Longitudes

'Compositions' a programme of five artists' interventions for the first Barcelona Gallery Weekend, 1–4 October 2015

'Save the date' cards of the Barcelona Gallery Weekend. Graphic design: Hey Studio.

Latitudes is curating Compositions a programme of five newly commissioned temporary interventions specially produced for the first Barcelona Gallery Weekend (1–4 October 2015).

With the aim of distinguishing the Barcelona gallery weekend from similar initiatives, Latitudes' project Compositions compliments the existing calendar of exhibitions in galleries and museums by commissioning six artists active in the Barcelona art scene, to develop a series of public interventions responding to singular locations – sites significant for their architecture or their history. Here's a map of the five locations.

Latitudes has invited artists David Bestué (Barcelona, 1980. Lives in Barcelona); Dora García (Valladolid, 1965. Lives in Barcelona), Jordi Mitjà (Figueres, 1970. Lives between Lladó and Banyoles); Rasmus Nilausen (Copenhagen, 1980. Lives in Barcelona) & Pere Llobera (Barcelona, 1970. Lives in Barcelona) and Daniel Steegmann Mangrané (Barcelona, 1977. Lives in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) to produce site-specific temporary installations and one-off performances. Pinpointing some lesser-known aspects of the city's cultural history and municipal life, Compositions offers moments of interruption, intimacy and immersion throughout the weekend. 



Cosme Toda factory complex. 
Home of the former director of the ceramic factory Cosme Toda. c/Enric Prat de la Riba 60, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat.
Opening hours: Thursday 1 October, 5–9pm;  
Friday 2, Saturday 3 and Sunday 4: 11am–8pm.

David Bestué is primarily a sculptor who is fascinated by architecture – not with its hubristic icons or celebrity heroism, but by the very normality with which architectonic tropes underpin an emotional understanding of form.

For Compositions Bestué is producing a new installation in the form of a sculptural timeline defined by ignition and invention, fat and oil, obsolescence, fluorescence, luminescence and incandescence – a history of humanity from antiquity to the present day told through the evolution and refinement of lighting technology. Sited in the domestic setting of the Director’s house within the former Cosme Toda ceramics and tile factory, the installation is companioned by a sculptural intervention recuperating pieces found in the factory, linking to Bestué's ongoing interest in the evolution of architectural materials and building techniques.



Freudian Field Library in Barcelona located at Avinguda Diagonal 333, 3º 1ª. Opening hours: Thursday 1 and Friday 2 October 5–9pm; Saturday 3 October 10am–2pm. Sunday 4 October closed.

Dora García's collaborations and performances engage with radicalism, inadequacy and the marginal. Her contribution to Compositions consists in pointing out the wealth of information and the activites programmed by the Freudian Field Library in Barcelona, an organisation founded in 1977 by Argentinean Oscar Masotta (1930–1979). García's intervention considers the library as a knot which ties together art, psychoanalysis and literature.

A display of publications drawn from the library shelves and three conversations will activate the space over consecutive days. The first talk (1 October, 7pm), a "solo" by García, will focus on the library's holdings of literary fiction. The second talk on October 2nd, at 7pm will be a group conversation moderated by García, amongst Miquel Bassols, Enric Berenguer, Rosa Calvet, Estela Paskvan and Montserrat Rodríguez, who will discuss the founding of the library and its ongoing role in Barcelona, and the final event on October 3 at 10am will be a conversation around the work of Irish novelist James Joyce and French psychiatrist and psichologist Jacques Lacan, between García and psychoanalyst Xavier Esqué and Patrick Bohan, who has worked at the James Joyce Center in Dublin. 


Former priest house, Gardens of La Central del Raval, located at Carrer d'Elisabets 8. Opening hours: Thursday 1 October, 5–9pm; Friday 2, Saturday 3 and Sunday 4: 11am–8pm.

Rasmus Nilausen and Pere Llobera are painters that approach painting with a respect – at times melancholic, sometimes parodic – for its traditional genres and its ancient integrity as a craft. Nilausen’s canvases have often taken on ‘minor’ or anecdotal subjects such as candles or vegetables. Llobera frequently addresses the perils virtuosity and painterly heroism in his paradoxical, restless works. Nilausen and Llobera share a workspace in the Salamina studios in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat – which they cofounded – yet the invitation to collaborate in a presentation for Compositions is the first time they are exhibiting together.

In the Gardens of La Central del Raval their works occupy a former priest's house and explore "acheiropoietic" images – those that have supposedly come into being not by human hand, but miraculously. The Veil of Veronica, for example, refers to various Catholic relics and icons which tell of a piece of cloth said to have been imprinted with the image of the face of Jesus.


 

 Geological Museum of the Seminary of Barcelona is in Carrer de la Diputació, 231.
Opening hours: Thursday 1 October, 5–9pm; 
Friday 2, Saturday 3 and Sunday 4: 11am–8pm.

Jordi Mitjà’s recent “povera” approach to sculpture, has comprised works utilizing discarded wood, metal, burned paper and clay. His contribution to Compositions takes place in the Geological Museum of the Seminary of Barcelona – an institution dedicated to paleontology and the study of fossils since 1874.


Mitjà considers the borders between evolutionary biology and the ancient geology of Catalonia in an installation which focusses on a primitive relationship between materials and morphology. A series of overheard projectors illuminate the central space of the museum with a panoply of images, shadows and geometries – layers that are unearthed by Mitjà’s exploration of the geospatial taxonomy of this unique collection of 70,000 specimens.


 
Opening hours: Thursday 1 October, 5–9pm;
Friday 2, Saturday 3 and Sunday 4: 11am–8pm.

The art of Daniel Steegmann Mangrané hinges on the natural and the geometric, often splicing the unfathomable dimension of the forests of his adopted home Brazil with the clear lines of abstraction and man-made order.

His contribution to Compositions takes place amongst the subtropical plants of the 1887 Umbracle (shade house) in the Parc de la Ciutadella and centres on the acoustic installation “Surucuá, Teque-teque, Arara” (2012). We hear sounds that were recorded along a 60 metre transect through a section of the Atlantic Rainforest of Brazil, the tropical forest that Portuguese colonists would have encountered on their arrival in the year 1500. The sound loop reproduces the disembodied calls of colourful birds such as trogons and macaws which merge with the ambient sounds of the city. As if a 1:1 scale collage, the artifice of an urban botanical collection becomes intertwined with an acoustic slice of the authentically wild.

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Calendar of Related Events and Guided Visits

Thursday 1 October, 5pm:
Guided tour of the intervention by Jordi Mitjà at the Museu Geològic del Seminari de Barcelona by the artist and Latitudes.
c/ Diputació, 231

Thursday 1 October, 7pm:
Guided tour of the intervention and talk by Dora García on the library holdings of literary fiction, Biblioteca del Campo Freudiano de Barcelona (Library of the Freudian Field).
Avda. Diagonal 333, 3º 1ª
Limited seating. Reservations: [email protected]

Friday 2 October, noon:
Guided tour of the intervention by Daniel Steegmann Mangrané at the Umbracle del Parc de la Ciutadella by the artist and Latitudes.
Passeig Picasso, 13

Friday 2 October, 7pm:
Conversation moderated by Dora García with Miquel Bassols, Enric Berenguer, Rosa Calvet, Estela Paskvan and Montserrat Rodríguez, on the origins of the Biblioteca del Campo Freudiano de Barcelona, its founder Óscar Masotta and the Barcelona of 1977.
Avda. Diagonal 333, 3º 1ª
Limited seating. Reservations:
[email protected]

Friday 2 October, 7:30pm:
Guided tour of the intervention by David Bestué at the house of the former director of the Cosme Toda factory by the artist and Latitudes.
c/ Enric Prat de la Riba, 60
L’Hospitalet de Llobregat

Saturday 3 October, 10am:
Conversation between Dora García and the psychoanalyst and psychologist Xavier Esqué at the Biblioteca del Campo Freudiano around James Joyce and Jacques Lacan.
Avda. Diagonal 333, 3º 1ª
Limited seating. Reservations:
[email protected]

Sunday 4 October, noon:
Guided tour of the intervention by Rasmus Nilausen and Pere Llobera at the Jardines de La Central del Raval by the artists and Latitudes.
c/ Elisabets, 8

Additionally, ARCO Foundation offers ARCO Gallery Walks, five free guided tours around the galleries throughout the weekend. Limited places. Pre-registration required: [email protected]

Thursday 1 October
Route Eixample South
Meeting place: Galería Joan Prats at 5pm

Friday 2 October
Route Ciutat Vella – Born
Meeting place: Galería Senda at 11am

Route Montjuïc – L’Hospitalet
Meeting place: Galería Carles Taché at 5pm

Saturday 3 October
Route Ciutat Vella – Raval
Meeting place: etHALL at 11am

Route Eixample North
Meeting place: ADN Galería at 5pm

The Barcelona Gallery Weekend is an initiative of the Asociación de Galerías de Arte Contemporáneo Art Barcelona and is supported by the Ajuntament de Barcelona (ICUB), the Generalitat de Catalunya (ICEC), the Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte; and the Ajuntament de L’Hospitalet de Llobregat.

http://www.barcelonagalleryweekend.com/

Symposium participation, "The Shock of Victory", Glasgow, 25 September 2015


Symposium participants: In the Shadow of the Hand, Sacha Kahir, Caleb Waldorf, Max Andrews of Latitudes, Angeliki Roussou, WHW (What, How and For Whom?). 

9.30am | Arrival and coffee
10am - 10.15am | Introduction by CCA Curator Remco de Blaaij and Dr Deborah Jackson
10.15am - 11am | In the Shadow of the Hand
11am - 11.45am | Angelika Roussou
11.45am - 12.30pm | Caleb Waldorf
1pm - 2pm | Lunch (provided)
2pm - 2.45pm | Sacha Kahir
3pm - 3.45pm | Sabina Sabolovic, WHW
3.45pm - 4.15pm | Break
4.15pm - 5pm | Max Andrews, Latitudes

The Shock of Victory is a programme consisting of an exhibition, a symposium organised in partnership with the University of Edinburgh and digital publication. Taking place exactly one year after the Scottish Independence Referendum of 18 September 2014, the programme proposes artistic approaches, techniques, provocations and motivations in a post-referendum reality departing from Scotland, but certainly not constrained by it.

The programme takes its title from the pivotal essay ‘The Shock of Victory’ from 2007, by anarchist and scholar David Graeber, in which he argues that protesters often have difficulty in recognising their moments of success. Accompanying the exhibition the symposium allows for a timely re-consideration of the complexities of the relations between alternative and established (art) institutions that might have been sparked by political moments such as the Scottish Independence Referendum of 2014.

The underpinning emphasis is on the ‘organisational turn’, a shift from hierarchical to self-organised models of organisation. In particular the focus is on the potency of radical (artistic) practices and ideas, which propose imaginative ways of organising – collectivism, anarchism, activism, networks, and self-organising. Can we think of a new artistic landscape that might have been formed? How do we organise ourselves in such times?


 Article by Max Andrews published in Frieze, October 2013.

Max Andrews from Latitudes will offer a perspective on recent cultural politics in Barcelona. Looking in particular at visual art institutions, the 'open submission' format has become a pervasive tool. As an extraction of a democratic process, such an apparently accountable mechansim can nevertheless be complicit in a neo-liberal agenda, undermining institutional robustness and advocating continual 'present-ness'.

Other independent and self-organised realities do of course exist, and following recent municipal elections the political tide offers the promise of change. With reference to art practices that have connected with specific moments of Catalan social history, some contemporary case studies show a thinking around site, scale, longevity and depth – and perhaps reveal a connection with Scotland.
 

Organised in partnership with the University of Edinburgh.
Co-convened by Dr Deborah Jackson.
Funded by The University of Edinburgh’s Innovation Initiative Grant.


CCA, 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow G2 3JD, UK


Related content:

Two texts by Manuel Segade and Max Andrews analyse the current Spanish art scene 16 October 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)
Work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Session with first year participants of the MA Curatorial Practice at the California College of the Arts (CCA), San Francisco, 8 September

Photo: Arash Fayed.  

On September 8, 2015, Latitudes led a 3h session with the participants of the first year of the MA in Curatorial Practice at the California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco. This was our last day as residents at the Kadist Art Foundation.

As a mode of introduction we presented a range of projects we have worked on and referred to the closed-door seminar ‘The Near-Future Artworlds Curatorial Disruption Foresight Group’, we had led a week earlier with the participation of colleagues and art professionals – an informal dialogue about the future of contemporary art institutions, and more particularly concerned with programming speeds, institutional scale, and periodicity. 

For the second part of the evening, we split the group in three and asked them to prepare descriptions of hypothetical art organisations and to reflect on urban/ non-urban contexts and mission statements. 

RELATED CONTENT:

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.

Latitudes contribution to Kadist Art Foundation's 'One Sentence Exhibition'


To visit the exhibition,
please check ose.kadist.org

Recognizing that not everyone can visit Kadist Art Foundation venues in Paris or San Francisco, Kadist recently inaugurated a series of online projects with artists and curators around the world.

First of these initiatives is the One Sentence Exhibition (OSE), for which the foundation invites curators to write or choose a single sentence, making each word in the sentence a hyperlink to an image, video, text or website. As a result, the One Sentence Exhibition becomes a compact architecture, accompanying the reader as they explore far-reaching corners of the internet. 

Following on from the contributions by Rudolf Frieling (Media Arts Curator at SFMOMA) and Nato Thompson (Chief Curator at Creative Time) to OSE series, Latitudes has chosen the statement "A CLOTH OF COTTON WRAPPED AROUND A HORSESHOE OF IRON TOSSED UPON THE CREST OF A WAVE" by Lawrence Weiner in English, Spanish and Catalan, commissioned for his 2008 solo exhibition THE CREST OF A WAVE at the Fundació Suñol in Barcelona.

Sugar packets where freely distributed during the duration of the exhibition around Barcelona. Photo: Pierre-Jean Moulis.

Originally distributed as a free ephemeral sculpture on 300,000 sugar sachets and presented on the wall of the exhibition space, Weiner’s striking typographic rendition of the statement triggers a chronicle of mercantile, maritime and equestrian power, of trade and occupation, of spheres of influence and change, a memory of matter and of language.
 
Lawrence Weiner tote bag. Available from http://www.lttds.org/totes/weiner/

The statement is also silkscreened on the commemorative limited edition tote bag that celebrated Latitudes' 10th anniversary in Spring 2015.

As elaborated by Latitudes in the exhibition guide, "A CLOTH OF COTTON WRAPPED AROUND A HORSESHOE OF IRON TOSSED UPON THE CREST OF A WAVE indicates an object record of early human technologies (woven textiles, reusable protection for the hooves of working animals) and a marine setting. Weiner’s phrase facilitates a richly ambiguous material and symbolic universe. Why is the horseshoe wrapped? What story, personal or historical, might account for the event that is described? The artist’s statement leaves such questions open for us to consider. It is known that muslin and calico was brought to Spain by the Arab traders in the 1st Century. After the Conquest of Hispania during the 7th Century, facilitated by the Muslim cavalry’s more agile horses, cotton was cultivated by the Moors in Spain. Barcelona’s industrialization in the late 1700s and early 1800s was driven by the printing of calico and later the spinning and weaving of cotton. [1]


Poster of the exhibition at Fundació Suñol's Nivell Zero space, Barcelona.

In the manner of a biography of substances, such as Mark Kurlansky’s books Cod and Salt, A CLOTH OF COTTON... thus triggers a chronicle of mercantile, maritime and equestrian power, of trade and occupation, of spheres of influence and change, a memory of matter and of language. [2]" (...) 

(...) The statement is distributed on a sugar packet throughout a selection of Barcelona bars and cafés during the city's Mercè Festival and for the duration of the exhibition – a sweet gift to accompany one’s café con leche,
cortado, carajillo, or conversation. Printed on hundreds of thousands of standard 7 gram white sugar sachets – sugar production technology too was spread into Spain by Moorish occupation – Weiner’s striking typographic rendition of the phrase in red and yellow (the colours of both the Catalan and the Spanish flag) is accompanied by an emblem which evokes the trajectory of a certain horseshoe over a wave in diagrammatic form.


View of Lawrence Weiner's piece at the patio space of Fundació Suñol, Barcelona.

(...) On the five metre-high wall of the exterior space [of  Fundació Suñol’s Nivell Zero] we read A CLOTH OF COTTON WRAPPED AROUND A HORSESHOE OF IRON TOSSED UPON THE CREST OF A WAVE painted in Catalan, Spanish and English. The use of the same stencil font as the sugar packet layout suggests a method of functional and clear application which reinforces the fact that Weiner is dealing with the language in terms of modification and use. [3] The word for a company which produces typefaces – a foundry – neatly preserves a link to a time when type was cast from metal, in much the same way as horseshoes are made from iron."

Ceremony of the 2008 ACCA (Art Critics Association) awards which granted Fundació Suñol the best art programme of the year – a season that included two projects curated by Latitudes.

[1] See J.K.J. Thomson, A Distinctive Industrialization: Cotton in Barcelona 1728-1832, Cambridge University
Press, 2003.

[2] Salt: A World History, Walker and Co., 2001; Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World, Walker
and Co., 1997.

[3] The font is FF Offline Regular, designed by Roelof Mulder in 1988.

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.

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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