V and I are content producers for Pablo Helguera’s Aelia Media project, the winner of the International Prize for Participatory Art in Bologna, Italy. Our radiophonic contributions can be heard on various local radio stations as well as streaming on the Aelia Media website. You can also listen to my interview with Juan Antonio Postigo Martín, founder of the New Natives tribe on the curandikatz.net site on the new natives page.
Archive for the 'Collaboration' Category
For our contribution to the group exhibition at gallery a+a in venice, we were asked to contribute something for a public intervention in the area of campo s. margherita.
We made a letter press printing of a poster, to be hung in the public space around Campo S. Margherita. We originally printed the poster in 2009 while in Colombia in Spanish, so for this exhibition we translated it into Italian and reprinted. The text reads (in English) “I am looking for those who are looking for me. I dream of a very simple living, polyamorous, raw vegan tribe. A radically new culture. Close, warm, egalitarian, fair and overt relationships.”
The other part of our intervention is a survey, utilizing the survey that Toma Sik (the late Hungarian-Israeli-anarchist-vegan-pacifist-anti-zionist-world-citizen-communitarian) created to evaluate potential community members. We printed an edition of 50 surveys, on the front is a letter to the participant, intertwining the vision of Toma Sik with ours the artists, and asking the participants to complete the survey. On the back are the 9 scales that Sik created. Each of the 50 people that complete the survey will receive a unique drawing in return, that builds a biography of Sik. In a future (imagined/potential) time when all 50 come together in community, their drawings will together tell the life of Sik. The surveys will be available for people to complete in Campo S. Margherita.
Opening May 27. More information coming soon.
For the past three years my wife Valentina Curandi and I have been working collaboratively on artistic projects. Documentation of this work is up on our new combined website http://curandikatz.net/. The site is almost complete, but still lacking some updating.
As I mentioned in the previous post, V and I hadn’t imagined placing the Love Shack in an exhibition context before. We always thought of it as being too site specific. After the installation at the Arsenale, we are both very happy with the way it plays in the space.
Two things about shacks that I think our love shack plays with interestingly:
1. The shack exists for its interior. The exterior of the shack serves the function of protecting what is in the interior. Shacks are utilitarian, and as a result are never more than their purpose. Over the past few weeks i’ve been taking inspiration from all of the shacks by the side of the train tracks on my way to Milan. Some are garden sheds, some are Roma living shacks, all have the purpose of protecting their interior. Our shack is also interior focused, the functional exterior contains a carefully curated intimacy space interior. You must enter the work and see it from the inside in order to gain meaning from it. I think this works nicely in relation to the other works in the exhibition. The other works are all very formal and very material, their appeal and their reflection happens in relation to their surface.
2. Shacks lower the value of the properties around them. Nobody wants a shack nearby. I like this idea conceptually. In actuality, I don’t think the exterior of our shack is ugly, though it isn’t curated like the interior. We built a wooden frame with diagonals that create a nice rhythm (inspired by the technical advice of christopher robbins), and we made the walls from fabric that when hanging with the “good” side facing in, show the outside their backside, resembling sheets of cheap wood. Although, the exterior is not ugly it is also not refined. the wood is untreated and the fabric is backwards, so that conceptually the love shack is acting in the way that shacks act, working to protect the inside while lowering the value of the surrounding property.
This past weekend V and I were in Venice installing the Love Shack at the Arsenale.
The exhibition will open next Saturday, March 12.
We were invited as finalists for the Laguna Art Prize, an Italian based, international juried art prize. The prize is a context we normally wouldn’t find our work in, but a few months ago, V suggested that we apply and see what comes. We sent in some of our video and performance work, and as an afterthought decided to also apply in the sculpture/installation category with the love shack. So we were very surprised when it was the love shack that was invited to participate. We were also surprised because we hadn’t really considered how we would go about realizing the love shack for an exhibition. The original Love Shack was realized two years ago while in residency at CESTA in the Czech Republic. We were collaborating with German artist Sibylle Hofter on a work called Unearthing Romanticism and as part of the work, V and I renovated an old shed that was on the grounds of CESTA into a love shack, a space for intimacy. The work was very site specific, for one, it utilized a pre-existing shed, it was an homage to bohemian romanticism inspired by the location and a tribute to the anarcho-punk DIY spirit of the American founders of CESTA.
When we were asked to recreate the piece for an exhibition at the Arsenale, we panicked a bit, we did not have any of the original elements of the installation, as they were all left behind in the Czech Republic, and we would have to build a shack to contain it. At first we tried to approach it creatively, with some freedom of interpretation, but the curator of the Laguna Prize was quite clear that they wanted us to present in the exhibition what we presented in the documentation. With some technical advice from Christopher Robbins (thanks chris!) and a kind carpenter who delivered wood for us and a very kind boat man who delivered the rest of our materials, we arrived at the Arsenale on Friday and spent three days building the Love Shack. The experience of the installation was really wonderful. The site of the Arsenale (which hosts the Venice Bienniale every two years) is an incredible, vast space with terrific light that is a total pleasure to work in. It also felt great to have three days of just work, no negotiations, no compromises, just setting out to make what we want to make. In the end we took some liberties with modifying the space to be a bit more site appropriate for Venice, but the main part of the work remains the same: an intimate space and tribute to the bohemian romantic. We focused on fabric in place of wood for the walls, choosing colors and patterns that we felt stayed true to Bohemia and also invited Venice into the conversation. And while the experience of the installation was good, we also realize that the context really is not the context for us. Our work is surrounded by works that are either obsessive, material based, or craft sculptures that do not enter into dialogue with our working process. Although the themes of these works, full of violence and war (represented quite literally by an abundance of works containing bombs and guns) create a nice contrast with our little shack of love. And the emphasis of the works on the beautiful exterior is another good contrast with our work which focuses on the interior. Below are some pictures of the installation, to view the whole set go here.
arriving by boat to the arsenale
laying out the frame
v checking corners
The Love Shack
Free Love/ Romantic
map of bohemia entrance
Romantic, hand cranked Karaoke, and straw filled lace pillow
Hay flooring, Nomadic canvas chairs, New Natives accent wall, Astrakhan rug, Venetian boat covering ceiling
Nomadic canvas chairs, New Natives accent wall, Astrakhan rug
Venetian boast covering ceiling lets in beautiful light
Fresh flower peace wheel
Our (longer and expanded) video New Natives will be screened this Saturday at Reload in Rome for the closing of the exhibition. The video will be shown as part of a program on identity curated by Anna Santomauro and Neon gallery called That’sIT
V and I are headed to Venice this afternoon to install the Love Shack at the Arsenale!
Exhibition opens Saturday March 12.
Pictures and information soon.
Last week we drove about 45 minutes up along the western shore to the village of Menaggio. On April 26, 1945 Mussolini passed through there and then turned inland headed to Switzerland. He spent his final night as a free man in Grandola ed Uniti. After Menaggio we also followed the inland route and headed up to Grandola. The road there is a state road that connects with Lugano in Switzerland. There wasn’t much to look for in the village, but we followed a road, Via alle Alpi, that headed way up to the village of Naggio. From there we had a great view of the lake and the Alps, but when we asked the locals for ways to get to Switzerland, they only referred us back down the mountain to the state road. The state road continues for a little while along Lago di Piano, a smaller lake, before arriving to the shores of Lake Lugano and up to the border control. The afternoon was still fine and the road was pretty so we continued all the way to the border. Hoping for some encounter to provide material for our performance we arrived at the border only to be waved through. No stop, no control, no passport check, nothing.
I made it to Switzerland without a problem. We kept driving through to Lugano and then we were free, in Switzerland.
Last week we drove about 45 minutes up along the western shore to the village of Menaggio. On April 26, 1945 Mussolini passed through there and then turned inland headed to Switzerland. He spent his final night as a free man in Grandola ed Uniti. After Menaggio we also followed the inland route and headed up to Grandola. The road there is a state road that connects with Lugano in Switzerland. There wasn’t much to look for in the village, but we followed a road, Via alle Alpi, that headed way up to the village of Naggio. From there we had a great view of the lake and the Alps, but when we asked the locals for ways to get to Switzerland, they only referred us back down the mountain to the state road. The state road continues for a little while along Lago di Piano, a smaller lake, before arriving to the shores of Lake Lugano and up to the border control.
This week the weather was fine again and we drove up to Dongo. On April 27, 1945, Mussolini and his mistress Carla Petacci were hiding in a convoy of retreating Germans, dressed as German soldiers. They were stopped at Dongo by the Partisans 52nd Garibaldi Brigade, identified and later executed.
We arrived at Dongo with a map of historic mountain passes that were used to smuggle contraband from Switzerland to Italy up to the 1960′s and 70′s. In particular we were interested in the Rifugio San Jorio, which only has an elevation of 2010 meters and according to local hiking books is quite a doable day hike in the summer. Unfortunately this is January, and although the weather was sunny along the lake at the high altitude the temperature was quite low. We arrived at the nearby village of Garzeno. From there we were hoping to pick up the hiking trail, but when we asked the local old men hanging out by the church, they pointed us in the direction of the car road instead. This could have been because the hiking trail was impassable in the winter, or maybe they just assumed we would do it by car. We didn’t realize our mistake until we were farther along. So we followed the small car road up along some smaller hamlets with the hope of reaching as close as possible to the nearby rifugio San Giovo. When we reached the ice line we pulled the car over to the side of the road and continued by foot. After a couple of hours of hiking clouds were starting to descend on the side of the mountain and we reached an impassable icy field. Without appropriate winter gear we reached the limit of our abilities and we turned around and started to head back. At that point three pickup trucks pulling snowmobiles drove past us toward San Giovo. We waved them down and hitched a ride to the rifugio. We found out on the way that they were planning to go by snow mobile all the way to the border at San Jorio, and we joined them for that leg as well. We made a symbolic border crossing at San Jorio, but without a contact or a way to continue down the Swiss side we didn’t have much of a choice but to head back with our snowmobile friends.