Fifteen cultural institutions in the Grand Region are offering an unprecedented approach to modern and contemporary art in the form of the MONO project. A total of 20 monographs by modern and contemporary artists are on show in Lorraine, the Saarland and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Work by Doug Wheeler, Erick Beltran, Sol LeWitt, Emily Bates, August Sander and many more.
This summer, 15 cultural institutions in the Grand Region are offering an unprecedented approach to modern and contemporary art in the form of the MONO project. From 1 June to 2 September, a total of 20 monographs by modern and contemporary artists will be on show in Lorraine, the Saarland and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. This will represent a unique opportunity to (re)discover 15 exceptional locations on a tour of this territory.
Château de Malbrouck
The exhibition “Être” by Ben
The body of work of Benjamin Vautier, better known as Ben, blends both reflections both on art and our daily lives. He succeeds in making art out of life. His “writing-paintings”, made of short texts written with a brush or spray can are famous nowadays. Ben enjoys immense popularity thanks to these “writing-paintings” which combine impertinence, humour, philosophy and most of all, great precision.
Ben has taken over the rooms of the Château de Malbrouck to set up the largest (re)creation area we have ever seen in a historical site of such scale. The artist has temporarily left his beloved hills of Nice for the Moselle and has generously accepted to engage the public through more than 300 works, some of which were executed on site and thus have never been seen before.
Ben chose the Château de Malbrouck to philosophise and raise essential questions about being and nothingness, time, death and love... But visitors can rest assured: humour, emotion, doubt, reflection... can be beckoned at any moment! Ben’s works surprise and can even shock. We either like it or not; we either believe in his works and methods or not. But Ben said it himself in the introduction to his exhibition at the Château de Malbrouck “Pour ou contre Ben” (For or against Ben). This says it all. In any event, his works never leave you indifferent. It’s now up to you to discover this surprising exhibition.
49 Nord 6 Est - Frac Lorraine
Experience light and indefinite space! Since the 1960s, the famous American artist Doug Wheeler has been unhinging our senses and guiding us to inhabit moments of liminality, instants of suspension in pure light. His spaces appeal not only to the retina but also to the body as a whole, and thus invite us to an approach both initiatory and meditative. The Californian artist has created two new phosphorescent pieces, in addition to conceiving a new perceptual environment in his famed series of “light walls.” His immersive environments subtly absorb the viewer and provoke a unique experience, which does not engage reason but is addressed directly to the body, through all the senses. A poet of light, Doug Wheeler creates atmospheres of a rare sensuality. He challenges our perception of depth and volume, even while our bodies, clothed in light, dissolve in the white space that has grown infinite. It is a question then of exploring the very substance of light and of provoking unprecedented sensorial perceptions.
American artist, a pioneer of the California light and space movement, he presents at 49 Nord 6 Est – Frac Lorraine his first solo exhibition in Europe since 1975. His work was subsequently presented in numerous exhibitions, notably: at the Tate Gallery in London in 1970; at MoMa PS1 in New York in 1976; at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles in 1986; in 2000 at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao; in 2008 at the Quai Branly Museum in Paris; in 2011 at the Museum of contemporary Art in San Diego ; and at the David Zwirner Gallery in New York in January 2012.
La synagogue de Delme - Centre d’art contemporain
Erick Beltrán, la part abyssale
Erick Beltrán often works with printed documents, newspapers, pamphlets, publications, etc. He is interested in how information is organised and distributed and the way in which it shapes our view of the world. His work focuses on language and our relationship with knowledge. His drawings, diagrams and graphs are not just works of art – they are attempts to explain the world that come in a range of shapes and sizes, producing intricate visual effects. Those who observe his work embark on adventure through a mind map, covering the entire exhibition space and where viewers cannot help but get lost. His creations are genuine works of philosophy, where ideas spring up like a forest of signposts and where science and objectivity merge with magic and mystery.
Faux Mouvement - Centre d'art contemporain
John Giorno, Thanx 4 Nothing
John Giorno has been an influential figure in contemporary poetry since the 1960s. He was one of the New York avant-garde in the concept of poetry-as-performance. He met Andy Warhol in 1962 - and was the subject of the movie Sleep, filmed in 1963 - and then Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns in 1964. This led Giorno to apply Pop Art techniques of appropriation into his poetry. After, he developed an interest in cut-up and montage techniques using found imagery, and wrote his first audio poem. John Giorno explores his extension of poetry and its plastic derivations. His work responds to a desire to spill over from the constraints of the book and into an intermedia vision where the various methods of expression and the content are both varied and closely linked. He created visual poems, entitled Poem Paintings, using short fragments extracted from texts, used in a plastic sense by a highly individual and immediately recognisable typography.
At Faux Mouvement, John Giorno present a set of silkscreen prints, specially produced for the Mono project, as well as some audio installations.
Locus Metropole Mono - Centre Pompidou-Metz (02/06/2012)
In connection to the John Giorno exhibition at Faux Mouvement, the Centre Pompidou-Metz is organising a performance reading evening with John Giorno, Pierre Joris (New York poet and translator), Michèle Métail, (poet) and Michel Collet (poet, intermedia artist and theoretician).
Sol LeWitt. Wall Drawings from 1968 to 2007
Centre Pompidou-Metz presents a major project around the American conceptual artist Sol LeWitt (1928-2007). In the 13,000 square feet of Galerie 2, Centre Pompidou-Metz is hosting a retrospective of Sol LeWitt’s black and white wall drawings on a scale never seen before in Europe. The selected thirty-three wall drawings, the largest group ever exhibited in Europe, span the artist’s career from its beginnings to his final works.
Curator: Béatrice Gross, independant curator and art critic, New York.
The exhibition’s partners: LeWitt Collection, Chester, Connecticut (USA) ; M – Museum Leuven (Belgium).
For the execution of the wall drawings: École supérieure d’art de Lorraine, Metz - Épinal ; ENSarchitecture de Nancy ; École nationale supérieure d’art de Nancy ; ESAD de Reims/École Supérieure d’Art et de Design.
With the support of the French Embassy in Belgium and the American Embassy in Belgium.
Centre d'art Nei Liicht
Carine et Elisabeth Krecké, Dakotagate
During the making of Memorial drive (video, 2009), Carine and Elisabeth Krecké travelled through America on Google Street View for weeks, coming along endless kilometres of insignificant roads, hundreds of small interchangeable towns, without anything ever happening. Then, unexpectedly, in a town of South Dakota, a photographic narrative emerged within the cartographic scenery: a man strides along the street, carrying a heavy assault weapon. This Google photo became the starting point for Dakotagate or, rather, a pretext for launching a photographic investigation on location1. What does it mean to become a witness in a digital space like Google Street View? How to interact, in our epoch, with such “vision machines” that more and more infiltrate our daily lives and, ultimately, our perception of the world? In order to cope with these questions, the Krecké sisters have initiated a detour via fiction. The interpretation of the Google picture as a war photography, the decision to adopt the posture of photoreporters and to travel to the place of the “event” in order to launch a terrain investigation has constituted the foundation of what the artists call the construction of a plot through images.
1 The trip to South Dakota in July/August 2010 has been realized thanks to a grant by the CNA.
Emily Bates, The sky is glowing with the setting sun
Combining photography, video and audio elements, the installations of English artist Emily Bates are the fruit of longterm research in specific geographical contexts, often marked by the transition from traditional cultures to modernity. Her Love Scenes, project, presented in 2008 at Casino Luxembourg, thus addressed the Naxi minority culture in China, while The Nurturing Island concerns a tropical island in the South of Japan.
Curator: Enrico Lunghi
Filipa César, 1975
For her exhibition at Mudam, Filipa César examines a particularly important period in the recent history of her homeland, Portugal: the end of the authoritarian Salazar regime and decolonisation of Guinea-Bissau. Three films based on contemporary documents or interviews with activists of the time – Porto, Le Passeur et The Embassy – form the core of the exhibit, which also includes a facsimile of Aimé Césaire’s book Discurso sobre o colonialismo [Discourse on colonialism], banned until 1974 and related posters.
Curator: Clément Minighetti
Centre national de l’audiovisuel (CNA)
Raphaël Dallaporta, Observation
The goal of Observation is to bring the various series works by Raphaël Dallaporta into perspective - in particular, Antipersonnel, Domestic Slavery, Fragile and Ruins - by invoking resonances, juxtapositions and echoing. Raphaël Dallaporta borrows in equal measure from the practices of contemporary art and the modus operandi of documentary photography to produce works that deal with characteristic manifestations of certain features of contemporary society. Underlying each of these series is an encounter – chance or voluntary – between the artist and professionals highly involved at a practical level in the activities under consideration. Bomb disposal experts, lawyers, forensic specialists, archaeologists… all bring to Raphaël Dallaporta's projects a factual framework wherein the artist inventories, collects, questions and exchanges… in a balanced working process that subtly counterplays artistic freedom with attention to, and respect for, the related facts. The many tensions, questionings and reactions that enrich the work and its comprehension unfold in this keen rapport between the protagonists at the root of the projects, the audience to whom they are addressed and the artist's creative approach.
Exhibition produced by GwinZegal in collaboration with the CNA (Centre national de l’audiovisuel) Department of Photography.
The exhibition will be accompanied by the publication of FRAGILE, published by GwinZegal.
Curators: Paul Cottin, Jérôme Sother.
Photographer: Raphaël Dallaporta / born in 1980 / lives and works in France and elsewhere /
Sanka Iveković, Waiting for the Revolution
Since the early 1970s, as a central figure in the Croatian art scene, Sanja Iveković has been developing a committed, engagé oeuvre, informed by concerns to do with the issues of war, identity and memory. She belongs to a generation of artists known by the name of Nova Umjetnička Praksa (New Art Praxis) which, in post-1968 Yugoslavia, freed itself from the powers-that-be and strove to decompartmentalize the art arena, opening it up to new activities and questions grappling directly with society. Echoing her own “minority” position as a woman artist in a society which she describes as patriarchal, her early photomontages and videos, which include Tragedy of a Venus (1975), Bitter Life (1975-76) and Make Up-Make Down (1978), are interested in the representations of woman conveyed by the media, and by the mechanisms which construct identity, somewhere between private life and public sphere.
In her more recent works, marked in particular by the changes occurring since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and the dismantling of Yugoslavia during the 1990s, Sanja Iveković extends these concerns to questions dealing with the construction of collective memory and the writing of history. Several projects presented in the exhibition thus have to do with hidden areas of history and society, such as the anti-fascist resistance in Yugoslavia (Gen XX, 1997-2001), the extermination of the Rom and Centi populations by the Nazi regime (Rohrback Living Memorial, 2005) and the massacre of demonstrators during the popular uprisings of May 1980 in Gwangju (On the Barricades, 2010). Since 2000, Sanja Iveković has also been producing projects in the public place, in which the notion of commemoration makes way for that of “living memory”, thus calling the very idea of monuments into question.
The exhibition Waiting for the Revolution, held a decade after the presentation in the public place in Luxembourg of the project Lady Rosa of Luxembourg (2001), which triggered an unprecedented controversy in the country, brings together a broad selection of works produced between 1975 and today. It is organized around two directions: a first group of works highlights the place occupied by the issues of the monument and collective memory in Sanja Iveković’s praxis, while a second group, combining in particular her first series of photomontages with recent works using similar montage procedures, is concerned with the question of gender and the mechanisms for representing woman. Sanja Iveković has also devised a new project for the public place, Freiheit ist… (2012), which echoes the stances that Lady Rosa of Luxembourg had given rise to. The whole sheds light on the way in which Sanja Iveković’s oeuvre, throughout her career, has been constructed in response to “states of emergency”: “I’m not an artist who gives answers, but one who asks questions”, she says.
Curators: Christophe Gallois, Enrico Lunghi
Sarah Sze, Fixed points finding a home
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.
Curator: Marie-Noëlle Farcy
Simon Evans, How to be alone when you live with someone
The graphic compositions by the British artist Simon Evans combine drawings with fragments of words and relate to diaries, automatic writing, collage, lists, inventories, encyclopedias, diagrams, cartography, cosmology, etc. The exhibition at Mudam will involve the production of new pieces.
Curator: Marie-Noëlle Farcy
Steven C.Harvey, Vehicles
The futuristic vehicles which feature in the work of the British artist Steven C. Harvey, who is based in Athens, describe the contours of a “dystopian” world. The artist sees in his pieces “lamentations on the contradictions of the western world and the over-consumption of world ressources, a crisis of which our vehicles are only a symptom.” His extremely precise graphite drawings evoke the universe of a science fiction writer like J. G. Ballard.
Curator: Clément Minighetti
Casino Luxembourg - Forum d'art contemporain
Wesley Meuris, R-05.Q-IP.0001
Drawings, sculptures and installations by the Belgian artist Wesley Meuris (*1977), present a strongly architectural, or even scientific, character. Things which could, at first glance, appear as devices for presenting works or other artefacts, are, in fact, works of art in themselves. By bringing these mechanisms and demonstration objects to light, Wesley Meuris points at our way of presenting and seeing things. By exhibiting, for example, animal cages left empty or a theme park kiosk, inanimate and reduced to its simplest apparatus, he hopes to show us things which usually escape our view but which, nonetheless, play a primordial role in our daily interpretation of the world which surrounds us. His sculptures and installations are often accompanied by drawings and analytical schemas which strengthen the functional character of these subjects.
Wesley Meuris presents an in situ project for this first solo show at Casino Luxembourg. Thus the art centre does not only function as an exhibition space for the presentation of the art works and the exhibition; it actually becomes an integral part of the overall creative concept.
Curator: Kevin Muhlen
Museum Schloss Fellenberg
August Sander - Photographien
August Sander is one of the 20th century’s most important photographers. He achieved fame with his portraits of “People of the 20th century”, for which he produced many hundreds of shots of people from different social milieus and professions and thereby created a comprehensive profile of the society of his times. There is still little awareness among the general public that depiction of landscape played an important role for the famous photographer throughout his life. The exhibition in Merzig now presents an opportunity to familiarise oneself with the “landscape” genre through the work of August Sander.
The exhibition is taking place in partnership with “Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur”, Cologne.
Gregor Hildebrandt, Ein Koffer aus Berlin (A Suitcase from Berlin)
Born in 1974, Gregor Hildebrandt grew up in Saarbrücken. He currently lives and works in Berlin. He uses pre-recorded cassette and video tapes as material in his pictures, collages, and installations. One is reminded of the large black monochrome surfaces from the formal beginnings of minimal and conceptual art of the 60ʻs and 70ʻs. References to the music recorded on the black tapes are found in the titles of the work or in quotes and fragments of quotes written in the work itself. Viewers who know this code know which song functions as a narrative or soundtrack to each picture and can „hear“ it in their head as they view the work.
Gregor Hildebrandtʻs work has recently been shown in the „Berlinische Gallery“, in the Miami Art Museum, the Tel Aviv Art Museum among others. His work is also represented in the Center Pompidou in Paris and in the collection of contemporary art of the Federal Republic of Germany.
As the title suggests, Hildebrandt will travel to Saarbrücken with a suitcase in which the complete exhibit fits. The suitcase is packed with extreme precision and contains 50 original and unique works which summon up his large format work. Called „Hokuspokus“, the concept for this work was first realised in 2008 and will be exhibited as an extraordinary retrospective in the Saarländisches Künstlerhaus.
Weltkulturerbe Völklinger Hütte
Behind the Future. Nicolas Dhervillers - New Photography
Nicolas Dhervillers, winner of the “ZOOM” award from the French Photo press magazine in 2010, was the discovery at the “Salon de la photo” in Paris. The exhibition Nicolas Dhervillers – Behind the Future is his first solo exhibition in Germany, which, thanks to some dazzling photograph, presents the ironworks in way never before seen in the world. His works are reminiscent of paintings. The exciting snapshots of the insides of the Völklinger Hütte led the viewer into a fantastic world of tomorrow: The “Völklinger Hütte” World Cultural Heritage Site can be likened to a work of science fiction.
Galerie der Hochschule der Bildenden Künste Saar
Subjective photography. Otto Steinert in Saarbrucken, 1948-1959
Just like Bernd and Hilla Becher, Otto Steinert (1915-1978) is considered to be the most influential teacher in terms of post-war German photography. This photographic artist, a native of Saarbrucken, taught at the “École d’Art et d’Artisanat de la Sarre”, the predecessor institution to “HBKsaar”, from 1948 to 1959. His lessons enjoyed great success, and he also had numerous French and Luxembourgian students. The exhibition revives Steinert’s first creative phase, thanks to moving photographs taken in the Saarbrucken of the start of the 1950s and of student life within the School. A catalogue will be published.
Städtische Galerie Neunkirchen
Peter Schlör, Black & Wide
Fascinating, deep and inscrutable - Peter Schlör’s black and white photographs can throw viewers off balance. They are images full of mythology and symbolism. “Everything is in black, it can trigger fears and fascinate you, it is a sphere of association, a place of collection and of silence,” says the Mannheim-based photographer. With his unmistakable black and white images, Peter Schlör has earned an international reputation in the realm of conceptual landscape photography. Characterised by great compositional austerity, powerful light and dark contrasts and, frequently, surreal light effects, his photographs maintain a remarkable tension between calmness and drama. In his often archaic-looking scenes devoid of people, Peter Schlör unfurls additional landscape panoramas which, in their mystical, enigmatic appearance, remind us of romanticism-inspired depictions of nature. They showcase that which was so aptly described by the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper: “Schlör is among those experimenters who... are reliant on reality and nature and yet attempt to exaggerate them photgraphically while searching for “signs” of them.”
Roland Fischer - New Photography 1984 - 2012
Roland Fischer is one of the most illustrious exponents of contemporary German photography and is renowned internationally. As part of the cross-border MONO project, the Saarland.Museum is giving the largest monograph exhibition that Roland Fischer has ever made.
Roland Fischer thinks of his artistic work as a form of visual thought falling within the paradoxical pairings of individuality and context, mass society and subjectivity, freedom and determinism. Roland Fischer creates very large format artistic photography. His impressive images concentrate on the human being, both in reflection and in architecture - each as profound as the other. It is said that his photographic trademark, in contrast to many other renowned contemporary German photographic artists, lies in the fact that landscapes have so far played no role in his work.
A retrospective is currently being prepared which, adding to the 1990 exhibition of his photography at the Saarland.Museum, pays homage to his entire output, from the very beginnings to the present time. At the time, the Saarland.Museum had acquired photographs taken from the “Monks and Nuns” series, which have since formed part of the core of the institution’s photography collection.
Born in Saarbrücken in 1958, Roland Fischer spent his childhood in Bavaria and currently lives in Munich and Beijing.
Image: Emily Bates, The sky is glowing with the setting sun..., 2010-2012. Silver gelatin print, framed, Dimension: 150 x 120 cm. Courtesy of the artist © Photo: Emily Bates