PRINT May 2000

International Shorts

Rachel Withers


Money makes the art world go round (to coin a phrase), and a semi-ironic clinking-clanking will surely issue from the Salzburger Kunstverein’s galleries this summer. “Import Export” (July 23-Sept. 10) takes a critical look at art’s role as national product (gross, that is—no pun intended) alongside broader concerns such as the importation of national or regional styles and nonart subject matter. Artists include Rainer Ganahl, Suchan Kinoshita, and Jun Yan. Scandinavians will be exporting themselves to Vienna’s Kunsthalle in “North: Contemporary Art from Northern Europe” (May 26–Sept. 17), which spans the years 1960–2000, with a focus on the ’90s. Venice prizewinner Eija-Liisa Ahtila will show, as will Miriam Backstrom, Knut Asdam, Superflex, Esko Mannikko, and many other increasingly well known northerners. Meanwhile, Scandinavia is preparing to import Middle Eastern products—albeit with provisos about the notion of authenticity. Tentatively titled “An Exhibition on Modern Middle Eastern Art” (Nicolaj Contemporary Art Center, Copenhagen, Aug. 19-Sept. 30), the show includes work by Ghada Amer, Fariba Hajamadi, and Elahe Massumiskilled estimators, perforce, of cultural identity exchange rates between East and West. Farther south this spring, Rome will be invaded by the British. “Video Vibe: Art, Music, and Vldeo in the UK” (The British School, Rome, May 11–June 6) features video compilations charting UK artists’ involvement with music production and promotion. Starry collaborations (Damien Hirst and Blur, John Currin and Pulp) will be on view alongside videos by Georgina Starr and Mark Dean and work by cult favorites such as Throbbing Gristle and Leigh Bowery. Legions of Romans will come, see . . .


British English is rich in colorful local phrases for stating that one is footsore: “Me dogs are barking” (Yorkshire) or “Me feet are puttin’ like a tuppenny fadge” (Newcastle). Visual art, likewise, abounds in images of trudging, strolling, and stalking. In “A Century of Striding: Figures on the March—From Rodln to Giacometti,” the Musee Picasso, Antibes, will investigate the motif’s symbolic potential from triumphant progress to uncertain quest to covert operation. Part I (June go-Oct. IS) spans work by artists from Rodin to Bacon, while Part 2 (Nov. 3, 2000-Jan. 14, 2001) covers the contemporary angle: Featured artists include Joseph Beuys, Bruce Nauman, Sylvie Fleury, Fabrice Hybert, and Francis Avs. Two legs may be good, but two wheels are better: At the Stroom Center for Visual Arts at The Hague, “BikeCity,” a series of projects designed to get more people up and pedaling, will be launched on June I5. Bicycle surveillance stations—some equipped with restrooms, repair depots, and cafés—designed by the likes of Dan Graham, the Acconci Studio, Joep van Lieshout, and FAT (Fashion Architecture Taste) will spring up all over The Hague, and artists’ design models will be shown at Stroom. Soon there will be cyclists strooming every which way. Bicycles are not much use in the desert, though, unless they’re atop a camel. That noted, Paris’s Fondation Cartier show "Le Désert” (June 21- Nov. 5) will offer a chance to travel the desert via the mind’s eye. Historical photos of deserts and their inhabitants, taken by great nineteenth-century Orientalist travelers—Maxime du Camp, Francis Frith, and others—will be subject to critique via juxtaposition with contemporary works, including Lee Friedlander’s commissioned study of the Sonora Desert, Lara Baladi’s de-exoticizing views of an “everyday” desert used for strolling and relaxation, and pieces by Bill Viola and Balthasar Burckhardt. What? Not keen on exercise? Shame on you: Visit MAK, the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna, to see what human bodies are (at least theoretically) equipped to handle. “Stress” (May 17–Aug. 27), a multimedia installation by André Lepecki and Bruce Mau based on an idea conceived by Hortensia Voelckers, sets out to describe the flexibility of the human body and mind and how they have been profoundly affected by contemporary lifestyles.


From June 8 to September 30, CAPC Musée &Art Contemporain, Bordeaux, takes a serious look at play. “Presumed Innocent: Contemporary Art and Childhood” will span the ’70s to the ’90s, presenting work by some sixty artists (from Carl Andre and Louise Bourgeois to Vanessa Beecroft and Mat Collishaw) to explore the links between historical notions of childhood and creative practice. At the Witte de With, Rotterdam, “Play-use” (July 8–Sept. 24), featuring works by leading multimedia designers, will investigate the fine art-design merger, querying traditional distinctions between the beautiful and the functional. At the Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, Aachen, “Modell, Modell” (May 4–June 18) will compare and contrast technical and artistic modes of operation. Involving, among others, the self-appointed CEO of the fictional UKIYO Camera Systems Corporation, Georg Winter, and satiric feminist “anthropologist” Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven, “Modell, Modell” promises some pointed playfulness. And of course, the artist affectionately enthroned as the art world’s “village idiot” is still up to his old tricks. From June 17 to August 13, the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich, will stage a retrospective of Maurizio Cattelan’s work; new madness has been promised.


Sometimes (as Batman once reminded Robin), you just have to go it alone. This summer’s solo performers include Elaine Reichek, exponent of the sharp embroiderer’s needle and the spiked epigram. New stitchery probing the metaphoric connotations of black and white will be included in her Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, show, “At home & in the world” (June 30–Sept. 3). The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, will survey Dennis Oppenheim’s pivotal 1968–78 work: pioneering experiments in land art and body art, reconstructed for the museum in collaboration with the artist (July 21, 2000–Jan. 2001). The vibrant, hard-edged soft sculptures of Yinka Shonibare, including his 1997 Johannesburg Biennale piece Victorian Philanthropist’s Parlour as well as new work, take up residence at the Camden Arts Centre, London, between June 16 and August 20. The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, is showcasing a brand-new, specially devised installation by David Hammons (June 1–Aug. 27), while Brazilian “parallel anthropophagic” Adriana Varejão is to have her first major European show at the BildMuseet, Umeå, Sweden, from June 12 to September 10. The show features ten works that incorporate painting and installation as well as one room-sized project. At Turin’s Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea from June 30 to August 27, funky Minimalist Gerwald Rockenschaub will regale visitors with new inflatable installations and machine-made paintings and (on opening night) his own musical inventions. Kay Hassan, winner of the Daimler-Chrysler Award for South African Contemporary Art, presents work for the first time in Germany, at Stuttgart’s Württembergischer Kunstverein (May 20-June 11); and at Schaffhausen’s Hallen für Neue Kunst, senior Conceptual artist Hanne Darboven’s major 1985 work, Menschen und Landschaften (People and landscapes), is being shown for the first time, from May 28 until December. Recycling more than a thousand postcards from the turn of the century, the show promises to add to the understanding of Darboven’s grafting of conceptual, historical, and political themes.

Rachel Withers



Jorde Pardo, known for blurring distinctions between art, craft, design, and architecture, has created everything from small, quasi-functional objects to furniture, interior-décor installations, and the house/sculpture in which he lives. At the Kunsthalle Basel (June 17–Aug. 27), Pardo, who is little known for two-dimensional work, will exhibit eighteen massive computer-designed, silk-screened paintings intended to play off the light and volume of the museum’s huge Oberlichtsaal (glass-domed space). Simultaneously, at Pratteln, ten minutes outside Basel, a roadside restaurant and service area will get a face-lift courtesy of the artist.

Christopher Miles



Between May 27 and October 1, Avignon, Europe’s City of Culture 2000, will host a spectacular, citywide, show, La beauté.” Curated by Jean de Loisy, the four-part exhibition is to feature the work of nearly one hundred artists in sixteen venues. At the papal palace, pieces by Steve McQueen, Rebecca Horn, and others will explore sensual themes. Elsewhere, exotic such as live jellyfish, curious insects, glass blooms, and robes made from beetles’ wings will vie with contributions from Björk, Takeshi Kitano, Alexander McQueen, Thomas Hirschhorn, and a galaxy of other artists, architects, filmmakers, performers, writers, and fashion designers.

Rachel Withers



At the Fondazione Prada, Milan (May 5–June 10), Marc Quinn will unveil three new pieces in his first solo show in Italy. Best known for Self, 1991, a frozen life cast made from 5.2 quarts of his own blood, Quinn has cast human figures in ice and preserved cut flowers in refrigerated blocks of silicone, in Across the Universe and Eternal Spring (Sunflowers I & II), respectively (both works 1998). Quinn’s polished techniques and Prada’s lavish resources will surely combine to sensational, and no doubt chilling, effect.

Rachel Withers