Rogelio Lopez Cuenca
Pascale Marthine Tayou
Eva and Franco Mattes
Grethell Rasua Farinas
Premi Internacional d'Art Contemporani Diputacio' de Castello' is an exhibition project conceived by EACC with a view to setting in place a dialogue between various generations of artists. The first stage consisted of contacting five seminal artists; for this edition of the international prize these five were: Marina Abramovic, Eija-Liisa Ahtila, John Baldessari, Esther Ferrer and Antoni Muntadas. The second stage got underway and each one of the artists on the various lists were contacted. The third stage consists of an exhibition with works by Davide Balliano, Ricardo Basbaum, Joshua Callaghan, Omer Fast, Terike Haapoja, Terence Koh, David Maljkovic, Pascale Marthine Tayou, Nico Vascellari among the others.
25 artists selected by: Marina Abramovic, Eija-Liisa Ahtila, John Baldessari, Esther Ferrer and Antoni Muntadas
5x5Castelló10. Premi Internacional d'Art Contemporani Diputació de Castelló is an exhibition project conceived by EACC (Espai d’art contemporani de Castelló) with a view to setting in place a dialogue between various generations of artists. To this end, the process of selection is paramount. The selection is undertaken in three consecutive and interconnected stages designed to achieve this goal.
The first stage consisted of contacting five seminal artists, who in turn were asked to draw up a list of five contemporary artists whose work they believed to be at the forefront of cutting-edge experimentation and creative risk-taking. For this edition of the international prize these five were: Marina Abramovic, Eija-Liisa Ahtila, John Baldessari, Esther Ferrer and Antoni Muntadas.
Once they accepted the challenge and compiled their respective lists, the second stage got underway and each one of the artists on the various lists were contacted. The criteria and intentions of the competition were explained to the twenty-five artists and they were told the name of the artist who had nominated them. With this information, each artist was then free to accept the invitation to take part in the competition with one of her/his works, the choice of which was left up to their own discretion.
The third stage consists of an exhibition in which the following artists will be participating: Eugènia Balcells, Davide Balliano, Ricardo Basbaum, Joshua Callaghan, Alejandro Cesarco, Anne-Marie Cornu, Nikhil Chopra, Marcelline Delbecq, Thea Djordjadze, Omer Fast, Terike Haapoja, Terence Koh, Rogelio López Cuenca, David Maljkovic, Pascale Marthine Tayou, Eva and Franco Mattes, Michèle Métail, Hiroharu Mori, Ana Navarrete, Tarja Pitkänen-Walter, Marjetica Potrc, Grethell Rasúa Fariñas, Analia Saban, Roi Vaara, Nico Vascellari.
At once, the director of EACC will announce the formation of a jury mainly comprising art critics and museum directors, commissioned with the task of deciding on the winner of the prize. The jury will take into account the principle of quality and excellence of the winning work.
Eugènia Balcells (Barcelona, 1943 / Spain)
FOR / AGAINST, 1983
Texts selection and voice: Peter Van Riper. Film, DVD, color, sound, 3’
An animation made from superimposing TV images, this work subliminally captures the violence in television news programmes and advertising. It lays bare the manipulation beneath the surface of political and advertising messages, showing us the aggression, unbridled consumerism and monstrosity of the world we are creating.
The audio works against the grain of the images, consisting as it does of readings of a series of positive, hopeful thoughts and snippets of wisdom from.
Davide Balliano (Torino, 1983 / Italy)
The Heart of Your Mother for My Dogs, 2009
HD video installation and 2 monitors, color and b/w, sound, 8’49”, loop
The project borrows its title from the lyrics of an old Italian song telling the story of a man’s tormented love for an evil woman who demands ever more cruel proofs of love from him. One of the first requests is to bring her “the heart of your mother for my dogs”. This metaphor of an incredible action that cuts us off from any possible social relation is the second part of the research behind this work. The first is based on a conversation that Balliano had with an old catholic exorcist.
The central point of the conversation was that people who survived an exorcism, remember nothing more then being alone in a dark cold space.
This description is read by the artist as a biological definition of tragedy and is the ultimate image represented by the work.
Ricardo Basbaum (São Paulo, 1961 / Brazil)
Diagrams, Ongoing project since 2003
Self-adhesive vinyl, wall painting
Composed by words and lines, the diagram is a sort of drawing that mediates the dynamic flow between words and images or literary and plastic spaces, etc. Apparently, the diagram can be approached just as an autonomous aesthetic piece, as the lines and words are carefully interconnected on the surface, pleasing the eye with some movement, vibration and speed. Its monochromatic background intends both to relate the diagram to the architecture of the site and propose an intensive sensorial space to actively involve the reader/viewer. But soon the reader/viewer perceives the sensation that the diagram is sending him/her somewhere else. This diagram effect is meant to indicate that artworks should not be an absolute end in themselves but produce concrete connections to their outside: such connection voracity — always pointing to relations that are out there — indicates that sensorial ecstasy is now achieved as the next link or connection, and not via purely aesthetic feelings.
Joshua Callaghan (Doylestown, PA, 1969 / USA)
The One Hundred Year Anniversary Commemorative Ford Model-T Lamp and Alarm Clock, 2009
Found brass beds and lamps, clocks, brass plated steel, hardware, electric lights, carpet
The artist intends this work to be a monument to the American century. His proposal is a full-size sculptural representation of a Model-T, the iconic machine that, through the innovation of assembly line production, put the power of Manifest Destiny into the hands of everyman. In the hundred years since the Model-T was first produced, America has created a road and highway infrastructure which dwarfs any other project in human history. We have become obedient servants to the cars and their habitat which we build, maintain, and timidly share. The cars have domesticated us. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of these events, Callaghan has built a vehicle out of Victorian-style domestic objects, lamps and furniture. The primary material is brass faux antiques, objects that harken back to a simpler time of optimistic American expansion and prosperity.
Alejandro Cesarco (Montevideo, 1975 / Uruguay)
Zeide Isaac, 2009
16mm film transferred to video, color, sound, 6’
Zeide Isaac, which means grandfather Isaac in Yiddish, is a 16mm film transferred to video. Alejandro Cesarco wrote a script based on the personal story of his grandfather during the Holocaust. The proposal explicitly addresses the possibilities, limitations and responsibilities of testimony and its role within the construction of personal and collective memory.
The layering of narrative voices and the passage of time between the event and its retelling, from first-hand experience to third generation, is allegorically implied in his grandfather’s passage from witness to actor.
Anne-Marie Cornu (Poitiers, 1961 / France)
Optic fibre, carbon fibre, videoprojector, DVD film
Several films are screened using a video projector. A tangle of optic fibre wires placed in front of the lens capture its light. Although the images are invisible, all their elements, such as the brightness, colour, and movement of the light are perceptible and flow through the wires. This flow gives the drawing made with the tangle of fibre optic cables a singular pulse.
Through three successively larger circles, ranging from 20 to 200 cm, the beam of light unfolds in the space. From the projector lens, each wire of the optic fibre draws a path which ends on reaching the boundaries of its space, penetrating the walls, floor or ceiling. Each presentation is a new expansion of this spatial drawing.
Nikhil Chopra (Mumbai, 1974 / India)
Yog Raj Chitrakar: Memory Drawing V, 2008
Video documentation of live performance, color, sound, 9’ 29’’
Live performance is central to Nihkil Chopra’s practice. The script or score for his performances revolve around making drawings. Yog Raj Chitrakar, one of the characters Chopra plays, is reminiscent of a Victorian, turn-of-the-century draughtsman or landscape painter who goes on expeditions as an explorer, making chronicles of the world we live in. He uses drawing to document what he sees. Yog Raj Chitrakar (Chitrakar literarily translates as picture-maker) is loosely based on the artist’s grandfather, Yog Raj Chopra, a landscape painter who spent his 50s and 60s in Kashmir recording the grandeur of the valley in paint.
The artist’s actions involve washing, bathing, eating, drinking, sleeping, dressing, shaving, and the creation of a drawing in charcoal and chalk. This large-scale drawing will serve as a document of the present moment in time, a record of a changing landscape. The spectacle unfolds in the ritualistic details embedded in these actions. These also become tools to project transformation.
Marcelline Delbecq (Évreux, 1977 / France)
Color transparency in lightbox (30,5x63,5 cm), sound piece, voice by Kim Gordon, 4’11”
Rapture is a minimal installation composed of a panoramic lightbox hung in a darkened room. A story told by Sonic Youth singer Kim Gordon through headphones fills the ears with a bewitching presence. Her unique narrative style tells the story of a man’s obsessive vision suspended between reality and dream. His fate is finally revealed by the image itself. Thus, Rapture for instance uses a photograph of a devastated Californian beach house as a visual marker for a seemingly unrelated, unsettling narration: a sound recording, while silent about the cause of the local disaster, tells the presence-absence of an indeterminate female entity visiting an enraptured male character. The attentive beholder, going back and forth between the glowing image and Kim Gordon’s voice, navigates through all those uncertainties, in turn enraptured, tempted to fill the gaps at will. Quoted from Remarks on the Contemporary Aesthetic of Ruins: Catastrophic Fragments and Other Dialectical Traces of Time Passing by Beatrice Gross, forthcoming publication by Jan Van Eyck Akademie.
Thea Djordjadze (Tbilissi, 1971 / Georgia)
Endless Enclosure, 2009
Wood, plywood, plaster, linoleum, paint. Variable dimensions
Thea Djordjadze mainly works with sculpture although she has also realized performances and been involved in music projects. In her sculptures, she often uses perishable, fragile, everyday materials that are derived from the vocabulary of domesticity and may hint at femininity, such as plaster, ceramic, silicon, sponge, cardboard, textiles and soap. The shelves, railings, walls and boxes that support or encase the sculptural objects, are simple but delicate architectural structures of wood and metal. Their expression stands in stark contrast to the organic shapes and “unfinished” surfaces of modestly scaled sculptures propped against walls, resting on shelves or hanging from railings. These passiveaggressive configurations of conflicting but mutually dependent objects make cryptic and elliptical reference to the sculpture of classical modernism.
Omer Fast (Jerusalem, 1972 / Israel)
Take a Deep Breath, 2008
HD video installation, two synchronized channels, color, sound, 27’
In the summer of 2002, Martin F. was standing outside a Falafel shop in Jerusalem when it exploded. A trained medic, he went in and discovered the body of a young man on the floor. The young man had lost both legs as well as an arm, but his eyes were open and focused. Hoping for a miracle, Martin F. decided to administer mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. After a few minutes, the young man’s eyes rolled up into his head and he expired. A crowd of onlookers had gathered outside and the police showed up. They wanted to know how many casualties were inside. When he responded that there was only one body in the shop, Martin F. realized the young man he had just left inside was the suicide bomber.
Terike Haapoja (Helsinki, 1974 / Finland)
IN AND OUT OF TIME, 2005
Single channel video installation, color, no sound, 4:41 hours
When a creature dies, it’s inner time ceases. It no longer experiences time but becomes an object in the flows of the times of others. Photographing a dead body, as the early photographers did on battlefields and graveyards, doubles this absence. The other is dead and in the photograph even the death itself has passed away. The video installation IN AND OUT OF TIME shows a diptych portraying a calf that has just passed away. The image on the left shows a recording of the calf as seen with an ordinary video camera. The image on the right shows the same calf, as seen with an infrared camera. The videos are in synchrony: as the body of the calf cools down, it’s image slowly vanishes from the infrared image. The original recording time of 7 hours is visible as a time code in the video. The duration of the projected video is 4:41 hours. It becomes impossible to pinpoint the actual moment of transformation, the moment of ceasing of the inner duration of the animal.
Terence Koh (Beijing, 1980 / China)
What is Belief? Truth?, 2007
Mixed-media sculpture in 6 parts
What is Belief? Truth? is based around the idea of the hand gestures of the twelve apostles in da Vinci’s Last Supper. Terence Koh extracted the gestures and expanded upon them giving them a living form similar to that of an all white anthill. These works were created as part of a larger body of work (which includes a film, sculptures, paintings, and performance) under the overall concept of “God”.
Rogelio López Cuenca (Nerja, Málaga, 1959 / Spain)
Vivir en los pronombres, 1993
Video installation, 3 monitors, color, 120’
Vivir en los pronombres is one of the works comprising the series titled Home Syndrome, riffing on the sentimental expression “Home, Sweet Home”. This video-poem is played on three monitors at different paces, so that the resulting time lag produces unusual combinations and unexpected sequences, even for the artist himself. In this work, the artist speaks about dreams and failures, both collective and individual, and about fantasies, frustrations and contradictions, both intellectual and commercial, as a result of the human need to live somewhere.
David Maljkovic (Rijeka, 1973 / Croatia)
Lost Review, 2006-2008
Lost Review includes fragments from yearly reviews published by the Zagreb Fair and from other periodicals that presented the Fair’s commercial success and general economic success in the 1960s.
Depictions of the Zagreb Fair in reviews from the past are juxtaposed with images of the fairgrounds at present. The Zagreb Fair saw its heyday in the 1960s when it was a major economic link between East and West. With its national pavilions it was like a “small scale world” in itself. That in fact was its golden age.
Lost Review creates gaps between the past and the present through collage and in this way projects a loss of optimism, emptiness of the tired pavilions, and failure. Yet in those same gaps it tries to find promises of a new beginning.
Pascale Marthine Tayou (Yaoundé, 1967 / Cameroon)
Le Verso Versa du Vice Recto, 2000-2007
Paper, metal bar and metal wires. Variable dimensions
The artist regards this work as a shapeless monster that everybody can identify and play games with or make into an enemy. It is a reaction to the administrative system, to a maze of norms that arise to dominate its master. It constitutes discourse, lyrical poetry, a story of the periphery against global networking without beliefs or laws.
Eva and Franco Mattes 0100101110101101. ORG (Brescia, 1976 / Italy)
Reenactment of Gilbert&George’s the Singing Sculpture, 2007
HD video documentation of online performance in a videogame
It is within the Internet universe of remix and remake that the conversation about reconstructing, re-enacting and reactivating performance art come to a head: Eva and Franco Mattes Synthetic Performances (2007-ongoing), their virtual re-enactments of historical performances of the ‘60s and ‘70s are dead giveaways; they bring the earlier art experiments to digital life.
The original performances by Vito Acconci, Marina Abramovic, Gilbert & George, Chris Burden are made idiomatic by being reduced to the same basic 3D videogame aesthetic, and presented within the same cartoonish landscape.
Their questions about sexuality, violence, feminism or social change that they raised in the initial iterations are still there, below the drawn surface, but have now been layered with Net Art topics concerning plagiarism, originality, reproducibility and authenticity.
Excerpt from RoseLee Goldberg Don’t Look Back.
Michèle Métail (Paris, 1950 / France)
Gigantexte Nº2: Zone pavillonnaire, 1981 (“Private housing estate”). 523 acrylic on canvas
The French title Gigantextes is a play on words: gigantesque and texte. This set of works explores visual aspects of the written word. The space normally granted to the text has been extended and moved from the page, re-establishing itself at the point where the visible and the legible become linked. Here, text may also be considered as an image. The use of colour permits different levels of reading, in an approach that nevertheless continues to serve the construction of meaning.
The French word pavillon can mean both house and flag. In this piece, a list of the expressions in which it appears is written using the alphabet of international code signal flags as used in nautical communication. The 26 letters of the alphabet are represented in this code using five colours: white, blue, red, yellow and black.
“Private housing estate” is a term used in town planning referring to houses that are all similar and built in a straight line along the roadside.
Hiroharu Mori (Yokohama, 1969 / Japan)
Video installation, HD video, single channel video, color, stereo sound, 37’
This work depicts a series of Japanese housewives whose income is over $100,000 (USD) per year and are proud of their luxurious and extravagant lifestyle. The piece is based on stories-texts found in an online forum where housewives detail their personal life and their relationship to the money they earn and spend. A subject matter most Japanese usually hesitate to write about in public. Mori uses the found storiestexts without changing a single word to form the script of the work in which 20 housewives are re-enacted by a single actress. Each housewife is realistically characterized based on her own words. Therefore, the video becomes bizarre and ironic humour reveals a certain reality of contemporary Japanese society. The piece consists of 20 clips between 40 seconds and 4 min each, with a total duration of 37 minutes.
Ana Navarrete (València, 1965 / Spain)
Nadie se acuerda de nosotras mientras estamos vivas. Muerte, represión y exilio, (1931-1941), 2010
Digital archive, photo print, 90x300 cm
Nadie se acuerda de nosotras mientras estamos vivas. Muerte, represión y exilio, (1931-1941) is an internet portal in construction which wishes to add to the many other initiatives whose purpose is to recover and pass on historical memory.
There are many associative initiatives or private and public foundations for the recovery both in and outside Spain and there is also an enormous documentary memory. Yet despite the immense documentation we can consult, we do not find archives that would constitute a database from the perspective of women, on the role of women in the construction of the Republic, the subsequent Francoist repression and exile. If we were to take a look at the extensive bibliography documenting the Spanish case we would see that men are the central axis of the historically significant events. Nonetheless, we come across the names of many anonymous and forgotten women.
Tarja Pitkänen-Walter (Varpaisjärvi, 1960 / Finland)
Memory, (1980’s), 2009
Painting installation on the wall. 3-dimensional mixed
The art piece refers to an amusing memory from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts where the artist studied during the 1980s. A teacher carelessly (yet decisively) arranged some awkward pails and pots in front of some colourful textiles. The students were supposed to paint a still life. Their presumption of beauty as well as of painting itself was questioned right away while beholding the clumsy still life model. If beauty was supposed to be any component in painting, it really had to be dug out of the eye of the beholder. As a result the paintings in the poor hands of the students seemed to depict pots and pails that sometimes looked like they were flying in the air, sometimes sinking into the table.
A change in attitude was probably already to be seen in those still lifes of the 1980s. Values of sensitive, peaceful, devoted caring were being lost. Not far from prevailing social conditions!
Marjetica Potrc (Ljubljana, 1953 / Slovenia)
Tirana - Designs for a New Citizenship, 2009
Wallpaper with 6 ink-jet prints and 6 drawings. Based on research from the Lost Highway Expedition, 2006. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Nordenhake, Berlin/Stockholm
Tirana – Designs for a New Citizenship is based on Marjetica Potrc’s research in the Western Balkans during the Lost Highway Expedition in 2006.
The work reflects on the remaking of the public space in Tirana, Albania, after the political changes of the 1990s. This period was characterized by the city’s unprecedented growth, in which the rapid construction of an informal city by ordinary citizens converged with the project by Edi Rama, the mayor of Tirana, of painting apartment block façades to create an unparalleled cityscape. The painted buildings along the city’s main avenues work in two ways: the designs deconstruct the modernist architecture beneath them, and the language of pattern is employed in a unique performance that expresses a new citizenship — a new social contract — for a city in transition.
Grethell Rasúa Fariñas (La Havana, 1983 / Cuba)
Cubiertas de deseos, 2008-10
Photographic print mounted on light boxes. Video documentation (color, stereo, NTSC, Mini DV transferred to a DVD, sound stereo, 2’13”)
‘Mending’ is a practice that has become common in Cuba. Mending in the sense of repairing things which are already past the point of needing to be replaced. It is the only way of prolonging the existence of something that is exhausted. This is an aesthetics of the unstable that tries to resolve the current moment. Given the impossibility of resolving their structural problems, people apply patchwork solutions of this kind in their homes. Despite the deplorable state of a large number of buildings in many districts throughout the city, most of their dwellers remain there and do their best to make them as pretty as possible. This singular effort to decorate their homes with less than perfect resources and materials is an endeavour to change the appearance of their homes with the dream of finding a better one. The end result of filling in holes, masking the grime with colors, with whatever is at hand, covering cracks and trying to make it all nicer, produces a unique visual appearance, a precarious image serving as a metaphor in its natural state.
Analia Saban (Buenos Aires, 1980 / Argentina)
Collapsed Drawing: “Wheat Field with Sheaves (Van Gogh)”, 2006
Laser-cut paper and laser-cut archival digital print mounted on museum board, 82x104 cm
In the Collapsed Drawings series, the artist wished to explore the issue of gravity. By looking at drawing lines, brushstrokes and shapes not as two-dimensional planes but as three-dimensional objects with their own volume and weight, she explored the structure of drawings: what happens when their structure collapses? Once the lines were separated from the drawing’s background, lines collapsed to the floor of the frame to create a random composition. In this case, the lines of Van Gogh’s beautiful drawing Wheat Field with Sheaves turn into a disorderly accumulation of sculptural lines, referencing the work’s subject matter: the stacking of wheat in sheaves.
Even though this analytical process may seem destructive, it also allows the viewer to appreciate the artist’s brushstrokes or drawing marks as complex objects that deserve to be looked at and evaluated as if they were works of art themselves.
Roi Vaara (Moss, 1953 / Norway)
Wet Paint Handshake, 2010
A hand offered for a handshake is an international gesture of greeting. It is a gesture of respect and friendship. A handshake is an intimate event between two individuals. In this piece of art, the offered hand is wet, dripping with white paint. It’s a provocative gesture. The trick is obvious and challenging. The art in this piece is situational and manifested in the interaction of the artist with agents in the audience. Its qualities will change from moment to moment. After every handshake, the performer wipes some paint on the front of his tuxedo. The destroyed tuxedo, video documentation and other artefacts of the event will be exhibited as a result of the process.
Nico Vascellari (Vittorio Veneto, 1976 / Italy)
Lago Morto, 2010
Installation (video projection, sound, three collages)
Lago Morto was originally conceived for the exhibition Rock – Paper – Scissors curated by Diedrich Diedrichsen at Kunsthaus Graz in 2009. Its also the name of the band that the artist created, in which he himself was the singer, as his contribution to the show. The band then played sixteen gigs in a row in Vittorio Veneto, the small town in Italy where he lives.
The proposal is all about inverting the model of the artificially “cast” and created, manufactured pop band. The culture industry today uses this model to profit from pop music in a particularly despicable way.
The installation consisting of a video projection and some collage works. Each video was shot in one of the different locations that hosted the shows of the tour. The collages include studies for lyrics as well as images collected as inspiration, the promotional material created for the band such as photos and posters. The exhibited photographs were all shot by members of the audience.
The photos exhibited are all those taken with those disposable cameras during the tour.
Image: Pascale Marthine Tayou (Yaoundé, 1967 / Cameroon)
Le Verso Versa du Vice Recto, 2000-2007
Paper, metal bar and metal wires. Variable dimensions
Press Contact: Marta Liaño
Opening July 16, 8 pm
Espai d'art contemporani de Castelló
Prim s/n 12003. Spain
Open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 8 pm.
Closed on Mondays and public holidays.