Friday, November 23, 2012

Exhibiting at ROOM Art Fair #2

Venue: ROOM Art Fair // Room 208 - Art Deal Project
Dates: 23 - 25 November 2012
Address: Hotel Praktik Metropol, Gran Via, Madrid
Curated by: Isabel Lázaro // Art Deal Project
Authors in show: Emilio Subirá, Curro Gómez, Simona Rota and Gerard Calderón

Learn more...
about Art Deal Project at ROOM
about ROOM Art Fair
about article in ABC Cultural on ROOM Art Fair
about article in EL MUNDO on ROOM Art Fair
about article in VICE on ROOM Art Fair

Friday, November 16, 2012


Design: Perndl+Co. Photo: Gastonmaq
Vienna Art Week 2012  
Dates: 19 - 25 November
Opening: 19 November, 18h - 20h

Group exhibition: Predicting Memories
Venue: former Telegraph Office (K.K. Telegrafenamt) 
Curators: Robert Punkenhofer and Ursula Maria Probst

Artists: Horst Ademeit, Julieta Aranda, Anna Artaker, Jennifer Baichwal, Wojciech Ba¸ kowski, Christian Boltanski, Sophie Calle, Doug Fishbone, Agnes Fuchs, D-Fuse, Terence Gower, Fariba Hajamadi, Yao Jui-Chung, Klub Zwei, Rosmarie Lukasser, Anja Manfredi, Christian Mayer, Jakob Neulinger, Hans Op de Beeck, Patricia Reinhart, Simona Rota, Maria Serebriakova, Ekaterina Shapiro-Obermair, Fiona Tan, Joëlle Tuerlinckx, Kara Walker, Ai Weiwei, Sislej Xhafa, et al. Performances by: Doug Fishbone, Anna Mitterer & Katherina Olschbaur, Lilo Nein and Suzie Léger

" (...) Predicting Memories” focuses on a cross-section of the concept of memory and the “anticipation of memory constructs” in contemporary art. Participating artists in the exhibition show an explosive, at times ironizing visual language in their break with current, realpolitikal events. Around the world, dictators, nationalist rhretoric, religious fundamentalism, the omnipotence of global players and the commercialization of mainstream media increase the risk of restrictions to the freedoms of speech and opinion – and the history productions they are associated with. Master plans imposed on urban structures cause naturally-evolved memory spaces to disappear, or prevent them from being established in the first place. Artists around the world are reacting to these processes and the impending loss of individual and collective epics by making them an integral part of their aesthetic work. This – as various works show – leads to a constant re-figuration of memory, not least in light of the observation that the historical experience of past trauma exceeds the scope of representation. The manipulative momentum of ideology-laden historical perceptions and their dubiousness is subject to analysis. The identity-political proof of authenticity put up for discussion urgently raises the (banal-sounding) questions: Where do we come from, and where are we going? (...)" (source: statement //Vienna Art Week)

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Madrid 2012. Photo © Simona Rota

text by Simona Rota*

Is it possible that an (obscure) Commission decided I would live in a very small apartment in a very big city?

Are we, my apartment and I, two species living in symbiosis, yet (only) to the apartment’s benefit?

Is it possible that apartments are using the human species to reproduce, build, communicate, multiply, furnish, clean, warm and reform themselves?

As an adaptive species’ response, would you expect my descendants to stop growing taller due to the low ceiling height of the apartments in which I have lived throughout my life?

Is it absurd to think that the apartment misses me when I am gone?

For whom are the second pillow, the sixth fork and the fourth chair?

What am I supposed to do in the corridor?

Is it too much to ask that the apartment across the street  stop staring at my own?

Would I be performing art if I built an ephemeral bridge to reach across the street to the staring apartment, then asked someone to record a video while walking along this thin line: to the end and back again? Would that be considered a generational statement  /  a feminist one?

If I said that the corners of my apartment were hugs of 90 degrees  could I think of myself as an urban poet?

Is it possible that thinness is my body’s adaptive response to the environment of the shower cabin?

Should I not find out if the parcel on which my building is built was an old, cursed (Indian) cemetery? Perhaps this would explain (all) my personal failures?

Is it an exaggeration to say that I am walking on the heads of my neighbors below and that they are walking on the heads of their neighbors below and those on the heads of their neighbors below? Seen in section, we become an almost ridiculous totem.

Why I am unable to climb the apartment’s walls like a spider, an ant, flies, mosquitoes and other creatures that live here ? Is this proof of the inability of my species to adapt to its environment?

When exactly did sharing an apartment stop being cool (independent) and instead become an attribute of a loser (dependent)?

Will I grow old next to (with) my roommate?

Is my apartment a semi public plaza? Should I risk leaving the bathroom door open when my roommate is not at home?

Will I live long enough to see the revolution of the modern apartment?  Or did it happen already?

"Soviet Modernism".The book

On the occasion of the exhibition "Soviet Modernism 1955-1991. Unknown Stories", the Architektur Zentrum Wien (AzW) also edited a book / catalogue using among others not few of the photographs I have took in the ex soviet countries. 
Here some snapshots of the book where I show mainly the spreads where my photographs were used  rather then focusing on the contents. If you want to know more about the contents, click the link below:

Video presentation of the entire book

Soviet Modernism. 1955 - 1991. Unknown History
Edited by: Architektur Zentrum Wien (Katharina Ritter, Ekaterina Shapiro - Obermair, Dietmar Steiner, Alexandra Wachter)
Book design: Thomas Kussin, Rosmarie Ladner, buero8
Published by: Park Books

Pages: 358; Size: 30 cm (height)  x 25 cm (width)
Available in English version or in German version

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Exhibiting at the Architektur Zentrum Wien

Soviet Modernism 1955-1991. Unknown Stories
Opening : 07.11.2012, 7PM
Runtime: 08.11.2012 – 25.03.2013
Vienna Architecture Congress: 24 + 25.11.12
Venue: Architektur Zentrum, Museumsplatz 1, Vienna

© AzW. The Old Hall where "Soviet Modernism" will be held
The Architekturzentrum Wien writes architectural (hi)stories: ‘Soviet Modernism 1955 – 1991. Unknown Stories’ explores, for the first time comprehensively, the architecture of the non-Russian Soviet republics completed between the late 1950s and the end of the USSR in 1991. The research and exhibition project shifts the Russian-dominated perspective and focuses attention on the architecture of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Krygyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, The Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

While Constructivism and Stalinist architecture have largely been included in Western architecture history, the Soviet modern architecture of the second half of the 20th century has remained practically unknown to date. Working in close collaboration with local experts and architects, a research group at the Architekturzentrum Wien has pursued the specialities in the architecture of the period and its ‘stories’. In the course of this extensive project a network has been created between a large number of researchers from the East and the West and interviews conducted with eyewitnesses of the time. Their stories have hardly been documented in writing and their works have not yet been viewed in context. Time is running out, and action is urgently needed as many of the buildings, which are still waiting for appraisal by architectural historians, are threatened. The poor construction techniques used at the time they were built means that these buildings are aging rapidly and there is a widespread lack of resources available, or support, for their upkeep.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue in English and German editions (published by Park Books). Team of curators: Katharina Ritter, Ekaterina Shapiro-Obermair, Alexandra Wachter, Exhibition design: Six & Petritsch. The exhibition project is based on an initiative of Georg Schöllhammer and the association 'Local Modernities' 
(source: Architektur Zentrum Wien)

Below some of my photographs that are part of the "Soviet Modernism" exhibition

photos © Simona Rota

Images of the exhibition

Learn more about it:
Architektur Zentrum Wien