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Three Exhibitions

MUSAC Contemporary Art Museum, Leon

For its 5th Anniversary programme, the Museum presents an exhibition displaying most of the pieces by over 40 Latin American artists held in the MUSAC Collection. Under the title 'Model Kits. Thinking Latin America from the MUSAC Collection', the show invites viewers to trace their own course through contemporary Latin American art. Laboratorio 987 presents the project 'Para ser construidos (To be Built)', a group show whose concept embraces the double conceptual and linguistic aspect of the term 'construction'. Also for the monographic book focused on the work of Venezuela artist Alexander Apostol, the museum has invited the artist to carry our a site-specific installation for the Showcases Project.

comunicato stampa

MODEL KITS. Thinking Latin America from the MUSAC Collection
Curated by Agustín Pérez Rubio, María Inés Rodríguez, Octavio Zaya

Artists: Carlos Amorales , Alexander Apóstol, Julieta Aranda, AVAF, Fernando Bryce, Erick Beltrán, Iñaki Bonillas, Tania Bruguera, François Bucher, Luís Camnitzer, Raimond Chaves, José Damasceno, Dr. Lakra, Matías Duville, Sandra Gamarra, Carlos Garaicoa, Mario García Torres, Diango Hernández, Juan Fernando Herrán, Federico Herrero, María Teresa Hincapié, Leonilson, Jorge Macchi, Gilda Mantilla, Gilda Mantilla y Raimond Chaves, Teresa Margolles, Hernán Marina, Ana Mendieta, Mujeres Creando, Óscar Muñoz, Rivane Neuenschwander, Damián Ortega, Álvaro Oyarzun, Nicolás París, Jorge Pineda, Caio Reisewitz, Rosângela Renno, Pedro Reyes, Miguel Ángel Rojas, Martín Sastre, Melanie Smith y Rafael Ortega, Valeska Soares, Javier Téllez, Meyer Vaisman , Carla Zaccagnini.

From 26 June 2010 to 9 January 2011, within its 5th Anniversary programme, the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León will be devoting its entire exhibition space to a major exhibition displaying most of the pieces by over 40 Latin American artists held in the MUSAC Collection. Under the title MODEL KITS. Thinking Latin America from the MUSAC Collection, the show curated by Agustín Pérez Rubio (MUSAC Director), María Inés Rodríguez (MUSAC Head Curator) and Octavio Zaya (MUSAC curator at large), invites viewers to trace their own course through contemporary Latin American art, over a layout designed by architect Andreas Angelidakis. In parallel, all activities scheduled at MUSAC between June 2010 and January 2011 will focus on Latin America, including new projects at Laboratorio 987 and the Showcases, artist workshops, publications, seminars, performances, concerts, etc.

MODEL KITS is the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León’s fourth major exhibition of its Collection works, after Emergencias (April – August 2005), Fusion (December 2005 – April 2006) and Existencias (September 2007 – January 2008). The show will also be the first chance to see many of the MUSAC Collection's latest acquisitions made between 2007 and 2010, all of which are included in the book MUSAC Collection Volume III, to be presented on 26 June.

MODEL KITS. Thinking Latin America from the MUSAC Collection draws its inspiration from 62/ A Model Kit, a novel published by Julio Cortázar in 1968, which stands as one of the most enduringly original and ambitions projects in Spanish-language literature. Translating it into a different period and discipline, the exhibition modestly attempts to apply the unique novel's vision in the way it rejects and subverts any single interpretation or conventional linear narrative of the works on display, challenging the viewer to establish her own parameters and directions, connections and relationships. MODEL KITS includes around 100 works by over 40 Latin American artists, produced since the late 1980s (under the MUSAC Collection's purchasing criteria), covering a broad range of media and languages, artistic strategies and significations, references, objects and situations, which jointly contribute to assembling varying narratives and permutations. From leading deceased artists who hold pride of place in Latin American Art History like Ana Mendieta, Leonilson or Maria Teresa Hincapié; to great masters such as Luis Camnitzer, Oscar Muñoz or Miguel Angel Rojas; the landmark 90s generation of Valeska Soares, Rosângela Renó, Jorge Macchi or Carlos Garaicoa; all the way to young artists who are making their mark on the current landscape, such as Mario García Torres, Julieta Aranda or Matías Duville, amongst others.

MODEL KITS challenges the viewer to take the part of an active and liberated reader who writes her own score, creating a new narrative. Under this perspective, the exhibition's varied elements can be combined and analyzed according to the concerns and references each viewer brings to bear. The exhibition does not therefore adhere to a central theme or nucleus around which to develop a privileged narrative. While it may be said that the works' diverse perspectives and languages reflect a critical perspective on society and its relationships with other contexts, the exhibition brings together discourses and approaches that are personal and philosophical, urban and political, literary and artistic, etc., to the point that they cover each and every one of the undercurrents defining contemporary art as it is made anywhere in the world, whether it be Paris, Tokyo, Ohio or Bogota. In this sense, the exhibition is projected as an infinite ars combinatoria, not limited to the featured artists' Latin American geographical and cultural sphere, but aspiring to establish varying and contrasting readings and conclusions, wavering patterns and ambiguous hints, unresolved questions and diverging paths, like a labyrinth with no exit.

Reality and fiction, surprise and mystery, humour and pain go hand in hand, setting a pace marked by a set of events in no specific order, defined alternatively by logic or by intuition; by action or by contemplation; by the material or the spiritual. In its diversity, the exhibition invites us to think of Latin America as a project in progress, laden with endless possibilities; a project with no constraints in space or time, multifaceted and open to different worlds; a project that expresses its artistic interest in what is shared and collective through 'singularity' as opposed to identity. A model kit waiting to be assembled.

On the book MUSAC Collection Volume III
The Museum initiated its effort to establish a catalogue and graphic repertoire of all the works held in its Collection five years ago with Volume I. Volume II followed two years later, and now Volume III will mark the Museum's 5th anniversary.

The series, to be completed with a further two books in the next five years, aims to provide the general public with a tool to access the full range of works gradually added to the collection, particularly through its own exhibitions and projects.

Adhering to the format established in the first two books but with a radically different design, Volume III includes works by 64 international artists, all documented in photographs and backed by texts written by leading international critics.

Layout design: Andreas Angelidakis
Coordinator: Eneas Bernal
Sponsored by AECID. Agencia española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo

Venue: Galleries 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6, MUSAC
Dates: 26 June 2010 – 9 January 2011


Para ser construidos (To be Built)
Curated by Agustín Pérez Rubio

Artists: Marcelo Cidade (Sao Paulo, Brasil, 1979), Marcius Galan (Indianápolis, US, 1972), André Komatsu (Sao Paulo, Brasil, 1978), Nicolás Robbio (Mar del Plata, Argentina 1975), Carla Zaccagnini (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1973)

On June 26th the MUSAC’s Laboratorio 987 will be presenting the project Para ser construidos (To be Built), a group show whose concept embraces the double conceptual and linguistic aspect of the term “construction” to exemplify a relation with urban factors on the one hand and considerations of identity on the other. The artists participating in this show— Marcelo Cidade (Sao Paulo, Brasil, 1979), Marcius Galan (Indianápolis, US, 1972), André Komatsu (Sao Paulo, Brasil, 1978), Nicolás Robbio (Mar del Plata, Argentina 1975), Carla Zaccagnini (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1973)—arise from the Brazilian context, yet the show is not intended as a vision of the current Brazilian art scene. It is a reflection on the construction of certain concepts of identity, in art as well as in the urban setting. This show is based on the relations between art and society, and therefore between art and politics. Para ser construidos will be on exhibit within the framework of the show Model Kits. Thinking Latin America from the MUSAC Collection, on the occasion of which, June through December 2010, the entire programme of exhibitions and activities at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León will be focusing on Latin America.

This show is inspired by some of the essays and letters that the artist Hélio Oiticica (Río de Janeiro, 1937 – 1980) wrote following his neo-constructivist period. Oiticica aspired to radicalize his art production, seeking greater political involvement by establishing links between fine art and popular culture. In some of these essays Oiticica rejected the idea of national representation, which he considered out-dated, and he accepted that artists were destined to representing themselves through their work and their actions. In other cases, the Brazilian artist addressed the project of artist’s transformation into an advocate. For Oiticica it was not enough that the artist should simply pursue a new experience in relation to art; it was also necessary to invite visitors to experience that transformation of art. In this sense, he was not interested in the “merely conceptual positions”. For him, to develop a proposal associated with a concept meant to put that concept to the test, as a process and endless possibility, as an open-ended structure.

To me the concept is a phase, like the sensorial, the environmental, etc., which are ultimately concepts as well; to me what seems wrong about treating the concept as the artistic object-purpose is that it ends up being redundant, closing in on itself; when I approach a project it is really to be constructed; I am not satisfied by the recognition of its possibility. (Letter to Aracy Amaral, May 13th 1972). The show To be Built is presented in times that are very different from those of this artist from Rio de Janeiro; today Brazil is not the same as it was during the 50s and 60s. It is currently among the great “emerging countries”, with a president leading the change in image of a nation that is the centre of attention abroad, although its image has yet to be constructed. In this light, who is constructing its social and political situation, and what part of it remains to be constructed? Into what direction is this country headed into modernity? What are its identity traits for the future? Can and should skyscrapers coexist with favelas and asphalt coexist with earth in the same city? Who is to construct its identity?

Megalopolises like Sao Paulo, Rio, and Bahia are permanently under construction. Precisely this same situation is the ground on which Para ser construidos originates. The artist-advocates draw on the city, the street and their everyday experience to create their works and conceptual platforms, which are part constructions part projects. But, as with Oiticica, here no trace of the project remains as mere possibility other than its own execution, its own construction, making, re-thinking, and reacting. In this regard, this project indistinctly explores two aspects of construction, one which touches on the condition of what makes up identity and the other construction strictly speaking, in the broader sense, and its relation with the urban environment.

This show thus intertwines a critical view of the very idea of the construction of identity; in the same way that in Oiticica’s work the artist does not represent anything but himself and his work, in Para ser construidos, although the five artists come from the Brazilian context (specifically the Paulista area), it is of note that two of them are Argentineans and another is Brazilian-Japanese, thereby avoiding any type of representation of art from Brazil, or any scene within it. Hence, the intention of this project is to re-examine certain notions about art, the construction of identity and, in short, the relations between art and society, and therefore between art and politics.

Accordingly, the curator’s premise is to create an exhibition where the set of pieces by the different artists may construct an installation, so that the dialogue between them may enable visitorparticipants to feel that they are in a space under construction, where the bricks, the scaffoldings, the half-hung pieces, the cement and the spades are conceived as potential elements of signification, or where people have to exercise, to introduce themselves in order to render the work (Zaccaganini and Robbio). From small elements of the city under neo-concrete assumptions (Marcius Galan and Cidade) to environmental assumptions, and those of co-existence (Zaccaganini), to the city and its materials (Komatsu), and the relations between abstraction and the urban setting (Robbio), as a whole the show raises questions about the idea, the moment and the representation of identity, while also playing with the relationships of individuals in the city, with the city itself and with each other.

The entire project will be situated within the architecture of the Laboratorio 987, but it will also leave this space so that it can construct other links, other connections with the public. Thus, the piece by Carla Zaccaganini, Reação em cadeia com efeito variable, will be shown in the outdoor garden of the museum. This work, produced in collaboration with the Sao Paulo Biennial Foundation for the gardens of Ibirapuera Park, within the framework of the 28th Sao Paulo Biennial, will allow visitors to the MUSAC to consruct as a group, in a joint action.

Coordinator: Helena López Camacho

Dates: June 26th – October 10th, 2010
Venue: Laboratorio 987 and Outdoor garden MUSAC


Alexander Apóstol - Tropical Modernity
Curated by María Inés Rodríguez

MUSAC, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, is to present the first monographic book focused on the work of Venezuela artist Alexander Apóstol, first in the Art and Architecture AA MUSAC series. To mark the publication, the museum has invited the artist to carry our a site-specific installation for the Showcases Project

On Alexander Apóstol (Barquisimeto, Venezuela, 1969). Lives and works in Madrid.

Multidisciplinary artist, Apóstol has worked in a range of media including video and photography, exploring themes such as memory, the body and the individual’s place in the city. His most recent contributions bring to bear an analysis of the urban environment through an inquiry into the effects of Latin-American Modernism on today’s cities. His work, developed since the 1990s, seeks to reveal the model’s ultimate failure.

Apóstol has held solo exhibitions at venues including LACE in Los Angeles (2006), DRCLAS at Harvard University, (2007) and the Distrito 4 Gallery’s Project Room at ARCO 08, Madrid (2008). He has also taken part in a number of international biennials, amongst others the 25th São Paulo Biennial (2002) and the 7th Istanbul Biennial (2003). His work is held in collections such as the Tate Gallery in London, the Daros - Latin America Collection in Zürich and the Museo del Barrio in Nueva York, in addition to MUSAC.

On the publication
The book Alexander Apóstol Tropical Modernity, reviews the artist’s entire body of work to date. Alexander Apóstol has carried out extensive research into the Modern Movement in Latin America and its effects on the contemporary city.

This retrospective monographic book in Spanish and English, edited by María Inés Rodríguez, MUSAC Head Curator, intends to provide a complex catalogue that touches upon different aspects of the artist’s work. Tropical Modernity is richly illustrated and includes critical essays by Cuauhtémoc Medina (Mexico. art critic), Julieta González (Venezuela. Associate Curator for Latin American Art at Tate Modern, London) and Juan Herreros (Spain. Architect) all of whom approach Apóstol’s work from different angles.

MUSAC’s publication on Alexander Apóstol was designed by Michel Mallard, creative director, exhibition curator and photographer whose work bridges the gap between art and the mass media.

In the course of his career, Mallard has designed books for artists as relevant as Thomas Ruff, Steven Meisel, Jean Baptiste Mondino, Emmanuelle Béart for Steidl, Schirmer & Mosel, etc. His present position is creative director and photography curator for the Hyères International Fashion and Photography Festival, currently in its 11th edition. He has designed and organised exhibitions for artists such as Steven Meisel, Nick Knight, Guy Bourdin, Saul Leiter and Melvin Sokolsky. His creative work has shown at the Grand Palais in Paris and other prestigious institution in New York, Shanghai, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Luxembourg and London.

This volume also stands as the first title in the Art and Architecture AA MUSAC series, intended to provide a horizontal approach to the work of artists and architects whose output suggests a critical perspective on our contemporary world.

Publication features: Published by ACTAR. Editor: María Inés Rodríguez. Series: Arte y Arquitectura AA MUSAC. Texts: A la modernidad llegamos y de ella escapamos. María Inés Rodríguez; Sobre la fragilidad de algunas ambiciones, Juan Herreros; The Latin Americans…lost in translation, Julieta González;Venezquizoide, Cuauhtémoc Medina. 160 pages. Price: 27 €.

The site-specific piece for the Showcases Project
The Showcases Project by the title of Tropical Modernity or How to stop the big bad wolf from destroying the paper house is a site-specific intervention by the artist commissioned to mark the book’s publication. In line with his recent inquiry into the Modern Movement, Apóstol presents a video that alludes to the massive construction of cities through metaphorical references

Book design: Michel Mallard Studio
Coordination: Cynthia González García

Venue: MUSAC, Showcase Project
Dates: June 26th, 2010 – October 12th, 2010

Image: Erick Beltrán, Modelos de Construcción del Objeto, 2010. Courtesy of the artist

MUSAC Press office
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Opening June 26th, 2010
June 26th. 8.30 p.m. Concert by Colombian band Aterciopelados. The concert is programmed on the occasion of the opening of the project MODEL KITS, due to which the museum\'s comprehensive schedule of activities will focus entirely on Latin America between June and December 2011

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