Sarah Sze: a large-scale, intricate installations that are for the most part made up of a huge variety of everyday objects. Victor Man: a mixture of references from the media, art history, popular culture, and literature, which form a network of quotations. Borre Saethre has turned an entire room into a metaphorical inner world, the dominant blackness is counterpointed by a stroboscopic light. Next Cabane and Riot Act are two projects carried out by Fabrica, a 'creativity think tank', financed by Benetton and located in Treviso. Transversal Design, by Maurizio Galante and Tal Lancman, brings together numerous projects carried out by Interware. Tina Gillen presents a large pictorial installation, created specifically for the occasion.
10/02/2012 - 16/09/2012
Curator Marie-Noëlle Farcy
Over the past fifteen years, the New York artist Sarah Sze has single-mindedly created a body of work consisting mostly of large-scale, intricate installations. Her works, always specifically conceived for the exhibition venue in question, are for the most part made up of a huge variety of everyday objects. These, however, are by no means chosen at random, but selected with great precision on the basis of their formal qualities or, sometimes, their ambiguity.
In addition to ready-made objects, she also uses hand-made constructions out of “lowly” materials such as matches, thread or paper. These constructions, often seemingly arranged according to archival principles of order, give a coherent structure to the whole.
Sarah Sze’s works form open universes comprising an archaeological diversity of encyclopaedic dimensions. They possess the precision of architectural constructions, the formal and colouristic subtlety of pictorial compositions and the quality of spatial motion displayed by multifaceted sculptures. They achieve this by adding an almost musical dimension to the spatiotemporal process of each viewer’s individual perception. Moreover, Sarah Sze orchestrates an abundance of details into complex single motifs, visual melodies contrastive figures, formal counterpoints and an overall composition of airy monumentality. Inspired by Japanese-Chinese horticultural art, the artist creates visual landscapes of an abstract nature which are structured without any trace of hierarchy, yet still offer guidance to the gaze.
Sarah Sze’s works are often designed for display in intermediary places that attract little attention, such as stairwells, side corridors, corners or window niches. Sometimes hovering, and always light and playful, they ask general questions about scale: near and far, heavy and light. They ask questions about their own temporality, the effort involved in their production and their transient nature. Each individual work also interrogates the place in which it is exhibited and the (concrete and ideational) space of art that the viewers enter, often without noticing. Finally, the works involve the viewers in an intensive activity of seeing and challenge them to become aware of their own location and of their own gaze. While the complex structures of Sarah Sze’s installations conceal an abstract reflection of her own personality, they also make the viewers more conscious of their own seeing, and thus of their own existence. Like gigantic scientific models of elegant and meditative microcosms, the works of Sarah Sze seem to comment on our behavioural patterns and our relationship with our world.
Sarah Sze was born in 1969 in Boston. She lives and works in New York.
10/02/2012 - 06/05/2012
Curator Christophe Gallois
Victor Man’s paintings and assemblages are hallmarked by their gloomy atmospheres imbued with melancholy, in which underlying preoccupations associated with personal identity, collective memory and the sacred mingle with the violent, the mystic and the erotic.
Taken one by one or as a whole, Victor Man’s works release snippets of unfinished stories, stirring the spectators’ free associations and causing a certain disorientation: “I avoid giving a definitive status to my works”, says the artist. “I like the idea of gently penetrating things and keeping a certain distance. If things become too explicit, I add another element which upsets their coherence.”
This ambiguity is apparent in Victor Man’s relationship to the images that serve as points of departure for his works. Removed from their context, these images are “emptied” of their initial meaning and take on other more subliminal levels of meaning: “I often use images that have a certain specific significance in the media. Emptying them means that I do not choose them for their ‘value’ but because of their representative potential as images, in order to construct a new content with them”, he points out. The artist thus describes his exhibitions as “zones of turbulence”, in which each work is challenged by the works surrounding it. The show at Mudam is based on a mixture of references from the media, art history, popular culture, and literature, which form a network of quotations. The Quattrocento painter Sassetta meets the French photographer Pierre Molinier (Shaman, 2008), the poets W. B. Yeats (Wandering Aengus, 2008) and Robert Creeley (Untitled (from If Mind Were All There Was), 2009), Samuel Beckett (Untitled (Memorable Equinox), 2009), the American underground filmmaker Kenneth Anger (Rabbit’s Moon (after K.A.), 2009) and the Austrian author Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, whose tale Basil Hymen, has been described as a “Carpathian robinsonnade”. Like the neon work Untitled (2012), which borrows a drawing of the Romanian national hero Michael the Brave (1558-1601), as sketched by the artist aged ten, some works also possess an autobiographical dimension.
Victor Man has a preference for painting in dark colours, which reminds us of the 18th century landscape painters, who used black mirrors, also known as “Claude mirrors”, to turn colours into shades of grey. His works capture moods, offering the onlooker nothing but ambiguous, vague tracks, and leaving him or her in a haze. They also render a memory of images and objects made up of different layers of time, which appears to waver between disappearance and reminiscence. Victor Man’s highly personal poetics and the illustrative diversity of his output trace the outlines of an artistic world in which historical facts and subjective impressions coming from different worlds and periods are grounded.
Victor Man was born in 1974 in Cluj, Romania. He lives and works in Berlin and Cluj.
10/02/2012 - 06/05/2012
Untitled (Wardenclyffe Tower)
Curator Clément Minighetti
“It is something you experience through and with all your senses, and it’s an experience that draws you in and surrounds you. In more common terms, the environments that Børre Sæthre builds could perhaps be described as a set design for a film - the difference is that you yourself, as a visitor, play the leading role, and there is no other story-board for the narrative than the one that takes place in your own brain within the milieu Børre Sæthre provides using props that rapidly push the narrative in different directions... The narrative isn’t simply given, it doesn’t unfold before you like in the movies; it is a narrative based on you. Maybe that is the scariest sort of narrative.” (Power Ekroth)
The Norwegian artist Børre Sæthre mostly uses large-scale presentations to create atmospheres that shift between the technological ambience of science-fiction films, the luxurious and artificial aesthetic of showrooms and the uncanny realm of the subconscious. He combines quotes and subtle allusions with mental images and evocative sounds in order to form environments in which art, interior architecture and sound composition join together in fantastic, sometimes dreamlike ensembles. In his works, he draws not only on film history, but also on images from his Nordic homeland and his very personal childhood memories. Sometimes, defamiliarised stuffed animals such as a white unicorn or crows with glowing eyes give his works an air of fairytale enchantment.
For his exhibition at Mudam, Børre Sæthre has turned an entire room into a metaphorical inner world. The dominant blackness is counterpointed by a stroboscopic light, which, together with a sound backdrop, creates an intense atmosphere. A mirrored geodesic dome, like the famous monolith in Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001: A Space Odyssey, emanates a silent presence. The short video in which a young man hurls lightning bolts, like the young Zeus (or Marty McFly), also seems to lead us “back to the future”. “I’m not interested in constructing a narrative”, the artist says. “My aim is rather to evoke an uncanny feeling in the viewers - in such a way that they then, of course, make their own narrative, but one which is not mine.”
Børre Sæthre was born in 1967 in Oslo, Norway. He lives and works in New York and Oslo.
10/02/2012 - 10/06/2012
Curator Anna Loporcaro
Next Cabane and Riot Act are two projects carried out by Fabrica, a “creativity think tank”, financed by Benetton and located in Treviso, Italy, which invites young artists and designers from all over the world to develop innovative projects and to explore new directions in different disciplines - from design, music and film to photography, publishing and the Internet. In this “laboratory for applied creativity”, housed in a 17th-century villa, renovated by the Japanese architect Tadao Ando, these young creators, accompanied by leading figures in art and communication, are encouraged to transgress boundaries of these disciplines by developing experimental projects, taking into account their economical, social and ecological dimensions. The aim of Fabrica is to open new perspectives on the world of tomorrow.
The point of departure of Next Cabane is a simple, foldable hut-like structure made of wooden slats, from a flea market in the north of Scotland, which, it seems, was originally covered with a tarpaulin and used as a shelter for anglers. The designers at Fabrica have subjected this mobile room to different interpretations. The six projects shown at Mudam have used it respectively as a temporary means of delimitation, as a symbolic protective space, as a place of work or play, or as an exhibition venue. As an enclosed space, it enables a more conscious perception of place and its characteristics; it is an experimental space in which design methods can be used to examine and interrogate materials, forms and structures.
The Mobile Museum, by Philip Bone (*1984) and Dean Brown (*1985), is a mobile museum whose collection changes its theme depending on where it is exhibited. It is made up of corresponding objects from a large variety of sources.
Soft Fold by Marie Dessant and Margaux Keller is a temporary space which invites the users to take time out of their day. Duvets, a reading table, a low bench and a lamp compose this hybrid furniture/space. The harmony of colors emphasizes this soft and quiet atmosphere.
Maze, also by Catarina Carreiras, is a typographic labyrinth with a specially designed typeface which, like all the contributions to Next Cabane, is able to evolve along with the story that is to be told.
Weathering the Storm, by Valentina Carretta (*1981) and Gustavo Millon (*1983), provides a protective space in a stormy environment, with an ironic undertone - a kind of interior exterior space with puddles and a bonfire.
The Waiting Room, by Kirsty Minns (*1984), is a space in which to pause and reflect on time, which enables visitors to become more astutely aware of their own temporality.
Rod, by Amaury Poudray (*1985) and Brian Wood (*1985), accentuates the structure of the hut in its individual components by differentiating them by means of various colours.
Net Cabane, by Giorgia Zanellato (*1987), emphasises the lightness and temporary nature of the structure of the hut. The knotted nets recall the original purpose of the hut and create space in a simple way.
The Riot Act another project by Fabrica on display from 9 March 2012 in the Foyer (Level -1), bears the name of the notorious British law of 1714 that banned the assembly of groups larger than 12 people. The 12 designers of this project were given the task of conceiving objects based on the set form of a ceramic cylinder, which, through modifications, processes or additions of the new elements, is transformed in form and function.
Designers for Next Cabane: Philip Bone & Dean Brown, Catarina Carreiras, Valentina Carrett & Gustavo Millon, Kirsty Minns, Amaury Poudray & Brian Wood, Giorgia Zanellato
Designers for The Riot Act: Isabel Abreu, Sam Baron, Philip Bone & Yukihiro Kaneuchi, Dean Brown, Elliott Burford, Catarina Carreiras, Valentina Carretta, Marta Celso, Yukihiro Kaneuchi, Myriam Maguir, Gustavo Millon, Jaeun Park
10/02/2012 - 13/05/2012
Maurizio Galante and Tal Lancman
Transversal Design. Haute couture - Design - Architecture
Curator Anna Loporcaro
“INTERWARE is about a new generation of design. As a rule, the term ‘couture’ is used in connection with the past. My work is a fusion of past, present and future. The memory of the past is there in the handicraft, the poetry and the familiar elements, while the future is presented very practically and realistically by means of technology and innovation. But it is not based on a ‘total look’. They are just the things I love - the things that have a place in my world.” (Maurizio Galante)
Maurizio Galante and Tal Lancman have been working together under the label INTERWARE since 2003. INTERWARE is a society for “transversal design”: a crossover of design, art, architecture and life that ignores common delimitations. “Is it possible to draw a connecting line between the standard and the popular, the duplicated and the unique? Can the elemental exist alongside the refined? The common alongside the rare?”, the two artists ask.
After studying architecture and fashion design at the start of the 1990s, Maurizio Galante began to establish himself in the field of haute couture. Tal Lancman is a trend forecaster and designer; he has been working since 1995 as creative director for View Textile, an important specialist magazine for trends in colours, textiles, fashion, furnishings and marketing. Between 2003 and 2009, the two worked for Mudam as Design & Food Curators in charge of the product lines on offer in the Mudam Boutique and Mudam Café. Mu, the mascot of the museum, is also their creation.
The exhibition Transversal Design brings together numerous projects carried out by INTERWARE in the past years. Poetic installations, such as the leaping Tiger Cloud (2009) made of 2.500 sheets of tulle, are accompanied by lamps and light objects, such as Altaïca Tigris (2010), a crystal chandelier in the shape of a tiger’s skull. One could also mention Danae (2008), which recalls the golden rain of Zeus, or Corail or (2010), which is inspired by marine life. Similarly playful and decorative motifs can be found in the series of pouffes and cushions TATO TATTOO (2008-). Other forms of seating, such as Flirt (2007) and Blow Up (2007), play with moods, colours and shapes, while the chair Valentina C (2006) combines glamour and fashion.
INTERWARE’s works playfully experiment with materials, as can be seen in the “marble” chair Louis XV goes to Sparta (2011) or Maurizio Galante’s haute couture creations, the model dresses such as Galanterie Echelle 1/5 (2004), or his sculpture-like, elegant realisations. Their common works even include landscape design, like temporary or permanent garden projects, as their participation in the garden festival in Chaumont-sur-Loire (2003) and the design of a rose garden (2005) in Guyancourt near Paris.
The “transversality” of INTERWARE is evident in its creative approach to various aesthetic and functional problems: every object, be it furniture, clothing or interior decoration, is executed by the best craftspeople with the same mixture of artistic inspiration and technical perfection. Maurizio Galante and Tal Lancman constantly expand the limits of haute couture and design by unfolding their creative universe.
Maurizio Galante was born in 1963 Latina, Italy. He lives and works in Paris. Tal Lancman was born in 1962 in Tel Aviv. He lives and works in Paris.
10/02/2012 - 13/05/2012
Curator Enrico Lunghi
In Tina Gillen’s paintings, the subject depicted is often reduced to its simplest elements. Her works present figurative worlds counterbalanced by abstract forms and the back-and-forth movement between these two dimensions wisely balances her great mastery of the pictorial vocabulary and a certain “letting go” in the execution; an obvious rigour in the composition and a more intuitive approach.
The starting point for Tina Gillen's paintings is usually located in photographs stemming from various contexts - magazines, the Internet, postcards... - which the artist subjects to a process of reduction and abstraction: “I remove things in order to, paradoxically, reach a certain readability. I emphasize the abstraction by keeping just the strict minimum.”
The exhibition devised by Tina Gillen for Mudam is organised around a large pictorial installation, created specifically for the occasion. Taking the form of a painting of 22 meters in length placed along a curved structure in the exhibition venue, this installation is directly inspired by the pre-cinematographic panoramas and dioramas, in vogue at the end of the 19th century, which presented large trompe-l’œil panoramic canvases. The point of departure for the installation at Mudam is a painted décor that Tina Gillen saw in a zoo. By keeping just a few motifs of this décor and by playing on their mirrored repetition, the artist emphasizes its artificial nature. Through its size and shape, and its exploitation of the pictorial space as an expanse, the installation may call to mind Claude Monet’s famous Water Lilies, exhibited in two elliptical rooms in the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris.
The exhibition gathers paintings on canvas and paper which Tina Gillen has produced since 1998. Borrowed from one of these works - a canvas depicting a metal game structure, a climbing frame, taken from a photograph of the shooting of Alfred Hitchcock’s film The Birds -, the title of the show, Playground, plays on the different meanings that this term takes in Tina Gillen’s praxis. First of all, it may refer to the subjects broached in some of the works on display here: a skate park, a playground, a mountain landscape, a stereotyped sunset... We can also read it as an allusion to the absence of human figures in the scenes represented: the latter can conjure up, not without a note of melancholy, deserted décors, to be occupied by the spectators’ mental projections. Finally, and most importantly, the playground in Tina Gillen’s praxis is the space of the painting itself: an interplay between different planes, between subject and background, between the representational space and the picture’s surface.
Tina Gillen was born in 1972 in Luxembourg. She lives and works in Brussels.
Image: A Certain Slant, 2007. Mixted media overhead projector, photographss. Variable dimensions, 490 x 866 x 1007 cm © Photo: Victoria Miro Gallery, London. Courtesy the artist
Valerio D’Alimonte tel. +352 453785-633 firstname.lastname@example.org
Vernissage February 10 2012, 6 p.m.
Mudam Luxembourg Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean
3 Park Dräi Eechelen, L-1499 Luxembourg
Full price: 5€
<18 years, Wednesday 6pm-8pm: free