Berlin - Interviews

Johann König on Berlin: “This city is still a place of liberty, freedom and hedonism”

1 week ago

During our stay in London, for the occasion of Frieze Art Week, we met Johann König to talk about König gallery’s identity and the brand strategy he initiated in Berlin and brought to the London branch. He has also shared with us his perspective on the Berlin art scene.

Mara Sartore:  Ok, let’s start with the space we are in now, König London, which opened this time last year, why this decision to open a space in London?

Johann König: I thought it was a good idea to open a space in London, we wanted to offer books and our König souvenirs label, we wanted to include this as part of the gallery.

Mara Sartore: I’m really interested in your concept of brand strategy. I am especially drawn to the European Union hoodie!

Johann König: In Berlin we have thousands of visitors for each exhibition and we represent a young generation of artists. The gallery is considered more of a museum or foundation: although there is no entrance fee, it’s a really big space with large shows and we are open on Sundays, have workshops and tour for kids. We could sense that our audience wanted to participate and take a part of it. We developed the building with the landlords and tenants and were inspired by them and their initiatives so we started to develop a magazine, a brand…we started to create products with the artists themselves.

The first product was a blue hoodie with the European Union flag with a missing star which you find on the back and this very quickly became a must-have fashion item, even in London.… We also produced a kippah hoodie as a supportive message to Jewish people who are often attacked on the streets, we try to deliver ‘opinion wear’ with a certain degree of political connotations.

Mara Sartore: When you arrived in Berlin the city was new for you. What is the state of the Berlin art scene today, how has it changed over the years since the opening of the gallery? How do you see the Berlin art scene within the European context?

Johann König: Berlin has a strong identity, with the London space for example, we wanted to bring a little bit of Berlin to London, with a sort of 90s vibe. We purposely decided to not have a townhouse here, opting for a more Berlin type of space. Our original plan was to allow visitors to walk through the courtyard which looks like a Berlin courtyard, even the neighbourhood is “Berlinisch”.

Berlin has changed a lot. The city is still a place of liberty, freedom and hedonism, there’s an extensive club scene there but the city today has rent problems, it’s very hard to find a space. The reasons are related to tourism, airbnb and also because Berlin is becoming more and more popular, people come here from all over the world and there is boom of tech starts-ups and a lot of people prefer to work in Berlin with a half the payment instead of working in another place in another German city with double the salary simply because they like living in Berlin. And this makes the prices of real estate rise. We own our building and we rent also our space for low rent to support the initiatives we like.
The city is now difficult for artists, especially finding studio spaces, although still easier than London and Paris. It’s not as it used to be anymore, Berlin is in a phase of transition, it is somehow getting older and perhaps more bourgeois, there is more money in the city but it is not a financial capital like London, we have to make sure it will remain interesting, the pressure is increasing… a commercial pressure to get the rent in.

Mara Sartore: What about the market? Is the collectors scene in Berlin is local or is there an international base? How was Art Berlin this year?

Johann König: The fair was really beautiful to look at, but it was very slow. There was no international attendance. This is good enough for us as the German market is really strong. There are big collectors and the situation can be compared to the Italian market scene, it’s on the rise. For example, these collectors start having five Fontanas and they have the conditions of becoming serious collectors of young and mid-generation artists. We have some clients who are second generations art collectors, for example…

Mara Sartore: Why do you think the fair is unable to attract international collectors?

Johann König: The beautiful venue should be able to attract visitors in itself, but it’s running at a bad moment, just one week prior to Frieze. Next year, it will be held during early September.
The problem is that the Berlin gallery community has somehow changed the brand seven times…everybody has lost track. We used to have a functioning art form identity, there was ABC, then it was hosted in a hangar, then it became a curated fair, then it fused with Art Cologne…nobody knows what is going on anymore.

Mara Sartore: Is Art Cologne the main fair in Germany?

Johann König: Yes, it is a very financially strong fair.

Mara Sartore: And what fo you think about MCH acquiring Art Dusseldorf?

Johann König: I think it has to do with the area, Cologne is a Catholic area and they have a big sense for art. Berlin is a protestant city and it’s a disrupted city, it’s both a working class city which of course is rather poor as well as a bourgeois society. The buying people mostly come from areas with big companies, like other places in Germany. With regard to Berlin, I would say that the Gallery Weekend in Berlin which runs in mid April has a much more international attendance and format. 

For us it is a bit different, we have a high number of visits throughout the year due to the exceptional building. Anyone interested in art who comes to Berlin comes to the gallery. The experience of being there is so unique and incomparable to any other kind of gallery. Because of the architecture, the projects we host, as well the sculpture garden in the city centre. I bought the building in 2014 and it was sustained thanks to the sale of artworks. We have no money in the family, my father is a curator…

Mara Sartore: What about the very beginning?

Johann König: The previous gallery was in Rosa-Luxembourg Platz in the east of Berlin where there was originally only a Vietnamese vegetable market, a Hungarian travel agency, a brothel and nothing else and now this is the city centre of Berlin and a prime location, all the big brands have opened there, it’s now the commercial area. It was only 15 years ago but at that time I was paying 10% of what the rent is today.

Mara Sartore: Did you move from there because of the increase in rent?

Johann König: I moved because of annoying tourists. I had an intermediate stop in Potsdamer Platz in a former fabrication hall, a location which I was also lucky enough to buy…that’s what happened also with Paula Cooper in Chelsea, New York for example, when you can buy the venue you step out of the spiral of the increasing rents, but then you become your own ‘gentrificator’, we gentrified the area somehow, we kicked ourself out because we couldn’t afford it anymore

Mara Sartore: How did you find the church?

Johann König: I started looking at alternative real estate because I couldn’t afford normal real estate anymore. I was looking for places which were off the market like train stations, police stations and bunkers and then I found this church. It was in a very bad condition – look at these vintage photos from the 60s – it was 25 meters high and very large and basically nobody knew what to do with it.

Mara Sartore: But it was still owned by the church, right?

Johann König: Yes it was owned by the Catholic Community

Mara Sartore: You bought it from them?

Johann König: Yes, and I contacted the architect Arno Brandlhuber to make the space usable. Today we have have a new floor and at the back of the building we have staircase that leads to the garden.

Mara Sartore: What about the selection of your artists. Your current shows are by Alicia Kwade and Annette Kelm. I would like you to talk about the female presence in the contemporary art scene? How do you select the artists? Do you have personal relationship with them?

Johann König: Yes, most of the time I know them personally. Many of our represented artists are women but this a coincidence or maybe not, but yes, we have a strong presence of female artists.

My career was a bit unusual as you might know. I lost my eyesight when I was young and this led me to think that there’s a certain connection to the work that needs to be physically encountered and this is a connecting point, to be really understood. And this is what happened with Katharina Grosse for example, or with the swimming pool by Elmgreen & Dragset currently on view at the Whitechapel Gallery or Alicja Kwade’s work at Hayward Gallery.
I believe that perceiving art is not just a matter of visuality but it should involve all senses, it’s an  immersive experience, the show by Michael Sailstrofer – “Tear Show” opening tomorrow is another example of this.

Mara Sartore: What about future projects? What will happen in London after Frieze and this current show?

Johann König: We have 5/6 weeks long exhibitions, a very fast pace rotation, it’s quite an active programme…maybe we need to slow down a bit!

Mara Sartore

  • Johann König © Lukas Gansterer Johann König © Lukas Gansterer
  • Micheal Sailstorfer, Tear Show, Exhibition view © Damian Griffiths, Courtesy of KÖNIG GALERIE Micheal Sailstorfer, Tear Show, Exhibition view © Damian Griffiths, Courtesy of KÖNIG GALERIE
  • KÖNIG LONDON, Souvenir and Bookshop © Damian Griffiths KÖNIG LONDON, Souvenir and Bookshop © Damian Griffiths
  • St. Agnes, Staircase, Courtesy of KÖNIG GALERIE St. Agnes, Staircase, Courtesy of KÖNIG GALERIE
  • St. Agnes, Outside, Courtesy of KÖNIG GALERIE St. Agnes, Outside, Courtesy of KÖNIG GALERIE
  • St. Agnes, Nave, Courtesy of KÖNIG GALERIE St. Agnes, Nave, Courtesy of KÖNIG GALERIE

Per Barclay and Turin: a Declaration of Love to an Underestimated City

2 weeks ago

On the occasion of Artissima and our digital issue on Turin’s Art Week, we had a conversation with Norwegian-born and Turin-based artist Per Barclay to learn more about his projects and ask for some tips to make the most of the Piemontese town.

Mara Sartore: In many of your past and recent “oil room” installations you have engaged in some sort of dialogue with architecture and then photography. What is your relationship with these two media?

Per Barclay: The photography is a prolongation of the actual installation and becomes a separate entity in itself. It’s a duality I find intriguing. The installation itself usually disappears after a short time but with the photographs I can continue to explore what I found interesting with the space (architecture) in the first place.

MS: Could you lead us through the creating process behind your work and how your method has been changing through the years?

PB: At the beginning I had what we could say a sculptor’s approach. The photos were taken frontally and printed as big as possible. I wanted the spectators to have the feeling they could physically enter the image. With time I started to dig deeper into the images by drawing out parts of the architectural space, often rendering these cuts nearly abstract: perhaps a more painterly approach.

MS: You have been living in Turin for almost 20 years now, what made you chose this city?

PB: In 1989 I started working with Giorgio Persano gallery in Turin. At the time I was living in Naples. Persano suggested I worked in Turin, a choice I have never regretted. I was given amazing work conditions and through the gallery had the privilege of knowing artists like Franz West, Susana Solano, Mario Merz and Gilberto Zorio among others. A great school for a young artist. Turin is one of the most important cities in Italy for contemporary art. In addition to excellent museums, foundations and galleries, you find everything you need for your work as an artist, including extraordinary artisans.

MS: We love to give insider’s tips to our readers, could you recommend 5 not-to-be-missed spots in Turin for an art lover visiting the city on a regular day?

PB: In my opinion Turin is an underestimated city. The historical centre is beautiful. I always take my visitors to the church of Il Santuario della Consolata, in Piazza della Consolata. Don’t miss the famous ex voto in the back of the church to the right. Turin is known for its café culture. The town’s oldest café – Al Bicerin is just in front of La Consolata and a must. Not far, in the interesting quadrilatero district you’ll find Ristorante Tre Galli (Via Sant’Agostino, 25) my kind of kitchen and a good choice of wine. My favourite café is Caffé Platti (Corso Vittorio Emanuele, 72)…..for coffee and good cakes. In the beautiful Piazza Vittorio Veneto you’ll find one of the most typical Piemontese restaurants: Ristorante Porto di Savona (Piazza Vittorio Veneto, 2) with traditional food and great atmosphere. If you would like to take home some Italian specialities like parmigiano, ham etc go to Baudracco (Corso Vittorio Emanuele, 62): they have a super choice and they will vacuum pack for you what you get.

MS: Your most recent work is on show at Palazzo Mazzarino in Palermo for Manifesta12, this was your third big project in town after Palazzo Costantino and Bianco Palermo. Could you tell us about this experience?

PB: The Cavallerizza of Palazzo Mazzarino is an amazing space. I visited it for the first time two years ago during its restoration and totally fell in love. My dynamic gallerist in Palermo, Francesco Pantaleone agreed it would be perfect for an oil room project. I am most grateful to the Marchesi Berlingieri for the permission and great support during the whole process. I have always been fascinated by Palermo. A city of raw energy and wonderful enthusiastic public. I am honoured to have been able to work in some of the most important historical monuments of the city.

MS: Could you anticipate something about your future projects in Italy and abroad?

PB: I am happy to say my schedule is quite busy these days. I have two gallery shows coming up in Italy next year: one in Bologna in January and one in Milan in April. I am also working on a public sculpture in Norway to be completed before May and then preparing two major museum exhibitions for next year and 2020 which will keep me well occupied!

Mara Sartore

  • Per Barclay © Ilja Hendel Per Barclay © Ilja Hendel
  • Per Barclay, Cavallerizza Palazzo Mazzarino, Palermo Per Barclay, Cavallerizza Palazzo Mazzarino, Palermo
  • Per Barclay, Santa Caterina #6, Courtesy of Francesco Pantaleone Per Barclay, Santa Caterina #6, Courtesy of Francesco Pantaleone
  • Per Barclay, Rosso Ribera. Installation view, 2011 Per Barclay, Rosso Ribera. Installation view, 2011
London - Interviews

Unraveling Complexity: an Interview with Shezad Dawood

4 weeks ago

On the occasion of Frieze and our digital issue on the art week, we’ve interviewed London based artist Shezad Dawood to learn more about his practice, recent and upcoming projects.

Mara Sartore: Your artistic practice involves the use of various media. You work across film, painting and sculpture to explore multiple narratives, such as migration, climate change and environmental issues. Could you tell us something about this multi-layered approach?

Shezad Dawood: My projects are about unravelling complex histories and issues, so I often think that it requires more than one approach or medium to make a suitable, respectful or poetic response. I like to think of my use of painting in relation to film, as parallel ways to think about the editing process, and allow me to create space in an exhibition, where people can start to explore a complex topic without being assaulted with a simple black-and-white response. 

M.S.: Last year you presented the ten-part film cycle Leviathan at Palazzina Canonica and Fortuny Factory for the occasion of the Venice Biennale and the project is travelling to various cities until 2020. In this project you explore notions of marine welfare, migration, mental health and their possible interconnections. How did you translate these concepts into your multidisciplinary practice?

S.D.: The simple answer (after a couple of years of research and conversations) is that I used painting to talk about the present; sculpture to talk about the past; and film to envision the future. The paintings on hanging Fortuny textiles (the Fortuny Factory was one of three key partners in Venice, alongside ISMAR – the Italian Institute of Marine Sciences and the Fondazione Querini Stampalia), depict objects lost at sea by migrants and refugees attempting to make the Lampedusa crossing. The sculptural works looked at some of our foundational myths of the sea and how they interact with political and symbolic systems, as in for example Thomas Hobbes’ work “Leviathan” on statecraft. And the continuum of stories around the subject of the whale that exist from the Torah to “Moby Dick”. Whereas the films are based on my own fictional imagination of the future 20-50 years from now, but informed by a number of conversations with oceanographers, activists, journalists and mental health specialists.

M.S.: You are currently exhibiting in two major shows in Korea: the 12th Gwangju Biennale and the group exhibition “Delfina in SongEun: Power play” curated by Aaron Cezar and on view at SongEun ArtSpace. Could you tell us about this experience in Korea? How long have you been working on these exhibitions and how was the collaboration with the curators?

S.D.: Well the film shown at SongEun, “Towards the Possible Film” (2014)was originally co-commissioned by Delfina Foundation, so it was a project I’d spent many years developing with Aaron (and also with Steven Bode from Film and Video Umbrella), so in a way Aaron was exhibiting a work he knew intimately, and I am glad he is still as passionate about it 4 years after it was initially finished – that’s flattering for an artist. And for Gwangju, it was the first time that Clara Kim and I had worked together, but the project came out of many studio visits and conversations around her interest in artists’ responses to the utopian aspirations of non-western modernist architecture. I thought her exhibition “Imagined Nations/Modern Utopias at Gwangju (coming as it did out of sustained inquiry of hers) was so well-considered and tight, I was proud to be part of it, and exhibiting alongside artists whose practices I respect, some of whom are old friends, with whom I share a number of interests. I really would like to see the show tour, and alter as it moves. But in any case I really enjoy working with Clara and hope to do so again – she really gives artists the room to do what they do best, while having a keen eye on the superstructure. 

M.S.: You live and work in London where you have your own studio. Does your varied cultural heritage influence your relationship to the melting pot that is London? Does the city itself inspire your work?

S.D.: Although I’ve lived in many places, I was born in London and always return here. I love its history of filth and esoterica as well as its contemporary amorphous quality – which a lot of cities have, but London does seem to allow a greater degree of freedom and self-expression than elsewhere. Although it must be remembered that this tolerance and cosmopolitanism was born out of the more ubiquitous racism and intolerance of previous generations, and the work of many to overcome and transcend this.

M.S.: My Art Guides likes to recommend to its readers unique places to visit in each destination, not necessarily connected to contemporary art, in your opinion, what are the absolutely unmissable places, landmarks and spots in London? And could you recommend something that shouldn’t be missed during the art week?

S.D.: I’ve had studios all over east London, but one of my favourite spots was on Tabernacle Street, as it was just around the corner from Bunhill Fields (originally Bonehill Fields), the Non-conformist burial ground that was in use from 1665-1854. John Bunyan, Daniel Defoe and William Blake are all buried here, and I used to love taking a break from the studio on a sunny day to read a book on one of the benches. I also recommend the free tours of Freemasons’ Hall, the centre of English Freemasonry for 230 years that begin in the Library and Museum and finish, appropriately, in the Grand Hall, which is a marvel. 

M.S.: Any upcoming project we could look forward to see?

S.D.: In November I have a solo exhibition opening at my Dutch gallery HE.RO in Amsterdam, in parallel with a solo exhibition at non-commercial institution A Tale of a Tub, in Rotterdam, both extending and expanding the “Leviathan” project, to look at new ways in which commercial galleries and public institutions can work together, including supporting commissioning, public engagement and collaboration. And also in November I will be presenting a new Virtual Reality work as part of a solo installation at the West Bund Art & Design fair in Shanghai, curated by Art Review and presented by my London gallery Timothy Taylor.  Currently you can view “Kalimpong”, my first Virtual Reality art work at Brown’s East until 31st October. And “Leviathan” will be travelling to Bluecoat in Liverpool, and MOCA Toronto next year.  

Mara Sartore

  • Shezad Dawood © Sue Parkhill Shezad Dawood © Sue Parkhill
  • Shezad Dawood, Where do we go now?, Installation view, 2017, Resin and polychromatic paint, 140 x 100 x 80cm, © Gianmaria De Luca Shezad Dawood, Where do we go now?, Installation view, 2017, Resin and polychromatic paint, 140 x 100 x 80cm, © Gianmaria De Luca
  • Shezad Dawood, 12th Gwangju Biennale Exhibition, Imagined Nations/Modern Utopias,  2018, Installation view, Curated by Clara Kim  Shezad Dawood, 12th Gwangju Biennale Exhibition, Imagined Nations/Modern Utopias,  2018, Installation view, Curated by Clara Kim 
  • Shezad Dawood, Leviathan, MOSTYN, 2018, installation view, photo Dewi Lloyd Shezad Dawood, Leviathan, MOSTYN, 2018, installation view, photo Dewi Lloyd
  • Shezad Dawood, Towards the Possible Film, 2014, Commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella and Delfina Foundation Shezad Dawood, Towards the Possible Film, 2014, Commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella and Delfina Foundation

Inteview with the Winner of the Korea Artists Prize 2018: Siren Eun Young Jung

4 weeks ago

On the occasion of the Korean Artist Prize award ceremony co-organised by the SBS Foundation and the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA, Korea), we interviewed the winner of the 2018 edition, artist Siren Eun Young Jung who will be also one of the protagonists of the Korean Pavilion at the 58th Venice Art Biennale.

Siren Eun Young Jung (Incheon, 1974) is known for her art projects that are based on her own studies, researches, and analyses of traditional Korean female theatre called “yeoseong gukgeuk”, a genre of performing art that was popular in the 1950s but has been forgotten without ever being established as either a traditional or modern form of Korean theatre.


Claudia Malfitano: Tell us a bit about the work you have done for the Korean Artist Prize.

Siren Eun Young Jung: There is form of theatre, unique to Korea known as “yeoseong gukgeuk” only played by women and it was usually played in the 1950’s during the modernisation of Korea. After that in Korea we had Park Chung-hee’s government, a very strong patriarchal military government so they really wanted to set up their own traditions, using modern tradition as a strategy so they excluded the female theatre because it was not very universal to them preferring instead male oriented art forms. “Yeoseong gukgeuk” theatre disappeared, so now nobody knows what it is.
But really by focusing on this kind of gender normativity I criticize how it has structured our society and how tradition and contemporary art structured our society in terms of political regime so my research for the past 10 years has focused on female theatre so my participation for the prize is the presentation of these past 10 years of research and work.

CM: So you are trying to bring back this form of theatre that was forgotten, deleted and ignored by a certain kind of male regime? Do you want to bring it back because it’s part of Korean history and how do you think it speaks to contemporaneity?

Siren Eun Young Jung: In terms of tradition in our historical process, official history is always written by men so I really want to rewrite female history through this kind of female theatre. It’s a kind of an unofficial historical document.

CM: What future projects are you working on?

Siren Eun Young Jung: Now I am preparing for the Shanghai Biennale, Serendipity Arts Festival, and Korean Pavilion at the Venice Biennale next year, and very small solo shows and my theme will be still on that kind of performance as the feminist-queer issue is very important to me.

CM: Can you tell us something about the Korean Pavilion at the 2019 Venice Art Biennale?

Siren Eun Young Jung: The curator Hyunjin Kim has invited three female artists to deal with very diverse feminist issues, moments and narratives. I am going to take part as one of artists and two other artists are Hwayeon Nam – who has a footage based-video on Korean choreographer during 20century colonial history – and Jane Jin Kaisen, Danish Korean artist who investigates women diasporic narratives.

Claudia Malfitano

  • Siren Eun Young Jung Siren Eun Young Jung
  • Deferral Theatre, 2018. Courtesy of MMCA Seoul Deferral Theatre, 2018. Courtesy of MMCA Seoul
  • Deferral Theatre, 2018. Courtesy of MMCA Seoul Deferral Theatre, 2018. Courtesy of MMCA Seoul
  • Siren Eun Young Jung, Artist's Studio, A Film by caska Siren Eun Young Jung, Artist's Studio, A Film by caska
London - Interviews

Hungarian Exhibition in London during Frieze Week: a Conversation with Andras Szanto

1 month ago

A selection of rarely-seen works by artists of the Hungarian neo-avant-garde will open in London at The Vinyl Factory, Soho during Frieze Week, 4–14 October 2018. “Bookmarks – Revisiting Hungarian art of the 1960s and 1970s”, curated by Hungarian-born, New York-based András Szántó, will include a representative sampling of approximately 70 emblematic works by 35 artists of the late 1960s and 1970s. An accompanying publication will feature interviews by Hans Ulrich Obrist with key figures of the generation, along with essays by Szántó and the London-based art historians Maja and Reuben Fowkes.

Practical info
Exhibition dates: 4–14 October 2018
Private View & Performance: 4 October, 6-9pm

The Vinyl Factory, Soho

16-18 Marshall Street, W1F 7BE London

Opening times
5-7 October 10am – 6pm
8-13 October Noon – 6pm
14 October Noon – 5pm

Mara Sartore: Last year you curated “With the Eyes of Others: Hungarian Artists of the Sixties and Seventies” at Elizabeth Dee in NYC and this upcoming fall you’re proposing the exhibition in London. What is changing in the exhibition format? Will there be different artists involved?

András Szántó: The overall focus is the same: Hungarian artists of the sixties and seventies. There is a strong overlap in the artists in the two exhibitions, although there are some featured in the London show who did not appear in New York, and vice versa. And the group of Budapest galleries collaborating for the project is also the same: acb, Vintage, and Kisterem. This is not a selling exhibition and the role of the galleries needs to be contextualized. These galleries have been the drivers of research and documentation as well as market advocacy for this generation of artists, who are, for the most part, woefully under-represented in the so-called West. Dóra Maurer is perhaps an exception, but even that name is not too familiar in international circles.

The exhibition’s title, “Bookmarks”, signals that it is part of a long-term collaborative project originating in Budapest, involving not only galleries but also curators and collectors who have been working in tandem to increase the visibility of these artists. Their efforts have resulted in group exhibitions showcasing the period during the Off Biennale in Budapest and at Art Cologne. “With the Eyes of Others”, a large exhibition proposed by Elizabeth Dee and organized in her Harlem gallery last year, with a herculean effort, can be seen as part of the same collaborative process. Introducing these artists into the international art conversation is a slow and arduous task. However, it is also immensely satisfying. It has generated a new level of recognition for artists who have been waiting for decades for this moment to arrive.

The organizing format is the major difference between the New York and London exhibitions. At Elizabeth Dee’s gallery, we had the privilege of installing into a museum-size space, which the show could occupy for several months. In London, we have a temporary space, and a much smaller one. Whereas the larger exhibition in New York could be organized into broad thematic clusters, each one occupying a distinct area, here we are creating a more intermixed selection where artists and works of varied orientations are more directly speaking to one another. And of course, any space changes meanings and associations just by virtue of the layout and tonality of the architecture.

Both exhibitions have been accompanied by books. The one in New York provided more historical background to an audience that really needed such context. For London, we have been able to include, in addition to two essays, a series of recently-completed interviews that Hans Ulrich Obrist conducted earlier this year in Budapest. Adding these interviews has significantly extended the reach of the exhibition. The artists’ own words add a powerful layer of interpretation.

M.S.: Could you briefly introduce the work of the artists involved? Which are the artworks we will see in the show?

A.S.: Rather than go through the pieces one by one – after all, there are some 35 artists in the exhibition, some with multiple works – I would focus on their range and diversity as a group. What visitors to the New York show were most impressed by, in addition to how closely these artists were interacting with western movements, was the range of media and formats present in the “neo-avant-garde” scene in Budapest. After all, this was taking place behind the Iron Curtain, at a physical remove from major western arts capitals, in a period that we don’t exactly equate with artistic freedom and experimentation.
And yet it’s all there: from hard-edge abstraction to experimental video to conceptual sculpture and photography to visual poetry to clever fluxus games and really tough performance. It is like a parallel universe in which all the then-current Western movements and methods were present—often in the practice of the same artist; after all, no market forces would force any of these artists into doing just one kind of thing. The point is that, here as elsewhere, it is more interesting to focus on the whole, on the complexity of the entire ecology, than on individual works. Having said that, there are stunning works in this show, and your readers will have to come and see them.

M.S.: What does it mean to you to present such artists in London? Is there any connection to political issues as Brexit?

A.S.: There is no doubt in my mind that the work of these artists is resonating more powerfully than ever because of the times we are living in. We are experiencing a period of reckoning: the collapse of the post-cold-war order; the whole post-truth conundrum, and especially, the recrudescence of tin-pot tyrants and a new vogue for authoritarianism that I simply couldn’t have imagined sprouting up in my lifetime, after the breakthrough year of 1989. We are all seeking to formulate a new posture, a new relationship to a world that has suddenly turned darker.
And here come a group of artists who were able to formulate a response to difficult political times. They weren’t necessarily heroes. But they showed us how to navigate under difficult conditions and maintain dignity and backbone and a spirit of independence when that stance carried genuine risks. I suspect that viewers in London, informed by the local situation, including Brexit, will find their own meanings reflected in these works. Of course, there can be no direct relationship to Brexit, an event that followed the completion of these works by more than four decades. But in such politically-charged times, all politically-charged work resonates powerfully, and these are no exception.

M.S.: What do you think about the current political conditions in Europe? I’m thinking about the recent position undertaken by the European Parliament against Hungary and Viktor Orbán. Do the exhibition and the artists respond to this kind of issues somehow?

A.S.: This is a historical show. Even though many of the artists are still active, the most recent work in the exhibition is from around 1980. I will say that the works demonstrate and independence of mind and spirit that is inspirational today. They are also a cause for optimism.
The sphere of political freedom and openness in Hungary has fluctuated over the years. This generation was active in a period of comparative easing that followed a phase of severely harsh repression. The worst years were 1948-53, when Hungary descended into a full-blown Stalinist dictatorship; some of the artists in the show would remember this phase from their early youth, their family histories would have been touched by it. After Stalin’s death, in 1953, a softening began, but the 1956 revolution led again to a clampdown. By the early sixties, the authorities felt secure enough to allow some reforms to start, particularly after 1968. In the early seventies, Hungarians got an early taste of a consumerist society where some freedoms were allowed—a small house by the lake, a license to drive a cab or operate a food stall, an occasional travel permit to go west. The artistic practice of the generation in this exhibition has to be located in this evolving context.
Today, the pendulum is swinging back, after a period when the institutions and norms of a liberal democracy were taking root and Hungary was integrating into western alliances, to one where the state is becoming more muscular and intruding more actively into the sphere of civil society. It’s anyone’s guess where things will go from here. But although the situation is different today than in the late sixties and early seventies – there is simply no comparison to what life was like in 1970 and today – artists once again must consider the boundaries of what is politically acceptable, and learn to navigate consciously around them.

M.S.: What about the female presence in this exhibition? Among the exhibited artists, who is the female key figure of the Sixties and Seventies from your point of view?

A.S.: By last count, we have 8 female artists in the exhibition, and they each have made extraordinary contributions. Those with the most exposure to date are the ones who spent time in the West. Dóra Maurer has been mentioned; she was fortunate enough to have access to Vienna through much of her career. A fascinating figure is Vera Molnar, a member of the Hungarian artist diaspora, who emigrated to Paris and became a pioneer of computer-based art. For those who visited the last documenta, the work of Katalin Ladik will be familiar. She is an artist of exceptional range and daring, with roots in avantgarde music, poetry, and radical performance. In fact, she will be doing a performance in London. And I have to mention Ilona Keserü, now 84 years old, whose monumental textile work was recently acquired by the Met and will go on view there soon. It is gratifying that so many women have turned out to be the standout voices in this generation of Hungarian artists.

M.S.: What’s next? Which are the projects you’re working on and the collaborations you’re partnering with?

A.S.: I am not by primary calling a curator, although these adventures have been invigorating— storytelling by other means. Whenever I can, I try to write, but nowhere nearly as much as I would like these days. In the coming months I will be focusing hard on some wonderfully challenging strategic planning initiatives, including an art-and-cultural plan for a major American university and a strategic plan for a singularly unconventional organization in Brooklyn, Pioneer Works, which ranges freely between art, science, technology and all forms of contemporary creativity. I am also excited about the publication in December of a book I edited with Max Hooper Schneider, titled Planetary Vitrine, from Hatje Cantz, which originated from his BMW Art Journey last year to multiple endangered coral reef ecologies around the world—working with Max was a blast. For me, all these forms of engagement are part of the same thing: one continuing conversation about where we’re coming from, where we’re going, and who we are.

Mara Sartore

  • András Szántó © Mariana Gatto András Szántó © Mariana Gatto
  • István Nádler, István Nádler, "Composition, 1969", © Miklós Sulyok, Courtesy: the artist and Kisterem Gallery
  • Katalin Ladik, Katalin Ladik, "Cover of the vinyl record Phonopoetica" ('Phonopoetica - Phonopoetic Interpretation of Visual Poetry'), 1976, Courtesy: the artist and acb Gallery
  • Péter Türk, Jacob’s Ladder, Courtesy of the estate of the artist and Vintage Galéria © József Rosta Péter Türk, Jacob’s Ladder, Courtesy of the estate of the artist and Vintage Galéria © József Rosta
  • György Galántai, Homage to Vera Mukhina, performance with the participation of Julia Klaniczay and Guglielmo Achille Cavellini, Heroes’ Square II, Budapest, May 1980.  photo: György Hegedűs silver print; 30 x 40 cm Courtesy of the artist and Vintage Galéria © András Bozsó György Galántai, Homage to Vera Mukhina, performance with the participation of Julia Klaniczay and Guglielmo Achille Cavellini, Heroes’ Square II, Budapest, May 1980.  photo: György Hegedűs silver print; 30 x 40 cm Courtesy of the artist and Vintage Galéria © András Bozsó
  • Imre Bak
, Untitled (Orange-Blue), 1969 © Tibor Varga-Somogyi, 
Courtesy of the artist and acb Gallery Imre Bak
, Untitled (Orange-Blue), 1969 © Tibor Varga-Somogyi, 
Courtesy of the artist and acb Gallery
Palermo - Interviews

The Body of Energy: Blanca de la Torre in Conversation with Stefano Cagol

1 month ago

During the opening of Manifesta 12 in Palermo Stefano Cagol realised a large scale projection on the façade of the former monastery in Piazza Magione. He is also taking part in the group show “Cassata Drone”  which runs until September 21st – alongside works by Maria D.Rapicavoli and Raqs Media Collective. The curator Blanca de la Torre has interviewed Stefano Cagol to find out more about his different projects in Palermo.

Blanca de la Torre: You decided to work in one of the most iconic squares in the city and also the location of the Manifesta 12 headquarters, a piazza that is in fact not a real square but the negation of a urban settlement at the core of an overlapping of memories and cultures. Could you tell us about your interaction with this special location?

Stefano Cagol: In Palermo I presented “TBOE. The Body of Energy (of the mind)”, a project that is continuously evolving and is always in dialogue with the environment. I decided to interact with my own body heat and with the wall of the centuries-old monastery, the former Convento della Sapienza that survived demolition, now alone in the middle of Piazza Magione. I started an exchange with the empty building, giving it back my energy – “the ‘warmth character’  creates chaos and love”, as Veit Loers wrote about “TBOE”. I embrace the ancient edifice, moving my hands over the bricks and the empty windows with grills, touching the surface with warm hands and cold ice, and leave invisible traces that become evident and prolonged tuning the vision into infrared waves (here a videoclip). I visualise heat as an expression of energy, of life. I bring to light the exchange of energy between people and the environment as a metaphor for the persistence of our passage, of our actions and choices.
This is what art does: it offers different visions and gives out energy. The action of making visible warmth and energy – Andreas Beitin states about the project – “can also be viewed from a sociopolitical perspective because it also figuratively reveals the force within the individuals of a society”. Tobia Bezzola describes “TBOE” as a “thermopoetic research”, while Andrea Viliani as “a research-based manifestation of exorcism, a technology-driven exercise in sorcery, a social-oriented act of faith or, finally, just a simple revelation of basic contemporary digital… ghosts”.

Blanca de la Torre: You were invited to participate in Manifesta 12 by the Danish nomadic curatorial platform Arts & Globalization in “Art & Connectography. Remapping the Global World through Art Practice”, curated by Rikke Jørgensen and Valentina G. Levy, also part of the collateral events, but you stated that “TBOE” is an on-going project. Could you tell us how this project came about? And why did you decide to bring it to Palermo?

SC: I presented the project “TBOE” to the VISIT programme of the Innogy Foundation and received the VISIT #10 award in 2014 with the idea of dealing with energy, a term already used by Aristotle in philosophy but a concept elaborated in physics just in 1619 by Kepler in his “Harmonice Mundi” because it is as important, vital, present, as it is invisible, immaterial, intangible. So I started an expedition in scanning and giving shape to energy exchanges, I realised this with the support of the Foundation as a transnational travelling project that crossed Europe from Norway to Gibraltar, presenting the project in many museums and interacting in each venue, with the public and with the environment encountered along the way. After this first, intense phase I decided to continue and develop the “TBOE” experience and Innogy Foundation chose to support my participation in Manifesta 12. I received support also from Autonomous Province of Trento – a rendez vous for the region that hosted Manifesta 7. I also collaborated with KaOZ, the venue of Arts & Globalization for Manifesta, from where I made the impressive projection.

BdlT: You are also participating in Cassata Drone”. What are you presenting there? Could you tell us about the venue and your interaction with it? Did you realise any performances, which I know is usually part of you practice?

SC: The exhibition “Cassata Drone was conceived by g.o.stuppia, and curated by Giovanni Rendina. The venue was completely unexpected: an apartment on the sixth floor of an early twentieth-century building in the district of the Kalsa. I decided to project my “TBOE” visions onto the walls creating an exchange with the landscape. I used special screens to block the sunlight but not the view to the sea from the arched windows and projected the video with infrared images: a silent dance slightly touching a building of the same age of the venue and the wild and crazy graffiti drawn invisibly with snow by the Norwegian students on the wall of a school, revealed by the infrared eye.

According to the method of developing “TBOE” in progress on a site and time specific basis, I also realised an improvised performance in Piazza Borsa with the students of the Istituto Comprensivo Arenella of Palermo.

BdlT: I think you were precursor of what is now the critique of anthropocentrism, a theoretical line that has become very influential in art, while you were already working on this direction a decade ago. Actually, I see that some of your projects connect to the idea of the so-called “hyperobjects” described by Timothy Morton, one of the main thinkers of the OOO (Object Oriented Ontology), who intersected this 21st-century philosophy with ecological issues. I refer to your striking participation at the 55th Venice Biennale with a melting ice block, but also to “Bird Flu Vogelgrippe” 2006. Could you tell us more about your vision?

SC: I confront diverse global issues, intersecting politics, ethics, science, history, culture, nature from an individual yet broad point of view. I’m pleased you recall “Bird Flu Vogelgrippe”, as I consider it a critical moment in the course of my research. I drew upon the fear of pandemic which came about in 2006 surrounding the avian influenza. Mass media generated the alarm and the virus in my artwork became a metaphor for the “hyperinfluence” of the media. Crossing the Mitteleuropa, from the Italian Alps, I arrived at the 4th Berlin Biennale with a white van with black capital letters: “Bird Flu Vogelgrippe”. The van was empty; the topic was heated. The day after my arrival all the headlines in Berlin read “Vogelgrippe im Berlin”. Was it the “real” flu arriving or was it “mine”? I am drawn to these multilayered visions/messages that are totalising in their simplicity and always have an ecological undercurrent.

BdlT: As a result of this holistic vision, your practice is full of oxymora: you pass from a powerful light beam, recalling “The End of the Border” winning the Terna prize, to the invisible traces of energy you visualised in Palermo, and from ice to fire referring to “The Ice Monolith” and to the video with the Arctic on fire exhibited in the occasion of the COP23-UN Climate Change Conference at the Ministry for the Environment in Berlin. Could you tell us more about your practice? What tools do you use in order to engage with the public?

SC: I work on borders: both physical and mental, borders between personal and public opinion, between humankind and nature. The idea of border is in my DNA as I grow up in Switzerland, a melting pot nation, and was born in Trentino South Tyrol, a cross-border region. My tools are both technology and nature. I force the limits of the engagement of the public and of the institutions, using propaganda, playing in the public space, including the transnational travelling process in the projects. And involving the monolithic museums in-progress, “on-the-road”. This attitude has been connected by Jeni Fulton to the Institutional Critique and referring to my practice she coined the definition “activist aesthetics”.

BdlT: What’s next? Any other projects planned?

SC: With a new project titled “The Walls Book, I will participate in the Off Biennale Cairo opening at the beginning of November; the chief curator is Simon Njami, artistic director Moataz Nasr and curator of my section Valentina G. Levy. In Cairo the wall is taken as the extreme and the most evident symptom of borders. Both the impassable barriers and the invisible borders on maps are drawn by the most powerful one, try to force the balance, to write a preferred history, to underline the prominence. A series of images of border barriers around the world – e.g. in Cyprus, Belfast, Tijuana, Israel – are modified in a radical black and white vision that removes the geographical identity of the specific wall and underlines the pure essence of the division. They are printed on billboards and hung in public spaces in different areas of Cairo – “walls on walls”. After Cairo I will deal with a very amazing building: the Reggia di Caserta, more details coming soon. Then I’m working on a project in Kochi during the Kochi-Muziris Biennale and I am present also in two on-going exhibitions, both in Germany: the grand inaugural exhibition “Aftermieter. Lodgers curated by Veit Loers at the new Haus Mödrath in Kerpen-Cologne on view until November 15 and the exhibition “All’idea di quel metallo” curated by Peter Ungeheuer in Berlin at VDB – Verband Deutscher Bürgschaftsbanken until April, 2019. In the frame of the latter exhibition I will do a solo special screening on September 29 during the Berlin Art Week.

My Art Guides Editorial Team

  • Stefano Cagol, 2018, Haus Mödrath, Kerpen Stefano Cagol, 2018, Haus Mödrath, Kerpen
  • Stefano Cagol, “The Body of Energy (of the mind)”, 2018, large scale projection, Piazza Magione, Palermo Stefano Cagol, “The Body of Energy (of the mind)”, 2018, large scale projection, Piazza Magione, Palermo
  • Stefano Cagol, “The Body of Energy (of the mind)”, 2018, large scale projection, Piazza Magione, Palermo Stefano Cagol, “The Body of Energy (of the mind)”, 2018, large scale projection, Piazza Magione, Palermo
  • From the right: Blanca de la Torre, Stefano Cagol, Giulia Pilieci (Arts & Globalization team), “Art & Connectography”, Manifesta 12 collateral, June 16, 2018, Piazza Magione, Palermo From the right: Blanca de la Torre, Stefano Cagol, Giulia Pilieci (Arts & Globalization team), “Art & Connectography”, Manifesta 12 collateral, June 16, 2018, Piazza Magione, Palermo
  • Stefano Cagol, “The Body of Energy (of the mind)”, 2018, propaganda, badges, edition of 1000, Piazza Magione, Palermo Stefano Cagol, “The Body of Energy (of the mind)”, 2018, propaganda, badges, edition of 1000, Piazza Magione, Palermo
  • Stefano Cagol, “The Body of Energy (of the mind)”, 2018, badges, edition of 1000 Stefano Cagol, “The Body of Energy (of the mind)”, 2018, badges, edition of 1000
  • Stefano Cagol, “The Body of Energy (of the mind)”, 2018, installation view, “Cassata Drone”, Palermo Stefano Cagol, “The Body of Energy (of the mind)”, 2018, installation view, “Cassata Drone”, Palermo
  • Stefano Cagol, “Stars & Stripes. Redouble”, 2013, installation view, “Aftermieter / Lodgers”, Haus Mödrath, Kerpen Stefano Cagol, “Stars & Stripes. Redouble”, 2013, installation view, “Aftermieter / Lodgers”, Haus Mödrath, Kerpen
  • Stefano Cagol, New Experiments on Vacua, 2016, photo, “All’idea di quel metallo”, VDB, Berlin Stefano Cagol, New Experiments on Vacua, 2016, photo, “All’idea di quel metallo”, VDB, Berlin
  • Stefano Cagol, “The Walls Book”, 2018, billboards, Off Biennale Cairo Stefano Cagol, “The Walls Book”, 2018, billboards, Off Biennale Cairo
Berlin - Interviews

Berlin from an Artist’s Perspective: An Interview with Jeewi Lee

1 month ago

On the occasion of Art Berlin and the Berlin Art Week, we interviewed artist Jeewi Lee to learn more about her practice and her perspective on the city art scene. Jeewi (b. 1987, Seoul) is currently artist resident at Villa Romana in Florence and has just opened a new show at Sexauer gallery in Berlin. Her new work “Einschlag” (Impact) which ingeniously inverts the actual purpose of a wrecking ball as an instrument to bring down walls and demolish is currently on view at BNKR in Munich.

Mara Sartore: Let’s start with the exhibition that is opening just before the start of the Berlin Art Week at Sexauer gallery. The show investigates the history of your homeland, South Korea, and its division from the North. Could you tell us about this body of work and the creative process behind it?

Jeewi Lee: For the occasion of the exhibition, the piece “Incision” takes form as an extensive floor installation. The whole of the 225sqm gallery space is covered  with gravel. Half white and half dark  gravel. The two colours form a line, a sharp border. Visitors of the show have to decide whether to step over that border, not cross it at all or blur the line so that both colours mix. Leaving the border to the influence of the visitors’ movements. Handling 14 tonnes of gravel was quite a challenge because the crane couldn’t deliver it directly to the gallery. My gallerist and lots of supporters made it possible and of course Terranit Natursteinhandels GmbH that provided the beautiful material. The work refers to specific periods of my country Korea’s past, which simultaneously reveal the everyday life of the people. I used an ancient Asian technique to make paper prints of Korean trees that are rooted precisely on the 38th parallel. The age of the trees was a relevant criterion since I tried to choose trees that grew before the division of the region in 1945. By their very nature, trees are unable to leave their homeland by themselves.  For me, they function as metaphorical living testimonies of the 1945 division. As the central line of demarcation, the 38th parallel also constitutes a manifestation of the complex Korean conflict. I pinned ten equally distributed points along this line, five of those points are located in South Korea and five in North Korea due to border policies. The fact that I am not able to enter North Korea and therefore the work is „not completed“ on five points, is an important conceptional element in my work. It represents the on going political situation.
As for the 
five points in South Korea, I chose trees that met my criteria of age and location to make Hanji prints of them, using the traditional Korean printing technique of Takbon. These prints of their barks symbolise “fingerprints” of the trees as witnesses to the history of the division. The artistic translation of the line through my prints represent for me a visualisation of my home country’s ever-present wound. 

M.S.: Your main focus in your practice are everyday human traces, which can also be seen as traces of history which we can basically see as traces of our history. How do you apply this interest to your art? Which are your favorite tools of exploration?

J.L: I have been working on an artistic cycle of works that deal with the visibility of traces for several years. In my work, I focus on human traces as well as historical ones, that inscribe themselves on various materials and so bear witness to history. The traces provide conclusive evidence of something or someone’s existence. I often use traces and leftovers as pictorial elements because they are visually minimalistic and abstract but contain elements of narrative and time, which I find very interesting.

M.S.: You are currently working in Florence as part of the Villa Romana award which you received in 2018. Could you tell us about the residency and the project you’re working on? How do you spend your lifetime in Florence? 

J.L: That might be the question I´ve been asked the most this year. Florence is very enriching and to be at the Villa Romana is the greatest gift to my art production. The city is filled with history and traces and as with the old Villa, which has existed as an art institution since 1905.  One of the latest work I did this month is “Impianto II“. “Impianto” is a project, where I interfere directly with the architecture, especially with the facades of buildings by filling in the blanks or replacing ‘missing parts’ with marble that is considered a traditional and valuable material. Highlighting the blank-space and referring to its time and story – an intended revaluation. I was inspired by my stay in Florence, where I got the chance to observe and study a culture and society that emphasises and cultivates the preservation and revitalisation of the past. I question the value system and the meaning of restoration work.  

Right now, I am working on an intense research based installation. I was inspired by hangers left in the wardrobes at Villa Romana. Hangers represent the human body.  Metaphorically  they carry our everyday life, but are always locked back in the closet. I noticed some parallels between a closet and an archive system. The Villa Romana archive has got a lot of private photos and letters from the former artist, showing their everyday life during the residency.  All these documents are sorted in closed folders in book shelfs. Since every artist is questioning every year, who used to work in earlier days in their studio space, I decided to track back traces from my studio room named “Toscana“.
I am producing by my own wooden hangers and engrave on each of them the artists name who worked and lived in my studio. Since there is no documentation about who was in which studio in the Villa, I started my research from archive materials, old catalogues and private contacts.

M.S.: You studied painting at the Berlin University of the Arts and divide your time between Seoul and Berlin. What is your relationship with the city of Berlin? Does the city itself inspire your work? 

J.L: I grew up both in Berlin and Seoul. My parents are also artists and they studied at University of the Arts Berlin when I was a kid. So Berlin feels like home for me. To have two places I feel home is very inspiring and enriching itself. I am bringing materials form Korea to Germany and ideas from Germany to Korea. Thank to this situation I always have a heightened awareness of my surroundings.

M.S.: We’ve recently published My Art Guide Seoul / Gwangju / Busan a paper guide dedicated to the biennales that are currently running in the Republic of South Korea and we’ve explored a new artistic panorama. Now we are coming back to Europe with the Berlin Guide. How do you perceive these two realities in terms of art scene and cultural ground? 

J.L.: This is a very difficult question, since it is impossible to reflect upon this objectively and it is very complex. The art scene and the cultural ground is very different in those two cities, since cultural development and the understanding of society differs. One thing I can say for sure is that I hope that the arts in Korea have more visibility and presence with society.

M.S.: My Art Guides likes to recommend to its readers unique places to visit in each destination, not necessarily connected to contemporary art, in your opinion, what are the absolutely unmissable places, landmarks and spots in Berlin? And would you recommend something not to be missed during the Berlin Art Week?

J.L.:  I love to walk through the Museum Insel at night in Berlin, when the amazing buildings and the streets empty and the tourists disappear – it has a very special atmosphere. Sitting at the waterfront in the dark gives you a totally different perspective of Berlin compared to that of the daytime. Everybody in Berlin loves Tempelhofer Feld. So do I. It is very refreshing to have such a huge public space with no buildings around in a metropole such as Berlin. I would recommend going there early in the morning, before it gets crowded or on warm, windy days I really enjoy going there. Not far from there, there is a exhibition space called Kindl – Centre for Contemporary Art, which has nice shows and architecturally speaking, it is amazing too. If I have to recommend another art space, I would say Haus am Waldsee. It is an art institution, which is in Zehlendorf – a small distance from the city centre but they have wonderful exhibitions and also being surrounded by nature after seeing an exhibition is quite nice too. In Berlin there are so many nice bars. Especially, the old school ones, called “Kneipen” in German. Unfortunately due to gentrification in Berlin they are slowly disappearing but if you look carefully you can still find them. One of my favourites is Zum kleinen Mohr (even the name is terribly politically incorrect) and Lützowstübchen in Schöneberg. If you are in Schöneberg, of course you shouldn’t miss Kumpelnest. Combining Kumpelnest with Victoria Bar is even nicer. The most important landmarks in Berlin in my opinion, which are disappearing over time, are the abandoned buildings. Despite the gentrification in Berlin, there are still some blank spaces in the city, which define the character of this city and you should keep your eyes open for them. 

Mara Sartore

  • Jeewi Lee © Kira Bunse Jeewi Lee © Kira Bunse
  • Jeewi Lee, Jeewi Lee, "Inzision", 2018 © Mischa Leinkauf, Courtesy of the artist
  • Jeewi Lee, Jeewi Lee, "Inzision", Making of © Mischa Leinkauf, Courtesy of the artist
  • Jeewi Lee, Jeewi Lee, "Impianto II", © Marcus Schneider, Courtesy of the artist
  • Jeewi Lee, Jeewi Lee, "Impianto II", © Marcus Schneider, Courtesy of the artist
Seoul - Interviews

The Urban Acupuncture Method: an Interview with Seung H-Sang

2 months ago

Mara Sartore: In 2002 the Korea National Museum of Contemporary of Art selected you as artist of the year, being an architect what did the acceptance of this prize mean to you? Which are in your vision the main links between art and architecture and how these merge in your work, if they do?

Seung H-Sang: It has been the first and last that an architect was awarded Artist of the Year Prize by National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA). Thanks to winning the prize, I was able to hold the first solo exhibition under the name of “urban void” at MMCA. In a Korean society, where architecture had been mostly recognised as a part of real estate or economy, this event was a good opportunity to raise the people’s awareness of architecture as culture and art. For me, also, it boosted my interest in publicity of architecture.

MS: You have been the first City Architect of Seoul from 2014 and played a fundamental role in the city’s architectural development. What was your main aim and what did you achieve?

SHS: In the past, Korea faced economic development as a challenge of the times and focused on construction while considering a quantitative perspective more than a qualitative one. Since my inauguration as the city architect, Seoul has been trying to shift its focus from construction to architecture by urban regeneration policy rather than redevelopment, by “Urban Acupuncture”, which affects surroundings via small-scale intervention, rather than master plan, which does everything at once. In addition, Seoul is concentrating on connecting fragmented parts of the city rather than building a landmark. Above all, the most important thing is to help the citizens understand and engage in the projects while creating urban environments together. To do so, it revised commissional process of all the projects, gave more opportunity to young architects to participate in the projects and hosted the first Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism 2017 to promote exchanges with other cities.

MS: How Seoul has changed in the last 15 years, could you point out some positive and negative aspects? Do you think a similar process has happened also in other Korean cities as Gwangju and Busan?

SHS: Seoul is a historic city with more than thousand years of history and has a billion of population and dynamic topography made up of mountains and rivers. Also, it has become the capital city of Korea for more than 600 years and would become a hub of Eurasia railway if the two Koreas were united. In the past, Seoul followed the conventional urban design theory, already thrown out in the world including the West and pursued a plain city, losing its identity. However, unlike architecture, which someday collapses and disappears, mountains and rivers are still there in Seoul, leaving room for regaining Seoul’s identity. Of course, it would be difficult for Seoul to restore itself in a short period of time, but an important thing is to share the awareness of Seoul’s identity and revise the principals and systems to maintain related policies.

MS: You are linked to Seoul, Busan and Gwangju for different reasons and projects you have worked on, could you tell us how is the contemporary art scene in these there cities and the main differences between them?

SHS: Busan began to develop in modern times and was used as a base port by Japan for its invasion of Korean peninsula. During the Korean war, moreover, many refugees fled to Busan. All these things created a unique scenery of Busan. Since Busan has sea and ports, its cityscape and people’s spirits stand apart from those of other cities. Gwangju is a city where culture started to advance a long time ago. Also, it has the highest level of democratic spirit and human rights through the May 18th Democratic Uprising against military dictatorship. On the other hand, Seoul has all the urban factors and it is still rapidly changing. Likewise, these three cities have different characteristics. Of course, artists from these cities have different artistic tendencies.

MS: My Art Guides are always suggesting to readers some special place to visit in each destination, not necessarily connected only to contemporary art, what are your not to be missed places, landmarks and spots in Seoul, Busan and in Gwangju?

SHS: We need to look at Minjung (meaning public) Art in Seoul. In the modern times, left-wing artists who protested the dictatorship drew a resistance spirit. Therefore, their works may be of great importance. Of course, it is also significant that shantytowns for people kicked out of city have been revitalised through urban regeneration. Haundae and other areas which are intensively developed by Busan are losing their identity. We should focus on original downtown. Regeneration of original downtown would ultimately promote Busan’s identity and towns on hills, the hinterland of sea, have strong potential. Furthermore, Gwangju boasts great traditional art. We should not only pay attention to Korea’s unique traditional art but also look at the fact that this has a lot to do with our daily lives such as music and food.

Mara Sartore

  • Seung H-Sang , Courtesy of IROJE architects&planners Seung H-Sang , Courtesy of IROJE architects&planners
Caribbean - Interviews

The Brand New Caribbean Art Initiative: an Interview with Albertine Kopp

2 months ago

We have recently learned that the Davidoff Art Initiative will end the program by the 31st of December 2018. Albertine Kopp, who has been for the past six years the head of this extremely valuable program, is now committing to continue the work of the initiative, seeking new partners, under a new format and a new name of Caribbean Art Initiative believing the best is yet to come. We have met Albertine to ask her about her experience and her future plans.

Mara Sartore: Could you tell us about your experience of the past five years working with Caribbean artists and in particular could you describe the cultural situation in the region?

Albertine Kopp: The cultural scene in the Caribbean is extremely rich and flourishing. Unfortunately this scene is still underestimated, certainly outside the region but even locally, I think, as if it is not operating at its true potential. This is due to a number of factors. There is no real ecosystem for the arts across the Caribbean that could coalesce the individual efforts in each location and better connect with each respective nation and territory there. There are some very good institutions throughout, but there is a lack of governmental support and hence a lack of visibility for the Caribbean art scene.
With the Davidoff Art Initiative (DAI) we created a platform that helped to grow the interest for the entire region over the past five years. The residency program was the cornerstone of this engagement, and the exchanges that were made possible through this residency, as well as in meeting and working with myriad professionals throughout the Caribbean and internationally, were extremely rich and inspiring.
I am excited to see how many great events and exchanges are happening, even as DAI winds down, and how many new formats for inter- and intra-cultural dialogue, such as Tilting Axis , Curando Caribe or the latest residency for Puerto Rican artitst by Artists Alliance Inc., and Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center, in collaboration with Embajada

Mara Sartore: The centerpiece of the Davidoff Art Initiative was the residency program, why are they so important?

Albertine Kopp: From the beginning we wanted to address the lack of visibility. The idea is to offer an opportunity for professional mobility in a different cultural zone while connecting to other artists who could spread the word about the Caribbean region.
To leave one Caribbean island for another one, or even another country, is logistically and financially challenging. With DAI we partnered with different places: with the idea to connect the artists with different local and global cultural networks; providing exposure for research and practice as well as to share creative and critical expertise with peers from around the world.
The experience can be crucial for the artists’ respective practices and make a lot of sense, as they are forced to leave their comfort zone and get encouraged in their development. But think about it, arriving to a place, where you don’t yet know anyone. It forces you to be open-minded, to discover, connect, and create links that one can nurture later through the advancements of social media and technology. I am still dreaming of doing a residency one day myself, I believe the residency is the best possibility to grow without leaving one’s origin forever.

Mara Sartore: In your view what was the most important achievement of the Davidoff Art Initiative (DAI) program?

Albertine Kopp: It has been an extraordinary human adventure. We are a big family, if you want to see it that way. This is also how we call it between artists and friends: the Davidoff Family. There is always a door open and someone within DAI around to support and give advice. Through our global platform, we were able to enhance visibility to the Caribbean art scene and provide a trusted network to all participants and partners. I think we demonstrated how a successful corporate sponsorship programs looks like. In that sense, Davidoff Art Initiative was a proof of concept that demonstrated the successful CSR implementation with mutual benefit to arts as well as the brand. For that, you need to find the right balance between business requirements, the needs of the art program and the human being. Long term it was very important to be credible and build from the beginning a solid program otherwise it would have not been taken seriously by the established arts scene and it would have been only a marketing initiative.
The strength of DAI is that it is centered on the art and artists and that it is open. I’m not sure if it helps to be Swiss and so what we like to say neutral, but the program is neutral within the Caribbean. It belongs to all at the same time. It is about facilitating access, building visibility, and it is open to everyone.

Mara Sartore: Could you mention Caribbean artists that have benefited from the Initiative and started off a successful international career?

Albertine Kopp: The personal engagement behind the program is super important. Without this human engagement, projects like Transeúnte by Jimmy Robert, which occurred both at Altos de Chavón in the Dominican Republic and at Universität der Künste in Berlin, would have never happened.
Also, we were really proud to see Tessa Mars, Mimi Cherono Ng’ok, and Christopher Cozier engaging with the Berlin Biennale this year, as well as Engel Leonardo entering the Reina Sofia Permanent Collection in Madrid, and Jesus “Bubu” Negron with Brigada PdT, presenting this community project at the Serpentine in London.
These are only a few example of great success that followed Davidoff resident artists. I could go on for hours, detailing each artist’s activities now… I think the most important memory to recall are all the wonderful and unique friendships and networks that we were able to create over the past years. Without this unique network of over 150 people, all over the world, we would not have built such an initiative.

Mara Sartore: Could you tell us about your new venture: the Caribbean Art Initiative? In which way this will continue your past activities and in what it will be different?

Albertine Kopp: We want to build on previous successes given the huge cultural potential of the entire region. The initiative’s primary focus is on Caribbean arts and artists, including the Caribbean Diaspora. We aim to create an open and active dialogue with artists and institutions around the world.
We want to create opportunities for artists, writers, and curators from the Caribbean region to engage with the world, and for international artists, writers, and curators to engage with the rich and diverse cultural context of the Caribbean. Even more than in the past we would like to promote educational development and community building. In an ideal world a program encompasses residencies, research trips, and platforms for cultural discourse.
We will work with arts institutions and not-for-profits that exhibit and support artists in the Caribbean region, while also participating in international events that foster an interplay between regional and global arts scenes. Not being tied to only one brand will allow us to collaborate with more partners and act truly independent; clearly, this also allows us to be more flexible and address various needs. This is essential, the program should be a long term community oriented venture accessible for everyone.

Mara Sartore: In your vision which is the role the Caribbean can play in the contemporary art scene and how it can grow?

Albertine Kopp: The scene is already growing, if you look at the past exhibitions at the Perez Museum in Miami, or the growing profiles of Caribbean artists in Latin American shows. And of course, there is an interest towards the past as well, such as the latest show at the MASP, “Afro-Atlantic Histories”, with over 20 works on loan from museums across the Caribbean region or from Caribbean artists. International art fairs start to recognize the region too, such as ARCO Madrid inviting last year Sindicato from the Dominican Republic and we look forward this fall to see the program by Sara Hermann for ArtBo.

Mara Sartore: What is the contribution that international initiatives and institutions can bring to the region?

Albertine Kopp: A difficulty in the Caribbean is that support is oftentimes ephemeral, and this is why we are looking with the Caribbean Art Initiative to make this support concrete, evolving, and ultimately long-lasting.
We hope to foster and grow the global network we established over the past five years to achieve something fruitful and reciprocal, and ultimately durable, for the entire region that builds on the potential of all islands. Many international actors are doing business in or with this region. We are starting the discussions and are actively looking at this stage for potential sponsors.
Our concept of collaboration is that is not about the amount of dollars pledged, but much more about committing one-self for the long-term. We understand that business requires adjustment and refocus on sponsoring activities from time to time. But the most successful partnerships are ultimately not short-term. Just think of BMW, Deutsche Bank, LVMH or Migros in Switzerland. Some might want to dismiss it as naïve but our vision is to create a network of new partners and sponsors that share the same goal of supporting the region. We are convinced that the potential for engagement and exchange is huge and can be fruitful.
With the knowhow won over the past five years, we hope to create as we did with the artists’ community, a new sponsor family that shares a similar, long-term interest in the Caribbean and also business activities. We are convinced that the potential for engagement and exchange is huge and can be fruitful. Once we are up and running, we are very open to discuss and incubate new formats of exchange for everyone involved: artists, corporate sponsors, institutions, and everyone individually interested in the Caribbean arts scene.

  • Albertine Kopp with Andras Szantó (on the left) and Stephen Kaplan (on the right) Albertine Kopp with Andras Szantó (on the left) and Stephen Kaplan (on the right)
  • Transeunte Project by Jimmy Roberts © Alfredo Esteban Photography Transeunte Project by Jimmy Roberts © Alfredo Esteban Photography
  • Inauguration of the construction of the Davidoff Art Studios in Altos de Chavón, 2014 Inauguration of the construction of the Davidoff Art Studios in Altos de Chavón, 2014
  • First tilting Axis in 2014 in Barbados at Fresh Milk First tilting Axis in 2014 in Barbados at Fresh Milk
  • Tessa Mars in Residency in New York with Residency Unlimited © Thisby Cheng Tessa Mars in Residency in New York with Residency Unlimited © Thisby Cheng
  • The Venezuelan Pavilion was designed by architect Alejandro Pietri in 1954 for the Feria de la Paz y la Confraternidad del Mundo Libre (Fair of Peace and Fraternity of the Free World), an international event organised by dictator Rafael Leónidas Trujillo to mark the 25th year of his rule. The Venezuelan Pavilion was designed by architect Alejandro Pietri in 1954 for the Feria de la Paz y la Confraternidad del Mundo Libre (Fair of Peace and Fraternity of the Free World), an international event organised by dictator Rafael Leónidas Trujillo to mark the 25th year of his rule.
  • Transeunte Project by Jimmy Roberts © Alfredo Esteban Photography Transeunte Project by Jimmy Roberts © Alfredo Esteban Photography
  • Yornel Elias Martinez in Residency with Atelier Mondial and FHNW Institut der Künste 2017 Yornel Elias Martinez in Residency with Atelier Mondial and FHNW Institut der Künste 2017
  • Jesus Bubu Negron in Residency with Red Gate Residency Beijing 2017 Jesus Bubu Negron in Residency with Red Gate Residency Beijing 2017
  • O’Neil Lawrence, Albertine Kopp, Sara Hermann, Pablo Leon de La Barra, part of the DAI Council during the last Tilting Axis 4 in collaboration with Curando Caribe in the Dominican Republic. O’Neil Lawrence, Albertine Kopp, Sara Hermann, Pablo Leon de La Barra, part of the DAI Council during the last Tilting Axis 4 in collaboration with Curando Caribe in the Dominican Republic.
São Paulo - Interviews

The Art of “Viventes”: an Interview with Laura Lima

3 months ago

On the occasion of her solo show at Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, I’ve interviewed Brazilian artist Laura Lima to learn more about her project, her art and practice and her own vision on São Paulo art scene.

Mara Sartore: Let’s start from “Alfaiataria”( “Tailorshop“), the exhibition currently being shown at the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo. The development of this project involved you engaging with local tailors from the Bom Retiro neighbourhood. Could you tell us about the creative process behind the project?

Laura Lima: “Tailorshop” was first conceived in 2014 for an exhibition at the Bonnefantenmuseum, in Maastricht, Netherlands. A discussion into painting and portraits and their context is very present in this work. I inaugurated the museum in Netherlands when it was practically empty and the exhibition was being assembled from the moment the portraits were ready, one by one in its time, during the course of the 3 months, by the hands of local tailors working in a temporary tailors installed in the last room of this museum. In this work, the public follows every detail of the construction and if they return to visit the museum, they will always find something new or to reveal itself. The tailors follow the designs I leave as guidelines for each “vestment portrait” they make for the frames. To explain the process, I simply work as a “fashion designer” and they make and solve with their expertise the designs I offer, but in fact, instead of making even anthropomorphic clothes, they make these “clothes” for the frames with which I also determine the shape and colour, and that are always abstract and geometric, and the fabrics chosen also speak about them.

The Pinacoteca is a traditional institution, which was once a Licée of Arts and Crafts, and also because of its surroundings of textile tradition, this work ended up creating a dialogue between the place and surroundings. After some research we came across excellent professionals, both male and female teachers, because the profession is also changing, it’s not essentially male anymore. The portraits are of people I know or have known, of historical figures who do not reveal themselves by their whole name, but only their first name, or also of imaginary figures. I have never met a Crisóstomo, but I have already done his portrait. While Angela, who could be the portrait of an angel is Angela Davis, the philosopher of the Black Panthers. Or it could be any Angela. But not everything I deliver, we must preserve this mystery, a sort of divine gossip. What is the artist talking about? The frame reveals itself in parts depending on the portrait or it hides completely, both the front and back of this work reveals many details although the painting remains two-dimensional. In the moment they are made and before they are to be hung in a museum, the visitor sees their back. But for Pinacoteca, I decided to leave a trainel specially designed for the place, showing everything, still in storage, suggesting the coming of the exhibition, as if it is all simple and purely process. I also like the audience to feel curious, but also slightly intrusive and uncomfortable in disturbing the concentration of tailors. Not everything is delivered.

M.S.: In this exhibition, as well as in many of yours projects, your focus is on the “viventes”, you’re interested in the participatory acts and the everyday experience. Could you tell us about this side of your practice? What tools do you use in order to engage with the public?

L.L.:  It is not participatory art as understood in the 60s and 70s. The “participation” of people in my work is given as matter, the people who are part receive direct instruction and are part of the work, without rehearsal. The artwork does not exist without the people, it’s not a work waiting for the public to happen and to be “activated”. There is a rougher skin that separates these two ideas. Thinking the living as matter can dialogue with other formal issues. Some people associate my production more with a Brazilian sculptural tradition. It may even be a bias. However, it would not fit to say performance-sculpture. I am not interested in the experience of the one who participates (so it’s not like the 60s / 70s), even that being a person participating of the artwork, there is an experience. The living matter that composes the image is only matter, there is no hierarchy between objects (other matters) and the living (people = flesh). Like this we also say that it’s not performance. These nomenclatures (or the act of avoiding certain standard nomenclatures) I have dealt with since the 90s, when I started. Even that I find peers elsewhere discussing the same thing, we still have to develop a broader and more critical text that can respond to these proposed categories at a new time. Lisette Lagnado once called them “instauration,” basing herself on this word invented by Tunga to describe his own work which, according to him, was between the performance and the installation leaving traces. It’s worth thinking that Brazilian art is willing to invent and experiment with concepts that have not yet been fully absorbed and understood, by the internal critical time in its cataloging, much less by the external criticism. Yet, it’s an art with a vast history which has been inventing concepts for decades.

M.S.:  Moving to Italy, you’re the fourth and last recipient of Slight Agitation chapters at Fondazione Prada in Milan. Could you tell us about this collaboration? What about the making of the exhibition? Did you feel comfortable with the Cisterna exhibition space?

L.L:  I was invited by the curator Elvira Dyangani Ose, one of the mentors of the Slight Agitation project designed for the Fondazione Prada’s Cistern. Elvira had seen my work for the first time when I did the exhibition “Naked Magician” at the Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm 4 years ago. We planned the exhibition for 2017. But for many issues in producing the project, we delayed to 2018 and combined an extended period that would cover the whole summer, which was something that interested me, mainly because of one of the artworks was made with astronomers. It was interesting to mature the idea that begins with a research into Pataphysics – the science of imaginary solutions and the laws that regulate exceptions. The questions of the absurdity of existence surround my work, like people pulling giant architectures, projects of exhibitions that navigate over water, etc. Facing tricky architectures is a bit like ‘killing Saturn’. But this becomes an incredible adrenaline to solve spaces like that of Cisterna, for example. I’m already accustomed to this type of invitation.

The space called Cisterna in Fondazione Prada is composed of three very vertical volumes. The verticality there ended up being a choice of work. The exhibition is suggested as a battle or game with the title “Horse takes King”, which would be a chess move, an animal (horse) threatening the status quo (king). In the first volume, a sculpture of a “Bird” (2015) of gigantic proportions dropped on the ground – made in co-authorship with the artist Zé Carlos Garcia – suggests that he struggled until he died. In the middle of the space, the work “Pendulum” (2018), an abstract painting little known of Dali of 1928, “Pescador ao Sol” (to say, a landscape), is hung in a Foucault’s Pendulum. The pendulum is a vertical mathematical and philosophical constant, it is not the pendulum that rotates within an environment, but the earth, that is, the floor of the exhibition space, here also understood as a “board.” The visitor looks at the painting swinging, a change from the contemplative idea. How to look at a moving painting if we are trained to the immobility of this instant with gravity acting on us? Time passes throughout the day, the floor (I mean, the earth) rotates, not the painting that just swings. They are questions of perspective. There is still a third work in this “battle”, “Telescope” (2018), a structure of labyrinthine scaffolding and with stairs that lead to nowhere or to the highest point of the place where there is a telescope pointed to the sky. In this route, the visitor can find astronomy classes taught by real astronomers and questions of recent astronomy. The astronomer will take his visitors students to the top, where the telescope is. The light of day, because it is summer and the night comes late, blinds the telescope, or as we say, turns the day into night.

M.S.: Along with Ernesto Neto and Marcio Botner, you’re co-founder and adviser of A Gentil Carioca, an artist run gallery in Rio de Janeiro. Could you tell us about this initiative and the projects you’re currently working on?

L.L:  The idea of having an art gallery in Rio when we opened 15 years ago had a political purpose and still has. And although most of our artists are from Rio, we did our first exhibition with an artist from Paraiba, Fabiano Gonper and our first buyer was Antônio Dias, another artist. It’s a very symbolic thing for us from Gentil, as we affectionately call the place. We have always wanted to incorporate other projects that would give way to local production and we ended up doing various non-profit works that also define the gallery as the Gentil Wall, the Aldeia for meetings and conversations, the education t-shirts, the crossroad projects etc. In fact, it is in the energy of this crossroad between the two gallery buildings in the popular Saara Center of Rio de Janeiro that much happens and we learn without stopping and know many other languages. We are the only commercial gallery managed by artists to participate in national and international fairs like ArtRio, SPArte, Basel, Miami Basel, Frieze, Artíssima, Fiac etc in the world, I think this is crazy, but it is real. Gentil has a very peculiar project, that has already led us to talk about her in several places. I am very proud and emotional to have built this space with Marcio and Neto and have learned and shared so many ideas with them and with the artists who helped build this story with us.

M.S: You live and work in Rio de Janeiro but are linked to São Paulo for different reasons and projects you have worked on. Could you tell us how is the contemporary art scene in these cities and the main differences between them?

L.L.: I’m from Minas Gerais and I moved to Rio de Janeiro as a teenager. I started my first experiences at the Visual Arts School of Parque Lage in Rio de Janeiro, but my first major exhibition was the Antarctic Arts with Folha in 1996, a very special project that visited artists from all over Brazil. Soon after, I would participate in the 24th São Paulo Biennial, of “Antropofagia”, and the city of São Paulo adopted me once and for all. There are many legends between one city and another that complement each other; example: how to explain so many Brazilian female artists from Minas Gerais in the visual arts of Brazil? And the artists from Recife? And the discovery of so many others in other states of Brazil? Let’s hear the legends and pay close attention to them all! There is no dichotomy, nor paradigm between Rio and São Paulo, I walk with flip flops in both.

M.S.: My Art Guides likes to recommend to its readers unique places to visit in each destination, not necessarily connected to contemporary art, in your opinion, what are the absolutely unmissable places, landmarks and spots in São Paulo? 

L.L.:  I love the Ibirapuera Park, the MAM and its Marquise which is also incredible to see the diversity of groups that frequent this spot. I love riding the subway randomly by SP and getting off at Paulista with no direction. The MASP is amazing and that central void with the fairs. I love the Liberdade neighbourhood, walk randomly and go to the open fairs there to buy all kinds of cups. The Republic Square and the various sebum of books near the Sé Cathedral are awesome too. The Copan and the Pivô, a space run by Fernanda Brenner. I love to see all the programming of the galleries and museums that always work hard on the projects, although Brazil is in a difficult economic time with a reactionary curve, all art spaces are united facing this situation with phenomenal intelligence. Finally, I would say that you should not miss an art gallery called Superfície, directed by Gustavo Nóbrega, who has made a very important rescue of Brazilian visual poets of the 20th century, never shown before; the gallery Sé, directed by Maria Montero and the Auroras, directed by Ricardo Kugelmas who has special projects and is located in a house from the 50’s.

Mara Sartore

  • Laura Lima © Levi Fanan Laura Lima © Levi Fanan
  • Alfaiataria, Exhibition view, 2018 © Isabella Matheus Alfaiataria, Exhibition view, 2018 © Isabella Matheus
  • Alfaiataria, Exhibition view, 2018 © Isabella Matheus Alfaiataria, Exhibition view, 2018 © Isabella Matheus
  • Alfaiataria, Exhibition view, 2018 © Isabella Matheus Alfaiataria, Exhibition view, 2018 © Isabella Matheus
  • Alfaiataria, Exhibition view, 2018 © Isabella Matheus Alfaiataria, Exhibition view, 2018 © Isabella Matheus
  • Alfaiataria, Exhibition view, 2018 © Isabella Matheus Alfaiataria, Exhibition view, 2018 © Isabella Matheus
  • Alfaiataria, Exhibition view, 2018 © Isabella Matheus Alfaiataria, Exhibition view, 2018 © Isabella Matheus
  • Alfaiataria, Exhibition view, 2018 © Isabella Matheus Alfaiataria, Exhibition view, 2018 © Isabella Matheus
  • Alfaiataria, Exhibition view, 2018 © Isabella Matheus Alfaiataria, Exhibition view, 2018 © Isabella Matheus