29 Apr 2011

Closing event of the exhibition ¡Patria o Libertad!

Press Release
11.04 2011

Closing event of the exhibition
¡Patria o Libertad!

Screening and Artist talk with Ross Birrell, Paco Barragán and Roos Gortzak

Sunday, 8 May 2011 - 14.00 - 17.00 hrs
Entrance includes exhibition visit and a drink (see www.cobra-museum.nl for entrance fees. )

As a closing event to the well received international group exhibition ¡Patria o Libertad! (19.02 – 08.05 2011) in the framework of the Cobra Contemporary programme, the Cobra Museum will screen a recent work by participating artist Ross Birrell (Glasgow, 1969), followed by an artist talk with the Dutch curator Roos Gortzak (Kunsthalle Basel) and Paco Barragán, guest curator of the exhibition.

Guantanamera (2009) is a two-part film by Ross Birrell and David Harding, produced by Douglas Gordon. The work was shot in Cuba and Miami in the period immediately after the resignation of Fidel Castro and follows the recording and broadcasting of the most famous of Cuban songs, Guantanamera, by two singers from across the political divide of contemporary Cuban identity. The original lyrics to the song are derived from the Versos Sencillos of the Cuban national poet, revolutionary and martyr, José Martí who is claimed by both pro-Castro and anti-Castro Cubans alike. The Guantanamera films follow the recording and broadcast of separate versions of the song in Cuba and Miami.

Part 1, edited in poetic visual stanzas, traces a journey through the length and breadth of contemporary Cuba from Guantanamo to Havana. In Part 2 we encounter the annual José Martí parade and the inauguration of Barack Obama.

After the screening Ross Birrell, Roos Gortzak and Paco Barragan will speak in relation to Birrell’s work Envoy (NYC) (which is part of the exhibition ¡Patria o Libertad!) and Guantanamera. They will approach the themes of Patriotism and Freedom with reference to both José Martí and Alain Badiou on Art, Politics and Love, and the potential contradiction between fidelity to the truth of patriotism on the one hand and fidelity to freedom on the other.

Programme (English spoken)

14.00 introduction
14.15-15.00 screening of part 1 – film ‘Guantanamera’
15.00-15.15 break
15.15-16.00 screening part 2 – film ‘Guantanamera’
16.00-16.45 artist talk with Ross Birrell, Paco Barragán and Roos Gortzak

Ross Birrell (Glasgow, 1969) is an artist, writer and lecturer (Glasgow School of Arts). In 2007 Birrell was awarded an SAC Artist’s Film & Video Award to make a collaborative film with David Harding in Cuba and Miami. Previous films with Harding include Port Bou: 18 Fragments for Walter Benjamin (2006) and Cuernavaca: A Journey in Search of Malcolm Lowry (2006) commissioned by Kunsthalle Basel. Solo exhibitions include Envoy, Büro Friedrich, Berlin (2003) and the Fries Museum, Leeuwarden (2005). He recently took part in Living Today, Mackintosh Museum, Glasgow School of Art (2011), Strange Comfort (Afforded by the Profession), Swiss Institute Rome/Kunsthalle Basel (2010), Under the Volcano, Bluecoat Gallery (2009), Romantic Conceptualism, Kunsthalle Nürnberg and BAWAG Foundation Vienna (2007), Das Gelände, Kunsthalle Nürnberg (2008) and TIMECODE, Dundee Contemporary Arts (2009). Publications include ‘The Gift of Terror: Suicide Bombing as Potlatch’, Art in the Age of Terror (London: Paul Holberton Press, 2005), reprinted in Concerning War: A Critical Reader (BAK: Utrecht, 2006) and translated in Leituras Da Morte (Annablume: Sao Paulo, 2007) and in brumaria (Madrid, 2008). Guantanamera launched at Glasgow International 2010 and has subsequently been exhibited and screened in Swiss Institute in Rome, Kunsthalle Basel and Galleri Rotor 1, Gothenburg and will be part of a fothcoming exhibition at the Americas Society, New York in May. Ross Birrell is represented by Ellen de Bruijne Projects, Amsterdam.

Paco Barragán (Oviedo, Spain) is independent curator and arts writer based in Madrid and Miami. He is Associate Editor of Artpulse magazine (Miami) and curatorial advisor of the Artist Pension Trust (APT), New York. He served as co-curator for the International Biennale of Contemporary Art (IBCA) at the National Gallery in Prague in 2005; and the Bienal de Lanzarote in 2009.
His exhibitions include: The End of History…and The Return of History Painting, Museum for Modern Art (MMKA) in Arnhem, 2011; ¡Patria o Libertad! The Rethorics of Patriotism, Miami Dade College, Miami, 2010; Cinema X: I Like to Watch, MoCCA, Toronto, 2010; When a Painting Moves… Something Must Be Rotten, Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico (MAPR), Puerto Rico, 2009 and the Stenenser Museum, Oslo, 2011; The Non-Age. The Rebel of Age, Kunsthalle Winterthur, Wintherthur, Switzerland, and MMKA, Arnhem, The Netherlands, 2012. He is author of The Art to come/El arte que viene, 2002, Subastas Siglo XXI, and the The Art Fair Age released by CHARTA in June 2008; and editor of Don’t Call it Performance (Salamanca Ciudad de Cultura), 2004, with essays by Javier Panera, RoseLee Goldberg, and Coco Fusco, and Sustainibilities (CHARTA), 2008, with essays by Slavoj Zizek, Gianni Vattimo, Simon Critchley, Gilles Lipovetsky, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Christiane Paul.

Roos Gortzak is currently exhibitions and project manager at the Kunsthalle Basel. She has worked as curator (The Vincent 2006, Stedelijk Museum; Tropical Abstraction, Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, 2005; Relay, Biennial Puerto Rica, 2004; The Bakery, Annet Gelink Gallery, 2003-2004); art critic (de Volkskrant, Metropolis M, Artreview); chief editor (Stedelijk Museum Bulletin, 2005-2007); coordinator (Curatorial Training Programme de Appel, 2006-2007); project manager (Casco, 2002-2003) and programmer (Kunstkanaal, 1998-2000). As co-curator of the group exhibition Strange Comfort Afforded by the Profession in de Kunsthalle Basel she worked together with Ross Birrell and David Harding.

This event is supported by the The Glasgow School of Art

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