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Ai Weiwei, Günther Förg, Albert Oehlen et al.

Helga de Alvear Collection (group show)
Helga de Alvear Foundation Visual Arts Center, Cáceres
26 February – 31 December 2021

Installation view: Ai Weiwei, Decending Light, 2007, Helga de Alvear Foundation Visual Arts Center, Cáceres, 2021, photo credit: Joaquin Cortés / Museum of Contemporary Art Helga de Alvear
Installation view: Ai Weiwei, Decending Light, 2007, Helga de Alvear Foundation Visual Arts Center, Cáceres, 2021, photo credit: Joaquin Cortés / Museum of Contemporary Art Helga de Alvear

The exhibition showcases nearly 150 works from the Helga de Alvear Collection, including paintings, photographs, drawings, sculptures and installations by over 100 artists across generations.

Encompassing approximately 3000 square meters of exhibition space, distributed over four levels, this exhibition manifests the museum's purpose of facilitating a plurality of art experiences.


Helga de Alvear Foundation


Additional:

Ai Weiwei

1000 Years of Joy and Sorrows (Talk)
Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London
Friday, 29 October, 8.30pm

© Ai Weiwei Studio
© Ai Weiwei Studio

Join Ai Weiwei for a global exclusive conversation about his widely anticipated memoir 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows. This book tells a century-long tale of China through the story of his own tumultuous life and that of his father, Ai Qing, the nation’s most celebrated poet. This event will take place at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall on Friday, 29 October at 8.30pm.

From his family’s banishment during the Cultural Revolution to the difficult decision to leave them to study art in America, and his subsequent rise from artistic unknown to art world superstar and international human rights activist, Ai discusses an extraordinary life lived under extraordinary circumstances. He also reflects on the myriad forces that have shaped modern China and the urgent need to protect freedom of expression.

Ai Weiwei’s sculptures and installations have been viewed by millions around the globe, and his architectural achievements include helping to design the iconic Bird’s Nest Olympic Stadium in Beijing. His political activism has long made him a target of the Chinese authorities, which culminated in months of secret detention without charge in 2011.

Book your ticket here


Albert Oehlen

Albert Oehlen x Sven-Åke Johansson: Rhythm Ace & Slingerland

Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin is pleased to announce Rhythm Ace & Slingerland, which was recorded during a concert conceived by Albert Oehlen with percussionist Sven-Åke Johansson at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg in May 2019.

This new album, a co-production by NI VU NI CONNU and Galerie Max Hetzler, with liner notes by Max Dax is one of numerous collaborations between longstanding friends Oehlen and Johansson, following from their 2003 album Shotgun Wedding, also featuring Mayo Thompson of Red Krayola. This album explores how art infuences music and vice versa – a question often explored in Oehlen’s work.

The idea originated from Johansson’s visit to the artist’s studio in 2018. Oehlen showed the drummer his collection of rhythm machines, American and Japanese, from the 1960s onwards. Oehlen explains “I collect old drum machines because I fnd the contradiction fascinating that you collect devices that can do as little as possible. A drum machine is more attractive to me the more limited it is.”

Johansson responds to Oehlen’s musings and collection by creating the performance for Rhythm Ace & Slingerland. Johansson says of the performance “the situation was an extension of my being and also that of this device. It is a win for both: man and machine. So the experiment was successful.”

This record is available on our publications website.


Ai Weiwei

In Search of Humanity (solo show)
Albertina Modern, Vienna
16 March – 26 June 2022

Image: Ai Weiwei, Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn, 1995, courtesy of the artist, private collection
Image: Ai Weiwei, Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn, 1995, courtesy of the artist, private collection

The Albertina Modern presents the first comprehensive museum exhibition in Vienna dedicated to Ai Weiwei, an outstanding artistic voice of our time, a ceaseless activist, a proud critic of authoritarian systems and a truthful poet. In Search of Humanity extensively examines the aspect of humanity and artistic responsibility within Ai Weiwei’s oeuvre.

The exhibition highlights concepts such as: surveillance, censorship, human rights, freedom of expression, human displacement, radical responsibility, the power of beauty and the truth of poetry. Guided through these lines of thought the exhibition offers new tools to understand the relevance of Ai Weiwei’s artistic language, which comprises a wide array of art historical paradigms (such as the readymade) alongside more radical activist strategies, all of which are devoted to fathom the extremes of the contemporary human condition on a global scale. An impressive selection of works from the artist’s over three-decade career shall shed a light on Ai Weiwei as a preeminent figure within the contemporary art world.

Albertina Modern


Ai Weiwei

Intertwine. Pequi Tree, Roots, and Human Figures (solo show)
Serralves Museum, Porto
23 July 2021 – 9 July 2022

Image: Ai Weiwei,
Image: Ai Weiwei, "Mutuophagia", 2018, © Ai Weiwei Studio

At Serralves Ai Weiwei presents a body of work that reflects his interest in the environment and his concerns regarding the deforestation of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Ai’s sculptures represent what remains of once green giants and are referents for the present consequences of the rapacious conversion of the natural environment. As we contemplate these roots, we understand the value of forests, the lungs of the world that provide the oxygen we need to breathe. To preserve these rapidly dwindling resources is a critical issue for the future of people on Earth. In the Serralves Park we will see for the first time Pequi Tree, a 32-meter-high iron tree that stands witness to the disappearance of the harmonious co-existence between human beings and nature; moulded in Brazil, cast in China, and now installed in the Park, this work went from wood to metal and from mortal to eternal as a piece of evidence and a monument.

Serralves Museum


Ai Weiwei

Rapture (solo show)
Cordoaria Nacional, Lisbon
4 June – 28 November 2021

Installation view: Cordoaria Nacional, Lisbon, 2021, © Ai Weiwei Studio
Installation view: Cordoaria Nacional, Lisbon, 2021, © Ai Weiwei Studio

Ai Weiwei, the contemporary artist and Chinese activist, comes to Portugal for the first time with an unprecedented exhibition: Rapture, to be held at Cordoaria Nacional.

Elected the most popular artist in the world in 2020 by The Art Newspaper, Ai Weiwei is recognized worldwide for his strong political engagement and for connecting art to social and human rights issues.

Curated by the Brazilian Marcello Dantas, the exhibition will present some of the artist's most iconic works, as well as original works produced in Portugal that explore revisited traditional techniques.

Cordoaria Nacional


Ai Weiwei et al.

Legacies of Exchange: Chinese Contemporary Art from the Yuz Foundation (group show)
Resnick Pavilion, LACMA, Los Angeles
4 July 2021 – 13 March 2022

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) presents Legacies of Exchange: Chinese Contemporary Art from the Yuz Foundation. Featuring Ai Weiwei, Huang Yong Ping, Wang Guangyi, Xu Bing, and more, the exhibition brings together 20 works of Chinese contemporary art created by 15 artists in response to international trade, political conflict, and global artistic exchange. Drawn from Yuz Foundation’s esteemed collection of contemporary art, Legacies of Exchange spotlights encounters, exchanges, and collisions between China and the West. This exhibition is part of LACMA’s ongoing collaboration with Yuz Museum in Shanghai, China and Qatar Museums in Doha, a joint effort to create exhibitions and to provide the museums with greater access to a more diverse collection of artworks.

LACMA


Ai Weiwei

1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows. A Memoir (publication)

In his widely anticipated memoir, Ai Weiwei tells a century-long epic tale of China through the story of his own extraordinary life and the legacy of his father, Ai Qing, the nation’s most celebrated poet. At once ambitious and intimate, 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows offers a deep understanding of the myriad forces that have shaped modern China, and serves as a timely reminder of the urgent need to protect freedom of expression.

Pre-Order it here.


Albert Oehlen

Collaboration with "Talk About Lebanon"

Image © Albert Oehlen
Image © Albert Oehlen

Galerie Max Hetzler is pleased to team up with "Talk About Lebanon" in the wake of the fatal explosion in Beirut on 4 August 2020. The first in a series of collaborations is a T-shirt featuring a painting by Albert Oehlen from his iconic "Baumbilder" (Tree Paintings) series. All proceeds from the sale will go towards the NGO "Live Love Beirut" whose mission is to provide assistance to those who cannot afford to repair their homes after the explosion.

The T-shirt can be purchased at Talkaboutlebanon.co.uk

Talk about Lebanon


Ai Weiwei

Coronation (2020) (film)

“Coronation” (2020) is a documentary film about the lockdown in Wuhan, China, during the Covid-19 outbreak in the spring of 2020.

On December 31, 2019, the first novel coronavirus case was confirmed in Wuhan. Chinese officials repeatedly denied that human-to-human transmission was possible, concealed the number of diagnosed patients, and punished medical staff for disclosing information about the epidemic. On January 23, 2019, Wuhan was placed under a city-wide lockdown. Covid-19 has become a global pandemic, with over 17 million people infected and over 670,000 deaths.

“Coronation” examines the political specter of Chinese state control from the first to the last day of the Wuhan lockdown. The film records the state’s brutally efficient, militarized response to control the virus. Sprawling emergency field hospitals were erected in a matter of days, 40,000 medical workers were bused in from all over China, and the city’s residents were sealed into their homes.

The film takes us into the heart of these temporary hospitals and ICU wards, showing the entire process of diagnosis and treatment. Patients and their families are interviewed, reflecting their thinking about the pandemic and expressing anger and confusion over the states’ callous restriction of their liberties. The film also takes us into the private lives of individuals living under the lockdown: a couple attempt to return to their home in Wuhan, a courier delivers essentials to residents barred from leaving their community, an emergency construction worker stuck in limbo and forced to live out of his car, a former party cadre and her son debate the function of the media and the party’s response to the outbreak, a grieving son navigates the bureaucracy of retrieving his father's ashes.

China has assumed the status of superpower on the global stage, yet it remains poorly understood by other nations. Through the lens of the pandemic, “Coronation” clearly depicts the Chinese crisis management and social control machine—through surveillance, ideological brainwashing, and brute determination to control every aspect of society. The film shows the changes that took place in a city and in individual space under the impact of the virus; it illustrates the value of individual life in the political environment, reflecting on the difficulties we face as individuals and countries in the context of globalization. Ultimately, the result is a society lacking trust, transparency, and respect for humanity. Despite the impressive scale and speed of the Wuhan lockdown, we face a more existential question: can civilization survive without humanity? Can nations rely on one another without transparency or trust?

Ai Weiwei directed, produced, and completed post-production remotely in Europe. The filming was done by ordinary citizens living in Wuhan.

Ai Weiwei Films


Albert Oehlen et al.

Writing the History of the Future (The ZKM Collection) (group show)
ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medien Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe
23 February 2019 – 9 January 2022

Das 30jährige Bestehen des ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medien Karlsruhe ist der Anlass, mit seiner Sammlung, die als eine der wichtigsten Medienkunstsammlungen der Welt gilt, die Geschichte der Kunst im 20. und 21. Jahrhundert neu zu erzählen. Mit über 500 Objekten zeigt die Ausstellung erstmals die Vielfalt der Künste im medialen Wandel. Sie umfasst Fotografie, Grafik, Malerei und Skulptur ebenso wie computerbasierte Werke, Film, Holografie, Kinetische Kunst, Op-Art, Sound Art, visuelle Poesie und Videokunst.

Das 20. Jahrhundert erlebte eine radikale Transformation des Bildes durch die apparativen Medien. Beginnend mit dem Skandal der Fotografie, der darin bestand, dass Bilder sich quasi selbst herstellen, haben die Medien den „Gesamtcharakter der Kunst verändert“ (Walter Benjamin). Fotografie, Film, Fernsehen, Video, Computer und Internet haben das Verhältnis von Künstler, Werk und Betrachter sowie unsere Vorstellung des Schöpferischen neu bestimmt. Die Ausstellung Writing the History of the Future macht beispielhaft den Wandel der Kunst angesichts der sich verändernden apparativen Produktions-, Rezeptions- und Distributionstechnologien deutlich. Sie zeigt auch, wie KünstlerInnen mediale und soziale Praktiken vorwegnehmen, die erst Jahre später für die gesamte Gesellschaft selbstverständlich werden. Sie schreiben, wie der Titel der Ausstellung sagt, die Geschichte der Zukunft.

Durch die alle Gattungen und Medien übergreifende Perspektive eröffnet die Ausstellung Writing the History of the Future auf über 6.000 qm einen neuen Blick auf die Kunst des 20. und 21. Jahrhunderts. Diese Epoche rasanten technologischen Wandels durch elektronische und digitale Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologien leitete eine nie gekannte Demokratisierung von Kunst und Kultur ein. Writing the History of the Future macht nachvollziehbar, wie das Versprechen der Fotografie, die Abbildung der Welt zu individualisieren, in den 1960er-Jahren von den AktivistInnen der Videokunst nochmals eingelöst wurde. Mit der plötzlich verfügbaren Videotechnik bildeten sie Welten ab, die weder im Fernsehen noch von der Filmindustrie gezeigt wurden und entwickelten eine Ästhetik, die noch heute unsere visuelle Kultur beeinflusst. Die Erweiterung der technischen Trägermedien des Bildes, vom Tafelbild zum Bildschirm, hat die Kunst in einer neuen visuellen Kultur aufgelöst, Massenkultur und Hochkultur verschränkt. Mit der Verbreitung der Computertechnik in den 1950er-Jahren wandelte sich unsere Vorstellung des Schöpferischen, begann die Automatisierung und Algorithmisierung der Künste. Der zeichenverarbeitende Apparat provozierte Diskussionen wie sie heute im Hinblick auf die Künstliche Intelligenz aufs Neue geführt werden. Elektronische Medien veränderten auch die Wahrnehmung und die Erzeugung des Klangs im 20. Jahrhunderts. Bisher illegitime Klänge und Geräusche wurden zu einem Medium der bildenden Kunst, zur Sound Art.

Die Ausstellung Writing the History of the Future macht deutlich, wie grundlegend Apparate das Verhältnis zum Kunstwerk verändert haben – sowohl im Hinblick auf die Produktion als auch auf die Rezeption. Die Erzeugung von Kunst konzentriert sich nicht mehr allein auf das Subjekt des Künstlers bzw. der Künstlerin, sondern inkludiert diverse Aktanten, seien es Apparate oder Menschen. Durch die Entwicklung der partizipativen, interaktiven und performativen Künste, von bewegten Bildern zu den bewegten BetrachterInnen, entstehen seit den 1960er- Jahren offene Werke, welche die BesucherInnen einer Ausstellung nicht allein zum Betrachten, sondern zum Handeln auffordern.

Die Sammlungspräsentation, für die aus 9.500 Werken ausgewählt wurde, zeichnet sich durch ihre gattungsüberschreitende Inszenierung aus. Sie zeigt den Wandel der Gattung Porträt, der Darstellung des Körpers, des Landschaftsbildes und der Architektur vom Gemälde zur interaktiven Computerinstallation. Sie zeigt die Aktualisierung des Urmediums Schrift sowie der Kunst als Format des kollektiven und individuellen Gedächtnisses unter den Bedingungen der Informationstechnologie. Die Ausstellung präsentiert somit eine Kunst radikaler Zeitgenossenschaft, d.h. eine Kunst, in der KünstlerInnen die Gegenwart mit den technischen Medien ihrer Zeit reflektieren. Sie bietet eine einmalige Gelegenheit, mit zum Teil raumgreifenden Installationen und zahlreichen Inkunablen der Medienkunst, einen umfassenden Überblick über die eigentliche Entwicklung der Kunst im 20. Jahrhundert jenseits von Malerei und Skulptur zu gewinnen.

Writing the History of the Future ist nicht allein eine Sammlung von Objekten, sondern auch eine Versammlung von Subjekten. Lounges laden ein, sich zusammenzusetzen und über das Gesehene mit Freunden und Familie auszutauschen, im Ackerspace treffen sich Interessierte zu Workshops und Seminaren. Im BÄM-Lab, dem Maker-Space des ZKM wird gemeinsam experimentiert.

Die Ausstellung ist ein Erlebnis- und Denkraum, in dem das Publikum angeregt wird, an der Geschichte der Zukunft mitzuschreiben.

ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medien Karlsruhe