Venice - Interviews

Saudi Arabia Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2018: An Interview with the Architects

3 hours ago

On the occasion of Saudi Arabia’s first participation in the International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, curators Jawaher Al-Sudairy and Dr. Sumayah Al-Solaiman and architects Abdulrahman Gazzaz and Turki Gazzaz have discussed the project that will be unveiled during the pavilion’s opening days and that will remain on view until the end of the biennale, November 25 2018.

Jawaher Al-Sudairy and Dr. Sumayah Al-Solaiman: How does your pavilion respond to the theme of this year’s Architecture Biennale?

Abdulrahman Gazzaz and Turki Gazzaz: The theme of this year’s Biennale, which is framed by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara as ‘Freespace,’ explores the complex spatial nature of architecture. By reducing architecture to its primary spatial quality, excess connotations of technology and historicity may be discarded. ‘Freespace’ thus becomes at once built and unbuilt, tangible and intangible, present and absent – a space of dual situations that exist simultaneously. These complexities manifest themselves in what we’ve called ‘Spaces in Between,’ embodying sensorial, spatial and temporal attributes of our daily lives. A series of pods placed within the Arsenale site delimit the boundaries between inside/outside. The resulting enclosures induce certain sentiments of inclusion/exclusion as the visitors explore the variation in scale created by the interior boundaries of the pavilion. Visitors are constantly shifting in between spaces for an investigative exploration of the kingdom’s built environment through a cohesive architectural language.

JAS & S AS: How does it capture the state of contemporary architecture both on a broader, international level but also as a reflection of architecture in Saudi Arabia today?

AG & TG: The pavilion uses the language of materiality and space to communicate the experiential values of contemporary architectural and planning practices in the kingdom. It is important to note that these practices are an extension of the global discourse on architectural thought and production.
Crude oil can be considered that primordial condition out of which most contemporary construction materials are produced. Hence, Saudi Arabia’s oil economy strategically positions the country as a key player in the global building industry in terms of energy supply.
Unfortunately, development across the Kingdom has followed the highway/high-rise trend, completely oblivious to the desert landscape so characteristic of the country. With an abundance of steel, glass, and AC units, the built environment responds poorly to the local landscape and climate.
For this year’s biennale, we are translating this dual condition of economy and landscape through the use of resin (a petrochemical byproduct) and sand (a reference to the landscape) to make the walls of the structure. This material becomes emblematic of a dual condition. Furthermore, it references the country’s urban and architectural development after the oil boom.

JAS & S AS: Does architecture influence culture, or is it shaped by it? And how does this manifest itself particularly in Saudi Arabia?

AG & TG: The relationship between architecture and culture falls directly into the dilemma of causality; which came first: the chicken or the egg?
Human interactions with their physical surroundings elicit certain behaviors depending on the form of the given objects/spaces. In turn, the environment becomes subject to appropriation by the populace. This sets up particular trends for the future development of that community.
In Saudi Arabia, architecture and urbanism have stood as a symbol of the country’s steadfast modernization. Supported by transportation technologies, an unprecedented form of contemporary culture has prevailed across the Kingdom.
What is the main experience you hope visitors will take away with them?
First of all, aside from the architectural experience of the space itself, we hope that the visitors come to a closer understanding of what Saudi Arabia is and what it is shaping itself to be. It is imperative to have visitors identify similarities between Saudi and their own individual backgrounds. This may demonstrate how with all the differences in the world we still experience very similar situations which bring us together as a society regardless of our race or culture.
Second, we also aim to emphasize the relationship between space and community by creating a heightened awareness of the dual nature of space as both inclusive and isolating.

JAS & S AS: How did the city of Jeddah specifically shape your work as architects?

AG & TG:  Jeddah is always in the background. The influence of the city is present in every urban or architectural space we visit, envision or develop. Being haphazardly planned, constantly changing and fragmented, we are in a constant state of investigation of how design can influence (or be influenced by) the chaotic nature of the city.
Also, we’d like to note that Makkah has greatly influenced our work, as well. The Holy Mosque is one of the most vibrant, egalitarian public spaces that continues to inspire our engagement with the role of architecture in the formation of communities.

JAS & S AS: What do you hope to do for architecture in Saudi?

AG & TG: We believe architecture, as a critical discourse that can tackle issues of culture, community and economy, needs to develop further. We hope to utilize architecture to create communities that respect and celebrate our natural environment, respond to its needs and project a more sustainable lifestyle for future generations.

My Art Guides Editorial Team

  • Abdulrahman Gazzaz and Turki Gazzaz Abdulrahman Gazzaz and Turki Gazzaz
  • Jawaher Al-Sudairy Jawaher Al-Sudairy
  • Sumayah Al Solaiman Sumayah Al Solaiman
  • Bdr Dunes, Moath Alofi, 2017 Bdr Dunes, Moath Alofi, 2017
Basel - News

My Art Guide Basel 2018 Editorial Committee

2 days ago

This edition of My Art Guide Basel has been developed thanks to an incredible editorial committee formed by Elena Filipovic (Director of Kunsthalle Basel), Albertine Kopp (Manager of Davidoff Art Initiative), Samuel Leuenberger (Founder and Director of SALTS). The committee has been working to select the best and most interesting art spaces and exhibitions in town while Basel-based artist Hannah Weinberger gives us an insight on the projects she has been working on and that will be featured within Art Basel.

Elena Filipovic has lead Kunsthalle Basel as its director and curator since November 2014.  There she has curated solo exhibitions of emerging artists, including Yngve Holen, Anne Imhof, Andra Ursuta, Anicka Yi and Yan Xing, among others. She previously served as senior curator of WIELS from 2009-2014, where she organized several large scale traveling exhibitions, devoted to Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker Mark Leckey, Alina Szapocznikow, and Franz Erhard Walther, among others. She was co-curator of the 5th Berlin Biennial in 2008 with Adam Szymczyk, and has edited or co-edited a number of anthologies on global exhibition histories, including “The Artist as Curator: An Anthology” (Mousse Publications, 2017), “The Biennial Reader: Anthology on Large-Scale Perennial Exhibitions of Contemporary Art” (Hatje Cantz, 2010), and “The Manifesta Decade: Debates on Contemporary Art Exhibitions and Biennials in Post-Wall Europe” (MIT Press, 2005). She is author of “The Apparently Marginal Activities of Marcel Duchamp” (MIT Press, 2016) and “David Hammons, Bliz-aard Ball Sale” (Afterall Books, 2017).

Albertine Kopp (Basel, Switzerland) has a passion for contemporary arts which continues to a professional capacity, in the position of Senior Manager of the Davidoff Art Initiative. A multilingual communicator and effective manager, Ms Kopp has worked in art and communication for a decade in various locations including Paris, London, New York and Frankfurt. Now based in Basel with the Swiss Luxury company of Oettinger Davidoff AG, she has been an affective force, building the international art initiative of Davidoff which aims to supports contemporary art and artists of the Caribbean region and create a cultural exchange with the rest of the world.

Independent curator Samuel Leuenberger, has been running the non-for-profit exhibition space SALTS in Birsfelden, near Basel, Switzerland, since 2009, promoting young Swiss and international artists. Since 2016, he is the lead curator of Art Basel’s Parcours sector, a large inner city sculpture and performance project. Since 2012, Leuenberger has worked with the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia on several occasions, including a presentation of the ‘Cahiers D’Artistes’, (artists’ books) in 2013. More recently, he was an associate curator of Salon Suisse 2017, the collateral public program of the Swiss Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale. Alongside the work at SALTS and Parcours, he is an advisory curator for the non-for-profit exhibition space ‘Basement Roma’ in Rome, Italy. Together with an international group of like-minded curators they work closely with the directors of Basement Roma (who also run CURA Magazine) to develop the space’s exhibition program. As a committee member of Basel’s cultural department, Kunstkredit Basel – the nation’s oldest City Arts Council – he plays a role in supporting the local and regional art scene by advocating and advising on funding allocation. He regularly teaches at art schools, currently at the ZHDK in Zurich.

My Art Guides Editorial Team

  • Elena Filipovic, Director of Kunsthalle Basel Elena Filipovic, Director of Kunsthalle Basel
  • Albertine Kopp Albertine Kopp
  • Samuel Leuenberger © Fabian Unternährer Samuel Leuenberger © Fabian Unternährer
Venice - Interviews

“Become a Desiarchitect, Like a Good Smoothie”. An Interview with Philippe Starck

3 days ago

On the occasion of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2018, I interviewed renowned designer Philippe Starck to learn more about his vision and to investigate on the projects he undertook in Venice.

Born in 1949 in Paris, France, Philippe Starck studied at Notre Dame de Sainte Croix in Neuilly and l’Ecole Nissim de Camondo in Paris, France Creation of Ubik (1979). Despite more than 10 000 creations his global fame and his tireless protean inventiveness, which never forgets the essential. Philippe Starck has a mission and a vision: creation, whatever shape it takes, must make life better for the largest number of people possible. Starck considers his duty to share his  ethical and subversive vision of a fairer planet, creating unconventional places and objects whose purpose is to be “good” before being beautiful. His technological miracles are vectors of democratic ecology, focused on action and a respect for the future of both humans and nature. He was the first Frenchman to be invited to the legendary TED conferences. (Text by Jonathan Wingfield)

Mara Sartore: The boundaries between the visual arts, design and architecture are becoming increasingly more blurred. The Venice Architecture Biennale holds true to this, what is your view on this blurring of boundaries?

Phillipe Starck: I never liked small boxes. Christmas is the best day of the year because we open boxes and then put them in the fire. The only way for creativity is freedom and diagonality. But Know-How is different, that’s why it doesn’t look very interesting if architects make design who make art. The game is not musical chairs. The game is to think and create, all at the same time, not adding layers but mixing finally all the elements in order to create something really new, interesting and global. To become a “desiarchitect”. Like a good smoothie.

MS: Could you tell us about your professional philosophy of “democratic design”?

PS: I was never interested in design nor architecture. What only interests me is the effect my creations may have on people who use or go to the places or objects I create. Before anything, design is a political tool. For example, I’ve always believed that when you are visited by a good idea, you need it to share it with the maximum of people. When I started to design, a designer chair was extremely expensive and dedicated to the happy few only. I thought everybody needed a good design chair with a proper quality. It needn’t be an elitism. My concept of democratic design is based on the idea to give quality pieces at accessible prices to the largest number of people. To lower the price while increasing the quality. Now that this battle is won, I can focus on Democratic Ecology and Democratic Architecture like PATH houses.

MS: After Palazzina G, you’ve recently undertaken the restoration of Quadri Restaurant in Venice. You’ve worked together with Venetian artisans to bring  the original splendour of the space into a contemporary context. Could you tell us more about this project?

PS: After Palazzina Grassi and before Quadri, there is also Amo.
Amo is made of charm. It is a place where people can meet, eat, talk, work and love in the greatest Venetian elegance.
Quadri is a love story, a human love story with the Alajmo brothers and a love story for Venice. Quadri is a place that belongs to Venice; it was extraordinary,
except it was little sleepy. So we just kissed it like the Prince Charming, or not so charming in my case, and Quadri woke up. I gave it life again and we gave it back its spirit. My work was to synthesize, to symbolize all the magic, the mystery, the poetry of Venice in Quadri. But the secret of Quadri’s absolute quality is the Venetian artisans: Tessitura Bevilacqua, Aristide Najean and the Barbini brothers to name a few. All the wonderful things at Quadri may come a little from my brain, my heart, my folly but I still needed hands to make it a reality.”

MS: You’ve been living with your family in Burano for a long time now. Why did you choose to live here? In what way does Venice inspire your work?

PS: Living in Burano is like living in an ideal society. The Buranelian are great people, everyone has known each other for so long. They are cousins, fathers, grandfathers, husbands, associates and they live together perfectly which seems impossible in a modern society. But what interests me the most in the Venice Laguna is the understanding of this mud. It is the same mud – the primal mud – that existed before the appearance of life and which is for me the starting point of all creativity.

MS: Could you let us in on your top 5 places in Venice?

Magic appears by itself when you reveal the true spirit of the place. Everything here is a mental game, with its own magical little music. Hidden fertile surprises come to life everywhere; on the walls with the fabric, in the lights with the surrealistic chandeliers and in the chimeric taxidermy collection that inhabits the place; the animals came here and wings grew on their backs, becoming fantasy creatures like the mythical winged Lion of Venice. Quadri is a wonderland.

AMO is an island of Venetian mystery in the middle of world’s treasures. Each piece of furniture or interior design is a concentrate of the Venetian spirit, sofas inspired by gondolas, glass works directly stemming from the genius of Murano, mural paintings representing fantasies from the Venice carnival. All becomes the décor of a Venetian theatre.

Immerse yourself in the essence of Murano’s history, where the secrets of making glass have been preserved for centuries. Aristide Najean is a nice devil, surrounded by the fire of his furnaces that never fall asleep. He transforms the humble sand into the most incredible phantasmagoria that the glass and the hand can imagine. The furnace of Aristide is a journey into the talent and history of humanity.

Bevilacqua stands for Venetian fabrics, extraordinary fabrics. If you had one thing to see in Venice, it would be the Bevilacqua factory. You will discover very old looms, some may date from the Renaissance, some have so many strands that they don’t event exist anymore.
It is extraordinary to see this know-how, this precision, this beauty. Here again we’re in poetry. For Quadri I wanted to twist the fabric to make something that goes beyond the idea of quality and tradition and start to get into humor, magic, traps or mental games.

What would Venice be without mirrors? Mirrors are the way to look at reality differently, to look at the other angle of reality. Mirrors are absolutely magical. We work with a wonderful company called Barbini. Here again, it is strictly, strictly, strictly ancestral methods with the talent.

Mara Sartore

  • Philippe Starck © James Bort Philippe Starck © James Bort
  • Philippe Starck, Massimiliano Alajmo, Raffaele Alajmo, Marino Folin Philippe Starck, Massimiliano Alajmo, Raffaele Alajmo, Marino Folin
  • Quadri, San Marco, Venice Quadri, San Marco, Venice
  • Aristide Najean Aristide Najean
Basel - News

Find out the Artists Presented in Unlimited – Art Basel 2018

4 days ago

This year’s edition of Unlimited will consist of 71 large-scale projects, presented by galleries participating in the fair. Curated for the seventh consecutive year by Gianni Jetzer, Curator-at-Large at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture  Garden in Washington D.C., the sector will feature a wide range of presentations, from seminal pieces from the past to work created especially for Art Basel.

Renowned as well as emerging artists will participate, including: Matthew Barney, Yto Barrada, Daniel Buren, Horia Damian, Camille Henrot, Jenny Holzer, Mark Leckey, Lee Ufan, Inge Mahn, Lygia Pape, Jon Rafman, Michael Rakowitz, Nedko Solakov, Martine Syms, Barthélémy Toguo and Yu Hong.

Find out here the full list of selected artists.

Art Basel
June 14-17, 2018
Preview (by invitation): Tuesday, June 12, 2018 and Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Public opening dates and hours:
Thursday, June 14, 2018 – Sunday, June 17, 2018: 11am-7pm

My Art Guides Editorial Team

  • Cerith Wyn Evans, Neon Forms (after Noh I), 2015 Courtesy of the artist and the gallery Cerith Wyn Evans, Neon Forms (after Noh I), 2015 Courtesy of the artist and the gallery
Lisbon - News

ARCOlisboa 2018 Returns to Lisbon from 17 to 20 May

1 week ago

ARCOlisboa 2018 returns to Lisbon from 17 to 20 May. The Cordoaria Nacional will host 68 participating galleries. The General Programme will consist of 50 galleries selected by the Organisers’ Committee, while the Opening section, will have eight national and international galleries, all in business for at least seven years, selected by Portuguese writer and curator João Laia. This year, for the first time, there will be 10 special projects also selected by the Organisers’ Committee.

Opening times
May 16
Press Access: 5 pm
Opening: from 6 pm to 9.30 pm (by invitation only)
17- 19 May: 2pm to 9 pm.
20 May: from 12pm to 6 pm.

Cordoaria Nacional
Avenida da Índia s/n
1300-342 Lisboa

General: 15 € (from Thursday to Sunday)
Students: 5 € (from Friday to Sunday)

My Art Guides Editorial Team

  • ARCO Lisboa ARCO Lisboa
São Paulo - Posts

33rd Bienal de São Paulo: Artists and Details Announced

2 weeks ago

Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro, appointed curator by the Fundação Bienal de São Paulo of the 33rd Bienal de São Paulo – Affective Affinities, has conceived a Bienal that values the artists’ gaze on their own creative contexts and avoids a large thematic exhibition in favor of multiple curatorial experiences.

As well the twelve individual projects, this edition includes group shows organized by seven artist-curators: Alejandro Cesarco (Uruguay/USA, 1975), Antonio Ballester Moreno (Spain, 1977), Claudia Fontes (Argentina/UK, 1964), Mamma Andersson (Sweden, 1962), Sofia Borges (Brazil, 1984), Waltercio Caldas (Brazil, 1946) and Wura-Natasha Ogunji (USA/Nigeria, 1970).

‘The seven artist-curators have been working with full autonomy both in regards to each other and to the general curatorship. The only imposed limitations are of a practical nature such as budgets and the use of physical space within the Bienal Pavilion’, explains Pérez-Barreiro.

The 12 individual projects curated by Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro:

    • Alejandro Corujeira (Argentina)
    • Luiza Crosman (Brazil)
    • Nelson Felix (Brazil)
    • Tamar Guimares (Brazil)
    • Maria Laet (Brazil)
    • Denise Milan (Brazil)
    • Vania Mignone (Brazil)
    • Bruno Moreschi (Brazil)
    • Siron Franco (Brazil)
    • Anibal Lopez (Guatemala)
    • Feliciano Centurion (Paraguay)
    • Lucia Nogueira (Brazil)


Dates & Venue:

7 September –  9 December, 2018
Press Preview: 4 September 2018
Preview for the press, art professionals and guests: 5-6 September 2018
Cicillo Matarazzo Pavilion, Parque Ibirapuera
São Paulo, Brazil

My Art Guides Editorial Team

  • Antonio Ballester Moreno, Automatic Movements #3. Courtesy: Antonio Ballester Moreno. Antonio Ballester Moreno, Automatic Movements #3. Courtesy: Antonio Ballester Moreno.
Taipei - Interviews

“Acting Regional to Get International”: an Interview with Magnus Renfrew on Taipei Dangdai

2 weeks ago

A new international art fair, Taipei Dangdai will open in Taipei in January 2019. The inaugural edition of the fair will bring together 80 exhibitors from Asia as well as strong selection of leading galleries from outside the region that have shown a continued commitment to showcasing their programs on the continent.

On the occasion I’ve interviewed fair director Magnus Renfrew, to learn more about this world-class art event, which aims to provide exhibitors the opportunity to broaden their collector base and giving international exposure to a growing number of artists and galleries from across Asia. The inaugural edition of Taipei Dangdai will be held at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center, and is presented by UBS.

Mara Sartore: I would like to start from your background. You directed Art Hong Kong before it was acquired by Art Basel and you have been the director of ABHK from 2012 to 2014. So from an HK perspective what has driven you to explore Taipei as a new art fair destination?

Magnus Renfrew: I really felt that the scene and the fair in HK has developed to a very high level and there’s no doubt that ABHK is the global art fair for Asia but I think there’s now the room for other art fairs to develop within the region. Look at the situation in Europe for example, it’s not just Art Basel, there’s Frieze, Fiac, Art Brussel, Cologne and Dusseldorf and so on. The scale of the potential market is substantial and I think that the offerings that there are currently in different parts of Asia, don’t necessarily satisfy the needs of the local audience both in terms of potential exhibitors and indeed collectors; so there was an opportunity there to try to create something that steps up the level of quality.

MS: I see, I’d like to understand a bit better since, as you know, MCH has been acquiring other regional fairs like Art India so I was wondering in this global art market where more and more collections, as – in the words of Johan Jervøe, Head of Marketing of UBS-  will look more global. Does local market actually exist? Will the Taipei fair have a special look into the regional galleries and artists or do you think that it’s a matter of bringing western galleries to Taipei and Taiwan? How do you envision this?

MR: Sometimes regional is perceived to be second-best, as in local, regional versus international, and that’s how people think of things. But for me regional is international, I think that people have a misunderstanding of what international means. International very much gets interpreted with a Western, European or American aesthetic. I think there’s a need right now to be more representative of what’s going on in other parts of the world. Global really needs to incorporate more of a sophisticated understanding of cultural context from outside of Europe and America so our desire is really to be regional on purpose. We want to be regional we don’t see it as a second best, we see it as a point of difference and a point of interest. The vast majority of galleries that we will have in the fair will come from Asia, indeed we will have a commitment to Asia so there are a number of galleries that are very active in the region and galleries from the west that are very active in the region as well. We want to have a strong focus on the region but, at the same time, it is important for us to get the balance right; some of the domestic collectors within any given context want to feel that there’s a difference with other offerings, they want to see a strong line up of international galleries which means galleries outside of their own domestic setting. That internationalism includes galleries from Asia but also galleries from the West. We are getting a strong interest from Western galleries who have a long established relation with the region.

MS: I would like you to tell us a bit more about your partnership with UBS. I’ve interviewed Johan Jervøe and I asked him the same question. How was the partnership with them born?

MR: I’ve been working on this project already for a year and a half, I first approached UBS, with whom I have a strong relationship since when I tried to persuade them to sponsor Art Hong Kong in 2009 (which didn’t work at that time). They’ve been following the progress of the fairs in Hong Kong and they were pleased to be involved when it became ABHK. It was quite natural for me to tell them about what I was trying to put together and the potential in Taiwan. Already from an early stage they were really receptive, we both agreed that we were serious about partnering up and we set the deadline to try to get things together in order to announce a partnership. I’ve been speaking to a lot of people, potential exhibitors, gallerists and collectors over the last year so there’s already a lot of speculation in the market about our activities but for us to go out there and to announce UBS as lead/presenting partner was something that will really speed up our progress now, so it has been something that was brilliant to secure their involvement so early on. It’s quite unusual for a fair to be announced from its inception with a sponsor like UBS.

MS: The fair will coincide with the Taipei Biennial. Are you collaborating with the Biennial as well as with museums and institutions in town? Are you trying to create an art week to attract a broader public?

MR: It’s still very early days for us. The first part of a fair’s cycle is to persuade the galleries to come and the second part of the cycle switches to marketing, vip programming and vip attendance. I’ve had early meetings with the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, who organize the Biennial and they have been very very open and receptive; we haven’t spoken formally about how we might be able to collaborate, but one of the things that I think is quite fortuitous in terms of timing is that rather than the fair coinciding with the opening of the Biennial (where sometimes I think that when fairs coincide with opening of biennials it feels like one is riding on the tail of the other’s marketing campaign), the fair coincides with the end of the biennial. My hope is that we can reactivate and energize their activities as well. I hope it will be very constructive in that sense.

MS: This brings us to my last question which is about the current art scene in Taipei. How’s the current art scene there, are there many galleries, how do you think the fair will change the city art scene?

MR: If you speak to most exhibitors at ABHK or to galleries that have a strong relationship with Asia, they almost without exception will talk about the strength of collectors from Taiwan and their sophistication. Taiwan has a very established collector base, a very established gallery scene, there are some really high quality galleries there. There are around 140 galleries in total which gives you a sense of the scale of the market that is required to sustain that number of galleries, but one of the things that I was really surprised about was that after my departure from Art Basel and during my time with the auction house Bonhamns (which spent a lot of time in Taiwan), I was frequently coming across collectors at auctions who I had never met before in the gallery context. So I guess that one of the things that is not really understood in the international scene is the importance of Taiwanese collectors, their activity in the auction market: they are one of the key constituencies in the region for sourcing consignments for auctions. There’s a really established history of collecting, not only related to contemporary art. Collecting is in the DNA of the audience there so I think there’s a real potential.

Mara Sartore

  • L-R Dennis Chen, Country Head and Head of Wealth Management, UBS Taiwan, and Magnus Renfrew, Co-Founder and Director of Taipei Dangdai. Courtesy of Taipei Dangdai L-R Dennis Chen, Country Head and Head of Wealth Management, UBS Taiwan, and Magnus Renfrew, Co-Founder and Director of Taipei Dangdai. Courtesy of Taipei Dangdai
  • Magnus Renfrew, Co-Founder and Director of Taipei Dangdai. Courtesy of Taipei Dangdai Magnus Renfrew, Co-Founder and Director of Taipei Dangdai. Courtesy of Taipei Dangdai
  • (Left to right): Dennis Chen, country head and head of wealth management, UBS Taiwan; Leslie Sun, collector and member of the Taipei Dangdai advisory group; Rudy Tseng, collector and member of advisory group; Magnus Renfrew, fair director of Taipei Dangdai; Patrick Sun, collector and member of advisory group; and Jason Chi, collector and member of advisory group. Courtesy Taipei Dangdai. (Left to right): Dennis Chen, country head and head of wealth management, UBS Taiwan; Leslie Sun, collector and member of the Taipei Dangdai advisory group; Rudy Tseng, collector and member of advisory group; Magnus Renfrew, fair director of Taipei Dangdai; Patrick Sun, collector and member of advisory group; and Jason Chi, collector and member of advisory group. Courtesy Taipei Dangdai.
  • Magnus Renfew, Fair Director. Courtesy of Taipei Dangdai. Magnus Renfew, Fair Director. Courtesy of Taipei Dangdai.
Venice - News

Kenneth Frampton is the Recipient of the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at Venice Architecture Biennale

3 weeks ago

Kenneth Frampton, an English architect, historian, critic and educator, has been awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale.

In proposing this name Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara expressed the following motivation:

«Through his work Kenneth Frampton occupies a position of extraordinary intuition and intelligence, combined with a sense of unique integrity. It stands out as the voice of truth in promoting the key values of architecture and its role in society. His humanistic philosophy, in relation to architecture, is rooted in his writing and has constantly argued this humanistic component through all the various “movements” and tendencies of architecture, often misleading, in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.»

The President of the Venice Biennale Paolo Baratta declared:

«There is no student of the faculties of architecture who has not had in his hands his History of modern architecture. The Golden Lion goes this year to a teacher, and in this sense also wants to be a recognition of the critical teaching of architecture. »

Kenneth Frampton (London, 1930) was trained as an architect at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. He worked as a historical architect and architecture critic. He is currently Ware Professor at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University, New York. He has been teaching at the Royal College of Art in London, the ETH in Zurich, the Berlage Institute in Amsterdam, the EPFL in Lausanne and the Academy of Architecture in Mendrisio. He is the author of many essays on modern and contemporary architecture, and has been part of numerous international juries for architectural prizes and building commissions.

My Art Guides Editorial Team

  • Kenneth Frampton Kenneth Frampton
Milan - Interviews

Please, Jump on it!: an Interview with Jeremy Deller and Massimiliano Gioni

4 weeks ago

During the somewhat soggy opening of Jeremy Deller’s Sacrilege, a bouncy-castle Stonehenge, at CityLife sculpture park in Milan, we interviewed both the British artist and curator Massimiliano Gioni to find out more about the installation and the collaboration with Fondazione Trussardi. 

The installation will be erect until Sunday, April 15th.

With Sacrilege, Deller brings to the heart of  Milan a life-size inflatable reconstruction of the archeological site of Stonehenge – an icon of British culture and heritage, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1986.

Deller believes in the devaluation of artistic ego through the involvement of other people in the creative process and this gentle approach of his was evident throughout our interview with him as he hastily encouraged all passers; the young, the old, two legs or four to get involved, jump and play on the inflatable.

Meeting the artist: a rainy interview with Jeremy Deller

Lara Morrell: Well in true British style let’s start by talking about the weather, how perfectly apt it is? (It has been pouring with rain in Milan for the last few days)

Jeremy Deller: I know, brilliant isn’t it?! I’m soaking and we’ve spent the whole morning mopping and trying to empty the thing of water, you should jump on and have a go! (Jeremy interrupts our talk to usher a passerby and her dog onto the inflatable Stonehenge). Sorry, but the whole point is that people interact and play on it, thats what its all about, for people to enjoy it. 

L.M.: Could you tell us a little about the title – why Sacrilege? Is it perhaps a way of covering your back?

J.D.: Perhaps yes, but that’s what I called it back in 2012 and that’s how it stayed, people seem to like it. At the time I thought people may think turning a pre-historic site in to a bouncy castle sacrilege, so to ward off any criticism I called it just that.

L.M.:  ‘A week or so ago you handed out posters to commuters in stations in London and Liverpool with instructions on how to delete their Facebook profiles. Now in the light of yesterday’s Mark Zuckerburg hearing could you tell us some more about this intervention?

J.D.: Back in January I made a red t-shirt with a six step instruction on how to delete your Facebook account for an opening party at Kettle’s Yard, this was before the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke, then in its wake I was commissioned by the Rapid Response Unit News to make posters, they were printed on pink paper and handed out in Liverpool and London and also on the walls of the Facebook’s London headquarters.

The Rapid Response Unit is a Liverpool based cultural experiment which encourages artist to respond creatively to global events, believing in public engagement and free distribution.

L.M.: My Art Guides is based in Venice, you represented Britain in the British Pavilion for the Biennale in 2013 with English Magic, how has your vision of Britain and it’s ever weirder status changed since then, regarding Brexit for example? What was your experience of Venice like?

J.D.: Wow, that’s a big question and I need more time to think about it, but the show would be a lot different today, the country is ever more divided and bizarre. However in one of the rooms in the pavilion there is a reference to our relationship to Russia, with William Morris throwing a luxury yacht belonging to Roman Abramovich into the Venetian lagoon. I had a great time in Venice and the show was a great success, people reacted really well to it.

L.M.: On the topic of Brexit have you heard about the Brexiters proposal for the ‘Museum of Sovereignty’  a museum of Brexit leading to galleries displaying a selection of your old school friend Nigel Farage’s tweed jackets.

J.D.: No I haven’t heard about it, but I think its a brilliant idea, it will demonstrate just how absurd they all are!


From the curator’s perspective: a few questions for Massimiliano Gioni

Lara Morrell: How did the collaboration with Jeremy come about? When did you two start working together?

Massimiliano Gioni: Jeremy and I go back a long way, we started working together for the first time in 2004 in San Sebastian when he organised one of his first parades and then we collaborated in 2006 at the Berlin biennale and in 2009 at New Museum. We met again at the Venice Biennale in 2013 where he was not in the international show but in the British pavilion which was even greater, its a friendship and long-lasting collaboration and we wanted to bring the piece to Milan since he installing it in Glasgow and London. It took some time to make it happen on a practical level because the city has strict regulations that prohibit the erection of any sort of structure in public green spaces. So we finally found a way to do it because this park technically doesn’t belong to the city yet as it’s in transition between private ownership (those who built CityLife) and the city. So it was because of this transition period it was possible to have access, it’s a technicality but it also demonstrates the patience Jeremy has when realising a project and it worked out well as its a strange and interesting context and it happens to be near miart.

L.M.: Why this specifically this piece of his? Is there any kind of underling message to the piece in this context?

MG: I don’t even know if he had this in mind in 2012, but certainly this piece sadly becomes more relevant today when certain ideas of nationalism and populism appropriate these types of symbols with xenophobic or nationalistic messages, that was what I read in his piece but I don’t know if this was what he had in mind. In Italy this type of imagery is very much associated with the myth of origins, which are regarded with suspicion, even in England as well. We had this occasion to work together in Milan and we took it and we’ll most probably work together again in the future. Typically with the foundation during Miart we hold smaller projects like this, not it terms of scale, but smaller in ambition, one-off unique projects.

L.M: Any Milan highlights to suggest for the visitors of Milan Art Week?

M.G: This is the kind of thing you do not want to disclose to the press! Ok, let me think…This is not meant to be self serving but what I do love about the Trussardi Foundation is that in a sense it has become a compass for the hidden history of the city tracing the different places where we have held exhibitions, for example two years ago in an abandoned art deco public bath near Porta Venezia we held a show by Sarah Lucas, Albergo Diurno – that’s a really amazing space but can be accessed during special openings only ( currently it is closed).

Lara Morrell

  • Jeremy Deller at the opening of Sacrilege, City Life Park Jeremy Deller at the opening of Sacrilege, City Life Park
  • Sacrilege, Installation views, City Life Park Sacrilege, Installation views, City Life Park
  • Beatrice Trussardi, Jeremy Deller and Massimiliano Gioni Beatrice Trussardi, Jeremy Deller and Massimiliano Gioni
  • Jeremy Deller Jeremy Deller
Milan - Posts

An Exhibition of Drawings from Collezione Ramo at Casa Libeskind

4 weeks ago

The works on paper by six great Italian artists of the 20th century – Afro, Boccioni, Depero, Russolo, Sant’Elia and Sironi – are exhibited in the private residence of the archistar Daniel Libeskind in CityLife Park, in Milan. The exhibition, running April 15 -22, is curate by Irina Zucca Alessandrelli.

The exhibition anticipates the great exhibition at the Museo del Novecento with which in the fall the Collezione Ramo, one of the largest private collections of works on paper by Italian artists of the twentieth century.

“The exhibition of Collezione Ramo at CityLife – says architect Daniel Libeskind – represents a fantastic research into the imagination of the modern city through the eyes of these Italian artists. I believe that drawing is the expression of the city. Thanks to the sign on the map you can explore the infinite possibilities of the mind – as only Leonardo, Bernini and Michelangelo have been able to do! ”

Save the date – Collezione Ramo. La città moderna a casa Libeskind

CityLife, via Spinola 8, Milano

Opening times:
Press preview: 13 April 5-6pm
Opening: 13 April 6-9pm
Sun, 15 April 11am – 6pm
from 16 to 22 April 11am -8pm
registration at is required

My Art Guides Editorial Team

  • Mario Sironi, Paesaggio Urbano, 1920 Mario Sironi, Paesaggio Urbano, 1920