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Since March 2016, Random Institute is running the curatorial program for Despacio in San José, Costa Rica.
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Naked Fish Festival

ArchivedHappened in April 2017
9.9336674000
-84.0741834000
Despacio

If Paris were an aquarium, Charly would be its tropical fish, jumping out of the water each night with no one watching. The award-winning fishmonger peddles fish during the day and tours as a drag queen through the French capital’s underground scene at night. Now, for the first time, Charly is crossing the Atlantic to take part in the Despacio performance festival, uniting his many worlds: fresh fish, art performances and queer appearances.

Thoughts
Information

Upon entering Charly’s fish market, situated on a busy Paris street, one quickly observes a universe of dreams and desire: glassy eyes of dead fish stare at you; posters for drag shows paper the walls; a handwritten thank you note from the mayor, Anne Hidalgo, perches alongside his Michelin medal. It’s more than a fish market, it’s a hodgepodge of the various stories life can offer when one's passion is given free reign. It’s a stage, where fish are the props and the clients become the public.

When day turns to night, our fisherman lets his diva emerge, darting like a tropical fish through the underground rivers of Paris. In placing Charly's fish-market at center stage of the festival, Despacio celebrates the grandeur of a man's dreams, desires and duality – each one a stand-in for our own.

On April 29th several international and local artists will turn his shop into an unending stream of performance and fantasy.

From drag shows, musical contributions, theatrical interventions, to long-durational art performances – all will question the roles we tend to play in life, as well as those we tend to ignore. To transgress the rules of society and fashion is to give rise to an inner creativity and break with conformity.

Visitors will bear witness to a real fish-market, one where they can buy fresh fish and see them prepared into meals on-site. For French speakers, there will be plenty of opportunity for conversations with the enigmatic fishmonger. For the non-French speakers, body language will suffice. In Charly's grotto, it's anything goes.

The fish market and performance festival takes place on April 29th 2017 at Despacio. (Facebook Event)

Participating artists: Charly Le Poissonnier, Dino Real, Elyla Sinvergüenza, Javier Calvo, Monsieur Bien, Oscar Ruiz-Schmidt, Señorita Abril, Robertito and more.

Directed by Sandino Scheidegger

This marks the second edition of the festival. It was originally conceived by Sandino Scheidegger for Random Institute and staged in 2014 in Zurich. Credits for drag film: Performer: Elyla Sinverguenza, Camera, Directing and Editing: Guillermo Sáenz, Costume and Styling: Marcus Carmon, Production: Nicholas Blevis & David Torres, Music: Arca - Anoche. Credits for film about Charly in Paris: Camera: Fabian Niklaus, Animation: Raphael Etter, Concept: Leila Hincelin and Sandino Scheidegger. Credits for film about Charly in Costa Rica: Ernesto Varga. Credits for photos of the festival: Juliette Chrétien and Erno Hilarion.

First Day of Good Weather

ArchivedHappened in January 2017
51.2227347000
6.7716700000
Sies+Höke

Art history rarely moves in a straight line. Now more than ever, when it comes to a collective notion of Latin American art, there are as many ways to approach it as there are to traversing its nineteen countries and territories. Steering clear of a generalized survey of the region, we choose a more personal path by compiling works from Latin American artists that inspired us throughout our journey over the last decade, bringing to the fore the works, artists, and conversations that we couldn’t possibly forget.

Thoughts
Information

First Day of Good Weather takes as its inspiration and starting point conversations that happened in and around Despacio. While it is true that personal dialogues can result in a filtered perception of reality—the filters as well as the perception being both highly subjective—that same subjectivity seems to be an essential ingredient for a truly independent art space. There are no set guidelines, just a vision that is focused through the discourse of like-minded peers.

The exhibition features artworks by sixteen artists from Central America, the majority of whom have never before shown their work in Germany. Also included are thirteen more Latin American artists who have been at the center of extensive dialogues detailing their profound influence on entire generations of artists, from Mexico’s Rio Grande to Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego.

Spanning multiple genres and ranging in tone from political to humorous, the works transcend the immediate allure of the exotic to reveal the contagious spirit of curiosity. The artistic propositions are often balancing acts between everyday life and what it means to be an artist in Latin American society—a society which has a long history of wrestling with local and global political crises, colonial capitalism, abuse of power, and the struggles of subsisting day to day.

Art is critical thinking—building an awareness of the inner workings of the mind. But art is also making sense of the situations we find ourselves in. It helps us to accept that there is not such a thing as a single current reality, but rather a myriad of perceptions that together comprise our collective reality. The sum of all of these works is, therefore, much more like a fluid conceptualization of Latin America and its art than it is a static definition.

First Day of Good Weather takes visitors back to where everything began: the conversations with artists that sent our thoughts flying into space to return in new and unusual configurations that would culminate in more than fifty exhibitions and projects over the last decade. The exhibition is a voyage of discovery through the artistic territory of Latin America, far off the beaten path of exotic fantasies, dealing instead with specific experiences and contexts that exist in constant states of evolution. We wait, ever watchful, after each rainy season for that first day of good weather to begin our explorations all over again.

Thoughts by Sandino Scheidegger

The group exhibition opens on January 13th and runs through March 11th, 2017 at Sies + Höke in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Facebook Event

Participating Artists: Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla, Alejandro Almanza Pereda, Iván Argote, Sol Calero, Javier Calvo, Luis Camnitzer, Benvenuto Chavajay, Donna Conlon & Jonathan Harker, Alejandro de la Guerra, Melissa Guevara, Federico Herrero, Walterio Iraheta, Alfredo Jaar, Regina José Galindo, Aníbal López, Teresa Margolles, Adrian Melis, Ronald Morán, Rivane Neuenschwander, Yoshua Okón, Liliana Porter, Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa, Abigail Reyes, Crack Rodríguez, Gabriel Rodríguez, Tercerunquinto, Adán Vallecillo, and Guillermo Vargas Habacuc.

Photo credits and copyright: Images of the art works courtesy of the artist and their respective galleries. Installation views by Achim Kukulies, Düsseldorf.

Remains to Be Seen

ArchivedHappened in August 2016
65.3375011000
-15.8522764000
Kunsthalle Tropical

Ten artists each contributed an artwork consisting of nothing more than a few sentences. All of their words will be read aloud from a small airplane as it circles above the Kunsthalle Tropical, an exhibition site that none of the artists have visited. Instead, the artists drew inspiration from the idea that some places are best visited only in one’s imagination.

The work will never actually be seen—its form is oral, its locale inhospitable.

Thoughts
Information

Originally, the artists conceived of installations, performances, and interventions to be staged at the Kunsthalle Tropical in the Icelandic desert. It was their intent that the works be executed without an audience.

When the curator and artists realized that they themselves would in fact constitute an audience, the group decided to abandoned plans of journeying to the barren place.

Instead, they stayed in the fishing village of Husavik, where they reworked their plans and settled on a new, oral—and aerial—exhibition format.

Traveling to Iceland? Download the latest Icelandic Art Manual to find what your looking for.



Due to the sudden eruption of Bárdarbunga, a nearby volcano, the last attempt to fly over the Kunsthalle failed, as the 2015 attempt did due to inclement weather. Until the next flight, scheduled for August 2016, you can enjoy pictures of the volcano’s ominous power.



All photos are taken by photographer Odinn Sigurdsson.

All the Lights We Cannot See

ArchivedHappened in April 2016
38.9993338000
125.7520169000
Yanggakdo International Hotel

Nine artists were invited to exhibit in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital of the unknown. The entire project, from the art on display to the story behind it, was committed to silence. Besides a very limited set of installation views, only one trace of the exhibit was allowed to surface: an enigmatic mention on the artists’ CVs that will absolutely call attention to itself in the CV-driven language of the art world. When asked to elaborate, the artists’ response can only be:

“I’m not supposed to talk about it.”

Thoughts
Information

With nothing to tell, will the exhibition speak for itself?

The exhibition, which went virtually unnoticed by the general public, was held April 9 – 12, 2016 on the 23rd floor of the Yanggakdo International Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea. It was conceived of by Random Institute and curated by Anna Hugo and Sandino Scheidegger.

A manipulated and reproduced issue of the state-owned and hard to get Pyongyang Times serves as the official exhibition catalogue. This special edition is strictly limited to 100 unique numbered copies and can be ordered from Mark Pezinger Verlag.

Works of art exhibited:

  • Sulking Souvenir, 2013 Clifford E. Bruckmann, CH
  • Satirical Coin, 2016 Thomas Mailaender, FR
  • Birdie, 2016 Ragnheidur Karadottir, IS
  • Naked Bombers, 2016 Simon Mullan, GB/DE
  • Movement No.6, 2016 Juan Betancurth, CO
  • Modesty or Surprise, 2016 Alfredo Aceto, CH
  • Jung43, 2015 Florence Jung, CH
  • Untitled, 2016 Achraf Touloub, FR
  • Personal Chocolate, 2016 Alison Kuo, US

Families of Objects

ArchivedHappened in June 2015
47.3756400000
8.5290660000
Réunion

What happens when you bring together 10,000 files stolen from hacked computers, commissioned photographs taken by former employees of a bankrupt factory in the Czech Republic, a collection of memories blurring the line between subjectivity and objective evidence, arts & crafts projects secretly completed on company time, the colorful materialization of waste, and a mysterious artifact that survives only in words?

We’re not quite sure.

Thoughts
Information

Participating artists are Ben Thorp Brown (United States), Lamia Joreige (Lebanon), Jana Kapelova (Slovakia), Marco Andrea Magni (Italy), Eva & Franco Mattes (Italy), and Jirí Skala (Czech Republic).

The show, curated by Marco Antonini (Italy/USA), will also activate a number of protocols from RICHARD, an ever-expanding online catalogue of readymade ideas, images, and objects.

The exhibition will premiere at 7pm on June 5th at Réunion before traveling to the Abrons Arts Center in New York. Explore the event on Facebook.

The show will also be open on June 6th from 2pm – 8pm.

The image used for the announcement of the exhibition is one of the 10,000 photos stolen from personal computers by Eva and Franco Mattes.

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