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1 June 2012 - 14 October 2012
exhibition galleries on the 1st floor
Tuesdays to Saturdays (including bank holidays) from 11am to 2.30pm and from 5pm to 9pm, Sundays, from 11am to 2.30pm
MARCO, Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo/ FRAC Lorraine, Metz
Anja Isabel Schneider


Anna Barham
(Sutton Coldfield, United Kingdom, 1974; lives and works in London, United Kingdom)
Nina Beier & Marie Lund (Aarhus, Denmark, 1975; lives and works in Berlin, Germany / Hundested, Denmark, 1976; live and work in London, United Kingdom)
Alejandro Cesarco (Montevideo, Uruguay, 1975; lives and works in New York, USA)
Amélie Dubois (Corbeil-Essonnes, France, 1983; lives and works in Paris, France)
Dora García (Valladolid, 1965; lives and works in Barcelona)
Fabio Kacero (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1961; lives and works in Buenos Aires)
David Lamelas (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1946; lives and works in Buenos Aires and Los Angeles, USA)
Ján Mančuška (Bratislava, Eslovaquia, 1972 - Prague, Czek Republic, 2011)
Helen Mirra (Rochester, USA, 1970; lives and works in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA)
Claire Morel (Gerardmer, France, 1980; lives and works in Paris and Mulhouse, France)
Tania Mouraud (Paris, France, 1942; lives and works in Paris)
Ewa Partum (Grodzisk Mazowiecki, Poland, 1945; lives and works in Berlin, Germany)
Charles Sandison (Haltwhistle, United Kingdom, 1969); lives and works in Tampere, Finland)


‘SHORT FORMS, OTHERS, 25’, a project by the young curator Anja Isabel Schneider, is a coproduction between MARCO of Vigo and Frac Lorraine, Metz, France. Through the work by 14 artists, this exhibition questions the notion of reading in its various modalities of experimentation, experience, and structure. Including pieces from the FRAC Collection, this proposal has been conceived as a whole, but at the same time maintaining its own particularities for each venue. Hence, from the group of works gathered in the show, the sound palimpsest El balcón, by Amélie Dubois, is a work specifically produced for MARCO, and two of the works by Alejandro Cesarco — Footnote #5, and the video The Two Stories — are only present in Vigo.



‘SHORT FORMS, OTHERS, 25’, was the winning Project in the most recent holding of the Award for Young Curators (2011), which was jointly held by MARCO of Vigo and FRAC Lorraine, Metz, France, for the second time in a row, and the aim of which is the producing of an exhibition project to be carried out in both exhibition venues.

This is not the first time that MARCO, Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo, and the FRAC (Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain) have come together in a co-production project promoting contemporary art beyond their territorial frontiers. On this occasion, the common interest in supporting new generations of professionals has inspired the forth edition of the Award for Young Curators. The winning project is by Anja Isabel Schneider (Reutlingen, Germany, 1976), an art critic and independent curator who lives in London.


After travelling to Metz — from January 27 to April 8 2012 — the exhibition is opened now at MARCO of Vigo, tailored to the exhibition spaces on the first floor, where it will be on show until October 14.


Members of the museum staff are available in the halls to provide visitors with information, in addition to the regular guided tours:

  • Every day at 6 pm
  •  ‘A la carte’ tours for groups, by appointment at the tel. 986 113 900


D'ailleurs, je te demanderai d'interrompre la lecture de ce livre aussi fréquemment que possible: ce que tu penseras pendant ces intervalles sera peut-être, ou presque sûrement, ce que mon livre aura de mieux
[Felisberto Hernández, ‘L'histoire d'un gangster', Oeuvres complètes, p. 484]

Digital book, electronic book, or e-book, are all terms designating the new forms given to the book, paperback, printed matter, or the manuscript. The creation and distribution of new reading tools undermine traditional modes of writing and reading which are facing a great challenge today.

To enter a three-dimensional book: this is what Anja Isabel Schneider invites us to do with this exhibition. ‘SHORT FORMS, OTHERS, 25’ is conceived as a reading in itself, subject to interruptions and suspensions generated by the architecture of the space. The selected works examine the relations and interactions between the text and the reader, the condition, the act, and the process of reading which give rise to meaning.

From the formes brèves in the space occupied by Ján Mančuška to Ewa Partum’s conceptual poems, from Amélie Dubois’ sound palimpsest to the taxonomy of words invented by Fabio Kacero, from Anna Barham’s wordplays to Charles Sandison’s ballet of words, from Nina Beier & Marie Lund’s oral performance to the re-reading in Alejandro Cesarco, from Helen Mirra’s poetic index to Claire Morel’s constellations, from Dora García’s participatory online-project to the film by David Lamelas... these works foreshadow the changes in the reader’s behaviors in the digital age.

‘SHORT FORMS, OTHERS, 25’ questions the notion of reading in its various modalities of experimentation, experience, and structure. Particularly, this exhibition explores the question of ‘fragmentary’ or elusive reading — that is, reading which resists and unsettles the reader. Every reader/visitor is thus given an essential role — that of an active reader. As a secular literary form, the forme brève privileges certain artistic genres: fragment, index, word play, wisecrack, haiku, maxim, etc. It solicits the imagination of the reader who is no longer a passive audience but becomes a producer.

This exhibition finds its pre-text (or fore-text) in Felisberto Hernández (1902–1964). Read as a line taken from an (imaginary) index, the exhibition's title short forms, others, 25 refers first and foremost to the writing of this author, being the exhibition's starting point.

Between the texts and their readers, the spaces generated by short forms — blank or latent spaces — thus become a pause, a reflexive moment. Inscribed within the spaces of FRAC Lorraine and MARCO, this exhibition invites the audience to discern, decipher, construct... and imagine.

Curatorial text

NOTE: The subtitles which structure this text — from prologue, 15 to footnotes, 73 written out in the form of an index— are citations taken from Alejandro Cesarco's Index, (a reading), 2008, on view in the exhibition.

prologue, 15

Lately, there has been a proliferation of exhibitions revisiting conceptual approaches to writing and reading, as well as to publishing [...] At the present moment, however, replete as it is with digital language, i-pads and other e-reader literally beckoning 'to be read', traditional modes of writing and reading are 'facing a challenge' of a most severe kind..

Undoubtedly, there is an urgency in discourse — in part provoked by an ever increasing acceleration of new technological in(ter)ventions on the one hand, and an elegiac stance towards traditional modes of writing and reading on the other. Therefore, it seems pertinent to turn to the artworks themselves and to consider how meaning is produced through the very process of reading. Among others, the notion of reading re-addresses issues of (im)materiality and space, reading as public/private, individual/collective activity, silent and aloud. The experience of encountering the works within the exhibition's discrete venues thus forms an integral part of the reading activity. A constructive and even 'performative' process, it gives rise to one's own associations and ideas.

art, 10, 37, 66; as reading practice, 1-3, 17

Read as a line taken from an (imaginary) index, the exhibition's title refers first and foremost to the writing of Uruguayan author Felisberto Hernández (1902-1964), being the exhibition's starting point. While the 1997 publication Œuvres complètes regroups Hernández's work according to its 'poetic affinities', SHORT FORMS, OTHERS, 25 is to be understood here as an attempt to go beyond any literary classification, by introducing spaces of indeterminacy. Besides, this exhibition explores the question of ‘fragmentary’ or elusive reading — that is, reading which resists and unsettles the reader, whilst every reader/visitor is given an essential role. The latter is not merely a receiver, but also a producer.

reading, 6, 14, 23, 58, 59, 72; as creative act, 27

Norah Giraldi dei Cas in Las formas breves de Felisberto Hernández y de Juan Carlos Onetti discusses the 'short forms' in Hernández's oeuvre, stressing the association of ideas, (...) as well as the cuts and suspension points that delimit, like silences, the brief spaces of his writing(...). Derived from the Latin forma brevis, the literary 'forme brève' is a short form of writing, eliciting the creative imagination of the reader. Wolfgang Iser, in The Act of Reading, asserts that "the reader's enjoyment begins when he himself becomes productive, i. e. when the text allows him to bring his own faculties into play."

reading (cont.); mise-en-scène of, 75

The exhibition's parcours is thought of as a reading in itself subject to suspension points and interruptions due to the architectural disposition of the exhibition space, allowing for intervals in which the reader finds his/her own involvement and (s)pace. In the introductory quote, Felisberto Hernández addresses himself directly to the reader, asking the latter to interrupt, as often as possible, the very act of reading. For the narrator, these moments in which reading is at a halt represent a vital part of his writing. Between text and reader, spaces are opened up for imagination. A blank space is also a pause, a pause for reflection.

indexes, 76

An index is usually provided to facilitate a (re)reading, to assist and orientate the reader, using alphabetical lists of names, or other categories in reference to the pages on which these are to be found. In its fragmented form, i. e. isolated from its source, an index is above all associative. It may be considered as an interpretative method to a fictional narrative (Alejandro Cesarco), or simply read as poetry (Helen Mirra).

dialogue, 2

Further dialogues between the works are created, asking for the reader's complicity when faced with a footnote on an otherwise blank wall — taken out of (con)text — (Cesarco). A series of drawings composed of anagrams offers a two-fold reading oscillating between text and image (Anna Barham). To fully engage with the three-dimensional writing, the counter forms of letters — literally strung together — ask to be deciphered (Tania Mouraud). Conceptual poems are composed of individual letters (Ewa Partum), these are scattered, dispersed, and thrown into the air, into the sea.

Here, writing may be seen as an act of reading and reading an act of rewriting, despite the works' often 'illegible' nature, i. e. an archival list of invented words (Fabio Kacero), or book pages composed exclusively of punctuation marks (Claire Morel).

Focusing on the act of reading within a certain spatial relationship and composition, the reader — depending on his/her readiness to follow the work's distinct disposition — literally ‘sets the work in motion and so sets himself in motion too’ (Ján Mančuška). Words and text fragments are projected into the space at an accelerated speed, drifting in non-linear movement over walls, floor and ceiling (Charles Sandison)

reading (cont.); silent and aloud, 8-11

Reading does not only limit itself to visual, but also to auditory experiences, processes of reciting and (repeated) listening. It is important to note that Felisberto Hernández 'composed' his texts to be read aloud. In his self-reflexive writings, one finds descriptions of both auditory sensations and recitals in front of an audience. Yet what happens if the recited literary text resists a full understanding (Amélie Dubois; David Lamelas)? This perfomative aspect of 'reading' may be found in other ‘formes brèves’, here multifariously composed of several lines — as short, continuous contributions to ‘All The Stories’ (Dora García). Still other writing awaits to be transmitted (Nina Beier & Marie Lund), proposing not only additional readings, but also some, wilful, misreadings.

footnotes, 73



Anja Isabel Schneider
[Exhibition’s curator]


Anja Isabel Schneider

Anja Isabel Schneider (Reutlingen, Germany, 1976), is an art critic and independent curator. She studied art history in The United States (UCLA, Brentwood, California), Germany (Eberhard-Karls-Universität, Tübingen), and the United Kingdom (The Courtauld Institute of Art, London). She is currently living and working in London, where she is finishing her postgraduate studies (MFA in Curatorial Practice, Goldsmiths, University of London).


Bibliographical Exhibition "Formas breves, outras, 25"

Bibliographical Exhibition "Formas breves, outras, 25"

1 June 2012 - 14 October 2012
Tuesday to Friday, from 11am to 14pm and 5pm to 9pm
Biblioteca-Centro de Documentación

On this occasion, to accompany the solo exhibition catalogues, a series of dossiers collect the enormous digital presence of the artists and their impact on the media.