On March 22, 2016 Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’art contemporain reopened after almost three months of renovation works, celebrating its 20th anniversary. Indeed, the reopening of Casino Luxembourg coincides 20 years later, to the day, with its creation on March 22, 1996.
The concept developed by architect Claudine Kaell aims at a more practical and fluid reorganisation of the interior spaces, as well as better accessibility for the public. The ground floor, a crossroads and meeting point, has an entirely redesigned welcome area, next to the existing library; projection rooms devoted to artists’ videos and video documentation of exhibitions; an area dedicated to learning activities and creative workshops; and a café-restaurant, ca(fé)sino.
Lara Almarcegui: Gypsum
Gypsum, an exhibition by Spanish artist Lara Almarcegui, is presented on the first floor. Starting with plaster as a construction material of the Casino Luxembourg exhibition halls, Lara Almarcegui probes the underground geological layers of the Casino to find her mineral counterpart—gypsum—to develop its potential. In parallel, she explores the extent to which the architectural envelope covers and harbours the gypsum. A play of relations develops between the underground presence and the mineral ownership, between the architecture of the building and its material reality, as well as between the edifice and its urban context. The exhibition is supported by Mondriaan Fonds.
BlackBox: David Brognon and Stéphanie Rollin
On the ground floor, a BlackBox devoted to contemporary video creation will supplement the artistic programme. For the reopening, the duo David Brognon and Stéphanie Rollin presents a series of remarkable videos brought back from their recent trips to Israel since the start of the stabbing attacks that certain international media nicknamed “The intifada of knives.”
Claudia Passeri: Zeitgeist – Karl Cobain
For the new café-restaurant, the ca(fé)sino, the artist Claudia Passeri has been invited to propose a project associated with the redevelopment of the new spaces. With her luminous neon work calledZeitgeist – Karl Cobain, it will bring a touch of history, culture and light.
Alexandra Pirici and Manuel Pelmus: Public Collection
The opening night on March 22 will be followed by an open week with a series of events including the project Public Collection by artists Alexandra Pirici and Manuel Pelmus.
Acclaimed for their “immaterial retrospective” devised for the Romanian Pavilion at the 2013 Venice Biennale, Alexandra Pirici and Manuel Pelmus have since 2014 developed Public Collection, a project in which historic, recent, iconic or little known artworks, are corporally interpreted by a group of performers during “ongoing actions” undertaken in the museum setting. Characterized by its modular structure, allowing it to be adapted to the given context, the Public Collection project has, since its first presentation at the Playground Festival at the M Museum in Leuven, Belgium, journeyed in different forms, via institutions such as the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, and the Centre Pompidou-Metz, France.
Invited jointly by Casino Luxembourg and Mudam Luxembourg to celebrate their double anniversary—the 20th anniversary of the former and the 10th of the latter—Alexandra Pirici and Manuel Pelmus are presenting a new phase of Public Collection. Devised as two chapters of the same project, this collaboration between the two institutions has provided the artists with the opportunity to look more closely at art history in Luxembourg.
- Casino Luxembourg by Eric Chenal
- Alexandra Pirici and Manuel Pelmus, Public Collection, 2014. Enactment of Las Meninas by Diego Velasquez.