Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Un'Espressione Geografica
Curated by Francesco Bonami
Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin (Italy)
19 May - 27 November 2011

Artists and the Italian Regions they cover:

ABRUZZO: Michael Stevenson and Cornelia Schmidt-Bleek (New Zealand, 1964; USA, 1964; live and work in Berlin)
BASILICATA: Taiyo Onorato & Nico Krebs (collaboration started inSwitzerland in 2003; they live and work in Berlin)
CALABRIA: Roman Ondak (Slovakia, 1966; lives and works in Bratislava)
CAMPANIA: Gabriel Kuri (Mexico, 1970; lives and works in Brussels)
EMILIA ROMAGNA: Andro Wekua (Georgia, 1977; lives and works inBerlin)
FRIULI VENEZIA GIULIA: Hugo Markl (California, 1964; lives and worksin New York)
LAZIO: Johanna Billing (Sweden, 1973; lives and works in Stockholm)
LIGURIA: Hilary Lloyd (UK, 1964; lives and works in London)
LOMBARDY: Ibon Aranberri (Spain, 1969; lives and works in Bilbao)
MARCHE: Markus Schinwald (Austria, 1973; lives and works in Vienna)
MOLISE: Ferhat Özgür (Turkey, 1965; lives and works in Istanbul)
PIEDMONT: Victor Man (Romania, 1974; lives and works in Cluj)
APULIA: Isabelle Cornaro (France, 1974; lives and works in Paris)
SARDINIA: Ulla von Brandenburg (Germany, 1974; lives and works inParis)
SICILY: Katerina Seda (Czech Republic, 1977; lives and works in Pragueand Brno)
TRENTINO ALTO ADIGE: Tobias Putrih (Slovenia, 1972; lives and worksin Boston)
TUSCANY: Gintaras Didziapetris (Lithuania, 1985; lives and works inVilnius)
UMBRIA: Ruti Sela & Maayan Amir (Ruti Sela: Israel, 1974; lives andworks in Tel Aviv \ Mayaan Amir: Israel, 1978; lives and works in Tel Aviv)
VALLE D’AOSTA: Sunah Choi (South Korea, 1968; lives and works inBerlin)
VENETO: Nathaniel Mellors (UK, 1974; lives and works in Amsterdam)

2011 marks the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy. The Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo intends to celebrate this historical event withan exhibition realised in collaboration with Banca Fideuram (Gruppo IntesaSanpaolo). Un’Espressione Geografica [A Geographical Expression], curated by Francesco Bonami, will run at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo centre for contemporary art from 19 May until 27 November 2011. The works of twenty international artists will present the multi-faceted identity of Italy from an unusual point of view, highlighting the vast heritage and the peculiarities of each Italian Region. An unprecedented portrait of the social, political and cultural panorama of modern-day Italy will emerge,relating the marvels and the contradictions that characterise a country still today in constant conflict between tradition and innovation, history and contemporaneity.On August 2nd, 1847 the Austrian statesman Klemens Von Metternichwrote in a note addressed to Count Dietrichstein a famous and controversial sentence: “Italy is a geographical expression”. The sentence reappeared the following year in the Neapolitan daily newspaper Il Nazionale, this time with a markedly negative connotation: “Italy is nothing but a geographical expression”. As the revolutionary wave raged in 1948, Italian liberals provocatively embraced this definition and used it with a patriotic flair to stir up anti-Austrian sentiments among the Italian population. Historians mostly agreed in acknowledging that Metternich’s words were originally intendedas a mere statement or fact, rather than as political criticism: the Austrian statesman noted that, on the political front, Italy was “made up of mutually independent Sovereign States”.This definition, “A Geographical Expression”, inspired the FondazioneSandretto Re Rebaudengo to reflect on the fact that today, in a globalised world where cultural and economic exchanges have erased the ancient concept of borders and boundaries, the geographical dimension of a country is once again gaining momentum.

Un’Espressione Geografica will present the works of twenty international artists from different European Countries following their journey through Italy, each in one of the twenty Italian Regions. Each artist will be escorted by a local who will accompany the artist in the discovery of the regional territory, its identity and peculiarities. Like a modern-day Goethe, each artist will be called to investigate and to interpret, in his or her own personal language, Italy as it is today through the eyes of someone living elsewhere. Their journey will take them to the most representative sites of each Region and will allow the artists to get in touch with the rich heritage and the varietyof Italy. The peculiarities of each Region will provide inspiration for new art works, intimately related to the places visited by the artists. After completing their exploration, the artists will be commissioned to create a new work of art that will be presented as part of the group exhibition at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Torino. The works will become like pages of a journal, turning the visitors to the exhibition Un’Espressione Geografica into contemporary voyagers. All the experiences, the stories, the sensations evoked by each Region will give the visitors a chance to look at Italy from new and unexpected points of view. “With this project, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo builds on its tradition to promote innovative contemporary arts, while consolidating its institutional role in supporting the new generations of artists and the production of theirwork. I wish to thank Banca Fideurum for believing in this arts project and for making it possible.” Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, President, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo.“Banca Fideuram’s aim was to contribute towards the celebrations marking the anniversary of the Unification of Italy by lending their support to an event which values the resources of our Country. The exhibition ‘Espressione Geografica’, featuring young international artists whose focus is on the Italian regions, has presented us with the right occasion to be able to confirm the importance of the values concerning our territory that have always been at the core of the activities of our Group.” Matteo Colafrancesco, CEO Banca Fideuram
Un’Espressione Geografica is under the patronage of Comitato Italia 150.

image below:

ferhat özgür, 'memorable things', installation view

fondazione sandretto re rebaudengo-turin, italy, june 2011

'We Are The Artists': Kunsthalle Winterthur-Switzerland

Irina Botea feat. WeAreTheArtists: Ferhat Özgür / Ruti Sela-Mayaan Amir
May 29 - July 10 2011

Kunsthalle Winterthur-Switzerland

and K3 Zurich

The exhibition is a combination of solo and group show, with the main accent on Irina Botea’s work. The inclusion of Ruti Sela, Mayaan Amir and Ferhat Özgür is the result of extensive research into positions of contemporary art that share a crucial aspect of Botea’s artistic production. In her videos, Botea very often refers to modes of re-enactment and role-play; but her main target is not to create a fiction that is taken for reality. Her interest lies in the reality of the performance and the authentic individuality of the performers. The presentation at Kunsthalle shows six works by Botea: two projected works, Before a National Anthem (2009) and Picturesque (2011), and the rest, Ladybug (2007), MeNoMe (2005), Pinocchio (2009) and Laura (2010), are presented on monitors. The interest in the human being is also key to works by Ferhat Özgür and Ruti Sela. Thus, one work by each artist complements the exhibition: Metamorphosis Chat (2009) by Özgür and Ruti Sela’s Beyond Guilt # 2 (2004), a film that she made together with Mayaan Amir. The artists’ network WeAreTheArtists presents a series of portraits; members of the network were asked to send a photo of themselves which they considered to reveal most about who they are. Another highlight is the new issue of the beloved free newspaper WeAreTheArtists, including the brand new photo story Natural Born Curators.

Ferhat Özgür, 'Metamorphosis Chat',
exhibition view, Kuntshalle Winterthur
Switzerland, 2011

Ferhat Özgür, 'I Can Sing',
exhibition view, K3 Zurich,
Switzerland, 2011

Review about the exhibition:

Kunst Bulletin: 10.07.2011

By: Lucia Angela Cavegn

Winterthur : Irina Botea feat. WeAreTheArtists

links: Irina Botea · Before a National Anthem, 2009
rechts: WeAreTheArtists · This is me, 2011, Porträtsammlung. Courtesy WeAretheArtists

Im Jahr 2004 initiierte Oliver Kielmayer, damals Programmverantwortlicher der Stiftung Künstlerhaus Boswil, das Künstlernetzwerk ‹WeAreTheArtists› und die gleichnamige Zeitung als unabhängige Plattform für radikal subjektive Meinungsäusserung. Irina Botea weilte damals als Artist-in-Residence in Boswil und war von Anfang an Mitglied dieses losen Zusammenschlusses von Kunstschaffenden. Die rumänische Künstlerin (*1970, Ploiesti) studierte zunächst Geologie und Geophysik, bevor sie ihre Kunstausbildung in Bukarest und später in Chicago absolvierte. Sieben Jahre nach der Gründung von ‹WeAreTheArtists› organsiert Oliver Kielmayer, heute Kurator der Kunsthalle Winterthur, eine Ausstellung mit Arbeiten von Botea und Beiträgen von weiteren ‹WeAreTheArtists›-Mitgliedern. Das Schaffen von Botea dreht sich um die Frage, was die Individualität eines Menschen ausmacht. Oft lässt die Künstlerin Freunde und Bekannte ein vor ihr verfasstes Skript darstellen. Die von den Laiendarstellern ausgeführten Inszenierungen lassen stets den Charakter der Inszenierung und der Protagonisten durchscheinen. Die auferlegte Rolle funktioniert als Kontrastmittel zur Authentizität. Im Video ‹Before a National Anthem›, 2009, studiert ein Chor Vorschläge für eine neue rumänische Nationalhymne ein - ein schönes Bild für das Ringen um eine neue nationale Identität.

Wie Botea so setzen sich auch Ruti Sela (*1974, Tel Aviv), Mayaan Amir (*1978, Tel Aviv) und Ferhat Özgür (*1965, Ankara) mit Fragen der Identität auseinander. Ferhat Özgür lässt in ‹Metamorphosis Chat›, 2009, zwei ältere muslimische Frauen - die eine modern, die andere traditionell gekleidet - die Kleider tauschen. Nach anfänglichem Zögern wirkt das Rollenspiel für die beiden Frauen befreiend; sie lachen. «Kleider machen Leute» (so Gottfried Keller) - und doch sind sie nur Äusserlichkeiten. Um nackte Tatsachen geht es im Video von Ruti Sela und Mayaan Amir. ‹Beyond Guilt # 2›, 2004, zeigt, wie die beiden Künstlerinnen Männer zu einem im Chatroom vereinbarten Sexdate treffen und sie im Hotelzimmer über ihr Leben ausfragen. Die Callboys geben erstaunlich viel (Männlichkeit) von sich preis. Die körperliche Blösse ist hier jedoch nur Anlass für eine seelische Entblössung.
Die Entstehung der Ausstellung ist als E-Mail-Dialog mit den beteiligten Künstlern dokumentiert und in der aktuellen Ausgabe von ‹WeAreTheArtists› (Nr.15) publiziert. Ebenfalls Teil des Projektes sind die Porträts, welche die Mitglieder aufgrund einer Ausschreibung einreichten. Gebeten wurde um eine Aufnahme, welche die eigene Persönlichkeit am treffendsten wiedergebe. Die Ansammlung an Selbst-Bildern reicht von Kindheitserinnerungen bis zu inszenierten Arrangements.

Bis: 10.07.2011