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Mounir Fatmi in two pavilions for the 57th Venice Biennale


Mounir Fatmi is currently exhibiting in two pavilions for the 57th Venice Biennale.

The Absence of Paths,  the first Tunisian Pavilion in Venice since 1958, uses performance and installation staged in different venues across Venice, as well as an interactive online platform featuring text, video, audio, recipes, and photography, to generate further inquiry into issues surrounding human migration. For the exhibition, Mounir Fatmi presents a series of photos from The Exile Pavilion, a traveling project he launched in 2016 that inverts the established structures of temporary exhibitions, questioning ideas of nationhood, exile and various forms of displacement. Curated by Lina Lazaar and commissioned by The Presidency of the Tunisian Republic and the Tunisian Ministry of Cultural Affairs, The Absence of Paths collaborated with MOAS, the Migrant Offshore Aid Station, a charity that has helped approximately 35,000 people, mostly refugees escaping violence, persecution, and hardship. 

  History is Not Mine,  2013, single-channel video with sound, 5 min. 

History is Not Mine, 2013, single-channel video with sound, 5 min. 

Fatmi's video, History Is Not Mine, 2013, will be exhibited in the NSK-State Pavilion, a unique, independent pavilion that aims to rethink what a contemporary state can be, offering an open form of citizenship which contrasts with that generated by spatially defined states. In the video, 'History is not mine', a man repeatedly strikes the keys of a typewriter with hammers, the red ribbon streaming across the white paper like a stream of blood against the otherwise black and white imagery. The noise and action become increasingly disturbing, at times violent, calling into question not only the difficulties of language and communication but the danger in not learning from history, which too often repeats itself, particularly when it comes to land, territory, and nationhood. NSK State in Time was founded by the artist collective Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK) in 1992. NSK State Pavilion will take place at Ca'Tron, Iuav University, Santa Croce 1957/Calle del Forno 1960, from May 11-July 15, 2017.


  No Gravity , 2017 

No Gravity, 2017 

James Clar's Solo Exhibition "DISTANT LIGHTS" opens with a reception on September 30 from 5-8PM at a STRONGROOM pop-up gallery at 188 Grand Street in Newburgh, NY. James will give an artist talk starting at 5:30PM.

Clar’s work uses controlled light and sculptural light systems in order to analyze and observe the effects of media and technology on our perception of reality, time, and space. Using various forms of technology as his medium, he critiques their modifying effects on human behavior and ability to enhance or inhibit communication. 

For his Strongroom installation, James looks to the connection between the spiritual or otherworldly in relationship to our increasingly digital reality. The exhibition includes a central light piece that draws the viewer to a door leading nowhere, with shadows emanating from below. Titled “Nobody’s home,” it references a larger existential question of whether someone or something is “home”. With no tangible form to grasp, instead we are presented with a ghostly presence and a non-existent space. 

"DISTANT LIGHTS" will be open for public hours Sundays through October 22nd, 12-5 PM (October 1, 8, 15, 22).


Frieze Projects 2017: Lucy + Jorge Orta

Lucy + Jorge Orta will participate in the 2017 edition of Frieze Projects, a non-profit program of of new artist commissions at Frieze London with a new installation of Antarctica World Passport Bureau. Curated by Raphael Gygax (Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich), this year's Frieze Projects includes 11 artists and 7 new artworks spanning literature, theater, design and installation, all with a strong performative streak. 

"The Antarctica World Passport Delivery Bureau is a public engagement artwork that invites to visitors to register for the Antarctica World Passport, and become members of the ever-growing Antarctica World community. During exhibitions of the artists’ work, customs officers from around the world distribute facsimile passports to passers-by. With over 50,000 passports now in circulation, the Antarctica World Passport embodies the notion of Operational Aesthetics, as its ambition is to mobilize the citizens of the world to protect the Antarctic, to take action against the disaterous effects of global warming, and to strive for peace.

Michael Rakowitz Artist Talk, Book Signing, & Enemy Kitchen

To coincide with the opening day of his first US survey exhibition at MCA ChicagoBackstroke of the WestMichael Rakowitz will join MCA Senior Manilow Curator Omar Kholeif for an in-depth artist discussion on Saturday, September 16, 2017 from 3PM to 4PM.

 Michael Rakowitz,  May the Arrogant Not Prevail , 2010. Found Arabic packaging and newspapers, glue, cardboard, and wood; 235 ¼ x 194 ¼ x 37 ½ in. (597.5 x 493.4 x 95.3 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Marshall Field’s by exchange, 2015.4 Image courtesy of the artist and Rhona Hoffman Gallery

Michael Rakowitz, May the Arrogant Not Prevail, 2010. Found Arabic packaging and newspapers, glue, cardboard, and wood; 235 ¼ x 194 ¼ x 37 ½ in. (597.5 x 493.4 x 95.3 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Marshall Field’s by exchange, 2015.4 Image courtesy of the artist and Rhona Hoffman Gallery

On Sunday, September 17, from 3:15PM to 4PM, Michael Rakowitz will sign copies of his new MCA catalogue Michael Rakowitz: Backstroke of the West at Expo Chicago, booth #419 (Rhona Hoffman Gallery). The catalogue is the first major publication of the acclaimed Iraqi-American artist's work.

Catalogue_Backstroke of the West.jpg

Michael Rakowitz's Enemy Kitchen "explores the connections between hostility and hospitality as veterans of the Iraq War serve Iraqi recipes to the public through a retrofitted food truck on the plaza." The project will be open until the food runs out on the following days:

Sat, Sep 16, 2017, 2:00 pm    
Fri, Sep 22, 2017, 6:00 pm    
Sun, Oct 1, 2017, 2:00 pm    
Fri, Oct 6, 2017, 6:00 pm    
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 12:00 pm 

Meals are free but limited

 Michael Rakowitz,  Enemies and Kitchens , 2012. Mixed media installation. Courtesy of the artist, Lombard Freid Projects, the Smart Museum of Art, and Rhona Hoffman Gallery

Michael Rakowitz, Enemies and Kitchens, 2012. Mixed media installation. Courtesy of the artist, Lombard Freid Projects, the Smart Museum of Art, and Rhona Hoffman Gallery

Michael Rakowitz SURVEY EXHIBITION to Open at MCA Chicago

"Michael Rakowitz's first US museum survey features early works, a new commission, and major installations, such as Enemy Kitchen (2003–ongoing), a pop-up food truck that serves Iraqi dishes made from recipes that Rakowitz and his mother collected through workshops and extensive community liaisons. Also on view are Spoils (2011), a project that saw the artist serve Iraqi date syrup and venison on Saddam Hussein’s very own china, and The invisible enemy should not exist (2007–ongoing), a lifelong project to fabricate at full scale every single item looted from the Iraqi National Museum. The exhibition also includes a portion of Rakowitz’s commission for Documenta 13, What Dust Will Rise? (2012), for which he worked with stone carvers to re-create items from the State Library of Hesse-Kassel that were lost in the 1941 fire of the Fridericianum, using stone quarried from the ruins of sixth-century sandstone Buddhas destroyed by the Taliban in 2001.

The title of the exhibition, Backstroke of the West, is a mistranslation of Revenge of the Sith, which was used for a Chinese bootleg version of the film and likely gleaned from a program such as Google Translate. The title speaks to Rakowitz's interest in translation as a means of traversing social and political boundaries as well as how popular culture can be used to access shared cultural narratives.

Collectively, this exhibition tells a story of restitution and reconstitution and positions Rakowitz as one of the most important artists of our time.

The exhibition is organized by Omar Kholeif, Manilow Senior Curator and Director of Global Initiatives at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. It is presented in the Bergman Family Gallery on the museum’s second floor."

For more information, click here