MUSAC Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Castilla y Leon Amikejo yearly exhibition series

On 9 April the Laboratorio 987, MUSAC’s independent project space, presents the second show of the Amikejo exhibition series, a specific project by artist pair Iratxe Jaio (Markina-Xemein, Vizcaya, Spain, 1976) and Klaas van Gorkum (Delft, The Netherlands, 1975). The Amikejo project, set to develop throughout 2011 over a series of four exhibitions, is curated by the independent curatorial office Latitudes (Max Andrews and Mariana Cánepa Luna), and structured around relational and spatial twinning. The four artist pairs in the cycle are Pennacchio Argentato (29/01/2011–03/04/2011), Iratxe jaio & Klaas van Gorkum (09/04/2011–12/06/2011), Uqbar Foundation (Mariana Castillo Deball and Irene Kopelman) (25/06/2011–11/09/2011), Fermín Jiménez Landa and Lee Welch (24/09/2011–15/01/2012). The Laboratorio 987 enters with Amikejo a new phase in its exhibition programming, focused on providing a projection platform not only for artists, but also for young curators working in Spain. Under the new scheme, each year MUSAC will invite a limited number of curators to submit a year-long curatorial project for Laboratorio 987, guided by the premise of developing a conceptual approach through four exhibitions for the museum’s project room. MUSAC will select the submission best suited to the project room’s approach.

On Amikejo
Amikejo is a series of four exhibitions at the Laboratorio 987 of MUSAC that is structured around relational and spatial twinning. This is most evident in the fact that the artists of each installment are formed by two collaborating individuals, as is Latitudes, the curatorial office formed by Max Andrews & Mariana Cánepa Luna invited to conceive the season. These artistic pairings involve various modes of binomial friendships—couples in life, dedicated duos, intermittent work partners, as well as new allies. The artist partnerships involve an overall 50–50 split of male and female practitioners, as well as Spanish-speaking and foreign origins.

The series encompasses a further register of doubling prompted by a critical reflection on the conditions and expectations of a ‘project space’ such as Laboratorio 987 within today’s contemporary art museum. Such a site is typically annexed from a hosting institution, independent yet attached, with the understanding that different, more ad-hoc and agile laws apply. Nonconformist and at the same time authorized, and following spatial theories such as Michel Foucault’s ‘heterotopia’, a project space is a typology that is neither here nor there. Shadowing Robert Smithson’s concept of the ‘non-site’ (an indoor artwork physically and mentally paired with an outdoor site), the Laboratorio 987 space has been assigned a relation with a specific remote location for the 2011 season: Amikejo.

Amikejo was an anomalous in-between state which never entirely existed, and was founded on a desire to foster more effective international communication through the synthetic language Esperanto. Following treaties of the early 19th Century, a tiny 3½ km2 wedge of land between the Netherlands, Belgium and Prussia was established as a neutral area because of an important zinc mine. In 1908 the 2,500 identity-less citizens of Neutral Moresnet, as it was known, declared it to be the world’s first Esperanto state: Amikejo (‘place of great friendship’ in Esperanto). A national anthem was constituted and stamps and a flag were designed. Yet in the wake of the first World War, Germany relinquished its claim to the disputed territory, and Amikejo-Moresnet disappeared from the map as it became part of Belgium, although border markers still exist to this day.

This episode-place, and ultimately, failure, was a unique synthesis of cartography, language, nationhood, politics, economics and subjectivity, and is entreated as a twin site to Laboratorio 987 by lending its name and conceptual borders to the exhibition series. This association not only implicates the spatial functions of the ‘neutral’ spaces of art—how they endorse otherwise unremarkable things with a ‘special’ status—yet also establishes a similitude with the desire to institute a shared and effective means of communication, between participants and with the world.

On Latitudes
Latitudes is an independent Barcelona-based [41º 23’N, 2º 11’E] curatorial office initiated in April 2005 by Max Andrews and Mariana Cánepa Luna. Latitudes collaborates with artists and institutions in the conception, organisation and production of exhibitions, public commissions, conferences, editorial and research initiatives across local, pan-European and international situations. Latitudes is on the editorial board of Archive Books, Turin/Berlin, is a curatorial advisor for APT Intelligence, collaborates with Vena (por la), is part of Plataforma Curatorial as well as being on Hangar’s Programming Committee 2010–12. Latitudes was awarded the GAC 2010 curatorial award given by the Catalan gallery association.

Among Latitudes’ recent projects are the edition of the publication ‘LAND, ART: A Cultural Ecology Handbook’ (2006); the co-curatorship of the group show ‘Greenwashing. Environment: Perils, Promises and Perplexities’, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Torino (2008); the curatorship of an exhibition project in four parts with Lawrence Weiner, ‘THE CREST OF A WAVE’, Fundació Suñol, Barcelona (2008). They have taken part in the two editions of ‘NO SOUL FOR SALE. A Festival of Independents’ in X Initiative, New York (2009) and in Tate Modern, London (2010), as well as the development of ‘Portscapes’, an accummulative series of newly commissioned projects in and around the extension of the Port of Rotterdam, The Netherlands, (2009), that culminated in an exhibition at the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rótterdam (2010). Recently, Latitudes participated as associated organization in the exhibition ‘The Last Newspaper’, at New Museum, NewYork (2010–11).
Additional information:

Laboratorio 987, MUSAC’s project space
Laboratorio 987, MUSAC’s project space, is an annexed venue that develops its own independent programme. Previous artists exhibiting at the Laboratorio 987: Silvia Prada (Ponferrada, Spain,1969), Fikret Atay (Batman, Turkey, 1976), Abigail Lazkoz (Bilbao, 1972), Ryan McGinley (New Jersey, USA, 1978), Wilfredo Prieto (Santi Spíritus, Cuba, 1977) Monika Sosnoswka (Ryki, Poland, 1972), Philipp Fröhlich (Schweinfurt, Germany, 1975), Pauline Fondevila (Le Havre, France, 1972), Clare E. Rojas (Ohio, USA, 1976), Marc Vives (Barcelona, Spain1978) + David Bestué (Barcelona, Spain, 1980), Joao Maria Gusmao (Lisbon, 1979) + Pedro Paiva (Lisbon, 1977) Matías Duville (Buenos Aires, 1974), Ivan Grubanov (Serbia, 1976) and Ángel de la Rubia (Oviedo, 1979), Dan Attoe (Bremerton, Washington, 1975), Nicolás Paris (Bogotá, Colombia, 1977) and Ignacio Uriarte (Krefeld, Germany, 1973), Antonio Ballester, Regina de Miguel (Malaga, Spain, 1977), Mateo López (Bogotá, Colombia, 1978), Cyprien Gaillard (Paris, 1980), A Kassen, Yorgos Sapountzis (Athens, Greece, 1976), Alexander Apóstol (Barquisimeto, Venezuela, 1969), Simon Fujiwara (London, UK, 1982), Fran Meana (Avilés, Spain, 1982), Moris (México City, 1982), Warren Neidich (New York, USA, 1962), Jenny Perlin (Wiliamstown, MA, EEUU, 1970), Diego del Pozo (Valladolid, Spain, 1974), Pedro G. Romero (Aracena, Spain, 1964), Maria Ruido (Ourense, Spain, 1967), Danh Vo (Vietnam, 1975), Marcelo Cidade (Sao Paulo, Brasil, 1979), Marcius Galán (Indianápolis, USA, 1972), André Komatsu (Sao Paulo, Brasil, 1978), Nicolás Robbio (Mar del Plata, Argentina 1975), Carla Zaccagnini (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1973), Isabel Carvalho (Paranhos, Portugal, 1977), Carolina Caycedo (Londres, Reino Unido, 1978), Carla Fernández (Saltillo, Coah, México, 1973), Adriana Lara (México DF, México, 1978), Judi Werthein (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1973).

Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León
Avda. Reyes Leoneses, 24
24008 León (Spain)
[email protected]
t. +34 987 09 00 00

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