This exhibit was organized in collaboration with Zapopan Art Museum and is made up of a group of works from TBA21’s contemporary art collection. The show outlines a growing interest in narratives linked to specific places and symbolically tackles the movements and turns between topos and atopos, place and no-place, and cultural practices - both specific and global - that take place in interstices and hybridization. TBA21 is a Vienna-based institution focused on contemporary art, which was founded in 2002 by Francesca von Habsburg in an effort to produce, curate and spread contemporary art worldwide. This is the first time that a group of pieces from this collection is showcased in America, placing emphasis on Latin American artists.
Atopia, a term that is regularly used in terms of medicine and philosophy, literally stands for “without a place”, out of place, and refers to something that is very original and impossible to classify. As for its traditional use, it is also a category for otherness, difference, expulsion and exclusion, as well as a reference to the ineffable, pristine and absolute. With this double connotation, the term becomes a productive figure when it comes to reflecting the different methods applied by artists to work with ideas related places, geography, migration, legacy, translation and the crossing of social, national and cultural frontiers. The atopico is and is not here. Its position denies the location, in a sort of attitude related to an “original” social or cultural experience, thus making it vague or keeping it distant at the same time.
The display is centered on the practices and representations in which artists have faced and dealt with such concepts as “place” and “place of origin”, by taking into account the way they gain access to them and become part of them, tell their past, the heritage legacy they receive and cultural ambiguities, along with all the dilemmas entailed by these notions.
This show is focused on the opposite to the aggregation and homogenization processes in order to look at the way in which a 21st century-art collection is based on diverse experiences, so both individuals and collectives participate in different cultural processes and realities. Therefore, it revolves around specific exchange and translation systems and methods and their implicit critics. A wide range of visual a spatial artworks catalyze the reexamination of the role played by artists in the production of place-related researches. It involves strategies to vindicate stories and specificities of certain place by means of a reaffirmation of territorial representations.
Artists: Allora & Calzadilla / Jonathas de Andrade / Taysir Batniji / John Bock / Monica Bonvicini / Abraham Cruzvillegas / Mario García Torres / Carl Michael von Hausswolff & Thomas Nordanstad / Mathilde ter Heijne / Sanja Ikevovi? / Brad Kahlhamer / Los Carpinteros / Paulo Nazareth / Rivane Neuenschwander / Walid Raad, The Atlas Group / Alex Rodríguez / Do Ho Suh / Allan Sekula
The show opened on May 14 and will remain so through October 5, 2014.