The number of tourists pouring into Amsterdam increases steadily every year. Obviously Madame Tussauds, the Anne Frank House and—of course—the red light district are popular destinations, but in the last decade or so museums have become a serious pull-factor. Number one on the list is the Rijksmuseum, welcoming more than 2.4 million visitors in 2014 and on track to break that record this year. For the exhibition Late Rembrandt alone half a million tickets were sold.
Besides happy faces... [more]
The small Dutch city of Utrecht is receiving worldwide attention this weekend as its charming canals and cobbled corridors play host to Le Grand Départ: the launch of the Tour de France, which hits the road on Saturday.
As with any major sporting event, the rights to host Le Grand Départ are as much rights to major commercial and tourism opportunities as they are to the Majesty of Sport. Naturally, Tour merch abounds and nearly every shop in town has a decorated Peugeot racer, sleek... [more]
Roughly one sixth of the Netherlands was once covered by water and has over the centuries been reclaimed with dikes and windmills. The latest addition to this growing mass of new land is the so-called Centrumeiland (Center Island), a slender strip attached to Haveneiland (Harbor Island) of Amsterdam's new IJburg housing estate. Some 800,000 cubic meters of sand were deposited, layer upon layer, to create space for much needed homes to accommodate the city's rapidly increasing population. Construct... [more]
In early 2012 Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós challenged filmmakers to create videos for their album Valtari. Photographer Ryan McGinley chose the song “Varúð,” an eight-minute dream narrated by a raspy head voice over an unsteady piano and transparent strings. In his video a barefoot girl in a glittery gold wig and a washed-out blue nightie skips through the streets of New York City in slow motion. She passes trucks, taxicabs, construction workers, and business men, m... [more]
When Dries Verhoeven decided to put himself—and all his Grindr dating app interactions—on public display in real time in Berlin last fall, he had no idea the sort of community outrage he’d be met with.
Now the Dutch artist’s controversial performance Wanna Play? Love in Times of Grindr is back—with edits—after its Berlin debut was shut down 5 days into a 15-day run last October.
For the duration of the performance (10 days in its current iteration) Verhoeven lives... [more]
In the fall of 1987 John Knoll and his girlfriend Jennifer flew to Tahiti. For months they’d been working on the computer graphics of the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit and they needed a well-earned rest. It was at the pristine Bora-Bora beach that Knoll took a photograph which in the decades ahead became an icon of international geekdom: Jennifer, seen from the back, sitting topless on the white sand with the almost fluorescent blue ocean as backdrop. The picture would have remained just an... [more]
First comes a wave of chlorophyll: a fresh and forward odor, the smell of tender green. Then, when the first vapors thin in the air and the nose digs deeper, the wood follows. It’s darker, heavier, earthier—soothing and more serious after the initial playfulness.
The French have Yves Saint-Laurent’s eau de toilette, Paris, in its compact pink bottle. New York is well taken care of with Bond 9 having designed a different smell for every borough—and I’m not even mentioning Donna Karan&r... [more]
The capitalist economy is sexist: women earn less than men for doing the same job and the glass ceiling prevents them from ever reaching the top. Mainstream media are biased against LGBTs and propagate heterosexuality as the norm. It’s usually systems that are accused of being skewed against minorities, and usually on just grounds. But Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin take it one step further. The artist duo echoes French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard who, when shooting a film in Mozambique... [more]
As Caroline Picard pointed out earlier this year on ArtSlant, we’ve been living in the anthropocene our whole lives, but never before have we talked quite so much about it.
Despite all the “age of man” chatter, “images of the anthropocene are missing,” argues one of two articles explicitly addressing the anthropocene in the latest e-flux journal. Irmgard Emmelhainz’s “Conditions of Visuality Under the Anthropocene and Images of the Anthropocene to Come” argues that the anthropocene “announces its own extinction... [more]
When passing the ticket booth at the Cobra Museum everything seems business as usual: white walls with informative texts in an inoffensive font, the bold colors associated with the art movement's practioners Appel, Constant, Corneille, and Alechinsky visible from afar. But brace yourself and turn the corner. Entering Brutal Vitality is like receiving shock treatment—the sudden visual overload had me gasping for breath. Multi-colored bricks, blown-up black and white photographs, a bicycle, raggedy c... [more]
Rotterdam’s Van Nellefabriek—once a factory for processing coffee, tea, and tobacco—is one of the Netherlands’ most impressive modernist monuments. This concrete and steel colossus, with its imposing glass façade, was progressive in its use of light, air, and space, and in its attention to working conditions. Art Rotterdam moved to this UNESCO World Heritage Site and event complex in 2014. This year, the fair’s 16th edition does justice to the site’s legacy of... [more]
DordtYart is not part of Art Rotterdam’s Intersections program—and with good reason. DordtYart could never be squeezed into the box labeled “artists’ initiative or non-profit space.” The organization from Dordrecht does stage exhibitions, which are often enriched with lectures and guided tours, but it does a lot more: it functions as an artists’ residency, a community workplace, a mirror for local history, an educational center, and a laboratory for crossbreed... [more]
Art loving Angelenos, in advance of the busy weekend ahead of you, ArtSlant L.A. correspondent Chelsea Rector has prepared a tweetable index for your perusal. Consider it a micro-guide to L.A. fairs and art events. Or, better still, for the armchair tweeter, a copy 'n' paste, one-click template for socially mediating your week's art travels. Because wouldn't you rather be buying some art, reading some zines, or partying in the mountains than staring at your cell phone?
By way of introduction... [more]
Last year at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, a Tiger Award for Short Films was won by Sebastian Buerkner, alumnus of the Chelsea College of Art and Design. In 2013, all three Tiger Awards in this category went to artists: Beatrice Gibson, Erik van Lieshout and Zachary Formwalt. And it could happen again this year. Twelve out of the sixteen eligible films carry the “art” label.
When the IFFR shorts program started some ten years ago, the organization deliberately choose to foc... [more]
When Lotte Geeven released two floating robots into opposite sides of the Atlantic last fall, she questioned the probability of them meeting within such a tremendous space and hoped to learn about the ocean by following their paths. “The moment the two robots touch the water,” she wrote, “the project's outcome is entirely ruled by the forces of nature.”
Four months into the project, what she’s learned instead, and perhaps knew all along, is that oceans will do what they want... [more]
In the film After Life (1998) by Kore-eda Hirokazu the recently deceased end up on a minimalist film set. In this purgatory they discuss and improvise with their fellow travelers until they have decided on the ultimately defining moment of their lives. They re-enact it and then pass over to whatever paradise or nothingness may be waiting for them. One by one the dead come to terms with what they’ve left behind. Except for one, who can’t decide.
That guy could have been Nobuyoshi Ar... [more]