Antoni Muntadas, the Spanish-born, New York-based artist, is the second Audain Visual Artist in Residence for the 2012/13 year. For his residency, Muntadas will present his work About Academia at Audain Gallery, give an artist’s talk, participate in a public panel presentation and discussion, engage with students in the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University and work collaboratively with Audain Gallery to produce a new publication derived from his residency and exhibition.
Turning critical attention to the structure and function of the university, About Academia investigates the complicated, often contradictory relationship between the production of knowledge and economic power. Projected on three large hanging screens in the gallery, the video installation simultaneously juxtaposes scrolling textual quotations drawing from Muntadas’ research, excerpts from interviews by Muntadas with significant figures in contemporary academia, and footage of various universities that emphasizes their architectural characteristics. Together these components form a disassembled and spatialized documentary, encouraging viewers to move amongst the screens. Presented in Vancouver, specifically within the neighbourhood known as the Downtown Eastside, the issues and questions raised by About Academia take on localized significance and urgency.
To compliment the projections in About Academia is a book that offers the complete texts of the interviews, providing a fuller sense of context for the excerpts in the videos. As part of the exhibition at Audain Gallery, copies of this book, with a collection of Muntadas’ other artist books and catalogues, will be presented in a small reading kiosk in the gallery’s walk-in vitrine.
Audain Gallery and Muntadas, in partnership with West Coast Line’s LINEbooks imprint, will also work collaboratively to produce a new publication that will develop out of the panel presentations and discussions that are part of Muntadas’ residency. Addressing the unique social, political and economic context for universities and academia in Canada, British Columbia and Vancouver in particular, this publication will be a valuable contribution to the work initiated by Muntadas’ original project.
Born in Barcelona, Spain in 1942, Muntadas has lived and worked in New York since 1971. His work addresses social, political and communications issues; the relationship between public and private space within social frameworks; and the investigation of channels of information and the ways in which they may be used to censor central information or promulgate ideas. He works in a variety of media, including photography, video, publications, Internet and multi-media installations.
His works have been exhibited throughout the world, including at the Venice Biennale, Documenta Vl and X in Kassel, the Sao Paulo Biennial, the Whitney Biennial, the Lyon Biennial, the Havana Biennial, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, Berkeley Art Museum in California, Wexner Arts Center in Columbus, Musee d'Art Contemporain de Montreal, le Capc de Bordeaux, France, the Museu de Arte Moderna de Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Ludwig Museum in Budapest and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid. Muntadas is currently Professor of the Practice at ACT/Department of Architecture at MIT and visiting professor at the IUAV in Venice, Italy.