Structures of Existence: The Cells of Louise Bourgeois

Garage Museum of Contemporary Art presents the first comprehensive survey of Louise Bourgeois’ work in Moscow as part of the special program of the 6th Moscow Biennale. Structures of Existence: The Cells focuses on the extraordinary series of sculptural environments Bourgeois created in the last two decades of her life. Also included in the exhibition are the early sculptures, paintings, and drawings which led to the development of this monumental and innovative body of work. Coinciding with the show, Garage will present two large-scale sculptures: the monumental bronze spider Maman (1999) on the square in front of the Museum; and the international debut of Has the Day Invaded the Night or Has the Night Invaded the Day? (2007) as part of Garage’s Atrium Commission series.

With a prolific career spanning seven decades—starting in the late 1930s in Paris and culminating in New York—Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010) is one of the few artists associated with both “modern” and “contemporary” sensibilities. Bourgeois began producing her first sculptural forms in the mid-1940s, and in 1949 she pioneered the concept of environmental installation in a solo exhibition at the Peridot Gallery in New York. Thirty-three years later, in 1982, Bourgeois had her first retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. She was 70. Around this time she also moved to a large studio space (in Brooklyn, New York), having used her Chelsea townhouse as a workplace for many years. This enabled Bourgeois to change the scale of her practice, giving rise to the Cell series, as well her spider sculptures, the first of which was made in 1994.

Each Cell is a unique, individual microcosm encompassing a range of emotions and associations. Bourgeois produced approximately 60 works in the series, assembling found objects, artifacts from her daily life (clothing, fabric, and furniture), and sculptures within distinctive architectural enclosures. She often referenced her own childhood and its complexity to encapsulate the many motifs and interests that she explored throughout her career, such as architecture, the body, memory, and the five senses. In describing the way that Bourgeois developed the Cells, Jerry Gorovoy, Bourgeois’ long-time assistant, said: “Louise’s creative process was very open-ended. The objects inside might interest her for what they were; their function; what the words to describe them sounded like; what the words sounded like in French; what their shapes were, or their colors. She could equate an ironing board with the arch of the hysterical figure. It was this kind of process, with connections emerging from her unconscious.”

The term “Cell” originated during the preparations for Bourgeois’ participation in the Carnegie International exhibition in Pittsburgh in 1991, where she presented the first six of these works. For Bourgeois, the word had many connotations, from the biological cell of a living organism to the isolation of a prison cell or monastic chamber. As she described: “The Cells represent different types of pain: the physical, the emotional and psychological, and the mental and intellectual […] Each Cell deals with the pleasure of the voyeur, the thrill of looking and being looked at. The Cells either attract or repulse each other. There is this urge to integrate, merge, or disintegrate.”

To complement and expand on themes in the exhibition, Garage has collaborated with the Louise Bourgeois Trust and The Easton Foundation to present two large-scale installations:

Maman (1999), a giant bronze spider towering more than 9 meters above the ground, will greet visitors in Gorky Park’s Garage Square before entering the Museum. Originally conceived as the inaugural commission for Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall in May 2000, Maman is one of the artist’s most ambitious and recognizable works to take the spider as its subject. First depicted in two of the artist’s drawings from the 1940s, the spider took on an even more dominant role in the artist’s practice during the 1990s. The largest in a series of spectacular sculptures created during the second half of the decade, Maman balances perilously above the ground on eight spindly legs, shielding a mesh sac containing ten marble eggs below her abdomen. Vulnerable yet predatory, the figure of the spider is a tribute to Bourgeois’ beloved mother. The artist explained, “Like spiders, my mother was very clever. Spiders are friendly presences that eat mosquitos. We know that mosquitos spread diseases and are therefore unwanted. So, spiders are helpful and protective, just like my mother.”

Has the Day Invaded the Night or Has the Night Invaded the Day? (2007) is comprised of a giant, pivoting mirror standing over 6 meters high. The work’s title—taken from the artist’s diary entry on February 7, 1995—is projected onto the glass. Fascinated by mirrors as symbols of truth and self-knowledge, Bourgeois used them frequently in the Cell installations to bring the viewer directly into an environment. Placed in the Museum’s Entrance Hall, this larger-than-life mirror incorporates the visitor and the surrounding building into the world of the artist, while the reflected question introduces the perceptual nuances inherent to Bourgeois’ work.

The exhibition and installations mark the first presentation of Bourgeois’ work in Moscow, but it is not the artist’s first exposure in (or with) Russia. She was twenty when she first visited Moscow in the summer of 1932. Her second trip was in spring 1934, when she attended the Moscow Theater Festival and experienced the May Day celebrations. This was also the year she started studying art intensively. Nearly 70 years later, in 2001, Bourgeois’ retrospective opened at the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. It was the institution’s first major exhibition of a living American artist.

A Russian-language edition of the catalog for Louise Bourgeois. Structures of Existence: The Cells, published in English by Haus der Kunst and Prestel, will be produced to coincide with the exhibition at Garage.

Press Office:
Alyona Solovyova

Garage Museum of Contemporary Art
Adress: 9/32 Krymsky Val st., 119049, Moscow, Russia
Mon – Thu: 11:00 – 21:00
Fri – Sun: 11:00 – 22:00

Finish: 25/9/2015

[Dylan Martinello]

Louise Bourgeois:

Louise Bourgeois:

Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots

On November 20, the Dallas Museum of Art will present what experts have deemed a “once in a lifetime” exhibition, the largest survey of Jackson Pollock’s black paintings ever assembled, and only the third major US museum exhibition to focus solely on the artist. This exceptional presentation will include many works that have not been exhibited for more than 50 years. Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots offers critical new scholarship on this understudied yet pivotal period in the artist’s career and provides radical new insights into Pollock’s practice. On view at the DMA through March 20, 2016, the exhibition will receive its sole US presentation in Dallas, with more than 70 works, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints.

The exhibition will first introduce audiences to Pollock’s work via a selection of his classic drip paintings made between 1947 and 1950. These works will serve to contextualize the radical departure represented by the black paintings, a series of black enamel paintings that Pollock created between 1951 and 1953. An unprecedented 31 black paintings will be included in the DMA presentation, nearly double the next largest survey of these works (which was presented at the Museum of Modern Art in 1967).

The Dallas Museum of Art is proud to have an important history with Jackson Pollock. Cathedral (1947) was acquired by the DMA in 1950 and was one of the first of Pollock’s “classic period” paintings to enter any museum collection in the world. In 1967 Cathedral was complemented by Portrait and a Dream (1953), a painting that is considered to be one of Pollock’s last major artistic statements. It is fitting then, that 65 years after the acquisition of Cathedral the DMA presents a definitive exhibition of Pollock’s work.

Also featured in the exhibition are 30 works on paper made by Pollock during the same period as the black paintings. Made with enamel and ink and watercolor, the works on paper are considered by scholars to be the artist’s most important as a draftsman. The exhibition will also feature five of Pollock’s extant six sculptures, which provide a true three-dimensional experience of his well-known painting approach. Together with the 37 paintings on view, these works immerse audiences in Pollock’s complete oeuvre and shed new light on the experimentation and ingenuity that has become synonymous with his practice.

While Jackson Pollock’s leading role in the Abstract Expressionist movement has been widely discussed, less attention has been devoted to his black paintings period. In describing this pivotal phase in Pollock’s artistic trajectory, the critic and historian Michael Fried remarked that “[Pollock is] on the verge of an entirely new and different kind of painting…of virtually limitless potential.” The black paintings assembled for the exhibition will include significant loans from US, Asian, and European collections, as well as important works drawn from the collections of the DMA and Tate.

Dallas Museum of Art
1717 North Harwood, Dallas, Tx 75201
Hours: Tue-Sun 11 am – 5 pm, Thu 11 am – 9 pm
Ticket: 16, Senior 65+: 14, Students: 12

[Dylan Martinello]

Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots;

Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots;

Street Art: Tellas a Cagliari dal 25 al 30 ottobre

Secondo il quotidiano internazionale Huffington Post, Tellas è tra i 25 street artists più famosi al mondo. L’artista sardo si esibirà nel capoluogo della sua isola dal 25 al 30 ottobre per Cagliari 2015 Capitale Italiana della Cultura. Tellas dipingerà nel quartiere di Sant’Avendrace dopo i tanti successi nazionali e internazionali, ottenuti grazie alla sua fenomenale capacità di unire fitte trame di elementi naturali con le forme e i colori del contemporaneo.

Biennale FOTO/INDUSTRIA 2015

Il 3 Ottobre 2015 ha inaugurato la seconda edizione della Biennale FOTO/INDUSTRIA 2015 a Bologna, promossa dalla fondazione Mast in collaborazione con il Comune di Bologna che vede la direzione artistica orchestrata da Francois Hebel.

La rassegna si articola in quattordici esposizioni allestite in undici sedi storiche del centro e nella riqualificata periferia della città dove sorge il MAST – Manifattura di Arti,Sperimentazione e Tecnologia – dove sarà possibile osservare da vicino i lavori di noti esponenti della fotografia contemporanea industriale.

Artisti molto noti nel panorama contemporaneo ma anche reporter, ritrattisti e giovani professionisti ognuno con un modus operandi personale e di forte impatto.

La Biennale FOTO/INDUSTRIA si conferma un appuntamento internazionale importante per la città di Bologna, un evento che punta a valorizzare e riqualificare la cultura industriale del territorio, alla scoperta di alcuni luoghi ai più ancora sconosciuti.

Gianni Berengo Gardin _ Cantieri Navali Ansaldo _ Genova 1978 © Gianni Berengo Gardin

Gianni Berengo Gardin _ Cantieri Navali Ansaldo _ Genova 1978 © Gianni Berengo Gardin

Un’analisi minuziosa del lavoro industriale dove la produzione risulta il tema centrale delle varie esposizioni: dalla creazione del prodotto alla sua distribuzione fino allo smaltimento vero e proprio. Ecco rappresentati dal fotografo spagnolo Pierre Gonnord i volti e le facce oscure e segnate dei lavoratori operanti nelle miniere delle Asturie che portano sul viso i segni della fatica e della stanchezza. L’individuo solo e anonimo ma allo stesso tempo con un’identità sociale delineata e molto forte, in un momento storico in cui la nostra invece è sempre più vacillante.

Pierre Gonnord _ Armando 2009 _ Courtesy of the artist and of the Gallery Juana de Aizpuru

Pierre Gonnord _ Armando 2009 _ Courtesy of the artist and of the Gallery Juana de Aizpuru

Per il tema Post-produzione il cinese Hong Hao ha quotidianamente scandito per dodici anni, periodo cinese che segna la trasmigrazione in cicli di fati e destini diversi, gli oggetti del quotidiano archiviandoli nel computer come un diario visivo. Li ha assemblati insieme ricreando dei grandi quadri visivi, con una precisione di incastri quasi maniacale che ci mette davanti ad un consumismo contemporaneo, una sorta di auto-analisi dell’artista, della sua vera essenza sociale. Attraverso la scansione si stabilisce una relazione intima fra oggetti e gli esseri umani riconducibile ad un elemento di concretezza.

Hong Hao _ Contabilità 7 B 2008 _ © Hong Hao Courtesy Pace

Hong Hao _ Contabilità 7 B 2008 _ © Hong Hao Courtesy Pace

Un approccio più fotografico legato all’ uso della MACRO sono gli scatti di David La Chapelle che si presenta in una vesta artistica del tutto nuova. La moda lascia spazio a delle immagini di grandi dimensioni che da lontano sembrano rappresentare imponenti edifici industriali illuminati con luci al neon ma, se si analizzano da vicino, si può notare come l’artista, utilizzando sottoprodotti riciclati, riesce a ricreare un ambiente industriale semplicemente unendo e intrecciando tra loro fiammiferi, lattine di alluminio, bottiglie di plastica e di cartone ritagliato e dipinto. L’unico spaccato reale della foto è lo scenario, veri e propri scatti paesaggisti in cui viene ricreata e assemblata la finta industria.

David La Chapelle _ Land Scape, Castle Rock 2013 _ © David La Chapelle Courtesy Galerie Daniel Templon Paris

David La Chapelle _ Land Scape, Castle Rock 2013 _ © David La Chapelle Courtesy Galerie Daniel Templon Paris

Merita di essere menzionato anche l’artista italiano Luca Campigotto che presenta attraverso alcuni scatti l’attività delle grandi navi e degli scali commerciali , spesso realizzate in contesti notturni illuminati solo ed esclusivamente dalle luci artificiali presenti sul posto, dagli anni Novanta ai giorni nostri nei porti di Genova, Marghera, New York e Venezia. Una visione iperrealista della globalizzazione della produzione che ci mostra a quali dimensioni sia ormai giunto il flusso delle merci e degli uomini.

Luca Campigotto _ Arsenale di Venezia, 2000_ © Luca Campigotto

Luca Campigotto _ Arsenale di Venezia, 2000_ © Luca Campigotto

Durante la Biennale un ampio programma di eventi darà spazio anche ad incontri con i fotografi e con i curatori delle esposizioni.

[Sara Costa]


3 ottobre – 1° novembre 2015

martedì – domenica 10.00 / 19.00

Ingresso gratuito

Infopoint: Piazza Nettuno, 1 Bologna

lunedì – domenica 10.00 /19.00


Cold as Ice – Matt McClune



Inaugura la prima personale di opere inedite di Matt McClune negli spazi della galleria Renata Fabbri Arte Contemporanea a Milano.

Matt McClune

La cifra stilistica di Matt McClune è connotata dall’utilizzo di superfici metalliche come base per differenti modalità pittoriche, in bilico tra il figurativo e l’astratto, caratterizzate da un cromatismo fatto di luci e di atmosfere rarefatte, spesso ispirate al cambio delle stagioni nella campagna francese, in Borgogna, dove vive e lavora.

Cold as Ice parla di inverno. Le opere esposte caratterizzate da colori freddi come il blu, il bianco e l’argento illuminano la galleria e accompagnano lo spettatore verso l’incanto di un’atmosfera unica, rarefatta e suggestiva.

L’artista racconta che in inverno i vigneti della Borgogna coperti da una folta nebbia mutano l’atmosfera, che diviene inevitabilmente molto cupa; tuttavia, guardando oltre al grigio della foschia, ci si imbatte in una luce fredda e affascinante.
Una luce asettica apparentemente priva di emozioni, così come il freddo appare, ma che trova in questa dimensione espressività e purezza.

Nella Critica del Giudizio, Immanuel Kant traccia un parallelismo tra bello e sublime. Mentre il primo viene percepito dai sensi e dall’intelletto, il secondo viene percepito dall’animo. Ed è proprio l’animo che viene stimolato dalle sue opere. Matt McClune è capace di una pittura fortemente evocativa nella quale è presente “ colui che guarda”, il vedere colto nel rapporto con il luogo, il luogo della nostra anima.


Inaugurazione lunedì 28 settembre 2015, dalle ore 18

fino al 14 novembre 2015

Renata Fabbri arte contemporanea
via Stoppani, 15/C Milano
martedì a sabato 15.30 – 19.30
ingresso libero

Superare l’informale: Enrico Castellani a Milano

Alla Galleria Cardi saranno esposte 15 opere di Enrico Castellani realizzate tra gli anni ’60 e il 2000. Una pittura fredda caratterizzata da superfici monocrome strutturate tridimensionalmente da estroflessioni ed introflessioni.

Castellani Cardi

L’esperienza artistica di Enrico Castellani si colloca all’interno della corrente dell’astrattismo. Un astrattismo autoreferenziale, strutturale e costruttivo con valenze minimali e concettuali, in cui viene definitivamente superato il vitalismo informale di matrice europea ed americana. La tangenza è piuttosto con le esperienze degli anni sessanta Optical e Cinetiche del Gruppo T e N oppure con quelle del Gruppo Zero di area Germanica.

Ancorato alla classicità dei mezzi: tela, telaio e chiodi, Castellani supera l’informale a favore di un’espressione plastica e visiva che definisce una pittura fredda e impersonale caratterizzata da superfici monocrome strutturate tridimensionalmente da rilievi ed avvallamenti, vuoti e pieni, estroflessioni ed introflessioni. La superficie è dinamicamente concepita, strutturata geometricamente e razionalmente, progettata, e innervata da articolazioni minime e primarie, in cui non esiste alcun riferimento virtuale od illusorio.

L’unico intervento esterno e modificatore è la luce che battendo sulla superficie in tensione ne modifica la percezione visiva. Non esiste attitudine spiritualistica e mistica, l’artista mette in atto un processo materialista per attivare la percezione fisica e mentale di una dimensione ipoteticamente infinita. Considerato uno dei più importanti pittori dei nostri tempi Enrico Castellani ha mosso la sua poetica dall’idea di produrre oggetti pittorici dall’essenza indiscutibile, non interpretabile, “l’opera è ciò che si vede”.

Egli agisce sulla tela sensibilizzando la superficie con dei rilievi (estroflessioni ed introflessioni) allo scopo di renderla percettibile. La tela viene suddivisa da reticoli geometrici e mentali nel modo più impersonale possibile. Il solo criterio compositivo è quello della concretezza che tende all’infinito.
Il suo lavoro si caratterizza per essere lucido, essenziale e avulso da ogni emotività.

Inaugurazione martedì 22 settembre 2015 ore 19
La mostra sarà visitabile fino al 19 dicembre.

Galleria Cardi
corso di Porta Nuova 38, 20121 Milano
Da lunedì a venerdì, dalle ore 10.00 alle ore 19.00
Sabato su appuntamento
Chiuso domenica.
Ingresso libero

“Ricostruzione futurista dell’universo” di Giacomo Balla

Alla Fondazione Magnani Rocca di Parma inaugura oggi una mostra che ripercorre la ricerca dell’artista torinese alla luce del manifesto del 1915.

La mostra “Giacomo Balla Astrattista Futurista”, allestita negli spazi della Fondazione (Mamiano di Traversetolo) e aperta sino all’8 dicembre 2015, è curata da Elena Gigli e Stefano Roffi. Essa rilegge l’intera parabola dell’artista (1871-1958) attraverso l’analisi del manifesto Ricostruzione futurista dell’universo (1915), di cui ricorre il centenario, firmato «Astrattista Futurista» dall’autore insieme a Fortunato Depero.

Questi gli intenti dichiarati: «Il futurismo pittorico si è svolto quale superamento e solidificazione dell’impressionismo, dinamismo plastico e plasmazione dell’atmosfera, compenetrazione di piani e stati d’animo (…) Noi futuristi, Balla e Depero, vogliamo realizzare questa fusione totale per ricostruire l’universo rallegrandolo, cioè ricreandolo integralmente. Daremo scheletro e carne all’invisibile, all’impalpabile, all’imponderabile, all’impercettibile. Troveremo degli equivalenti astratti di tutte le forme e di tutti gli elementi dell’universo, poi li combineremo insieme, secondo i capricci della nostra ispirazione (…) Il parolibero Marinetti ci disse con entusiasmo: “L’arte, prima di noi, fu ricordo, rievocazione angosciosa di un Oggetto perduto (felicità, amore, paesaggio) perciò nostalgia, statica, dolore, lontananza. Col Futurismo invece, l’arte diventa arte-azione, cioè volontà, ottimismo, aggressione, possesso, penetrazione, gioia, realtà brutale nell’arte, splendore geometrico delle forze, proiezione in avanti. Dunque l’arte diventa Presenza, nuovo Oggetto, nuova realtà creata cogli elementi astratti dell’universo. Le mani dell’artista passatista soffrivano per l’Oggetto perduto; le nostre mani spasimavano per un nuovo Oggetto da creare” (…) Le invenzioni contenute in questo manifesto sono creazioni assolute, integralmente generate dal Futurismo italiano. Nessun artista di Francia, di Russia, d’Inghilterra o di Germania intuì prima di noi qualche cosa di simile o di analogo. Soltanto il genio italiano, cioè il genio più costruttore e più architetto, poteva intuire il complesso plastico astratto. Con questo, il Futurismo ha determinato il suo Stile, che dominerà inevitabilmente su molti secoli di sensibilità».

Il percorso espositivo, seguendo i punti programmatici del documento teorico, procede per temi: “Astratto”, “Dinamico”, “Volatile”, “Drammatico”, “Autonomo”, “Trasparentissimo”, “Coloratissimo e luminossisimo”, “Scoppiante” e “Trasformabile”. L’itinerario prende il via dalle opere di inizio Novecento realizzate a Villa Borghese, per procedere col dinamismo del volo delle rondini e del moto delle auto; a seguire una serie di figure femminili; quindi i dipinti interventisti, gli autoritratti, i cicli delle Stagioni e delle Trasformazioni Forme Spiriti; e ancora, paesaggi artificiali e sculture; in conclusione vestiti e mobili.

Giacomo Balla, Forze di paesaggio + cocomero, 1917-1918, tempera su carta intelata; © Giacomo Balla, by SIAE 2015

Giacomo Balla, Forze di paesaggio + cocomero, 1917-1918, tempera su carta intelata; © Giacomo Balla, by SIAE 2015×800/images/Giacomo_Balla_Forze_di_paesaggio_giardino.jpg

Joseph Beuys

The exhibition presents two central installations by Joseph Beuys, ‘The Hearth 1968 – 1974’, and ‘Feuerstatte II 1978-1979’. These are joined by the cycle ’11 Vitrinen.


The exhibition presents two central installations by Joseph Beuys, “THE HEARTH (Feuerstätte) 1968 –1974”, and “Feuerstätte II 1978 –1979”. These are joined by the cycle “11 Vitrinen. Laboratorien der Imagination 1949/1984”, on permanent loan from a swiss private collection.

The arrangement is complemented by films shot during Beuys’s actions and documentary material showing him as an artist who actively sought to engage his environment. In addition to the outstanding material presence of his sculptural work gaining a platform, this exhibition also serves to show Beuys as an artist with a clear grasp of the immaterial processes and communicative engagement and who cultivated these as an artistic medium. Beuys was born in Krefeld in 1921 and died 1986 in Düsseldorf. He is widely considered to be one of the most important artists of the twentieth century.

curated by Søren Grammel

Press Contact:
Michael Mathis, tel. +41 61 206 62 80,

Opening: Fiday 19 December 2014

The Kunstmuseum Basel
Museum für Gegenwartskunst
New Building
Tue – Sun 10.00–18.00
Mo closed

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)