The Spiral and the Square

The Spiral and the Square

What happens in translations between cultures, between languages, between a viewer and an artwork?

In The Spiral and the Square, the works are varied exercises in translatability. Rivane Neuenschwander’s phantom draughtsman translates the visitor’s description of their first love into a portrait on paper. Cildo Meireles’ simple paper bags are translated into a series of volume units. Laura Lima’s living sculpture lends an image to the process of translation as a physical and demanding struggle. Cao Guimarães’ full-length film Ex Isto (Ex It) challenges how history is written by transferring European historical events to the Amazon rainforest.

The Spiral and the Square has its starting point in Brazilian writer Osman Lins’ cult novel Avalovara (1973), but an exhibition that encompasses the meeting of cultures inevitably and obviously will embrace the world, finding its way finally into Swedish art history. 

The winding themes and structure here echo the novel’s structure, in which a mysterious palindrome appears in a square drawn on top of a spiral.

The Spiral and the Square features work by internationally established artists of different generations and with many different expressions. Running alongside the exhibition, Bonniers Konsthall, in collaboration with Södertörn University and Albert Bonniers Publishers, is arranging seminars, performances and screenings in which Brazilian culture take centre stage

The artists whose works are being shown do not divide into generations, their years of birth range from the 1930s to the mid-1970s. Nor is geography a common denominator. There are Brazilian artists, artists working in Brazil, and artists from totally different parts of the world. If we are to name any points of contact, we instead end up with an interest in translation – between languages, traditions and art forms.  Sara Arrhenius, director Bonniers Konsthall

Artists in the exhibition:
Angela Detanico & Rafael Lain
Mauricio Dias & Walter Riedweg
Eugenio Dittborn
Öyvind Fahlström
Cao Guimãraes
Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster
Fredrik Ehlin, Andjeas Ejiksson & Oscar Mangione
Laura Lima
Arto Lindsay
Dora Longo Bahia
Renata Lucas
Raimundas Malašauskas & Marcos Lutyens
Cinthia Marcelle
Rodrigo Matheus
Cildo Meireles
João Modé
Fabio Morais
Rivane Neuenschwander
Natascha Sadr Haghighian
Rirkrit Tiravanija
Haegue Yang

The Spiral and the Square, 2011|Photo: Olle Kirchmeier

Dance and Object: A lecture with André Lepecki 16 Nov

In his talk, André Lepecki addresses how choreography has approached objects as performative elements – sometimes even replacing the dancer’s body altogether. Departing from a genealogical analysis of how dance and objecthood have partnered since the advent of minimalism, he discusses how the concept of ‘transcreation’ proposed by the Campos’ brothers in the 1950s in Brazil allows for a reading of choreographic practices coming from the visual arts not as an ‘interdisciplinary’ effort, but rather as the identification of the object as an intrinsically dynamic event, capable of reformulating, from within, the very status of the image.

André Lepecki is a curator, author and Associate Professor at the Department of Performance Studies at New York University. Bonniers Konsthall would like to thank DOCH, the University of Dance and Circus.

Symposium: Exercises in Translatability 13 Oct

What is a translation? Do we only translate words, or perhaps also art? Is it possible to translate one culture into another? The symposium Exercises in Translatability gathers a group of theorists and curators to discuss how we, in a globalised world, can relate to questions about translations and translatability – culturally, aesthetically and linguistically. Invited speakers: Daniela Castro and Jochen Volz, curators of The Spiral and the Square; Lisette Lagnado, curator; Vladimir Safatle, author and Philosophy Professor at São Paulo University; Sara Arrhenius, Director of Bonniers Konsthall; Cecilia Sjöholm, professor at Södertörn University; Magnus Bergh, senior publisher at Albert Bonniers Publishers.

The symposium coincides with the release of the anthology Translatability, containing new essays by several of the speakers and new translations of texts by among others Edouard Glissant, Aleksandar Hemon, Osman Lins and Jorge Luis Borges, Clarice Lispector and Vladimir Safatle.

Laura Lima, Marra, 1996/2011|Photo: Olle Kirchmeier

Hypnotic Show 30 Sep – 1 Oct

The Hypnotic Show is an ongoing proposition elaborated by curator Raimundas Malašauskas since 2009 along with hypnotist Marcos Lutyens.
For The Spiral and the Square, the event takes place at a hotel room somewhere in Stockholm, lasting one hour in a number of meetings that requires members of the audience to voluntarily agree to be hypnotised. This serves as a temporary social structure for engagement in creative cognitive acts through the shared practices of art and hypnosis. Thus, the audience is both co-author and actor in an imagined exhibition, based on proposals by artists commissioned for the project.

Raimundas Malašauskas is a curator at the Contemporary Art Centre (CAC) in Vilnius, Lithuania. Malašauskas participates in various social events, including carnivals, business meetings, counselling sessions and dinners. Raimundas Malašauskas participates in the exhibition programme with his Hypnotic Show, executed along with hypnotist Marcos Lutyens.

Symposium: One’s own words/Other’s words – Brazilian literature in Swedish, 28 September (In Swedish)

Participants: Marcia Sá Cavalcante Schuback, Stefan Helgesson, Örjan Sjögren, Magnus William-Olsson, Jesper Olsson, Paula Brandt, Fredrik Ehlin, Andjeas Ejiksson, Oscar Mangione, Thérèse Brunnander.

Small Affective Collection – Film Festival at Sture Cinema, 12–14 September

Small Affective Collection is a film programme curated by the artist Cao Guimaraes. Films include: The Sacrifice by Andrej Tarkovskij, Mother and Son by Alexander Sokurov, I Travel Because I Have To, I Come Back Because I Love You by Marcelo Gomes & Karim Ainouz, as well as Drifter och Ex It by Cao Guimaraes.  A number of short films will also be screened, including Chris Marker’s La Jetée, Leon Hirzsman’s Nelson Cavalquinho and Fischli & Weiss’ The Way Things Go.