Everything has a name, or the potential to be named
Maria Thereza Alves, Vasco Araujo, Alberto Baraya, Matthew Buckingham, Luis Camnitzer, Antonio Caro, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Jimmie Durham, Andrea Geyer, Miler Lagos, Gabriel Sierra.
1st May 2009 - 21st June 2009
Opening: Thursday 30 April, 7-9pm
Everything has a name, or the potential to be named* is a group exhibition that focuses on how European colonial powers during the 17th and 18th Centuries appropriated the natural environment in the Americas. The exhibition features works which address how organisms, land and people have been respectively classified, renamed and dislocated by generations of explorers and colonisers, as a consequence of economically and scientifically motivated expeditions by European empires to the Americas. These forms of cultural domination – from the re-naming of a region, to the classification of a medicinal plant – have left lasting legacies, which remain in common use today.
In reconsidering this history many of the artists in the exhibition critically re-appropriate such colonial interpretative systems. By examining the relationship between land, language, botany and colonialism, they reveal the imperialist quest to produce a universal index with which to perceive and tame the other and the ‘unknown’. They do so through research, documentary, film and mapping practices; via text and outdoor interventions; and by using tactics, which are often humorous, to evade or overcome determinism.
To name a few of the works shown in the exhibition:
In his film Muhheakantuck – Everything has a Name, 2003, Matthew Buckingham recounts the expedition led in vain by Henry Hudson in 1609 to find a passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans, and the encounter with Native Americans along the way. The film is a journey above the Hudson River: narrated by the artist, the script drifts from factual information to his personal meditation on colonial processes: “Everything has a name, or the potential to be named, but who does the naming when the unknown is falsely assumed not to exist?”
The Panama Canal is the object of investigation of Luis Camnitzer's installation. The canal is the delayed colonial engineering plan which, three hundred years after Hudson's crusade, enables a direct link between two oceans. Using archival material from newspaper articles, letters and photographs of mostly European origin, Amanaplanacanalpanama, 1995, relates a familiar colonialist narrative of the conquest of a new trade route.
Andrea Geyer's Spiral Lands / Chapter 2, 2008 investigates the ongoing dispossession of lands from Indigenous people, which is one of the longest struggles for social justice in North America. Photographs of previously populated landscapes in the American Southwest accompany an audio lecture which combines voices of native and non-native ethnographers, philosophers, historians and artists, spanning time and geographies.
Alberto Baraya's Herbario de plantas artificiales (Herbarium de Artificial Plants), 2001-present, references 18th and 19th Century botanical expeditions and systems of classification. Borrowing from Carolus Linnaeus' taxonomic procedures, Baraya has created a herbarium of a few hundred specimens of artificial plants of largely Chinese production. Looking for artificial plants in some of the most fertile places on earth, Baraya points to current forms of desire in the consumption, use and ownership of nature. By using the format of the herbarium, Baraya allows for comparisons to be made with colonial approaches to the natural environment.
Anecdotes and non-academic findings further feed the imagination of artists whose works are presented in the exhibition, with humour often remaining one of the most effective strategies to approach centuries old histories whose legacy never cease to mark the present.
In the lead to the exhibition, Miler Lagos and Gabriel Sierra will complete a residency at Gasworks and produce new work for Everything has a name, or the potential to be named. Additionally, Gabriel Sierra will develop the exhibition's design and remodel Gasworks' reading area into a permanent feature of the space.
* “Everything has a name, or the potential to be named, but who does the naming when the unknown is falsely assumed not to exist?” is extracted from the text of the voice-over of Matthew Buckingham's film Muhheakantuck—Everything Has a Name, 2003.
Everything has a name, or the potential to be named
"Exhibition | 16.05.2009 - 30.08.2009
Works from the Reinking Collection
Urban Art is everywhere. Unsolicited, it leaves its traces and signs in urban space. It conquers the public sphere with stickers, posters, extensive murals, and stencil graffiti. It’s galleries are the world’s streets. What began as graffiti in the large cities on America’s east coast forty years ago has since experienced a decisive development. Even if the majority of actions continue to be produced anonymously and illegally, it is no longer exclusively a phenomenon associated with youth culture. Many of the protagonists have emancipated themselves from the pictorial language of graffiti writing and experimented with new forms of expression. With their subtle and humorous, occasionally offensive interventions in the urban landscape they attempt to force open familiar visual habits. As a rule, they are not concerned with damaging the urban infrastructure but with participating in a dialogue with the public."
Akay, Akim, Ash, Herbert Baglione, Banksy, Blu, Boxi, Brad Downey, Bronco, Daniel Man, Dave the Chimp, Mark Jenkins, Miss Van, Mode 2, Nug & Pike, Os Gêmeos, Mirko Reisser [DAIM], Shepard Fairey, Space Invader, Swoon, DTagno, Tilt, Vitché, Heiko Zahlmann, Zevs, Zezão
Weserburg: Urban Art
29.04.09 > 28.06.09
Como ciudadanos de la sociedad del bienestar somos grandes consumidores, devoradores de inmensas cantidades de productos que en la mayoría de los casos vienen envueltos, o están protegidos, por embalajes que nos seducen por su imagen. Nuestra voracidad nos induce a abrirlos con impaciencia y a desprendernos de ellos sin prestarles atención… Estamos condenados a usar y tirar, usar y tirar.
Con esta exposición pretendemos rendir homenaje a todos estos objetos y diseños que forman parte de nuestra vida, que elegimos, consumimos y tiramos casi sin darnos cuenta.
La vida de un envase va más allá de su aparición en los estantes del supermercado y de nuestra cocina. Un gran esfuerzo se ha hecho para producirlo. ¿Quién sabe como se produce una lata de Coca-Cola? ¿Qué importancia tiene la gráfica? ¿Cómo es el proceso de reciclaje del envase y embalaje?
Produce consume, recicla... es una exposición que nos muestra en tres grandes episodios una serie de instalaciones y montajes audiovisuales que nos ayudan a comprender las diferentes fases que tiene la vida del envase y embalaje.
DISEÑO DE ENVASE Y EMBALAJE PRODUCE, CONSUME, RECICLA-- Circulo de Bellas Artes
Time as Matter. MACBA Collection. New acquisitions
15/05/2009 - 31/08/2009 MACBA
With a view to showing the works acquired by the MACBA Collection in the last two years, as yet unseen in that context, the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art will devote all of its exhibition space to its collections: the three floors of the Museum, the Capella dels Àngels and the exhibition hall in the Studies and Documentation Centre. The MACBA Collection has not been shown in its entirety since 2005, when some 160 works tracing a chronological reading of the Museum's own collections from the nineteen-fifties to the present day were exhibited on its three floors. Now, the Meyer building joins the two new spaces incorporated in recent years: the Capella (September 2006) and the Documentation Centre (December 2007).
Outstanding among the new works acquired by the Collection which will be shown in the exhibition is a key piece in recent art history: Shapolsky et al. Manhattan Real Estate Holdings, a Real-Time Social System, as of May 1, 1971, by Hans Haacke, acquired jointly with the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. With this new addition, the MACBA initiates a new system of joint acquisitions and common policies with other institutions. Moreover, the exhibition will bring together significant groups of works by Pablo Palazuelo and Gego, deposited in the MACBA by the Pablo Palazuelo Foundation of Madrid and the Gego Foundation, in Caracas.
Important donations will also be included, such as that made by León Ferrari, who has presented the MACBA with five works from the eighties which were exhibited at the 2007 Documenta exhibition in Kassel, as were the magnificent photographic murals Shipwreckand Workers (2005-07), a donation from Alan Sekula.
The exhibition will also feature presentation of the priority lines of interest and research at the MACBA in this new stage, initiated in 2008. While over recent years the Collection has started to gather together documents that function as works of art (Grup de Treball, Tucumán Arde (Tucuman is Burning), works by collectives of artists and activists and so on), this has not implied forgoing the collection of great works by significant artists of our time. Alongside the abundance of fragments, it is important to consolidate nuclei of singular and complementary works that can express discourses on the nature of artistic creation and the historical moment in which we live. The MACBA is ideally placed to build a collection which explains the passing from the 20th to the 21st century, which begins with formulations of the final utopias of the last century and speaks of its crises, and then follows the present century, with its complexities and contradictions.
Exhibition dates: From 15 May to 31 August 2009
Curators: Bartomeu Marí and Antònia Maria Perelló
Production: Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)
Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona