Kassel - News

The Parliament of Bodies

4 days ago

This is one of the main event of the Public Programs of documenta 14, which comes from the experience of the so-called “long summer of migration” in Europe. The Parliament of Bodies is a site of activism, alliance, and cooperation, gathering an anti-fascist, trans-feminist, and anti-racist coalition. 

PROGRAM
Thursday April 27, 2017
FRIDERICIANUM

3 pm Introduction by Adam Szymczyk and Paul B. Preciado
3:15 pm Boris Buden, Fascism: A Crime in Search of Perpetrators
4 pm iQhiya, Fresh off the Boat
4:45 pm Ulrich Schneider, Facing History and Ourselves: Preserving Memory—Acting Today—Change for the Future
5:30 pm Chto Delat, Here Me Burning
6 pm Evelyn Taocheng Wang, Idle Chatter 2nd – Holzwege

7 pm BREAK

8 pm Dimitris Kousouris, Old and New Fascisms and Antifascisms
8:45 pm Lerato Shadi, Dinonyane tse Pedi
9:15 pm The Apatride Society of the Political Others (Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz, Nelli Kambouri, Margarita Tsomou), Integrated World Capitalism and the Ithagenia Condition: On Indigenous Knowledge in the European Crisis, Migration and Borders, the Coloniality of Contemporary Capitalism, and Self-Determined Otherness
10 pm Zoe Mavroudi, The Witch Hunts of Athens: An Experiment for a New Europe
10:45 pm Raúl de Nieves, La Mosca/The Fly

11:15 pm BREAK

12:30 am Adespotes Skiles, The Waltz of the Dirty Streets
1:30 am LOTIC

Friday April 28, 2017
FRIDERICIANUM

10 am–3 pm Georgia Sagri, Attempt. Come
3 pm Franco “Bifo” Berardi, Questions about the Double-Headed Monster That Is Destroying Life on the Planet, and How to Deal with It
3:45 pm Grada Kilomba, Illusions
4:15 pm Tatiana Roque, Back to the Closet! A Backlash Against Emerging Political Subjectivities
5 pm Zülfukar Çetin, Bodily Autonomy of Refuged Sex Workers and the Moralization of the Sex of the Other
5:45 pm María Galindo, Manifesto and How to Deal with the Feminist Insurrection

7 pm BREAK

8 pm–10:30 pm ALLIANCES BETWEEN MINOR INSTITUTIONS
Stavros Stavrides, Emergent Common Spaces: Reinventing the Politics of Sharing
Anna Dević/WHW, From Partisan Exhibitions to Exhibitions of Partisanship
Gigi Argyropoulou, (Im)potential Resistances
Emanuele Braga, Beyond Work and Private Property, the Macao Experience as an Institution of the Commons
Maria Mitsopoulou and Mariza Avgeri, Clercking
Vasyl Cherepanyn, Thinking Under Attack: On the International Principles of Contemporary Antifascism
Olga Lafazani, Subverting the Borders Between Host and Hosted. The Everyday Life in City Plaza Project
Chto Delat (Dmitry Vilensky), To be a Dissident: Screening and Questioning

10:30 pm BREAK

11:30 pm Vaginal Davis, No One Leaves Delila
12:15 am Boris Baltschun and Serge Baghdassarians, Backing Track
12:45 am The Boy

Saturday April 29, 2017
FRIDERICIANUM

12 pm Film screening, Aris Chatzistefanou, Fascism Inc, 2015, Greece, 73 min.
Directed by Aris Chatzistefanou, Greek with English/German subtitles

4 pm–6:30 pm ALLIANCES BETWEEN ANTIFASCIST MOVEMENTS FROM ATHENS AND KASSEL
Aris Chatzistefanou
Ayşe Güleç
Dimitris Kousouris
Thanassis Kampagiannis
Kassel postcolonial (Joshua Kwesi Aikins and Evelyn Wangui)
Forensic Architecture (Stefanos Lividis)
Magda Fyssa
Yannis Nifakos
The Society of Friends of Halit and The Initiative of 6th of April (Lilimor Kuht, Serdar Kazak, and Fritz Laszlo Weber)
Eleftheria Tompatzoglou
Natascha Sadr Haghighian
Niovi Zarampouka-Chatzimanou

7 pm BREAK

8 pm Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, An Alignment of Contested Bodies and Spaces: On Alterity, Asynchrony, and Heterogeneity
8:45 pm Alfredo Jaar, It Is difficult
9:45 pm Cecilia Vicuña, Breaking the Heart of Creation
10:30 pm Schwabinggrad Ballett & Arrivati, Beyond Welcome

My Art Guides Editorial Team

  • Fridericianum, Kassel Fridericianum, Kassel
Cologne - Interviews

Art Cologne 2017: an Interview with Fair Director Daniel Hug

7 days ago

On the occasion of the opening of the 51st edition of Art Cologne, we interviewed fair director Daniel Hug to share with us the news of this year edition and to tell us about the German art scene and market. This year 200 globally renowned galleries will show works by around 2,000 artists.

Carla Ingrasciotta: Let’s start from the origins. How did everything begin? How was the art scene in the city by that time and how did it evolve from there?

Daniel Hug: Art Cologne was started by two galleries – Hein Stünke from Galerie Der Spiegel and Rudolf Zwirner from his namesake gallery. Stünke and Zwirner took their Inspiration from the 1966 Dokumenta, and figured why shouldn’t they organize a huge exhibition on this scale, but with the purpose of selling Art. And so the first Kunstmarkt Köln as it was called then opened in 1967 in the Guerzenich Festival Hall. From this moment on the whole art market changed as we know it. Today there are hundreds of art fairs worldwide.

C.I.: What about your role as fair director? The event is under your direction since 2008. How do you manage the overall organization?

D.H.: I have a great team like Birgitt Schnitzius and Claudia Wendel who are in charge of gallery relations, also Bettina Vonderreck and Claudia Born who are in charge of our visitors program.‎ Most importantly Benjamin Agert, our fair manager, who basically ensures that the fair comes together smoothly, gets built on time, and many others I cannot all list here.

C.I: Which are the moments that marked the fair’s more recent history?

D.H.: When my predecessor introduced the sector “Open Space” and in 2007 when he recreated the famous Kounellis Installation “12 Horses”, with twelve live Horses inside the fair.‎ In 2010, the solo show of the Belgian artist Panamarenko, our collaboration with New York’s New Art Dealers Alliance which began in 2010 and lasted until 2015, the ” Bookmarks” exhibition of Hungarian Avant Garde to post-conceptual Art from 1967 to Today in 2015, the coming cooperation and founding of the new Art Berlin fair this coming September.

C.I:. This year Art Cologne is enriched by a a young contemporary art section “Neumarkt”. Could you tell us about the new concept of this edition?

D.H.: Until last year, we have had a sector for young galleries called New Contemporaries, and a sector for curated and joint gallery projects called Collaborations, and we wanted to offer a third option to young galleries to present a solo artist presentation in slightly smaller booths, to create a new name for this new sector would have made everything much more confusing, so we decided to rebrand the entire third floor of the fair, and have all these various sectors in one hall under this new name “Neumarkt”.‎ Neumarkt will offer every possible options, combinations and configurations of booths for young galleries, it will make it possible for galleries to really customize their booths, taylor the booths to their specific needs.

C.I: This year, the fair is taking place in concomitance to the Gallery Weekend Berlin. Berlin is also inaugurating the new Art Berlin fair this September and the city has a strong influence in the art scene. Do you think that this may affect the fair’s audience attendance or damage the market in some way?

D.H.: That Art Cologne and Gallery Weekend Berlin overlap two days has turned out to be a blessing in disguise, it has attracted a lot more visitors from abroad to Germany to see the two most important events concerning the German art market. The new Art Berlin is being organized by us, Art Cologne, and the organizers of the Gallery Weekend and will improve the preexisting abc fair, into a more substantial art fair in fall for Germany. This will only strengthen both Cologne and Berlin’s roles as Germany’s most important art centers.

C.I: Opening its 51st edition, Art Cologne is the oldest international art fair and has a strong background. How does the fair changed during the years and how differs from the other fairs? What are your hopes and expectations after this edition?

D.H.: Nine years ago, when I started in Cologne, the Art Cologne was an undefined white elephant, important galleries were missing, and it was spread out over four halls, everything was mixed together, it was hard to navigate. As inspiration, I looked at what Art Cologne was like in the decade from 1985 to 1995, the highpoint of Art Cologne when it was the most important fair for contemporary art world wide. The fair you see today, is very much like it was in this important time: A dynamic mix of established and young galleries, International and German covering art of the 20th and 21st century. All other art fairs are based on this model established in Cologne in 1967, so my job was really just to refine the quality, reduce the size, move into a more suitable hall reminiscent to the old halls from that time. Art Cologne is really the classic and original model Art Fair. We do not need to reinvent this, but continue in this tradition.

Daniel Hug is the leading director of Art Cologne since 2008. Born in 1968, has Swiss-American dual citizenship and has lived most recently in Los Angeles. Notably, he is the grandson of the famous Hungarian constructivist and Bauhaus artist László Moholy-Nagy. Having studied art history at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, he curated a number of exhibitions between 1998 and 2001 in project rooms and art venues. During this period, he took part as a gallery director in events including Liste Basel, Art Forum Berlin and Art Chicago.

Carla Ingrasciotta

  • Daniel Hug, Director of Art Cologne, Photo: Koelnmesse Daniel Hug, Director of Art Cologne, Photo: Koelnmesse
  • Time Drifts Cologne © Philipp Geist / VG Bildkunst 2016 Time Drifts Cologne © Philipp Geist / VG Bildkunst 2016
Brussels - News

Art Brussels 2017: From Discovery to Rediscovery

1 week ago

Belgium’s leading art fair ever, Art Brussels brings something different to the international art fair practices by privileging solid artistic content and profiling surprising artistic practices The fair welcomes a large number of important international established galleries.

145 galleries are divided into the following sections:
Discover: with a special focus on young, emerging and lesser-known artists showing recent works (2014-2017).
Prime: focusing on established artists from modern to contemporary.
Rediscovery :dedicated to art from 1917 to 1987, presenting living or deceased artists who are underestimated or forgotten.
In addition, there will be Solo presentations offering a more in-depth approach of the work of an artist.

As part of the event, the participating galleries located in town will open their doors to Art Brussels visitors on Friday 21 April 2017, from 6 to 9 pm for a special Gallery Night.

Check the full exhibitors list.

Dates:
21 – 23 April 2017

Opening hours:
Thu 20 April: 5 pm – 10 pm (Vernissage)
Fri 21 April – Sun 23 April 11 am – 7 pm

Venue:
Avenue du Port 86c
1000 Brussels, Belgium

Carla Ingrasciotta

  • Art Brussels Art Brussels
Venice - News

Adrian Villar Rojas Takes Over the Roof of the MET

1 week ago

Argentinian artist Adrián Villar Rojas has created a site-specific installation for The Met’s Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden.

The installation includes 16 black and white sculptures as is titled “The Theater of Disappearance” 

The Met’s history as an institution is a testimony to America’s path as a nation. Its doors opened in 1870 with a large collection of plaster casts of sculptural masterpieces,” stated the artist. “By the mid-twentieth century, genuine artifacts had displaced the copies.”

Elena Scarpa

  • The Theater of Disappearance, courtesy of The MET The Theater of Disappearance, courtesy of The MET
Venice - News

The African Art in Venice Forum

1 week ago

The African Art in Venice Forum was born from the necessity to analyze the absence of many African countries at the 57th Venice Biennale. Out of 54 countries, only 7 have a national pavilion.

The forum will take place during the opening days of the Venice Biennale at Hotel Monaco and it will be held in two auditoriums, one for institutional talks, and one for artists talks.

Panelists include: Reem Fadda, who curated last year’s Marrakech Biennale and is now curating the first exhibition of the Palestinian Museum; Azu Nwagbogu, founder of Lagos Photo Festival; Zoe Whitley, curator for International Art at Tate Modern in London among others

Elena Scarpa

  • African Art in Venice Forum African Art in Venice Forum
Venice - News

Carolee Schneemann Gets the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement

2 weeks ago

Carolee Schneemann will be awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement of the 57th International Art Exhibition of Biennale di Venezia -–VIVA ARTE VIVA.

The decision was made by the Board of Directors of la Biennale chaired by Paolo Baratta, upon recommendation of the curator Christine Macel, acknowledging that with the following motivations:

“Carolee Schneeman (born in Fox Chase in Pennsylvania in 1939, lives and works in Hudson Valley, New York) is one of the most important figures in the development of the Performance and Body Art. She is the pioneer of feminist performance of the early ‘ 60 and used her body as a main subject of her art. In doing so, the artist conceives the woman both as a creator and as an active part of creation itself. In contrast to the traditional portrayal of women as mere objects naked, Schneemann used the naked body as primitive and archaic force capable of unifying the energies. Her style is direct, sexual, liberating and autobiographical. The artist promotes the importance of sensual female pleasure and exploring the possibilities for political emancipation and personal from the social and aesthetic conventions predominant. Through the exploration of a wide range of media such as painting, film, video art and performance, Schneemann rewrites a personal history of art, rejecting the idea of a story told exclusively from the male point of view”.

The award will be given to Carolee Schneemann on Saturday, May 13, 2017 at Ca’ Giustinian, headquarters of the Venice Biennale, during the awards ceremony and opening of the Biennale, which opens to the public on the same day at 10 am.

Carla Ingrasciotta

  • Carolee Schneemann, Photo by Andy Archer Carolee Schneemann, Photo by Andy Archer
Lima - News

Perú Arte Contemporáneo – PArC 2017

2 weeks ago

Taking place at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo in Lima, this fifth edition of PArC 2017 is running April 20 – 23. Featuring 40 galleries from 10 different countries, this year the fair also presents photography and video sections.

Perú Arte Contemporáneo – PArC 2017 looks to position Perú as the ideal backdrop for artistic dialog and exchange of ideas, as well as a destination for art collectors and enthusiasts worldwide, particularly those looking to discover new artists or revisit established ones.

“As a growing, developing country, Perú is discovering that its cultural richness goes beyond is historic patrimony and begins to invest on its artistic patrimony. PArC is crucial in showcasing what Perú has to offer as an established hub for Latin-American art,” explained founder and director Diego Costa Peuser.

 

Carla Ingrasciotta

  • PArC 2016 PArC 2016
Athens - News

Such Sweet Thunder: Samson Young’s Project for documenta 14

2 weeks ago

Samson Young is participating to documenta 14 with a radio program titled “Every Time A Ear di Soun“, a project that explores how historical narration can be spread by the sonic and the radio.

Made specifically for this occasion, the 56 minute composition ‘Such Sweet Thunder’, questions the structural relationships bells have to celebration, communication, war, ritual and time. Young listens and responds to the bells, producing compositional echoes, which can erupt into rapturous melody and clashing overtones in equal measure – only interrupted by the unidentified voices of those whom maintain, research and ultimately sound the instruments with a deep and profound reverence.

Such Sweet Thunder” will be first broadcast on 17 April, locally via FM 90.4MHz and worldwide by tuning to 155560kHz, also available online.

Carla Ingrasciotta

  • Samson Young, For Whom the Bell Tolls: A Journey Into the Sonic History of Conflicts (2015 - ) Samson Young, For Whom the Bell Tolls: A Journey Into the Sonic History of Conflicts (2015 - )
Sydney - News

Biennale of Sydney 2018: List of the First 21 Participating Artists Out

3 weeks ago

Artistic Director, Mami Kataoka has announced that the 21st Biennale of Sydney, to be held March 16–June 11, 2018, will include around 70 artists in total, each presenting ambitious new commissions or recent work for the 45th anniversary of the Biennale. Talking about the main themes of the next edition, the director stated:

“The curatorial premise of the 21st Biennale of Sydney is an exhibition that will explore multiple viewpoints in search of a state of equilibrium. With a holistic view, the Biennale will also seek in-depth engagement with individuals and communities while exploring a range of perspectives and meanings of abstractions. The exhibition will be a journey; a walk through microcosms of the world today based on the stratum of history, human knowledge, emotions, desires and beliefs, as well as the mysteries of natural phenomena and the whole of the universe.”

Read the list of the first 21 artists unveiled:

Eija-Liisa Ahtila (Born 1959 in Finland, lives and works in Helsinki)
Ai Weiwei (Born 1957 in China, lives and works in Beijing)
Brook Andrew (Born 1970 in Australia, lives and works in Melbourne)
Oliver Beer (Born 1985 in England, lives and works in Paris and London)
Anya Gallaccio (Born 1963 in Scotland, lives and works in San Diego and London)
Laurent Grasso (Born 1972 in France, lives and works in Paris and New York)
N.S. Harsha (Born 1969 in India, lives and works in Mysore)
Mit Jai Inn (Born 1960 in Thailand, lives and works in Chiang Mai)
Kate Newby (Born 1979 in New Zealand, lives and works in Auckland and New York)
Noguchi Rika (Born 1971 in Japan, lives and works in Okinawa)
Nguyen Trinh Thi (Born 1973 in Vietnam, lives and works in Hanoi)
Ciara Phillips (Born 1976 in Canada, lives and works in Glasgow)
Koji Ryui (Born 1976 in Japan, lives and works in Sydney)
Semiconductor (Ruth Jarman, born 1973 in England, and Joe Gerhardt, born 1972 in England, live and work in Brighton)
Yasmin Smith (Born 1984 in Australia, lives and works in Sydney)
George Tjungurrayi (Born c. 1943 in Australia, lives and works in Kintore)
Nicole Wong (Born 1990 in Hong Kong, lives and works in Hong Kong)
Wong Hoy Cheong (Born 1960 in Malaysia, lives and works in Kuala Lumpur)
Yukinori Yanagi (Born 1959 in Japan, lives and works in Hiroshima)
Haegue Yang (Born 1971 in South Korea, lives and works in Berlin and Seoul)
Jun Yang (Born 1975 in China, lives and works in Vienna, Taipei and Yokohama)

Carla Ingrasciotta

  • The Biennale of Sydney Curatorial Team The Biennale of Sydney Curatorial Team
Mexico City - Interviews

“Life in the Folds”: Carlos Amorales Unveils his Project for the Mexican Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

4 weeks ago

On the occasion of our trip to Mexico City to attend Zona Maco 2017, we interviewed Mexican artist Carlos Amorales to give us a preview of the project he will present for the Mexican Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale.

Carlos Amorales was born in Mexico City in 1970 and in 1992 moved to Amsterdam to attend the Gerrit, then at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten (1996–97). Amorales’s practice encompasses animation, drawing, installation, video, and performance; he also collaborates with professional animators, composers, designers, musicians—and even wrestlers. Having matured under the influence of both Mexican and European cultures, Amorales frequently explores the commonalities and disparities of the two milieus by juxtaposing their distinctive vocabularies. His work is also deeply personal—reflective of emotional introversion and at times obscure, it journeys into a dark world of fantasy, blurring the line between the real and the imagined.

Mara Sartore: Obviously, we would love you to talk to us about what you are preparing for the Venice Biennale, but before we get to that, let’s take a moment to talk about your artistic journey, how you began, and what your relationship with your parents was like, in this respect…

Carlos Amorales: My name is a stage name, it is the joining of the “A” of Aguirre, my father’s name, with “Morales”, my mother’s last name. This is because, otherwise, I would have had exactly the same name as my father, Carlos Aguirre. And so, being the “second” forced me to look for another name. It took some time to achieve, it was a long process of searching for an identity, then one day I thought if I put an “A” in front of Morales… And so we have Amorales… During this time of “separation” from my father I also left Mexico. At the beginning of the nineties I went to Holland to study at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and then at the Rijksakademie where I finished up in 1998. I have always had a great interest in pictures, graphics, performance and music, but what gave me the push at the beginning was to create this character called Amorales, a character through which I have been able to find my uniqueness, my distinctness. From this starting point I have begun working on different themes…
One of the central themes of my work has always been the mask. Not so much as an object in itself, but more as an object that hides and reveals at the same time. A membrane between public and private. I know that art happens in the public space, but what is behind it and what pushes its creation are almost always private matters. The masks I initially dealt with were very simple, snapshots of my daily life, of my relationships with people, then slowly I started creating other types of worlds, more artistic and imaginative ones.
When my first child was born, the pregnancy was a very intense moment for me. I took photos of his mother and these images become characters that then reappeared in my animation. I slowly started to become more interested in both the written word and in music. It was almost as if they were signs or tools that allowed me to interact with the real world.
The images became representations not so much of a fantastic or realistic world, as much as scores that had to be interpreted musically or performatively in relationship to new situations.

M.S.: What happens to the life of an artist when he discovers he has been selected to represent his country at the Venice Biennale?

C.A.: Life becomes very chaotic… hahaha… In reality, it is the second time that I have been involved in the Biennale exhibition in a national pavilion. The first time was in 2003 in the Netherlands Pavilion, as part of a collective…

M.S.: Yes, but the Netherlands is not your country…

C.A.: It’s true, this time it is very different. I am alone and in the Mexican Pavilion. I knew about the contest to participate in the selection two weeks before it closed. I had to present a project, I worked on the texts and on the prototypes to present to the commission and then I waited for a week to find out the result. As soon as I found out that I was selected, we left for Venice and started working.

M.S.:  I heard that they gave you the opportunity to choose Pablo León de la Barra as curator. Is that true?

C.A.: Yes, this time that’s how it turned out. It’s usually the curator who chooses the artists. However, there was a lot of discussion in Mexico about the fact that it had to be a curatorial or artistic project that was chosen and so, this year, that’s how it worked out. And this has given me a lot more possibilities as an artist, more liberty on how I could present my work. In Venice I will present a formal piece that I am working on, starting with paper clippings, which in the past I have developed a lot of things with: the first was a series of abstract images, an alphabet, a font, this is what I have worked on in the past few years, it was the next step after “l’archivio liquido” (the liquid archive), that was very figurative. I wanted to work on something more abstract and more typographic. Each form represents a letter. Last year I suggested this to a Mexican institution called Casa del Lago (Lake House) so that they would use it for three months, they replaced the font that they normally used, in all their programmes, with this new illegible font…

M.S.: For some time you have focused on the theme of censorship… is inventing a new language a way to take this reflection to the extreme?

C.A.: It is a way to codify content in order to be able to preserve it… a way that allows you to look after content, to preserve it and to maintain this type of freedom of expression, despite it being transformed, like when I was speaking to you about the mask: it’s as if, at times, there’s a censorship of the truth, but truth must be maintained, it must be spoken, it must be preserved, because it is important – and so ways can be found to disguise it, to preserve it… Right now, in Mexico, we are going through a difficult time, societally, and it is very hard to find a way to talk about this moment because every time you speak about it, you ignore, you accept, you don’t assume your responsibility to speak about it… Today we are experiencing a moment in time in which representations of reality are in crisis, our entire language has evolved into “over” informatin and what I am reflecting on is exactly how to find new forms to say things and to preserve them. What I want to show, in the pavilion, is actually how, through these forms, it’s possible to say something about what I feel is happening. It has been like a process of transformation of language, these elements are like the tools that are needed to make music, to depict poetry or a text. It is as an exercise of abstraction through which I have created a world, that is a figurative world of characters, trees and houses in which I tell a story…

M.S.: Will you also record a video of it? An animation?

C.A.: Yes, it is halfway between animation and film, a theatre of puppets in which I’m very interested in how the puppeteer and the musicians are shown and I like the idea; it is a story that is told by real people who bring it alive and make it work. It is not a stop-motion animation, that exists by itself, but the objects are made in the same way: if she speaks, she speaks in this language and if he responds, he responds in the same language. It is like a totally encrypted world… I really like how art can change according to where it’s on show and how people respond to it and how the culture of the people seeing it transform it.

M.S.: What is the story you are telling?

C.A.: It’s the story of a lynching – when a whole country encircles someone and lynches him – it is the story of a family of immigrants that arrive in a country and everyone starts speaking badly about them and they lynch them… This is an example of what I believe is happening here: it is a moment in which the State is becoming so weak that institutions are losing their role. This transformation that we are seeing, I don’t think it’s just a Mexican problem, it’s a global problem.

M.S.: In Europe, fear is seen as being embodied in the foreigner. In Mexico it seems to me that it’s different…

C.A.: Here it is very tied up with economic problems, or rather, what has happened here is that when Mexico was liberalised, it went back to being a factory producer that makes car parts. This has completely changed the economy and the country has begun to depopulate, creating a lot of migration of Mexicans towards the United States, the same people Trump is now building a wall to keep out. At the same time, in Mexico, an enormous, illegal industry of drug trafficking began to grow. The legal and the illegal began to mix along with the corrupt and the honest, and I believe this has produced a lot of psychoses, and I have the feeling that it will grow… for example: the price of gasoline has increased by 20%… a self-defence tactic, people create their own military groups and take the law into their own hands and go out and fight – they are not guerrillas, because they are not ideological. In Europe you have other problems but at the end of the day they are all economic and political problems.

M.S.: In Europe, a sort of psychosis is developing, a refusal of the “other”, the incapacity to live together, a loss of, but at the same time, a seeking out of a sense of community… Beginning with the manipulation of news by the media, the importance of reappropriating one’s own expressive means is more important than ever. At the heart of this there is obviously language, the primary connection with one’s own country of origin, creating a new “language” is, first of all, creating a new identity.

C.A.: Yes, what seemed interesting to me in my creative process is how, starting from a formal game, simple clippings of paper, nothing sophisticated, a universe can be created that can somehow tell a coherent story. A reaction to what is happening with the media, there is a lot of confusion: you open Facebook and you don’t understand what is true and what is not, you feel that everything is quite biased, and you see everything but only within the limits of your own political taste and this is a tendency that eliminates critical thinking at the root, that makes you see only what you want to see, because it is already preselected for you, it prevents you from seeing the other side… Therefore, I have wondered if proposing a new simple language could help to clarify…
In the end, these shapes are just forms, it depends on how you feel about them, it’s perhaps more a work about suggestion rather than assertion. I’m telling a story about a family, they could be Mexicans, they could be Africans, they could be Chinese. By using a mythical structure, you can have more universal empathy. I am not hoping that the audience sees the problem of Mexicans but perhaps a representation where everybody can feel more identified. In the discussion we had with Pablo it was clear that we didn’t want to become nationalistic. What scares me about nationalism is this tendency to look at the past, and most of these ideas are modern, they are not truly traditional. In Mexico our identity was created, for the most part, after the revolution.

M.S.: In Mexico there has been a kind of break between the revolution and contemporary Mexico… I don’t know today how much of those ideals remain. I was really struck by a piece I saw – “La Basura Social” by Orozco – a 1923 painting with the swastika already in the garbage 10 years before Hitler even climbed to power… For us Europeans, it is amazing to see that a Mexican was already seeing clearly, when, for many of us, unfortunately, it was clear only 20 years later…

C.A.: What I feel is that we must build something new. I read something recently that said that since Mexico has been part of the free trade agreement, and imports a lot of North American food, obesity has skyrocketed here. So much so that we are now the country with the second highest obesity rate in the world, after the United States. So, now that they perhaps want to put restrictions on free trade there will also be some advantages…

M.S.: Yes, I also thought about that! In Europe, we are reflecting a lot on a possible return to community, to the dimension of the polis, we are looking for ways to resolve local problems. Even if the world, by now, has become so small, in reality it is still a place of vast comparison where points of reference are easily lost, where the news of distant places affects our daily life, in which confusion between fiction and reality is growing, everything is present at the same time but generalised, globalised, and, in this context, people increasingly feel the need to return to what they can see with their own eyes, to what they can feel and touch, to concrete issues and actions…

C.A.: Yes, as an artist I also have this feeling. When I studied in Holland I was defined as an International artist and, at that time, I had the feeling that either I was an International artist, and therefore worthy of respect, or I was merely a “local” artist… Therefore, the most important thing was to see the world, to travel… But lately my needs have changed. I don’t feel the need to be considered an International artist anymore, nor to travel. I’m tired. I feel like relating to the reality that surrounds me, to my community. There are big changes happening now, we need to pay more attention, to stop and look at things more closely. For this reason I have called the show in the Pavilion “La vida en los pliegues“, a title that comes from a book of poetry by Henri Michaux. I liked this title because it represents the feeling of change that I feel. We must understand ideologies and reconsider them, call into question our way of life. We can’t stay on the path that we have traced up to now. These days everything is theatre, representation, it is almost impossible to find pragmatism and substance here nowadays…

Carlos Amorales – “Life in the Folds”
Mexican Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale

Venue: Arsenale, Sala d’Armi, Tesa B
Dates: 13 May – 26 November 2017
Opening: Thu 11 May, 11.30am
Performance: from 9 to 13 May 2017, 10am -7pm

Mara Sartore

  • Carlos Amorales in his studio. Photo by: Teresa Sartore Carlos Amorales in his studio. Photo by: Teresa Sartore
  • Mara Sartore interviewing Carlos Amorales in his studio. Photo by: Teresa Sartore Mara Sartore interviewing Carlos Amorales in his studio. Photo by: Teresa Sartore
  • Carlos Amorales in his studio. Photo by: Teresa Sartore Carlos Amorales in his studio. Photo by: Teresa Sartore
  • Carlos Amorales, Works for the Venice Biennale Project, Photo by: Teresa Sartore Carlos Amorales, Works for the Venice Biennale Project, Photo by: Teresa Sartore
  • Carlos Amorales, Works for the Venice Biennale Project, Photo by: Teresa Sartore Carlos Amorales, Works for the Venice Biennale Project, Photo by: Teresa Sartore
  • Carlos Amorales, The Cursed Village, 2017 (still). Courtesy of the artist and kurimanzutto Carlos Amorales, The Cursed Village, 2017 (still). Courtesy of the artist and kurimanzutto