Of Bridges & Borders – Phase V

Of Bridges & Borders – Phase V

Of Bridges & Borders, PHase V - MAMBA (Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires), Buenos Aires

“From Real to Surreal”

10 November – 15 March 2011
Opening: November 10th, 19hs

MAMBA Room floor -2
350 San Juan Avenue, City of Buenos Aires

“From Real to Surreal”, was held at the Museum of Modern Art of Buenos Aires being the last phase of the project. It presented, for the first time in Argentina, the international visual artists: Yuan Shun (China), Carsten Nicolai (Germany), Liam Gillick (UK & USA) and Hans Op de Beeck (Belgium). Their works have been produced specifically for the Hall of the -2nd floor of the MAMBA recently inaugurated in 2011.

The exhibition once again tackled the theme of bridges and borders, this time pointing to illusions, fictions or realities. Questioning both the real and the surreal, the images occupied a priority place, without leaving aside narration and perceptions, as in the case of sound. The aim of this selection of artists was to bring together those creators who work with minimalist aesthetics with simple, high-impact works.

Yuan Shun presented two giant photographs from his series of imaginary landscapes that transport us in a kind of dream. Carstren Nicolai, proposes a playful work that has to do with the senses between touch and sight, generating an enormous grey wall that changes colour when touched and turns white where one touches. It works like a thermometer that registers the movements of the people who touch it, leaving traces that appear for only seconds. On another wall a video of a careful aesthetic is  on view, in which a man fights in front of a Japanese drink vending machine to get his favorite. The machine starts walking by itself, building a kind of symphony of electronic music with a fine and active rhythm.

Liam Gillick, presented a conceptual intervention, a phrase labeled on the main wall of the room says in big “Shattered Factories in the Snow” on the wall, directly related to the intervention scattered on the exhibition room’s floor that consisted of scrubbing the surface with vodka and glitter. Hans op de Beeck revealed a beautiful “tableau vivant” that was filmed on a rooftop of Villa 31(a Buenos Aires shantytown), with the skyscrapers in the background, which portrays a birthday party of a local young girl, marking the contrasts of Latin American realities, with an artistic eye. A poetic video art work with a duration of about 5 minutes.

This exhibition benefited from the support of the Ministry of Culture of Flanders, the collaboration of the companies Plavicon, Ad Barbieri, Durlock and the support by Patronage of the Esplendor hotel.

About the artists Carsten Nicolai (Chemnitz, Germany, 1965)

Carsten Nicolai lives and works in Berlin. He trained as a landscape architect and then turned to visual arts and architecture. Under the pseudonym Alva Noto he also works in the field of electronic music

His works cross the border between art and science. Nicolai seeks to overcome the separation of artistic genres and man’s sensory perceptions. In his works he investigates the integration of error and chance, as well as the application of mathematical, physical or natural theories and phenomena, especially the processes of self-organization.

With more than 70 individual exhibitions, his work has been presented in European institutions, as well as in the United States and Japan, among other countries. He has also participated in important collective exhibitions such as Documenta X, in Kassel, Germany (1993) or the Venice Biennales (2001, 2003).

Liam Gillick (Aylesbury, London, 1964)

Liam Gillick is an artist, writer and curator, currently living and working in New York. He studied in London and together with artists Damien Hirst, Sarah Lucas, Angela Bulloch and Henry Bond was part of The Young British Artists which dominated the contemporary art scene in England during the 1990s.

Interested in different forms of social organization, his work explores the social role of art through different media from sculpture to graphic design, music and video. He has created a large number of works in public spaces such as airports, buildings, squares and museums. Many projects have been made in collaboration with other artists, architects, designers and writers.

In 1989 he held his first solo exhibition in London and since then he has presented his works in many institutions in Europe and the United States. In 2009 he was chosen to represent Germany at the Venice Biennale.His works are part of numerous collections of renowned institutions such as Tate Modern (UK), Centre GeoHis works are part of numerous collections of renowned institutions such as Tate Modern (UK), Centre Georges Pompidou (Francia), la Fundación Jumex (Mexico), el Museo de Arte Moderno de Nueva York, among others.

Hans Op de Beeck, (Turnhout, Belgium, 1969)

Hans Op de Beeck studied visual arts in Brussels, where he lives and works today. He did postgraduate work in Antwerp and Amsterdam.

His work, consisting of sculptures, installations, videos, photos, drawings, paintings and animations, focuses on our relationship to time and space. Op de Beeck presents imaginary but identifiable places, moments and characters, seeking to capture in his images the tragicomic absurdity of our post-modern existence.

He has participated in numerous individual projects and group exhibitions. His work has been exhibited throughout Europe, in the United States, in Asia, and for the first time in 2011 in Latin America. He has exhibited large-format works in the Art UNLIMITED section of the Art Basel fair and presented Location #7 at the Venice Biennale 2011.

Yuan Shun (Shanghai, China, 1961)

Yuan Shun lives and works in Beijing. He comes from a traditional art school, guided by classical Chinese painting. At the age of 30 he moved to Poland and then visited Berlin and Istanbul. The result of these trips and what he assimilated there, gave him the opportunity to make free use of the elements of traditional Chinese landscape painting and European geometric abstraction.

Since then he has used different media to create his works, which consist of photographs, installations, video paintings and performances. His work explores landscape, urban and architectural themes. He creates fictional landscapes that emerge from his imagination, dealing with spatial, territorial, ecological or simply human themes.

Yuan Shun has taken part in international exhibitions in New York, London, Australia, Tokyo, Beijing and Berlin, among other cities.

About “Of Bridges & Borders”
Of Bridges & Borders is a cross-border multidisciplinary cultural project. Like certain plays and films, its origin lies in a book that was produced and published in October 2009.

In that publication, visual artists, musicians, architects and thinkers from seventeen countries presented a wide range of positions and artistic visions.

In 2011 in Buenos Aires, Of Bridges & Borders entailed a series of exhibitions, urban interventions, concerts and lectures whose formats range from installations, video art, film, architecture, music and performances. The underlying interest is to provoke new forms of reading through proximity, difference, comparison and contradiction in the cultural sphere.

Phase II “Beautiful Bridge, # 1” was a colorful and geometrical painted intervention by the Swiss artists Lang/Baumann that took place under the pedestrian bridge of the faculty of located on Figueroa Alcorta Avenue. A public art piece that remained and later became emblematic for the city.

Phase III “Fronteras en Mutación” took place at the CCEBA (Spanish Cultural Center) in its San Telmo neighborhood (former Padelai) and Paraná street headquarters, with an international exhibition that brought together a selection of 16 outstanding national and international artists who created site specific projects.

These artists from different backgrounds and generations employed an array of vocabularies in their varied visions of globalization, an issue that has become increasingly important in recent years.

This third phase of the project focused on the morphology of borders, not only from a geographical perspective, but also from a poetic and aesthetic point of view. It attempts to offer the public the experience of a ceaselessly connected world, where borders have become both virtual and political, invisible but latent.

Phase IV “Lluvia de arañas sobre el Riachuelo” a strong visual open-air opera which took place on and around the Boca bridge for the Night of the Museums, with the participation of three groups of musicians from different backgrounds, mixing opera, electronics, jazz, minimal and experimental music.

Phase V presented “From Real to Surreal” at the Museum of Modern Art of the City of Buenos Aires (MAMBA) where works by the English, Lliam Gillick, the Belgian, Hans Op de Beeck, the Chinese, Yung Shun and the German, Carsten Nicolai, were installed, specially designed for the exhibition room.