Being In The World
Selections from the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection
CIFO Art Space, Miami │ December 2, 2009 - March 7, 2010
Curated by Berta Sichel.
The Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO) is proud to present Being in the World: Selections from the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection, an exhibition curated by Berta Sichel on view from December 2, 2009 to March 07, 2010, coinciding with Art Basel Miami Beach (Dec. 2-6 2009).
Being in the World: Selections from the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection is freely framed by the idea of situation as it was developed by French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre. Sartre's situation, or being in the world, includes an individual's place-or current circumstance-and that person's memory, which is a closed circuit providing a background view. The way an individual understands his/her position in the world is a product of past and present circumstances, which include people, close friends and acquaintances as well as strangers who pass unnoticed.
The exhibition proposes this as a useful model for understanding recent artworks which struggle with the individual in a changing world. Being in the World includes 7 artists whose works were selected from the 63 media-based works in the collection. It features works by leading artists Chantal Akerman, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Muntean/Rosenblum, Robin Rhode, Shirin Neshat, Bill Viola, and Francesca Woodman.
The works in Being in the World: Selection from the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection, might also be closest to Sartre's notion of the difference between life and art, since for Sartre art only belongs to us if it restores ambiguity and sometimes a brutal freshness to actual events. In one way or another, the works selected all tell stories, and for Sartre to tell a story when we don't know the outcome creates illusion. Some of these stories are close to reality, others drawn from imagination, but all have uncertain outcomes. All describe situations, ways of being in world.
Together they transmit the freedom of art, the freedom of choice-the only freedom Sartre recognized. That is their intrinsic value.Central to the way this show will be organized are two distinct but interrelated categories: The first deals directly with form, construction and space in terms of experimental abstractions and formal conceptualism—the legacy in photographic practice of the object study or still life (both organic and non-organic). The second embodies a direct and engaged relation to the real world and the notion of the documentary that nonetheless speaks to and engages with conceptual practice; exploring the use of photography in architectural, urban and conventional landscape traditions. Both categories of practice have their own internal critical tendencies and discontents: works that challenge their coherence, but also, inevitably, the boundaries of these provisional categories will be challenged and undermined by the exhibition itself.