Adel Abdessemed on “Hope”, interview with Shifting Vision

The title of Adel Abdessemed’s 2011 work Hope references Caspar David Friedrich’s, Die gescheiterte Hoffnung (The Wreck of Hope, 1823–24). Friedreich’s painting expresses the concept of disappointed aspirations, mirroring the tragic results of many migrant journeys. The heavy materiality of Hope — an actual, dense object — contrasts with the recurring media images of mass migration which have flickered in and out of our screens for more than a decade. Adel Abdessemed recently discussed this notion and what moves him to create, in conversation with Shifting Vision. Watch here

Karen Russo’s film Junkerhaus (2019) US premiere at the 59th Ann Arbor Film Festival

Junkerhaus (2019) will be screened as part of Films in Competition 13 on Sat., Mar 27, 2021, at 3:00 PM EST (7pm GMT). The 59th AAFF will be held online launching as a live stream, then available for asynchronous viewing. Ann Arbor is the longest-running film festival of avant-garde and experimental film and video in North America. Thousands of influential filmmakers and artists have exhibited work at the AAFF, including Kenneth Anger, Brian De Palma, Agnes Varda, Andy Warhol, Gus Van Sant, Barbara Hammer, George Lucas, Les Blank, Matthew Buckingham, and James Benning.

David Maljković at Centre de la Gravure et de l’Image imprimée, La Louvière, Belgium

David Maljković is participating in the group exhibition ‘Bye Bye His — Story’ Chapter 5050 at Centre de la Gravure et de l’Image imprimée, La Louvière, Belgium opening on the 27th of March 2021. History is generally defined with the apparition of writing; this valuable instrument allowing to create and transfer culture. However, writing also implies the beginning of a logic of separations and boundaries : its origin goes along in the first place with the need to record the heritage transmission of a patriarchal agrarian society. From this perspective, writing thus seems closely related to the concept of ‘property’.Together with property, writing, as the first intrument to objectify nature, living beings and genders, was at the root of what would – throughout history – lead to conflicts and confrontations between cultures, mythologies, religions and ideologies. The tensions in our contemporary world and its many crises (related to climate, ideologies, energy, culture and migration) urge us to adopt an open attitude, to dispel prejudices, to reconnect and build bridges between individuals, genders, cultures and nations to share knowledge, mental and cultural approaches as well as scientific disciplines, in order to find solutions together. Far from being a literal illustration of these concepts, this exhibition brings together the art works of nearly 60 artists. With a touch of humor and the necessary aesthetic distance, you are being invited to surprising confrontations between art works dealing with (and questioning) various issues such as our relationship to the economy and to the dogma of growth, gender relations and diversity, our relationship to nature and to technology.

Naama Tsabar at The Andy Warhol Museum

The Andy Warhol Museum announces ‘Fantasy America’, opening March 5, 2021. This exhibition invites New York-based artists Nona Faustine, Kambui Olujimi, Pacifico Silano, Naama Tsabar and Chloe Wise to revisit Andy Warhol’s seminal publication, America, and contribute through their own artistic practices. March 5 – August 29, 2021

Simon Fujiwara at Fondazione Prada – Milan

Dvir Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of ‘Who The Bær‘, Simon Fujiwara‘s solo exhibition at Fondazione Prada, Milan on March 2, 2021. For this new site-specific project conceived for the ground floor of the Podium in the Milan premises of Fondazione Prada, Simon Fujiwara introduces audiences to the fairytale world of Who the Bær, an original cartoon character that inhabits a fantasy universe created by the artist. Who the Bær is a cartoon bear without a clear character – “Who” as they are known, seems to have not yet developed a strong personality or instincts, they have no history, defined gender or even sexuality. Who the Bær only knows that they are an image, and they seek to define themselves in a world of other images. The world of Who the Bær is a flat, online world of pictures, yet one full of endless possibilities. Who the Bær can transform or adapt into any image they encounter, taking on the attributes and identities of those depicted within the image – human, animal or even object. In this sense the fantastical world of Who the Bær is a world of freedom: Who can be whoever they wish to be, Who can transcend time and place, Who can be both subject and object. Yet Who the Bær may never be able to overcome their one true challenge – to become anything more than just an image.  

Thomas Hirschhorn at Bozar

The fire that ravaged the historic BOZAR building on 18 January 2021, in the middle of the pandemic, led to more cancellations of concerts, performances, exhibitions and events. In a sign of solidarity, Thomas Hirschhorn, Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens and Galerie Chantal Crousel join forces with BOZAR to exhibit Hirschhorn’s “Spinoza-Car” (2019) in the Horta Hall, fortunately spared by the fire. The display of the work in the Horta Hall could be seen as a catalyst for the collective rebuilding of BOZAR. “Spinoza-Car” was most recently exhibited during Prelude: Melancholy of the Future at MDD.

Miroslaw Balka at Wroclaw Contemporary Museum, Poland

Miroslaw Balka is participating in the group show ‘The night will drive the heart‘ Wroclaw Contemporary Museum, Poland. David Wojnarowicz (1954–1992) commented in one of his films: “I wonder what this little bug does in the world and if this little bug dies, if the world feels it? Or if it dies, does the earth feel it? Does something get misplaced? Do people speak language differently if this bug dies? Does the world get a little lighter in the rotation? If the planet goes a little faster if something like this dies? If some little kid somewhere wakes up with a bad dream because this bug dies? Or if the air that circles the earth goes a little faster if this bug disappears?” Wojnarowicz rose to prominence on the New York art scene in the 1980s, creating works that were both fiercely political and very personal. His practice combined artistic experimentation with statements about his own identity. He gained recognition for his relentless struggle against the hypocritical and intolerant American society, its abuse of power, homophobia and prejudice against the victims of the ongoing AIDS epidemic. While taking a highly subjective starting point in his practice, Wojnarowicz shared poetic, poignant stories that would acquire a universal dimension. The exhibition The Night Will Drive a Heart, largely inspired by David Wojnarowicz’s attitude, weaves a narrative that is intended to show the struggle with what the artist called “the pre-invented world.” The title of the exhibition, borrowed from a poem by Paul Celan, emphasises the show’s balance between hope, love and transgression. In many areas, these are the weapons used by artists to provoke, criticise, rebel or manifest beliefs and feelings. This exhibition is a portrait of a man who perceives art as a potential tool for changing the surrounding reality. He is aware of the need to break free from social oppression, recognise otherness and make room for any lifestyle. In a series of photographs entitled Arthur Rimbaud in New York, Wojnarowicz recalls the figure of the accursed poet – poète maudit. This motif and the reference to the French writer became a manifestation indicating that the artist’s role is to confront and expose the mechanisms of submission and conformism. Perhaps this is the only means to an effective artistic intervention into reality. Similarly, artistic attitudes undermining oppressive social norms, using subversive strategies, creating engaged and relational art are of key importance for the theme of the exhibition. On the other hand, the exhibition tries to show a possible alternative in the form of building a reality based on tolerance and interpersonal relations, without false borders.