The Spiral and the Square

What happens when knowledge is translated between cultures and languages, across generations, and between artworks and the viewer? Does translation lead to a direct transference of content and meaning? Or does it lead to an ‘over-creation’ that erases the original meaning?

In this Summer’s exhibition The Spiral and the Square: Exercises in Translatability, we present works by approximately 20 leading international artists who address these questions.

In an experience that sometimes seems labyrinthine, the exhibition presents a multitude of expressions and artistic strategies that challenge, confuse and require active participation of the visitor. Often one must consider how one reacts to something, how one approach artworks or find different meanings in them.

Several works will take the form of individual time-limited performances and happenings.

The exhibition is organized by the curators Jochen Volz and Daniela Castro, both of whom work in Brazil. Their starting point for the exhibition is Osman Lins’ cult novel Avalovara (1973). The Spiral and the Square loans both its title and its structure from Lins’ book, and this strategy is meant to draw parallels between artistic practice and different types of translation. The exhibited works can thus be seen as different exercises in translatability.

Participating artists in The Spiral and the Square are Angela Detanico & Rafael Lain, Maurício Dias & Walter Riedweg, Eugenio Dittborn, Öyvind Fahlström, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Cao Guimarães, Laura Lima, Dora Longo Bahia, Renata Lucas, Cinthia Marcelle, Rodrigo Matheus, Cildo Meireles, João Modé, Fabio Morais, Rivane Neuenschwander, Rirkrit Tiravanija and Haegue Yang.

The exhibition is produced by Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm, as part of a larger international research project on translation and translatability, with Brazilian culture as the main focus. In Spring 2012, the exhibition was on show at Trondheim Art Museum and took the form of three smaller chapters. Now at SKMU, it can once again be experienced in its entirety.