Donna Huanca

Beyond the limits of statements + conversation: A short guide to Art Basel, Liste, Dream Fair

14 June 2017

Art Basel, a contemporary art fair that also takes place in Miami Beach and Hong Kong during other parts of the year, brings together over 290 international galleries, showing work by over 4,000 artists. The huge project, opening June 15 to 18, is teeming with exhibitions and events, as well as fringe fairs LISTE and Dream Fair (see below) running alongside.

The main fair is split into sections; booth exhibitions in Galleries, solo presentations in Feature, artists up for the Baloise Art Prize in Statements, rare publications in Edition, large scale projects and performances in Unlimited, site specific works in Parcours, experimental screenings in Film, as well as a range of artists talks and panel discussions in Conversations.

Here are our recommendations:

Art Basel


Do Artists Need to Leave Africa to be Successful? Artist talk with Candice Breitz, Zanele Muholi, and Valerie Kabov, Jun 15
– Oh the Humanity! Artist talk with Cécile B. Evans and Susanne Pfeffer, Jun 17
– Archives and the Digital Dark Age. Curator talk with Glenn R. Phillips, Sabih Ahmed, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Jun 17


– ‘The Stuart Hall Project‘ (2013) by John Akomfrah, Jun 15


Concerned by the ghost without being bothered (2017) by Flaka Haliti
– City Lights (Dead Horse Bay)‘ (2016) by Lena Henke


Antenna Space presents work by Guan Xiao


– Peres Projects presents Donna Huanca‘s performance ‘Bliss (Reality Check)


Running since 1996, Liste introduces young and emerging galleries and artists, as well as a number of performance events and talks. As a special guest of this year’s programme, HeK presents a selection of artists “who utilise 3D modelling and 3D printing to explore the convoluted dialogue between the real and the virtual world,” including Morehshin Allahyari & Daniel Rourke, Lou Cantor and Tabita Rezaire, among others.

Some of the participating galleries include:

Arcadia Missa (London) featuring Maja Cule, Hannah Perry, Hannah Quinlan and Rosie Hastings, Hannah Black and Amalia Ulman.
Carlos/Ishikawa (London) featuring Vanessa Carlos
Emalin (London) featuring Nicholas Cheveldave
Aoyama/Meguro (Tokyo) featuring Tatsumi Orimoto + Koki Tanaka
VI, VII (Oslo) featuring Eloise Hawser
Jenny’s (Los Angeles) featuring Julien Ceccaldi, Mathieu Malouf, Eirik Sæther
LambdaLambdaLambda (Prishtina) featuring Tatjana Danneberg, Hanne Lippard, Dardan Zhegrova
MadeIn (Shanghai) featuring Shen Xin, Miao Ying + WANG NEWONE
mother’s tankstation limited (Dublin) featuring Cui Jie
Project Native Informant (London) featuring Juliana Huxtable and Morag Keil
Sandy Brown (Berlin) featuring Grace Anderson, Kamilla Bischof, Quintessa Matranga + Aude Pariset

Curated by Eva Birkenstock, Liste’s 2017 Performance Project Rehearsing Intra-Activity presents a mix of artists and dancers to explore “an expanded understanding of the concept of choreography” including work by:

– New Noveta Abject Majetek, Jun 12
Dana Michel Mercurial George, Jun 14
– Sophie Jung Death Warmed Up, Jun 16
– Isabel Lewis Strange Action, Jun 15
– Jérôme Bel Cédric Andrieux, Jun 13

Dream Basel

The online art fair Dream, which opens June 13 to 18, runs concurrently with international established fairs, where the ‘booths’ hold digital files of work by artists, featuring up to 12 galleries with this one, including Berlin’s Exile featuring Pakui Hardware, Mexico City’s Lodos gallery featuring Elsa-Louise Manceaux
Lewis Teague Wright, and London’s Supplement featuring Sophie Jung
Ben Cain and Marianne Spurr, among other galleries and artists.**

Sophie Jung, ‘The Weather Is Here, Wish You Were Beautiful’ (2016) HD Video screenshot. Courtesy the artist + Supplement Gallery, London.

Header image: Lewis Teague Wright, ‘Oa4s, ‘Bunnypot’,(2017) Inkjet print on transparent film. Courtesy the artist, Lodos Gallery + Dream Basel.

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The search for our evolutionary roots in Jaguars And Electric Eels at Julia Stoschek Collection, Feb 5 – Nov 26, 2017

4 April 2017

The Jaguars And Electric Eels group exhibition is on at Düsseldorf’s Julia Stoschek Collection, having opened February 5 and running to November 26, 2017. 

The show brings together 30 artists who engage in the “search for our evolutionary roots” including Heike BaranowskyEncyclopedia Pictura/ Björk, Ryan GanderDonna Huanca, Isaac Julien, Ana Mendieta, Ben RiversGuan Xiao and Anicka Yi, among others.

Through an observation of nature and ourselves, the works look at ‘indigeneity,’ hybridity and “synthetic forms of life” as well as migration and our “constantly changing perceptions of reality” that affect and influence the way we understand the world. 

Founded in 2007, the Julia Stoschek Collection in Düsseldorf is a private collection of contemporary art that focuses mainly on time-based media art, also opening a space in Berlin in 2016. Both regularly present exhibitions and publications of their collection that houses over 700 works by international artists.

See the Julia Stoschek Collection website for details.**


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Streams of Warm Impermanence @ DRAF, Sep 15- Dec 10

13 September 2016

Group exhibition Streams of Warm Impermanence will open at London’s DRAF on September 15 and run until December 10.

The show will feature works by Dora Budor, Ann Hirsch, Donna Huanca, Renaud Jerez, Anna Uddenberg, Stewart Uoo, Carolee Schneemann and Athena Papadopoulos among others.

Curated by Vincent Honoré and Nicoletta Lambertucci, the premise of Networked Flesh moves beyond human corporeity in the digital era and is more concerned with empowered bodies that operate through networks to “perform, transform, transcribe, reconfigure or reinvent” and brings works together that view fluidity within a context of positive potential.

Exploring a condition of sublimation, the exhibition includes paintings, sculptures and drawings and includes work by both established, historical and emerging artists.

Visit the DRAF website for more details.**

Athena Papadopoulos, 'The Great Revel of Hairy Harry Who Who: Orgy at the Onion Cellar', (2015). Installation view. Courtesy of artist + Les Urbaines, Lausanne.
Athena Papadopoulos, ‘The Great Revel of Hairy Harry Who Who: Orgy at the Onion Cellar’, (2015). Installation view. Courtesy of artist + Les Urbaines, Lausanne.
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A survey of some art in Riga

12 January 2016

Across the river from the National Library of Latvia –a curious multi-storey building constructed at the birth of the Republic in 1919 –stands kim? Contemporary Art Centre. It’s a two-storey brick warehouse in the once degenerate, now regenerated Maskavas forštate (Moscow District) near the massive hangars of the abundant Riga Central Market. It’s showing a group exhibition, Exit, Stuttering and Nebula, running December 6, 2015, to January 24, 2016, which will be its last in that location. The issue in the Baltic city is the same as seemingly anywhere; where once poor neighbourhoods become desirable for developers and the previous tenants are compelled to move on. For anyone who travels, “it’s not the same” has almost become a global art community cliché and Riga is no exception. There are countless reasons for why this is happening –with capitalism being a big one –but it’s worth considering it in terms of an expansion of the kim? gallery question-mark “kas ir māksla?” (“What is art?”). Or perhaps more expressly: “who’s at fault?”. Because a place like kim? presents a rather interesting paradox.

Exit, Stuttering & Nebula (2015-16). Exhibition view. Courtesy kim?, Riga.
Exit, Stuttering & Nebula (2015-16). Exhibition view. Courtesy kim?, Riga.

As an outlier, in terms of the still regionally-focussed art scene in Riga, the impressive programming of the gallery, which at this moment includes the aforementioned group exhibition showing international artists like Sweden’s Henning Lundkvist, Helsinki-based Mikko Kuorinki and Īrisa Erbse working in Cologne, along with one Riga-based local Inga Ģibiete. Upstairs, an exhibition by Bolivian-American artist Donna Huanca appears in one room, Brooklyn-based Ethiopian Ezra Wube‘s Palindromes is in another. The latter solo exhibition’s name is the term for a word, line, verse, number, sentence that reads the same backward as it does forward and aptly embodies what the press release calls the “dialogical tension” between not only “the ‘here’ and ‘there'” in this particular show but that of the Exit, Stuttering and Nebula group exhibition and Huanca’s solo one.

“Synthetic fiber see-thru leaves” says the room sheet for the New York-based artist’s Polystyrene’s Braces. They’re lyrics lifted from post-punk exhibition namesake Poly Styrene’s song ‘The day the world turned day-glo’, released with X-Ray Spex in 1978. It’s a text that runs through its persona’s interactions with a noxious synthetic landscape filled with ‘fairy snow’, ‘nylon curtains’, ‘polypropylene’ and ‘rayon trees’ –domestic, and by extension feminine materials the British vocalist reclaims by dominating their ‘acrylic road[s]’. Huanca in turn presents leather and faux fur ‘Hairy Boots’ (2015), and nylon and leather ‘Dino Shoes’ (2015), next to the clay smudges and paint footprints made by the actual bodies of two nude women performers from opening night. It’s an equally fetishistic display of an object-body gender assignation of cultural norms that the work opposes, at the same time as it acknowledges and thus reinforces it by its very existence.

Donna Huanca, Polystyrene's Braces (2015-16). Exhibition view. Courtesy kim?, Riga.
Donna Huanca, Polystyrene’s Braces (2015-16). Exhibition view. Courtesy kim?, Riga.

“We haven’t touched any of your things” says Eoghan Ryan‘s ‘Are you trying to make me say the word?’ (2015) video in Exit, Stuttering and Nebula downstairs. Here, a certain subjectivity fragments into a montage of images of film footage, dead flies and sound bytes of the artist speaking to his parents on Skype. The flatscreen it plays from hangs across from Frank Boyd’s ‘Untitled’ (2013) at the centre of the exhibition –a loaf of locally-sourced rye bread that’s hooked up to XLR cables hung from the ceiling –and Vivienne Griffin‘s white hanging blinds with holes cut through them as a view to nothing in ‘All the questions become riddles as soon as reflection upon them becomes serious’ (2015). Curator Kaspars Groshevs‘ own contribution comes in a black painted simulation of the weave of a wicker basket painted on the walls, engulfing all the works and drawing them –physically, culturally, thematically –together.

Groshevs has another show on at the artist-run 427 (Four To Seven) space on Stabu Road, simultaneously. It also features an exhibition called FERMENTATION by Īrisa Erbse from the group exhibition, but here her canvases of paint dispersed by cleaning products are brighter and more colourful. The brief room sheet expands on her enthusiasm for writing “poetry and brewing recipes” –as described in the one for Exit, Stuttering and Nebula –with a list of artisanal beer brands while the household products she used are proudly displayed on top of the remnant of an inbuilt fireplace. Their packaging features recognisable multi-national brands amended for a Latvian consumer, while an English-speaker struggles to understand each product’s function. **

Exhibition photos, top right.

The exhibitions + events mentioned ran and are running at kim? Contemporary Art Centre and Four To Seven, in November and December, 2015, respectively.

Header image: Īrisa Erbse, FERMENTATION (2015). Installation view. Courtesy Four To Seven, Riga.

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