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Lara Almarcegui. An Open Air Café in the Allotment Gardens, Van Houten, Weesp (Amsterdam), 2003. Photo: Courtesy the artist
Helena Almeida. Untitled, 2010. © Helena Almeida
Kader Attia. To Resist is to Remain Invisible, 2011 © Kader Attia / ADAGP, París 2017 Photo: Eric Chénal
Jeremy Deller. Speak To The Earth and It Would Tell You (Münster). Photo: Courtesy the artist
Marta Fernández Calvo. 484 Pulsaciones, 2017. Photo: Eric Chénal
Dora García. The Joycean Society, 2013. © The Joycean Society, Dora García
Jiří Kovanda. Kissing Through Glass. Courtesy the artist and gb agency, París. Photo: Iván García Fdez
Amalia Pica. Asambled, 2015. Photo: Marc Doradzillo
Amalia Pica. Asambled, 2015. Photo: Marc Doradzillo
Rita Ponce de León. Low-centre Table, 2017, 2017. Photo: Iván García Fernández.
Alex Reynolds. Le buisson St. Louis, 2007. Photo: Courtesy the artist
Cecilia Vicuña. Parti si Pasión, New-York, 1981 © Cecilia Vicuña

The Shyness of the Crowns. MARCO/FRAC Lorraine/SFKM Award for Young Curators 2016


23 June 2017 - 7 January 2018
First-floor galleries
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 / 49 Nord 6 Est – Frac Lorraine, Metz, Francia / Sogn og Fjordane Kunstmuseum (SFKM), Førde, Noruega
Beatriz Alonso

An exhibition produced by MARCO, Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo, 49 Nord 6 Est - FRAC Lorraine, and SFKM Sogn og Fjordane Kunstmuseum 

MARCO, Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo
23 June 2017 - 7 January 2018

49 Nord 6 Est - FRAC Lorraine
17 March – 4 June 2017

Sogn og Fjordane Kunstmuseum – SFKM
17 February – 3 June 2018 

Curated by Beatriz Alonso, laureate of the MARCO/FRAC Lorraine/SFKM Award for Young Curators 2016

Lara Almarcegui, Helena Almeida, Kader Attia, Jeremy Deller, Marta Fernández Calvo, Dora García, Jiří Kovanda, Amalia Pica, Rita Ponce de León, Alex Reynolds, Cecilia Vicuña

Publication /Exhibition Booklet

On the occasion of the show, bilingual information booklets available in Galician/Spanish and French/English have been released. The publication includes a curatorial text, images and information on the exhibited works. It has been designed to complement the visit to the exhibition. It is part of an ongoing editorial multilingual catalogue project.

A timidez da copa das árbores = La timidez de la copa de los árboles =  La timidité des cimes = The Shyness of The Crowns, 2017. 33 p., 21 x 15 cm. 

Information & guided tours

The exhibition staff is available for any questions or information, as well as regular guided tours:

Daily at 6pm
‘A la carte’ group tours, please call +34 986 113900/11 to book


The Shyness of the Crowns
, curated by Beatriz Alonso (Madrid, 1981), was the winning Project in the most recent call of the MARCO/FRAC Lorraine/SFKM Award for Young Curators 2016. From the very beginning, this award gives participants the opportunity to submit a topic of research and reflection which is of personal interest, and the possibility to bring it to fruition in the three organizing venues at the MARCO, the FRAC Lorraine (Fonds régional d'art contemporain de Lorraine), Metz, France, and the SFKM (Sogn og Fjordane Kunstmuseum), Førde, Norway.

Following its first display from March 17 to June 4 at FRAC Lorraine, Metz, the exhibition arrives at MARCO in the form of a second chapter or version of the show, since it has been adapted to the Museum first-floor galleries, and including specific features in the way in which some of the works are displayed.

Crown shyness is a natural phenomenon consisting of ach tree limiting the growth of its crown, making harmony possible in the forest canopy that enables species to coexist non-competitively. Taking this scientific fact and its connotations as a starting point, this proposal poses a reflection about our contemporary society, bringing the works by eleven artists together, each of them coming from different origins. Through the use of a variety of formats — video, installation, photographs, performance, screenings — they sometimes document and record previous actions always on the same leitmotif.

The poetical observation of this collective intelligence, of this concern for the common good, brings us a dialogue with our contemporaneous existence and remind us of the urgent need to take action — as members of a society — with a view to creating new heterogeneous scenarios for everyday co-existence through our otherness and differences.


Artists and Works

Zaragoza (ES), 1972. Lives and works in Rotterdam (NL). 

An Open Air Café in the Allotment Gardens,
Van Houten, Weesp (Amsterdam), 2003
Slideshow and text
Courtesy: the artist

Lisbon (PT), 1934. Lives and works in Lisbon (PT). 

Untitled, 2010
Video 18’ 03’’
49 Nord 6 Est – Frac Lorraine Collection

Dugny, Seine-Saint-Denis (FR), 1970. Lives and Works between Berlin (DE) and Paris (FR). 

To Resist is to Remain Invisible, 2011
White chalk on white wall
49 Nord 6 Est – Frac Lorraine Collection

London (GB), 1966. Lives and works in London (GB). 

Speak to the Earth and It Would Tell You (Münster), 2007-2017
10 photographs, 31 x 31 x 3 cm (framed) each
Edition 10 + 1 AP
Courtesy: the artist and The Modern Institute, Toby Webster Ltd, Glasgow

Logroño (ES), 1978. Lives and works in Madrid (ES). 

532 Pulsations, 2017
Sound piece and performance during the opening
Courtesy the artist

Performers: Marta Díaz Marcos, Brais Fernández Pombo, Susana Garrido Pombo, Miguel Solís Cañizal, Martín Vicente Fábregas

Valladolid (ES), 1965. Lives and works in Barcelona (ES). 

The Joycean Society, 2013
Video, color, 16:9, 53’
Courtesy: the artist

Prague (CZ), 1953. Lives and works in Prague (CZ). 

Kissing Through Glass
10 March 2007
Tate Modern, London
A4 documentation
B/W photograph and text on paper
Courtesy: the artist and gb agency, Paris

Nequén (AR), 1978. Lives and works in London (GB). 

Asambled, 2015
Installation with chairs and video
Courtesy: the artist and Kunstverein Freiburg; Herald St., London; Marc Foxx, Los Angeles; König Galerie, Berlin

Lima (PE), 1982. Lives and works in México DF (MX). 

Hutzin, Elvia, Lisbeth, Clemente, Porfirio, Irene, Gustavo, Erika, Yaxché, Ester, Martin, Patricia, Irene, Óscar, Laura, Toni, Maia, Rita, 2015
Video, 11’
Courtesy: the artist and Galería 80m2 Livia Benavides

Low-centre Table, 2017
Wooden table and four cushions
Courtesy: the artist and Galería Ignacio Liprandi

Bilbao (ES), 1978. Lives and works between Brussels (BE) and Berlin (DE). 

Le buisson St. Louis, 2007
Video-installation, 5 screens
Clément: 28’ / Jeanne: 48’ 42’’ / Maud: 22’ 30’’ / Dominique: 41’ 02’’ / Benoit: 30’ 54’’
Courtesy the artist

Santiago (CL), 1948. Lives and works in New York (US). 

Parti si Pasión, New York, 1981
4 photographs
49 Nord 6 Est – Frac Lorraine Collection

Curatorial text

Is it possible to promote new ways of being and living together beyond global hostility and competitiveness – even when this fact may already have been proven impossible? Are our bodies capable of negotiating and cooperating to reach agreement without giving up our inner dissent and differences? What practical, theoretical and symbolic agencies can we imagine through art in the midst of a socio-political context that is governed by rivalry and separation? 

Crown shyness is a natural phenomenon consisting of ach tree limiting the growth of its crown, making harmony possible in the forest canopy that enables species to coexist non-competitively. Among the reasons for this "awareness" there is the one related to the trees’ ability to exchange chemical signals that allows them to avert the spread of pests, diseases and environmental stress or may simply be a means of defining their space to grow. These natural infrastructures cause what are known as crown shyness gaps: gaps between the crowns of the trees slightly —if ever—touching one another; cracks, spaces of possibility.

The poetical observation of this natural phenomenon challenges modern thinking – based on the idea that everything in nature is reduced to a struggle for the survival of the fittest –and, therefore, it calls into question any justification of the savage competitiveness within the current socioeconomic framework that takes nature as a model. Quite the opposite, this natural collective intelligence, working for the common cause presents a dialogue with our contemporaneity and an alternative as a society to face the urgency in order to create ecosystems in which relations, encounters and exchange are yet based on synergies.

Taking this poetic metaphor as a starting point, Crown shyness is an exhibition that promotes and makes visible heterogeneous structures for everyday coexistence and learn from one another from otherness and difference. It is about rethinking the meaning and implication of a community today focusing on practices that contribute to a more open understanding of the common and create new scenarios of cohabitation where conflict, division and instability exist. Its concern is finding possibilities amidst the contemporary complexities and contradictions that allow us to cohabit and generate subtler and more flexible links with the other; shared weakness makes us stronger. We propose a more open and distorted glance at nature within a process that transcends the limits of scientific knowledge to more poetic and intuitive positions.

The works presented at MARCO, Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo, invite the public to feel one another, to become aware of one’s own body with relation to someone else’s in a given space-time, which is not indifferent to the vicissitudes concerning human relationships. The whole forms a social sculpture, which may remind us of the feeling that can be found during grassroots sit-ins and marches, where communication with others goes beyond words and finds its fullest expression in the union of bodies. Trees and individuals merge; they show their bodies day to day, yet they are not always visible. We now face the challenge of dreaming and building, in a joint effort, genuine spaces of critique, desire and transformation, while taking into account not only what brings us together but also what separates us. Why not start from a radical imaginary, or even a tale, if it provides a means to our end?


Beatriz Alonso


Beatriz Alonso

Photo: Iván García Fernández

Beatriz Alonso (Madrid, 1981) is an independent curator and researcher based in Madrid. Upcoming projects include No siempre que estuvimos/estuvimos, a cycle of specific proposals at Casa Museo Lope de Vega, Museo Casa Natal de Cervantes, Nuevo Baztán interpretation centre and Museo Picasso Colección Eugenio Arias (Madrid). Before that, she has curated projects of different nature at independent and institutional spaces: 49 Nord 6 Est – Frac Lorraine (Metz, FR), CA2M, La Casa Encendida, Sala de Arte Joven, Salón (Madrid), MACBA (Barcelona), La Regenta (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria). She has also been curator in residence at Lugar a dudas (Cali, CO), and researcher at Centre Pompidou and Musée du Louvre (Paris, FR). Recently, she has participated in a European curatorial exchange in Viena, Budapest and Zagreb organised by Obra Social La Caixa and ERSTE Foundation within the Comisart programme. She has been laureated in the following curatorial calls, among others: Se busca comisario 2013, organised by Sala de Arte Joven, Madrid, and Inéditos 2009, organised by La Casa Encendida. She has a degree in Art History by Universidad Complutense de Madrid and a Master’s Degree in Contemporary Art by Universidad Europea de Madrid.