Category Archives: contemporary art

Dailies and Weeklies, a project of Raul Marroquin for “Inside the City” Weserburg Museum für moderne Kunst, Bremen July 18 – October 12 2015.


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Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts) at Rivington Place


Top: Park Chan-kyong, Sindoan (still), 2007. Film. Bottom: Lina Selander, Silphium (still), 2014. Film.

Park Chan-kyong: Pa-Gyong 

(Last Sutra Recitation)

Lina Selander: Open System – Silphium and Other Works

14 January–21 March 2015

Preview: 13 January 2015, 6:30pm
Panel discussion on Practice International: 13 January, 4pm
Walking tour with the artists:
13 January, 6pm

Rivington Place
London, EC2A 3BA
Hours: Tuesday–Friday 11am–6pm,
Thursday 11am–9pm,
Saturday noon–6pm
Open to all

T +44 (0) 20 7729 9616

Iniva is delighted to present two solo exhibitions of selected work by Swedish artist Lina Selander and Korean artist and filmmaker Park Chan-kyong, juxtaposed for the first time, from 14 January to 21 March 2015, at Rivington Place.

The exhibitions are curated by Binna Choi and Lisa Rosendahl, initiators along with Grant Watson of Practice International, an EU-Culture-funded research project exploring what internationalism might be, based on practices of trans-national ethics and politics and the legacy of various colonial periods in the context of contemporary art.

Park Chan-kyong: Pa-Gyong–Last Sutra Recitation curated by Binna Choi
Mixed media. Exhibition Space 1

This first solo presentation of works by South Korean artist Park Chan-kyong presents a series of his latest film and documentary works. These offer a new perspective on folk religious practices such as shamanism and utopian religious communities, from the period of colonisation and the Cold War to the present time. By deepening his focus on the division of Korea into South and North—and the ensuing Cold War politics as a dominant societal structure—Park’s latest enquiry into the practice of shamanism in Korea’s so-called “post-secular” time, reconfigures a way in which art and cultural practice engages with political trauma and the repressed. The exhibition is contextualised by the presentation of various materials that punctuate Park’s research trajectories, and as a consequence highlight his practice not only as an artist but also as an activist, writer and curator.

Lina Selander: Open System – Silphium and Other Works curated by Lisa Rosendahl
Films. Exhibition Space 2

This exhibition comprises three recent films by Selander: SilphiumModel of Continuation, & Anteroom of the Real together with a selection of materials from the artist’s working archive. Characteristic of Selander’s work is the use of film to build dense layers of images and meaning, through which contemporary society is connected with history and the pre-historic. At the core of her enquiry lies a continuous questioning of the concept and materiality of the image. Selander’s work repeatedly asks us to reconsider the status of the image—as representation, memory, object, imprint or surface—and our relationship to it.

Iniva’s solo exhibitions of Park Chan-kyong and Lina Selander bring together synergies within the artists’ practices. Both artists move between documentary forms and the structure of the visual essay as a way to investigate the construction of collective imaginations. In recent works they have explored different manifestations of the utopian aspirations of modernity, political trauma and the role that image-making and the media of film and photography have played in the development of modern society.

Practice International is an initiative of Casco-Office for Art, Design & Theory (Utrecht),Iaspis (Stockholm), and Iniva (London). Park Chan-kyong’s exhibition is made possible with curatorial support by Seoul-based curator, writer, and translator/interpreter Jaeyong Park.

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January 06, 2015


Zhang Huan, Taiwan Buddha, 2010. Ash, wood, aluminum, steel, 530 x 740 x 350 cm (left), 530 x 360 x 370 cm (right). Image courtesy of the artist and Pace Gallery, New York.

“These ash remains speak to the fulfillment of millions of hopes, dreams and blessings.”
–Zhang Huan

Carriageworks in association with Sydney Festival present the Australian premiere of Zhang Huan: Sydney Buddha, the largest installation created for Australia by the renowned Chinese artist.

Zhang Huan: Sydney Buddha is a meditation on the brevity of life and cycles of renewal and destruction. Made of two parts—an aluminum sculpture and an incense-ash casting of its interior—the works are installed facing each other. As time passes, one of them deteriorates.

Central to Zhang Huan’s practice is his Buddhist faith, which he describes as having “opened a gate” for him to understand the world and humanity. Sydney Buddha is built from 20 tons of incense-ash collected from temples in Shanghai, and the Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces of China. Incense is burned in Buddhist temples as a means to sanctify a space and summon spirits, deities and ancestors. It signifies a moment of reflection and quietude, a dedication from the earthly to the spiritual.

On returning to China from the United States in 2005, Zhang visited the Longhua Temple in Shanghai. Observing the incense-ash on the floor, he was moved by the symbolism of this material and decided to repurpose it through his art rather than see it discarded.

Ash has a spiritual significance for Zhang who sees it as carrying the hopes and prayers of those who originally burnt the incense. “In my eyes this work conveys the collective memory, collective soul and collective blessing of the Chinese people.” Collecting the ash and constructing Sydney Buddha requires many hands and hours. It is both an individual vision and a communal effort—a dedication to family, faith and culture.

For its presentation in Australia the artist has named this work Sydney Buddha. Originally named Taiwan Buddha, the work was first shown in the exhibition Zhang Huan: Amituofo at the Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei in 2010, and in Zhang Huan: Soul and Matter at the Palazzo Vecchio and Forte di Belvedere,  Florence in 2013.

Zhang Huan
For over two decades Zhang Huan (b. 1965, China) has made art that examines contemporary issues through the lens of Chinese, Buddhist and Tibetan cultures. One of the most vital, influential and provocative artists today, Zhang’s work first received international acclaim in the late 1990s when contemporary Chinese art experienced an unprecedented period of exposure and attention.

Zhang initially trained as a painter, however it was through his performance works that he gained recognition. In the early 1990s he was part of a group of avant-garde artists and writers that established the Beijing “East Village” (after the neighbourhood in New York City). During this period Zhang made ground-breaking performances including 12 m2, 1994, where his body was the central medium of his work. He would undergo extreme acts of endurance and physical hardship that reflected his broader concerns with personal liberty and the plight of life in modern-day China.

In 1998 Zhang relocated to New York City where his work received extensive international exposure through inclusion in exhibitions such as the Venice Biennale, 2000; Yokohama 2001 International Triennial of Contemporary Art, 2001; the Whitney Biennial, 2002; as well as major solo exhibitions in Australia, New Zealand, the United States, France, Canada, Denmark, Spain and Germany, among others. For Zhang this period was countered with feelings of cultural dislocation and nomadism, as well as a renewed interest in his Chinese heritage. In 2005 Zhang returned to China to establish his studio in Shanghai, where he lives and works today.

Zhang Huan: Sydney Buddha will be presented at Carriageworks from 8 January until 15 March 2015. Zhang Huan will travel to Sydney for the opening of Sydney Buddha and will give a free public talk at Carriageworks on Thursday 8 January at 4pm.

About Carriageworks
Carriageworks is the largest and most significant contemporary multi-arts center of its kind in Australia.  Carriageworks engages artists and audiences with contemporary ideas and issues. The program is artist-led and emerges from Carriageworks’ commitment to reflecting social and cultural diversity. The Carriageworks artistic program is ambitious, risk-taking and unrelenting in its support of artists.

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Vancouver Art Gallery


Performance of MadeIn Company (Xu Zhen), Physique of Consciousness, Vancouver Art Gallery, 2014. Photo: Rachel Topham, Vancouver Art Gallery.

Unscrolled: Reframing Tradition in Chinese Contemporary Art
November 15, 2014–April 6, 2015

Vancouver Art Gallery
750 Hornby Street
Vancouver, BC

The Vancouver Art Gallery presents Unscrolled: Reframing Tradition in Chinese Contemporary Art, an exhibition featuring the work of three generations of contemporary Chinese artists, including Ai Weiwei, Chen Shaoxiong, Yun-Fei Ji, Liu Jianhua, Jennifer Wen Ma, MadeIn Company, Qiu Shihua, Sun Xun, Xu Bing, and Zhang Enli. On view from November 15, 2014 to April 6, 2015, this exhibition includes a dynamic range of artworks—from site-specific installations made especially for the exhibition to digital animations—that examine the influence of traditional aesthetics in China today. Together with The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China’s Emperors (on view through January 11, 2015), Unscrolled inaugurates the Vancouver Art Gallery’s new Institute of Asian Art, a comprehensive initiative expanding the Gallery’s exhibitions, collections and programs in the field of Asian art.

Featuring nearly 30 large-scale artworks, Unscrolled explores China’s cultural heritage as a source for contemporary artistic practice. Traditions are primarily derived from customs, routines, conventions and rules that have evolved over time into ways of being and organizing, which often lose their practical purposes, yet retain symbolic meanings and associations. Distant from their original context and circumstances, they allow for reinvention and reiteration that arise from projections of the present. Tradition in Unscrolled is transformed by individual experiences, contemporary challenges and concerns. The exhibition unfolds as audiences move from overt representations to those that re-invent traditional aesthetic theory in new conceptual ways.

Upon entering the exhibition viewers are greeted by a ten-metre-long light box by Xu Bing that reframes the Song dynasty painting Ten Thousand Li of Mountains and Rivers (c.1127–1279) as a contemporary idiom. Unlike a two-dimensional landscape, Xu’s installation exposes the back side of the artwork and all of its components—plant foliage and salvaged objects that convey various pavilions, mountains and forest landscapes. As the first artwork in the exhibition,Background Story: Ten Thousand Li of Mountains and Rivers (2014) prompts viewers to look beyond the surface application of tradition in contemporary art and to explore the deeper connections between the outer appearance and inner content.

Song dynasty techniques of classical brushwork and hand-scroll formats are explored in the works of Yun-Fei Ji as well as ceramic artist Liu Jianhua. Sun Xun’s work in-progress Shan ShuiCosmos covers three Gallery walls with large ink murals intermixed with projections of animation made using classical painting, while Chen Shaoxiong’s painting series Ink Things also pays homage to the tradition of ink wash painting. Zhang Enli and Qiu Shihua combine brush techniques that use thin washes of oil paint on simple backgrounds creating a space for viewers to interpret or meditate, both evoking the visual depictions of Taoist thought.

Major site-specific installations include Ai Weiwei’s Bang comprised of 886 antique wooden three-legged stools made and installed utilizing traditional Chinese craftsmanship and arranged as an expansive rhizomatic structure that, like its components, is always modifiable, detachable, with no entrance or exit. This cyclical, organic nature of systems and time is emphasized in Jennifer Wen Ma’s Inked Chandelier, composed of more than 700 live inked plants native to Canada’s West Coast. Completely covered with China ink the living installation respects the legacy of ink painting by emphasizing time as an element of the composition; as it continues to grow and transform new green buds sprout from the black.

The appropriation and evolution of cultural customs into popular trends is the commentary behind MadeIn Company (Xu Zhen) installation Physique of Consciousness. A cultural fitness routine comprised of movements based on research of spiritual rituals, mythology, political movements and popular culture is displayed as a multimedia installation of video and performance  surrounded by large showcases filled with plexi-mounted photo sculptures.

Unscrolled: Reframing Tradition in Chinese Contemporary Art is organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery and curated by Diana Freundl, Assistant Curator, Vancouver Art Gallery and Carol Yinghua Lu, Beijing-based curator and art critic. The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated publication, co-published with Black Dog Publishing. Available in February 2015, this book will feature new photography, interviews with Hou Hanru, Wu Hung and Wang Chunchen as well as essays by Dr. Thomas J. Berghuis, Zheng Shengtian and the curators.

Media information
Debra Zhou: T +604 662 4722 / M +604 671 2358 /

About the Vancouver Art Gallery
The Vancouver Art Gallery is a not-for-profit organization supported by its members, individual donors, corporate funders, foundations, the City of Vancouver, the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council, and the Canada Council for the Arts. We thank everyone for their continuing generosity.

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Major Restructuring At Saatchi & Saatchi

by , 64 minutes ago


Robert Senior the new Global CEO at Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi is quickly putting his stamp on the agency.

Senior, who was named CEO back in September as part of a larger Publicis Groupe management revamp, has implemented a corporate restructuring at the agency that has disposed of the traditional regional operating formula. It has been replaced by two market clusters, one of which includes established markets like the U.S., UK, Germany and China. The other group includes emerging growth markets like most of Latin America, Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East.

Chris Foster, who had been Saatchi’s APAC CEO, will now lead the traditional market cluster. His old position is being jettisoned. Justin Billingsley, who had been COO of the shop’s Europe, MIddle East and Africa region has been promoted to CEO of Dynamic {emerging) Markets. Billingsley will also lead agency-wide M&A activity.

The EMEA CEO position, formerly held by Senior (in addition to his global CEO duties) is also being eliminated. Foster’s old role, Worldwide COO is also being shelved.

Most global holding company agencies use a regional structure. However Interpublic’s media agencies UM and Initiative switched to a cluster-market model several years ago.

Billingsley joined Saatchi & Saatchi in 2009 as chief executive and chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi Greater China, before moving to his EMEA role in 2013. Before that, he held various senior marketing roles at companies including Unilever, Coca-Cola, Nokia and Orange.

Senior described the new model as a “focused operating structure for the business.”  He said that Billingsley’s “clarity of thought, decision-making and client-side experience make him the ideal choice to lead further growth across our new Dynamic Markets region.”

Added Billingsley: “The brands we serve live in a flat, borderless world and our agency must too. To cluster markets based on what they mean to our clients, versus where they are, is smart and I am energized to be leading our Dynamic Markets, from which the majority of the next half a billion middle class consumers will come.”

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Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts


Andreas Siqueland, Bastard, 2011. Oil on board, 56.8 x 41.7 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

Lands End
January 9–March 15, 2015

Opening: Friday, January 9, 6–8pm

Logan Center Gallery
Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts
The University of Chicago
915 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637

Stop. Full Stop. Lands End. 

Carris Adams, Raymond Boisjoly, Sarah Burwash, Gillian Dykeman, Theresa Ganz, Hans Haacke, Susan Hiller, Oliver Lutz, Claire Pentecost, Dan Peterman, Carrie Schneider, Andreas Siqueland, Eric Watts

Curated by Zachary Cahill and Katherine Harvath.

Related events
All free and open to the public

Guided tour by Gillian Dykeman with Mountain Valley Mountain Tours
Friday, January 9; 12pm, 2pm, and 4pm
Logan Center Gallery

Artist talk
Andreas Siqueland
Monday, January 12, 6pm
Logan Center Gallery

Panel discussion
Brian Holmes, Claire Pentecost, and Dan Peterman
Monday, February 16, 6pm
Logan Center Gallery

More details and events to be announced.
Presented in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut Chicago and the University of Chicago’s Department of Visual Arts.

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Art Gallery of New South Wales

Alan Oldfield,
 Cliché, c 1968. Synthetic polymer paint on canvas 183 x 152.5 cm. National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased 1969.

Pop to popism

until 1 March 2015
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Art Gallery Road
The Domain Sydney
NSW 2000

T +61 9225 1700

Pop to popism explores the origins of pop art, its pivotal role in the aesthetic revolutions of the 1960s, and its legacy in the early years of postmodernism. This major exhibition incorporates the first ever survey of Australian pop art and is curated from an antipodean perspective, tracing the influences and lines of cultural exchange that shaped the development of a local pop style,  previously unacknowledged in historical accounts of the period.

Spanning three decades, from the mid-1950s to the mid-1980s, the exhibition includes 200 works by more than 70 artists, among them some of pop’s most significant practitioners. A broad selection of painting and sculpture by artists working in the United States, Britain and various parts of Europe is on loan from more than 50 public and private collections. Many works are being shown in Australia for the first time, and hitherto overlooked women artists (including Rosalyn Drexler and Bridgid McLean) are restored to the pop canon.

Pop to popism opens with pop art’s genesis in the post-war period of economic and social transformation, profiling seminal works in collage and assemblage that brought consumer goods and mass media imagery into the realm of “high” art.

The second section surveys the emergence of pop art as a mainstream movement in the West during the 1960s, on the one hand entwined with the increasing dominance of American culture internationally, and on the other inflected by regional circumstances and perspectives. In this context, Australian pop art is revealed to be an energetic, hybrid variant of the styles that evolved in the so-called global centres of London and New York, more unruly and often more politicised in spirit.

The final section of the exhibition charts the rejuvenation of pop art’s appropriation tactics by a younger generation of artists in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In Australia this tendency was known as “popism” and notably brought a critique of media saturation and the authority of images into dialogue with considerations of class, gender, identity and place.

Pop to popism is organised by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, and runs until 1 March 2015. The exhibition is curated by Wayne Tunnicliffe, Head Curator, Australian Art, with Anneke Jaspers, Assistant Curator, Contemporary Art, and is presented as part of the Sydney International Art Series.

On Saturday 28 February, a keynote lecture by Professor Hal Foster (Princeton University), “On the rapport between photography and painting in pop art,” will mark the final days of the exhibition.

The fully illustrated catalogue includes essays by Michael Desmond, Anneke Jaspers, Chris McAuliffe, Justin Paton, Ann Stephen and Wayne Tunnicliffe, among others, providing fresh insights into pop and popism.

Valerio Adami / Howard Arkley / Enrico Baj / Jean-Michel Basquiat / Vivienne Binns / Peter Blake / Derek Boshier / Robert Boynes / KP Brehmer / Mike Brown / Patrick Caulfield / Ross Crothall / Juan Davila / Jim Dine / Rosalyn Drexler / Richard Dunn / Erró / Öyvind Fahlström / Gilbert & George / Richard Hamilton / Duane Hanson / Keith Haring / David Hockney / KH Hödicke / Robert Indiana / Alain Jacquet / Jasper Johns / Allen Jones / Edward Kienholz / Peter Kingston / RB Kitaj / Jeff Koons / Maria Kozic / Barbara Kruger / Colin Lanceley / Richard Larter / Tim Lewis / Roy Lichtenstein / Konrad Lueg / Bridgid McLean / Marisol / Claes Oldenburg / Alan Oldfield / Eduardo Paolozzi / Peter Phillips / Sigmar Polke / Peter Powditch / Richard Prince / Robert Rauschenberg / Martial Raysse / Ken Reinhard / Gerhard Richter / Robert Rooney / James Rosenquist / Martha Rosler / Edward Ruscha / Niki De Saint Phalle / Gareth Sansom / Martin Sharp / Michael Allen Shaw / Garry Shead / Cindy Sherman / Wayne Thiebaud / Imants Tillers / Joe Tilson / Tony Tuckson / Peter Tyndall / Wolf Vostell / Andy Warhol / Dick Watkins / Jenny Watson / Tom Wesselmann / Brett Whiteley

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Hebbel am Ufer (HAU)


© Studio Remco van Bladel, Scale model #4, Amsterdam 2014.

Initiated by Florian Malzacher, Jonas Staal and Joanna Warsza

With Artists of Rojava, Artists Association of Azawad (Mazou Ibrahim Touré & Moussa Ag Assarid),Center for Political Beauty (Fabian Eggers, John Kurtz & André Leipold), Chto Delat (Dmitry Vilensky),Concerned Artists of the Philippines (Lisa Ito), Forensic Architecture (Lorenzo Pezzani), Grupo Etcétera(Federico Zukerfeld & Loreto Garín), HudRada (Lada Nakonechna), Gulf Labor (Natascha Sadr Haghighian), Haben und Brauchen (Ina Wudtke & Inga Zimprich), Immigrant Movement International(Tania Bruguera), Institute for Human Activities (Renzo Martens), International Institute of Political Murder (Milo Rau), Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland (Yael Bartana & Susanne Sachsse), PAF – Performing Arts Forum (Jan Ritsema), Office for Anti-Propaganda (Marina Naprushkina), Schoon Genoeg! (Matthijs de Bruijne), The Laboratory for Insurrectionary Imagination (John Jordan), The Silent University (Emily Fahlén & Ahmet Öğüt), WochenKlausur (Hannah Rosa Öllinger & Manfred Rainer) et al.

Chairs: Ekaterina Degot, Charles Esche, Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei, Matteo Lucchetti, Marion von Osten and Margarita Tsomou

Artist Organisations International (AOI) brings together over 20 organizations, founded by artists, confronting the current crises in politics, economy, education, immigration and ecology. Artist Organisations International explores the current shift from temporary, precarious art projects to long-term structures of engagement built by artists. Which specific artistic values and political potential do such organizations have? How do they perform? And what could their concrete impact be in various political and social agendas?

The economic crises, the global erosion of civil rights and the massive rise of social movements have demanded new models of structural participation from politically engaged artists. The shift from the working model of the project to that of the organisation no longer reduces artistic engagement to the singular figure of the author and expands its scope and influence—for example by seeking larger alliances with or creating new forms of educational and community structures, non-parliamentary groups, liberation movements, unions or even political parties.

While some artists primarily use the concept of an organisation or institution as an artistic form (or perhaps as a metaphor) which serves their artistic vision most properly, for others organisational structures are the necessary means to realize specific political objectives. The invited artist organisations operate as actual organizations—and at the same time they are often works of art themselves or use the possibilities of an artwork by stressing categories such as visual literacy of re-presentation and transformation. They all connect—with different emphasis—symbolic practice and structural effect.

Working collectively has become the paradigm of artistic practice in the last decade. Choosing the form of an organisation is an expression of the longing for more sustainability and resilience, while on the other hand it maintains the performative notion of change and subversion: artist organizations are living organisms that permanently challenge power. Artist Organisations International introduces an array of those strategies as modes of resistance, emancipation and (self-)governance. By seeking new alliances Artist Organisations International aims to contribute to the strengthening of ties and collaboration between different artist organisations worldwide.

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WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels


Pierre Leguillon, The New York Times Magazine/Part 1, September 20, 1970 (cover photograph: Werner Wolff). Collection Museum of Mistakes. Photo: Pierre Leguillon.

Conceived by the French artist Pierre Leguillon, The Museum of Mistakes: Contemporary Art and Class Struggle brings together works that he has created over the last 15 years out of reproduced images. These are tailor-made displays that bring together photographs, film extracts, advertisements, postcards, posters, slides, record sleeves, magazines, and other types of mass media. But these works evade solidifiying into fixed forms. Each one is intimately informed by a principle of movement, or, indeed, of reversibility, and they are deployed on mobile, light, or transportable structures.

Thanks to its economy of means and the autonomy of its presentation displays, The Museum of Mistakes proposes an exhibition model that attempts to foil, or “de-class-ify”—to reprise the exhibition’s title—the hierarchies of art. In decompartmentalizing identity, whether it is a matter of the artist’s, the visitor’s, or those of the exhibited images, The Museum of Mistakes invites us to rethink the conditions of the reception of art, depicted here first of all as an activity. In so doing, Leguillon inquires into the political function of art within society, wherein each individual is in a perpetual process of emitting and receiving information.

Pierre Leguillon, born in Nogent-sur-Marne, France, in 1969, lives and works in Brussels. His works, performances, and projections have been the subject of many monographic presentations, notably at Raven Row (London, 2011), Mamco (Geneva, 2010), Moderna Museet (Malmö, 2010), Musée du Louvre (Paris, 2009), and Artists Space (New York, 2009). In 2013, the artist participated in the Carnegie International in Pittsburgh. Leguillon teaches at HEAD (Haute Ecole d’Art et de Design) in Geneva.

Curated by Devrim Bayar
Assisted by Marwann Frikach

With the participation of Sébastien Capouet, Nicolas Chardon, Koenraad Dedobbeleer, documentation céline duval, Sylvie Eyberg, Adrien Faucheux, Yves Godin, Ana Jotta, Aglaïa Konrad, Valérie Mannaerts, Delphine Merabet, Willem Oorebeek, Conny Purtill, Clément Rodzielski, (SIC) and Marthe Wéry, among others.

The Museum of Mistakes will travel to the Musée régional d’Art contemporain Languedoc-Roussillon from 15 March until 7 June.

With the support of L’Ambassade de France en Belgique, Chasse-Spleen, Maison Dandoy, Duvel, Frédéric de Goldschmidt, Hotel Le Berger, Institut Français, Thalys.

Complementary programme of film screenings, lectures and performances:

Sunday 11 January, 7pm
The Promise of the Screen presents: “Effects of announcements: Saul Bass/Sacha Guitry”

Sunday 18 January, 7pm
The Promise of the Screen presents: “The Promise of the Couch”

Sunday 25 January, 10am
The Promise of the Screen presents: “The Promise for Children”

Sunday 25 January, 8:30pm

Sunday 1 February, 7pm
The Promise of the Screen presents: “Homage to the Square,” an evening around Josef Albers

Sunday 8 February, 7pm
The Promise of the Screen presents: “The Promise of the Counter”

Wednesday 11 February, 7pm
Non-Happening after Ad Reinhardt with Willem Oorebeek

Sunday 15 February
The Promise of the Screen presents: “Music on images” by Sylvie Eyberg

Sunday 22 February, 7pm
The Promise of the Screen presents: “Manual of Photography”

Press contact
Micha Pycke / T +32 (0) 2 340 00 51 / M +32 (0) 486 680 070

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Amalia Pica’s “One Thing after Another” at Stigter van Doesburg, Amsterdam

jan7_review_img1Amalia Pica, ABCABC, 2014. Installation with two-channel video projection, 46:00 minutes on loop, with two unique sculptures (MaremilaRemoromi, both 2014), dimensions variable. Image courtesy of Stigter van Doesburg, Amsterdam.

November 27, 2014–January 17, 2015

Twenty-first century communication has dramatically changed the way information reaches us. Popular interpretations of knowledge and history seem to do so without historical consciousness and self-reflexivity. Rather than playing with the structure of history, Amalia Pica, in her solo show at Stigter van Doesburg, “One Thing after Another,” concerns herself with the underpinning structure of the structure. She rejects the finality of the object or image, and broadens it from a singular, formal focus to a multifaceted perspective.

The exhibition is a continuation of a project that the London-based Argentinian artist began at the Museo Tamayo in Mexico City in the summer of 2013. Next to some colorful Plexiglas sculptures and pastel-colored prints in the smaller rooms, the show’s focal point is the large installation ABCABC (2014), which consists of two Plexiglas sculptures and a two-channel video projection. The sculptures, entitledMaremila and Remoromi (both 2014), are a variety of metal structures holding colored geometrical shapes in saturated blue, red, and yellow. They further Pica’s research on the Venn diagram and the set theory it illustrates, which describes the logical, mathematical relationships of inclusion and exclusion, developed by logician and philosopher John Venn (1834–1923). Under the 1976–1983 military dictatorship in Argentina, the Venn diagram’s intersecting and overlapping circles were banned from primary school curricula, according to the artist because they were feared to encourage subversive models of collectivity.

The two-channel projection screens documentation of performances that were executed at Pica’s show in Mexico City, created with Mexican filmmaker Rafael Ortega. Performers are seen to repeatedly bring the Plexiglas circles, squares, and triangles from the gallery walls to the middle of the space, using them as compositional pieces to build new configurations. This is, however, only gradually disclosed throughout the video; there are moments when both screens intersect, and sometimes even form a singular image, creating a storyline that travels from extremely abstract (zoomed in on the geometric shapes) to figurative as the performers steadily become more visible. A soundtrack of voices speaking in a non-language accompanies the work. Words are seemingly spelled out but in fact carry no terminology or significance at all. This is what seems to drive Pica’s work: the question of how data and knowledge reach us through certain filters and the inescapably political nature of information exchange. With access to new resources created by the digitization of historical archives over the last decade, artists are increasingly able to give special consideration to the significant acts of classification, use, evaluation, and interpretation of information in artistic thought. How does this effectuate a relation with history, information, and data that provides room for categories that can be repeatedly reinterpreted?

Snapshots in time, the sculptures are the result of the varied compositional proposals made by the performers in the video. Supplementary to the original, their absence is given a shape. Apart from their formal explorations of minimalism and Kinetic Art, the work above all else functions on several levels of seeming oppositions: inside and outside; sculpture and architecture; work and viewer. All contribute to revealing the syntheses of history, continuation, language, and composition.

In “One Thing after Another,” Pica taps into the discussion about contemporary art’s movement away from representation of the image and production of the object into the creation and documentation of situations which can be experienced and reconstructed.

The plain, colorful, semi-transparent sculptural elements offer a minimal yet seductive aesthetic, with which Pica attempts to lay bare the contradictions of master narratives, and thus the invention of counter-narratives. One of the implicit intentions underlying much of this activity is to engage the viewer as an active participant by encouraging her to piece elements together, fill in gaps, and enter into the scenario as a protagonist, thus shifting his position from that of the image’s beholder to its interpreter.

Judith Vrancken is a writer based in Amsterdam.

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