alcramer [Alfredo Cramerotti]

MOSTYN new exhibition season opening: Diango Hernández + WAR II + “&” + Iwan Lewis

Posted in nEws and rEleases by alcramer on November 12, 2015

MOSTYN, Wales’ foremost contemporary visual arts centre, is delighted to announce a new season of exhibitions.

WORDS_TO_SEA2

Image: Words to Sea (detail) by Diango Hernández 2015. Courtesy of Marlborough Contemporary, Alexander and Bonin, Galerie Barbara Thumm and Nicolas Krupp. Photo: Anne Pöhlmann

Diango Hernández
Time Islands and Space Islands
Galleries 2 & 3

One of the foremost conceptual artists from Central and South America working today, the Cuban-born, Düsseldorf-based artist’s work and sculptural constructions are directly related to his biography, upbringing and socialization. Born in 1970 in Sancti Spiritus, Cuba, Hernández lived in the Caribbean island nation until 2003. He maintains his Cuban citizenship and still regularly visits the country. From 1988 to 1993, he studied industrial design in Havana. For Cuba, the dissolution of communism in Eastern Europe meant an end to economic subsidies and trading partners, resulting in severe shortages of material and consumer goods. These events had a profound effect on Hernández’s practice. Through experimentation and juxtaposition, he repurposed and transformed discarded, obsolescent debris into new objects and spatial installations. Since this time, found objects have formed a basis for his works, which are in turn frequently marked by the imaginary world of socialist ideology: the objects’ original purposes are lost as far as possible, whilst the half-life of their ideological re-packaging remains intact.

This exhibition at MOSTYN, comprising old and new works, draws on his past experience while growing up in Cuba but transfers those experiences to European and Western dimensions. The show includes, amongst others, Let us see if a million people can be silent, a full-scale, site-specific wall mural made of regular, diagrammatic waves, each one representing a font used to quote Fidel Castro; a series of fruit sculptures; a room installation; a series of works on canvas and offset printed paper; and Years, a fragile, six-meter-high construction of rusty steel—a partition of numbers, namely of the years 1959 to 2008, in descending order.

This exhibition is curated by Alfredo Cramerotti (Director, MOSTYN) and produced by MOSTYN. The exhibition is made possible with the additional support of Marlborough Contemporary, London and Federico Luger Gallery, Milan.

#diangohernandez / #timeislands / #mostyngallery

 

WAR II
Galleries 4 & 5

Artists in the exhibition:
Pierino Algieri, Ulla von Brandenburg, Vanessa Billy, Peter Coffin, Thomas Demand, Mario Garcia Torres, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Claire Fontaine, Simon Dybbroe Møller, Diango Hernández, Jon Kessler, Catrin Menai, Lydia Ourahmane, Christodoulos Panayiotou, Wilfredo Prieto, Mandla Reuter, Ron Terada, Sung Tieu, Gwyn Williams and Josh Whitaker, with over 100 artefacts, images and memorabilia telling the story of Llandudno and the surrounding area during WWII

WAR II is an exhibition that responds to the use of MOSTYN’s building during World War II, as well as to the town of Llandudno and the wider local area at this time. The exhibition is part of a sequence of shows titled “History Series,” which has been designed, in part, to explore the rich history and heritage of MOSTYN.

As a sequel to WAR I (MOSTYN, 2014), which focused on the building’s function as a drill hall during World War I, this new exhibition moves on to World War II and takes as its starting point the building’s use as a “Donut Dugout”—a space for food and recreation for American troops located in the town.

The exhibition will provide a guided yet open viewing narrative for the viewer, where each wall within the space will concentrate on a single theme broken into subsections. Some of the subjects addressed are the history of doughnuts, the Ministry of Food presence in Colwyn Bay, the Inland Revenue evacuees in Llandudno, local theatres, the Home Guard, espionage links and Snowdonia military aircraft crash sites.

Presented among the historical subject areas—each containing artefacts, documents and images—will be artworks by contemporary artists. Both components, the historical and the contemporary, will be placed together in close dialogue in such a way as to create unexpected links between the two. The selection of artworks deliberately eschews a grouping of works exclusively tied to World War II, or even to ideas of war and conflict. The intention is to create a framework through which to consider not only World War II and the local context in a new light, but also history and the backdrop of our present.

This exhibition is curated by Adam Carr (Visual Arts Programme Curator, MOSTYN) and co-curated by Jane Matthews (Engagement Manager/Research MOSTYN) with Richard Cynan Jones (Operations and Facilities/Research, MOSTYN), and produced by MOSTYN.

A full-colour publication will follow In December 2015.

#mostynwar / #HistorySeries / #mostyngallery

 

&
Gallery 1

& (pronounced “and”) is an exhibition exploring collaboration as a subject and concept for the projects on view and the exhibition overall. It has been brought together by GLITCH, MOSTYN’s collective of under-25-year-olds, which is a part of Circuit, led by Tate and funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

& includes projects by the GLITCH group and also presents existing and previous collaborations that have occurred amongst the disciplines of art, design and fashion.

#mostynglitch / #oncollaboration / #mostyngallery

 

Uprisings: Iwan Lewis
Gallery 6

Gallery 6 is dedicated to presenting the work of young and emerging artists, all of whom are yet to have a solo exhibition in an institutional setting, nationally or internationally. Three Uprisings occur each year. This, the last of 2015, is by Iwan Lewis.

Born in 1980 and a graduate from the London Royal College of Arts, Lewis works primarily in painting and installation. Drawing from a broad spectrum of cultural influences, Lewis’s landscape is often surreal yet diaristic, indulging in misreadings and failed languages.

The exhibition is curated by Alfredo Cramerotti (Director, MOSTYN) and is accompanied by a full-colour booklet. Produced in collaboration with—and with the generous support of—CALL Cultural Action Llandudno C.I.C., Helfa Gelf Art Trail and the Esmee Fairbarn Foundation.

– – –

About MOSTYN | Cymru | Wales
Located in Llandudno, North Wales (UK), MOSTYN is the leading publicly funded contemporary visual art centre in Wales, serving as a forum for the presentation and discussion of contemporary life through international contemporary art and curatorial practice. Through exhibitions, learning programmes, lectures, symposia and publications, MOSTYN plays an active role in discussing contemporary culture in Wales, the UK, and beyond.

To be kept up to date with MOSTYN’s new programme, please subscribe to our mailing list by emailing lin@mostyn.org.

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.

GROUNDBREAKING ARTS AWARD FOR MOSTYN

Posted in nEws and rEleases by alcramer on December 18, 2012

MOSTYN in Llandudno has been selected, along with four other UK art galleries, to receive major funding to initiate a far reaching and ambitious programme for young people in North Wales. This welcome funding will allow the gallery to develop a sustainable plan to engage with and involve young people across the region over the next four years.

The award, announced last week at Tate Modern in London, is part of a £5m national arts programme for the under 25s entitled ‘Circuit’- funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, and will be rolled out through selected galleries in the ‘Plus Tate’ network. Circuit aims to reach 80,000 young people aged 15-25, over four years. It will provide opportunities for young people, particularly those with least access to the arts – such as those living in rural areas – to participate and shape their own cultural experiences.

At MOSTYN the programme will enable young people to actively design, develop and deliver a range of innovative projects, using the arts as a catalyst for their own learning and that of their peers. These projects will encourage participation, develop excellence and build confidence in young people from a wide range of social, economic and cultural backgrounds.

Made up of four strands, the programme will include:

  • Peer-led programme for young people;
  • Sustained work with local youth organisations;
  • Online and digital engagement;
  • Young people’s arts festival in North Wales

Director of MOSTYN, Alfredo Cramerotti, said:

“I’m really excited about the prospect of bringing young people closer to the possibilities of contemporary art.  Our goal is to open up many debates on contemporary life, and art is a fantastic channel through which to do this, especially with younger generations.  The place of contemporary art is to help make sense of everyday life so full marks to the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Tate for providing this opportunity.”

The award builds upon existing work done at MOSTYN with the MOSTYN Ninjas – an art programme for young people aged 11-13, and funded by Plus Tate. The group meets on a regular basis to plan activities and arrange exciting events for other young people inspired by the exhibitions at MOSTYN.

Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate said: “Cultural organisations play a vital role in encouraging young people to use their imaginations and to express themselves. We can achieve much more working collectively than we can in isolation. The Paul Hamlyn Foundation has made an extraordinary gesture by giving £5M to support this national network of galleries and young people. Circuit will spark a long-term transformation in the way young people engage with art.”

Jane Hamlyn, Chair of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, said: “As part of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s 25th anniversary, we are making some significant gifts to organisations we know well, and that we know are able to deliver impact through the work that they do. We are delighted to be supporting Circuit, as a national youth initiative, working through a group of fantastic organisations including Tate, with high ambitions for reaching and opening up the arts to so many young people in the UK.”

Six organisations are involved in Circuit. Alongside Tate are five national partners selected from the Plus Tate network: firstsite, Colchester; MOSTYN, Llandudno North Wales; Nottingham Contemporary; Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester; and Wysing Arts Centre in collaboration with Kettle’s Yard, Cambridgeshire. All four Tate galleries will be involved: Tate Modern and Tate Britain in London, Tate Liverpool, and Tate St Ives (working closely with Newlyn Art Gallery and The Exchange).

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