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Taking Time. 5th Anniversary of the MARCO

Taking Time. 5th Anniversary of the MARCO


19 October 2007 - 17 February 2008
Exhibition galleries on the ground floor, first floor, Annex Space
Tuesday to Saturday (including holidays), from 11 am to 9 pm. Sunday from 11 am to 3 pm
MARCO, Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo
Isabel Carlos
Iñaki Martínez Antelo

Taking time. 5th  Anniversary of the MARCO

On 13 November 2007, the MARCO marks its fifth anniversary since opening to the public at the end of 2002. To mark the occasion, the museum has designed a programme of activities to be carried out from October 2007 to January 2008, the highpoint of which is the opening of the exhibition TIEMPO AL TIEMPO / TAKING TIME which will occupy all of the building's spaces from 19 October 2007 to 17 February 2008. Five years after the opening exhibition, CARDINALES, artists who had taken part in this show as Jorge Barbi, Tacita Dean and Gustavo Romano are now present again in the building's spaces, symbolically closing the loop that began when the Museum first opened its galleries.

Works exhibited

The show TIEMPO AL TIEMPO / TAKING TIME presents a total of 41 works by 34 artists in a great variety of media, ranging from photography, videos, sculptures, paintings, video-installations, video-projections, sound pieces, digital prints, drawings, installations, and works produced specifically for the occasion. The show also includes the presentation of the performance Time (1970), by David Lamelas, coinciding with the opening of the exhibition. The exhibition includes key works of the 60's, from the period when conceptual art began experiences and researches related to the passage of time, encouraged by the new possibilities present in the use of video and photography -Nam June Paik, David Lamelas, Allen Ruppersberg, On Kawara, Jimmie Durham, Victor Burgin- and the newest generation of artists born in the late 60's or in the 70's, just like Jorge Peris, Mircea Cantor, Rubén Ramos Balsa, João Maria Gusmão y Pedro Paiva, Daniele Puppi o Jonathan Monk.

Exhibition guide

On this occasion, in substitution of the usual information sheets, the MARCO has drawn up, in collaboration with the Faro de Vigo, an Exhibition Guide in the format of a newspaper, which will be handed out to visitors free of charge throughout the entire duration of the exhibition.


With only a few weeks to go before our celebrations of the museum's fifth anniversary on 13 November, at the MARCO we are proud to present TIEMPO AL TIEMPO / TAKING TIME, a home-produced exhibition which, to mark the event, will occupy all of the building's spaces and which invites visitors to reflect on a central theme -the passage of time- which we believe to be particularly befitting in the context of this assessment of what these past five years have yielded.

Isabel Carlos and myself, as curators, have coincided in the need of analysing the way in which time, as the leitmotiv of the show, defines our world today. The title also refers to the history of the building that houses the MARCO, which was originally a prison, then a court of justice, before becoming an art centre. The selection of artists and works -many of which have been produced specifically for the occasion- aims to analyse our obsession with the passage of time, memory, and the meaning and burden of history. In each of the 34 visions, or interpretations, of time provided by as many artists, time is not an anecdotal circumstance but a constant presence.

With this as its leit motiv, TAKING TIME looks at the different meanings attached to the notion of time and to the diverse reflections on the subject that have shaped Western thought in such fields of knowledge as physics, literature, mathematics, and the arts. Through the ages artists and thinkers have sought to reflect their experiences of the passage of time in myriad visions, images, symbols and metaphors. It was Aristotle who stated that if human beings did not exist, neither would time; it is therefore necessary that we know how to measure it. The exhibition brings together a diversity of registers and approaches regarding what the passage of time represents and means to each artist -whether an instrument of measurement, a subject of research, a theoretical reflection, a mirror held up to the vicissitudes of society, a symbol, or an aesthetic device. These are enriched by the multiplicity of connections existing among the works which the carefully designed layout of the exhibition has sought to bring out.

From the obsessive measuring of time of On Kawara and its rendering in the calendars of Ignasi Aballí, Gianni Motti's digital watch, the subtle vision of frozen time of Jorge Barbi's sandglass, and the time-marking gong of Daniele Puppi, to the irony of Jimmie Durham's petrified objects, the scientific investigations of Jorge Peris and Rubén Ramos Balsa, and the re-interpretation of art history and its symbols of Giulio Paolini, Nedko Solakov and Sam Taylor-Wood. From the fragility of memory as it evaporates in Oscar Muñoz, and the vanishing portrait of Matthew Buckingham's horse-mounted hero to the preservation of memories in Pedro Mora. From the evocation of past time in the work of Ana Jotta to the nostalgia of the future of Jonathan Monk and the moving encounter of past and present through the word in Lani Maestro. Unproductive, or ‘dead', time, as depicted by Mircea Cantor to Igor y Svetlana Kopystiansky's fractured narrative; Rosângela Rennó's generation of movement in static images, Euan Macdonald's snail advancing on the sand in a psychological image of the passage of time, and the temporal and spatial cross-section of Tatsuo Miyajima's universe. Tacita Dean's relationship between image, sound and spatial installation and the poetry of Nam June Paik's moon phases. The theoretical reflections on space and time of Victor Burgin and Douglas Gordon, the use of signs as narrative of Allen Ruppersberg, and the portrait represented by objects of Mark Dion. Time travellers of the lost world of Susan Norrie, the recovery of masterpieces and documents from the past of Fernando Bryce, the literary references and humour of João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva, and the synthesis of detained time and decadence of William Eggleston. The sense, too, or presence, of time through action: from Gustavo Romano's exchange mechanisms to David Lamelas' historical performance piece, Time, which will be presented in Vigo on the occasion of the exhibition's opening.

In this particular ‘measurement' we aim to establish a past, present, and future - a temporal sequence that frames our assessment of the MARCO's history to date as well as our expectations for the years to come.


Iñaki Martínez Antelo
Director of MARCO and curator of the exhibition



    Allen Ruppersberg
    Ana Jotta
    Daniele Puppi
    David Lamelas
    Douglas Gordon
    Euan Macdonald
    Fernando Bryce
    Gianni Motti
    Giulio Paolini
    Gustavo Romano
    Ignasi Aballí
    Igor & Svetlana Kopystiansky
    Jimmie Durham
    João Maria Gusmão & Pedro Paiva
    Jonathan Monk
    Jorge Barbi
    Jorge Peris
    Lani Maestro
    Mark Dion
    Matthew Buckingham
    Mircea Cantor
    Nam June Paik
    Nedko Solakov
    On Kawara
    Oscar Muñoz
    Pedro Mora
    Rosângela Rennó
    Rubén Ramos Balsa
    Sam Taylor-Wood
    Susan Norrie
    Tacita Dean
    Tatsuo Miyajima
    Victor Burgin
    William Eggleston

Curatorial text

"If Space and Time are the coordinates from which we organize our state of being in the world, the truth is that during the period of conception and organization of this exhibition, various samples of contemporary art related to the idea of Time arose. Regarding this fact, a certain sort of generalized obsession with time and history should not be surprising.

From vintage fashion to monothematic television channels dedicated to the memory of the past, to the urgency to ‘make history' with what happened yesterday, focusing on a type of eternal permanent back-glance associated to a true cult of youth. The future of post-september 11th stopped being something of a promissor, demonstrated by the drastic drop in science fiction book sales while historic romance sales sky-rocketed like never before: the past seems to be the only safe and comfortable place for humanity in the beginning of the 21st century. It seems that nobody really wants to ‘give time to time', but the Greeks already spoke of the god Chronos -the god of time- as the god that ate his own children.

Keeping mythology aside, the announcement of Fukyama, two decades ago, about the end of the world, seems equally fantastic and mythical, history -a human organization of time from facts and events that have occurred- is everywhere, in the same proportion that it seems that as more time passes there is less and less time.

This exhibition sprouts from these affirmations, and also from the fact that MARCO has celebrated its fifth year of existence. On top of that, the museum is installed in a building that was a prison for many decades. Euan Macdonald, in correspondence exchanged during the process of organizing the exhibition, remembered that in English the expression ‘doing time' means to be imprisoned; So, precisely, now that we are in a museum, what we want is that inside of it time is spent and enjoyed: ‘taking time'.

‘Nada de nosso temos senão o tempo, de que gozam justamente aqueles que não têm paradeiro' [Nothing is ours but time, and only those who have no home truly enjoy it].

This phrase is found in a graffiti on a wall in the center of Lisbon -in the lower zone, in a corner between the Rua dos Sapateiros and the Rua de S. Nicolau- and it is accompanied by the figure of a man wearing an executive suit with a clock instead of a head. Graphically effective, the graffiti could allude to the fact that we are in one of the hearts of the Portuguese financial capital, where various banks scatter the streets, and simultaneously it is one of the areas with the highest percentage of beggars and homeless people. The phrase would be a sort of counterpoint and even the very inversion of the celebrated phrase ‘time is money' [...]

The phrase could also refer to a certain nomadism -‘that does not have shelter'- something that many contemporary artists experience, not only traveling constantly, but living in different countries than where they were born -see the biographical notes on the artists included in this exhibition- or even in the ever more common phenomena of artistic residences.

However, this was not exactly a criteria of selection for the works included in this exhibition, but rather by the following factors: works that come from instruments and devices that measure and organize time, that which we could designate as a physical dimension of time [...]; works that reflect on the passage of time, memory or oblivion, history -namely art history- and accumulation-sedimentation; and finally, works that touch on the political dimension of time, regarding the way in which the actual society relates with time living in a sort of urgency without an end or a defined objective.

The diversity of expressions, registers, languages and origins, demonstrates how the reflection on time brings a multiplicity of feelings and it will always be universal and founding of the human condition and the artistic practice. In this sense, an exhibition on time is always in some way a portrait, but also a landscape, of ourselves."

Isabel Carlos
Curator of the exhibition


Isabel Carlos

Isabel Carlos (Coimbra, Portugal, 1962) is a freelance curator and art critic resident in Lisbon. She has curated the following exhibitions, among others: Sublime (Museu do Chiado, Lisbon 1994); The Day After Tomorrow (Centro Cultural de Belém, Lisbon 1994); Mediations (Palácio Galveias and Museu do Chiado, Lisbon 1997); Eve's - Paula Soares Triennial of India, (New Delhi, 1997); Entrada Azul - Helena Almeida retrospective (Casa de América, Madrid 1998); Trading Images - one year international exhibition cycle (Museu da Cidade, Lisbon 1998); Initiare (Centro Cultural de Belém, Lisbon 2000); Helena Almeida: Inhabited Drawings (The Drawing Center, New York, 2004) the Sydney Biennial of 2004, and more recently Por entre as linhas (Museu das Comunicações, Lisbon 2007). She founded and directed the Instituto de Arte Contemporânea (IAC) from 1996 to 2001, dependent on the Portuguese Ministry of Culture, whose international collection she set up and managed for three years. Whilst at the IAC, she organised a number of activities related to her post, amongst which were the Portuguese representations at the Venice Biennale of 2001, the London Art Biennial 2000, and the São Paulo Biennial of 1996 and 1998.

Iñaki Martínez Antelo

Iñaki Martínez Antelo (Santiago de Compostela, 1969) is MARCO, Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo Director from November 18, 2005. He has a B. A. in Contemporary Art History at the Universidad de Santiago de Compostela and a Master’s Degree in Aesthetics and Art Theory at the Institute of Aesthetics attached to the Universidad Autónoma in Madrid. After his period at Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea in Santiago de Compostela (1996-1998), he led the coordination of exhibitions at Auditorio de Galicia (1998-2002) and also coordinated cultural activities at Casa Asia in Barcelona (2002-2003). In 2003, he entered MARCO, Museum of Contemporary Art Vigo, just after being opened, where he has worked as Head of Exhibitions and became director in November 2005. In February 2011 he was elected President of ADACE, Asociación de Directores de Arte Contemporáneo de España.