Installed throughout Festival Hall, IN/SITU features large-scale sculpture, and site-specific works. For the 2023 IN/SITU program, Claudia Segura, curator of exhibitions and collections at MACBA, Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, will curate a selection of work featuring artists from leading international exhibitors participating in the exposition.
2023 Curator Announced
Claudia Segura (Barcelona, 1984) is a curator and cultural producer based in Barcelona where she is Curator of Exhibitions and Collections at MACBA, Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona.
She holds a BA from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, and an MA in Contemporary Art Theory from Goldsmiths University, London. She was Director and Chief Curator of NC-arte in Bogotá, Colombia (2015-2019), where she curated several exhibitions and site-specific projects by different artists (Amalia Pica, Luis Camnitzer, Xavier Le Roy, Nicolás Paris, Nicolás Consuegra, Los Carpinteros, Alia Farid, among others). She was coordinator of cultural initiatives at the Fundació ”la Caixa”, Barcelona (2010-2012); an external curator of the Mardin Biennial, Turkey (2014-2015); and mentor of the Sala d’Art Jove, Barcelona (2014), and at the Cano Laboratory at the Art Museum of the National University of Colombia (2018). In addition, she has been a visiting lecturer at the National University of the Andes, Bogotá (2017).
Segura has curated and co-curated projects including To be known as Infinite: María José Arjona, MAMBO, Bogotá (2018); Here the border is you, ProyectosLA, Los Angeles (2017); Límites Nómadas, Biennial of the Borders of Mexico (2015); Fifty (Pipilotti Rist) from Han Nefkens H+F Collection, Collectorspace, Istanbul (2014); Copy/Paste – Recodifying the gesture, Instituto Cervantes, London; Like Tears in Rain, Palace of the Arts, Porto; and Producing Urban Order, Goldsmiths University, London (2008).
She was editorial coordinator of Florae 2015 magazine of Flora ars + natura, Bogotá, and writes regularly for diverse specialized arts platforms. Segura is part of various research platforms such as De vuelta y vuelta and Para abrir boca.
About The 2022 Curator
Art historian, curator and author of several publications, Marcella Beccaria is Chief Curator and Curator of Collections at Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea located in Rivoli-Torino, Italy. She has conceived and organized a number of solo and group exhibitions, collections’ displays, special programs and collateral events. Beccaria has previously held positions at The ICA-The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, and in addition to her curation, she is Vice President of AMACI (Association of Italian Museums of Contemporary Art) and Visiting Professor at NABA-Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti, Milan. Beccaria has authored several scholarly catalogues, including the first monographs on the work of Roberto Cuoghi, Yang Fudong and Francesco Vezzoli. Recent catalogs (edited and co-edited) include Otobong Nkanga (upcoming), Anri Sala (2019), Nalini Malani (2018), Gilberto Zorio (2017), Wael Shawky (2016), Giovanni Anselmo (2016), Marinella Senatore (2014), Jan Dibbets (2014) and a monograph on Olafur Eliasson (published by Tate, London, 2013). Beccaria has collaborated and published with major international institutions including Villa Arson, Nice; Kode, Bergen; The Art Institute of Chicago; Tate, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum of Contemporary Art, Santa Barbara; Kunstmuseum, Wolfsburg; La Biennale di Venezia, Venice; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museu Serralves, Porto; Biennale of Istanbul; ICA, London.
2022 CURATORIAL STATEMENT: RARE EARTHS
CURATED BY MARCELLA BECCARIA
Rare Earths are a group of non-rare chemical elements abundant in the Earth's crust. Thanks to their electrical, magnetic, and optical properties, rare earth elements are used in a wide range of fields, from aerospace industry, to defense weapon systems to health and medical applications. Rare Earths’ exact names and appearance are not familiar to many, yet as the metals of new technologies, they are something that most of us handle each day. The elements are present in ordinary consumer products, such as mobile phones, computer hard drives, flat screen monitors and televisions. Rare Earths are also at the core of major geopolitical disputes and indispensable for the production of wind turbines, photovoltaic panels, electric cars and a number of items that are key to ecological transition. Despite these uses, extraction systems and poor recycling often result in severe environmental damage and dramatic social impact.
As a poorly raveled knot, Rare Earths are among the co-agents of some of the great dilemmas that mark daily experience—poised between green economy, high-technology, pollution and inequalities. Rare Earths provide an uncomfortable metaphor, a slippery conceptual framework through which to look at artworks by major contemporary artists. Coming from a variety of geographies and countries, the artists presented in the 2022 IN/SITU program Rare Earths work “on the present” and “in the present” with works in different media— including sculpture, installation, performance, virtual reality and more. These artists share an ability to stay in touch with problems and deal with “the trouble,” according to a critical attitude that feminist thought has discussed as one of the possible ways to survive on this planet we have poisoned, and perhaps find a way out.
2022 Participating Artists
aaajiao | Daata, London
Raphaël Barontini | Mariane Ibrahim, Chicago, Paris
Guglielmo Castelli | Galerie Rolando Anselmi, Berlin, Rome
Heather Dewey-Hagborg | Fridman Gallery, New York
Keiken | Daata, London
Keiken + George Jasper Stone | Daata, London
Liz Larner | Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin, Paris, London
Bertina Lopes | Richard Saltoun Gallery, London
Cildo Meireles | Almeida & Dale, São Paulo
John Preus | Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco
Nancy Rubins | Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago
Edra Soto | Luis de Jesus Los Angeles, Los Angeles
Naama Tsabar | Kasmin Gallery, New York, Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles
Stan VanDerBeek | DOCUMENT, Chicago
Sarah Zapata | Deli Gallery, New York
2022 ON-SITE WORKS
Mariane Ibrahim, Chicago, Paris
Caribbean Fantasia Panorama, 2020
Mariane Ibrahim, Chicago, Paris
Capois la mort Cape, 2020
Mariane Ibrahim, Chicago, Paris
Capois la mort Chaps, 2020
“Working on the different modes of representations in art history, you discover that art has been seen from a Western gaze for centuries. I try to deconstruct the dominant storytelling to imagine mine, more plural; yes, more mixed. [It’s about] giving space to other narratives from Africa, the Caribbean, and also other types of representations where societies have been through slavery and colonization.” —Raphaël Barontini
Raphaël Barontini questions history and the ways in which it has been fabricated and recounted to exclude some, based on the aggressive violence of others. Looking back at his own family roots in the Caribbean and his upbringing in Europe, the artist revisits the histories of Western colonialism and slavery. Real characters related with French Caribbean history are depicted with imagined ones; Voodoo figures, and magical deities occupy his works, sometimes with their faces and bodies switched. Produced through a process that includes collage and silkscreen, these juxtapositions refer to the concept of “creolization” and the philosophies of French Caribbean thinkers and writers like Édouard Glissant and Aimé Césaire.
For Rare Earths, the artist presents Caribbean Fantasia Panorama, 2020, his most ambitious work to date. Referring to the Western tradition of history painting, as well as to the tradition of tapestries, the piece refers to the battle of Vertières. The battle is the last engagement of the Haitian Revolution (1791–1794), when enslaved people won their freedom and independence against the French troops of Napoleon, making Haiti the first independent Black republic in 1804. In the textile, the characters can be referred to Jean Jacques Dessalines or Toussaint Louverture, key historical protagonists of the events, and the bronze sculpture refers to their African roots. Barontini’s practice includes live performances in the form of large parades for which he designs pieces that can be worn and later stay in the exhibition environment as in the case of Capois la mort Cape and Capois la mort Chaps, 2020. These works refer to François Capois (1766 –1806), nicknamed Capois-La-Mort, meaning “Capois-Death.” Born in Haiti as a slave, Capois became an officer and hero in the Haitian Revolution. —Marcella Beccaria
Galerie Rolando Anselmi, Berlin, Rome
Orphée aux Enfers, 2022 (Orpheus in the Underworld)
“Perhaps I would like to inhabit the worlds I paint.” –Guglielmo Castelli
With a training in scenography and a passion for literature, Guglielmo Castelli is the author of drawings and paintings often set in powerful nocturnal underworlds. The works are inhabited by seductive characters that have only vague resemblances with humans. Free of anatomical constrictions, his queer figures pose, dance, and make any kind of stunts, constantly adapting their boneless limbs to negotiate balance in their liquid surroundings.
In response to Rare Earths’ idea of looking at elements in the earth’s crust as a slippery metaphor for some of the many contradictions that shape contemporary experience, Castelli has produced Orphée aux Enfers, 2022. The new diptych takes inspiration from the eponymous operetta, with music by Germanborn French composer Jacques Offenbach. Written in 1858, the play is a satire about Greek mythology. Staging a wild party of gods, the play reaches its peak with “The Galop Infernal,” the melody that has become almost ubiquitously associated with cancan dance. —Marcella Beccaria
Fridman Gallery, New York
Watson's Ghost, 2021
“And then there was the rejection of devices. Huge piles of discarded phones, tablets, laptops, flat screens, VR goggles filled city streets like barricades in the French Revolution. It became the thing to demonstrate how ‘over digital’ you were.” —Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Lovesick Futures, 2020
Information artist and bio-hacker, Heather Dewey-Hagborg explores the intersection between art, science, technology, philosophy and fiction. Her works look at the deep and often hidden structures that shape the contemporary digital age and condition our understanding of what we call “reality.”
On the occasion of Rare Earths, Dewey-Hagborg contributes two works. Inhabiting Rare Earths’ digital section, Waltz of the Viruses, 2020, is set in a possible future in which, after the Coronavirus pandemic, “anxiety will rule with a new biological character.” Imagining a world in which love could spread like a virus, the work is both a video and a short novel written by the artist.
Watson’s Ghost, 2021, takes inspiration from scientist James Watson, co-discoverer of the structure of DNA and the first person to make his DNA sequence public. Questioning the scientist’s troubling reductionist views on issues such as race, sex, ethnicity and intelligence, Dewey-Hagborg has produced a triptych that shows a multitude of human faces, hinting to the different interpretations of how James Watson might look based on DNA alone. —Marcella Beccaria
Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin, Paris, London
hard bubble, 2021
“I think that some things that are currently being called assemblages can be considered feminist forms. Something that is together, but flexible and unfixed; linked, but free moving; mixed in a knot in a way that is together and emergent. Something that can accommodate its own indeterminacy. Something capable of adaptation.” —Liz Larner
Running from microscopic to immense, Liz Larner’s works are characterized by thoughtfulness and experimentation and make use of a variety of materials, including plastic, metal, clay, paper, leather, volcanic ash, surgical gauze and bacteria. From her earliest work with petri dishes, up to the most recent sculptural installations, Larner has been examining issues related with transformation, unpredictability and agency, anticipating multi-species approaches to interpret the present.
For Rare Earths, Larner presents hard bubble, 2021, belonging to her most recent body of work focusing on plastic and its possible ecologies. Transformed to become iridescent cloud-like matter, the used plastic bottles and takeaway containers become a frieze-like assemblage, in which human waste takes unexpected shapes. “New forms—the artist says—look like things that we don’t recognize, that there aren’t yet words for. They are invisible to most of us. I try to see them, but probably miss a lot of them, even though they’re all around. Maybe new forms aren’t made by humans.” —Marcella Beccaria
Richard Saltoun Gallery, London
Richard Saltoun Gallery, London
Acrobazia 1 [Stunt] 1, 1972
Born from an African mother and a Portuguese father, Bertina Lopes participated in anti-colonial activities in Maputo, in close contact with major African poets and intellectuals. Prosecuted and forced to leave first Mozambique and then Portugal, the artist eventually moved to Rome in 1963, playing an important cultural role both in Italy and Mozambique. Lopes can be considered a founding figure in a women’s genealogy of engaged modern and contemporary art, with a body of works that freely masters several languages and keeps a deep connection with African identity.
The repudiation of war, the revolt against all forms of violence and the emancipation of women are some of the key themes that run through Lopes’ works, enriching the project Rare Earths with their strong presence. Works such as Acrobazia (Stunt), 1972, can be interpreted as a call for freedom and engagement with daily life. Belonging to the eponymous series started at the end of the 1960s, Totem, 1974, is a major example of Lopes distinctive abstract language, in line with an intentional independence from the Western tradition. —Marcella Beccaria
Almeida & Dale, São Paulo
Almeida & Dale, São Paulo
“The suspension of the ordinary by physical means in visual art can be a material like any other. Also, if you are in a new situation, in a culture, a landscape, a place that you do not know, you will without a doubt alter the normal procedure of your sensory apparatus.” —Cildo Meireles
Cildo Meireles is one of the most influential representatives of a generation of artists who emerged in Rio de Janeiro in the late 1960s. Censorship imposed by the military regime in Brazil during the 1970s was a recurrent theme for the artist. Inviting critical thinking, and often active participation of the viewer, his works convey a multi-sensorial and strong poetic dimension. Meireles’ entire oeuvre stems out of the artist’s understanding of space as “geometric, historical, psychological, topological and anthropological.”
The project Rare Earths includes two major works by Meireles. Taking a critical and political approach towards the idea of perspective and the fallibility of a unique point of view, Canto, 1967–1975, depends on participation by the viewer. According to their vantage point, the viewer can experience opposite concepts of space, such as inside/outside as well as openness/closedness or presence/absence.
The title Inmensa, 1982, can be referred to the Latin “in mensa” meaning “over the table,” but also read in relation with its affinity to the word immense, as a possible reference to something so large that the overall image escapes perception. With its descending architecture, the piece feels like a strong statement concerning the way power constructs itself. —Marcella Beccaria
Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco
Stoop Culture, 2019
Special thanks for support from Ellen Rothenberg, Daniel Eisenberg, the Sullivan Gallery, and the Smart Museum at the University of Chicago.
“We can talk about the long and fascinating history of transformation, of turning one thing into another, of things appearing to be other than what they are, of being able to recognize and read the truth beneath the surface. Historical eras—the iron age, the bronze age, the information age—are often named according to the development of a transformative technology. Science—or alchemy as it was called then—was consumed with the idea of turning one thing into another, base metals into gold for instance, and now how to transform data into ever smaller units, to store on material vehicles called batteries, to transform brute materials into moving parts.” —John Preus
Describing himself as an artist, builder, fabricator, amateur writer, musician and collaborator, John Preus engages with found objects, particularly discarded school furniture. He uses chairs, desks and bookshelves, exploring their materiality and embedded memories to trace new beginnings. His practice is intentionally open to participation: he often invites other artists to collaborate and favors audiences to touch, sense, and use his works.
In dialogue with Rare Earths, and the disturbing way in which new technologies have replaced traditional materials such as wood, stone, or iron, Preus presents Stoop Culture, 2019. The installation exposes the way concepts such as circular economy, sustainability and ecology can be theorized or directly become action. —Marcella Beccaria
Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago
Slippie's Lane, 2021
“I realized that this stuff has been around a long time, and it’s passed through this odd transition. Before it was in the earth, it was floating as a molecule in outer space—it was part of somebody’s star, or part of somebody’s exploding planet.” —Nancy Rubins
Nancy Rubins has found inspiration in everyday objects such as appliances, televisions, hot water heaters, airplane parts, boats, trailers, mattresses, canoes and playground equipment. Rubins’ works are often engineered with thin steel trusses and tension cables to create monumental installations. In Rubins’ hands these objects’ obsolete technologies turn into new and unexpected forms, able to defy gravity and design space.
For Rare Earths, a project that takes the metals of the new technologies as a possible metaphor to look at the present, Rubins presents Slippie’s Lane, a major sculpture belonging to the Fluid Space series she started in 2019. Made by using sections of cast metal animals sliced into fragments, the work seems to suggest a new creature from an upcoming species, perhaps a unique evolution stemming out of Anthropocene’s lands. —Marcella Beccaria
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, Los Angeles
“GRAFT physically interconnects this existing architecture to a site-specific place while conceptually representing an imaginary transplant or migratory gesture. Motivated by my own Puerto Rican heritage and colonized condition, I have been an advocate for the African influence in the architecture and design of Puerto Rico for over a decade.” —Edra Soto
Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Edra Soto is an artist, curator, educator and co-director of the outdoor project space, The Franklin. Based in Chicago, Soto regularly travels to Puerto Rico. Each time she returns to her homeland she finds inspiration in its current and past political realities as well as in her own personal memories.
In line with her site-responsive practice, Soto’s contribution to Rare Earths is a new version of GRAFT, an architectural intervention series started in 2013. The two works in the new installation are respectively designed as a bus shelter with a bench and a wood screen, both characterized by geometric rhythmic patterns and colors derived from Puerto Rican domestic architecture. These structures shape many working-class neighborhoods mainly built around the 1950s, and are based on the ironwork grills that function as ventilation and protective barriers for homes. Called rejas, these grills originated from the dwellings of African slaves, and were subsequently employed by the Spanish at the time of the colonial rule. Addressing these histories of appropriation, the title GRAFT intentionally includes its medical reference to the idea of a skin transplant. —Marcella Beccaria
Kasmin Gallery, New York, Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles
Melodies of Certain Damage #16, 2021
“For me the fragmented experience is very important. There is no one central point of power, it’s dispersed. It’s important to me to destabilize the power structure that our society is built on.” —Naama Tsabar
With a background in music, Naama Tsabar uses performance, installation and sculptures to suggest alternative worlds, questioning existing code and power structures. Referring to rock music, and its maledominated codes, she mainly involves women and gender nonconforming musicians for her performative works. Tsabar often uses space offering multiple points of view, and her sculptural pieces can be touched and activated by the audience.
For Rare Earths, and the project’s attention to artists who are able to stay “with the trouble,” Tsabar presents Melody of Certain Damage #16, 2021. The piece is a guitar, broken into pieces, yet still provided with some strings and attached to an amplifier. Subverting the traditional rock narrative, in which the climax on stage often coincides with the macho gesture of smashing the musical instrument, the artist suggests a situation filled with potential. Ready to be played, the broken guitar becomes the starting point of a new beginning. —Marcella Beccaria
Stan VanDerBeek (1927-1984)
Panels for the Walls of the World: Phase 1, 1970
“It is imperative that we quickly find some way for the entire level of world human understanding to rise to a new human scale. The scale is the world. The risks are the life or death of this world. The technological explosion of this last half-century, and the implied future are overwhelming, man is running the machines of his own invention... while the machine that is man... runs the risk of running wild. Technological research, development, and involvement of the world community has almost completely out-distanced the emotionalsociological (socio-‘logical’) comprehension of this technology. [...] It is imperative that we (the world’s artists) invent a new world language.” —Stan VanDerBeek, “Culture: Intercom and Expanded Cinema. A Proposal and Manifesto,” 1966
As a pioneer in the development of experimental film and animation techniques in the mid-fifties and an advocate of the use of technologies that had no previous application in art, including TV broadcast and computer graphics, Stan VanDerBeek forged new links among several fields, anticipating new media art and digital culture. Involved with the artists of his time, he also shared his creative energy in collaboration with industries, such as Bell Laboratories and NASA, in search of innovative models for art production. His interest in technology was accompanied by a deep concern for the human, a condemnation of war and violence, and the desire to find a shared “picture-language” to communicate in the world.
Rare Earths, as a project that looks at the ways technology is an integral part of experience and art, while also including artists who deal with urgent issues such as war, migration, and inequalities, includes VanDerBeek’s Panels for the Walls of the World, 1970. This “telephone mural” experimented with the possibility of using newly available Xerox Telecopier machines to transmit images simultaneously to different locations. In line with the original artist’s concept, the mural “is executed as a process, and is worked and re-worked throughout the length of the exhibition,” as he said. The images transmitted are hundreds of collages he made using newspaper headlines regarding worldwide issues of racism, war, poverty, and advertisements featuring expensive commodities, perfected bodies and abundant food. —Marcella Beccaria
This presentation is made in collaboration with DOCUMENT and the Stan VanDerBeek Archive.
Panels for the Walls of the World: Phase 1, 1970 at EXPO CHICAGO is part of a multi-site project that marks the first time VanDerBeek’s fax murals will be transmitted to multiple sites simultaneously since VanDerBeek’s realization of the artwork in 1970. The work will be transmitted by the Stan VanDerBeek Archive in Brooklyn, New York and installed in stages at EXPO CHICAGO, DOCUMENT, and Hyde Park Art Center. Phase 2 of the mural will be the focus of an exhibition at the Box in Los Angeles in September 2022. Original components from Stan VanDerBeek’s fax murals made 1968- 1971 are publicly displayed at DOCUMENT through April 23rd.
Deli Gallery, New York
A Famine of Hearing, 2019
“I feel like my work it’s so female that it becomes something else in this weird way, it’s almost alien. I like that it’s meant to sort of be in the past and the future, like an imagined sense of time, so maybe it has an imagined gender.” —Sarah Zapata
Sarah Zapata employs traditional craft techniques related to her Peruvian origins to produce textile-based works and installations. All hand-made and tinted using natural plant dyes, her works take inspiration from ancient Quechua traditions. They also reference arpilleras (burlap) textiles produced in the 1970s and 1980s in Chile, when women political prisoners held during the Pinochet regime needed to camouflage messages to their families and friends.
Resisting the contemporary accelerated and de-materialized digital experience, Zapata’s practice addresses the meaning of time and the value of labor-intensive processes. Her installations work as platforms for identity affirmation and for social interactions, places in which the direct encounter with soft, warm and colorful materials can also take political meaning, as in the case of A Famine of Hearing, 2019. With a title that can be read in reference to a Biblical quote, the piece hints at the craving for a spiritual dimension, offering to Rare Earths a place for non-technological social interactions. —Marcella Beccaria
2022 DIGITAL WORKS
The 2022 edition of IN/SITU is the first to feature a section dedicated to digital works, featuring artists aaajiao, Keiken, and Keiken + George Jasper Stone in collaboration with Daata and Heather Dewey-Hagborg.
To access these digital works, browse the QR code gallery below and scan to view. For some of the works, you will be prompted to download the Daata app before viewing.
Keiken: Feel My Metaverse
Keiken: Wisdoms for Love
Heather Dewey-Hagborg: Waltz of the Viruses
Wisdoms for Love 3.0, 2021
“World-building really works on so many levels—it is the foundation of how we work collectively. Think of it literally as a world, and that world needs multiple voices and ways of existing both collectively and autonomously to sustain itself.” —Keiken
Founded in 2015 by artists Tanya Cruz, Hana Omori and Isabel Ramos, Keiken is a cross-dimensional collaborative practice in which the artists are bringing together their Mexican, Japanese, European and Jewish heritages, as well as constantly engaging in new collaborations. Based in London and Berlin, the collective borrows its name from the Japanese word “experience,” also in relation to the artists’ intention to produce works that contribute to “world building and the carving of new spaces.” Merging the physical with the digital, Keiken works with virtual reality, augmented reality, performance, gaming engines and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to explore possible presents and upcoming futures. Wisdoms for Love 3.0, 2021, is extracted from Keiken’s recently released game and allows users to meet CGI caricatures of Elon Musk, Grimes and their baby X Æ A-12. As the artists explain, the piece “contemplates the bubbled-up feelings, beliefs and collective consciousness of the contemporary moment. It is riddled with decisions where the players must decide their fate. Do they take the path of the Divine Mother, become a Human God or stay on their Moral High Horse?” —Marcella Beccaria
Keiken & George Jasper Stone
Feel My Metaverse, 2019
Fridman Gallery, New York
Lovesick Futures, 2020