Conversations & Exhibitions: Julieta Aranda


Julieta Aranda, Partially untitled (tell me if I am wrong), 2009
Camera obscura (wood, paint, and translucent screen), hourglass, Lexan, rotating mechanism, and light sourceGuggenheim Museum, New York, Announces New Exhibition Series
Devoted to Emerging Artists
Intervals: Julieta Aranda
April 10 – July 19, 2009From April 10 to July 19, 2009, the Guggenheim Museum will inaugurate Intervals, a new contemporary art series, with a multipart installation by Julieta Aranda (b. 1975, Mexico City).In Aranda’s presentation, four conceptually related works propose an alternative notion of temporal experience as a shifting and unquantifiable state, liberated from rigid conventions of measurement. In an interstitial space near the museum’s staircase, a peephole reveals the image of an hourglass, a traditional symbol of mortality. Viewed through the refracting optical device of a camera obscura, the grains of sand appear to flow upward in a startling reversal of time’s passage. Nearby, patches of paint on the walls recall the look of covered-up street graffiti, rendered indecipherable yet retaining a ghostly presence in the urban landscape. Here Aranda has transcribed quotations about time drawn from sources that span more than 2,000 years. Using phosphorescent paint, the words become visible only when the space is darkened, momentarily recovering the erased language.One floor above, Aranda has installed an oversized clock in which the day is divided into 10 elongated hours. This system references decimal time, a short-lived initiative introduced during the rationalizing fervor of the French Revolution that reorganized the day into 10 hours, containing 100 minutes of 100 seconds each. While the clock pays homage to this act of iconoclasm, the movement of the second hand represents an entirely subjective experience of time, corresponding directly to the fluctuating rate of the artist’s own heartbeat over the course of one day. The time it takes for the clock to complete a revolution of 100 seconds therefore varies according to Aranda’s behavior and state of mind: it ticks faster during moments of excited activity and slower during periods of rest. In an accompanying sound piece, a transistor radio emits a recording of this heart rate, suggesting the nuanced tempo of human experience.Aranda’s multimedia, project-based work has frequently focused on the dissemination of information and the agency of the individual in contemporary society. In collaborative projects with Anton Vidokle, such as an itinerant, freely available archive of videos (e-flux Video Rental, 2004– ) and an operative store where artists could hock their works (Pawnshop, 2007), she has reinvented existing systems of commerce and circulation as part of an ongoing project to, in her own words, “generate viable propositions for alternative transactions of cultural capital.”Intervals was initiated by Chief Curator Nancy Spector as an experimental series to allow the museum to respond quickly to innovations and new developments in contemporary art as they arise. Conceived to take place in the interstices of the museum’s exhibition spaces or beyond the physical confines of the building, the program will invite a diverse range of artists to create new work for a succession of solo presentations.Following Aranda’s exhibition, a series of subsequent Intervals projects will be presented each year. The second Intervals presentation, featuring Berlin-based artist Kitty Kraus, is planned for fall 2009, with further projects under development for 2010.

Intervals: Julieta Aranda is organized by Nancy Spector and Katherine Brinson, Assistant Curator. Julieta


…would like to start from the beginning
(the art of heroic machines)
, 2009
C-Print, aluminum mounted
30 inches x 40 inches

The artist Julieta Aranda’s work marks processes in which motion and standstill are intertwined — rhythm and circulation are central elements of her installations.

Her work hereby functions on different layers. On the one hand, she plays with our perception: we see part of the work only when we no longer see anything else. Light, shadow and darkness, appearing, disappearing and erasure rely on each other — this becomes palpable. On the other hand, these plays on perception and the humorous titles of her work are loaded with various, often political, references.

In It is not necessary to resolve this (2009), we see strangely shaped patches of color on the wall. Only when the lights suddenly turn off for a brief moment, do we discover the graffiti ‘beneath’ them. Inscriptions of the city, which have been ‘erased’ by gentrification, are now restored as shimmering warning lights.

The heavenly glory of the hymn „a happy land, far, far away“ is altered to There is a heppy lend — fur, fur awa-a-ay (2011). This distortion sounds like a scratched ideological record and correspondingly, the horizon we see is a greenish fluorescent screen, onto which small antennas cast large shadows.

The straight path of progress and faith coils and curls before our eyes. JS / NT

Between Timid and Timbuktu

news report from Stockholm

In this exhibition Aranda explores conflicting ideas about time to propose a position between change and possibility

There are two traditionally rival views about the nature of time: one based in materialism, that understands time as a substance that exists independently of events taking place within it, and the relational view, according to which time is constructed of events, and exists merely as a measure of change.
What does it mean to talk about “one’s own time”? Is that equivalent to “one’s own change”? Wouldn’t then one’s own time be unstuck, and follow an internal logic where duration is no longer a homogenous concept?
Julieta Aranda’s work is often concerned with both time and the conditions of subjectivity. In her exhibition at Gallery Niklas BeleniusBetween timid and Timbuktu: (a time without events) she explores the conflicting ideas about time to try to propose a position between change and possibility, a temporal vacuum that functions as a ripe nothingness, where subject, event and truth can emerge.

Installationview: Julieta Aranda, Between Timid and Timbuktu: (a time without events), Gallery Niklas Belenius, May 26–June 23, 2011
Installationview: Julieta Aranda, Between Timid and Timbuktu: (a time without events), Gallery Niklas Belenius, May 26–June 23, 2011

In the Timaeus, Plato presents us with an account of the ‘birth of time,’ this being the first motion of the heavenly bodies, thus making an identification between time and change. Aristotle objects to this, arguing that time could not be the same thing as change, for first change can go at different rates, but not so time, and secondly change is confined to a part of space whereas time is universal. According to the book of Genesis, there are at least two instances where the beginning of time makes an appearance: On the first day of creation, where time appears as a by-product of the separation between night and day. But this is a frozen, event-less, unconcerned time, where there is difference without change. It is only on the 4th day, as the stars, moon and sun make an appearance as human measuring devices, that time starts moving.

There is Plenty of room at the bottom #2, 2011, Photoprint on glass, 200 x 150 cm.
There is Plenty of room at the bottom #2, 2011, Photoprint on glass, 200 x 150 cm.

This tension between the first and the fourth day, between incommensurable time and the will to measure and contain it, is a returning interest for Julieta Aranda. On her current work, the uninhabited reflections of mirrors into mirrors, printed on mirrors, argue for an equivalence between “empty time” and “time without change.” She investigates time as a non-measurable concept, where, in her own words, “time independent of change means that instead of infinite delay, the present becomes a space of infinite action that is not contractually bound to “what has been” and “what there is to come.” And as a nod to all things unstuck in time, she borrows the title of a fictional poetry book that appears in Kurt Vonnegut’s novel, The Sirens of TitanBetween Timid and Timbuktu (a title derived from the fact that all the words between “timid” and “Timbuktu” in small dictionaries relate to time.)

According to Aristotle, attempts to stop time are futile, for we cannot stop change. But what if all change were to stop? Would that be the end of time too?

continued on Domus

Hg. Anton Vidokle / Julieta Aranda: e-flux video rental catalogue

Testi: Aranda Julieta, Vidokle Anton . 21,5×14; pagg. 399; rileg. brossura.
Editore: Revolver, Frankfurt, 2005.

e-flux video rental (EVR) is a project by Anton Vidokle and Julieta Aranda, comprised of a free video rental store, a public screening room, and a film and video archive. Its collection, selected in collaboration with a large group of international curators, consists of more than 550+ art films and video works, and is available to the public for home viewing free of charge.

EVR started in 2004 in a small storefront on the Lower East Side in New York – the international headquarters of the Electronic Flux Corporation. Since then it has traveled to venues in Berlin, Amsterdam, Miami, Frankfurt, and will soon appear in Seoul and Vienna amongst other locations. For each of its new locations, EVR expands its inventory to include new selections by local curators invited jointly with the hosting institutions. A program of talks and special screenings will continue at all branches.


11 thoughts on “Conversations & Exhibitions: Julieta Aranda

  1. Valentina ha detto:

    Ancora un Progetto in cui ha partecipato Julieta Aranda con Anton Vidokle nel 2009:

    Time/Bank at Portikus

    On May 6, 2011, Portikus will become a bank. Initiated by artists Julieta Aranda and Anton Vidokle in 2009, Time/Bank is a platform that enables people to trade goods and services without using money. With a growing pool of more than a thousand participants around the world, Time/Bank allows groups and individuals to collectively exchange their time and skills through the use of credits earned through the bank, as an intermediary and guarantor. Time/Bank aims to create an immaterial currency and a parallel micro-economy for the cultural community, one that will create a sense of worth for many of the exchanges that already take place within the art field.
    At Portikus, the Time/Bank will be comprised of four main components: an exhibition of artist-designed prototypes for a time-based currency; a currency mint that will print and circulate four hundred Hour Notes—one for each hour of the exhibition; an archive of notgeld notes—the legendary German alternative currency popular during the hyperinflation of the 1920s; a branch of Time/Store offering a range of commodities, groceries, and articles of daily use, as well as a selection of artist’s editions and books produced by Portikus.
    Time/Bank at Portikus will host a series of public seminars and talks by the theorist and activist Franco Berardi (Bifo); Paul Glover, founder of Ithaca Hours local currency system; anthropologist Elizabeth Povinelli, professor at Columbia University; and artists Raqs Media Collective.
    The Frankfurt branch of Time/Bank will include a network of local art institutions and organizations, such as the MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt and the Jewish Museum, amongst others, where the currency of the Time/Bank—Hour Notes, designed by the American artist Lawrence Weiner—can be used for admission, and to make purchases in cafeterias and books stores.
    In conjunction with the exhibition, Portikus will publish a book dealing with qualities of time, gift economies, alternative currencies, and other related topics. The book will include commissioned essays and illustrations, as well as contributions by members of Time/Bank.

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