The visual arts scene in Luxembourg is home to a wide variety of actors and continues to grow in vibrancy. Its diversity makes it unique, reflecting the various places where the artists have trained, the mediums they have chosen to express themselves, the regions where they are active, and even the ways in which they have decided to show their work.
Looking outwards at other art scenes abroad— where they live, where they have studied, or where they have developed networks—Luxembourgish artists know how to ‘export’ themselves easily, helped by their multilingualism and the various connections they can rely on.
On the occasion of the Luxembourg Art Week (10-12/11), Kultur | lx – Arts Council Luxembourg is organising three days for visual arts professionals to promote exchanges and to make the Luxembourg art scene, its artists and actors, whether institutional or private, better known. By facilitating encounters between professionals during studio visits, portfolio reviews, exhibition visits and exchanges between professionals, Kultur | lx aims to stimulate dialogue between different art scenes in a convivial atmosphere, and create cross-border working habits.
For this fourth Focus on Visual Arts, Kultur | lx offers foreign professionals studio visits curated by Mirela Baciak, curator and director of Salzburger Kunstverein.
Finally, in addition to this curated programme, Kultur | lx is organising a round table on Friday 10 November from 2 to 3 p.m. on the site of the Luxembourg Art Week, about L’artiste chercheur, un pléonasme ou une figure dans l’air du temps ? by Sandra Delacourt (moderation by France Clarinval) as well as a Pitch Presentation from 4 to 7 p.m. at Casino Display (mandatory registration, limited capacity).
Note: admission to Luxembourg Art Week is charged (€15 for adults, free for children and students).
Ticketing on site and online on the Visit & Tickets Page.
Since 2016, Lët’z Arles has been bringing a bit of Luxembourgish creation to the Rencontres d’Arles. As an association that supports and promotes photography and artists linked to Luxembourg, Lët’z Arles offers each year to artists a complete creation and diffusion device. From July 1 to September 22, 2024, Luxembourg photographer Michel Medinger will be exhibiting at Chapelle de la Charité, curated by Sylvie Meunier.
Born in Luxembourg in 1941, Michel Medinger gradually developed a regular photographic practice. A self-taught photographer, he has experimented with a number of techniques: B/W photography, darkroom work using his own chemistries, cibachrome and Polaroids, creating a very special world for himself. An avid collector of objects, he uses these techniques in strange compositions filled with irreverent humor. His photographs, sometimes on iconoclastic subjects, are imbued with a sense of humour and poetry. Beyond his studio, he draws on objects from his everyday environment to construct his compositions and photographic tableaux, like a cabinet of curiosities. By obsessively staging them, with a penchant for surrealism, he introduces a singular narrative and relationships of scale. Michel Medinger leaves nothing to chance.
His work has taken the artist all over the world. He has exhibited his Polaroid Masterprints in Beijing, and taken part in exhibitions in Luxembourg, France, the USA, Denmark, Russia, Poland and Japan.
Hisae Ikenaga’s exhibition Industrial-visceral, presented by Nosbaum Reding Gallery, officially opened on 15 September at the Saarländische Galerie in Berlin. The artist’s work is being shown in the German capital for the first time during a high point in the cultural calendar, Berlin Art Week.
One of the main contemporary art events in the city, Berlin Art Week has attracted both professionals and amateurs from across the world since it was founded in 2012. This is one of the reasons why Kultur | lx chose this period to offer professional art galleries in Luxembourg—through a call for applications—the opportunity to present a monograph or collective exhibition at the Saarländische Galerie, Europäisches Kunstforum e.V. from 13 to 17 September.
The exhibition was officially opened by Jean-Paul Senninger, Ambassador for Luxembourg in Berlin, Reinhold Kopp, Chairman of the Board of the Saarländische Galerie, Thorsten Bischoff, Plenipotentiary of Saarland to the Federal Government in Berlin, Valérie Quilez, International Director of Kultur | lx – Arts Council Luxembourg and Alex Reding, Director of the Nosbaum Reding Galery, in the presence of Hisae Ikenaga.
Two rooms and two different atmospheres. The first part of the exhibition is a spacious open area that showcases the artist’s sculptures which combine artefacts and other creations displayed on shelves, echoing the functional design of the modern era. Recreating the atmosphere of a contemporary showroom that has taken a sidestep, the impeccable industrialised design of our muted interiors would appear to be contradicted by fragile handmade pieces that are carefully balanced, unique, accidentally organic shapes. The second, more cramped room, evokes a laboratory or industrial kitchen. The remains of food—such as tortillas and slices of bread and cheese made from ceramic—sit alongside what appear to be the anatomical specimens, all carefully placed in steel containers or test tubes, clinically clean. A good dose of surrealist humour underpins this incongruous combination of elements that remind us of what it was like to play with modelling clay as a child, yet now varnished and enhanced with an expensive glaze. At the back of the room, test pieces seem to have been preserved in formalin, as though a ceramics serial killer has decided to inventory earlier attempts and preserve them for the future. Full of black humour as it questions archaeological methods and interrogates our rational obession with classification, Hisae Ikenaga’s work is open and can be explored from several perspectives.
In addition to the exhibition, the artist also presented her work to the public on Saturday 16 September moderated by Hélène Doub (Head of Visual arts, Kultur | lx), drawing on the dynamic at play in this part of the city experiencing a surge of creativity. The Nosbaum Reding Gallery has also produced a special catalogue to accompany the exhibition which includes essays by Marianne Derrien and Laura Helena Würth, two art critics, one French, the other German.
This format, proposed for the first time by Kultur | lx in collaboration with the Ministry for Culture, the Luxembourg Embassy in Berlin, and the Saarländische Galerie in Berlin, aims to promote artists and stakeholders in the Luxembourg art scene in Germany and internationally through a network that is both commercial and institutional.
HISAE IKENAGA, Industrial-visceral
Saarländische Galerie – Europäisches Kunstforum e.V., Charlottenstraße 3, 10969 Berlin
U6 Kochstraße / Checkpointcharlie
13 September – 7 October 2023
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.
During Berlin Art Week: Friday 12-9 p.m., Saturday 12 – 8 p.m., Tuesday 12-6 p.m.
Following Kultur | lx’s call for applications from professional art galleries to stage a solo or group exhibition at the Saarländische Galerie – Europäisches Kunstforum during Berlin Art Week (13–17 September), Nosbaum Reding Gallery will present Industrial Visceral by artist Hisae Ikenaga from 13 September to 7 October 2023.
Located in an up-and-coming artistic area of Berlin with other galleries nearby, the Saarländische Galerie will be hosting Ikenaga’s first solo project in the German capital.
The multidisciplinary artist has produced new sculptural pieces for the exhibition, combining ceramics, wood and metal to create installations that defy easy categorisation. Are they the remains of a cannibalistic feast, objects from an archaeological dig, a crime scene, a butcher’s shop or an abandoned operating theatre? These colliding worlds create a strong sense of both familiarity and strangeness as we look at the objects and structures. They all seem familiar everyday items but the unexpected concatenation of a vase and a visceral arabesque gives us pause for thought. Continuing her reflections on the history of objects, their manufacture, form – whether canonical or ethnicised – and uses, Ikenaga dissects the relationship between people and objects. She composes her artworks by combining existing and newly created objects, leaving us unable to tell the real from the fake. Reminiscent of some of Victor Brauner’s Surrealist assemblages, her pieces tell the story of the production of crafted or manufactured objects, the large scale and the small, the human hand and the perfection of machines. A thread running through her work is the strangeness of these juxtapositions, revealing how we sanctify, authenticate and worship objects or how they become such a part of ourselves that we stop noticing them.
Coinciding with Berlin Art Week, a highlight of the city’s cultural calendar, the exhibition will be accompanied by a Nosbaum Reding catalogue featuring essays by Marianne Derrien and Laura Helena Wurth, art critics from France and Germany respectively.
This initiative, organised for the first time by Kultur | lx in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, the Embassy of Luxembourg in Berlin and the Saarländische Galerie – Berlin, aims to promote artists and players from the Luxembourg art scene on the German and international stage, by drawing on a network with both commercial and institutional reach.
HISAE IKENAGA, Industrial Visceral
Saarländische Galerie – Europäisches Kunstforum, Charlottenstraße 3, 10969 Berlin, Germany
U6 Kochstraße/Checkpoint Charlie
13 September – 7 October 2023
Opening hours: Tue–Sat, 2–6 p.m.
During Berlin Art Week: Fri 12–9 p.m., Sat 12–8 p.m., Sun 12–6 p.m.
Friday 15.09.2023 | 6-9 p.m.
Meet the Artist
Saturday 16.09.2023 | 3-7 p.m.
The launch of the Luxembourg Photography Award (LUPA) and the LUPA mentorship marks a new milestone for Lët’z Arles, which has been the driving force behind Luxembourg’s presence at the Rencontres d’Arles photography festival in France for almost a decade. The move is being supported by Kultur | lx as part of its remit to promote international career development.
Since its inception in 1970, the Rencontres d’Arles has been a fixture in the calendar for photography professionals the world over. It was in 2016 that the Lët’z Arles association, building on Luxembourg’s dynamic photography scene, first brought the country to this highly selective arena, where it has since become a major presence.
LUPA winner Daniel Wagener’s exhibition opus incertum (running until 21 September) featured in the Rencontres’ official programme. Wagener (born 1988), who works in both Brussels and Luxembourg, and the exhibition’s curator Danielle Igniti have championed this project in meetings with the press and public, as well as in presentations of the concurrently published book. The latter was painstakingly put together by the artist (who is also a printer), combining the prints presented in the exhibition with risographs. The exhibition, whose title refers to Roman dry-stone structures that were not built to last, challenges the architectural and social transformations of the exhibition venue – the Chapelle de la Charité – by showcasing images of contemporary construction sites, presented in racks of the kind found in DIY or furniture stores. In this deconsecrated building, one form of worship has been replaced by another: the former still evident in the richly decorated altar, the latter a secular cult of consumption and commerce.
Although this year marked a return to the Chapelle de la Charité after the successful Romain Urhausen exhibition in the Espace Van Gogh, the Lët’z Arles project has nevertheless broken new ground. The launch of the LUPA and the LUPA mentorship represents an undeniable step forward both for the Luxembourg photography scene and for its presence in Arles. While the LUPA rewards an artist, selected by an international jury, by staging an exhibition of their work as part of the Rencontres’ official programme, the mentorship consists of a three-month mentored residency in partnership with the École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie d’Arles (ENSP), a higher education institution dedicated to photography. The programme, which ran from January to April, enabled the mentored artists to develop their practice through masterclasses, workshops and group work sessions. As the winner of the 2023 LUPA mentorship, Brussels-based Rozafa Elshan (born 1994) benefited from this Kultur | lx-supported programme. She will be showing her work in the Display01 space at the Centre National de l’Audiovisuel (CNA) in Luxembourg from February 2024, at the same time as Daniel Wagener, who will be exhibiting in the CNA’s Pomhouse.
In partnership with Lët’z Arles, Kultur | lx organised a press trip to showcase the Arles projects as well as the exhibition Night Crossing by Martine Feipel and Jean Bechameil at the Chateauvert Contemporary Art Centre in Provence, a 90-minute journey from Arles.
In 2024, Kultur | lx will continue to support the Luxembourg scene in Arles by encouraging applications from photographers wishing to present their work at the Arles portfolio sessions, through dedicated mobility grants and by organising networking events. So expect to hear more about Luxembourg talent in Arles in the future!
For its new carte blanche, Kultur | lx commissioned visual artist Justine Blau to reinterpret the values and visual identity of Kultur | lx through a work of art in the form of a video.
“In the animated film ‘Animate’, we get a glimpse of a soap bubble in a laboratory setting, which takes on a variety of uncontrollable cellular forms. For me, the soap bubble signifies breath and ephemerality, the tension between life and death. Its perfect shape refers to the infinitely small and the infinitely large, from the atom to the stars. I like the fact that the title refers to the medium itself, to the magic of the cinematic world, which we associate with movement, change and the illusion of life. This video is a reflection on the act of creation, which lies between mastery and the untamable. We create in part to capture reality, and yet it remains somehow elusive, while each gesture contributes to its transformation. In this way, culture, in its broadest sense, is slowly created before our eyes. Artists are in this act of constant research, and Kultur | lx, through its support, participates in this process“, comments the artist.
Discover the work on the home page of our website and on our social networks. (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram)
The jury of the call for applications for the Luxembourg Pavilion at the 60th Venice Biennale of Contemporary Art 2024 met for a second round on Tuesday 25 April. Among the four finalists, it selected the project A Comparative Dialogue Act by Andrea Mancini & Every Island.
On 23 January 2023, Kultur | lx, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Mudam Luxembourg, launched a call for applications for the Luxembourg Pavilion at the 60th Venice Biennale of Contemporary Art 2024 and received twenty-two applications.
Following a first round on 8 March 2023, the jury composed of Adam Budak (Director, Kestner Gesellschaft Hannover), Michelle Cotton (Head of the Artistic Programming and Content Department, Mudam Luxembourg), Hélène Doub (Head of the Visual Arts Department, Kultur | lx – Arts Council Luxembourg), Hélène Guénin (Director, MAMAC | Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain de Nice), Stilbé Schroeder (Curator, Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’art contemporain), Bettina Steinbrügge (Director, Mudam Luxembourg, President of the Jury), Joel Valabrega (Curator of Performance and Moving Image, Mudam Luxembourg) has selected four proposals for the second round.
The jury’s statement
The jury unanimously chose the proposal of Andrea Mancini and Every Island, which it considered the most contemporary and unique proposal in terms of form and content. The collective won over the judges with its concept of the Luxembourg Pavilion as a site of artistic production. Entitled A Comparative Dialogue Act, the project takes the form of an open laboratory in which the collective initiates research processes and invites other collaborators to jointly develop a collage-style soundscape throughout duration of the Biennale, encompassing everything from experimental sounds and melodic structures to the spoken word. The collective will invite a young generation of sound artists and body performers whose practices speak to the many shapes performance can take, to further develop and respond to the installation on site in a production studio integrated into the pavilion’s architecture.
It is an exceptionally generous project; representative of the current efforts being led towards collectively developing narratives and allowing the public to acquire fundamental insights into artistic processes. It will see the group take on an experimental approach to creating a programme for the Biennale. A Comparative Dialogue Act can only exist as each part and intervention responds to what came before and after, thereby creating a cohesive and organic whole that will evolve and expand throughout the duration of the exhibition. Within a clear, carefully constructed and open display, it will offer an exciting synthesis of production and reception.
The project speaks to the engagement of a country that is constantly in flux and open to change. Similarly, the composition of the collective is representative of the great diversity and linguistic variety characteristic of Luxembourg.
The selected team
The winning team consists of Andrea Mancini and Every Island.
The pavilion is to be curated by Joel Valabrega.
Andrea Mancini (b. 1989) is a luxembourgish artist and musician based in Brussels. His practice is multidisciplinary and investigating the interrelation of space, subject and sound through installation, video and performance by using confrontations in the intangible materiality of sound. Andrea’s work is also using codes from the club-culture, a scene in which he’s been emerging in the past years. Some of his recent projects have been Minerals (audiovisual installation & performance, Rotondes), Matter of Deep Dreaming (audiovisual installation & performance, Casino Luxembourg) & New Age Landscape (sound and video installations, Casino Display residency).
Every Island is a design collective formed in 2021 by Alessandro Cugola, Caterina Malavolti, Damir Draganić, Juliane Seehawer, Martina Genovesi, based in Brussels. The collective investigates performativity in space through ephemeral architectures and installations. Using ambiguity as a design tool, space is conceived as a scenography for transitions, of roles, of stages and of meanings. Every Island has among others carried out the following projects: Maintenance as an act of Care (Residence in Off the grid- Casco, Leuven) Off-Temple (Santarcangelo Festival), Scenography for a party (MUDAM, Luxembourg), Welcome: a ceremony (Stam Europa, Brussels)
Joel Valabrega (b. 1991) is Curator of Performance and Moving Image at Mudam Luxembourg. She holds a master’s degree in Architecture (Politecnico di Milano and IUAV of Venice). She has worked within the institutional context (Hangar Bicocca, Triennale Milano, V-A-C Foundation and Mudam Luxembourg) as well as in independent spaces. Together with Davide Giannella, Giovanna Silva and Delfino Sisto Legnani she is responsible for programming MEGA, a Milanese project space. She has previously worked as visiting curator at the V-A-C Foundation in Moscow & Venice (2018-2019). She has curated exhibitions, performances and major new commissions with artists including Monira Al Qadiri, Tarek Atoui, Alexandra Bachzetsis, Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz, Cecilia Bengolea, Darius Dolatyari-Dolatdoust, Joanna Dudley, William Engelen, Lara Favaretto, Nicholas Grafia and Mikolaj Sobczak, Trajal Harrell, Yasmine Hugonnet, Christian Jankowski, Jacopo Jenna, M¥SS KETA, Ligia Lewis, Taus Makhacheva, Sidsel Meineche Hansen, Gianni Pettena, Alessandro di Pietro, Éliane Radigue, James Richards, Michele Rizzo, Mika Rottenberg, Vasya Run, Sam Stewart, Strasse, Nora Turato, Guan Xiao and ∞OS. Her curatorial practice is carried out alongside research and collaboration with art magazines.
The International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia
Established in 1893, the International Exhibition of Contemporary Art – La Biennale di Venezia is one of the oldest and most important international platforms for contemporary art. In addition to the main exhibitions organised by curators, some 90 countries participate in the Biennale with national contributions.
Appointed in December 2022 by the Fondazione La Biennale di Venezia, the Brazilian curator and current artistic director of the Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand – MASP, Adriano Pedrosa, will be the General Curator of the 2024 Arte Biennale.
The president of the Fondazione La Biennale di Venezia, Roberto Cicutto, envisages the next edition of the event not as ‘a catalogue of the existing, but [as an event that] gives form to the contradictions, dialogues and kinships without which art would remain an enclave devoid of vital sap’.
The 60th International Exhibition of Contemporary Art – La Biennale di Venezia will be held from 20 April to 24 November 2024.
Kultur | lx, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, the Embassy of Luxembourg in Berlin and the Saarländische Galerie – Berlin, launched a call for applications aimed at Luxembourg-based professional art galleries for the design of an monographic or collective exhibition of Luxembourg artists lasting four to six weeks between during Berlin Art Week.
By drawing on a network with both commercial and institutional reach, this initiative, coinciding with a key event in Berlin’s cultural calendar, aims to promote artists and players from the Luxembourg art scene on the German and international stage.
The jury chose the project Industrial-Visceral by the artist Hisae Ikenaga, proposed by the gallery Nosbaum & Reding, because it believes in the potential of the artist, who has not yet had a solo exhibition in Germany. The artist – whose sculptural work, at the crossroads of several techniques, questions our relationship to objects, their history, their manufacture and their function – deserves to be discovered on the Berlin scene where the series presented, already successfully exhibited in Luxembourg and Belgium, could meet the “cutting-edge” public of the Berlin Art Week.
Hisae Ikenaga is a multidisciplinary artist who has studied art theory and visual arts in cities such as Mexico City, Kyoto, Barcelona and Madrid. Based in Luxembourg, she has shown her work in various solo and group exhibitions around the world and has received several awards, including the LEAP20 Luxembourg Encouragement for Artists Prize in 2020 and first prize in the first OAI Art in Situ competition for her in situ project for the headquarters of the Ordre des Architectes et Ingénieurs Conseils du Luxembourg (OAI) in 2021.
About Saarländische Galerie
The Saarländische Galerie is an independent non-profit association. Capitalising on Saarland’s location in the centre of Europe, the Saarländische Galerie – Europäisches Kunstforum is involved in cross-border cultural exchanges with other European countries such as Luxembourg. The aim of the gallery is to provide a platform in Berlin for artists from Saarland and its partner regions to showcase their work on the German capital’s lively – and booming – art scene.
About Berlin Art Week
Berlin Art Week is a platform providing a springboard for extensive collaboration between the most important institutions in the Berlin art world. Once a year, it presents a diverse programme with over 50 partners ranging from museums to arts centres, fairs, private collections, project spaces and numerous galleries. The programme invites the public to discover ongoing developments in the world of contemporary art. Its audience is made up of many professionals as well as art experts and art lovers from Germany and around the world.
The Berlin Art Week will take place from 13 to 17 September 2023.
Kultur | lx continues its “carte blanche” series in 2023, giving artists the opportunity to reinterpret the values and visual identity of Kultur | lx. After a year in which illustration dominated our homepage with works by Dirk Kesseler, Irina Moons and Keong-A Song, Kultur | lx is initiating a series around video, starting with an artwork by the Luxembourg artist and director Suzan Noesen.
“I wanted to make a video with a gestural metaphor for the activities surrounding culture and art – whether it is making, mediating, preserving, consuming, it is all about trying to grasp an essence which is contained in a form but which is never truly tangible. So the existence, value and pleasure of art and culture – aesthetics – might consist mostly in sustaining the practices, the attempts, the imperfect fumbling for something that lies behind the senses. In maintaining the practice of art and culture through different times, realities, technologies.The title is an excerpt from the dialogue of my recent work OBSOLETE TERRAIN, about an apple tree with its large symbolics of conscience, genesis – the beginning of sedentary culture – or the self-destruction of the tree through its bred hyper-productivity.“, comments the artist.
Discover the artwork on the home page of our website and our social media pages. (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram)
Kultur | lx, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Mudam Luxembourg, is launching a call for applications for Luxembourg’s national participation at the Venice Biennale – 60th International Exhibition of Contemporary Art.
The 60th edition will take place from 20 April to 24 November 2024. Appointed in December 2022 by the Fondazione La Biennale di Venezia, the Brazilian curator and current artistic director of the Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand – MASP, Adriano Pedrosa, will be the General Curator of the 2024 Biennale. The theme of the general exhibition is not yet known.
By supporting Luxembourg’s regular participation in the Venice Biennale, the Ministry of Culture ensures the presence of Luxembourg artists at one of the most important contemporary art events, thus contributing to the international influence of its artistic scene.
Artists applying must be of Luxembourg nationality or reside in Luxembourg. In the case of a collective of artists, at least one of the members must meet this criterion. In addition, they must have a track record of professional activity as visual artists. Artists’ collectives or artists with a multidisciplinary orientation are also invited to apply.
A single jury will follow the entire selection process. It will bring together several national and international experts:
- Adam Budak, Director, Kestner Gesellschaft Hannover
- Michelle Cotton, Head of Artistic Programming and Content Department, Mudam Luxembourg
- Hélène Doub, Head of the Visual Arts Department, Kultur | lx – Arts Council Luxembourg
- Hélène Guénin, Director, MAMAC | Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain de Nice
- Stilbé Schroeder, Curator, Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’art contemporain
- Bettina Steinbrügge, Director, Mudam Luxembourg, President of the Jury
- Joel Valabrega, Curator, Mudam Luxembourg
Applicants will be selected in two stages:
1. Shortlist applicants
Deadline: 26 February 2023
Shortlisted applicants notification : The week of 6 March 2023.
Deadline: 23 April 2023.
The winning project will be announced on the week of 1 May 2023.
More information HERE.