ANTONI MUNTADAS

Barcelona, 1942



20 April – 2 July 2022 Opening: 20 April, 5 – 10 pm During Biennale Arte 2022, Galleria Michela Rizzo presents a group show establishing a dialogue among some of the artists with whom it has shared an important, long-standing path over the years. The members of the waiwai research and design agency – winner of the Golden Lion at the latest Architecture Biennale, as represented by Wael Al Awar – will be the special guests of the event, as they are part of the project curated by Elena Forin for research into environmental issues and new construction materials. Landscape, the value of experience, the spontaneous generation of forms, experimentation with systems for measuring space and energy, critical issues in the relationship between development and protection, sustainability and the socio-political dimension of local areas and exchanges are some of the themes addressed by the works and artists involved in the project. With their different lingos, research and backgrounds, Hamish Fulton, Antoni Muntadas, Cesare Pietroiusti, David Rickard, Mariateresa Sartori and waiwai research and design agency open a dialogue on these junctures by recounting the environment, natural resources – whether apparent or hidden – and social and economic constructions, thus reformulating the concept of imagination and enhancing the ability to look, feel, think and build beyond the usual. Each of these voices of contemporary research identifies energies and dynamics rooted in space and its many dimensions, thereby restoring aspects that often remain invisible through their work. Mariateresa Sartori focuses on the analysis of an immaterial force such as the wind and questions the concepts of emptiness and nothingness in two groups of works exhibited for the first time on this occasion. David Rickard dwells on the local and political significance of an element such as water and involves the gallery’s audience in an argument that focuses on the value of time and that of collaboration. Antoni Muntadas, on the other hand, notes some of the words that characterise the social dimension of space, thus showing the reinforcement of variables related to control and the progressive dissolution of those arising from the development of free thought. Cesare Pietroiusti delves into exchange, property and the relationship between gifts and debt and that between gifts and time, thereby enabling the audience to experience these nuances concretely through two cycles of specially created works. In addition to space as a force, a political and social field and an economic and mediating sector, there is also space as a landscape: the experience of the individual in the environment is indeed the basis of Hamish Fulton’s research, whose large wall painting shows part of a 2838 km journey he made from 11 September to 13 November 2002. Walking into distance beyond imagination is the extreme synthesis of a journey through five countries and a variety of different landscapes: walking beyond imagination seems to be the attitude shared by all the artists included in (in)visible fields, space as energy and provides the basis of the research that enabled waiwai research and design agency and Wael Al Awar to receive the most sought-after prize at the 17th Architecture Biennale with Wetland. The project inspired from sabkhah, a solid ecosystem of natural salt flats in the United Arab Emirates, turns to reject brine of desalination water (an industrial waste) of UAE to produce a new cement capable of replacing Portland cement (the production of which is responsible for 8% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions). Thanks to a group of scientists from Abu Dhabi, Tokyo and Sharjah, the project continues to grow and expand: its cross-sectional look at the environment and resources is leading to the creation not so much of a new material as the development of real alternatives to known systems and mechanisms. By going beyond imagination and feeling the vibrations of space, you can reach unexpected, albeit often invisible places. Special thanks to the National Pavilion of the United Arab Emirates – La Biennale di Venezia.

Antoni Muntadas was born in Barcelona in 1942 and has lived in New York since 1971. Through his works he addresses social, political and communications issues such as the relationship between public and private space within social frameworks, and investigates channels of information and the ways they may be used to censor or promulgate ideas. His projects are presented in different media such as photography, video, publications, the Internet, installations, and urban interventions.

Muntadas has taught and directed seminars at diverse institutions throughout Europe and the United States, including the National School of Fine Arts in Paris, the Fine Arts Schools of Bordeaux and Grenoble, the University of California in San Diego, the San Francisco Art Institute, Cooper Union, the University of São Paulo, and the University of Buenos Aires. He has also served as a resident artist and consulting advisor for various research and education centres including the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, the Banff Centre in Alberta, Arteleku in San Sebastian, The National Studio for Contemporary Arts Le Fresnoy, and the University of Western Sydney. He is currently Professor of the Practice at ACT in the Department of Architecture at MIT and at the Instituto Universitario de Arquitectura del Veneto in Venice.

Muntadas has received several prizes and grants from sources including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, Arts Electronica in Linz, Laser d’Or in Locarno, the Premi Nacional d’Arts Plàstiques awarded by the Catalan Government, the Premio Nacional de Artes Plásticas 2005, and the Premio Velázquez de las Artes Plásticas 2009 granted by the Spanish Ministry of Culture.

His work has been exhibited in numerous museums, including MoMa, the Berkeley Art Museum, the Musée Contemporain de Montreal, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, the Museo de Arte Moderno in Buenos Aires, the Museu de Arte Moderna in Rio de Janeiro, and the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona. His work has been included in international events and venues such the VI and X editions of Documenta Kassel (1977, 1997), the Whitney Biennial of American Art (1991), the 51st Venice Biennial (2005), and others in São Paulo, Lyon, Taipei, Gwangju, and Havana. At the Venice Biennial in 2005 Muntadas exhibited On Translation: I Giardini in the Spanish Pavilion. Other solo exhibitions include Protokolle at the Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart, Proyectos Urbanos (2002/2005), Hacia Sevilla 2008 at the Centro de las Artes de Sevilla and Muntadas. Histoires du couteau, Le Creux de l’enfer at the Centre d’art contemporain, Thiers. In 2006 he presented the installation On Translation: SocialNetworks at the Inter-Society of Electronic Arts in San José, California and in 2007 Muntadas/BS. AS. was exhibited simultaneously at the Telefónica Foundation Space, the Recoleta Cultural Center and the Spanish Cultural Center in Buenos Aires. In 2008 he presented Petit et Grand at the Cervantes Institute in Paris and Muntadas: The Construction of Fear and the Loss of Public Space at the José Guerrero Cultural Centre in Granada. During 2009 he made an intervention at the Mies van der Rohe Pavillion with the Project Muntadas. On Translation: Paper BP/MVDR. In Montréal he showed La construction de la Peur at the Contemporary Art Gallery SBC and Muntadas: Vidéo, média critique, a retrospective presented at the Cinemathéque Quebécoise. Supported by the program Lives And Works in Istanbul, in 2010 he exhibited On Translation: Açik Radyo, Myths and Stereotypes at the Istanbul Modern Museum. More recently, the retrospective Muntadas: Entre/Between was shown at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid in 2011–12. In 2013, Muntadas exhibited Informação-Espaço-Controle in Estaçao Pinacoteca in Sao Paulo, Brazil; Protocolii Veneziani I at Galeria Michella Rizzo in Venice; and Muntadas at Galería Moisés Pérez de Albéniz, Madrid. The exhibit About Academia, previously installed in 2011 at The Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University, traveled to the Audain Gallery in Vancouver in early 2013. An academic essay with Monos Editions, “For A Project Methodology” (September 2013) is among his recent publications.