Abstraction in Action Elena Damiani: All the World’s Futures https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/elena-damiani-worlds-futures/


Artists: Jumana Emil Abboud, Adel Abdessemed, Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc, Abounaddara, Boris Achour, Terry Adkins, Saâdane Afif, Chantal Akerman, John Akomfrah, Karo Akpokiere, Meriç Algün Ringborg, Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla, Kutluğ Ataman, Maja Bajevic, Ernesto Ballesteros, Sammy Baloji, Rosa Barba, Georg Baselitz, Eduardo Basualdo, Petra Bauer, Walead Beshty, Huma Bhabha, Christian Boltanski, Monica Bonvicini, Sonia Boyce, Daniel Boyd, Ricardo Brey, Marcel Broodthaers, Tania Bruguera, Teresa Burga, Keith Calhoun & Chandra McCormick, Cao Fei, Nidhal Chamekh, Olga Chernysheva, Tiffany Chung, Cooperativa Cráter Invertido, Creative Time Summit, Elena Damiani, Jeremy Deller, Thea Djordajdze, Marlène Dumas, e-flux Journal, Melvin Edwards, Inji Efflatoun, Antje Ehmann & Harun Farocki, Maria Eichhorn, Walker Evans, Harun Farocki, Emily Floyd, Peter Friedl, Coco Fusco, Marco Fusinato, Charles Gaines, Ellen Gallagher, Ana Gallardo, Dora García, Theaster Gates, Isa Genzken, Gluklya, Sônia Gomes, Katharina Grosse, Gulf Labor, Rupali Gupte & Prasad Shetty, Andreas Gursky, Hans Haacke, Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, Newell Harry, Kay Hassan, Thomas Hirschhorn, Carsten Höller, Nancy Holt & Robert Smithson, IM Heung Soon, Invisible Borders: Trans-African Photographers, Tetsuya Ishida, Ji Dachun, Isaac Julien, Hiwa K., Samson Kambalu, Ayoung Kim, Alexander Kluge, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Runo Lagomarsino, Sonia Leber & David Chesworth, Glenn Ligon, Gonçalo Mabunda, Madhusudhanan, Ibrahim Mahama, David Maljkovic, Victor Man, Abu Bakarr Mansaray, Chris Marker, Kerry James Marshall, Helen Marten, Fabio Mauri, Steve McQueen, Naeem Mohaiemen, Jason Moran, Ivana Müller, Lavar Munroe, Oscar Murillo, Wangechi Mutu, Hwayeon Nam, Bruce Nauman, Cheikh Ndiaye, Olaf Nicolai, Chris Ofili, Emeka Ogboh, Philippe Parreno, Pino Pascali, Adrian Piper, Lemi Ponifasio, Qiu Zhijie, Raha Raissnia, Raqs Media Collective, Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Mykola Ridnyi, Liisa Roberts, Mika Rottenberg, Joachim Schönfeldt, Massinissa Selmani, Fatou Kandé Senghor, Gedi Sibony, Gary Simmons, Taryn Simon, Lorna Simpson, Robert Smithson, Mounira Al Solh, Mikhael Subotzky, Mariam Suhail, Sarah Sze , The Propeller Group, The Tomorrow, Rirkrit Tiravanija , Barthélémy Toguo, Xu Bing , Ala Younis

56 International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale, All the World’s Futures
Curated by Okwui Enwezor
May 9 – November 22, 2015
Giardini and Arsenale -La Biennale
Venice, Italy

Rather than one overarching theme that gathers and encapsulates diverse forms and practices into one unified field of vision, All the World’s Futures is informed by a layer of intersecting Filters. These Filters are a constellation of parameters that circumscribe multiple ideas, which will be touched upon to both imagine and realize a diversity of practices. In 2015, the 56th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia will employ the historical trajectory of the Biennale itself, over the course of its one hundred and twenty years existence, as a Filter through which to reflect on both the current “state of things” and the “appearance of things”. All the World’s Futures will take the present “state of things” as the ground for its dense, restless, and exploratory project that will be located in a dialectical field of references and artistic disciplines.

September 24, 2015 Marco Maggi: Global Myopia II https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/marco-maggi-global-myopia-ii/


Artist: Marco Maggi

Global Myopia II
May 9 – November 22, 2015
Uruguay Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
Venice, Italy

Marco Maggi will represent Uruguay at the upcoming Venice Biennale, opening to the public on May 9 and on view through November 22, 2015. The Uruguayan pavilion is one of the 29 national pavilions located in the Giardini della Biennale. Marco Maggi’s drawings, sculptures and installations encode the world. Composed of linear patterns that suggest circuit boards, aerial views of impossible cities, genetic engineering or nervous systems, his drawings are a thesaurus of the infinitesimal and the undecipherable. Marco Maggi’s abstract language refers to the way information is processed in a global era, and his work challenges the notion of drawing itself. For the 56th Venice Biennale he will present Global Myopia II, a site-specific installation of paper, stickers and pencils on the inside of the pavilion, and a large floating sculpture on the outside.

Saying that the world is myopic sounds depreciative: a planet without perspective, moving forward without any clear sense of direction. Marco Maggi, on the contrary, claims and prescribes myopia as the extraordinary ability to see from very close. Nearsightedness allows one to focus carefully on invisible details, it challenges the acceleration and the abuse of long-distance relationships characteristic of our era. After a farsighted 20th century with solutions for everyone and forever, it is time to stimulate our empathy for the immediate and the insignificant.

In Global Myopia II, paper and pencil, the two basic elements of drawing, get separated and the act of drawing is split into two stages. A portable kit composed of 10,000 elements cut out of self-adhesive paper becomes an insignificant alphabet that the artist will fold and paste onto the walls during the three months preceding the biennale. The diminutive papers are disseminated or connected following the specific traffic rules and syntax dictated by any accumulation of sediments. The colonies of paper sticker on the walls enter in dialogue with a custom lighting track provided by Erco. Myriads of high-definition shadows and infinitesimal incandescent projections will aim to slow down the viewer. The only ambition of the project is to promote pauses and closeness.

Born in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1957, Marco Maggi lives and works in New Paltz, NY and Montevideo, Uruguay. His work has been exhibited extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and Latin America in galleries, museums, and biennials. He is represented by Josée Bienvenu in New York. In 2013, he received the Premio Figari (Career Award). Selected exhibitions include Functional Desinformation, Instituto Tomie Ohtake, Sao Paulo, Brazil (2012); Optimismo Radical, NC-arte, Bogota, Colombia (2011); New Perspectives in Latin American Art, 1930–2006, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2008); Poetics of the Handmade, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA (2007); Fifth Gwangju Biennial, Korea (2004); VIII Havana Biennial, Cuba (2003); 25th Sao Paulo Biennial, Sao Paulo, Brazil (2002); and Mercosul Biennial, Porto Alegre, Brazil (2001). Public collections include The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Art Institute of Chicago; The Drawing Center, New York; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis; Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach; El Museo del Barrio, New York; Cisneros Collection, New York; and Daros Foundation, Zurich.

The 56th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia is directed by Okwui Enwezor, curator, art critic and writer, and the Director of the Haus der Kunst, Munich. The Uruguayan Commissioner is artist Ricardo Pascale and the project is curated by Patricia Bentancur, Senior Curator and New Media Director at the Centro Cultural de España in Montevideo (CCE), a leading space for Iberoamerican art.

Image: Marco Maggi, Putin’s Pencils, 2014. Soviet era color pencils and bowstrings. Image courtesy of the artist and Josée Bienvenu Gallery.
April 24, 2015 Santiago Reyes Villaveces: Traino (Remolque) https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/santiago-reyes-villaveces-traino-remolque/


Artist: Santiago Reyes Villaveces

Traino (Remolque)
December 4 – 15, 2014
Caballerizza Real de Turín
Turin, Italy

Ciento noventa y dos alambres sujetan cada una de las silla del antiguo teatro de la Cavallerizza real que funcionó hasta hace 7 años, hoy, espacio de la ciudad de Turín ocupado por una asamblea de ciudadanos, se concentran en un mismos punto de una viga de madera atrancada en el antiguo portón del establo y punto central del escenario del teatro. La viga es presionada contra el vano del portón por la tensión del alambre y las sillas aprisionadas por la resistencia de la viga. A modo de proyección que se abre desde la viga hacia la tribuna o un centro que concentra y sujeta las lineas de fuga en un único punto, la instalación Traino es un embate de perspectivas y tensión.


Imágenes: “Traino (remolque)”, 2014, Alambre de acero y madera (550cmx20cmx20cm), 50mx50m. Fotos de Paolo Pellion
January 6, 2015 Felipe Mujica: Idea di Frattura https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/felipe-mujica-idea-di-frattura/


Artists: Armando Andrade Tudela, Alejandro Cesarco, Elena Damiani, Clara Ianni, Runo Lagomarsino, Mateo Lopez, Felipe Mujica, Laercio Redondo.

Idea di Frattura, Opinione Latina 2
May 8 – July 19, 2014
Curated by Jacopo Crivelli Visconti
Francesca Minini Gallery
Milano, Italy

As the collaborator of Oscar Niemeyer on some of the most suggestive projects in Brasília, Athos Bulcão is the creator of the tiles that adorn so many of the public buildings as well as the edifices of the capital’s superquadras. The peculiarity of Bulcão’s method was to leave room for the creativity of the workers installing the tiles, to whom he supplied only some general instructions (usually concerned with avoiding the creation of compositions that would be too “obvious”), leaving them for the most part free to juxtapose the designs how they saw fit. If, over the course of his very long career, Oscar Niemeyer has on more than one occasion affirmed his militant communism (a claim belied, or at least weakened, by his innumerable public commissions realized for various political regimes), Bulcão’s activity reveals authentically and deeply democratic aims. The great mural painting by Laercio Redondo (part of the series Lembranças de Brasília, 2012) pays homage to Bulcão and to his method which is so open and subject to the circumstances life that are beyond one’s control; in this sense he is subtly anti-modernist. Although not directly inspired by Bulcão, the curtains produced by Felipe Mujica for the exhibition, part of a series in progress, should be interpreted in an analogous manner, since the artist defines some fundamental parameters, formally ascribable to the modernist tradition, but then goes on to leave a certain margin of freedom to the collaborators who produce them, by allowing them, for example, to choose the color of the fabrics. The collages and the sculptures by Elena Damiani often take the same repertory of modernist architecture as a starting point, but in this case the purity of the forms appears as contaminated, almost repudiated by the surprisingly fluid juxtaposition of utterly distinct architecture and spaces, in the case of the collages; and by the very widely differing materials such as glass and marble (the one transparent and fragile, the other strong and opaque), in the case of the sculptures. Through the images Damiani moreover establishes, albeit in a fragmentary and non-linear fashion, a narrative; a fantastical and complex universe in which we feel it would be possible to live, and, perhaps, in which someone does indeed live.

Despite not having a soundtrack, Foro (Armando Andrade Tudela, 2013) is intrinsically musical: the hands of the artist and of the architecture students who have helped him to build a model of the Endless House developed by Friedrich Kiesler have designed a concert of extremely melodic forms and gestures. The synesthetic experience transmitted by the film is coherent with its subject: Kiesler’s utopian house was at the same time an idea and the realization of an idea, fusing in a single artifact two theoretically distinct moments. The sculptures of the seriesLores (2014), produced by Andrade Tudela for this exhibition, use the same material and a principal which is in some way specular, as they do not allude to a hypothetical future construction on a larger scale, of which they would constitute the model, but of the modus operandi according to which they are constructed. The artist prepares the molds for the sculptures so that, when they are removed from the mold, some “linings” break, and join the final form by painstakingly observing the sculpture from every angle to find the exact point in which to insert the broken section. Andrade Tudela has realized two versions for each mold, inevitably different from one another because he cannot control the exact point in which the “lining” will break, and, consequently, where the right place to insert the broken section will be. The idea of a fracture, of a violence often invisible, but which lies beneath the creation of utopian, spectacular and charming architecture, forms in a certain sense the core of the exhibition. The ruthless suppression of workers’ strike during the construction of Brasília, and above all the manner in which this suppression is denied by Oscar Niemeyer and Lucio Costa in the interviews conducted by Clara Ianni in Free Form / Forma LivreParte I and II (2013), speak of precisely this fracture that has never-quite-healed on which the capital was built, and by metonymy the country and even the continent itself. An atavistic fracture, which can be traced all the way back to the founding trauma of colonization, and the way in which, in the following centuries, the sociopolitical arena has remained substantially the same, continuously showing the same asymmetric division of power and access to natural resources. The war to which Ianni alludes in War II (2011-12) is only by appearances that of a board game: what makes these ruthless and totalitarian aims suddenly frightening and yet familiar, it not their insertion in a different context, but the manner in which, in this new context, they echo a tragic past, and perhaps an unobserved present. Like architecture, language can both reveal and hide, it can propose military aims, or, more subtly, choose not to speak of the problem directly, but to allude to it transversally, silently.

This is what forms Alessandro Cesarco’s Footnotes, 2014, which evoke, in a seemingly unintellectual context, parallel realities, the capacity of art and language to transform reality, revealing its fantastic side. In this sense, even though they may seem like a digression from the exhibition’s main themes, Cesarco’s notes in fact constitute the key to understanding all that can be (and is) said and denied, that language is an architecture of the word, which, by constructing various levels of interpretation, on one hand conceals, almost protectively, the state of things, and on the other allows it to be filtered, sifting out the fracture that is to be sought, once again, beyond what we believe we see. Analogously, the graphic alphabet invented by Mateo López to compose his poetry-sculptures, which allude to the great tradition of concrete poetry in Latin America, is not immediately comprehensible. With his words made of folded sheets of paper, López doesn’t so much say as refer, suggest, and open up a field of possible combinations. Thus the lithograph which provides the key to interpreting the work is a sort of dictionary that should allow one to understand, but it is clear that it does not tell us everything, because that would be impossible: some things, when one attempts to explain them, dissolve into thin air. And it is in this unsayable context, which in certain sense precedes the works, or underlies them, almost to highlight the need to look beyond appearances, that Runo Lagomarsino has installed it wallpaper, transforming the exhibition space into a theatrical stage adorned with a sign that is apparently decorative, but which actually speaks, once again, of violence and colonization. Illiterate, the conquistador Francisco Pizarro would sign is name by twice repeating a sort of abstract scrawl, a sign as arbitrary and personal as any violence, which always had to be authenticated by a public notary who signed in the middle. If, as suggested by the title of another works of Lagomarsino’s, Colombo’s enterprise might seem, at the beginning, like a joke (We All Laughed at Christopher Columbus, 2003), today nobody is laughing; Pizarro’s lopsided signature closes the circle opened by the cordial forms of Athos Bulcão, and reminds us that it remains, indelible and alert, underneath any new attempt to establish an authentically democratic process in Latin America.

Jacopo Crivelli Visconti

June 6, 2014