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28 Aug 2009

Overland: London to Beijing launch featuring Tobias Rehberger in conversation with Lisa Le Feuvre

Overland: London to Beijing


Thursday September 3rd, 7pm.

+44 20 75964000

Goethe Institute London,
50 Princes Gate,
Exhibition Road,
SW7 2PH.

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During this evening, the artist, Tobias Rehberger, will discuss his work in particular his practice of giving the responsibility of building an artwork to a third party, be it professional manufacturers, the audience, or the curators as is the case in Overland: London to Beijing.

The event marks the beginning of a journey to be undertaken by 3 curators (Hans Askheim, Tom Keogh and Miranda Pope) carrying an artwork by Tobias Rehberger. The artwork takes the form of a model built by the artist that the curators will take to a number of locations between London and Beijing over the coming months. At each location, the curators will use the model to build a sculpture in collaboration with local institutions, curators and artists.

Leaving London, the curators will travel to Istanbul where the model and sculpture will be a side project of the Istanbul Biennial in collaboration with Platform Garanti. From Istanbul the next stop is Almaty, Kazakhstan where the sculpture is being built at the Tengri-Umay Gallery. The next stage of the journey takes place in 2010, when the curators will build the sculpture at the XCOMA in Xian, Western China and finally at CAFA Museum in Beijing.

By physically transporting the artwork on this journey, Overland: London to Beijing makes the movement of the artwork and the borders through which it is traveling visible. This stands in contrast to the usual way that art moves around the world – from biennial to biennial, art fair to art fair, institution to institution – where borders might seem porous and the art's movement is invisible.

The project sets out to create a space in which the various processes of contemporary curating are challenged and questioned. Rather than being driven by a curiosity about how cultural differences are played out in different locations, the project explores the practical and theoretical problems and contradictions inherent within a project of this scale and nature.

The inspiration for the project is the shifting cultural, economic and political positions of countries throughout the landmass between Western Europe and China. While it takes the historic Silk Road as its backbone, as outlined above, its context is the uncertain relationships of contemporary global flows of capital, commodities, technologies and culture.