The book "DE CVRATORIBVS.
The Dialectics of Care and Confinement" is out now
are we to analyze power relations in the current system of contemporary art, or
the presumably non-existing censorship in this free and democratic domain? The
important event that struck the art world in the last century was the appearance
of a new agent on the art scene: that of a curator. The following analysis has
the ambition to strip curating down to its essence, by comparing three main
domains in which we find this profession active: the Roman Empire, contemporary
arts, and contemporary zoos.
Two large-scale manifestations served as platforms for the promotion and recognition of this profession, both with a clear political mandate as well: documenta in Kassel, Germany, and the traveling Manifesta—European Biennial of Contemporary Art. The third case-study, the Hollywood blockbuster film AVATAR, continues the discussion where the analysis of Manifesta brought us and, somehow, this perfect 3D cinematic image brings us back to curators. What this historical overview made clear was, that what all those various agents have in common is a duty to protect those considered to be in need of protection, which further opened up the questions of who decided this, and where the threshold is when care becomes confinement.
[You can read the Introduction and Chapter 1 here.]
New York • Dresden
151 First Avenue # 14, New York, N.Y. 10003
Lecture "The Invention of Curators"
On April 2nd, 2013 I will give a talk at Chukotka, artists' run space in Amsterdam, Witte de Withstraat 140. Come join us at 6 p.m.
The role and the practice of curating has been widely discussed in recent years, but the same questions seem to be repeated again and again. In this short overview, we will try to define the function of curators through the examination of their history. Perhaps the key to understand this profession's role in contemporary arts lies in its foundations, the Roman empire, when curators were instituted for the first time. Further, this should give us more clues by which to interpret the changes that had occurred in the past fifty years, and we will focus on several crucial moments during the 1970s and the 1990s, when it becomes possible to understand better the political context through curatorial practices. The final part of this 'collage' will be devoted to a rarely discussed example of the Marxist curators from the 1920s, the inventors of particular “visual installations”.
Sometimes On Awakening We Recall A Dream
New project by Public Space With A Roof
Kunstvlaai: Festival of Independents
(November 23 - December 2, 2012)
Opening: Friday, November 23 at 5 pm
Sint Nicolaas Lyceum
Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria
September 29th, 2012, 4 p.m.
As part of the conference "Art and the Critique of Ideology After '89" organized by Institute for Art Theory and Cultural Studies of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and Kunsthaus Bregenz, I will present a part of my research on the ideology of curatorship in contemporary arts.
A Review of two books on art and activism:
Activism. Practices, Dilemmas, and Possibilities.
Begüm Özden Firat and Aylin Kuryel (Eds.) (2011)
Series: Thamyris/Intersecting: Place, Sex, Race, Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi, 261 pp.
and Activism in the Age of Globalisation.
Lieven de Cauter, Ruben de Roo, Karel Vanhaesbrouck (Eds.) (2011)
Series: Reflect. Rotterdam: NAi
Publishers, 334 pp.
In: Krisis, Journal for contemporary philosophy, 2012, Issue 1
April 15th, 2012, 4pm
Wolfart Project Space, Rotterdam
Please join us at this afternoon program as part of the project 'Charlois Frequencies'; I will have an honor to give my lecture at the event together with the artist Katarina Zdjelar who will present some of the main aspects of her work. For more info, please visit: net.org
*This talk is a part of the research kindly supported by Fonds BKVB
**You can now read the transcript of the lecture here.
I am happy to invite you to the opening of a new PSWAR project:
The Inverted City: Looking Through the Cracks of a Labyrinth
at the Centre Pompidou – Metz on September 10, 6 pm.
The Inverted City is developed as a commission for the exhibition ERRE: Variations Labyrinthiques curated by Hélène Guenin and Guillaume Désanges. Via the model of a labyrinth, this group show tackles the notions of straying, loss and wandering as well as their representations in contemporary art. Rather than being illustrative, the exhibition strives at being intuitive and sensitive. Extending over 2000 square meters in two of the gallery spaces at the Centre Pompidou-Metz, ERRE presents works by different generations of French and international artists, together with major figures from the collection of the Centre Pompidou – Musée National d'Art Moderne: Vito Acconci, Abbas Kiarostami, Frederick Kiesler, Carl Andre, Constant, Maya Deren, Marcel Duchamp, Harun Farocki, Yona Friedman, Mona Hatoum, Isidore Isou, Kisho Kurokawa, Kasimir Malevitch, Robert Morris, Piranèse, Alexander Rodtchenko, Robert Smithson, Frank Stella, Raphael Zarka, etc.
More info: www.centrepompidou-metz.fr
On The Inverted City
“Thus the traveler, arriving, sees two cities: one erect above the lake, and the other reflected, upside down. Nothing exists or happens in the one Valdrada that the other Valdrada does not repeat, because the city was so constructed that its every point would be reflected in its mirror. (…) At times the mirror increases a thing's value, at times denies it. Not everything that seems valuable above the mirror maintains its force when mirrored. The twin cities are not equal, because nothing that exists or happens in Valdrada is symmetrical: every face and gesture is answered, from the mirror, by a face and gesture inverted, point by point. The two Valdradas live for each other, their eyes interlocked; but there is no love between them.”
Italo Calvino, Cities & Eyes
By accepting the invitation to realize our new work in the framework of a large-scale exhibition devoted to the notion of labyrinth, among works of many of our idols and inspirations, we also accepted the challenge to redefine our own practice in a new context. Hence the decision to take further the main questions raised by the ERRE exhibition, by creating a work that will reflect on its three main aspects: the concept of labyrinth, the architecture of exhibition spaces, and the artists whose works are being presented.
The Labyrinth as a Concept
Labyrinth is a metaphor for both life and death, feelings of getting lost and finding one's way, play and horror. This duality of its nature also complicated our ability to formulate one single definition. Instead, we decided to search for the ways in which we could recreate the labyrinth as an experience, testing the ability of senses to translate this into particular kind of knowledge.
The Labyrinth as an Exhibition
In the imaginary space of the ERRE exhibition, we felt like walking around a particular urban structure made of imaginary streets and houses inhabited by works of art. The segments of the exhibition became for us the quarters of the ERRE City, neighborhoods with their own stories and emotional charging. The spaces in which we were to create our work turned out to be located on the borders of those imaginary quarters, simultaneously connecting and dividing them. Our position became one in a shadow, parallel universe that exists only as a reflection of the exhibition structure. Inspired by Italo Calvino, we decided to create a structure functioning as its distorted mirror image. On the level of the narrative, our main questions became: what are the ways in which we can detect the cracks in this labyrinth and what do we see once we look through them?
As we learned from The Naked City (a Situationists inspiration and the first film fully filmed on the streets of New York), in order to see the city from all its angles one requires transgression, or an outcast character to take us over the borders of perception. Therefore, we created a character living on the streets of ERRE as its shadow, disturbance and provocation, who could tell us secret stories about this seemingly peaceful, safe and controlled place.
The Labyrinths of Individual Minds
Institutions are haunted by the desire to discipline and order, something museums do not differ from. At the same time, many of the artworks exhibited in ERRE are the works of individuals who had a strong rejection of institutional confinement and rules. Following our desire to look through the cracks of this labyrinth, our imaginary character reveals untold stories about those individual inhabitants. The orderly image of the artworks is disturbed by the revelation of the process through which they were born, revealing also the individual labyrinths of the authors behind. Sometimes all we hear are their screams, strange sounds coming from the centers of their own labyrinths, frightening and tempting us to follow the noise to see if we could beat the beast.
The Map of Emotions
On the second floor of the exhibition, the visitor is left alone to find his/her way, leaving behind our imaginary character who continues to haunt the streets of ERRE. Through our investigation, we came to a conclusion that this imaginary urban structure missed one important element – a square. Hence, we decided to create this missing square, where the visitors can rest and reflect on the experience of things already seen. On its floor, the image of our own self-reflection becomes visible: a particular map which marks the emotional experience created by the downstairs labyrinth. As a map of emotional experience, it is also a tool which allows to question individual memory by replaying the scenes encountered in ERRE. It is here that all different elements will come together, the reassembled image of the city and its reflection in the lake.
The Inverted City: Looking Through the Cracks of a Labyrinth
Project by Public Space With a Roof: Adi Hollander, Tamuna Chabashvili, Vesna Madzoski
Installation created by: Adi Hollander, Tamuna Chabashvili
Assistant: Giacomo Sponzilli
Construction design: Davide Manzoni - RedeeMade Laboratory
Supported by: Mondriaan Foundation, Fonds BKVB, Centre Pompidou - Metz
Special thanks to: Amsterdam Grafisch Atelier, Keramikos, Aty Boonstra, Christina Hallstrom, Vika Mitrichenka
Erre: Variations Labyrinthiques
Centre Pompidou – Metz, France
September 12, 2011 – March 5, 2012
Cinemascope, Year VII, Issue 15, January - June 2011
'3D AND BEYOND'
on post-avatar depression, cracks in the narrative,
and dangerous cat women...
February, 20, 2011, 2pm
The book Passages Through (the Unfinished Monument) I made with Public Space With A Roof (PSWAR) came out in January 2010 and will be presented to the Amsterdam audience as well.
"The book is a story about a project by Public Space With A Roof for the KIASMA Museum in Helsinki, Finland, that was cancelled two weeks before its realization. It was intended to become an installation of three intersecting Moebius strips 'circling' around the gallery, functioning as a platform to exhibit works of other artists. Finally only a model of this structure was created and photographed with a pinhole camera. On the images, the structure is still visible, but their blurry and foggy atmosphere shows a different universe, closer to the world of dreams and imagination."
To read more about the book click here
Conference "Imagining Europe"
Leiden, January 27-28, 2011
Leiden University Institute for Cultural Disciplines organizes a two-day conference
"Imagining Europe. Perspectives, Perceptions and Representations from Antiquity to the Present."
On January 27, I will present my paper on Manifesta, European Biennial of Contemporary Art
and its vision of Europe.
More info: www.hum.leiden.edu/icd/imagining-europe/
On October 22, I will give a lecture about the ways in which capitalism effects our senses by overloading them with stimuli and the potential of art to disturb this.
The lecture is a part of MA workshop given by Marcus Miessen in which he will focus on participation from the perspective of conflict.
For more info, please check: www.expodium.nl
New Text on Rune Peitersen's work is now online on rhizome.org
My new text "Black Hole of Vision: On Rune Peitersen's Saccadic Sightings" is now posted online.
You can read more on Peitersen's last show at Ellen de Bruijne Gallery here:
To find out more on Peitersen's work, please visit www.runepeitersen.com
The film follows the structure of the installations in the exhibition
and we presented it as part of the solo show in Frederick Kiesler foundation in Vienna in November 2009.
YOU CAN FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE EXHIBITION HERE
Read some of my recent essays on contemporary art, international biennials, large-scale exhibitions, films, politics and various elements of contemporary visual culture. My main preoccupation in most of them was the almost forgotten task of reading the images...
Short texts about several impressive artists - dear friends and collaborators on various projects...
Many of my previous projects will probably stay forever forgotten in a pre-digital era. Nevertheless, here is a short documentation of several recent ones, evidences of valuable and enriching collaborations with many other people...