press release

Modern©ité is an exhibition presenting poetic and critical views of the modern urban environment. The exhibition features sculptures, video works, photographs and installations by five internationally renowned artists: Francis Alÿs (Belgium/Mexico), Pedro Cabrita Reis (Portugal), Marcelo Cidade (Brazil), Jordi Colomer (Spain) and Anita Molinero (France).

The artists share a vision of modernity which is closely tied to the character of cities, particularly those in Southern Europe or Latin America. Using and appropriating the material that cities offer – not only physical objects, but for example also the traditions and habits of residents and passing visitors - they construct their personal visions of the urban environment. Focal point is the current issue how the ideological foundation of modernist architecture and city planning can be reconciled with the elusive character of a constantly changing society.

‘Modern©ité’ holds up a mirror. In The Netherlands several urban areas are in the midst of redevelopment. One example is the area of The Hague South West, where the modernist ideals of the architect Dudok are often at odds with the complexity of daily life.

Francis Alÿs (1959, Belgium) has lived and worked in Mexico City since the 1980s. He often wanders through the city and observes the social and political reality of the megalopolis. He uses the city’s inhabitants and visitors for his discrete interventions and actions in urban space.

Pedro Cabrita Reis (1956, Portugal) constructs his work from both high-tech and basic building materials, bringing to light the full meaning of the act of construction. In the apparent chaos of reality, he seeks out the order that presides over all constructions, telling us about our way of living in modernday cities.

Marcelo Cidade (1979, Brazil) lives and works in São Pãolo. His interventions and actions are small and almost imperceptible and are intended to modify everyday experience. He is particularly drawn to anonymous creations and gestures in public space, like graffiti or marks left by the homeless.

Jordi Colomer (1962, Spain) lives and works in Barcelona. In many of his sculptures and videos he investigates the relationship between architecture and decor. In ‘Anarchitekton’ he shows a character carrying cardboard scale models of modern architecture in Barcelona, Bucharest, Brasilia or Osaka. This way he simultaneously denounces the reality of these constructions and celebrates the utopia that they once upheld.

Anita Molinero (1953, France) lives and works in Marseille. In the 1980s and 90s she made sculptures from plastic, cardboard boxes, bin liners, concrete, et cetera. Her ‘street sculptures’ question the place of humanity in the present-day megalopolis where reality and science fiction seem to co-exist.

‘Modern©ité’ is presented in collaboration with Le Grand Café, contemporary art center, Saint-Nazaire (France). Curator: Sophie Legrandjacques, director of Le Grand Café. The exhibition was supported by the region of Pays de la Loire and the Afaa.


only in german

Francis Alÿs, Pedro Cabrita Reis, Marcelo Cidade, Jordi Colomer, Anita Molinero