Curator’s Journal

Curator's Journal, The Provocation Column

Old World, New Art

The rise of technology

With the raise of new mediums to produce artworks like digital arts, computer graphics, robotics, among others, comes a change as well in the ways of display and a challenge for the eyes of the observers to find new ways of interaction. Ways of seeing, like John Berger would say.
Since the rise of third Revolution, what Daniel Bell forecasted back in the seventies, transformations in the artworks and the art market keep going on and on. We can see that now in the production and the consumption at the same time. From galleries, to Museums; from artist to collectors, there is no turnover.
Yet, what today seems like evident, was for few more than 50 years ago a path to discover; and one that was almost empty. It is my intention to turn the attention to 3 visionary institutions, located in the “old world” that understood that the relation between art and technology was certainly worth the research and the risk to invest because it was the way to produce “new art”.

One: The ZKM in Karlsruhe, Germany

Founded in 1989, the ZKM Center for Media and Arts has housed more of the risky art projects and collected some digital arts, before no one did. Located in a small town in Germany, the Center is a hot spot for those who want to see avant- garde exhibitions and simply join the digital conversation. Focused on technology and innovation, and celebrating their 30 anniversary, the German Institution is also associated also with the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design, with a strong focus on media, digitzation and globalization.

Two: L´Atelier des Lumiers in Paris, France

When the brothers Lumiere claim their selves in 1895, to be the first filmmakers in the history, many thought they were mad! When they claimed, cinema was art, the fire burnt even more. Can someone deny today the status quo of the seventh art? Well, the history seems to repeat when it comes to French visionaries. Launched in 2018 as the first Digital Art Center, with an exhibition about Gustave Klimt, the Atelier des Lumiers is certainly a reference on how technology can create new mediums and expand horizons.

Three: Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria

A research center, a festival, a museum, Ars Electronica is likely to be a hybrid institution with an eye on the important aspects when it comes to innovation. They have been analyzing since 1979 the digital revolution. “The focus is always on current developments and possible future scenarios and the questions of how this will change our lives”. All about, art and technology, but also a community with strong social focus, they have turn out an industrial city into a cultural one.


Curator's Journal, News, Trips

From Houston to Austin: Summer 2019

On November 2018, The Menil Collection launched their fifth Building: “The Drawing Institute” where I began this Summer my Texas Odyssey.

Designed by Johnston Marklee, at the entrance of the white building lies a beautiful piece, the “Menil Curve” 20015 by Ellsworth Kelly. On view now is “When I Breathe, I Draw” a collection of drawings by Roni Horn (b.1955) that present different drawing methods by the Newyorker artist, curated by Michelle White.

The journey continued visiting another space from my bucketlist : “Austin”, the monumental last piece by one of the most important American artist of his generation: Ellsworth Kelly (1923-2015). As a gift to The Blanton museum, Kelly gave them the concept for a 2,714. square-foot stone structure with luminous colored glass. Spectrum, Color Grid, Black and White are the key elements. The design clearly resembles a westerner Church, and the marvelous of it is to see how people actually feel in a “house of prayer” paying respect with silence and a perplex state.

The colors of the mosaics, are pretty much all of those we use to express any emotion, probably the reason why its so easy to connect with the spiritual feeling.

I continued with “Laguna Gloria”, a Sculpture Park belonging to The Contemporary Austin, which turned out to be another pleasant surprise. Holding pieces from Elmgreen and Dragset, Carol Bove, Ai Weiwei, Tom Friedman and others, I found among my favorites “Missy Fountain” by Tom Sacgs Studio. The monumental bunny sculpture, is a reinterpretation of a Dutch cartoon figure created by Dick Bruna in 1955. Or Sachs appropiation of Japanese charachter Kello Kitty, which had his origings in 1070´s Bruna Rabbit? The piece raises an interesting discussion about intellectual property.

“Keep Austin Weird” it´s the city motto and after tasting the waters, I agree with it. With great urban art to see, a great musical scene and for sure a culinary spot, Austin is cool weird!

Back in Houston, I also visited some art galleries. Among my favorite shows was Katsumi Hayakawa “Particle of Light” at McClain Gallery, which I encourage to visit for those in Houston.

No doubt the Texas area has a lot to offer. You know what they say …. “Texas size” so, they have good big things!

Curator's Journal, Issue 018, Trips

Setouchi Triennale: Spring Sessions 2019

Curator’s Journal:

More than imagined, despite my high expectations, Japan’s Setouchi Triennale has been a once in a life experience that I shall highlight in my memories. The art festival held on 12 islands and 2 ports in the Seto Inland Sea happens once every three years and has much to offer to art lovers seeking a special experience. From Naoshima to Teshima, over Ogijima and Oshima, the artworks are to be seen outdoors as well as in the outstanding museums.

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