Latitudes reviews MACBA's 'Universal Archive', Frieze #121, March 2009

The forthcoming issue of Frieze magazine (Issue 121, March 2009) includes a review by Max Andrews and Mariana Cánepa Luna on MACBA's exhibition 'Universal Archive' (23 October 2008–6 January 2009). 

Below a short extract:

"Of the blockbuster cultural initiatives that have been inspired and hosted by the Catalan capital in 2008, no two could be further apart than Woody Allen’s dismaying Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008) and the MACBA exhibition ‘Universal Archive: The Condition of the Document and the Modern Photographic Utopia’, a hugely ambitious genealogy of the documentary form of photography (co-produced and touring to the Museu Colecção Berardo-Arte Moderna e Contemporãnea, Lisbon). While Allen’s facile vision of Barcelona and the ‘flamboyant artist’ character of his male lead (played by Javier Bardem) demonstrated the ‘Olé!’ version of the city’s self-branding, ‘Universal Archive’ was difficult to digest by comparison. The exhibition, which comprised some 2,000 photographs, presented a tough and awkward depiction of the grittier sides of the city and uncompromisingly explored the often-unglamorous role of the artist–documentarian within it. 

The exhibition’s wonderfully unwieldy scale and its dizzying categorization refused benign consumption. Both its strength and its weakness lay in the fact that it was really three projects under one roof, covering a time span from 1850 to the present day. Even three visits did not truly do the show justice, but its exhausting extent nevertheless perfectly complemented the archival strategies it presented, as if its densely-installed two floors – encompassing legions of framed prints and closely-packed vitrines and several digital slideshows – were inspired by a labyrinthine Borgesian tale. For many visitors, the stamina required to experience it could have been off-putting. There are only so many images of shift workers, tract housing, farmland or grain silos that one can absorb. Yet, attempting to embrace such immense amounts of data – whether Timothy H. O’Sullivan’s territorial surveys of the USA in the 1860s and ’70s, August Sander’s collective portrait of the German people in the late 1920s, or the Mass-Observation movement in Britain from 1937 until the early 1950s – provided the exhilarating, if relentless, basis for the whole project."

...Continue reading on Frieze online.

[Image above: Cover of Frieze's issue 121; Image below: Pere Català Pic, 'Fotomuntatge sobre el Barri Gòtic per a la societat d'Atracció de Forasters de Barcelona', 1935. Arxiu Històric de la Ciutat de Barcelona – Arxiu Fotogràfic.]

Lawrence Weiner's "A CLOTH OF COTTON..." as an action in Barcelona, October 2008

Latitudes' project ‘THE CREST OF A WAVE’ by Lawrence Weiner opened at the Fundació Suñol in Barcelona on 8 October 2008.

The project was divided in four parts – the presentation of an ephemeral sculpture (1) (sugar packets distributed throughout Barcelona), a wall installation (2) and a sound work (3) exhibited at Nivell Zero space of Fundació Suñol, and an action (4), now photo and video documented. The latter was a physical manifestation of the statement common to each part: "A CLOTH OF COTTON WRAPPED AROUND A HORSESHOE OF IRON TOSSED UPON THE CREST OF A WAVE", i.e. an iron horseshoe was wrapped in cotton cloth (here typical Catalan material used for 'farcells'/cloth bundles) and was tossed upon a wave’s crest.

The action took place on the 'rompeolas' of the Barcelona port/ferry terminal on 6 October 2008. Horseshoes were thrown in waves by Lawrence Weiner, Sergi Aguilar (artist and director of Fundació Suñol), and Latitudes (Mariana Cánepa Luna and Max Andrews). 

Video shot by Xavier de Luca, and edited by bang!bang!

Charla con Doryun Chong, 18 Febrero 19.30h, Librería La Central c/Mallorca, 237 (Barcelona)

Miércoles 18 de febrero, 19.30h
Charla con Doryun Chong, Comisario Asociado, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA

Librería La Central | c/ Mallorca, 237 (MAP) | 08008 Barcelona |

Tickets*: 4€, se adquirieren en la caja de La Central

Doryun hablará sobre algunos de sus proyectos en el Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, y sobre lo que implica trabajar en una institución multidisciplinaria desde el medio-oeste geográfico de los Estados Unidos.

Doryun Chong (Korea, 1973) es Comisario Asociado de Artes Visuales en el Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, donde ha trabajado desde el 2003. Las exposiciones que ha co-comisariado en el Walker incluyen: "House of Oracles: A Huang Yong Ping Retrospective" (2005), "Brave New Worlds" (2007) y "Tetsumi Kudo: Garden of Metamorphosis" (2008). También en el Walker, Chong ha desarrollado residencias de artistas y proyectos expositivos con varios artistas entre los que se incluyen: Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla, Rirkrit Tiravanija y Catherine Sullivan. Actualmente está trabajando en la organización de una residencia y exposición de la artista Haegue Yang (Korea/Berlin). Doryun fue uno de los comisarios de la Busan Biennale, Busan, Sur Korea en el 2006.

Charla del ciclo de Vena (porla) programada en colaboración con Latitudes | www.lttds.org
Más info: http://venablog.wordpress.com/charlas

Agradecimientos: La Central e YProductions

El equipo de Vena (por la) y Latitudes organiza esta serie de charlas sin ánimo de lucro. La compra de tu ticket se invierte íntegramente en la realización de futuras presentaciones. Gracias por tu colaboración. 

Imágenes de la presentación tomadas por Latitudes:

Production of Jan Dibbets '6 Hours Tide Object with Correction of Perspective' (2009) in pictures and the press

Production of Jan Dibbets '6 Hours Tide Object with Correction of Perspective' (2009). Photo: Paloma Polo. Courtesy of the artist and SKOR.

This past Sunday 8 February started very early for Latitudes – we were on the beach of the Maasvlakte, Rotterdam, before first light with cameraman Fijko van Leeuwen in readiness for the filming of the new 2009 version (forty years later to the month) of Jan Dibbets' 1969 '12 Hours Tide Object with Correction of Perspective' (see previous post here). The resulting film, titled '6 Hours Tide Object with Correction of Perspective' is the first of Portscapes projects, commissioned by the Port of Rotterdam in collaboration with SKOR and curated by Latitudes.

Production of Jan Dibbets '6 Hours Tide Object with Correction of Perspective' (2009). Photo: Paloma Polo. Courtesy of the artist and SKOR.

Soon after Dibbets and Theo Tegelaers from SKOR arrived and, with bulldozer driver Jan Vader at the ready and van Leeuwen up on the hydraulic lift, the 'square' was marked out and the camera was ready to roll.

Production of Jan Dibbets '6 Hours Tide Object with Correction of Perspective' (2009). Photo: Freek van Aarkel. Courtesy of the artist and SKOR.
A bus with special guests and press arrived just in time to see the beginning of the raking action, and after a brief hail storm, the tide rose rapidly on cue around 12.30 to inundate the 'perspective correction'. A spectacular morning on the Dutch coast! Many thanks to everyone involved.

Production of Jan Dibbets '6 Hours Tide Object with Correction of Perspective' (2009). Photo: Latitudes. Courtesy of the artist and SKOR.

Critic Rutger Pontzen wrote about the event in the Dutch paper De Volkskrant and Ruud van Haastrecht's article appeared in Trouw (articles below). Also see features in Schuttevaer, BM/DeStem and Metropolis M.

NRC Handelsblad published a good "making of" slideshow here.

The event was photographed for the Port of Rotterdam by Freek van Arkel and for SKOR by Paloma Polo. Our big thanks to both!

More on Latitudes website including details of the screenings of the resultant film (in Summer 09 – see post here).

You may see the 'making of' film here (part 1) and here (part 2).

Beginning of 'Portscapes': Jan Dibbets' 1969–2009 "12 Hours Tide Object with Correction of Perspective"

Production stills of Jan Dibbets '12 Hours Tide Object with Correction of Perspective', produced by Gerry Schum for the series 'Land Art' in 1969. Courtesy Jan Dibbets.

'Portscapes' is an accumulative series of artists’ projects that will take place throughout 2009 alongside the construction of ‘Maasvlakte 2’, a 2,000 hectare area of reclaimed land that will extend the Port of Rotterdam, Europe's largest seaport and industrial area. Projects of variable scales will be experienced through itineraries and destinations, comprising artist-designed tours, performances, interventions, screenings and mobile seminars, for example.

'Portscapes' will be launched during Art Rotterdam (5–8 February 2009). A prologue publication designed by Ben Laloua / Didier Pascal will be available at Portscapes' booth with contributions by Jorge Satorre, Paulien Oltheten, Maria Barnas and Erick Wesselo amongst others. Images of the publication:

'Portscapes' prologue publication designed by Ben Laloua / Didier Pascal

Events during Art Rotterdam week include:

* Thursday 5 February: tour for press and invited guests around the port and presentations by Portscapes artists Marjolijn Dijkman and Ilana Halperin as well as Theo Tegelaers from SKOR and Latitudes.

* Sunday 8 February (weather permitting) : the inaugural project will take place with the filming of an event-sculpture by the Dutch Conceptual artist Jan Dibbets. First realised in February 1969 as part of Gerry Schum's seminal 'Land Art' series of films screened on German TV, the 2009 realisation of '12 Hours Tide Object with Correction of Perspective' will be filmed forty years later to the month on the beach of the Maasvlakte.

 The artists currently developing proposals are: Lara Almarcegui, Bik van der Pol, Jan Dibbets, Marjolijn Dijkman, Fucking Good Art, Cyprien Gaillard, Ilana Halperin, Roman Keller & Christina Hemauer, Paulien Oltheten, Michael Rakowitz, Jorge Satorre, Hans Schabus and Jun Yang.

More info: www.portscapes.nl (UK/NL) and Latitudes' web.

'Portscapes' is commissioned by the Port of Rotterdam Authority advised by SKOR (Foundation for Art and Public Space, Amsterdam) and is curated by Latitudes.

Art Rotterdam (5–8 February) takes place at the Cruise Terminal in Wilheminakade 699, 3072 AP Rotterdam (MAP). Opening hours: Thursday 5 & Friday 6: 13–18h; Saturday 7 & Sunday 8: 11–19h.

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

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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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