Rome - Interviews

“By or Of Marcel Duchamp or Rrose Sélavy”: an Interview with Sergio Casoli and Mattia De Luca

8 hours ago

Claudia Malfitano: Let’s start with the exhibition currently on at the gallery. When and how did you get into Marcel Duchamp’s oeuvre? Which of the artist’s work are you most drawn to?

Sergio Casoli and Mattia De Luca: The exhibition “By or Of Marcel Duchamp or Rrose Sélavy” is an ambitious project that aims to offer visitors the opportunity to approach the work of the artist who drastically changed the history of art and its language, radically altering our understanding of what constitutes an object of art. The scope of the revolution made by Marcel Duchamp is evident in his well-known “ready mades” – of which we have the privilege of showing the only one that has not had subsequent re-editions – but also in the numerous writings, notes, documents, catalogues, engravings and etchings that are part of this exhibit and that witness the significance of his ‘non-art’ activity as well. More than 100 works, many from his early years, show the complexity of the artist’s creative process, of the mental dimension to which he aspired to draw at the detriment of pure aesthetic pleasure, and demonstrate how those activities reflect the artist’s questioning of originality and reproduction.

Claudia Malfitano: Your gallery first opened in Milan, then you moved to Filicudi and recently arrived in Rome to re-open a new gallery. Why did you move to this city?

Sergio Casoli: I decided to move in Filicudi after leaving Milan because I was tired of the city comforts and the ‘ethical responsibility’ of the gallerist. The world and art were changing. I went to Filicudi because, to me, it represented the Italy of my childhood: a simpler and rural Italy, with little concrete around. Later I chose Rome, where I currently live. Think of the extraordinary beauty of this city, of its history, culture, architecture, streets and you will understand why a person chooses to live here.

Mattia De Luca: Although I have traveled and lived abroad, Rome is my hometown. My family, my roots are here. I felt my path in the art world had to start in this city.

Claudia Malfitano: You reopened a gallery after a 17-year break. How have things changed for you Sergio and what is working with Sergio like, for you Mattia?

Sergio Casoli: Today everything has changed: the system, the culture, the meaning of art. Re-opening after 17 years means to get back into the game and understand the differences and learn how to live in the contemporaneity.

Mattia de Luca: Working with Sergio means a lot of things. It means having a teacher, a partner, a friend, a person who shares with me a great and genuine passion for art. It is an extremely rewarding experience to watch him setting up a show, deal with a collector or talk to an artist. He makes everything looks very easy and enjoyable.

Claudia Malfitano: How did you meet each other and what is the strength of your collaboration?

Mattia De Luca: We met thanks to a common friend who strongly believed in our meeting. Sergio and I are very different people, and belong to different generations. It is precisely our differences, combined with our common love for art, that make our collaboration a successful one. We both see the gallery not only as a commercial activity but as a place where we can meet people, exchange opinions and plan future projects. We also prefer to welcome the collectors rather than chasing them..

Claudia Malfitano: How do you see your gallery positioned in regards to art and the market in Rome? Furthermore how do you see yourselves positioned in comparison to stronger players in the Italian art scene such as Torino?

Sergio Casoli and Mattia De Luca: We hope to contribute to strengthening the artistic panorama of the city. We believe Rome has an enormous potential that makes it competitive on both a national and international level. It’s a very popular destination for many international collectors, curators and museum directors. Also, there are many extremely active scenes, both private and public, and the cultural offerings are of a high standard. Perhaps we should work on a better collaboration between professionals in the sector and on a new and more effective communication strategy.

Claudia Malfitano: Could you share your thoughts on the contemporary art market along with its ecosystem and strategies? Do you apply for art fairs?

Sergio Casoli and Mattia De Luca: The art market, by its very nature, is dynamic and sensitive to changes. We believe that the current phase is extremely favourable to the great masters of Italian art, with excellent opportunities for the Arte Povera artists, as shown by the numerous exhibitions dedicated to them in prestigious international galleries and also by the results of the latest international auctions. It is undeniable that the role of auction houses is crucial – in the good and the bad – for the entire course of the market and of the contemporary art system, but it would not exist without the primary market and the hard work of the galleries.
We are still not sure about participation in art fairs, as we really like the idea of maintaining the “old” gallery approach. We could probably consider an Italian art fair in the future.

Claudia Malfitano: Any upcoming projects to look forward to?

Sergio Casoli and Mattia De Luca: An important project opening in spring 2019 of which we can’t provide details at the moment, but can guarantee will be a not-to-be-missed event.

Claudia Malfitano

  • Mattia De Luca and Sergio Casoli. Courtesy of the Gallery Mattia De Luca and Sergio Casoli. Courtesy of the Gallery
  • Marcel Duchamp, Marcel Duchamp, "By or Of Marcel Duchamp or Rrose Sélavy", Exhibition view, Galleria Casoli De Luca, 2018
  • Marcel Duchamp, Marcel Duchamp, "By or Of Marcel Duchamp or Rrose Sélavy", Exhibition view, Galleria Casoli De Luca, 2018
  • Marcel Duchamp, Marcel Duchamp, "By or Of Marcel Duchamp or Rrose Sélavy", Exhibition view, Galleria Casoli De Luca, 2018
  • Marcel Duchamp, Marcel Duchamp, "By or Of Marcel Duchamp or Rrose Sélavy", Exhibition view, Galleria Casoli De Luca, 2018

Miltos Manetas on his project for the Athens Biennial, never exhibited but visible to us all

13 hours ago

Mara Sartore: This year you participated in the Athens Biennial, without setting foot in your hometown, can you tell us about how you managed this?

Miltos Manetas: I was contacted by Poka-Yio, the founder of the Athens biennial, he was an emerging artist when I was beginning to become well-known in Athens. The biennial had so far been a great success, with each edition better than the next, I had previously participated in the 2013 edition. And taking part in this edition, after Documenta 14, seemed like a good opportunity. I was also interested by the title “Anti”, which in general for the Athenians is significant because it alludes to a historical left-wing magazine called “Anti”.

The first thing that came to mind was to make a piece with Yanis Varoufakis, leader of the transnational Diem25 movement, with whom I’m also collaborating with on a political idea. The idea is to start a campaign in May from Montenero in Sabina, where I am based, it is a very small but beautiful place, lost in nature. The village is actually hosting a ten-years art lasting project of mine. Citizens are very interested in Varoufakis, and for this reason I am using #Overeality, projecting his image with an application on my smartphone simulating his presence amongst citizens, so that when he arrives, he will actually be returning. In this way, and by other creative means, we attempt to bring democracy to Europe, we want to spread the spirit of Diem25 because Varoufakis has seen for himself the absence of democracy ….

This is a premise to stress that my idea for the biennial was precisely to bring political art, or rather anti-politics, but the biennial was opposed to my proposal. So I asked if they were interested in a project which derived from Documenta. In fact, during Documenta, Marina Fokidis, editor-in-chief of “South Magazine”, one of the most interesting art journals, in my opinion, was swallowed by a whale, that is, by Documenta itself. The journal was extremely powerful, with very real content, nice graphics … it represented what I call the “middle-south” that is a south that accepts being north but without wanting to become so totally … a spirit that pervades Italy from Rome downwards, just as in Greece and the Mediterranean. Marina had captured this spirit perfectly. But when during Documenta 14 Adam Szymczyk asked her to create a magazine specifically for this edition, she created a new one, redesigning the graphics and the concept behind South. Under the direction of Documenta, this became a “Nordic” magazine, like Adam Szymczyk’s curatorial idea, with his character atypical to that of “South”. Marina then succeeded with her determination to get me out because I began to vent with her and to express my frustrations with the idea of handing over her magazine to Documenta, for me it was a failure. From there, in short, our friendship became complicated, however the only remaining bitterness in me is to have lost a journal of great quality like “South as a State of Mind”.

From this experience my second proposal for the Athens Biennial came about, this consisted in relaunching “South”, perhaps collaborating with Marina, if she wanted to. An attempt to try again, as in a love affair, where we try to make peace with the past and live in a new eternal future. An attempt to restart Documenta, I regretted that the magazine had lost its #NeoUmile “middle-south” spirit, and was not as moving as it was before. I had also proposed to Documenta 14 to work on #MedioSud with a project based outside of Athens, in Derveni, where I grew up and which is a melting pot of different cultures. The project had been rejected by Documenta that wanted to remain central to Athens …maybe Marina hadn’t help me in this. So I expelled myself from participating.

At that point, all this had cast a light on the fact that in the Internet age you can not interrupt a conversation that has already begun. Today everything that passes through the internet can not be stopped. So I continued to write long emails to Documenta and Marina, proposing my help in the curatorial direction of the exhibition, expressing my opinion on the works and artists that I would have seen … for me it was a way to continue my work with Documenta, but I never received any feedback on these reflections.

I saw many things that I did not like, like the Parthenon made out of books in Kassel. I proposed pushing it down, leaving book chaos … no answer! Angelo Plessas, for example, presented work that was not in his style but rather in that of another friend of ours Maria Papadimitriou, it seemed that the biennial had forced Angelo to make work that did not reflect his style; Angelo would have definitely definitely displayed his best side with his typical internet-related work. Maria, on the other hand should have gone and taken that work, but she hadn’t even been invited.

Mara Sartore: After the Biennale had rejected your two project proposals, how did things evolve?

Miltos Manetas: The Athens Biennale was interested in my digital art, linked to the internet, a theme that was similar to that of the Berlin Biennale 2016, the concept was dedicated to the post-digital era.

In Athens, however, this “Anti” was heading North rather than to the Middle South. In fact, in 2015, when I was beginning to work on the Berlin Biennial, the organisers asked me for a meeting in Bogota where I live, but at that moment I was leaving for Greece, so I missed the appointment … then from there, with the ‘advent of Yanis Varoufakis and political chaos in Greece, I completely lost sight of this project and the communication with the biennial, so much so that in the end I could not participate. During the spring of 2016 I found myself looking at the biennial site and I was fascinated! It was full of interesting content and this made me realise that I could not miss this event. So I decided to enter this exhibition all the same, and I did this by developing a facsimile of their site, you can still see it here ( I entered my name, I created dialogues … I made this creation known to the curators of the biennial and they were enthusiastic.

I told them that in my opinion they had missed out some important artists for the biennial, and so I put them on my website. I did not need to go to Berlin to see the event. It was enough to follow the tags and the hashtags of the Berlin Biennale on instagram (#berlinbiennale2016 #bb9)  … I noticed that the information appeared following certain patterns, certain formulas. So I took a ride on Instagram and saw a picture of the opening with Klaus Biesenbach who was dressed in what seemed to me almost a Klein Blue, this left an impression on me. So I put a Like on it. That colour, for me, became the colour of the biennial, and of the North, #KlausBlu. With that blue the biennial continues to communicate, now come to think of it, it is also a blue that alludes to the flag of the European Union. Following  Klaus’ Instagram profile, I noticed that he always wears blue and I reckon he has become an artist in this way, he introduced his own colour! So I decided to include him among the artists on my website, and this was approved by the biennial itself.

From here I started creating a new form of painting made from ‘likes’: it starts from the fact that on Instagram you can find a collection of your likes on a dedicated page and from there you can rearrange them creating what I call #paintingswithlikes, with a juxtaposition of colours similar to that practiced by Seurat, becoming an chronicler of your likes.

Then something magical happened: I saw a young artist at the biennial who portrayed Rihanna without a head in one of his pieces, On Instagram, I saw a #bb9, followed by a collection of green dots … it was Rihanna who had had a photo taken of herself glad in green taken next to the piece representing her. After this episode, the hashtags continued to produce this green on other unlinked photos but that came with hashtag #bb9 … a dance made up of this green was created, and then followed by a dance of a purple red introduced by Amalia Ulman and so out of this came a number of red works and so the network synchronised on these tags …

I realised that this was the most important exhibition after Jeffrey Deitch’s 1990 exhibitions “Cultural Geometry,” “Artificial Nature” and “Post-Human”. Being so important and prolific, I felt that as long as the tags were produced, this exhibition had to be continued. So I continued to include artists despite the biennial being over: I inserted Piero Gilardi, for example, who I had seen at MAXXI.

These same significant patterns or formulas did not take shape during Documenta. The tags did not say or respond to anything, on the web the exhibition practically did not exist … I brought this up with Documenta but, once again, they didn’t answer.

So for the Athens Biennale I proposed a continuation of the project which had started at the Berlin Biennale 2016 through my site Obviously this project was also discarded until they made me understand that they did not want my true participation in the biennial. They were interested in my older works, those in which I painted cables ….and to display them they had chosen a place that is sacred to me, where my parents had worked, the Greek telephone exchange skyscraper. My father repaired the cables, while my mother was a receptionist from the 60s to the 80s. And that’s where my painting imagination was born. So, well, I congratulated the curators of the Athens Biennial for choosing that location, I suggested to go there to fix some set-up stuff, but I was rejected by them, I could be wrong but it felt like they did not even want me setting foot there.

Finally I decided to visit the exhibition in Athens virtually… and I started to find the tags # athensbiennale2018 #ab6 and #ANTI . They had blue and red patterns, creating certain leads and so I started working on what I had originally proposed for the biennial, continuing on the project on Instagram that I had initiated at the Berlin Biennale.

Today, art makes artificial intelligence that is not artificial intelligence in a technical sense but as a composite of real elements. It was a blessing in disguise that Athens kept me away, because this allowed me to bring life to my project. The network started talking …

So here, my project for the biennial in Athens is the continuation of the project that I started with the Berlin Biennale 2016. This is my actual

work which represents me, not my old works that have been exhibited and attached to the walls without my cooperation, however that said I am grateful to Poca Yo and his team who gave me the opportunity to contribute and above all where they put together a dynamic exhibition where in contrast to the misfortune of #Documenta14 not only do we encounter mountains of patterns but these mountains also move!

Mara Sartore

  • Miltos Manetas Looking at Athens Biennale. Courtesy of the artist Miltos Manetas Looking at Athens Biennale. Courtesy of the artist
  • Montenero, Sabina Montenero, Sabina
  • Miltos Manetas, 2016-2018: Miltos Manetas, 2016-2018: "Berlinbiennial", pagina instagram. AthensBiennale 2018, Athens, Greece
  • Miltos Manetas, Miltos Manetas, "Berlinbiennial", 2016-2018, Instagram page (, updated for ANTI, the 06th Athens Biennale
  • Miltos Manetas 2018: PaintingwithLikes for the Athens Biennale Miltos Manetas 2018: PaintingwithLikes for the Athens Biennale
Shanghai - Posts

Reporting from Shanghai: Adrian H.Wang from AIKE or the age of Chinese Contemporary Production

5 days ago

On the occasion of the art week in Shanghai in November 2018, Cristina Sanchez-Kozyreva met with Adrian H. Wang who took over the direction of AIKE last summer. He shares his coming to the art world and what it means to him to be a gallerist.

Cristina Sanchez-Kozyreva: Please could you tell me more about your background, and how you came to the arts?

Adrian H. Wang: I come from a different field, very different form the art world. I studied biology in Shanghai. After graduating, although I liked research, I also had a very wide range of interests. I thought I better follow only one of them as a career. I didn’t chose to follow biology. I got an offer in 2009 from a local art book distributor and I worked with them three years distributing international art books, for publishers such as Thames & Hudson and Hatje Cantz, mainly about western art history, and breakthrough artists such as Caravaggio, Rothko, and other post-war artists.
Considering the very wide information and the content I was exposed to, and from talking with clients from libraries and art schools, some artists, some designers, it seemed to me the gallery was the best platform to follow my passion for the art world.
In the beginning of 2013, Roberto Ceresia, the founder of Aike gallery, approached me. He believed I was ready and a solid person to do the operations at the gallery. We had a chat and decided to work together. I was already familiar with a few artists. At that time, I had a few watercolour pieces but mainly I was a regular gallery visitor.

Cristina Sanchez-Kozyreva: The scene in China is very dynamic at the moment, and because of the specific political and economical rise of China, Chinese artists emerge with particularly interesting voices and subject matter. What do you think of that energy? How do you see current Chinese production? How do you think artists react? Do you think they speak to the market? Do they speak to their own stories?

Adrian H. Wang: For the artists I think it’s very challenging. The world is flat at the moment, you can get any information you want and gain deep knowledge about very narrow territories. For the creative sides it is challenging for each artist because the margins to move forward are very narrow. For example for painting that’s very clear, it is hard to be outstanding in their generation.
The offering is very diverse at the moment. For Chinese collectors, they read a lot, visit museum shows and art fairs worldwide, meet artists in their studio. They collect from a wide range, from Giorgio Morandi and Amedeo Clemente Modigliani to very contemporary artists.

Cristina Sanchez-Kozyreva: Since last summer you are more at the forefront of the gallery, moving from co-ownership to an even more active role at the gallery. What kind of gallerist did you become since 2013, now that it has been five years later?

Adrian H. Wang: It is kind of dramatic. In the beginning I wasn’t really prepared. After first working with Roberto, late in 2014 I got another offer, I talked to Roberto about it, and ended up accepting to move to White Cube in Hong Kong. I worked there two and half years. I gained a different experience. We remained good friends with Roberto and I would often visit the shows, I still loved Aike’s artists. Eventually, he invited me to be a partner of the gallery, it was important for him to have a local face to also representing the gallery locally. I knew the artists very well. In the beginning, I made very intuitive decisions.
I really enjoy working with artists, and I really like working with collectors, so it seemed like becoming a gallerist was a good career choice.

Cristina Sanchez-Kozyreva: Now in the gallery you choose artists from your generation?

Adrian H. Wang: In order to build something strong, I believe I need to work with artists from my generation (he’s 31). It is about building up a culture for their market, for their career.

Cristina Sanchez-Kozyreva: How do you see that environment?

Adrian H. Wang: I believe the gallerist input in building, and cultivating that culture is very important. Chinese contemporary is quite young, it only started since the 80s. There are a lot of things that need to be developed still. I want to be part of the discourse of the art scene.
China has a long history, Contemporary art can represent the nature, the identity of that. It has a unique DNA. It is a very diverse country, too diverse even, the politics, the economics, contribute to so many layers of content. So many are yet to be discovered.

Cristina Sanchez-Kozyreva: Do you feel like you are still peeling off the layers?

Adrian H. Wang: Yes, absolutely.

Cristina Sanchez-Kozyreva: In your day, let’s say in percentages, what is the part of your work that is about discovering, maintaining, working with artists, working with collectors, how can you describe your job?

Adrian H. Wang: Good question… I work with artists for the programme, going deeper, keeping in exploring their recent practice, that amounts to around 40%. It represents about 5 to 6 shows a year at the gallery, and 5 to 6 art fairs (Art Basel Hong Kong, and a few local fairs in Chengdu, Beijing, Shenzhen, and this year West Bund and Art 021 in Shanghai). Around 40% of the time I work with collectors. The rest is admin.

Cristina Sanchez-Kozyreva: How is it to sell in China, what affects you?

Adrian H. Wang: Economics affect us. For the kind of medium artists use, I don’t really care what it is, works can be powerful in every medium.

Cristina Sanchez-Kozyreva: What do you think is a good artist?

Adrian H. Wang: It is a very big question and it is very personal. I think good artists appear all the time in art history, and when you open up their profiles you can find very different personal stories and backgrounds. What contributes is a very outstanding technique for their generation, and also a deep knowledge that enable them to understand the human kind and the culture surrounding them. In general, but also from the point of view of literature, philosophy, science, within this blooming modernism. How artists explore it, how they dig deeper into how art can deal with it.
Great artists are brave, they are not afraid to do something people cannot understand. Maybe they are thinking beyond this generation and century, into the future. I strive to find true artists in our generation in Asia.

Cristina Sanchez-Kozyreva:  Do you want to represent mainly Chinese artists?

Adrian H. Wang: We also have artists from Hong Kong and Japan. Maybe in the future we will represent artists from Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia. We look at Chinese in Asia, and Asian artists.

Cristina Sanchez-Kozyreva: If you were to recommend a work of literature to understand Chinese culture better, what would it be?

Adrian H. Wang: The book I’d really like to recommend is “My Country and My People” by Lin Yutang, who wrote it in English in 1934. Lin really captures the essence of Chinese culture and character.

My Art Guides Editorial Team

  • Adrian Wang. AIKE Gallery Adrian Wang. AIKE Gallery
  • Lui Chun Kwong: Forming Dusty Clues, Installation view, AIKE Gallery, Shanghai Lui Chun Kwong: Forming Dusty Clues, Installation view, AIKE Gallery, Shanghai
  • Lui Chun Kwong: Forming Dusty Clues, Installation view, AIKE Gallery, Shanghai Lui Chun Kwong: Forming Dusty Clues, Installation view, AIKE Gallery, Shanghai
  • Lui Chun Kwong: Forming Dusty Clues, Installation View Work:Landscape No.ML01, 2015, AIKE Gallery, Shanghai Lui Chun Kwong: Forming Dusty Clues, Installation View Work:Landscape No.ML01, 2015, AIKE Gallery, Shanghai
  • Aike Dellarco gallery Shanghai Aike Dellarco gallery Shanghai
Shanghai - Interviews

Reporting from Shanghai: An Interview with Suki Seokyeong Kang

5 days ago

Suki Seokyeong Kang is a Korean artist who lives and works in Seoul. Kang works in various media including installation and video in an expansive that draws from painting. She creates environment involving performance, sound, in an immersive and harmonious visual language that references Korean traditional arts.

Cristina Sanchez-Kozyreva: Please could you kindly introduce the works that you are presenting at the biennale and how they relate to your previous works. And what about the “activation” process in the performative parts of your work? How does the relationship you develop with Korean history plays out when outside the country, when in China?

Suki Seokyeong Kang: The title, “Black Mat Oriole”, is a compound of the words “Black Mat” and “Oriole”. In this context, the oriole is derived from Chunaengmu, which is a traditional solo dance from the Joseon Dynasty of Korea. It is a slow dance performed on a square mat called hwamunseok. The Black Mat in my work represents an individual’s territory and the movements that take place inside it. Through this interpretation, I sought to gradually show the invisible domains and stance of the individual. In translating the slow court dance into the gestures of an individual, I wanted to narrate the time employed in such slow movements and convey how an individual’s voice and gestures could designate and extend certain domains. That is, I portray the oriole’s movements on the black mat in order to provide a visible voice to the invisible domains and stance of the individual. Installed as dark space in Shanghai Biennial, Black Mat connotes the minimal space on which an individual can stand.

In terms of formal language, this space is the square through which I perceive painting, and this (in)visible space connects with the process of my search for gravity and balance. So through the ‘Activation’ with local dancers from Shanghai, I wish to share the structural grid and the construction methods of the modules that emerge in my process of perceiving the painting as a spatial concept. That spatial concept has been expanded in the form of movements that I call activation: through colors, gravity, texture, and body.

Cristina Sanchez-Kozyreva: How do you relate to Shanghai? Do you have an favourite aspects about this experience?

Suki Seokyeong Kang: Shanghai is a great to city to move fast in cultural aspect. Working with the team from the Power Station of Art and Shanghai Biennial was a wonderful experience. All the staff in the team was really energetic and focused and it what will remain from my first good experience in Shanghai. I wish I can have more time to spend in this city, I will be looking forward to visiting again later.

My Art Guides Editorial Team

  • Suki Seokyeong Kang Suki Seokyeong Kang
  • Black Mat Oriole 8 min 46 sec 3 channel video with sound 2016-2017 Black Mat Oriole 8 min 46 sec 3 channel video with sound 2016-2017
  • Black Mat Oriole 8 min 46 sec 3 channel video with sound 2016-2017 Black Mat Oriole 8 min 46 sec 3 channel video with sound 2016-2017

Charlotte Prodger wins 2018 Turner prize

6 days ago

The Glasgow based artist, Charlotte Prodger, who is to represent Scotland for the 58th Art Biennale in Venice, has been selected as the winner of the reputable Turner prize for her film Bridgit, a film taken shot with her smartphone over the course of a year including footage of her at home and on her travels.

Prodger describes the piece as being about the fluidity of identity from a queer perspective, whilst exploring landscape, body, technology and time. Prodger was was announced as the winner of the £25,000 prize by the novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie at a ceremony in London on Tuesday evening.


Alessandra Bellomo

  • Photo: ©Emile Holba 2018 Photo: ©Emile Holba 2018
Pakistan - News

Hoor Al Qasimi Appointed Curator of the Lahore Biennale 2020

1 week ago

Hoor Al Qasimi, President and Founding Director of Sharjah Art Foundation, has been appointed Curator of the second Lahore Biennale (LB02), opening in early 2020 and on view across the city of Lahore, Pakistan.

Chairman of the Board of the Lahore Biennale Foundation, Osman Khalid Waheed, stated: “The Lahore Biennale Foundation is delighted to have Hoor Al Qasimi as its curator for the second edition of the Lahore Biennale. In addition to her deep knowledge and extensive curatorial experience, Al Qasimi brings a very special energy to her projects. As the founder and driving force behind the Sharjah Art Foundation and the Sharjah Biennial, Al Qasimi has explored and demonstrated the power of art to transform narratives and transcend borders.”

Carla Ingrasciotta

  • Sheikha Hoor Al-Qasimi Sheikha Hoor Al-Qasimi
Japan - News

Raqs Media Collective Appointed as Artistic Director for Yokohama Triennale 2020

1 week ago

The Organizing Committee for Yokohama Triennale has announced the appointment of Raqs Media Collective as the artistic director of Yokohama Triennale 2020.

Ahead of its 20th anniversary, the triennale seeks to reassess and shift its position by joining forces with Raqs Media Collective, a New Delhi-based collective consisting of Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula, and Shuddhabrata Sengupta.

Selected on the basis of its highly intellectual and polemical approach, the collective is notable for its originality and inquisitive attitude. Active as artists, curators, and producers, the group is versatile and collaborative, working frequently with architects, computer programmers, writers, curators, and theater directors. Among the major biennales and exhibitions they have curated are the Shanghai Biennale, Why Not Ask Again (2016) and most recently In the Open or in Stealth (2018) at Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA).

Yokohama Triennale 2020
Exhibition Dates: early July–mid-October, 2020

Carla Ingrasciotta

  • Raqs Media Collective from left: Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula, Shuddhabrata Sengupta. Photo: Tanaka Yuichiro. Raqs Media Collective from left: Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula, Shuddhabrata Sengupta. Photo: Tanaka Yuichiro.
Miami - Interviews

“To Insist, to Insist, to Insist…”: Abraham Cruzvillegas Unveils His Project for Art Basel

1 week ago

Carla Ingrasciotta: The first rendition of “Autoconstrucción” happened in Mexico City at Pista, an abandoned dance space in Colonia Roma. In what way “To Insist, to Insist, to Insist…” at Art Basel differs from the first version?

Abraham Cruzvillegas: During the first presentation of this project Barbara Foulkes and Andrés García Nestitla performed by my side. Barbara started to interact with the piece slowly, and then the pace started escalating to a real sort of combat with the piece, on that occasion I also participated towards the end in synchronicity with Bárbara and we together destroyed or dismembered the piece. Andrés García was playing live and reacting to our movements and the ambiance of the performance at the same time.
For the presentation at The Kitchen I decided to stay out of the main action and let Bárbara perform on her own. I think her knowledge of movement and the way she can control her body while hanging is much more interesting than me fighting against the piece. She has more grace!, that of a trained dancer.

Carla Ingrasciotta: Could you tell us about the creative process behind this piece?

Abraham Cruzvillegas: Working with other people has always been a central part of my artistic research, I keep meeting wonderful artists that express themselves in completely different media than me. I find it enriching to be able to understand creativity through the body of a dancer or the sensibility of a musician, this is why I’m constantly searching to create with others. Also, as a human being, member of a gregarious society, I believe there is nothing we can do on our own and we must always depend on others for our success, our expression and in this case for art making. It is for me just part of being human.
Of course the ideas of Autoconstrucción that I have been developing throughout my practice come into play but they entail the same collaboration.

Carla Ingrasciotta: What is Autoconstrucción? Could you explain this innate notion of your practice to our readers?

Abraham Cruzvillegas: Autoconstrucción is a survival mode of living and building that one can encounter in marginal human communities such as slums, favelas or shanti towns. It is the human capacity to create one’s living space with the available materials, recycling, re-using and repurposing resources in order to develop the place we live in. It has an important impact on one’s identity and it informs the character and sense of belonging of its dwellers. I believe humans are in a constant state of Autoconstrucción, taking and repurposing the information, experiences and knowledge we live through to create our particular identity. I am in a permanent Autoconstrucción mode, always learning from others.

Carla Ingrasciotta: You grew up in Colonia Ajusco, a neighborhood in Mexico City. What is your relationship to the city? Does the city itself inspire your work?

Abraham Cruzvillegas: I now live in Paris with my family and I am a professor at the École des beaux arts de Paris, but I visit Mexico often as well and I lived in many different neighborhoods of Mexico City. However, the relationship with the part of the city I grew up in has impacted my work in every way, creating the basis of the Autoconstrucción concepts that I have developed over the years.
When I work and travel abroad, I use the same modus operandi, I take the materials that a specific place offers, never discarding anything nor choosing what repurposed materials I will use. I pickup everything that I find in a certain territory as I believe it is a witness of the particular identity of each place. So in this sense I could say that the city inspires my work like this, but it is not a particular city, it is every city with its adjacent identity.

Carla Ingrasciotta: What about your perspective on the city’s art scene? How has it changed since the beginning of your artistic career?

Abraham Cruzvillegas: I recently did a project at the MUCA UNAM a university museum from the National Autonomous University in Mexico City in which I made an open call to over 50 artists, writers, performers, sportsmen, musicians, academicians, professors, skaters…. To participate and create a space where there would always be something happening. A place where art, knowledge, life and community could mix and learn from each other, open to the participation of the public. The results were very moving and incredible, I am sure new connections and projects emerged from this experience. I think this was a taste of the energy that one can experience in the city and the effervescence that young generations will bring to the scene.
I think that when we started as young artists there were obviously fewer official places in which we could show, create and experiment in art, however the energy was such that artist run spaces and alternative modes of exhibiting, learning and sharing were thriving in different places of the City. I am sure that there are such places today for the younger generations and that we should remain in touch to what they are exploring now.

Carla Ingrasciotta: Any upcoming projects to look forward to?

Abraham Cruzvillegas: I am preparing a solo exhibition in my Mexican gallery kurimanzutto that will open early February. I am working with different ideas that will be condensed in a sculptural installation that will include specific botanical studies of local flora, a particularly beautiful artisanal technique from the state of Michoacán called Maque and the contrast between artisanal practices, recycling of materials and cheap design.

Carla Ingrasciotta

  • Abraham Cruzvillegas © Abigail Enzaldo Abraham Cruzvillegas © Abigail Enzaldo
  • Abraham Cruzvillegas, Autoreconstrucción: To Insist, to Insist, to Insist, April 5-7, 2018. Performers: Bárbara Foulkes and Andrés García Nestitla (not pictured). Courtesy of The Kitchen, New York City. © Paula Court. Abraham Cruzvillegas, Autoreconstrucción: To Insist, to Insist, to Insist, April 5-7, 2018. Performers: Bárbara Foulkes and Andrés García Nestitla (not pictured). Courtesy of The Kitchen, New York City. © Paula Court.
  • Abraham Cruzvillegas, Autoreconstrucción: To Insist, to Insist, to Insist, April 5-7, 2018. Performers: Bárbara Foulkes and Andrés García Nestitla (not pictured). Courtesy of The Kitchen, New York City. © Paula Court. Abraham Cruzvillegas, Autoreconstrucción: To Insist, to Insist, to Insist, April 5-7, 2018. Performers: Bárbara Foulkes and Andrés García Nestitla (not pictured). Courtesy of The Kitchen, New York City. © Paula Court.
Shanghai - Interviews

Reporting from Shanghai Biennale: an Interview with Huang Jing Yuan

2 weeks ago

For the occasion of her participation to the 2018 Shanghai Biennale, the Chinese artist Huang Jing Yuan talked to our local editor in Shanghai Cristina Sanchez-Kozyreva.

Huang Jing Yuan: The conversation started around December 2017, when Cuauhtémoc Medina visited my studio. My paintings are physically present, so they didn’t really need much explanation.

Most of the time we exchanged ideas on my writing instead, the artist statements I wrote, my essays, and my writing collective. The part of my writings that are available in English are limited, but even that part I didn’t have the chance to discuss with many people. I was very happy to find a reader such as him.

After the formal invitation to the biennale, as well as to the Reader (we are the only Chinese contributors to the Reader as far as I know), we didn’t talk much about the details, until we met again this September in Shanghai after I was given a space.

He gave me some sense of the area that I was in. I didn’t know the architecture design, but by accident, we shared a lot in terms of approaches and concerns. It is an absolute joy to find that it is a framework I can intervene in. I think Medina trusted me on my choices, and knew when to give me more information, and when to help me understand priorities.

I like the kind of curators who care about writing, and I like to exchange writings with him. Reading his wall text, the curatorial introduction to my section, was a revealing and inspiring experience for me. What I have is a practice, and I like that I am perceived as such. I also think I was very lucky to have Hantao, the chief coordinator facilitating his exploration of the whole mechanism in China.

Maybe because I speak Chinese, the executional aspect of the presentation was mostly dealt independently and directly with the construction team PSA provided. They were equally important in helping me carrying out my vision.

The Right to Write by Huang Jing Yuan

We write, privately, with or without readers; we also write publicly, as quick as updating our social media, as mechanical as signing a credit card. In this project, I use the verb “write” in its broadest sense, taking advantage of the Chinese societal tradition where calligraphy is a form of painting and a device for expression in both literary circles and street art.

Maybe to some viewers’ disappointment, I have no provocative materials that openly call for “the right to write” to present here; indeed, the languages I am working with, in most cases, are seemingly submissive in their form and largely deprived of their political agendas. It is a temporary coming-together of works that suggests what could have been different, through materials from the world where “the right to write” is gradually being taken away.

Yes, it is an artistic (historical) hypothesis. To conduct it, I have invited sixteen participants and worked with them to exhibit (and in some cases to create) their materials together with my own paintings. This working method inevitably brought me face to face with the usual dichotomies: the textual and the visual, the practical and the conceptual, the documentary and the lyrical, art and non-art, and the prestigious and the disadvantaged, but my intention was to focus on the betrayal of category, the contingency of binaries, the accident in the prescribed, and to a certain degree, the compulsion within each of us to write. If writing is the mother of the comatose archive, I wonder if exhibiting could be the rehearsal hall for a brief spell of somnambulation.

Here we are, through the platform of a biennale, accompanied by the friendliness of physical everyday materials, unfolding an open and intimate understanding of the different available and unavailable tools for each individual at certain times. The project tries to synchronize different kinds of isolation, to create a narrative for segregated worlds to mirror each other (no, they don’t explain each other, nor can they save each other). It invites viewers to ask: What is the ordinary Chinese person’s experience and expression as they negotiate the vortex of changes and ubiquitous inequality? what do these instances of picturing the world say about the time we are in? How may we empower ourselves when faced with the past and the reality in front of us, and the world yet to come?  With these questions in mind, this complex hopefully communicates my own ways of picturing the world.


My Art Guides Editorial Team

  • Huang Jing Yuan, Courtesy of the artist Huang Jing Yuan, Courtesy of the artist
  • © Huang Jing Yuan, Courtesy of the artist © Huang Jing Yuan, Courtesy of the artist
Venice - News

A Sneak Peek into the 58th Venice Art Biennale

2 weeks ago

Here is a short list of the National Participations confirmed so far for the 58th Venice Art Biennale “May you live in interesting times” (May 11 – November 24, 2019).

Venue: Giardini
Curator: Juliana Engberg
Commissioner: Australia Council for the Arts
Artist: Angelica Mesiti

Venue: Giardini
Curator: Felicitas Thun-Hohenstein
Commissioner: Federal Chancellery of Austria
Artist: Renate Bertlmann

Title: Mondo Cane
Venue: Giardini
Curator: Anne-Claire Schmitz
Artists: Jos De Gruyter and Harald Thys

Venue: Giardini
Curators: Asinnajaq, Catherine Crowston, Barbara Fischer, Candice Hopkins, Josée Drouin-Brisebois
Commissioner: National Gallery of Canada
Artists: Inuit artist collective Isuma, led by Zacharias Kunuk and Norman Cohn

Venue: Arsenale, Artiglierie
Curator: Agustín Pérez Rubio (Artistic Director Malba – Fundación Costantini)
Commissioner: Consejo Nacional de la Cultura y las Artes, Chile
Artist: Voluspa Jarpa

Venue: Giardini
Curator: Nat Muller
Commissioner: Danish Arts Foundation
Artist: Larissa Sansour

Venue: Spazio Punch, Giudecca island
Commissioner: Center for Contemporary Arts
Artist: Kris Lemsalu

Venue: Giardini
Curator: Nat Muller
Commissioner: Danish Arts Foundation
Artist: Larissa Sansour

Venue: Giardini
Curator: Martha Kirszenbaum
Commissioner: Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication
Artist: Laure Prouvost

Venue: Giardini
Curator: Francisca Zolyon
Commissioner: ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) on behalf of the Federal Foreign Office
Artist: Natascha Süder Happelmann

Venue: Giardini
Curator: Zoe Whitley
Artist: Cathy Wilkes

Curator: Daniele Radini Tedeschi
Commissioner: Susan Mains

Venue: Campo della Tana
Curator: Christina Li
Artist: Shirley Tse

Venue: Giardini
Curator: Zsuzsanna Szegedy-Maszák
Commissioner: Julia Fabényi
Artist: Tamás Waliczky

Title: Chromo Sapiens
Venue: Spazio Punch, Giudecca
Curator: Birta Guðjónsdóttir
Artist: Shoplifter (Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir)

Title: Reason and Negotiation Never Come Just Once
Venue: Arsenale
Curator: Asmudjo Jono Irianto
Co-curator: Yacobus Ari Respati
Artists: Handiwirman Saputra, Syagini Ratna Wulan

Venue: Arsenale, Artiglierie
Curator: Mary Cremin
Artist: Eva Rothschild

Venue: Giardini
Curator: Avi Lubin
Artist: Aya Ben Ron

Venue: Arsenale, Tese delle Vergini
Curator: Milovan Farronato
Artists: Enrico David, Chiara Fumai, Liliana Moro

Title: Cosmo-Eggs
Venue: Giardini
Curator: Hiroyuki Hattori
Artists: Motoyuki Shitamichi+Taro Yasuno+Toshiaki Ishikura+Fuminori Nousaku

Venue: Giardini
Commissioner: Arts Council Korea (ARKO)
Curator: Hyunjin Kim
Artists: Hwayeon Nam, Siren Eun Young Jung, Jane Jin Kaisen

Title: Sun & Sea
Venue: Arsenale
Curator: Lucia Pietroiusti
Artists: Nida Art Colony (Lina Lapelyte, Vaiva Grainyte, Rugile Barzdžiukaite)

Venue: Arsenale
Artist: Marco Godinho

Venue: Arsenale, Sale d’Armi
Curator: Magalí Arriola
Commissioner: Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes
Artist: Pablo Vargas Lugo

Title: The Measurement of Presence
Venue: Giardini
Curator by: Benno Tempel
Commissioner: the Mondriaan Fund
Artists: Remy Jungerman and Iris Kensmil

Venue: Palazzina Canonica, Riva Sette Martiri, Castello 1364/A
Curators: Zara Stanhope, Chris Sharp
Commissioner: Dame Jenny Gibbs
Artist: Dane Mitchell

Title: Weather Report: Forecasting Future
Venue: Giardini
Curators: Piia Oksanen, Leevi Haapala
Commissioners: Katya García-Antón, Ann-Sofi Noring
Artists: Janne Nabb and Maria Teeri, Norwegian Ane Graff and Swedish Ingela Ihrman

Venue: Arsenale
Curator: Tessa Maria Guazon, Riya Lopez
Artist: Mark Justiniani

Curator, Commissioner: Linsey Young with Cove Park
Artist: Charlotte Prodger

Venue: Arsenale, Sale d’Armi
Curator: Michelle Ho
Commissioner: National Arts Council Singapore
Artist: Song-Ming Ang

Venue: Arsenale
Curator: Igor Španjol
Commissioner: Zdenka Badovinac
Artist: Marko Peljhan

Venue: Giardini
Curator: Peio Aguirre
Commissioner: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation
Artists: Itziar Okariz and Sergio Prego

Venue: Giardini
Curator: Charlotte Laubard
Commissioner: Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia
Artists: Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz

Venue: Palazzo delle Prigioni, San Marco
Commissioner: Taipei Fine Arts Museum
Curator: Paul B. Preciado
Artist: Shu Lea Cheang

Venue: Arsenale, Sale d’Armi
Curator: Zeynep Öz
Commissioner: Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV)
Artist: İnci Eviner

Venue: Arsenale, Sale d’Armi
Curators: Sam Bardaouil & Till Fellrath
Commissioner: The Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundatio

Venue: Giardini
Curator: Brooke Kamin Rapaport
Commissioner: Madison Square Park Conservancy, New York City
Artist: Martin Puryear

Curator: Marie-Anne McQuay
Commissioner: Tŷ Pawb, Wrexham
Artist: Sean Edwards

Claudia Malfitano

  • Ralph Rugoff and Paolo Baratta Ralph Rugoff and Paolo Baratta
  • Nordic Pavilion, Ane Graf / Maria Teeri / Janne Nabb and Ingela Ihrman. Photo: Finnish National Gallery, Pirje Mykkänen. Nordic Pavilion, Ane Graf / Maria Teeri / Janne Nabb and Ingela Ihrman. Photo: Finnish National Gallery, Pirje Mykkänen.
  • Lithuania Pavilion, Lithuania Pavilion, "Sun & Sea", Nida Art Colony (Lina Lapelyte, Vaiva Grainyte, Rugile Barzdžiukaite)
  • Iceland Pavilion, Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir / Shoplifter Iceland Pavilion, Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir / Shoplifter
  • Hong Kong Pavilion, Left, Shirley Tse, Photograph courtesy of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority; Right, Christina Li, Photograph by Michael CW Chiu Hong Kong Pavilion, Left, Shirley Tse, Photograph courtesy of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority; Right, Christina Li, Photograph by Michael CW Chiu
  • British Pavilion, Cathy Wilkes, Untitled, 2012. Courtesy of the Artist and The Modern Institute/Toby Webster Ltd, Glasgow British Pavilion, Cathy Wilkes, Untitled, 2012. Courtesy of the Artist and The Modern Institute/Toby Webster Ltd, Glasgow
  • Wales in Venice, Sean Edwards Wales in Venice, Sean Edwards