Monday, 30 May 2016

Venice - 15th International Biennale of Architecture : Thought-provoking symposium

Left to right: Adelina von Fürstenberg, Alberto Veiga, Fabrizio Barrozzi, Francisco Aires Mateus, Manuel Aires Mateus, Christoph Gantenbein

At the 15th International Biennale of Architecture in Venice, AFTW's Adelina von Fürstenberg moderated a thought-provoking symposium marking the launch of Plateforme 10, the new Lausanne museum complex which will together house the Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts (MCAB), Mudac and the Musée de l'Elysée on the museum experience and architecture together on one site. 

Thursday, 26 May 2016

World Water Joy : A Work in Progress - Participating Artist - Chéri Samba

Problème d'Eau, 2004
Acryl on canvas
135 x 200 x 4 cm
Courtesy of the artist and CAAC - The Pigozzi collection  - Geneva

"Africa’s most “water-rich” country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), is facing an acute drinking water supply crisis. Only an estimated 26 per cent of its population has access to safe drinking water, well below the approximately 60 per cent average for Sub-Saharan Africa. Due to the deteriorated state of its water infrastructure – undermined by years of underinvestment and conflict – and a rapidly growing population, the trend in water supply coverage was until recently in regression. Social and public health consequences of water service breakdown have been considerable. The poorest sections of society have been disproportionately impacted by the decline in service delivery and rising water costs, both in rural areas but increasingly in rapidly urbanizing cities."  
(Excerpt from UNEP's Water Issues in the Democratic Republic of the Congo:Challenges and Opportunities - Technical Report

The work of Chéri Samba is deeply related to the issues of congolese society. With Problème d'Eau the artist focuses on the problem of lack of water, which, as the UNEP's report is exposing, is still in a alarming situation. In his painting, the artist represents himself seated on a space rocket, leaving the earth to go and look for water on Mars, the planet of fire. All the actions seems to be vain and without any sense, underlining to this terrible fact : we are still not able to find the solution to provide  water to all the humans being, even though this element is essential to life. 

World Water Joy : A Work in Progress - Participating Artist - Iseult Labote Karamaounas

La Chaudière, 2005


"The sento, the Japanese public baths, date back from the 8th century. Currently and even if less in number, they form a mixed democratic island within the neighbourhoods, where the youth and the old, the officers and the workers, the employees and the retired purify their bodies and souls. The over-connected electric Tokyo, a slave of modernism contradicts the Westerners. Draped in its vaporous volutes, Edo pines, Edo stretches out in the fire of water before coming out purified. Even though the segregation of men and women was finally instituted in the 19th century upon the arrival of prudish Christians, the Japanese way of seeing nudity is not the same as that of a Westerner. The tradition of bath, who would originate from Shinto religion and its water purification ritual, captured by the Greco-Swiss artist, derives from the homo sociabilis source, this unshakeable link between being and nothingness, love and death. It is not the case here of a mere moment of relaxation, a cleaning of the body, but the fulfilment of a rite which transcends the individual and makes him part of a history, of a quest of absolute, a moment of eternity. Through the eyepiece, Iseult Labote’s sight experiences the privilege of not existing for the other. And despite the discomfort felt at first sight, there is nothing more extraordinary than what she gets to see: the intimacy of a civilisation.The intimacy of a social link, of a culture, of a tradition, of a history evokes the wisdom of an Asian-like Tristes Tropiques.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Venice - 15th International Biennale of Architecture - Conference

Conference-debate, 2016 May 28th

Moderation: Adelina von Fürstenberg

More info see: 

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

World Water Joy : A Work in Progress - Participating Artist - Martand Khosla

The Spirit Earns – I, II & III, 2013
Plan, Elevation, Section (From the series Rabi-Kharif-Zaid), 2012

The Spirit Earns – I, II & III, 2013
Brick grains and dust, size variable

India is in the middle of one of the worst droughts in contemporary times.  There have been several hundred deaths already related to this drought and the crisis appears to be worsening as the days progress.
The scarcity of water and the resultant crop failures have been one of the primary causes for rural to urban migration in India.  An extremely large number of rural migrant workers find unskilled employment in the construction industry in urban India, as we continue to divert the countries resources (particularly water) from rural to urban settlements.
The question that looms in front of us is –
‘Is water a resource and a fundamental right? Or is it a commodity?’

Friday, 13 May 2016

World Water Joy : A Work in Progress - Participating Artist - Peter Wüthrich

„SPLASH !“ 2012
Blue books, fixed on the wall and lay out on the floor
300 x 700 x 150 cm

...“SPLASH !“..... something was dropped into the water...
„SPLASH !“ is an homage and symbol to the universal language and music of the water.
We need to close our eyes to imagine this onomatope-word and its mimesis sound and meaning related to the water.
The water is alife and creates its own words - in this installation written by blue original books, which are also mediums who needs our imagination to understand its deeper meaning and sense - like the water. „SPLASH !“ is an image, deep in my brain and out of my childhood I still keep in my memories - this sound made by the water while I have thrown a stone into the lake....

Thursday, 12 May 2016

World Water Joy : A Work in Progress - Participating Artist - Vasilis Zografos

Paintings, 2008-2010
Oil on canvas 

 Water dragon, 2008, oil on canvas 190x200cm

The colorful water dragon —an iconic symbol for a water source— works as an apotropaic and conveys a message of euphoria relating to the liquid state. The three paintings below introduce a zone of gradual abstraction, initially limiting the color pallet to grey tones, less detail, no background and finally no-noise; the melancholic ambiance of water evokes a sense of "lost paradise".

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

World Water Joy : A Work in Progress - Participating Artist - Gal Weinstein

Jazreal Valley at Night, 2014-2016
Water, Coffee and PVC 

The work is based on the image of the Jezreel valley, whereas previously I have recreated the valley using wall-to-wall carpets, in this work I recreate the fields of Jezreel valley from water and coffee, letting the water and the coffee grow mold and creating an organic carpet. The work deals with the process of changes over time, from wetness to dryness, liquid to solids. It looks at the process of controlling water as a form and the loss of control over mold. Water as an agricultural platform and the potential of an agricultural disaster (flooding of fields). In this manner the work combines the situation of thriving and destruction.

World Water Joy : A Work in Progress - Participating Artist - Maria Tsagkari

One More Garden, One More Circle, 2013

Ashes, 2m diameter 

One more Garden, One more Circle is an ephemeral installation which is made entirely of ash and talks about the fragility of an impossibility. It is a round garden—a circle comprising some 800 flowers from 70 different species; a garden always at risk from our care, as silent as it is desperately unable to remain alive, dealing with the fragile nature of the impossible; At the same time it is everything that the notion of a garden always involves. It is a place of welcome, an artificially formed imitation of nature, a diligent representation of individual units that make up a whole. This conception of garden converses also with what it has always represented—a model of economic and political power. It is a “kind” of garden, the idea rather than the reality, a garden of silence that resists the multiple pleasures and experiences afforded by familiar gardens, precisely because it repudiates the need of water, and the dominant role of smell as well as that of colour and sound. It is a garden that almost refuses to share the joy of its existence. No water needed, no care, the role of the gardener ceases to exist. One more Garden, One more Circle presents a locus—the locus of a distance, a divergence, an intersection between tangible and intangible, copy and reality, eternal and perishable.

Monday, 9 May 2016

World Water Joy : A Work in Progress - Participating Artist - Ange Leccia

La Mer, 2001
Installation, silent, dvd, 27’32’’
Courtesy Almine Rech Gallery, Paris/Brussels
La Mer, the sea, is filmed in a single steady frame from a perpendicular plan, creating continuously changing abstract images. One could linger watching them for hours, as in a Zen meditation practice. Projected vertically on the wall, waves actually loose their familiar aspect, producing a feeling of estrangement that amplifies their beauty. They become magic fluorescences, infinitely recurring in a continuous loop that underlines the materiality of video images and their vivid relation with paintings.

World Water Joy : A Work in Progress - Participating Artist - Richard Onyango

Tsunami, 2005
Acrylic on canvas
160 x 119,9 x 2,5 cm each panel © Richard Onyango

Courtesy CAAC - The Pigozzi Collection, Geneva

Life in Richard Onyango’s pictures is a catastrophe. But the gruesome shudder engendered by a plane exploding in midair or a hunted jeep faltering at the edge of a swamp is not without humour. His dramatic approach owes something to the cinema and makes the viewer an accomplice to fear and horror, whose tension he may briefly bear. In Tsunami, the water becomes a terrific monster which ingests the humans world in a colorful spiral.

Friday, 6 May 2016

World Water Joy : A Work in Progress - Participating Artist - Francesco Jodice

A Water Tale, 2008
HD, color, 3'44''

"  - How was that story?
           - Which story?
   - The story about the lights on the water."

So starts a tale told by an old fisherman to his young companion, as they pass through a desolate and arid environment where drought reigns. A Water Tale recalls that water is essential to life, land, and men. Francesco Jodice’s film gives water the starring role as protagonist of the film, making it visible simply by its absence. Water becomes a myth, an oral history transmitted over generations. With draught affecting the sustenance of fishermen, it extends also to the people, fauna, and flora and as well, the environmental equilibrium of the planet.

Monday, 2 May 2016