ARSTRONOMY. Incursions into the cosmos

La Casa Encendida, Madrid / Spain

April 29, 2015

ARSTRONOMY. Incursions into the cosmos

May 13–August 30, 2015 

La Casa Encendida
Ronda de Valencia, 2
28012, Madrid
Facebook / Twitter / #ExpoARSTRONOMY

La Casa Encendida presents ARSTRONOMY. Incursiones en el cosmos, an ambitious exhibition curated by Danielle Tilkin that immerses us in the complex world of the cosmos through its reflection on contemporary art. The astral, the cosmic, the scientific and the ufological, all themes that run through the art of the 20th century, have often been a basic source of inspiration, thought and provocation.

The connivance between science and imagination in which technology goes hand in hand with fiction is what best defines our concept of “Arstronomy.” Although not an exhaustive survey, this exhibition brings together international artists of different generations that, since the 1950s, have reflected upon, researched or interpreted innumerable phenomena surrounding the astral, the cosmic and the scientific in order to produce works in which the imagination, fantasy and creativity engage with space, politics, science and technology.

For thousands of years we have asked the same questions. The enigma of whether or not we are alone in the universe has fascinated some, shaken others and inspired most. In the fifties, in the midst of the controversy surrounding the utopian and the scientific, space became for some a metaphor for escape and the yearning for freedom and, for others, a search for everything that has yet to be revealed and explained. The fascination of members of the kinetic art, cybernetics and Zero group movements in Europe with outer space and the cosmos provides the point of departure of our journey, with videos by Nicolas Schöffer, Gyula Kosice and works by Paul van Hoeydonck, who with his small sculpture The Fallen Astronaut became the first artist to hold a one-man exhibition about the moon in 1971.

Freely inspired in the scientific world, artists, writers and film directors of the time began to go beyond the limits of cognition and to foresee concepts that would later be debated by researchers. They would prove that art, through perception, can take us to places that we have not yet visited. Comics, science fiction films and television series have introduced space travel and research of the cosmos in popular culture, unleashing our curiosity and provoking a wide range of debates and controversies.

Based on over two years of research, the show is a reflection on science fiction, space and the universe through photographs, videos, paintings and sculptures by William Adjété Wilson, Abu Bakarr Mansaray, Alfonso Borragán, Pamela Breda, Michael Buthe, Robert Dimatteo, Evrugo Mental State, Laurent Grasso, Greatest Hits, Keith Haring, Susan Hiller, Mike Kelley, William Kentridge, Yves Klein, Július Koller, Gyula Kosice, Paul Laffoley, Robert Llimós, Isamu Noguchi, Tony Oursler, Trevor Paglen, Panamarenko, Rotraut, Sigmar Polke, Joan Rabascall, Thomas Ruff, Nicolas Schöffer, Bob Smith, Peter Stichbury, Thomas Struth, Ionel Talpazan, Marc Tansey, Paul van Hoeydonck, Angelo Vermeulen, Anton Vidokle and Michael Zansky.

Born in Paris, Danielle Tilkin lives and works in New York. This is the third exhibition that Tilkin has curated for La Casa Encendida, the previous ones being HONNI soit QUI mal y pense, which was devoted to Louise Bourgeois in 2012 (one of the five most visited in the history of La Casa Encendida), and De ida y vuelta. África in 2006. Furthermore, she has organized numerous exhibitions for the Guggenheim Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, among others.  

One of the innovations of this project is the creation of a digital catalogue that  in addition to the text by the curator, includes contributions from outstanding specialists such as Chris Aubeck, the founder of Magonia Exchange, the historical research collective, and Boris Groys, the German thinker and writer. It can be downloaded free of charge from the website of La Casa Encendida.

Upcoming exhibitions 
Gonzalo Lebrija
September 10–November 1, 2015

Juan Ariño
September 17–November 1, 2015

Inéditos 2015
November 19, 2015–January 10, 2016

José María Larrondo 
November 19, 2015–January 10, 2016

La Casa Encendida
T + 34 91 368 63 58 / comunicacionlce [​at​]