14 Feb                       29 Mar 2014

Villa Romana Fellows 2014

Ei Arakawa + Sergei Tcherepnin, Natalie Czech, Loretta Fahrenholz, Petrit Halilaj + Alvaro Urbano

Petrit Halilaj, Several birds fly away when they understand it (2013), 24 collages, fotocopies/
drawings on cardboard, various materials, vitrine made of glas and brass

Alvaro Urbano, drawing on window, 2014 (detail)

Loretta Fahrenholz, My Throat, My Air, 2013, HD-Video (18 min.)

Natalie Czech, A poem by repetition by Hart Crane (2013),
2 C-Prints, framed, each 55,6 x 45,4 cm

Ei Arakawa & Sergei Tcherepnin, In Search of Queer Sound (2013),
Installation view (Video, 20:10 min., speakers, collage, cardboard)

Ei Arakawa & Sergei Tcherepnin, (In Search of Queer Sound) (2013),
Installation view (Video, 20:10 min., speakers, collage, cardboard)

The 2014 exhibition season launched with the presentation of the latest winners of the Villa Romana Prize: Ei Arakawa + Sergei Tcherepnin, Natalie Czech, Loretta Fahrenholz, Petrit Halilaj + Alvaro Urbano. For ten months until the end of November, the work of these artists will occupy the studio apartments in Via Senese 68. The jurors for the Villa Romana Prize 2014 were the artist Jutta Koether and the director of the Bundeskunsthalle, Rein Wolfs.

For nearly a decade, Ei Arakawa, who was born in 1977 in Fukushima, Japan, has been working with unstable performances and installations, bringing together all the aspects of a social presentation of art. The plots are rooted in collectives, simultaneity, preliminarity, improvisation, and simultaneously reflect the preconceived, the recycled, the historical. Ei Arakawa has colloborated for several years with Sergei Tcherepnin (born in 1981 in Boston, Massachussetts), who studied composition and who now works at the intersection of sound, sculpture and theatre. He was involved in the Soundings exhibition at the New York Museum of Modern Art, which closed in November, and in the 55th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale in Venice. In this exhibition, Arakawa and Tcherepnin will be screening a new, collaborative film.

In her photographic work, Natalie Czech, born 1976 in Neuss, Germany, explores the relationship between image and text, how the parallel sign systems of poetry and visual art overlap, each concealing and revealing the other. At the Villa Romana, she will be presenting pieces from her most recent solo exhibition I cannot repeat what I hear, which was shown in Germany at the Hamburg and Braunschweig Kunstverein and at Galerie Capitain Petzel in Berlin. Over the last ten years, Natalie Czech has exhibited her work internationally, including in 2012 at the Galerie Lia Rumma in Naples, Italy.

Petrit Halilaj, born in 1986 in Kostërrc, Kosovo, and Alvaro Urbano, born in 1983 in Madrid, Spain, were jointly awarded the Villa Romana Prize 2014. Halilaj’s artistic work – he studied at the Brera Academy in Milan – is characterised by his childhood memories of rural Kosovo, his experience of war, destruction and displacement, and by his quest for artistic representation of human living conditions. Last year, he played in the first Kosovo Pavillion at La Biennale, Venice, and has just completed a large solo exhibition entitled Poisoned by men in need of some love at the Wiels Contemporary Art Centre in Brussels, Belgium. Alvaro Urbano studied architecture in Madrid, Spain, then went to the Institute for Spatial Experiments at the Berlin University of the Arts, Germany. He will be exhibiting a series of bird houses in the garden of the Villa Romana that embody unrealised utopian architectural forms. Halilaj and Urbano will also present prints of their new journal Kushtetuta, which has just released its second issue.

Loretta Fahrenholz, who was born in 1981 in Starnberg, Germany, works in the medium of film. She explores the economic, cultural and social conditions of artistic and cultural production, and presents them in artificial, partially intertextual filmic scenes. They frequently examine the dynamics of certain social milieus and how these entities assert themselves in the larger social context. Her most recent productions are: Ditch Plains (2013), Grand Openings Return of the Blogs (2012), Implosion (2011), Que Brbara (2011) and Haust (2010). This exhibition will show Loretta Fahrenholz’s most recent film My Throat, My Air (2013).