Longitudes

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

Latitudes "Out of office", 2013–2014 season

This is the sixth consecutive year [see 2008-9, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012–13] that we wave goodbye to the season as many of us say 'hello, holidays' by sharing what has become something of a Latitudes' tradition. Our yearly 'out of office' includes some unseen and 'behind the scenes' moments from the last season. This casual yearly report has always been a welcome opportunity to revise the many photographs that have been buried on hard drives, to reflect on the past year, the fantastic people we met, enriching things we have seen, and to recharge for future challenges. 

This post heralds a short period of deceleration of our online activity (that is tending to our inbox, as well as this blog, Facebook and Twitter). We'll take a short break during August, but will be back in September with renewed energy. Until then, have a great summer break/Feliz verano dear readers!   

11–16 October 2013: 'Agora', Athens Biennial 4, Greece. Read the full report here
Beautiful Acropolis floor.
Afternoon light over the façade of the National Archaeological Museum.

An astonishing exhibition presenting severely-eroded antiquities recovered from the legendary shipwreck off the islet of Antikythera, south of the Peloponnese. (Hello, Matthew Monahan and Thomas Houseago!)

21–28 October 2013: As part of the Young Curators Invitational programme (YCI) coinciding with FIAC, we were invited to visit several institutions, gallery spaces and studios in Paris – Click here to read the full report of that week, or here for the archive of our tweets


Group photo of the Young Curators Invitational programme (YCI) 2013 participants nearby one of the massive and over-the-top fountains at Versailles. Some 1980s (or maybe 1880s?) dance moves going on for some reason.


We were looking forward to visiting this particular 18th-Century cabinet of curiosities, but only managed to take this one photo before we were told off. It's the Cabinet de Curiosités de Joseph Bonnier de La Mosson, at the Médiathèque of the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle at the Jardin des Plantes. Quite a lot of fluff has been written about Cabinets de Curosités and exhibition-making, and some terrible art made in its name, but this slice of history is quite extraordinary, beautiful and shocking and 'very much of its time' to put it mildly. See some better photos here

16 November 2013: Seminar for "Curating the present. Theory and practice of the contemporary art exhibition", organised by Tania Pardo, Sergio Rubira and Alberto Sánchez Balmisawith  La Casa Encendida, Madrid.


About to begin our lecture... 

During our Madrid visit, we visited Roman Ondák's intervention at Palacio de Cristal (above) which got a short mention in our Roman Ondák lecture in Glasgow a few days after.

20 November 2013: At the kind invitation of the wonderful The Common Guild in Glasgow, on 21 November we gave a lecture about the work of Roman Ondák – read the text here. We also took the opportunity to do some studio visits – see full Report from Glasgow (posted on 4 December) – including Lucy Skaer's exhibition at Tramway; see Max's Frieze review.




27 November 2013: Mariana Cánepa Luna gave an afternoon seminar on a range of Latitudes' projects for the course 'On Mediation – Theory and Curatorial Practice in Global Art’ at the Universitat de Barcelona.



25 January 2014: Opening of "The Margins of the Factory" a solo show by Rotterdam-based Iratxe Jaio and Klaas van Gorkum, at ADN Platform in Sant Cugat (Barcelona). Photos of the show here, reviews and exhibition leaflet here and all the social media posts archived here.
Photo via Facebook of Miguel Ángel Sánchez, posted with the caption: "Curators backing up the artist! The awesome outcome of this team effort at ADN Platform. On view from Saturday 25th".


 Klaas installing the series of photos that form part of Producing time in between other things (2011).

Exhibition guide designed and produced by Latitudes includes texts on each piece and an A3 sized fold-out poster. Download in English and in Spanish

Nathaniel Mann's opening performance included his singing the Basque popular song “Oi Peio Peio” – a dialogue between a woman worker and her cruel boss, who insists that she carries on working throughout the night. Watch video of the performance here. Photo: Joan Morey

 Photo published by Amanda Bernal in her exhibition preview at Tot Sant Cugat.

19–22 February 2013: Since November 2013, Latitudes had been guest Tweeting from @ARCOmeetings, advancing content and profiling the +70 participants of the seven Professional Meetings that took place during ARCOmadrid art fair. During the fair, we live-Tweeted each session as well as the 'III Meeting of Museums of European and Iberoamerica'. Our reportage and commentary spanned over 1200 Tweets – they're archived here.


Welcoming words by Joao Fernandes, Deputy Director of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, before kicking off the 'III Meeting of Museums of European and Iberoamerica'.

The "Biennials at the Periphery" session was masterfully moderated by the SITE Santa Fe team.

18 March 2014: Max in conversation with Dutch artist Remco Torenbosch at the Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona, in the context of his exhibition at NoguerasBlanchard.
Photo by @priscilaclementti.

12 May–7 June: Visiting Curator Programme of Gertrude Contemporary in Melbourne, Australia, in partnership with MADA: Monash School of Art Design and Architecture. Our month-long residency is documented in this Storify thread.


Central Melbourne.

On May 14, we gave a lecture and an afternoon seminar with PhD candidates in Curatorial Practice at MADA | Monash University in Melbourne, focusing on 2012–13 research project #OpenCurating, and in particular the published interviews with the web team from the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis; with Badlands Unlimited in New York; with research curator Steven ten Thije of the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven and with Dia Art Foundation Curator, Yasmil Raymond.


Photo: Courtesy MADA.

During our Melbourne residency we made more than thirty studio visits, and also met curators, graphic designers, writers, editors and University professors. We also paid visits to galleries (Neon Parc, Sarah Scout, Sutton Gallery, Utopian Slumps, Tolarno Gallery, Anna Schwartz Gallery...), bookstores (the jewel-box that is World Food Books), non-profits, curator-led projects and artist-run-spaces (West Space, Slopes) and of course museums such MUMA at Monash, the Ian Potter Museum, the National Gallery Victoria, or the fantastic Heide Museum, which hosted a solo show of Emily Floyd (pictured below).


 
On May 23rd we shadowed a site visit to the fascinating Living Museum of the West (photo below) in Maribyrnong, a social history museum and former industrial site which will be the focus a forthcoming project by West Space with artists Susan Jacobs and Geoff Robinson, among others. Below their analogue archive over interviews, with plenty of cassettes, binders and filing cabinets.

We had one day to explore the stunning Great Ocean Road. We saw a couple of wild koalas as well as local-speciality birdlife including Rufous Bristlebird and Hooded Dotterel, plus many surfers waiting for the perfect wave, before driving back to the city.

26–31 May 2014: Visiting Sydney and the 19th Biennale of Sydney.


 A great welcome to Sydney sunset by the Opera House.


Bianca Hester's 'fashioning discontinuities', 2013–14, at Cockotoo Island was one of the (frankly very few) highlights of the 2014 edition of the Sydney Biennale.


One of the best things we saw in Sydney was a one-room show dedicated to 'Tehching Hsieh: One-year performance 1980–1981' at Carriageworks.

 Entrance to the artist-run space Alaska Projects, whose creative base camp is level 2 of Kings Cross Car Park.

1 June 2014: Short trip to Hobart in Tasmania to pay a visit to professional gambler and philanthropist David Walsh's extravaganza, the Museum of Old and New Art (MoNA). Despite the tech-geek owner and the 'O' device (iPod devices which function as extended audio guides, digital captions and location trackers), photography is not officially allowed inside the galleries, although you can, in fact, find plenty of shots on social media. Here instead are some views from the museum while waiting for the Bond-villain ferry to take us back to Hobart.



11–14 June 2014: Singapore Curating Lab 2014 begins! This 9-month programme began with a 3h morning lecture by Latitudes, followed by an afternoon workshop in which we asked participants to imagine an institution by defining a succinct "about us" paragraph for three imaginary institutions. Following the root of word "institution" (to establish, to set up), the task involved considering what practices were to be initiated, how programmes were to be established, and for what public. Read more here. Below the Tweets published, explaining each group's task.
 

14 June 2014: Symposium "When does an exhibition begin and end?", National Library of Singapore. With the participation of Shabbir Hussain Mustafa (Curator, National Gallery Singapore), Charles Lim (artist); Anca Rujoiu and Vera Mey (Curators, CCA — Centre for Contemporary Art, Singapore) and artist Shubigi Rao.


Curatorial Intensive participants live-tweeting, mapping concepts discussed during talks, photo-documenting and taking notes for future posts on Curating Lab blog. Photo: @nusmuseum.

Symposium moderators taking notes during the conference. Photo via @hemanchong

16–20 June 2014: Curating Lab 2004 Overseas Field Trip to Hong Kong, where participants were introduced to the programme and spaces of Spring Workshop, Asia Art Archive, Para/Site and M+. The many tweets published by ourselves and the participants are archived here.


Afternoon discussion at Spring Workshop.


Christodoulous Panayiotou and Philip Wiegard's exhibition at Spring Workshop. 


Curating Lab 2014 group photo in Hong Kong airport before boarding to Singapore.
 
31 July 2014: Master Class for the 2014 Open Set Summer School at Witte de With, Rotterdam. After a lecture on the tour as an artistic/curatorial format, participants work towards developing prototype guided tours for Rotterdam. More photos here.



Also great to finally be able to visit "The Part In The Story Where A Part Becomes A Part Of Something Else" exhibition curated by Heman Chong and Samuel Saelemakers at Witte de With, the epilogue to Moderation(s). Here interacting with Haegue Yang's 'Sonic Nickel Dance' (2013).

 Photo: @ymessen.

The night before the workshop, a great catch up a picnic with 'Portscapes' collaborators (Liesbeth Bik & Jos van der Pol, better known as Bik van der Pol, Lara Almarcegui, Nienke Terpsma and Rob Hamelijnck of Fucking Good Art and graphic designer Samira Ben Laloua). Ahhh, good memories!



During the past weeks we've been proofreading layouts with documentation of our 2013 residency and four "Incidents of Travel" tours we realised in Hong Kong, our contribution to the forthcoming publication "Terms & Conditions" published by Witte de With, Rotterdam as part of the Moderation(s) project steered by Heman Chong.

In the past months, Max Andrews has published the following texts in frieze magazine: Exhibition review of Pablo Helguera's ‘Librería Donceles’ (Donceles Bookshop, 2013) at Kent Fine Art, New York, issue 160, January–February 2014;
Review of Lucy Skaer's solo show at Glasgow's Tramway, issue 161, March 2014; Postcard "On a Shoestring. Institutions in Catalonia", issue 158, October 2013; and a Focus, Iratxe Jaio and Klaas van Gorkum, Issue 157, September 2013. Max has also contributed to the publication that will accompany the forthcoming Frieze Art Fair, London (out in October 2014).



In January 2014, Mariana wrote a text on Time/Bank for the digital catalogue of the exhibition "7.000.000.000" curated by Arlandis/Marroquí for the Espai d'art Contemporani Castelló (EACC).

17 July 2014: Jointly published an art-agenda review on Andrea Buttner's "Tische" show at NoguerasBlanchard, Barcelona. 

View of Andrea Büttner, Tische, NoguerasBlanchard, Barcelona, 2014. Courtesy of NoguerasBlanchard, Barcelona. All photos by Roberto Ruiz.

One of the most widely-read blog posts of the year has been the analysis of the 2013 report that the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports dedicated to the state of culture in Spain (La cultura en España (2a parte): estadísticas, cifras y porcentajes del 2013, a follow up to the 2012 analysis), quite symptomatic of what has been another difficult year for the cultural sector.

Related posts:

Latitudes' "out of office" photo album 2008-9, 30 July 2009
Latitudes 'out of office' photo album 2009–10 season, 30 July 2010
Latitudes 'out of office' photo album 2010–11 season, 1 August 2011
Latitudes' "out of office" photo album 2011–2012, 31 July 2012
Latitudes' "out of office" photo album, 2012–2013 season, 31 July 2013



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)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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art-agenda review on Andrea Büttner show "Tische", at NoguerasBlanchard, Barcelona

View of Andrea Büttner, “Tische,” NoguerasBlanchard, Barcelona, 2014. All images courtesy of NoguerasBlanchard, Barcelona. All photos by Roberto Ruiz.

Andrea Büttner’s “Tische”
NoguerasBlanchard, Barcelona   
May 30–July 11, 2014


Published on art-agenda on 17 July 2014.

Pursuing a clearly spiritual approach within a Christian cultural and ethical context, Andrea Büttner is one of the few contemporary artists who could plausibly cite St. Francis of Assisi, the twelfth-century Catholic friar who committed himself to a life of poverty, as a key influence. Her work Tische [Tables] (2013), which addresses notions of the “blessed poor” (those who disavow material possessions as a way of being closer to God) and the prehistory of farm-to-table dining, is a carefully constructed homily on what art can bring to the table on poverty, without ever lapsing into austerity chic. Büttner’s meager solo presentation at Barcelona’s NoguerasBlanchard forms part of a year-long exhibition series entitled “The Story Behind,” organized by in-house curator Direlia Lazo. In it, the artist exhibits four out of the original thirteen tabletop compositions she created for a dinner held at the Museum für Moderne Kunst Zollamt in Frankfurt last year. At Büttner’s invitation, five talks were given at dinner and recorded. Entitled Tischreden [Dinner speeches] (2013), the resulting extended audio recordings of the speeches and the ebb and flow of dinner conversation now serve as prime stimulants for the discursive appetites of the Barcelona gallery’s visitors.

Büttner’s four dining tables—and their blue, green, red, and yellow linens—are not simply performance relics or dining assemblages à la Hong Kong and Taipei-based artist Lee Kit or Swiss Nouveau Réalist Daniel Spoerri, but rather something between gambling baize (typically found covering poker tables) and altar cloths. These intensely precise, high-stakes surfaces allow for unusual symbolic investment. Accordingly, what at first could be mistaken for dun-colored gaming counters are actually zebra droppings and straw that were collected at the Frankfurt Zoo and cast in bronze. These metal objects (Tischschmuck [Table decorations], 2013) not only connect alchemy with fecal value—placed as they are atop a single table covered in the same colored paper that German banks use to wrap Euro coins—but they also have a perverse resemblance to earthy tubers and clusters of Paleolithic potato chips. Büttner assembles such materials in an elusive manner, giving them a just-on-the-tip-of-the-tongue quality, and she then juxtaposes the objects with images, which function like pictorial hyperlinks that are either readily apparent, or just one Google search away. These include reproductions of Realist and early modernist works, including Gustave Courbet’s The Stone Breakers (1850), Vincent van Gogh’s dismal The Potato Eaters (1885), and Ernst Barlach’s Veiled Beggar Woman (1919), as well as more recent pieces, like Sigmar Polke’s Cologne Beggars (1972), and what appears to be a photographic portrait of Austrian-British philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Although Büttner’s amalgamations undoubtedly have intuitive affinities with German art historian Aby Warburg’s Mnemosyne Atlas (1924–29), she does not necessarily generate new theoretical principles in terms of art’s consideration of poverty. Listening to the recordings of Büttner’s dinner becomes more like consuming thoughtful fiber while ruminating on its conceptually peristaltic menu. Documenta 13’s artistic director Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev deliberately offered no new insights in her talk on the figures she identifies as Arte Povera’s “dropouts,” yet their very rejection of novel production was precisely her point. In addition, speeches by scholar of German literature Liliane Weissberg, organizer of the artist-rights group Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.) Lise Soskolne, and Chicago-based artist and writer Claire Pentecost similarly focused on duty, humility, and justice. The overall effect of her guests’ fibrous discussion addresses what might be described as our symbolic health and serves as a kind of relief from the intellectual constipation that the intersection of morality and contemporary art can induce.

Büttner’s interest in poverty stems from her recently completed doctoral research on art and shame at the Royal College of Art. And she herself chooses to avoid the limelight by withdrawing as a visible protagonist from her own work. By giving the floor to her dinner guests, Büttner subtly avoids what might otherwise have come across as a kind of evangelical relational aesthetics. Over the course of their speeches, we not only learn about tzedakah (the Jewish conception of charity without pity), but also some non-profit art institutions’ shameful failure to pay honorariums to their artists. In cultural theorist Franco “Bifo” Berardi’s talk (delivered by artist Adrian Williams)—in which we encounter his term “Un-growth,” which describes a form of politics without capitalist expectations—we are familiarized with a “frugal way of being happy with the richness that we have.” We also learn in the recording about Wall Street’s orchestration of the deregulated food futures markets that emerged in the 1990s and the expropriation of subsistence farmers from their ancestral lands.

Nevertheless, given the reality of Spain’s persistent unemployment, austerity measures, and corruption scandals, many of these well-intended words begged for local specificity. Given the monastic tone of Büttner’s work, polemical Benedictine nun and Catalan social activist Teresa Forcades, for example, would have made a fascinating, if improbable, contribution to a discussion especially tailored for the issues that concern contemporary Barcelona. Much like having to imagine Pentecost’s dinner menu—which included bone marrow, beetroot, and potatoes, among other dishes—instead of actually being able to savor it ourselves, we were left hungry for a more hearty presentation of Büttner’s project in a city with a starkly different economic context from that in which her work was first conceived.

– Max Andrews and Mariana Cánepa Luna are Co-directors of the curatorial office Latitudes in Barcelona.


 

This is the blog of independent curatorial office Latitudes. 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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Workshop for Curating Lab 2014: Imagining an institution

After a morning lecture introducing a range of our projects to the 11 participants of Curating Lab 2014, we proposed a challenging exercise: to define a succinct "about us" paragraph for three imaginary institutions. (Named after the first three Pacific hurricanes of the 2014 season, no less.) Following the root of word "institution" (to establish, to set up), the task was not an architectural challenge nor a branding exercise, but one that first asked what practices are imagined to be initiated, how programmes are established and for whom are they set up.

Participants took into account the parameters we described for each of three art-institution typologies – a residency/studio programme; an annual festival and acommissioning body. After a one hour brainstorm within each group, participants came up with a paragraph that concisely communicated the "vision and values" of the new entities, responding to "what we do, how do we do it and why we do it that way".

The task wasn't oriented towards building a "business plan", though an integral part involved consideration of funding models, and who or what has a stake in the imagined organisation – city/state, philanthropists/donors, users/members/tickets, prizes/open calls, etc. We didn't expect job descriptions, but participants were encouraged to consider what kind of roles the staff within the imaginary institution might take up – would it have a core full-time team or occasional collaborators? What skills or roles would be taken up across curating, producing, publishing, researching, hosting, leadership, and so on?

The exercise was not to come up with a pitch to potential supporters (i.e. in future tense), but to exercise imagination in the present and to define what an organisation stands for and actually does in a succinct way. The aim was to think holistically about their "pet" organisation, its different programme strands and its relation to its local/international network.
  
1. CRISTINA – A residency/studio programme.
"Cristina provides residential, and studio facilities for national and international artists. It is based in several live/work spaces and as yet undefined rooms in a former school building in a small town on a remote island in an area of outstanding natural beauty. It is a day's travel to the nearest city. The local community of 800 people are mostly involved in fishing and farming."

2. AMANDA – An annual festival.
"Amanda is an event-based format and is based in a major densely-populated prosperous city with a strong corporate and media culture as well as several world-renowned museums,  contemporary art centres and universities. The events take place in a specific block of time and involve organised, extended presentations and places for viewing them."
 
3. BORIS A commissioning body.

"Boris invites artists to make temporary artworks in public spaces and locations that are not galleries or museums. It is based in a provincial port city that used to have a thriving economy based on heavy industry. The city is suffering from high unemployment, there are many abandoned buildings and wastelands."



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)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Stacks Image 39



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