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Six exhibitions

MUSAC Contemporary Art Museum, Leon

Georges Adeagbo's 'The Mission and the Missionaries' shows the intercultural and intertextual 'assemblages' of a figure who is key for understanding contemporary art, in Africa as well as on the international scene. Gervasio Sanchez's 'Desaparecidos' presents a documentary photography project focused on the issue of forced disappearances carried out in eleven countries throughout Latin America, Asia and Europe. Akram Zaatari's 'The Uneasy Subject' features a site-specific project. Brumaria presents a project that focuses on the relationship amongst art, war waged on multiple fronts, and terrorism. 'Amikejo' features a Pennacchio Argentato's installation that addresses ideas about leisure and overproduction, work and non-work. 'Un editor independiente y libre se posiciona del lado de los artistas' presents the work of the Cneai institution, that focuses on the production and promotion of artist's books and other publications.

comunicato stampa

Title of the exhibition: The Mission and the Missionaries
[La misión y los misioneros]
Artist: Georges Adéagbo (Cotonou, Benin, 1942)
Commissioned by: Octavio Zaya
Coordinated by: Cynthia González García
Place: MUSAC, exhibition halls 3.1 and 3.2
Dates: January 29, 2011 – June 5, 2011

MUSAC, the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León (León, Spain), presents The Mission and the Missionaries, the first individual exhibition in Spain by African artist Georges Adéagbo. The show, commissioned by Octavio Zaya, shows the intercultural and intertextual “assemblages” of a figure who is key for understanding contemporary art, in Africa as well as on the international scene.

About the exhibition
The work of Adéagbo is characterized by the combination of diverse objects and texts, which he orders, collects, or finds in Cotonou and in the surrounding areas of the places where he presents his exhibitions. For this reason, before inaugurating a show in a given place, Adéagbo needs to spend enough time there to be able to contrast his research with the direct experience of the conditions and circumstances of the place. Based on this, he completes the texts and objects brought from his archive in Benin with pieces obtained from that concrete environment, turning them into specific creations that only make sense in that particular location.

These installations are not as much about the plurality (of objects and texts) as about the problems, complexities and negotiations related to accumulation and consumerism, translations and transformations, and relations, proximities, and displacements. Generally, a central theme connects all the elements of the “assemblage” with the way the execution of the installation is designed, while time marks the tension between the visual and the verbal; objects that cover walls and invade floors, involving the vertical and horizontal in the experience of the spectator.

Adéagbo sees himself in the communitarian role of the artist as much as in the role of “missionary,” thus, the language of his contingent stories and his enigmatic enunciations are about carefully elaborated parables, native and formative myths, and metaphysical metaphors. As a result of this, and through the creation of a thickly-woven, symbolic web of events, Adéagbo illustrates the universality of the laws of nature that govern life everywhere, while simultaneously revealing the diversity of existing conditions in a given place.

In this exhibition at MUSAC, as in most cases, the installations created by Adéagbo constitute, in the words of Stephan Köhler, “an oracle and a talisman that orient us and protect us along the courses of life,” an “orientation, analogous to a map and a compass, a mental space in which to reflect upon where we come from, where we are, and, no less important, if we are on the right path to recognize and accomplish our vital mission.” The exhibition at the MUSAC is organized in collaboration with Stephan Köhler.

About Georges Adéagbo (Cotonou, Benin, 1942. Lives and Works in Cotonou) The eldest of eleven brothers, he began studying Law and Business in France, but was forced to abandon his studies and return to Benin after the death of his father. Leaving behind his French girlfriend and a promising career, in 1971, against his will and held back by his mother, Adéagbo took on the responsibility of head of the family. Frustrated and disoriented, faced with the traditional form of Beninese life that his social environment tried to impose on him, he began to reflect upon destiny and nature, creating “constellations” in his garden, in which he combined objects taken from daily life with original texts written by him.

After working in solitude for 23 years, he was invited to present a first show of his work in France. Ever since then, he has had exhibitions all over the world, including the United Nations Palais des Nations, the Serpentine Gallery in London, the Round Tower in Copenhagen, the 2nd Johannesburg Biennale, the 24th Sao Paulo Biennale and the 48th and 53rd Venice Biennale.


Exhibition title: Desaparecidos
Author: Gervasio Sánchez (Córdoba, 1959)
Curator: Sandra Balsells
MUSAC Coordinator: Eneas Bernal
Dates: 29 January - 5 June 2011
Venue: MUSAC Galleries 2.1, 2.2

The Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León (León, Spain), the Centro de Cultura Contemporánea de Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain) and La Casa Encendida (Madrid, Spain) shall simultaneously host the exhibition Desaparecidos by Gervasio Sánchez, an extensive documentary photography project focused on the issue of forced disappearances carried out in eleven countries throughout Latin America, Asia and Europe where these acts of violence have taken place.

On the Desaparecidos project
Desaparecidos stands out as a compelling document against oblivion, intended to recover the buried memory of people missing as a result of different armed conflicts and repressive processes. The exhibition is presented in the form of a major cultural operation where, for the first time in Spain, three cities (León, Barcelona and Madrid) will host a photographic project on the same theme by the same author, though specific approaches and contents will vary.

The institutions involved in the operation are:

MUSAC (León): 29 January to 5 June 2011;
CCCB (Barcelona): 1 February to 1 May 2011;
La Casa Encendida (Madrid): 3 February to 20 March 2011.

Each of these institutions will display a broad selection of unique photographs, under a truly innovative proposal. However, all three exhibitions shall adhere to a similar narrative structure, broken down into equivalent theme blocs and all three shall close with a meaningful Epilogue focused on Spain and the current process of locating and exhuming the remains of persons disappeared in the course of the Spanish Civil War and Franco’s dictatorship.

The exhibition Desaparecidos, curated by Sandra Balsells, photojournalist and professor at Ramon Llull University, is structured around the following theme blocs:
• Facilities used for torturing and removing victims, including goals, detention centres, police stations and ‘chupaderos’
• Memorials erected to immortalise the memory of missing persons
• Portraits of relative of missing persons
• Objects belonging to missing persons
• The process of searching for missing persons
• The process of exhuming remains located in mass graves
• Storage facilities established to house the exhumed remains
• The task of identifying the exhumed remains, as carried out by forensic anthropologists
• Returning the identified remains to their families
• Burial processes
• Epilogue: Missing persons in Spain

The photographs on display include images taken in Chile, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Iraq, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Bosnia and Spain between 1998 and 2010.

The exhibition at MUSAC will also include the installation Crueldad y Dolor [Cruelty and Pain] by Gervasio Sánchez and Ricardo Calero (2004), held in the MUSAC Collection. The piece invites us to reflect upon the various forms of injustice that shape our social fabric, through an investigation of evidence regarding people and circumstances that are often sidelined by the dominant narrative, attaching a specific relevance to the issue of forced disappearances. The installation Crueldad y Dolor inquires into these potential forms of exclusion and offers an opening for remembrance and silenceThe exhibition also includes a number of video documents taped by Gervasio Sánchez capturing the torture and detention centres, storage facilities housing the exhumed remains and individual testimonies given by victims’ relatives.

Gervasio Sánchez’s relationship with missing persons began in Guatemala in 1984, when he began his professional career as a freelance photographer specialising in armed conflict. From then on, Gervasio Sánchez has covered a number of armed conflicts and developed a range of long-term projects focusing on the victims. Over his 25-year long professional career, the issue of forced disappearances has been a constant in his work, leading him to make regular trips to counties affected by the problem. The exhibition Desaparecidos is Gervasio Sanchez’s largest and most broad-reaching project to date.
In line with the exhibitions, all three institutions will host sessions devoted to analysing and debating the phenomenon of forced disappearances, in addition to workshops with the photographer.
The publication
The exhibition Desaparecidos will be supported by the publication of a pack made up of two books and a DVD, published by Blume. The book Desaparecidos includes a selection of the photographs featured at the three institutions that document different aspects of forced disappearances, while the book Víctimas contra el olvido (working title) includes portraits of missing persons’ relatives in a number of countries around the world. The video material projected at the three institutions will be presented as a DVD.

Gervasio Sánchez, author of the Desaparecidos project (Córdoba, 1959)
He began his career as a freelance photojournalist in 1984, specialising in armed conflict. A regular contributor to El Heraldo de Aragón and La Vanguardia newspapers and Cadena Ser, he has covered a number of conflicts over the past 25 years, particularly in Latin America, Africa and the Balkans.
He has published a number of books of photographs: El Cerco de Sarajevo (1995), many with publishers Blume, Vidas Minadas (1997 y 2002); Kosovo, Crónica de la deportación (1999); Niños de la guerra (2000); La caravana de la muerte. Las víctimas de Pinochet (2002); Latidos del tiempo (2004), in collaboration with sculptor Ricardo Calero; Sierra Leona, guerra y paz (2005); Vidas Minadas, Diez años (2007); and Sarajevo, 1992-2008 (2009).
In 2001 he worked with Manuel Leguineche to coordinate the book Los ojos de la guerra, a tribute to Miguel Gil; and in 2004 he published the literary work Salvar a los niños soldados. Since 1998 he is UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace and since 2001 he directs the Photography and Journalism Seminar at Albarracín.
The institutions of Aragon granted him the Gold Medal of St. Isabel of Portugal and the Medal to Professional Merit, as well as naming him adoptive son of Zaragoza. He holds a number of prizes, including the Cirilo Rodríguez Award, the International Press Club, Andalucia Culture, Human Rights in Journalism, Liber Press, Javier Bueno, Ortega y Gasset Awards and the National Photography Prize 2009, amongst others.


Exhibition title: The Uneasy Subject (El molesto asunto)
Artist: Akram Zaatari (Saida, Lebanon, 1966)
Curator: Juan Vicente Aliaga
Coordinator: Helena López Camacho
Dates: 29 January - 5 June 2011
Venue: Galleries 4, 5 & 6
Co-produced with MUAC, Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo (Mexico DF)

On 29 January MUSAC will unveil The Uneasy Subject, a site-specific project by artist Akram Zaatari (Saida, Lebanon, 1966) that includes an exhibition, a video programme, a book and a conference. Zaatari uses image-based media to explore historical, political and social issues. The title The Uneasy Subject refers to the status of the body in Lebanese and Arab societies in general, thus extending the scope of the themes dealt with in his work. The Uneasy Subject is co-produced with MUAC, Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo, (México City,, where it will travel from October 2011 to January 2012.

On Akram Zaatari
Since the mid 1990s, Akram Zaatari’s work has explored issues related to the importance of images as a medium for communicating reality, essentially through the use of photography, film and video.
Despite his early training in architecture, Zaatari’s interest in these disciplines led him to relocate to the US, where he studied media at the New School in NYC. In the mid 1990s he entered the professional world of TV as producer at Future TV in Beirut, a station where he was able to carry out visual innovations and where he produced a number of short films part documentary, part art film and part formal experiment.
Also influenced by auteur filmmaking, with references ranging from Godard, Fassbinder and Pasolini to Harun Farocki and Mohammed Soueid, particularly the latter’s Cinéma Fouad (1993), a film that avoids clichés and simplified or facile perceptions of Arab culture. In this sense, Zaatari attempts to breach and destabilise traditional narrative patterns through the use of fragmenting techniques and documentary-based metaphors where he establishes dislocated associations between images and text. Likewise, many of the components feeding into his aesthetics are drawn from popular culture, with a visible imprint, for example, from American and Egyptian movies and the music broadcast on Lebanese radio.
His personal recollections, as one of the main axes structuring his work, also hark back to issues such as the Palestinian presence in Lebanon, the impact of Syrian control, clashes between rival political factions or the Israeli invasion of 1982.
Concerned with approaching historical, political and social issues from a visual perspective, in 1997 he co-founded the Fondation Arabe pour l ́Image, whose mission was to compile, recover, preserve and research the photographic heritage (artistic, commercial and popular) both of his own war-torn country and of Arab nations as a whole. Zaatari’s work is therefore inextricably connected to the region’s political, social and cultural context.
One of his major achievements was to recover the photographic archives of Lebanese photographer Hashem el Madani, whose commercial studio Shehrazade at Sidon, established in the early 1950s, produced not only countless studio portraits, but also photographs of people in their everyday working environment. Some of Madani’s images come back to life in Zaatari’s own projects.
Despite being internationally renowned for tackling issues connected to the armed conflicts suffered by Lebanon (civil wars between 1975 and 1990 and Israeli military occupation, both themes that are ever present in Lebanese creative output), Zaatari turns his gaze away from patriotic discourse. Indeed, he is highly critical of the way in which the State has used these conflicts to promote the concept of a national unity that he believes to be artificial. In works such as All is Well on the Border (1997) or In This House (2005), Zaatari blends a documentary component with fictional ingredients, whilst tackling aspects related to Lebanese resistance, without neglecting his characters’ everyday personal and intimate experiences.

On The Uneasy Subject
The Uneasy Subject extends the realm of questions and issues explored by Zaatari. The title refers to the status of the body and its meaning in Lebanese society and in the Arab world as a whole. The project, designed specifically for MUSAC, includes an exhibition, a video programme, a book and a conference.

• The Uneasy Subject: the exhibition
In the exhibition The Uneasy Subject, the artist uses a range of photographs, videos, films and documentary material (press clippings, photographs collected by Zaatari, etc.) to explore the various roles enacted by and expectations placed upon men and women in the Arab world. Representations of the body (and nudity), both individually and as collective actions, and shifts in interpersonal relationships upon the arrival of new media and technologies such as the internet, are some of the issues presented in show. In 1997 Zaatari began his research with the Fondation Arabe pour l ́Image, travelling through Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Syria. During the process he came across a great many photographs of boys and girls in different poses, which he began to collect, intending to use them for a personal project.
This idea resulted in Another Resolution (1998), a series of works in which Zaatari shot portraits of adults imitating the poses adopted by the children in the archive pictures gathered in the course of his research. The installation is presented as a parallel dialogue between the portraits of boys and girls in poses typical of their age (eating ice-cream, playing, etc.) face to face with pictures of adults imitating and re-enacting those same poses and stances. This collection of gestures and attitudes allows Zaatari to explore the role of body language in the construction of cultural, social and gender identities. In the video piece The Scandal (1999), the artist uses TV footage to explore the boundaries between the public and private realms. Tomorrow Everything Will Be Alright (2010) is a subtle yet brave approach to sexuality and bonds of affection and desire between men, a theme that acquires particular relevance in this video, since the expression of homosexual love is a taboo subject in the Arab context.
Along with these works on film, the show at MUSAC will also feature new pieces such as Body Builders (2010), Ali’s Back (2010) or the installation Youtube Video Projections (2010).

• Video programme
Over the months of January to June 2011, the MUSAC Auditorium will host a weekly screening of a programme including the short and mid-length films Crazy for You (1997), Red Chewing Gum (2000), How I Love You (2000) and Her+Him (2001), a representative selection of Zaatari’s film work.

• El molesto asunto: the book
On occasion of the exhibition project The Uneasy Subject, MUSAC shall publish a book approaching Akram Zaatari’s production within the context he works in. The book will focus in particular on his audiovisual pieces and their technical aspects, whilst highlighting his own opinions in an interview and through reproductions of his works. The book will include essays by Juan Vicente Aliaga, exhibition curator; Stuart Comer, curator of film at Tate Modern (London) and a regular contributor to publications such as Artforum, Parkett, Afterall or Frieze; and Mark Westmoreland, Professor of Anthropology at the American University, Cairo.

• El molesto asunto: Conference
On the occasion of the exhibition The Uneasy Subject, MUSAC organizes a conference, directed by Juan Vicente Aliaga, in order to analyze and discuss the historical, cultural and sociological dimensions in the work of Akraam Zaatari. The aim is to provide the public with intellectual tools that allow them to gain a broader understanding of the artist’s work and its context.


Exhibition Title: Un modo de organización alrededor del vacío. Brumaria Works#3 Expanded Violences
Artist: Brumaria
Curator: Agustín Pérez Rubio - Brumaria
Coordinator: Elena García Crespo
Educational coordinator: Belén Sola
Dates: 29 January - 5 July 2011
Venue: Gallery 1

Starting 29 January 2011, MUSAC’s Gallery 1 will feature Un modo de organización alrededor del vacío. Brumaria Works#3 Expanded Violences. This exhibition is a continuation of the work in progress during recent years by Brumaria, a platform/publication, research and analysis space and artistic endeavour. This multi-format project focuses on the relationship amongst art, war waged on multiple fronts, and terrorism. Brumaria Works#3, a site-specific project for MUSAC, opens this field of analysis to new registers and seeks to give body to these same concerns regarding our contemporary life—besieged and in a state of war.

The outcome of years of delving into this relationship (art—war-on-many-fronts— terrorism) is a series of incursions: Arte y Terrorismo (Art and Terrorism), Iconoclastia- Iconolatría (Iconoclasm and Iconolatry) and now Expanded Violences. Through myriad projects: research, exhibitions, artwork, seminars and publications, they bear witness to the width and breadth of the subjects dealt with and the conceptual, thematic and discursive void still apparent in Art on a global scale.

Expanded Violences is therefore a comprehensive proposal, a work in progress first expressed artistically through Brumaria Works#1 and carried out within the framework of Manifesta 8, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art, in Murcia and Cartagena (9 October 2010 - 9 January 2011). Brumaria Works#1 is a two-fold presentation comprising an installation and a body of texts. The piece, housed in two prison cells at the old San Antón Prison in Cartagena, recreates the chaotic experience of contemporary life and the media’s contribution to it, using the physical experiences of hot and cold and total visual and sound saturation.

Along with the installation, the first collaboration between Brumaria and MUSAC has produced a reader, a special body of Brumaria texts in English and Spanish to be given out free of charge to those attending the Biennial.

Un modo de organización alrededor del vacío. Brumaria Works#3 Expanded Violences, springs from the second phase of collaboration. The piece was created specifically for MUSAC in a joint effort to open this field of analysis to new registers and give body to these same concerns regarding our contemporary life—besieged and in a state of war. Brumaria Works#3 sets forth an analysis where violence is presented as the real, the symbolic and the imaginary; that is, it likens it to Jacques Lacan’s triad, where this triangulation and the generic framework of psychoanalysis serve as an essential reference point from which a theoretical context can be created. In this scenario, the piece, according to Brumaria, would be the transformation of the sensitive into idea-in-action, starting from a true idea and the understanding of truth as one so infinitely multifaceted it is capable of bringing things into the subjective realm.

Expanded Violences, Brumaria Works#3 triggers a process of subjectification where the void, nothingness, provides the raw material from which to make a break with the subject’s reality, rendering it dumbfounded; a state which, to quote Brumaria, is symbolic and seeks to bore a hole through that which is real in a being. Art would be, then, a sort of order around that cavity; and the light would represent that which is symbolic as the being’s primal contribution.

This piece is shown in MUSAC’s Gallery 1—a hall which can be accessed independently from other exhibitions. It consists only of a body of light and stands as a blurred border, suggesting an indoor-outdoor ambiguity. The light—or rather the absence thereof— suggests a type of Möbius strip where the void, the impossibility of a reality or the creation of a non-referenced reality bores a hole outside the universe. This void generates the prospect of filling it; which occurs through the use of a white light that awakens and irritates the viewer.

The piece wraps up with theoretical and audiovisual material: videos and lectures by psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, together with his most relevant publications, in Spanish, for the public to browse through. A guidebook has been published to serve as supporting theory, introducing the essential terminology and fundamental theoretic references of psychoanalysis. This provides the public with the means to better comprehend the piece. Additionally, a debate session will be held to further analyse the subjects and references covered in Expanded Violences.

Mindful of the other exhibitions running parallel to it at MUSAC, their creators and contexts—the work of Georges Adéagbo, Gervasio Sánchez and Akram Zaatari— Brumaria Works#3 Expanded Violences is put forward as a suggested space, a project which seeks to be neither implicit nor explicit, navigating vague outlines of expression where ideas operate more on evocative planes than in explicit ways. The metaphor as producer of reality thus strives to complete a heterogeneous comprehensive discourse able to generate its own spaces for thought.

Brumaria is an artists’ project focused on the construction of a space for studying, reflecting and developing proposals, whose aim is to circulate both theoretical and practical materials relative to artistic and aesthetic ideas and their relation to the social and political structures inherent in them.
The publication, initially a journal, has evolved into fourteen important titles to date. From number four on, each issue focuses exclusively on a highly relevant subject, such as video, art and politics, net art, Documenta 12, amongst others. Brumaria has participated in the Manifesta 8, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art, in Murcia and Cartagena with the project Brumaria Works#1.
Darío Corbeira, Editor of the journal, lives in Madrid. He is an artist and professor at the Fine Arts Faculty, University of Salamanca, where he teaches Art Spaces and Alternative Artistic Means. He began his career at the end of the 1960’s. He uses a variety of media to give shape to his conceptual work, which has been shown in Spain and abroad. He has authored the book Construir... o deconstruir, una selección de textos sobre la obra de Gordon Matta-Clark. He authored Comer o no Comer, curating this exhibition, film and editorial project about the relationship between food and hunger in 20th century art. He publishes critical essays in various journals and publications, and has lectured at various universities in Spain, US, Canada and Germany.


Project title: Amikejo. Laboratorio 987 - 2011
Curators: Latitudes (Max Andrews & Mariana Cánepa Luna)
Artists: Marisa Penacchio & Pasquale Argentato
Coordinator: Carlos Ordás
Dates: 29 January - 27 March 2011
Venue: Laboratorio 987. MUSAC, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León (León, Spain)

On 29 January 2011 MUSAC’s Laboratorio 987 will enter a new phase in its exhibition programming, focused on providing a projection platform not only for artists, but also for young curators working in Spain. Under the new scheme, each year MUSAC will invite a limited number of curators to submit a year-long curatorial project for Laboratorio 987, guided by the premise of developing a conceptual approach through four exhibitions for the museum’s project room. MUSAC will select the submission best suited to the project room’s approach. This new line of work will begin with the Amikejo project, set to develop throughout 2011 over a series of four exhibitions curated by the independent curatorial office Latitudes, created in 2005 in Barcelona by Max Andrews and Mariana Cánepa Luna, and structured around the concept of spatial twinning and relationships developing from collaborative pairs

On Amikejo
Amikejo is a series of four exhibitions at MUSAC’s Laboratorio 987 structured around relational and spatial twinning. This is most evident in the fact that the artists showing in each instalment will work as collaborating pairs; as does Latitudes, the curatorial office formed by Max Andrews & Mariana Cánepa Luna, invited to conceive the season’s schedule. These artistic pairings involve various modes of binomial friendships – couples in real life, dedicated duos, intermittent work partners, as well as new allies. The artist partnerships involve an overall 50–50 split of male and female practitioners, as well as Spanish-speaking and foreign origins.

Amikejo was an anomalous in-between state which never entirely existed, and was founded on a desire to foster more effective international communication through the synthetic language Esperanto. Following treaties signed in the early 19th Century, a tiny 31⁄2 km2 wedge of land between the Netherlands, Belgium and Prussia was established as a neutral area around an important zinc mine. In 1908 the 2,500 identity-less citizens of Neutral Moresnet, as it was known, declared it to be the world’s first Esperanto state: Amikejo (‘place of great friendship’ in Esperanto). A national anthem was constituted and stamps and a flag were designed. Yet in the wake of the First World War, Germany relinquished its claim to the disputed territory, and Amikejo-Moresnet subsequently disappeared from the map as it became part of Belgium, although border markers still exist to this day.

This episode-place, and ultimately, failure, was a unique synthesis of cartography, language, nationhood, politics, economics and subjectivity, and is entreated as a twin site to Laboratorio 987 by lending its name and conceptual borders to the exhibition series. This association not only implicates the spatial functions of the ‘neutral’ spaces of art – how they endorse otherwise unremarkable things with a ‘special’ status – yet also establishes a similarity with the desire to institute a shared and effective means of communication, between participants and with the world.

The series encompasses a further register of doubling prompted by a critical reflection on the conditions and expectations of a ‘project space’ such as Laboratorio 987 within today’s contemporary art museum. Such a site is typically annexed to a hosting institution, independent yet attached, with the understanding that different, more ad-hoc and agile laws apply. Nonconformist yet authorized, and following spatial theories such as Michel Foucault’s ‘heterotopia’, a project space is a typology that is neither here nor there. Shadowing Robert Smithson’s concept of the ‘non-site’ (an indoor artwork physically and mentally paired with an outdoor site), the Laboratario 987 space has been assigned a relation with a specific remote location for the 2011 season: Amikejo.

On the artists
Marisa Argentato (born Naples, Italy, 1977) & Pasquale Pennacchio (born Caserta, Italy, 1979).
Live and work in Naples and Berlin. Pennacchio Argentato's installation for the Laboratorio 987 addresses ideas about leisure and overproduction, work and non-work. A series of rough concrete sculptures resemble abstract prototypes for exercise machines. Yet they do not offer an obvious way to work out. The sculptures attempt to represent a kind of pleasure in suspenseful endurance or “abstract fatigue”, as the artists have termed it, a style which is set apart from acting and from making.
The works of Pennacchio Argentato (Marisa Argentato & Pasquale Pennacchio) often arise from processes of doubling and repurposing. Do it just (2008) was a sculpture formed by a stack of nine neatly folded counterfeit Nike jackets – examples of the illegally produced brand clothing for which the duo’s home city of Naples is notorious. However the design of the jacket’s red-white-and-blue pattern was customized by the artists during production. No longer imitations of a single proprietary design, the items became new originals. For In the Realm of the Bidimensional (2008) and similar works, the artists have further explored the creation of authenticity and worth yet in an even purer form by incorporating counterfeit Euro banknotes, in this case what seemed to be a 50 note was woven into the frame of a flattened-out and painted metal warehouse trolley. The fake money was highlighted as a manufactured product so accomplished that it had the potential to seamlessly circulate in the economy as the direct equivalent of real capital. The duo’s Sandy brown posters (2009), abstract silkscreen and inkjet prints, followed this concern with alternative currency by using the marks left on lottery scratch cards as their point of departure, while their presentation at the 2009 Frieze Art Fair, London, transformed the entire T293 gallery stand into an abandoned or merely empty shop by appropriating retail fittings and shelving systems. In the context of the global depression, The Great White Hope (2009) appeared to offer a commentary on the invisible value of art and the impersonal abstraction of macro-economics.
Solo exhibitions include Five o’clock shadows, T293, Rome (2010); The New Boring, Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis (2010); Landings 4, Landings, Vestfossen, Norway (2010); Do It Just, Galerie Opdahl, Berlin (2009); Estate, T293, Naples (2007) and Blind Date, Viafarini, Milan (2002). Group exhibitions include SI - Sindrome Italiana, Magasin, Centre National d'Art Contemporain de Grenoble, Grenoble (2010); Dude, where's my Career?, MMK Zollamt / Portikus, Frankfurt (2009); A long time ago, last night, Gallery Kortil, Rijeka, Croatia (2008); Aspen Project (Part III), Neue Alte Bru cke, Frankfurt am Main (2007); Cinema infinito / Neverending Cinema, Galleria Civica d’Arte Contemporanea, Trento (2006).


Editorial Project: Un editor independiente y libre se posiciona del lado de los artistas (An Independent and Free Publisher Sides with the Artists)
cneai = Centre National de l’Edition et de l’Art Imprimé
Curator: Sylvie Boulanger, María Inés Rodríguez
Coordination: Carlos Ordás
Dates : 29 January - 27 March, 2011
Venue: Showcase Project

In line with its ongoing commitment to provide greater visibility to creative publishing and related projects, MUSAC's Showcases are to feature a selection of works held in the collection of cneai = Centre National de l’Edition et de l’Art Imprimé (French National Centre for Prints and Printed Art), under the title Un editor independiente y libre se posiciona del lado de los artistas (An Independent and Free Publisher Sides with the Artists). From its inception, this institution has focused on the production and promotion of artist's books and other publications.

On cneai
Founded in 1997 and located nine kilometres from the Eiffel Tower on the island of Chatou, a hub for Impressionist painters, cneai is a contemporary art centre devoted to the field of artist publishing and media-based artwork.

cneai = credo
The credo of this experimental venue is to match the needs of the artist with available resources. That is why the institution's exhibitions have always been backed by a production potential and an outwards focus: performance and action programmes, publications and productions, research and workshops and, in the past 3 years, artist and author residencies. The Salon Light stands as the annual meeting-point for the international independent publishing scene.

cneai = collector
The cenai's activity with artist’s publications has resulted in the fmra collection (read "ephemera"). The fmra Collection, on display on the top floor of CNEAI, welcomes "éphéméras" and artist's publications including works on vinyl, books, magazines, posters, flyers, stickers, tapes, leaflets, postcards, CDs, DVDs, websites... The collection can be viewed on appointment. Within the collection, a number of subcategories have been established around sound, literary creation, journals, magazines, graphic design and poetry. The 20th century collection begins in the 1960s. Making art in printed form implied emancipation from established political and economic boundaries. These media works were defined by a reproduction potential that set the precedent for shared artistic authorship, mutual creative exchange and the writing of a parallel history. Paradoxically, by becoming more open, unlimited and free, these forms of publishing become harder to trace, since they resort to broadcasting channels that remain unmarked. These "ephemeras" also attain artwork status, even when they are produced in light media. Over 2500 artists are represented in the collection, sometimes with unattributed yet compelling works.

cneai = publisher
The publishing programme provides a broad margin of freedom for artists’ projects (mostly artist's books, records and DVDs) and journals combining contributions from the humanities and artistic contributions. Cneai publishes artists and authors who push publishing practice to the forefront of artistic practice. Prices are reasonable. The absence of an identifiable graphic line reinforces the desire to adapt the form to the content. Co- publishing has become an essential principle in order to support and promote different editorial practices, as well as the economic principle of sharing the cost of distribution. Major topics are related to the notion of sharing authorship in the artistic publishing process (enhancement, recovery, amplification...). Each publication is an expression of an author or artist (Guy Cointet, Continuous Project, Yona Friedman, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Allen Ruppersberg, Temporary Services...). cneai = has published 70 titles in 13 years involving more than 150 artists.

cneai = producer
For the past ten years, cneai's publications have built up a collection of nearly 400 multiple works created by artists, as well as designers, architects and poets. So far, almost 200 authors have been invited to question this artistic category and have created pieces ranging from prints, sculptures, artist books, magazines, DVDs, software... They all approach the issues of the status of the author, the notion of authenticity, intentions related to media and networking, the concept of common ownership through quotation or plagiarism - they all raise the question of a work's becoming. This collection is open to mediation: exhibition, loan, acquisition.
Many of these works have been lent, acquired by and exhibited in museums, galleries and other art centres: Centre Pompidou, CAPC Bordeaux, MOMA New York, Geneva MAMCO, Tate Gallery London.

cneai = houseboat
Created by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, in collaboration with Denis Daversin and Jean- Marie Finot, the houseboat, known as Maison Flottante, is an artist and author's residence. Authors, artists, writers, theorists are hosted over varying periods and invited to design and create published projects.

cneai = Salon Light
Since an independent and free publisher must be backed first and foremost by the artists themselves, every year cneai brings to Paris thousands of visitors involved in the international scene of artist publication publishers. This program is part of the production and research we conduct on distribution and publishing practices. In its seventh edition, the Salon Light shall host over 70 art publishers whose work is demanding and usually inaccessible. This selection sheds light on the inventiveness of those actors in contemporary creation dedicated to new devices and practices: books, magazines, CDs, DVDs, vinyl, websites... These publications, mostly limited runs that soon become unobtainable, open some new doors to the world of publishing. During the salon, the "11 minutes" marathon will show performances, micro-lectures and auctions, all conceived by participating editors, graphic artists and writers.

cneai = workshops
Several times a year, workshops on theoretical and practical research gather researchers, experts and students around the issue of publishing. This year cnai will tackle the topic of experimental publishing, its geography and its specific practices, as well as the issue of the television format for multiple artworks.

cneai = builder
In 2011, cneai shall be launching an architectural project, conducted by the agency Bona- Lemercier, and moving for a year to central Paris, 20 rue Louis Weiss, where cneai will launch an art and poetry salon open to all new forms of artistic distribution.

Image: Photograph of the installation at Palazzo Vecchio, Florence at the exhibitionLa rencontre..! Venise-Florence..!, 2008, Color photograph, Courtesy Frittelli Arte Contemporanea, Florence

Press contact:
Izaskun Sebastian T. +34 987 09 00 00 F. +34 987 09 11 11

Opening Saturday 29 January 2011

MUSAC Contemporary Art Museum
Avda. de los Reyes Leoneses, 24 - Leon
Hours: Tuesdays to Fridays: 10 - 15 / 17 - 20 hs, Saturdays and Sundays: 11 - 15 / 17 - 21 hs. Closed on Mondays.

Alberto Garcia-Alix
dal 2/10/2015 al 30/1/2016

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