In partnership with Le Prix Marcel Duchamp
20 September 2018 – 31 March 2019
Gallery 2, Free Entry
30 August 2018 – Hundreds of children have devoured a Whitechapel Gallery exhibition for the second time in the institution’s history. In 1973 an enticing exhibition featuring hundreds of types of sweets was staged to celebrate the UK’s entry to the European Common Market. It was brought to an abrupt end when it was unexpectedly eaten by local schoolchildren. This year the extraordinary event is recreated against a background of Britain’s impending departure from the European Union in 2019.
Whitechapel Gallery is pleased to present Sweet Feast, a new commission by artist Ulla von Brandenburg (b. 1974, Germany) in partnership with Le Prix Marcel Duchamp, following her nomination in 2016 for this prestigious annual award. Sweet Feast features a new film screened for six months in the ground floor gallery. Visitors of all ages are invited to take a seat and watch on a large, colourful structure designed by the artist.
The historic exhibition Sweets was Whitechapel Gallery’s contribution to the ‘Fanfare for Europe’ celebrations. The irresistible display of confectionary from European Common Market members included Belgian chocolate coins, French lollipops shaped as the Eiffel Tower, gummy mice from Germany, coffee-flavoured Hopjes from Holland, Italian marzipan fruits, salty licorice from Denmark, Irish mints and toffee from Yorkshire. According to archive records on 28 January 1973, the last day of the exhibition, 500 children visited to learn about sweets as popular art. The children were invited to sample specially selected candies donated by some of the manufacturers. In their enthusiasm, they overwhelmed the only guard on duty and devoured all the displays.
Ulla von Brandenburg recorded a re-staging of this curious incident, working with the participation of children from local primary school Arnhem Wharf. The film includes a song co-written by the children and artist. Shot in the same location as the historic exhibition, it features a set accurately recreated based on photographs held in the Whitechapel Gallery’s archive.
Ulla von Brandenburg lives and works in Paris. She was nominated for Le Prix Marcel Duchamp in 2016, reflecting her work as one of the most innovative contemporary artists in France. Her multifaceted practice encompasses a combination of film, installation, performance and drawing. Renowned for a body of work drawing on theatre and performance to explore complex social issues, von Brandenburg explores the dynamics between the individual and the group in this work. Sweet Feast is informed by the context of the original exhibition, staged at a time when new educational methods considering children as individuals emerged and against a political backdrop of anti-establishment movements, struggles for freedom and civil rights. It also considers opportunities for the next generation, during a period dominated by conversations about the future impact of Brexit.
Notes to Editors
About Ulla von Brandenburg
Ulla von Brandenburg (b. 1974, Karlsruhe Germany) has a multifaceted practice that is realised through a combination of black & white film, installation, performance, drawing, and painting. She lives and works in Paris.
Recent major solo exhibitions have been presented at such venues as in Jenisch Museum, Vevey (2017), Pérez Art Museum Miami, Miami (2016); Power Plant, Toronto (2016); Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich (2016); ACCA, Melbourne (2016); Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, St. Louis (2015); MAMCO, Geneva (2014); Kunstverein Hannover, Hannover (2014); Kunsthaus Hamburg, Hamburg (2013); Kunsthalle Hamburg, Hamburg (2013); The Common Guild, Glasgow (2011); Chisenhale Gallery, London (2009); Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2008).
Significant group exhibitions have been presented at: Centre Pompidou, Paris (2016); Performa 15, New York (2015); Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris (2015); MAMCO, Geneva (2015); CAC, Vilnius (2014); 19th Biennale of Sydney, Sydney (2014); Witte de With, Rotterdam (2014); The Power Plant, Toronto (2012); Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankurt (2011); Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit (2010); Tate Modern, London (2007).
In 2016 von Brandenburg was nominated for the Le Prix Marcel Duchamp. Previously she has been awarded the Finkenwerder Art Prize (2013); shortlisted for Daniel and Florence Guerlain Contemporary Art Foundation’s 2013 Drawing Prize (2013); Kunstpreis der Boettcherstrasse, Kunsthalle Bremen (2007); Cité des Arts, Paris (2007); Arbeitsstipendium Jürgen-Ponto-Stiftung (2006); Reisestipendium, Verein für Neue Kunst in Hamburg (2005); Stipendium Künstlerstätte Schloss Bleckede (2005); Begabtenstipendium der Dietzte-Stiftung (2003).
About Whitechapel Gallery
For over a century the Whitechapel Gallery has premiered world class artists from modern masters such as Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Frida Kahlo to contemporaries such as Sophie Calle, Lucian Freud, Gilbert & George and Mark Wallinger. With beautiful galleries, exhibitions, artist commissions, collection displays, historic archives, education resources, inspiring art courses, dining room and bookshop, the Gallery is open all year round, so there is always something free to see. It is a touchstone for contemporary art internationally, plays a central role in London’s cultural landscape and is pivotal to the continued growth of the world’s most vibrant contemporary art quarter.
About Association for the International Diffusion of French Art (ADIAF)
Presided over by Gilles Fuchs, the ADIAF (Association for the International diffusion of French Art) groups together 400 collectors of French contemporary art all firmly committed to the adventure of creation. Sponsored by art patron-businesses, the ADIAF has set itself the task of spotlighting the creative energy of the French scene at the beginning of the 21st century and helping to raise its international profile.
Created in 2000 by the ADIAF and organized from the outset in partnership with the Centre Pompidou, Le Prix Marcel Duchamp intends to bring together the most innovative artists and confront all of the artistic forms. Each year, it honours one winner from among four French artists or artists residing in France working in the field of the plastic and visual arts: installation, video, painting, photography and sculpture.
The four artists nominated for each edition are chosen by the ADIAF’s collectors’ committee, passionate actors in the art world, which is what gives this prize its own unique character.
The “selection of artists” is then submitted to an international jury uniting a group of experts considered to be leading authorities in the contemporary art world: curators of major institutions, French and foreign collectors – tasked with choosing the winner to whom the ADIAF offers a financial endowment of 35 000 €. The selection committee and jury are renewed each year.
Previous winners of Le Pirx Marcel Duchamp are Thomas Hirschhorn (2000), Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster (2002), Mathieu Mercier (2003), Carole Benzaken (2004), Claude Closky (2005), Philippe Mayaux (2006), Tatiana Trouvé (2007), Laurent Grasso (2008), Saâdane Afif (2009), Cyprien Gaillard (2010), Mircea Cantor (2011), Daniel Dewar & Grégory Gicquel (2012), Latifa Echakhch (2013), Julien Prévieux (2014), Melik Ohanian (2015), Kader Attia (2016), Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige (2017)
Exhibition generously supported by:
The Whitechapel Gallery Commissioning Council: Erin Bell, Leili Huth, Irene Panagopoulos, Catherine Petitgas, Mariela Pissioti, Alex Sainsbury
With support from:
Fluxus Art Projects
In collaboration with:
With thanks to:
Arnhem Wharf Primary School
Konditor & Cook
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