Making Histories / Shirin Neshat

Shirin Neshat

Making Histories

Curator Suad Garayeva

YARAT is to open a new centre for contemporary art in March 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. YARAT Contemporary Art Centre will be the first permanent space for YARAT. It is housed in a converted Soviet-era naval building overlooking the Caspian Sea which acted as a maintenance base for navy ships in the 1960s. The conversion has created a sumptuous 2,000m2 exhibition space spread over two floors. The building will showcase four temporary exhibitions a year by leading international artists, highlighting emerging movements and new commissions, as well as housing YARAT Collection displays and a new library. The auditorium provides a dedicated space for screenings, performances and YARAT’s educational events. An organic café completes the centre by providing a space for informal discussions and gatherings. The new Yarat ‘CAC’ is conceived as a dedicated hub for contemporary art and art education not only for Azerbaijan, but the wider region as a whole.

Aida Mahmudova, YARAT’s Founder and Creative Director, says “I am delighted we’ve reached this milestone in YARAT’s work. This centre will give us even more opportunity to engage with artists, audiences and institutions internationally and to further develop our education programme, which is at the core of our activities. For centuries Baku has been a site for cultural exchange and creativity – our art centre will extend this within a contemporary context”.

The YARAT Collection is presented for the first time with the opening of the new centre and focuses on artists from the Caucasus, Central Asia and neighbouring countries. Baku is the perfect common ground for the arts from this region: similarities in religion, language, and a common Soviet past between the various nationalities have been further reinforced by the dramatic socio-economic changes of the last twenty years. Connecting to global markets and influences for the first time in 70 years, artists were among the first to react and subsequently negotiate and reflect this transition in their works.

The first exhibition of the collection, entitled ‘Making Histories’, will bring together seminal works across varied media that are historically connected to the geo-culture of Azerbaijan and the potent sense of identity catalysed by exposure to radical socio-political changes. Some artists reference the symbolism of ancient traditions, some find nostalgia in transitory moments of the everyday, some question infallibility of existing narratives, while others project quasi-utopian optimism for a better future. Nevertheless, all works shown in this exhibition are explorations into what it means to be alive today and construct, block by block, the new histories of tomorrow.


24 March – 23 June 2015

Shirin Neshat
The Home of My Eyes

curator: Dina Nasser-Khadivi

To mark the opening of YARAT Contemporary Art Centre in Baku on 24 March 2015, YARAT is delighted to announce the exhibition Shirin Neshat: The Home of My Eyes. This is a major new commission, produced following the artist’s time in Azerbaijan and also includes two of Neshat’s earlier works, the seminal video installations Soliloquy (1999) and Passage (2001) and is guest curated by Dina Nasser-Khadivi.

Shirin Neshat’s work has explored the complexities of cultural identity, gender and power to express a vision that embraces Persian traditions and contemporary concepts of individuality. In her recent photographic work, she has focused on the portrait as a prism to reveal the cultural dynamics and personal histories of her subjects, exploring the narratives that can be ‘read’ in an individual.

This new commission, The Home of My Eyes (2015), builds on Neshat’s growing interest in portraiture. During time spent in Azerbaijan in 2014, she photographed over fifty individuals who came from communities across the country, ranging from two to eighty years old. While taking the photographs, Neshat asked participants a series of questions regarding their cultural identity and their concept of home. The resulting responses are written in calligraphy overlaying the portraits. The assembled images make up a monumental installation which fills two entire walls of one of the eleven metre-high exhibition galleries of YARAT Contemporary Art Centre, a converted Soviet-era naval building.

As Shirin Neshat explains herself: “I consider the new series of images a portrait of a country that has for so long been a crossroads for many different ethnicities, religions, and languages. This series combines fifty-five portraits of men and women from different generations to create a tapestry of human faces which pays tribute to the rich cultural history of Azerbaijan and its diversity.”

Shirin Neshat, an Iranian-born artist, is widely acclaimed for her powerful video installations and photographs. Neshat’swork frequently refers to the social, cultural and religious codes of societies and the dynamics of certain oppositions, creating stark visual contrasts through motifs such as light and dark, black and white and male and female.

Neshat left Iran in 1974 to study, returning to Iran for the first time in 1990 on a formative trip, which inspired ground-breaking work. Between 1993 and 1997, she produced a series of innovative black and white photographs called Women of Allah, in which she superimposed Farsi calligraphy on the hands and faces of her subjects. She became internationally recognised in 1999 when her film Turbulent won the international prize at the Venice Biennale and, in the following year, she was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery in London. She has received a number of prizes, including the Crystal Award at the World Economic Forum, Davos 2014, the Grand Prix of the Biennale in Korea 2000, and the Silver Lion for Best Director at the Venice International Film Festival for her first feature-length film Women Without Men in 2008.

Neshat’s work has been shown worldwide in group and solo exhibitions, including the Detroit Institute of Arts, 2013; the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, 2013; Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 2011; the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, 2006; Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, 2002; National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens, 2001; Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna, 2000; and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, 1998. She has participated in major biennales including Venice, Sydney, Johannesburg, Istanbul and the Whitney Biennale. She has also participated in film festivals including the Chicago International Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival and the Tribeca Film Festival.
Shirin Neshat lives and works in New York.

Image: Shirin Neshat, Anna from The Home of My Eyes series, 2015, Silver gelatin print and ink 152.4 x 101.6 cm. (60 x 40 in.) ©Shirin Neshat. Courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels

Press contact:
Jamila Orujova – PR Manager Phone: +994 12 5051414

Yarat Contemporary Art Centre
Sabail District, Bailovo district, Baku, Azerbaijan, AZ 1000
Hours: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Except Tuesdays: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
entrance free

Vienna Biennale

Vienna Bienn

The Vienna Biennale 2015 will take place from 11 June through 4 October, 2015. It is the first event of its kind to combine art, design, and architecture, with the aim of generating creative ideas and artistic projects to help improve the world. Its category-spanning, interdisciplinary approach and combination of artistic ambition and the creative economy open up new perspectives on central topics of our time and thus promote positive change in our society.

The Vienna Biennale 2015 is an initiative of the MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art. It is organized by the MAK in cooperation with the University of Applied Arts Vienna, Kunsthalle Wien, the Architekturzentrum Wien, and the creative unit of the Vienna Business Agency, departure, with support from the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology as a non-university research partner.

The Vienna Biennale 2015 was established with the understanding that we are living in a new modernity in which the digital revolution penetrates all areas of our life and is thus fundamentally changing our civilization—it is comparable to the industrial revolution, the consequences of which the last era of Western modernism dealt with. Today’s Digital Modernity offers considerable potentials for lasting improvements in quality of life as well as innovative living concepts and business models in every sector. It presents a wide range of questions for the arts, including architecture and design, and is dependent on artistic and creative inputs.

This new biennale in Vienna was established with the recognition that Vienna was one of the centers of the previous era of Western Modernity around 1900, from which significant impulses emerged whose effects in some cases continue to be felt to this day. Thus, Vienna can be seen as an authentic, credible location for the search for new paths to positive change. By following in this extraordinary tradition of experimentation, the Vienna Biennale 2015 aims to find answers to today’s most important issues and utilize the potentials of the creative revolution in order to offer people new insights for crucial areas of life. The Vienna Biennale 2015 is thus not only aimed at people interested in art, design, and architecture, but a wider audience, with the goal of raising awareness about the possibilities of fine art and the applied arts for the challenges of our time.

The Vienna Biennale 2015 has invited four international curators to develop projects for 2015. New and existing works will be presented. The Vienna Biennale Circle of eminent personalities living in Vienna will provide an important connection to the city of Vienna and ensure that all the projects will be discussed and brought together with an interdisciplinary approach. The resulting insights will be presented in an additional exhibition.

The Vienna Biennale 2015 was born of the conviction that Vienna is the right place to develop a new, coherent, and unique biennale. The focus will be on people, who need one thing above all in times of radical change: orientation!

The all-encompassing process of digitalization is changing our daily lives so radically that we can call this a new era of modernity: Digital Modernity offers enormous potential around the world—in education, for instance—but also entails great risks due to the total economic quantification of human beings. Furthermore, given the learning abilities of digital machines, we must assume that over the coming decades a significant part of manual and cognitive work (and thus jobs) will be replaced by fully automated systems.

This upheaval of our society coincides with the overexploitation of the planet Earth. The Global North must significantly reduce human beings’ environmental footprint, while the ambitions for growth in the Global South require fundamental adjustments also in light of explosive population growth. Humanity must therefore develop an entirely new understanding of economic growth and prosperity both for the rich industrialized countries and for emerging and developing countries—an understanding that leads to a mutually accepted and sustainable distribution of the earth’s resources.

Challenges of this scale demand a radical change of attitude. The most effective mechanisms to promote this can be found in Digital Modernity itself. We must therefore “retool” the digital revolution and place it at the service of ensuring human dignity and meaning on our planet over the long term. The development and design of the necessary real and virtual concepts and tools are dependent to a substantial degree on human creativity. This means that the creative disciplines of design, architecture, and art have a particular responsibility to develop new paths for positive change. While the applied disciplines of design and architecture are expected to produce directly applicable ideas, fine art does not need to be directly useful; instead, it can offer other kinds of impetuses.

Since the creative disciplines have been progressively instrumentalized for traditional growth, a reform of creativity is necessary in order to reinvigorate them. Some approaches to this challenge are already visible: positive change is increasingly becoming a core topic in design and architecture, and even fine art is finding ways to contribute to improving the world without being “applied.” However, overcoming individual economic interests and the self-referentiality of these disciplines in the long term will only be possible if art, design, and architecture combine to form a new unity of the arts.

This unity of the arts not only means the equality of the “lower” applied arts of design and architecture with the “higher” fine art, but also and above all their qualitatively equal cooperation with the aim of mutual inspiration. We need a holistically oriented unity of the arts which does not lead to the merging of disciplines, but uses innovative structures and a lively dialogue to ensure that art, design, and architecture respect, pay attention to, and inspire one another in order to promote positive change. This is precisely the aim of the Vienna Biennale 2015. It challenges these disciplines to continue to develop by making possible a direct encounter between art, design, and architecture projects related to cities and the urban future.

The point of departure and common theme of the projects is the potential and problems of cities, which will be examined from various perspectives: architecture and design will deal with six megacities on five continents—Hong Kong, Istanbul, Lagos, Mumbai, New York, and Rio de Janeiro; art will focus on Bucharest as a fascinating example of a city behind the former Iron Curtain; design and architecture will address the Austrian capital of Vienna, which has repeatedly been chosen as the world’s most livable city; and art will examine the possibilities of a new Enlightenment emerging above all in the urban context as well as the importance of urban public space. Although the projects are each grounded in a specific discipline, they are also open to other disciplines and will thus initiate dialogues that will be continued in the program of related events. An interdisciplinary exhibition manifesto on the future of human work and an art exhibition that addresses this topic will round out the biennale.

The Vienna Biennale 2015 will thus allow these creative disciplines to act together “in concert” for positive change. It aims to inspire us to act individually and collectively to make the world a better and more sustainable place. It seeks to encourage art, design, and architecture to provide concepts and tools to this end. It is conceived as the beginning of numerous future interdisciplinary projects in Vienna and elsewhere which will further develop our world through the possibilities of the arts.


Performing Public Art
A festival in the public space, organized by the University of Applied Arts Vienna
Festival Dates:11 June – 5 July 2015
Accompanying exhibition at the Angewandte Innovation Laboratory: 11 June – 31 July 2015

Mapping Bucharest: Art, Memory, and Revolution 1916–2016
This exhibition about the art scene in Romania illuminates the potential of a cultural realm at the heart of crucial impulses for the development of the avant-garde and modernism in Europe.

2051: Smart Life in the City
Under the Vienna Biennale motto “Ideas for Change,” the exhibition contribution takes a look at an alternative future for urban living and investigates the role of design as a tool for a sustainable and solidary Lifestyle.

Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities
In 2030, the world’s population will be a staggering eight billion people. Of these, two-thirds will live in cities. Most will be poor.

Future Light
MAK / Kunsthalle Wien / Off-site Commissions / Reader
How come some features of the old Enlightenment have crept back and are now being revisited in art, activism, and theory?

Future Light: Escaping Transparency
There is a widespread belief today that light will do away with ignorance, the abuse of power, and inequality.

Future Light: Pauline Boudry / Renate Lorenz. LOVING, REPEATING
At Kunsthalle Wien, Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz are presenting three film-based works.

aspern INTERNATIONAL Ideas for Change: an international view
Vienna is one of the fastest-growing cities in Europe. The largest area of urban development is aspern Vienna’s Urban Lakeside, located in the east of the city.
11 Jun – 24 Aug 2015, Architekturzentrum Wien
28 Aug – 4 Oct 2015, Technology centre aspern IQ

The Art of Working: Agency in Digital Modernity
An exhibition manifesto by the Vienna Biennale Circle
The process of digitalization, also called the “second machine age,” is changing our lives at least as radically as the Industrial Revolution before it.

24/7: the human condition
“I GOT UP” stamped the Japanese artist On Kawara on a series of post-cards, which he sent to friends and artist colleagues on a daily basis be-tween 1968 and 1979, declaring the time on each occasion.

Demonstrators and Changemaker in the City
2051: Smart Life in the City
Ten project teams that have already collected viable experiences in the urban sphere and come up with new strategies were invited to construct so-called “demonstrators” at various locations in Vienna.

MAK Press and PR
Judith Anna Schwarz Jungmann (Head)
Sandra Hell Ghignone, Veronika Träger, Lara Steinhäusser T +43 1 71136-233, 229, 212

Opening press conference Thursday, 11 June 2015, 10a.m.
MAK Lecture Hall, Weiskirchnerstraße 3, 1010 Vienna

MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art
Weiskirchnerstraße 3 1010 Vienna

University of Applied Arts Vienna – Angewandte Innovation Laboratory
Franz-Josefs-Kai 3 – 1010 Vienna

Kunsthalle Wien
Museumsplatz 1, at the MQ 1070 Vienna

Az W – Architekturzentrum Wien
Museumsplatz 1, at the MQ 1070 Vienna

Technology centre aspern IQ
Seestadtstraße 27 – 1220 Vienna

Vienna Biennale Pass:
MAK, Kunsthalle Wien, Az W € 22 / € 16,50 reduced (for students under 27)

3rd Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art

The 3rd Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art will open on September 9 and close on November 10, 2015 in Ekaterinburg and 10 other cities of the Ural region.

The Biennial’s curators, Li Zhenhua (Beijing/Zurich) and Biljana Ciric (Shanghai), have announced the list of Russian and international artists for the Main project. 50 artists from 20 countries all around the world will take part in the exhibition, including Yoko Ono (New York), Alfredo Jaar (New York), Tino Sehgal (Berlin) and Lee Kit (Taipei/Hong Kong).
Alisa Yoffe, Polina Kanis, Svetlana Shuvaeva, Anatoly Vyatkin, Victor Davydov, and Yurko Koval are included in the list of Russian artists, as well as Timofey Radya, the most famous Ekaterinburg-based artist.

The key term of the 3rd Ural Industrial Biennial is Mobilization, understood here as an ability to change and rise to a fundamentally different level. Curator Li Zhenhua imagines his project, titled No Real Body, as an extreme way to find out if art has a starting point or an original source of creative energy. Biljana Ciric’s exhibition, titled Spaces for Maneuver—Between Abstraction and Accumulation, projects the general theme of Biennial Mobilization through centering the exhibition around the individual body as a site and tool, negotiating individual existence between social abstraction and accumulation, proposing to imagine rather than to produce.

The curatorial concepts will follow the logic of the space of the historic Iset Hotel, which will house a larger part of the Biennial’s programs—the main project, the final exhibition of the Artist-in-Residence program and research projects. The Iset is an integral part of the NKVD residential compound, which became popularly known as Gorodok chekistov (Town of NKVD officers); it is one of the most impressive architectural landmarks of Ekaterinburg and an outstanding example of international constructivist architecture of the 1920s–30s.

Main programs of the 3rd Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art: as part of the Artist-in-Residence program, artists from seven countries visited nine working enterprises of the Ural region from July 13–26, 2015. This trip constituted a research stage of the program, allowing the artists to immerse themselves into different stages of manufacturing process and prepare a series of site-specific projects.

The Biennial’s special project will continue a study of the industrial theme in art initiated by curator Kirill Svetlyakov in his exhibition Modern Art Museum: The Department of Labour and Employment, prepared for the State Tretyakov Gallery. The exhibition will be presented at the Ekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts and will use part of the museum’s collection.

The Ural Federal University has become a strategic partner of the Biennial’s intellectual platform for the third time and will host an international symposium “Strategies of Mobilization” with Pierre Belanger (Princeton School of Design), Sarah Wilson (Courtault Institute), Anthony Gardner (Oxford, Ruskin School of Art) and other international intellectuals as guest speakers.

The Biennial’s performance platform will take place in another constructivist masterpiece—a former Ural Worker Printing House—and will consist of a promenade-theater, a dance performance and a special poetic concert specifically designed for the site and the occasion. It will draw upon the region’s performing arts cluster, including the drama school of Nikolay Kolyada and the world-famous contemporary dance companies.

If you would like to visit the 3rd Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art, you can contact:

Founder: National Center for Contemporary Art
Commissioner: Alisa Prudnikova

Image: Alisa Ioffe. Punk Fraction 2. Photopaper, ink. 2014.

Press contact:
Lera Gallay T +7 916 6741169

Opening days: September 8–13

Ekaterinburg and 10 other cities of the Ural region.

Inaugura il LAC (Lugano Arte e Cultura)

Inaugura il prossimo 12 settembre a Lugano, con tre fine settimana di festeggiamenti, il LAC Lugano Arte e Cultura: il nuovo centro culturale dedicato alle arti visive, alla musica e alle arti sceniche, che si candida a diventare uno dei punti di riferimento culturali della Svizzera, con l’intento di valorizzare un’ampia offerta artistica ed esprimere l’identità di Lugano quale crocevia culturale fra il nord e il sud dell’Europa.

All’interno della sede museale affacciata sul lago, troverà spazio una ricca programmazione di mostre ed eventi, stagioni musicali, rassegne di teatro e danza, insieme a una varietà di iniziative culturali e un folto programma di attività per i giovani e le famiglie. Al LAC avrà infatti sede il costituendo Museo d’Arte della Svizzera italiana, nato dall’unione tra il Museo Cantonale d’Arte e il Museo d’Arte della città di Lugano. I suoi tre piani espositivi ospiteranno la collezione permanente della città di Lugano e del Cantone Ticino, mostre temporanee e installazioni site specifi c. Una nuova sala concertistica e teatrale da 1000 posti, interamente rivestita in legno e dotata di una speciale conchiglia acustica modulare e rimovibile, accoglierà invece un ampio calendario di spettacoli performativi e concerti.

L’obiettivo del LAC è di promuovere le diverse arti puntando sulla qualità dell’offerta, con l’intento di coinvolgere e formare un pubblico quanto più vasto e internazionale possibile. Nelle parole di Michel Gagnon, direttore del centro culturale, “Il LAC non dovrà essere un luogo nel quale si viene solamente per vedere uno spettacolo, un concerto o una mostra, ma una realtà dinamica e sempre viva. Questa è la cosa più importante. Ho un’idea precisa: voglio rendere il LAC unico, con un forte orientamento nazionale e internazionale. Sarà il principale centro culturale del Cantone, con l’ambizione di diventare nel tempo un luogo di richiamo anche fuori dai nostri confini sfruttando l’asse nord-sud. L’inaugurazione di settembre darà un forte segnale al pubblico, farà capire che il LAC è un luogo per tutti e mostrerà le potenzialità del progetto”.

L’inaugurazione prevista dal 12 al 26 settembre prossimi, si svilupperà in linea con questa filosofia di apertura e partecipazione: sarà una grande festa che coinvolgerà famiglie, appassionati, esperti e curiosi di tutte le età con un ampio programma di attività dentro e fuori il centro culturale, che renderanno la città di Lugano un palcoscenico a cielo aperto.

Un sipario d’eccezione sarà la grande tela originale di “Tristano e Isotta” di Salvador Dalí che accompagnerà la Compagnia Finzi Pasca nello spettacolo “La Verità”.

Saranno in seguito inaugurate anche le esposizioni temporanee del nuovo museo che resteranno aperte fino ad inizio 2016.

Al LAC la mostra “Orizzonte Nord – Sud. Protagonisti dell’arte europea ai due versanti delle Alpi 1840-1960”: un viaggio attraverso le opere di alcuni grandi protagonisti dell’arte degli ultimi due secoli a nord del Gottardo e nel “paese dove fi oriscono i limoni”, che includerà opere di Giacometti, Segantini, Klee, Turner. Sarà affiancata da un’esposizione complementare a Palazzo Reali – storica sede del Museo Cantonale d’Arte – dal titolo “In Ticino. Presenze d’Arte nella Svizzera italiana 1840-1960”. Di altro tono la proposta presentata al livello -2 del LAC: una mostra personale di Anthony McCall espressamente concepita dall’artista britannico per questo nuovo spazio. L’artista italiano Giulio Paolini sarà protagonista allo Spazio -1 nell’ambito di una serie di approfondimenti dedicati agli autori presenti nella Collezione Giancarlo e Danna Olgiati.

Il programma sarà consultabile sul nuovo sito web del LAC e sarà aggiornato costantemente nel corso delle prossime settimane con tutte le novità che arricchiranno il programma e le informazioni per partecipare agli eventi.


LAC Lugano Arte e Cultura

piazza Bernardino Luini, 6 – 6901 Lugano


Lunedì – mercoledì, domenica: 10:30 – 18:30

Giovedì – sabato: 10:30 – 20:00

I giorni in cui è previsto uno spettacolo serale, la chiusura del centro culturale è prevista mezz’ora dopo la fine dello spettacolo.


Intero: chf 15.-

Ridotto AVS/AI, over 65 anni, gruppi, studenti 17-25 anni: chf 10.-

Ingresso gratuito <16 anni, la prima domenica del mese.

Ingresso gratuito sabato 12 e domenica 13 settembre 2015.

Biglietto combinato con mostra a Palazzo Reali: 30% di sconto sulla somma delle due entrate

Poor Art – Rich Legacy

This thematic exhibition of works from the collection concentrates on the arte povera movement, which is central to the museum’s collecting policy. This makes it a highly appropriate subject for this exhibition, twenty-five years after the Museum of Contemporary Art first opened its doors. The museum’s collection started out with 2,500 works from the period after 1945 that were transferred from the National Gallery and Riksgalleriet (Norway’s touring art gallery). It now contains more than 5,000 items by Norwegian and international artists.

This is the last time these treasures will be displayed in the venerable, former Norwegian Bank building, prior to our move to the new National Museum at Vestbanen. In addition to the many arte povera works, the exhibition includes examples of related contemporary practices such as conceptual art, land art and post-minimalism. It also features recent works that illustrate how the art debates of the 1960s have influenced younger generations of artists.

Viewers will have the opportunity to become reacquainted with Gilberto Zorio’s installation Untitled (Canoe), a curious amalgamation of energy, alchemy, bubbly chemistry and insistent sound, as well as Michelangelo Pistoletto’s notorious installation Image and Body, consisting of old museum furniture that has been turned upside down. The audience will also be able to experience Mario Merz’ beautiful igloo, a large glass and neon installation with fragrant twigs.

Poor Art
The basis for Arte Povera was furnished by the political protest movements of the late 60s – student revolts and civil rights efforts, and a general opposition to consumerism and the increasing commercialisation of the art world. The term arte povera was introduced by the Italian art critic Germano Celant, who organised the exhibition “Arte Povera – Im Spazio” together with a small group of young Italian artists in 1967. Artists such as Michelangelo Pistoletto, Giovanni Anselmo, Pier Paolo Calzolari, Jannis Kounellis, Giulio Paolini, Guiseppe Penone, Gilberto Zorio and Mario Merz represented something new and groundbreaking. With an artistic practice closely related to American conceptual art, anti-form and process art, they exploited contemporary forms of expression such as happenings and installation art to the fullest extent.

The approach taken by Arte Povera artists was at once conceptual and sensual, poetic and earthy. Their themes and comments included past and present, nature and culture, and “high” and “low” art. A number of these works had a particular appeal to the senses: smell, touch, light and temperature. The artists worked with various different materials, combining industrially manufactured objects such as neon lights, glass and clothes with natural organic materials such as vegetables, living animals, earth, fire and water. Arte Povera is neither poor nor impoverished art, but art created in complete freedom and openness regarding materials and processes.

Rich Legacy
Arte Povera’s conceptual views, approach to materials and working processes have influenced contemporary artists for the past 40 years. This is reflected in the history of the museum’s collection, which includes both acquisitions of significant Arte Povera works, as well as related practices within land art, post-minimalism and conceptual art. The rich legacy of Arte Povera’s influence resonates clearly in a number of more recent Norwegian and international works of art. A walk through the exhibition will allow the audience to experience the museum’s Arte Povera works, and compare and discover parallel practices such as Camilla Løw’s and Kristina Bræin’s play with minimalism, Ida Ekblad’s sculptures assembled from found garbage, the “formlessness” of Camilla Wærenskjold and Jeannette Christensen, and a critical and conceptual approach in the works of Matias Faldbakken, Gerard Byrne and Mario García Torres.
Permanent installations

The museum’s permanent installations are also part of the exhibition. In the square outside the museum’s entrance, the audience can view Richard Serra’s towering sculpture Shaft (purchased in 1992), Per Inge Bjørlo’s installation Inner Room V by the ground floor staircase (purchased in 1990), Ilya Kabakov’s installation Garbage Man (The Man Who Never Threw Anything Away, acquired in 1994), and Louise Bourgeois’ Cell VIII.

Until 28-2-2016

Curated by: Sabrina van der Ley, Randi Godø and Andrea Kroksnes

National Museum of Norway
The Museum of Contemporary Art
Bankplassen 4
Hours: Tuesday–Friday 11–17h
Thursday 11–19h, Saturday–Sunday 12–17

Italian and british artists meet Milan

La collettiva presentata in occasione dell’Expo di Milano vuole approfondire l’idea che un artista italiano e uno inglese (di nascita ma anche per cultura) hanno dell’Italia. L’intento della mostra è quello di indagare se esistano ancora degli elementi che caratterizzano l’Italia all’estero e di individuare che cosa evocano il Bel paese e gli italiani nell’immaginario internazionale.
Inoltre, questa mostra ha lo scopo di fare interagire tra di loro artisti inglesi e italiani, per comprendere se la globalizzazione sia in grado di uniformare gli usi e costumi delle popolazioni, cancellando così abitudini, tradizioni e stili di vita unici.
Il messaggio ambivalente del concept è interpretato da artisti che, oltre a vivere in Paesi differenti, hanno età e percorsi lavorativi differenti.
Lo spazio espositivo, ospitato all’interno di una ex fabbrica di oreficeria milanese degli anni Cinquanta, stimola gli artisti a dialogare con il luogo, il quale inevitabilmente li porta a confrontarsi con il mondo storico dell’artigianato italiano.


La Memoria ritrovata. L’arma e lo scrigno dei tesori recuperati

Si tratta di un’esposizione di dipinti e reperti archeologici recuperati grazie all’azione investigativa del Comando Carabinieri Tutela Patrimonio Culturale, l’organo di diretta collaborazione del Ministro dei beni e delle attività culturale e del turismo con compiti concernenti la sicurezza e la salvaguardia del patrimonio culturale nazionale.
Sarà possibile ammirare oltre cento opere di diversa tipologia, varia epoca e provenienza che, nel tempo, sono state oggetto di furti, sottrazioni, scavi clandestini o vendite illecite, ma che l’attività dei Carabinieri ha permesso di recuperare e restituire alla comunità.
Tra i dipinti spiccano per valore e importanza il celebre ritratto “La Muta” di Raffaello Sanzio, una natura morta di Paul Gauguin, Il Giardiniere di Vincent Van Gogh, alcune tele del ‘400, ‘500 e ‘600 italiano. Un’ampia sezione, invece, è dedicata all’archeologia con un grosso spazio riservato alla civiltà nuragica.

L’ingresso è libero e l’accesso sarà consentito per gruppi di massimo 30 persone per volta.
Where: Cagliari, Spazio espositivo antiche Carceri di San Pancrazio, Cittadella dei Musei. Until 15 October, 2015.



El Lissitzky. Irish Museum of Modern Art


The Artist and the State. A significant body of works of one of the most influential authors of the 20th century, with the work of Rossella Biscotti, Nuria Guell, Sarah Pierce and Hito Steyerl, who reflects on the position of the artist within contemporary society.
Until October 18, 2015

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