PRINT May 2001

International Shorts

Rachel Withers, David Rimanelli


IF YOU’RE ALONE AND LIFE IS making you lonely, you can always go downtown—or, alternatively, join the crowds visiting “Wechselstrom (Alternating current)” at the Sammlung Hauser und Wirth, St. Gallen, between May 13 and October 14, for a show exploring relationships between our inner lives and the social realm: the pleasures and pressures of conviviality, and the highs and lows of solitude. On the guest list: Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Rodney Graham, Pipilotti Rist, Dieter Roth, and a throng of others. Or forget all your cares and drop by the Kiasma, Helsinki, Project Room from May 23 to August 26, where board-game deviser and anatomist of social role-playing Eva Grubinger will stage a new multimedia installation, Operation R.O.S.A., 2001, the video component of which features a voiceover by Nina Hagen. Here, yesterday’s New Wave heroine plays today’s victim of Skinnerian social engineering. At the Palazzo delle Papesse, Siena, from June 2 to September 15, “The Gift: Generous Offerings, Threatening Hospitality” focuses on that ultimate social minefield, gift-giving, and its role in artists’ practices. Is it really better to give than receive? Offerings from Rirkrit Tiravanija, Man Ray, Carsten Höller, Louise Bourgeois, Marie-Ange Guilleminot, Ana Mendieta, and many others will probe the question. This spring and summer, the gangs will be out in force at the Galleria Comunale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Rome. Achille Bonito Oliva’s bipartite exhibition “Artistic Tribes” (part one: Apr. 25–June 24; part two: July 7–Oct. 7) will line up surveys of the major-league postwar avant-gardes and let them slug it out. The show will look at Lettrism, Situationism, Happenings, Fluxus and Events, the Gutaï, Mono-Ha, and the Factory, plus two more nebulous formulations: “techno tribes” and “tribal chiefs without tribes.” But there’ll be no factional friction at the Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona: It’s come one, come all to "Something for Everyone,” the year-long exhibition cycle celebrating the foundation’s twenty-fifth anniversary. Festivities will be brought to a close between June 14 and July 29 with shows of work by weaver of stories Claude Lévéque and alchemist of the everyday Michel François.


Quelle architecture pour Mars?” asks the title of Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster’s May 4-July 28 exhibition at Le Consortium, Dijon. The show will survey ten years’ work by Gonzalez-Foerster, Martian arts exponent, Japanophile, and creator of immersive, atmospheric environments. Past installations have magicked viewers to enchanted islands and a Ginza celebration, and simulated thunderstorms; her Dijon show promises new works as well as old. At the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, visitors will be plunged into “Space Odysseys: Sensation and Immersion” (Aug. 18–Oct. 21). Bruce Nauman’s Triangle Room, 1978/80, Gary Hill’s Tall Ships, 1992, and Mariko Mori’s Link, 2000, are just a few of the offerings in this exploration of the physical, spiritual, and virtual dimensions of space. In Castello, Spain, between June 28 and September 16, the Espai d’Art Contemporani’s exhibition “Other Urban ‘Natures’: Architecture Is (Now) Geography" likewise thinks afresh about the experience and construction of space. Redefining architecture as interdisciplinary node rather than autonomous specialty, it will interweave anthropology, new technologies, cultural studies, biogenetics, and physical theory in its presentation of experimental urban projects by an international lineup of architects, including Spaniard Eduardo Arroyo and American Greg Lynn. “Archilab 2001” (Site des Subsistances Militaires, Orleans, May 12–June 30) assembles a galaxy of architectural treats: ninety architect teams from eighteen countries will use drawings, models, video, and installation media to present individual projects from concept via development to realization. Participants in this follow-up to “Archilab 2000” (part of the 2000 Venice Architecture Biennale) include Coop Himmelb(l)au, Rem Koolhaas and OMA, Diller + Scofidio, and Bernard Tschumi. In Rotterdam from April 29 to July 1, Architecture International Rotterdam (AIR) and the Witte de With pay tribute to local hero Erasmus in “Breeze of AIR/Hortus Conclusus.” A veritable thicket of landscape architects and artists, including Elmgreen & Dragset, Cristina Iglesias, and Cildo Meireles, will construct enclosed gardens in the Witte de With’s galleries and outside in the city—pockets of calm for latter-day humanists’ cogitations. A little further north in Zeewolde, the De Verbeelding center coordinates “ARTificial Natural Networks” (May 26-Sept. 1), a show of environmental art and an exploration of the nature-culture divide that will prompt much pondering in the polder. Strollers in the Zeewolde area will discover temporary works by Roman Signer, Joep van Lieshout, Mark Dion, N55, et al., alongside permanent pieces by, among others, Richard Serra. (“But why isn’t Zeewolde in the atlas?” anxious voices cry. Answer: It’s the youngest village in Flevoland province—so new, in fact, it’s barely dried out. Take your galoshes!)


Are Franz West’s “Paßstücke” sculptures or props? Either way, his portable objects are up for grabs at two shows this summer. Between June 23 and August 19, the Kunstverein Braunschweig presents diverse works by the Fluxus-inspired West, including early and recent installations, and at the Kunsthaus Zug from June 10 to August 19, works by West show alongside Wiener Werkstätte furniture and paintings by Klimt, Schiele, Gerstl, and Kokoschka, all from the Kunsthaus collection.

West of Zug, but east of West, IVAM Valencia presents the abstract “landscapes” of Zao Wou-ki (b. 1921), between May 3 and July 1. Some seventy drawings and paintings spanning fifty-two years detail the Beijing-born, Paris-based artist’s quest for the harmonious balancing of opposites: emptiness and plenitude,
stasis and dynamism, Eastern tradition and Western modernism. Much further south at the City Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand, between July 7 and September 16, Gavin Hipkins’s photographic project “The Homely” will document the complexities of Pakeha (i.e., non-Maori New Zealanders) living, caught between traditional culture and colonial influence; and at the Fondation Beyeler, Basel, between June 10 and September 23, “Ornament and Abstraction” will chart the ground shared by those supposed opposites, decoration and abstraction. Exhibits in this extensive show include historic pieces by Mondrian, Albers, Pollock, and Klimt and contemporary work by Shirin Neshat, Rosemarie Trockel, and Philip Taaffe.

Rachel Withers



The Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie in Karlsruhe is mounting a show of some forty works by Sylvie Fleury, who traversed the art/fashion nexus of the ’90s in style. Perhaps her most notorious provocations were the shopping bags whose luxury-item contents at times surpassed in cost the price of the artworks themselves. Curator Ralph Melcher includes a number of highlights from this period, like her famous First Spaceship on Venus, 1996, but the exhibition will focus on recent work and site-specific installations (June 3–Aug. 26).

David Rimanelli



Tired of life? Why then, trade it in for another one. If you’re not sure how, take some cues from Andy Warhol, Adrian Piper, Marina Abramovic, Zoe Leonard and Cheryl Dunye, Pierre Huyghe, and a host of other life-swapping artists, at the Vienna-based Generali Foundation’s “Double Life: Identity and Transformation in Contemporary Art” (May 11–Aug. 12). Emphasizing video, artist’s books, performance, and new media, “Double Life” promises to reveal the politics as well as the pleasures of the masquerade.

Rachel Withers



“A painting is not a composition of color and line but an animal, a night, a scream, a human being or all of these things together” proclaimed CoBrA cofounder Constant (b. 1920) in his 1948 Manifesto. Painting soon palled, and by 1956 Constant the Situationist was exclusively devising visionary architecture and urban plans. By the early ’60s, he’d split with his fellow Situationists in protest of their advocacy of anti-art. The Musée Picasso, Antibes, celebrates Constant with a first French retrospective (June 28–Oct. 22): Director Maurice Fréchuret assembles more than 100 drawings, paintings, and architectural sketches from all periods of this permanent revolutionary’s career.

Rachel Withers