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Inauguration of ‘The Pale Fox’ by Camille Henrot (20 September – 20 December 2014, Bétonsalon, Paris)

On September 20th the Bétonsalon – Center for art and research inaugurated The Pale Fox’, the first large-scale solo exhibition by French, New York-based artist, Camille Henrot in Paris. The exhibition offers a meditation on our shared desire to understand the world intimately through the objects that surround us. As explained by Camille Henrot, its main focus: “is obsessive curiosity, the irrepressible desire to affect things, to achieve goals, to perform actions, and the inevitable consequences”.

The exhibition proposes an immersive environment, a both physical and mental space conveying an almost domestic atmosphere, populated by more than 400 photographs, sculptures, books and drawings displayed on a series of shelves designed by the artist.

‘The Pale Fox’ is commissioned and produced by Bétonsalon – Center for art and research (Paris), Chisenhale Gallery (London), Kunsthal Charlottenborg (Copenhagen) and by Westfälischer Kunstverein (Münster) where it will tour in 2014 – 2015. At Bétonsalon – Center for art and research, ‘The Pale Fox’ is supported by a partnership with the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, thanks to the grants from the French Ministry of Culture and Communication SG / SCPCI / DREST (as part of the call for research projects “Intercultural practices in the heritage institutions”), and from the Curating Contemporary Art Programme of the Royal College of Art in the frame of the Project MeLa* European Museums in an age of migrations.

‘Communities, Collectives & Collaboration’ Explored through Photography (Brighton Photo Biennial, 4 October – 2 November 2014)

Brighton Photo Biennial is the UK’s leading curated photography festival, which promotes new thinking around photography through a commissioned programme of events and exhibitions. The 2014 edition explores the theme Communities, Collectives & Collaboration” through photography based projects produced through innovative, new and unexpected partnerships, ensuing from the cooperation among photographers and artists, anthropologists, environmentalists, scientists, as well as with different young and older members of the communities.

The displayed works include: the outcome of a “giant collective”, which gathered through an open call a participated exploration of the “community” theme; the project “So Like You”, developed by artist Erica Scourti in collaboration with online communities, highlighting the tensions between individual and collective in a network culture; “A View to the Past”, a collaborative program with Brighton residents from different ages led by photographer Lydia Goldblatt, fostering intergenerational links and addressing negative stereotyping; “The Mass Education Project”, investigating the use of autobiographical accounts, diaries, photographs and thoughts of individuals across communities.

The exhibitions are organized throughout the city of Brighton and Hove, and will be displayed from 4 October to 2 November through pop-up settings situated in lively public spaces.

Athena Plus: Access to Cultural Heritage Networks for Europeana (Rome, National Central Library, 2 October 2014)

This event, organized by ICCU, is included in the official program of the Italian Presidency and is organized in collaboration with the European Commission, the Europeana Foundation and the European project AthenaPlus, the European network of good practices coordinated by ICCU.

The Italian Presidency represents a strategic opportunity to propose a workplan shared at European level on the topic of reuse and exploitation of digital cultural heritage. The Ministry recognizes the transversal value of culture, seeks to promote collaboration between the different areas – competitiveness, culture, tourism, research – in collaboration with the responsible European institutions, in particular the Commission with its flagship initiative Europeana.The Conference will provide a space for debate and exchange of ideas in order to plot strategies for the development of digital cultural heritage as a driver of the education and tourism sectors.The Conference will host two sessions and a round table: the first session will focus on the reuse and discoverability of the digital cultural heritage, the second session will illustrate good practices in the fields of  education, edutainment and tourism, the round table will see the participation of several representatives of Institutions involved in European projects and creative industries who will discuss on the topics of the Conference. Program with national and international speakers is available here.

Digital Cultural Content Re-imagined: New Avenues for the Economy and Society (Venice, 16-17 October 2014)


It is becoming ever more important that Cultural Institutions and the Creative Industries connect, to explore new opportunities and unlock the business potential of digital cultural heritage. The Europeana Space project, including representatives of both sectors, intends to demonstrate the long-term value and mutual benefit of creating an open, fertile environment where digital cultural content can be re-used entrepreneurially, to develop innovative creative applications and viable products.

This two-day conference will cover key topics related to re-use of cultural contents in creative Industries, and will present the 6 thematic pilots (including museums) to be developed by Europeana Space, which are going to explore new possibilities of creative reuse of digital cultural content. » Read more

Introducing the ‘After Schengen’ Photo Series

The “After Schengen” photo series is about photographing some of the old border crossing points that still exist, abandoned and out of order, in some states of European Union.

Border crossings have a function of geographical boundaries, but also a coercitive role, since they prevent the free passage of people between one and another state. So, they are places that, along with a cartographic dimension, are provided with historical, economic and political reminiscences, aspects absolutely related to Landscape from a contemporary and transversal perspective.

These places that previously the Schengen treaty, delimited territories and in which the traveler had to stop and show his documents, currently appear as abandoned places, located in a space-time limbo, out of use and out of the time for which they were designed, as these states have opened their borders to the free movement of people and goods. » Read more

Presenting the Creative Force of Camille Henrot’s ‘The Pale Fox’ (20 September – 20 December 2014, Bétonsalon, Paris)

The MeLa Project is supporting the promotion of the first large-scale solo exhibition by French, New York-based artist, Camille Henrot in Paris, commissioned and organised by Bétonsalon – Center for art and research.

The Pale Fox’ is an immersive environment building on Henrot’s previous project ‘Grosse Fatigue’ (2013) – a film awarded the Silver Lion at the 55th Venice Biennial. While ‘Grosse Fatigue’ attempted to tell the story of the universe in thirteen minutes, ‘The Pale Fox’ is a meditation on our shared desire to understand the world intimately through the objects that surround us. As Camille Henrot explains: “The main focus of ‘The Pale Fox’ is obsessive curiosity, the irrepressible desire to affect things, to achieve goals, to perform actions, and the inevitable consequences”.

More than 400 photographs, sculptures, books and drawings – mostly bought on eBay or borrowed from museums, others found or produced by the artist – are displayed on a series of shelves designed by Camille Henrot in the environment conceived for the exhibition. They populate a space that is both physical and mental, conveying an almost domestic atmosphere: it could be a bedroom, a room that one could inhabit. Each of the four walls of this space is associated with a natural element, a cardinal point, a stage of life and one of Leibniz’s philosophical principles. Opening with ‘the principle of being’ (where everything starts: birth and childhood), the installation progresses with ‘the law of continuity’ (where everything develops: growth and teenage-hood), before touching on ‘the principle of sufficient reason’ (where limitations arise: adulthood), and concluding with the ‘principle of the identity of the indiscernibles’ (where things decline and disappear: old age). » Read more

“Parole per accogliere. Parole da cogliere”: Experiencing Words, Inclusion and Exclusion at MUST – Museo del Territorio Vimercatese

From the 15th to the 29th of June 2014, the MUST-Museo del Territorio Vimercatese featured “Parole per accogliere. Parole da cogliere” (Words to receive. Words to be received). The exhibition was designed and realised by the COI-Centro Orientamento Immigrati–a local migrants’ support centre—with the contribution of the museum.
Located in Vimercate—a town in the metropolitan area of Milan—the MUST is a civic museum on the history and identity of the Vimercate area, from the most ancient civilisations to contemporary society. New immigrant flows to the Vimercate area over the past decades and resulting local cultural diversity are not reflected in the collection of the museum, nor in its permanent exhibition. Therefore, the MUST has decided to address these topics through services, events and special projects, with the aim of rethinking itself as an inclusive place for intercultural encounters and exchanges. In 2013, the museum launched “Tutto il mondo in un museo” (All the world in one museum), which was organised in partnership with the COI-Centro Orientamento Immigrati. Since it is a well-known local charity active in providing support and courses of Italian to immigrants, the COI was considered by the MUST a fundamental partner to representing and addressing cultural diversity in the museum. » Read more

MeLa Experimental Action at Museo Diocesano in Milan: Critical Observations from the Second Test of the App Aimed at Rethinking Religion Representation (12 June 2014, Milano)

Through the cooperative effort of the involved researchers from the Design Department of Politecnico di Milano and ITIA CNR, the MeLa Project is promoting an Experimental Action in the context of the Museo Diocesano Milano, where an innovative app is being developed in order to rethink religion representation in museums.

On 12th June, the researchers organised the 2nd test of the app, which was conducted through the involvement of 15 people with various religious backgrounds. Through the use of the app, they were guided through an alternative fruition and experience of one of the artworks pertaining to the museum collection, a catholic painting representing a miracle about Eucharist. » Read more

‘Ceci n’est pas la mer à boire – La mer imaginée par les élèves de l’Ecole Italie’ (Dudelange Gare Usines, 26 June 2014)

The travelling exhibition “The Memory of the Sea”, that is currently on display at the Centre de Recherche sur les Migrations Humaines (CDMH) in Dudelange (7 May – 27 July 2014), is being complemented by a series of cultural events. Among these, the students of the local primary school, École Italie, have developed a project aimed at exploring in the related topics through a special glimpse on the problems of recycle and reuse.

The exhibition of the outcomes of this experience will be inaugurated on 26 June, and will be on display from 27 June at 11 July at the Dudelange Gare Usines.


Broadening the Experiences and the Reflections on ‘The Memory of the Sea’

The exhibition «La Mémoire de la Mer. Objets Migrants en Méditerranée», was inaugurated at the Centre de Documentation sur les Migrations Humaines in  Dudelange, Luxembourg, on 8 May. Through the photos by Alessandro Brasile and Mattia Insolera, and videos by Fitour Belhiba and Kami Fares/Giulia Ardizzone, the exhibition presents the experience of the Sea Memory Museum in Zarzis (Tunisia). The exhibition was first presented at the Museum of Ethnography and Prehistory Luigi Pigorini in Rome (December 2012), then at the Galata Museum in Genoa (February 2013), at the GAMeC in Bergamo (July 2013) Every step of this journey was an occasion to add new layers, diverse interpretations, different points of view: that is why it was important, for MeLa*, to have the exhibition travel and let it communicate as much as possible. » Read more