel: film by Rob Kennedy.
Thanks to Kyla McDonald at Glasgow Sculpture Studios we visited their fantastic high-spec fabrication facilities – which include a ceramics studio, wood and metal-shop and media suites – and met with a number of artists based their. Claire Barclay had just completed a commission with Artlink commemorating the bicentenary of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital. We talked with Lauren Gault about her show at Generator Projects in Dundee, and Sarah Forrest about her recent Margaret Tait Residency in Orkney. Alex Impey told us about his interest in Michael Baxandall's "Period Eye" and Sarah Tripp had just finished edited 24 Stops, a work commissioned by Camden Arts Centre. 

Claire Barclay's studio at GSS.
Lauren Gault's studio at GSS with blue-glazed ceramic forms.
Moreover, Glasgow Sculpture Studios have an exhibition space which was hosting a show by Haegue Yang entitled Journal of Bouba/kiki, the result of a residency and Haegue's evident delight in exploring some new fabrication techniques. 


Haegue Yang's exhibition at GSS included these macramé mobiles.
Haegue Yang at GSS. Yang's residency resulted in a number of new technical innovations, included a motorized system for a new Venetian-blind installation and these ceramic hand gestures.
Finally we were happy to spend time with Carles Congost, who by Catalan coincidence, opened an exhibition at CCA Glasgow on Friday 22 November. Curated by Emma Brasó with works by Congost and Henry Coombes, "Man of the Year" runs until 26 January next year.
Fear Your Talent: Carles Congost in the shadows!

This is the blog of the independent curatorial office Latitudes. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
All photos: Latitudes | www.lttds.org (except when noted otherwise in the photo caption)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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Lecture within the seminar "ON MEDIATION. Theory and Curatorial Practices in Global Art", Universitat de Barcelona, 27 November

 Photo: Art Globalization Interculturality.
| UK |

On 27 November, Mariana Cánepa Luna of Latitudes lectured within the first module of "Case Studies: Curatorial Theory and Practices" within the theoretical and practical seminar "ON MEDIATION. Theory and Curatorial Practices in Global Art" that takes place at the Facultad de Geografía e Historia, Universitat de Barcelona until May 2014.

The seminar, organised by the research group Art Globalization Interculturality, offers perspectives around the different modes of working within curatorial practice in a postdisciplinary context.  

Latitudes presented their curatorial practice, concentrating in four particular projects that reflect the diversity of the roles they have been adopting as curators.

See programme details here (pdf of the leaflet in Spanish here).


| ES |

El 27 de noviembre, Mariana Cánepa Luna de Latitudes participó en primer módulo de "Casos de estudio: Teoría y práctica curatorial" que se incribe dentro del seminario "ON MEDIATION. Teoría y Prácticas Curatoriales en el arte global" y que tiene lugar en la Facultad de Geografía e Historia de la Universitat de Barcelona hasta el próximo Mayo 2014.

El seminario, organizado por el grupo de investigación Art Globalization Interculturality, identificará modos de hacer que impulsan a la práctica curatorial hacia un escenario posdisciplinar. 

Latitudes presentará su práctica curatorial, concentrándose especialmente en cuatro proyectos realizados recientemente que reflejan la diversidad de los roles y funciones que han adoptado como comisarios.

Ver detalles del programa aquí (pdf del folleto here).



This is the blog of the independent curatorial office Latitudes. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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Lecture on Roman Ondák at The Common Guild, Glasgow, 21 November, 6pm.

Roman Ondák, 'Shadow', 1981/2013 (Detail). Oil painting on MDF, glass, display case; 141x50x50 cm; Courtesy of the artist.

| UK |
  
Lecture on Roman Ondák at The Common Guild, Glasgow, 21 November, 6pm.

Coinciding with Roman Ondák's (Žilina, Slovakia, 1966) exhibition 'Some Thing' at The Common Guild (12 October – 14 December 2013), Latitudes will offer its thoughts on the work of the artist. Latitudes has presented Ondák’s work and written about his practice for various publications including Tate ETC.

Latitudes will talk about some key work by Roman Ondák – including SK Parking (2001) and The Stray Man (2006) – suggesting how fin-de-siècle Vienna provides a lens with which to focus on its negotiation of both the cliché of "life as art" and the grim stereotype of "the everyday" in the former Eastern Europe.

The talk will be recorded and later available on the website of The Common Guild.

Places are free but limited. 

Call +44 (0)141 428 3022 or email to book: [email protected]
21 Woodlands Terrace, Glasgow, G3 6DF

Roman Ondák, SK Parking, 2001. Slovakian Skodas were parked behind the Secession building in Vienna for two months. Event and installation at Secession, Vienna. 
Courtesy of Martin Janda, Vienna.

| ES | 

Ponencia sobre Roman Ondák en The Common Guild, Glasgow, 21 noviembre, 18h.

Coincidiendo con la exposición 'Some Thing' de Roman Ondák (Žilina, Slovakia, 1966) en The Common Guild (12 October – 14 December 2013), Latitudes dará una charla sobre la obra del artista. Latitudes ha presentado su obra y escrito sobre su práctica artística en publicaciones como Tate ETC.


Latitudes hablará sobre algunos trabajos clave de Roman Ondák incluyendo SK Parking (2001) y The Stray Man (2006) que sugieren como el fin-de-siècle vienés ofrece un lente que nos permite analizar cómo su trabajo negocia constantemente el cliché de la "vida como arte" y el sombrío estereotipo de "lo cotidiano" en la antigua Europa del Este.

La conversación será grabada y disponible a través de la web de The Common Guild.

Acceso libre, aunque limitado. 
Reservas: +44 (0)141 428 3022 o [email protected]
21 Woodlands Terrace, Glasgow, G3 6DF



This is the blog of the independent curatorial office Latitudes. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
All photos: Latitudes | www.lttds.org (except when noted otherwise in the photo caption)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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Latitudes as guest tweeters of #ARCOmeetings during ARCOmadrid 2014

Photo: Latitudes
In the build-up and during ARCOmadrid, Latitudes will be reporting on and live-tweeting from the forthcoming Professional Meetings as well as the 3rd Meeting of European & Latin American Museums. 

Reserved exclusively for professionals, and with admission by invitation only, each of these closed-door meetings provides an opportunity for guests to share their thoughts, compare experiences and discuss new ideas.

Follow us on twitter: @ARCOmeetings and join us using #ARCOmeetings
We'll be gathering all the social media posts here: http://storify.com/ARCOmeetings/2014

Photo: ARCOmadrid.
Programme 19–22 February 2014

Wednesday 19 February, noon–2pm
3rd MEETING OF EUROPEAN AND IBERO-AMERICAN MUSEUMS

Session co-organised with the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.
Moderated by:
João Fernandes, Deputy Director, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.
Jesús Carrillo, Head of Cultural Programmes,
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.
Rosario Peiró, Head of Collections,
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.

Twitter
@MuseoReinaSofia
Participants: 
Zdenka Badovinac, Cristina Cámara, Cosmin Costinas, Ticio Escobar, Patrick Flores, Rafael García, Lola Hinojosa, Vasif Kortun, Pablo León de la Barra, Soledad Liaño, Ana Longoni, Natalia Majluf, Cuauhtémoc Medina, Joanna Mytkowska, Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro, José Roca, Berta Sureda, Luiz Augusto Teixeira, Steven ten Thije.
 
Wednesday 19 February, 4–6pm

MATERIAL CULTURE AND CONTEMPORARY ART 
Moderated by:
Ruba Katrib, Curator, SculptureCenter, New York.

Twitter
@RubaKatrib
@sculpturecenter

Participants:  
Max Andrews, Patrick Charpenel, Reem Fadda, Nav Haq, Geir Haraldseth, Candice Hopkins, Gabi Ngcobo, Paul O’Neill, Nicolaus Schafhausen. 

Thursday 20 February, noon–2pm
TALKING ABOUT MY GENERATION: ON THE RELEVANCE OF GENERATIONS IN CONTEMPORARY CURATING  
Moderated by: 
Martha Kirszenbaum, Independent Curator, Paris/Los Angeles.
 
Participants: 
Antonia Alampi, Karen Archey, Marc Bembekoff, Jarrett Gregory, Tobi Maier, Andrea Rodriguez, Jakob Schillinger, Aura Seikkula, Polly Staple. 

Thursday 20 February, 4–6pm
PARTICIPATORY ART PRACTICE - CHALLENGES AND POTENTIAL
 

Moderated by: 
Paula Toppila, Executive Director of IHME Contemporary Art Festival in Helsinki, Finland.
Twitter

@PToppila
@ihme_fi
#FocusFinland
 
Participants:  
Mônica Hoff, Alistair Hudson, Mary Jane Jacob, Kaija Kaitavuori, Aaron Levy, Raimundas Malasauskas, Ramon Parramon, Yasmil Raymond. 

Friday 21 February, noon–2pm 
ARTIST RESIDENCIES. COLLABORATION MODELS AND STRATEGIES
Session organized by Acción Cultural Española (AC/E)
Moderated by:  
Juan de Nieves, Curator and Director of Rupert (Vilnius, Lithuania), a new centre for contemporary art based on a programme of independent studies, residencies and exhibitions. 
Twitter:  
@JuanDeNieves 
@Rupert_Vilnius
@acecultura 
Participants: 
Carlota Álvarez Basso, Alessio Antoniolli, Tere Badía, Francisca Caporali, Amanda Cruz, Pablo Guardiola, Juha Huuskonen, Zineb Sedira, Agnieszka Sosnowska, Mathilde Villeneuve. 
(Note: "Biennials at the Periphery" is a two-part session) 
Friday 21 February, noon–2pm and 4–6pm
BIENNIALS AT THE PERIPHERY
Moderated by:  
Irene Hofmann, Phillips Director and Chief Curator of SITE Santa Fe in New Mexico; and Lucía Sanromán, Independent curator and writer, and co-curator of the forthcoming SITElines 2014.  
Twitter:  
@SITESantaFe  
Participants:
Brooke Davis Anderson, Dan Cameron, Jota Castro, Janet Dees, Taru Elfving, Candice Hopkins, Bill Kelley jr., Sally Tallant. 

Saturday 22 February, noon–2pm
CURATING AFRICA (IN, FROM AND FOR) 
Moderated by: 
Miguel Amado, Independent Curator, Lisbon/Barcelona. Amado has been the Curator of the Portuguese Pavilion "Trafaria Praia" at the 2013 Venice Biennale.
Participants: 
Elise Atangana, Christa Clarke, Elvira Dyangani Ose, Caroline Hancock, Nadine Siegert, Bomi Odufunade, Gabi Ngcobo, Suzana Sousa. 



This is the blog of the independent curatorial office Latitudes. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
All photos: Latitudes | www.lttds.org (except when noted otherwise in the photo caption)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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Report from Paris: FIAC week, 21–28 October 2013

Latitudes was recently invited to take part in the 2013 Young Curators Invitational programme (YCI) coinciding with FIAC, the Parisian art fair that has been gaining acclaim in recent years, particularly since Jennifer Flay took over as director in 2003 and relocated the fair to the light-filled Grand Palais in 2006. This was its 40th edition and it included more outdoor installations, a new performance series and a film screening series. Held since 2006 as a collaboration between the art fair, Fondation d’Entreprise Ricard and the Institut Français, YCI gathers a group of curators during FIAC week for a programme of visits to Parisian cultural institutions, as well as a series of meetings with art professionals that gather on the occasion of the fair.

The other 2013 participants were Maaike Lauwaert (Curator, Stroom den Haag, The Hague), Christiane Rekade (independent curator based in Berlin), Margit Säde Lehni (Independent curator based in Estonia and Zürich and co-publisher of Rollo Press), Miriam Kathrein (Curator at TBA21, Vienna) and Amira Gad (Managing Curator/Publications at Witte de With, Rotterdam and Managing Curator, Fogo Island Arts, Canada). The YCI is by invitation only, and Latitudes were thankful to be recommended by Zoë Gray (independent curator based in Brussels and vice-president of IKT).

In addition to the following, you can also check out photodocumentation in the archive of tweets and instagrams posted during the week.


Monday 21 October: After arrival and introductions among the group, we set off to the press view of Philippe Parreno's solo show at Palais de Tokyo. "Anywhere, Anywhere, Out Of The World" took over the whole of the Palais de Tokyo, a vast space of 22,000 square metres that Parreno had orchestrated, according to the venue website "along the lines of a dramatic composition where the spectral presence of objects, music, lights, and films guide and manipulate the visitor’s experience, offering a journey through his works, both old and new, transforming this monologue into a polyphony". Voilà! 

In a recent interview between the artist and Jennifer Higgie, frieze co-editor, Parreno discussed his ideas for his exhibition at Palais de Tokyo: "I’m going to structure my exhibition around the score of Igor Stravinsky’s 1910 ballet, Petrushka.. (...) At the Palais de Tokyo, all of the pauses and movements will be directed by the piano. Petrushka will be the master of the show, its code. In automation you always ask who is the master and who is the slave. Here the show will be enslaved by a piano. When certain notes are played, something particular will happen: for example, lights will flicker according to the piano movement; and at the moment when the ballet dancer appears, my film Marilyn (2012) will be screened. People will do certain things, like in a Kafka novel where people also follow the programme. I am looking at the Palais de Tokyo itself as if it were an automaton."

For a more experiental description of the exhibition, you might read the review by The Guardian contributor Adrian Searle (although somewhat missleadingly it introduces Parreno only as a video artist). Check also Ivo Bonacorsi's on Domus with lots of great photos.


Installation, Petrouchka by Stranvinski, recorded by Mikhail Rudy on a Yamaha "Disklavier" piano, 2013.


Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster's bookshelf gives access to a secret room containing a recreation of a John Cage and Merce Cunningham show.


 Theatrical entrance awnings flashed on and off in synch with another digital piano-roll.


Parreno in collaboration with Douglas Gordon, "Zidane: un portrait du XXIème siècle", 2006.

General view of the exhibition.

Tuesday 22 October: The following day we visited the Château de Versailles (no introduction needed), whose vast gardens hosted works by arte povera éminence grise Giuseppe Penone, including tree-and-rock sculptures such as that recently seen at Kassel's Karlsauer Park during the past Documenta 13. The works where supported by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès.


On our way back to Paris, we stopped at Calmart to visit Nicolas Boulard's solo exhibition "The rule of cool" at the Centre d'art Albert Chanot (until 22 December).

View of Nicolas Boulard's "Aéroplane" (2013) and on the right fifteen "Agroglyphes" (2011-12), drawings of crop designs applied in different geographies.

In the afternoon we strolled around the Berges de Seine (checking out the installations along the left bank of the Seine) and the Jardin des Tuileries, sites of FIAC's 'Hors les Murs' programme with interventions and sculptures by artists including Societé Réaliste (pictured below their "UN Camouflage" (2013)).

  
Visit to the Jardin des plantes followed by a reception at the Grande Galerie de l'Évolution. Victor Costales and Julia Rometti installation "Roca | Azul | Jacinto | Marino | Errante" (2013) (photographed below) was one of the many works displayed around the Jardin. Last year the piece was part of the artists stand which won the illy SustainArt Prize during ARCOmadrid 2012. 
 

Before the reception at the splendorous Grande Galerie de l'Évolution (below), we watched the new film "Apotomé" by Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla at the auditorium, which takes as its starting point the attempt of a man to communicate with two fossil elephants that arrived at the Museum in March 1798.




Wednesday 23 October: Closed-door session "Curatorial research, criticism and publishing practices in the French art scene" at the Auditorium du Grand Palais, FIAC. Photographed below (left to right): Ida Soulard (Art Historian and Research Director of Fieldwork: Marfa); Emilie Villez (Director of Kadist Foundation, Paris) and Marie Cozette (Director of the Synagogue de Delme). Other speakers were Pierre Bal-Blanc (Director of CAC Brétigny); Elisabeth Lebovici (Art Critic and Senior Lecturer at EHESS) and Benjamin Thorel (Art Critic, curator at castillo/corrales, and editor of Paraguay Press). The panel was moderated by curator and writer, Vincent Normand.



As time was limited we decide to concentrate and peruse the upper floor of FIAC, stopping at the stands of Galerie Jan Mot (Brussels), gb Agency (Paris), Monitor (Rome), ProjecteSD (Barcelona), Jocelyn Wolff (Paris), Vitamin Creative Space (Guanghzou), LABOR (Mexico City), Ellen de Bruijne Projects (Amsterdam),  Meessen de Clercq (Brussels), castillo/corrales (Paris), Parra & Romero (Madrid), RODEO (Istanbul and winner of the Lafayette Prize), Juliette Jongma (Amsterdam), Bugada & Cargnel (Paris), Galerie Jousse Enterprise (Paris) and Motive Gallery (Amsterdam), (participating in their last fair, as they will soon wrap up their gallery programme and transition into an institute). 

Towards the first floor level of FIAC, the Salon d’Honneur.

Guillaume Leblon, Asier Mendizabal and Iñaki Bonillas on the photo. ProjecteSD, Barcelona.

 Koki Tanaka at Vitamin Creative Space, Guanghzou.


 Hans Schabus at Jocelyn Wolff, Paris, where he also had a solo show we later visited.
 Francesco Arena performance at Monitor, Rome.
Christodoulous Panayiotou shoes made of leather bags given by his friends at the stand of RODEO, Istanbul.
Wonderful set of prints by Terence Gower of Sert's US Embassy in Bagdad at LABOR from Mexico City.
 Adrien Missika at the stand of parisian Bugada & Cargnel.
 More works by Costales and Rometti, here at Jousse Enterprise.
hunt kastner exhibited a solo presentation of Eva Kotatkova, following her much-discussed work in the current Venice Biennale.
                                                 
Early afternoon visit to Kadist Foundation and tour of the exhibition "Room by us" by the artist Nicolás Paris (on view until 8 December).


We ended the day visiting Pierre Huyghe's exhibition at Centre Pompidou and the 2012 Prix Marcel Duchamp at the Espace 315. The latter featured a large tapestry of merino wool, a painting on silk and a bodybuilder sculpture made of oak by Daniel Dewar and Grégory Gicquel (both on view until 6 January 2014).
 

Huyghe's retrospective exhibition presented fifty works that span over the last twenty years of production. As stated in the exhibition leaflet "The exhibition emphasizes the living and organic dimension of his propositions, which envisage the space as a world in intself, unplanned, living according to its own rhythms: it is not so much the points but rather the flow, the interplay and the intensities arising between the elements that he reveals. Moreover, the exhibition highlights the filiations between the works, sometimes separated by as much as a decade: adolescents wearing the heads of animals for La Toison d'Or (1993) in a park in Dijon hence relate to the protagonists of the procession in Streamside Day (2003) or even to Human, the dog with the pink leg [see Documenta 13 photodocumentation]. Rooted in the walls and remnatns of previous exhibitions, particularly the preceding one of Mike Kelley, the show opens towards the exterior in an outgrowth, where certain organic and climatic works can exist."  

Untitled (Liegender Frauenakt), 2012. Presented in the recent Documenta 13 last year – see photodocumentation.
Part of the installation in three acts "L'Expedition Scintillante", 2002. 

 Here: "De Hory Modigliani" (2007) "The Host and the Cloud" (video, 2010) & "RSI, un bout de réel" (2006).

Thursday 24 October: Fondation Ricard exhibition "La vie matérielle" curated by Yann Chateigné, Chair of the Department of Visual Arts at the Haute école d’art et de design in Geneva. The show presents works by Stéphane Barbier-Bouvet, Jonathan Binet, Alex Cecchetti, Caroline Mesquita, Chloé Quenum, Lili Reynaud Dewar, Alexandre Singh, Benjamin Valenza (see more photos here), and was organised on the occasion of the 15th Prix Fondation d'entreprise Ricard, an award that consist in the purchase of a work from the winner, which is then donated to the Centre Pompidou and presented in the permanent collections of the institution. The 2013 awardee was Lili Reynaud Dewar.



During our free time, we set off to the Musée d'art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (MAM) to visit the group show "Decorum. Carpets and tapestries by artists" (on view until 9 February 2014). London-based artist Marc Camille Chaimowicz directed the exhibition scenography together with architect Christine Ilex Beinemeier, and Jean-Philippe Antoine, professor of Aesthetics, selected a playlist of 65 songs (including pieces by John Cage, Béla Bartók, Michael Nyman, David Crosby or Brian Eno) which accompanies the visitor to the exhibition [it can also be listened to here and on the website of the exhibition]. The sprawling exhibition, laid out under five loose thematic sections ("Painterly", "Decorative", "Orientalisms", "Primitivisms" and the "Sculptural") presented over a hundred pieces by modernist artists (Fernand Léger, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Alexander Calder, Anni Albers) alongside contemporary artists (including Isabel Cornaro, Leonor Antunes, Albert Oehlen, Mai-Thu Perret, Vincent Vulsma), and started off with two large installations, by Franz West ("Auditorium", 1982), made up of sofas covered with oriental carpets on which the public is invited to sit, and a large weaving loom by Michael Beutler which reflects on mass production and collaborative work. Watch a short video documentary here (in French).


General view of the exhibition.

  (Above) Work by Elsi Giauque's "Élément Spatial" (1979). Colection of MUDAC, Lausanne.  

We also visited Bétonsalon, centre d'art et de recherche which hosted the publication-as-exhibition "They remember only the photographs". It focused on the research undertaken at the Bibliothèque Kandinsky (Centre Pompidou MNAM-CCI) by the research group "Modern and contemporary art photographed" of the Ecole du Louvre and the University Paris Diderot - Paris 7, represented by five students from the association Politik’art. It represented the research undertaken at the by ten students from the Ecole du Louvre Masters degree. More photos here.


Reconnecting with our programmed schedule we visited the Cité internationale des arts and made studio visits with artists Benoit Pype, Stéphanie Lagarde and Pieter Van der Schaaf. With over 300 individual studios and living spaces facilities in Marais and Montmatre, the Cité internationale des arts has, since 1965, provided short or long stays (2 months to 1 year) for over 18,000 professional artists who want to develop an artistic work in France.


Pieter Van der Schaaf's Untitled (postcards), 2013. 

Lagarde is researching the peculiar names of the different varieties of iris (Pink Confetti, Midsummer Night's Dream, Oregon Skies, Dancing Shiva...) in order to compose a series of poems and at a later stage, to plant them following the order of her poem.
 
To end the day, we had a meeting with artist Farah Atassi (shortlisted for the 2013 Marcel Duchamp prize) at Galerie Xippas. The winner, announced on Saturday 26th, was Latifa Echakhch (born in 1974, represented by kamel mennour, Paris). Other shortlisted artists were Claire Fontaine (collective founded in Paris in 2004 represented by Chantal Crousel and Air de Paris) and Raphaël Zarka (born in 1977, represented by Michel Rein, Paris).
 

We later had an impromptu meeting with artists Bevis Martin and Charlie Youle, who exhibited at the temporary space Galerie Samy Abraham's had at the Espace des Blancs Manteaux during FIAC.



The day ended with several openings around Marais: gb agency with Omer Fast; Galerie Chantal Croussel with Abraham Cruzvillegas; Galerie Jousse Enterprise with Superflex; Campoli Presti with Liz Deschenes, Yvon Lambert with David Claerbout, New Gallery with Daniel Keller; TORRI with a group show with works by Braco Dimitrijevic, Hamish Fulton, Ai Wei Wei and Zhao Zhao... comme ci, comme ça.

 Galerie Chantal Croussel with Abraham Cruzvillegas.

 Daniel Keller's "Lazy Ocean Drift" at New Gallery.

Friday 25 October: Visit to the artist-run-space Treize and tour of Belleville galleries: Samy Abraham; Balice Hertling; Antoine Levi; Marcelle Alix; Crèvecoeur; Jocelyn Wolff and castillo/corrales.


The artist-run-space Treize hosted the show "Pavillon Moret" with works by Sophie Lamm, Sarah Tritz, Lucille Uhlrich and Marion Verboom.

Antoine Levi hosted the solo show "Problems of Style" by Sean Townley.

Jocelyn Wolff presented a solo show of Austrian artist Hans Schabus.


Marcelle Alix presented a solo show of English artist Ian Kiaer.


Crèvecoeur hosted the solo show "The Public Imagination" Erica Baum.

 Visiting castillo/corrales space which hosted 26 works generously donated by a bunch of artists soon after auctioned as part of their annual benefit event

Le Plateau/FRAC Île-de-France with the solo show "Make Every Show Like it's your Last" by British artist Ryan Gander.

We finished our day with a guided tour of the exhibition Europunk at Cité de la musique by its curator David Sanson, and a visit to the recently opened Chalet Society (a new association founded in 2012 by former Palais de Tokyo director, Marc-Olivier Wahler), which hosted "The Hidden World. Jim Shaw / A Didactic Collection" (until 29 December). The show included astonishing materials from the artist collection which accounts as his source of inspiration: "secret societies, far-fetched orders and fraternities, evangelical and fundamentalist movements, New Age spiritualists, Scientologists, Mormons, Freemasons, ultraconservatives and all kinds of conspirators, encyclopaedias for children and even Dr. Netter’s famous medical illustrations". Occuping 1,000m2 on 14 boulevard Raspail, this former school also hosts a "conceptual crêperie" and a shop with books selected by the califormnian artist.


During the weekend we had time to visit a museum that came highly recommended by those that knew our taste for obscure collections and wunderkammer exhibits, the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature (picture below). We also returned to the Centre Pompidou to pay a visit to their 'Plural Modernities 1905–1970' exhibition. This re-reading of the collection showcased a series of interrelated micro-exhibitions and is well worth a visit. Rarely seen works populated the fourth floor galleries in an effort to present to what until recently were considered 'minor' modernities. There was a special focus on the Maghreb, Latin America and Asia, the latter represented by a selection of works by Asian artists living in Paris at the height of Impressionism, whose work followed the same aesthetic principles. There were some delightful inclusions such as the wealth of art journal covers that filled the walls as wallpaper, allowing the visitor to cross-relate the graphics and texts to the paintings and sculptures produced concurrently. Gallery guide here.


Façade of the Pompidou.


This is the blog of the independent curatorial office Latitudes. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
All photos: Latitudes | www.lttds.org (except when noted otherwise in the photo caption).
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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Report from Athens: "AGORA", 4th Athens Biennale 2013

The former stock exchange displayed nine digital price boards, a work by George Harvalias.

The tumultuous events of the last years in Greece have seen hundreds of thousands of people rallying, striking and rioting to protest the waves of austerity measures imposed on the debt-stricken country. Protestors have repeatedly clashed with police, lives have been lost, unemployment has skyrocketed, and the government warned in 2010 that the nation was "on the brink of the abyss". This year's Athens Biennale set itself the courageous task of asking, "Now what?". Taking its cue from the notion of the agora as a place of gathering and collaborative reconciliation, the Biennale transposed an ancient discursive framework onto the holy mess of the present. Its bitingly resonant main venue was the former Athens stock exchange, not quite a ruin, but a scarred shell of a building in the centre of the city.



  
The main hall of the former Athens stock exchange building on Sofocleous Street. This neo-Classical building opened in 1876 and was the trading floor for shares listed on the ATHEX exchange until it moved to another venue in July 2007. The nine digital price boards (the actual boards of the former exchange) was a work by George Harvalias, perhaps the touchstone of the biennial. It reproduced the share prices from the last day's trading in the building in 26 June 2007 when prices were near their peak value, with no sign of the subsequent catastrophic market crash to come. 


 






The text work on the balcony of the stock exchange hall was part of series entitled "New Behavioral Notes" (2012) by Dimitris Dokatzis, an Athenian artist of the same generation as Harvalias born in the 1950s. The words read "Money – Money! That is always the danger with you", a fragment taken from an Agatha Christie novel.



Among the younger generation of Greek artists and the more veiled comments on the financial crises, Constantinos Hadzinikolaou showed "Peacock" (2003–13), a Super 8 loop of a male Peafowl's extravagant courtship display.

One of at least three Spanish artists in the Biennial (besides Catalans Núria Güell and Ester Partegàs), Fernando García-Dory focused "on Pacific, Caribbean and Mediterranean islands as semi-enclosed ecosystems that stage the classic neo-liberal drama in which local economies succumb to the promissory spectacle of worldly paradise."

The guts of the Biennale were a series of discussions, workshops and roundtables, and on 12 October 2013 the main venue hosted a fascinating, sobering and graph-filled economics conference, featuring blue-chip economists from around the world including Heiner Flassbeck, Director of the Division on Globalization and Development Strategies of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Poka-Yio, Biennale co-founder and co-director introduced the conference (photographed above). 


Paolo Manasse, Professor of Macroeconomics and International Economic Policy at the University of Bologna.


This year's biennale is fully online and can be followed on twitter #AB4AGORA, facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Vimeo and YouTube platforms. Alternatively, for an overview of what's coming up, check out the biennale calendar.

AB4 was put together by a large group of contributing curators and collaborating correspondents as well as through an open call for projects. One of the features of the exhibition was the presence of a number of artists from Chicago, reflecting the engagement of Stephanie Smith, Deputy Director and Chief Curator of the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago. (Stephanie was a contributor to the Latitudes-edited "Land, Art: A Cultural Ecology Handbook"). Among them, Geof Oppenheimer stood out with his "Reversals" (2013) new work which grew out of the sifting of archival advertising and press images to comprise ambiguous montages of economic affluence and political intrigue (photographed above). 



At the Contemporary Art Meeting Point (CAMP, on 4 Eupolidos & 2 Apellou str.), material related to four decades of socially engaged art in Chicago was presented under the name "Never the Same", the archive led by Daniel Tucker and Rebecca Zorach (photographed above). 



Of the artists more familiar from the better-worn paths of contemporary art, Gabriel Kuri presented "Quick Standards" (2005), which comprised four emergency blankets taped on wooden sticks.

We were very grateful to curator and art historian Christoforos Marinos and his partner Xenia Kalpaktsoglou (co-founder and co-director of the force that is the Athens Biennale) for helping us in setting up some impromptu meetings with some impressive artists while we were in Athens. We managed to meet Vangelis Vlahos, Kostis Velonis, Rallou Panagiotou, AlexandrosTzannis, Kernel (an artist/architect curatorial collaboration of Pegy Zali, Petros Moris and Theodoros Giannakis) and Dora Economou


(Above) Kernel (Pegy Zali, Petros Moris and Theodoros Giannakis) at the café of the Athens Biennial.

Apart from the Biennial, elsewhere in Athens, the Deste Foundation/Dakis Joannou Collection presented "The System of Objects", a show inspired by Jean Baudrillard's 1968 book of the same name. Curated by Andreas Angelidakis with Italian curator Maria Cristina Didero, the show extended over densely-installed rooms which were, as Angelidakis suggested "a little bit like floating down that river of the internet... Cypriot antiquities float alongside major installations by Maurizio Cattelan, paintings by Jeff Koons and worn out red vinyl tights from American Apparel? A seminal Archizoom chair from 1968 floats next to a painting by a Cypriot artist given to Dakis ages ago? Really?".
 

 

And of course what visit to Athens could ignore the treasures of the National Archaeological Museum? Of the objects on show, the finds from the Antikythera shipwreck were perhaps the most astonishing. Dated to 60–50 BC, they came from what experts believe was a freighter packed with Greek art headed to Italy. Ancient reminders from the dawn of the art trade, the antiquities – half consumed by the sea – were brought together for the first time in a special exhibition. 


 


This is the blog of the independent curatorial office Latitudes. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
All photos: Latitudes | www.lttds.org (except when noted otherwise in the photo caption)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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"Modernitat Amagada" (Hidden Modernity), an exhibition at Casa Capell, Mataró (3–31 October 2013)

 Casa Capell at the Parc Central, Mataró.

'Modernitat Amagada' (3–31 October 2013), organised by ACM (Associació per a la Cultura i l’Art Contemporani de Mataró), was a short-lived group show at Casa Capell in Mataró, the wonderful former home of the Masjuan family ("former" as today there are hardly any traces of its original domestic use as it has been coverted into City Hall offices for its department of sustainability). It was built in 1959 by Jordi Capell (1925–1970), a little-known rationalist architect, mathematician and humanist.

The exhibition extended over two floors, presenting works by Alexander Apóstol, Xavier Arenós, Rafel G. Bianchi, Eva Fàbregas, Carla Filipe, Regina Giménez, Terence Gower and Jaume Roure, as well as works by its two organisers, the artists Domènec and Dani Montlleó. The works were mostly produced in 2013, and ranged from sculptural interventions (Eva Fàbregas), responses to the home environment and its particular architecture (Rafel G. Bianchi, Regina Giménez, Jaume Roure), to contributions by artists whose artistic practice usually navigates the field of modern architecture (Terence Gower, Domènec, Xavier Arenós). 
 First room included works by Carla Filipe (on the table), Jaume Roure (by the chimney) and Eva Fàbregas (by the window). All works from 2013. 

Carla Filipe, "Ideal City and Current Town" (2013). 10 acrylic stands with collages. 
 Detail of Carla Filipe's "Ideal City and Current Town" (2013).

Extending the line of her previous projects, Carla Filipe recuperated lost or forgotten memories, trying to connect unknown fragments of local history. Her modules revived the 'Moderno Escondido' (Hidden Modernity) concept which was developed by Portuguese architects in the 1950s and 60s and which resulted in a series of offices, chuches, domestic spaces and commercial spaces though now these are mostly abandoned, both physically and ideologically. 
Regina Giménez, "Composició en vermell, groc, blau i blanc" (Composition in red, yellow, blue and white, 2013).

Regina Giménez thought of her painting as a wink to Capell, the house's modernist architect who was also a fervent activist for Catalan culture, dovetailing him with two referents of Modernism, the artist Piet Mondrian and the architect Mies van der Rohe. Her work suggested a possible intervention within the dinning room of Casa Capell – the incorporatation of a red carpet, white and blue cushions and a yellow wall – based on the principles of Neoplasticism, a movement which often used these primary colours in modern architecture, colours which are coincidentally also that of the Estelada, the Catalan independence flag. 
Jaume Roure, "RE: Projecte Casa Capell" (2013). 

Upon visiting the house and realising that little trace was visible of its original domestic use, Jaume Roure decided to recuperate the family presence by trying to locate photographs and personal memories of the original inhabitants. He couldn't find any photographs and only knew they were a couple with four children. He therefore tried to put faces to them by reconstructing a series of fictional images of what he thought they would look like, and framed them as if these memories were finally coming back to their original setting. 
 Eva Fàbregas, "Collapsible Sculptures" (2013).

The series "Collapsible Sculptures" reflected on the progressive 'containerisation' of our culture  which since the 1950s has triggered a revolution in the production and transportation of merchandising. Our daily lives have also been highly affected by this shift: our food is able to be stored and transported and so are our domestic environments with modular, foldable, extensible or stackable items. Fàbregas sculptures (located in three spaces throughout the house), revealed the correspondences between mass-production and the aesthetics of Modernity.
Above: Jaume Roure, "RE: Projecte Casa Capell" (2013), and below on the screen the 17' video "New Utopias" (2010) by Terence Gower.

Still from "New Utopias" (2010) by Terence Gower.

(From the artist's website): "New Utopias is a lecture about pop culture utopias filmed in the style of a 1950s Walt Disney documentary. The set, costuming, lighting and camera work are based on 1950s television production standards. But where the original Disney documentaries celebrated rockets and nuclear technology, this updated version promotes aesthetic frivolity, sexual perversion and UFO abduction fantasies. Among the new utopias under analysis are an afrofuturist extraterrestrial society, a dreary French seaside town transformed into an aesthetic paradise, and a retelling of the Frankenstein myth set in a sexual utopia ruled by the uninhibited libido. This video is shown accompanied by the Mothership Blueprints."
 Rafel G. Bianchi, Album (2013). 6x7 slides on lightbox.

Rafel Bianchi's slides portrayed the cacti he had been documenting in his own garden in Barcelona. Upon visiting Casa Capell, he felt the need to bring some of the domesticity back to a space which was heavily restored in 2009–10 for it new adminstrative use. Cacti are a recurring motif used in the photographic documentation of architectural spaces, plants that often appear in photographs of works by the Catalan architect and city planner Josep Lluís Sert. Upon finishing a commission, Sert would arrange furniture and plants, with the aim of trying to give an appearance of domesticity and commodity as well as of Mediterraneity and modenity. 
 More "Collapsible Sculptures" by Eva Fàbregas downstairs by the window towering as cacti. These are reminiscent of those projected by Mexican architect Juan O’Gorman to protect Kahlo and Rivera's studio in Mexico City.
Lower gallery with works by Domènec (left) and Dani Montlleó (right).
Lower gallery with works by Dani Montlleó (left) and Alexander Apóstol (right).

Alexander Apóstol's photographic series "Le Corbusier quemado en Bogotá" (2005), documented the interior of the burnt Centro Nariño, a residencial campus of 23 buildings built in Bogotá, developed by Colombian architects following the doctrines of Le Corbusier, who earlier proposed a modern city that was finally never built. Amindst student revolts in the 60s, the buildings were set on fire, destroying most of its interiors, which are still intact amongst the ashes and electric wiring revealing some of the important traces that the Modern thinking left in Latin American cities.

 Domènec, "Conversation Piece: Narkomfin" (2013). Maquette and formica chairs.

"Conversation Piece: Narkomfin" (2013) was supported on two formica chairs, typically used in 1950s and 60s homes, and a maquette of the social housing Narkomfin, a building that fascinated Le Corbusier in his 1930s trip to the Soviet Union and that later inspired his Unité Habitation in Marseille.

 
Maquette of Jean Prouvé's ’Maison Bulldog’ (2011) by Dani Montlleó

This little half-bunker, half-trench-looking house of Dani Montlleó's work was also planned in 1959 (as was Can Masjuan house) for the writer Louis-Ferdinand Céline, although he died shortly after in 1961. The house was a replica of the Villa Arpel, designed by Jacques Lagrange for Jacques Tati's film "Mon Oncle" (1958).
 
Xavier Arenós, ’Madriguera#10. Proun. Desenterrament’ (2012). 15' with music by Rafa Ruiz.

Arenós' video, suitably projected in the lower floor storage room, recreated an excavation in which a Proun – a projection of an imaginary space, a term coined by El Lissitsky in the 1920s – is seemingly unearthed, like an anachronic residue of a remote civilisation, a transitional object. The accompanying futuristic soundtrack enhanced its science-fiction atmosphere.


This is the blog of the independent curatorial office Latitudes. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
All photos: Latitudes | www.lttds.org (except when noted otherwise in the photo caption)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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Two texts by Manuel Segade and Max Andrews analyse the current Spanish art scene

Two recent texts reflect on the current Spanish art scene, both noting the damaging effects of not only the ongoing budget cuts, but on the deleterious political interference in the programming of numerous museums and art centres throughout the country – perhaps the most notorious of which saw the resignation of MUSAC's Eva González-Sancho after three months as director of the León museum, followed by the resignation of the museum's artistic committee

The texts are written by Manuel Segade, a Spanish-born independent curator based in Paris; and by British Barcelona-based curator Max Andrews of Latitudes, offering critical and analytical perspectives from both the inside and the outside of Spain.
 
"Art and Society in Spain on the Edge of Critical Emergency" by Manuel Segade written for the September 2013 issue of Artpress (see pages below), offers a brief genealogy from the 1990s until today, mapping the rise and the activities of art centres, museums, art fairs, commercial galleries and artists. (Click on the images below for a larger view of the text.)



"On a Shoestring – Institutions in Catalonia" written for the October 2013 issue (#158) of frieze magazine by Max Andrews of Latitudes, focuses on the art scene of the Catalan capital and the effects of its cultural policies towards the creative industries. Mentioning the documentary MACBA: The Right, the Left and the Rich (1h 27m, 2013) [watch it here – in Catalan with Spanish subtitles] as an example of a critical strategy, the text questions the direction of the city's politics with regards to art.  

 (Click on the image for a larger view of the text, or else you can read it here online.)



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