The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Saturday, December 15, 2018


Beehave: Exhibition concept arrives in Switzerland
Beehave, installation view Kunsthaus Baselland 2018, photo: Gina Folly.


BASEL.- The idea for Beehave emerged and travelled like an agile bee colony going in search of a new place to nest. The exhibition at the Kunsthaus Baselland began to develop around two years ago, thanks to the initiative of Martina Millà, Head of Programmes at the Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona. As the subject rapidly gathered momentum it soon became clear that the project had to have a site-specific bent in each of its locations. The point of departure in Barcelona is quite different to that in Basel: for some time, urban bee life has been significantly curtailed in Spain and, as a result, beekeeping has been limited or even forbidden. This has not changed to this day. The exhibition in Barcelona, which ran from February to May 2018, thus took on the important task of changing perceptions of a complex subject through contemporary works within the museum as well as beyond in urban space. In Barcelona the list of invited artists was long: Jerónimo Hagerman, Anne Marie Maes, Goig (Pol Esteve and Miquel Mariné) + Max Celar, Philip Wiegard, Joan Miró, Xavi Manzanares and Àlex Muñoz, Marine Hugonnier, Toni Serra (Abu Ali), Luis Fernando Ramírez Celis, Joan Bennàssar, Luis Bisbe, Alfonoso Borragàn, Joana Cera, Gemma Draper, Melliferopolis (Ulla Taipale and Christina Stadlbauer), Vadim de Grainville, Marcos Lutyens, Anna Moreno, Andrés Vial and Pep Vidal. It is to be hoped that the experiences the whole project brought about over many months will bring about a sustainable effect – if not immediately perceptible, then visible over time.

Now the exhibition concept has arrived in Switzerland where it experiences both a continuation and a transformation. In Basel and its surrounds, the situation is entirely different – at least for urban bees. There is talk of more than a thousand privately and publicly established and maintained bee hives in the city. This may sound positive at first, yet apiculture is not a hobby but a skill and an ability that not everyone is able to practise. In professional circles you hear how unskilled keepers, for example, do not recognise a disease in bees or a bee colony, or only do so when it is too late. Affected bees swarm out and infect healthy colonies. And the varroa mite is a major problem here, as it is in many places worldwide.

Yet does the astonishing concentration of urban bee colonies, and do the countless hives and the passionate pursuit of apiculture throughout the Swiss landscape – in the mountains as in the valleys – denote a greater understanding of bees themselves? Or is this an obvious consequence of our proximity to nature? The topic can be traced out more clearly in contemporary art – not merely as a motif, but by posing weighty questions with an effort to create understanding of this fascinating ‘useful insect’. It is striking that this interest is not a new development. In fact, the topic of honeybees and/or their products of honey and wax has been dealt with centrally in many works or series for years, if not centuries. For a long time, artists have almost seismographically signalled the particularities of this form of life and how we deal with it – and that is not even to mention the representation of bees in very early art history.1 Nonetheless it has taken some time for the subject to enter into the mainstream with a broader public and, in the process, to be taken more seriously. Indeed, because of their ongoing endangerment there is currently a boom in reports in the media and on film, including More than Honey and Der Imker (The Beekeeper) from this century, as well as major newspaper coverage such as in the Folio section of the Neue Zürcher Zeitung in August 2018. If, however, we consider the ever-diminishing actions brought to bear to help endangered animals and their environment, we should not rest easy.

Might art, or more precisely artists, take on an important task here? Or is the honeybee simply one subject among many? What distinguishes these recent works that deal with honeybees or their production, and what story can be told with the selection made of regional, national and international artists and their artistic discussion of the subject? We believe it is possible to discuss and understand the subject more broadly, and to develop a more nuanced, holistic picture of it, thanks to the coexistence of and cooperation between the exhibitions in Barcelona and Muttenz and the different configurations of artists in them. For the exhibition at the Kunsthaus Baselland we were also particularly interested in how artists found ways of working directly with bees, to engage with them directly or in dialogue and, thus, to trace their rhythms. From this resulted artistic works that, not least, reflected on the social behaviour and how a bee colony lives together in solidarity, and in so doing became relevant to how we coexist. Historical works in turn show how interest in this useful creature and its special role within the ecosystem is not just recent but has been an important subject for some time.


1 There are many examples of bees represented in art-historical iconography. We can think of Peter Bruegel the Elder’s famous drawing The Beekeepers from the 16th century. Much earlier illustrations of bees and humans, such as the cave painting from Bicorp in Spain (Cuevas de la Arana, 10,000–7,000 B.C.), or antique bronze statuettes found as burial objects alongside actual honey may also come to mind. In Switzerland, for example, there is rumoured to have been a bee republic in the city of Chauxde-Fonds in the course of a socialist movement. There is just cause for numerous bee illustrations to be found throughout the city on its coat of arms, and on fountains or reliefs.





Today's News

September 14, 2018

Prehistoric 'hashtag' may be world's oldest drawing: study

Juan Gris's The Musician's Table acquired through new gift from Leonard A. Lauder- Now on view

Exhibition at Joan B Mirviss LTD focuses on Ogawa Machiko's minerology and torn sculpture series

Christie's to offer David Hockney's masterpiece 'Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)'

Belgian art star Jan Fabre accused of sexual harassment

Dealers bristle as calls grow for restitution of colonial-era art

Bonhams announces Bruno Vinciguerra as Executive Chairman

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art unveils the vision for the Momentary and announces a gift from Walmart

Turkey court rejects plea to open Hagia Sophia for Islamic prayer

Anthea Hamilton develops an immersive site-specific installation for Vienna's Secession

Brazil orders museums to boost fire protection

Hollis Taggart inaugurate new space with recent acquisitions show

The Mesdag Collection exhibits contemporary art revealing the majesty and tempestuousness of the sea

The Big Friendly Giant: kaufmann repetto opens a group exhibition in New York

Sabrina Amrani opens the exhibition KIN by Mohau Modisakeng

Exhibition deconstructs and manipulates the function and image of Mi'kmaw basketry

Beehave: Exhibition concept arrives in Switzerland

A new exhibition of paintings by the Irish-born, London-based artist Conor Harrington opens at HENI Gallery

New book and exhibition offer a rare insight into the people and landmarks of the real Las Vegas

Pussy Riot says activist hospitalised, 'poisoned'

Wave Crest pieces and American Brilliant Cut Glass countertop bells perform well at Woody Auction

Cortesi Gallery opens exhibition of the work of dutch artist herman de vries

French court frees Russian artist who set Paris bank ablaze

Ronald T. Labaco appointed Director of Exhibitions and Chief Curator at the Morris Museum

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- The Morgan receives a major Renoir drawing unseen for over 50 years

2.- Recording console built by Elvis Costello and used to record Stairway to Heaven stars at Bonhams sale

3.- On December 9, estate jewelry & more goes up for bid at Turner Auctions + Appraisals

4.- French museum chief hits back at call to return African art

5.- David Castillo Gallery to present works by a stellar group of artists at Art Basel Miami Beach

6.- Ancient Chinese painting auctioned for almost $60 million at Christie's Hong Kong

7.- Exploring the watery remains of France's sunken Roman port of Olbia

8.- Exhibition examines eroticism in paintings and drawings of the male and female nude

9.- Thieves nab Pierre-Auguste Renoir painting from Vienna auction house

10.- Israeli archaeologists unveil rare stone mask dating to the Neolithic



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez


Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful