12.12.2023 #kulturlxnews #multidisciplinary #photography #visual arts

Third Visual Arts Focus in Luxembourg confirms strong interest from professionals

The third edition of this Visual Arts focus has firmly established itself in the agenda of the Luxembourg Art Week. The five artists selected by Austrian curator Mirela Baciak welcomed fourteen professionals from four different countries who had come to discover the Luxembourg contemporary art scene. These meetings gave rise to fruitful exchanges that Kultur | lx is committed to developing over the long term.

Mudam Luxembourg – Musée d’art contemporain Grand-Duc Jean welcomed fourteen curators, art centre directors, critics and contemporary art experts from Austria, Germany, Belgium and France who had been invited by Kultur | lx. A two-and-a-half-day programme, alternating visits to artists’ studios, associations and institutions, talks and informal discussions, was offered to familiarise them with the players who are making contemporary art happen in Luxembourg.

The heart of a Focus – and undoubtedly its most eagerly awaited part by professionals and artists alike – lies in the visits to the artists’ studios or, for those based abroad, in the presentation of their portfolios. This year, Mike Bourscheid, Serge Ecker, Sophie Jung, Claudia Passeri and Nora Wagner have been selected by Mirela Baciak, Director of the Salzburger Kunstverein in Austria, to open the doors of their artistic worlds to these guests with their keen eyes. This meeting provides an opportunity to exchange views on the artist’s work and on more open questions about the current state of contemporary art in both its political and social dimensions. These frank and rich discussions are a source of reflection for everyone, but they also enable some artists to explore new professional horizons, since two of the artists featured within the Focus 2022 programme will have major solo exhibitions in 2024, thanks to invitations from professionals who took part in the event.

Mirela Baciak, who attended the 2022 Focus as a guest, immediately showed an interest in curating the 2023 edition. She made a wide-ranging selection from among the dozens of portfolios submitted, focusing on two main themes: queer cultures and the climate crisis, but the common thread was the shared values expressed by all the artists, however diverse and eclectic their practices.

The partnership with the Luxembourg Art Week enabled the group to visit the fair exclusively during the preview. Alongside the formats already implemented last year, this year’s fair also featured a number of new partnerships that helped to diversify the offering for professionals. In addition to the exhibitions at Mudam Luxembourg, the Konschthal Esch and the Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’Art Contemporain, attendees could also discover Vewa, a space developed by the Dkollektiv collective, and the Nei Liicht art centre in Dudelange, which presented a solo exhibition by Letizia Romanini, and finally the Bridderhaus artists’ residence in Esch-sur-Alzette, where the artist Claudia Passeri welcomed the professionals to a performative dinner under the title “Papillons de résistance”.

Finally, the 2023 Focus dealt with the theme of artistic research, the various forms it can take, its political development and its artistic materiality. Art historian and critic Sandra Delacourt gave a lecture at the Luxembourg Art Week on the theme of The Artist Researcher as a figure in the zeitgeist, but also as a political creation, through an analysis of the career of Donald Judd. Finally, the Focus ended with an afternoon of debate and exchange at Casino Display, which had co-organised with Kultur | lx pitch-presentations by researchers and artists on their research practices, followed by debates on current issues facing artists in this field.

This third edition has consolidated existing links with neighbouring scenes and opened up prospects for territories that will be highlighted in 2024, such as Belgium and Germany. The event is generating medium- and long-term impact, and the challenge that lies ahead is to make the most of this contribution.

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