Calendar Pages -- Curator Walk in The Tropics Views from the Middle of the Globe



March 12th, 2010

Curator Walk in The Tropics Views from the Middle of the Globe

 

The Jim Thompson Art Center 

Curator Walk in The Tropics – Views from the Middle of the Globe

The Jim Thompson Art Center cordially invites you to attend the Curator Walk in The
Tropics – Views from the Middle of the Globe An exhibition of pre-modern and
contemporary art from the tropics at The Jim Thompson Art Center on March 12th 2010
at 4:00-5:00.  Dr. Viola Konik, the director and Dr. Peter Junge, the curator of the
African Collection of The Ethnological Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin will
conduct a curator walk through the exhibition space to discuss the concept behind
the exhibit.


“The Tropics – Views from the Middle of the Globe“ is organized by The Jim Thompson
Art Center in collaboration with the The Ethnological Museum - Staatliche Museen zu
Berlin, and the Goethe-Institut and will be opened for public from 13th March – 12th
June, 2010. This program is curated by Alfons Hug, a German curator based in Rio De
Janairo, Peter Junge, curator of the African Collection of The Ethnological Museum,
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and Viola König, the Director of the The Ethnological
Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.  According to the curators, almost twenty years
after the pioneer show “Les Magiciens de la Terre” (Paris, 1989), the exhibition
“The Tropics – Views from the Middle of the Globe” attempts anew to detect currents
of energy and subtle disturbances between the hemispheres in times of tension,  and
to search for cooperative as well as counteractive cultural forces. The exhibition
has  already been presented in Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town and Berlin.


Ranking among the most important in the world, exhibits from the collections of the
Ethnological Museum in Berlin from Africa, Asia, Oceania and tropical America enter
into dialogue with works by contemporary artists from South America, Europe, Africa
and Asia. Old and new art converge in one place. As the show is conceived as an art
exhibition, the selection of the older works was primarily made according to
aesthetic criteria. In general, the exhibition attempts a re-aesthetisation of the
tropics, in order to place more emphasis on cultural aspects of tropical regions, as
opposed to the otherwise prevailing negative political and economic discourses.


This re- aesthetisation considers the tropics as a European construct, while
attempting at the same time to clarify this construct and to consider it as a topic
of discourse about the tropics. This inherent ambivalence becomes apparent in the
different approaches of the three curators: Alfons Hug not only presents works by
contemporary artists from the tropics, but also includes works by artists who do not
originate from there, yet use the tropics as their subject. Viola König, arranges
objects within the topic “Colours and Sounds of the Tropics”, thus making it
possible to trace specific common aspects of the art from the tropics. By contrast,
Peter Junge’s approach is more sceptical:  The works of art in the three subject
areas (nature, human image, and political power) curated by him are examples of
different forms of art, whose only common characteristic is their assignment to
cultures found in the geographically defined realm of the tropics.


The exhibition is structured in several sections, each of which refers to a chapter
heading in Claude Lévi-Strauss’ work “Mythologica”. It all begins with “After the
Deluge”, the chapter that deals with nature and landscapes. Pre-modern artworks in
the exhibition touch or approach two aspects of nature: firstly, metaphorically
conceived images, secondly, representations of creatures who act in nature, the
environment of human civilisation, either by threatening or assisting mankind.

 
The exhibition  features old works from Mexico, Ivory Coast,  Mali, Democratic
Republic of Congo, Bolivia, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana, India, Indonesia from the
collection of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Ethnologisches Museum  in Berlin
which are juxtaposed with new works by contemporary artists such as Thomas Struth,
Vong Phaophanit, Sherman Ong, Marcos Chaves, Marcel Odenbach, Dinh Q. Lê, Theo
Eshetu and Pilar Albarracin.



For further information please contact:

The Jim Thompson Art Center 02 612 6741
email:
artcenter@jimthompsonhouse.com

Ms. Somsuda Piamsumrit
Education Program Co-ordinator
The Jim Thompson Art Center
6 Soi Kasemsan 2 Rama1Rd. Wangmai Patumwan BKK.
Tel: (66) 2- 612 6741
Fax: (66) 2- 219 2911
email: somsuda@jimthompsomhouse.com, education@jimthompsonhouse.com

This exhibition is made possible by the James H.W. Thompson Foundation, The Thai
Silk Company, The Goethe Institute, Bangkok, Disaphol Chansiri, The Ethnological
Museum - Staatliche Museen zu Berlin  and Kulturstiftung des Bundes.