alcramer [Alfredo Cramerotti]

IDEAL-TYPES [Chapter 2]

Posted in nEws and rEleases, shortEssays/cortiSaggi [English/Italian] by alcramer on May 2, 2019

Curated by Alfredo Cramerotti and Elsa Barbieri

Marignana Arte
Venice, from 7 May to 7 September 2019



Opening: Tuesday, 7 May, 5:00 – 10:00 pm
Special openings: from Wednesday 8 to Sunday 12 May, 10:00 am – 8:00 pm

 

Invitation Card

Inspired by Max Weber’s theory, whereby for studying a social action without reducing its particularities to a collection of individual events we must start from the perception that the individual has of the real world, this ongoing exhibition project is designed as a speculative tool which makes possible to measure reality: the ideal-type (Idealtypus).
Athanasios Argianas, Maurizio Donzelli, Nancy Genn, Artur Lescher, James Lewis, Alice Pedroletti, Antonio Scaccabarozzi, and Verónica Vázquez, are the eight international artists invited to formulate an artistic language that visually translates the thought relationships when trying to set out a concept; they do so through the dialogue between their respective art works, and with gallery spaces. A methodological paradigm that is never traceable empirically in its conceptual purity, the ideal-type is intended as a utopia that shares characteristics with real objects, even if it does not correspond to any specific example. With it, the materiality of existence must be compared in order to illustrate the
significant elements of its empirical content.

It is thus a matter of adopting something imaginary or intangible to better understand the concrete. The concept does not copy real life but underlines its most intrinsic connections. Without any expectation of objectivity, the artists build a kind of seductive, meticulous and inconsistent verisimilitude to verify empirically. By isolating a particular phenomenon from the complex of interactions, and catching uniform elements in the repetition of the same, each one proceeds in structuring the ideal-type that operates as a unilateral and rational measuring device of reality.

The artworks on display question the viewers by encouraging them to develop always new readings on the being within a visual and spatial conversation. The three wall low reliefs from the series “Clay Pressings” (2016-18) by Athanasios Argianas suggest a liminal space where systems and mechanisms freely swap with intuition. The tapestry “Angelicato” (2014) by Maurizio Donzelli is the result of in-depth research about the manipulation of the image. Works on paper by Nancy Genn, “Construct Blu I” (2003),
“Construct Yellow” (2003) and “Rainbars 6” (2011), are earthy, solid, layered, full of spirituality. Their pure and raw material fits in the unique variations of colours and textures, releasing a sharp and delicate lyricism. The steel sculpture “Sem Título, Da Série Nexus #2” (2013) by Artur Lescher is composed of single pieces in suspension, which highlight their volume and deny the action of the force of gravity. The wood,
paint, resin and lead work by James Lewis, “Diseases of Warm Lands (Rhombus)” (2018), corresponds to an extinct star constellation and is a visual monument to the impossibility of defining the parameters of human understanding and endeavours. “Study for a sculpture” (2016-19) by Alice Pedroletti is a series of photographs and paper sculptures, accompanied by sketches, that recreate a hypothetical landscape. They are fragile and temporary prototypes that constitute a city inspired by organic shapes. The works from the series “Essenziali” (1990-95) by Antonio Scaccabarozzi are self-representations of the pictorial body; free strokes of pure colour, wide, oblique, accurate and strong, without any support. Result of the interpretation of the practise of assemblage and contemporary weaving, “De la série tapices con metales” (2016), “Escultura en acero I” (2016), and “Sin Título” (2018) by Verónica Vázquez express the reperforming value of the material


 

Artists:
Athanasios Argianas (1976, Athens, Greece; lives and works in London)
Maurizio Donzelli (1958, Brescia, Italy; lives and works in Brescia)
Nancy Genn (1930, San Francisco, United States; lives and works in San Francisco)
Artur Lescher (1962, São Paulo, Brazil; lives and works in São Paulo)
James Lewis (1986, London, England; lives and works in Vienna)
Alice Pedroletti (1978, Milan, Italy; lives and works in Milan)
Antonio Scaccabarozzi (1936 – 2010, Lecco, Italy)
Verónica Vázquez (1970, Treinta y Tres, Uruguay; lives and works in Uruguay)

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Curatorial School Malta | Guest Speaker: Alfredo Cramerotti: Curating and Contemporary Art as Social Practices

Posted in nEws and rEleases, shortEssays/cortiSaggi [English/Italian] by alcramer on September 3, 2018

Curatorial School Malta

September 2018

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Alfredo Cramerotti: Curating and Contemporary Art as Social Practices

What I do as a curator is to develop and present statements through the combination of works of art and/or artistic practices that, in my view, ‘connect the dots’ about this or that social, cultural, political or aesthetics matter.

In this context, I have found myself working in a pattern of modes. Sometimes taking a more authorial role and developing concepts and frameworks, some others becoming a conduit for ideas not mine, but translated and transformed by the visual authors. Some other times, facilitating what was already there, and simply heightening the impact or making sure the audience’s experience was in focus. Thus, as a curator, the work undertaken is less about the “what” and more about the “how”.

 

PART ONE

Keynote: “Conditional Readiness” The Curator and Artist as Social Shaper.

Abstract:

The main idea to discuss is that what a cultural practice does through the audience’s simultaneous experiences shifts from what is represented and originally intended, to a relational-driven form of interaction. This contact stabilizes, only temporarily, a form of mediation that triggers provisional meaning.

We can roughly equate the agency of art with being prepared for something, a “conditional readiness” (MacKay 1969), which implies that one’s understanding of a message is not limited to what to do (in response to it), but is expanded to include what one is ready to do if certain circumstances arise; more an unconscious preparation for an exploration rather than a conscious setting off for a journey.

Meaning is produced neither by the ‘sender’ nor by the ‘receiver’ of the message; it is formed by a readiness to relate to external factors, in terms of ‘performability.’ The agency of art (both in its making and its curating state) therefore arises less from the act of contextualizing and interpreting what we see, and more from the internalized suggestions for possible actions to take; what this performance fosters is a context where we interpret and ‘make sense’ of artistic acts by what they do, the functional aspect.

Examples include a presentation of a few artistic and/or curatorial practices delivered by Cramerotti such as the Maldives Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennial 2013 and MOSTYN’s History Series Audience Development Programme 2014-17; and artist’s work such as that of Fernando Garcia-Dory, Sarah Pierce, Wochenklausur, the Craftivism movement initiated by Sarah Corbett, Assemble, and others.

 

PART TWO

Workshop: The Social, Humanitarian, Historical, Scientific as Art.

Day 1 – Participants are invited to develop and present to the group their answers to a set of questions, such as: What does beauty has to do with, for instance, climate change, migration, mental or physical conditions? What is our understanding of aesthetics in relation to ethics? How do we tackle social themes that lend themselves awkwardly to a presentation in the (critical) visual realm?

Day 2 – Starting with case studies such as the Maldives Pavilion and other experiences by the participants, the group will relate their respective projects and highlight what worked and what did not, and why.

Day 3 & Day 4– Based on the brief proposals sent in advance, participants are invited to present to the group their next project plan (exhibition, residency, online platform, public programme, architectural or design commission, educational initiative, symposium, workshop, etc.). This will be a practical, project management-focused ‘tool kit’ that can be used to refine their specific plans.

Day 5 – Alternative scenarios: Could each participant’s project be produced somehow else? Is its digital platform following the concept and the execution, or preceding it? Is the range of artworks / artists / partners / speakers leading to unexplored territories or consolidating an prefigured approach?

More information here.

Forewords | Hyperimages and Hyperimaging

Posted in nEws and rEleases, shortEssays/cortiSaggi [English/Italian] by alcramer on August 2, 2018

alfredo book cover

This collection of short essays sometimes dances around issues and takes an oblique approach to the subject of the hyperimage, nevertheless serving to augment our understanding of the idea. What is unique about this book is thirty five pieces of writing, now approaching one theme, which, due to the nature of the commissioning of the individual texts, all enter the subject from different points, with differing influences and different spatial/temporal considerations.

Not only has the accumulation of the texts taken place over time, traversing projects, artists and locations; it has also occurred in tandem with technological developments which have served to shape much of our activity, both quotidian and also professionally as cultural producers.

Forms of Tension

Posted in nEws and rEleases, shortEssays/cortiSaggi [English/Italian] by alcramer on June 1, 2018

Ewa Axelrad // Profile of the Artist

By Alfredo Cramerotti

THE SEEN

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Download the full Artist Profile here

 

 

Press coverage for MOSTYN exhibitions: Irma Blank and Laura Reeves

Posted in nEws and rEleases, shortEssays/cortiSaggi [English/Italian] by alcramer on July 10, 2016

 

Roven n°12: Les Rituels du dessin: SUR LE RITUEL. CINQ QUESTIONS À IRMA BLANK

by Alfredo Cramerotti, Irma Blank, Joana Neves [Ed.]

15 March 2016

 

Daily Post: What’s On / Q&A

20 February 2015

Laura Reeves

Le Maldive a Venezia. Cronaca di un debutto – interview [Italian]

Posted in nEws and rEleases, shortEssays/cortiSaggi [English/Italian] by alcramer on August 16, 2013

Espoarte.com

Intervista a CAMILLA BOEMIO e ALFREDO CRAMEROTTI

5 Luglio 2013

di Francesca Di Giorgio

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Regional arts venues: less out in the sticks, more out on a limb

Posted in nEws and rEleases, shortEssays/cortiSaggi [English/Italian] by alcramer on July 14, 2013

Running an arts space outside the city is challenging but, once you realise the range of your potential audience, rewarding too

Guardian Professional
5 July 2013

by Alfredo Cramerotti
Sliced Eye, Rubiks Cube, Flawless Skin, Cardiac Muscle Cell, Orion Nebula-M42, Snow Crystal, 2012

MOSTYN works to find imaginative solutions that draw in national and international visitors (even journalists) while retaining strong links with their local audience. Pictured work by Nikolaus Schletterer. Photograph: Nikolaus Schletterer/MOSTYN

 

As anyone who has worked in the sector will tell you, running an arts space outside major cities is a hugely rewarding experience, not least because of the challenges that arise from reaching out to an audience in ways that can’t rely on a ready-made critical mass of potential visitors in the immediate area.

MOSTYN is Wales‘ largest gallery dedicated to contemporary art with an audience of roughly 80,000 per year, but being located in the 18,000-strong Victorian sea town of Llandudno and surrounded by a predominately rural area brings with it issues that an equivalent metropolitan space might not need to consider so carefully.

Another part of the challenge is encouraging journalists to visit. The three hours direct train from central London is less an issue than the bias towards reviews focusing on galleries and events in the bigger cities. Obviously there is a responsibility for media to cover stories of interest to as wide an audience as possible, but responses range from “I don’t know where I’d put it” (the same review pages you would put any show on) to “we’re fully booked up covering a major event”.

It’s not that these exhibitions or events don’t warrant media attention, but major institutions and blockbuster events hardly need the publicity to encourage public interest.

So, how are we tackling these issues? Like many other organisations reliant on quality of programming, audience engagement, media coverage and visits to secure funding, we are working on finding imaginative solutions that draw in national and international visitors (even journalists) while retaining strong links with our local audience.

A key element of this is an ambitious curatorial programme featuring world known artists from Wolfgang Tillmans to Elizabeth Peyton. We’ve also initiated a major international exhibition programme including co-curating this year’s Wales in Venice show at the 55th Venice Biennale with Oriel Davies Gallery and the Arts Council Wales – an incredible platform for all involved.

Upcoming shows will draw on our history by inviting artists to indirectly respond, through their work, to the history of the MOSTYN building which has gone from being a gallery for female artists when it launched in 1901 to a WW1 drill hall and piano storage, before returning to a gallery space in 1979.

Partnership is a vital part of our engagement work, showcased by linking with initiatives such as the Artes Mundi visual arts exhibition and prize, the biggest in the UK at £40,000. We are also part of Plus Tate, a major UK network which includes 20 contemporary art organisations outside London.

Building on the success of last year’s Plus Tate-funded Ninjas initiative for 11 to 13-year-olds, we successfully applied to be one of five national partners to be part of Tate’s Circuit programme, a national youth network for the visual arts. Funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Cylch/Circuit seeks to spark a long-term transformation in the way that young people aged 15 to 25 engage with art and take control of their own learning.

The demographic here is older on average than in cities, and we are developing ways to include those who might not normally visit a contemporary art gallery through exhibitions and events which have a cross-art form approach.

For example, our current show YOU is a conceptually strong group show (Felix Gonzalez Torres, Aurélien Froment, Jeppe Hein, Július Koller, Rivane Neuenschwander) that questions the idea of what art is: the viewer ‘produces’ the artwork through their visit. It’s had an amazing response from families who would never think to visit an art gallery, lured in with an event outside the venue during the Llandudno Victorian Extravaganza when the town was heaving with visitors.

On a marketing level, besides the reviews and articles on specialised art press, particularly helpful are features on magazines, blogs and websites such as ThisIsTomorrow and WeHeart since they are bringing MOSTYN out into the eyeline of the style and culture conscious nationally and internationally.

What have we learned that might be useful for other organisations in a similar situation? Surely, understanding that an organisation such as ours does not have a single, cohesive public but multiple audiences (including our staff, not to forget) who demand attention and have different ways of engaging.

This is not to say that we have to please everyone, but we do have to have a firm strategic direction and a flexible range of delivery via the three main areas of exhibitions, engagement and learning – equally important and each with a dedicated curator and budget.

It’s also crucial to seek and establish a range of platforms and partners that match our values and make the most of our programme in space and time: from local residents, schools and higher education to wider partnerships across the country and abroad.

It’s a long-term strategy, and long-term planning matters for our exhibitions, partnerships and funding agreements alike. Currently we are planning well into 2017 but potentially, a cultural institution like a gallery should look into society 20 or 50 years from now and then work back.

 

Alfredo Cramerotti is the director of MOSTYN contemporary art gallery in Llandudno – follow it on Twitter @MOSTYN_Wales_

This content is brought to you by Guardian Professional.

Who needs the Guggenheim when you’ve got MOSTYN? Interview with MOSTYN Director, Alfredo Cramerotti on Museums Journal

Posted in nEws and rEleases, shortEssays/cortiSaggi [English/Italian] by alcramer on June 25, 2013

Who needs the Guggenheim when you’ve got MOSTYN?

Museums Journal
by Simon Stephens
18.06.2013

A recent article in The Guardian by former Plaid Cymru MP Adam Price argued that it made sense to develop a Guggenheim outpost in Wales.

After a recent visit to MOSTYN, a contemporary art gallery in Llandudno in north Wales, it seems to me that developing a Guggenheim in Wales makes no sense at all.

The idea for a Welsh Guggenheim came after Finland rejected plans for a Guggenheim in its capital Helsinki. Some of the concerns centred on the costs of developing and running the gallery. These worries could also apply to Wales.

Also, one of the locations suggested for a Guggenheim was Swansea, where the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery will reopen next year following a £6m redevelopment. The Guggenheim Foundation was not keen anyway so it seems the idea is dead in the water.

I went to MOSTYN to interview its Italian-born director Alfredo Cramerotti. Under his leadership, the gallery is combining an international exhibition programme with support for the contemporary art scene in Wales through initiatives such as the Artes Mundi visual arts exhibition and prize.

The gallery is also part of a £5m arts programme for under-25s funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

And Cramerotti hopes to address local concerns by using artists to interpret the history of the MOSTYN building, which started life in 1901 as a gallery for female artists then went through various other uses (a world war one drill hall and a piano showroom among them) before reopening as a gallery in 1979 following a campaign by a group that included the artist Kyffin Williams.

MOSTYN added an impressive extension by Ellis Williams Architects that opened in 2010. The gallery now gets about 80,000 visitors a year – and that’s in a town with 18,000 residents.

I came away from Llandudno thinking what Wales needs is another couple of MOSTYNS, not a Guggenheim.

Exhibition review of ‘Y O U’ at MOSTYN on This Is Tomorrow

Posted in nEws and rEleases, shortEssays/cortiSaggi [English/Italian] by alcramer on June 19, 2013

this is tomorrow

Contemporary Art Magazine

by Ciara Healy

7 June 2013

you

 

‘Y O U’ at MOSTYN

12 Vaughan Street, Llandudno, LL30 1AB, Wales

27 April – 7 July 2013

 

Arthur Koestler began his seminal ‘Yogi and the Commissar,’ by describing a machine he imagined to be capable of splitting up the spectra of society as the physicist splits the rays of a beam. The separation Koestler imagined is now arguably a reality, in as much as we have become more accustomed to regarding a human being as a statistical unit, as a collection of numbers, which constitutes what Zygmunt Bauman eloquently calls the Great Global Anonymous.

Many writers like Bauman and Claire Bishop question whether art can find a way of overcoming this atomization and resulting loss of sensitivity. ‘Y O U’ at MOSTYN is one of an increasing number of exhibitions in Wales, (‘Keeper’ at the Mission Gallery is another excellent example), which seeks to connect art, the institution and the public in a more meaningful way, and in so doing a new ethico-aesthetic emerges.

This notion is strikingly apparent in Rivane Neuenschwander’s ‘[…]’ (2005), which consists of a collection of typewriters with modified typebars. (Typed letters have been removed and replaced with dots.) Presented on wooden benches, the tactility of these old machines is accentuated by their titanium grey, tweed brown and faded topaz facades. Surrounding the typewriters on a billiard green, felt coated wall, are hundreds of dotty drawings made by the public. From the skyline of New York to a Louise Bourgeoise-style spider, it is clear that these typewriter sketches have been made with playful consideration. Pinned together in overlapping layers, they constitute a portrait of the people who visit MOSTYN. This approach gives ‘[…]’ (2005) an immeasurable sense of endurance because it can be reconfigured each time it is exhibited, thereby challenging the rigid and reductionist nature of presenting a people as the Great Global Anonymous.

In a similar vein, Julius Koller’s ‘J.K. – Ping-Pong Club (U.F.O.)’ (1970-2007) invites visitors to engage one another in a game of ping-pong whilst being surrounded by documentation of all the previous projects that incorporated the artist’s use of the game. Placing a ping-pong table in a small dimly lit room, away from the other larger works in the gallery, illustrates curator Adam Carr’s empathetic understanding of the way in which people are often intimidated by participatory artworks in contemporary art institutions. This ping-pong room feels naughty, like a playroom, an irreverent den of laughter and swearing, tucked away from the chapel-like white cube spaces adjoining it. On one level, Julius Koller’s work has a lineage in conceptual art that connects clearly with Yoko Ono’s ‘All White Chess Game’, but the most memorable aspect of the work is the fun of simply playing ping-pong, and the sense of connection that it elicits between players.

Play is further encouraged by Aurelien Froment’s ‘Debuilding’ (2001), which invites people to build Jenga-like structures using wooden blocks of different sizes. Initially stacked inside a single wooden trunk in the corner of the gallery, the blocks have since been scattered across the white floor by participants eagerly engrossed in the process of building their own imaginary dwellings, vehicles and towers. Like Neuenschwander’s ‘[…]’, this work will also endure, because each creation is carefully disassembled by gallery staff every evening, ready to be reconfigured anew by visitors the next day.

What is striking about ‘Y O U’ is the curatorial equilibrium Carr has developed between the ecologies of the institution, the participant and aesthetics. This is something Claire Bishop argues is lacking in so much participatory artwork today, because ethics so often tends to eclipse aesthetics. Felix Gonzales-Torres’s small rectangle of sweets on the floor of one of the naturally lit rooms of the gallery maintains this equilibrium. Shimmering like a small topaz lake, patches of grey gallery floor appear here and there in the work where sweets have been removed and consumed by visitors. The diminishing overall weight of the sweets refers to the loss of weight experienced by Gonzales-Torres’s partner who suffered from AIDS related diseases. The artist’s use of formal aesthetics consequently facilitates a reconnection with the rawness of our existence; and reminds us that even in pleasure we are always in close proximity to pain. This concept gains a further poetic currency in Llandudno, where under an hour’s drive away sits a decommissioned nuclear power plant.

The artworks that make up ‘Y O U’ provide an opportunity to question who we are and why we are here. When value is attached to these subjectivities, value is by proxy attached to the unique, to the authority of the first hand experience and, ultimately, to freedom. It is significant then that this exhibition is occurring at a time when a greater emphasis on social scientific practices is taking place. Carr acknowledges this issue through the inclusion of Jeppe Hein’s ‘Upside Down’ (2011), a telescope that presents an upside down panoramic view of the gallery space, along with a collection of devices for measuring light, sound and cognitive brain activity that were acquired from the School of Psychology at Bangor University. The presence of these empirical instruments highlights the way in which intuitive experiences can be rationalized, gauged and even controlled through scientific observation.

In the context of this show such a realisation is powerfully troubling. How did we engage with those blocks of wood, the sweets, the ping-pong? Did we follow a typical pattern? Was someone watching us? Parallels can be drawn between this experience and our existence today. For when we are at our most open, our most confessional and our most vulnerable in a public sphere (such as a social network), are we not also unwittingly complicit in surrendering the last of our freedoms? Under surveillance, our collective individuality runs the risk of being rendered back into that single archaism, back to a neat category: back to the statistic.

We know it is not possible to unite a split atom, but is it possible to unite the split elements of a society through art? ‘Y O U’ proves that it is – as long as art, the institution, and its participants remain in constant flux. This is how beauty survives. And beauty, Dostoyevsky once argued, is what will save us all in the end.

Bedwyr Williams in Venice: Interview on The Times

Posted in nEws and rEleases, shortEssays/cortiSaggi [English/Italian] by alcramer on May 27, 2013

The Times [Saturday Review]

25 May 2013

by Fiona Wilson

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