Judy Chicago
Judy Chicago: Herstory, 2023
Exhibition view: New Museum, New York
Courtesy New Museum
Photo © Dario Lasagni

2024 program: Opening from June 30

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The 2024 program will open in two stages, on June 1 and June 30.

Erika Verzutti Venus com Espatula, 2013 Cold porcelain clay and acrylic and potter’s rib 17 x 17 x 36 cm Photo © Eduardo Ortega

The Life of Sculptures
Erika Verzutti

The Tower, East Gallery, Level 0

Erika Verzutti (1971) is a Brazilian sculptor who lives and works between São Paulo and Europe. Verzutti will be in residency at LUMA Arles from May through July 2024. The residency provides a platform for Verzutti to produce a significant body of new work, present an exhibition, entitled The Life of Sculptures, and develop an ongoing film project that will be shot in Arles. Verzutti’s multifarious practice as a sculptor encompasses organic, human, and animal forms, references to Modern and Modernist art, citations of Brazilian art and architecture, and a playful suggestiveness bordering on eroticism. Often cast in bronze or concrete, the sculptures (and three-dimensional “wall works”) retain a light touch and colorful palette with forms that conjure associations of fruits, bodies, landscapes, and art history. For The Life of Sculptures, Verzutti has taken her signature vertical forms (they suggest the Endless Column of Constantin Brancusi with a tropical touch) and literally lays them down resting upon resin encased newspapers. This setting of sculptural repose or sheer exhaustion is situated among a number of bronze reliefs. These often share motifs such as body parts, orbs, or eggs, and traces of the artist’s hand or sculptural tools, creating a surreal and anthropomorphic dreamscape around the resting sculptures. The exhibition also suggests a studio space (the artist will also bring in clay models of work in progress), one in which the artist can absorb what has been made and what may come next. Also included are a series of clay models, rejects that lie in a “sculptural cemetery”, completing Verzutti’s life cycle of sculptures.

Verzutti’s upcoming exhibition, entitled Notizia, at the Fondazione ICA in Milan opens in April and runs through July 2024. Previous solo exhibitions include New Moons, CCS Bard Galleries, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY (2023), Tantra, Museo Experimental El Eco, Mexico City (2023), Churros and Rain, Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York, USA (2022), A indisciplina da escultura, Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand, São Paulo, Brazil (2021), Erika Verzutti, Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, UK (2021), Erika Verzutti, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2019), Aspen art Museum, Aspen (2019), Pivô, São Paulo (2016), Sculpture Center, New York (2015), Tang Museum, Saratoga (2014) and Centro Cultural São Paulo (2012). Selected institutional exhibitions include the 57th Venice Biennale (2017), 32nd Bienal de São Paulo (2016), 34th Panorama of Brazilian Art, Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo (2015), 2013 Carnegie International, Pittsburgh (2013), 9th Bienal do Mercosul, Porto Alegre (2013) and the 11th Biennale de Lyon (2011).

© Lee Friedlander, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco and Luhring Augustine, New York

Lee Friedlander Framed by Joel Coen
Lee Friedlander

The Tower, Archives Gallery, Level -2

LUMA Arles presents Lee Friedlander Framed by Joel Coen, an exhibition born of the collaboration between the great American photographer and the celebrated film director. Spanning 60 years of Friedlander’s career through 70 prints and a film, Joel Coen’s curation highlights the photographer’s singular approach to composition and reveals an unexpected affinity between the two artists: their continual fascination with the sly power of images, explored through splintered framings, misleading compositions, and fractured and repeated elements. A veritable cinematic experience, the exhibition unfolds the images like a sequence of mini-narratives, each strange and anonymous.

Gustav Metzger, Historic Photographs: To Crawl Into – Anschluss, Vienna, March 1938, black-and-white photograph on vinyl and cotton cover, 1996-2011
Installation view, Gustav Metzger, Act or perish!, Centre of Contemporary Art Znaki Czasu, Toruń, Poland
© Wojciech Olech
Courtesy of Centre of Contemporary Art Znaki Czasu in Toruń

Hans Ulrich Obrist Archives – Chapter 4 :
Gustav Metzger – All of Us Together

Gustav Metzger
The Tower, Galerie du Cerisier, Level -2 and Underground, Level -3

For its fourth chapter, the Hans Ulrich Obrist Archives at LUMA Arles presents an exploration of the work of Gustav Metzger (born 10 April 1926 in Nuremberg, passed away on 1 March 2017 in London), an essential figure for ecology and activism in the arts. Drawing upon a two-decade-long friendship between Metzger and Obrist, the exhibition unfolds over two levels, providing both an immersion into never-before-seen archives and a panorama of the artist’s most iconic works, the pertinence of which is ever more urgent.

During their first studio visit in 1991 in Glasgow, Douglas Gordon encouraged Hans Ulrich Obrist to investigate the works of Gustav Metzger and John Latham, both pioneers and indispensable inspirations for a then-emerging generation of artists in the United Kingdom. After consulting the catalogue of Art Into Society – Society Into Art (1974), which featured his contribution, a statement calling for Years without Art (1977-1980), Obrist attempted to reach Metzger by all available means.

Their first recorded conversation took place in 1997 at the legendary Café Cosmo, a sanctuary for political exiles during the conflicts of the 20th century in London. Their dialogue continuously unveiled Metzger’s commitment and activism for the environment. Their bond intensified when Hans Ulrich Obrist settled in London. Metzger was a key participant in the Serpentine’s first marathon, the Interview Marathon (2006), conceived with Rem Koolhaas. He was the sole individual not to have slept during the 24-hour duration of these conversations. Cultivating mystery, Metzger exclusively used red telephone boxes as his means of communication. Consequently, the Serpentine somewhat became his post office box during his retrospective Decades: 1959–2009 in 2009. He later co-curated there the Extinction Marathon: Visions for the Future in 2014.

The sentence ‘All of us together,’ which is in the title of the exhibition was composed in 2014 for the Handwriting Project by Hans Ulrich Obrist. It is part of a collection of notes Metzger titled Extinction Handwritings. The exhibition compiles the questions Metzger provoked during his life and career, manifested in the presentation of archival material through around ten hours of interviews, handwritten and printed documents, alongside personal notes and other ephemera. The archival presentation compliments an in-depth exhibition that brings together works such as Liquid Crystal Environment (1965/2024) or MASS MEDIA: Today and Yesterday (1972/2024). Posters created in tribute to Metzger highlight the significance of his work and its importance in confronting the crises of today and tomorrow. Echoing the endeavors and efforts of Luc Hoffmann, Gustav Metzger will also remain, through his works and his thoughts, a cornerstone of the ecological movements of the 20th and 21st centuries.

William Kentridge
Still from You Whom I Could Not Save, 2023
Single chanel HD film
7 minutes 23 seconds
Courtesy William Kentridge Studio

Je n’attends plus
William Kentridge

La Mécanique Générale, North

William Kentridge is one of the most multi-faceted artists of his generation. Combining drawing, film, sculpture, theater, and opera, he is renowned for his politically engaged practice. In conjunction with the world premiere of his newly commissioned opera The Great Yes, The Great No, which will debut at LUMA Arles this summer, the exhibition Je n’attends plus (I’m Not Waiting Any Longer) presents a group of major works, some of which have not been seen in Europe before. Dealing with issues of migration, oppression, racial relations, the transmission of history, and the role of the artist in a society under duress, the exhibition brings together a remarkable body of experimental and performative work.

For more than forty years, the work of William Kentridge has examined South African history at the intersection of the personal and the political. His film installations deploy rhythmic frescoes which are always influenced and inflected by the context and cultural expressions of Johannesburg, the city in which they are made. Simultaneously they draw on elements from the history of avant-garde Europe with post-Cubist, Dadaist, and Surrealist overtones. His charcoal drawings, mask inlays, collages, puppets and sculptures give his works a dreamlike, liminal, and sometimes abstract dimension, an important component of Kentridge’s singular language.

While colonial and racial issues linked to the South African context are points of departure for universal questioning, Kentridge is also interested in other geographies, such as the Russia of the Soviet Union, the island of Martinique, and the German Empire, among others. In addition to a new production based on the opera The Great Yes, The Great No, the exhibition will present large-scale installations in La Mécanique Générale, including Oh to Believe in Another World (2022), More Sweetly Play the Dance (2015), and Kaboom! (2018) as well as the iconic Porter Series tapestries.

Theaster Gates
Vessel at Theaster Gates Studio, 2020
Photo © Chris Strong
Courtesy Theaster Gates Studio

Le chant du centre
Theaster Gates

La Grande Halle, East

LUMA Arles is hosting Le chant du centre (2024), a new artistic concept presented in collaboration with Theaster Gates as part of its long-term engagement with the celebrated artist. Expanding upon the success of Min | Mon (2023), Gates’s first exhibition in Arles, Le chant du centre will continue the artist’s ongoing exploration of performance, material, and labor in the form of a series of ambitious creative projects. In 2023, Gates transformed La Grande Halle into a participatory installation – debuting his sake collaboration with Sawada Sake Brewery in Tokoname, Japan, and featuring an active DJ booth with vinyl from his personal collection, film, sculpture, and his own ceramic wares. Conceived as a space that invites visitors to experience the key tenets of his artistic practice, Min | Mon underscored the importance of craft, conviviality, and cultural hybridity through a philosophy and speculation he calls “Afro Mingei.”

In Summer 2024, Gates will honor the lineage of his artistic origins as a potter and extend this speculative proposal by converting LUMA Arles’s La Grande Halle into a site of experimental ceramic production. Continuing the artist’s investment in the craft traditions of the Japanese Mingei movement, Gates will invite visitors to observe the performance and process of making, deepening our collective appreciation for the ancient and contemporary significance of clay as a medium. As part of the demonstrative work of this exhibition on ceramic production, the volume of wares accumulated in La Grande Halle will multiply as Gates and potters in his studio will progressively produce sculptures and wares throughout the duration of this exhibition.

In July 2024, as part of Le chant du centre, LUMA Arles will host the Black Artists Retreat (BAR), an almost annual convening of Black artists run by Gates for over a decade. Hatched at a time when Black artists were rarely invited to self-convene outside of white institutions, BAR radically underscored the weight of creating, protecting, and nurturing Black space through care, critical inquiry, and conviviality. Year after year, BAR demonstrates the generative possibilities in carving out space and time for Black artists to rest, be joyous, build community, and share openly in the frame of a retreat. This year, invited artists from France, Europe, and abroad will gather over a period of a few days in Arles to reflect together on their practices, questions of Blackness within Black making traditions, and the presence and prominence of Black contemporary practice in the broader global conversation.

Judy Chicago: Herstory, 2023
Exhibition view: New Museum, New York Courtesy New Museum
Photo © Dario Lasagni

Herstory
Judy Chicago
Le Magasin Électrique, Bloc A

Judy Chicago: Herstory premiered at the New Museum, New York in 2023, receiving rare reviews as it provided for the first time a historical context and narrative to Chicago’s body of work. The exhibition was the iconic feminist artist’s most comprehensive New York museum survey to date. LUMA Arles will host the exhibition in the Summer 2024, in Arles, as a reconceived and expanded exhibition, building on the success of the New Museum show. Spanning more than sixty years of the artist’s career for the most expansive exhibition of her work in Europe to date, Herstory traces Chicago’s practice from her early experiments in Minimalism in the 1960s and her revolutionary feminist art of the 1970s to her series of the 1980s and 1990s—such as the Birth Project, PowerPlay, Resolutions: A Stitch in Time (1994–2000), and The End: A Meditation on Death and Extinction (2012–18)—which expand the purview of her Second Wave Feminist agenda to confront environmental disaster, genocide, social inequity, birth and creation, mortality, and the construct of masculinity. Contextualizing Chicago’s feminist methodology within the many art movements in which she participated—and from whose histories she has frequently been erased—Herstory showcases Chicago’s tremendous impact over many decades.

New to the LUMA Arles incarnation will be a revival of Chicago’s early ground-breaking Feather Room, which will be at the center of the exhibition and An Homage to Arles, a newly commissioned Smoke Sculpture™ which will be a highlight of the opening events.

 

"Judy Chicago: Herstory" is organized in partnership with the New Museum. Lead sponsorship at the New Museum was provided by Dior. Major support was provided by Jordan Schnitzer/The Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation.

The exhibition was originally curated by Massimiliano Gioni, New Museum Edlis Neeson Artistic Director, Gary Carrion-Murayari, New Museum Kraus Family Senior Curator, Margot Norton, former New Museum Allen and Lola Goldring Senior Curator and current Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive Chief Curator, and Madeline Weisburg, New Museum Assistant Curator, with Ian Wallace, New Museum Curatorial Assistant.

The exhibition at LUMA Arles is curated by Vassilis Oikonomopoulos, Director of Exhibitions and Programs.

EBB
Me Time, synthesis image, 2024

EBB

Me Time
EBB 

The Tower, Studio 1

Initiated by Neïl Beloufa, EBB invites artists, authors, and filmmakers to experiment with the technologies that shape our digital lives in today’s attention economy. As part of a long-term research interest on the use of technology in the service of artists’ visions, this initiative showcases technologies such as generative AI, data privacy, recommendation algorithms, and information personalization, making them accessible and actionable.

Me Time features an artistic apparatus designed to create artworks and narratives that blend urban legends, folklore, belief systems, and reality. Along a digital and physical infrastructure network in the Parc des Ateliers and the Tower, unfolding storylines—told through the prism of the visual language of artists who have been invited to be part of the project—transform the visit to LUMA Arles into a self-directed narrative journey. Within this open and flexible framework, visitors can engage with the artworks in various manners, from shaping the settings to altering the narratives or integrating themselves as characters. At the end of each journey, an interactive and immersive projection room—part-theater, part-agora—displays personalized media, manifesting the viewer’s imagination in distorted and unpredictable ways.

Me Time examines how technologies can be repurposed, poeticized, or critiqued, and explores ways in which they can benefit artists, visitors, and ultimately society, rather than being merely exploitative. Taking the form of a gamified experience, this project provides a space for ongoing experimental cultural production, thus enabling new critical forms of collaboration and co-creation to emerge.

The inaugural participating artist in Me Time at LUMA Arles is Jill Mulleady, with more collaborations to be announced soon.

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