- Centro Botín will premiere “El Greco / Tino Sehgal”: an exhibition conceived as a dialogue between El Greco’s seminal painting The Adoration of the Shepherds (1577-1579), from Fundación Botín Collection, and a new live work by Tino Sehgal.
- For this occasion, Sehgal´s first exhibition in Spain, the artist is creating a new work entitled This youiiyou that focuses on the affective bonds in the care between generations.
- The exhibition is curated by Udo Kittelmann, curator and member of the Fundación Botín’s Art Advisory Committee.
Exhibition Dates: 7 October 2023 – 11 February 2024
Press Preview: Friday, 6 October 2023
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Centro Botín (Santander, Spain) presents “El Greco / Tino Sehgal” an exhibition running from 7 October 2023 to 11 February 2024, which presents a dialogue between El Greco’s seminal painting The Adoration of the Shepherds (1577-1579), from Fundación Botín Collection, and a new live work by Tino Sehgal. Sehgal’s constructed situations are always enacted by people, challenging conventional art-and-spectator relationships by focusing on subtle gestures and social interactions of lived experiences, rather than on material objects.
The open space of Renzo Piano’s gallery in Centro Botín becomes a setting for a trans-historical dialogue and for the creation of a sublime and spiritual atmosphere. In response to El Greco’s world-famous and intriguing painting Adoration of the Shepherds, the artist has created a new live work, This youiiyou, that focuses on the affective bonds in the care between generations. Visitors are drawn to the protagonists and their exchanges in a body language of caring and being cared for that transcends the historical moment and yet deeply resonates with contemporary social concerns. It creates a unique catalyst of yesterday, today and tomorrow.
The painting Adoration of the Shepherds (1577-1579) by Domḗnikos Theotokópoulos – the Greek painter, sculptor and architect of the Spanish Renaissance known as El Greco – was originally part of the altarpiece dedicated to the Gospel for the Convent of Santo Domingo el Antiguo in Toledo. This altarpiece was El Greco’s first commission in Toledo, where the artist put into practice the visual language he learned in Italy with a personal expression that would evolve throughout his time spent in the Spanish city. At the centre of the painting’s composition is a naked baby Jesus, laying on swaddling clothes and emitting a powerful halo of light. He is surrounded by the Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph and various adoring shepherds, who pay tribute to the newborn. Over their heads, a group of angels carry an inscribed band, bathed in a powerful white light. On the right, two female figures stand under the crescent moon—a reference to the Immaculate Conception—while in the foreground, looking out at the beholder, we see Saint Hieronymus holding the Holy Scriptures and a candle in his hand. In his painting, El Greco pays tribute to life itself by honouring the birth of children and the people that care for them.
In his newly commissioned constructed situation titled This youiiyou, Sehgal transforms and expands this tribute by honouring the fleeting interactions that arise through the affective bonds in relations of care through voice, movement and gesture.
“Art has always been an attempt to find and hopefully capture the inexpressible and with each work Sehgal creates, the encounters are always different and embodied. How do you explain or record a historical event, while simultaneously capturing the experiences of those who lived it? These are the questions that arise when being confronted with Tino Sehgal’s constructed situations, a term he coined, challenging the traditional context of museum spaces. Focusing mainly on human interactions, movements and voices, the situations Sehgal constructs are more than an artwork in the classical sense. Far from passive exhibits, they provoke engagement, incite interaction and inspire audiences. More so, they allow them to witness what becomes a real-life situation of bonding, caring and loving.” (Udo Kittelmann)
The exhibition is curated by Udo Kittelmann, curator and member of Fundación Botín’s Art Advisory Committee.
*This youiiyou is enacted by: Ali Salmon, Christoph Enzel, Descha Daemgen, Ignacio Monterrubio, Jeanette Hänseroth, Julia Zac, Katharina Meves, Liz Kinoshita, Louise Hojer, Montse Gardó, Nestor Garcia Diaz, Petr Hastík, Sandhya Daemgen, Vera Pulido and Zuriñe Benavente.
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NOTES TO EDITOR
Centro Botín, Muelle de Albareda s/n, Jardines de Pereda, 39004 Santander, Spain
Opening Times: Tuesday to Friday, 10am to 2pm and 4pm to 8pm. Weekends and holidays, 10am to 8pm.
General admission: €8 (€9 box office). Concession €4(€5 box office)
Free Entrance: 18 May (Museum Day) & 12 October (Hispanic Day)
About Tino Sehgal
Tino Sehgal (born London, 1976) is of German and Indian descent and based in Berlin. He has exhibited extensively worldwide. Among his institutional exhibitions are: Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand; Fondation Beyeler, Basel; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Nationalgalerie, Berlin; Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; Tate Turbine Hall, London; Ullens Center Beijing; Pinacoteca, Sao Paulo; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum für Moderne Kunst (MMK), Frankfurt. In 2013 Tino Sehgal was awarded the Golden Lion at the 55th Venice Biennale.
About Udo Kittelmann
Udo Kittelmann has been an independent curator and member of the Botín Foundation’s Visual Arts Advisory Commission since 2011. From 1994 to 2001 he was director of the Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, and from 2002 to 2008 was director of the Museum für Moderne Kunst (MMK) Frankfurt. From 2008 to 2020 he was the director of the Nationalgalerie, State Museums of Berlin, responsible for the Alte Nationalgalerie, Neue Nationalgalerie, Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berggruen Museum, and Museum Scharf-Gerstenberg In 2001 he was curator of the German Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, awarded the Golden Lion, and in 2013 curated the Russian Pavilion. His recent projects include exhibitions at the Fondazione Prada in Venice, Milan and Shanghai, Fondation Beyeler in Basel, Museum Frieder Burda in Baden-Baden and the Langen Foundation in Düsseldorf.
About Centro Botín
Set in the heart of Santander, Centro Botín opened its doors to the public in 2017. Designed by the renowned architect Renzo Piano, it is the most ambitious project of the Fundación Botín to date and is one of the leading international arts centres. It presents an outstanding, experimental and inspiring programme of exhibitions, publications and public activities that, alongside it´s collection, respond to and ignite contemporary debates within the fields of art and culture while awakening audiences’ creativity. Centro Botín is a place of encounter, situated in a unique enclave in the heart of the city and overlooking the bay, it has become a cornerstone in the cultural arc of the Cantabrian Coast. Its mission is to create a greater understanding of art and foster its power to stimulate and develop creativity and emotional intelligence. Fundación Botín aims to bring social and economic strength to the communities it supports, with Centro Botín making a major contribution to helping promote Santander and the wider region on both the national and international stage.
Since its opening in 2017, it has staged a programme of historical and contemporary exhibitions including Agility and Audacity; Goya´s Drawings; Picasso Ibero; Joan Miró: sculptures, Julie Merethu: A Universal History of everything and nothing; Carsten Holler: Y; Anri Sala: As you go; Martin Creed: Amigos; Ellen Gallagher with Edgar Cleijne: A Law… a blueprint … a scale; Damián Ortega: Expanded View: Roni Horn: I am Paralysed with Hope and Eva Fabregas: Enredos.