In the little pot...
2 | e-mag
Carlos M. Leal Executive Editor Ana Fay Assistant Editor Maria Diaz Art & Design Designer
Nana Ramirez Marketing Carlos M. Leal Jane Hernandez
Translation Zaira Zarza Contributing writers Paul Ardenne Raphael Chikukwa Julia Moritz Moritz Neumuller Marilyn Zeitlyn Studio Banana
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Contributong artists & Spaces Alxandre Arrechea Gordon Cheung Geison Genga Paul Kranzler Matthieu Laurette Pia Lindman Gabriela Maciel Lucia Madriz Wagner Malta Coster Mkoki Roxana Nagygeller Max Pam Dylan Reid & Daniel Fogg Kristian Von Hornsleth Icaro Zorbar (Teoretica)
DISTRIBUTION PARTNERS XVI Biennale de Paris Art Lies Magazine Arizona State University Art Museum SOCIAL PARTNERS http://www.thepaperbagwriter.org http://www.soapboxevent.blogspot.com http://www.art-did.com http://www.kyraclaydon.de http://www.facebook.com/johnspiak http://www.myspace.com/marcsellares http://www.art.ccsu.edu/gallery.html
special thanks to http://www.ninja-mag.com
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Gordon Cheung Signs Taken for Wonders Marilyn Zeitlin XVI BIENNALE DE PARIS Experience a biennale Paul Ardenne
In the little pot... Moritz NeuMüller
GAbriela maciel Cortex Wall of Brightness.
Matthieu Laurette Let’s Make Lots of Money
GASC DÉMOLITION ™ Demolish to build a better future
ALEXNDRE ARRECHEA After the Monument
The State of Zimbabwean Contemporary Art: From the 50s to Liberation Struggle Movement to Independence and beyond Rapahel Chikukwa
Studio Banana Locutorio Colón
dylan reid & Daniel Fogg Relics
Kristian von Hornsleth The übermensh and the Deep Storage Progect Wolf-Günter Thiel
lucía madriz Some Reflections on my Work
Ícaro Zorbar Press release / Set theory
NKame. belkis Ayon Upcoming Book Details
Burning the Boundaries: Institutional Critique in Spaces of Conflict julia moritz
Wagner Malta Barqueiro
SUMMER at the ASU Art Museum
PIA LINDMAN Soapbox Event
REACHING OUT: Gisimba Orphanage
4 | e-mag Gordon Cheung
Wilderness of Mirrors
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Gordon Cheung Signs Taken for Wonders Marilyn zeitlin
Gordon Cheung presents a chiliastic view of the future painted to seduce us into the contemplation of a ruined world. That Cheung depicts a post-apocalyptic world is where we’ll start. But it is not the whole story. Both in his images and on the surface of his paintings, the presence of decadence, collapse, and the end of “life as we know it” is palpable. In the new series Wilderness of Mirrors, Cheung shows us a dystopic universe in which all but the most primordial elements of existence have been --- what? bombed? starved? poisoned? all of the above, and more, unto oblivion. Cheung references the CIA and double agents in explaining the source for the title of the series. “Wilderness of Mirrors” was the phrase used by James Jesus Angleton, chief of the CIA counter-intelligence staff in the 1950s, to describe the convoluted duplicitous layers of appearance and reality, of spy and counter-spy. It is a phrase drawn from T.S. Eliot’s “Gerontion” (1920), a poem narrated by a selfdescribed “… old man in a dry month/ being read to by a boy, waiting for rain.” It too delineates a spoiled world--ruined and overindulged, a world that is encapsulated in the efforts of an old man to summon some last virility. “These with a thousand small deliberations/ Protract the profit of their chilled delirium,/ Excite the membrane, when the sense has cooled,/ With pungent sauces, multiply variety/ In a wilderness of mirrors.” (Ah, for the days of a CIA in which poetry undergirded thinking! The sense of multiple readings behind what can be seen is more relevant now, it seems, than in what now appears to be a simpler age in which paranoia, red scares, and counter-counter intelligence was norm.
6 | e-mag Gordon Cheung
In the title painting of the series, Cheung uses the visual vocabulary of religious tradition and science fiction film iconography to place the issues on the table. We see a horizon of water or fissured earth, framing devices of denuded mountains. The water mirrors the peaks and the iridescent, psychedelic neon colors of the fumes of the atmosphere. This compositional arrangement, with its near-symmetry and flanking forms, has reappeared in Cheung’s work since 2003, when his work moved to the exploration of the future as void. The composition is hieratic--- a formula seen in religious art of both the West and Asia, a shell within which deities are enthroned surrounded by parenthetical anecdotal material including landscape and narrative that expand on the central theme. The vision of an apocalyptic end is a theme with constant reappearance throughout the history of art, and Cheung clearly knows the work of and respects his art-historical predecessors. Apocalypse was the rage in late medieval times and populates its art. It chronicles a time when millennial fears were paired with the devastation of plague throughout Europe. Martin Schöngauer (15th century) and many others depicted the Dance of Death. Albrecht Dürer’s The Apocalypse of St. John (1496-98) to Peter Breughel’s Tower of Babel (1563)--- an early expression of anxiety about globalization--- lay the groundwork for the parables of destruction. Perhaps an unintentional expression of hubris is Erastus Salisbury Field’s Historical Monument of the American Republic (1876), painted to celebrate the victory of the American Civil War. But now it is impossible to see it without thinking of the World Trade Center. Zooming into the present, there are the paintings of contemporary Brazilian artist Oscar Oiwa. But these, and Cheung’s work, are not simply sci-fi horror movie stills. Cheung uses an array of devices to draw us into the paintings and to carry us into a psychological space in which we can go beyond mere the present and contemplate a possible future. As I write, the radio in the next room drones on, commentators debating reasons for the financial collapse of 2008. None can explain it. But that is because they are looking at the minutiae of market economics. We all know what is happening in the grand scheme of things, in the dues we are paying for excess. Gordon Cheung has been laying it all out for us for quite some time. The title painting of Wilderness of Mirrors offers two new elements, images that carry the painting beyond the vision of a world that has ended. First, in the bottom foreground is a form that at first seems like a pelvis, or a pair of bones made into clubs knit together by twigs. On closer look, it is a pair of battling bucks or elk. The image is against a black background, an apron of a stage; it functions like a cartouche that announces the genealogy of those who
brought us here: figures of the same species warring to their own extinction. And secondly, at the top, in the distance, the painting is crowned by a nimbus of light. It is this central image of light that is important in the new work. Like the foreground image, this one can be seen in two opposing ways. First, it suggests a post-nuclear glow, which goes the distance to explain the desolate outcome. But that alone would be far too facile a reading, it seems to me. At the opposite extreme, it resonates as a suggestion of a future, something that is not visible from where we stand but offers a harsh, even blinding, future. The composition, with its evocation of enormous scale in nature and the diminution of man plays on the tradition
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of the painters of the nineteenth century who sought to convey the enormity of nature. The sublime. In the case of Frederic Church, his subject was the American West, still exotic at the time that he attempted to portray it, and the Andes. All were manifestations of a presence of divinity to be discovered in the natural world. The classic example of this relationship of man to nature is Caspar David Friederich’s Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog (1818). In Cheung’s painting Death Cuts, he places takes the two elements of landscape and figure and tilts the picture plane and radicalizes the proportions. In the earlier painting, it is as if we are standing just behind the wanderer and see his vision of the landscape. Friedrich’s figure is dark, silhouetted against the whitish fog, and the figure is more prominent. But Cheung places us, the
viewers, above as well as behind the figure, removing us emotionally, making us omniscient rather than immediate observers. Cheung’s figure is minute in the face of the landscape laid out before him. Friederich’s figure stands above the fog, dominating what is below him; Cheung’s is simply a witness. The drama of Cheung’s paintings is conveyed in part by a compositional device which often suggests a stage. That stage is frequently empty, waiting for the characters to animate the space. In Death Cuts the central nimbus is now revealed as the backdrop of a tower of knives capped by a nuclear warhead rising from the waters. At the right is the dead tree trunk--- like the last remnant of Eden. A colossal floral branch grows at the far right.
8 | e-mag Gordon Cheung
To the left, a figure descends the mountains. He carries what looks like Chinese ceramic ginger jars, one in each hand and one balanced on his head. They are decorated with floral patterns. The scene, witnessed by a tiny figure standing on an outcropping in the foreground, is the reduced version of Friedrich’s wanderer. I am reminded of Yung Chang’s film Up the Yangtze (2007), in which the creation of the Three Gorges dam devastates the lives of people living in the path of the rising water and the cultural past of a region of China is being drowned and erased with the displacement. The film is an inexorable indictment of the contemporary Chinese economic boom and of carelessness--- in the literal sense of not caring what happens in the long run. The film and Cheung’s painting tell us to regard the implications of the changes we are exerting on what is left of the natural world, to
check our hubris in dominating nature. “Unnatural vices are fathered by our heroism” says Eliot. At least one of the contributing forces that has brought down the world must be war. But with the exception of the nuclear warhead in Death Cuts, Cheung never shows us war explicitly. In fact, his strategy is in avoiding the explicit. What is beyond the horizon in these two paintings? It is undefined, perhaps a void. I am reminded of the temple of Borobudur in Java. Borobudur is a maquette of the universe, a three-dimensional cosmogram. The central conceit is of the universe as a mystical mountain, a form that bridges between heaven and earth. It is also a device for gradually achieving enlightenment. As the devotee ascends from level to level, he or she can see further out
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lattice to see seated Buddhas. But most amazing, when you finally reach the topmost level, there is a single dome. When you peer through the lattice, the space is empty. No Buddha. The most highly evolved form is beyond representation. My first thought in seeing Wilderness of Mirrors is that the halo at the center, which does not encircle the head of any figure, is the analogue of that absent figure. Nor is the religious association farfetched in Cheung’s case since he has long used metaphors of temples and the fallen angels of John Milton as the armature upon which he hangs his chiliastic vision of the present. But perhaps Cheung is offering a last reconciliation, a final option for hope, a promise that cannot be delineated. So how did we reach this point? Since 1995 Cheung has used the stock quotations from the Financial Times, plastering the sheets seamlessly over the painting support. The columns of words and numbers, flush left, organizing the entirety into a grid. They also never allow us to forget that what underlies history in the age of global capitalism is the fluctuations of these numbers. It is a collective unconscious of the moment, inescapable, one we share even if we pay no attention to it. The printed pages form an allover texture that unify what are often very large paintings. The stock listings appear in some places and are covered in others, but implicit is that they underlie EVERYTHING.
along the Java plain and, figuratively, can comprehend more of the surrounding and ever-expanding world. The lower levels are squared off to reflect the four cardinal directions. The upper levels are circular, making the pace faster and suppressing the differentiation that the lower levels reinforce. Friezes of sculptural murals girdle each level. At the lowest levels, the imagery represents the most savage aspect of human behavior: murder and its mass version, war, are most prominent. Higher up, the imagery depicts higher aspects of human behavior as human approaches divine. And the concept is mirrored in form: the depth of the relief becomes lower as the figures become more ethereal and the ideas more abstract. At the topmost terrace, several dome structures are carved with lattice patterns. You can look through the
To regard the unseen as the moving force in our lives is paranoia, religion, and/or science fiction. Paranoia is differentiated from fear only when the reason for fear has no basis. These paintings are not fantasy, they record the fluidity among elements that have become combustible in the present. It seems that the narrowing ecological path we are on and economic boom-or-bust tsunamis are very real bases for fear, but they can be exploited to become paranoiac, to the end that national security eclipses all else and “defense spending” becomes a euphemism for a national security state and the militarizing of the economy. Outsourcing the Iraq war has moved wealth from the public coffers to private pockets. No one spells this out as carefully and convincingly as does Naomi Klein in The Shock Doctrine, which traces the impact of free-market economics from the 1970s, from Augusto Pinochet’s coup in Chile, up until the Iraq war. It is a book about economics that tells a parallel history of the latter half of the twentieth century and goes far to explain the depletion--financial, moral--- of the present. Over the ground of stock quotations, Cheung builds up layers of paint, creating textures from the thin mist of spray paint to the thick impasto of a loaded brush. He can control crackle to represent a decaying world. The surfaces of his paintings are rich and complex and completely relevant to his content.
10 | e-mag Gordon Cheung
The iridescent color that Cheung uses in these paintings links them with pachinko or pinball machines in which science fiction battles take place. They are the colors of hallucinogenic visions in which an aura scintillates around forms, beautiful but on the edge of painful. In Deluge Cheung references another icon of Romanticism, Théodore Gericault’s Raft of the Medusa (1819). He frames the action within a more roughly symmetrical stage: to the right are the stubs of ruined buildings and one the left a barren tree limb with the shipwreck scene below. The sea looks like molten earth about to inundate the fragile raft. The back story of the raft is based on an historical event. The few that survive the shipwreck resorted to cannibalism in order to survive. Cheung does not tell us this, but it is behind the image, like a dirty secret. Cheung, perhaps aware of the ghoulishness of the story has countered this horror with a goofy image of a cartoon-like ghost in the opposing corner. The light that is central in Wilderness of Mirrors and Death Cuts here is diffused into multiple bursts, like fireworks over a river. Beyond the edge of a V of mountains, the light appears to be setting. Like the wrong-headedness that is so vividly portrayed in Up the Yangtze, Cheung shows us in Masterplan the results of technology gone awry. The light in the distance is still glowing above the edge of mountains, but now
human enterprise takes center stage. Two figures appear to be attempting to start some sort mechanism, like two guys trying to start a lawnmower. A crank or electrical cord lies useless. The machine is topped by a globe. Perhaps they are attempting to reincarnate the Creation? They’ve simply got to get this thing spinning again. Things are not looking up. Cheung has always paralleled his operatic large-scale works with portraits. Recently, the portraits have been of animals. They are trophy heads, dead animals. He uses the stock listings to create the grid as he does in the more complex works, and mixed media including acrylic gel and spray paint. In Trophy 2, the head of what must be a very old buck, with a complex rack of antlers, is shown turning his head into profile. From his open mouth a sound is frozen. Drips of paint simultaneously suggest blood and gore and remind us that this is just a painting. The shadows--- of the neck and of the lattice of the horns--- press the form into our own space. It is the most poignant of the Trophy series. The iridescent, psychedelic palette suggests the hyper-hybridization of advanced science that transforms animals into commodities. The technologies of biology are creating monsters. “After such knowledge, what forgiveness?”.
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12 | e-mag XVI biennale de paris
From 1st of October 2008 to 30th of September 2010. Founded in 1959 by Andre Malraux, the object of the Biennale de Paris is to favour a break with the conventional art practices. She identified and support the invisual art practices. The Biennale de Paris itâ€™s a biennial with no exhibition, with no art objects, with no curators, with no spectatorships. Being an alternative to established art values.
XVI BIENNALE DE PARIS
Biennale de Paris BP358. 75868 Paris cedex 18, France
email@example.com / http://www.biennaledeparis.org
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XVI Biennale de paris Experience a biennale Paul Ardenne In the last fifteen years, the number of contemporary art biennales has grown significantly: around ten in 1990, more than forty today. And they seem to be spread though out the world, from Sharjah to Fortaleza and Valence or Istanbul and Sydney, from Puerto Rico or Lyon to Peking, to Cairo, New York, or Havana, from Shanghai to Senegal, all the way to Prague, Cetinié or Cuenca (and many other places). This “biennalisation” of the art world in not a bad thing. It allows observers, tourists, or the curious to get an idea of the living creation in visual arts. It explains the present dynamism of the latter, plus the difficulty of holding this dynamism within the borders of the western world, henceforth overflowing. If there is one criticism often made of official biennales, it is their standardizing function. Even artists, even curators, even themes, frequently give the impression of subjecting themselves to the same conceptual and ideological machinery. If it is a welcome thing to periodically validate living creation, to bring attention to it, it is not such a good thing to forward creation towards the imperatives of the market, trends, and criticisms in vogue. Let’s not be caricaturelike: always wait and see, once the screen of normality is broken. However, the cultural industry has its own way of working; it manages a constructed universe, looks more willingly to already located actors to operate its selections, in short, it puts itself on show, not necessarily against art, but with it, and often adding to it. The biennale de Paris 2004 has very little to do with the corpus sacré of official biennales. A biennale that is breaking away? Without a doubt. [...] Secondly, so as not to stagnate in the place of its establishment, Paris, a large part of the exhibition has been located in other places, in California, in Beirut...(nothing abnormal about that in this age of networks; globalization obliges it). What’s more, in assuming its great poverty in locations, in means, and in organization: the price to pay for noninstitutionalization, whose effect is to keep the doors of potential locations closed, and because of the lack of financial help, the project’s budget must be constrained to austerity (when the biennale is, as one can see, very low
cost anyway). Finally, due to an inability to get the press interested (the budget for communication is derisory), this biennale will, in all likelihood, remain a phantom manifestation. “What is not seen, doesn’t exist” said Warhol. What is not glossed, does not exist much more. What is most interesting in Alexandre Gurita’s project is the high probability of its failure, of it being a total fiasco. A planned, scheduled probability that is more than virtual. Meditate on that if you like. When the cultural industry demands high attendance rates, symbolic returns, even profitability, the biennale de Paris 2004 demands all the more to make it to its logical end: existence. This position on the edge of failure is not at all masochistic. It is simply attached to a demonstrative willingness. Certainly, we must validate this argument: the system of art is at this point absorbed and surrounded by the institution and there seems to be no way out of its circle. The biennale De Paris 2004 is poor? Without a doubt because it can’t seem to be otherwise. Because free initiative hardly interests official institutions, except, as we all know, when it can recuperate it. In consequence, we advise the spectators of the Biennale de Paris 2004 to abandon all hope: no big art openings with official speeches, hors d’oeuvres, and handshakes with ministers; pumped-up shows in major cultural localities; no sumptuous catalogue. In the end there is only art, and still, art that won’t, for all the world, take the recyclable form (in the market) of an object. This relational realization that is the Biennale de Paris (prospect, network, meet, but freely, without the constraining need to seduce) is unique in its welldefined esthetic content: priority given to active creations of the contextual type, that is to say, that escapes a clearly recognizable status in standardized categories and most of the time proves itself inexhibitable. All that which also escapes seduction. The Biennale de Paris is to be conceived and thought of without being sure that the hypothesis will be proved in the end by a concrete event. An experience. Paru dans “It’s art baby! art!”
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“Je suis tout à fait partisan d’une vérité d’évidence qui est l’objet de la Biennale: la valorisation de la production immatérielle.” Pierre Restany Fait à Paris le 3 octobre 2001
16 | e-mag gasc démolitiontm
GASC DÉMOLITION™ Demolish to build a better future Gasc Démolition™ is an engineering company that demolishes buildings and artwork. It determines the demolition strategy required for all types of annihilation projects. It establishes the acquired protocol for the complete execution of this disastrous tactic. Recently it has become well-known that Gasc Demolition TM was contacted to study the following demolition projects : • the implosion of the Justine Lacroix Gallery (Marseilles), • the flash burn up of the Maison Rouge (Paris), • the bombing of the contemporary art site known as the Satellite Brindeau (Le Havre), • the total lightning attack of the Jeu de Paume (Paris). The Gasc Demolition™ company is currrently working on the fabrication of GBU-28 missiles, otherwise known as “Bunker Buster” bombs, capable of penetrating fortified targets (in reinforced concrete up to 6 metres thick) or targets buried deeply buried (up to 30 metres underground). Its operation procedure is known as “penetrating explosive”: it penetrates the construction and only explodes once inside.
GASC DÉMOLITION™ 68 rue de Rome, 13006 Marseille P. : 06 18 39 56 23 N° siret : 442 204 913 00028 firstname.lastname@example.org
gasc dĂŠmolitiontm e-mag | 17
Bunker Buster Bomb, October 2007.
Materials: Object manufactured from painted soldered steel (industrial paint, RAL colour chart)./ Dimensions: (ref. attached technical drawings) : 582 cm x 71.1 cm (retractable airofoils) or 167 cm (fixed airofoils). / Logistics and maintenance: The object cannot be dismantled. \It can be transported secured to a simple platform (without casing). It can be used inside as well as outside. It does not require specialized maintenance.
18 | e-mag loop
Loop Festival LOOP. Del 21 al 31 de mayo Feria LOOP. 28, 29 y 30 de mayo
Loop es el evento de referencia en la difusión y promoción del mejor videoarte. Punto de encuentro para profesionales y amantes de esta disciplina artística, reúne en Barcelona tanto las últimas propuestas de los creadores más reconocidos como piezas de artistas emergentes. La selección de proyectos del Festival se extiende por museos, centros culturales y otros espacios de la ciudad. Más de 40 galerías presentan obra reciente en el marco de la Feria. El Foro de debate es el lugar reservado para la reflexión sobre la disciplina, de la mano de artistas y profesionales internacionales. Festival LOOP. Del 21 al 31 de mayo. Feria LOOP. 28, 29 y 30 de mayo.
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C.Diputació, 239 4rt 1ª08007 Barcelona T/F. +34 932 155 260 Sedes del evento Festival - Diferentes localizaciones en toda la ciudad (CCCB, Macba, Arts Santa Mónica, Fundación Godia, etc) Feria y Foro de debate - Hotel Catalonia Ramblas. Pelayo, 28 08001 Barcelona.
Dirección Emilio Alvarez, Carlos Durán, Llucià Homs Producción Maite García, Ainet Canut email@example.com Prensa y comunicación Cristina Díaz, Neus Masferrer firstname.lastname@example.org
Loop is a benchmark event for the diffusion and promotion of the best videoart. A meeting point for professionals and lovers of this discipline; it brings together the latest works by highly acclaimed artists and new pieces by up-and-coming creators, in an annual event in Barcelona.
The projects selected for the Festival will be presented in many city locations including museums, cultural centres, and other venues. In the framework of the Fair, over 40 galleries will present recent works. The Panels are a space set aside for reflection on the discipline of video art by international artists and professionals. LOOP Festival. From May 21 to 31. LOOP Fair. May 28, 29 and 30.
Festival Alejandra Arteta, Alexandra Laudo email@example.com Feria & Guest Program Arianne Gaazenbeek, Andrea Goffre, Sol García Galland firstname.lastname@example.org
20 | e-mag the state of zimbabwean contemporary art
The State of Zimbabwean Contemporary Art: From the 50s to Liberation Struggle Movement to Independence and beyond Rapahel Chikukwa This paper comes at a time when we as Zimbabweans: artists, curators, writers, musicians and academics remain under the spot light, expected to comment on or to condemn what is happening in our motherland. I want to examine the historical background of contemporary Zimbabwean Art to the present day. A number of events have taken place since independence to the current political issues that have not only affected the artists but the whole Zimbabwean community. This paper will answer questions on where the Zimbabwean artist is coming from and where he/she is today. Some have gone on international fora to condemn the situation and some have remained silent and let their work speak for itself. A number of Zimbabwe artists have left the country and some have remained in the country and they have not given up on their art practice. The challenge today is the funding for a number of artists run projects are failing to cop with the situation. Even those in the Diaspora remain sidelined from the international contemporary art discourse. My paper will give you a view of both sides and revisit the art practice in Zimbabwe since the end of the Second World War to the mixed feeling about the situation today. There have been a number of exhibitions that have taken place both in Zimbabwe and outside Zimbabwe since the year 1999. Upon my arrival from South Africa in 1999 I started working as an independent curator. My first exhibition was censored but I did not give up and I continued to curate exhibitions till 2004. Looking back to the period from the 50s to the present day, because some of the developments that took place in the 50s, 70s, 80s, 90 and years after that shaped the Zimbabwean contemporary Art world today. Having said that, you cannot separate art from politics and artists will always challenge the status quo. To read the critic Herbert Read, Art is an escape from chaos.
The majority of Western researchers, critics, academics and curators seem to have very little knowledge of Zimbabwe and its contemporary art world. Let me say, if you only rely on information provided to you by the western academics, you are not getting the complete picture of what is going on in the Zimbabwean contemporary Art world. Some have never been to Zimbabwe and they rely on books and information produced by other Western academics and they are only intimate outsiders wanting to tell our story on our behalf. Its easy to tell an African story and one can get away with it, especially the story of contemporary African Art. For how long should we sit and listen to the misrepresentation of our own culture, history and heritage? This is a million dollar question yet to be answered at some point on Afrikan soil. African art is only known about secondhand, through western mediation and commentary: and secondly, even that which is known is falsely presented, as it is African Art only as it involves westerner in its creation and appreciation. That art in existence prior to western invention is not visible in the western construction of Zimbabwean Art, which is current today. Phases in the development of art can be reviewed politically, moving from one context, the liberation struggle movements, to Independence and beyond. The Zimbabwean people have always been artistic just like people on the rest of the African continent. From some quarters, the arrival of Frank McEwen marked the beginning of the Art movement in Zimbabwe in the 50s. To say that the arrival of the western missionaries and Frank McEwen was the beginning of the art tradition in Zimbabwe is a falsehood, if not an insult to the African people. The tendency of ignoring the knowledge and understanding of the local people remain questionable. Zimbabwean Art has many aspects; maybe people need to be reminded that the
Rapahel Chikukwa How could you, 2008. miixed media. 200 x 180cm
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22 | e-mag the state of zimbabwean contemporary art
creative forces of the Afrikan artists have never been truly separated from the spiritual world. We cannot deny that the arrival of the Missionaries played a part in keeping the tradition going. After the 2nd world War a Scottish Missionary Cannon Paterson arrived in Rhodesia now Zimbabwe and established Cyrene Mission in 1948. Some of the Mission Art Centers included St Faiths, Silverira House and Serima and it was at these Missions that African students were taught Art. Students learnt how paint and to carve in wood and soapstone. Serima Mission, established by Father Groeber, became renowned for sculpture in Rhodesia at that time. Some of the names that come out Serima included the likes of Gabriel Hatugare, the late Nicholas Mukomberanwa, the late Brighton Sango and Tapfuma Gutsa. Tom Blomefield, who was once a famer, established Tengenenge, turning his farm into an Art Centre. It produced artists like the late Bernard Matemera, the late Maicolo, and Makina Kameya to mention but a few. Today Zimbabwe is renowned for its stone sculpture movement in and outside the continent and I am sure there are many Zimbabwean Sculptures all over the world today. The question here is, is this for the betterment of Zimbabwean art or not. This paper will try to answer some of these questions. In the contemporary Zimbabwe a number of artists have moved into new media like video art, photography mixed - media, graphics and installation art. Nevertheless the availability of soapstone kept the movement going despite the hardship because its not imported like other art materials. During the liberation struggle when Zimbabwe was under sanctions in the 70s artists working with soapstone kept producing work. Today the situation has changed but they are still working because those who work in other media are finding it difficult to source those materials. But there is a need to look back to where the sculpture tradition came from. Arguably some regards the generation from the 50s as the first generation yet our ancestors have been carving and painting since they walked on earth. Without being allergic to history let me say, “An African man painted on his body first before he painted on the rock”. Our ancestors who lived at the Great Zimbabwe from 900AD sculpted and the Zimbabwe Bird (Chapungu), which is now a National Symbol for Zimbabwe, is an example. Frank McEwen arrived in the then Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) from Paris where he worked for the British Council and to establish a Gallery for white patronage I presume. After establishing a National Gallery in Rhodesia he started a workshop school in 1957 and encouraged his student to carve sculptures with themes to do with their culture. He also managed to build up a fine collection of European Art at the National Gallery that included works by Rodin. Around 1962 Frank McEwen had turned Rhodesia into a
Coster Mkoki Musikan
site of international interest for African Art and Culture on the continent we are told. Not forgetting that from the 60s a number of African countries started gaining independence and other leaders like the later former Senegalese president Senghor were already beginning to fight for cultural autonomy. A European, Frank McEwen, invented the term “Shona Sculpture” and its still being used today by Art historians, critics, curators, and lecturers around the world. What the entire academic world is adamant/ignorant about is you cannot put one country in one basket let alone the whole continent. Having said that, some of these sculptors might have been migrant workers from neighboring countries like Angola, Malawi, Tanzania and Kenya. Using that term “Shona Sculpture” I am convinced Frank McEwen got it wrong because some of these sculptors might have been Ndebele, Zezuru, Korekore, Tonga, Nyanja, Swahili or Lozi. Shoma represents just one tribe within a smaller area in Southern Africa. I resist using this term because of some of the sculptors like Joseph Muli who was Kenyan: Dumisani
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Coster Mkoki Dreamland
Gwenya and Taylor Nkomo who were both Ndebele: and Fanizani Akuda who was probably Malawian or Zambian etc. A number of foreign artists came to Rhodesia during the federation as migrant workers. Tengenenge had a number of Artists who where not even Zimbabwean but they are still called “Shona Sculptors”. Some of the Tengenenge Sculptors included the late Bernard Matemera, the late Wazi Maicolo and Makina Kameya who where not Zimbabweans but where probably Angolan or Zambian. Looking at the challenges that faced this movement one cannot ignore that it was there to serve the white market and it had no African audience. During that time Galleries and Museums where only for Westerners audience and not for Africans during the colonial era. Could we say the movement did not want to provoke the master, because it just emerged as a docile movement and it still is up to the present day? The movement never raised the concerns of the masses during the liberation struggle and even today when things are different, it is in my opinion that it was never about protest art. A number of Art dealers have
preferred art from this movement and that raises many questions about their intentions and system of brokerage. The 18th of April 1980 Zimbabwe got its independence from the colonial bondage of the British Empire, which looted our heritage and brutalized innocent people since colonialism began in 1896. It was everyone’s cry that culture was going to take centre stage considering that artists played a pivotal role during the struggle. The songs by musicians like Zakes Manatsa, Oliver Mutukudzi and Thomas Mapfumo were still echoing in peoples minds but it only took few years for the Government to dump those artists. Thomas Mapfumo’s music was once banned by the colonial regime and he continued with his Chimurenga Music and even after independence. Just after 1980 the Zimbabwean Government commissioned foreign sculptors from Korea to work on a monument for the prestigious Heroes Acre. This was a sign that the Zimbabwean Government was not ready to empower its own artists let alone recognize their existence. Life after 1980 meant things were different and the struggle was
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different for the Art world. Those artists who once carried the struggle against the colonial master were to face the new regime. A new generation of Artists was born and they moved away from the folklore themes to contemporary issues. These artists included Joseph Muzondo, a former freedom fighter who traded his AK47 for a pair of chisels, and Tapfuma Gutsa who is now one of the renowned artists internationally. A number of Zimbabwean artists were not scared to explore new materials and Tapfuma Gutsa was at the forefront and he always had a message to show the world. The other young generation of artists that came after the likes of Tapfuma Gutsa included the late Hilary Kashiri, the late Louis Meque, the late Keston Beaton, and the late Fason Sibanda, all of whom died young. At the 44th Venice Biennale Africa was represented by the following artists, Bruce Onobrakpeya (Nigeria) El Anatsui (Ghana) Tapfuma Gutsa, Nicholas Mukomberanwa, and Henry Munyaradzi. This was the only Zimbabwe was represented at the Venice Biennale. Two years later the wounds and scared from the colonial vultures were once opened during the opening of an exhibition in Belgium in 1997. Zimbabwe: Legacies of Stone, Past and Present was at the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren (Belgium) According to the organizers, this exhibition was a success and for the first time a comprehensive overview of all cultural aspects of Zimbabwe was presented, from prehistoric to modern times. Zimbabwe: Legacies of Stone, past and present exhibition also wintnessed the reunification of two parts of one of the famous stone birds of Great Zimbabwe. Looted by colonial Vultures from the great Zimbabwe ruins between the 18th and 19th century they where later repatriated back to Zimbabwe with the help of the cooperation between the Zimbabwean Government and the Germany Government. The looters always tell the story about the African artifacts and their story about the Zimbabwe bird goes like this, the upper part was found in the beginning of the 20th Century and remained in Zimbabwe. Then the lower part might have been taken from the Great Zimbabwe late 19th century and after the 2nd World War it was presumed lost and probably destroyed during the War. After the failure of the Soviet Union, the artifact was returned from St Petersburgs to the Staarliche Museen zu Berlin. What a journey for an African artifact and they are thousands if not millions of these artifacts which needs to be repatriated back to where they belong. In 2003 the Germany Ambassador to Zimbabwe presented the Zimbabwe Bird to the President R G Mugabe. Today we value the return of the symbol of our nation and if all western countries would do like what the Germans did; African would welcome such a move. On that note I would say, it was a successful exhibition because it managed to reunite us with our looted heritage.
Coster Mkoki Crossroads
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the state of zimbabwean contemporary art
Examples of some of the works that challenge global issues include Genesis, Born of Contention in the Visions of Zimbabwe (Manchester Art Gallery 2004) and Ngarava which explored issues of slavery which is still relevant today. Tapfuma Gutsa remains the controversial artists of our times and he is not scared to speak his mind for he always has something to say. Some of the artists include the Bulawayo based Adam Madebe who is now displaced due to the political situation. One of his controversial works entitled “Hot Seat” has a hot plate element in it. This piece is still relevant to the present day Zimbabwe. “Looking to the future” is today behind the National Gallery of Zimbabwe Bulawayo. It was removed from its public display on the ground of indecency by the parliament. A veteran artist Voti Thebe’s piece of work entitled “We do not live on slogans comrade” has yet to be exhibited up to the present day. Zimbabwean Contemporary art has now reached a point of no return as it forms an ongoing debate between politics, displacement, censorship, and economic salvation by the so-called sculpture movement. Today its neighbor South Africa plus the current political situation have overshadowed the Zimbabwean Art practice. Zimbabwean Contemporary Art has become invisible and the artists feel their hands are tied and art critics and curators view Zimbabwean Art through the socalled Shona Sculpture movement. A number of Zimbabwean artists have their hearts scattered all over the world, Adam Madebe now in South Africa, Berry Bickle now in Mozambique, Chaz Maviyane in America, Munya Madzima in UK, Kudzanai Chiura in South Africa, and Tapfuma Gutsa in Austria. The list is endless. The future of the young generation of artist’s is now at risk as they lack Zimbabwean role. Other renowned artists who have remained in Zimbabwe include Chikonzero Chazunguza, Voti Thebe, Shashid Joguee, and Samuel Musharu to mention but a few. Kudzanai Chiura is one of the born free artists as they are described in Zimbabwe and his controversial works have been shown around South Africa. His works deal with the current situation and some are beginning to ask questions as to what he will do after the end of Mugabe’s regime. But Kudzanai sees himself as the voice of the voiceless and he believes that there are also contemporary and global issues to explore. I will leave you with the words of the exiled Zimbabwean writer Chenjerai Hove when he says, “Art asks questions about yesterday, today, tomorrow, history made and to be made, even if there may be no answers in sight. Art fights and reject dictatorship as a form of human existence and in this way art breaks the boundaries”. We should all remain focused because art is the crucial lens through which the state of the nation is understood.
Coster Mkoki Goedhadacht, 2003. Wood,Foundobjects, Ultramarinepigment
Reference. Jack Woddis. Africa: The Roots of Revolt. Lawrence & Wishart London 1961 Willett Frank. African Art. Published by Thames & Hudson 1990 Beir Ulli. Contemporary Art in Africa Pall Mall Press London 1960 Sannes GW. African Primitives. Faber and London 1990 Phillips Tom. Africa: The art of the continent. Royal Academy of Arts, Prestel Munich, New York Martin Chemhere. Stone Sculpture in Zimbabwe, Context, Content and Form, (book review) Pp 30 Southern African Art vol 2 No 1, 1993 Walker David. The many faces of Zimbabwean Sculpture: Contemporary Art from Southern Africa. Art from the Frontline States Catalogue 1990 A Mafest Project, Frontline States/Karia Press. Huggins Derek. Cross Roads: Looks at the developments over time and works of a group of painters who are finding way forward in Zimbabwe. Gallery Delta Magazine No 12 1997 Wright Gillian. Discusses recent paintings by Hilary Kashiri on show in a solo exhibition at Gallery Delta in Sept 1998 –Charting interior and exterior landscapes. Gallery Delta Magazine No 18 Njami Simon. Africa Remix Catalogue 2005 (Hayward Gallery) Chikukwa Raphael. Visions of Zimbabwe Catalogue 2004 (Manchester Art Gallery) cornerhouse publishers Spring Chris. Angaza Afrika: African Art Now. Laurence publishing 2008
26 | e-mag kristian von hornsleth
Kristian von Hornsleth THE ÜBERMENSCH AND THE DEEP STORAGE PROJECT Wolf-Günter Thiel What does it mean when artists begin to define themselves by collecting objects, rather than creating them? Artists simulate scientific research by exhibiting things they have gathered, categorized, documented, counted, archived, stacked and stored by analogical thinking as Michel Foucault puts it. Others are documenting, counting, and archiving aspects of their lives and making objects that record these processes. Kristian von Hornsleth plays on this idea and deconstructs it by mystification of the act of archiving as well as the way of storing the archives. The idea is to create a story like Homers Illiade and make people part of a story which people may tell in the future to understand our times from a future perspective. Hornsleth claims the position of an artist as an “Übermensch”. Kristian von Hornsleth is collecting blood samples and dna of people who are dedicated Hornsleth Art Lovers. In earlier times of civilization we would call it a tribal ritus. A ritus in order to manifest the tribal existence in a far away mythological future. Hornsleth himself as the shamane of his own people conserves their cultural existence. His artistic act is a synonym for the cave paintings, which show tribal hunting scenes in the pre historical times of human existence. The wish is the documentation of existence as “deep storage” of dna as part of the individual blood prove. The technological believe in progressive natural sciences evokes the idea of another cycle of existence in a far away future. The believe is that future science can evoke the today human individuals through their dna. Hornsleth himself speaks of this possibility of a second existence. Earlier civilizations would have respected an approach like this as “übermenschlich”. Friedrich Nietzsche, the german philosopher, wrote in 1883 the book Thus Spoke Zarathustra. The book’s protagonist, Zarathustra, contends that ‘man is something which ought to be overcome’: All beings so far have created something beyond themselves; and do you want to be the ebb of this great flood and even go back to the beasts rather than overcome man?
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DEEP STORAGE PROJECT certificate You sign this certificate You make a hole in your finger and give blood containing your DNA One drop of blood goes on this declaration and one drop in a test tube The test tube will be encapsulated in a 5 x 5 x 5 meter size sculpture The sculpture will be placed in the 11 km deep Mariana Trench in 2009 Blood samples are collected from all over the world Deep Storage Project will be documented in film, photos, texts and exhibitions Smaller versions the sculpture will be produced By possible recreation in the future you are bound to a group of people This group is based on your relationship towards the same artist This certificate is yours
Kristian von Hornsleth
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Proyecto Deep Storage Kristian von Hornsleth
In January 2010 an iron structure that measures 5x5x5 meters will be placed in the Pacific Ocean at a depth of 11,000 meters in the Mariana Trench, 200 miles away from the Guam Island between Japan and Philippines. Within it, the sculpture will contain 5000 samples of blood and hair from those who visit the 30 Deep Storage spaces where the project will be displayed worldwide. The donors will receive a certificate proving their contribution to the work. A great show in Copenhagen in March, 2010 will display photographs, paintings, drawings, videos and sculptures that resemble and evoke a sequence of how the project Deep Storage has been developed around the globe. The summary of the project is the collection of DNA inside a structure that provides it storage. In view of an apocalyptic future this is a genetic bank that will allow the recreation of the human being. All this genetic information is stored under 1100 ATP (atmospheric pressure). The prevailing assumption is: what if in the next 10,000 years, this sculpture is discovered? Imagine for a moment that you can be re-created, (revived), thanks to some samples taken... How will humans evolve? What aspects will make the (re-created) humans of tomorrow different from todayâ€™s humans? Will our constant pursuit of perfection, such as race, cause our extinction? 40,000 years from now, our DNA, through this reservoir, will be intact and it will replicate all the defects of our race, even those who had perhaps fallen behind in the evolutionary process, forcing race to restore its way. How does the piece work? 1. You visit the projectâ€™s show in your city. 2. You let the nurse take a blood and hair sample of yours. 3. Your DNA will be stored inside the sculpture and placed in the Mariana Trench.
4. You place another sample of your blood on the certificate. 5. Your Deep Storage certificate with your blood sample will be signed by the artist. 6. The certificate is a gift for you and a proof of your participation in the project. 7. Small-scale sculptures, in imitation of that used in the Deep Storage, will be offered to special donors. 8. The sculptures offered to special donors will be printed with Hornsleth signature. To date, over 2,000 samples have been collected in galleries in Denmark, Germany, Bangkok, Shanghai, Paris, Switzerland and Seattle. The team behind the project is planning to tour countries and cities like Tunisia, Istanbul, Israel, Beirut, Uganda and Greenland. The staff of the Deep Storage Project is accompanied all the time by a team of affiliation associated with the Danish TV, DR2. The sea support for the deployment of the sculpture comes from the Scottish Maritime Association for Science. The project also counts on the simultaneous financial assistance of the Danish Art Foundation and private sponsors.
Displaying the project in Cuba The project requires only one day in the institution that will support it by offering the space for the exhibition of the pieces and the DNA collection (the work itself). The Project will bear all costs, the recruitment of nurses, and other elements for its implementation. The moment requested for the exhibition is any day during the month of August. Artist: Kristian von Hornsleth Coordinator: Carlos M. Leal email@example.com
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Übermensch: The German prefix über can have connotations of superiority, transcendence, excessiveness, or intensity, depending on the words to which it is appended. Mensch refers to members of the human species, rather than to men specifically. The adjective übermenschlich means beyond human strength or out of proportion to humanity. Zarathustra first announces the Übermensch as a goal humanity can set for itself. All human life would be given meaning by how it advanced a new generation of human beings. The modern idea of all men are created equal and the base of modern idea of democratic rights are clearly contradicted by Nietzsches and Hornsleths approach. Instead the people get a share of eternity or inhabit a right to eternal life, through taking part in Hornsleths action. This knowledge provides a glance of the “Übermensch” already. The monumental sculpture of Hornsleth is an incorporation and memento of this knowledge and of this consciousness. An elitistic relieve under the sea. Relieve 1. to ease a burden 2. to free from an unpleasant situation 3. to provide physical relief from pain 4. to free someone from obligations As a matter of fact all that is incorporaterd and provided through Hornsleths shamanism. Another aspect of Nietzsches concepts is of importance to the understanding of Hornsleths “deep storage” project: The eternal recurrence of the same. We like to understand this concept like this: The eternal recurrence replaces the Übermensch as the object of serious aspiration. The Übermensch exists in the future, no historical figures have ever been Übermenschen, and so still represents a sort of escatological redemption in some future time. This promise of beeing part of this future time and existence is the promise Hornsleth suggests.The Übermensch of this future times is to create new values, untainted by the spirit of gravity or asceticism. Hornsleth and his own ‘created mythology’ hints clearly at Nietzsches concepts and suggests a way out of the contemporary disaster of modern times and their human individuals. As long as you believe in Honrsleth you believe in a future and in a human value system. This will be documented or monumented through the Deep Storage Project. It will be stored at one of the deepest places on earth the Mariana Trench. At the same time as it is a sign for Memento Mori it is a sign for future believes in individual exiestences. Wolf-Günter Thiel, art historian, Berlin 2009
30 | e-mag julia moritz
I am a historical, generational, geographical outsider of the epicenters of Institutional Critique. When Hans Haacke’s career reached its climax with the inauguration of a smashed floor at the German Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, I was just leaving preschool. The Germany being questioned by him was even younger: It was only the second German Pavilion after the reunification of East and West. The country that issued my documents of birth doesn’t exist anymore. So does the West of Haacke’s first art world experiences in Kassel. I kept thinking of him assisting at the early documentas as a student more than half a century ago while I spent my summer running that small German territory in Venice that is soon to be sieged by an Englishmen. Maybe I am not so much of an outsider really. But the more I explore the entanglement of Institutional Critique and Germany, the more it seemed to vanish in the past. It becomes a tiny spot on a historical map, the microscopic entity corresponding to its actual space on the globe.
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burning the Boundaries: Institutional Critique in Spaces of Conflict But what exactly is Institutional Critique? For her course at Barnard College, Rosalyn Deutsche for example suggests: “Institutional Critique is an art practice in which the conditions of art’s existence, including the spaces of aesthetic display such as the museum an gallery, are the subject matter of works of art.” She quotes Andrea Fraser: “The institution-critical artist presents the institution instead of being presented by it.” But how does this critique of presentation, self-presentation and re-presentation of art operate when we conceive the art “world” as a particularly transnational institutional space? Far from having a competent answer I want to propose a provisional strategy: To read Institutional Critique as a question itself; a question mark hovering above the institutions of art, urging for the exposure of its conflictual conditions. But the questions posed by Institutional Critique are of course far from neutral. They use a structural, anthropological, or ethnographical lens – as Hal Foster has shown1 – to examine their object. This object is a two-sided one: it entails the institution of art – a discursive formation of what counts as art – as much as the art institutions – the administrative bodies regulating its production, distribution and reception. A system of mutual approval this institutional web happily adapted its surfaces so as to accommodate the various question marks projected onto it.
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Today what is known as Institutional Critique has become fully institutionalized. Hence I want to attempt to turn the question of Institutional Critique towards itself, to maintain its friction and to further its inquiry. I want to interrogate the stakes of art and its institutions in places of contradictory character, locations going through political change and social struggle – “spaces of conflict”. One moment of this ongoing research process2 the following hypothesis: The specific criticality applied in artistic projects that address the institutional conditions of their production, distribution and perception, manifests itself in two main modes; let’s temporarily label them opaque and translucent criticality. This abstraction is derived from a close reading of Roger Caillois’ seminal essay “Mimicry and Legendary Psychasthenia”3: Its operation procedure is known as “penetrating explosive”: it penetrates the construction and only explodes once inside. Dating back to 1935, when it first appeared in André Breton’s “Minotaure” magazine, the short paper divides into two parts: The first half offers an enormously beautiful example of pseudo-scientific descriptive prose: sonorous depictions of biological formations of mimikry mingle with the enchantment of Latin proper names. Departing from the watershed contestation of the utility of mimetic strategies in the life of insects, the second part of the text then bursts into a diagnosis of “dangerous luxury”, “collective masochism”, and ultimately “sympathetic magic”. Reputable art historians have elaborated on the psychoanalytic use of the passage. But it is another aspect of this essay that intrigues me: the “temptation by space”: According to Caillois, the human animal – in its infinite openness to the world – deals with the immensity of the space around him by representing it. This capacity to temptation by space can be seen as a prolific backdrop of the recent acceleration in the transnationalization of space. Caillois’ modified argument would thus read: The deteritorialized human animal – in its radicalized openness to the world – deals with the increase of seemingly available geographical space around it by representing it, appropriating it. From the phenomenon of biennalization during the 1990’s or the economization of the museum’s transnational relations a la Thomas Krens to the complementary production of multi-cultural capital by artist in residence organizations the manifold geographical temptations for art are familiar to all of us and meanwhile adequately documented. But how do artists critically address this transnationalization of the institutions of art? My typology of criticality aims to simplify: A gesture of transparency embraces the claim of shedding explanatory light onto an object. An investigatory analysis of the factual and earnest endeavor of its display, translucent criticality is truth claims eventually. Opacity instead can be described as
the quality of impenetrability in the sense of Caillois’ “dark space”. A state of matter or mind rejecting the distinguishing qualities of light by obstructing its passage it applies techniques such as mimicry, masquerade, camouflage and cannibalization, constituting a rather poetical practice. Both are powerful models of course. Their usefulness can be evaluated only with regard to the concrete context of resistance. Where the politics of camouflage may be existential to maintain only the slightest form of opposition, their revolt might be indecipherable and meaningless in more open forms struggle. So does the most sincere project work succeed in exposing the ideological undercurrents at stake or – in other places, only contribute to the semblance of transparency and thus prevailing any further means. In brief: Each “space of conflict” does of course require its very own method of criticality, each institutional manifestation calls for a different set of artistic strategies in order to grapple with its limitations. When Alfredo Jaar conceived his first piece, the “Studies of Happiness”, in 1980 for the streets of Santiago, the space of conflict was a very concrete one: It was the urban space of a Chile under the dictatorship of Augosto Pinochet and free speech was deadly punished. To quote the empirical criticism of Hans Haacke’s “MoMA Poll” (1970) then and there was thus only possible with three accom-
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In this regard, I am a historical, generational, geographical outsider of the conventional notions of Institutional Critique – and happily so. But it is a double distance; subject and object, observed and observer, the thing distanced and the thing concerned by the discourse in question. Hence, I am right in the middle of Institutional Critique. If we see it as a question mark, a methodology rather than a movement, if we open it up to dare a critical analysis of its own conditions and contexts. Institutional Critique cannot be allowed to retire but to catch up with exposing, unpacking and finally transgressing the discursive and material practices of the profound political changes and social struggles of our times.
plices guarding the streets and the hectic interruption of the piece once a policeman appeared. Pledging to the political potentiality of emotional identification ever since, Jaar’s artistic position is deeply rooted in a skepticism concerning the universal possibility of transparent criticality as embodied in most of the conceptual practices of the time. His dicey mise-en-scene of the positivist promise of Western democracy does away with the monumental notion of institutional formations as such. Clearly, the question of whether to direct critique towards the material manifestations of the institution or the immaterial institutional realm cannot be not a question of either-or. By mobilizing the ballot box, Jaar thus exposes the precariousness of institutional structures and creates an awareness of the very simultaneity of creating and dismantling of institutional bodies. For a transnationalized perspective on Institutional Critique, this example is instructive about the object concerned and the dominant methodologies applied: to adapt hegemonic speech, to render it critically and to redistribute it in a politically efficient way seems to require a mix of translucent and obliterating practices. In order to respond to the different stages of sovereignty of the manifold dimensions of only a single institution, the strategic link of tactics of translucence and opacity is crucial. Opacity
and transparency, empirics and poetics, didacticism and ambiguity (or whichever angle you opt for) can no longer be understood as an oppositional dichotomy. It is rather the toolbox corresponding to any thorough analysis of the complex weave of a site and its geopolitical insitedness. – “Spaces of conflict” are still mainly “conflicts of space” in the sense of property, of possession of the identification of land and location. But these spaces of power but also of dependencies of an institution, its cultural-political implications of its uneven and conflict-ridden nature, exceed its walls and parks, beyond its zip codes. Exoticization complicates the notion of literacy, even legibility of conflict. The sociology of multi-cultural agency and a critical geography of art mutually enable each other. To proclaim that the recent globalization rendered the notion of the periphery anachronistic is a blatant provincialism. The neoliberal mobilization of financial capital, its complex weave socio-political relations and the digitally accelerated circulation of the highly restricted information it produces, create an excess of outsider-positions that also enable its own defeat. 1. Hal Foster: Return of the Real,1996. 2. I express my deep gratitude towards all those who endured my questions and in return questioned my observations; Gregory Sholette, Tom Holert, John Kelsey in particular. 3. Reprinted in Claudine Frank, Camille Naish (eds.): The Edge of Surrealism: A Roger Caillois Reader, 2005.
34 | e-mag wagner malta
In The Boatman, on a pitch black night, a luminous body is carried and transported by a boat sailing across the ocean until it reaches an island where the body then disembarks and walks until fading. The Boatman talks about finitude as an ontological element of human being and its journey to the imaginary as both a defense and a part of the struggle for life. The period of time the light consumes on its way towards the inexorable subverts its shape until it starts taking on the appearance of a celestial body moving infinitely towards its destiny, revealed soon after. The video resembles the final ten minutes of an epic poem. Wagner Malta
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Wagner Malta BARQUEIRO. The Brazilian artist Wagner Malta Tavares works since 1998. In eleven years of production, has been working with a myriad of themes, medias and techniques: video, sculpture, photography, drawing, performance and installation. One of Wagner´s main questions consists of searching the identity of the contemporary human being: a enthusiast of literature, creates constant dialogues between his works and writes of authors like Pirandelo, Shakespeare, Beckett, Sophocles, Euripides, deep experts in man conditions and behavior, thus building a conceptual bridge between history and contemporary life. This invisible bridge appears through the moisture of high technology and old basis like paper, wood and daily objects, like chairs, aerators, balloons. A scientific fiction is also a reference in his work and happens all the time. The thrust of the work of Wagner Malta Tavares is the light, used as sculpture in photography, video, public interventions and object since 2005. Malta´s concern has always been sculptural, even with the use of photography. To the artist the light reveals inner light, he seeks ways to turn visible the invisible forms of the nature, being an extension of the artwork. In Wagner´s words “ revelation is also a connection with the immateriality; the purpose of turning visible to the sensible world aspects of the human condition.”
Anita schwarzt Rua José Roberto Macedo Soares 30 | ávea 22470-100 Rio de Janeiro RJ | Brasil +55 21 2540 6446 / 8625 6558 http://www.anitaschwartz.com.br
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38 | e-mag Pia lindman
PIA LINDMAN: SOAPBOX EVENT Location of first event Federal Hall National Memorial 26 Wall Street, New York City Date: April 5, 2008 Time: 2:00–5:00 PM
Reinventing Forms of Free Speech. SOAPBOX; Used for traditional ‘soapbox style’ posts, where people stand up and give their opinions on a topic, sometimes in quite emphatic terms. Such talk frequently leads to other people getting on their own soapboxes to engage in discussion and debate. In Soapbox Event, Lindman pares down the structure of democracy to the elemental forms of free speech: human bodies, live voices, and space. This performance investigates the construction and breakdown of collective structures, and how they influence individual expression in democratic decision-making. The event highlights the relationship of embodied speech to the bare life of an individual, in the context of increasingly mediated communication.
GROUND RULES FOR THE SOAPBOX EVENT
Soapbox Event is a participatory performance created by Pia Lindman. Participants are given one soapbox each, which entitles them to one minute of free speech. They may form coalitions and stack their boxes together to obtain greater spatial presence and talk time. The spokesperson of a coalition may speak for as many minutes as there are stacked boxes. As the event evolves, boxes begin to express changing rhetorical configurations in sculptural forms.
We will not be using microphones or any amplifiers. Obtaining greater height serves to elevate a speaker and have their voice project better into the space.
The site — formerly New York City Hall and Customs House, currently Federal Hall National Memorial — epitomizes freedom of speech in America. In this place, newspaperman John Peter Zenger was tried for seditious libel against the Royal Governor; with his 1735 acquittal winning a major victory for the free press in America; George Washington delivered his inaugural presidential speech from the balcony in 1790; and Yayoi Kusama held her Naked Event on the steps in 1969. We are pleased to present Soapbox Event amid this splendid tradition of speech acts.
• each participant will be given one soapbox • with the soapbox, each participant is also given one minute of free speech • participants may form coalitions • the soapboxes of the members of a coalition can be stacked together to create a higher speech podium • a representative of a coalition may speak as many minutes as there are stacked boxes (members in the coalition)
LECTURES AND WORKSHOPS
In preparatory lectures and workshops Pia Lindman discusses ideas embedded in the Soapbox Event, such as public space, political performance, democracy and freedom of speech. Her focus is on how democracy and free speech are embodied and performed in contemporary cultures. Workshops are the playground for future Soapbox Events. The workshops are improvisational and their structure depends on the mixture of people attending. The main objective is to learn useful strategies and invent rules for the coming events - and to have fun.
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Joe Hill’s First Speech.
Joe Hill. “The people against shall not”…. Where does that come from? Anybody know? Comes from the Fourth Amendment. All right? This is all about the First Amendment, free speech. Mario Savio used to talk about that with “The Free Speech Movement” in Berkeley way back in -68, when eight hundred people got arrested for speaking out against the Vietnam war. What did he say? Something about: “When the machine gets so odious and so loathsome, there comes a point when you have to throw your bodies on the gears and the levers” and so forth… the guy had a lot of balls. Not just a mouth. He got dragged down the steps and bumped his head on the steps a few times, too. But it’s the Fourth Amendment also that we have to be concerned about. Right? How does it go: “The right of the people” … That’s me, maybe you, too, I don’t know. I’m a people. …”The right of the people to be secure” … in their homes, in their houses, persons, papers, and effects… “against”! It doesn’t say “with respect to”, “in regard to” or “concerning”, it says “against unreasonable
search and seizure”! Allright? What are we talking about here? Bag searches, these random nonsense bag searches. Like a clever terrorist - like these guys would not have an IQ above a 100 - would go in with a bag and a bomb. Right? Yeah. So they can get captured by the New York’s finest – pigs - these paid clowns, these robocops. Right? Standing on these sacks of pus who probably can’t shoot straight. These assholes. They’re protecting us, right? Purportedly protecting us, but what? Meanwhile they‘re disbanding the Constitution. Habeas corpus. What else, let’s see. Posse Comitatus (vigilantes, transcriber’s note), due process, Attorney client privilege, …how many others? Now we’ve got SHR 1959, which makes thought a crime. Essentially. Whatever you might say or utter, might be taken out of context and held against you, you can have your door kicked in… (TIME! After these 3 minutes, Joe Hill was given several soapboxes from other participants and continued his speech)
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“Mazerati umbilical cord”
Speech at Pia Lindman’s Soapbox Event at Federal Hall New York City, April 08, about the inequal distribution of wealth, health, education, and food in the world. www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VWINAOjixc
The “Paris Hilton” girl or the “Mazerati umbilical cord” speech: The distribution of wealth in this world is disgusting. I’ve worked in developing nations where people live on less than a dollar a day, and yet, people who work on this street (points to Wall Street right outside) control their lives. I think that healthcare is a fundamental human right. I think that women should be able to deliver healthy babies, I think maternal healthcare is a vital issue that people are not addressing. I don’t think that it’s OK that women should give birth in shacks and have the umbilical cord cut with a rock. That’s not OK. I don’t think that we should have poor living on the street while people drive by them in Mazeratis. That’s not OK. I think that people should be fed, that people should have job opportunities, and that, fundamentally, children should have good education. Because if they don’t have good education they can’t succeed in life. So, we need to start from the ground up, we need to give kids a chance, every - social, economic - background, all diversities, every color - purple, blue - need the same chance. And that’s what people come to this country for, and that’s what this country was founded on, and that’s what I believe in. I think that together we can unify and solve these problems. Right now, everybody’s just looking the other way. Nobody’s taking accountability about the fact that so many people are getting screwed. And that’s not OK.
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“Poem about love”
At Pia Lindman’s Soapbox Event/Creative Time “Democracy in America, the National Campaign” exhibit at Park Avenue Armory. www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VWINAOjixc
Noah, the Guy from Bed-Sty
“Noah from Bed-Sty”
Noah, a public school teacher from Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, NY, speaks up about his beef with Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” policy and structural racism within the US educational system. www.youtube.com/watch?v=Df8LCDoDk1U
What’s up, my name is Noah. I am a public school teacher in Bed-Sty Brooklyn. I have a huge issue with “No Child Left Behind” policy, being that I am a school teacher, and I’ve done tons of research about the policy and I hope that our politicians get their asses together, because in my classroom I have no resources, my students are diagnosed with the wrong disorders and there’s an issue of underlying racism, sexism, and economic disadvantages, that are given. Why is it that there’s a two-to-one ratio of African Americans, young boys, labeled ADD/ADHD, and two to one, with the white boys not being labeled ADD/ ADHD? Cuz I myself am ADD/ADHD and I’m proud of that, because I can multitask. Second of all, I want people to actually go against the grains, research, read between the lines, because there’s a lot of conspiracies and bullshit that the government pumps down our throats. And as public school teacher, I have to teach the curriculum, and I actually teach the truth to the children. That’s all I have to say, thank you very much.
42 | e-mag Pia lindman
Missile Dick Chicks perform “Stay for a Hundred Years Longer”
Missile Dick Chicks perform their version of Stay Just a Little Bit Longer at Pia Lindman’s Soapbox Event, at the Creative Time exhibit “Democracy in America, the National Campaign” at Park Avenue Armory, New York City, September 2008. www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0-j3ngDHsc
Pia Lindman has performed and exhibited internationally since 1994, including at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Museum of Modern Art, Sculpture Center, and Performa 2005, all in New York; at Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki; Galeria de Arte Mexicano, Mexico City; Keio University, Tokyo; and Beaconsfield, London. In 2008–2009 Lindman was artist in residence at Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin; currently, she is a lecturer at Yale University School of Art. Her work is in the collections of MoMA and the Queens Museum of Art. She is represented by Luxe Gallery, New York City.
(all three chicks):
CREDITS Soapbox Event at Federal Hall National Memorial was curated by Sandra Skurvida and was made possible, in part, by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council with the generous support of the September 11th Fund.
We’re gonna stay Just a hundred years longer You’re gonna pay For all of our wars Now, Lucky Mountain don’t mind And Haliburton don’t mind And if I take what’s yours as mine And we drink a little wine And go one more time We’re gonna stay Just a hundred years longer You’re gonna pay For all of our wars Blackwater! Blackwater don’t mind And Exxon Mobile don’t mind And if I take what’s yours as mine And we drink a little wine…
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“Leeza Meksin and SPANDEX!”
Leeza Meksin and her fabuloous SPANDEX leggings presentation/demonstration at Pia Lindman’s Soapbox Event at Creative Time’s “Democracry in America, the National Campaign” exhibit at the Park Avenue Armory, New York, September 2009 www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GVS602omzY
Comments on Youtube “A true exercise in democracy. If only the opinion of every individual could be considered on a national scale, on every major issue, in the form of daily referendums.This would be active democracy - the evolutionary progression of representative democracy. Theoretically impractical? With the advancement of modern computer technologies this should not seem so unreasonable.” Sarpedonia commenting on video Soapbox Event Documentation Part 2 With keywords: Motherhood, family policy, school policy, Leave No Child Behind, security Link to video: http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=LwoNmZv0MOE
“Consider why a video like this could never be viral, and you’ll understand why it says nothing, why these voices are not heard. No energy. No personality. No fun.” Dingaling 737 commenting on the video Soapbox/Creative Time Janine Slaker and Corinne Rendinaro (Janine and Corinne discuss the current financial crisis, student loans, and education. Personal lives and the nation’s economy merge in a collective nightmare.) Links to video: http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=5etlGCXxS_4
44 | e-mag In the little pot...
In the little pot... Moritz NeuMüller When I first proposed to write this text I was actually thinking about the infamous Fritzl case in Austria, this quiet and unsuspicious man who had held his daughter locked up in the basement of his house for a quarter of a century, together with the children that stem from their incestuous relationship. If I wouldn’t have known the recent cases of child abuse in Ireland, and the following reactions of the Catholic Church, especially in Spain, I might have commented widely on another Austrian case, that of Natascha Kampusch who fled from her kidnapper just some months before, after being his hostage for eight years. And I would probably have linked these examples with Austria’s general repressive attitude, the remains of the Biedermeier-culture that have managed to survive the turmoil of two great wars, the Economic Miracle and the opening of an iron curtain that had shaded the country for four decades. In fact, I intended to garnish this text with the title “Fuck the children”, referring to a tasteless joke that we liked to tell in Austria in the early 90s, featuring the American president at that time, Bill Clinton, and the Austrian cardinal Hans Hermann Groër who had been accused of abusing minors in his time as Benedict Padre: Clinton takes Groër, accompanied by two young ministrants, on a ride on his Air Force One Jet. Suddenly, the pilot appears in the cabin, with a parachute in his hand, and proclaims that the plane will crash. “We only have three parachutes,” he says, “and this one is mine,” as he opens the door and jumps out. Groër looks at Clinton and asks who should take advantage of the remaining two livesaving devices. “You and me”, replies Clinton, without any doubt. “But, the children...?” asks the Cardinal. “Oh, fuck the children!” – “Ah, so there is still time for that...?” Max PaM (Melbourne, 1949) has been a travel photographer for more than 30 years, mostly in Asia. He has built up an immense archive of observations and poses which always part from a personal and authentic point of view. His photographs, and even the titles for his exhibitions (such as stripTEASE and Red Light) show that he is conscious of our deep interest in the exotic and the forbidden. At the same time, it seems, he just cannot help seeing, feeling and recording this colorful universe, again and again.
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Photo: Max paM
46 | e-mag In the little pot...
This is the original ad printed with fluorescent ink, which glows in the dark. With the lights on, you see the ad like this. When the lights are off, a new image will appear.
This is a simulation of how the ad is with the lights off: The glowing ink printed on the ad shines in the dark, showing this message.
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The fact that the Monster of Amstetten (only a few miles away from the monastery where it is said that Groër took advantage of those entrusted to his loving hands) did actually fuck his own child, while he had his mother imprisoned in the first floor of his House of Terror, surely is an exceptional case. But did this really authorize the media to track down his (grand-)children, after they had been reinserted into another city and even had their names changed? What is our -the consumers’ and bystanders’role in this game? Can and should those who actually bought and read the newspapers, that have ruined this second chance for the Fritzl-children, be blamed because they financially supported this criminal and offensive “investigation”? Shouldn’t every reader of these publications be punished by the same laws that are applied to internet users who consume child pornography? Yet, to blame the press or the Internet for child pornography would be like blaming violent video games and Hard Rock music for youth violence... and who would dare to do that after having seen Michael Moore’s Bowling For Colombine? Actually, these cases correspond to two general tendencies I find both astonishing and recurrent in Europe: First, the affinity of small countries towards painful sex scandals, xenophobia, right-wing populists and stubborn pedantry; and second, the man-bites-dog-effect, in other words, the fact that one particular case is more worthy of note than those boring statistic evidences of people dying like flies in what we call the Third World. Of course, the Irish sex scandal fits quite well into this argumentation, because Ireland seems to be another of these small countries where seemingly atavistic traditions coincide(d) with unseen economic growth in the last decades. A country plagued by a self-imposed inferiority complex towards their prominent neighbor countries, a feeling of envy and hostility towards the Grand Nations, and a cynically disguised, hidebound stubbornness. The case of Ireland might be a particular one (and to be an island always makes things worse), because two countries -or even regions– are never the same. But after all, these horrendous events also fit well in the pattern of recurrent Geison Genga. Associations and NGO-networks like ECPAT, ILO and UNICEF have been fighting for many years against child abuse, sex tourism and domestic violence. Many creative campaigns have been released both to raise awareness about the problem in the general population, and to warn those concerned of the legal consequences of their actions. The imagery that these campaigns are using has become increasingly explicit in recent years, according to the evolution of our common visual tolerance level. http://geisongenga.carbonmade.com.
48 | e-mag In the little pot...
sex scandals in the Catholic Church. It was the official reaction from the Church what was surprising this time. Honestly, who can blame those sexually repressed and discipline-loving priests to be a bit too strict, or too loving, from time to time? Everybody can make a mistake, after all... just as much as everybody should be held responsible for their deeds. Until now, the only exception of this rule used to be the political caste –just think of Berlusconi, a prominent and pathetic example. But it seems that Ireland has found a good way to re-establish the historical equilibrium between State and Church, by proving immunity and impunity to the pastoral violators. The explanation used by the Irish Church (and defended by their Spanish colleagues) is –funny enough– consistent with my manbites-dog-theory, but in a quite surreal way. The argumentation was simple, but nonetheless scandalous: the damage in these cases was actually incomparably less severe than the death-toll caused by abortion. Let’s take a closer look at this reasoning. Of course, it is true that the total of the Irish Church scandal victims is much smaller than the number of those children -born in God’s name and according to the Papal Condom-ban- that are being violated, exploited, blown up by land mines and starved to death worldwide every day. Furthermore it is true that abortion is illegal in several countries and regulated in others, and that this debate is just as hairy as euthanasia, war crimes, and genetic manipulation of mother-cells. But can this really be an argument to push child-abuse –whether committed by men of God or just ordinary citizens– outside the barriers of our common legal and ethical system? Maybe these are just marginal notes on a general theme, though, and we should really concentrate on the main subject: our innate sexual interest in minors. Our seemingly perverse carnal interest in children and adolescents is much older than the Internet, the Sexual Liberation, and the Celibate, older than the Catholic Church itself, and even prior to the pedophile Ancient Greeks. Roxana Nagygeller. In Portraits of Lucia, Roxana Nagygeller (Costa Rica, 1973) plays on the fine line that separates a girl’s world from that of a woman, both as an acting subject, and a consumable object. She lets her daughter stage for the camera, as if she were an adult model, a pinup, but with an amateur touch to it. Lucia seems to be aware and implicated in the game, maybe even proud to play her role. Let’s hope these images will not be used in another way, one might think. And this is exactly the point. The age of innocence has come to an end, for Lucia and also for contemporary visual representation: The flow of images has become omnidirectional, a deep water with currents and vortices, rather than a river running gently through a landscape.
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on top: mAX PAM left: Roxana Nagygeller. In Portraits of Lucia
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In this sense, the latest cases seamlessly integrate a general history of child abuse. It is itself the tip of an iceberg, a dangerous object in the ocean of relationships between the penetrators and the penetrated -as Queer Theory would call them-, the powerful and the weak, the dominant and the helpless, the authoritative and the vulnerable. We still lack a more profound debate on these aspects of child abuse, our adult gaze on minors, our fascination for the forbidden and exotic, the taboo as a cultural phenomenon, and the misuse of power-relations in our (image-) culture. Thus, I changed the title of this text. Not only to reflect this point of view, but also because probably the artists whose works I want to use in order to show and accentu-
ate our general interest in the subject, would not have accepted to participate under the former, quite vulgar motto. The new title “En el tarro pequeño...” corresponds actually to a Spanish proverb that goes “En el tarro pequeño hay la buena confitura”, or “In the little pot is the sweetest candy”. As an admirer of popular sayings, those sediments of ancient wisdom, I cannot help to see this axiom as the final proof of our vicious pedophile fascination. I want to finish this text, which I consider only a first approach to the subject, a loose connection of ideas, a draft and bargain bin for others, with another tasteless parachute-joke that I heard recently: Pope Benedict XVI, a schoolboy, and the Dalai Lama have joined Queen Elisa-
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beth in her private jet. Again, the pilot appears in the cabin, with his parachute and proclaims the immanent crash. This time, the plane has only three parachutes left after the pilot has jumped out. The remaining passengers look at each other. “I am the head of the Church of England,” says the Queen, “and the owner of this plane... besides, I am a woman”, grabs a parachute and jumps. “I am the most intelligent spiritual leader on the planet, an intellectual, so to say, and my religion is the most important one by far”, says the Pope, grabs another one and steps out the door. “You are young and pure,” says the Dalai Lama to the boy, “you shall live”. “Actually, we can both live,” answers the boy, “because the most intelligent spiritual leader on the planet has just taken my schoolbag!”
1. Max PaM. 2 y 3. Paul Kranzler. Land Jugend, 2005 – today. Gelatine Silver
Prints in different sizes In his series Land Jugend, Paul Kranzler (Linz, 1979) conceives a portrait of the Austrian country-side, by means of its youngest inhabitants: their habits, hobbies, and entertainments, their ways of life between associations and clubs, pubs and cars, mopeds and discos. Life in the countyside has changed for kids and teenagers with the advent of satellite TV and the Internet, as international trends and fashions are immediately perceived and reproduced. These new values stand in a strange contrast with the traditional pillars of upbringing, the family, the religious and civic associations, and the education system in the rural context.
52 | e-mag gabriela maciel
GAbriela maciel Cortex Wall of Brightness. Gabriela is currently researching ancient and contemporary symbolisms of plants and animals. Human conditions and beliefs it’s one of the sources for her current sculptures and paintings, where she uses contemporary fragments to express basic deep human matters. In her current series of artworks, entitled the ‘Delirious Chimeras’, the artist creates extremely colorful art pieces, that transmit subtlety and mystery. Gabriela has brought her latest work The Cortex Wall of Brightness, which is specially made for Intrude: Art & Life 366, to Shanghai. The weirdly splendid piece will be presented on the gray outside wall of the museum.
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photos: Pierre Bonnafy
Cortex Wall of Brightness, MoMA, Shanghai INTRUDE: ART & LIFE 366 / Copyright © 2007-2009 Zendai MoMA, All Rights Reserved./ 沪ICP备08001162号 http://www.intrude366.com/en-uS/intrude366/Project.aspx?articleid=1145
54 | e-mag Matthieu Laurette
Matthieu Laurette Letâ€™s Make Lots of Money
DIY instruction piece variable dimensions.
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Opportunities: Let's Make Lots of Money
1/ Choose a blank paper or a wall (size doesn't matter). 2/ Choose a black marker for paper, a black spray paint 2005 or a vinyl lettering (size doesn't matter). 3/ Write : LETâ€™Spiece MAKE LOTS OF MONEY DIY instruction 4/ watch dimensions. and think about it as long and as often as you want. variable
This work aisblank edition # __ + II(size AP 1/ Choose paper or /a 3wall doesn't matter). This certificate to the authenticity of the artwork. 2/ Choose a black attests marker for paper, a black spray paint or a vinyl lettering (size doesn't matter). 3/ Write : LETâ€™S MAKE LOTS OF MONEY 4/ watch and think about it as long and as often as you want.
This work is edition # __ / 3 + II AP This certificate attests to the authenticity of the artwork.
____________________________________ Matthieu Laurette
____________________________________ Matthieu Laurette
56 | e-mag alexandre arrechea
AFTER THE MONUMENT Finally, the title of my series will be AFTER THE MONUMENT. I think the reflection on the real estate’s decline is even more profound that all the speculation that surrounds it. I see that as a result of the loss of passion. Looking for example the civilization of ancient Egypt there is a desire to reach posterity. This desire is reflected on the architecture that is not only marked by religious devotion, but religion is mixed with human passion (craftsmanship, for example, can define that passion). All of this somehow makes this structure become the monument of a civilization with palaces, tombs and houses of slaves. On the other hand, with the experience of nowadays, much of the architecture is even more sophisticated but it does not reach the rank of “monument” and this is due to a certain loss of passion. Today, immediacy, turned into an infinite present (I want it all for today) has become a vital lifeline for the new civilization. Passion has been displaced to increasingly smaller fields and it is experienced only by few. That’s more or less how things are. I’m thinking this aloud as I write. I believe it is a way to elucidate this new idea in which this new spooled buildings look like wholesale architecture. Far from any delicacy or passion, A hug. Alexandre Arrechea
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58 | e-mag Studio Banana
Studio Banana Locutorio Colón
Our interest as designers within a public context is focused in the search of epic situations, that is to say, moments that relate us to civil society not so much as authors of singular and iconic interventions but as agents that funnel latent synergies. We could say metaphorically that we feel more identified with the silent alchemist than with the spectacular magician. The base material of the epic gender is not the physical expression that it takes but the emotional crust that it manages to involve in its script. That is why we do not feel so attracted towards the fetishist object-based aura of the creative action. Instead, we do feel empathy towards the programming and capacity of choral emotion that art, architecture and other creative disciplines offer us. According to this notion, public art for us is not that which is located in the public space, but that which generates public space. We consider
the creative act as inseparable from collective participation, without which, any intervention would lack significance and would become a void self-referencing gesture. Writer James Joyce gives a literary format to these concepts: “What I have said refers to beauty in the wider sense of the word… When we speak of beauty our judgment is influenced in the first place by the art itself and by the form of that art. The image must be set between the mind or senses of the artist himself and the mind or senses of others. If you bear this in memory you will see that art necessarily divides itself into three forms: the lyrical form, the for wherein the artist presents his image in immediate relation to himself; the epic form, the form wherein he presents his image in mediate relation to himself and to others; the dramatic form, the form wherein he presents his image in immediate relation to others…
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Locutorio Col贸n, a public art experiment promoted by Maki Portilla Kawamura, Tadanori Yamaguchi, Ali Ganjavian Afshar and Key Portilla Kawamura under the auspices of the public art programme Madrid Abierto in the 2006 edition.
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The simplest epical form is seen emerging out of lyrical literature when the artist prolongs and broods upon himself as the centre of an epical event and this form progresses till the centre of emotional gravity is equidistant form the artist himself and from others. The narrative is no longer purely personal. The personality of the artist passes into the narration itself, flowing round and round the persons and the action like a vital sea…” (James Joyce, The portrait of the artist as a young man) We believe that creation, and in particular artistic (because of its capacity to operate without any prefixed codes) and architectural creation (because of its capacity to influence our living styles), always requires social and ethic responsibility and should participate in the reform of unsustainable and unfair systems and anachronistic structures. We defend a pragmatic art that is valued through its plural usefulness and not only through its sensual aesthetics. It is symptomatic that in our contemporary society one of the indicators that most precisely reflects conditions of segregation and integration is the accessibility to information and more particularly to communication. Implementing this fundamental right (Article 19, Universal Declaration of Human Rights) is an obligation and we ask ourselves if public art can do so. Philosopher Michel Serres, expresses this necessity of democratizing information: “Domination, a characteristic proper to animals, denigrates the human within the human, be it because he subjects or suffers it, or because he fights in order to obtain or retain it. Wisdom liberates from evil, although it may also denigrate sometimes when it is linked or sold to the powers. In order to construct equality amongst individuals and communities, we need to invent a social link that minimizes violence, pacifies the world and liberates us. The only hope that is left for us, which only faith can excel, lies in education. What to do? Yes, a single project in three: monitor, educate, instruct. Never stop sharing information.” Michel Serres, Atlas This interest towards working with human emotions as raw material and towards communication as a fundamental aim has lead us to focusing our attention on places such as airport lounges, hospital waiting rooms or telephone booths which mix the local and the global, the familiar and the unknown, the anonymous and the intimate. Curiously, these non-places, where we are subject to
strong emotions awaiting the unknown, tend to be designed with very scarce sensitivity towards the emotional state of those who use them, prioritizing efficiency and speed and sacrificing comfort and peace. In this sense, telephone call centers are the joyful exception to the rule because, in spite of their often precarious nature, they transmit an atmosphere of familiarity given the regular and variegated use its clients make of it (jobhunting, social centre, advertisement board…) Locutorio Colon was installed on the Jardines del Descubrimiento in the Plaza de Colon during the last days of January 2006. Although we have always stated that the appearance of the object would be almost irrelevant as in
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regards to the essence of the installation, we made an effort to give it a domestic, warm character that would ease communication instead of alienating it since we knew that many users do not have often the possibility to talk to their relatives on the other side of the ocean. The point was to make people feel like at their own living rooms. The chipboard wooden box had, during the day, the presence of a minimalist object embedded onto one of the stone benches in the plaza (whose electricity and leaning rest are appropriated by the installation). This hermetic and introverted image is inverted during the opening hours, when the doors are opened to reveal five niches, five cavities that have been lined with a modest
but efficient green rug and illuminated with living-room lamps in order to generate a homey and embracing atmosphere. In order to guarantee the correct and orderly functioning of the service, and foreseeing waiting queues, there were three volunteering assistants who coordinated the calling turns and the flux of users, as well as updating a valuable logbook about what was happening daily in the improvised public space that emerged around the call centre. Frequently, when listening to comments on Locutorio Colon, we Heard about its sociological experimental aspects and its distance from conventional art. Not trying to judge on these points of view, we can admit that interpretations
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are irrelevant if the substance of the installation has generated a positive effect and we believe it has. As a way of evaluating the use given to the call centre and as a method to evaluate our own success or failure when distributing the news of its existence, we made a logbook based on a survey to each new user. The results as such are not attention catching but when combining the global sum of one month of data-gathering we can distil some interesting conclusions. The most popular phone call destinations were Ecuador (22% of the total), followed narrowly by Cuba (18%) and distantly by Colombia (11%) and Peru (8,5%). Curiously this is quite a correct reflection of the population distribution within the Latin American community in Madrid. The Locutorio Col贸n closed its doors on the 26th February 2006 after 25 days of service, thousands of minutes of phone conversations; thousands of minutes of wait and hope, hundreds of tears, hundreds of laughters, numerous unexpected situations and even more numerous personal ties that sprouted around it. To many, Plaza Col贸n has turned back to what it was before this charming guest arrived, but for many others this place will never be the same again. The dissembled container of the call centre rests now in an industrial warehouse in the periphery of Madrid, the idea survives. Perhaps we could fantasies again and, why not?, jump to the other side of the ocean with the call centre and invert the direction of the communication. It is only a matter of considering it and trying it. And remember: To dream is cost-free.to call, too.
Studio banana For more information, downloads, videos, articles and opinions regarding Locutorio colon, visit www.kawamura-ganjavian.com
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Agents of the idea and the design Maki Portilla-Kawamura Tadanori Yamaguchi Key Portilla-Kawamura Ali Ganjavian Afshar Design period April 2005 - February 2006 Period of service 1-26 February 2006 (in Madrid), opened to itinerant use Location Jardines del Descubrimiento, Salamanca District, Madrid Daily assistance Manuel Jiménez Fonseca Ricardo Almendros López, Manuel Torres Technical assistance Telefónica Coordination Madrid Abierto, RMS La Asociación Collaborators Madrid Abierto, Fundación Telefónica Construction period January 2006, Montajes Horche Documentation Camera man: Vicente Porres Film editor: Álvaro Nieto Illustrations: Ricardo Almendros López Manuel Torres Graphic design: Clara Mata Photography: Alfonso Herranz
66 | e-mag dylan reid & Daniel Fogg
dylan reid & Daniel Fogg
Relics There are moments in the life of every sign in which they mean nothing; when they are impregnated with the utopian possibility of becoming anything. The first of these moments occur before meaning is ascribed and exist impossibly between those who have seen them completely unencumbered. Liberated from their conditions of meaning, the physical objects of language are free function on their own and be evaluated as structural entities without a predetermined designation. It is not until its denotation becomes obsolete that a sign can regain its autonomy. Divorced again from its meaning, a sign becomes a symbol devoid of context but embedded with the history of its former function. Shadowing our collective unconscious, these symbols carry with them the murky genesis of all language and with that the impossibility of return. Fogg + Reid, 2009
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70 | e-mag lucía madriz
Lucía madriz Some reflections on my work The primary motivation of my work is the message. Although the work is polysemous and its reading depends on the cultural references of the viewer, I do believe that through art it is possible to communicate specific issues and set questions about them. For me, the works are communication and it is important to understand that not only I am interested in communication in the discursive or linguistic aspects – like when I play with the semantics of the texts in the work or its title- but I am also interested in what involves the viewer’s experience. This experience of which I speak includes time, senses and emotions. It is in this way in which the selection of materials becomes crucial: not only because they depend on the efficiency of the messages’ transmission but also because every material already contains a semiotics load. Each material produces a specific sensation that refers to different experiences and, consequently, it produces different responses in the observer. This is why the use of specific materials and languages becomes an expressive need: the viewer’s experience won´t be within the range of the same sensitivity, neither the work will transmit the same if it is done in another language or with other material. In many of my works, that has meant to use perishable materials -seeds, grass- or disposable materials -plasters, adhesive tape, water, oil- resulting in the absence of a specific, concrete and long-term object of art. Gradually my work has developed an interest in contemplativeness and therefore the time-development factor – the process- has taking more and more importance. The part where I do installations is the one that gives more pleasure to me and to the circumstantial spectators. I think there is where one questions very important values of our society such as the sense of work, the reason why we do things, the value of what we do
and its long-term impact, the waste, the food, “the material” and the desire to accumulate things. So, the installations as a final result satisfy the need of creating an image (actually a “still” of a video) but not the need of creating a specific product. What the observer can hope is to concentrate on the moment, to have an experience and maybe to take a picture. I love it when people are suffering because the work cannot be preserved: the impermanence of the object versus the culture of the object ... Then what remains is the fragility and the outcome of the work-energy to carry out the piece and the emphasis on trying to keep things as they are-were. There are other times where the process is the work. The works that use grass, seed and water, water and oil, the important thing is how the image of the work changes during the exposure time - the experience of change in a period of time. I believe that the work keeps on living in the memories of the spectators and somehow it becomes literature, a short story to tell. I want the work to die as an object and to establish a full cycle of emotions in the spectators: I want them to find themselves in the work, I want them to know it, enjoy it and suffer it; I want them to receive it and let it go. Art is an excuse to explore and develop ideas. I do not think that it prefers to use one specific media above all; in reality, each media has its own values, and despite the fact that I don’t do it as often as I wish, I’m still very interested in painting and drawing. Indeed, if you want to see it like this, many of my installations derive from a two dimensional surface with a certain design, as in my videos. But my work is demanding more and more experiences in space and time.
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72 | e-mag Ăcaro Zorbar
Ă?caro Zorbar Fantasma
Poco a poco
Poco a poco
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Press release / Set theory The exhibition “Of how the orbital state of things can be a set theory” of the Colombian artist Ícaro Zorbar, opened on Tuesday, May 12th at 7:30 pm at the foundation TEOR/éTica in the neighbourhood Amón.
“Indeed, in material terms, I do not produce something new; as it would be actually said about a sculptor, a painter or a video artist, for example. I feel that my work is closer to recompose, to dispose, and to recreate encounters with different elements. In my intervention the generation of links is fundamental. First I throw everything on the table, investigate about the functioning, and remove the casings. Then, I pay attention to whatever emerges; I establish conversations among mechanisms, movements, sounds, songs, lyrics and videos.” Icaro Zorbar, artist “The mechanic creatures of Ícaro Zorbar always operate in a sense that is contrary to nowadays’ prevailing views on the machine. Ícaro opposes the need of new things to the beauty of what we have socially declared obsolete. He confers smallness and fragility to the omnipotent feature implicit in technological media; to the barrenness of the mechanism he gives the warm complexity of affections.” Jurgen Ureña, curator of the exhibition.
74 | e-mag bELKIS AYÓN
Nkame. Belkis Ayón Upcoming Book Details Belkis Ayón (Havana, 1967-1999) died when she was thirty two years of age, leaving behind a group of crucial works for the history of contemporary printmaking. The keys to her death continue to be a painful enigma for the international artistic community who had admired her successful ascent to the most demanding artistic circuits in the 1990s. Ten years after her death, the Belkis Ayon Estate offers essential clues for the knowledge of her career, life, and legacy to art lovers and researchers.
National Academy of Fine Arts and the Higher Institute of Art in Havana, and in various European and American universities, who benefited from her acknowledged teaching. Outstanding art critics, curators, and cultural and religious specialists of very diverse countries have published articles on the work of Belkis Ayón. To her extensive bibliographical list, we have added several grade thesis published by Cuban and foreign universities.
The Abakuá religion and Secret Society (originated in Calabar, current territory of Nigeria, and established in Cuba since the 19th century) was the topic from which the artist “quoted” and “referenced” to build a universal discourse against marginalization, frustration, fear, censorship, impotence and in favor of the search for freedom. The Abakuá, a society established by men and only for men, stigmatized and segregated women and, in turn, kept a strict discipline and an ironclad ethic and mystery. The artist penetrated the society as much as she was allowed, with respect and sensitivity, in the spaces of rite, and she studied all the sources of information within her reach. As a result, she generated a startling iconography and interpreted the religious myth from her stand as a Latin American artist, a black woman, towards the end of the 20th century.
Belkis Ayón imposed herself before the critics and the international artistic circuits swiftly because of her technical skill and the singularity of the topic. For many reasons, politics included, her work was seen as an act of defense of Cuban identity and cultural roots. The work of Belkis Ayón seen today as a whole, with the necessary historical perspective, transcends the local references to which it was limited at a certain moment, and has become part of the best of postmodern international art.
Nkame, meaning praise and salutation in the language of the Abakuá, is a publication that renders tribute to an artist that left us a message of life.
ON THE ARTIST AND HER WORK Belkis Ayón was the winner of many prizes and scholarships; she was invited to prestigious international biennials (Habana’91, Venecia’93, Maastrich’93, Kwangju’97, among others), and participated in hundreds of exhibitions in important museums. Her work is part of a long list of public and private collections in many places (MOMA of New York was one of the last institutions to include her work in 1998). Belkis Ayón also left behind a trail of followers and students at the “San Alejandro”
ON THE PRESENT PUBLICATION Nkame, overflows the traditional definition of a reasoned catalog, to become a beautiful art book. The total record of the work of Belkis Ayón appears properly classified under the guidance of Cuban researcher José Veigas, in the fundamental chapter entitled “I gave you the power” covering all her works from her years as a student in Cuban art schools (19791991), to the last unconcluded lithograph made at the Brandywine Workshop of Philadelphia, in April 1999. A total of 244 works, including sketches, drawings, linoleums, lithographs and collographies - these last considered her most important technical and artistic legacy -, have been studied carefully and are shown accompanied by exhaustive information that includes bibliographical quotes, exhibitions, collections, as well as the artist’s own comments on her works.
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MAIN PUBLIC COLLECTIONS
Sin título, 1993, colografía.
“The Consecration,” is a chapter containing three unpublished essays, especially written for this publication by critics and researchers Cristina Vives, David Mateo, and Lázara Menéndez. It describes the artist’s career and the role she played in renovating the language of contemporary printmaking, her contributions to teaching, her personal interpretation of the Abakuá legend and the keys to its reading, and an approach to Belkis Ayón the artist, from a human and ethical perspective. It also includes 14 testimonies of artists and specialists under the title “My soul and I love you” and an illustrated biography. The glossary of terms, concepts, deities, and ritual objects characteristic of the Abakuá religion in Cuba, indispensable to understand the symbolic keys of the artist’s work is particularly interesting. This glossary is based on the studies of the outstanding ethnologist and short-story writer Lydia Cabrera (United States, 1899-1991). A CD attached contains the extensive bibliography on the artist.
Casa de Las Américas, Havana, Cuba. Casa Museo “José Lezama Lima”, Havana, Cuba. Centro de Arte Contemporáneo “Wifredo Lam,” Havana, Cuba. DAROS Latin America Collection, Zurich, Switzerland. Dr.h.c. Wolfgang Schreiner, Bad Steben, Germany. Museum of Art/Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States. Galerie Kho Kho René Corail, Fort de France, Martinique, France. LUAG. Lehigh University Art Galleries, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, United States of America. Ludwig Museum in the Russian Museum, State Russian Museum, San Petersburg, Russia. Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst, Aachen, Germany. Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Sofía Imbert, Caracas, Venezuela. Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana, Cuba. Museo Nacional del Grabado, Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Museum of Contemporary Art. MOCA, Los Angeles, California, United States of America. The Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, California, United States of America. The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA, New York, United States. The Norton Family Foundation, Santa Monica, California, United States of America. CODA Museum Apeldoorn, Apeldoorn, Netherlands. Fundación “Antonio Pérez,” Cuenca, Spain. The Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art the University of Texas, Austin, United States of America. Alex Rosenberg Fine Art, New York, United States of America. Brownstone Foundation, Paris, France. The Selden Rodman Collection, Art Galleries Ramapo College of New Jersey, United States of America. University of Central Florida Library, Orlando, Florida, United States of America. Nelson Fine Art Center, Tempe, Arizona, United States of America
Authors Coordination and Direction of the project: Dr. Katia Ayón Manso. Estate Belkis Ayón. Reasoned Catalog: José Veigas Editorial Concept: Cristina Vives Essays by: Cristina Vives, David Mateo, Lázara Menéndez Artist: Belkis Ayón Pages: 288 / Dimensions: 24 x 31 cm
Estate Belkis Ayón For further information regarding this publication, please feel free to contact: Dra Katia Ayón Manso Estate Belkis Ayón, Havana, Cuba
firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
76 | e-mag ASU Art Museum
Figuring Prominently: The ASU Art Museum Collection
June 6 – September 19, 2009 Figure Prominently presents major works, from the ASU Art Museum’s collection, which explore the human figure in a range of media from painting and papier mâché to discarded materials and electronics. Artist include Nam Jun Paik (born in Korea, worked in U.S.), Jim Campbell (United States), Hung Liu (born in China, work in the U.S.), Jon Haddock (Arizona), Karel Appel (the Netherlands), Los Carpinteros (Cuba), Deborah Butterfield (United States) and Alejandro Colunga (México) Detail: Hung Liu (b. 1948), The Trophy, 2001. Oil on canvas, 114” x 78”. Purchased with fuds provide by the ASU Art Museum Store, 2002.006.001
Hits from the 60s & 70s: The ASU Art Museum Print Collection
June 13 – October, 2009 Hits from the 60s & 70s highlights prints made by internationally known artists from the ASU Art Museum Print Collection. Artists include John Chamberlin, Jasper Johns, Robert Indiana, Roy Lichtenstein, Louis Nevelson, Frank Stella, and Andy Warhol. Detail: Hung Liu (1923-1997). This Must Be the Place, 1966. Screen-print. 21 ¼ x 16”. Gift of Thomas E. Hatch. 1998.175.000.
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I Never Saw So Clearly June 20 – September 19, 2009 Tuesday, August 25, 2009 Reception with welcome back student party 6 – 9 p.m. I Never Saw So Clearly explores how human experience is translated into the visual arts by drawing on contemporary and 20th century paintings, prints and mixed media works from the collections of the ASU Art Museum. Working in figurative styles, the diverse range of artist offer insights into their worlds and respond to traditional imagery and ideas from art and history and popular culture. The exhibition is curated by Lekha Hileman Waitoller, ASU Art Museum curatorial assistant and graduate student in art history. Detail: Romare Bearden (1914-1988). Reunion. Paper collage on plywood, 21 ¼ x 16 1/8”. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Pierce L. Shannon, 1978.182.006
Museum hours: Thuesday 11- 5 p.m.: Sunday 1-5 p.m. and closed Monday and holidays. Parking: Free parking available in ASU Art Museum- marked spaced at the south end of Tempe Centre at the Ceramics Research Center, located at the NE corner of Mill Avenue and 10th Street. Sign in the desk in the museum lobby. Free admission to museum and events. For more information, please call 480-965-2787 or visit us online at www.asuartmuseum.asu.edu
Continuing: Food: Feast for the Eyes from the Permanent Collection
through August 29, 2009 Family Fun Day – Saturday, July 11, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Titans II: Viola Frey & Robert Arneson through August 8, 2009 Ceramics Research Center
Arizona State University Art Museum Mill Avenue @ 10th Street. Tempe, AZ 85287-2911 t. 480.965.2787 / f. 480.965.5254 e. firstname.lastname@example.org w. http://asuartmuseum.asu.edu/ blog. http://asuartmuseum.wordpress.com/
“For all that’s been said about how behind-the-times academia can be, university galleries are very often the most risk-taking portholes to contemporary art. This fact is exemplified by Arizona State University Art Museum… has demonstrated a keen eye and clear commitment to emerging artists and emergent media” Rhizome (April, 2008)
78 | e-mag REACHING OUT: Gisimba Orphanage
REACHING OUT: Gisimba Orphanage May 29th, 2009 6pm to Midnight Le Grand Dakar 285 Grand St., Brooklyn, NY (between Clifton Place and Lafayette)
In the summer of 2008, Chrissie Lam, the founder of Create for a Cause, volunteered at Gisimba Memorial Center in Kigali, Rwanda to work with over 200 children who have been orphaned by genocide, HIV/ AIDS and malaria. The picture she paints of her experience there is of a bright hope in the midst of a chaotic and bleak future for the youngest of Rwandaâ€™s generations. Filled to capacity the center is now only able to take in children under special circumstances and only receives about five children per year. All of the children are required to go to school and a large number go on to study higher education making them more able to build normal lives once they become old enough to transition out of the orphanage and into regular life. The orphanage and its schools also prepare the children to reinvest their skills and knowledge back into their communities and to contribute to the hope of a better future for a new Rwanda. Inspired by Chrissie and the Gisimba Memorial Center, REPUBLIC is proud to present REACHING OUT: Gisimba Orphanage. As the first in our ongoing REACHING OUT program of recurring charitable fundraising projects, REPUBLIC and CREATE FOR A CAUSE are working together to involve our local communities and New York City at large in a campaign to keep Gisimba Memorial Center equipped with the basic necessities it requires to stay in operation and to help provide the children who live there with basic healthcare, food and education. The proceeds from the campaign will also be distributed through the Memorial Center to support sustainable revenue generating projects within the Kigali community. On Friday, May 29th at Le Grand Dakar Restaurant in Clinton Hill Brooklyn, REPUBLIC will be hosting an extraordinary evening of celebration and fundraising with dance performance, music by Indoda Entsha percussion ensemble, food by master chef Pierre Thaim and drinks with a silent auction and exhibition of contemporary photography.
Bring an empty belly and a full heart! Your financial contribution to this important cause does so much more than help the Gisimba Memorial Center it also helps to further the reputation of our own community as a shining example of brotherhood and sisterhood throughout the world. New York has always been a city that leads by example. This is an opportunity to reach out to the less fortunate than ourselves with just a small helping hand, not to pull them up but to help give them the tools to pull themselves up. All monetary and silent auction donations are greatly appreciated and are tax deductible through the nonprofit status of Create For A Cause and Fractured Atlas. REPUBLIC will be collecting donations throughout the entire months of May and June. Checks should be made out to Fractured Atlas, with Create for a Cause in the memo line and be sent to Chrissie Lam; auction items should be mailed to Jason Voegele. For more information about May 29th, making a donation or to learn more about REPUBLIC you can find us online at www.republicbrooklyn.com or Create For A Cause www. createforacause.com. You can also call 508.737.7921 or 917. 478. 7513 for further details.
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REPUBLIC is an assembly of representatives from autonomous art organizations, individual artists, designers and entrepreneurs who have come together to produce exhibitions and events that transcend the sum of their unique parts. REPUBLIC is an organic superstructure. It is free enough sustain projects and programs that operate independently through a vast pool of human resources, but is bound by a strong administrative core that oversees the organizationâ€™s long-term vision and philosophy. The principles of REPUBLIC fundamentally reflect the same ethical charter, dedication, and standard of quality that creative and critically thinking fraternities have organized themselves around since the first schools of thought. REPUBLIC aims to inspire like-minded people in varied communities through high caliber artistic programs, charitable community service and creative curatorial projects. We strive to be viewed by the community as an outstanding example of organization and talent that is capable of accommodating the measure of your imagination while strengthening the character of our individual members by providing meaningful opportunities for fellowship, charity, creativity and leadership. http://www.republicbrooklyn.com
80 | e-mag
Editor’s Note. This late May far into June issue of emagazine is nothing but a handpicked selection of art inspired in both, real and abstract subjects always surrounding and flirting with audience reactions. Emagazine has come to reach an imaginary world brought to us as a plane field where you can join every artist’s worries and dreams. Invited friend Gordon Cheung, unveils a rainbowfiltered reality envisioning a dark future, with a complex background that upholds iconography supported with animals and conspiracy theory. Don’t be surprise if you find yourself liking this scenario, learning to love destruction and dealing with a controversial feeling of denying this as a future and at the same time loving Gordon’s place for you in it. Of course if you get to this point where you share Gordon’s way of seen, is because you have gone deep into Marilyn’s text, paramount for those matching her words with such an incredible way of doing art. If this magazine had something on its side, was precisely its ability to grant spaces to show concepts the most avantgarde thinkers had backed: Biennale de Paris is an example of it, and it brings the abstract component to our hands and it does so, with a strange proposal: Gasc Demolition, almost a military solution used to take down old art places, old art sanctuaries, old art ideals, giving us a second chance to reevaluate art from its very basics. Premise: destroy paradigms to “build” art without reference. Silence was the only thing emagazine wanted not to have here, and Raphael came with his text about Zimbabwean art to guide us into knowledge and wisdom, jumping from one geopolitical spot to another. History marked by a population that has suffered and still struggles to be heard, taking art as a self-expression form to send the clearest message possible.
issue no.2 may-june, 2009
At the same time it is easy to find Kristian and Wagner, both playing with the idea of the finitude of life. The first one brings almost a formula to defeat extinction by collecting DNA samples and therefore saving our genetics for a future “reconstruction of humanity” …just in case, you know. Wagner cares for a more than old fear: the fading of life, a boatman’s light sailing away until it goes out of sight, you
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will see this video until you feel a sensation well known to you: fear to death, self preservation is in play mode. You’ll feel your body, and will touch either your leg or stomach, but you will be compelled to feel, to prove that this light that fades is not yours.
and farmers to start and continue with crops genetically modified. Risky business addressed this time by Lucia with an installation with rice as basic material, a protest without precedent if you count the time and effort deployed to make this work available to your eyes.
We have fought for a magazine where approaches were as different and diverse as possible, all of this because we wanted to overcome the idea that art is only related to pretty and right-sensed creations collected or exhibited with a very fashionable aesthetic purpose. Then emagazine found Julia working, burning boundaries by resuming art experiences right from spaces in conflict, world areas where legacy or a present situation discard art as objects. Instead you can find this “places” presenting themselves as actors in a show, where, until now, they were the camera guy.
Definitely emagazine wanted Studio Banana and their collaboration; Locutorio Colon is, since you start reviewing its documentation, a project where audience is the center point, and as soon as the first person starts moving and makes phone calls to motherland a social element appears and graphics begin to show that former colonial countries population movements are undertaking a huge step into an undeniable phenomena: reverse colonization.
Arrechea gives no brake to those searching safe Heaven far from housing slump, a reminder, now in water color, soon to be transformed in an extraordinary set of pieces, of how stupid the entire economic system can be, is the leitmotiv behind his idea. Based of course in the greedy human nature, desperate to accumulate power and money, this last element, (money) has been also the core subject of Matthieu Laurette’s “Let’s make a lot of money!” piece: a clear statement of what you should you be centering your efforts in now, place our attention in the never ending controversial economic flow and how we get always the worst part of it. Following its own rules Gabriela and duet Dylan & Fogg, find each one of them a new way to grant colors, shapes and figures the ability to transmit sensations and enigmas right by looking at them. The ability to deconstruct recognizable patterns or images into basic colors or to take geometrical drawings out of its context (context has been a bizarre human centered theory) could lead to new meanings granting the mind with a double experience: free will and imagination. Absurd as it may sound, there is an ongoing war on seeds, what to plant, where to plan it and how to trick consumers
Ícaro and Pia are both into the dialog but in very different ways. Ícaro takes components no matter from where, used or new materials, recycling intentions and getting them back into new interactions stages where they can redefine their core purpose. A second life, second chance acting as mother of new conversations, maybe we shall listen. Pia empowers the audience and gives them a subject, a starting point, a microphone or a place where voice can take all the air, all of a sudden conversations, declarations and then a new side of us arises, a work in progress that never ends. Pia´s soapboxes stands allow others to rephrase what’s on their minds; a true act of democracy where time plays no role, truth is everlasting. Paul, Max, Roxana, Geison and Moritz had it right, emagazine needed a thunder to shake people’s mind, to act as another yet never sufficient source of shouting against something as bloodcurdling as child abuse. A brilliant and sarcastic text supported by astonishing photography combining art and condemnation. Emagazine hopes that when you get to this point, definitely the end of this editor’s note, you which to take a back trip to the first page and start seen again all these projects; we truly want to count in anyway possible. Carlos M. Leal Editor