sobota, 1 sierpnia 2015

Tidaholm - Sites of Memory exhibition, why and how I curated it

It is high time to sum up my staying in Tidaholm, as tomorrow I will be leaving this beautiful, small, Swedish town situated close to Wetter Lake. 

For the 7th time Lars Lundquist and his team of the Lithographic Workshop organised The International Lithographic Symposium, that was held between 27th of July and 2nd of August, with all exhibitions lasting till 9th of August 2015. 

It was really a pleasure to be here for the second time for the Symposium, and third time in fact in Tidaholm. This time it was an enormous pleasure to work with excellent people on the exhibition Sites of Memory and presenting to the wide, international public lithographs by Piotr Panasiewicz (professor at the Department of Graphic Art of the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow - Poland, chief of the Litho-Studio there) and Endi Poskovic (professor at the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA).

 This is a glimpse at a curator's work

This is how it was before mounting all those beautiful works

Without J-M [read as e:m] - in fact Jean-Michele - and his patience it would not be possible to have all the Endi Poskovic's works mounted at such perfect distances.

Without Robin on the other hand and his deep involvement, it would not be possible to have this exhibition lighted, especially the system of lighting did not work in a way I desired it.

Sites of Memory was a special exhibition that accompanied the show that consisted of works submitted to the Symposium by the lithographers coming from all over the world, staring in Mexico and ending in China - as Lars said - no matter in which direction you go. 

It must be said, that I was also a member of Jury working together with great couple from Goteborg: Nina Bondeson and Jim Berggren. We decided to award Robert Jančovič Jr. with the 1st Prize. You may probably know Robert's father, as he is well established printmaker from former Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia), that was also a laureate of the International Print Triennial - Krakow 1997. I may assure you that the son is doing great job on his own and with his own attitude to it.

A set of works by Robert Jančovič Jr. that was awarded with the 1st Prize.

The exhibition Sites of Memory was held in the Lithography Museum run by Litografiska Akademin here in Tidaholm and situated in a beautiful forest. 

 You cannot miss it, that's a fact!

 Entrance to the Museum

The exhibition was designed as a combined presentation of two lithographers who are dealing with two issues in their works: landscape - be it a regular one, or a mediascape, cityscape etc. - and memories, taken from the childhood as well as grounded in the adult life. 
I tried to separate, yet intertwine those two sets of works. 

So here is what the public see at the entrance:

Left to the entrance - a plate with the title of the exhibition, opposite to the entrance a plate that indicates: Piotr Panasiewicz - Selected lithographs [2011-2015]

 Beside one of Piotr's prints nothing is visible from the entrance

You are invite to enter by this particular print entitled Maresz, with an airplane ready to go (with you on a board of course) to the artist's land.

Then you are invited to the lithographic cinema, as for Piotr some movies, as well as comics are very important, to mention here just an example of Jean-Pierre Melville films and comic-books by Igort (Italy) and Will Eisner (USA), as well as street-photos by Weegee.
The you are turning a little bit around, and you are in front of a beautiful Lambretta, and two new lithos are inviting you to enter the second space, to go inside the gangsta paradise and Italy.

While you are about to end this trip through noir-cinema, Italian gangsta paradise, Italian street-scape, you are able to notice that the print entitled Kalamitsi is just inviting you to return and take this trip once again, this time opposite to a clockwise direction.


 There is only one spot, 
where you may see a small interference of both sets of works that by Endi, and the one by Piotr.

But after leaving Piotr's space, you are supposed to turn to the other side, and enter Endi's space from the right, not left side. 
This time we see not a selection of different works but a complete litho-project entitled Crossing executed between 2011 and 2015 by Endi Poskovic in co-operation with Tamarind master printer Jill Graham.

A long wall with two sets of prints related to this Paradox of Remembering Landscape, that is in fact a reason why Endi is doing what he does.

Those works are loosely related to his mother's homeland and to the memories of different places, some situated in former Yugoslavia, some still affected by the long-ago ended war, but mostly created out of the fragments, glimpses and visual pieces deeply settled in the artist's mind and memory.

All works are arranged in a circle built of the walls with a small annex as you may see below.


Hopefully, you are able to imagine how the entire space and the exhibition itself looked like in the Museum. 
I must say, that it was a great time, that I have spent here. For three weeks living in a lovely house with well-equipped kitchen and nice surroundings, placed in-between beautiful trees.


Eating many breakfast with lithographers from all over the world in former von Essen Family castle, that in 1951 was donated (together with a living butler!) to the Tidaholm community and now is hosting a school.

Having a chance to see the private museum of contemporary prints in Borås full of works by Alex Katz, Robert Rauschenberg, David Hockney, Richard Hamilton, Elsworth Kelly and other prominent artists of the 20th century that all belong to a happily married couple Berit and Bengt Swegmark who collected them since 1970 and established a museum hosting the collection now in the year 2000. The Museum name bears the trace of a former business Berit and Bengt were both involved in, that is running the Abecita AB - lingerie manufacture that existed between 1942-1992.

All this was a great adventure for me, a fine time to think, write, talk with people and saving powers for the forthcoming weeks as it is only six of them till the moment when we will be opening the International Print Triennial - Krakow 2015. 

Hopefully I will return to Tidaholm within four years, as this is a place of unique beauty and calmness, as well as creativity and humor.

 Two views that I have constantly in front of my eyes while drinking morning coffee in the workshop.

The best and the most straightforward WC sign I have ever seen - Abecita Museum rules!

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