Longitudes

Longitudes cuts across Latitudes’ projects and research with news, updates, and reportage.

Cover Story, March 2016: José Antonio Hernández-Díez: The sacred heart of the matter

March 2016 cover story. This and previous stories are archived here.

The March 2016 cover story marks the twelve of the series. This section published monthly on our home page, focuses on an artwork or moment related to our past, current or future practice – "close ups" of what we do, see and are thinking about. (When the next Cover Story is published, the March one will be archived here.)

'José Antonio Hernández-Díez. I will fear no evil' opens at MACBA’s Convent dels Àngels on 18 March 2016 (and runs until 26 June). Guest curated by Latitudes, the exhibition focuses on the Barcelona-based Venezuelan artist’s first experimental works from the late 1980s and early 1990s. 

The presence of ghosts and bodily organs in this phase of José Antonio’s out-of-joint art – videographic spectres, disembodied voices, preserved creatures, hearts and skin – is only enhanced by the somewhat necromantic aspect of the fact that several of his works are being reconstructed. Dealing with the symbology and spiritual practices of Catholicism, 'Sagrado Corazón Activo' (Active Sacred Heart, 1991) is one of the pieces which will be brought back to life. In a workshop in Barcelona’s Gràcia, sculptor Fernando Romeo is making its heart. Continue reading...


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Curators: 'I Will Fear No Evil', José Antonio Hernández-Díez, Convent dels Àngels del Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), 18 March–26 June 2016

José Antonio Hernández-Díez, "La Hermandad", 1994. Video installation. ”la Caixa” / MACBA Collection.

Latitudes is curating the solo exhibition 'I will fear no evil' of Venezuelan-born Barcelona-based artist José Antonio Hernández-Díez (Caracas, 1964), which will open at the Convent dels Àngels del Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), on March 17.
 
'I will fear no evil' presents works from the beginning of Hernández-Díez’s career in the late 1980s and early nineties – several of which have not been seen since they were first exhibited – in dialogue with Filamentos (2016), a new series developed especially for the occasion.

José Antonio Hernández-Díez, "La Hermandad", 1994. Video installation. ”la Caixa” / MACBA Collection.

The present exhibition looks back to Hernández-Díez’s first experimental works with video alongside early iconic screen- and vitrine-based works, including three of those presented at the time of his landmark first monographic exhibition 'San Guinefort y otras devociones', held in 1991 at Sala RG in Caracas. This exhibition heralded what the artist termed as a ‘New Christian Iconography’, offering – as artist-colleague Meyer Vaisman described – ‘a techno-pop view of Catholicism’s most beloved symbols’. 

An newly text by Latitudes will be published in Spanish as No. 32 of the Quaderns portàtils (Portable Notebooks) series. This MACBA-produced collection is freely distributed and downloadable from the museum website in PDF and ePUB format. An English translation will also be available as a separate PDF.

Exhibition runs between 18 March–26 June 2016 and is organised and produced by the Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA).
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Documentation of Latitudes' talks at the Athens Biennale summit and Tabakalera, Donostia-San Sebastián, November 2015


Latitudes in the international Summit 'Synapse 1' at New Rex of the National Theatre of Greece. 'Session II: Rethinking Institutions', November 18, 2015. Photo: Athens Biennale.

Documentation of two recent presentations by Latitudes in Athens and Donostia–San Sebastián is now online. 

Entitled Omonoia (‘concord’ in Greek), the Athens Biennale 2015–17 is directed by Massimiliano Mollona and will grow over the next two years with the help of anthropologists, researchers, activists, academics, artists and civic organisations. In November 2016, Omonoia launched with the summit Synapse 1: Introducing a laboratory for production post-2011. Latitudes participated in the “Rethinking Institutions” session alongside Maria Hlavajova (founder and artistic director of BAK, Utrecht); political economist Leo Panitch; Emily Pethick, director of The Showroom, London; Documenta 14 Artistic Director Adam Szymczyk; public services expert Hilary Wainwright, and Amalia Zepou, Athens Vice Mayor for Civil Society and Municipality Decentralization. 

By way of introduced we discussed the “Near-Future Artworlds Curatorial Disruption Foresight Group”, the forum for megatrends and the future of institutions of contemporary art that has taken place in May 2015 at the Vessel / MADA (Monash Art Design and Architecture) 2015 International Curatorial Retreat in Bari, Italy; in August at Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco, and in November at Eastside Projects, Birmingham, UK. We followed this with some geological speculation that in “digging deeper” both literally and figuratively, we perhaps find new institutional models. How do we think about artworks and institutions in terms of tens of thousands of years, for example.

See the video here (in English).


Public lecture organised by consonni as part of LaPublika. Tabakalera, Donostia–San Sebastián. Wednesday, November 11, 2015. Photo: Consonni.

Also in November, Latitudes led the workshop “Beyond The Roundabout, or How Public Is Public Art?” for consonni/LaPublika at Tabakalera. As part of this Latitudes gave a public lecture. The workshop addressed the work of artists who conceptualize or actualize their works against a backdrop of vast stretches of time or topological change. In the public lecture we made various transects through our curatorial projects determined by the public sphere, raw materials and their transformation. “From the zinc which led to an Esperanto micro-nation, to the air of a Beijing shopping centre, or the dead trees of printed news, Latitudes will join some traits and ideas around ‘human resources’, extractive modernity, obsolescence and the carbon cycle.” 

Hear the audio here (in Spanish). 

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      Cover Story, February 2016: Sarah Ortmeyer, Towering allusions



      The February 2016 Cover Story is dedicated to Sarah Ortmeyer's piece VITRINE MAURICE (2011) presented as part of the group show Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes & des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne at Meessen De Clercq, Brussels.

       
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      Jurado y equipo tutorial de BCN Producció 2016, La Capella, Barcelona.


      Photo: La Capella.

      El jurado de BCN Producció 2016 formado por los artistas Francesc Ruiz y Mireia Sallarès, y los comisarios Glòria Picazo, David Armengol y Latitudes junto con el director de La Capella, Oriol Gual (con voz y sin voto), ha seleccionado nueve proyectos de entre las 240 solicitudes recibidas para su producción y presentación a lo largo de la temporada 2016 en el espacio de La Capella – a excepción de los dos proyectos deslocalizados. 

      Proyectos individuales (abril / junio / septiembre 2016)
      • 'Background Immunity' de Ricardo Trigo
      • 'No es homosexual simplemente el homófilo sino el cegado por el falo perdido' de Equipo Palomar (Rafael Marcos Mota / Mario Páez Sanchez)
      • 'El misterio de Caviria' de Antoni Hervàs
       

      Espai Cub (abril / junio / septiembre 2016)
      • 'Demo' de Pau Magrané / PLOM
      • 'Until I am no longer able to stand' de Anna Dot

      • 'Cartas desde el bosque' de Bárbara Sánchez B.
       

      Proyectos deslocalizado (a lo largo del 2016)
      • ' Teatre amador' de Oriol Nogués
      • 'La materia como forma' de Ariadna Parreu
       

      Proyecto de comisariado (Noviembre 2016–Enero 2017)
      • 'La dissidència nostàlgica' de Joana Hurtado Matheu


      Iniciamos nuestra tarea como parte del equipo tutorial junto a David Armengol y Mireia Sallarès. ¡Ganas de trabajar y de celebrar el 10º aniversario de BCN producció!
       
      BCN producció es una convocatoria anual dirigida a la comunidad artística de Barcelona (y su área de influencia), para la producción y presentación de tres exposiciones individuales en la Sala Gran de La Capella, tres en el Espai Cub, un proyecto de comisariado y dos proyectos deslocalizados. Es una iniciativa del Institut de Cultura de Barcelona (ICUB) del Ajuntament de Barcelona.


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      • Proyecto de investigación ‘#OpenCurating’, BCN Producció 2012, Barcelona, junio 2012–april 2013.  
      • Ten interviews with artists, curators, archivists, online dept., editors around how the internet is changing artistic and curatorial practice  – free download via Issuu. 
      • The rise of Web 2.0 and an increasing expectation of participation and transparency is transforming our political, social and cultural landscape. What relevance does this have in contemporary art production, exhibition making and curatorial authorship? Storify #OpenCurating
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      January 2016 Monthly Cover Story: Kasper Akhøj's Eileen Gray’s E.1027


      NEW YEAR / 
      NEW MONTH / 
      NEW MONTHLY COVER STORY /

      The January "Cover Story" features a black-and-white photo by Danish artist Kasper Akhøj taken from the living room of Eileen Gray's E.1027, the seaside villa built at Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France, in the late 1920s. The image is part of the series 'Welcome (TO THE TEKNIVAL)' that Kasper has been working on since 2008 examining the process of restoration and the convoluted history of this icon of modern architecture. On January 16, Kasper will open a solo show at Ellen de Bruijne PROJECTS, Amsterdam. A publication designed by Copenhagen-based designer Anni's will include an essay by Latitudes’s Max Andrews.

      We first got to know Kasper in 2007 in the United Arab Emirates. Kasper was there installing 'Autoxylopyrocycloboros' (2006) for Simon Starling as part of Sharjah Biennial 8, while we were there curating the biennial’s symposium. Four years later, in 2011, we were delighted to include Kasper’s work in the Latitudes’ group show Exposition International des Art Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes & des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne (International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts & Art and Technology in Modern Life) at Meessen De Clercq, Brussels, in 2011. Here he presented a slideshow which centred on the ‘Abstracta’ display system, originally designed by the Danish architect and designer Poul Cadovious in the 1960s. 

      Happy 2016! 



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      More from OMONOIA – Athens Biennale 2015–2017 on our December Cover Story

      International Summit Synapse 1 at New Rex of the National Theatre of Greece. 'Session II: Rethinking Institutions': (from left to right) Leo Panitch, Maria Hlavajova, Adam Szymczyk, Amalia Zepou (moderator), Hilary Wainwright, Emily Pethick, Latitudes (Max Andrews & Mariana Cánepa Luna) © Eva Galatsanou.

      The above picture by Eva Galatsanou was taken during 'Session II: Rethinking Institutions' one of the
      Summit panels that launched OMONOIA, the Athens Biennale 2015–2017. Latitudes participated in this panel on November 18, as one of the speakers. Our current Cover Story on Latitudes' home page features this event at the National Theatre of Greece, New Rex.  

      Below some more photos of that day and the working group meetings that took place at the former Bageion Hotel (18 Omonoia Square) on November 19, 2015.

       Omonoia Square. On the left the Bageion Hotel (with the orange banner), HQ of the Athens Biennial 2015–2017.
       
      Omonoia Square from the first floor of the Bageion Hotel.

       Artistic Director Massimiliano Mollona, and Athens Biennale directors Xenia Kalpaktsoglou (left) and Poka-Yio (right) welcome guests to the second day of the Summit "Synapse 1: Introducing a laboratory for production post". 

       After the welcoming words, guests joined closed-door working groups sessions around the building on 'Cooperativism', 'Commons & Urban Welfare', 'Alternative Currencies' and 'Solidarity Networks'.

       10am–1pm: Latitudes joined the 'Commons & Urban Welfare' working group which had representatives of Avtonomi Akadimia (GR), Omada Metavasis / Transition (GR), Omikron Project (GR), Sarantaporo (GR), Votanikos Kipos Squat (GR), Athens Wireless Metropolitan Network (TBC) (GR), Green Park (TBC) (GR), Luigi Coppola (Parco Commune dei Frutti Minori, IT), Sylvia de Fanti (Teatro Valle, IT) and Federica Giardini.

      2–5pm: During the Open Assembly, artist, activist and Berlin-based curator Margarita Tsomou feeds back to the audience what was discussed during the 'Solidarity Networks' working group which had representatives from Refugees Welcome (GR), Solidarity4all (GR), HYLE[Ύλη]matter (GR), Notara Squat (TBC) (GR), The Other Human (TBC) (GR), Metropolitan Community Clinic at Helliniko (GR), European Village (GR), Ivor Stodolsky (Perpetuum Mobile) (NO).

      Potent voices like that of Tsomou raised questions about a proposed 'open' biennale format and the possible (in)adequacy of visual arts to host activism. "I do my activism in the street" – she exclaimed. (Tsomou has recently interviewed Adam Szymczyk (artistic director of documenta 14) for DIE ZEIT – download here.)

       Other speakers were more direct in their pragmatism and asked the forum "What do we have? Do we have a hammer? Do we have chairs?" to which Mollona and Poka-Yio responded the biennial has the Bageion Hotel building and in-kind sponsorship for production, everything else has to be decided and invented collectively for the next two years. 

       End of the Open Assembly at the Bageion Hotel.

       Stairs of the Bageion Hotel.


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      Latitudes in the 'OMONOIA' Summit of the Athens Biennale 2015–2017

      1960s view of Omonoia Square (Concord Square) in Athens – one of the many views of the site shared in this Flickr.

      Latitudes will participate in one of the three panels that will comprise a two-day International Summit (18–19 November) that initiate the next two years of activities of the next edition of the Athens Biennale, titled “OMONOIA” (Concord). Intuitive towards the institution of biennales, the Athens Biennale intends to revise its identity and bridges the past with the present and the future by merging the fifth edition (2015) with the sixth (2017). 

      The Summit is framed within the "Synapse 1: Introducing a laboratory for production post" the first synapse of what will be an ongoing series of events that will run over the next two years. 

      The first day (18 November, 9:30–20h: National Theatre – New Rex, 48 Panepistimiou ) of the Summit will be organised under three panel discussions – Alternative Economies, The Performative in the Political, Rethinking Institutions. See the programme here.

      The second day (19 November 2015, 9:30–20h, Bageion, 18 Omonoia Square) will host a series of working groups between scholars, self-organised initiatives, cooperatives and activists as well as an open assembly that will summarise the proceedings and discuss potentials for the future.

      The aim of the Summit is to promote transnational knowledge-exchange and consider common grounds among academics, artists, activists and initiatives involved in practices of commoning, urban welfare and grassroots participation and kickstart the urban laboratory that the Athens Biennale aims to become for the next two years.

      #AB5to6
      #ΟΜΟΝΟΙΑ
      #AthensBiennale


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      This is the blog of the independent curatorial office Latitudes. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
      All photos: Latitudes | www.lttds.org (except when noted otherwise in the photo caption).

      Work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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      'Near-Future Artworlds Curatorial Disruption Foresight Group' seminar convenes in its third iteration in Birmingham's Eastside Projects, 15 November 2015

      Façade of Eastside Projects in Birmingham.

      Latitudes
      will lead a day-long session on November 15, one of the two-day self-reflective evaluation sessions that the Extra Special People (ESP) Associate scheme programme of Eastside Projects is organising under the title "Re-Imagining ESP II".

      Taking place during the weekend of the 14–15 November in Birmingham, UK, these two sessions are aimed at stimulating a conversation amongst the current members of the practice-led peer support network ESP in order to explore the possibility of them becoming active participants and even producers instead of receivers of predefined formats and contents.


      This will be the third iteration of the 'Near-Future Artworlds...' meetings (following those in Bari and San Francisco) – a forum for informal dialogue about megatrends and the future of contemporary art institutions.  

      The first meeting in Bari broadly addressed to what degree organisational forms of art institutions are embracing or resisting similar transformations through various curatorial/editorial prototypes and prognosticative use-case scenarios. With an emphasis on cross-pollination between design thinking and curatorial thinking, the second meeting in San Francisco broached, among other things, the notion of the post-disciplinary, and the question of appropriate speeds or periodicities institutions should follow

      Poster produced for the seminar by Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco.

      In Birmingham, the session will collectively imagine a ‘What if?’ – a post-apocalyptic scenario in which an art ecology has to be regrown from the ground up. What would be most urgent in terms of organisation, facilities, tools? The second part of the meeting will involve a practical exercise modeled to prototype initiatives that might be best suited to Birmingham’s real or imagined artistic, economic and social context.

      In order to be conducive to freedom of interaction, these meetings are held under the Chatham House Rule. This allows participants to express personal views, to listen, reflect and gather insights with a clear distinction from the position of their employers and/or the policies of any associated organization. Participation is expected, but there will be no resolutions issued, no votes are undertaken, and no policy statements proposed.


      Archive photo of ESP activity. Courtesy: Eastside Projects.

      Extra Special People (ESP)
      is a practice-led peer support network organised by Eastside Projects that "works with artists, designers, curators and writers to support the development of work, ideas, connections and careers through a programme of events, opportunities, and projects. Members become active contributors to a practice-led peer support network and benefit from Eastside Projects’ experience of the contemporary art world and regional, national and international contacts."

      Eastside Projects is an "internationally renowned centre of excellence based in a free public gallery imagined and organized by artists, in partnership with Birmingham City University." Eastside Projects is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation, supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Breakthrough Fund 2010-14, and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

      Eastside Projects
      86 Heath Mill Lane
      Birmingham B9 4AR
      0121-771-1778
      www.eastsideprojects.org
      www.extraspecialpeople.org


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      This is the blog of the independent curatorial office Latitudes. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
      All photos: Latitudes | www.lttds.org (except when noted otherwise in the photo caption)
      Work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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      LaPublika – Public sphere laboratory for artistic research, consonni, Donostia, 10–11 November 2015


      Latitudes has been invited by consonni to give a two-day seminar and a public lecture in the context of LaPublika, a programme of activities concerning the way artistic practices construct the public sphere. The programme will take place over the next two years in the recently opened International Centre for Contemporary Culture Tabakalera in Donostia, on the 10 and 11 November, and is a joint initiative together with Donostia-San Sebastian European Cultural Capital 2016.

      "Public sphere here is understood as spaces considered to be public (the street, the square, the city), as well as the internet or the communications media, and the mechanisms with which we participate in managing what is common (language, rites, norms, the aesthetic of collective processes). At a time when new social and civic paradigms are arising, LaPublika seeks to provide a framework of work and reflection upon those processes." (....) "In addition to the presence-based programme, all the activities have their version in podcast format on LaPublika’s radio-web, the central hub of the project, which is also backed up by programming involving interviews, radio spots and sound pieces."


      Visitors at Robert Smithson's "Broken Circle" (1971), an event organised by Land Art Contemporary. Picture: Kunstbeeld.
      Breaking Ground: Broken Circle/Spiral Hill, by Robert Smithson & Nancy Holt - See more at: http://ajuntament.barcelona.cat/lavirreina/en/activities/breaking-ground-broken-circlespiral-hill-robert-smithson-nancy-holt#sthash.8wxhhHQB.dpuf

      Breaking Ground: Broken Circle/Spiral Hill, by Robert Smithson & Nancy Holt - See more at: http://ajuntament.barcelona.cat/lavirreina/en/activities/breaking-ground-broken-circlespiral-hill-robert-smithson-nancy-holt#sthash.8wxhhHQB.dpuf

      Breaking Ground: Broken Circle/Spiral Hill, by Robert Smithson & Nancy Holt - See more at: http://ajuntament.barcelona.cat/lavirreina/en/activities/breaking-ground-broken-circlespiral-hill-robert-smithson-nancy-holt#sthash.8wxhhHQB.dpuf
      Breaking Ground: Broken Circle/Spiral Hill, by Robert Smithson & Nancy Holt - See more at: http://ajuntament.barcelona.cat/lavirreina/en/activities/breaking-ground-broken-circlespiral-hill-robert-smithson-nancy-holt#sthash.8wxhhHQB.dpuf
      Latitudes' workshop titled “Beyond the roundabout, or what’s public about public art?” will take the legacy of Land Art as a starting point – or more specifically, Robert Smithson’s notion of “continual movement” – to address the multiple temporalities which can constitute the form of an artwork in public space. Approaching projects (rather than beholding objects) the workshop will discuss artists who conceptualize or actualize their works against a backdrop of vast stretches of time or topological change. In the context of a networked culture which seems to offer an accelerating and horizontal concept of the public sphere, the workshop will furthermore address what is at stake when “digging deep” and slowing down.

       Production of Jan Dibbets' "6 Hours Tide Object with Correction of Perspective" (1969–2009) on 9 February 2009 the Port of Rotterdam, a beach that has now disappeared to become Maasvlakte 2. Photo: Latitudes.

      For the public lecture on November 11, Latitudes will forgo a chronological account of its projects of the last decade, and instead attempt various transects through its curatorial projects determined by the public sphere, raw materials and their transformation. From the zinc which led to an Esperanto micro-nation, to the air of a Beijing shopping centre, or the dead trees of printed news, Latitudes will join some traits and ideas around “human resources”, extractive modernity, obsolescence and the carbon cycle.

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