Visibleinvisible is the first solo exhibition in Spain of British artist Cerith Wyn Evans, curated by Octavio Zaya. Artist, curator, cultural agitator, dj and record collector, Dave Muller presents a series of drawings. Blanca Li unfurls the many aspects of her multidimensional work as choreographer, dancer, performer and filmmaker. H BOX is a nomad screening space which will display eight new video creations by international young artists. Finally on display an editorial project and exhibition project titled Benicassim. The Festival.
…visibleinvisible - Cerith Wyn Evans
Curator: Octavio Zaya
MUSAC, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, presents …visibleinvisible, the first solo exhibition in Spain of British artist Cerith Wyn Evans. Both this show, whi ch is curated by Octavio Zaya, and the monographic book that will be published for the occasion overview the sophis ticated work of this key figure in the European art scene.
The artistic career of Cerith Wyn Evans (1958, Llanelli-Wales, UK) began to unfold during the late 1970s in London’s underground scene, when he worked in close collaboration with the well-known British filmmakers Derek Jarman and John Maybury, as one of the protagonists of the avant-garde film movement then known as “New Romantics”. During the decade of the 80s Evans concentrated on a series of experimental films, though he did not cease to collaborate with other legendary choreographers and artists such as Michael Clark, Leigh Bowery, Throbbing Gristle, The Smiths and The Fall. Starting in 1990, and after discovering (1975) and being inspired by the work of Marcel Broodthaers, he extended his means of expression, striving to produce the installations that would make him so influential. He has also been a professor at the Architectural Association of London, the British capital in which he currently lives and works.
In recent years, Evans has become a key figure on the London art scene, and his sophisticated work —and its disposition to connect and relate through evocations and encryption— has inspired many outstanding artists of the latest generation. This work is unmistakably conceived through its critical and historical relation to the possibilities and vicissitudes of film, as well as writing. In any event, he has taken from them the unusual relations between space, light, language and objects, in addition to their seductiveness and indecisiveness. However, while his pieces and installations make use of a wide array of genres, media and discourses, both high and low, there is always a certain amount of disdain for what is accessible; there is always some opacity, and the experience of the work seems to imply an acceptance of the impossibility of immediacy and coherence in the world of appearances.
With his adaptations, assemblages and compositions of multiple references, which usually favour modes of presentation with imperceptible gaps and disjunctions, Evans never privileges or encourages a phenomenological reading of space or a literal use of materials. Instead, the combinations of unexpected materials —such as neon lights, philosophical texts, mirrors, fireworks and plants— and their links, affinities and adjacencies, where slight disturbances and perturbations often take place, point to disruptions and intrusions that displace registers and perceptions. Nothing is what it seems. In this polymorphous and intertextual space the emphasis seems to fall between the visible and the invisible, between presences and absences. What seems to be inescapable and prevalent is the contortion of everyday perceptions and associations, and the establishment of what the artist enunciates as “someplace that is out of place, what is bent, the hinge of reality upon which the relation of image and object oscillates.”
…visibleinvisible: The Exhibition
Indeed, Cerith Wyn Evans’ work is an exploration of the limits of vision through the creation of spaces where neither objects nor representations exist. Visibleinvisible —which MUSAC organizes with the curatorship of Octavio Zaya— is the British artist’s first solo show in Spain and brings together a series of works and installations that have become emblematic of his career, in addition to new productions created for this show.
His recognized “Chandeliers” (2003-2007) —among which 7 newly produced ones are presented— comprise here the largest installation the artist has ever developed with these hanging lamps of different styles and origins, wherein the most varied literary sources from the past century — philosophical texts, poems, letters, etc.— are transmitted through Morse-code that is transformed into pulsing light bulbs to unfurl a magical space of “luminous” meanings.
Likewise, his emblematic Dreamachine (1998) is included. It is inspired by the prototype designed by Brion Gysin and Ian Sommerville, and again it explores the phenomenon of perception. This installation —the first to be experienced with our eyes closed— constructs a space where the pulsations/vibrations of the cinematic light activate a quasi hypnotic state in the brain. And the meaningful oscillation of the monumental neon text of the coloured chinese lanterns… (2007) once again combines text and light, consciousness and unconsciousness, to transmit emotions and ideas in a sort of mental fabric that concerns both the frameworks of illusion and time, and the limits of language.
These works, along with the new installations that Cerith Wyn Evans is producing for this selective show, are thus located, and take presence, in the slippage between visible and invisible, of the visible in the visible, displaying with elegance and precision, intelligence and playfulness, a realm of sights and visions that alter and challenge our perception, “in which something happens all over again for the very first time”.
…visibleinvisible: The Publication
The exhibition is accompanied by a book with the same title, published by HATJE CATZ VERLAG, and whose editor is the curator of the show. In this publication designed by Albert Folch Studio, Daniel Birmbaum's (Director of Portikus Gallery and teacher at the Städelschule Art Academy, Frankfurt am Main, Germany) and Octavio Zaya's essays assess the most relevant productions of Cerith Wyn Evans’ career.
Octavio Zaya: Biographical Note
Born in the Canary Islands and based in New York since 1978, Octavio Zaya is an independent curator and art writer. Advisor of MUSAC, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León (León, Spain); part of the Permanent Artistic Advisory Board of Centro Huarte (Navarra, Spain); advisor of Perfoma (New York). He is co-director of Atlántica, a bilingual quarterly magazine of art and culture published by CAAM, Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno (Canary Islands); belongs to the editorial board for NKA Journal of Contemporary African Art(Cornell University, New York) and is a US correspondent for Flash Art (Milan, Italy).
He was one of the curators of Documenta 11 (2002), as part of the curatorial team under the direction of Okwui Enwezor, and one of the curators of the 1st and 2nd Johannesburg Biennial (1995 and 1997). Other exhibitions he has curated include Interzones (Kunstforeningen, Copenhagen, 1996), In/Sight. African Photographers. 1940 to the Present (Guggenheim Museum, New York, 1997), The Garden of Forking Paths (Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, 1998), Interferencias (Canal de Isabel II, Madrid; Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Sevilla; Universidad de Salamanca, 1998) and “Eztetyka del Sueño” (with Carlos Basualdo, MNCARS, Madrid, 2001), one of the 5 exhibitions of Versiones del Sur, which he conceived and coordinated for Museo Centro de Arte Reina Sofia. In 1997 he was the curator of "Latinoamérica in ARCO" and from 1998 to 2002 he was a curator of the “International Project Rooms” of the Madrid Art Fair, which he joined once again in ARCO’06. He also curated solo exhibitions of Shirana Shabazi (2004) and Fernando Renes (2005) for TRANS>area (New York, US).
Octavio Zaya was one of the curators of Fresh Cream (Phaidon Press, London, 2000) and originator and director of Files (MUSAC, León, 2004). He has also authored numerous books and essays on contemporary and emerging issues and artists, including Shirin Neshat, Cai Guo-Qiang, Zelethu Mthethwa, Candice Breitz, Milagros de la Torre, Zhang Huan, Yutaka Sone, Juan Muñoz, Zarina Bhimji, Tania Bruguera, Barry McGee, Laura Lima, Rona Pondick, Damian Ortega, Fernanda Gomes, Carmela García, Bjarne Meelgard, William Eggleston, Shoja Azari, Gregory Green, Shahryar Nashat, Lovett & Codagnone, Slava Mogutin, etc.
During 2005 Zaya presented several exhibitions, including After the Revolution (Contemporary Artists from Iran) (Koldo Mitxelena, San Sebastian, 2005), Carmela García: The Hole in Space, curated for the Government of Canary Islands (CAAM, Gran Canaria; Centro Juan Ismael, Fuerteventura, 2005), and Shirin Neshat: The Last Word (MUSAC, 2005; CAAM, 2006), Inside-Out: Contemporary Artists from Israel (MARCO, 2006) and Candice Breitz: Multiple Exposure (MUSAC, 2007). He is currently curating an exhibition on the video works of Jesper Just and a large selection of the phographs by Ellen Kooi, both for La Casa Encendida (Madrid, Spain). In addition, Octavio Zaya is organizing as director, the 2nd Biennial of Canarias (November, 2008).
I Like Your Music I Love Your Music - Dave Muller
Curator: Agustín Pérez Rubio
On 26 January MUSAC is to open the first major solo exhibition at a European institution by Californian artist Dave Muller. Artist, curator, cultural agitator, dj and record collector, Muller is highly acclaimed on the American scene, particularly for his projects at the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Whitney Biennial or SFMOMA. For I Like Your Music I Love Your Music the artist brings to the Castilla y León Museum of Contemporary Art a selection of recent work around his key theme: the cultural value of music and its social reciprocal relevance, both as an individual and collective portrait. Records, represented here in drawings of their spines, covers or in sound files, etc. provide the point of entry to the artist’s personal history and recollections, but also to the viewer’s, pointing the way to the construction of cultural identity through music. Muller sees music as a network of exchanges and aesthetic, social and personal relationships.
About the Artist
Dave Muller began making a name for himself in the 1990s on the San Francisco and Los Angeles art scene with his drawings, a discipline he pursued alongside his passion for music as a trumpeter, record collector and dj. Appropriating images from the world of art and music, the artist carries them into the expanded realm of drawing, deftly achieving a portrait and intra-history of sorts, built up on the basis of the elements that are closest to him. Thus, during the 1990s he focused his activity on the appropriation of images from the culture and from contemporary art, designing invitations for friends’ exhibitions, drawing images taken from media like the covers of Art Forum, or exhibition posters from MOMA, Blum & Poe, the Santa Monica Art Museum... His cultural universe is thus tied in with peers such as Sam Durant, Anne Collier, Jorge Pardo or Andrea Bowers.
For a time, Muller also assisted Mike Kelley, with whom he played and performed in Destroy All Monsters, the band set up by Mike Kelley, Jim Shaw and Cary Loren, amongst others. He is also a recognised cultural agitator, not only with his performances and dj sets at a number of cultural and musical events, but also as the man behind the Three Day Weekend, where he curated exhibitions for fellow artists and friends, including shows, concerts, performances and video projections. These activities started to take place on the underground circuit in Los Angeles in 1994, gradually picking up momentum and spreading to New York, London, Berlin or Tokyo, both at established institutions (London’s Royal College of Art or in collaboration with the Whitney Biennial in New York) and in fringe spaces.
It is worth noting that Dave Muller is connected to the world of music not only through his activities as a musician and dj, but also by virtue of his drive to collect all styles of music and its related objects, including vinyls and cassettes. These collected objects have provided the raw material for his recent work, focused on the artefacts of music culture and their weight in the sphere of art.
Dave Muller has shown at the Deste Foundation (Athens), the Sydney Biennial (2006), the 7th and 8th Lyon Biennials and the 2004 Whitney Biennial, amongst others. He has also shown at Blum & Poe (Los Angeles), Barbara Gladstone (New York) or The Approach (London).
About I Lke Your Musc I Love Your Music
The exhibition I Like Your Music I Love Your Music draws part of its title from Dave Muller’s 2004 exhibition at the Blum & Poe gallery in Los Angeles I Like Your Music (2004). Bridging the gap between 2003/04 and today, the artist completes the cycle covered over recent years around the theme of music as a core generator of his artistic practice. The exhibition, which does not set out to provide a retrospective, but rather a project that brings together major elements of the artist’s work, is structured around four spaces.
In the space leading into the show, just as in the earlier I Like Your Music, Muller approaches the themes of identity and portraiture. The walls are covered in large-format watercolours depicting the spines of lps that changed the artist’s life. Delving deeper into this idea of the relationship between music and identity, the centre of the room is taken up by an X-shaped structure that provides eight walls to display as many of his most representative Top Tens. Top Tens are Dave Muller’s very special portraits of himself and the people around him. He asks the subject (his gallerist, his wife, a friend...) to produce a list of his or her ten favourite lps. He then draws the spines of the ten lps to the person’s exact height, thus producing a portrait that not only adheres to form, but also captures the person’s cultural identity.
From this room the viewer proceeds into a space spread out over 400m2 that holds the mural installation The Beginning of the Middle, the Middle of the Midde and the End of the Middle (2005). This wall drawing was first displayed at the Lyon Biennial, later at a solo exhibition at New York’s Gladstone Gallery, and is currently held by the MUSAC Collection. In it, Muller develops a chronological landscape of sorts, covering a history of music where the horizon reshapes itself and folds into the natural progression of events. Thus, the year of the atom bomb is represented as a palm tree and the emergence of pop music appears as a mirror ball on the timeline. Muller gives the idea an extra twist by weaving his own thoughts, opinions and projections into the drawing, for instance predicting the death of rock music with the emergence of retro in 2013, in the form of a desert. The drawing captures key moments in the development of pop, black music and other styles that shaped the US music scene the artist is immersed in. The installation is complemented with free-standing works from other collections, depicting lp spines, tapes or bits of paper with reviews cut out of newspapers or magazines, which together round off Muller’s vision and the personal “history of music” he intends to transmit.
This hall also holds three of Muller’s sound pieces, or radio stations, by the title of Where I am at is… These are works in a permanent state of expansion, where the artist compiles his entire music collection, currently holding over 90,000 bought or downloaded tracks. The installation consists of a plasma screen displaying the titles and cover art of the track being played and three small radios that play the music.
This hall leads on to a third space where Muller creates a coherent yet open whole on the basis of diverse fragments of information. The Beatles are tied in with a mathematical theory which, reflected off a mirror ball and combined with Piero Scaruffi’s History of Rock Music and Muller’s daughter’s favourite songs, make up a single body that is displayed on the walls.
Beyond this space, we enter a small room lit from above through a skylight, by way of a Pantheon to house the installation The Way We Live Now (2007). The space is taken up by drawings Muller has extracted from the book Pease Kill Me reflecting the names, identities and death dates of a number of legends of US culture, from poet William Burroughs to photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, including it girl Edie Sedgwick, actor John Belushi or Sid Vicious. Ultimately, The Way We Live Now underlines the weight of contemporary culture in shaping our identities.
Publisher: RPG Ringier
Editors: Lionel Bouvier, Agustín Pérez Rubio
Coordinator: Carlos Ordás
Design: Lorraine Wilde
Languages: Bilingual English—Spanish
On occasion of the exhibition I Like Your Music I Love Your Music MUSAC and Rignier are jointly publishing a book focused on and complementing the exhibition, which compiles Muller’s production around the theme of music. The book’s format in itself is significant, in that it simulates an lp cover. Dave Muller is to produce additional new drawings for the book. The publication will also carry an extensive interview with Dave Muller by Agustín Pérez Rubio and a critical essay on his work by ---.
Blanca Li, Te voy a enseñar a bailar [I’ll show you how to dance]
Curator: Alberto Martín
Collaborations by: Sylvie Fleury, Lucy Orta, Pablo Reinoso, Paco Delgado, Rafa Linares, Charles Carcopino, Tao Gutiérrez and Lola
MUSAC is to host choreographer and dancer Blanca Li’s first exhibition in a specialised modern art context. Under the title I’ll show you how to dance, Blanca Li unfurls the many aspects of her multidimensional work as choreographer, dancer, performer and filmmaker. Faithful to an approach based on the integration of different languages, styles, genres and cultures, as well as the use of all channels and medias available, Blanca Li conjures a complex creative universe that brings together new and previous work: the short film Angoisse (1998), the video piece La Paella (1998), the Thoneteando actions (2006), a music video for Daft Punk’s Around the World (1997) or advertising and music videos included in Le Défi (2001). Alongside this work, Blanca Li is to unveil new video installations produced by MUSAC and based on the performances, dance and specific work for video she is currently exploring: Fitness at home (2007), Clase de Baile (2007) and Sala de máquinas (2007). The intensity of her own work is heightened through collaborations with other artists throughout the project: Sylvie Fleury, Lucy Orta, Pablo Reinoso, Paco Delgado, Rafa Linares, Charles Carcopino, Tao Gutiérrez or Lola are some of the people who have contributed to this joyful body experience and to the artist’s invitation to alter our own physical perceptions.
MUSAC shall host the first exhibition by choreographer and dancer Blanca Li in specialised contemporary art context. The show will cover the range of fields she has explored throughout her career. The term ‘multifaceted artist’ barely does justice to how extensively her work as a choreographer, dancer, performer and filmmaker is informed by an approach based both on an integration of languages, styles, genres and cultures, and on the extensive use of all channels and formats within her reach. Film, video, performance, advertising, stage, music video, dance and choreographic and musical composition are tools she mixes, matches and juxtaposes, as she does with the aesthetic and cultural references present in her work: classical dance, flamenco, hip hop, urban culture, contemporary dance, the media, cookery, home, the gym… All driven by a talent for hybridising and combining that finds its most effective expression in contamination, playfulness, subversion and parody.
The title chosen by Blanca Li for her first offering at a modern art venue is Te voy a enseñar a bailar (I’ll teach you how to dance), a true statement of principles for a show where movement and dance intend to assert and construct the freedom of bodies and of the viewer. Blanca Li transforms our daily routines and actions, our social codes of conduct, our relationship to everyday objects and to our own bodies, in order to suggest a richly communicative and uninhibited atmosphere.
The works on show stem from Blanca Li’s creative universe, some of her most representatives dance and film pieces and collaborations with other artists. Some are exhibited in their original format, such as the short film Angoisse (1998), where Blanca Li constructs a hilarious nightmare world full of calamities arising from the fear of missing a plane; her piece La paella (1998), staging a surreal cookery lesson; her work in collaboration with Pablo Reinoso, where she confronts the dysfunctionalities of the furniture created by Reinoso in the Thoneteando actions; or the video Seances (2004), where she undergoes a psychoanalysis session where movement replaces words. Other items reappraise and recreate her work, involving the viewer in the event, as the soundscape and visual installation Disco or the recreation of Daft Punk’s music video All Around the World (1997), directed by Michel Gondry using Blanca Li’s own choreography.
In this same line, the exhibition also includes a representative selection of her collaborations for advertising and music videos, together with dance sequences taken from her first feature film Le Défi (2001). Viewing these pieces side by side, underlines Li’s multifaceted approach, also revealing the links and connections between the many media and channels she explores. This group of works is probably the best example of some of her defining traits, including the sense of immediacy and spontaneity her world exudes, her multiculturalism and permeability to everything that surrounds us. The feature film Le Défi is particularly relevant as a response to the challenge of filming a musical revolving around hip hop culture and imbued with a refreshing sense of closeness.
Familiar with working in collaboration, with the exchange of gazes inherent to stagecraft, filmmaking or advertising, with the relationship between dancer and choreographer, performer and director, Blanca Li was eager to involve other artists in her creative universe for this exhibition. A case in point is the video directed by Sylvie Fleury, choreographed and performed by Blanca Li and produced by MUSAC for the exhibition. The piece conjures a surrealist setting for a play on icons, an analysis on women, freedom and identity, on fashion and beauty, on time and objects.
A significant section of the exhibition revolves around three new works produced by Blanca Li, presented as video installations that clearly point towards a new line in her career, drawing equally from performance, dance and work specifically created for video. Produced especially for the MUSAC show, the works are Fitness at Home (2007), Clase de baile (2007), and Sala de máquinas (2007). In Fitness at Home, a family obsessed with health and well-being find effective forms of exercise in everyday objects and activities, with home, office and gym switching roles, just as domestic appliances display new and unexpected possibilities. In Clase de baile, Blanca Li invites the viewer to step into a conventional dance studio, only to encounter an entirely unconventional lesson. In Sala de máquinas we witness an improvised gym session on exercise machines that are only vaguely familiar – new instruments demanding new exercises. The equipment created by artist Lucy Orta invites the viewer to follow cue and improvise.
These three works are excellent examples of Blanca Li’s frequent resort to parody in her work, irony becoming a subversive game that seeks to inspire in the viewer a liberating drive that is not far removed from self-mockery . To a great extent, this possibility of laughing at ourselves is achieved by altering our modes of perception. In these pieces, Blanca Li reveals just how tied down our bodies are to our everyday routines and rituals, transforming them into dance and trough dance into a playful corporal experience. She displays a mimicry of perfectly established models in our everyday routine, only to go one step further and modify them, thus altering our perception of our body, our gestures and our movement.
In this exhibition, Blanca Li compels us to transform key signs in our ordinary experience, thus transforming our relationship to our own body. Whilst teaching us to dance, she calls on us to improvise.
Artists: Alice Anderson (UK), Yael Bartana (Israel), Sebastián
Díaz-Morales (Argentina), Dora García (Spain), Judit Kúrtag
(Hungary), Valérie Mréjen (France), Shahryar Nashat
(Switzerland) y Su-Mei Tse (Luxembourg).
Curator: Benjamin Weil, Director Artists Space, New York
Architectural Space: Didier Fiuza Faustino, Bureau des
MUSAC presents H BOX, a nomad screening space designed by artist and architect Didier Faustino under Benjamin Weil’s art direction and supported by Hermès, which will display eight new video creations by international young artists: Alice Anderson (United Kingdom), Yael Bartana (Israel), Sebastián Díaz-Morales (Argentina), Dora García (Spain), Judit Kúrtag (Hungary), Valérie Mréjen (France), Shahryar Nashat (Switzerland) and Su-Mei Tse (Luxembourg).
The project, promoted and supported by Hermès under its artistic creation programme, has commissioned ad hoc works for the H Box from eight video artists. The project will develop through four further programmes over the coming years. Benjamin Weil, the project’s curator and art director, called on eight international artists whose work will be screened in a free-standing construction designed by artist and architect Didier Faustino. The artists’ international extraction is particularly relevant in view of the travelling exhibition’s schedule to tour museums around the world. Having kicked off at Paris’ Centre Pompidou, the H Box is now coming to MUSAC and will then move on to MUDAM, Luxembourg’s Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean and the Tate in London, later heading for exhibition venues in Asia and the Americas.
H BOX. the space
Made up of two entirely collapsible aluminium and plexiglass modules, H Box can be shipped and assembled to meet the requirements of its tour schedule. A ramp leads into an interior platform raised 30 cm above the floor on adjustable supports and pivoting wheels.
The fully transparent front is far more than an invitation to step inside; it is a gaze on the outside world and a light source. The façade makes H Box an intimate space accessible to the surrounding images. The space holds up to ten people comfortably installed in the two leather benches fitted to the walls. State-of-the-art visual and audio equipment allow the viewer to feel the full metaphorical force of the moving images.
H BOX. A space for video art
H Box is inspired by a productive and innovative spirit compelled to draw from various disciplines (video, architecture and design) in order to establish a whole piece promoting new young talent on the international museum scene. Collaboration between a number of professionals in the fields of fashion, art and design has resulted in a nomad screening hall that houses eight video works by artists hailing from different countries and cultures, whose contrasting careers and contributions to the project are one of its main assets: Alice Anderson (United Kingdom), Yael Bartana (Israel), Sebastian Díaz-Morales (Argentina), Dora García (Spain), Judit Kúrtag (Hungary), Valérie Mréjen (France), Shahryar Nashat (Switzerland) and Su- Mei Tse (Luxembourg).
The selection of artists for this first edition of the H Box includes Dora García, who was born in Valladolid, Spain and currently lives and works in Brussels. Her work, developed in the formats of video, writing and performance, currently enjoys broad international acclaim, achieved over many solo and group exhibitions. She has shown, inter alia, at SMAK in Gent, GfZK in Leipzig, at the Istanbul Biennial, Barcelona’s MACBA and MUSAC.
HERMÈS, project sponsor
Ever since their establishment as manufacturers of stirrups and other riding equipment over 150 years ago, Hermès’ unique corporate culture has focused on exploring new spheres, including sponsorship of contemporary art. Currently, Hermès is committed to supporting artists from around the world, producing their work and showing through its own network of galleries: «la Verrière» in Brussels, «Forum» in Tokyo, «l’Atelier» in Seoul, «Third Floor» in Singapore, and other galleries in New York, Osaka, Berlin, Santiago and soon Bern. This time around, Hermès has created an annual programme of commissions focusing on the field of video art. Works are screened at a travelling architectural device, created and designed by artist and architect Didier Fuiza Faustino, under programme curator and contemporary art expert Benjamin Weil’s art direction.
BENJAMIN WEIL, project curator and art director
A specialist in media art and new formats, Benjamin Weil founded ada web in 1994, the first website devoted to contemporary art, whose mission was to produce and present artwork specifically created for the internet. The website’s contribution remains online thanks to the Walker Art Center at Minneapolis. He also headed the London ICA (Institut of Contemporary Arts) new media service from 1998 to 2000.
Between 2000 and 2006 he held the post of curator at the media department in SFMOMA, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, where, amongst others, he produced and screened video, audio and digital works by Pipilotti Rist, Carsten Nicolai, Gary Hill, Christian Marclay and Matthew Barney. Since 2006, Benjamin Weil curates the Art/Film programme for Art Basel. In 2004 he set up the exhibition Zone de Confluences in the context of Paris’ Villette numérique new media festival. His essays and articles are published regularly and he gives conferences on video art and new media, as well as on the challenges of collecting media art, given its inherent instability. He currently directs the Artists Space, a Multidisciplinary Art Centre based in New York, where he carries out crucial work in support of emerging artists.
DIDIER FAUSTINO, creator of the architectural space
Didier Fiuza, who graduated in 1995 from the Paris-Villemin Architecture College, splits his activities between art and architecture. In 1996 he established the “Laboratoire d’Architecture, Performances et Sabotages” (L.A.P.S.), and later, in 2002, he founded the “Bureau des Mésarchitectures”.
Awarded the “Prémio da Tabaqueira” in Lisbon in 2001 and the “Nouveaux Albums de la Jeune Architecture” prize in Paris in 2002, Didier Fiuza Faustino’s work is held in the collections of the National Modern Art Museum in Paris, the Contemporary Art Musem at Serralves (Portugal), the FRAC Centre (France), in addition to many private collections. He was chosen to represent France at the 2002 Venice Architecture Biennale, and was commissioned the Portuguese pavilion for 2004.
Major contributions include works for the following exhibitions: Air de Paris, National Modern Art Museum, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2007), 27th Contemporary Art Biennial —international selection—, Sao Paulo (2006), Unlimited, Art/36/Basel (2005), 9th Architecture Biennale —Portuguese selection—, Venice (2004), New experiments in architecture, art and city, Mori Arts Centre, Tokyo (2004), Ailleurs ici, Cordeliers Convent, ARC/Modern Art Museum of the City of Paris (2004), Infinite Interior, First Beijing Architecture Biennial, Beijing (2004), 50th Contemporary Art Biennale — international selection—, Venice (2003), 8th Architecture Biennial —French selection—, Venice (2002), Project Room, Artist Space, New York (2002).
Benicàssim. The Festival
January 26th – March 2nd, 2008
Artists: Carmela García, Cristina García Rodero, Immo Klink,
Ángel Marcos, Álvaro Villarrubia & Massimo Vitali
Original Idea: Rafael Doctor Roncero & Nacho Santos Cidrás
For the second year in a row, the MUSAC and FIB Heineken convened in Benicàssim with a selection of video creations belonging to the holdings of Leon’s museum’s collection. But this new encounter between music and the most contemporary creation included an important novelty: thanks to the Fundación Bancaja, 6 prestigious photographers at tended the summer music festival to cover the event. The resulting portrayal is to be presented at Laboratorio 987 as an exhibition and a publication titled Benicàssim. The Festival.
For the second year in a row, MUSAC and FIB Heineken convened in Benicàssim. Within the Fib-Art framework, a selection of video creations belonging to the holdings of Leon’s museum’s collection were taken to the festival site, where, during the days the event lasted —from July 19th to 22nd 2007—, the moving art of emerging and established artists of standing, such as Fikret Atay, Patty Chang, Jesper Just, Cristina Lucas, Bjørn Melhus , Fernando Renes , Pipilotti Rist and Martín Sastre, could be enjoyed by thousands of young people who once again attended the yearly musical gathering. But this new encounter between music and the most contemporary creation included an important novelty: whereas in 2006 the museum institution’s journey to the festival was underscored by the innovation in exhibition format it has been pursuing since its beginnings, in addition to the circulation of a product largely reserved for elite cultural spaces such as museums, the FIB Heineken involved a return trip; through the construction of a portrayal of this musical event designed for collective entertainment, the Festival now enters into those channels customarily reserved for “high culture” through an editorial and exhibition project titled Benicàssim. The Festival made possible by the Fundación Bancaja.
Thus, 6 internationally acclaimed photographers, Carmela García, Cristina García Rodero, Immo Klink, Ángel Marcos, Álvaro Villarrubia and Massimo Vitali travelled to the festival to capture with their cameras the beat of the spectacular annual musical gathering, which has given rise to a large format publication produced in collaboration with ACTAR publishers. For its official presentation, this book is accompanied by an exhibi tion in the MUSAC space known as Laboratorio 987. Afterwards, the show will travel to different exhibition spaces associated with the Obra Social de Bancaja, as well as other university and cultural centres in Spain, for a period of two years.
Undoubtedly, Benicàssim. The Festival perpetuates what is ephemeral in music and the unique experience of its collective celebration.
1964, Yaiza-Lanzarote, Spain
Lives and works in Madrid, Spain
Formally rigorous, perceptive and distrustful of emphatic proclamations, yet always beautiful, suggestive and frequently enveloped in a subtle mystery, the work of the Canary Island artist with the most international projection in the last decade has been the subject of monographic exhibitions — Planeta Ella at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (2000) and The Hole In Space at the CAAM-Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno (2005)— and included in important group shows —Ofelias y Ulises within the framework of the 49th Venice Biennial (2001) and The Real Royal Trip at New York’s PS1-MoMA (2003). Likewise, her prolific labour in the publishing field has left us works such as Chicas, deseos y ficción (Universidad de Salamanca, 2000) and Mujeres, Amor y Mentiras (Ediciones tf, 2003), a fascinating legacy from which to admire Carmela García’s personal world, wherein the historical social relationships between women or the fictions constructed through personal contact, affinities and love between them, become the true protagonists inhabiting public and private collections all over the world.
Cristina García Rodero
1949, Puerto Llano-Ciudad Real, Spain
Lives and works in Madrid, Spain
Considered one of the most eminent and creatively transcendent photographers in Spain, she was introduced to the field of photography within the sphere of the university. Without ever abandoning the classroom, with her camera she has conducted research of the popular, pagan and religious celebrations of Mediterranean Europe, especially Spain. Her book España oculta (Lunwerg, 1989) was fruit of this research, and it received numerous prizes such as “Best Book of the Year Award” at the Arles Photography Festival and the prize awarded by the Eugene Smith Foundation of New York. National Photography Prize winner in 1996 and member of the Magnum photo agency since 2005, Cristina García Rodero has been busy for years on her most personal project titled Entre el cielo y la tierra, a huge record of music festivals, eroticism and sex, places for having fun, showing off and loving, for human or transcendent contact, examples of which are Rituales en Haití —already published by Ediciones tf, 2001— and Burning Man —a reportage on the festival held every year in the Nevada desert.
1972, Marbach, Germany
Lives and works in London, UK
Immo Klink’s work is constructed upon two pillars that have been the basis for his subsequent evolution: his law studies and his love of photography. The conjunction of the two, to which must be added a short, yet intense three month collaboration with the German photographer Wolfgang Tillmans, gave rise to markedly documentary artwork, which from the start attracted the attention of numerous art magazines and specialized publications such as Adbusters, Dazed & Confused, Frame, I-D and Neo2, to which he has contributed. This straight photography, always denoting a clear critical conscience, examines the miseries of the society of well-being. Advertising as an element of manipulation of the masses and the globalization of culture shape a new landscape of conflicts and confrontations between two fronts with totally opposite objectives: those that are intended to maintain the status quo and those pertaining to the struggle to topple the established order for the sake of a supposed social justice.
1955, Medina del Campo-Valladolid, Spain
Lives and works in Medina del Campo-Valladolid, Spain
Ángel Marcos had been devoted to professional photography before he entered the realm of art in 1992, when, on the occasion of a photographic commission on the Calderón theatre (Valladolid), he decided to escape rigid photographic formalism to engage the subjectivity of art photography. This is when he considered pursuing a professional status in the art world and incorporated a different dynamics in his work. Since then, his production has been markedly scenographic and stripped of trivial and anecdotal aspects in an effort to evoke the memory of places themselves through the testimony of the very objects and spaces. Ángel Marcos thus began to create a body of art by focusing his lens on the land and its memoryevoking power, and on the journey —not only considered physical movement, but personal exploration and conscience-raising. His well-known projects on the cities of New York (Alrededor del sueño, 2001) and Havana (En Cuba, 2004-2006), or China (China, 2007; a MUSAC production) are attestations to this.
1964, Madrid, Spain
Lives and works in Madrid, Spain
He is one of the most important active editorial photographers in Spain. His photographs have been monopolizing the covers of numerous fashion and tendencies magazines in recent years. Likewise, his portraiture is widely recognized. He has been exhibiting for a short time —PhotoEspaña, Canal Isabel II— , instead focusing his efforts on the editorial field. He began his professional career during the mythic “Madrilenian Movida” during which time he created portraits for record covers and concert posters. Since then he has had photos published in national magazines such as El País de las Tentaciones, Neo 2, La Luna de El Mundo, Alter Ego and Vanidad, and international magazines such as Vogue (France), I-D (UK), Vanity Fair (U.S.A.), Vision (China) and BLACK & WHITE (Australia). One of his most important editorial projects thus far is Crash (Ediciones tf, 2001), edited by Rafael Doctor. This book includes both his extensive professional editorial work and his lesser known, previously unpublished work.
1944, Como, Italy
Lives and works in Lucca, Italy
This Italian artist studied classical culture at the Licée of Milan before enrolling at the London College of Printing. In the late 1960s, after meeting Simon Guttmann, founder of the Report agency, he began his career as a photojournalist. In the 1980s he worked for television and advertising, and it was not until 1993 that he began to experiment with large format images as a professional photographer. In the wake of other photographers, Vitali portrayed the crowds of the modern age, scenes of mass tourism and the strange solitude of sites for collective entertainment: hotel swimming pools, multitudinous picnics, packed beaches, discotheques or ski runs. His throngs, captured as bird’s eye views, often coexist with dumps, industrial parks or aggressive hotel complexes, ultimately kindling reflections on such things as the standardized use of “free time”, environmental degradation or the gloomy implications couched in the modern concept of “holidays”. His works are present in collections such as those of the Guggenheim, the Foundation Cartier pour l’art contemporain of Paris and the MUSAC of León.
Image: Cerith Wyn Evans
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