Who or What Should We Keep an Eye on in 2014?
the beaten track: Which museums, institutions, artists, curators, or
collections impressed you in 2013 and were not honored sufficiently in
your opinion? Which museums and places are you keeping your eye on in
2014, what are you looking forward to? ArtMag asked artists, curators,
and museum people.
Ute Meta Bauer
Ute Meta Bauer, Director Centre for Contemporary Art, Singapore
Photo: Christine Fenzl
In the last two decades, the art scene in South and Southeast Asia has
undergone rapid changes, largely due to the establishment of new
institutions and the proliferation of biennials in the region. I am
especially looking forward to Jogja XII Equator #2, the second
Equator Biennale. Curated by Agung Hujatnikajennong (Indonesia) and
Sarah Rifky (Egypt), it will engage with the interactions between
Indonesia and the Arab Region.
Another highlight is the current
Singapore Bienniale. It focuses on the art of Southeast Asia, bringing
together 27 curators from around the region to collaborate and work
with artists under the unifying theme If the World Changed. And of
course I am really looking forward to establishing the Center for
Contemporary Art as a laboratory, as a space to experiment with new
formats, and as a hub for the vibrant art scene in Singapore.
Erick Beltrán, Malum
, 2012. © Erick Beltrán, Barcelona
There are a few different places and institutions I feel are worthy of
attention. The Kahlidi Library is a family collection in Jerusalem.
Located on Chain Gate Street not far from the Wailing Wall, this hidden
treasure is easy to overlook. But concealed behind the narrow door is
one of the most important Palestinian libraries and one of the largest
collections of Islamic manuscripts in the Arab world.
opened art space Flora ars+natura in Bogotá, on the other hand, is
unique because it is devoted to the relationship between art and
nature. Workshops, seminars, and grants enable people to reconsider our
anthropocentric ideas. The tireless publishing house Roma Publications
epitomizes what it means to love books. Initiated by Mark Manders and
Roger Willems, it approaches the design of every page with loving care
and distributes books internationally, no matter whether two or 15,000
copies are published, which is so important for many of us.
Shannon Bool, Artist, Berlin. © Shannon Bool
I am impressed by of all of the “Kunstvereine,” or art associations, in
Germany, which take great risks without receiving as much funding and
support as museums. One need only think of the Kunstvereine in Bonn,
Heidelberg, Bremen, Bielefeld, Muenster, Braunschweig, as well as the
many others that are able to give younger artists a platform.
Similarly, the artist-run initiatives in Berlin are extremely important
as they each have their own individual sensibility and fresh energy
that is not directly digested by the art market. A few of my favorites
are the Autocenter, Savvy, and the Grimmuseum.
Marc Brandenburg, Artist, Berlin. © Marc Brandenburg
I used to have a fit when I heard the word “Tanztheater” (dance theater).
I associated it with pathetic, mannered hopping around. But it was this
very art form that gave me a wake-up call, namely a bold piece called Can We Talk About This? by the English group dv8.
It deals with a
delicate issue: Islamic fundamentalism’s attack on freedom of speech
and human rights, religiously motivated suppression of women, and
homophobia. Contemporary art, it appears, is currently contributing
very little that is relevant to social discourse. But dv8 shows that it
is possible to combine education, political involvement, and formal
audacity into great art.
Max Hollein, Director Städel Museum, Shirn Kunsthalle and
Liebighaus Skulpturensammlung, Frankfurt am Main
© Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt/Gaby Gerster
The first successful attempts have been made in several museums including
the MoMA, the Tate, and museums in Germany, but only in the years to
come will it become apparent which cultural institutions are dealing
correctly with ongoing digital development, have developed a truly
alternative offer parallel to real physical museums, and therefore can
attain a leading role in the field of global art reception and
mediation. The approach should not be to merely translate a physical
visit into a virtual one. What is needed, rather, is a novel concept
enabling comprehensive mediation of knowledge and individual access to
the content and contexts of art collections. Going hand in hand with
this, in 2014 we will experience an alternative form of the printed art
book, with all of its potential, in the digital realm. I not only
eagerly await this, butd we want to be an integral and important part
of this process.
Sophie von Olfers
Sophie von Olfers, Curator, Portikus, Frankfurt am Main
Photo: Isabelle Graeff
This year, my work at Portikus has brought me to incredibly exciting places.
One of the highlights was Marfa, Texas, where I realized with
discontent that I had never really understood the work of Donald Judd
before. It’s an impressive remote place. During this trip, I also
became fonder of Los Angeles. A discovery for me there was The Box,
where I saw an exhibition of the artist Barbara T. Smith – early Xerox works from the 1960s.
In Europe, I was very impressed by the
2013 program of La Loge in Brussels. It is a new exhibition institution
in an old Masonic Temple in the middle of the city. The young director
and curator Anne-Claire Schmitz is doing a tremendous job there.
2014, I’m looking forward to two exhibitions in the USA: the
comprehensive Sigmar Polke retrospective in MoMA in New York and the
solo exhibition of Nora Schultz in the Renaissance Society in Chicago.
In my opinion, she is one of the best German artists of my generation.
In addition, the artist Mariana Castillo Deball, who recently received
the Nationalgalerie prize for young art, has realized an ambitious
ethnographic project in Berlin which will incorporate several
institutions. I’m very much looking forward to this.
Tobias Rehberger, Artist, Frankfurt am Main
Sometimes the good is indeed close by. One artist whom I’ve always felt has been
extremely underestimated and who has gone largely unnoticed so far is Holger Wüst. His giant collages filmed in mega slow motion are at once incredibly poetic and critical.
like to see a few of his works together in one larger exhibition and I
wish he had the financial possibilities to realize a few projects that
he cannot under the current circumstances.
Karol Sienkiewicz, Writer and art historian, Vancouver
There’s still not enough focus on the new Ukrainian art scene, I think. And
Ukrainian art is not just Pinchuk with all his money and faux glamour.
There’s a bunch of artists who critically approach the socio-political
realities, both in the Ukraine and outside of it. Artistic infants who
made their first steps during the Orange Revolution of 2004 are
full-fledged artists now.
Take Zhanna Kadyrova for instance, an author
of asphalt sculptures, or Volodymir Kuznetsov, who once exhibited
embroidery of his late grandmother along with his own embroidered
works. Alevtina Kakhidze organizes an art residency in her own house,
and Stas Volyazlovsky shoots poignant home porn. There are many others
there. Whenever they appear, something happens, something flashes,
something’s broken. Insatiable children of the revolution, they have a
certain likability factor, and they are still not getting on. And you
won’t fool them.
Markus Weisbeck, Professor of graphic design, Weimar
A flamboyant highlight of 2013 was the exhibition of a selection of book
works from a private collection by the Italian designer Bruno Munari at
MoMA PS1 in New York. Munari, who was born in 1907, was an exceptional
designer and one of very few who has been able to work in disciplines
ranging from sculpture and product design to typography to book design.
The timelessness of his work is impressive. No matter whether he was
working on formal proportion experiments or illustrated children’s
books, Munari knew better than almost anyone else how to transform the
medium of paper into an object with playful variety.
In 2014, I’m
particularly looking forward to the joint work by the American artists
Mike Bouchet and Paul McCarthy in Portikus in Frankfurt. This
installation, developed specifically for the museum’s architecture,
will open on Valentine’s Day—April 14, 2014.