Tuesday, March 16, 2021

John Akomfrah. Vertigo Sea | Fundació Antoni Tàpies | Barcelona, Catalonia

Vertigo Sea is a three-channel video installation that describes humanity’s relationship with the sea. The film is a narrative about human beings and nature, about the beauty, violence and precariousness of life. It raises the issues of migration, the history of slavery and colonization, war and conflict, and addresses current ecological concerns.

The work premiered at the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015, entitled All the World’s Futures and curated by Okwui Enwezor. In a distinctive and innovative style, Akomfrah explores our ability to survive in the sea from fishing to migration, slavery and the colonization of the world. Vertigo Sea combines archival material from the BBC Natural History Unit with new footage from Scotland, Norway and the Faroe Islands. It is an epic work, a poetic and moving representation of the human relationship with nature where the hypnotic beauty of ocean landscapes and marine life, or icy scenes of the Arctic, are juxtaposed with images of the slave trade, of the cruelty of the whaling industry, or the polar bear hunting, and of the crossing of the oceans of the various generations of migrants who have ventured in search of a better life.

The sea is a recurrent motif in Akomfrah’s work; the immensity of the ocean marks the scene of colonial conquests and the transatlantic slave trade, as well as contemporary migratory flows. His works are characterized by an interest in personal and collective histories, memories and hopes, as well as in cultural identities. The film also incorporates sequences depicting Olaudah Equiano (c. 1745-1797), the African slave who bought his freedom and was a pioneer of the abolitionist cause who sailed the seas, explored the Arctic and would eventually live in England, campaigning to extend the vote to the workers and publishing an autobiography that is central to the narrative about the horrors of slavery.

Peripeteia (2012)

Vertigo Sea will be accompanied by the single-channel video installation Peripeteia (2012), which takes as its starting point two portraits painted by Albrecht Dürer, Kopf eines Negers (Head of a Black Man, 1508) and Porträt der Afrikanerin Katherina (Portrait of the African Katherina, 1520). The mysterious identity of these two characters leads to a reflection on the universal dimension of suffering, defeat and past memory that generates knowledge of the present.

John Akomfrah (1957), born in Accra, Ghana, lives and works in London. He co-founded the Black Audio Film Collective in London in 1982 with David Lawson and Lina Gopaul, among others, with whom he continues to work at Smoking Dogs Films. His video installations are multichannel visual compositions that deploy contrasts and dialogues between image and sound, between reality and fiction, where the montage, as he says, brings to light ‘unconscious relationships between the subject and the historical forces’.

Other recent works by Akomfrah are Mnemosyne (2010), on the experience of migration to Britain; The Unfinished Conversation (2012) and The Stuart Hall Project (2013), on the life and work of cultural theorist Stuart Hall; Tropikos (2015), on the British colonial past in Guinea; Auto Da Fé (2016), on religious persecution; Precarity (2017), the drama of musician Charles Joseph “Buddy” Bolden, the diaspora and the legacy of creativity and the creation of modern jazz; Purple (2017), which deals with the impact of humanity and industry on nature and the planet and Four Nocturnes (2019), presented at the Ghana Pavilion of the 58th Venice Biennale in 2019, which, together with Vertigo Sea and Purple, forms the trilogy of films that explore the complex relationship between the destruction of the natural world and our own destruction.

Photography: © Smoking Dogs Films; Courtesy Smoking Dogs Films and Lisson Gallery.

John Akomfrah. Vertigo Sea
05.02.2021 – 06.06.2021

Fundació Antoni Tàpies
Barcelona, Catalonia

Curators: Glòria Domènech & Núria Homs


Miró-ADLAN: An Archive of Modernity (1932-1936) | Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona, Catalonia

Miró-ADLAN: An Archive of Modernity (1932-1936)
12/03/2021 — 04/07/2021

Curated byMuriel Gómez, Jordana Mendelson and Joan M. Minguet. 
Curatorial assistance from Dolors Rodríguez Roig

Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona, Catalunya

Miró-ADLAN: An Archive of Modernity (1932-1936) reconstructs the key role of the group of artists and intellectual known as ADLAN (Amics de l'Art Nou [Friends of New Art]) in introducing modernity to the Barcelona of the 1930s, during the years of the Spanish Republic. While in major European cities avant-garde movements had the support of critics and collectors, here modernity needed the impetus of an enthusiastic group that sought to regenerate Catalan culture and adopted Joan Miró as its leader in the promotion of new art.

The exhibition presents documents and ephemera from the ADLAN archive, held in several public and private venues, primarily in the COAC and Fundació Joan Miró archives. ADLAN's secretary Adelita Lobo played was an essential figure in documenting and preserving the materials in this archive; invitations, notebooks, and posters became objects of memory and now allow us to recreate the group's key role in building modernity in Catalonia, organizing more than fifty events across all artistic disciplines - painting, architecture, music, dance, circus, photography, film, etc.

The show also features a selection of pieces from the five ephemeral exhibitions that Miró held in Barcelona to offer the members of the cultural group a preview of the works that would then travel to Paris, New York, or Zurich. These exhibitions, open only to ADLAN members, provided a laboratory or a test run for the artist and reveal the experimental nature of his work and his persistent collaboration with others involved in the group.

The preservation of the documents on display was key for being able to recreate the places, the events, and the individuals who made this renewal of the concept of modern culture possible; some of these people, belonging to the Catalan petite bourgeoisie, are Joan Prats, Josep Lluís Sert, Adelita Lobo, J. V. Foix, and Sebastià Gasch, just to name a few. ADLAN's influence spread among artists, architects, writers and musicians from Barcelona, particularly during the post-war years and during the 1970s. The close connection between ADLAN and GATCPAC (Grup d'Arquitectes i Tècnics Catalans per al Progrés de l'Arquitectura Contemporània [Group of Catalan Architects and Technicians for the Progress of Contemporary Architecture]) forged a view of modernity associated with architectural rationalism and visual surrealism - which is precisely what led to the creation of the Fundació Joan Miró.

The exhibition is part of the Miró Documents series, whose aim is to use the Fundació's archive to further explore certain aspects of Miró's work. With the complicity of New York University, Col·legi Oficial d'Arquitectes de Catalunya and Museu Picasso de Barcelona. The conservation of the collection and its presentation has the generous and continued support of Fundació Vila Casas.

Finde de arte en el barrio | Galeria Javier López & Fer Francés | Almagro, Spain

Galeria Javier López & Fer Francés would like to invite you to visit our exhibitions taking a walk around the neighborhood. See you today during our usual opening hours.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

- Cayón - link to David Magán. Hard - Line / David Magán. Light Object

- Daniel Cuevas - link to Miguel Aguirre. Nosotros estamos bien. Espero que vosotros también (last day)

- Freijo Gallery - link to Metáforas Latinoamericanas [dos] / link to Lo personal es político, arte hecho por mujeres latinoamericanas (programa LZ46)

- Javier López & Fer Francés - link to - Lxs AngelinXs - (collective exhibition) /
link to Felipe Pantone. Veladura digital (espacio The Playground)

- Marlborough - link to Pablo Armesto. Donde el camino se hace línea.

- NF / Nieves Fernández - link to Ángela Cuadra & Laura F. Gibellini. Nunca nada parecido

General Arrando, 40
Madrid, Spain

Friday, November 27, 2020

The Restless Echo of Tomorrow | Aziz Hazara | Fundació Antoni Tàpies & Hans Nefkens Foundation | Barcelona, Catalonia

The Han Nefkens Foundation, in collaboration with the Fundació Antoni Tàpies, present the first solo exhibition of Afghan artist Aziz Hazara (Wardak, 1992), that will be inaugurated on October 2, 2020, at the Fundació Antoni Tàpies.

This exhibition is the result of the Mentorship Grant awarded to Hazara by the Han Nefkens Foundation in 2019 that aims to support the artist in all aspects of artistic production. The Grant has also allowed Hazara to be one of the residents at the Higher Institute for Fine Arts (HISK) in Ghent, Belgium.

The exhibition at the Fundació Antoni Tàpies will show recent video art works produced by the Han Nefkens Foundation, including Bow Echo, a five-channel video installation that has been featured for the first time at the Biennale of Sydney 2020.

This exhibition will travel to the Centre d’Art Contemporaine Genève in 2021.

Born in Wardak, Afghanistan, in 1992. Lives and works in Kabul, Afghanistan and Ghent, Belgium.

Aziz Hazara is an interdisciplinary artist based in Kabul and Ghent. He works across mediums including photography, video, sound, language programming, text and multimedia installations, exploring questions of identity, memory, archive, conflict, surveillance and migration in the context of power relations, geopolitics and the panopticon.

‘The visual exploration of my work is deeply entrenched in the geopolitics and the never-ending conflict that afflicts my native Afghanistan. The relevance of such issues, however, overcomes geographical specificities and appeals to a contemporary condition that is globally shared.’

Aziz Hazara. The Restless Echo of Tomorrow
03.10.2020 – 24.01.2021

Co-curators: Sona Stepanyan and Hilde Teerlinck

Fundació Antoni Tàpies
Barcelona, Catalunya


Monday, October 26, 2020

The everlasting paradise. Who are we? | Alejandro Pasquale | Víctor Lope Arte Contemporáneo | Barcelona, Catalonia

The everlasting paradise. Who are we?
Alejandro Pasquale

The gallery Víctor Lope Arte Contemporáneo (Barcelona) is pleased to present its new representation:
Alejandro Pasquale (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1983).

According to Alejandro Pasquale, we are what we dream of. This is the title of one of his works, and in it he compresses practically all his particular and pictorial world. In this painting and in this title we find all the questions that the difficult equation of his work seems to propose to us. Magic as the central theme; the mask as a constant trap; play as the perfect script; nature as the absolute answer. All his work has revolved for years around these axes that he combines in different ways, producing in all cases a visual challenge to the spectator, who easily falls in love with the attraction of the perfect composition and the magnificent workmanship that each of his works offers. 

 Everything is beautiful, everything is perfectly made, everything is recognisable, everything seems very simple, but nevertheless nobody really knows what is happening there. I sincerely believe that not even the author himself knows, otherwise he would have already solved his own imaginary iconographic labyrinth. But no, he can’t. The author is trapped in the dream to which he returns repeatedly, because first and foremost he is what he dreams of. What are those continuous masks? What are those exotic and healing plants doing? And that greenish blue that invades the atmosphere in all his landscapes, that constantly takes us back to Patinir? What are they playing at? And why are there always birds? We are what we dream, but we are what we feel, what we live, what we love, what we hate, what we suffer, what we eat, what we read, what we hear, what we sing, what we wish, what we project… We are our truths and our lies, and we are also what we paint. And yes, Alejandro Pasquale is everything in those paintings: a child and many masks. 

A man-child with all the questions on his shoulders, with all the pains and the yearnings screaming through the parallel world that the brushes offer him; a child with something unsolvable that seems to like to gloat constantly over that wound of the past and of the permanent and active subconscious, that does not stop screaming at the moment when a pencil opens the door to that other dimension: representation. Painting-dreaming. These paintings are dreams raised from the consciousness of reason. And to interpret them as I intend to, is a useless undertaking. Therefore, let’s take them to our own dream space and let them speak for themselves. Let’s look at them and close our eyes. Shhh… Shhh, shhh! Let’s listen to their breathing, the delicate fluttering of the birds, let’s be seduced by what they call the secret life of the plants and let’s put aside the questions. 

And if we come across that immense melancholy that seems to preside over that sphere of the world, let us not be frightened and let that which we know we cannot decipher be expressed, but which we will understand if we do not ask it questions. Perhaps there is that strange uneasiness that all life carries, the mystery of simple flowers and those with strange names, the impossibility of a garden imposed on us when we are pure forest and in general our bitter acceptance of having lost the paradise that, nevertheless, we feel still lives within us. 

 Rafael Doctor Roncero, Madrid. 
(Text made for the individual exhibition “Portals” in Quimera gallery, year 2018) 

Photo: Alejandro Pasquale, La hora dorada (2020), Óleo sobre tela, 150 x 115 cm.

Víctor Lope Arte Contemporáneo Gallery
Carrer Aribau, 75
Barcelona, Catalonia

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Free Art E-book | Arrival Cities. Migrating Artists and New Metropolitan Topographies in the 20th Century

Arrival Cities. Migrating Artists and New Metropolitan Topographies in the 20th Century
Burcu Dogramaci, Mareike Hetschold, Laura Karp Lugo, Rachel Lee, and Helene Roth (eds)

Exile and migration played a critical role in the diffusion and development of modernism around the globe, yet have remained largely understudied phenomena within art historiography. Focusing on the intersections of exile, artistic practice, and urban space, this volume brings together contributions by international researchers committed to revising the historiography of modern art. It pays particular attention to metropolitan areas that were settled by migrant artists in the first half of the 20th century. These arrival cities became hubs of artistic activities and transcultural contact zones where ideas circulated, collaborations emerged, and concepts developed. Taking six major cities as a starting point — Bombay (now Mumbai), Buenos Aires, Istanbul, London, New York, and Shanghai — the authors explore how urban topographies and landscapes were modified by exiled artists re-establishing their practices in these and other metropolises across the world. Questioning the established canon of Western modernism, Arrival Cities investigates how the migration of artists to different urban spaces impacted their work and the historiography of art. In doing so, it aims to encourage the discussion between scholars from different research fields, such as exile studies, art history, architectural history, design history, urban studies, and history.

Contributors: Brian Bockelman (Ripon College), Laura Bohnenblust (Universität Bern), Margarida Brito Alves (IHA-FCSH / Universidade Nova de Lisboa), Rafael Cardoso (Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro), Katarzyna Cytlak (Centro de Estudios de los Mundos Eslavos y Chinos-Universidad Nacional de San Martín), Rachel Dickson (Ben Uri Gallery and Museum), Burcu Dogramaci (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität), Margit Franz (Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz), Ya'ara Gil-Glazer (Tel-Hai Academic College), Mareike Hetschold (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität), Frauke Josenhans (Yale University Art Gallery), Daniela Kern (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul), Laura Karp Lugo (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität), Eduard Kögel (Independent scholar, Berlin), Giulia Lamoni (IHA-FCSH / Universidade Nova de Lisboa), Rachel Lee (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität), Sarah MacDougall (Ben Uri Gallery and Museum), Kathryn Milligan (University College Dublin), Partha Mitter (University of Sussex), Helene Roth (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität), Elana Shapira (Universität für Angewandte Kunst), Cristiana Tejo (Universidade Nova de Lisboa), Joseph L. Underwood (Kent State University), Elvan Zabunyan (Université Rennes 2)

For more information about the authors, visit www.metromod.net

Open Access ebook, ePDF 9789461663245, ePub 9789461663252
Paperback, € 55,00 / £49.00, ISBN 9789462702264, 15,6 x 23,4 cm, 438 p.

Buy the paperback edition 
Download the free ebook at OAPEN Library, JSTOR or Project Muse


Wednesday, October 14, 2020

7th Athens Biennale ECLIPSE | Spring 2021 | Athens, Greece

The 7th Athens Biennale ECLIPSE moves through serie sounds and fallen symbols, signaling the moment of transformation. What is to come?

Inspired by the constant state of uncertainty, AB7: ECLIPSE explores tomorrow’s potentialities through sonic and visual signs of the past, the present and the future, leading up to the exhibition’s opening in Spring 2021.

Full-moon soundscapes: A synesthetic experience

A series of soundscapes, functioning as a synesthetic link among the various AB7 concepts, introduce us to the exhibition’s forthcoming experience. Every full moon, the 7th Athens Biennale invites music and sound artists to cast their vision of ECLIPSE into a single mixtape, inspired by a thematic spectrum spanning from African music to the most mystical, experimental and electronic sounds.

In August full moon, Teranga Beat crosses 50 years of African music with Hybrid iD, a mixtape that reinstates primal vibrations and rhythms. In September, K.atou sends out Moon Frequencies, taking us through hollow beats and cosmic synths in a journey to all things invisible to the human eye. For October’s double full moon, the Waiting Room project grasps the sound of time interval and the differential subjective experiences inside it: GRΞΤΑ narrates the story of a memory lapse after an Avalanche, while on the last day of the month Ayshel follows up with her own sonic perception of this quasi-void period.


A digital platform for the omens of our daily life

Fleeting stimuli we come across everyday and trigger feelings οf tomorrow’s potentialities — scenarios of unspoken expectations, imminent dystopias and hopeful perspectives. A stray black cat, a ray of light in total darkness, a broken mirror, a writing on the wall; plain coincidences or callings of the forthcoming? Spotting and capturing the signs around us that give away different future contingencies, AB7: ECLIPSE invites us to jointly assemble the pieces of the obscure mosaic of our era.

As a call to be primarily unfolded through Instagram, ECLIPSEomens aspires to pivot our attention to long-ignored messages, lingering in our everyday routines, hidden in the photos we take, on our old albums, in our social media feeds.

Share your own omens with us, mentioning @athensbiennale on your Ιnstagram stories and using the #ECLIPSEomens on your Ιnstagram posts.