Anna Moreno (Barcelona, 1984) is a Spanish artist currently based in The Netherlands. Anna Moreno’s artistic practice researches on how ideology is embedded in our behaviour, what does it mean to make a decision and in which way are we determined by beliefs. Addressing topics such as the labor conditions in culture and the value of art in the social sphere, her projects emerge from complex negotiations with collaborators and span through different disciplines. She researches the performative in lectures, events, video or installations, often as chapters of longer iterations.
Anna will be residing at HIAP during the month of February, working towards the completion of a new work, which she will then set up at HIAP’s Project Space. She is currently investigating art as a form of soft power by delving into more accepted forms of soft power such as sports and the control of leisure. This new work departs from An Awkward Game, a project she realized last summer in The Hague, which borrowed a historical event called the ping-pong diplomacy: British aristocrat Ivor Montagu set the rules of table tennis in the 30s, as he believed it could help spread Communism over the world. He later became a Soviet spy, befriending Trotsky, Chaplin and producing Hitchcock’s early films. When Mao established the game as China’s national sport it became a vital cog in his foreign policy, reaching its peak with the reestablishment of US- China relations through the exchange of table tennis players in 1971.
Similarly, her project at HIAP will focus in seduction techniques in diplomacy, inspired by another historical event: When Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev came to Finland for (the then President) Urho Kekkonen’s 60th birthday, the two stayed in the sauna until 5 o’clock in the morning. As Finland’s then-Secretary of State Pertti Torstila recounted: “At the end of the visit a communiqué was issued in which the Soviet government expressed its preparedness to support Finland’s desire to integrate and cooperate with the West.”
The work that Anna will develop at HIAP consists of three semi-public events and a final public presentation. Each event will present a display as a kind of chapter or scenario, to be activated by invited guests. Different professionals will be involved in the construction of these displays, adding notions like authority, authorship and honesty to the project. Each display will be set in a different timeframe: From the 70s to the beginning of the 20th century, to a future post-apocalyptic reality, each display will be borrowing aspects from functionalist design, Ballardian futurism and misplaced foundational myths.
Anna Moreno’s HIAP residency has been supported by Stroom Den Haag.