Saturday, February 17, 2018

Wikipedia:List of hoaxes on Wikipedia

This is a list of known historical hoaxes on Wikipedia. Its purpose is to document hoaxes on Wikipedia, in order to improve our detection and understanding of them. It is considered a hoax if it was a clear or blatant attempt to make up something, as opposed to libelvandalism or a factual error. A hoax is considered notable enough for inclusion in this list if it evaded detection for more than one month or was discussed by reliable sourcesin the media. This list is incomplete, as many hoaxes remain undiscovered.

There is no criticism, only history

There is no such thing as criticism; there is only history. What usually is passed off as criticism, the things you find in architecture magazines, is produced by architects, who frankly are bad historians. As for your concern for what should be the subject of criticism, let me propose that history is not about objects, but instead is about men, about human civilization. What should interest the historian are the cycles of architectural activity and the problem of how a work of architecture fits in its own time. To do otherwise is to impose one’s own way of seeing on architectural history.

What is essential to understanding architecture is the mentality, the mental structure of any given period. The historian’s task is to recreate the cultural context of a work. Take for example a sanctuary dedicated to the cult of the Madonna, built sometimes in the Renaissance. What amazes us is how consistently these buildings have a central plan and an octagonal shape. The form cannot be explained without a knowledge of the religious attitudes of the period and a familiarity with the inheritance from antiquity — a reproposal of the temple form devoted to female divinities. Or take the case of Pope Alexander VII, whose interest in Gothic architecture at the cathedral of Siena [mid-17th century] compared to his patronage of Bernini in Rome can only be explained through a knowledge of the Sienese environment and traditions. The historian must evaluate all the elements that surround a work, all of its margins of involvement; only then can he start to discover the margins of freedom, or creativity, that were possible for either the architect or the sponsor.

“There is no criticism, only history,” an interview with Manfredo Tafuri conducted in Italian by Richard Ingersoll and translated by him into English, appeared in Design Book Review, no. 9, spring 1986, pages 8-11.

“Κωστής Βελώνης : A Puppet Sun" / Η εποχή των εικόνων

13.02.2018 ΕΡΤ2-Η εποχή των εικόνων “Κωστής Βελώνης : A Puppet Sun”. Συνέντευξη στην Κατερίνα Ζαχαροπούλου

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Stopping Point

Theo Michael, "It’s Complicated", weathered print, 180x130 cm, 2018

Entre l’homme et l’amour,
Il y a la femme.
Entre l’homme et la femme,
Il y a un monde.
Entre l’homme et le monde,
Il y a un mur.
Antoine Tudal, Paris en l’an 2000

In erotic literature, we often find descriptions of the impasse of a relationship based on sexual difference.

The exhibition takes as its point of departure a poem by Antoine Tudal, which describes the difficulty of love through the acoustic and verbal similarity of “love” (l’amour) and “wall” (le mur) in French.

However, Jacques Lacan’s apt reference to the poem as a semiology of difference and similarity provides a basis in order to justify the relationship through the two lovers’ blunders and fumbles, their vain and unfulfilled reveries, even through excruciating pain (la douleur exquise) that turns into tragicomedy when there is no mutual response.

The exhibition reveals what pushes away instead of uniting, what stands as an obstacle and makes relationships incompatible through the difference of the subjects. Archaic and biblical references about the eternal battle of sexes, as well as the rhetoric of contemporary psychology on “complementary” relationship, become the ingredients of an indirect acceptance of the separation caused by biological difference.

The emergence of divergence between desire and the obstacle that annuls it conveys the comical or melancholic outcome of an event that echoes not just the division of the relationship, but also the conflict, the struggle and the effort surrounding it. Here, there may be winners and losers, but in reality both sides annihilate each other, since idealizations and erotic frenzies are altered and extinguished in the corrosive flow of time.

In perceiving the wordplay of l’a-mur as an insurmountable “love-wall”, or even as a temporarily surmountable obstacle, the exhibition aims at parodying discontinuity in this libidinal architecture of delimitation and cut.

Participants : Alexandros Georgiou, Maria Georgoula, Zoe Giabouldaki, Dimitris Ioannou, Eleni Kamma, Chrysanthi Koumianaki, Markela Kontaratou, Karolina Krasouli, Konstantinos Kotsis, Margarita Myrogianni, Theo Michael, Myrto Xanthopoulou, Nina Papakonstantinou, Tereza Papamichali, Kostas Roussakis, Georgia Sagri, George Stamatakis, Stefania Strouza, Evangelia Spiliopoulou, Alexandros Tzannis, Dimitris Foutris
Curated by Kostis Velonis
Assistant Curator Faidra Vasileiadou
21/02/2018 – 10/03/2018
Wednesday, Thursday & Friday 18:00–22:00 | Saturday 12:00 – 17:00

Στην ερωτική φιλολογία συναντάμε συχνά την καταγραφή του αδιέξοδου μιας σχέσης η οποία βασίζεται στη διαφορά των δυο φύλων.
H έκθεση εχει ως αφετηρια ένα ποίημα του Antoine Tudal στο οποίο περιγράφεται η δυσκολία του έρωτα μέσα από την ηχητική και λεκτική ομοιότητα του “έρωτα” (l' amour) και του 'τοίχου”( le mur) στη χρήση της γαλλικής γλώσσας.

Εν τουτοις, η εύστοχη αναφορά του Lacan πανω στο ποιημα ως μια σημειολογία της διαφοράς και της ομοιότητας προσφέρει υλικό να αιτιολογηθεί η σχεση μέσα από τις γκάφες και τις αδεξιότητες του εραστή και της/του ερωμένης-νου, τις αδιέξοδες ονειροπολήσεις των ερωτευμένων που δεν πραγματώνονται άλλα ακόμη και τον οδυνηρό πόνο (la douleur exquise) ο οποίος εξελίσσεται σε ιλαροτραγωδία, όταν δεν υπάρχει αμοιβαία ανταπόκριση.

Στην έκθεση φανερώνεται εκείνο που αποδιώχνει αντί να ενώνει, στέκεται ως εμπόδιο και καθιστά τις σχέσεις ασύμβατες μέσα από την διαφορετικότητα των υποκειμένων. Αρχαϊκές και βιβλικές αναφορές περί της αιωνίας διαμάχης των φύλων, όπως και η ρητορική της σύγχρονης ψυχολογίας περί “συμπληρωματικής” σχέσης αποτελούν συστατικά μιας έμμεσης αποδοχής της διαχωρισμού που προκύπτει από τη βιολογική διαφορά.

Η ανάδειξη της απόκλισης ανάμεσα στην επιθυμία και το εμπόδιο που την ακυρώνει μεταφέρει την κωμική η την μελαγχολική έκβαση ενός γεγονότος που δεν απηχεί μονάχα το διαχωρισμό της σχέσης άλλα την διαμάχη, την πάλη και τη προσπάθεια γύρω από αυτήν. Εδώ μπορεί να υπάρχουν νικητές και ηττημένοι άλλα κατά βάθος και οι δυο πλευρές εξοντώνονται, αφού οι εξιδανικεύσεις όπως και οι ερωτικοί παροξυσμοί αλλοιώνονται και αφανίζονται στην φθορά του χρόνου.

Αντιλαμβανόμενοι λοιπόν το λογοπαίγνιο του l'a-mur, ως ένα ανυπέρβλητο “ερωτοτοιχο” η ακομη και ως ένα προσωρινό προσπελάσιμο εμπόδιο, η έκθεση στοχεύει στη διακωμώδηση της ασυνέχειας σε αυτήν την λιβιδινικη αρχιτεκτονική της οροθεσίας και της αποκοπής.

Αλέξανδρος Γεωργίου, Μαρία Γεωργούλα, Ζωή Γιαμπουλντάκη, Δημήτρης Ιωάννου, Ελένη Καμμά, Χρυσάνθη Κουμιανάκη, Μαρκέλλα Κονταράτου, Καρολίνα Κρασούλη, Κωνσταντίνος Κωτσής, Μαργαρίτα Μυρογιάννη, Τέο Μιχαήλ, Μυρτώ Ξανθοπούλου, Νίνα Παπακωνσταντίνου, Τερέζα Παπαμιχάλη, Κώστας Ρουσσάκης, Γεωργία Σαγρή, Γιώργος Σταματάκης, Στεφανία Στρούζα, Ευαγγελία Σπηλιοπούλου, Αλέξανδρος Τζάννης, Δημήτρης Φουτρής

Επιμελεια Κωστής Βελώνης
Βοηθος επιμελητή Φαίδρα Βασιλειάδου

Εγκαίνια 21/02 στις 19:00
Τετάρτη, Πέμπτη & Παρασκευή 18:00–22:00 | Σάββατο 12:00 – 17:00
21/02/2018 – 10/03/2018

Monday, February 12, 2018

Going There

Of course it was a disaster.
The unbearable, dearest secret
has always been a disaster.
The danger when we try to leave.
Going over and over afterward
what we should have done
instead of what we did.
But for those short times
we seemed to be alive. Misled,
misused, lied to and cheated,
certainly. Still, for that
little while, we visited
our possible life.

Jack Gilbert

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Η Μνήμη της Επανάστασης

Memorial to Collective Utopia, 2010

Την εκδοχή 70 σύγχρονων Ελλήνων εικαστικών δημιουργών για τα σύμβολα, τις εικόνες και τους πρωταγωνιστές της Οκτωβριανής Επανάστασης, τα μηνύματα, τα συνθήματα, το πνεύμα, την ορμή και τον δυναμισμό της, τις διαστάσεις ενός από τα ιστορικά γεγονότα που «συγκλόνισαν» τον κόσμο και καθόρισαν την ιστορία του 20ού αιώνα φιλοξενεί η έκθεση «Η Μνήμη της Επανάστασης – Σύγχρονοι Έλληνες Εικαστικοί», σε συνδιοργάνωση του Κρατικού Μουσείου Σύγχρονης Τέχνης της Θεσσαλονίκης Κρατικό Μουσείο Σύγχρονης Τέχνης / State Museum of Contemporary Artκαι της Ανωτάτης Σχολής Καλών Τεχνών / Ανωτάτη Σχολή Καλών Τεχνών.

Η έκθεση διοργανώθηκε και πρωτοπαρουσιάστηκε με μεγάλη επιτυχία στο ΚΜΣΤ στη Θεσσαλονίκη την άνοιξη του 2017, όπου είχαν την ευκαιρία να τη δουν χιλιάδες επισκέπτες. Η έκθεση παρουσιάζεται στην Αθήνα εμπλουτισμένη με έργα περισσότερων καλλιτεχνών. Συνοδεύεται από αναπαραγωγές έργων της συλλογής Κωστάκη του ΚΜΣΤ που σκιαγραφούν το σκηνικό της εποχής της ρωσικής πρωτοπορίας. Η τέχνη της ρωσικής πρωτοπορίας αποτελεί, εξάλλου, μέχρι σήμερα για τους καλλιτέχνες μια ανεξάντλητη πηγή έμπνευσης, προβληματισμού και ερεθισμάτων, οδηγεί σε θετικούς ιστορικούς και πολιτισμικούς συνειρμούς, αφού υλοποιεί εξαιρετικά και υποδειγματικά ριζοσπαστικές καλλιτεχνικές και κοινωνικοπολιτικές ουτοπίες.

Η έκθεση «Η Μνήμη της Επανάστασης – Σύγχρονοι Έλληνες εικαστικοί» δεν στοχεύει να υποκαταστήσει την αυστηρή ιστορική μελέτη, τις διαφορετικές αναγνώσεις, αντικρουόμενες ερμηνείες και αποτιμήσεις των ιστορικών. Αντίθετα, επικεντρώνεται σ' έναν ξεχωριστό προβληματισμό με τις έννοιες της Ουτοπίας και της Επανάστασης, αλλά και τους πειραματισμούς των Ρώσων πρωτοπόρων καλλιτεχνών, να βρίσκονται στον πυρήνα της και να συγκροτούν το νοηματικό της άξονα. Οι καλλιτέχνες της έκθεσης μέσα από διαφορετικές προσεγγίσεις "μεταφέρουν" την έννοια της Επανάστασης δυναμικά στο παρόν, έρχονται να μιλήσουν για τη δυναμική και την αντοχή της στον χρόνο, σε μια κρίσιμη περίοδο μετάβασης, κρίσης και αναμονής, αμφισβήτησης και έκπτωσης των ιδεολογιών.

Την έκθεση πλαισιώνουν επίσης αντικείμενα (αφίσες και προτομές με τους ηγέτες της Οκτωβριανής Επανάστασης, φωτογραφίες, ζωγραφικοί πίνακες σοσιαλιστικού ρεαλισμού, κ.ά.) της συλλογής του Βασίλη Κωνσταντίνου, την οποία έχει παραχωρήσει στο ΚΜΣΤ. Η συλλογή έχει συγκροτηθεί μέσα από πολυάριθμα ταξίδια και πεισματικές αναζητήσεις του συλλέκτη στη μεγάλη γεωγραφική περιοχή των Βαλκανίων και λειτουργεί αναμνηστικά, αλλά και ως υπόμνηση μιας μεγάλης πολιτικής ιστορίας και ταυτόχρονα πιο προσωπικά, αφού αποκαλύπτει πολλές κρυφές ιστορίες της ατομικής διαχείρισης της ιστορίας.

Συμμετέχοντες καλλιτέχνες: Γιώργος Αλεξανδρίδης, Άγγελος Αντωνόπουλος, Νίκος Αρβανίτης, Αννίτα Αργυροηλιοπούλου, Μιχάλης Αρφαράς, Βασίλειος Βασιλακάκης, Κωστής Βελώνης, Μπάμπης Βενετόπουλος, Ανδρέας Βούσουρας, Βασίλης Γεροδήμος, Δημήτρης Γεωργακόπουλος, Μανώλης Γιανναδάκης, Λεωνίδας Γιαννακόπουλος, Κορνήλιος Γραμμένος, Λυδία Δαμπασίνα, Γιώργος Διβάρης, Στέφανος Επιτρόπου, Θεόδωρος Ζαφειρόπουλος, Δημήτρης Ζουρούδης, Βασίλης Ζωγράφος, Αντιγόνη Καββαθά, Στέφανος Καμάρης, Δημήτρης Καρλαφτόπουλος, Γιάννης Καστρίτσης, Θεόφιλος Κατσιπάνος, Θοδωρής Λάλος, Γιάννης Λασηθιωτάκης, Ανδρέας Λυμπεράτος, Αλέξανδρος Μαγκανιώτης, Μιχάλης Μανουσάκης, Πάνος Ματθαίου, Ειρήνη Ματσούκη, Δημήτρης Μεράντζας, Τάσος Μισούρας, Μανώλης Μπαμπούσης, Εμμανουήλ Μπιτσάκης, Ξενοφών Μπήτσικας, Νικόλας Μπλιάτκας, Άλκης Μπούτλης, Νίκος Παπαδημητρίου, Αντώνης Παπαδόπουλος, Λήδα Παπακωνσταντίνου, Αιμιλία Παπαφιλίππου, Λίλα Παπούλα, Αλίκη Παππά, Κωνσταντίνος Πάτσιος, Νατάσσα Πουλαντζά, Γεωργία Σαγρή, Ξενής Σαχίνης, Χριστίνα Σγουρομύτη, Νίκος Σεπετζόγλου, Δήμητρα Σιατερλή, Γιάννης Σκαλτσάς, Άγγελος Σκούρτης, Μάριος Σπηλιόπουλος, Στεφανία Στρούζα, Δημήτρης Τάταρης, Νίκος Τρανός, Βίκυ Τσαλαματά, Γιώργος Τσεριώνης, Κώστας Τσώλης, Πάνος Χαραλάμπους, Γιώργος Χαρβαλιάς, Μανώλης Χάρος, Θάλεια Χιώτη, Κώστας Χριστόπουλος, Διονύσης Χριστοφιλογιάννης, Έλλη Χρυσίδου, Θοδωρής Χρυσικός, Γιάννης Ψυχοπαίδης

Επιμέλεια έκθεσης: Γιάννης Μπόλης, Ιστορικός της τέχνης - Επιμελητής του ΚΜΣΤ
Ανώτατη σχολή καλών τεχνών 
12.02 -14.04 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Refusing to Be Still

Puppet Sun, 2017 
Marble, wood, acrylic, iron base 
75 x 24 x 20 cm

The production of ideas, concepts and artistic forms is an endless negotiation and a continuous dialogue. Like an evolving reality, artistic practices are constantly transforming, refusing to stand still and become permanent. In a fast-shaping landscape of events, which characterises the contemporary moment in Saudi Arabia, the 2018 edition of 21,39 investigates the multifaceted practices that emerge in this continuously active domain.

Unfolding in three venues, specifically selected for their historical gravitas, Refusing to Be Still activates the current moment in time, looking simultaneously
at the historical, the more recent past and at the future.
The exhibition seeks to explore the different layers and multiple narratives that define creativity in Saudi Arabia. It addresses cultural complexity alongside historical and current narratives. In the rapidly connected contemporary world, Refusing to Be Still aims to advance international dialogue between locations and artistic practices.
The artworks presented in the exhibition explore the old and the new, the permanent and the temporary, as well as the emotional, aesthetic and experiential layers of creativity. A desire to present the uncompromising and fascinating energies, forces and power of the Saudi context has been the defining factor in shaping the story the exhibition tells, a story devoted to the inevitability of continuous transformation. Cur. by Vassals Oikonomopoulos

Mohammad Zaza , Abdulaziz Al-Rashedi ,Ibrahim Abumsmar , Nasser Al-Salem , Badr Ali, Abdelkarim Qassem , James Richards , Ayman Yossri Daydban , Nora Alissa , Kostis Velonis , Emy Kat , Mohamed Monaiseer , Ilona Kálnoky , Hrair Sarkissian , Moath Alofi , Nojoud Al-Sudairi, Hatem Al-Ahmad , Ahaad Alamoudi , Hussein Al-Mohassen ,Filwa Nazer ,Aya Haidar, Ayman Zedani , Ahmad Angawi , Nidhal Chamekh , Eva Taulois , Saleh Serafi , Bricklab , Ali Kazma , Apichatpong Weerasethakul , Abbas Akhavan

Refusing to Be Still
07 Feb - 05 May2018,
21, 39 5th Edition,
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Elogio della fragilità

In tempi come quelli attuali, fatti di pragmatismo che sfiora il cinismo anche nel mondo dell’arte, fa specie che si pubblichi un Manifesto che ruota intorno al tema della fragilità. È ciò che propone Roberto Gramiccia, già autore di un fortunato libro intitolato proprio “Elogio della fragilità”. Lo pubblichiamo integralmente e vi invitiamo a discuterne qui sotto.

Take a hammer to the amphora

Take a hammer to the amphora of soft Euphrates clay
and it will fracture meticulously there, and there,
and there, the way a sentence yields at the invisible
seams and faults of grammar's fluid syntactic
tectonics.Take a chisel to the mountainside — basalt,
gabbro, porphyry — and, well, what did you expect?

Jack Gilbert 

Friday, February 2, 2018

Speakers Platform

Print of carved speaker's staircase of the Pnyx, circa 1865-1895, looking west. A. D. White collection, Cornell University

Earth's Mineralogy Unique in the Cosmos

New research from a team led by Carnegie’s Robert Hazen predicts that Earth has more than 1,500 undiscovered minerals and that the exact mineral diversity of our planet is unique and could not be duplicated anywhere in the cosmos.
Minerals form from novel combinations of elements. These combinations can be facilitated by both geological activity, including volcanoes, plate tectonics, and water-rock interactions, and biological activity, such as chemical reactions with oxygen and organic material.
Nearly a decade ago, Hazen developed the idea that the diversity explosion of planet’s minerals from the dozen present at the birth of our Solar System to the nearly 5,000 types existing today arose primarily from the rise of life. More than two-thirds of known minerals can be linked directly or indirectly to biological activity, according to Hazen. Much of this is due to the rise of bacterial photosynthesis, which dramatically increased the atmospheric oxygen concentration about 2.4 billion years ago.

Paroikia - Παροικία

Untitled (Life Without Tragedy Series) 2015

The word Paroikia – Παροικία meaning sojourning in a foreign land comes from the ancient Greek word πάροικοσ – dwelling beside, stranger, soujourner is comprised of the prefix παρά (pará) meaning beside or near and suffix – οίκοσ (oîkos) meaning home or family. This mutated through latinisation of the Greek to the French paroisse eventually to the English word parish, or community.

Artists : Kostis Velonis, Angelo Plessas, Zoe Paul, Allyson Vieira

Company Gallery, NYC
January 28 - March 11, 2018

Sunday, January 7, 2018

You Glow in my Heart like the Flames of Uncounted Candles

You Glow in my Heart like the Flames of
Uncounted Candles, 2017 
Cement, wood, plywood, paper, acrylic, oil, watercolour 
136 x 45 x 36 

Spring Day

In March 1912, six months before her first book of poems was published, Amy Lowell met Ada Dwyer Russell, a formerly prominent stage actress who was separated from her husband. During the next two years, the pair became intimate companions, and they lived together at Sevenels, the Lowell family mansion in Brookline, Massachusetts, for the rest of Lowell’s life. “Ada took on the household of Sevenels,” summarizes Honor Moore, “releasing Amy further to her poetry. . . . To Amy’s friends and correspondents, Ada was affectionately ‘Mrs. Russell’—to Amy, she was ‘Peter,’ becoming so integral to the life of her writing that Amy imagined for the Sevenels driveway a sign saying ‘Lowell and Russell, Makers of Fine Poems.’”
Russell also coached and managed Lowell’s public readings. “The term readings, however, does not adequately describe the way she presented her poems: these were theatrical events,” explains literary scholar Melissa Bradshaw. In one of his own poems John Brooks Wheelwright called Lowell “the Biggest Traveling One-Man Show since Buffalo Bill caught the Midnight Flyer to Contact Mark Twain.” When she finished a poem, the audience often didn’t know what to do, and she would just as often demand, “Well?—Clap or hiss, I don't care which; but for Christ’s sake do something.”

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Thinking on Your Feet

Thinking on Your Feet (Partial Reconstruction of Joaquin Garcia Torres Toy Figures
as an Instrument of Research for Politics), 2017
Wood, acrylic, stucco, cement
172 x 30 x 47 cm

Between the Private and the Public, the Intimate and the Political

Kostis Velonis’s sculptural work often refers to historical events and art historical movements, while his markedly political work has at the same time a very personal aspect. He creates narratives characterized by the linking of personal stories with the reworking of past happenings. His personal experiences and reference points inflect his theoretical pursuits, and historical leaders and literary heroes often play a leading part in his newly invented scenarios. Velonis’s sculptures have a modest character, and they are usually made of wood, cardboard, small objects, and materials from the natural environment, which the artist finds and reuses in a process of bricolage. His works often transmit emotions such us loneliness, failure, melancholy, and uncertainty.
Kostis Velonis’s solo exhibition A Puppet Sun is organized by NEON and curated by Vassilis Oikonomopoulos. It is on view through January 14, 2018. It features twenty-five new works that the artist conceived for 11 Kaplanon Street in central Athens, responding to the history and architecture of the building. This neoclassical residence has a remarkable history. It was constructed in 1891 and first occupied by Pavlos Kountouriotis, the first president of the Second Hellenic Republic (1924–35, the second period in modern Greek history where Greece was not headed by a king). At the beginning of the twentieth century, the Zouzoula family acquired the residence, and the ground floor became the office of the politician Apostolos Zouzoulas, one of the founders of the People’s Party. Between the 1910s and the 1920s the building served as party headquarters. Later, during the authoritarian Metaxas Regime (1936–41), it was transformed into a residence for female students.
Kostis Velonis and Daphne Vitali in conversation
Mousse Magazine. Between the Private and the Public, the Intimate and the Political : Kostis Velonis

This Modern House for Sale

Within the history of modern architecture in México, collaboration is a recurring theme. Urban planners, architects and artists praised collaborative actions as a way to integrate new buildings into the city in a coherent manner as well as to achieve a synthesis of the arts with architecture. Through these collaborative efforts, outstanding works of architecture were raised, such as the modern campus of the National University (1953) and the Housing Complex of Nonoalco-Tlatelolco (1964), just to mention a pair. Nevertheless, there were some projects that, with time, ended up contradicting the original spirit of collaboration through intense debates concerning authorship. The Towers of Satellite City, built by Luis Barragán and Mathias Goeritz between 1957-58 are infamous in this regard. The dispute around authorship for this monumental sculpture broke any sort of relationship between the architect and the sculptor from the late 1960s until Barragán’s death. Even today, followers and fanatics of Barragán’s or Goeritz’s production continue arguing about this dynamic.
In contrast, the history of modern architecture in Mexico is full of examples of fruitful collaborations. A case in point is the exemplary collaboration between Juan O’Gorman and Max Cetto, sustained in great part by their close friendship. O’Gorman, credited as the first architect to construct a modern building in Mexico, met Cetto shortly after he arrived to the country in 1939 as refugee escaping from Nazi Germany. Friendship between the two developed rapidly; they shared, among other things, progressive ideas regarding art, architecture and politics. No one knows with certainty the extent of their collaborations, dialogues and mutual influences; however, their use of stone and other natural materials in the process of construction in an almost expressionist fashion, the stair as a sculptural element, and their respectful and close attention to the relationship between architecture and the landscape are some of the interests and defining characteristics that their architectural practices share.
Collaboration between Cetto and O’Gorman has not yielded any sort of polemics, even though the Mexican architect signed and registered the work of his friend until he became a national citizen. This absence of disputes can be understood, partly, if the nature of their relationship beyond their professional practices and dialogues it is taken in consideration. Juan Guzmán’s (Hans Gutmann) series of color photographs from the 1950s in O ́Gorman’s well known residence/studio at Avenida San Jerónimo, features images of what appears to be Cetto playing chess with O ́Gorman, an activity that they practiced habitually. In other photographs, the daughters of the German architect play and lounge around the property, as if it were their own house.
In 2005, Anuar Maauad found an architectural drawing of Rufino Tamayo ́s house and studio located in the Anzures neighborhood. The building, completed in 1949, is part of Cetto ́s production, although Maauadńs finding is signed by O ́Gorman and the drawing showcases some architectural features that easily relate to his functionalist period. There are differences between the drawing and the final buildings, like the stair in the studio, but the general concept of the construction is very similar. Intrigued by the history of this project, Maauad began researching the work of O’Gorman and Cetto, and also included the presence of Tamayo who commissioned the construction. Without finding any reliable information about this house’s history, Mauuad’s speculation began: Is this drawing a preliminary study of the construction signed by O’Gorman shortly before Cetto became a Mexican citizen in 1947? How much discussion existed between the architects, as the project demonstrates s shared interests and solutions between the two? Did Tamayo play any part in this story, since his confrontational stance against figures such as O’Gorman increased during the 1940s?
For this exhibition Anuar Maauad has built three models of Tamayo’s house and studio--as it appears in the drawing that he found, as it was constructed in 1947, and as it appears today after decades of unfortunate interventions and modifications. Each structure represents a point in the history of this building that, miraculously, is still standing. He also gives a physical presence to Cetto, O’Gorman, and Tamayo who were involved in the mythology of this house. The large-scale plaques made of stretched canvas with their signatures rendered in bronze serve as an index of identity and authorship. The artist has collected and displays photographs and documents that serve as fragments from which to speculate about the house’s history and the three characters involved with it. In one of these images, it is possible to see the functionalist houses built by O’Gorman for his family and Diego Rivera in San Angel between 1929 and 1932. In the photograph, a sign on his family’s house reads “This Modern House for Rent.”
It is from this document that Maauad borrows the title of this exhibition. If in this case, the title announces This Modern House for Sale it is because this project aims to be an open invitation for someone to acquire Tamayo’s former residence and workplace. As part of his initiative, the artist seeks to find a buyer for the house, in order to restore it and redefine its history. As such, This Modern House for Sale is an invitation to collaborate with the artist, in the spirit of O’Gorman and Cetto, in order to preserve an example of modern architecture and launch a platform to advance research and programs on this matter.
- Daniel Garza-Usabiaga
Anuar Maauad
This Modern House for Sale
November 18 - December 10

Efrain Lopez Gallery

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Dead Feathers Unfolded

Dead Feathers Unfolded, 2017
Wood, plywood, acrylic, oil
 93 x 166 x 192 cm

Peacocks: The Pomp of Power

Peacocks: The Pomp of Power presents a display of artworks and objects from the Nottingham City Museum and Art Galleries fine art, decorative art, lace, costume and textiles, and natural history collection. The selected works are inspired by the beautifully elegant peacocks that grace the grounds of Newstead Abbey, the ancestral home of the Romantic Poet Lord Byron. Byron was both a sartorial peacock and lover and keeper of these extravagant creatures; hence the title of this exhibition has been taken from Don Juan: Canto The Seventh, a poem by the poet and great eccentric.
Peacocks have taken on important roles and various identities in many countries and cultures: their vivid feathers or designs resembling their shape and beauty continue to feature heavily on interior décor, garments, ceramics and accessories.
The Henry the Seventh’s Lodging, situated along the East Gallery from the Charles II Room, is one of the main bedrooms at Newstead and is also known as the Japanese Room. The upper walls are fitted with screens and painted panels that were brought back to Newstead by the Webb sisters, who travelled to the Far East in the 1890s. They depict the beauties of the natural world and date from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.  They are hand-painted on gold leaf with peacocks, cranes, ocean waves, pine trees and cherry blossom.
The peacock and its colours are synonymous with Indian identity and in 1963 the peacock was declared the National Bird of India because of its rich religious and legendary involvement in Indian traditions. The bird is indigenous to India and Sri Lanka, but now features in countries all over the world and is as much a part of the country-house tableau as fountains and parterres. Taken from its homeland by traders thousands of years ago, the Indian peacock eventually reached England, where it became something of a country house status symbol. A number of vibrant and detailed Indian textile items are included in Peacocks: The Pomp of Power along with a beautiful wooden plate with a copper inlay and a ceremonial sword.
In Russian folklore the peacock carries a lot of meanings, it symbolises the spring and the sun along with its many attributes such as warmth, light and power. In the 11th century, the peacock motif appeared in Russian embroidery, and is thought to have come from Byzantium art to Russia, along with Christianity. Different regions developed their own depictions of peacocks and some of these stylized peacock designs can be seen within this exhibition, used by embroiderers on a number of 19th century linen bobbin lace borders.
The exhibition is open alongside a display of Japanese Woodblock prints from the Nottingham City Museums and Galleries collections in the Charles II Room.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Parapolitics: Cultural Freedom and the Cold War

Lene Berg, Stalin by Picasso or Portrait of a Woman with Moustache, 2008. Façade-banner. Courtesy the artist.

In Amos Tutuola’s 1954 novel My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, the young protagonist is running away from slave-catchers when he accidently crosses the border of reality as he knows it. His flight from bondage, however, does not earn him freedom. Rather, he finds himself in an absurd, liminal world of conversing symbols and delirious phantasms, in which the entire regime of meaning-production is subject to tectonic shifts. Tutuola—whose idiosyncratic use of English language and Yoruba folklore propelled a battle of interpretations—would later become a member of the Mbari Clubs, the first of which was established in Ibadan in 1961. These cultural centers, initiated by the German-Jewish expatriate Ulli Beier, were a gathering place for a generation of African artists, writers, and musicians. Together, they spearheaded a renaissance of Yoruba culture.
One of the sponsors of the Mbari Clubs was the Paris-based Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF), an organization founded in West Berlin in June 1950 by a group of writers driven to consolidate an "anti-totalitarian" intellectual community. Its ten-year anniversary was celebrated at the then newly inaugurated Kongresshalle, today’s Haus der Kulturen der Welt. With offices in more then 30 countries, the CCF subsidized countless cultural programs from Latin America to Africa and Southeast Asia, developing a network of journals, conferences, and exhibitions that advanced a "universal" language of modernism in literature, art, and music. By 1967, it was revealed that the CCF was secretly bankrolled by America’s espionage arm, the Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA scandal confirmed the lingering suspicion that had trailed the CCF from the days of its origin: not quite an autonomous entity, the organisation had been enlisted in shoring up an anti-Communist consensus in the service of US hegemony during the Cultural Cold War. The disclosure destroyed the CCF’s reputation, exposing the ideological contradictions and moral ambiguities of advocating freedom and transparency by means that are themselves outside of democratic accountability.
The term "parapolitics" refers to the use of soft power in the Cold War. Employing the history of the Congress for Cultural Freedom as an optical device, the project brings Picasso’s famous dictum  "art is a lie that tells truth" into relation with the work of an intelligence agency whose "art lies in concealing the means by which it is achieved."
In the shadowy underside of liberal consensus, freedom appears as always contingent on its foreclosures. Tracing tectonic shifts in intellectual affiliations across political conflict lines through the 20th century, the exhibition explores artistic strategies of engagement and subversion. It underlines how the play with meaning in an increasingly conceptually and semantically oriented world of art production has acted on the assertion of an endangered, precarious autonomy. Within the choreography of parapolitics, the canon of the Cold War modernism becomes a bush of ghosts.
Parapolitics brings together archival documents and artworks from the 1930s to the present by artists that prefigure and reflect the ideological and formal struggles arising from the cultural Cold War, but also works by contemporary artists critically reassessing the normalized narratives of modernism. It features magazines such as Der Monat (Germany), Encounter (UK), Sasanggye (South Korea), Quest (India), Africa South (South Africa), Black Orpheus (Nigeria), Transition(Uganda / Ghana), The New African (South Africa), Hiwar(Lebanon), and Mundo Nuevo (Latin America), that were either initiated or at times supported by the Congress for Cultural Freedom.
With works by Art & Language, Doug Ashford, Michael Baers, Antonina Baever, Alessandro Balteo-Yazbeck (with Media Farzin and Paolo Gasparini), Robert Barry, Romare Bearden, Samuel Beckett, Lene Berg, Broomberg and Chanarin, Fernando Bryce, Daniel Buren, Luis Camnitzer, Alice Creischer, Didactic Exhibition, Liu Ding, Charles and Ray Eames, Miklos Erdély, Peter Friedl, Liam Gillick, Sheela Gowda, Philip Guston, Gruppe Gummi K, Max de Haas, Chia Wei Hsu, Iman Issa, Voluspa Jarpa, David Lamelas, Jacob Lawrence, Norman Lewis, İlhan Mimaroğlu, Moiseyev Dance Company, Museum of American Art in Berlin, Solomon Nikritin, Irving Norman, Guillermo Nuñez, Branwen Okpako, Boris Ondreička, Nam June Paik, Décio Pignatari, Howardena Pindel, Sigmar Polke, Rebecca H. Quaytman, Walid Raad, Steve Reich, Ad Reinhardt, Gerhard Richter, Faith Ringgold, Norman Rockwell, Peter Roehr, Martha Rosler, Charles Shaw, Yashas Shetty, Francis Newton Souza, Frank Stella, The Otolith Group, Endre Tót, Suzanne Treister, Twins Seven Seven, Josip Vaništa, Wolf Vostell, and Susanne Wenger.
An accompanying conference titled "Freedom in the Bush of Ghosts" will be held on December 15 and 16, 2017 at Haus der Kulturen der Welt.
Curated by Anselm Franke, Nida Ghouse, Paz Guevara, and Antonia Majaca.