'Telling Untold Stories', POSITIONS #5, curated by Nick Aikens, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven. Opening November 30, 2019 - March 8, 2020.

Dutch museum solo debuts
Five emerging artists tell intriguing stories from around the world

This Saturday the exhibition Positions #5: Telling Untold Stories opens at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven. The show consists of solo presentations by Mounira Al SolhMercedes AzpilicuetaAnna DasovićEm’kal Eyongakpa and Quinsy Gario. Having presented their work abroad, they are now making their museum solo debuts in the Netherlands. The presentations, that include new and recent work, can be seen in ten galleries of the museum's temporary exhibition wing. The result is an intriguing representation of emerging artists who live and work in the Netherlands. What connects the five artists is their interest in different forms of storytelling, often relating to histories and events from the countries where they are from, but remain untold in the context of the Netherlands. The exhibition is open through 8 March 2020 and has been made possible in part thanks to the Ammodo Foundation and the Mondriaan Fund.

Mounira Al Solh (Lebanon, 1978)
Encounters and conversations with others form the starting point for Mounira Al Solh's work. Since 2012 Al Solh has been drawing portraits of people forced to leave their homes due to conflict, based on the extensive conversations she has had with them. The press called the project I strongly believe in our right to be frivolous one of the high points of Documenta 14, after which there was a solo in the Art Institute of Chicago in 2018. There are also a number of embroidery works to be seen, made partly in collaboration with Stichting Ik Wil from Eindhoven (a foundation committed to an inclusive society). The film Freedom is a habit I am trying to learn is a new work. Al Solh spent 24 hours with each of four women - Rogin, Waad, Hanin and Zeina - in the cities to which they moved from Lebanon and Syria (Zutphen, Washington DC, Oslo and Sharjah). The film was realised in collaboration with If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution in Amsterdam and the Sharjah Art Foundation. 

Mercedes Azpilicueta (Argentina, 1981)
The starting point for Mercedes Azpilicueta’s presentation is the legend of Lucìa Miranda, as recorded by the 19th century female author Eduarda Mansilla. It inspired Azpilicueta to produce new work consisting of sound, video, costumes and tapestries. Miranda was the first Cautiva, a European woman captured by the indigenous people on her arrival in 16th century Argentina. Mansilla wrote a version of the story which emphasised the strength of both the indigenous people and Miranda in their resistance to domination. The tapestries, woven in the TextielLab in Tilburg, and costumes are inspired by the era in which Mansilla lived. The videos and sounds refer to characters from Mansilla's books. Azpilicueta recently had her European solo debut with an exhibition in CentroCentro in Madrid.

Anna Dasović (The Netherlands, 1982)
An ongoing body of work by Anna Dasović’s centres on the decision by the Dutch government to send Dutch Blue Helmets to Srebrenica, declared a 'safe haven' by the UN, in the east of Bosnia and Herzegovina, to protect the area.  Following the fall of the enclave in July of 1995, 8,372 people were murdered. The way in which these events were remembered, or rather concealed, in the Netherlands was the motive for Anna Dasović's ongoing research into the language and images used to describe and contextualise 'Srebenica', before and after the fall of the enclave. For the first time, in Positions #5, various works are presented together, composed of images, video material and documents from the archives of the Dutch Ministry of Defence, obtained by the artist by invoking the WOB (the Dutch Freedom of Information Act). The video Before the Fall there was no Fall was realised in collaboration with Framer Framed in Amsterdam, where it will also be shown in 2020.

Em’kal Eyongakpa (Cameroon, 1981)
Em’kal Eyongakpa's large-scale installation is a part of the project sǒ bàtú, on which the artist has been working since 2015. The title means 'bath for the ears' in Kenyang, a language spoken in Manyu (Cameroon). Using water and sound as major elements, Eyongakpa creates an alternative environment within the museum. It forms a connection with Cameroon folk tales, in which 'other worlds' arise in caves when vulnerable groups of people retreat into them in times of peril. Sound recordings of nature, which Eyongakpa made in the forests of South Cameroon, merge with the sounds of Cameroon poems being read aloud and the intercepted messages of political prisoners and prisoners of war from all over the world. At present, a solo exhibition of Eyongakpa's work can be seen in The Showroom in London.

Quinsy Gario (Dutch Antilles, 1984)
In Positions #5, Quinsy Gario shows a series of works about the recent history of the former Dutch colony the Dutch Antilles. Gario visited the island of Sint Maarten with his mother, Glenda Martinus, in the summer of 2019. There, Gario made an 8 mm film, based on the locations shot in a film produced in 1947 by the RVD (Netherlands Government Information Service). A maquette, made by Gario’s mother, paintings by his uncle, Rudsel Martinus and great uncle, Mauricio Onofra, dolls made by his aunt, Gala Martinus, music by his cousins Quinton and Shaquire Martinus and a poem by his brother Jörgen Gario are a personal way of reporting the uprising on Curaçao in 1969. Also exhibited is Bevrijdingskunst, a work consisting of 200 slides from the archives of the Ons Suriname Association in Amsterdam. Gario's floor installation Black, Basically A Genealogical Materialist Analysis, which consists of small black objects, provokes questions about the significations of the colour black and what it means to be black.

Public programme

In the presence of the artists Saturday 30 November at 16 hrs. Admission is free when you show your ticket. Registration through the website.

Embroidery cafés 
Embroidery workshops given by handicraft experts, inspired by the collaboration between Mounira Al Solh and Stichting Ik Wil On Saturday 21 December, 11 January, 25 January, 8 February and 22 February from 11 to 13 hrs. Registration through the website.

Spoken Word event  
With Stokely Dichtman and Jörgen Gario on Thursday 6 February from 19 to 22 hrs

By Mounira Al Solh, Mercedes Azpilicueta, Anna Dasović, Em’kal Eyongakpa and Quinsy Gario. Admission is free when you show your ticket. On Saturday 7 March 2020.

By curator Nick Aikens for holders of the Dutch Museum Card. On Wednesday 11 December and Friday 10 January at 11:30 hrs. Registration through the website www.museumkaart.nl

Nick Aikens together with assistant curator Evelien Scheltinga

Collaborative partners
The exhibition has been made possible in part by the Ammodo Foundation and the projects in the exhibition were realised thanks to the Mondriaan Fund and in collaboration with: TextielLab, Tilburg (Mercedes Azpilicueta); Framer Framed, Amsterdam (Anna Dasović); Stichting Ik Wil, Eindhoven; If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution, Amsterdam, Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah (all Mounira Al Solh) and the University of Sint Maarten; Ons Suriname Association, Amsterdam and Wereldmuseum Rotterdam (all Quinsy Gario).

If you have any questions:
Neeltje van Gool, Communication & Press 
T: +31 (0)40 238 1019 / M: +31 (0)6 1299 5794 
E: pressoffice@vanabbemuseum.nl

Disegni [SOLO presentation] curated by Luís Silva and João Mourão, with NoguerasBlanchard at Artissima Art Fair, Turin. November 1 - 3, 2019

11a Biennal d'Art Leandre Cristòfol, curated by Cèlia de Diego, Julia Morandeira Arrizabalaga & David Armengol. Centre d'Art La Panera, Lleida. October 29, 2019 - January 12, 2020

Yegua-yeta-yuta I
Instalación de seda natural a dos tonos con lino cosido, y audio.
200 x 150 cm
Cortesía de la artista y de la galería Nogueras Blanchard

20 min
Cortesía de la artista y de la galería Nogueras Blanchard

Mercedes Azpilicueta nació en Buenos Aires, pero desde hace unos años y tras un periodo intermedio en Italia, reside en Holanda. Su trabajo está atravesado por una fuerza performativa y un posicionamiento radicalmente feminista, dos vectores que se manifiestan abiertamente tanto en los contenidos como en los modos de hacer que despliega. Ejemplos de ello son el modo en que prioriza una relación artesanal con la materia, prefiriendo procesos naturales y sostenibles, calificados como poco rentables, y su interés por el rescate de mujeres aparcadas por los relatos oficiales a través de investigaciones que describe como “poco honestas”, pero que dan lugar a ejercicios especulativos preñados de posibilidad. En este marco, el cuerpo —físico y subjetivo, pero sobre todo como archivo colectivo— es un lugar central tanto de enunciación como de inscripción de las valencias políticas, sociales e históricas que lo definen. Así, cuestiones como el exceso, la violencia, la afectividad o el potencial de transformación que se encuentran en el lenguaje popular, en figuras históricas menores o en las coreografías sociales, hayan un lugar importante en su trabajo.

El proyecto Yegua-yeta-yuta del que hacen parte la performance e instalación que acoge la Bienal representa bien todo ello. En él Azpilicueta recopila insultos dirigidos a mujeres en lunfardo o castellano rioplatense, una jerga surgida en los arrabales porteños hace más de un siglo y hoy extendida por toda la geografía del Río de la Plata y el lenguaje común. Se trata de un proyecto abierto y sin fin: cuenta con más de 400 insultos registrados en una lista que no hace más que crecer. La tela Yegua-yeta-yuta I, que funciona como mnemónica visual o partitura de la performance y el audio que lo acompaña, permite leer tras el bello reflejo color melocotón de la seda las palabras bordadas “yegua”, “machona”, “ortiva” o “sacada”; los hilos cuelgan de manera desordenada, dando cuenta del proceso inacabado de la mano de la artista. Al igual que estas palabras cosidas sobre la piel de la tela, los insultos y agresiones proferidos contra mujeres, normalmente de manera verbal en el espacio público, son marcas que quedan inscritas no sólo sobre el cuerpo que los recibe sino por extensión sobre el cuerpo colectivo de mujeres, al demostrar la violencia de género alojada en la cotidianidad del habla. Esta violencia es todavía más pronunciada en la performance, en la que Azpilicueta va recitando en orden alfabético la lista de vejaciones recopiladas, mientras recorre y se retuerce por el espacio y entre el público. A base de forzar la pronunciación, la declamación adquiere un ritmo y musicalidad, que como ocurre con la iridiscencia de la seda en la instalación, enmascara el ataque en una suerte de canción rimada. Pero tanto en una obra como en la otra, el público atraviesa y es atravesado por el mensaje que la obra activa, haciendo imposible el sustraerse de su complicidad.

Text by Julia Morandeira

'Bestiario de Lengüitas', solo exhibition curated by Virginie Bobin at CentroCentro, Madrid. October 3, 2019 - January 19, 2020

Bestiario de Lengüitas (Bestiary of Tonguelets )is an evolving project by Argentinian artist Mercedes Azpilicueta, in dialogue with the French curator Virginie Bobin. The exhibition follows the thread of a script written by Mercedes Azpilicueta for a performance that has yet to take place. Fueled by workshops, collaborations and rehearsals with artists, researchers, designers, dancers and singers, the works on view invite a choir of grotesque characters to loudly inhabit the stage of that future performance. Using obsolete knowledge systems, "neobarroso" poems, failed translations and ambiguous ingredients, they try to maintain chaos and excess in a world calling for order, efficiency and transparency.
Its key protagonists include: a Mala-mama, a Sister living in limbo, a Teacher from the future, Fallen angels and a Choir of corpses, all characters from Mercedes Azpilicueta's script; several figures from art history and literature, such as the medieval Lady with the Unicorn, the artist Lea Lublin and the poet Nestor Perlongher, who inspired her writings and drawings; and a selection of plants with both healing and toxic powers, which were carried across the Atlantic to open contamination channels between the Old World and the New. They all play a game of hide-and-seek across films, drawings, sculptures, tapestries and soundtracks, which are conceived as scores, rehearsals, décors, encoded knowledge systems and even characters, rather than as autonomous artworks. In Bestiario de Lengüitas, roles are constantly changing.
The main collaborators to the project include: Lucile Sauzet (costumes), Ana Ausín (furniture) and Vanina Scolavino (graphic design), as well as Laura Fernández Antolín (production assistance), Federico García Monfort (sound), Hélène Harder (film), Julien Jassaud (programming and robotics), Emmanuelle Lafon (performance), Quiela Nuc (film), Ana Roquero (research), Pauline Simon (performance), Javier Villa (research and performance), Tiago Worm Tirone (sound), students from the Masters Projets Culturels et Artistiques and Scènes du Monde (Université Paris 8) and the Máster en Práctica Escénica y Cultura Visual (Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha y Museo Reina Sofía); and participants of different choral schools in Madrid.
Bestiario de Lengüitas is Mercedes Azpilicueta's first solo exhibition in Europe. It is co-produced by CentroCentro, the Museion – Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Bolzano/Bozen (Italy) and CAC Brétigny (France). It was initiated during an artistic research residency at Villa Vassilieff - Pernod Ricard Fellowship in 2017. It will be travelling to the Museion – Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Bolzano/Bozen, in Spring 2020, and in CAC Brétigny, Autumn 2020.
Mercedes Azpilicueta is a visual and performance artist from Argentina (La Plata, 1981) based in the Netherlands. Her practice involves research and production processes that explore the affective qualities and political dimension of language and voice. In 2018 she presented her first major solo exhibition at the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires. She received the Pernod Ricard Fellowship, Paris, in 2017 and was artist-in-residence at the Rijksakademie van de Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam in 2015-16. She has an MFA from the Dutch Art Institute/ArtEZ, Arnhem (2013), and a BFA from the Universidad Nacional de las Artes, Buenos Aires (2007); where she also took the Artists' Program 2009-10 at  the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella. She has exhibited her work at REDCAT Gallery (Los Angeles, 2018), Villa Vassilieff (Paris, 2018), MACBA (Barcelona, 2018), Museion (Bozen, 2018), Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo (Móstoles, 2017), Onomatopee (Eindhoven, 2016), TENT (Rotterdam, 2015), Móvil (Buenos Aires, 2015), Irish Museum of Modern Art (Dublin, 2014), Het Veem Theatre (Amsterdam, 2014). In 2019, besides CentroCentro, she will present a solo exhibition at Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, as part of Positions #5, curated by Nick Aikens.
Virginie Bobin works at the crossroads of research, curatorial and editorial practices, pedagogy and translation. Until 2018, she was Head of Programs at Villa Vassilieff, a centre for art, research and residencies, which she co-created in 2016. Previously, she worked for Bétonsalon - Center for Art and Research, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art (Rotterdam), Manifesta Journal, Les Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers and Performa, the New York Biennial for Performing Arts. Her independent curatorial projects have taken place internationally, in such institutions as MoMA, PS1, e-flux space or Tabakalera, and her texts have been published in international exhibition catalogues and magazines (Metropolis M, Manifesta Journal, Frieze /de, Flash Art, Switch on Paper, etc). She sits on the boards of Ecole Supérieure d'Art de l'Agglomération d'Annecy and Centre d'Art Contemporain de Brétigny. In 2018, Virginie Bobin started a practice-based research around the political stakes of translation, in the context of the PhD-in-practice program in Artistic Research at the Akademie der bildenden Künste (Vienna). In parallel, she cofounded, with Victorine Grataloup, the non-profit organization QALQALAH, a future platform for artistic exchanges, research and translation.

Since we are here [screening & performative presentation i.c.w. Celine Berger and Jacco van Uden], Uncertainty Seminars: Other Than Art's Sake, Stroom, The Hague, September 13 - 15, 2019

Uncertainty Seminars

Location: Stroom Den Haag, Hogewal 1-9, The Hague (unless stated otherwise)

Uncertainty Seminars are a series of hybrid events embracing doubt and hesitation as cultural strategy.


13, 14 & 15 September 2019
This edition teases out the multiform positions that artists may inhabit and, vice versa, in what ways other domains seek refuge under the wide umbrella of arts. With contributions by: Dena Yago, Simone Zeefuik, Yamuna Forzani, Stijn Verhoeff & Sjoerd Leijten, discourse | Katayoun Arian, Christian Nyampeta, Daniela & Linda Dostálková, Susan Ploetz, Jacco van Uden, Mercedes Azpilicueta, Céline Berger, Martijntje Hallmann.

Cold Prey, group show curated by Tore Zhang and Francisco Correa Cordero, Lubov Gallery, New York City, September 13 - October 13, 2019.

yegua-yeta-yuta [performance & talk], curated by Max Andrews and Mariana Cánepa Luna, "Today is our tomorrow" / PUBLICS, Club Kaiku, Helsinki. September 12-13, 2019

The future is happening now. With so much emphasis on the future, its end, and lack of agencies to alter its demise, our thoughts lead us to focus, remind and inform ourselves of the potentialities and (re)constructions of now. There is no time but the present to transform, to reimagine and to represent our moment(s).
Initiated by PUBLICS, Today Is Our Tomorrow is a collaborative, collective, and transdisciplinary festival – a coming together of affinities, alliances and differences. Taking place this year at club Kaiku and the neighbouring spaces Kieku and Stidilä, the program is produced in partnership with numerous local and international organisations, initiatives and institutions. Today Is Our Tomorrow takes the form of a roving constellation of practices, discussions, talks, workshops, installations, interventions, film screenings, events, live performances, DJ sets, curatorial projects, and live music intersecting with one another across three main interconnected venues.
The festival presents in microcosm, alter-futures being enacted, lived and represented as current socio-cultural and artistic practices based in Finland and globally. Our collaborative methodology and consultation aims to represent an ecology and diversity of thought and experience. The 2019 edition of Today Is Our Tomorrow is curated, commissioned, organised in collaboration with: Academy of Fine Arts, Baltic CircleGlobe Art PointIHME HelsinkiKohtaIndex FoundationLatitudesLatvian Centre for Contemporary ArtLive Art and Performance Studies (LAPS)Museum of Impossible FormsosloBIENNALEN, and PUBLICS.
The opening day of Today Is Our Tomorrow presents Mythological Migrations: Chapter 1: The Nightclub, a one-night multidisciplinary exhibit that investigates the nightclub as method, focusing on artistic practitioners looking at queerness and Islam in a migratory context. Commissioned by PUBLICS, the project challenges exclusionary histories in European club culture that specifically target immigrants and people of color. Artists include Tamara Al-Mashouk, and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto aka Faluda Islam, who collectively engage in political tactics and strategies, disrupting the dance floor, and complicating issues of representation and performance through a diasporic lens. The night also premieres Journey to the CharBagh, a film by Abdullah Qureshi centered around the figure of the Buraq, a winged creature with the ability to travel to heaven.
On Friday, Coalition of Care, brings differing moods and perspectives to the festival. The group–Daze Aghaji, Ain Bailey, Anna Tjé, Black Obsidian Sound System (B.O.S.S.), Katarzyna Perlak, Rebecca Bellantoni, Rowdy SS, Maija Baijukya–have been gathered by curator Adelaide Bannerman to embody, act and explore ideas and approaches to care and commitment. Coalition of Care is a sorority of artists, thinkers, and affinities, whilst articulating multiple thoughts, movements and gestures: “Our methods are intentioned and improvisatory, our proposals are contingent on the energy of community and allyship.” Coalition of Care possess senses of joy, precarity and pessimism, doing the productive work of dismantling redundant hegemonies with view to configuring and situating ourselves in reflexive, responsive spaces.
A nomadic queer club concept and discursive platform Karmaklubb* takes over the club on Saturday. The program involves Tony Cokes, Karolinski (live and DJ-set), DJ-sets by DJ Baby Dyke, the collective Konsept [X], as well as a performance by Louis (Harald & Louis) and a talk by Eva Rowson, amongst others. Karmaklubb* is about creating hybrid social spaces for conversations and meetings across categories; an open dialogue cross borders, and constructive approaches towards tolerance and differences.
Across the festival spaces there will be new commissions, installations and sited works on view during the three days by Camille Auer, Leah Beeferman, Tony Cokes, Hlynur Hallsson, Basim Magdy, Marepe, Mona Marzouk, Jaakko Pallasvuo and Skuja Braden. A daily schedule of live performances and intimate events include artists Mercedes Azpilicueta, Mette Edvardsen, Valentin Kimstedt, Hatz Lambo & Varia Sjöström, Lime Rickey International and Plastique Fantastique.
As well as artist talks, lectures and workshops–including And Forever And Forever led by Emmeli Person, Keep It Complex, Kate Rich and Leyya Mona Tawil–there will be a extensive curated programme of films and cinema with artists Camille Auer, Yael Bartana, Jonathas de Andrade, Núria Güell, Honkasalo-Niemi-Virtanen, Jaakko Pallasvuo & MSL, Chris Kraus, Basim Magdy, The Otolith Group, Plastique Fantastique, Anni Puolakka, Sepideh Rahaa and Althea Thauberger, many of which are showing in Finland for the first time.

Camille Auer / Mercedes Azpilicueta / Yael Bartana / Leah Beeferman / Bonaventure / Coalition of Care: Adelaide Bannerman & Daze Aghaji, Ain Bailey, Anna Tjé, Black Obsidian Sound System (B.O.S.S.), Katarzyna Perlak/Rebecca Bellantoni/Rowdy SS, Maija Baijukya / Tony Cokes / Jonathas de Andrade / Desto / Núria Güell / Mette Edvardsen / Terike Haapoja / The Hacker / Hlynur Hallsson / Honkasalo-Niemi-Virtanen / Horse Meat Disco / House of Disappointments / Max Jaarte / Jopo Simeon K / Antti Jussila & Jari Kallio / Karmaklubb*: DJ Baby Dyke, Harald & Louis, Karolinski, Konsept [X], Eva Rowson, Tine Semb / The Karrabing Film Collective / Keep it Complex / Valentin Kimstedt, Hatz Lambo & Varia Sjöström / Chris Kraus / Linda Lazarov / Lime Rickey International / Basim Magdy / Marepe / Mona Marzouk / Mr. A / Mythological Migrations: Chapter 1: The Nightclub: Tamara Al-Mashouk, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto / Hanna Ojanen & Yu Chuan / The Otolith Group / Jaakko Pallasvuo / Bhavisha Panchia / Plastique Fantastique / Anni Puolakka / Sepideh Rahaa / Kate Rich / Schoolboi Cute / Skuja Braden / Althea Thauberger / Vidisha S / Wekesa & Renaz
Curators & Advisors: 
Ali Akbar Mehta, Marianne Savallampi & Vishnu Vardhan / Max Andrews & Mariana Cánepa Luna / Danai Anagnostou & Abdullah Qureshi / Lucy Badrocke / Bronwyn Bailey-Charteris, Marti Manen & Emmeli Person / Adelaide Bannerman / Eva González-Sancho Bodero & Per Gunnar Eeg-Tverbakk / Satu Herrala / Solvita Krese & Inga Lāce / Anders Kreuger / Kristiina Mäenpää / Tero Nauha / Paul O’Neill & Eliisa Suvanto / Mika Palonen / Marju Rotinen / Saskia Suominen / Paula Toppila & Päivi Matala

Since we are here [screening & project presentation i.c.w. Celine Berger and Jacco van Uden], Rijksakademie Public Program, Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam. September 11, 2019.

Please join on us on Wednesday 11 September for the screening of the film Since we are here, followed by a conversation with the makers Mercedes AzpilicuetaCéline Berger, and Jacco van Uden.

In March 2017 Mercedes Azpilicueta and Jacco van Uden swapped jobs for a full month. Mercedes (AR/IT) took on the position as head of a research group on change management, while Jacco (NL) took over Mercedes’ work as a visual and performance artist. The aim of this exchange was to explore how art and organization relate to each other.

Investigating and questioning the preconceptions of the worlds we work in – the world of ‘the other’ and as well as one’s own world. In a style that mirrors the capricious nature of the job swap itself, 'Since we are here' reflects on experiences that are as much individual as they are universal: feeling estranged, adjusting to new spaces, and finding new areas for action.

- Introduction by Arno van Roosmalen, director Stroom Den Haag
- Screening
- Conversation with the film makers and audience, moderated by Arno van Roosmalen

This project was developed with the kind support of Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, The Hague University of Applied Sciences, Andrea von Braun Stifting, Pauwhof Fonds and Stichting Niemeijer Fonds.

BIENALSUR, Bienal Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo de América del Sur, Centro Cultural de Córdoba, Córdoba, AR. June 13 - September, 2019

A Day with Marie Vassilieff, group exhibition at Maison des Arts Bernard-Anthonioz and the Library of the Maison Nationale des Artistes, Nogent-sur-Marne, i.c.w. Villa Vassilieff, Paris. May 16 - July 21, 2019

A Day with Marie Vassilieff
At Fondation des Artistes – Nogent-sur-Marne (MABA, Maison Nationale des Artistes, Bibliothèque Smith-Lesouëf)
Mercedes Azpilicueta, Carlotta Bailly-Borg, Yto Barrada, Michel François, Christian Hidaka, Laura Lamiel, Mohamed Larbi Rahhali, Anne Le Troter, Flora Moscovici, Émilie Notéris, Thu-Van Tran, Marie Vassilieff
curated by Mélanie Bouteloup & Émilie Bouvard
May 16 – July 21, 2019
« Il nous faut, dans un monde où nous existons que passées sous silence, au propre dans la réalité sociale, au figuré dans les livres, il nous faut donc, que cela nous plaise ou non, nous constituer nous-mêmes, sortir comme de nulle part, être nos propres légendes dans notre vie même, nous faire nous-mêmes êtres de chair aussi abstraites que des caractères de livres ou des images peintes. » 
Monique Wittig, « Avant –note » dans Djuna Barnes, La Passion, Paris, Flammarion, 1982, p.16
The Fondation Nationale des Arts Graphiques et Plastiques (FNAGP) in Nogent-sur-Marne and the Villa Vassilieff in Paris pay tribute to the figure of Marie Vassilieff who lived in their walls at different times of her life, through the exhibition A Day with Marie Vassilieff which unfolds in all their exhibition spaces: Maison Nationale des Artistes (MNA, retirement home of Nogent-sur-Marne, entrance hall and large living room), the Maison des Arts Bernard-Anthonioz (MABA), the Library of the MNA in Nogent-sur- Marne, and the Villa Vassilieff, 21 avenue du Maine in Paris). This project is based on a partnership between Bétonsalon – Center for Art and Research, the Villa Vassilieff – Pernod Ricard Fellowship and the FNAGP. This exhibition is curated by Mélanie Bouteloup, director of Bétonsalon – Center for Art and Research & Villa Vassilieff, and Émilie Bouvard, curator and historian of art.
Marie Vassilieff was a central figure in Montparnasse from the first half of the 20th century, both through her visual work and her charismatic role as mediator between artists, intellectuals, critics, and other fauna of artistic Paris from 1910-1930. This position is evident in the set of photographs collected and commented by the artist Billy Klüver in 1997 under the title A Day with Picasso (MIT Press) where she appears with Pablo Picasso, Jean Cocteau or Max Jacob, and in the testimonies of all the artists or critics who attended her. However, in our great modernist narratives, we have hardly remembered it. When it appears (especially in biographies of “great” modern artists such as Picasso, Modigliani, Braque, Foujita, etc.), she often takes the features of a stewardess, a cook, a socialite in Montparnasse, or a maid-servant, yet her work and her life deserve special attention. Marie Vassilieff was, through the Academies that she created and directed, through her canteen, and even in her artistic work, deepening Cubism, developing dada approaches of assembly and fusion of art and life, a welcoming personality and a catalyst of Montparnasse. The life and work of Marie Vassilieff seem to have been characterized above all by a desire for permanent decompartmentalization, between the domestic space and the public space (she transforms her studio into an academy and then a canteen), between fine arts and arts applied (she treats her pictorial work with the same care as her making of dolls, stage sets, or bottle doors), etc. It is this unifying figure, with an unknown art, on which we wish to take a contemporary look. Artist, woman, stateless, she joined by her research, her artistic approach and her life attitudes that are resolutely contemporary.

'Scores for Rotterdam' i.c.w. John Bingham-Hall, as part of Post-Opera, TENT, Rotterdam. April 18 - June 30, 2019

Scores For Rotterdam, 2019
a project by Mercedes Azpilicueta & John Bingham- Hall
with Zuri Ramirez & The Codarts Composers Ensemble, Tarwewijk choir, de Groene Connectie.
Installation 14 min. [natural felt, plastic paper, metal rods, threads, sound]
Performance 1 hr.
Urban spaces influence and transform the human voice, affecting not only what we can hear, but also how we can make our voices perceived within them. Scores For Rotterdam investigates this relationship through vocal experiments recorded at three sites of the city, selected for their distinct sonic qualities: metro station Wilhelminapier, the Maastunnel and the concrete forest beneath the railway viaduct at Mevlanaplein.
The urban setting is mirrored in vocality as the non-verbal singing voices offer guidance to imagine the space around them. Unexpectedly, the baritone singer at the metro station resembles the “buffo” character (from the comic genre opera buffa) as his voice traverses and “dismisses” the city noise but also playfully engages with it.
In the exhibition Post-Opera, an installation composed of three textile bodies translate these experiments onto tangible pieces, marking architectural patterns and the dynamics of sounds passing through them. The textiles seem to clothe invisible bodies, which are made perceptible by the voices they emit.
Scores for Rotterdam was part of Post-Opera group exhibition at TENT Rotterdam curated by Kris Dittel and Jelena Novak. April 19 2019 – June 30 2019
The performance was realized on May 25, 2019
Concept: Mercedes Azpilicueta, John Bingham- Hall
Voice recordings: Zuri Ramirez & The Codarts Composers Ensemble, Tarwewijk choir, de Groene Connectie
Sound recording and editing: Clare Gallagher
Textile assistants: Laura Fernández Antolin, Darwin Erwin Winkelaar
Photos: Aad Hoogendoorn

¡Oh Eduarda! performance at Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires. April 13 - 14, 2019

Oh Eduarda! was presented at Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires on April 13 & 14th, 2019 as part of Mercedes Azpilicueta’s solo exhibition Cuerpos Pájaros [Body-Birds].
After reading the children’s story La Jaulita Dorada by Eduarda Mansilla, ¡Oh Eduarda! composes the dialogue between two sisters, who imagine oniric micro-stories and situations around the idea of homeness. The performance presents a fantastic experience within that domestic sanctuary, where the sisters travel, dream and cross the threshold that separates the public from the private to confess the fear of darkness, of the deformed, of the lack of roots and their desire to be always together.
Fragments of Mansilla’s story and biography intermingle in the performance, associating the voices of the sisters with those of Eduarda, the domestic space with the act of writing, the temporality of Eduarda’s life with the sisters’ childhood memories. Weaving those elements, ¡Oh Eduarda! builds a hypersensitive universe, where objects and animals have voices and memories.
The performance explores the complex cross-link of the notions of displacement, identity, affectivity and homeness.
Concept & Script: Mercedes Azpilicueta
Performance: Mercedes Azpilicueta, Agustina Muñoz
Live sound: Liza Casullo
Lights: Matías Sendón
Research: Verónica Rossi
Photo Credits: Guido Limardo & Gregory Bohnenblust
A partir de la lectura del cuento infantil La Jaulita Dorada de Eduarda Mansilla, ¡Oh Eduarda! compone el diálogo entre dos hermanas, quienes imaginan en un contexto onírico microrrelatos y situaciones en torno del hogar. La performance presenta una experiencia fantástica dentro de ese santuario doméstico, desde donde las hermanas viajan, suenan y cruzan el umbral que separa lo público de lo privado para confesar el miedo a la oscuridad, a lo deforme, a la falta de arraigo y sus ganas, siempre, de estar juntas.
Fragmentos del cuento de Mansilla y de su biografía se entremezclan en la performance, asociando las voces de las hermanas con las de Eduarda, el espacio doméstico con la escritura, la temporalidad de la vida de Eduarda con las memorias infantiles de las hermanas. Con esos elementos, jOh Eduarda! construye un universo hipersensible, en donde los objetos y los animales tienen voces y memorias.
Como en varias de las piezas que componen la exposición “Cuerpos Pájaros”, la perfomance da cuenta del entrecruzamiento complejo de las nociones de desplazamiento, identidad, afectividad y hogar.