Bucharest Biennale 7

The BUCHAREST BIENNALE continues to build a strong partnership between Bucharest — a geocultural space where the political is reflected in all aspects of life—and the rest of the World. In transcending specific geographical, historical, or political frameworks, it connects to a broader complexity, namely the one of “resistance” within the quotidian realm.

As a biannual cultural event, BB’s temporary structure allows a deconstruction of the systems supporting and underlying what has been called the “experience economy”. The Bucharest Biennale goes beyond merely orchestrating memorable “events” that aim for prescribed notions of customizable transformation, which are characteristic of this economic model and importantly reflected in the global biennial format as well. Instead, the Biennale offers a platform to analyse, and potentially redirect, current social, political and economic imaginaries. It intends to make visible the power structures supporting such spheres of control, addressing the ways in which they are organized and coordinated, as well as implemented across broad segments of society.

On BB7:

What are we building down there?

- What is the difference between a fairy tale in the West and a fairy tale in the East?

- A fairy tale in the West starts with the words “Once upon a time there was…”
A fairy tale in the East starts with the words “Once upon a time there will be…”*

Once upon a time there will be a Bucharest that positions itself as a model city for
privatization processes worldwide…

In order to grasp this fairy tale-proposition, we first need to go back in time.

continue reading

List of BB7 participating artists:

Merve Bedir (TR)
Bors & Ritiu (RO)
Nanna Debois-Buhl (DK)
Burak Delier (TR)
Andrea Faciu (RO)
Brendan Fernandes (CA)
Allard van Hoorn (NL)
Adelita Husni-Bey (IT)
Tuomas A. Laitinen (FI)
Lehman Brothers (DK)
Tamás Kaszás (HU)
Metahaven (NL)
Rie Nakajima (JP)
Nasan Tur (DE)
Jaro Varga (SK)
Vermeir & Heiremans (BE)
Visible Solutions LLC (ES)
Pilvi Takala (FI)
Andrew Norman Wilson (US)


Pilvi Takala at Centre for Contemporary Arts

Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow
April 8 – May 15, 2016

Pilvi Takala provides a major overview of her work of the last ten years in her first solo exhibition in Scotland.

Takala is known for her video works that investigate different social situations and human behaviour. Her rich performative visual art practice takes place mostly where she blends into environments that seemingly have little to do with an artistic reality. From communities of poker players in Thailand, teahouses in Turkey and dance events in Estonia, to a shopping mall in The Netherlands and a boarding school in the US, disguise and infiltration are employed to offer practical stages of public research and response.

One clear example of her tactics as an artist is The Trainee – her month-long project in partnership with Deloitte Helsinki in 2008. With only a few people knowing the true nature of the project, the artist (posing initially as a normalseeming marketing trainee) began to apply peculiar working methods. Gradually shifting her concentration of the job from working to thinking, she started to raise attention within the office of her – at first sight – passive activity. Her traineeship challenged the very basic value of work in a direct office landscape, showing cracks internally within such an environment in parallel to trying to develop artistic responses to such systems. The Trainee will be included in the exhibition at CCA amongst a range of works such as Real Snow White which highlights the strict discipline of Disneyland when Takala – posing as a fan and dressed as Snow White – is banned from entering the park by security; The Angels, where the artist disguises herself as a shop assistant and performs bonafide acts of kindness; Easy Rider, a film made secretly on public transport as a man borrows clothes from a stranger and Event on Garnethill, a publication of a performance that Takala developed while studying at Glasgow School of Art in 2004 in which she dressed up in a local school uniform and spent time on the streets among the school pupils.

Pilvi Takala said: “I consider Garnethill the birthplace of my practice and showing the work that grew out of that simple gesture in CCA now is extremely meaningful. The way I use my own body as a tool for research has evolved in many ways, but it’s always as crucial to choose the right way to dress for each situation.”

Also included in CCA are two of Takala’s award-winning works. Broad Sense focusses on an intervention in the European Parliament which saw questions about dress codes submitted to each member state and the resulting responses printed on nineteen different t-shirts worn by Takala on visits to the Parliament over the course of three days. Broad Sense was awarded the first prize of Prix de Rome Visual Arts 2011.

In 2013, Takala won the Emdash Award, aimed towards production of a new work for Frieze Art Fair, and invited a group of local children to spend her award. They were free to spend the money any way they wanted, and choose how they would formulate decisions as a group. In the resulting film, The Committee, the children explain how they chose to spend the £7,000 prize money and discuss the values which guided their decisions.

CCA Curator Remco de Blaaij said: “Pilvi Takala’s works employ the simple tactics of starting conversations in a way that confronts micro realities. European security, corporate rules and local customs are all challenged to perform what might be expected. What unfolds, however, is a very carefully constructed breakdown of barriers, in order to reveal their actual significance and meaning in our current societies and lives.”

Programmed as part of Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art.
A series of events will accompany this exhibition and will be announced soon.


Double Act: Art and Comedy at the Bluecoat

Double Act: Art and Comedy explores how comedy helps us to shape meaning and negotiate the complexities of everyday life.

Humour is a way of binding people together: providing consolation, a sense of shared experience and a powerful weapon of resistance. But, what we find funny can also be cruel, hateful, establishing symbolic boundaries that divide people into distinct groups, setting those with power against those without.

The show draws together artists from diverse cultural and political contexts, each sharing an interest in humour as a resource to animate their art practice and to connect with an audience.

The exhibition curators, David Campbell and Mark Durden, are founding members of the artists’ group Common Culture and are currently studio holders at Bluecoat. This project stems from explorations in their own work of the comedic impulse within contemporary British culture. As the title suggests, the exhibition itself is a ‘double act’ and will be held at two venues, Bluecoat and MAC, Belfast (6 May - 31 Jul 2016), each featuring different works.

Programmed in association with The MAC, Belfast.

Artists: Bill Woodrow // Mel Brimfield // Peter Land // Common Culture // Bank // Gemma Marmalade // Jo Spence and Terry Dennett // Sarah Lucas // Maurice Doherty // Alex Bag // Thomas Geiger // David Sherry // Erica Eyres // Peter Finnemore // Kara Hearn // Pilvi Takala

Sat, 09 Apr 2016 - Sun, 19 Jun 2016
10.00 AM - 6.00 PM Free entry

Fri 8 Apr Exhibition Launch 

for more info and related events please visit: thebluecoat.org.uk/events/view/exhibitions/3355

Infinite Next

May 7 - June 19, 2016
Infinite Next

The Living Art Museum
Völvufell 13-21
111 Reykjavík

Infinite Next is a group exhibition of works by Anna Líndal, Amy Howden-Chapman, Bjarki Bragason, Bryndís Snæbjörnsdóttir & Mark Wilson, Hildigunnur Birgisdóttir and Pilvi Takala.

Inifinity is limitless, there is endless space, size or context and it is impossible to measure or view it in entirety.

Works in the exhibition deal in different ways with systems which all societies struggle with; late-capitalism, ecosystems in degradation, human experiments to alter the environment, knowledge production, manifestations and the effects of humans on the environment. Since the beginning of agriculture and with the industrial revolution, which took place between 1760 and 1820-40, humans have become a geological force. Human activity began to mark deeper footprints on the planet and cause changes to natural processes. Today the effects are apparent in climate change, which is hard to quantify as an entirety, instead it appears as fragments in all things, as an imbalance in bio systems, droughts or rain, as changes in circumstances and future prospects of all species. Recently in world history, culture has been able to produce products that continue to have an impact dozens of millennia after the production or their use occurred.

Thus, the residue of atomic bombs will spread and glaciers melt, thousands of years after the plug has been pulled on all the world’s factories. The geological time-frame has overlapped with the human time-frame for the first time. Ahead are endless connections between processes that upon first sight are not directly related; communities of the past and the present infiltrate the future, which individuals try to imagine and locate themselves within, while political power systems struggle to form common goals.