The Lewis Baltz Research Fund / Inaugural recipients: Alessandro Laita and Chiaralice Rizzi

The Lewis Baltz Research Fund has been established to honor the vision and memory of the American artist Lewis Baltz. The fund involves the annual grant of a substantial fund to support the creation, completion and dissemination of a project in any artistic medium, encompassing, but not limited to, anything from academic research to book publication, performance or installation art, video or film production to experimental digital work. The intention is to support projects reflecting the intellectual rigor of Lewis Baltz’s conceptual practice which also succeeded in propounding a significant connection to social and political issues. The recipient will be selected by the Lewis Baltz Research Fund Committee, composed of Mark McCain, art fiend, Theresa Luisotti and Thomas Zander, gallerists, Slavica Perkovic, artist, Michael Mack, publisher and Diane Dufour, director of LE BAL. Operated by LE BAL, The Lewis Baltz Research Fund has been created by the generous support of the Artworkers Retirement Society.

The first Lewis Baltz Research Fund has been awarded to two young Italian artists, Alessandro Laita and Chiaralice Rizzi for their book project Live in the house and it will not fall down. The book is built out of an archive of images collected over four decades by the Venetian artist Bruno Rizzi, who died in 2004. In 2010, Alessandro Laita and Chiaralice Rizzi found the collection and began to work on a project to explore its poetic potential. Live in the house and it will not fall down is a gallery of fragments, a collection of memories, the story of one and more people, of a house, of a city. The two artists ‘intervene in the delicate geology that underlies such piles of papers sedimented over the years, undo the precise historical map created by the thin veils of dust covering the objects and interrupt the flow of that low-intensity energy which is generated by localized memory.’ (Antonello Frongia)

Chiaralice Rizzi (1982) and Alessandro Laita (1979) studied Visual Arts at the Istituto Universitario di Architettura in Venice. Between 2010 and 2015, they worked as teaching assistants to Lewis Baltz and Adrian Paci. Their artistic practice develops around the thematic of landscape, memory and representation. Lewis Baltz participated in editing their project Live in the house and it will not fall down.

About the Lewis Baltz Research Fund

Lewis Baltz hated mausoleums, fatuous celebrations, and meaningless, if spectacular, gestures. But he was very supportive of young, talented artists. He was also highly sensitive to the fact that the creation of any real art form is sustained by the sharp and thorough vision of the world we live in —“Using facts, to create fictions, that reveal truths,” as he used to say. Helping young artists to keep alive and to challenge Lewis’s vision and concerns is what we are aiming to achieve with this fund.

About Lewis Baltz

Lewis Baltz was born in Newport, California. At the end of the 60s he began to use photography to describe a world that was increasingly mass produced and impersonal. His images of American industrial parks and urban sprawl became landmarks of postwar art, mixing documentary with the strategies of conceptualism. Moving to Europe at the end of the 80s, Baltz responded to the new globalized world of electronic data, corporate architecture and precarious labor, expanding his approach to include video, image/text and installations. Lewis Baltz held various teaching positions and professorships and his works have been featured in numerous international solo and group exhibitions, including New Topographics at George Eastman House 1975, the 1977 Biennial Exhibition, Whitney Musuem of American Art, in New York, the PS1 Museum, in New York in 1991, the Art Institute of Chicago in 2010, the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC in 2011, the Kunstmuseum Bonn and the Kestnergesellschaft Hannover in Germany in 2012, the Albertina in Vienna in 2013 and at LE BAL in Paris in 2014. Two exhibitions will be dedicated to the artist, at the MAPFRE in Spain in 2016, and the Grand-Hornu in 2017 in Belgium.

Future Vocabularies / Instituting Otherwise / Unstated (or, Living Without Approval)

group exhibition and public program
BAK, Utrecht (NL)
Unstated (or, Living Without Approval)—part exhibition; part site for gathering, learning, and exchange—brings together perspectives from the geopolitical pressure points of various forms of statelessness. From Rojava to Palestine to Greece to the refugees in limbo in the Netherlands, the “unstated”—out of sync with the state: unable or unwilling to comply with its extant forms and demands—bear witness to their condition as one of both violent struggle and cautious possibility.Unstated is inaugurated by the New World Summit, an artistic and political organization founded by artist Jonas Staal, convened for its sixth iteration under the title Stateless Democracy. An accompanying installation at BAK provides insights into the preceding summit in Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan), 2015, including a maquette of the Parliament for the political model of democracy without state, currently in construction.In parallel, Common Assembly by DAAR—a cross-section modeled on yet another parliament, this time from Palestine—provides a forum for works of art and discourse to unfold over the course of the project. If originally built, mistakenly or not, partially on Israeli territory and thus prevented from ever coming to life, it is temporarily reclaimed at BAK. Here, numerous conversations are convened at the junction of the artistic, educational, and political, from Reading Anarchism, reading groups convening around an anarchist library by Nicoline van Harskamp; to Here We Are Academy, in which the undeportable refugees of the We Are Here collective, together with Campus in Camps, set up a learning curriculum for artists and students around the question of representation; and to a series of sit-ins for rethinking the art institution in face of the challenges of the present, titled Instituting for the Contemporary. Between these gatherings, the works by Abdullah Abdul and Masun Hamo, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Aernout Mik, Société Réaliste, Hito Steyerl, and Stefanos Tsivopoulos continue the idea of assembly, including in their inquiry questions about the state of art itself. Articulating their arguments one by one, the paradoxes of the present crises meet an appeal to engage the multiple meanings in unstated, so as to offer a space through art for things to be stated in turn; a space where the right to voice one’s concern is coupled with an adjacent right for it to be heard.

With: Abdullah Abdul & Masun Hamo (Rojava); Lawrence Abu Hamdan (Beirut); Campus in Camps (Palestine); Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency (DAAR) (Palestine); Nicoline van Harskamp (Amsterdam); Aernout Mik (Amsterdam); New World Academy; New World Summit; Société Réaliste (Budapest/Paris); Hito Steyerl (Berlin); Stefanos Tsivopoulos (Athens); and We Are Here (Amsterdam). The project title refers to both the book Unstated: Writers on Scottish Independence (Ed. Scott Hames, Word Power Books: 2012), and the interview with Dilar Dirik conducted by Jonas Staal titled Living Without Approval, published in the New World Academy Reader #5: Stateless Democracy (Eds. Renée In der Maur and Jonas Staal, in dialogue with Dilar Dirik, BAK: 2015). Unstated is conceptualized by BAK’s Maria Hlavajova and Lucy Lopez, in dialogue with Marion von Osten.

New World Summit: Stateless Democracy 
Utrecht University, Academiegebouw (Aula)

Reading Anarchism
Nicoline van Harskamp with invited readers
17.02., 24.02., and 16.03.2016, 17.00–19.00 hrs

Here We Are Academy: Learning from the Forum
We Are Here with Campus in Camps
05.–09.04.2016, 12.00–18.00 hrs

Instituting for the Contemporary
Public editorial meetings
11.04., 18.04., 25.04.2016

Universal Anthem
Performance by Société Réaliste
Centraal Museum, Utrecht

Utopian Pulse – Flares in the Darkroom

16 January 2016 – 22 January 2017

MOCAK – Museum of Contemporary Art, Krakow, façade of Building B

“Utopian Pulse – Flares in the Darkroom” is a project by Ines Doujak and Oliver Ressler that has been executed in various formats since 2014. Banners made by 12 artists will be presented on MOCAK’s elevation, showcasing utopian projections that serve the purposes of secession from and resistance to the world of now. Most of these banners were originally produced for the façade of the Secession in Vienna. 

Some works relate to the uprisings, occupations and social movements that have emerged in recent years, in a quest for a better world. Others are poetic references to the feeling that ‘something is missing’. They aim to liberate utopia from its totalitarian connotations and give it a fresh direction. The urge to create utopian visions manifests itself at times when people are searching for alternatives. Although the works are displayed consecutively, they interact, demonstrating different takes on the utopian drive of recent years.

The 12 banners (measuring 3.4 × 9 m) will be exhibited on the façade of Building B and changed monthly. They have been created by the following artists:

Mariam Ghani

Daniela Ortiz

Undrawing the Line

Halil Altindere

Giuseppe Campuzano / Miguel A. López

Matthew Hyland / Ines Doujak

Christoph Schäfer

Oreet Ashery

Bert Theis

Nobodycorp. Internationale Unlimited

Oliver Ressler


Publication: Utopian Pulse – Flares in the Darkroom, Ines Doujak and Oliver Ressler (eds.). 288 p., London:Pluto Press, 2015