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Shape Of Light: 100 Years Of Photography And Abstract Art

Shape Of Light: 100 Years Of Photography And Abstract Art

By Eugenia Bertelè

The Shape of Light: 100 years of Photography and Abstract Art

The Shape of Light: 100 years of Photography and Abstract Art is now on view at Tate Modern until October 14th, 2018. This outstanding exhibition, which showcases more than 350 works by 100 artists, reveals intertwined stories between photography and abstract art. Spanning from the experiments of the early 20th century to the digital innovations of the 21st century, The Shape of Light explores the history of abstract photography side-by-side with iconic paintings and sculptures.
Unfortunately, photography has been considered a lesser medium in the field of visual art. The prejudice that caused this separation resulted from an underlying suspicion that this new technology would disrupt the very egocentric realm of fine art. Of course, today we have established a different awareness regarding the position and role of photography in contemporary art; other art forms such as collage, installation, video, music, and performance also belong to this complex, stratified language.
Jackson Pollock - The Shape of Light

Jackson Pollock 1912-1956, Number 23, 1948. Tate: Presented by the Friends of the Tate Gallery (purchased out of funds provided by Mr and Mrs H.J. Heinz II and H.J. Heinz Co. Ltd) 1960. © ARS, NY and DACS, London 2018

That being said, photographers have always been artists. The Shape of Light supports this idea by juxtaposing significant paintings and photographs from 1910 to the present day. German photographer, Marta Hoepffner, who was interested in the relation between abstract art and music, pays homage to Russian painter, Wassily Kandinsky, who believed painting should aspire to be as abstract as music. The Cubist paintings by Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso hang beside Pierre Dubreuil’s photographs, and Jackson Pollock’s abstract expressionist paintings are grouped with Otto Steinert’s Luminographs. A selection of Surrealist photographs that abstract the human body – including André Kertséz’s Distorsions, Imogen Cunningham’s Triangles, and Bill Brandt’s Baie des Anges – are exhibited with a Juan Miró painting.
The exhibition also acknowledges the impact of The Museum of Modern Art’s 1960 photography exhibition, The Sense of Abstraction. Some original photographs in this pioneering exhibition – including works by Edward Weston, Aaron Siskind, and a series by Man Ray – have yet to be exhibited since the 60’s until now, at Tate Modern. While working in his studio in Paris, Man Ray created the Unconcerned Photographs, by swinging his Polaroid camera around by its strap. The research follows with the exploration of the relation between abstraction and photography through the Op and Kinetic Art from the 60ies to the Minimalism and Conceptualism of the 70ies. Tate Modern has unveiled remarkable new works by contemporary artists Maya Rochat, Daisuke Yokota and Antony Cairns. Created specifically for the exhibition, these diverse works demonstrate the remarkable scope of photography and abstraction today. Spread over 12 rooms, The Shape of Light explores the history of innovation, demonstrating how the darkroom and the studio are similar to the laboratory.
Pierre Dubreuil - The Shape of Light

Pierre Dubreuil 1872-1944, Interpretation Picasso: The Railway, c.1911. Photograph, gelatin silver print on paper. Centre Pompidou, Paris Musée national d’art moderne-Centre de création industrielle

An engaging exhibition that cultivates a deeper understanding about the relationship between photography and abstract art, The Shape of Light features remarkable works by Alvin Langdon Coburn, Josef Sudek, Constantin Brancusi, Aleksandr Rodchenko, Brassai, László Moholy-Nagy, Edward Steichen, Edward Steichen, Sigmar Polke, Stan Douglas, Paul Graham, Ellsworth Kelly, Edward Ruscha, Bridget Riley among many others. For more information link to Tate Modern
Bonalumi 1958 – 2013

Bonalumi 1958 – 2013

By Chiara Rizzolo

Until September 30, Palazzo Reale is hosting a major retrospective of Agostino Bonalumi – a pivotal figure in post-war Italian abstraction – spanning from his debut in 1958 with Manzoni and Castellani until his demise in 2013, a chronological journey through space, time, matter and perception, beyond the surface and back

On the occasion of the five-year anniversary of the death of the Italian sculptor, painter and draughtsman Agostino Bonalumi, the Royal Palace of Milan is hosting a major retrospective titled “Bonalumi 1958 – 2013” gathering together 120 artworks chronologically displayed throughout 11 rooms.
Agostino Bonalumi, Giallo - 1969

Agostino Bonalumi, Giallo, 1969

Young Bonalumi was a talented child and exhibited his first works in 1948 in Vimercate, when he was just thirteen years old! Then he studied technical and mechanical drawing, and continued his artistic training autodidactically. In 1957 he started frequenting Enrico Baj‘s studio in Milan, where he met Piero Manzoni and Enrico Castellani, artists and founders of the Azimuth art magazine. Together they started a prolific collaboration, holding a group exhibition at the Galleria Pater, Milan, which was followed by further shows in Milan, Rome and Lausanne and finally, at the Azimut gallery.
Subsequently, Bonalumi had contacts with the international Zero movement – a group of European artists better known for their affiliations with other movements, including Nouveau réalisme, Arte Povera, Minimalism and Kinetic art. The name of the group was chosen by founders Heinz Mack and Otto Piene after their art magazine, “Zero”. The Zero Movement was a direct response to Abstract Expressionism, which was widely prevalent in the decade after World War II. Zero Artists aimed at a new artistic conception, a new beginning through new ways of expressing themselves getting rid of personal emotions or individual subjectivity.

Little by little, he began developing the idea of the so called “pittura – oggetto” (painting-object), inspired by Lucio Fontana’s spatial concept and his desire to go ‘beyond the canvas’. He started focusing on reliefs and three-dimensional space arrangements using elements of wood to break the evenness of the canvas. Bonalumi called these new artworks as “extroflections”, to indicate their bending forward in space, creating a strong tension between the physical and the symbolic space and time.
The surface became the work of art itself, while the monochrome color chosen for each extroflection was somehow enriched by the shadow it cast over the artwork’s surface. The monochromatic space thus appeared multi-colored just by becoming multi-dimensional thanks to the different shapes placed beneath the canvas. Concealing mysterious items seemed to add an illusory dimension into the viewers’ space.
This process finally led to further experimentation until the development of later works including sculptures and immersive environments.
Agostino Bonalumi, sculpture - installation view, Palazzo Reale, Milan

Agostino Bonalumi, sculpture – installation view, Palazzo Reale, Milan

Two large installations are highlighting the show at Palazzo Reale. The former is “Blu abitabile,” (Inhabitable Blue, 1967) – one of his most important works, realized for the exhibition “Lo spazio dell’immagine,” Foligno. Color here transcends the aesthetic dimension becoming part of the environment itself, and becomes a living element.
The latter is a reconstruction of the room at the 35th Venice Biennale (1970), including a couple of huge fiberglass extroflections titled “Struttura modulare bianca” (White modular structure): it’s a key installation with elevated modules, never been displayed since the Biennale. The massive physical presence of the installation affects the viewer creating a strong tension between the space in which it’s contained ( which is – in turn – reshaped by the artwork itself) and the human perception. This unsettling tension on the surface can turn space into content.
Zonamaco foto & salón 2018

Zonamaco foto & salón 2018

By Eugenia Bertelè

The most prestigious and international- projected art fair platform in Latin America, comes this August, from 22nd to 26th at Centro Citibanamex, Hall D, Mexico City, with the 4th edition of ZONAMACO FOTO 2018, presenting a significant selection of vintage, modern and contemporary photography and the 5th edition of ZONAMACO SALÓN 2018, a unique encounter in Mexico for antique lovers; conferences, activities, VIP events, create an intriguing plan for art travellers planning to be in Mexico this summer

ZONAMACO is very well known in the art world because of México Arte Contemporáneo Fair, the most herald event for Latin American contemporary art market, born in 2002. Since 2011 ZONAMACO also organizes ZONAMACO DISEÑO, a selection of Mexican and international exhibitors, featuring furniture, jewelry, collection objet and limited editions.
ZONAMACO FOTO & SALÓN, photo courtesy Mauricio Aguilar

ZONA MACO FOTO & SALÓN, photo courtesy Mauricio Aguilar

ZONAMACO FOTO 2018, during the last 4 years, has expanded the panorama of photography in Mexico, with a selection committee comprised of renowned international gallerists: Patricia Conde (Patricia Conde Galería, Mexico City), Raffaella de Chirico (Raffaella de Chirico Arte Contemporanea, Turin), Henrique Faria (Henrique Faria, New York) and Arturo Delgado (Almanaque, Mexico City).
ZONA MACO FOTO & SALÓN, photo courtesy Mauricio Aguilar

ZONAMACO FOTO & SALÓN, photo courtesy Mauricio Aguilar

Mexico has a powerful relation with photography and many of its artists have been recognized internationally. Since 1980 it promotes a Biennial dedicated to photography, which is produced nowadays by Centro de la Imagen founded in 1994, one of the most important trustees of Mexican an Latin American history of contemporary photography.
ZONA MACO FOTO & SALÓN, photo courtesy Mauricio Aguilar

ZONAMACO FOTO & SALÓN, photo courtesy Mauricio Aguilar

In 2018 ZONAMACO FOTO presents for the first time, behind the main section, a PHOTOBOOKS section made up of Ana Casas (La Hydra, Mexico City) and Ramón Reverté (RM, Barcelona/Mexico City) selecting more than a dozen international exhibitors that include new and classic titles: Aperture Foundation (New York), which stands out for its development of photobooks in the United States; La Hydra (Mexico City), one of the most outstanding platforms for photobook projects in Mexico; Exit (Barcelona), renowned for its editions of contemporary art; and RM (Barcelona / Mexico City), recognized as the most important photography books publisher in Latin America.
ZONA MACO FOTO & SALÓN, photo courtesy Mauricio Aguilar

ZONAMACO FOTO & SALÓN, photo courtesy Mauricio Aguilar

Another interesting program at its 2nd edition, curated by Johann Mergenthaler, is ZONAMACO SOLO, where visitors can find works, among others, by Mauricio Alejo, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, David Lachapelle, Leandro Katz, Georges Rousse, Graciela Sacco, Dario Villalba. The curator approaches the image as a kind of conscience, based on the Jean-Paul Sartre book, The Imagination.
ZONA MACO FOTO & SALÓN, photo courtesy Mauricio Aguilar

ZONAMACO FOTO & SALÓN, photo courtesy Mauricio Aguilar

For antique lovers ZONAMACO SALÓN 2018 will feature some of the most important international exhibitors with sculpture, painting, graphic and decorative arts, furniture, lamps, vessels, tapestries, rugs, textiles, documents, manuscripts, medals, maps, masks, numismatics, tools, collectible automobiles and motorcycles and other artifacts and objects prior to 1960. From thus year it also features fine crafts, ceramics, vinyl records, jewelry, clocks and books, produced before and after 1960, which maintain a connection with antiquities through their content, production, research or design.
ZONA MACO FOTO & SALÓN, photo courtesy Mauricio Aguilar

ZONAMACO FOTO & SALÓN, photo courtesy Mauricio Aguilar

Look Lateral is always discovering destinations for art enthusiasts and art lovers! Don’t miss the chance to find out more about the two side Fairs organized by ZONAMACO in Mexico City! https://zsonamaco.com/
The first decade of Art Jakarta

The first decade of Art Jakarta

By Eugenia Bertelè

The prominent contemporary art fair in Indonesia, Art Jakarta 2018, has its 10th birthday this summer: it serves as a platform for the development of the local art market and the exploration of new talents. It embraces all stakeholders, from galleries, collectors, and art enthusiasts to artists. Showing in the central business district and luxury shopping center, Pacific Place at the Ritz-Carlton Jakarta from August 2 to 5th 2018, Art Jakarta is the occasion to discover the Indonesian art scene in a unique 7.500 sqm and lifestyle event

J. Aridhitya Pramuhendra, Lambskin, 10 x 10 program, courtesy Art Jakarta - The first decade of Art Jakarta

J. Aridhitya Pramuhendra, Lambskin, 10 x 10 program, courtesy Art Jakarta

Since 2009, Art Jakarta is an art event organized by MRA Media, a business group focused in life-style and communication. Indonesia is an emergent market with a huge potential. A new middle class has grown of some twenty million citizens, whom over 50% are under 30. These contemporary consumers love fashion, art, and major international brands. In 2017 over 47.000 people visited the fair with 80% of works sold according to Art Jakarta press releases.
Yani Mariani, Pohon, 10 x 10 program, courtesy Art Jakarta - The first decade of Art Jakarta

Yani Mariani, Pohon, 10 x 10 program, courtesy Art Jakarta

For the forthcoming edition, Art Jakarta will host many interesting creativity programs in collaboration with local and international partners, such as art activities within the mall, creative art performances, special projects with artists, creative art talks and workshop classes. The Indonesian Government’s support opens opportunities for young artists to showcase their works at the fair and be discovered by the public at large.
indieguerillas, Berburu Celeng (after Djoko Pekik), 2016, customised Nike shoes, embroidery, fur, resin, brass, digital print on acrylic, charcoal, electronic device, and carpet, courtesy Mizuma Gallery - The first decade of Art Jakarta

indieguerillas, Berburu Celeng (after Djoko Pekik), 2016, customised Nike shoes, embroidery, fur, resin, brass, digital print on acrylic, charcoal, electronic device, and carpet, courtesy Mizuma Gallery

With 53 exhibitors (traditional art galleries, art advisors, brokers) coming from Belgium, Colombia, Korea, France, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Russia, Taiwan, Art Jakarta presents a strong line up of national and international artists. The main atrium will host a gigantic installation of Faisal Habibi (Indonesia, 1984), a young artist known for his investigation about relationships with the designed world. The fair also will feature a special installation project to celebrate its 10 anniversary created by 10 Indonesian artists (Agus Suwage, Syagini Ratnawulan, Yani Mariani, Kemal Ezedine, Bagus Pandega, Hahan, Chinati Juhansyah, Eddie Sutanto, Heri Dono and Tere.
Theresia Sitompul, 10 x 10 program, Art Jakarta - The first decade of Art Jakarta

Theresia Sitompul, 10 x 10 program, Art Jakarta

Other special pieces are from Indonesian artist Ay Tjoe Christine and Spanish Fernando Botero.
As a way to be connected with the younger market, Art Jakarta 2018 created a segment called Art Gram, in order to capture public interest via social networks. More precisely, five personalities – among fashion designers, chefs, illustrators and travellers – have been chosen as ‘influencers’ for their inspiring Instagram accounts with a strong touch of art.
Eddy Susanto, The Irony of Ruralism, acrylic and drawing pen on canvas (9 panels) and steel fence, dimension variable, 2018, courtesy Art Jakarta - The first decade of Art Jakarta

Eddy Susanto, The Irony of Ruralism, acrylic and drawing pen on canvas (9 panels) and steel fence, dimension variable, 2018, courtesy Art Jakarta

Moreover, Art Jakarta supports emerging artists through BEKRAF, Indonesia’s Creative Industries Agency.
Its motto is “For Indonesians, by Indonesians”.
Look Lateral is always discovering new scenes for art enthusiasts and art lovers! Don’t miss the chance to find out more about Indonesian contemporary art panorama at https://www.artjakarta.com/
7th Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale, Japan 2018

7th Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale, Japan 2018

By Eugenia Bertelè

Echigo-Tsumari art events and installations are imagined to bring energy back to the rural regions of Japan and to propose an alternative way of thinking in contrast with the urban focus of the XX century art. More than 350 artworks and installations scattered in 760 km2 of land. A very successful model that has being exported abroad

Yukihisa Isobe, a monument of Siphon, courtesy Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial 2018 - 7th Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale, Japan 2018

Yukihisa Isobe, a monument of Siphon, courtesy Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial 2018

Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial 2018 (Niigata Prefecture, July 29, September 17) is one of the largest art festivals in the world and is held once every 3 years in the rural area of Echigo-Tsumari region (Japan), since 2000. The nature and lifestyle of this environment, known for its heavy snowfall and the particular Satoyama agricultural landscape, inspires artists to recover that special connection with art which has almost been lost today. Approximately 200 artworks by recognized international artists and architects are distributed in the area of 760Km2 of the Echigo-Tsumari Art Field: among others, Cai Guo- Quiang, Christian Boltanski, Marina Abramovic, Antony Gormley, Ilya & Emilia Kabakov, Yayoi Kusama, Dominique Perrault, Tobias Rehberger, Leandro Erlich, James Turrell, etc. In the occasion of the 7th edition, about 160 new works will be created into mountains, fields, forests, empty farming houses, closed school buildings.
Echigo-Tsumari is a community project working all over the year through collaborations of partners, local people, artists, kohebi members (group of volunteers), organizations and companies.
The Triennial offers a new kind of journey: visitors traveling across the region can interact both with artworks, local people and the landscape: it allows analyzing global environmental approaches and expanding the dialogue on how people relate to nature.
Leandro Erlich, Palimpsest, new work, courtesy Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial 2018 - 7th Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale, Japan 2018

Leandro Erlich, Palimpsest, new work, courtesy Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial 2018

One of the highlights of this year’s edition is the remodeling of the Kiyotsu Gorge Tunnel made by MAD Architects, installing a shallow pool of water to reflect the scenery at its far end.
The 2018 Triennial offers to art travelers two courses of official bus tour, featuring new and major works: the former, called the Antelope Course, showcasing the artworks that highlight terraced rice fields and civil engineering as device to survive in the severe natural environment, such as heavy snowfall and earthquakes.
Hoshitoge rice terrace, courtesy Echigo- Tsumari Art Triennial 2018JPG - 7th Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale, Japan 2018

Hoshitoge rice terrace, courtesy Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial 2018

During this trip visitors can explore at KINARE – the Echigo-Tsumari Satoyama Museum of Contemporary Art -, the temporary exhibition, The Hojoki Shiki – The Universe of ten foot square huts by architects and artists. It’s a proposal to break the fetters of homogenous space that covers the world of today and examine the role of architecture and art in an era when local values have been swamped by globalization. It shows a variety of sectional, mobile, small architectural spaces with different functions (dwelling, office, shop, sauna, dining, etc.) by 30 groups of architects and artists selected through the open call (the jury: Hiroshi Hara, Ryue Nishizawsa, Fram Kitagawa), including Dominique Perrault Architecture, Toyo Ito & Associates Architects, and so on. The visitors can experience a virtual “village” in full size, which surrounds a large-scale pond created by Argentinean artist Leandro Elrich.
Christian Boltanski, Last Class, Photo: H. Kuratani - 7th Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale, Japan 2018

Christian Boltanski, Last Class, Photo: H. Kuratani

The latter is the Salmon Course guiding visitors to the works along the Shinano River, Japan’s longest river, to enjoy the dynamic topography with its typical river terraces. Damián Ortega is also featuring an installation, inspired by the indigenous mythology in Mexico that weaves history and landscape.
Each tour includes a special lunch prepared by a Michelin-star chef or food artist, emphasizing local food with fresh and seasonal menus.
Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale has been internationally recognized as a model of regional revitalization through art and the issues it’s been facing to boost the region are now being shared by many regions in the world, in particular in Asia.

More information at, click here
Liverpool Biennial 2018

Liverpool Biennial 2018

By Eugenia Bertelè

The 10th edition of the Liverpool Biennial 2018 will be held between July 14 to October 28, inviting artists and audience to reflect, through the question Beautiful world, where are you?, on the uncertainty of the contemporary social, political and economic status. Over 40 artists from 22 countries will try to answer this question through existing works and new commitments

LOGO LIVERPOOL BIENNIAL 2018

LOGO LIVERPOOL BIENNIAL 2018

In 2018 Liverpool Biennial is celebrating 20 years of presenting international art in the city and region. The exhibition is curated by Kitty Scott (Modern and Contemporary Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario) and Sally Tallant (Director, Liverpool Biennial) with the Liverpool Biennial team. The biennial is presented in different locations across the city including public spaces, civic buildings and Liverpool leading art venues: Bluecoat, FACT, Open Eye Gallery, Tate Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University’s Exhibition Research Lab, RIBA North, the Playhouse theatre, St George’s Hall, the Oratory, Victoria Gallery & Museum (University of Liverpool), and Blackburne House.
The title Beautiful world, where are you? comes from a 1788 poem by the German poet Friedrich Schiller, set to music by Austrian composer Franz Schubert in 1819. The years between the composition of Schiller’s poem and Schubert’s song saw great upheaval and profound change in Europe, from the French Revolution to the fall of the Napoleonic Empire.
RYAN GANDER Time Moves Quickly (workshop), 2018, Courtesy Brian Roberts, Liverpool Biennial 2018

RYAN GANDER Time Moves Quickly (workshop), 2018, Courtesy Brian Roberts, Liverpool Biennial 2018

40 artists from 22 countries contribute this year to create a new map of contemporary art ranging all continents: the curatorial selection, with the aim to discuss the global situation, broadens the reflection to artists who don’t represent Eurocentric perspective, bringing together indigenous artists from Canada and Australia, including the British debut of the legendary French film-maker Agnès Varda with the commitment of 3 Mouvements, a three-channel video installation combining precedent works, and portraying individuals in society through poetic images. Varda presents also Ulysse, a short film she directed in 1982. Recognized British artist Ryan Gander worked at Times moves quickly with 5 children from Knotty Ash Primary School in Liverpool to produce a series of artworks and a film exploring the activities carried out in the workshops. The project takes inspiration from the Montessori method of education, based on self-directed activity, hands-on learning and collaborative play.
BRIAN JUNGEN, Warrior 3, 2018 (detail). Courtesy Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver, Liverpool Biennial 2018

BRIAN JUNGEN, Warrior 3, 2018 (detail). Courtesy Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver, Liverpool Biennial 2018

A monumental ephemeral and site-specific sculpture by the Iranian artist Abbas Akhavan fills the Vide gallery at Bluecoat. Variations on a ghost make reference to artworks destroyed by ISIS over the last decade, in particular the ancient sculptures of the Assyrian protective deities, half man, half lion. The artist creates a transforming artwork that changes the physical appearance and the smell during the exhibition and turns its surface into a stone crust. At Great George Street in Liverpool, Turkish artist Banu Cennetoğlu, presents an updated version of The List, tracing information relating to the deaths of more than 34.000 refugees and migrants who have lost their lives within, or on the border of Europe since 1993.
ANGNÉS VARDA, Ulysse (film still), 1982. Courtesy the artist, Liverpool Biennial 2018

ANGNÉS VARDA, Ulysse (film still), 1982. Courtesy the artist, Liverpool Biennial 2018

Cennetoğlu explores the political, social and cultural dimension of the production, representation and distribution of knowledge questioning how this information can possibly feed a society’s collective thinking and become part of its ideology. Chechen artist Aslan Gaisumov, traces the struggle and turbulent stories of his people, connecting personal and collective memory in his recent work Keicheyuhea, created while following his grandmother during the return to her lost homeland in the mountainous scenery of the North Caucasus for the first time since the displacement of her family 73 years earlier.
Aslan Gaisumov, Keicheyuhea (video still), 2017, Courtesy the artist, Liverpool Biennial 2018

Aslan Gaisumov, Keicheyuhea (video still), 2017, Courtesy the artist, Liverpool Biennial 2018

Polish artist Paulina Olowska created a new mosaic called Grace, Charles and the Sunflower that references the socialist belief that through the creation of a public work one can influence and present optimistic visions of a better world. The artist’s idea is based on a Polish mosaic from the 1960s situated on the side of a public school in the village of Raba Zdroj, where she lives. Despite its history, the mosaic remains unprotected and unmaintained: the government no longer promotes this kind of popular, public, post-soviet art and there is a strong possibility that it will be demolished in the future. By presenting a similar mosaic in Liverpool, Olowska champions the value of these works and suggests that they should be protected as part of the country’s national heritage.
Banu Cennetoğlu, list of 13.824 documented deaths of asylum seekers, refugees and migrants due to the restrictive policies of Fortress Europe, courtesy the artist, Liverpool Biennial 2018

Banu Cennetoğlu, list of 13.824 documented deaths of asylum seekers, refugees and migrants due to the restrictive policies of Fortress Europe, courtesy the artist, Liverpool Biennial 2018

Over the past two decades, the UK’s largest celebration of contemporary art has commissioned more than 300 new artworks and exhibited by over 400 artists from across the globe.

More information at this link.
Review the complete artists list at this link.
10th Berlin Biennale – “We Don’t Need Another Hero”

10th Berlin Biennale – “We Don’t Need Another Hero”

By Chiara Rizzolo

More intent on raising questions than providing prepacked answers, the 10th Berlin Biennale (BB10) is a perfect blend of “complex subjectivities”, from curatorial team to selected artists

We don’t need another hero” is the title of the 10th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art (BB10) which opened to the public last month (June 9) in five different venues all around the city. This year’s edition was conceived so as to offer a more ‘compact’ event rather than a dispersed big show presenting over a hundred works. Hereby, the curator Gabi Ngcobo and the curatorial team of Nomaduma Rosa Masilela, Serubiri Moses, Thiago de Paula Souza, and Yvette Mutumba, concentrated upon taking their visitors on “a journey confronting the current widespread states of collective psychosis.
The final result was a selection of 46 participating artists and collectives and only five venues reflecting the position of Berlin as a city in dialogue with the world.
Curators of 10th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, 2018: Thiago de Paula Souza, Gabi Ngcobo, Nomaduma Rosa Masilela, Yvette Mutumba, Moses Serubiri

Curators of 10th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, 2018:
Thiago de Paula Souza, Gabi Ngcobo, Nomaduma Rosa Masilela, Yvette Mutumba, Moses Serubiri

By recalling Tina Turner’s song “We Don’t Need Another Hero” (1985), the Berlin Biennale isn’t interested in providing a coherent reading of history or the present of any kind. It rejects the desire for a savior, as the song says. Instead, it focuses on the political potential of the act of self–preservation, “refusing to be seduced by unyielding knowledge systems and historical narratives that contribute to the creation of toxic subjectivities.

For this reason, many featured artworks are part of a wider project or a body of works, a series. No medium is preferred over the others, sculpture, painting, installations and performance have all the same importance. Different configurations can lead to creative complexities and new meanings: BB10 encourages a conversation with artists and contributors in order to talk – and hopefully act – through art in the attempt to stop the “willful disregard for complex subjectivities”.

The viewer is free to relate and interact with the local contexts addressed and represented in many of the pieces, engagement is high. Berlin comes out as a place open to pluralism even at a time when nationalism and xenophobia are a hot topic.
Until September 9, 2018 the permanent exhibition venues you can visit are: Akademie der Künste at Hanseatenweg, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Volksbühne Pavilion, ZK/U – Center for Art and Urbanistics and HAU2, which serves as a site for two performances over the course of the Biennale. These places were chosen both for their relevance through Berlin’s past and present history.

Here’s the five artists you must not miss at BB10!
 

• Basir Mahmood

VENUE: Akademie der Künste
Basir Mahmood all voices are mine (Installation View), 2018 - Video

Basir Mahmood all voices are mine (Installation View), 2018 – Video

All voices are mine (2018) is a disparate collection of images, gestures and reminiscences the artist filmed during a single day of shooting with a team of professional actors. All these gestures – already performed in other films – are put together into a long sequence from day to night, transforming the bodies into living tableaux. The atemporality of every single action combined with the new temporal dimension helps escaping dramatization or fiction: the video looks like a vivid painting animated by time.

MORE: www.basirmahmood.com
 

• Heba Y. Amin

VENUE: ZK/U – Center for Art and Urbanistics
Heba Y. Amin, The Master’s Tools I, 2018, courtesy Heba Y. Amin

Heba Y. Amin, The Master’s Tools I, 2018, courtesy Heba Y. Amin

Dreaming of a new map of the world she lives in, Egypt-born artist Heba Y. Amin picks up the ambitious (unrealized) plans devised by the German architect Herman Sörgel in the 1920s to drain the Mediterranean and connect Europe with Africa. Surrounded by maps, recurring symbols and photographs, Amin embodies a fictional political figure who is bringing up the proposal yet again, this time for benefiting the African continent. In her utopian vision, the connected continents could help bring justice to the African people, as well as end terrorism and the migrant crisis. Thought-provoking, The Master’s Tools’ alternative geographies leave us with “an uneasy feeling of insecurity about the kind of a world we are currently inhabiting — and the world we might wish (or not wish) to inhabit.” (Yvette Mutumba, co-founder and editor-in-chief of the art magazine Contemporary And (C&) – Platform for International Art from African Perspectives).

MORE: www.hebaamin.com
 

• Lorena Gutiérrez Camejo

VENUE: KW Institute for Contemporary Art
Lorena Gutiérrez Camejo, ¿Dónde están los héroes (Where are the heroes), 2016, photo Rofolfo Martínez

Lorena Gutiérrez Camejo, ¿Dónde están los héroes (Where are the heroes), 2016, photo Rofolfo Martínez

¿Dónde están los héroes? (Where are the heroes?, 2015–16) is a three-by-five-meter painting composed of 100 individual paintings. The overall composition, with this colorful, repeating vertical pattern seems to recall the iconic hierarchical aesthetic of the military rankings or “ribbons” worn on uniforms. The minimalism of the paiting avoiding any details, together with its size, is a not-so-hidden allusion to Cuba’s current and past political situation, starting from Fidel Castro until present times. Through the question in its title – Where are the heroes? – the artist leaves us to ponder an answer.

MORE: www.lorenagutierrezcamejo.com
 

• Dineo Sheshee Bopape

VENUE: KW Institute for Contemporary Art
Dineo Sheshee Bopape, Untitled (Of Occult Instability [Feelings], 2016-18, bricks, light, sound, videos, water, framed serviette. With Jabu Arnell’s 'Discoball X, 2018

Dineo Sheshee Bopape, Untitled (Of Occult Instability [Feelings], 2016-18, bricks, light, sound, videos, water, framed serviette. With Jabu Arnell’s ‘Discoball X, 2018

A video of Nina Simone’s Feelings performance, an arrangement of bricks suggesting different states of ruination, buckets catching drips of water, and a framed playlist written on a paper napkin – all lit in apocalyptic orange: Untitled (Of Occult Instability) [Feelings] is an environmental installation. Bopape invited also three artists to contribute to her installation: Lachell Workman, Robert Rhee and Jabu Arnell, whose giant cardboard ball suspended from the ceiling, at a first glance might seem responsible for the wreckage. Visitors can pick their way through broken bricks, torn-off metal pipes and streaming screens… The artist’s message is clear: “Yesterday’s hero can become today’s tyrant,” as she said in an interview.

MORE: seshee.blogspot.com
 

• Sondra Perry

VENUE: Akademie der Künste
Sondra Perry, Eclogue For No Horizon, 2017, courtesy Sondra Perry, photo Kjell Ove StorvikNNKS

Sondra Perry, Eclogue For No Horizon, 2017, courtesy Sondra Perry, photo Kjell Ove StorvikNNKS

New Jersey–born artist Sondra Perry is a video artist using computer-based media like Chroma 3D blue screens, 3D avatars, open source softwares and found footage from Youtube, installations, and performances to explore different ways blackness has been presented throughout history. Eclogue For No Horizon explores the theme of the science-fiction concept of terraforming, an evolving process after which a planet becomes habitable and allows the survival of the human race. The video installation is spread across three screens encouraging the viewer, together with the artist, to reflect upon how space reacts to different bodies but also how certain bodies can subvert material and psychological boundaries: transforming ecologies through occupation is the first step to make a landscape inhabitable.

MORE: sondraperry.com
Serpentine Pavilion 2018 review

Serpentine Pavilion 2018 review

by Tiziana Maggio

Serpentine Pavilion: unveiling a concrete tapestry in a garden…

Serpentine Pavilion 2018

Serpentine Pavilion 2018

This summer a dark fence is going to stand in the lawn of the Serpentine Gallery in London’s Kensington Gardens. On Tuesday 12th June, the new Serpentine Pavilion 2018 opened to the public giving at a first view very little of itself away, if not just two textured overlapping rectangles. In fact, as soon as I arrived my partner of adventures Roro stated: “It looks like a prison”.
However, from a closer look the structure reveals to be formed by undulated roofing tiles stacked together and romantically woven on to steel poles which welcome us in a courtyard-like space with a shallow triangular pool covered by a curved mirrored canopy. Also we realised that the two nested rectangular spaces are wisely placed parallel to the Serpentine Gallery one and the Prime Meridian of Greenwich the other.
Serpentine Pavilion 2018

Serpentine Pavilion 2018

I have to say that after the tree-inspired Pavilion created last year by Diébédo Francis Kéré, this black textured walls are everything but unwelcoming or rough: in fact with a cafe, chairs and light and breeze filtering through the decorative tiles, they will offer for the next four months a relaxing and intimate place to recover from the either rainy or hot city’s buzz and enjoy a calendar filled of art events.
Serpentine Pavilion 2018

Serpentine Pavilion 2018

Plus, the distorted images reflected by the ceiling and the water highlight how simple materials like cement can create complex pieces of tapestries. The Mexican architect Frida Escobedo, who was mingling around at the opening, invites us to enjoy the water and a cool splash for our suffering soles in the hopefully warm days of this London’s summer.
Serpentine Pavilion 2018

Mexican architect Frida Escobedo’s pavilion for the Serpentine Gallery, in London. Photograph Ray Tang Rex Shutterstock

Establishing her practice in 2006, she led several projects in her country, London, California and Lisbon. After Zaha Hadid inaugural Pavillion in 2000, Frida is the second solo woman to be chosen for the Serpentine Gallery’s annual commission. Also, at 38 years old, she is the youngest architect of any of her predecessors achieving the prestigious leading role, becoming the 18th architect selected to design the Pavilion.
My design for the Serpentine Pavilion 2018 is a meeting of material and historical inspirations inseparable from the city of London itself and an idea which has been central to our practice from the beginning: the expression of time in architecture through inventive use of everyday materials and simple forms” stated Escobedo.
Serpentine Pavilion 2018

Serpentine Pavilion 2018

Serpentine Director Hans-Ulrich Obrist and CEO Yana Peel explained that Escobedo’s Pavilion is “a beautiful harmony of Mexican and British influences” and an “architecture for everyone which promises to be a space of reflection and encounter”. In fact the young architect wanted to reinterpret the permeable ‘celosia’, a type of breeze wall which is a common element in the Mexican residential properties to get some restorative and cool siesta-times, creating a very previous British reference for us.

Go: the Pavilion is always worth a detour from your running around.
Don’t go: if you prefer your sofa, couch potato!
Manifesta 12 will shine from the heart of mediterranean

Manifesta 12 will shine from the heart of mediterranean

by Eugenia Bertelè

The 12th edition of Manifesta, the European Nomadic Biennial will open its doors in Palermo, a crossroad city located in the heart of the Mediterranean, next June 16th, 2018 until November 4th, 2018

Manifesta 12 Palermo, Palazzo Butera, 2017. Photo by CAVE Studio - Manifesta 12 will shine from the heart of Mediterranean

Manifesta 12 Palermo, Palazzo Butera, 2017. Photo by CAVE Studio

Manifesta, originated in Amsterdam during the early 1990s, was born in response to the political, economic and social change following the end of the Cold War and beginning of the European integration process. This time the exhibition titled The Planetary Garden. Cultivating Coexistence, explores coexistence in a world moved by invisible networks, transnational private interests, algorithmic intelligence and ever- increasing inequalities.
Manifesta 12 Palermo, Chiesa dei Santi Euno e Giuliano, 2017. Photo by CAVE Studio - Manifesta 12 will shine from the heart of Mediterranean

Manifesta 12 Palermo, Chiesa dei Santi Euno e Giuliano, 2017. Photo by CAVE Studio

According to the words of Hedwig Fijen, art historian Director and Founder of Manifesta: “Today biennials should be more than the sum of a series of exhibitions. The added value of Manifesta 12 is the fact that the biennial programme takes place in 2018 in the Sicilian city of Palermo, where important geopolitical, social and ecological realities of our times are arising. Palermo constitutes the deep complexities that people worldwide are facing. We hope that Manifesta 12 creates new perspectives in terms of staging the immaterial and material legacy for the future of the city.
Manifesta 12 Palermo, Orto Botanico, 2017. Photo by CAVE Studio - Manifesta 12 will shine from the heart of Mediterranean

Manifesta 12 Palermo, Orto Botanico, 2017. Photo by CAVE Studio

There are then a present and a future imagined for Palermo: a long- term series of education projects that will kick-off during the biennial in order to create a sustainable impact after the exhibition, using the fantastic energy and vibrant culture of the city. This year the international creative team is interdisciplinary and includes Bregtje van der Haak (Dutch filmmaker and journalist), Andrés Jacque (Spanish architect founder of Office for Political Innovation), Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli (Sicilian born architect Partner at OMA) and Mirjam Varadinis (Swiss contemporary art curator at Kunsthalle Zurich).
Manifesta 12, Palermo, Teatro Garibaldi Venue, Copyright Manifesta 12, 2017. Photo by CAVE Studio - Manifesta 12 will shine from the heart of Mediterranean

Manifesta 12, Palermo, Teatro Garibaldi Venue, Copyright Manifesta 12, 2017. Photo by CAVE Studio

The concept was inspired by the city itself through a preliminary phase of investigation made by the international architecture firm OMA, Palermo Atlas, which allowed a deeper understanding of social, cultural and geographical texture of the city. Manifesta 12 will look at the idea of the garden, exploring its capacity to aggregate difference and to compose life out of movement and migration. Palermo has historically been a laboratory for diversity and cross-pollination, shaped by continuous migration and mixing a vegetation from Asia, Middle East, Australia, etc.
Forcella De Seta3 Copyright Manifesta Photo by Cave Studio - Manifesta 12 will shine from the heart of Mediterranean

Forcella De Seta3 Copyright Manifesta Photo by Cave Studio

The exhibition is articulated in 4 sections: Garden of Flows, exploring toxicity, plant life and the culture of gardening in relation to global common goods; Out of Control Room investigating power in today’s regime of global flows; City on Stage, addressing the existing opportunities in the center and in the suburbs of Palermo to carry out projects so far interrupted and never realized; Teatro Garibaldi hosting a library, café and program of public events, including debates, workshops and film screenings.
Manifesta 12 features 30 new commissioned art works, public installations, performances and urban interventions, taking place in 15 iconic venues of the city. Among others, Nigerian contemporary art performer, Jelili Atiku, will set up a processional performance on June 15th, through the streets of Palermo. French contemporary landscape architect and philosopher Gilles Clément, who inspired the biennial’s curatorial concept with his book The Planetary Garden will engage in collaboration with the multidisciplinary design studio Coloco and create an urban garden in the Zen district of Palermo. Maria Thereza Alves will dedicate a site-specific work dedicated to the floral syncretism of Sicily at Palazzo Butera. London-based collective Cooking Sections will show a project on agricultural irrigation systems held in various venues. Marinella Senatore, will feature on June 16th a collective dance movement in the streets of the historic centre and Giorgio Vasta, with the project City Scripts, a digital app dedicated to the narration of Palermo. More information, click here See collateral events, click here