Tuesday, 31 May 2016

On the MAP: Latin America in London and Amalia Pica’s Moving Performance

By Caitlin Dover, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

A New Space for the South London Gallery

The MAP exhibition Under the Same Sun: Art from Latin America Today opens Friday, June 10 at the South London Gallery (SLG), a contemporary art institution known for its innovative artist projects, exhibitions and community engagement. The SLG has recently been donated a former fire station by an anonymous benefactor, and thanks to the support of UBS, the ground floor of the building, which dates from 1867, will open for the first time as part of Under the Same Sun. The gallery is working with conservation and heritage experts to renovate the former fire station, transforming it into a new, multipurpose contemporary art center that will open fully to the public in 2018. Under the Same Sun will be the first exhibition to have a dual presentation in SLG’s main building and in the fire station’s ground-floor space. It’s a rare chance to see groundbreaking artworks while also getting a first look this beautiful and historically important building.

Circle in the Square

MAP artist Amalia Pica, whose work A ∩ B ∩ C (2013) is included in Under the Same Sun, will be staging a version of her performance Asamble (2015) on Saturday, June 11 in London’s Peckham Square. The artist, who grew up in a chaotic, post-totalitarian period in Argentina’s history references the challenges of self-organization by enacting the universal emblem of gathering—the circle. This performance—first presented in the Plaza de los Dos Congresos in Buenos Aires—takes place in a public space and involves multiple untrained participants who form a single-file procession that takes the form of a circle which never closes. This meditative, repetitive choreography explores the universal challenge of bringing people together and the circle as a charged symbol found in social organization but also in visual art and architecture.