The Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO) is proud to present Being in the World: Selections from the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection, an exhibition curated by Berta Sichel on view from December 2, 2009 to March 07, 2010, coinciding with Art Basel Miami Beach (Dec. 2-6 2009).

Being in the World: Selections from the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection is freely framed by the idea of situation as it was developed by French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre. Sartre’s situation, or being in the world, includes an individual’s place-or current circumstance-and that person’s memory, which is a closed circuit providing a background view. The way an individual understands his/her position in the world is a product of past and present circumstances, which include people, close friends and acquaintances as well as strangers who pass unnoticed.

The exhibition proposes this as a useful model for understanding recent artworks which struggle with the individual in a changing world. Being in the World includes 7 artists whose works were selected from the 63 media-based works in the collection. It features works by leading artists Chantal Akerman, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Muntean/Rosenblum, Robin Rhode, Shirin Neshat, Bill Viola, and Francesca Woodman.

The works in Being in the World: Selection from the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection, might also be closest to Sartre’s notion of the difference between life and art, since for Sartre art only belongs to us if it restores ambiguity and sometimes a brutal freshness to actual events. In one way or another, the works selected all tell stories, and for Sartre to tell a story when we don’t know the outcome creates illusion. Some of these stories are close to reality, others drawn from imagination, but all have uncertain outcomes. All describe situations, ways of being in world. Together they transmit the freedom of art, the freedom of choice-the only freedom Sartre recognized. That is their intrinsic value.

About CIFO

The Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 2002 by Ella Fontanals-Cisneros and her family to foster cultural and educational exchange within the visual arts. CIFO has three primary initiatives:

– CIFO Art Space – a permanent venue for the presentation of engaging and provocative contemporary art exhibitions highlighting works from the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection, works by its grantees and commissioned artists, and experimental, challenging art programs;

– Grants and Commissions Programs supporting emerging and mid-career contemporary artists from Latin America;

– Foundation-initiated support for other arts and culture projects.

About the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection

Ella Fontanals-Cisneros began collecting art in the 1970s, and today her collection includes important Geometric Abstract works from Latin America including pieces by Gego, Jesús Rafael Soto, Alejandro Otero, and Segio Camargo among others. It also includes cutting-edge pieces by some of the leading contemporary artists of our time. Collection highlights include photography by Barbara Kruger, Vik Muniz, and Thomas Struth; and installations by Julian Rosefeldt, Olafur Eliasson, and Ai Weiwei.