Learning from the Maghreb @ Museo Marino Marini, Villa Romana and déjà.vu

June 30, 2011

Museo Marino Marini, Villa Romana and déjà.vu present

Learning from the Maghreb. How to get rid of unwanted presidents?

featuring Emanuela Ascari, Astrid Auberger, Giulia Cenci, Eva Geatti, Maria Gleu, Ozan Erme Han, Cemile Kaptan, Daniela Spagna Musso, Alia Scalvini, Dominique Vaccaro, Eugenia Vanni, Johannes Wagenknecht. Curated by Lelio Aiello ——  30.06.2011, 6:30 p.m.

In June the artist Thomas Kilpper (Germany) held a workshop titled Learning from Maghreb. How to Get Rid of Unloved Presidents? in Villa Romana, Florence. In line with the past years’ experiences, the work.lab has focused the attention on everyday life and its territorial, social and political implications. It has asked questions about the role of the artist in society and how to address social issues through art. For whom do we produce art? Which is the role of art in the struggle for social emancipation and equality? Could artistic and aesthetic strategies be developed for social change?
The workshop has involved twelve participants in the realization of an artwork in the entrance area of Museo Marino Marini, for which recycled materials were used. The installation was elaborated within the limits of sculpture and architecture through the active participation of the group.

The twelve participants were selected by the committee formed by Lelio Aiello (work.lab curator), Angelika Stepken (Villa Romana Director), Alberto Salvadori (Marino Marini Museum Director), Thomas Kilpper (artist).

work.lab is part of déjà.vu, a project born in Bologna, that has pursued for four years a study that includes internationally renowned artists, students, and public places in a dimension of dialogue and participation.

Villa Romana is a structure founded in Florence in 1905 by German artist Max Klinger which acts as a forum for contemporary art that favors, through exhibitions and various initiatives, a fruitful dialogue with the local reality, and promotes cooperative relationships with interesting partners. Each year it establishes an international award for artists offering a residence for one year.

The Marino Marini Museum is a Foundation that ensures the conservation, the protection, the development and the exposure of Marino Marini’s works to public, and to manage the Museum situated in San Pancrazio’s former church, in Florence. It promotes cultural events and exhibitions dedicated to artists and themes from the twentieth century to the contemporary.

aritmia is a cultural association based in Bologna that promotes artistic experimentation and production most adherent to the contemporary culture.

Imparare dal Maghreb. IT
Museo Marino Marini, Villa Romana e déjà.vu
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Imparare dal Maghreb. Come sbarazzarsi dei presidenti non desiderati?

con Emanuela Ascari, Astrid Auberger, Giulia Cenci, Eva Geatti, Maria Gleu, Ozan Erme Han, Cemile Kaptan, Daniela Spagna Musso, Alia Scalvini, Dominique Vaccaro, Eugenia Vanni, Johannes Wagenknecht. a cura di Lelio Aiello —— 30.06.2011, ore 18:30

Il Museo Marino Marini inaugura giovedì 30 giugno alle ore 18.30 Imparare dal Maghreb. Come Sbarazzarsi dei Presidenti Indesiderati? Un’installazione che coinvolge la zona d’ingresso del Museo, realizzata con materiali di riciclo frutto del laboratorio “work.lab”, a cura di Lelio Aiello, tenutosi a Villa Romana da Thomas Kilpper con dodici giovani artisti italiani e internazionali.

Thomas Kilpper (Stoccarda 1956) residente a Berlino, invitato ad esporre alla Biennale di Venezia nel padiglione Danese, è noto per i suoi lavori che intervengono in specifici contesti sociali e politici. L’artista, borsista nel 2011 a Villa Romana, Firenze, ha tenuto per due settimane, nel mese di giugno, un laboratorio. I dodici partecipanti selezionati da una commissione formata da Lelio Aiello (curatore work.lab), Angelika Stepken (Direttore Villa Romana), Alberto Salvadori (Direttore Museo Marino Marini), e dallo stesoo Kilpper sono: Emanuela Ascari (Maranello, 1977); Astrid Auberger (Berlin, 1986); Giulia Cenci (Cortona, 1988); Eva Geatti (Bologna, 1981); Maria Gleu (Nurberg, 1988); Ozan Emre Han (Istambul, 1985); Cemile Kaptan (Istambul, 1977); Daniela Spagna Musso (Bologna, 1975); Johannes Wagenknecht (Bulgaria, 1987); Alia Scalvini (Desenzano, 1980); Dominique Vaccaro (Bologna, 1980).

In linea con le esperienze degli anni passati il laboratorio ha focalizzato l’attenzione sul quotidiano e sulle sue implicazioni territoriali, sociali e politiche. Ha posto interrogativi sul ruolo dell’artista nei confronti della società e su come affrontare questioni sociali attraverso l’arte. Per chi si produce arte? Quale ruolo ha l’arte nella lotta per l’emancipazione e/o l’uguaglianza sociale? Si possono sviluppare strategie artistico-estetico per il cambiamento sociale?
Il laboratorio ha coinvolto i dodici artisti nella realizzazione di un’opera nell’area d’ingresso del Museo Marino Marini, per la quale sono stati utilizzati materiali di riciclo, elaborando una installazione al confine tra scultura e architettura, che ha preso forma attraverso la partecipazione attiva del gruppo.

Con il sostegno del Museo Marino Marini, di Villa Romana, della Fondazione del Monte di Bologna e Ravenna. Col patrocinio del Comune di Firenze, Media partner Brainstorming art project, UndoNet, Exibart, Edizioni Zero.

work.lab s’inserisce nell’ambito di déjà.vu, il progetto bolognese che da cinque anni porta avanti una ricerca sui linguaggi del contemporaneo che include artisti, studenti, pubblico e luoghi, in una dimensione dialogica e partecipativa.

Villa Romana è una struttura fondata a Firenze nel 1905 dal pittore tedesco Max Klinger e si pone come un forum di arte contemporanea che intesse, attraverso mostre e varie iniziative, un proficuo dialogo con la realtà locale, promuove rapporti di cooperazione con partner interessanti. Istituisce annualmente un premio internazionale per giovani artisti che si concretizza in una residenza di un anno.

aritmia è un associazione culturale con sede a Bologna e promuove le sperimentazione e le produzioni artistiche maggiormente aderenti alla cultura contemporanea.

Con il patrocinio del Comune di Firenze

info: info@dejavu-bo.it – www.dejavu-bo.it – www.museomarinomarini.it – www.villaromana.org
Media partner UnDoNet, Exibart, Edizioni Zero

piazza san pancrazio
50123 firenze, italia
t +39 055 219432

Revolutionary Free Speech – a workshop

June 24 -25, 2011

Thomas Kilpper
Revolutionary Free Speech – a workshop with lectures and performances on the occasion of Speech Matters, a group exhibition curated by Katerina Gregos in the Danish Pavilion at the 54th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia

workshop flyer  [PDF]

Friday, June 24

2:00 – 3:00 pmRegina Wamper„Beyond Freedom of Speech“
3:20 – 5:10 pmJakob Jakobsen„The Cultural Battle in Denmark since 2001“
4:40 – 5:10 pm(salong)noise performance with young artists and students of the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich
5:30 – 6:00 pmReBiennale„Beyond the Venice Biennale“ – social and environmental activities in Venice.
Afterwards there will be food and a party at the social centre „El Morion“ in Calle del Morion, which is run by the ReBiennale network

Saturday, June 25

11:30 am – 12:30 pmGáspár M. Tamás„Beyond Revolution“
2:00 – 3:00 pmSalah Methnani„Beyond Migration“ – The anger of the Maghreb and Arabworld, To what extend belongs „Freedom of speech“ and the „freedom to move“ together…?
4:00 – 4:30 pmThomas Kilppergives a tour in his work
5:00 – 5:30 pm(salong)– noise performance with young artists and students of the Accademy of Fine Arts, Munich

Thomas Kilpper @ Danish Pavilion in Venice

thomas kilpper – installation view – pavilion for revolutionary free speech – giardini, venice 2011
Interview: Thomas Kilpper, Florenz - with Thomas Borchert, DPA (Deutsche Presse Agentur), Kopenhagen
Question: There has been a very strong and almost unanimous negative response from Copenhagen to your installation at the Danish Biennale Pavilion. How did you experience this echo?

Tonight I dreamed of Asta Nielsen, she was a cabaret artist and played the Danish Defence Minister in a television speech: “I have to put my soldiers on alert! What foreign artists have done here is not just an embezzlement of Danish taxpayers’ money, it is a declaration of war on our nation! They have received our money! And their thanks? To criticise us! That has never happened before! For the good of our nation we must reclaim our taxpayers’ money! Our soldiers are ready to defend our nation against this shame!” – Asta was great and in her exaggeration she hit the nail on the head. The excitement about the Danish pavilion in Venice is beyond reason.

Question: What is your actual intention with the installation?

My intention was to create a work of art full of intensity that carries within itself the contradiction of being a romantic pavilion, an open place in the green, a place that invites you to linger, but which then, when you enter it, turns out to be an accumulation of enormous conflict potentials. Need and reality collide. As in real life.

Is it about the abuse of freedom of opinion?

Yes, also, as about current tendencies of censorship, but not only. In this work I focus on the general situation in Europe, where there has been a shift in power in the last 20 years: the once marginal right-wing splinter groups have moved to the centres of power, this development is catastrophic. I try to make this development visible and find an artistic answer to it. My work is a reputation: we must put an end to it, we need a fundamental change, an emancipatory departure. I want an open Europe, where we live together on an equal footing with everyone, including immigrants and refugees from other cultures.

Question: Do you, as the media in Denmark have said, want to encourage visitors to step into portraits of politicians?

That’s nonsense, my work “Pavilion for Revolutionary Free Speech” contains a “Speakers Corner” with a large megaphone that every visitor can use for spontaneous speeches, as well as a floor piece. I transformed the entire floor area, approx. 150 sqm, into a woodcut. Fact is, the visitors can enter this woodcut. That is also the special thing, they stand in the middle of the work of art. At their feet are these figures, which are partly equipped with great power. For a brief moment, the visitors experience a perspective that turns the real power relations upside down. Of course, they can determine for themselves how and where they move and position themselves in the picture. It would be a complete contradiction to my way of thinking to give guidelines here. After the exhibition I intend to make a complete impression of the picture, perhaps the traces of the visitors will be visible on it. So the work continues to develop in the sense of a social sculpture.

Question: What do you think when in Danish newspaper commentaries your work is practically consistently dismissed as “flat provo art”, “art of abuse” or “ridiculous”?

Many artists – including well-known ones – have already been confronted with insults of this kind; I would wish for a sophisticated form of controversy. Whoever perceives my art attentively will notice that it is a call to differentiation. 33 portraits – they all have two eyes, a nose and a mouth and yet they all embody individual persons. Curator Bice Curiger or Paolo Baratta, director of the Venice Biennale, a self-portrait of myself, Thilo Sarrazin, Angela Merkel, Pope Benedict. No one can seriously claim that everyone is in the same position and in the same responsibility. Nevertheless, I contradict everyone, only for different reasons.

In view of the fierceness with which my work is attacked in Denmark, it is remarkable that not a single journalist has contradicted it even on one point: the Pope does not clear up the sexual assaults of his priests, instead he agitates inhumanly against homosexuals, Berlusconi has a secretary of state who receives her post after she says she is proud to be a fascist, the Greek government wants to build a fence to Turkey in order to obstruct migrants’ access to Europe…, the Hungarian government reintroduces the censorship of the media…, for me this is all material for resolute contradiction. I think my work of art is making such high waves because it develops fundamental criticism of political conditions in a prominent place with unusual unambiguity.

Question: Denmark’s Minister of Culture Møller has criticised that only two out of 18 artists participating in the Danish Biennale Pavilion are Danes. Can you understand that?

Malte-Bruns would have turned around in his grave and shouted to the minister: “My son, what you’re saying is a disgrace…” The orientation of the Danish Pavilion across national borders is a groundbreaking step. Of course, this does not mean that there are no outstanding artists in Denmark. Maybe one day they will actually be seen in the German, British and certainly in the Danish pavilion. I don’t define myself by “being German”. I found the hospitality of the Danish Arts Council phenomenal and was very impressed.

Question: Has your image of Denmark changed as a result of the public reactions to your installation? How do you experience the climate of debate there in comparison to Germany?

Yes, I am astonished that there doesn’t seem to be any critical, left-wing media that form their own opinion, research and write in a well-founded way. But that fits into the pan-European picture, which confirms to me how important clear signs of protest and resistance are. I hope, however, that they will soon be there again, the fish that swim against the tide, that start a debate on content and oppose the politics of exclusion, mockery and racism.