ArtSlant - Contemporary Art Network http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/show en-us 40 Melting Machismo: Nadia Kaabi-Linke's <em>Fahrenheit 311</em> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Medically speaking, at precisely 311 degrees Fahrenheit, testosterone, the male sex hormone, begins to melt. With her second solo show at </span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://www.lawrieshabibi.com" target="_blank">Lawrie Shabibi</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> in Dubai, </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Fahrenheit 311: Seven Legends of Machismo,&nbsp;</em><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://www.nadiakaabilinke.com" target="_blank">Nadia Kaabi-Linke</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> presents eight place-centred works that each conduct an autopsy on masculine qualities and myths&mdash;from war and glory to violence and heroism. The seven deadly sins run in parallel. In case you need a </span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">re-cap of&nbsp;<em>Dante&rsquo;s Inferno</em>, these are lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150330105344-Nadia_Kaabi-Linke._FAHRENHEIT_311_Installation_view._From_left_-_right._Hardballs__Bangballs__Grindballs__A_Short_Story_of_Salt_and_Sun___Perspecive_Bank_Junction._Courtesy_Lawrie_Shabibi.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Nadia Kaabi-Linke,&nbsp;<em>FAHRENHEIT 311</em> Installation view. From left - right. <em>Hardballs, Bangballs, Grindballs, A Short Story of Salt</em> and <em>Sun &amp; Perspecive Bank Junction</em>. Courtesy Lawrie Shabibi&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Kaabi-Linke has a practiced knack for making the ugly shamefully beautiful, and this has never been more evident then with <em>Impunities London Originals</em>&mdash;a series of pretty smudges and creases on paper quietly installed along the gallery&rsquo;s rear wall. As there is no accompanying wall text, it&rsquo;s possible to casually view these without understanding that they are actually prints documenting the male-inflicted injuries that sent women to a domestic abuse shelter. With knowledge comes the guilty shock at what one is actually admiring.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150330082842-Nadia_Kaabi-Linke._Impunities_London_Originals._2012._Black_powder_on_transparent_film_on_paper._19_x_25_cm._Courtesy_Lawrie_Shabibi_and_the_artist..jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Nadia Kaabi-Linke. <em>Impunities London Originals,</em> 2012, Black powder on transparent film on paper. 19 x 25 cm. Courtesy Lawrie Shabibi and the artist&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In <em>Tunisian Americans</em>, 400 tiny glass bottles intended to contain <em>kohl</em> (the ground mineral stibnite traditionally used to outline women&rsquo;s eyes in the Middle East), have been clinically numbered and filled with soil from the graves of fallen American soldiers buried in a U.S. military graveyard in Kaabi-Linke&rsquo;s native Tunisia. The soldiers&rsquo; dog tag numbers correspond to the identifications on their actual graves, which have each been compartmentalized here in an antique typesetting tray. Beyond the number, each life, battle, and loss are ultimately equal and indistinguishable.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150330083511-Nadia_Kaabi-Linke._Tunisian_Americans._Detail._2012._Wood__cork_and_soil_in_four_panels._137_x_157_cm._Courtesy_Lawrie_Shabibi_and_the_artist..jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Nadia Kaabi-Linke. <em>Tunisian Americans</em>&nbsp;(detail), 2012, Wood, cork and soil in four panels, 137 x 157 cm. Courtesy Lawrie Shabibi and the artist&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">It&rsquo;s impossible to visit the show without being drawn like a believer on a pilgrimage towards <em>Altarpiece</em>, a gold leaf triptych that references a church&rsquo;s iconography. The surface of the work is in the form of three imprints that have been taken from a Berlin bunker that still bears the battle scars of World War II, has survived various incarnations, and presently houses the <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ber/articles/show/40400" target="_blank">Boros Collection</a>. The doors to the icon can be closed with a creak and seem to question whether history and man&rsquo;s errors can ever be fully concealed.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150330084945-Nadia_Kaabi-Linke._Altarpiece.2015._Transfer_print_and_acrylic_on_paper_on_canvas__wood_and_24_k_gold_leaf._250_x_450.4_x_6.3_cm._Courtesy_Lawrie_Shabibi_and_the_artist..jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Nadia Kaabi-Linke,&nbsp;<em>Altarpiece,&nbsp;</em>2015,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Transfer print and acrylic on paper on canvas, wood and 24 k gold leaf. Courtesy Lawrie Shabibi and the artist</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">It&rsquo;s not entirely clear exactly who Kaabi-Linke considers to be in power. In a show that focuses so wholly on male behavior and vice, it is thinkable to charge her with presenting a counter-myth of females as passive, sexual objects manipulated by male aggressors and structures. On the other hand, as <em>Grindballs, Hardballs, and Bangballs</em>&nbsp;bluntly suggests, it is also possible to view the show as the artist&rsquo;s commentary on the ways society&rsquo;s boxes and expectations crush and dominate male potency.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/409513-danna-lorch?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Danna Lorch</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at the top:&nbsp;Nadia Kaabi-Linke,&nbsp;<em>Altarpiece,&nbsp;</em>2015. Transfer prints on paper on canvas, wood and gold. 250 x 450 cm. Courtesy Lawrie Shabibi and the artist)</span></p> Mon, 30 Mar 2015 16:11:41 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list Made-Up with Danny Volk: S1E8 with Pope.L <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Danny Volk talks to artists in their studios about life and art&mdash;while they do his make-up. This concept was a new one for us, and, unsurprisingly, it produces some unique moments: see artists like Theaster Gates, Pope.L, and Jessica Stockholder working in their studios as you've never seen them before.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Revisit Season 1 as we anticipate the all-new Made-Up Season 2, to be released this Spring on ArtSlant.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">This week: Pope.L puts on his best Dick Cheney face to do Danny's make up.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Expect gratuitous swear words mixed with </span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">a serious heart-to-heart about the masks we all wear.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;<br /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/SrPegO3XOBU" frameborder="0" width="560" height="315"></iframe></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="float: right;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20150129205110-10299099_219201961624218_7214582499433800077_n.jpg" alt="" width="150" /></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>More About Made-Up With Danny Volk&nbsp;</strong></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Made-Up is created and hosted by Danny Volk.&nbsp;Volk was born in 1979 in Akron, OH and currently lives and works in Chicago, IL. Volk got his MFA in Visual Art from the University of Chicago in 2014, and his BA in Theater Studies at Kent State University in 2006.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Produced by | Danny Volk and Stephanie Anne Harris Trevor</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Cameras | Bryce Peppers,&nbsp;Valia&nbsp;O'Donnell</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Technical consultant | Ben Chandler</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">"Comic Strip" by Serge&nbsp;Gainsbourg&nbsp;remixed by&nbsp;<a href="https://soundcloud.com/flashcookie">DJ&nbsp;Flashcookie</a></span></p> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 13:49:26 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list Performing Tables <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://lauraletinsky.com/" target="_blank">Laura Letinsky </a>photographs material debris left behind on tabletops. Orange peels, breadcrumbs, partially consumed cakes, wine stains, or sometimes a more theatrical octopus spread out in evocative, transitory constellations. At any moment one imagines a figure will enter the picture frame, destroying the aesthetic confluence in an effort to wipe the table down and deposit all captured remnants in a trashcan. This is partly what&rsquo;s so compelling about these photographs: framed by the camera these typically overlooked bits and pieces reveal a vibrant material presence. Mesmerized by the drama of such enigmatic remains, the table&mdash;a framing device as fundamental as the camera&mdash;is all but forgotten.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150326100138-54Cantalope_web.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Laura Letinsky,&nbsp;<em>Untitled #54</em>&nbsp;from the series <em>Hardly More Than Ever</em>, 2002. &copy; Laura Letinsky</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">For good reason, too. The table is banal and ubiquitous. It comes in many shapes, sizes, and ages, functioning primarily as a stage for human engagement: the dining room table, the desk, the conference table. Always the table is a surface upon which other things happen; the drama it platforms outshines its own constant yet peripheral character. Still we must ask: How does it behave? Can it be interrogated? Is it, for example, a &ldquo;<a href="https://muse.jhu.edu/journals/the_drama_review/v043/43.3bell01.html" target="_blank">performing object</a>&rdquo;&mdash;a phrase Frank Proschan uses to define puppets and masks: &ldquo;material images of humans, animals, or spirits that are created, displayed or manipulated in narrative or dramatic performance&rdquo;? <a title="" href="#_ftn1">[1]</a> Although Letinsky&rsquo;s table consistently supports a material narrative upon which we might project our human selves, the stage of that interaction resists anthropomorphic sentiment. The table is an architectural convenience. It retains an alien thing-ness, even while fulfilling a consistent function within human activity.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150325113317-4ZbFx_EDp7gzeBb-UCYpJpP91AXVJ4RNUVcVVd3Z-tg.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Fo Wilson,&nbsp;<em>Brul&eacute;e Tables</em>,&nbsp;2005.&nbsp;Mahogany, steel and pheasant feathers. Photo courtesy of artist</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artpractical.com/column/fo_wilson/" target="_blank">Fo Wilson&rsquo;s</a> multimedia practice includes furniture making and design. In relation to her interactive sculpture&nbsp;<em><a href="http://fowilson.com/artwork/726855_Come_on_chair.html" target="_blank">Come On (Chair)</a>&nbsp;</em>(2005)&nbsp;Wilson notes:</span></p> <blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left; padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Furniture is often a silent partner in the experience of social interaction. We think of chairs, tables, lights, etc., as functional and serviceable objects that help us navigate and embody physical and social space. What if a furniture form itself were to play a more active role in our social interactions? What if its role in the social order were more present and participatory?</span></p> </blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Wilson is attentive to the signification of craft: the way certain styles in woodworking affiliate the final object to historical, socio-economic narratives. In <em><a href="http://fowilson.com/artwork/702197_Pheasant_Brul_e.html" target="_blank">Pheasant Brul&eacute;e</a>&nbsp;</em>(2003) pheasant feathers stick out of a tabletop like elaborate quills; the presence of this additional texture&mdash;so fibrous in comparison to the otherwise smooth exterior&mdash;draws viewers into new interactions. One wants to touch the feathers. In <a href="http://fowilson.com/artwork/702203_Brul_e_Tables.html" target="_blank"><em>Brul&eacute;e Tables</em></a> (2005), the rather modern tabletop has a separable feather box component that can be placed in one&rsquo;s lap like a pet. Through these playful modifications, Wilson emphasizes the structures we take for granted, highlighting the hierarchical patterns furniture can reinforce in human behavior.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150325113841-20150126_211351.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: normal;">Ira S. Murfin, Aaron Kahn, and Guest Artist (Mark Booth),<em>&nbsp;Our Theatrical Future: A Talk Duet Between Hong Kong and Chicago (Re-Performed),&nbsp;</em>2015,<br />Performance still, Rhino Festival, Chicago. Photo courtesy of the artist</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://requitedjournal.com/index.php?/soundlanguage/ira-murfin/" target="_blank">Ira S. Murfin</a> has made a study of &ldquo;talk&rdquo; performances, many of which begin at the table. Using performance artists like <a href="http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/people/columns/intelligencer/n_10066/" target="_blank">Spalding Gray</a> as precedents, Murfin highlights the table as an anti-spectacular, and anti-dramatic stage. In a recent collaborative performance <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/curious-theatre-branch-rhinofest-fringe-theater-festival/Content?oid=16263051" target="_blank">that debuted at The Rhino Festival</a>, <em>Our Theatrical Future: A Talk Duet Between Hong Kong and Chicago (Re-Performed)</em>, everything takes place at a table for two. The hour-long performance involves two speakers: Murfin as himself and a Guest Artist reading the part of Aaron Kahn. The Guest Artist does not read his or her part in advance, but is given the script via a stack of note cards at the beginning of the performance. The Guest Artist then reads the cards out loud, thereby reenacting Kahn&rsquo;s part of a previous Skype conversation with Murfin that has since been edited and transcribed.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Murfin and Kahn attended high school together in Chicago where they organized, created, acted, and produced their first theatrical endeavors. Twenty years have since passed; the friendship has waxed, waned, and thickened. Murfin has remained in Chicago; Kahn moved to Hong Kong where he is a yoga instructor. During the performance, the friends retrace the steps of their pasts; old plays materialize in the conversation like half-consumed materials. Kahn suspects the first ideas he ever had were the best ideas he ever will have. Murfin confesses he must stop letting his imagined potential self get in the way of the self he really is. A triangle emerges between Murfin, the virtual disembodied voice of Kahn, and Kahn&rsquo;s flesh and blood mouthpiece, the Guest Artist, who imbues the script with his or her own idiosyncratic tendencies. The table makes this happen, setting a stage then swiftly disappearing. Somehow the ensuing dialogue exists in parallel to Letinsky&rsquo;s material remains, tracing the outline of a friendship over time.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150325112635-Screen_Shot_2015-03-25_at_12.26.10_PM.png" alt="" width="600" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Kelly Kaczynski,&nbsp;<em>Tilted (Twinned) Stages,&nbsp;</em>2013. Installation view, Soap Factory, Minneapolis. Photo courtesy of artist</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In one iteration of Murfin&rsquo;s performance that I helped organize, the Guest Artist was&nbsp;<a href="http://kellykaczynski.com/" target="_blank">Kelly Kaczynski</a>, who makes platforms in her own artistic practice. Her massive bare wooden stages consume entire rooms, sometimes&mdash;as with <em><a href="http://kellykaczynski.com/tilted.html" target="_blank">Tilted (Twinned)</a>&nbsp;</em>(2013)&mdash;set up at angles, so as to remain physically imposing while nevertheless unusable; audience members can neither see the entire stage, nor can they climb on it. Kaczynski describes these stages as fields of infinite potential: any narrative can take place on a stage.&nbsp;Tables possess a parallel potential: anything can be conceived on a table, but disrupt it as platform and it becomes an object with tentacles. Kaczynski <a href="http://temporaryartreview.com/yes-or-as-if-a-conversation-with-kelly-kaczynski/" target="_blank">began to work with the green screen as well</a>&mdash;a site she recognizes as another kind of stage&mdash;a virtual platform that can become anything. Unlike a stage, however, the green screen is only two dimensions, and fully disappears into its subject. Does this make it an ideal stage? Or does it suddenly become trickier precisely because the artifice of the stage-as-device is all the more invisible?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150325113054-unnamed.png" alt="" width="600" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Kelly Kaczynski,&nbsp;<em>Study for Convergence Performance (ice)</em>,&nbsp;Still from video , 2012, video 45:16 looped.&nbsp;Photo courtesy of artist</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">More recently, (as with the series <a href="http://www2.mcachicago.org/exhibition/bmo-harris-bank-chicago-works-laura-letinsky/" target="_blank"><em>Ill Form and Void Full</em></a>) Letinsky&rsquo;s photographs move away from capturing exclusively &ldquo;real&rdquo; material, and instead feature a blend of two-dimensional collaged cut out images from lifestyle magazines&mdash;pictures of peach slices or silver spoons for instance. The table has flattened as well, and is often represented simply by creased sheets of paper. In these images the embodied material mashes up with the represented material, sharing an unsettled space. There is something parallel in Murfin&rsquo;s performance, where members of the audience experience a &ldquo;real&rdquo; conversation between friends (in virtual space) as reenacted by a guest in &ldquo;real&rdquo; space. The position between authenticity and performance becomes especially slippery. The original &ldquo;friend&rdquo;&mdash;Aaron Kahn&mdash;becomes a two-dimensional character, through which the Guest Artist emerges.</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><br /></span></p> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="color: #000000;">In 2012, Graham Harman published an essay,&nbsp;<a href="http://d13.documenta.de/#publications/?tx_publications_pi1%5Bdetails%5D=273&amp;cHash=eb25838e694df4c7732dc4075fc43b29" target="_blank"><em>The Third Table&nbsp;</em>as part of dOCUMENTA(13</a>). In it, Harman describes<a href="http://viraseres.com/projects/files/map/Harman-ThirdTable-UnderminingObjects-Summary.pdf" target="_blank"> an historic theoretical problem</a>. The real table we experience in everyday life&mdash;the one we bump into, or eat off of, or broadcast the news from&mdash;is different from the physicist's table made up of particles and electrons. "The scientist reduces the table downward to tiny particles invisible to the eye; the humanist reduces it upward to a series of effects on people and other things."<a title="" href="#_ftn2">[2]</a> </span>Harman proposes a third table, and with it a third culture: "perhaps it is the culture of the&nbsp;<em>arts</em>, which do not seem to reduce tables either to quarks and electrons or to table-effects on humans." This third culture explores the ambiguity of these tables, engaging multiple facets of the tables' irreducable nature in one frame. Like Letinsky, Wilson, and Kaczynski, the tables are slippery with emergent properties, reinforcing Harman's notion that "the table is something deeper than any relations in which it might become involved, whether with humans or inanimate objects." In&nbsp;<em>Ill Form and Void Full&nbsp;</em>Letinsky suggests the corner of a table with a sheet of paper. The viewer accepts the simultaneity of this experience&mdash;we see the paper for what it is, while understanding the architectural role it fulfills, embracing the respective associations, material properties, and functional obligations of paper and table at once. Wilson presents an image of a black table with dishes set upon it. Beside this image, she rests on all fours in the same scale, wearing black, with the same dishes set on her back. Kaczynski's platforms emerge and submerge in turns, exposing a dynamic character not typically associated with stable architectural forms. These representations revel in their complexity, sharing a commitment to tables that "exist at a deeper level than all possible transformations, modifications, perturbations, or creations."&nbsp;</span></div> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/155816-caroline-picard?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Caroline Picard</a></span></p> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><br clear="all" /><hr style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;" align="left" size="1" width="33%" /> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref1">[1]</a> Frank Proschan, &ldquo;The Semiotic Study of Puppets, Masks, and Performing Objects,&rdquo; <em>Semiotics</em> 47, 1983, 1-4:3-46.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref2">[2]</a>Graham Harman,<em>&nbsp;The Third Table,&nbsp;</em>Hatje Cantz,&nbsp;2012&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at top: Fo Wilson,&nbsp;<em>Black table,</em>&nbsp;2006, Archival digital print,&nbsp;diptych, 26.6" x 40" (each). Photo courtesy of the artist)</span></p> </div> </div> Thu, 26 Mar 2015 22:37:03 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list Do It Anyway: Platforms of Perseverance in San Francisco <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">From the Gold Rush to the Psychedelic era, through the tech boom and bust of the 1990s, San Francisco has been a mecca for prospectors, freaks and geeks, and mainstream challengers. But the city's hold on such monikers has been challenged lately, with populations touted as the &ldquo;best and brightest&rdquo; flooding in to work for major tech corporations and affecting the cultural landscape. San Francisco is currently in a heightened state of what the Situationists, particularly Guy Debord, referred to as </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">the spectacle</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Shuttled in plush commuter buses, the corporation workers&rsquo; purpose appears to drive the economy by capitalist standards, to feed the economy back into itself with their earned wages. This spectacular system creates a snake eating its own tail, providing a variety of cultural Band-Aids, such as shops, cafes, and bars. These corporate workers are spoon fed attractions and happenings for their &ldquo;work hard, play harder&rdquo; lifestyle, boosted by click-through startups claiming to offer the most fun things to do. As Debord explains, &ldquo;The individual&rsquo;s gestures are no longer his own; they are the gestures of someone else who represents them to him. The spectator does not feel at home anywhere, because the spectacle is everywhere.&rdquo; </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In this setting, artists and galleries continue to&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">struggle</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;financially because they are not necessarily benefitting from the type of economy or audiences that the spectacle brings.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Instead, unusual spaces&mdash;ranging from tiny peepholes to bathrooms to national parks&mdash;become platforms for exhibitions that serve as places of agitation and perseverance. For example, since 2007 Margaret Tedesco has been exhibiting work in her live/work space in a residential building,</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;known as </span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://projects2ndfloor.blogspot.com/">[2nd&nbsp;floor projects]</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">. Riding out the crash of 2008, she has shown compelling work by emerging and established artists, publishes coinciding chap books&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">by important writers</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;for each show, and participates in major fairs. Despite (or to spite) the spectacle, spaces such as Tedesco&rsquo;s and others Do It Anyway.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150324201012-1._Margaret_platform.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">[2nd floor projects], Installation view of Sahar Khoury and Jaimie Healy, 2014, courtesy of [2nd floor projects]</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">On the last block of 24th&nbsp;Street at the farthest edge of the Mission District, <a href="http://savernackstreet.com/" target="_blank">Savernack Street </a>is a gallery located in the peephole of a storefront door. Conceived and curated by Carrie Katz, the space was opened as a reaction to the segregated climate of traditional white cube gallery dynamics. &ldquo;Being shut out elicits strong emotions. This is the crux of why I created this project,&rdquo; she explains. People arrive to the space for what they understand is an art opening, but they oftentimes react in an angry or disappointed manner because they are not offered the mystique of a pristine gallery. &ldquo;At every opening, the repeated action I see from new people to the space is that they try the doorknob, and the locked door triggers an emotional response: rejection, anger, embarrassment.&rdquo; But once they are clued in to the reality of the situation, they become open to the experience. Because the space has a one-to-one correlation with the size of a human eye, looking through it prompts questions of whether a gallery is simply a place to view. &ldquo;The gallery is looking at the viewer as much as the viewer sees the gallery,&rdquo; Katz notes.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150324201146-2._savernack_platform_exterior.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Savernack Street exterior, 2014, photo by Carrie Katz, Courtesy of Savernack Street</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">While Savernack is a gallery in the guise of a storefront, others are domestic spaces. <a href="http://www.pied-terre.com/" target="_blank">Pied-&agrave;-terre</a>, run by McIntyre Parker, is influenced by non-commercial hardcore music and a DIY mentality of standing behind one&rsquo;s beliefs to make things happen with little or no money. Located in his garage, the installations are only up for a very limited time, emphasizing the temporality of the space&rsquo;s other usage. The space is humble, with a concrete floor and wood beam sides. Also located inside of an unfinished garage is <a href="http://1038projects.tumblr.com/" target="_blank">1038</a>, run by Diego Villalobos, Rene Franco, and Agnes Widbom. As a non-commercial gallery/functioning private residence, the space brings up issues of ownership as well as how artworks can operate as conveyors of space to a public audience. In particular, Benjamin Ashlock&rsquo;s <em>1,038 Machines</em> consisted of a dehumidifier that distilled the humidity in the space into potable water that visitors were invited to drink. &ldquo;Our visitors carried the space inside their bodies, and expelled it out of their system,&rdquo; Villalobos explained. Here, by drinking the space, the viewer becomes an active participant in the dissemination of socioeconomic concerns plaguing the Bay Area.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150324201245-4._jfrede_through_peephole_platform.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">jfrede,&nbsp;<em>Passages</em>, detail of peephole exhibition, 2015, courtesy of Savernack Street</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In comparison, Kirk Stoller&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.c2cprojectspace.com/index.php" target="_blank">c2c space</a> occupies his living room, with an annex bathroom space aptly called c2c/wc. In a sense, visitors are changing the physicality of the bathroom space when they use it for personal bodily functions. &ldquo;The creative process is just as perfunctory as what happens in a bathroom,&rdquo; Stoller muses. The space is lighthearted but the work is serious. The main purpose of c2c is to pair an artist from New York with a San Francisco artist as a means of cultural exchange and making connections. Stoller has a bi-coastal studio practice himself, so his concerns are with how location can influence work that is made.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150324201359-7._c2c_bathroom_platform.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">c2c/wc, Installation view, 2014. Courtesy of c2c project space</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Similarly, Elliott Cost and Andreas Kr&uuml;ger were concerned with questions of site and recently mounted a renegade exhibition called <a href="http://nitro-trail.ca/" target="_blank"><em>Nitro Trail</em> </a>at Point Pinole Regional Shoreline Park at the site of an abandoned building once used to manufacture dynamite by the Giant Powder Company. Mary Hogan installed a sound piece with explosion noises to draw attention to the history of the location. Most of the works were not made to be site specific, however, and as Cost noted, &ldquo;I knew that the space would be overpowering in a way that would not feature the artworks directly.&rdquo; Nevertheless the artists were excited to show in a place specifically out of a commercial context, where their work could be discovered instead of on display. &ldquo;K.r.m Mooney&rsquo;s cast silver plated watercress pods were almost invisible in the environment, and Matt Endler&rsquo;s aluminum dragon&rsquo;s eye would catch the changing light as the day passed,&rdquo; Cost mentioned.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150324201448-8._nitro_trail_installation_platform.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Mario Miron,&nbsp;<em>Cold Cut Wrap</em>, exterior view of <em>Nitro Trail</em> installation, 2015. Courtesy of Elliot Cost</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">There's no denying that the recent tech boom in San Francisco has caused displacement for galleries and artists. And although the inclination to show work outside of a formal white cube is nothing new, the spaces mentioned here are just a few examples of the never-ending desire that people have to make art a platform for discussion, and to bring people together, anywhere at any time. As Debord reminds us: &ldquo;the world already dreams of such a time. In order to actually live it, it only needs to become fully conscious of it.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/1872-leora-lutz?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Leora Lutz</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at the top:&nbsp;Francisco Pinheiro,&nbsp;<em>Five Miles Beyond the Farallon Islands</em>, installation view, 2014, courtesy of 1038 projects)</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> Sun, 29 Mar 2015 16:33:58 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list The Sphinx of Waikiki <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">At its genesis in the final years of the 19th century, the American Empire was more than just a land-based expansion westward. It was a network of islands, an American Archipelago. A hemispheric smear stretching from Puerto Rico through Cuba, out to Hawai'i, Samoa, Guam, and the Philippines, the real challenge for the American center&mdash;like all maritime imperial forces&mdash;consisted first and foremost in ensuring the reliable transmission of political, social, and commercial power over the many nautical miles of the not-yet-airborne world. These transoceanic colonial holdings found themselves arrayed in a new configuration, one that pointed away from the Old World imperialism of the expiring century and towards a new American horizon, where the flows of global commerce and military attention bound the distributed periphery to the continental center in insidious and spectacular ways. For a particular case of archipelagic rule, one need only zoom in to the Hawaiian island chain, further still to the south shores of O&lsquo;ahu, and still closer to an ancient crater with ridges that rise up and crest over the leeward plains. The crater, Diamond Head, is a landform and platform for power that stands as an icon to the intertwined religious, touristic, and military histories of O&lsquo;ahu, Hawai&lsquo;i, and beyond.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150324183028-Screen_Shot_2015-03-24_at_7.30.11_PM.png" alt="" /></span></p> <blockquote> <p class="Body" style="line-height: normal; text-align: left; padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(left) Jules Tavernier, <em>Sunrise Over Diamond Head Crater</em>, 1888, oil on canvas, 10 1/4 by 28 1/8 inches. Collection Hawaii Museum of Art</span><br /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(right) Postcard collection of Doug DeJulio. Postmarked Honolulu, April 15, 1995</span></p> </blockquote> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The story of Diamond Head is the story of the quintessential landmark, where land undergoes the alchemy of turning into an image. Even before its silhouette appeared in the first print ads promoting travel to Hawai&lsquo;i in 1903, the view of the crater&rsquo;s ridgeline was linked to theocratic power. The crater hosted an important complex of <em>heiau</em>, or temples, and served as the backdrop to the royal grounds of Waikiki. Successive invading forces landed their warships on the beaches below Diamond Head&rsquo;s slopes, including Maui war chief Kahekili in the 1780s and later Kamehameha in his successful bid to conquer and unify the islands in the 1790s. The sheer physical presence of the crater, rising as it does so insistently in the middle of the broad flat southern plain, provided an ideal platform for amplifying messages of political and social hierarchy.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150324213841-Diamond_Head_4.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150324213904-Diamond_Head_5.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <blockquote> <p class="Body" style="line-height: normal; text-align: left; padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(above) Herb Kawainui Kane, <em>Kamehameha Conquering Oahu</em>, 2011, oil on canvas. Collection of Royal Hawaiian Hotel</span><br /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(below) Unmarked, undated. Hawai&rsquo;i State Archives&nbsp;</span></p> </blockquote> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The history of Hawai&lsquo;i can be seen through the lens of the crater. As the once sacred stones of the crater&rsquo;s <em>heiau</em> were pulverized to pave the streets of the newly developing tourist center of Waikiki, the image of Diamond Head was being transmitted far and wide across the globe in advertisements, postcards, and written accounts that portrayed the crater and its host island as an exotic, pristine escape. Few put it better than Haunani-Kay Trask when she describes the psychographic space that Hawai&lsquo;i occupied for the daydreamers on the distant American continent: &ldquo;Hawai&lsquo;i is the image of escape from the rawness and violence of daily American life.&rdquo;<a title="" href="#_ftn1">[1]</a>&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150324183807-Screen_Shot_2015-03-24_at_7.37.41_PM.png" alt="" /></span></p> <blockquote> <p class="Body" style="line-height: normal; text-align: left; padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(left) Army souvenir photograph, undated, c. World War II. Hawai&rsquo;i War Records Depository, University of Hawai&rsquo;i</span><br /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(center) Robert Wyland and Steven Power, <em>A Pacific Paradise</em>, 2013, giclee on canvas, 40 x 33 inches, edition of 950</span><br /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(right) Dole Photo, dated 1953. Hawai&rsquo;i State Archives</span></p> </blockquote> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">How ironic, then, that Diamond Head&mdash;the mascot for the paradisiacal, timeless escape from violence&mdash;was at that very moment being fortified and weaponized as a key node in what was known to American military strategists as Fortress O&lsquo;ahu. During the period from 1909 through the beginning of World War II, a tally of the U.S. military&rsquo;s weaponization of the crater shows 34 long-range mortar and artillery installations carved into the slopes and ridges of Diamond Head crater, four high-powered search lights, a command and coordination bunker in the ridge&rsquo;s crest, and a fort of officers&rsquo; quarters, barracks, a machine shop, a shooting range, and a chapel in the crater basin.<a title="" href="#_ftn2">[2]</a></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150324190413-Diamond_Head_9.png" alt="" height="250" /><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150324184053-Diamond_Head_10.gif" alt="" /></span></p> <blockquote> <p class="Body" style="line-height: normal; padding-left: 30px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(left) Leahi Fire Control Station elevation plans. Hawai&rsquo;i Army Museum</span><br /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(right) Animated gif from Getty Images Video, &ldquo;MS DS ZO AERIAL View over people atop Diamond Head mountain on Island of Oahu / Hawaii, United States.&rdquo;</span></p> </blockquote> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Diamond Head&rsquo;s soft volcanic rock made the site ideal for digging out these installations, while its picturesqueness served the useful task of circulating in postcards and ads in an aestheticized and mythologized form. These images ensured its cultural presence not as the land, air, and sea weapon that it was, but as a noble and primordial sentinel guarding the new American holding. The realities of the massive weaponization of Fortress O&lsquo;ahu, which included sophisticated artillery installations, airfields, underground command centers, beach defenses, mobile troop formations, and large supply centers, have always laid underneath the image of paradise Hawai&lsquo;i, have always threatened to puncture, deflate, and destroy the image.</span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" title="" href="#_ftn3">[3]</a></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150324190502-Diamond_Head_11.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <blockquote> <p class="Body" style="line-height: normal; text-align: left; padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: normal;">&ldquo;1930&rsquo;s Hickam Field 23,&rdquo; <a href="http://hawaii.gov">hawaii.gov</a> Hawaii Aviation Archive. Archive caption reads, &ldquo;Trick photo; not authentic. Created by combining<br /> 1-18-1934 photo of Waikiki and April 6, 1940 photo of B-18 formation over Oahu.&rdquo;</span></p> </blockquote> <p class="Body" style="line-height: normal; text-align: left; padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Moments of puncture spring up here and there in the image archives of Diamond Head. There is a persistent need to document the image of the crater in direct juxtaposition with military vehicles of transport and conflict. Here appears a cargo plane, touching down with the Waikiki sentinel looking on from afar. Here, a duo of fighter jets with ridge peak below. And here, one of the first aircraft carriers put into service in the United States Navy, aligned in parallel with the crater fortress. These pictures are akin to army buddy photos&mdash;side by side, the large-scale, networked apparatuses of destruction throw their arms around one another, united projectors of power.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150324190621-Diamond_Head_12.jpeg" alt="" width="600" /></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150324190840-Screen_Shot_2015-03-24_at_8.08.14_PM.png" alt="" /></span></p> <blockquote> <p class="Body" style="line-height: normal; text-align: left; padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(top)&ldquo;A right front view of a C-5A Galaxy aircraft parked on the runway with Diamond Head in the background, 03/01/1981.&rdquo; National Archives of the United States, Department of Defense, American Forces Information Service, Defense Visual Information Center</span><br /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(left) &ldquo;An air-to-air right side view of two F-15A Eagle aircraft from the 199th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Hawaii Air National Guard, over Diamond Head Crater, 05/01/1991.&rdquo; National Archives of the United States, Department of Defense, American Forces Information Service, Defense Visual Information Center.</span><br /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(right) &ldquo;Lexington (CV2). Aerial, starboard beam. Aircraft on deck. Diamond Head in background, 02/02/1933) National Archives of the United States, Department of Defense, American Forces Information Service, Defense Visual Information Center</span></p> </blockquote> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left; padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Diamond Head is a form of spectacle that, alongside sites like Pearl Harbor, the Bikini Atoll, and the Panama Canal, embodies the coupling of the colonial and the touristic in the wider oceanic context. The crater&nbsp;is an easy image, jumping into bed with whoever comes knocking. Its ridgeline, like a lenticular, exists in two positions at once, flashing back and forth from upright and erect to sprawled out, sunbathing in repose. Despite its intensive visuality, a presence that has made it perpetually useful to human civilizations on the island, the crater is a platform that remains riddled with absences and concealments. In this way it embodies the notion of the touristic itself, a drive towards seeing, experiencing, being present at a site, but finding it always blank, scooped out, and made distant by the ghosts that long ago marked the land.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150324190947-Diamond_Head_15.png" alt="" width="600" /></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">ThePDrizzle, <em><a href="http://youtube.com/watch?v=TZRxY7fDVgE" target="_blank">Floatilla September 2011 Waikiki Beach GoPro</a></em>, Video still via YouTube.&nbsp;Thanks Drew Broderick.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/392403-gan-uyeda?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Gan Uyeda</a></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><hr style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;" align="left" size="1" width="33%" /> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref1">[1]</a> Haunani-Kay Trask, <em>From a Native Daughter</em>. Revised Edition. (Honolulu: University of Hawai&rsquo;i Press, 1999 [1993]), 136.</span></p> </div> <div style="line-height: 26px;"> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref2">[2]</a> Tomonari-Tuggle et al., &ldquo;Exploring a Backdrop to Waikiki&rsquo;s Past: Historical Research and Archaeological Assessment of Diamond Head State Monument, O&rsquo;ahu.&rdquo; (Honolulu: International Research Institute, Inc., 1998), 26; Terrence McGovern and Glen Williford, <em>Defenses of Pearl Harbor and Oahu 1907-50</em>. (Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing, 2003), 60.</span></p> </div> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref3">[3]</a> McGovern and Williford, 5.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: normal;">(Image at top: &ldquo;Marines from the PHOTO Section, Marine Corps Air Station, Kaneohe, visit Fort Dressey [sic] at Waikiki Beach. Diamond Head is in the background, 07/01/1982.&rdquo; National Archives of the United States, Department of Defense, American Forces Information Service, Defense Visual Information Center)</span></p> </div> </div> Thu, 26 Mar 2015 10:58:46 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list #MuseumWeek: The World's Weirdest Museums <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In celebration of <a href="http://museumweek2015.org/en/">#MuseumWeek</a>&nbsp;2015,&nbsp;we asked our friends and colleagues: "What's the weirdest museum you've visited?"&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The responses we got back revealed some pretty wacky institutes from all corners of the globe, from the Pez Museum to the Museum of Broken Relationships. From spine-tingling to saccharine, they reflect the full gamut of human freakiness. But what&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">does the list tell us about our definition of weird&mdash;and our attraction to it? Are these museums an homage to life's curiosities, or simply outlandish gimmicks cooked up by tourism boards?&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150327115751-Oxford_-_Pitt_Rivers_Museum_-_0269.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford. Photo: &copy; <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitt_Rivers_Museum#/media/File:Oxford_-_Pitt_Rivers_Museum_-_0269.jpg" target="_blank">Jorge Royan</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong><a href="http://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/" target="_blank">Pitt Rivers Museum</a></strong>, Oxford</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The original wackyland, this magnificent and idiosyncratic collection of masks, weapons, tools, instruments, and more is heaven for curio lovers and typology nerds.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong><a href="https://www.rcseng.ac.uk/museums/hunterian" target="_blank">Hunterian Museum</a></strong>, London&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">A cheaper and more grisly alternative to the <strong><a href="http://www.thedungeons.com/london/en/" target="_blank">London Dungeon</a></strong>, the Hunterian Museum houses the private collection of 18th century physician John Hunter, who pickled different diseased human body parts for medical study. They're helpfully divided up according to anatomy. Bring a sick bag. If you like this, yo</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">u might also enjoy the&nbsp;<strong><a style="text-align: left;" href="http://muttermuseum.org/" target="_blank">M&uuml;tter Museum</a></strong><span style="text-align: left;">, Philadelphia (photo at top).&nbsp;</span><span style="text-align: left;">The perfect place to take a first date.</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="text-align: left;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150326125511-3920322534_03a6422721_z.jpg" alt="" /></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;<span style="font-size: x-small;">The Hunterian Museum. Image:&nbsp;<a class="owner-name truncate" title="Go to Jordanhill School D&amp;T Dept's photostream" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/designandtechnologydepartment/" target="_blank" data-track="attributionNameClick" data-rapid_p="28">Jordanhill School D&amp;T Dept</a></span></span></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;<a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://www.varanasicity.com/ramnagar-fort.html" target="_blank"><strong>Ramnagar Fort</strong></a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Varanasi, India</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">A quirky, unkempt and dusty display in an 18th century fort-palace on the banks of the Ganges.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://www.burlingamepezmuseum.com/wacky/" target="_blank"><strong>Pez Museum</strong></a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">,&nbsp;Burlingame, California</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">At the Pez Museum, you can see the Guinness Record-breaking 7-foot-tall Pez dispenser! It's also five minutes to the nearest airport.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150326125713-3454091707_e3d5008389_z.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;Wall of Pez dispensers at The Pez Museum. Image:&nbsp;<a class="owner-name truncate" title="Go to Ingrid Taylar's photostream" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/taylar/" data-track="attributionNameClick" data-rapid_p="28">Ingrid Taylar</a></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong>&nbsp;</strong><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://www.senjatrollet.no/en/home/" target="_blank"><strong>The Senja Troll Museum</strong></a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">, Skaland</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">A family of trolls are waiting for you to visit them on the Norwegian fairytale island of Senja. You can even spend the night there with them!&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.icastelli.it/castle-1237912387-castello_di_peschici-it.php" target="_blank"><strong>The Museum of Torture Devices</strong></a>,&nbsp;Peschici, Puglia</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">An incredible setting&mdash;albeit for torture chambers.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150326124329-Peschici__I__Gargano__tone-mapping_.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;The Peschici Museum in its awesome setting. Image: Wikicommons</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;<span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong><a href="http://musee.vet-alfort.fr/" target="_blank">Mus&eacute;e Fragonard</a></strong>, Paris&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Love animals? Then don't go here. It's like the M&uuml;tter and Hunterian, but for animals. Or if unidentified animal species are more your thing, check out Portland, Maine's <strong><a href="http://cryptozoologymuseum.com/" target="_blank">Cryptozoology Museum</a></strong>.</span>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong><a href="http://www.barometerworld.co.uk/" target="_blank">Barometer World</a></strong>, Devon, UK</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">"Welcome to the World of Barometers, where we are not creepy at all."</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150326124444-Screen_shot_2015-03-26_at_12.25.00.png" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Screenshot: Barometer World, Devon</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong><a href="http://brokenships.com/en/visit" target="_blank">Museum of Broken Relationships</a></strong>, Zagreb&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The ideal spot to tell someone, <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ew/articles/show/41281" target="_blank">"it's not you, it's me."</a></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong><a href="http://www.pencilmuseum.co.uk/" target="_blank">Pencil Museum</a></strong>, Keswick, UK<a dir="ltr" href="http://www.pencilmuseum.co.uk/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" data-reactid=".3x.1:3:1:$comment10101712651050367_10101712724897377:0.0.$right.0.$left.0.0.1.$comment-body.0.$range0:0"><br /></a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">With this popular suggestion came a wave of nostalgia for the giant pencil that's housed in the Lake District's top spot for a rainy day (and let's face it, it's always a rainy day in the Lake District).</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150326130057-8009713071_1affc154f5_z.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;A Royal pencil for the Queen's Jubilee at the Pencil Museum. Via Flicker user&nbsp;<a class="owner-name truncate" title="Go to Smabs Sputzer's photostream" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/10413717@N08/" target="_blank" data-track="attributionNameClick" data-rapid_p="28">Smabs Sputzer</a></span></p> <p>&nbsp;<span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong><a href="http://www.museumofdeath.net/" target="_blank">Museum of Death</a></strong>, Los Angeles</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Only Hollywood could franchise death: the Museum just opened a second branch in New Orleans.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong><a href="http://www.sexmuseumamsterdam.nl/index2.html" target="_blank">Sex Museum</a></strong>, Amsterdam</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">From the website of this museum in the city that started sex tourism, you can get a feel for it's atmosphere: a keyboard synth version of the Carpenters' "Close To You"<em>&nbsp;</em>joyously rings out in a celebration of all things sensual. Wanting continue your Amsterdam stereotype tour? Head around the to corner to the <strong><a href="http://hashmuseum.com/" target="_blank">Hash, Marihuana &amp; Hemp Museum</a></strong>.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong><a href="http://www.mjt.org/" target="_blank">Museum of Jurassic Technology</a></strong>, Culver City&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">A cloud of enigma enshrouds this curiosity museum in California; the authenticity of some of its objects and artefacts has been questioned over the years. Among its 30 (!) permanent exhibitions is the Unique World of Microminiatures displaying tiny Disney characters supposedly carved from a single strand of human hair. That's believable, right?</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150326130223-Museum_of_Jurassic_Technology_Facade_-_9341_Venice_Blvd._in_Culver_City__CA-1.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;The Museum of Jurassic Technology, Culver City. Image: Wikicommons</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong><a href="http://www.ebeijing.gov.cn/feature_2/Sino_ltaly_culture_year/Contrast/Religion/in_Beijing/t920873.htm" target="_blank">The Great Bell Museum</a></strong>, Beijing</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Get your hands on great big bells, including China's biggest.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Yeah, okay, they're of the bronze clanging variety, work with us here...</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.kimchimuseum.co.kr/foreigner/english/intro.asp" target="_blank"><strong>Kimchi Museum</strong></a>, Seoul&nbsp;</span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" dir="ltr" href="http://www.kimchimuseum.co.kr/foreigner/english/intro.asp" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" data-reactid=".3x.1:3:1:$comment10101712651050367_10101713057061717:0.0.$right.0.$left.0.0.1.$comment-body.0.$range0:0"><br /></a></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">For the Kimchi fanatic only, this Korean museum boasts the "Temple Kimchi" as well as the "Aesthetic of Palate Beautiful Kimchi for a Stimulating Palate." If you like the sound of that, you'd probably be tempted by Osaka's<strong> <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Momofuku_Ando_Instant_Ramen_Museum%20%20http://www.cupnoodles-museum.jp/english/" target="_blank">Instant Ramen Museum</a></strong>, too.<br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150326131003-7042091821_41338c0be4_z.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;Displays at the Kimchi Museum, Seoul. Via Flickr user&nbsp;<a class="owner-name truncate" title="Go to Rachel Patterson's photostream" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/rachel_patterson/" target="_blank" data-track="attributionNameClick" data-rapid_p="24">Rachel Patterson</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong><a href="http://www.nationalatomictestingmuseum.org/">The National Atomic Testing Museum</a></strong>, Las Vegas</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Who says no one goes to Vegas for its museums?&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">We're also big fans of the </span><strong><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://www.neonmuseum.org/" target="_blank">Neon Museum</a></strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">, where the city's famous neon lights go to die (no, really, we are!).</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong><a href="%20http://gopherholemuseum.ca/dioramas/%20" target="_blank">Gopher Hole Museum</a></strong>, Alberta</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The town of Torrington Alberta found a creative way to deal with all the problematic gophers they were killing. They decided to stuff their corpses, dress 'em up as townsfolk, and pop them in this musuem. And thanks to PETA, this bizarre museum is now known all over...&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150326130328-23139422_f9e512e2b2_z.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;A Gopher as a butterfly catcher. Via Flickr user&nbsp;<a class="owner-name truncate" title="Go to Colin Smith's photostream" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/smithco/" target="_blank" data-track="attributionNameClick" data-rapid_p="28">Colin Smith</a></span><span style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><a href="http://www.museemecaniquesf.com/" target="_blank"><br class="Apple-interchange-newline" /><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Mus&eacute;e M&eacute;canique</span></strong></a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">, San Francisco</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">This free Penny Arcade with over 300 mechanical slot machines and orchestrions is the personal collection of one fine gentleman,&nbsp;Edward Galland Zelinsky. See also:&nbsp;<strong><a href="http://www.museumspeelklok.nl/" target="_blank">Museum Speelklok</a></strong>, Utrecht, for street organs, player pianos, and other self-playing instruments. It's a thing, apparently.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong><a href="http://stjosephmuseum.org/museums/glore/" target="_blank">Glore Psychatric Museum</a></strong>, Missouri</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">It comes with a parent advisory warning. You can check out primitive tools and restraining instruments, treatment equipment, former Lunatic Asylum patients' artworks and personal notes, plus a guy who swallowed 453 nails.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150326131743-3786265382_dd064bfaef_z.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Glore Psychiatric Museum Missouri. Image:&nbsp;<a class="owner-name truncate" title="Go to Missouri Division of Tourism's photostream" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/missouridivisionoftourism/" target="_blank" data-track="attributionNameClick" data-rapid_p="24">Missouri Division of Tourism</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong><a href="http://www.kiseichu.org/Pages/default.aspx" target="_blank">The&nbsp;Meguro Parasitological Museum</a></strong>,&nbsp;Tokyo</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">This museum's mission is to introduce you to the "wonderful world of parasites." If your skin is still crawling when you leave, best to see a doctor.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The National&nbsp;<strong><a href="http://mustardmuseum.com/" target="_blank">Mustard Museum</a></strong>, Wisconsin</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">A free museum dedicated to the condiment. If you like this, or simply want something to put condiments on, you might also take a pilgrimage to the <a href="http://idahopotatomuseum.com/" target="_blank"><strong>Idaho Potato Museum</strong></a>, or to Belgium's <strong><a href="http://www.frietmuseum.be/en/" target="_blank">Frietmuseum</a></strong>, dedicated to the humble potato fry.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;The ArtSlant Team</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at the top: The M&uuml;tter Museum, Philadelphia. Via Flickr user&nbsp;<a class="owner-name truncate" title="Go to John Donges's photostream" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/mendrakis/" target="_blank" data-track="attributionNameClick" data-rapid_p="28">John Donges</a>)</span></p> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 13:21:34 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list Mario Rising: Imagery, Identity, and Myth in an 8-bit Classic <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The internet is a petri dish for myth and meme. Stories and ideas self replicate, mutate, spread themselves around. What is the tipping point for an idea to become so copiously proliferated that it achieves the status of something like <em>fact</em>? Is it an unwillingness to question the idea's authority, pure dominance through abundance?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Whilst looking at some medieval representations of hell online recently I came across the image above. It immediately reminded me of the 1981 arcade game <em>Donkey Kong</em>.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Could the comparison be developed further? Could one suggest the idea that playing platform games is like a trip to hell&mdash;a sort of self-chastisement? Frustration and stress, the flickering of fight-or-flight responses, indecision, hesitation, the swift punishment of slow reflexes. Platforms stacked above you like Dante's nine circles. Nietzsche&rsquo;s theory of Eternal Returns.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Probably not, though there are further similarities.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Video game designers <a href="http://bloody-disgusting.com/news/227915/gamings-13-coolest-interpretations-of-hell/">really dig hell</a>. It's bristling with readymade challenges they can make use of: jump over the pit of eternal fire, dodge the cauldron of boiling oil, slip past the patrolling cacodemon. In its simplest form a platform game is basically a maze game turned on its side with the addition of simulated gravity. And hell is all about gravity&mdash;that fear of being dragged and kept down.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>Doom</em> is one of the most popular examples. Though not a strictly platform game, <em>Doom</em> features classic fire and brimstone imagery and makes use of the claustrophobia and frustration of negotiating a hostile multi-storied environment. I can't find the passage in Revelations that mentions blasting imps with the Super Shotgun, mind you, but hell is certainly not only the territory of the classics. Even more thoughtful, arty platform efforts such as <a href="https://vimeo.com/4083982"><em>Braid</em></a> and&nbsp;<a href="http://ocias.com/loved.php"><em>Loved</em></a> have made use of hell's iconography in recent years.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Of course, apart from the aesthetic resemblance, <em>Donkey Kong</em> (1981) hasn't anything further to do with hell. Mario's story is one driven by love&mdash;even the hulking Donkey Kong is supposed to be his beloved pet, who is merely misbehaving due to harsh treatment. His journey is skywards, and the jet-black background is simply the result of limited graphics capabilities. It would be replaced in later games by happy blue skies and fluffy clouds.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a title="The Trellick Tower by Steve Cadman, on Flickr" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevecadman/2944200427"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3060/2944200427_40829b1b4d_o.jpg" alt="The Trellick Tower" width="600" /></a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Erno Goldfinger's&nbsp;Trellick Tower via Flickr user <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevecadman/2944200427/" target="_blank">Steve Cadman</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">If platform games aren't all classical representations of hell, they do capitalize on the anxiety caused by heavy-handed deterministic architecture (of which hell might be the earliest example). The multi-story environments of early platform games are built of the same components: elevators, escalators, walkways, ladders. They echo Modernist high-rise architecture, especially that from the 1970s, where form followed function and the people using the buildings are forced to follow the architecture. These places&mdash;like Le Corbusier's unrealized Ville Contemporaine and and Erno Goldfinger's Trellick Tower&mdash;created spaces that experimented and played with social control through the built environment. "You can kill a man with a building as easily as you can with an axe," said the architect and critic Adolf Behne. In navigating these spaces we are not entirely without choice, but many decisions have already been made for us. They make little allowance for emergent use, the complexity of human needs and desires. Indeed, one of the problems with this kind of architecture is that it can leave you feeling ignored or overlooked, treated like a cog in someone else&rsquo;s machine, a walk-on in someone else&rsquo;s vision.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">And just as human bodies can play subjects to architectural design, video game characters are subject to the visions of their creators&mdash;not to mention to the architecture and technology of their constructed environments. Mario&rsquo;s evolution follows the contingencies of technology and his designer&rsquo;s imagination&mdash;an imagination that might well have conjured form from real world antecedents in the platforms of high-rise architecture and their cog-heroes.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The limitations of 8-bit computing meant early games left Mario and his ilk trapped in the flatlands of two-dimensional play. There was no depth of field in Mario&rsquo;s world; its range was as wafer thin as its image, deposited on the inner edge of a flickering cathode ray tube.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Left - right - up - down, navigating the flatlands removes the burden of complex maneuvering but simultaneously limits any real demonstration of agency. The degree of impact Mario could impart on his environment was as limited as the criteria by which he could navigate. The possible pathway to success was singular; the causes of failure were many and non-negotiable.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In its day Mario's famous jump, a momentary defiance against coded gravity was seen as a milestone, like a Muybridge horse with all feet off the ground at once. This one small leap in playability and even realism seemed to briefly break away from the terra firma of the game&rsquo;s architecture and soar through a free space where his ancestors would later roam and play, unshackled. Indeed, today's players not only operate in three dimensions with the capability of directing their perspective and point of view within them, they exist in environments conducive to emergent play; they are able to tread desire paths though game infrastructure and are as likely to design and build a walkway as merely hurry along it towards the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boss_%28video_gaming%29">Boss</a>.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150324164035-donkey-kong.gif" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>Donkey Kong</em> (Arcade) 1981 screengrab: Mario with mallet via <a href="http://www.racketboy.com/retro/platformers/platforming-games-101-all-you-need-to-know">Racketboy</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">But Mario&rsquo;s oppressive environments&mdash;hell or high-rise&mdash;aren&rsquo;t the only concessions to available technology; Mario&rsquo;s very identity can be seen as a function of available form. Unsurprisingly there's a colossal amount of information on the creation of Mario and Donkey Kong on the net. It&rsquo;s like a great stream of data coursing though the web&mdash;just when you think you've read it all there&rsquo;s another great wodge to be found. Not only are they the most popular video game characters, they were probably the first to come with a backstory, an early attempt at a sense of digital ontology&mdash;one that I&rsquo;d like to add my own interpretation to.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">According to the online consensus, Mario was entirely the product of the imagination of Shigeru Miyamoto. On fansites, company sites, wikis, forums, and in associated books, etc. you'll read his appearance was, like <em>Donkey Kong</em>&rsquo;s black backdrop, necessitated by graphics limitations.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Mario wears overalls so that the basic graphics could define his arms and legs; he wears a cap because, according to Jeff Ryan in <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Super-Mario-Nintendo-Conquered-America/dp/1591845637"><em>Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America</em></a> (2011), &ldquo;making hair look realistic was (and still is) a problem.&rdquo; Nick Paumgarten wrote in the <em><a href="http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2010/12/20/master-of-play">New Yorker</a>&nbsp;</em>in a 2010 Miyamoto&nbsp;profile: &ldquo;The primitive graphics&mdash;there were hardly enough pixels to approximate a human form&mdash;compelled Miyamoto to give Mario white gloves and red overalls (so that you could see his arms swing).&rdquo; These and countless other accounts of the Genesis of Mario point towards almost arbitrary design decisions governed and inspired only by functionality. Even Mario&rsquo;s profession was subject to his environment (and, in accordance, the contingencies of design technology). I discovered that in <em>Donkey Kong</em> he was a carpenter, but in <em>Mario Bros.</em> he became a plumber, on account of the underground settings.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Then I saw this image.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150324164122-hine.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Lewis Wickes Hine, 1874-1940, Old-Timer Structural-Worker on Empire State Building (WPA/NARA),1930. Via the <a href="http://research.archives.gov/description/518290" target="_blank">National Archives<span style="color: #000000; text-align: left;">&nbsp;</span></a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><span style="color: #000000; text-align: left;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Is that Mario? Or this?</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150324164927-hine2.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Lewis Wickes Hine, 1874-1940, Connecting the beams, 1931, Gelatin silver prints, Photographs of the Empire State Building under construction.&nbsp;<br /><a href="http://twistedsifter.com/2012/06/vintage-photos-of-the-empire-state-building-under-construction/" target="_blank">Via</a>. Photo:&nbsp;Lewis Wickes Hine/<a href="http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/dgkeysearchdetail.cfm?strucID=131275&amp;imageID=79852" target="_blank">NYPL Digital Gallery</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Social realist Lewis Hine&rsquo;s amazing photographs of construction workers building the Empire State Building contain some incredibly Mario-like figures&mdash;as does newsreel footage taken at that time.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/MiYn9d1CAto" frameborder="0" width="600" height="450"></iframe></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150324165226-hine3.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Lewis Wickes Hine, 1874-1940, Empire State (Plumbing/Heating), 1930-1931, Negative, gelatin on diacetate film. Via <a href="http://www.geh.org/fm/lwhprints/htmlsrc/m198501520001_ful.html#topofimage" target="_blank">George Eastman House</a></span><a href="http://www.geh.org/fm/lwhprints/htmlsrc/m198501520001_ful.html#topofimage"><br /></a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">They wear overalls with their distinctive breast button fasteners, peaked flat caps, white gloves&mdash;they even have moustaches!&mdash;yet they get no mention in any of the numerous descriptions of Mario's design and appearance. Are these his forgotten forefathers?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Here you'll find other <em>Donkey Kong</em> iconography: girder work, oil drums with flames rising out of them (used to heat the rivets that the workers would then hammer into place), the hot rivets themselves. There's even a stack of barrels in this image that <em>Donkey Kong</em> would like to get a hold of.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150324165637-hine4.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Lewis Wickes Hine, 1874-1940, Three workers securing a rivet, 1931, Gelatin silver prints, Photographs of the Empire State Building under construction. <br /><a href="%20http://twistedsifter.com/2012/06/vintage-photos-of-the-empire-state-building-under-construction/%20%20%20" target="_blank">Via</a>.&nbsp;Photo: Lewis Wickes Hine/<a href="http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/dgkeysearchdetail.cfm?strucID=131264&amp;imageID=79841" target="_blank">NYPL Digital Gallery</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I don't think the first incarnation of Mario was a carpenter or plumber; he was an ironworker&mdash;and they're still around.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150324165845-Construction_Workers.jpg" alt="" width="400" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Paul Keheler, Detail of 'Two Ironworkers at work' via <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ironworker#/media/File:Construction_Workers.jpg" target="_blank">Wikimedia Commons</a></span><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ironworker#/media/File:Construction_Workers.jpg"><br /></a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Though comparisons between the original version of <em>Donkey Kong</em> to <em>King Kong</em> (1933) are obvious, the final reel of Harold Lloyd&rsquo;s <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhmsovkmU5A&amp;t=24m12s"><em>Never Weaken</em></a> (1921) could have been just as strong an influence. It also features walks along girders, Mario look-alikes, ladders, rivets, and barrels.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Either way, much of the enduring imagery of the original <em>Donkey Kong</em> including Mario himself appears to originate in 1920s and 30s film and photography of multi-story ironworkers, yet it doesn't get a mention anywhere. Might a young Miyamoto have once been exposed to some of these elements only to have them lodge deep in his subconscious and then be anonymously retrieved when designing games in 1981?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">It seems incredible that the world&rsquo;s most famous video game character is so misunderstood. How are so many people obsessively charting and discussing Mario's history without paying attention to detail?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Is it because, although enjoyed by so many, he was always what Miyamoto refers to as <em>Ossan</em>, one of his early names meaning simply any "middle aged man"? He's also said to represent &ldquo;an ordinary hard worker.&rdquo; Ordinary folk have a tendency of getting overlooked in the writing of history&mdash;even in video games. Is Mario a cog or a hero? A cog <em>become</em> hero?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I like this image, taken by Charles C. Ebbets during the construction of the RCA Building in 1932, that places Mario look-alikes not in hell but angelically reclining in the clouds.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150324170128-388273.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Charles C. Ebbets, Men asleep on a girder, 1932. Via <a href="http://www.filmsnotdead.com/2012/08/28/men-at-lunch-a-documentary-about-one-of-the-worlds-most-timeless-images/attachment/388273/" target="_blank">Films Not Dead</a></span><a href="http://www.filmsnotdead.com/2012/08/28/men-at-lunch-a-documentary-about-one-of-the-worlds-most-timeless-images/attachment/388273/"><br /></a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">And consider this image. Can anyone imagine the following instant without hearing <a href="http://soundfxcenter.com/video-games/super-mario-bros/814f72_Super_Mario_Bros_Jump_Super_Sound_Effect.mp3" target="_blank">this</a> sound?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150324170417-vintage-empire-state-building-construction-photos-by-lewis-wickes-hine-1931-13.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Lewis Wickes Hine, 1874-1940, Atop Empire State- in construction; Chrysler Bldg &amp; [Daily] News in middle foreground, 1931, Gelatin silver prints.&nbsp;<br /><a href="http://twistedsifter.com/2012/06/vintage-photos-of-the-empire-state-building-under-construction/" target="_blank">Via</a>. Photo:&nbsp; Lewis Wickes Hine/<a href="http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/dgkeysearchdetail.cfm?strucID=131272&amp;imageID=79849" target="_blank">NYPL Digital Gallery</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/372591-guy-parker?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Guy Parker</a></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at top:&nbsp;Left: Hell image from&nbsp;<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hell">Hortus deliciarum</a>&nbsp;manuscript of&nbsp;Herrad of Landsberg, c.1180 Right:&nbsp;<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Donkey_Kong_NES_Screenshot.png"><em>Donkey Kong</em></a>&nbsp;(1981))</span></p> Thu, 26 Mar 2015 15:16:56 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list Trying to Disarm a Racist Machine with Aesthetics <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">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&rsquo;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 in 1977, refused to work with Kodak film because "Kodak film is racist."&nbsp;According to them prejudice can be inherent to a machine. Photo-cameras and the film used in them have been constructed in such a way to make white people look good and turn dark-colored faces into smudges with only teeth and eyes lighting up. Being the leading manufacturer of film worldwide, Kodak is identified as the main culprit.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150324160329-Shirley_1_2013_C_Adam_Broomberg___Oliver_Chanarin.jpg" alt="" width="500" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Adam Broomberg &amp; Oliver Chanarin,&nbsp;<em>Shirley 1</em>, 2013 &copy; Adam Broomberg &amp; Oliver Chanarin / Lisson Gallery, London</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">For celluloid, Kodak used fair-skinned women to measure and calibrate skin tones. These models, who would appear at the start of each strip of film, were called "China girls." The photography equivalent is called Shirley, named after the first model used. An enlargement of this Waspy housewife serves as the opening image of the Broomberg &amp; Chanarin show at FOAM. A sign to her left says "normal." It was only in the early 1980s that Kodak started developing color film more susceptible to darker tones, but only because two of its most important clients, the furniture and chocolate industry, had requested it. &lsquo;To Photograph the Details of a Dark Horse in Low Light&rsquo; was the tagline used for marketing the new film product. Fittingly, Broomberg and Chanarin have used the phrase as title for their exhibition.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Broomberg and Chanarin came to photography by way of philosophy and social studies, which at least partially explains their ideologically inspired approach of the medium. Their first joint project was <a href="http://www.choppedliver.info/trust/" target="_blank"><em>Trust</em></a>&nbsp;(1998-2000), which consists of documentary portraits of unposed subjects, such people playing video games and hospital patients under anaesthesia. Not one person the artists approached for the series refused to be photographed, even though they couldn&rsquo;t control the way they looked on film. In the artists&rsquo; eyes it proved the authority of the camera.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150324160025-Kodak_Ektachrome_34_1978_frame_4_2012_C_Adam_Broomberg___Oliver_Chanarin.jpg" alt="" width="500" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Adam Broomberg &amp; Oliver Chanarin,&nbsp;<em>Kodak Ektachrome 34 1978 frame 4</em>, 2012 &copy; Adam Broomberg &amp; Oliver Chanarin / Lisson Gallery, London</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The starting point for their current project was the invitation by the government of Gabon to document life and culture in the West-African nation. For their assignment Broomberg and Chanarin used Kodak stock from the sixties which had long exceeded its expiration date. Every single picture they took failed completely, except for one. <em>Kodak Ektachrome 34 1978 frame 4</em>, as it is titled, shows some luscious vegetation, which because of pigment deterioration looks pink instead of green. <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/articles/show/39236" target="_blank">Richard Mosse&rsquo;s infrared pictures from Eastern Congo</a> immediately come to mind. But where Mosse employs unconventional and absurd coloring to open our news-wary eyes to the reality of civil war, Broomberg and Chanarin try to promote an unassuming, rather dull picture to the level of conceptual evidence. According to them it proves that "the technology of image-making is as politically fraught as the images it produces."</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Still, Broomberg and Chanarin are very consistent in their methodology of appropriating technology and tweaking it. When working in South Africa for example, they used an ID-2 camera. Kodak had built this machine, outfitted with a flashlight to produce 42 percent more light and two lenses to produce a portrait and a prolife in one go, for the Apartheid regime. It was used to make the much-hated passbooks, mandatory for all black South Africans. In 1970 a Kodak chemist named Caroline Hunter discovered her employer&rsquo;s scheme and started a protest movement which resulted in Kodak eventually pulling out of South Africa. Some four decades later Broomberg and Chanarin <a href="http://www.choppedliver.info/id/" target="_blank">try to dismantle the technology&rsquo;s racist origins even further</a> by taking the ID-2 camera into the wilderness of the Karoo and making mostly blurry double portraits of flowers, plants and animals.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150324160237-Strip_Test_4_2012_C_Adam_Broomberg___Oliver_Chanarin.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Adam Broomberg &amp; Oliver Chanarin,&nbsp;<em>Strip Test 4</em>, 2012 &copy; Adam Broomberg &amp; Oliver Chanarin / Lisson Gallery, London</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Broomberg and Chanarin are attempting to rewrite photography&rsquo;s history by overlaying it with aesthetics. In <em>165 Portraits with Dodgers</em> headshots of Africans are lined up in a grid, reminiscent of the way early anthropologists classified and categorized indigenous people. The faces are partially obscured by white geometric shapes caused by so-called dodgers, a manual device used in darkrooms to make parts of a photograph lighter. The result is an obvious denial of the individuality of those represented, but mostly it&rsquo;s a visually attractive installation.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">There&rsquo;s an undeniable logic to the artists&rsquo; methodology, unmasking the Eurocentric, Caucasian bias in photography, but it feels somewhat outdated as well. This breaking down of a phenomenon into basic assumptions and the identity of its producer was the mainstay of late twentieth century postmodernism. Broomberg and Chanarin are masters of this academic game, down to the wealth of cross-disciplinary references. But combined with their aesthetic bend it comes across as rather noncommittal. Worse, in a way, <em>To Photograph the Details of a Dark Horse in Low Light</em> plays the victim card, ignoring all those African artists&mdash;from 1960s studio photographer Malick Sidib&eacute; to present-day talents such as Olad&eacute;l&eacute; Bamgboy&eacute;, Theo Eshetu, and Boubacar&nbsp;Tour&eacute;&nbsp;Mand&eacute;mory&mdash;who have taken this so-called racist machine into their hands, making it work to their advantage. In the meantime, the curtain has fallen for evil Kodak. Outflanked by the digital revolution the company filed for bankruptcy in 2012, only to re-emerge last year as a manufacturer of smartphones and safe-keeper of the world&rsquo;s last reserves of analogue film and celluloid, much coveted by film directors and photographers who praise its warmth and liveliness.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/356010-edo-dijksterhuis?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Edo Dijksterhuis</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at top:&nbsp;Adam Broomberg &amp; Oliver Chanarin,&nbsp;<em>I.D.022</em>, 2013 &copy; Adam Broomberg &amp; Oliver Chanarin / Goodman Gallery, South Africa)</span></p> Wed, 25 Mar 2015 15:17:57 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list The Internet as a Platform for Art Criticism, and Dildos <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The much-loathed profession of art criticism is facing an odd future online: the myth of the click web has turned out to be apocryphal, and <a href="http://time.com/12933/what-you-think-you-know-about-the-web-is-wrong" target="_blank">according to recent research</a>&nbsp;conducted by and written about by Chartbeat, we're heading towards the era of the "attention web." But traffic-seeking clickbait has not been completely disbanded. We know that last year one of the<span style="background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;most searched for words on our site was "dildo." How does this data-crunching on how readers navigate, and on what they enjoy on our site affect how we write and what we publish?</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">These kinds of new and readily available statistics puts writers in a tricky position.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">There aren&rsquo;t many people who buy art, and there are equally few who read about it, yet the number of critics is on the rise.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">How are evolving digital publishing platforms&mdash;which allow for more voices and approaches than ever before&mdash;shaping the way we write about art? How do they change the role of art critics? Do they have an impact on the way we all view art?&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150324162148-7489335490_e54aa6c562_z.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Image: Creative Commons via Flickr user&nbsp;<a class="owner-name truncate" title="Go to -Curly-'s photostream" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/staycurly/" target="_blank" data-track="attributionNameClick" data-rapid_p="24">Curly</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">One example of how online publishing platforms influence the way art criticism is written is discussed in <em>BOMB Magazine</em> Editor Orit Gat&rsquo;s article published on the web platform&nbsp;<a href="http://rhizome.org/">Rhizome</a>. In&nbsp;<a href="http://rhizome.org/editorial/2013/nov/12/art-criticism-age-yelp/" target="_blank"><em>Art Criticism in the Age of Yelp</em></a>,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Gat explains how both </span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Amazon</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> and </span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Yelp</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> engage with community and redefine the term "review," using a style whose aim is to be "helpful"&mdash;something that is chiefly lacking in the criteria of many art critics as demonstrated, Gat points out, by </span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">a questionnaire</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> run by </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Frieze</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> magazine, (asking critics <a href="http://blog.frieze.com/who-do-you-write-for-a-survey-of-art-critics-in-the-media/" target="_blank">"Who do you write for?"</a>). </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Acknowledging a new audience for art criticism should have a positive impact on writers. Thanks to the web, readers are now directly engaged&mdash;they comment on and share articles, etc. On the one hand, this makes the critical dialogue about art more dynamic. However, the openness and anonymity of the web means that art writers have to be more communicative&mdash;and, dare I say it&mdash;entertaining. From its alignment with literature, art history, and philosophy, with its traditionally obfuscating jargon and affectations, art criticism is transitioning to something far more fluid and accessible. Instead of having a conversation with itself, it now involves other people, and those people might not want to be stuffed with strings of four-syllable words and terminology. Rather than providing a fully formed and static idea, art criticism online can be the start of a discussion. Criticism today is much more accessible to anyone, anywhere, and it cross-pollinates into many other areas of culture and news.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">It's not only the language and format of criticism that's changing. Its length has also been challenged lately: those 15-second attention spans have led to 140 character exhibition reviews on Twitter, critic&nbsp;podcasts, and digital media platform DIS magazine&rsquo;s <a href="http://dismagazine.com/?s=Photo+essay" target="_blank">photo essays</a>&nbsp;and <a href="http://artselfie.com/" target="_blank">#artselfie</a>, which provide an ambiguous critique of contemporary visual culture. These abbreviated and even visual forms of criticism reimagine what criticism can be in the context of the internet. They're not necessarily reductive because they're short. They can provoke just as much thought, in a more concise way, an attempt bridging the gap between experience art and communicating about it.</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;They are not Groys' "</span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="https://striations.wordpress.com/tag/boris-groys/">textual bikinis</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">." They're trippy, more like 3D glasses.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150324161957-T01918_10.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Raoul Hausmann<em>, The Art Critic</em>, Courtesy Tate</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The printed page can be limiting: writing for print is a solitary task, and the page&mdash;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">ink fixed on paper&mdash;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">has a sense of completeness and finality. But ideas are not fixed&mdash;in the same way that artworks, and our reception of them, are in flux and change over time and context. Emerging platforms for art criticism can be more representative of this fluid state of experiencing and evaluating art, playing with delivery and dissemination&mdash;and they&rsquo;re able to be more responsive than print. My colleague&nbsp;</span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/12307-andrew-berardini?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Andrew Berardini</a>&nbsp;<span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">writes for both print and online publications and champions this aspect of online criticism: &ldquo;Web publications can have such an immediate reflection and effect on current events that if I have an idea that I want to have that speed, then I'll put it online.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Art criticism, thanks to the net, has a much larger reach now. In a recent talk hosted by artnet at VOLTA NY, &ldquo;Is Everyone A Critic?! Art Criticism in the Digital Age," critic Blake Gopnik commented that we&rsquo;re seeing more art criticism now &ldquo;than we&rsquo;ve seen in a million years.&rdquo; He adds that he firmly believes it &ldquo;can be attractive to most readers.&rdquo; According to Gopnik and his colleague Christian Viveros-Faun&eacute;, the root principles of any writing, value and relevance, apply now more than ever. Gopnik and Viveros-Faun&eacute;'s own answer to this is a video series,&nbsp;<a href="http://news.artnet.com/art-world/strictly-critical-video-gopnik-and-viveros-faune-at-the-new-museum-74429" target="_blank">Strictly Critical</a>,&nbsp;where their three-minute video reviews can get up to 16,000 views.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">But there is a flipside to this gaining popularity: art criticism is a niche activity and it is protected ferociously by an army of niche people. There&rsquo;s still a stigma attached to art critics who go online&mdash;not only from galleries and members of the printed press, but from colleagues in the profession. On top of the snubs, online writers also get a bum deal in terms of pay. In an email, Berardini, who last year authored a brilliant and <a href="http://momus.ca/how-to-write-about-contemporary-art/" target="_blank">poetic account</a> of the struggles of making it as a writer,&nbsp;made a pertinent point, suggesting a need for &ldquo;enforcing community standards for fair payment. There are too many writing sweatshops running these days across all disciplines&hellip; it's high time writers across media began to publicly organize, pushing for transparency of budgets/payments, and publicly boycotting exploitative publications.&rdquo; The big leaguers, clearly, are still copping out of paying arts writers any where near sufficiently for their work. And at the same time, there's a dearth of financial support from advertisers. ArtSlant, for example, is a private company, but we effectively run as a non-profit, putting all of our profits directly back into the company.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Our current editorial staff were all born in the 80s, and online platforms gave us some of our first assignments. While the blogosphere has opened up more opportunities for young critics, allowing them to develop their own style, it has created a ruthlessly competitive atmosphere. Because of the aforementioned pay deficits, there's a risk of the profession reverting to its elite-only past. And then, as&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">James Pantero points out bitterly in his&nbsp;"<a href="http://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/My-Jerry-Saltz-problem-6502">My Jerry Saltz Problem</a>" article, there's the&nbsp;conundrum facing contemporary critic: social media whoring.</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left; padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Print writers who want a readership must devote time to rebroadcasting their content. I will regurgitate the article you are now reading through every electronic conveyance at my disposal. I will email it out to a personal list, tweet it, link to it on Facebook, post it to a blog, Xerox and mail it to a couple of digitally challenged relatives. If I am lucky, I may even discuss it by radio or podcast. I would even fax it, if anyone still used a telefacsimile machine, and happily send it around by pneumatic tube. Comments welcome!</span></p> </blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center; padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150324161505-Art_and_Culture_Center_of_Hollywood_-_Flickr_-_Knight_Foundation__4_.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Jerry Saltz, via WikiCommons</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Saltz has even taken criticism to a place that no one would ever have dreamed it could go: reality TV. Bravo's&nbsp;<em>Work of Art: The Next Great Artist</em> might have been slammed by the art world, but it proves the extent to which art criticism is being popularized. With regards to speaking about culture to the masses,&nbsp;<em>DIS Magazine</em> Editor Lauren Boyle told the <em><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/18/fashion/at-dis-magazine-not-the-usual-rules.html?_r=0">New York Times</a></em>:</span></p> <blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Alber Elbaz once said: &lsquo;Where uptown and downtown meet, but not in Midtown. We hate Midtown.&rsquo; I think that statement says a lot about fashion, and we pretty much feel the opposite. Midtown isn&rsquo;t high or low, it&rsquo;s medium. For us that&rsquo;s where the fertile, untrodden ground is. Mass-market department stores are not where the trends go to die, it&rsquo;s where they culminate.</span></p> </blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The same could be applied to art criticism. It&rsquo;s moving towards the middle ground, and its language, style, and packaging are adapting as a result. That&rsquo;s not to say that the ideas are any greater, or any less&mdash;but it is consciously broadening its audience.</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20150325204851-what-did-clement-greenberg-do-900x450-c.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150324161604-Screen_shot_2015-03-24_at_16.10.01.png" alt="" width="600" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;">Art writing then and now: (above) Clement Greenberg, (below) a screenshot from <em>BlouinArtInfo</em><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">One of art criticism's main goals is, surely, to engage with real life&mdash;to encourage people to go and experience art for themselves while providing a context for a more profound engagement with it. To elicit ideas and to ask questions. In the past, art criticism was confined to a single format (the printed page) and has been dominated by the written long form essay. The internet has given art criticism new platforms for talking about and critiquing art. Even the lowly listicle can be an expression of wonderment at something the writer finds valuable enough to share, something that can provoke people to go out and look at art or to consider it in new ways. They're not the whole conversation but they can be just as valuable a part of it.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Art criticism today is less conservative, more democratic, its contributor and reader demographics are more mixed and it provides progressive cultural ideas, which makes it more attractive than ever.&nbsp;The digital age needs digital critics.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/162742-char-jansen?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Char Jansen</a>,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">ArtSlant Editor</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at the top: <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1131740/" target="_blank">Mr Art Critic</a> Poster)</span></p> Thu, 26 Mar 2015 14:57:28 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list Omenka Gallery Lagos: Gallerist Oliver Enwonwu on Nigerian Art for the Future <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Omenka Gallery is based in the relatively affluent Ikoyi district of Lagos, located near the Lagoon. The complex of buildings I enter is surrounded by a beautifully kept garden with a cafe. The young and dynamic gallery for contemporary art is set next to the Enwonwu family home as well as the <a href="http://www.benenwonwufoundation.org/" target="_blank">Ben Enwonwu Foundation</a>. Oliver Enwonwu, Director of</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://www.omenkagallery.com/" target="_blank">Omenka Gallery</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">, is the youngest child of the pioneering modernist artist Ben Enwonwu, although, as he explains here, this did not predetermine his going into the gallery business. Under Oliver Enwownu&rsquo;s leadership Omenka Gallery features regularly changing publicly accessible and commercial exhibitions of pan-African and some global art, participates in the international art fair circuit, and sells to a growing Nigerian collector base for contemporary art. The gallery also publishes many <a href="http://omenkagallery.com/publication" target="_blank">catalogues</a> and a well-known art magazine.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">During a recent visit to Lagos, following the trail of the much talked about art scene on the coast of Nigeria, I spoke with Oliver.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150324120123-Screen_Shot_2015-03-24_at_1.01.01_PM.png" alt="" /></span></p> <blockquote> <div style="text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Raqib Bashorun,&nbsp;<em>Seek and Hide,</em> 2013, aluminium,steel, plastic and wood, 120 x 120 x 15 cm. Courtesy Omenka Gallery</span></div> <div style="text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></div> </blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150324104612-unnamed-1.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">The garden of Omenka Gallery&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><em><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Bea de Sousa: How has the legacy of your father Ben Enwonwu informed you in running a gallery?</span></strong></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Oliver Enwonwu:</strong>&nbsp;As a child, growing up in the shadow of a great artist, I was not bothered about his fame or his "job," as I perceived it then. I studied biochemistry and later geophysics to be a rebel, I suppose. It was only after I completed my studies I had a change of heart and began studying art and art history and became an artist in my own right. I think after so much consideration and education in other fields it felt like it was my personal choice to turn back to art and thereby follow in some way in my father&rsquo;s footsteps and my father&rsquo;s father before him. When my father passed away in 1994 I began thinking about how to preserve his legacy and the many artworks and valuable books and publications he left behind. The <a href="http://www.benenwonwufoundation.org/" target="_blank">family foundation</a> commemorates his life and work. We opened this to the public, but later and through my activities as the president of the <a href="http://snanational.org/" target="_blank">Society of Nigerian Artist</a>&nbsp;I began to realize that I would do my father&rsquo;s legacy and my own path as an artist and historian more of a service by supporting future artists. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Encouraged by the burgeoning presence of the <a href="http://www.ccalagos.org/" target="_blank">Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) Lagos</a>, the <a href="http://www.africanartists.org/" target="_blank">African Artists' Foundation (AAF)</a>,&nbsp;and other contemporary arts organizations as well as a growing auction market in Nigeria, I decided to found a commercial gallery and hub for contemporary art right next to the Enwonwu Foundation. I named it Omenka gallery after my grandfather. I remembered that my father in his later life had once expressed the wish to establish such a gallery and that he would name it in memory of his own father.&nbsp; We represent a roster of Nigerian and African artists and we participate in international art fairs, for example Johannesburg and Art 13 London to name just a few.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150324104823-unnamed-2.jpg" alt="" /><br /></span></p> <blockquote> <div style="text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Omenka Gallery,&nbsp;Preview of 'Okhai Ojeikere and Gary Stephens: Networks and Voids'</span></div> <div style="text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></div> </blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><em><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">BdS: What is your approach to contemporary art? Are you more a dealership or a nurturing space?</span></strong></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>OE:</strong> As the current president of the Nigerian artist&rsquo;s society I supervise and mentor about 4,000 practicing artists with my team. I take this very seriously, because every artist needs guidance and someone else&rsquo;s experience to learn from or have a platform to debate their practice. My special interest is in encouraging artists to experiment outside of the comfort zone of academic practice. Academicism is still highly rewarded by the Nigerian government, so an academically formal style prevails in the mainstream, which can slow the development of, for example, new media art, although there are now very strong new media artists coming out of Nigeria onto the international scene. Also commercially the local art collectors still prefer paintings and sculpture of a more academic nature to photography and video. Nonetheless we support more radical painters, new media artists, and even outspoken political commentary a part of our programme. I think preserving the intellectual heritage of Nigerian culture is important, which in time can also overcome any misconceptions about contemporary art. We see it as part of our work to educate the collectors about fresh tendencies in art and some are beginning to get excited about the new.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150324104936-unnamed-8.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <blockquote> <div style="text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Nnenna Okore, <em>Baggage,</em> 2008, plastic bags, 175 x 100 x 25 cm. Courtesy Omenka Gallery&nbsp;</span></div> <div style="text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></div> </blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><em><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">BdS: You are showcasing Nigerian art in the international arena&mdash;how do you see the future for Nigerian art?</span></strong></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>OE:</strong> Omenka Gallery has been devised as a space, which is open, for artists from all academic or other backgrounds. We also allow for experimentation with media and performance and we hold concerts and events in our premises and garden. It is a place where culture can occur and be debated and enjoyed. We are therefore also always open for exchanges with, to date, mostly African countries. We have also already collaborated with a German and some London-based galleries and we hope to continue widening our network. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In parallel we are doing a lot of work to educating the Nigerian audience to become more receptive to international art, which is beginning to take root. We understand that import and export and customs issues can occasionally hamper global efforts but on the whole we and other galleries in the country are in the position to enable international exhibitions to come into the country and likewise to export Nigerian art with support of the government. This is an important stage to signal to the global art community that we are ready and able to exchange and trade. Young Nigerian art has come into the limelight on the international stage and we would like to strengthen and foster this interest by working together with international network of galleries and curators.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150324120753-Screen_Shot_2015-03-24_at_1.07.34_PM.png" alt="" /></p> <blockquote> <div style="text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Raqib Bashorun,&nbsp;<em>Transparency,</em> 2014, Metal and wood, 200 x 100 x 20 cm. Courtesy Omenka Gallery</span></div> <div style="text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></div> </blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em><strong>BdS:</strong></em>&nbsp;<em><strong>Nigeria has many cultural groups with their own language and artistic tradition. In the 60s and 70s Nigerian culture experienced a golden age during which time many international artists and musicians went to Lagos to experience Fela Kuti&rsquo;s Shrine and the burgeoning art scene of an independent Nigeria. Many of the celebrated fine artists who achieved international recognition stemmed from the Igbo culture&mdash;with the Zaria School and Ben Enwonwu as some of the most noted practitioners. The Lagos region is largely a Yoruba area with its own cultural roots.&nbsp;</strong></em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><strong style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>Does being Igbo matter?</em></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150324105013-unnamed-7.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <div style="text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Uche James-Iroha,<em> Enthroned,</em> 2012, Printed on enhanced matt paper, 90 x 120 cm. Courtesy Omenka Gallery</span></div> <div style="text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></div> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>OE:</strong> Although I am immensely proud of my heritage and I am pleased that you have noted the prevalence of Igbo in the arts I have always favored a universal approach to art. It is not confined to Igbo, Yoruba, Effik, or Nigerians in fact. I see contemporary art in global terms. In Omenka Gallery we have no favored artists. Naturally we support local talent but we also show artists from Ghana, South Africa, and beyond the African continent, Europe, and the US.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/409489-bea-de-sousa?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Bea de Sousa</a></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>Bea de Sousa is a curator and the Founder/Director of the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.theagencygallery.co.uk/" target="_blank">Agency Gallery,</a>&nbsp;London.</em></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">(Image at the top:&nbsp;Uche James-Iroha, <em>Canon Ball Anti Progress Machine,</em> 2012, printed on enhanced matt paper, 120x90cm, Courtesy Omenka Gallery)</span></p> Thu, 26 Mar 2015 13:32:56 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list Henry Taylor Filters Life Through Portraiture <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Near the entrance of Untitled Gallery on the Lower East Side is a slab of concrete with a shovel stuck into it. Chair legs and wire sprout off the shovel, as do branches wrapped in stretched pantyhose like wings on an urban angel. The shovel&rsquo;s handle fits into the mouth of a plastic bottle shaped like a fuel container, painted black to resemble an African mask. On the adjacent wall hangs an antique wooden mirror frame, which now holds a hand-drawn Confederate flag found by the artist. Two toy shotguns are tied to the top, replicating the crossbar gesture in the Confederacy&rsquo;s battle flag. Although the frame no longer holds a mirror, there still remains the impulse for reflection on the juxtaposition of these materials, which have been abandoned or perhaps discarded as litter in the hot streets of Los Angeles where the artist Henry Taylor resides.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150324092422-1.jpg" alt="" width="500" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Henry Taylor, Solo show, Installation view at Untitled New York</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The first time I was introduced to Taylor, I was unfamiliar with both his work and the city of Los Angeles; I hadn't anticipated how perfectly the artist and the city could mutually introduce one another. Inside of the MOCA in downtown L.A., the painting <em>Warning Shots Not Required</em>&nbsp;(2011) stretched 23 feet across a wall. However compelling, its physical size was the least impressive part. An intimate moment of eye contact is trapped between a black, muscular man walking across a prison yard and the viewer. The painting's title is stenciled across the canvas in capital letters. A galloping foal, a gathering of women, a fish, and a silhouette of a man&rsquo;s head also join the tableau. Once the surreal set of images and text coalesce into a single story, it envelops everything in the same way as water does; it mutes the sense of anything else existing beyond its presence.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Taylor&rsquo;s artwork isn&rsquo;t necessarily easy to read&mdash;maybe because it requires the reader to be humanistic and instinctive. It&rsquo;s an honest eye-on-eye perspective of the community, the streets that Taylor has seen, presented in a space one wouldn&rsquo;t necessarily expect to draw empathy. At Blum &amp; Poe in the Upper East Side&mdash;the other venue in Taylor&rsquo;s two-part New York solo&mdash;there is an untitled painting of a handbag street seller, who appears disconnected from society, looking in all directions at once, as if in a state of paranoia; other figures peer around a corner at him and a woman in a summer dress seems to inquire about a purse he is holding. There also exists a tension between racial stereotypes and the illegal practice of street hawking. In <em>Where Thoughts Provoke</em>, a black and slightly amorphous profile is slumped in a bathtub, the figure&rsquo;s head turned down. The title suggests that a space of solitude and self-reflection welcomes an overwhelming sad presence.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150324093101-Taylor_1.png" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Henry Taylor, <em>Untitled</em>, 2014, Acrylic on canvas, 18 1/8 x 15 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Blum &amp; Poe</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Some consider Taylor an outsider artist because of his painting&rsquo;s formal resemblance to folk style with its vibrant and loose brush strokes, and his fickle relationship with orthodox learning. However, <a href="http://observer.com/2012/01/henry-taylor-paints-a-picture-01272012/" target="_blank">when asked about it</a> by a writer for the <em>Observer</em>, he responded &ldquo;I say to hell with all that shit.&rdquo; He received his art degree at CalArts in his 30s while working as an aide to the mentally ill at a hospital, only to reject his training in conceptual art and return to a prolific approach to making art. Because the artist moves quickly, things that inspire him must come within a swift reach. In one painting at Untitled a black child stands in flip-flops and orange shorts, holding a toy shotgun. On a larger canvas, a crowd congregates outdoors around a cross in what might be a block party or casual religious ceremony. In the middle of the room rests a sculpture of a tire made with the cardboard toilet paper roll tubes, a material that serves no further purpose after the toilet paper is gone. Taylor himself appears up close and in a corner, &ldquo;selfie-style,&rdquo; in another painting with two other men, a horse, and a hand stretched out in a shaking position. Whether it&rsquo;s the scribble markings of shirt patterns, the absence of eyes or facial features on figures, or simply the loose handle of color on the paintbrush, all of the paintings share the feeling of an artwork left unfinished.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150324093342-Taylor_2.png" alt="" /></span></p> <div class="artist-name" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Henry Taylor, <em>The Darker the Berry, The Sweeter the Juice</em>, 2015, Acrylic on canvas, 78 x 63 1/2 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Blum &amp; Poe</span></div> <div class="artist-name" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></div> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In <em>The Darker the Berry, The Sweeter the Juice</em> (named after Harlem Renaissance author Wallace Thurman&rsquo;s 1929 novel) at the Blum &amp; Poe location, a woman is represented as a silhouette of her skin color&mdash;she has no facial features or expression. Taylor visually extracts Thurman&rsquo;s story of a young woman accepting her darker skin color into portrait form. He simultaneously challenges the viewer to share the journey with her by raising the question of who exactly is seeing the woman only by her skin color.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The intuitive relationship between the observer and Taylor&rsquo;s art is similar to the artist and his barehanded process of creation; they&rsquo;re visceral in the belly and emotionally elevated.&nbsp;His portraits are of friends, family or characters meets on the streets; he paints on canvas or cigarette packs and cereal boxes; his sculptures are made with colloquial materials that exist somewhere mindfully in his immediate or surrounding environment, and places he&rsquo;s traveled to. To look at the art of Henry Taylor is to walk the streets with Henry Taylor.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/361782-stephanie-berzon?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Stephanie Berzon</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Henry Taylor&rsquo;s two-part exhibition with <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/events/show/375211-solo-exhibition" target="_blank">Untitled Gallery</a> and <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/events/show/374487-solo-exhibition" target="_blank">Blum &amp; Poe | New York</a> is up until April 4, 2015.&nbsp;</span></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at top:&nbsp;Henry Taylor, Solo show, Installation view at Untitled New York)</span></p> Tue, 24 Mar 2015 10:20:16 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list RCA Secret Dubai Democratizes Art Dubai by Keeping Artists' Names Secret <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">What would happen to the art market if all work was sold and acquired democratically? That&rsquo;s a pretty controversial question to ask at an art fair. In its 9th edition <a href="http://www.artdubai.ae" target="_blank">Art Dubai</a> (March 18&ndash;21) drew an estimated 25,000 visitors to view modern and contemporary art from 92 galleries in plush exhibition halls. The art market in the United Arab Emirates is about as old as the fair, but thanks to a solid gallery scene, some record Christie&rsquo;s auctions, and easy import and export policies, Dubai is coming into its own as the cool new kid in art school, and is now beginning to be regarded as a global art hub.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150323110933-_UTA8803.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Of course the whole object of an art fair is to ogle, critique, and (if one&rsquo;s bank account permits) acquire work by established artists. This traditional order was turned on its head by <a href="http://dubai.secret.rca.ac.uk/2015/" target="_blank">RCA Secret Dubai</a>, an event that took place in collaboration with Art Dubai, imagining a model in which all of the work cost the same amount, regardless of the artist. The concept, which has developed somewhat of a cult following in London, is facilitated to benefit the Royal College of Art in London, and presented some 3,000 postcard-sized works of art in a series of glass display cases installed beneath the palm trees planted between Art Dubai&rsquo;s exhibition halls. Although entry to Art Dubai is exclusive (there were invitation only VIP and VVIP night openings) and requires an admission fee and registration, with one badly publicized free day, visiting RCA Secret Dubai was perfectly free.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Each of the original postcards was up for auction for just AED 500 (about $136 USD), but there was a twist&mdash;none of the works had artists&rsquo; names identified. The brilliance of the project was watching visitors play the guessing game of trying to match postcards to a list of participating artists.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150323111159-makki.jpeg" alt="" width="325" /><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150323111401-el_seed.jpeg" alt="" width="325" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">From left: Najat Makki, <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ew/artists/rackroom/291803-el-seed" target="_blank">eL Seed</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The 2014 RCA Secret London sale had included postcards by Grayson Perry and Zaha Hadid. In Dubai, regional and UAE-based artists including eL Seed and Ruben Sanchez participated alongside Paul Smith and Emma Watson, as did Najat Makki, who is the first Emirati woman to attend art school and whose paintings will be showcased at the <a href="http://nationalpavilionuae.org" target="_blank">UAE Pavilion</a> at the upcoming Venice Biennale.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150323112528-shonibare.jpeg" alt="" width="200" /><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150323112547-harb.jpeg" alt="" width="200" /><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150323112843-emma_watson.jpeg" alt="" width="200" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">From left: Yinka Shonibare, <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ew/artists/rackroom/248551-hazem-harb" target="_blank">Hazem Harb</a>, Emma Watson</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">More than 1,000 people registered to bid. A few stalwart collectors even camped overnight in the shadow of the Orientalist souk, just to be first in the queue. (Dubai collectors are not used to waiting for much of anything, so the lines were not particularly long, with most bidders rolling in as the sale opened at noon.) With a cap on four postcards per registered bidder, the auction became a game of choosing work one connected with, balanced with work that could possibly be of great value. Was the illustration of a balloon dog defecating, a famous artist&rsquo;s doodle or a recent RCA graduate&rsquo;s weak attempt at satire? In my case, sadly, it was the latter.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Imagine an entire auction that displayed and sold art this democratically. After watching the 40-year-old Lebanese painter, Ayman Baalbaki&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.christies.com/LotFinder/lot_details.aspx?intObjectID=5875481" target="_blank"><em>Babel</em></a> auctioned off at Christie&rsquo;s Dubai sale for a record $400,000 (the estimate was $150-200k), it doesn&rsquo;t look like that will be happening here anytime soon.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The full list of postcards with revealed artists can now be found <a href="http://dubai.secret.rca.ac.uk/2015/#postcards" target="_blank">here</a>.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/409513-danna-lorch?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Danna Lorch</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">(All images courtesy&nbsp;RCA Secret Dubai and Art Dubai)</span></p> Mon, 23 Mar 2015 12:06:56 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list The Emancipation of Private Space in Five Centuries of Art History <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The curators of a new exhibition at <a href="http://www.marmottan.fr/" target="_blank">Marmottan Museum</a>, Paris, Georges Vigarello and Nadeije Laneyrie-Dagen, have chosen an audacious topic: <em>La Toilette and&nbsp;</em></span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The Invention of Privacy, </em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">tracing the r</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">itual practices that accompany the toilette through</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">selected part of art history (with works on display from the 15th to the first half of 20th</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;century).</span></p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150323105648-15_theophile_alexandre_steinlen_le_bain.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p class="p1" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Theophile Alexandre Steinlen, <em>Le Bain</em>, 1902. Copyright Musee cantonal des beaux-arts de Lausanne</span></p> <p class="p1" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The "toilette" (bathroom) is here understood in its wide use for private self-care that ranges from hygienic rituals&mdash;such as bathing and removing of fleas&mdash;to combing, and applying fashion accessories and make-up. However, because the exhibition focuses solely on the representation of women in these private spaces, the effect seems less the "invention of privacy" (or, "the birth" as implied by the French exhibition title <em>la naissance de l&rsquo;intime</em>) than "the invention of the nude via the toilette." Lacking in art historical references to Ancient Greek art or bathing&nbsp;<em>hammam</em>&nbsp;rituals from Arab culture, for example, the exhibit also remains a French affair.</span></p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Still, the very character of the museum space itself&mdash;a former residence&mdash;lends itself well for an exhibition of this kind: the&nbsp;choreography of the space&nbsp;unfolds as a walk through a dark corridor, where only the artworks are lit, enhancing the boudoir-like viewing experience.</span></p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150323112535-16_eugene_lomont_jeune_femme_a_sa_toilette.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Eugene Lamont, <em>Jeune Femme a sa Toilette</em>, 1898, Copyright RMN Grand Palais / Thierry Ollivier</span></p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The collection displays contrasting works that illustrate the evolution of corporeal rituals, dating from 15th century up to Alain Jacquet&rsquo;s 1965 silk screen print,&nbsp;<em>Gaby D</em><em>&rsquo;</em><em>Estr</em><em>&eacute;es,&nbsp;</em>which revisits an iconic image from 1594 by the Fonteinbleau School (<em>T</em><em>he Portrait of Gabrielle d</em><em>&rsquo;</em><em>Estr</em><em>&eacute;es&nbsp;</em><em>and D</em><em>u</em><em>chess de Villars</em>).</span></p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150323103404-2_ecole_de_fontainbleau_gabrielle_d_estrees.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Anonymous (Ecole de Fontainebleau) Portrait pr&eacute;sum&eacute; de Gabrielle d&rsquo;Estr&eacute;es et la Duchesse de Villars au bain,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Copyright Musee de la Societe Archeologique, Montpellier, France / Giraudon Bridgemann Images&nbsp;</span><span style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Throughout the exhibition installation the images contrast historically&mdash;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">in both content and approach&mdash;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">as they trace the evolution of ritual&nbsp;</span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">toilette</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;practices. The early depictions portray bathing women facing the viewer, shop window style, where women proudly expose their nudity, often accompanied by servants or random observers in the distance. However this almost publicly celebrated space of privacy undergoes transformation during the Libertine era: intimacy here is no longer grasped through the prism of bathing but rather through dressing, in fashion and accessories. The Libertine era redefines the private toilette as a grooming space, with fluffed corset dresses, laced stockings, corsets, and occasionally fans accessible to the viewer through an almost forbidden gaze of a peephole or a vignette frame.</span></p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150323111410-9_francois_boucher_la_gimblette.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Francois Boucher, <em>L'oeil indiscret</em> ou <em>La femme qui pisse,</em> c. 1742. Copyright Christina Baraja&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">At the entrance is a delicately portrayed<em>&nbsp;Venus with the Mirror</em>&nbsp;that hangs in parallel to Eadweard&nbsp;Muybridge&rsquo;s chronophotographic plate presenting&nbsp;&nbsp;<em>Animal Locomotion</em>&nbsp;(1887). The&nbsp;movements of a nude woman in her bathroom&mdash;still and artificially elegant&mdash;become a private performance seen through Muybridge&rsquo;s lens, an animated ritual dance, in which the woman appears to own her space and to emancipate her desire.</span></p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">These attitudes show the transformation of the subject matter and the position of the viewer: whereas Venus exposes herself in a style closer to Alain Jacquet's prints, Muybridge captures the truly private space in its dailiness and repetition. This transformative shift takes us away from the objective glorification of the nude and we enter a space where we are complicit in the intimacy.</span></p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150323110006-29_alain_jacquet_gaby_d_estrees.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Alain Jacquet, <em>Gabrielle D'Estrelles</em>, 1965, Courtesy Comite Alain Jacquet et Galerie GP &amp; N Vallois, Paris. Copyright Comite Alain Jacquet</span></p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The 18th&nbsp;century depictions of rituals of cleaniness in the private space began to open up the world of boudoir scenes to the public: the nude, discrete erotica, and new visual forms of feminity and zones of social tolerance were a corollary of these new portraits of intimacy.</span></p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The birth of these new spaces of intimacy becomes gradually articulated and affirmed through refined palette of tonal modulations: brush-size bright color patches in Manet&rsquo;s&nbsp;<em>Femme Se Coiffant&nbsp;</em>(1879) expose enacted intimacy brimming with new liberty, while the delicately nuanced pastel strokes of Berthe Morisot&rsquo;s&nbsp;<em>Devant La Psyche</em>&nbsp;(1890) express a meditative privacy of the composed gestures, and stand in contrast to hard strokes of color in the manicure ritual of Henri de Toulouse Lautrec&rsquo;s&nbsp;&nbsp;<em>Toillette</em>&nbsp;(1891).</span></p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150323103105-22_henri_de_toulouse_lautrec_la_toilette_madame_favre.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Henri Toulouse Lautrec, <em>La Toilette: Madame Favre (Femme Se Faisant Ses Mains).&nbsp;</em>Copyright Suisse, Collection Nahmad / Raphael Barithel</span></p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px;">&nbsp;</p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">With Degas&rsquo; revolutionization of the gaze on the nude and toilette, the libertine pictorial themes of sensual pleasure, as presented by Fran&ccedil;ois Boucher, suddenly fade into background. Through dynamic poses and low or overhead angles, Degas reveals the nude immersed in intimate acts, where the figure suddenly unveils itself through a delicate, self-appropriated self-contact that renders her at once graceful and vulnerable.</span></p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Through the work of color, architecture of space in the image with (erasing of &nbsp;the position of the viewer) these images testify the complete closing up of the once&nbsp;<em>open</em>&nbsp;private space and an unnoticed and veiled quality of intimacy resurfaces. Degas with his new almost cinematic approach to the feminine figure, employment of novel angles, and his focus on capturing the everyday ritual resembles and paves the way to Muybridge's cinematic style.</span></p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Privacy conquered in such a manner begs to be contrasted and challenged with the images of our current landscape too. Muybridge's work remains thus a solitary example that could have been extended to contemporary video art, for instance, and the advertising rhetoric of Jacquet's&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">image of the toilette rituals could have been bridged to art that addresses digital advertising now. The revival of shared private space via social platforms and the rampant success of selfie portraits evokes an unusual resemblance with the frontal self-presentation of the medieval tapestry.</span></p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/310179-jana-zilova?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Jana Zilova</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at the top: Edgar Degas, <em>Femme dans son bain s&rsquo;&eacute;pongeant la jambe,</em> 1883, Paris, musee d&rsquo;Orsay, Legs du comte Isaac de Camondo, 1911&nbsp;Copyright<strong>&nbsp;</strong>RMN, Grand Palais (musee d'Orsay) / Herv. Lewandowski)</span></p> Tue, 24 Mar 2015 10:39:24 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list Archibald J. Motley Jr.: Hearing the Contemporary Pitch <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" align="center"><span style="text-align: left; font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Approaching Archibald J. Motley Jr.&rsquo;s traveling retrospective, currently on view at the Chicago Cultural Center, one can hear strains of jazz carrying down the Grand Staircase. The music pipes through a ceiling speaker in the brightly lit hall that&rsquo;s meant to prepare and inform the viewer with a timeline of the painter&rsquo;s life on one wall, a collection of his quotes on the other. And then one steps through, into the exhibition room itself&mdash;and all those nice little atmospheric and curatorial gestures are washed away by waves of color, stretched allusions and sharp looks, drifting shapes that build into an electric sea of visual noise. &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist</em> is midway through a national tour, with a forthcoming catalogue and an excellent supplementary <a href="http://nasher.duke.edu/motley/" target="_blank">website</a> produced by the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University providing scholarly assessments of the painter&rsquo;s oeuvre.<a title="" href="#_ftn1">[1]</a> Richard J. Powell, the Duke art history professor and primary organizer, hopes that the exhibition will firmly place Motley into the canon of 20th century American painters. This attempt to revise the standard historical paradigm is bold, but not atypical of a scholar&rsquo;s ambitions. More daring is Powell&rsquo;s positioning of Motley as a &ldquo;proto-contemporary&rdquo; artist, a conceptual pioneer whose work is imminently relevant to makers and scholars today. Few artists in any time period, including the 2010s have so thoroughly probed the complexities of racial identity in America.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The 42 paintings that make up the exhibition range from Motley&rsquo;s days as a recent graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the 1920s to his final years of production as a 70-year-old in the 1960s. From the early, academic work to the later, riotous compositions, one can see a sustained exploration of the same concepts, approached with ever-increasing degrees of nuance over the years. Technically, Motley&rsquo;s skill as a colorist, his ability to build a composition out of accumulated geometric shapes, and his innate understanding of visual rhythm stand out as his most striking achievements. It&rsquo;s Motley&rsquo;s content, however, that Powell and his collaborators see as truly revolutionary.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150320132046-web-MendingSocks1.jpg" alt="" width="500" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 10px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Archibald J. Motley Jr.,&nbsp;<em>Mending Socks</em>, 1924. Oil on canvas, 43.875 x 40 inches (111.4 x 101.6 cm). Collection of the Ackland Art Museum, <br />The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Burton Emmett Collection, 58.1.2801. &copy; Valerie Gerrard Browne</span></p> <p style="line-height: 10px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">It&rsquo;s impossible to discuss Motley without describing his identity, and, in doing so, immediately encountering multiplicities of identity. Motley was African American, but to describe him solely as such would be to ignore his identity as a mixed race man with a significant Creole heritage. Motley was a lifelong Chicagoan, though he was born and partly raised in New Orleans, and he achieved major advances in his work during a Guggenheim-funded year in Paris (1929&ndash;1930) and frequent trips to Mexico (1950s). His family was Catholic&mdash;an unusual religious affiliation for African Americans&mdash;but his high school sweetheart and eventual wife was the (Caucasian) daughter of German-Lutheran immigrants.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In the handful of early works on display Motley remains committed to the classical academic portraiture of his student days. Despite their high level of craft, these pieces are technically unexceptional; again, it&rsquo;s the identities that propel the viewer&rsquo;s interest. In <em>Mending Socks</em> (1924), which would become one of the artist&rsquo;s most successful works during his lifetime, Motley shows his grandmother, a former slave, in a high-backed chair. A Catholic crucifix is affixed to the wall beside her; a still life bowl of fruit sits on a small table alongside two books, indicators of her level of education; and on the left hangs a portrait of a white woman, just over half her face within the frame. This is the former slave owner of the model who presented her with the portrait on the day she was freed.<em> Mending Socks</em> short-circuits any attempt at a simplistic reading. What it definitely shares with Motley&rsquo;s other early works is a resounding sense of individual pride. &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">By the end of the 1920s Motley had begun to produce the brightly colored tableaux of black culture for which he&rsquo;s most remembered today. A majority of these are highly choreographed urban crowd scenes populated with African Americans of every shape, size, and skin tone. As Chicago experienced the effects of the Great Migration&mdash;an influx of primarily rural, uneducated African Americans from the South&mdash;the city&rsquo;s sophisticated black middle class tended to react with distrust and disdain. Motley shows both sides of the culture clash without staking a claim with either one, reveling in the frenetic energy of the streets, parks, and clubs of contemporary Bronzeville, &ldquo;the Black Metropolis.&rdquo; In <em>Black Belt </em>(1934) and <em>Barbecue </em>(1964) individuals became characters, or types, rhythmically overflowing across landscapes equally dreamy and futuristic. In <em>Cocktails </em>(1926) sophisticated women laugh and sip cocktails under a traditional European painting, while in <em>The Plotters </em>(1933) pin-striped gangsters smoke cigars, gesticulate, and regard each other warily. Motley was committed to showing it all.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150320132218-web-TheLiar.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: 10px;">Archibald J. Motley Jr.,&nbsp;<em>The Liar</em>, 1936. Oil on canvas, 32 x 36 inches (81.3 x 91.4 cm). <br />Collection of the Howard University Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. &copy; Valerie Gerrard Browne</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: 10px;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Over time, as Motley transformed his figures into types and compositional elements, they became increasingly cartoonish. Bright red lips, ivory white teeth, and leering looks became the norm. The most sustained criticism of the artist over the years has been in reaction to his use of these minstrel show stylizations; discomforting racial images appear throughout the exhibition, e.g. in such works as <em>The Liar</em> (1936) and <em>Gettin&rsquo; Religion</em> (1948). Today&rsquo;s art historians generally defend this stylization, describing it is as a deliberate appropriation of traditional negative stereotypes of black cultural identity. This rings true: Motley&rsquo;s own statements unequivocally position him as a champion of social justice and black pride, and there&rsquo;s clearly a logic to the disempowerment of stigmatized imagery through its appropriation. Still, this is one aspect of the exhibition that could receive more direct consideration.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Many of Motley&rsquo;s later works enter a different phase entirely, as he seems to have become more interested in shapes and rhythm than in distinctive characters. In one of the most compelling of these, </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Hot Rhythm</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> (1961), a writhing throng of nightclub goers, dancers, and musicians punctuate the picture plane like musical notes of a raging jazz session. The canvas is so loud that it&rsquo;s almost impossible to see.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150320132624-web-HotRhythm.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: 10px;">Archibald J. Motley Jr., <em>Hot Rhythm</em>, 1961. Oil on canvas, 40 x 48.375 inches (101.6 x 122.9 cm). Collection of Mara Motley, MD, and Valerie Gerrard Browne. <br />Image courtesy of the Chicago History Museum, Chicago, Illinois. &copy; Valerie Gerrard Browne</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: 10px;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">One reason that Motley&rsquo;s work remains fresh today is simply because each canvas offers so much for consideration. This brief review has only had the space to lightly touch on some of Motley&rsquo;s major themes, without being able to discuss topics that could merit extensive essays, including (to name a few) Motley&rsquo;s Parisian paintings, his Mexico paintings, his connection to the Harlem Renaissance, his use of self-portraiture, his use of nudity, his palpable feminism, and just how amazingly funny he can be. Suffice it to say that this is an artist who engages head-on with complexity, and who proudly sustains a multiplicity of identities without being swayed by heedless anger, fear, or fragmentation. He responds to unanswerable questions in the best way possible: with even better questions. </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> is honest, brazenly original, and thoroughly contemporary. Go to it, and listen.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/346862-james-pepper-kelly?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">James Pepper Kelly</a></span><a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/346862-james-pepper-kelly?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></a></p> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><br clear="all" /><hr style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" align="left" size="1" width="33%" /> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref1">[1]</a> Other exhibition venues include the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Members of both the public and the press have suggested that the exhibition should be exhibited in a higher profile Chicago venue. The natural choice would be the Art Institute of Chicago, given Motley&rsquo;s degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and his exhibition history at the museum. Moreover, the museum&rsquo;s participation would certainly help advance the organizers&rsquo; cause of solidifying Motley&rsquo;s place in the canon. Regardless of whatever politics, budgets, or timelines prevented the exhibition from showing at the Art Institute, I personally am always happy to see major exhibitions in less formal venues. The Cultural Center was designed in 1892, when Motley was 1 year old. In my mind, the architecture and ornamentation help to situate the work historically without making it feel at all dated.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">(Image at top: Archibald J. Motley Jr.,&nbsp;<em>The Picnic</em>,</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;1936. Oil on canvas, 30 x 36 inches (76.2 x 91.4 cm). Collection of the Howard University Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. &copy; Valerie Gerrard Browne)</span></span></p> </div> </div> Fri, 20 Mar 2015 14:13:04 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list Made-Up with Danny Volk: S1E7 with Laura Letinsky <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Danny Volk talks to artists in their studios about life and art&mdash;while they do his make-up. This concept was a new one for us, and, unsurprisingly, it produces some unique moments: see artists like Theaster Gates, Pope.L, and Jessica Stockholder working in their studios as you've never seen them before.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Revisit Season 1 as we anticipate the all-new Made-Up Season 2, to be released this Spring on ArtSlant.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">This week: Photographer Laura Letinsky gives Danny his creepiest makeover yet while discussing community gardening, the worst art she's made, still lifes and domesticity, and taking matters into her own hands when she wanted a perfect bowl for serving fish soup.</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;<br /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ok_D3dwbAqE" frameborder="0" width="560" height="315"></iframe></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="float: right;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20150129205110-10299099_219201961624218_7214582499433800077_n.jpg" alt="" width="150" /></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>More About Made-Up With Danny Volk&nbsp;</strong></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Made-Up is created and hosted by Danny Volk.&nbsp;Volk was born in 1979 in Akron, OH and currently lives and works in Chicago, IL. Volk got his MFA in Visual Art from the University of Chicago in 2014, and his BA in Theater Studies at Kent State University in 2006.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Produced by | Danny Volk and Stephanie Anne Harris Trevor</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Cameras | Bryce Peppers,&nbsp;Valia&nbsp;O'Donnell</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Technical consultant | Ben Chandler</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">"Comic Strip" by Serge&nbsp;Gainsbourg&nbsp;remixed by&nbsp;<a href="https://soundcloud.com/flashcookie">DJ&nbsp;Flashcookie</a></span></p> Fri, 20 Mar 2015 12:27:45 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list Denver: A Mile High State of the Arts <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Big city digs alongside premier Rocky Mountains destinations, an unquenchable taste for craft and micro-breweries, an accelerating infiltration by the young and ambitious&hellip; top it off with the legalization of marijuana and the result is a city bursting with people and energy. It&rsquo;s an exciting time to be part of the emerging cultural scene that is Denver, Colorado. Following heightened national scrutiny and increased tourist attention over the past year, the Mile High City feels ripe and ready for a unique creative tableau, and is developing into a creative hub accordingly.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In terms of its development, I will place Denver firmly in the &ldquo;arts center adolescence&rdquo; phase. Of course, this begs the questions: what is an arts center? What are the components necessary to have one&mdash;and to make it successful? A well of art makers, to be sure. But additionally, a supportive infrastructure of dissemination, criticism, and a sustaining economy (namely, collectors). In Denver, it seems that in conventional galleries, sales have been the key motivating factor in choosing which artwork is commercially shown. However, there is an equally&mdash;and increasingly&mdash;thriving arts scene producing and exhibiting challenging shows of contemporary artists.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In this growing scene, energy is ebullient, artwork is edgy, curators are risk takers, and the openings are impressively populated. However, this grassrootsy-ness, though delightful, tends to go hand-in-hand with a pervasive unchecked-ness in which the energy for arts and artists overflows the current infrastructure of support that promotes, challenges, and ultimately propels artists forward. This is evidenced, for example, by the widespread presence of artist cooperatives. There are many advantages to the artist co-op model, and there are benefits for artists. However, the disadvantage of having <em>so many</em> is that art is made and shown out of pace with the other necessary factors of support: criticism, curation, consumption.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Despite these criticisms, Denver-as-creative-hub is certainly on the rise. There are emerging galleries and art districts, as well as well-established venues offering up valuable exhibitions and access to the incredible talent of local, regional, national, and international artists. In no particular order:</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Gildar Gallery </strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150319125134-Gildar_Image_2.jpg" alt="" height="400" />&nbsp;<img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150319125233-Gildar_Image_3.jpg" alt="" height="400" /></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 10px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">(left) Dmitri Obergfell,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">Installation view<br /></span></span><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">(right)&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">Kristen Hatgi Sink,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">Installation view from <em>Tented Sky</em></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;running through&nbsp;April 3rd, 2015. Both images courtesy Gildar Gallery</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 10px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ew/venues/show/46590-gildar-gallery" target="_blank">Gildar Gallery</a>, founded by owner and director Adam Gildar in 2012, has made quite a name for itself in only a few short years by staging innovative exhibitions with an ongoing interest in curatorial collaboration and expansive vision. The gallery is currently participating in the citywide biennial <a href="http://www.mopdenver.com/" target="_blank">Month of Photography</a> (MoP), celebrating fine art photography, with <em><a href="http://www.gildargallery.com/exhibitions/tented-sky" target="_blank">A Tented Sky</a></em>, a solo show of local artist Kristen Hatgi Sink&rsquo;s disconcerting and sensual images, drawing on concepts of desire, decadence, and the gaze.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Previous exhibitions have included collaborative projects such as <em>TAKEOVER</em> and <em>DE-CO SL-UT</em>. <em><a href="http://www.gildargallery.com/exhibitions/takeover" target="_blank">TAKEOVER</a></em>, a group show exploring themes of power and politics, guest curated by Los Angeles-based Charlie James of <a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/venues/show/4486-charlie-james-gallery" target="_blank">Charlie James Gallery</a>, was framed as a curatorial coup d&rsquo;etat. Most recently, <em><a href="http://www.gildargallery.com/exhibitions/de-co-sl-ut" target="_blank">DE-CO SL-UT</a></em> was a co-curated show between Denver and Salt Lake CIty, Utah. The show featured artists from both cities, opening a dialogue that sought to formulate a potential lexicon for contemporary art in the American West.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><strong style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">David B. Smith Gallery</strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Located in the polished and trendy LoDo neighborhood,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/ew/venues/show/6378-david-b-smith-gallery" target="_blank">David B. Smith Gallery</a>&nbsp;offers cutting edge works from regional, national, and international artists through a challenging curatorial program. Most recently, the gallery launched the ambitious show&nbsp;<a href="http://www.davidbsmithgallery.com/exhibit/show/constructed-histories" target="_blank"><em>Constructed Histories</em></a>, organized by former Denver Art Museum Curator of Contemporary Art, William Morrow. The show tackled themes involving alternative perspectives, multiplicity within historical narrative, and subversive revisionism, with artists working across various media and multiple cultural and conceptual concerns.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Upcoming shows will feature artists Joel Swanson and Christopher Russell (March 27&ndash;April 24), Paul Jacobsen (May 1&ndash;29), John Knuth and Adam Milner (June 5&ndash;July 3).</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Plus Gallery</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150319131418-Screen_Shot_2015-03-19_at_2.13.38_PM.png" alt="" width="550" /></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Frank T. Martinez, <em>Untitled 6-11,</em>&nbsp;2015, Acrylic, ink, gesso, gel medium, Galkyd, and string on panel 18 x 24 in.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150319132426-Krudener_Beyond_Yesterday_s_Expectations.jpg" alt="" width="550" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Laura Krudener, <em>Beyond Yesterday&rsquo;s Expectations</em>, 2015, Acrylic, enamel, marker, charcoal and oil pastel on raw canvas 60 x 60 in.<br /><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Previously located at 2501 Larimer Street, at the cusp of the River North Arts District (RiNo), contemporary art stalwart <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ew/venues/show/14050-plus-gallery" target="_blank">Plus Gallery</a> has settled into a temporary base of operations within Metropolitan Frame Company at 424 Broadway, after the sale of their previous space. Situated within this new collaboration, Plus Gallery is currently exhibiting the group show <a href="http://plusgallery.com/exhibitions/new-new-laura-krudener-frank-t-martinez-xi-zhang/" target="_blank"><em>New, Very New</em></a> (February 18&ndash;April 18), featuring&mdash;you guessed it&mdash;new work by gallery artists Xi Zhang, Laura Krudener, and Frank T. Martinez. Though the show combines three very distinct aesthetics&mdash;Zhang&rsquo;s penetrating landscapes and interiors, Krudener&rsquo;s abstract meditations on movement, and Martinez&rsquo;s explorations of pattern, geometry, color, and density&mdash;the opportunity to view these Denver-based artists provides a window into the strength and range of work produced locally.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The gallery is helmed by owner and director Ivar Zeile, who has been creative director for the Denver Theatre District since 2009, and also initiated <a href="http://www.denverdigerati.com/" target="_blank">Denver Digerati</a> in 2012, a project that fosters public programming for new media and motion-based arts in public spaces throughout the city.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>RULE Gallery</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150319133147-DeMarte_GoldFinch_PinkCord.jpg" alt="" width="550" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Jason DeMarte,&nbsp;<em>Goldfinch and Pink Cord</em>, 2015, archival inkjet print, ed. of 10, 40 x 60 inches</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150319133514-JosephConiffRULEInstall.jpg" alt="" width="550" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Exhibition view of&nbsp;<em>(in parenthesis)&nbsp;</em>at RULE Gallery featuring work by&nbsp;Joseph Coniff, July 24&ndash;October 4, 2014</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">RiNo, the River North Arts District, is a sprawling industrial neighborhood northeast of downtown. It&rsquo;s full of edgy, spacious warehouses, foodie-restaurants, boutique coffee shops, and the ever-present craft breweries that are popping up alongside modern lofts. Despite the growth, the neighborhood has thus far held onto the unpolished, raw feeling of dilapidation awaiting conversion into artist studios and offbeat startups. This is the stuff hipster-gentrification dreams are made of.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Amid the impending air of pretension, there are a growing number of strong exhibition spaces. One of these is <a href="http://www.rulegallery.com/" target="_blank">RULE Gallery</a>, which occupies a tiny, unassuming space on Walnut Street. RULE Gallery, initially founded by the late, beloved, gallerist Robin Rule in 1987, and re-initiated in 2014, exhibits abstract and conceptual contemporary works from prominent artists from around the country as well as regional artists. Recently, <em>String Theory</em> (February 13&ndash;March 21) paired Clark Richert and Matthew Larson. Upcoming shows include <em><a href="http://www.mopdenver.com/#/rule/" target="_blank">Confected</a></em> (March 27&ndash;May 9), a Month of Photography show featuring work by local Jason DeMarte, and <em>Hypnagogia</em> (May 15&ndash;June 27), featuring new works by Pard Morrison that bridge painting and sculpture.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">RULE Gallery will be expanding into a second exhibition space in Marfa, Texas, this spring.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>RedLine</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150319134144-Wommack_Bearded2.jpg" alt="" width="550" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Jordin Paige Wommack, from <em>Bearded Lady</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150319134238-Katchadourian_Flemish_triptych_3_12_11.jpg" alt="" width="550" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Nina Katchadourian: <em>Lavatory Self Portrait in the Flemish Style, #s 3, 11, 12</em>. All images courtesy of RedLine</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://redlineart.org/" target="_blank">RedLine</a> is a non-profit organization that combines an exhibition space with a prestigious artist residency fostering emerging and mid-career artists. Occupying an expansive building on the edge of RiNo, the space hosts as many as 10 to 15 residents at a time, and many actively participate with the community through artist talks, youth education and outreach, and other events meant to engage the public with visual arts. RedLine is currently hosting two Month of Photography exhibitions. The group show <em><a href="http://www.mopdenver.com/#/redline/" target="_blank">Playing with Beauty</a> </em>(March 14&ndash;April 19) curated by MoP founder Mark Sink, features 25 artists exploring the loaded subject of beauty in fine art photography. <em>Role Play</em> (March 14&ndash;April 25), presented in conjunction with the <a href="http://www.cpacphoto.org/" target="_blank">Colorado Photographic Arts Center</a> is a group show with artists Chan-Hyo BAE, Nabil Boutros, Nina Katchadourian, Stacy Kranitz, Sally Stockhold, Stacey Tyrell, Allison Welch, and Jordin Paige Wommack. This show highlights self-portraits that explore themes of self-transformation, and issues involving visualizing identity. The exhibitions are accompanied by a handful of events, including lectures, performances, and workshops.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Robischon</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150319134929-PFAFF_InstallationView-1.jpg" alt="" width="550" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Judy Pfaff, Installation view at Robischon Gallery</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150319135124-HALIM_AL_KARIM_CameraPortrait_04.jpg" alt="" width="550" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">Halim Al Karim,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><em>Eternal Love</em>,&nbsp;Robischon Gallery, Installation with the artist and his hand-constructed camera. Both images courtesy of Robischon Gallery</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ew/venues/show/14038-robischon-gallery" target="_blank">Robischon Gallery</a> has been one of the premier arts destinations in Denver since 1976. In a beautiful, lofty space in LoDo, Robischon offers a consistently compelling exhibition program that embraces a diverse range of stylistic and conceptual concerns. In addition to exhibiting influential artists such as Robert Motherwell, Christo and Jeanne Claude, Robert Rauschenberg, Manuel Neri, Richard Serra, Judy Pfaff, Bernar Venet, Ann Hamilton, Jessica Stockholder, Zhang Xiaogang, and Li Wei, the gallery has also embraced mid-career and emerging artists. Recently, three concurrent solo exhibitions (January 15&ndash;March 7), <em><a href="http://www.robischongallery.com/html/exhibresults.asp?exnum=3421&amp;exname=Christian+Rex+van+Minnen%3A++Golden+Memes" target="_blank">Christian Rex van Minnen: Golden Memes</a></em>, <em><a href="http://www.robischongallery.com/html/exhibresults.asp?exnum=3420&amp;exname=Jerry+Kunkel%3A++Descriptors" target="_blank">Jerry Kunkel: Descriptors</a></em>, and <em><a href="http://www.robischongallery.com/html/exhibresults.asp?exnum=3419&amp;exname=Jean+Lowe%3A++A+More+Beautiful+You" target="_blank">Jean Lowe: A More Beautiful You</a></em>, presented subversive and playful contemplations on art history, pop-culture, and visual satire. The gallery&rsquo;s current exhibition, <em><a href="http://www.robischongallery.com/html/exhibresults.asp?exnum=3427&amp;exname=Far%20Between%20:%20Maria%20Friberg,%20Halim%20Al%20Karim,%20Christine%20Buchsbaum,%20David%20Zimmer,%20Wang%20Ningde,%20Chi%20Peng,%20Ruud%20Van%20Empel,%20Kahn%20+%20Selesnick" target="_blank">Far Between</a> </em>(March 19&ndash;May 2), is a group show of photographic works by artists engaging with surrealism and mystery. Artists include Kahn + Selesnick, Halim Al Karim, Maria Friberg, Ruud van Empel, Christine Buchsbaum, David Zimmer, Chi Peng, and Wang Ningde.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Honorable Mentions</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.goodwinfineart.com/" target="_blank">Goodwin Fine Art</a>, <a href="http://www.irontonstudios.com/" target="_blank">Ironton Studios</a>, <a href="http://carmenw.com/" target="_blank">Carmen Wiedenhoeft Gallery</a>, <a href="http://www.michaelwarrencontemporary.com/" target="_blank">Michael Warren Contemporary</a>, <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ew/venues/show/42971-dikeou-collection" target="_blank">Dikeou Collection</a>, Station (opening April 10).</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/341566-lauren-tresp?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Lauren Tresp</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at top: Xi Zhang, Metallic-leaf Garden Series #01E07 - The Mountain Man / Bob acrylic on canvas 58 x 72 inches, 2014. Courtesy of Plus Gallery)</span></p> Thu, 19 Mar 2015 18:46:30 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list It’s Official: Kanye West to Receive Honorary Doctorate from SAIC <p dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">As an SAIC alum, my newsfeed has been abuzz the past week with artists and writers decrying the honorary doctorate Kanye West </span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDdOi-gBYfg&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank">told France&rsquo;s Clique TV</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> that he would be receiving this coming May. Last night, it was made official with a statement released by SAIC. Other honorees include legendary Chicago gallerist, Rhona Hoffman, artist/donor Janet Neiman, and German painter Albert Oehlen who will be the commencement speaker. Walter E. Massey, President of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago initially invited West over Twitter on March 4.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/kanyewest">@kanyewest</a>, saw your SAIC shout out in <a href="https://twitter.com/vulture">@vulture</a>. You&rsquo;re always welcome &amp; we&rsquo;d love to make you an honorary <a href="https://twitter.com/SAICAlumni">@SAICAlumni</a> at graduation on 5/11</p> &mdash; Walter E. Massey (@saicpres) <a href="https://twitter.com/saicpres/status/573244326819577857">March 4, 2015</a></blockquote> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">SAIC got really excited when West said in a speech at Oxford (<a href="http://www.vulture.com/2015/03/read-kanyes-full-oxford-university-lecture.html" target="_blank">full transcript on Vulture</a>) that he wished he had gone to SAIC instead of the American Academy of the Arts, which is known to be a more trade-based design school in Chicago. Also, don&rsquo;t get SAIC confused with AIC.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div id="fb-root">&nbsp;</div> <p dir="ltr"> <script type="text/javascript">// <![CDATA[ (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); // ]]></script> </p> <div class="fb-post" data-href="https://www.facebook.com/artic/posts/10153108738123150" data-width="466"> <div class="fb-xfbml-parse-ignore"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/artic/posts/10153108738123150">Post</a> by <a href="https://www.facebook.com/artic">The Art Institute of Chicago</a>.</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Kanye West gets a lot of shit, but he also takes huge chances&mdash;and it seems this is the correlation. The majority of criticism about the announcement centered on whether or not West is an artist and an appropriate selection for an honorary doctorate from SAIC. As some pointed out, Ed Harris was a past honoree for acting as an artist in <em>Pollock</em>. Jerry Saltz has also received an honorary degree from SAIC for being an <a href="http://www.vulture.com/2013/11/jerry-saltz-on-kanye-west-kim-kardashian-bound-2.html" target="_blank">art troll par excellence</a> (I assume).</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Given the politics of honorary degrees and their intent of bringing in bankrollers and students more than actually honoring any specific individual&rsquo;s accomplishments, the choice of West isn&rsquo;t really that surprising. What has been surprising is the backlash from a group of people (namely, artists) who pride themselves on pushing the boundaries of art and culture.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">This disconnect was aptly acknowledged in West&rsquo;s bio supplied by SAIC in their announcement which was the only bio that included a handy definition of &ldquo;art&rdquo;:</span></p> <blockquote style="padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Kanye West is a leader in the music industry as a Grammy Award-winning recording artist and producer, as well as a fashion designer and interdisciplinary artist whose work provokes cultural discourse by reflecting a realism of the street. He is an advocate for education, and a thinker and maker who often uses his work&mdash;his lyrics, videos, performances, and fashion designs&mdash;to deconstruct stereotypes and spur cultural discourse on important social issues. West&rsquo;s work, like much of hip-hop, is meant to startle us out of our complacency, <em>and this is the role of art</em>. [emphasis added]</span></blockquote> <p dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Kanye West is a problematic figure, to use artspeak. He gleefully participates in patriarchal objectification of women as evinced by his marriage to Kim Kardashian who is best known for aspiring to be a real doll. He is often belittled for his apparent lack of traditional education&mdash;<a href="http://hyperallergic.com/190950/is-the-school-of-the-art-institute-of-chicago-really-giving-kanye-west-an-honorary-doctorate/">Hyperallergic was happy to participate </a>with their tongue-in-cheek quotes from &ldquo;Dr. West.&rdquo; And finally, and most seemingly egregious, West is cocky.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">There is no excuse for participation in and reification of patriarchy but West&rsquo;s agenda follows many men of color&rsquo;s approach to negotiating their identities within a systemically racist society: racial equality first. However, the oppression of others for the sake of one&rsquo;s own prosperity is never OK.</span></p> <p dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The belittling of West for his meandering thoughts and lack of grammatical attention is just straight up reactionary, racist and classist. Stop it.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/hnigatu/in-defense-of-kanyes-vanity-the-politics-of-black-self-love#.ccdgVOBXJ" target="_blank">West&rsquo;s cockiness</a> may in fact be his greatest work of art. The practice of Art is far greater than any single object&mdash;it most certainly extends to persona. We all know and accept this already (i.e.: Andy Warhol) but for some reason, when it comes to West, his assertion of being and becoming greater than what society tells him he is (a poor, uneducated, black man) is met with resistance and condemnation. Frankly, I&rsquo;m surprised I haven&rsquo;t come across someone calling West &ldquo;uppity.&rdquo;</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Congratulations, SAIC. Your choice to honor Kanye West with an honorary doctorate is an honor for all who work to overcome and transcend the expected. I am proud to be an alumnus.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/website/joel-kuennen" target="_blank">Joel Kuennen</a></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> Wed, 18 Mar 2015 14:07:21 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list How <em>Mario Kart</em> Is Like Rubens: The Classical Principles of Video Game Art <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Remember those misspent days spent playing <em>Golden Axe</em>? Remember your parents confiscating your <em>Mario Kart</em>?&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Turns out your parents didn&rsquo;t appreciate good art when they saw it.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150318104341-Goldenaxe.jpg" alt="" />&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>Golden Axe</em>, Atari</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150318104411-super_mario_kart_wii_u.png" alt="" />&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>Super Mario Kart</em>, Super Nintendo</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Today many people passionately acknowledge computer game art as relevant, &ldquo;legitimate,&rdquo; art. Others believe that computer game art is dumbed down, that the pinnacle of artistic talent was the Renaissance&mdash;with "The Masters," like Caravaggio, Leonardo Da Vinci, Rubens, and Titian&mdash;where light, lines, and shapes were studied endlessly and used in emotive ways to create powerful windows onto worlds. Well, breaking news, readers: the same is true of computer games.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Computer and video game art use exactly the same principles as the old masters: the basic shapes in both classical works of art and in games influence emotion, and the art divines purpose. For example, spherical images evoke a feeling of safety, whereas angular images tend to be more aggressive (but let&rsquo;s not get in to the psychology behind this right now&hellip;) .</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Illustrated below by Chris Solarski&mdash;author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Drawing-Basics-Video-Game-Art/dp/0823098478" target="_blank"><em>Drawing Basics and Video Game Art: Classic to Cutting Edge Art Techniques for Award Winning Design</em></a>&mdash;is the effect of shapes and angles on characterization and emotion.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150318105753-Spectrum_of_Emotional_Shapes.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: 10px;">Illustration copyright &copy; 2012 from&nbsp;Drawing Basics and Video Game Art: Classic to Cutting Edge Art Techniques for Winning Video Game Design&nbsp;(Watson Guptill 2012)&nbsp;by&nbsp;Chris&nbsp;Solarski, featuring from left to right: Kirby&nbsp;by&nbsp;Masahiro Sakurai,&nbsp;The&nbsp;Scythian by Superbrothers, and Bowser by Shigeru Miyamoto</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Kirby (the pink ball) is spherical&mdash;and circular is sweet, gentle, and approachable. At the other end of the spectrum we meet Bowser (the spikey red-headed turtle thing) who, we instinctively surmise, even without having played Mario, is a &ldquo;bad guy&rdquo;: nasty, spiky, dangerous.</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In the same vein, Solarski demonstrates how the use of archetypal curves and angles in both classical works of art and in video games influences emotion. Angular shapes make scenes more aggressive and dramatic:</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; text-align: center;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;<img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150318104533-Gears_of_War.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>Gears of War</em>,&nbsp;Epic Games 2006<br /><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Whereas spherical lines and images evoke a feeling of safety and calmness:</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150318105906-05_Vermeer.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150318110030-06_Rubens.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: 10px;">Illustration copyright &copy; 2012 from&nbsp;<em>Drawing Basics and Video Game Art: Classic to Cutting Edge Art Techniques for Winning Video Game Design</em>&nbsp;(Watson Guptill 2012)&nbsp;by&nbsp;Chris&nbsp;Solarski, featuring&nbsp;<em>Diana and Her Companions</em>&nbsp;(c. 1653)&nbsp;by Johannes Vermeer (left), and&nbsp;<em>Massacre of the Innocents</em>&nbsp;(c.1610)&nbsp;by Peter Paul Rubens (right).</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150318104622-20_Super_Mario_Galaxy.jpg" alt="" />&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>Super Mario Galaxy</em>&nbsp;(2007), Nintendo</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Below is another example of basic shapes and&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">aesthetic</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">constructs being the same, whether from 1585 or 1985&mdash;all that has changed is the medium.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150318110843-vg1.png" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span>&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: x-small;">The building blocks of a group of figures by Luca Cambiaso (1527 &ndash; 1585)</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150318110902-vg2.png" alt="" />&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">The building blocks for&nbsp; a 3D character base in computer game</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The principles remain the same whether you&rsquo;re Botticelli drawing an alluring bottom, or Mario Bros. drawing a friendly ally. These basic shapes, these archetypes hit a primal note with us.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Computer games theoretically have the capacity to take their audience even further emotionally by allowing the user to interact with the scene, however primitive it might appear. As Sean Fenty describes in his essay <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Playing-Past-History-Nostalgia-Video/dp/0826516017" target="_blank">"Why Old School Is 'Cool'"</a>:&nbsp;</span></p> <blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Graphic minimalism goes hand-in-hand with the absorptive, World Unto Itself quality that makes these games special&hellip;When we play these games, the sketchy visual detail forces us to fill in the blanks, and in so doing we bind ourselves to the game world. Even more, we participate in its creation, we are a linchpin, a co-creator, crucial to the existence of the game world as it is meant to be experienced.</span></p> </blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Gaming art is established: this is no longer something new. MoMA has <a href="http://www.moma.org/visit/calendar/exhibitions/1353" target="_blank">exhibited games</a>&nbsp;and the Smithsonian Institute's 2012 exhibition&nbsp;<em><a href="http://americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/archive/2012/games/" target="_blank">The Art of Video Games</a></em>&nbsp;stated that video and computer games &ldquo;can be considered a compelling and influential form of narrative art.&rdquo;&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">With the help of the public,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">the exhibition chose 80 games and went through 20 gaming systems from Playstation 3 to the Atari VCS. The museum hails itself as &ldquo;the first to comprehensively examine the evolution of video games as an artistic medium.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150318104836-panzer-dragoon-saga-excavation-site-number-4-screenshot-04.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>Panzer Dragoon Saga</em> (Adventure) Sega Saturn&ndash;One of the 80 games exhibited at <a href="http://americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/archive/2012/games/">The Smithsonian</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Museums have also taken further steps to solidify games and video game art within art history by acquiring them for their permanent collections. Games have been selected &ldquo;as outstanding examples of interaction design.&rdquo; Case in point: in 2012 MoMA acquired <a href="http://www.moma.org/explore/inside_out/2012/11/29/video-games-14-in-the-collection-for-starters/" target="_blank">its first 14 video games</a> including <em>Pac-Man</em>, <em>The Sims</em>, <em>Tetris</em>, and <em>Another World</em> for its permanent collection deeming them all &ldquo;historically, culturally and aesthetically relevant.&rdquo;&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150318105041-1_pac-man-larger-size.sm_-414x532.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>Pac-Man</em>, 1980. Tōru Iwatani of NAMCO LIMITED, now NAMCO BANDAI Games Inc.</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; text-align: justify;"><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Games' emergence in the art world is not a sudden or recent phenomenon&mdash;video game art has been quietly permeating the establishment for the last decade or so. Cory Arcangel revolutionized the way we look at games, with his hacks, including the now iconic&nbsp;<em>Super Mario Clouds</em>&nbsp;(2002)&mdash;created by manipulating the game&rsquo;s hardware and software. The <a href="http://www.gnovisjournal.org/" target="_blank"><em>Gnovis Journal</em></a> has called his exhibitions of hacked and manipulated games an &ldquo;exercise in nostalgia &hellip; exploding the memories many of us cherish of being the sole player in an epic game Arcangel uses nostalgia, memory and simulation to create a&nbsp;present&nbsp;moment in which memories of video game play, and therefore digital cultural memory, are consciously recollected rather than replayed.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/fCmAD0TwGcQ" frameborder="0" width="420" height="315"></iframe></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">To create the <em>Super Mario Clouds</em> Arcangel opened the game cartridge and replaced the Nintendo graphics chip with a chip containing a program he had written himself. In the tradition of the hacking community, he <a href="http://www.coryarcangel.com/things-i-made/supermarioclouds" target="_blank">posted the instructions</a> of how to create your own Mario Clouds (and the <a href="http://www.coryarcangel.com/things-i-made/2004-002-f1-racer-mod" target="_blank">F1 Racer mod</a> pictured below) at home&mdash;tapping into the collective nostalgia of the gaming community for the freedom of information, while also tapping into the individual watching it.</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150318110514-F1_-_Race__japan_.png" alt="" width="500" /><br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Cory Arcangel, <em>Japanese Driving Game</em>, 2004, Handmade hacked Nintendo Cartridge, Images are courtesy of Cory Arcangel and team (gallery, inc.), New York</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The argument is no longer whether Video Game Art is &ldquo;legitimate art.&rdquo; The question is now whether computer games have the capacity to take an audience even further emotionally than a 2D painting, and so, is it even a more &ldquo;legitimate&rdquo; art form that can be considered even more relevant to today&rsquo;s viewers?</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">With computer games, you are in the artist&rsquo;s world, able to explore it with your own emotions. You can walk through the window of another world. This is evolving with the advancement of virtual reality, and we are beginning to be able to truly immerse ourselves, as wth artist Max Rheiner&rsquo;s <em>Birdly</em>&mdash;where in simulation, you get to fly over San Franscico like a bird (an experience not to be sniffed at). This was featured, among others, as part of the <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ew/articles/show/41924" target="_blank">Sundance Institute&rsquo;s Frontier program</a>&nbsp;during January's Film Festival, an initiative created to support the emerging artists using new forms of technology and new media to tell stories, artists who in their words are &ldquo;re-structuring story design.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150318105517-birdly-864x485.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Max Rheiner&rsquo;s,&nbsp;<em>Birdly</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">From Vermeer to <em>Halo</em>, we are watching the evolution of the old Masters, as a generation of new masters evolve their craft. This could be the point where two worlds collide and the reality of The Matrix is not far off&mdash;or it could just be that we appreciate the graphics of <em>Final Fantasy</em> as we would the strokes of Michelangelo. We could be witnessing a pivotal moment in art history. The argument&rsquo;s answer of legitimacy and relevance however, is up to the individual&mdash;and I am yet to fly.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150318105635-Final_Fantasy-.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Final Fantasy XV</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/416261-jade-angeles-fitton?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank"><span style="font-size: medium;">Jade Angeles Fitton</span></a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at the top: A traditional Navaho cross stitch bearing a striking resemblance to an 8-bit game; "Cross stitch kit: Tree of Life II Monument Valley" Copyright&nbsp;&copy;&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">2015 <a href="https://www.camerontradingpost.com/cc-nk68-counted-cross-stitch-kit-tree-of-life-ii-monument-valley-pictorial.html" target="_blank">Cameron Trading Post </a>&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">)</span></p> Thu, 19 Mar 2015 12:37:57 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list Toward Perception of Space <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Arriving at the magic hour before dusk, light poured in from the skylights, casting rectangular shapes with shadow lines on the back wall of the gallery, near an assortment of three stoic yet surprisingly dynamic sculptures on pedestals. The sculpture series&mdash;titled </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Mutual&mdash;</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">is an exciting new direction for Miriam B&ouml;hm, whose work has always incorporated multiple planes or three dimensional elements; until now the end result has always been a photograph. There are a total of five photo series plus the sculptures on display, the works spanning almost two years of intense investigation using basic abstract shapes to test the limits of how they are perceived in space.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The sculptures are meticulously constructed of bisected glass panels with digital photo print strips of faux woodgrain adhered in various geometric line configurations forming rectangles and rhomboids. Each panel is inset into grooves within simple wooden frames that are conjoined near the centers with miter cuts. As the viewer circles the works, they shift, creating their own shadows and ghost-like replicas that disappear when viewing them from different sides. It is as if the piece is on a sensor, opening and closing each time the viewer moves. Optical displacement occurs at each new gaze, creating a parallax-effect of skewed perspective. The glass subtly reflects parts in front of it, while other lines are seen through the glass&mdash;as if line drawings are being generated via technical trickery. Furthermore, the pieces overlap with the counterparts in the distance, creating even more new configurations at every turn. What the mind believes is in direct conflict with what the eye perceives.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150318104019-3._Bohm_March_16_Towards.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Miriam B&ouml;hm,&nbsp;<em>At On</em>, 2015, series&nbsp;<em>Towards</em>&nbsp;Installation view. Courtesy of ratio3 and the artist<br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In his book <em>The Phenomenology of Perception</em> Maurice Merleau-Ponty explains the phenomenon of seeing and our understanding of the things before us: &ldquo;to see is to enter a universe of beings which <em>display themselves</em>, and they could not do this if they could not be hidden behind each other or behind me.&rdquo; Ponty&rsquo;s point is that perspective is contingent upon the horizon, and the dimensionality of objects is created as they precede each other, or recede from one another, creating depth and space. Furthermore, once something is familiar, the conscious recognition of objects and the places they occupy in the world corroborate our understanding of where these and similar things are or perhaps should be. But&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">looking at B&ouml;hm&rsquo;s work&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">these bets are all off the moment you realize you are being dazzled by the pure illusion of two-dimensional photography. Or in the case of the sculpture: photography as line on clear planes through which other photographic lines can be seen and where phantom lines appear in one view and suddenly disappear in the next. It is simply mind-boggling.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">But that is not to say that photography is a gimmick&mdash;far from it. Photography lays bare its constant struggle with dimensionality. Logically, photographs are two dimensional, but as with B&ouml;hm&rsquo;s persistent and prolific practice, her work ultimately incites questions about reality and fiction. This conundrum is particularly evident in the pieces titled <em>Laying.</em> Here, the subjects&rsquo; frozen states defy logic and make the age old notion of perspective so painfully obvious it&rsquo;s magnetic. Staring, several humble pieces of cut white and black mat board are laid onto a greyscale woven fabric surface. Suddenly one of the boards appears to lift and turn. Blinking, it remains static, yet consciously I know that a 45 degree angle set on top of a straight angle is telling me that the board is perpendicular to the surface, not lying flat. The mind is boggled again.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150318103541-1._Bohm_March_16_left_Mutual_right_Layed_Installation_view.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Miriam B&ouml;hm,&nbsp;<em>At On</em>, 2015,&nbsp;Pictured right,<em>&nbsp;Laying</em>&nbsp;series, left&nbsp;<em>Mutual</em>&nbsp;series&nbsp;Installation view. Courtesy of ratio3 and the artist</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Another series titled <em>Unit </em>also plays with reality and fiction&mdash;if the photograph is taken as a mere representation of reality. The stand out from this series is <em>Unit 1 </em>(2013),&nbsp;with layers of subdued beige woven fabric planes. Stacked one in front of the other, their translucent texture becomes darker where they overlap. Just prior to making her sculptures, B&ouml;hm was working on the series <em>Towards</em>. The title alludes to a transitional phase. Departing from the usual photos mounted in frames, B&ouml;hm opted for fuse mounting the images under Plexiglass. The viewer&rsquo;s figurative reflections muddle the clean lines and geometry of the crisp green and pale aqua shapes. The gallery is reflected in them too, simulating columns or doorways within the composition. Time shifts as the work becomes unintentionally site-specific, containing the architecture of the space in the moment. Most evident in all of the two-dimensional works is the condition between the present and a constructed past. The photographed constructions are castaways of a complex experiment with space. They no longer exist as objects in a three-dimensional state, but instead are ephemeral models used to create images where they are the subjects.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150318103614-5._Bohm_March_16_Unit_I.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Miriam B&ouml;hm,&nbsp;<em>Unit I</em>, 2013, Pigment print,&nbsp;47 x 35". Courtesy of ratio3 and the artist</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150318103931-4._Bohm_March_16_Towards_II.jpg" alt="" />&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Miriam B&ouml;hm,&nbsp;<em>Towards II</em>, 2014, Chromogenic print on Plexiglass,&nbsp;43 x 28". Courtesy of ratio3 and the artist</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">When viewing the show we are somehow with B&ouml;hm in the studio and become privy to her thoughts and activities. Her moves are in each piece. Returning to Ponty: &ldquo;to be a body, is to be tied to a certain world... our body is not primarily in space: it is of it.&rdquo; B&ouml;hm&rsquo;s subjects in her photographs are in a sense, portraits of a process; and the new sculpture is embodied process.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/1872-leora-lutz?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Leora Lutz</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at the top:&nbsp;Miriam B&ouml;hm,&nbsp;<em>Mutual II</em>, 2015, UV digital print on glass, wood, 26 x 31 x 22". Courtesy of ratio3 and the artist)</span></p> Wed, 18 Mar 2015 12:16:59 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list High Seas and Ether Highways: The Collective Works of CAMP Come to Light Across India <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Chemould Prescott Road&rsquo;s presentation of CAMP&rsquo;s <em>As If &ndash; IV: Night for Day</em>, surrounds the viewer in an animated darkness framed by reflections of the outside world. These words&mdash;&ldquo;outside,&rdquo; &ldquo;animated darkness,&rdquo; &ldquo;surround&rdquo;&mdash;could sum up what CAMP (Critical Art &amp; Media Practice), a Mumbai-based studio for transdisciplinary media practices, is setting out to do. Over the years, CAMP principals Shaina Anand and Ashok Sukumaran have engaged with media in both the artistic, material sense and through the conceptual mediation of the world at large. Video, CCTV, artist, layman, inside, outside, real, altered real, land, sea, electricity, and the internet&mdash;these themes, subjects, and media creep repeatedly into their practice, as they visualize a world that we live in but perhaps are not aware of&mdash;the reality hidden in the virtual. Darkness here, then, refers not just to the nocturnal oblivion of the sun, but the darkness of digital ether too, an immaterial reality surrounding our quotidian lives&mdash;where community lives at once locally and globally.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Comprising a series of exhibitions across four venues in Calcutta, New Delhi, and Mumbai, <em>As If I&ndash;IV</em> is &ldquo;retrospective in spirit.&rdquo; Since their founding in 2007, CAMP has negotiated the&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">social, geo-political, ethical, and theoretical</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;implications of the technological takeover of humanity in the 21st century. In this transient state of understanding, CAMP involves all actors in its practice: they do not stand alone, but with the communities that live in this &ldquo;outside darkness.&rdquo; What is it to live in a post-Snowden world? What if WikiLeaks enters the gallery space? What if electricity is not a virtual non-entity, but a material&mdash;an artistic medium to light up night, to negotiate government-run grids? What if you watch others watching others? What if </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">you</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> are the subject being watched even as you watch? These are not fanciful questions, airy artist ponderings, or impossible situations; these are situations taking place as you read this, in the larger world, and within the gallery.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150317105337-Installation_View__left_GPS_.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: 10px;">CAMP, <em>As If &ndash; IV: Night for Day</em>, Installation view at Chemould Prescott Road, 2015. Video on left <em>GPS (Glow Positioning System)</em>, 2005. <br />Courtesy of the arists and&nbsp;Chemould Prescott Road<br /><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/42229" target="_blank">Surveillance has entered our lives</a> by stealth in the last two decades, whether through increased security at borders, expansive CCTV in public areas, or the home videos that pervade YouTube. Wikipedia even has an entry on <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surveillance_art" target="_blank">&ldquo;Surveillance Art&rdquo;</a>: post-9/11, the number of artists working with surveillance has increased, in many cases because the artists themselves have been subject to surveillance. Bangladeshi-born American artist Hasan Elahi put his entire life online after erroneously being put on a terrorist watchlist. Recording mundane details like credit card transactions and GPS locations, he creates a virtual alibi for where he is, making his state surveillance an act of banality. Filmmaker Laura Poitras, already on a watchlist for her documentary work, recorded the lengths she and reporter Glenn Greenwald went to meet Edward Snowden in hiding and make 2014's award-winning documentary <em>Citizenfour</em>.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">It is this world that CAMP examines in fictive geographies and public stagings. According to their bio, the collaborative studio, founded in 2007, &ldquo;has been producing fundamental new work in video and film, electronic media, and public art forms, in a practice characterized by a hand-dirtying, non alienated relation to technology.&rdquo; This hand-dirtying is apparent in their video project <a href="http://studio.camp/event.php?id=98" target="_blank"><em>The Neighbour before the House</em></a> (2009&ndash;2011). From CCTV cameras set up in the homes of displaced Palestinians, we watch Palestinians tell stories and recount memories while <em>they</em> watch CCTV&nbsp;images of occupied East Jerusalem on TVs in their bedrooms. It captures the surveillance and voyeurism so characteristic of our times. Exhuming archives (as in CAMP&rsquo;s Afghan Films:<a href="http://studio.camp/event.php?id=161" target="_blank"> Archive Practicum</a> at <a href="http://d13.documenta.de/#/participants/participants/camp-founded-2007-by-shaina-anand-sanjay-bhangar-and-ashok-sukumaran/" target="_blank">dOCUMENTA(13)</a> in 2012) and establishing new ones is another critical part of their larger practice. Both <a href="https://pad.ma/" target="_blank">Pad.ma</a>, a digital media archive, and more recently <a href="http://indiancine.ma/" target="_blank">Indiancine.ma</a>, a digital first-of-its-kind in Indian cinema, are collective efforts of Anand, Sukumaran, and CAMP studio collaborators.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Flipping the term &ldquo;nuit am&eacute;ricaine&rdquo;&mdash;the process of filming a night scene in the day using tungsten lights, synonymous with Truffaut&rsquo;s <em>Day for Night</em>&mdash;CAMP lights up the night in <em>As If &ndash; IV: Night for Day</em> using airwaves, sound waves, and the crackle of energy. Sound&mdash;ambient or on headphones&mdash;is rife in the immersive Chemould Prescott Road presentation. The projections soar and the surrounding darkness makes viewers part of the exhibition&rsquo;s real-life scale. In <a href="http://www.aaa-a.org/collection/khirkeeyaan/" target="_blank"><em>KhirkeeYaan</em></a> (2006) neighbors connect with anecdotes or song through TV interfaces; <a href="https://www.digitalartarchive.at/database/literature/work/glow-positioning-system.html" target="_blank"><em>GPS (Glow Positioning System)</em> </a>(2005) sees a bewildered public use a hand crank to light up Bombay&rsquo;s General Post Office traffic crossing, where lights race in sequence illuminating the Gothic and other architecture styles; in <em>Four-Letter Film</em> (2015) an eavesdropped telephone conversation is beamed on the exterior wall of a house in Jor Bagh, New Delhi. CAMP&rsquo;s interventions unsettle the scene&mdash;norms are intervened with, manipulated, or made manifest. With these gestures, they question what is unseen&mdash;or unheard&mdash;but negotiated by us all in the everyday.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150317104828-Interior_Design_II.jpg" alt="" height="350" /><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150317105149-Screen_Shot_2015-03-17_at_11.51.05_AM.png" alt="" height="350" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">CAMP,<em>&nbsp;Interior Design II</em>, Installation view at Chemould Prescott Road, <em>As If &ndash; IV: Day for Night</em>, 2015.&nbsp;Courtesy of the artists and&nbsp;Chemould Prescott Road<br /><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In <em>Interior Design II</em>, a screen moves up and down eerily in front of a gallery window. Lured to window as the screen rises, you see the trees outside, lit up and rustling in the artificial glow. The screen lowers, obscuring the view, and suddenly your silhouette, looking out the window, is projected onto an adjacent wall&mdash;you&rsquo;ve been filmed. It&rsquo;s a life-sized, time-drawn &ldquo;click&rdquo; of a camera in its modern day avatar that at once recalls camera obscura, Big Brother, and the ubiquitous selfie. A &ldquo;flash&rdquo; and &ldquo;click&rdquo; would have made it a perfect metaphor&mdash;the lurking paparazzo in public space.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Three weeks earlier, <em>As If &ndash; III: Country of the Sea</em> opened at the <a href="http://www.bdlmuseum.org/exhibitions/2015/country-of-the-sea-camp.html" target="_blank">Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum</a>, also in Mumbai. With a screen extending from the ground to first floor gallery, the museum&rsquo;s atrium becomes a makeshift cinema. I first saw the entrancing <em>From Gulf to Gulf</em> as a submission to the Mumbai Film Fest, where it was almost a rough cut, a work-in-progress. It has subsequently been screened at venues such as BFI London Film Festival and the 2014 Viennale. Comprising four years of mobile phone camera footage, the collaboration between CAMP and Kutchi seafarers captures life on the seas from the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Aden. Personal recordings that might otherwise slip through the cracks of history catch the humdrum life on the seas&mdash;song, dance, chatter. Somehow intimate across the vast geographies traversed, the film tracks language (Kutchi, Farsi, Balochi, and Saraiki) and commodities&mdash;from livestock to electronic goods&mdash;weaving unseen worlds that sustain romance as much as they do trade&mdash;everything &ldquo;perpendicular to piracy&rdquo; that exists on these routes.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150317110438-From_Gulf_to_Gulf_to_Gulf__2_.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">CAMP, <em>From&nbsp;Gulf to Gulf</em>, Installation view at Bhau Daji Lad Museum,&nbsp;<em>As If &ndash; III: Country of the Sea</em>, 2015. Courtesy of the artists and Bhau Daji Lad Museum<br /><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The exhibition&rsquo;s title work is a collaboration between Gujarati sailors and artists from the <a href="http://clarkhouseinitiative.org/" target="_blank">Clark House Initiative</a>. <em>Country of the Sea</em> is a map referencing a Gujarati chart of the Gulf of Aden from 1810 (from a drawing of the Arabian and Somali coasts and their familiar link with Gujarat since the 17th century). The map, a 22- by 5-foot solar-exposed cyanotype print, draws together the coastlines of Africa, Iran, and India, seemingly making the sea a country of its own. It unites cultures in more than 100 cities and small ports&mdash;from Khor al Zubair, Basra, to the Mozambique corridor and from Mumbai to Berbera, Somalia. In situating the viewer on this sea mass it offers an alternative view that makes sense of history and the present through the hows of anthropology and whys of trade and exchange. Its simple, graphic effectiveness belies a deep reading of the Indian Ocean and those who have lived on it for centuries. In imagination, invisible connections are made apparent; a country of the sea comes to life.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150317110718-Country_of_the_Sea__2_.JPG" alt="" /><span style="font-size: x-small;">CAMP, <em>Country of the Sea</em>,&nbsp;Installation view at Bhau Daji Lad Museum,&nbsp;<em>As If &ndash; III: Country of the Sea</em>, 2015. Courtesy of the artists and Bhau Daji Lad Museum<br /><br /></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Across its four venues CAMP&rsquo;s mini-retrospective shows a sustained engagement with community and media. The work engages viewers in ways that news stories or legal hearings over contentious issues like phone tapping or surveillance might not, immune as one is to the outpourings of daily news. It examines the very infrastructure of new media, setting up propositions that are personalized, placed at your doorstep, or placing you in community. It is a form of resistance that is inventive, a performative participation of, and in, civil society; it is advocacy that is subversive in its exposure of mechanisms, in its making public of hidden intents.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">CAMP negotiates an intangible world that Big Brother is just one notion of, making an unseen &ldquo;darkness&rdquo; tactile, real, affective. In trying to make sense of how we live within the possibilities embedded in new technology, are we beginning to realize the manipulations of this ether &ldquo;darkness&rdquo; as the new global colonizer that reigns, even as we slowly start to comprehend the power of its dangerous ways/waves?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/364333-deepika-sorabjee?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Deepika Sorabjee</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at top:&nbsp;CAMP,&nbsp;<em>As If &ndash; IV: Night for Day</em>,&nbsp;Installation view at Chemould Prescott Road, 2015. Courtesy of the arists and&nbsp;Chemould Prescott Road)</span></p> Tue, 17 Mar 2015 12:14:45 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list Sharjah Biennial 12: The Right to the City <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">It is a pity for someone with a good sense of direction to visit </span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://www.sharjahart.org/biennial/sharjah-biennial-12/welcome" target="_blank">Sharjah Biennial 12</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> (SB12) at Sharjah Art Foundation. You are given a map with free admission, but I advise that you leave it folded in your back pocket, because the best part of the Biennial involves getting lost in the maze of coral-walled alleyways leading to contemporary galleries that shock in their contrast to the heritage area in which they sit. Turn a corner and you might hit a dead-end; or you could find yourself face to armpit with a nine meter section of Danh Vo&rsquo;s life-size copper replica of the Statue of Liberty, reassembled under the title of &lsquo;</span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Come to where the flavours are&rsquo;</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> in a historic courtyard.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150316155217-1_A_AR.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: 10px;"><span style="text-align: left;">Danh Vo, <em>Come to where the flavours are</em>,&nbsp;</span><span style="text-align: left;">2015, Copper, gold leaf on cardboard. Dimensions variable. Installation view, Sharjah Biennial 12. <br />Image courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation. Photo by Alfredo Rubio</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: 10px;"><span style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Curator Eungie Joo (formerly of the New Museum) and Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi, the progressive head of the foundation (and trustee of MoMa Ps1) clearly have a taste for minimalism, and this Biennial is more understated and less interactive than those that came before it, a fact that reflects the maturation of the UAE art scene and its growing ability to grasp art that takes some digging to appreciate. The Biennial&rsquo;s curatorial concept, <em>The past, the present, the possible</em>&nbsp;was born from a conversation between Joo and Vo dissecting French philosopher Henri Lefebvre&rsquo;s theory of &ldquo;The Right to the City,&rdquo; a call to action for city dwellers to collectively shape their own urban environments.</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150316162720-2_A_DS.jpg" alt="" /><img style="font-size: x-small; text-align: center;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150316163706-2_C_DS.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: 10px;">Both: Haegue Yang<em>, An Opaque Wind, </em>2015. Mixed-media installation. Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation. Courtesy Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris; <br />Greene Naftali,New York; Kukje Gallery, Seoul; Galerie Wien Lukatsch, Berlin; and the artist. Installation view, Sharjah Biennial 12 <br />Image courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation. Photo by Deema Shahin.</span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: 10px;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Enter 51 artists and collectives, 36 commissioned by SB12 to create site-specific works following investigative trips or residencies in Sharjah preceding the opening. This was not yet one more example of a wealthy foundation importing the most prestigious contemporary art on the market and cutting and pasting it onto pedestals. This was personal.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150316161403-17_B_AR.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: 10px;">Dami<em>&aacute;</em>n Ortega, <em>Talking Wall, </em>2015. Wooden cast, clay, sand, gravel, hay, rocks, Styrofoam ear pieces and flexible PVC pipes. Dimensions variable. <br />Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation. Courtesy kurimanzutto, Mexico City and the artist. Installatio</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: 10px;">n view, Sharjah Biennial 12.&nbsp;<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: 10px;">Image courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation. Photo by Alfredo Rubio.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: 10px;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The real strength of SB12 is the conversation that many of these 36 works seem to be having with Sharjah itself: Eduardo Navarro&rsquo;s <em>XYZ,</em>&nbsp;involving groups of Emirati school children being led in various games with a giant blue ball, claims a courtyard for play bordering on performance art. Rirkrit Tiravanija recreated a rosewater distillery inspired by the 14th&nbsp;century model found in <a href="http://sharjahmuseums.ae/Inner-Pages/Our-Museums/Sharjah-Museum-of-Islamic-Civilization.aspx?lang=en-us" target="_blank">Sharjah&rsquo;s Museum of Islamic Civilization</a>. Lebanese artist Rayyane Tabet&rsquo;s <em>Steel Rings</em>, installed beneath classical Arabesque arches, continues for what feels like infinity in remembrance of the Trans-Arabian Pipe Line Company, an ultimately defunct endeavour to link five Arab states through an underground pipeline that aimed&mdash;perhaps naively&mdash;for technology to cross borders that civilians could not.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150316160013-32_A_DS.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: 10px;">Rayyane Tabet<em>, Steel Rings, </em>2013. Rolled engraved steel. 80 x 10 x 0.6 cm each. Collection of Tariq Al Jaidah; collection of Abdullah K. AlTurki; collection of Adam Sheffer; collection of Marie-Claude Stobart; and collection of Julia Zaouk. Courtesy Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut and Hamburg, and the artist. Installation view, Sharjah Biennial 12. Image courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation. Photo by Deema Shahin.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: 10px;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Joo astutely layered these contemporary commissions with work by modern masters&mdash;many of whom have roots in the Arab world&mdash;including paintings by the poet Etel Adnan, an entire gallery of Princess Fahrelnissa Zeid&rsquo;s paintings and glass sculptures, and a copper pipe sculpture of conceptual Emirati artist Hassan Sharif who paved the way for coming generations of UAE artists by founding the Emirates Fine Art Society in Sharjah back in the 80s.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150316160313-28_A_JS.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: 10px;">Hassan Sharif, <em>Drum (Barrel), </em>1985, cardboard, paper and paint, 150 x 70 x 70 cm (reconstituted in 2011), photographs and pen on paper mounted on cardboard, 84 x 50.5 cm each. Courtesy Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde and the artist. Image courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation. Photo: Alfredo Rubio.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: 10px;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">While the curatorial concept is in theory apt for a government-funded foundation set in the heart of the emirate, there were very few city dwellers to be found taking part in the three-day opening. This lack of interaction between visiting art world elites, the UAE arts community, and everyday working residents of the local neighborhood calls into question the audience of this biennial&mdash;and of biennials in general.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150316161859-40_A_AR.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: 10px;">Abdullah Al Saadi, <em>Scarecrows, </em>2013, Mixed-media installation. Courtesy of the artist. Installation view, Sharjah Biennial 12. <br />Image courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation. Photo by Alfredo Rubio.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: 10px;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">It wasn&rsquo;t until I walked the gritty streets of Sharjah in an artist&rsquo;s funeral procession that I began to grasp the relationship between the Biennial and the city. No one died at the Biennial, but Papy Ebotani and a troupe of performers did throw a full-on Congolese-style funeral titled <em>Fanfare fun&eacute;railles (Funeral brass)</em> which began just outside Sharjah Art Museum, where around 200 artists, writers, and curators stood in head-to-toe baggy linen (I must have missed that memo) and watched as local musicians sang and beat metal drums, while the artist and two dancers moved their bodies in time, opening their shiny suit jackets to draw attention to high street labels. Were we mourning the loss of a friend or the demise of a country&rsquo;s youth to materialism and corruption? The performers began to walk towards downtown Sharjah with all of us trailing behind.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150316162303-46_B_AR.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: 10px;">Papy Ebotani, <em>Fanfare fun&eacute;railles </em>[Funeral brass]. Performance. Produced by Studios Kabako. Performance view, Sharjah Biennial 12, 2015. <br />Image courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation. Photo by Alfredo Rubio.</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: 10px;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">It was Friday&mdash;the only day most working people have off in the week. Men in white undershirts crowded onto balconies to take photos with their flip phones, then dressed hurriedly in <em>shalwar kameez</em> and joined the throng. Plucky kids marched along, mimicking the musicians. The dress and auto shop owners lined the sidewalks. The procession ended up at the heart of the Biennial&rsquo;s exhibition spaces&mdash;and for the first time in two days I felt as though the city came to the Biennial and the Biennial came to the city. &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150316160811-48_E_AR.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><span style="text-align: left;">Nikhil Chopra,&nbsp;<em>Use Like Water</em>,</span></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><em style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, Sans, 'Trebuchet MS', Tahoma, Verdana; font-size: 12px; text-align: left;">&nbsp;</em></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><span style="line-height: 10px; text-align: left;">2015. Performance and mixed-media installation. Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation. Courtesy of the artist. Performance view, Sharjah Biennial 12. Image courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation. Photo by Alfredo Rubio.</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><span style="line-height: 10px; text-align: left;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Impressive site-specific installations at The Flying Saucer and the <a href="http://dannawrites.com/the-abandoned-kalba-ice-factory-becomes-an-installation-site-for-sharjah-biennial-12/" target="_blank">old Kalba Ice Factory,</a> which are spaces newly acquired by SAF in areas of the emirate that have not had easy access to the arts to-date, demonstrate the more inclusive direction in which the Biennial is headed. Let&rsquo;s hope there is a local audience to match.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;</span><a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/409513-danna-lorch?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Danna Lorch</span></a></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at the top:&nbsp;<span style="text-align: left;">Eduardo Navarro,</span><em style="text-align: left;"> XYZ, </em><span style="text-align: left;">2015. Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation. Courtesy of the artist. Session with Delhi Private School, Sharjah Biennial 12. Image courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation. Photo by&nbsp; Deema Shahin)</span></span></p> Mon, 16 Mar 2015 17:31:10 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list Made-Up with Danny Volk: S1E6 with Anais Daly <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Danny Volk talks to artists in their studios about life and art&mdash;while they do his make-up. This concept was a new one for us, and, unsurprisingly, it produces some unique moments: see artists like Theaster Gates, Pope.L, and Jessica Stockholder working in their studios as you've never seen them before.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Revisit Season 1 as we anticipate the all-new Made-Up Season 2, to be released this Spring on ArtSlant.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">This week: Things move quickly in Anais Daly's University of Chicago classroom. Whiskey is consumed against better judgment, Danny gets draped in an American flag, and Daly gives forth on teaching and collaboration ("I&nbsp;hate people touching my stuff.").</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;<br /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/AQtfBfWpd24" frameborder="0" width="560" height="315"></iframe></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="float: right;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20150129205110-10299099_219201961624218_7214582499433800077_n.jpg" alt="" width="150" /></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>More About Made-Up With Danny Volk&nbsp;</strong></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Made-Up is created and hosted by Danny Volk.&nbsp;Volk was born in 1979 in Akron, OH and currently lives and works in Chicago, IL. Volk got his MFA in Visual Art from the University of Chicago in 2014, and his BA in Theater Studies at Kent State University in 2006.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Produced by | Danny Volk and Stephanie Anne Harris Trevor</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Cameras | Bryce Peppers,&nbsp;Valia&nbsp;O'Donnell</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Technical consultant | Ben Chandler</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">"Comic Strip" by Serge&nbsp;Gainsbourg&nbsp;remixed by&nbsp;<a href="https://soundcloud.com/flashcookie">DJ&nbsp;Flashcookie</a></span></p> Fri, 13 Mar 2015 09:35:51 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list Cat Obsession: A Chat with <em>Life of Cats</em> Curator Miwako Tezuka <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">If there&rsquo;s one thing the internet is good for, it&rsquo;s cats. So when the Japan Society in New York announced its <em><a href="http://www.japansociety.org/page/programs/gallery/life-of-cats" target="_blank">Life of Cats</a></em> exhibition&mdash;featuring ukiyo-e woodblock prints depicting cats from the Edo Period (1615-1867)&mdash;the internet duly erupted with fanfare. The show, which opens today, has made the rounds not only in the usual art publications, but also in myriad pop culture blogs and magazines, attesting to the near universal appeal of feline themes. I think we can be quite assured that attendance records will be set this weekend at the Japan Society Gallery (remember the first <a href="http://www.startribune.com/entertainment/blogs/168151136.html" target="_blank">Cat Video Festival at the Walker Art Center</a>?). And while we&rsquo;ve seen an uptick in &ldquo;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/32776" target="_blank">cats in art</a>&rdquo; shows as of late, this one is particularly interesting due to the rich history of ukiyo-e, and the fascinating glimpse into everyday life, leisure, and folklore that they provide. Not to mention the fact that you can now follow <a href="https://twitter.com/js_nyantaro" target="_blank">Nyantaro</a> on Twitter: an adorable &ldquo;little neko visiting&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/japansociety" target="_blank">@japansociety</a>&nbsp;all the way from Edo for their new exhibition&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LifeofCats?src=hash" target="_blank">#LifeofCats</a>.&rdquo; Total <em>kawaii</em>-overload.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">But even before I heard about the <em>Life of Cats</em> exhibition, it was steadily seeping into my awareness&mdash;in the form of an increase of kittehs and lolcats in my Facebook feed, shared by Miwako Tezuka, director of the Japan Society Gallery and curator of the exhibition. It all made sense: this was all coming from Dr. Tezuka&rsquo;s research for this exhibition&mdash;poring through the massive collection of prints of the Hiraki Ukiyo-e Foundation, while also finding instances of the Japanese obsession for cats throughout history. Appreciative of the extra cat content she'd been serving to my newsfeed, I asked her for a cat-video-infused interview, conducted via Facebook. In the following interview, we talk about the history of cat obsession in Japan, the wilder side of cats, and two amazing celebrity cats named Tama:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20150312211013-s70_kunitoshi_newly-published-cats-games.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Utagawa Kunitoshi (1847&ndash;1899),&nbsp;<em>Newly Published Cat&rsquo;s Games</em>, 1884. Color woodblock print; 13 &frac12; x 9 inches. <br />Courtesy Hiraki Ukiyo-e Foundation</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><span style="font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img style="float: left; margin: 10px;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20150312211337-nataliethumbnail.jpg" alt="" />Hi Miwako! How are you? I must say, I've been really enjoying all of the great cat videos and pics I've had in my feed these last few months, courtesy of you. It's only just recently that i realized that you've been sharing your "research" essentially, because of the Japan Society's show! I'm wondering if you would be available to do a fun interview about the Life of Cats show, for ArtSlant. I was thinking it could be a sort of different approach, too, an interview, conducted on Facebook messenger, where we talk about the show, but also share and discuss lolcat videos. What do you think? Would you be up for doing something like that? I think it would be a lot of fun,and we can run the story right before the opening of the show. Let me know if you'd be interested!</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><strong>February 25th, 7:05pm</strong></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><br /><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20150312211646-miwakothumbnail.jpg" alt="" />Totally on board, Natalie! Great idea;)</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img style="float: left;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20150312211337-nataliethumbnail.jpg" alt="" />yay, awesome, that will be so much fun!</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">So what I was thinking is that we could let the conversation sort of evolve over FB messages over the next few days-- no pressure to respond right away.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">So I guess my first question would be this: Back in November you told us:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20150312211442-Screen_Shot_2015-03-12_at_11.04.42_AM.png" alt="" /></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Now at the time I didn't know about the Life of Cats exhibition, so this status update seemed pretty random. Now it all makes sense. What's it been like thinking about cats so intensely? Sounds like something I would like...</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><strong>March 1st, 4:27pm</strong></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img style="float: left;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20150312211646-miwakothumbnail.jpg" alt="" />It was actually extremely enlightening. I must admit that in the beginning, I was skeptical how much culturally meaningful elements I could bring out through this exhibition. But almost immediately I found out the history of relationship between Japan and cats had so much significant revelatory aspects in material culture. It connected my research to history of religious transmission from Asian continent to Japan, sea route trades all over the world in history, and how cats played a part in it. Cats were not native to Japan so they came on ship from China back in the mid sixth century as a protector of Buddhist scriptures from mice. No wonder they were loved by Japanese immediately!</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img style="float: left;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20150312211337-nataliethumbnail.jpg" alt="" />Interesting.. so from the beginning they were associated with spiritual values in a way. I feel like we have a lot to learn from cats and their behavior. They seem to transmit a contentedness that is very particular to cats. They have a certain "is-ness", a kind of calm.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><strong><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20150312212001-s01_Hiroshige_Asakusa-Rice-Fields.jpg" alt="" /></strong></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">(Utagawa Hiroshige (1797&ndash;1858),&nbsp;<em>Asakusa Ricefields and Torinomachi Festival</em>&nbsp;from the series&nbsp;<em>One Hundred Famous Views of Edo</em>, 1857. <br />Color woodblock print; 22 &frac12; x 16 inches. Courtesy Hiraki Ukiyo-e Foundation)</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><strong>&nbsp;</strong></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">But then on the other hand they can get really wild and crazy.</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/LNWjZcbv2uI" frameborder="0" width="640" height="480"></iframe></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Were these kinds of characteristics portrayed in stories and folklore as ways to instruct humans on their behavior or way of life?</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><strong>March 3rd, 2:05pm</strong></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img style="float: left;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20150312211646-miwakothumbnail.jpg" alt="" />Cats seem to always act as a well of inspiration for human imagination. The famous maneki neko (beckoning cat) story originates in the seventeenth century. It was a cat named Tama kept in a Buddhist temple in Edo, or today's Tokyo, that brought high-ranking samurais to the temple as its patrons. This is how people started to believe when cats raise their arms, they beckon wealth and fortune. And all cat lovers know that cats do raise arms as if to gesture "welcome" (but they might just be cleaning their faces!).</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><strong><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20150312212202-manekineko.jpg" alt="" /></strong></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Courtesy Miwako Tezuka</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">On the other hand, cats are naughty creatures, too, stealing food or breaking things, even eating carcasses if they are left untamed and wild in order to survive. To people in the past, witnessing some of these wilder sides of cats fed much imagination. There are many horror stories about cats turning into monsters since Japan's medieval time, the Kamakura period in the late 12th and 14th c.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><strong><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20150312212624-ss77_Kuniyoshi_From-the-Fifty-three-Stations-of-the-Tokaido.jpg" alt="" /></strong></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">(Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797&ndash;1861),&nbsp;<em>From the Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō Road: Scene at Okazaki: Onoe Kikugorō III as the Neko-ishi no Kai, the Spirit of the Cat Stone, Mimasu Gennosuke I as Shirasuga Jūemon, and Ichimura Uzaemon XII as Inabanosuke</em>, 1835. Color woodblock print; 22 3/8 x 36 7/8 inches. <br />Courtesy Hiraki Ukiyo-e Foundation.)&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">On Tuesday, March 17, Japan Society is bringing Sarah E. Thompson, Assistant Curator for Japanese Prints at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to talk about depictions of cats in arts of early-Modern-period Japan in three aspects: the elegant cat, the predatory cat, and the comical cat. You can expect to learn many more cat stories and their incarnations.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><strong>March 3rd, 6:33pm</strong></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><strong>&nbsp;</strong></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img style="float: left;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20150312211337-nataliethumbnail.jpg" alt="" />Cats certainly are hilarious. I laugh at my cats every day. One of the great things about the internet is the fact that we can share lols about cats with each other across so many platforms. Japan is notable for introducing one of the original lolcats, of course, Maru...</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/z_AbfPXTKms" frameborder="0" width="640" height="480"></iframe></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">As well as the cat cafe... and even, i just learned, wine for cats..</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;<img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20150312212806-wine_cat.png" alt="" /></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><a href="http://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fnewsfeed.time.com%2F2013%2F10%2F15%2Fnever-drink-alone-again-because-now-theres-wine-for-cats%2F&amp;h=_AQE9hoBd&amp;s=1" target="_blank"><strong>Never Drink Alone Again Because Now There&rsquo;s Wine for Cats | TIME.com</strong></a></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Cats in the workplace...</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;<img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20150312212818-workplace_cat.png" alt="" />&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><a href="http://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.odditycentral.com%2Fanimals%2Fjapanese-company-fills-offices-with-cats-to-help-employees-unwind-and-improve-productivity.html&amp;h=6AQGlrV_3&amp;s=1" target="_blank"><strong>Japanese Company Fills Offices with Cats to Help Employees Unwind and Improve Productivity |...</strong></a></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Did your research shed any light on the relationship between how cats were viewed and portrayed in history and contemporary times in Japan?</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><strong>Monday 11:56am</strong></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img style="float: left;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20150312211646-miwakothumbnail.jpg" alt="" />Yes. Particularly the aspect of this relationship that is long-lasting and almost to the degree of obsession. One the prints on display in the exhibition shows a star courtesan of the late 18th century Yoshiwara pleasure quarter, Hanaogi, holding her beloved cat in her chest. Apparently, it was a long-lasting trend among courtesans to have pet cats as their guardians.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><strong><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20150312212909-hanaogi.jpg" alt="" /></strong></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">(Kitagawa Utamaro I (Japanese, (?)&ndash;1806), Publisher &Ocirc;miya Gonkur&ocirc; (Japanese), Hana&ocirc;gi of the &Ocirc;giya, from the series Selections from Six Houses of the Yoshiwara (Seir&ocirc; rokkasen), about 1801. Woodblock print (nishiki-e); ink and color on paper; 14 15/16 x 10 1/4 in.)</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><strong>&nbsp;</strong></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">In contemporary Japan, the obsession with cats is rampant as see in the phenomenon of cat cafes, celebrity cats (like Tama the Kishi train station executive and Maru the box-loving cat and star of internet).</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">猫カフェってこんな感じだっけ??? <a href="http://t.co/XVvnj3VFrJ">pic.twitter.com/XVvnj3VFrJ</a></span></p> <span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">&mdash; 師範 (@hozondojo) <a href="https://twitter.com/hozondojo/status/544843519253151744">December 16, 2014</a></span></blockquote> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Maru even has a book published. We have that copy in our last section of the show where we created a lounge space with cat-focused novels, photo books, picture books for children. If you like cats, your resources are at Japan Society Gallery this spring!</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img style="float: left; margin: 10px;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20150312211613-nataliethumbnail.jpg" alt="" />Can't wait!</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><strong>Monday 1:58pm</strong></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Oh! I just looked up Tama the Kishi train station executive. That is pretty much the best thing ever. Also I love this visual echo found in this photo of the "tama-densha" and one of the prints from the show:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><strong><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20150312213150-1200px-Okayama_Electric_Tramway_7101_TAMA_Densya.jpeg" alt="" /></strong></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">"<a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Okayama_Electric_Tramway_7101_TAMA_Densya.JPG#/media/File:Okayama_Electric_Tramway_7101_TAMA_Densya.JPG">Okayama Electric Tramway 7101 TAMA Densya</a>" by <a title="User:Takobou" href="//commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Takobou">User:Takobou</a> - <span class="int-own-work">Own work</span>. Licensed under <a title="Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0">CC BY-SA 3.0</a> via <a href="//commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/">Wikimedia Commons</a>.</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20150312213215-sKuniyoshi_Cats-Suggested-by-the-Fifty-three-Stations-of-the-Tokaido.jpg" alt="" /><span style="font-size: x-small;">Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797&ndash;1861),&nbsp;<em>Cats Suggested by the Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō</em>, 1847. Color woodblock print; each sheet 14 5/8 x 10 inches. <br />Courtesy Private Collection, New York.</span><br /> <br /></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><strong>Monday 5:15pm</strong></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20150312211646-miwakothumbnail.jpg" alt="" />Tama is a great fund-raiser! LoL</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Chat Conversation End</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Seen Tue 8:29pm</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/11505-natalie-hegert?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Natalie Hegert</a></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">(Image at top: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839&ndash;1892),&nbsp;<em>The Enlightenment of Daruma</em>&nbsp;from an untitled series known as&nbsp;<em>Sketches by Yoshitoshi</em>, 1882. Color woodblock print; 22 3/8 x 36 7/8 inches. Courtesy Hiraki Ukiyo-e Foundation)</span></p> Fri, 13 Mar 2015 13:02:09 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list Afghanistan’s Skater Girls Roll into the Saatchi Gallery <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The most popular women&rsquo;s sport in Afghanistan right now? It&rsquo;s not soccer or cricket. It&rsquo;s not track and field. Afghan girls aren&rsquo;t picking up tennis rackets or hockey sticks. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">They&rsquo;re <a href="https://vimeo.com/112285615#t=6m10s" target="_blank">hopping on skateboards</a>.</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>Girls are skateboarding in Afghanistan?</em> They are. And the country&rsquo;s young female skaters will be rolling into the spotlight next month when the Saatchi Gallery hosts an exhibition of UK photographer <a href="http://www.jessicafd.com/" target="_blank">Jessica Fulford-Dobson</a>&rsquo;s portraits from her series <em>Skate Girls of Kabul</em>.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150312165818-Skateistan_069.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>Skate Girl</em>, 2014</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Last November Fulford-Dobson and a seven-year-old skater from Kabul made the news when Fulford-Dobson&rsquo;s photograph <em>Skate Girl</em> claimed second prize in the National Portrait Gallery's Taylor Wessing Awards. The portrait shows the young Afghan girl perched atop an indoor skate ramp. She stares directly into the lens, balancing a skateboard more than half her height at her side. Says Fulford-Dobson:</span></p> <blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">She first caught my eye because she was wearing such a beautiful color. She&rsquo;s just immaculate. From the way she has tied her headscarf so beautifully and so naturally, you see that she has an innate sense of grace. Her little hennaed hand rests gently&mdash;yet possessively&mdash;on the skateboard, and how small she seems beside it! I love her assurance: her firm, steady gaze. One feels a sense of depth in her eyes, even though she is just seven years of age.</span></p> </blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>Skate Girl </em>captured the imaginations of viewers, not only for its subject&rsquo;s defiant head-on gaze, but for the image&rsquo;s surprising and inspiring content. Many girls and young women have taken up skating in Afghanistan under the tutelage of <a href="https://www.skateistan.org/" target="_blank">Skateistan</a>, an Afghan NGO started by Australian skateboarder Oliver Percovich in 2007, which uses skating as a hook to bring children from poor and displaced Afghan families into full-time education.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150312170551-Skateistan_101.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Afghanistan has one of the lowest female literacy rates in the world, and women&rsquo;s education is a <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2013/jun/21/funding-education-in-afghanistan" target="_blank">clear predictor for other marks of well-being</a> including health, nutrition, child safety, and access to resources. Forty-five percent of Skateistan&rsquo;s students are girls&mdash;a fact the NGO <a href="https://www.skateistan.org/blog/why-womens-day-important-skateistan" target="_blank">is proud to highlight</a>&mdash;and many have&nbsp;<a href="https://www.skateistan.org/programs/back-to-school" target="_blank">found a way into national education</a> through the skate school. Fulford-Dobson&rsquo;s Afghanistan portraits tell a unique success story at a time when most news and imagery from the region lead with grim reports.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">It&rsquo;s now accepted wisdom that sports empower women by developing confidence, leadership, and teamwork skills, while often challenging socio-cultural norms and gender stereotypes. <a href="http://www.righttoplay.com/Pages/default.aspx" target="_blank">Initiatives advocating sports</a> and<a href="http://womenwin.org/" target="_blank"> physical activity for women</a> worldwide are often linked to education&mdash;formal and informal alike&mdash;and literacy programs. Programs can provide safe spaces for both sport and education, providing <a href="https://womenwin.org/work/why" target="_blank">&ldquo;a natural platform to share information and educate&nbsp;girls and young women and their communities about women&rsquo;s rights.&rdquo;</a> Soccer and team sports, like Kenya&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.mtgk.org/" target="_blank">Moving the Goalposts</a> program, are common focuses of research and physical education initiatives, but in an <a href="https://vimeo.com/112285615" target="_blank">Afghan context</a>, where girls cannot really play outdoor sports for fear of being seen by non-relatives, skateboarding offers a unique solution for bringing girls into the arena (in Skateistan&rsquo;s indoor skate parks).<img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150312170612-Skateistan_149.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Fulford-Dobson had access to these young women at Skateistan&rsquo;s two Afghan skate school sites in Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif and her photographs show a privileged look at their empowerment and play. After completing Skateistan&rsquo;s &ldquo;Back to School&rdquo; program, the girl in Fulford-Dobson&rsquo;s award-winning portrait is now enrolled in the Afghan national school system. She continues to skate in her free time.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The exhibition, which will run in the Saatchi Gallery, London, from April 15&ndash;28, 2015, is sponsored by Afghan telecom company Roshan&mdash;it's the first time an Afghan company has supported an exhibition at a major international art venue&mdash;and is accompanied by a forthcoming publication <em>Skate Girls of Kabul</em>, the inaugural title from new arts publishing house <a href="http://www.morlandtate.com/" target="_blank">Morland Tate Publishing</a>.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/95201-andrea-alessi?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Andrea Alessi</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(All images courtesy of Jessica Fulford-Dobson)</span></p> Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:48:54 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list The Freelance Cafe Guide: East London <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">After looking at <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ber/articles/show/42079" target="_blank">Berlin's best workspace cafes</a> last month, I'm hit by the enormity of undertaking the same in London: to tackle such a gargantuan city as this, we ought to start with areas, and East London is the heartland of the freelancer. New places you can open up an Airbook over a gingham-laminated table and sip a Flat White pop up quicker than updates on a Twitter feed in this city. In fact we might already have more coffee shops per square mile than DJs.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In a world of crispy-fried drumsticks and slow-roasted breasts, ask a chef and they&rsquo;ll tell you the tastiest part of a chicken is that section located under the backbone. The sprawl that makes up London&rsquo;s "Silicon Roundabout" is one giant chicken breast, lovingly smothered in garlic and prodded with thermostats. It is here you will find the Google Campus and The Ace Hotel&mdash;great, and known internationally to be so&hellip; but, dear ArtSlant reader, rather than stuff you with with copy and pasted tips, I want to share with you the chef&rsquo;s secret chicken bit.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Obviously what I&rsquo;ve put forward is a personal selection of my favorites: I&rsquo;d be interested to hear what yours are around the city.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span><img style="text-align: left; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150312113217-photo__4_.JPG" alt="" /></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.lookmumnohands.com" target="_blank">Look Mum No Hands!<br /></a></strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">125-127 Mare St, London E8 3RH<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Rail: Hackney Overground</span><span style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">London&rsquo;s oyster for freelance cafes lies a mile or two northeast, in the depths of Hackney. The big one here is the Mare Street branch of Look Mum No Hands! Below the high ceiling adorned with cycle paraphernalia and the three floors of fashion hub <a href="http://www.thetrampery.com/" target="_blank">The Trampery</a>, you&rsquo;ll find long desks, small desks, desks by huge windows, and desks tucked into dark corners. You&rsquo;ll be greeted by friendly staff who will actually remember your name. You&rsquo;ll feel just like Norm from <em>Cheers</em>. Plus, it&rsquo;s open till 11pm.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong style="text-align: center;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150312113100-photo__2_.JPG" alt="" /></strong></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.hatch-homerton.co.uk" target="_blank"><strong>H</strong><strong>atch<br /></strong></a></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Unit G2, Mackintosh Lane, Homerton, London E9 6AB<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Rail: Homerton Overground</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Located under a rail bridge amidst the estates that used to carry the reputation of being &ldquo;Murder Mile,&rdquo; Hatch, in the "shabby chic" Homerton, is a genuine multi-faceted jewel. Decked out in mismatched vintage sofas, desks, and chairs, it has a drop-in co-work space upstairs (&pound;12 a day, free printing, etc), its own barbers, a book-swap and super friendly staff. Plus, they do an all-day-breakfast scotch egg, coated in cornflakes.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong style="text-align: center;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150312112959-photo__3_.JPG" alt="" /></strong></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/HERHaggerston" target="_blank"><strong>H</strong><strong>ER<br /></strong></a></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">13 Downham Road, London<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Rail: Haggerston Overground</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I found HER by chance&mdash;and for months I&rsquo;d forget about the bright, Scandi-vibed arrangement of desks, sofas, and window perching, the wonderful toasties and immaculately poured coffee. Then I remember again, and cycle towards that fresh and relaxed little room of joy that feels a world apart from the intense espresso buzz of Silicon Roundabout only a cigarette puff away.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150312115144-Ziferblat-London-3-1024x682.jpg" alt="" /></strong></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Image <a href="http://www.thisbatteredsuitcase.com" target="_blank">via</a></span><span>&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong><a href="http://london.ziferblat.net" target="_blank">Ziferblat<br /></a></strong></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">388 Old Street, Shoreditch, London EC1V 9LT<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Train: Old Street</span>&nbsp;</p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Okay, I&rsquo;m going to make one concession towards Silicon Roundabout, because Ziferblat is, well, different, and it deserves mention. You ring the buzzer, head up a crooked flight of stairs and are greeted warmly by some cool cat from Russia, who&rsquo;ll hand you a vintage clock and explain the rules. At Ziferblat, you pay 3p a minute, and you can use the kitchen, make your own coffee (if you&rsquo;re nice, they might even give you a little barista lesson) and help yourself to fruit and bread (or bring your own lunches).</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150312114049-7872831884_d55e8bc10b_z.jpg" alt="" /></strong></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Photo: Via Flicker user&nbsp;<a class="owner-name truncate" title="Go to Ewan Munro's photostream" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/55935853@N00/" target="_blank" data-track="attributionNameClick" data-rapid_p="51">Ewan Munro</a><br /></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.hackneypearl.com" target="_blank"><strong>Hackney</strong><strong> Pearl<br /></strong></a></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">11 Prince Edward Road, London E9 5LX<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Train: Hackney Wick Overground</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I know. I know, I know, I know this article is as East-London-centric as a topknot serving you a pulled pork brioche, but I just couldn&rsquo;t leave out this magical little number, my local, situated within the warehouses of Hackney Wick. They do proper restaurant grub, as well as more budget-accommodating sandwiches and pastries. There&rsquo;s a real local vibe, and as soon as I&rsquo;ve sat down and opened my Mac they&rsquo;ve bought me my morning coffee.</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span><img style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; text-align: center; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150312112714-photo__5_.JPG" alt="" /></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong><a href="http://www.facebook.com/pacificsocial" target="_blank">Pacific Social Club<br /></a></strong></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">8 Clarence Road, London E5 8HB<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Train: Hackney Central</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Things change. Pacific Social is in the exact spot where, when I first moved to Hackney, I was accosted in daylight by a local prostitute. Now, your only danger is scalding your lip if the cheese from their heavenly Venezuelan toasties fails to reach your mouth in time. Pacific Social&rsquo;s backroom is a warren; imagine climbing within the stop frame set of <em>Fantastic Mr Fox</em>, where a mahogany world of bookcases and bric-a-brac is there to help you smash deadlines.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong style="text-align: center;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150312112759-photo__6_.JPG" alt="" /></strong></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong><a href="http://www.facebook.com/wiltonwaycafe" target="_blank">Wilton Way Cafe<br /></a></strong></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">63 Wilton Way, London E8 1BG<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Train: Hackney Central</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">This small, naturally sunlit room tucked behind London Fields Lido, just a short stomp from Hackney Central, has a special place in my heart: it&rsquo;s where I host my radio show (oh, the cafe has its own station&mdash;London Fields Radio). If you want to know how to up-cycle old crates into a thriving mini-hub for local creatives, take a look at what local designers The Dog and Wardrobe have achieved here. The nicest, friendliest baristas in the entire country also seem to have all worked here (or currently are) and the coffee is Climpsons (always a good sign, as any barista serving Climpsons has to receive specific training).</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150312114500-5273183631_be42ef2ef7_z.jpg" alt="" /></strong></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Photo: Via Flickr user&nbsp;<a class="owner-name truncate" title="Go to Ewan Munro's photostream" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/55935853@N00/" target="_blank" data-track="attributionNameClick" data-rapid_p="26">Ewan Munro</a><br /></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong><a href="http://www.cafeoto.co.uk" target="_blank">Cafe Oto<br /></a></strong></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">18-22 Ashwin Street, Dalston, London E8 3DL<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Train: Dalston Junction/Dalston Kingsland</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Institution or simply an elaborate vendor for <em>Wire Magazine</em>? You decide. Oto definitely holds its own in the experimental music scene, and in the day makes a spacious place to get a few hours' work done. The staff haven&rsquo;t always been installed with charm buttons and the coffee doesn&rsquo;t match the quality of their live program, but still&mdash;it&rsquo;s an airy bright space and an important cultural spot in East London.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">And if the East ever just gets too much, here are my secrets spots in other parts of town...&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150312114357-15513710981_673e7bb175_z.jpg" alt="" /></strong></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small; text-align: center;">Photo: Via Flicker user&nbsp;</span><a class="owner-name truncate" style="font-size: x-small; text-align: center;" title="Go to astonishme's photostream" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/14149634@N00/" target="_blank" data-track="attributionNameClick" data-rapid_p="26">astonishme</a><span style="font-size: x-small; text-align: center;"><br /></span></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.timberyard.com" target="_blank">Timberyard<br /></a></strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">7 Upper St Martin&rsquo;s Lane, London WC2H<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Train: Covent Garden</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Okay, if you&rsquo;re a freelance creative, you probably can&rsquo;t afford to be based anywhere near central London, but the chances are, like me, you head that way for meetings from time to time. For a quick pre-meeting tablet sesh, I always hit the Flat Whites on Berwick Street, which still captures that glint of media-centric hurleyburley. But for longer stays, (as in, they&rsquo;ve actually got plug sockets) Timberyard is your spot. It has desks made of old trunks and a downstairs, incase you fear getting accosted by a Covent Garden charity worker.</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong><a href="http://www.oliversvillagecafe.com" target="_blank">Oliver&rsquo;s Village Cafe<br /></a></strong></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">92 Belsize Lane, London NW3 5BE<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Train: Belsize Park</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Talk about hidden. This cafe is tucked densely into the rich warren of hills and sleepy Victorian architecture that make North London such a haven for liberal teachers and BBC employees. The cafe was set up by the family of Oliver, who has autism, as an environment where he could unleash his creativity. This is the kind of place regulars want to keep their own little secret. Sorry.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong><a href="http://www.artisancoffee.co.uk%20%20" target="_blank">Artisan Coffee<br /></a></strong></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">372 King Street, Stamford Brook, London W6 0RX<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Train: Stamford Brook</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">There&rsquo;s such a highly concentrated density of freelancers in East London, it&rsquo;s easy to get dismissive or even forget other parts of London exist. But they are there. Honestly. And West London is a real place, not just a set for a <em>Tatler</em>&nbsp;shoot. I fell asleep on the Central Line once and wound up in Chiswick. Finding the local branch of mini-chain Artisan Coffee was like finding a mirage of freelance normality. Recommended highly if you&rsquo;re heading West.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/408013-paul-hanford?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Paul Hanford</a></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at the top: Cafe Oto, Via Flickr user&nbsp;<a class="owner-name truncate" title="Go to Ewan Munro's photostream" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/55935853@N00/" target="_blank" data-track="attributionNameClick" data-rapid_p="26">Ewan Munro</a>; Unless stated, a</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">ll other images Paul Hanford)&nbsp;</span></p> Wed, 18 Mar 2015 11:28:38 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list Sonic Acts: This Is What the Anthropocene Sounds Like <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">As Caroline Picard <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ew/articles/show/41699" target="_blank">pointed out earlier this year</a> on ArtSlant, we&rsquo;ve been living in the anthropocene our whole lives, but never before have we talked <a href="http://www.hkw.de/en/programm/projekte/2014/anthropozaenprojekt_ein_bericht/anthropozaen_ein_bericht.php" target="_blank">quite</a> <a href="http://www.bak-utrecht.nl/en/Program/AnthropoceneObservatory?parent=Program%2FCurrentUpcoming" target="_blank">so</a> <a href="http://www.wdw.nl/event/art-in-the-age-of-energy-and-raw-material/" target="_blank">much</a> <a href="http://metropolism.com/magazine/2015-no-1/" target="_blank">about</a> <a href="http://artintheageof15.tumblr.com/" target="_blank">it</a>.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Despite all the &ldquo;age of man&rdquo; chatter, &ldquo;images of the anthropocene are missing,&rdquo; argues one of two articles explicitly addressing the anthropocene in the latest <em><a href="http://www.e-flux.com/issues/63-march-2015/" target="_blank">e-flux journal</a></em>. Irmgard Emmelhainz&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.e-flux.com/journal/conditions-of-visuality-under-the-anthropocene-and-images-of-the-anthropocene-to-come/#_ftn4" target="_blank">&ldquo;Conditions of Visuality Under the Anthropocene and Images of the Anthropocene to Come&rdquo;</a> argues that the anthropocene &ldquo;announces its own extinction&rdquo;&mdash;keeping &ldquo;man&rdquo; central to its construct, while at the same time constituting the end of &ldquo;the posthuman and of antihumanism, because there can be no redeeming critical antihumanist or posthuman figure in which either metaphysics or technological and scientific advances would find a way to reconcile human life with ecology.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&ldquo;Thus, it is necessary,&rdquo; writes Emmelhainz, &ldquo;to transcend our incapacity to imagine an alternative or something better.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">This could have been the rallying cry of the <a href="http://www.sonicacts.com/" target="_blank">2015 Sonic Acts Festival</a>, an annual Amsterdam festival uniting art, music, science, and theory. This year&rsquo;s incarnation wrestled with &ldquo;The Geologic Imagination,&rdquo; inviting artists, musicians, writers, philosophers, scientists, and futurists to consider Earth in the anthropocene. How can we picture planetary transformations happening on a geological scale? Do we have the adequate mental, physical, or physiological tools to imagine it, to represent it, to talk about it?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150311121431-Screen_Shot_2015-03-11_at_1.13.44_PM.png" alt="" width="600" /><span style="font-size: x-small;">Noam M. Elcott presenting on "Artificial Darkness" at Paradiso. Screengrab from Sonic Acts live stream</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Four days of citywide performances and installations were grounded in an interdisciplinary conference, headquartered at <a href="http://www.paradiso.nl/" target="_blank">Paradiso</a> music hall. Diverse cultural and scientific practitioners presented on themes such as &ldquo;Landscapes 3.0,&rdquo; &ldquo;Noise in the Electromagnetic Spectrum,&rdquo; and &ldquo;Speculative Geophilosophy.&rdquo; Presentations included lectures, films, sound art, and readings, and ranged from a film about sufferers of electromagnetic hypersensitivity (Karl Lemieux, <a href="http://www.sonicacts.com/2015/conference/karl-lemieux-quiet-zone" target="_blank"><em>Quite Zone</em></a>, 2015), to a <a href="http://www.sonicacts.com/2015/conference/liam-young-brave-new-now" target="_blank">speculative tour</a> through a fictitious techno-landscape with traveling companion Kim Kardashian, to an exploration of <a href="http://www.sonicacts.com/2015/conference/noam-m-elcott-artificial-darkness" target="_blank">&ldquo;artificial darkness&rdquo;</a> as a counter-narrative to enlightenment. Throughout the festival Michael Snow&rsquo;s three-hour <a href="http://www.sonicacts.com/2015/film/michael-snow-la-region-centrale" target="_blank"><em>La R&eacute;gion Centrale</em></a> (1971)&mdash;a film cited in Emmelhainz&rsquo;s article as a posthuman document&mdash;was screened in Paradiso&rsquo;s upper hall.</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Across disciplines&mdash;and senses&mdash;presenters invited more nuanced portrayals of the earth, of our time&mdash;ones not only based in images. Indeed, a fascinating lecture on <a href="http://www.sonicacts.com/2015/conference/paul-bogard-know-darkness" target="_blank">&ldquo;Knowing Darkness&rdquo;</a> questioned an anthropocentric dependence on vision, suggesting more thoughtful and smarter ways of using artificial light. Considering&nbsp;<a href="http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/feb/27/robert-macfarlane-word-hoard-rewilding-landscape" target="_blank">language and landscape</a>, novelist Jeff VanderMeer questioned how fiction writers could <a href="http://www.sonicacts.com/2015/conference/jeff-vandermeer-area-x-the-fictive-imagination-in-the-dusk-of-the-anthropocene" target="_blank">better represent non-human actors</a>, including animals and environments (like the frustratingly unknowable &ldquo;Area X&rdquo; in his own <em>Southern Reach</em> trilogy).</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150311120820-Screen_Shot_2015-02-28_at_3.09.14_PM.png" alt="" width="600" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Jeff VanderMeer at Paradiso. Screengrab from Sonic Acts live stream</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In the end Sonic Acts didn&rsquo;t provide the definitive &ldquo;images of the anthropocene&rdquo;&mdash;as Emmelhainz writes, those images are &ldquo;yet to come.&rdquo;&nbsp;Rather, it was an inquiry, a challenge to the imagination. In many ways the festival even undermined the very primacy of images; humans privilege the visual&mdash;we value light, though the majority of our planet&rsquo;s inhabitants are nocturnal or crepuscular&mdash;and images are, of course, central to the communicative capitalism that defines our times.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">More than providing the definitive images of the anthropocene, Sonic Acts offered <em>disruptions</em>. The festival's talks and performances sought to realign assumed human positions as we grapple with a geological timescale and the concept of a world in which we are&mdash;for this geological moment&mdash;dominant actors in our planet&rsquo;s systems. In upsetting&mdash;<em>disrupting</em>&mdash;the way we consider ourselves and our planet, perhaps the most critical work Sonic Acts did was to clear a space, create a rift, for images of the anthropocene to come.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150311112442-P1150871.JPG" alt="" width="600" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Mario de Vega,&nbsp;<em>Dolmen</em></span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In line with its very name, <em>Sonic</em>&nbsp;Acts, sounds had a central role in the festival's disruptions, and&nbsp;visitors headed to museums and music venues for its more &ldquo;festive&rdquo; components. A Sonic Acts <a href="http://www.sonicacts.com/2015/friday-27-february/sonic-acts-at-muziekgebouw-aan-t-ij" target="_blank">evening at the Muziekgebouw aan &lsquo;t IJ</a> comprised site-specific audiovisual installations and live sound art performances that visualized and made audible, if not the anthropocene specifically, then themes and subjects relevant to the geologic imagination. Some echoed concerns from conference sessions: Mario de Vega&rsquo;s <em>Dolmen </em>installation, a massive chandelier cutting through the Muziekgebouw&rsquo;s atrium like an electrified stalactite, made perceptible&mdash;through sonic discord&mdash;electromagnetic interference of wifi signals, recalling that afternoon&rsquo;s &ldquo;Noise in the Electromagnetic Spectrum&rdquo; conference session. &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150311120019-P1150862_copy.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Otto Piene,&nbsp;<em>The Proliferation of the Sun</em>, 1967</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Earlier in the day, historian John Tresch had referenced <a href="http://www.sonicacts.com/2015/friday-27-february/john-tresch-fiat-lux-and-earths-answer" target="_blank">proto-anthropocene cosmograms</a>&mdash;models for grasping the totality of the universe&mdash;citing human documents from the Romantic era through the eco-conscious 60s and 70s. Calling back to that era, the Muziekgebouw evening opened with Zero practitioner Otto Piene&rsquo;s 1967 mega-work <em><a href="http://www.sonicacts.com/2015/friday-27-february/otto-piene-die-sonne-kommt-nher--the-proliferation-of-the-sun-1967" target="_blank">The Proliferation of the Sun</a></em>. Projectionists performed live, swapping slide carousels, adjusting settings, playing with time and scale. Spots of colorful paint and gels on slides could be giant celestial bodies, or microscopic cells; calculated projection speed changes confuse perception of time.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/121879678" frameborder="0" width="600" height="338"></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://vimeo.com/121879678" target="_blank">Clip from BJ Nilsen &amp; Karl Lemieux: 'unearthed'| Sonic Acts Festival 2015</a> from <a href="https://vimeo.com/user25305968" target="_blank">ArtSlant</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com" target="_blank">Vimeo</a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Ushered into the main hall, the audience lay on the floor for the premiere of Jana Winderen&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.sonicacts.com/2015/friday-27-february/jana-winderen-pasvikdalen" target="_blank">audio-only performance</a> comprising field recordings of species and landscapes from near the Norwegian/Russian border. Viewers-turned-listeners followed a sightless, language-less narrative, moving out of the water, through crashing waves, to land, sky, and back again. This naturalist performance was followed by BJ Nilsen and Karl Lemieux's grim <a href="http://www.sonicacts.com/2015/friday-27-february/bj-nilsen--karl-lemieux-unearthed" target="_blank">audiovisual recordings</a> from Nikel, a degraded town also on the Norwegian/Russian border that, in this context, read as a cautionary tale of humankind&rsquo;s hubris.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/90652292" frameborder="0" width="600" height="338"></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://vimeo.com/90652292" target="_blank">HERMAN KOLGEN_SEISMIK_preview 01</a> from <a href="https://vimeo.com/user2308701" target="_blank">Herman Kolgen</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com" target="_blank">Vimeo</a>.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The most arresting, and perhaps most coherent, arrangements of the evening were Herman Kolgen&rsquo;s live performances of <a href="https://vimeo.com/114378359" target="_blank"><em>Aftershock </em></a>and <em><a href="http://www.sonicacts.com/2015/friday-27-february/herman-kolgen-seismik" target="_blank">Seismik</a></em>. The AV performances tapped into &ldquo;seismic waves, frictional resistance and tremor-related phenomena in real-time,&rdquo; matching truly breathtaking digital renderings with delicate sensory blips and floor-shaking bass, sending physical aftershocks through supine bodies.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Just like we lack the vocabulary&mdash;and images&mdash;to describe the anthropocene, I lack the words to relate the sounds these performances conjured, but they stayed with me for days, my eyes and ears piqued toward white noises and light and sound pollution. I lay in an MRI machine this week keenly tuned into the enormous, oppressive sounds of the giant magnets circling my body, recalling Sonic Acts performances about our electromagnetic footprint. I felt clued in to something invisible, to something we're just learning to imagine; I considered power harnessed yet hardly understood.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150311115311-cropped.jpeg" alt="" width="600" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Murcof &amp; Rod Maclachlan,&nbsp;<em>Albedo</em></span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The evening concluded with Murcof &amp; Rod Maclachlan&rsquo;s <em><a href="http://www.sonicacts.com/2015/friday-27-february/murcof--rod-maclachlan-albedo" target="_blank">Albedo</a></em>. Savvy sound art aficionados might deride the characterization, but we heard the first &ldquo;instruments&rdquo; of the night from Murcof whose influences marry minimalism with baroque music. But, despite smoke machines and instrumentals, no dance party transpired. As the hours tipped over into the next day, an introspective crowd relaxed on beanbag chairs and sipped beers to Maclachlan&rsquo;s abstract, swirling visuals, perhaps exhausted by the sheer scope of the eons they&rsquo;d been tasked with imagining.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/95201-andrea-alessi?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Andrea Alessi</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Photos: Courtesy of the author. Image at top: Karl Lemieux,&nbsp;<em>Quite Zone</em>, 2015, film. Screengrab from Sonic Acts live stream)</span></p> Wed, 11 Mar 2015 14:18:46 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list The Biggest Challenge Museums Face: Rekindling the Collection <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">When passing the ticket booth at the <a href="http://www.cobra-museum.nl/en/recent.html" target="_blank">Cobra Museum</a> everything seems business as usual: white walls with informative texts in an inoffensive font, the bold colors associated with <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COBRA_%28avant-garde_movement%29" target="_blank">the art movement</a>'s practioners Appel, Constant, Corneille, and Alechinsky visible from afar. But brace yourself and turn the corner. Entering <em>Brutal Vitality</em> is like receiving shock treatment&mdash;the sudden visual overload had me gasping for breath. Multi-colored bricks, blown-up black and white photographs, a bicycle, raggedy carpets, &ldquo;eek eek/ naa naa/ gok gok&rdquo; written on the wall, African masks. Only after having adapted to the onslaught I noticed the art works: a faux primitive nail sculpture by Karel Appel, paintings by Eugene Brands, objects from a kitchen painted by Asger Jorn. Only a few artworks are protected by glass casing; most are unceremoniously hung at crotch-height or are jutting from irregular wall parts.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150309183537-Cobra_Maart_2015_MG_7801.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>Brutal Vitality</em> is the Cobra Museum&rsquo;s new collection presentation conceived by artist duo Lone Bank and Tanja Rau. Two years of research, interviews with surviving family members of Cobra artists, and visits to other Cobra-specialized museums abroad went into the installation&mdash;not to mention a whole lot of introspection and self-reflection. Bank &amp; Rau are forty-something Danes who grew up in the 1970s and 1980s. In their world Cobra was everywhere: their bedroom walls were probably covered with posters of bluntly painted animals; they likely drank their morning milk from cups decorated with thick lines and primal colors. In a sense, <em>Brutal Vitality</em> is a self-portrait, a feeling enhanced by the fact that the artists have included some of their own work. As an installation, an autonomous piece of art, this is a classic case of appropriation. But because it&rsquo;s also a permanent collection presentation it goes beyond that. <em>Brutal Vitality</em> considers five central characteristics of Cobra art and its history, from the international outlook to its search for a childlike, direct energy. Art historical references abound. The low hanging paintings, for example, take their cue from the important Cobra exhibition that took place in 1948 at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>Brutal Vitality</em> is slated to be on show for at least five years, being altered from time to time. Visitors are asked to comment on the experimental set up, to compare it to the traditional presentation. A seminar about the subject is planned for June, which is bound to draw museum professionals internationally. After all, collection presentation is a subject museums all over the world are grappling with. Of course, exhibiting the treasures they have been set up to collect and preserve is one of museum's main tasks. But even though it&rsquo;s a lot cheaper to showcase the art you own than to come up with temporary exhibits involving loans, transport, and specialized PR&mdash;a not-to-be-underestimated secondary reason to do collection presentations&mdash;collection presentations are <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ew/articles/show/42038" target="_blank">a lot harder to score with</a>. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">For the few top museums housing world-class icons this is perhaps a less urgent problem: the collection is their raison d&rsquo;&ecirc;tre. The majority of visitors to the Louvre or Prado come to see the <em>Mona Lisa</em> or <em>Las Meninas</em>, but for institutions without this type of star power it&rsquo;s a lot harder to grab an audience&rsquo;s attention. Still, one could argue that even for world-class collections the danger of cognitive fossilization looms. Icons without context or contrast easily become lifeless items on a tourist&rsquo;s bucket list, instead of living works of art communicating with increasingly younger eyes.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150309190429-Cobra_Maart_2015_MG_7864.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150309190252-unnamed.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;">(above) Bank &amp; Rau's Collection Presentation (below) Cobra Museum's Permanent Collection Presentation</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Reshuffling is a tried and tested method to keep presentations fresh and appealing. A couple of years ago Tate Modern rearranged its prime pieces around themes such as Poetry &amp; Dream, Energy &amp; Process, and Structure &amp; Clarity, juxtaposing pivotal moments in 20th century art history with contemporary art works. The <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/venues/show/1882-van-abbemuseum?tab=VENUE" target="_blank">Van Abbemuseum</a> in Eindhoven has been doing something similar since launching <em>Er was eens&hellip;. de collectie nu</em> (Once upon a time there was &hellip;. the collection now) in 2013. The difference is a thoroughly interdisciplinary approach, combining art, documentation and archival material to connect the collection with its social context. The result is a polyphony of voices, but although the angle may have shifted from art historical to socio-historical, underlying this presentation is still a good old chronological approach.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Aesthetics is another route to follow. In 2007 <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/venues/show/14798-museum-boijmans-van-beuningen" target="_blank">Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen</a> director Sjarel Ex sought to revive interest for the Rotterdam collection by distancing himself from the white cube doctrine. Designer and stylist Maarten Spruyt was asked to devise a color scheme for the rooms and works were hung according to formal characteristics&mdash;on a wall filled with landscapes, for example, the paintings were hung at varying heights so the horizons formed one long line. The individual art works&mdash;both collection highlights and contemporary interventions&mdash;became part of an installation. It&rsquo;s maybe not as radical as the <a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/rackroom/57167-maarten-vanden-eynde" target="_blank"><em>Museum of Forgotten History</em> that Maarten Vanden Eynde built in MuHKA</a> (Antwerp) in 2012&mdash;works from the collection and his own work were combined as if they were all remnants of a possible future past&mdash;but the art is reduced to the level of props just the same.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Boijmans Van Beuningen is now in the process of constructing a <a href="http://collectiegebouw.boijmans.nl/en/" target="_blank">Collection Building</a>, a depot open to the public. Here the idea of hierarchy is completely abandoned. Visitors will be able to browse the collection at will, stopping at what catches their eye, as if surfing the internet. <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ew/venues/show/47285-schaulager" target="_blank">Schaulager</a> in Basel operates according to the same principles. It presents itself as an open warehouse where the collection of the Emanuel Hoffman Foundation is not stored, but permanently on show. It&rsquo;s only open for research and teaching purposes, though, making it way less democratic than its Rotterdam counterpart. But for the ultimate in democratic collection presentation we have to look at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore. For <a href="http://thewalters.org/events/eventdetails.aspx?e=2513" target="_blank"><em>Public Property</em></a> (2012) the museum placed hundreds of items from its depot online and asked the audience to arrange and tag them. More than one hundred objects eventually made it into the exhibition.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150309190901-Cobra_Maart_2015_MG_7857.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The Cobra Museum does not want to take it that far, probably because a populist approach entails the danger of <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ew/articles/show/41187" target="_blank">only classically pleasing and well-known works being selected</a>. Moreover, the museum doesn&rsquo;t want to showcase highlights alone, but wants to tell a story as well; education is deeply embedded in its DNA. By breaking with contemporary presentation conventions, changing the mode of concentration, it might get that story across more effectively.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The uncrowned king of rekindling old work is undoubtedly Rudi Fuchs. His <a href="http://www.documenta12.de/d7.html?&amp;L=1" target="_blank">Documenta 7</a> in 1982 wasn&rsquo;t a collection of new positions but rather a presenting anew of well-known artists. As director of the Stedelijk Museum he came up with the Coupletten (Verses)-format, surprising combinations of works which made visitors look at them with fresh eyes and reconsider their opinion about them. Coupletten was not very popular and lasted only two years, but&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">in a way</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;the concept is about to be revived by the museum&rsquo;s new director Beatrix Ruf. She wants to &ldquo;enrich&rdquo; temporary exhibitions with works from the collection, starting with the </span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/events/show/370396-the-oasis-of-matisse" target="_blank">upcoming Matisse show</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">. If implemented in a consistent manner this approach could result in a constant reshuffle of the collection. After having been condemned to the status of furniture, stiffly presented and blending into the architecture by Ruf&rsquo;s predecessor Ann Goldstein, the Stedelijk collection is about to enter the spotlight again.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/356010-edo-dijksterhuis?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Edo Dijksterhuis</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(All images: Bank &amp; Rau,&nbsp;<em>Brutal Vitality</em>, Cobra Museum Permanent Collection installation. Photo:&nbsp;&copy; 2015 Peter Tijhuis. Courtesy of the Cobra Museum Amstelveen)</span><br /></span></p> Fri, 13 Mar 2015 09:47:25 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list Made-Up with Danny Volk: S1E5 with Scott Wolniak <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Danny Volk talks to artists in their studios about life and art&mdash;while they do his make-up. This concept was a new one for us, and, unsurprisingly, it produces some unique moments: see artists like Theaster Gates, Pope.L, and Jessica Stockholder working in their studios as you've never seen them before.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Revisit Season 1 as we anticipate the all-new Made-Up Season 2, to be released this Spring on ArtSlant.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">This week: Danny is at the studio of Scott Wolniak. It's just two guys, drinking beer, talking about sculptural paintings, and creating one of our favorite makeovers yet. (Tip for next time, Danny: let Scott use the oatmeal!)</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;<br /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/iVtWZ_p3tII" frameborder="0" width="560" height="315"></iframe></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="float: right;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20150129205110-10299099_219201961624218_7214582499433800077_n.jpg" alt="" width="150" /></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>More About Made-Up With Danny Volk&nbsp;</strong></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Made-Up is created and hosted by Danny Volk.&nbsp;Volk was born in 1979 in Akron, OH and currently lives and works in Chicago, IL. Volk got his MFA in Visual Art from the University of Chicago in 2014, and his BA in Theater Studies at Kent State University in 2006.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Produced by | Danny Volk and Stephanie Anne Harris Trevor</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Cameras | Bryce Peppers,&nbsp;Valia&nbsp;O'Donnell</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Technical consultant | Ben Chandler</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">"Comic Strip" by Serge&nbsp;Gainsbourg&nbsp;remixed by&nbsp;<a href="https://soundcloud.com/flashcookie">DJ&nbsp;Flashcookie</a></span></p> Fri, 13 Mar 2015 08:13:11 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list Playful? Or Childish? The Art We Deserve <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Hopping around the fairs you start to notice some trends in material and content. We&rsquo;ve noticed a healthy use of floral foam at Independent and Armory, <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ew/articles/show/42251" target="_blank">rock-climbing grips as wall plinths</a>, <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/42255" target="_blank">new-media on canvas</a>, and a whole bunch of animated icons making their way into the pictorial plane. There is a lot of playfulness this year&hellip; but it&rsquo;s all rather childish.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20150306153611-IMG_2414.JPG" alt="" width="500" /><span style="font-size: small;">Per Fhager at Stene, exhibiting at Volta NY</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: small;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">On a far wall in the upper reaches of Independent, there&rsquo;s a photo diptych, one half of which is an image of Diego Rivera&rsquo;s Detroit Industry fresco at the Detroit Institute of Art. I had one of those moments when you get lost in a work, feeling it with my eyes, searching it and gleaning as much information and affect as I could. A few minutes went by and I snapped out of it. I looked around and a wave of despair lapped at my toes. I had come to the end of Independent and was circling back down and I knew there was nothing here that was going to affect me like that one photo reproduction had. It had gravity, it had weight, it reached for universal truths of humanity in a moment of great change. Its heroism left me feeling inadequate and empty.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20150306154449-IMG_2400.JPG" alt="" width="400" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;">Jack Featherly at Upfor, exhibiting at Volta NY</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">We are at one of those great transitional moments now; the </span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://www.artslant.com/ew/articles/show/41699" target="_blank">anthropocene</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> is evident and technological change is fast approaching exponential expansion which may cause a complete shift in the definition of what it means to be human&mdash;and all we get are a bunch of childish remembrances. Vapid references and solopsistic nostalgia abound but you can&rsquo;t blame the art or artist. It is, in a very cruel way, </span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://www.artslant.com/par/articles/show/41140" target="_blank">the art we deserve.</a></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Given a lack of counter-ideologies, anything that resists capitalization is labeled as sentimental and therefore loses affective traction for the majority of viewers. We&rsquo;ve been conditioned to reject the sentimental and compartmentalize the heroic so that it cannot apply to personal experience but is rather outside of ourselves. Production within this system then relies on quick apperception and I mean quick. We expect instantaneous relation and instantaneous gratification, not the gratification of contemplation and growth.</span>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">It is no one&rsquo;s fault&mdash;and who is to say it is even a negative that we prefer our relationships with objects of culture to be fleeting and innocuous? I perceive this shift as negative because it is in opposition to the mores I was raised with and attached my self-worth to but this acknowledgement dismisses any negative feelings and now I am the perfect receiver for this childish art&mdash;a tabula incompletus, waiting to be filled with new formulations of knowledge and relation. This was the point of postmodernism, to wipe away the old systems in favor of new formulations that favored new values of equality and flattened paradigms of power. Post-postmodernism was heralded as a new beginning but all we get is some childish art with semi-sentimental references.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20150306151927-heathers_finalfinal.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;">Promotional image from the movie&nbsp;<em>Heathers</em>, 1988</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Heathers, starring Winona Ryder and Christian Slater, told a dark tale of a murderous high school duo disaffected by 1980s suburbia and croquet. Jeanette Mundt, represented by Soci&eacute;t&eacute; at Independent, produced three monochromatic paintings of three girls holding croquet mallets behind their back like the popular girls in Heathers, threatening but innocent. On the adjoining wall hangs a large print (image at top) of American males that look ripped from an American Eagle catalogue by Timur Si-Qin from his <a href="http://dismagazine.com/dystopia/71486/timur-si-qin-premier-machinic-ii-memorial/">Premier Machinic II Memorial</a>. Perfectly paired with a transparent heart box from Refraction. The Image of Sense series, an odd tension of teenage girl affect is touched and then left. Connections to Tiger Beat, Heathers, American Eagle, heart emojis all pop up&mdash;&ldquo;related content&rdquo;&mdash;but the grand narrative is missing. The pieces don&rsquo;t fall together and I feel neither empowered nor validated. I feel childish.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/website/joel-kuennen" target="_blank">Joel Kuennen</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at top: Independent. Photo: Stephanie Cristello)</span></p> Thu, 12 Mar 2015 15:01:30 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list Vernissage Report: Independent 2015 <p class="normal" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Malfunctioning subways, icy roads, and slushy sidewalks did little to deter fair-goers from attending Independent&rsquo;s Vernissage last night. It is year six for </span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://independentnewyork.com" target="_blank">Independent</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">, an art fair that continues to provide a refreshing alternative to the heavy-handedness of its behemoth counterparts on the piers. An open floor plan directs traffic in a meandering fashion, contrary to the congested roadways of gridded booths across town at Armory. This wandering through and around works not only creates a breezy attitude, but even goes so far as suggesting a spaciousness that is quickly dispelled once you begin to sift through the three floors accommodating some 50 galleries.</span></p> <p class="normal" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150306123739-Adriana_Minoliti__Queer_Deco__2011-2012_.jpg" alt="" height="350" /><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150306123843-Adriana_Minoliti_at_Galeria_Agustina_Ferreyra.JPG" alt="" height="350" /></p> <p class="normal" style="line-height: 10px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Adriana Minoliti at Galeria Agustina Ferreyra. Photos: the author (left)&nbsp;<em>Queer Deco</em>, 2011&ndash;2012</span></p> <p class="normal" style="line-height: 10px; text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p class="normal" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Buenos Aires artist Adriana Minoliti&rsquo;s lively installation <em>Playground </em>at <a href="http://www.agustinaferreyra.com" target="_blank">Galeria Agustina Ferreyra </a>places paintings of cyborg surrealism on pink walls. Swiss artist Nicolas Party&rsquo;s pastel on canvas works at <a href="http://www.themoderninstitute.com" target="_blank">The Modern Institute</a> takes advantage of its more isolated space. The works vibrate, in their color combinations, striking portraits, and landscape/still life hybrids, displayed on grey wall paintings of a glassy eyed and cloaked woman on one wall and loose scribbles on the other.</span></p> <p class="normal" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150306124103-Nicolas_Party_at_the_Modern_Institute_.JPG" alt="" height="300" />&nbsp;<img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150306124129-Screen_Shot_2015-03-06_at_1.27.36_PM.png" alt="" height="300" /></span></p> <p class="normal" style="line-height: 10px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Nicolas Party at The Modern Institute (left) photo: the author (right) photo: via @independent_ny on <a style="line-height: 10px;" href="https://instagram.com/p/z3yHcuLANR/?modal=true" target="_blank">Instagram</a></span></p> <p class="normal" style="line-height: 10px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="normal" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Just when I began to forget the commerical objective of every art fair, works began to come off the wall at <a href="http://www.officebaroque.com/exhibitions/current" target="_blank">Office Baroque</a> and an agitated man began demanding the prices of remaining works by Aaron Bobrow and Matthew Brannon while a Tyson Reeder painting rested against the wall, either waiting to be hung or already sold&mdash;I couldn&rsquo;t be sure.</span></p> <p class="normal" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150306124730-SC_Lili_Reynaud_Dewar_at_Emanuel_Layr.jpg" alt="" height="290" /><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150306124747-11054446_10203121739478123_1952756503799833266_n.jpg" alt="" height="290" /></span></p> <p class="normal" style="line-height: 10px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Lili Reynaud Dewar at Emanuel Layr (left) photo: Stephanie Cristello (right) photo: the author</span></p> <p class="normal" style="line-height: 10px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="normal" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; text-align: left;">Lili Reynaud Dewar&rsquo;s works at </span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; text-align: left;" href="http://www.emanuellayr.com" target="_blank">Emanuel Layr</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; text-align: left;"> caused pause. A video shows Dewar&rsquo;s dancing body in various spaces, including the foyer of a residential building in the daytime, with foot traffic passing by windows in the background. The rest of her installation included printed silk pressed between glass, with excerpts of text examining the positive aspects of cruising culture, individuals&rsquo; openness in an increasingly closed world.</span></p> <p class="normal" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150306130619-Lionel_Maunz_at_Bureau.JPG" alt="" height="300" />&nbsp;<img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150306130654-Screen_Shot_2015-03-06_at_1.55.53_PM.png" alt="" height="300" /></span></p> <p class="normal" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: 10px;">(left) Lionel Maunz at Bureau (right) Mac Adams,&nbsp;<em>Plaid Mystery</em>, at Elizabeth Dee</span></p> <p class="normal" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: 10px;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="normal" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The fair has its darker moments:&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">at the entrance to the third floor,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">it was hard to miss the work of Brooklyn-based Lionel Maunz at </span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://www.bureau-inc.com" target="_blank">Bureau</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">, with</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> one sculpture depicting a demonic allegory in bronze of Saturn tearing the flesh of his infant son. Mac Adams&rsquo;&nbsp;<em>Plaid Mystery</em> at&nbsp;</span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://now.elizabethdee.com/gallery/" target="_blank">Elizabeth Dee</a>&nbsp;<span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">is a photo diptych that poses a straight faced woman leering left in a plaid over coat adjacent to what appears to be a murder scene, dead body also clad in plaid. </span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="https://www.gavinbrown.biz" target="_blank">Gavin Brown&rsquo;s Enterprise</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> drew a crowd with German painter Silke Otto-Knapp&rsquo;s somber series of grey watercolor on canvas depicting shadowy landscapes. Both playful and disturbing were Jan Peter Hammer&rsquo;s </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Nelly</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> (2015), a neoprene dolphin skin that conjures </span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7gM4FHJ5-M&amp;t=185" target="_blank">Irish silkie folklore</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">, next to his </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Sad Smiley&nbsp;</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">(2012) at a space shared by </span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://www.labor.org.mx/en" target="_blank">Labor</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> and </span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://www.supporticolopez.com" target="_blank">Supportico Lopez</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">.</span></p> <p class="normal" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Independent is able to achieve both a sense of intimacy and a scale that allows for prolonged engagement. I suggest you view the floors in ascending order, so you can revisit your favorite works back on the way down.</span></p> <p class="normal" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="normal" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/408592-tara-plath?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Tara Plath</a></span></p> <p class="normal" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="normal" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at top: Jan Peter Hammer at Labor and Supportico Lopez,&nbsp;<em>Nelly</em>, 2015, <em>Sad Smiley</em>, 2012. Photo: Stephanie Cristello)</span></p> Fri, 06 Mar 2015 16:08:34 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list Armory Show 2015: The #Instagrammies <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">An art fair isn't the most innovative cultural event&mdash;it might even make you worry about the state of culture and raise concerns about the mental health of art industry workers. No, it's not the most relaxed way to experience art&mdash;bonus points for the most nauseating strip lighting in the world.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Important questions are raised by this year's Armory Show, such as: why <em>shouldn't</em> I attach a GoPro to my dog? Why&nbsp;<em>should</em>&nbsp;a sweater have armholes? It also reminds us that the true frisson of art is found in an art publisher's orange sneakers.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Here are our 2015 #armoryshow #instagrammies from the New York whirligig so far.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Best Outfit for Dieting</span></p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 658px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-version="4"> <div style="padding: 8px;"> <div style="background: #F8F8F8; line-height: 0; margin-top: 40px; padding: 50% 0; text-align: center; width: 100%;">&nbsp;</div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://instagram.com/p/z1T5cyyz8D/" target="_top">A photo posted by Nova. James Nova. (@jxnova)</a> on Mar 4, 2015 at 8:41pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <script type="text/javascript" src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js" defer="defer"></script> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Best Diet as an Outfit&nbsp;</span></p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 658px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-version="4"> <div style="padding: 8px;"> <div style="background: #F8F8F8; line-height: 0; margin-top: 40px; padding: 50% 0; text-align: center; width: 100%;">&nbsp;</div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://instagram.com/p/z2LyCTsE4_/" target="_top">A photo posted by Sj And Ms. White (@tittiesanddoritos)</a> on Mar 5, 2015 at 4:50am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <script type="text/javascript" src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js" defer="defer"></script> <p class="p1"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p1"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Best Piece of Intedisciplinary Multimedia (Potentially) Interactive Art&nbsp;</span></p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 658px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-version="4"> <div style="padding: 8px;"> <div style="background: #F8F8F8; line-height: 0; margin-top: 40px; padding: 50% 0; text-align: center; width: 100%;">&nbsp;</div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://instagram.com/p/z2MaMpFpg7/" target="_top">A photo posted by HASHTAG ART (@hashtagart.fr)</a> on Mar 5, 2015 at 4:55am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <script type="text/javascript" src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js" defer="defer"></script> <p class="p1"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p1"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Best Comeback of <a href="http://www.artslant.com/lon/articles/show/41076" target="_blank">Sad Dick Nose</a>&nbsp;</span></p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 658px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-version="4"> <div style="padding: 8px;"> <div style="background: #F8F8F8; line-height: 0; margin-top: 40px; padding: 50% 0; text-align: center; width: 100%;">&nbsp;</div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://instagram.com/p/z2GMolM9Fv/" target="_top">A photo posted by LillaFinaSerDig (@lillafinaserdig)</a> on Mar 5, 2015 at 4:01am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <script type="text/javascript" src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js" defer="defer"></script> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 26px;">Best Way to Decorate Your Child's Bedroom to Ensure They Become a Serial Killer</span>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 658px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-version="4"> <div style="padding: 8px;"> <div style="background: #F8F8F8; line-height: 0; margin-top: 40px; padding: 50% 0; text-align: center; width: 100%;">&nbsp;</div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://instagram.com/p/z2OCtWEF_q/" target="_top">A photo posted by Jeanie Riddle (@jeaniemontreal)</a> on Mar 5, 2015 at 5:09am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <script type="text/javascript" src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js" defer="defer"></script> <p class="p1"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p1"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Best Pouffe</span></p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 658px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-version="4"> <div style="padding: 8px;"> <div style="background: #F8F8F8; line-height: 0; margin-top: 40px; padding: 50% 0; text-align: center; width: 100%;">&nbsp;</div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://instagram.com/p/z3Fu0tM1Vs/" target="_top">A photo posted by Mike Nouveau (@mikenouveau)</a> on Mar 5, 2015 at 1:16pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p class="p2"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p2"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Worst Use of an Animal</span></p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 658px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-version="4"> <div style="padding: 8px;"> <div style="background: #F8F8F8; line-height: 0; margin-top: 40px; padding: 50% 0; text-align: center; width: 100%;">&nbsp;</div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://instagram.com/p/zyD9S5RI82/" target="_top">A photo posted by Ben Coiacetto (@bencoiacetto)</a> on Mar 3, 2015 at 2:24pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <script type="text/javascript" src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js" defer="defer"></script> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Best Use of an Animal</span></p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 658px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-version="4"> <div style="padding: 8px;"> <div style="background: #F8F8F8; line-height: 0; margin-top: 40px; padding: 50% 0; text-align: center; width: 100%;">&nbsp;</div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://instagram.com/p/z2zVL8Ajkp/" target="_top">A photo posted by Weingarten Art Group (@weingartenartgroup)</a> on Mar 5, 2015 at 10:35am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <script type="text/javascript" src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js" defer="defer"></script> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Best Response to a Weasel Riding a Woodpecker</span></p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 658px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-version="4"> <div style="padding: 8px;"> <div style="background: #F8F8F8; line-height: 0; margin-top: 40px; padding: 50% 0; text-align: center; width: 100%;">&nbsp;</div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://instagram.com/p/zItyQooI0W/" target="_top">A photo posted by Joe Heaps Nelson (@heapsnyc)</a> on Feb 15, 2015 at 1:02pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <script type="text/javascript" src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js" defer="defer"></script> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Best I Did Not Try at all with This Outfit. At. All. No Effort Went into This. None. Nada.</span></p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 658px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-version="4"> <div style="padding: 8px;"> <div style="background: #F8F8F8; line-height: 0; margin-top: 40px; padding: 50% 0; text-align: center; width: 100%;">&nbsp;</div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" href="https://instagram.com/p/z2lWTYJoYh/" target="_top">Let #TheArmoryShow2015 begin! @artcrasher #ARTcrashing #VikMunoz - Goldfish Window at #BenBrownFineArts #Pier94 #NewYork. @thearmoryshow @benbrownfinearts Tag your photos #igersart#igers_art#igersarte or #igers_arte to be featured here.</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A photo posted by @igers_art on Mar 5, 2015 at 8:33am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <script type="text/javascript" src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js" defer="defer"></script> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Biggest Balls</span></p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 658px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-version="4"> <div style="padding: 8px;"> <div style="background: #F8F8F8; line-height: 0; margin-top: 40px; padding: 50% 0; text-align: center; width: 100%;">&nbsp;</div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://instagram.com/p/z07WNoPbbB/" target="_top">A photo posted by @blouin_artinfo</a> on Mar 4, 2015 at 5:07pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <script type="text/javascript" src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js" defer="defer"></script> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Smallest Balls</span></p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 658px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-version="4"> <div style="padding: 8px;"> <div style="background: #F8F8F8; line-height: 0; margin-top: 40px; padding: 50% 0; text-align: center; width: 100%;">&nbsp;</div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" href="https://instagram.com/p/z30k3VGWdw/" target="_top">Jorge Mendez Blake, From an Unfinished Work (The Garden of Eden), 2014 #armoryshow #gnomemagazine</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A photo posted by Gnome Magazine (@gnome_magazine) on Mar 5, 2015 at 8:05pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <script type="text/javascript" src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js" defer="defer"></script> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Best We Knew Someone Would Do It But We Really Hoped We Wouldn't Be Alive to See It&nbsp;</span></p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 658px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-version="4"> <div style="padding: 8px;"> <div style="background: #F8F8F8; line-height: 0; margin-top: 40px; padding: 50% 0; text-align: center; width: 100%;">&nbsp;</div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://instagram.com/p/z0hU71w1Wf/" target="_top">A photo posted by Bib + Tuck (@bibandtuck)</a> on Mar 4, 2015 at 1:19pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <script type="text/javascript" src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js" defer="defer"></script> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Best Life Affirming Footwear&nbsp;</span></p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 658px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-version="4"> <div style="padding: 8px;"> <div style="background: #F8F8F8; line-height: 0; margin-top: 40px; padding: 50% 0; text-align: center; width: 100%;">&nbsp;</div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://instagram.com/p/z3ETrAlqM4/" target="_top">A photo posted by Louis Stern Fine Arts (@louissternfinearts)</a> on Mar 5, 2015 at 1:03pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <script type="text/javascript" src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js" defer="defer"></script> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;The ArtSlant Team</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> Fri, 06 Mar 2015 16:08:46 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list No Need to Be Anxious, Neil Patrick Harris—the Paintings Are All Right <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">As I was walking around the Armory Show preview on a slushy Wednesday afternoon, I overheard Neil Patrick Harris say, like a self-assuring mantra, &ldquo;This is not going to make me anxious&rdquo; as he walked into the fair. I empathized, ridden already with the anxiety of two hours' worth of art-gazing and glad-handing behind me. </span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Fairs are bound in anxiety for a lot of reasons. They are sheer feats of organization, for one, but it&rsquo;s the clash of cash and creation that makes them uneasy territory for most. This tension will forever haunt the art fair, an institution that must&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">at once&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">perform as a world-class museum and shopping mall. There is a broader anxiety embodied here; the blatant fact that Art as commodity can assert an apolitical aesthetic yet still act as a</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;purchase of Culture. The act of purchasing is buying into the production and maintenance of Culture.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Fewer works on Pier 94&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">this year</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">looked conspicuously commercial and, conversely, new paintings from young artists abounded.</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;Painting, that form that refuses to die, stole the show. Minimalist offerings took up less real estate than usual, and galleries were seen happily presenting a bevy of young artists with materialist impulses, intricate works that focused on aptitude and craft as well as heavy doses of patterned, semi-decorative works and some portraiture.</span></p> <p dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Sculptural offerings were mostly more of the same with only a smattering of Anish Kapoor&rsquo;s inverted easter eggs. There were a few outstanding three dimensional works including Nari Ward&rsquo;s diverse and prescient offerings at Lehmann Maupin. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 658px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-version="4"> <div style="padding: 8px;"> <div style="background: #F8F8F8; line-height: 0; margin-top: 40px; padding: 50% 0; text-align: center; width: 100%;">&nbsp;</div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" href="https://instagram.com/p/z0SCPTn9Vo/" target="_top">Nari Ward at Lehmann Maupin #armory2015</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A photo posted by artslant (@artslant) on Mar 4, 2015 at 11:06am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">German artist, Berta Fischer at James Fuentes collaged bright iridescent plexi to form amalgamations on the wall that play with light and shadow beautifully. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 658px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-version="4"> <div style="padding: 8px;"> <div style="background: #F8F8F8; line-height: 0; margin-top: 40px; padding: 50% 0; text-align: center; width: 100%;">&nbsp;</div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" href="https://instagram.com/p/z0H1S4H9UN/" target="_top">Berta Fischer at James Fuentes #armory2015</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A photo posted by artslant (@artslant) on Mar 4, 2015 at 9:37am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Wafaa Bilal's crowd-funded <em>Canto III </em>took the shape of a&nbsp;bronze figurehead that is at once propogandistic and neo-futurist. The <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/42131" target="_blank">MENAM focus</a>&nbsp;was sculpturally heavy, including a brilliant work by&nbsp;Faycal Baghriche for Taymour Grahne Gallery that consisted of a spinning lit globe, blurred into unity.&nbsp;</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 658px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-version="4"> <div style="padding: 8px;"> <div style="background: #F8F8F8; line-height: 0; margin-top: 40px; padding: 50% 0; text-align: center; width: 100%;">&nbsp;</div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" href="https://instagram.com/p/z0QI1OH9SU/" target="_top">Faycal Baghriche at Taymour Grahne Gallery #armory2015</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A photo posted by artslant (@artslant) on Mar 4, 2015 at 10:49am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/lon/articles/show/38373">Kader Attia</a>'s <em>Colonial Modernity: the first mass in Brazil and Algeria</em>, 2014&nbsp;at Lehmann Maupin was by far one of the most interesting paintings at Armory. Renaissance style paintings, stapled together with large iron clasps, the sensual paintings' union conveyed the violence of cultural stitching that began as artificial and became systemic. Attia's conceptual prowess is on full display in <em>Colonial Modernity</em>.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 658px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-version="4"> <div style="padding: 8px;"> <div style="background: #F8F8F8; line-height: 0; margin-top: 40px; padding: 50% 0; text-align: center; width: 100%;">&nbsp;</div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" href="https://instagram.com/p/z0R8cjH9Vd/" target="_top">Kader Attia at Lehmann Maupin #armory2015</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A photo posted by artslant (@artslant) on Mar 4, 2015 at 11:05am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Betke is not a young painter, no offense Wolfgang. Working for over 20 years, Betke is an accomplished painter and performance artist but his works could easily be seen as a segway into the free-flowing, gestural paintings that many young artists are making these days. Seemingly "difficult" contemporary art, many of these paintings use simplistic measures to engage the attention of the viewer. Facial abstractions, bright and bold framing, active and diverse media complicating the picture frame&mdash;these are the hallmarks of the majority of paintings offered this year.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <script type="text/javascript" src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js" defer="defer"></script> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 658px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-version="4"> <div style="padding: 8px;"> <div style="background: #F8F8F8; line-height: 0; margin-top: 40px; padding: 50% 0; text-align: center; width: 100%;">&nbsp;</div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" href="https://instagram.com/p/z0PV7Jn9Q6/" target="_top">Wolfgang Betke at Aurel Scheibler #armory2015</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A photo posted by artslant (@artslant) on Mar 4, 2015 at 10:42am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>&nbsp;</p> <script type="text/javascript" src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js" defer="defer"></script> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 658px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-version="4"> <div style="padding: 8px;"> <div style="background: #F8F8F8; line-height: 0; margin-top: 40px; padding: 50% 0; text-align: center; width: 100%;">&nbsp;</div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" href="https://instagram.com/p/z0GhV2H9R3/" target="_top">Ryan Sluggett at Richard Telles #armory2015</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A photo posted by artslant (@artslant) on Mar 4, 2015 at 9:25am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Ryan Sluggett, a young painter from Canada, has been making the rounds with Richard Telles. Borrowing much from cubism, Sluggett successfully updates the palette and adds a cartoonish&nbsp;na&iuml;vet&eacute; and SoCal attitude.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <script type="text/javascript" src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js" defer="defer"></script> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 658px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-version="4"> <div style="padding: 8px;"> <div style="background: #F8F8F8; line-height: 0; margin-top: 40px; padding: 50% 0; text-align: center; width: 100%;">&nbsp;</div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" href="https://instagram.com/p/z0J-6oH9XE/" target="_top">Evan Nesbit at Eleven Rivington #armory2015</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A photo posted by artslant (@artslant) on Mar 4, 2015 at 9:55am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Hailing from Northern California, Evan Nesbit is in the materialist wing of the young painters. Beginning in grad school, Nesbit experimented with burlap as the grounding fabric for his paintings. This experimentation led him to works that feature bright acrylic paint seeping through the loosely woven material in burps and belches.&nbsp;</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <script type="text/javascript" src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js" defer="defer"></script> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 658px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-version="4"> <div style="padding: 8px;"> <div style="background: #F8F8F8; line-height: 0; margin-top: 40px; padding: 50% 0; text-align: center; width: 100%;">&nbsp;</div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" href="https://instagram.com/p/z0IVe3n9U0/" target="_top">Henning Strassburger at BolteLang #armory2015</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A photo posted by artslant (@artslant) on Mar 4, 2015 at 9:41am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Henning Strassburger is an emerging German, multidisciplinary artist who has taken to painting lately. His paintings create space in the raw white of the canvas then subvert the implied physics of that space. They often take on the look of a table in the act of up-ending.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 658px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-version="4"> <div style="padding: 8px;"> <div style="background: #F8F8F8; line-height: 0; margin-top: 40px; padding: 50% 0; text-align: center; width: 100%;">&nbsp;</div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" href="https://instagram.com/p/z0G0PgH9Sa/" target="_top">Farrah Atassi at Michel Rein #armory2015</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A photo posted by artslant (@artslant) on Mar 4, 2015 at 9:28am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">On the decorative spectrum, Farah Atassi uses patterns to create the figure. Kehinde Wiley and Timothy Wehrle also contributed textural works that use pattern to outline or backdrop central figures. &nbsp;</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <script type="text/javascript" src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js" defer="defer"></script> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 658px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-version="4"> <div style="padding: 8px;"> <div style="background: #F8F8F8; line-height: 0; margin-top: 40px; padding: 50% 0; text-align: center; width: 100%;">&nbsp;</div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" href="https://instagram.com/p/z0FzgHn9Qf/" target="_top">Armin Boehm at Galerie Peter Kilchmann #armory2015</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A photo posted by artslant (@artslant) on Mar 4, 2015 at 9:19am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Armin Boehm's <em>Thebaine (</em>2015)</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">brings the darkness as a still-life after dark. It's&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">is a nice departure from his stark architectural paintings.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <script type="text/javascript" src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js" defer="defer"></script> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 658px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-version="4"> <div style="padding: 8px;"> <div style="background: #F8F8F8; line-height: 0; margin-top: 40px; padding: 50% 0; text-align: center; width: 100%;">&nbsp;</div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" href="https://instagram.com/p/z0P_OvH9R_/" target="_top">Francesca DiMattio at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery #armory2015</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A photo posted by artslant (@artslant) on Mar 4, 2015 at 10:48am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <script type="text/javascript" src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js" defer="defer"></script> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Painting is the most commonly purchased art form. It's distinct, it's portable, it's got a language all its own. All these qualities shore up the foundations of Painting as commodity. Encouragingly, young painterly aesthetics are making their way into the large fairs through established galleries willing to take a chance on new works instead of bringing big names just to draw crowds. Now, if only these young painterly aesthetics could just find a subject other than painting.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/website/joel-kuennen" target="_blank">Joel Kuennen</a></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;">(Image at top:&nbsp;<a href="https://instagram.com/p/z0P_OvH9R_/" target="_top">Francesca DiMattio at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery</a>)</span></p> Fri, 06 Mar 2015 21:07:06 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list Exhibition Preview: Bicicleta Sem Freio Debut Solo Show <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Opening tonight in East London is the first-ever London exhibition by Brazilian duo, Bicicleta Sem Freio. The artist pair have crossed over from graphic design and illustration to muralism and back again.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Entitled <em>FERA</em> (meaning "wild" in Portugese)&nbsp;<span style="text-align: left;">Douglas de Castro and Renato&nbsp;</span><span style="text-align: left;">Perreira will bring an eye-exploding dose of color to London through new works on canvas and paper. The guys are big '80s fans, drawing not only on the gaudy color clashes of the era but also on its iconography, full of capitalist optimism and pop girls. Oh, and there are some panthers thrown in their for good measure, too.</span></span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The exhibition is produced by JUSTKIDS and RexRomae, a curator/agent duo who are dominating East London's street-oriented art scene lately with their roster of pop-up exhibitions. This production will run in their usual style for a strictly limited time (closing on Sunday, March 8) in a temporary venue in Dalston (details below).</span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Check out <a href="http://www.artslant.com/9/articles/show/40000" target="_blank">our interview with the guys</a>&nbsp;(back when they were a trio) to see some of their previous work ahead of the opening night tonight. Meanwhile, here's a flavor of the new work to be shown:</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150304174925-BICICLETA_FERA_BLUE.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150304174940-BICICLETA_FERA_PINK.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150304175000-BICICLETA_FERA_RED_.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150304175018-BICICLETA_FERA_TEAL.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150304175036-BICICLETA_FERA_YELLOW.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150304175054-BICICLETA_PRINT.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">All images: Bicileta Sem Freio, Courtesy the Artists and JustKids</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/162742-char-jansen?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Char Jansen</a></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">FERA</span><em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;opens on March 5, 6pm, at <a href="http://rexromae.com/home/exhibition/fera" target="_blank">RexRomae</a>, 9 Kingsland Road, London E28AA, and runs through March 8. Facebook event <a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/785678724842720" target="_blank">here</a>.&nbsp;</span></em></p> <p><em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at the top: Mural, Brick Lane, London, Photo: Monoprixx)</span></p> Thu, 05 Mar 2015 08:04:03 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list Security Breach: A Surveillance Love Affair at the New Museum Triennial <blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left; padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Why do we need agents, the 00 section? Isn't it all rather quaint? Well, I suppose I see a different world than you do, and the truth is that what I see frightens me. I'm frightened because our enemies are no longer known to us. They do not exist on a map, they aren't nations. They are individuals. So before you declare us irrelevant, ask yourselves&mdash;<em>how safe do you feel</em>?</span></p> </blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left; padding-left: 360px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;M, <em>Skyfall</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The question: how safe do you feel? How safe do we feel in a world where technology has been absorbed? Where the impression of our lives&mdash;the physical and tactile mark of our experiences&mdash;has been transformed into something that is fluidly recorded in images, in written text. What we look at online, what we listen to, what we search. There is a kind of symmetry to how we interface with these records, a twin-ness to our relationship with the statistics that trace us. Our existence subtly alters data as equally as it alters us.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Not just bureaucratically or commercially, but experientially, emotionally, sentimentally.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Surveillance existed before technology; curiosity and desire are surveillance. Surveillance is romantic. The question, in the expanded field of surveillance, where everyone both <em>is</em> and <em>is watched by</em> Big Brother, is: does Big Brother love us back?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150304141823-HB17.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Ed Atkins, <em>Happy Birthday!!</em>, 2014. Courtesy the artist and Cabinet Gallery, London</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Enter <a href="http://www.newmuseum.org/exhibitions/view/the-generational-triennial"><em>Surround Audience</em></a>, the 2015 New Museum Triennial, curated by Lauren Cornell and artist Ryan Trecartin. Now in its third edition, the triennial features 51 artists and collectives, many exhibiting in a museum for the first time. The curatorial premise of the exhibition hinges on these panoptic qualities of surveillance (as Andrew Russeth wrote, &ldquo;we&rsquo;re all simultaneously performing for and examining each other&rdquo;<a title="" href="#_ftn1">[1]</a>) but also on this idea of <em>security</em>, and how its many adherences and breaks both affect and influence us. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Cornell and Trecartin suggest the term &ldquo;surround culture&rdquo;<a title="" href="#_ftn2">[2]</a> through the exhibition. This flow of information directly informs the model of the artists and selected works on view. <em>Surround Audience&nbsp;</em>bypasses the traditional gallery model in favor of exhibiting work that has in many cases travelled directly from the studio to the museum&mdash;a break in the common threshold that gallery representation leads to major museum exhibitions. The exhibition is, by this definition, one large security breach. The triennial model here capitalizes on the myth that security measures keep us safe&mdash;not only conceptually, but also in practice. The break in the soundness of procedure here does away with regulation; it infiltrates and subverts in favor of following protocol.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">As with all breaches, once detected, the hunt begins in searching for the break&mdash;where did it begin, what was its source? A new protocol is born in the breach.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">How can we navigate this rift and use it to our advantage?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The concept is evidence of a larger thematic for Cornell and Trecartin. The question of how technology has coerced our interests has been asked time and time again; the answer is often one of a tacit agreement to surveillance, neither consented nor actively rejected, but tolerated out of necessity. As Cornell expresses in an exhibition catalogue text, &ldquo;We move through streams of chatter, swipe past pictures of others&rsquo; lives, and frame our own experiences, as our digital trails are subtly captured, tracked, and stored.&rdquo; <em>Surround Audience</em> re-imagines Big Brother&mdash;one that we work and cooperate with on a daily basis through the technologies we accept within our everyday.</span></p> <div class="page" title="Page 4"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150304141613-Lai_Tennis_Court.jpg" alt="" width="400" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Firenze Lai, <em>Tennis Court</em>, 2013, Oil on canvas, 40 x 30 in (101.6 x 76.2 cm). Courtesy the artist and Vitamin Creative Space, Guangzhou, China&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 26px;">&nbsp;</span></p> </div> </div> </div> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">While the idea of subjectivity is so often removed in the process of thinking about big data, or any technological interface, the work included in <em>Surround Audience</em> suggests otherwise. Technology is inescapably subjective. There is no difference between the digital and real life, as would seem obvious by now. Our interactions within a digital sphere are not without consequence. Materiality does not precede existence. Agency is not eliminated by digital platforms, but enhanced by it. It is almost intimate. Our love affair with surveillance is a point of sincerity and criticism; we open our arms to the social liberties surveillance allows us, granting others access into our persons through the image of international connectivity, while damning its habit of transforming our world into a series of digestible images and symbols.</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Self-surveillance&mdash;intimately entwined with self-presentation&mdash;has been practiced for centuries; technology does not make it possible, but instead makes this act of watching an inescapable tangible reality. The image of <em>selfness</em> is one that is directly imagined in <em>Surround Audience</em>. Juliana Huxtable becomes the poster for this; in various photographic images, the artist&rsquo;s body is transformed into both a set and its director, simultaneously. You can imagine the self-direction, the self-created image that Huxtable can love and be loved through. There is a command, or awareness, of Huxtable&rsquo;s image&mdash;here, the female body is no longer painted on the silver screen, but rises out of the digital ether. The work is almost simplistic in its exploitation of digital materials&mdash;a painted body is superimposed onto a false background of two pantone swatches, one denoting land, the other sky; a white circle occupies the top right corner of the image, perfectly cut out from the atmosphere. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">This piece could have only been created in a moment where the development of advanced technologies was already proliferating and undeniably present. While this tension is most present in Huxtable's work, the exhibition unfolds in a series of investigations on this idea&mdash;whether in the barely formed bodies of Ed Atkins' <em>Happy Birthday!!, </em>or less directly in the tilting, driftless fields of Firenze Lai's <em>Tennis Court</em>, an oil painting that reads as a ghost of a google image search on Munch, or the distorted full-body self captured through the digital lens, constantly shifting and changing orientation. Perhaps none of these comparissons would have been made to this same painting fifty years ago, though we now preempt our reading of the non-digital, bracing our interpretations&mdash;always on, all the time.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">This is the exact absorption Cornell and Trecartin&rsquo;s curatorial system anticipates and pictures.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="vertical-align: middle; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/166662/7571/20150305031927-juliana-huxtable-front.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Frank Benson, <em>Juliana</em>, 2015, Image courtesy of the author.</span></p> </div> </div> </div> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In close proximity to Huxtable's printed two-dimensional works, Frank Benson&rsquo;s 3-D plastic model of the artist occupies a white pedestal. Its <em>selfness</em>&nbsp;is no less metallic, purposefully foreign, estranged, or alien in relation to the photographs. The dark silver tinge of her limbs, caught with jewel tones, is futuristic&mdash;though not nearly as futuristic as it could be. There is still a physical presence to this piece. As with our relationship to surveillance, we still favor the material over its projection, the &ldquo;re-materialization of digital and ephemeral forms.<a title="" href="#_ftn3">[3]</a>&rdquo; This is not an incorporeal experience, though it can be characterized as <em>digital</em>. It is important that we could reach out and touch her if we wanted to. We could break the rules.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Huxtable&rsquo;s piece&mdash;not to be confused with her body proper&mdash;and Benson's accompanying installation is something Rimbaud or Baudelaire would have loved. You can almost hear their verses echoing, intertwined and distant: <em>my self-same, my other</em>.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/183982-stephanie-cristello?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Stephanie Cristello&nbsp;</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span>&nbsp;</p> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><hr style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" align="left" size="1" width="33%" /> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref1">[1]</a> Andrew Russeth, <a href="http://www.artnews.com/2015/02/25/the-2015-new-museum-triennial-is-a-pointed-bracing-survey-of-now/">ArtNews</a>, 2015.</span></p> </div> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref2">[2]</a> &ldquo;How are visual metaphors for the self and subjecthood evolving at a moment when we not only want to be seen but also manage our self-image and pri&shy;vacy in a more participatory and also more intrusive media environment&mdash;what we could describe as a surround culture?&rdquo; <em>Surround Audience</em>, New Museum Catalogue, 2015.</span></p> </div> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref3">[3]</a> <em>Surround Audience</em>, New Museum Catalogue, 2015.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at top:&nbsp;Juliana Huxtable, </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Untitled in the Rage (Nibiru Cataclysm)</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"> from the &ldquo;UNIVERSAL CROP TOPS FOR ALL THE SELF CANONIZED SAINTS OF BECOMING&rdquo; series, 2015. Inkjet print. Courtesy the artist)</span></p> </div> </div> Thu, 05 Mar 2015 09:37:18 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list Beyond the Fairs: 10 Shows to See in NYC This Week <p dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">At last, Armory Arts Week has arrived. From the Armory Show to VOLTA NY to Scope&mdash;one might easily get lost planning visits to every fair (our </span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/42212" target="_blank">Fair Guide</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"> can help with that!). But if ten art fairs aren't enough to divide your attention this week, galleries and museums around the city have set their exhibition clocks to chime with the Armory Show and its satellites too. New exhibitions will be opening citywide this week to capitalize on the art world's Manhattan descent. There are a thousand to choose from, so we've done the hard work of making a selection of the best among them: here are the ten new shows and events you wouldn't go wrong to check out.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">OPENING TONIGHT,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">TUESDAY, MARCH 3:</span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150303122645-thehole.jpg" alt="" width="350" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Evan Robarts. Courtesy the artist and The Hole NYC</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>Run of the Mill |</em>&nbsp;Evan Robarts</span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">This week The Hole presents Evan Robarts' first major solo exhibition. The show will highlight three bodies of work by the material-driven conceptual artist, including scaffolding pieces, &ldquo;line drawings&rdquo; and &ldquo;mop&rdquo; paintings. Besides the pared-down, material-driven, and cerebral aspects of these works there is also a strong personal, warm or even humorous component that for the artist is particularly important. His work is not yet widely known, but he is pretty inventive in his craft: a worthy artist to check out.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Opening Reception: 6-9pm<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/venues/show/26785-the-hole-nyc?tab=VENUE" target="_blank">The Hole</a> | 312 Bowery, New York, NY<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">March 3&ndash;April 5</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><br /><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150303123219-RP_fashion.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Richard Prince. Courtesy the artist and Nahmad Contemporary</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>FASHION |</em>&nbsp;Richard Prince</span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">A lot of spectators find Richard Prince&rsquo;s work controversial&mdash;many refer to it as trash&mdash;yet he is still exhibiting some hard-to-define works that are not totally known to the public. His newest exhibition presents all of his rephotographed early 80s fashion advertisements together in the same space for the first time. In relation to his recent <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/40949" target="_blank">Instagram exhibition</a> at Gagosian in the Fall, <em>Richard Prince: FASHION</em> highlights photographic routine and obscurity, drawing the gap between art and society. Beauty and capitalism&mdash;sounds like a tea party that I do not want to miss.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Opening Reception: 6-8pm<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/venues/show/40108-nahmad-contemporary" target="_blank">Nahmad Contemporary</a> | 980 Madison Avenue, Third Floor, New York, NY<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">March 3&ndash;April 18</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/enVv4nuxMvUHjuZEcNP08ieMzspztY8uKL5S5Y1FF_8fKKxL_ubB8XpzeBaRZkaXYW9at2mdsVm_vQoc1gpNyI3ALKep0Bv5JDwpzOWaMB5SHOdo0eneWbHOvwc6P5ko1k2avFk" alt="Marwa-arsanios-for-aig-web_620_620" width="620px;" height="349px;" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Marwa Arsanios, <em>OLGA&rsquo;s NOTES, all those restless bodies</em> (still), 2014. Courtesy the artist and Art in General</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>Notes for a Choreography</em> | Marwa Arsanios</span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Starting with an article in <em>Al-Hilal</em> magazine, this film focuses on the politics, labor, and exploitation (amongst other things) of a dancer after the establishment of a ballet school in Cairo. It looks at dance from historical and political perspectives allowing the art form to become an excuse to think about labor, and labor an excuse to think about dance and movement in relation to the damaged body&mdash;a metaphor of the danger of dance in the state. The movements and the story look incredible and, especially with the chaos of this week, I cannot wait to sit back and watch this important cultural film.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Opening Reception: 6-8pm<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/venues/show/2074-art-in-general" target="_blank">Art in General</a> | 79 Walker Street, New York, NY<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">March 3&ndash;April 11</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><br /><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150303123939-bacall_cover.jpg" alt="" width="400" /><br /><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>Lauren Bacall: The Look</em>&nbsp;</span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The Museum at FIT presents the first exhibition to exclusively explore actress Lauren Bacall&rsquo;s career and style. The legendary late film star donated 700 garments to the museum which is planning on showing a number of them. While we have continued to bring back trends from decades ago, I&rsquo;m curious to know what sort of Bacall gems will re-hatch into today&rsquo;s fashion culture.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Opening Reception: 6-8pm<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://exhibitions.fitnyc.edu/lauren-bacall/" target="_blank">Gallery FIT</a> | Seventh Avenue at 27th Street, New York, NY<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The Fashion Institute of Technology&rsquo;s School of Graduate Studies: Fashion and Textile Studies<br />March 3&ndash;April 4</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">OPENING WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4:</span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150303124501-brand.jpg" alt="" width="400" /></span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>Brand Loyalty, I&rsquo;m Lovin&rsquo; It</em> | Group Exhibition curated by Natalie Kates Projects</span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">As if we don&rsquo;t hear enough about brands, a group of artists have put together a show called <em>Brand Loyalty, I'm Lovin' It</em>, which takes inspiration from the oversaturation of corporate logos, trade marketing, and the constant bombardment of media persuasion. Rather than reject the corporate cartoons, this show uses the media forces of the brand to allow for their own creative freedom and inspiration. Are the artists beating the system by hijacking these corporate symbols to manipulate for their own use? You&rsquo;ll have to visit to find out...&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Opening reception: 7-9pm<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/venues/show/11542-gallery-nine5" target="_blank">Gallery Nine5</a> | 24 Spring Street, New York, NY<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">March 4&ndash;April 19</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">OPENING THURSDAY, MARCH 5:</span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150303124917-bstanton.jpg" alt="" width="400" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Beau Stanton. Courtesy the artist and<a href="http://art-nerd.com/newyork/lori-zimmer-presents-beau-stanton-polychromasia-at-the-hudson-hotels-library-march-5th/" target="_blank"> Art Nerd New York</a></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><strong><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; font-weight: bold;">Polychromasia</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> | Beau Stanton</span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">If you&rsquo;re looking for some popping colors and detailed linework, then Beau Stanton&rsquo;s upcoming exhibition is for you. Stanton&rsquo;s work is influenced by classical examples of painting, ornamentation, and religious iconography. Though he typically creates paintings, murals, installations, and animations, Stanton&rsquo;s latest manifestation of 20 multiples is sure to exemplify his originality and exploratory methods. If you&rsquo;re a fan of Alex Grey, this is the show for you, as Stanton&rsquo;s latest work is definitely influenced by Grey in a number of ways.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Opening Reception: 8-10pm<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The Library Bar at the Hudson Hotel | 356 West 58th Street, New York, NY</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><br /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150303125538-conrad.jpg" alt="" width="500" /><br /></span><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">Tony Conrad and Charlemagne Palestine in Conrad's exhibition&nbsp;<em>Two Degrees of Separation</em></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">, Kunsthalle Wien, 2014. Photo: Maximilian Pramatarov</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Tony Conrad and Charlemagne Palestine</span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Tony Conrad and Charlemagne Palestine, masters of improvisation and drone, come together for a special duo concert at Brooklyn&rsquo;s First Unitarian Congregational Society. These legendary artists get together for the occasion of Conrad&rsquo;s 75th birthday to play a rare abstract, minimalist concert. If you get a kick out these two, head over to Greene Naftali (in Chelsea) to experience take two, a benefit for the <a href="http://issueprojectroom.org/" target="_blank">ISSUE project</a> and Conrad&rsquo;s continued birthday extravaganza. But seriously, if you&rsquo;ve never experienced all that is Tony Conrad, you need to introduce yourself immediately. You know when people try to tell you that &ldquo;they were there&rdquo; when certain things began? Well Tony was actually there during the rise of the avant-garde in Buffalo, NY, and he&rsquo;s still kicking.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Performance: March 5: 8pm (Doors at 7pm)<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">First Unitarian Congregational Society | 116 Pierrepont Street, Brooklyn, NY</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Benefit: March 7: 6:30pm<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/venues/show/372-greene-naftali" target="_blank">Greene Naftali Gallery</a> | 508 West 26th Street, New York, NY</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">OPENING FRIDAY, MARCH 6:</span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150303125903-gogo.jpg" alt="" width="400" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Martin W&ouml;hrl. Courtesy of the artist and Spencer Brownstone Gallery</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>A Go Go</em>&nbsp;| Martin W&ouml;hrl</span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">While vinyl records are making a great comeback, Martin W&ouml;hrl&rsquo;s works focuses on creating abstraction by painting album covers. His covers hint at components of the original design and conceal, yet reveal, the materials in which he works. He alludes to art movements, including Color Field and Bauhaus, which allows for him to further focus on the influx of identities. Surely, there are some wicked theories and sounds embedded within some of his ideas.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Opening Reception: 6-8pm<br /></span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/venues/show/620-spencer-brownstone-gallery" target="_blank">Spencer Brownstone Gallery</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;| 3 Wooster Street, New York, NY<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">February 27&ndash;March 31</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/KTTlKjDaqKwUOSA9wL4j4eiK90XIj5QTeDGRxP9fy8aDU1lSCNu8g5O7H3aNUKDtUtBr1bG3PM6S5a9NfVm6ZOpZKM1hJyR0wHgBV0NlU4bjQ-_lOrNyhvw5HwOXfWUJKXLQ8aU" alt="" width="624px;" height="231px;" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Courtesy Sugarlift</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>Volume 003 (Empire State)</em> | Group Exhibition organized by Sugarlift</span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Oh, a place where some of the best photographers seen on various social media sites can exhibit their work. Organized by <a href="http://www.sugarlift.com/">Sugarlift,</a> an online gallery based in Bushwick, <em>Empire State</em> presents the recent work of local street photographers who have been creating a new movement of urban photography throughout New York City. These 12 photo wizards have blown up your Instagram and Tumblr to show the public a small piece of their adventures to capture the perfect shot. Go to see these exhilarating photographs in the flesh and you'll vicariously (and perhaps IRL) meet some of the most talented explorers around.</span>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Opening reception: 7-10pm<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.livestream.nyc/" target="_blank">Livestream Public</a> | 195 Morgan Avenue, Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">NOTE: Get your tickets to this event before you get on the subway. Ten doll hairs brings the photos to </span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="https://www.eventbrite.com/e/empire-state-launch-party-presented-by-sugarlift-tickets-15716560656" target="_blank">life</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">OPENING SUNDAY, MARCH 8:</span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/eb213oKKc03SAS_kXT7tnt2x4KzvdXQzz2KMasnhR0E3XNwxDMRQvRCGoyB_kgYkA-f1jkoPWzuCBOXkAGPSc4983uETihoOpZS6D5PZQ6cN_6jH0UbPOgoIb3zUv07f_1BPCbk" alt="Still from the &ldquo;All Is Full of Love&rdquo; music video. 1999. Directed by Chris Cunningham. Music by Bj&ouml;rk. Image courtesy of One Little Indian" width="500px;" height="327px;" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Still from&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Bj&ouml;rk</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">'s &ldquo;All Is Full of Love&rdquo; music video, 1999, Directed by Chris Cunningham. Courtesy of One Little Indian and MoMA</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Bj&ouml;rk</span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The year's most heavily anticipated exhibition has finally arrived! The retrospective of the composer, musician and singer Bj&ouml;rk is here, and I cannot wait! It goes without saying that the sound and visual installations are going to be incredible, but this exhibition is also bringing back some of the most memorable, famed parts of Bj&ouml;rk&rsquo;s celebrity life. And yes: her famous swan costume from the Oscars is making an appearance. Between her music and the creative endeavors she's undertaken, Bj&ouml;rk&rsquo;s retrospective is a must-see.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">MoMA Member Previews run from March 4&ndash;7 |Public opening hours begin March 8<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/venues/show/589-moma-museum-of-modern-art?tab=VENUE" target="_blank">MoMA</a> | 11 West 53rd Street, New York, NY<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">March 8&ndash;June 7</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/409890-andrea-zlotowitz?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Andrea Zlotowitz</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> Tue, 03 Mar 2015 17:52:53 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list Between East and West: The Making of Contemporary Art in Istanbul <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The socio-economic events of the late 80s were the harbingers of new cultural forms that gave rise to global interactions and to the transgression of art beyond its conventional sphere in the Euro-American world. Large-scale international exhibitions provided new platforms for cross-cultural dialogues, questioning political and aesthetic definitions in a so-called globalized art world. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Recently, the center has shifted again towards the former peripheries, while making these fringes a &ldquo;spectacle&rdquo; in the art scene. Istanbul&mdash;once an &ldquo;oriental&rdquo; paradise itself, a cosmopolitan wonderland of the 19th century&mdash;has in the last two decades undergone a rebirth in contemporary art. Forerunners of the Istanbul art boom include the <a href="http://bienal.iksv.org/en" target="_blank">Istanbul Biennial</a>, which &ldquo;has increasingly established itself as the center of global art&rdquo;</span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" title="" href="#_ftn1">[1]</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">, contemporary art galleries flourishing on the streets of Istanbul, <a href="https://www.artsy.net/post/editorial-10-contemporary-turkish-artists-you-should-know" target="_blank">artists from Turkey</a> whose works are now included in the <a href="http://www.todayszaman.com/anasayfa_halil-altinderes-wonderland-purchased-by-moma_349306.html" target="_blank">collections of prominent museums</a> and galleries globally, and the many Turkish&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wdw.nl/staff/defne-ayas/" target="_blank">curators</a> who are gaining <a href="http://artreview.com/power_100/vasif_kortun/" target="_blank">international recognition</a>. While some say that even better days are ahead for Istanbul, others think that <a href="http://news.artnet.com/market/will-contemporary-istanbul-win-turkeys-art-fair-fight-169329" target="_blank">Istanbul&rsquo;s reputation</a> <a href="http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/6ea1fb46-f81a-11df-8875-00144feab49a.html#axzz3TKyxLD00" target="_blank">resembles a bubble</a> about to explode.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150303121205-10_cengiz_cekil_.jpeg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="p1" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Cengiz &Ccedil;ekil, Sağır &Ccedil;ığlık, <em>Deaf Scream</em>, 1995, detail, 4th Istanbul Biennial&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p1" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">But how did this &ldquo;oriental&rdquo; city turn into one of the <a href="http://www.spectator.co.uk/spectator-life/spectator-life-culture/9313932/between-two-worlds/" target="_blank">trendiest, hippest</a>, and <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/istanbul-is-the-most-popular-travel-destination-2014-4?IR=T" target="_blank">most-visited</a> contemporary art locales of the 21st century? Beginning in the 18th century, in the late Ottoman period, Istanbul's cultural horizons turned systematically towards the West. With the founding of the modern Republic of Turkey in 1923 came reforms and amendments, introduced under the guise of &ldquo;Modernization,&rdquo; or more precisely, &ldquo;Westernization.&rdquo; Cultural policies adopted in this period contributed to the improvement of the arts, while encouraging artists from Turkey to go abroad (mostly to Western countries such as France, Italy, or Germany) for their artistic education. Between 1923 and 1950, the state was in control of not only agriculture and industry, but also the arts; the main characters of the art scene were the state-funded academies and the artists who flourished at these institutions. Following the Western national focus, art produced in Istanbul at the time was also highly Western oriented. However, the social texture of Turkey's big cities drastically changed with urban industrialization during the 1960s. <ins cite="mailto:Saniye%20Vatansever" datetime="2015-02-05T00:48"></ins></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">By the 1950s, state domination of the industrial sector was replaced with the rise of private/individual entrepreneurs in specific regions<a title="" href="#_ftn2">[2]</a>. The rapid mechanization of agriculture stimulated internal migration of landless people from the rural areas of Turkey to urban centers deliberately favored by the industrialization process. Istanbul attracted the most rural migrants, who eventually changed the social and cultural texture of the city. &ldquo;Anatolian&rdquo; culture was juxtaposed with the &ldquo;Westernized&rdquo; elites, making Istanbul&rsquo;s cultural scene even more complex.&nbsp;</span>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">With the adoption of a liberal economic model in the mid-late 1980s, Istanbul was transformed into a global center, which affected artistic production in turn. Despite three military interventions and anti-democratic constitutions between 1960 and 1980, artists embraced more liberal concepts and adopted a parallel course with the international stream of interdisciplinary production<a title="" href="#_ftn3">[3]</a>. Due to the liberal economy, the state (which had been the main supporter of art until the 1960s) distanced itself from art, and new commercial galleries were established and large-scale group exhibitions were initiated to provide visibility for emerging artists<a title="" href="#_ftn4">[4]</a>. This provided artists more flexibility and a chance to discover an art of their own &ldquo;culture.&rdquo; The West was no longer the main focus, and new tendencies towards exploring the long forgotten &ldquo;East&rdquo; were flourishing among Turkish artists and curators.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150303121814-3_yeni_egilimler_sergileri_1979.jpeg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="p1" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">İsmail Saray's untitled work at the <em>2nd Exhibition of New Trends in Art</em>, 1979</span><span style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p1" style="text-align: center;"><span style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Furthermore, thanks to the first International Biennial in 1987, and the global flow of money and culture from other parts of the world by the mid-1990s, Istanbul made a major leap in the development of its contemporary art scene. By 2000, private museums and more contemporary art spaces had been opened, which provided venues for emerging and established artists from Turkey and around the world. In bringing international artists to the country for exhibitions, Turkey did not only promote well-known Western artists, but also started welcoming artists from the former &ldquo;peripheries&rdquo; of the art world.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150303121350-2_huseyin_bahri_alptekin.jpeg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="p1" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">H&uuml;seyin Bahri Alptekin and Michael Morris, <em>Turk Truck</em>, 1995, 4th Istanbul Biennial</span></p> <p class="p1" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">So what are these exhibitions doing for the contemporary art scene in Turkey now? How are regional&mdash;e.g., &ldquo;Middle Eastern,&rdquo; &ldquo;South Asian,&rdquo; &ldquo;Islamic,&rdquo; &ldquo;African&rdquo;&mdash;exhibitions contributing to what was once the Euro-American-centric canon? To what degree do they truly present alternative histories&mdash;are they mere tokenist inclusions? How are they relating their unique localities to the spaces where these exhibitions take place?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">A closer look at one recent Istanbul exhibition could provide us with some answers to the above-mentioned questions:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.arter.org.tr/W3/?iExhibitionId=56" target="_blank"><em>The Roving Eye: Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia</em></a>&nbsp;at ARTER proposed a timely example of a &ldquo;non-western&rdquo; exhibition in Istanbul.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Curated by researcher and critic Iola Lenzi, t</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">he exhibition (which ran in September 2014&mdash;January 2015) presented more than 40 works by 36 Southeast Asian contemporary artists from Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam and Malaysia. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">To focus an exhibition on such a wide-ranging region as Southeast Asia is a challenging prospect, and makes the exhibition an easy target for criticism. Yet using a clever "roving eye" construct, the well-received exhibition tackled the very concept of regionalism and geography. In her exhibition catalogue essay Lenzi writes that the label "Southeast Asia" was produced only in recent times to force the observer to look at this geography in relation to other geo-political players. Therefore, Southeast Asia itself is a Western construct to signify a certain geographic area. Lenzi&rsquo;s &ldquo;roving eye&rdquo; concept thus alludes to and welcomes multiple perspectives.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150303120623-arter_the-roving-eye_photo-credit_copyright_murat-germen_2014_21.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px;">Sutee Kunavichayanont, <em>History Class Part 2</em>, 2013,&nbsp;Exhibition view: <em>The Roving Eye</em>, ARTER, 2014,&nbsp;Photo: Murat Germen</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150303120654-arter_the-roving-eye_photo-credit_copyright_murat-germen_2014_39.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="p1" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Exhibition view from the Istiklal Street: <em>The Roving Eye</em>, ARTER, 2014,&nbsp;Photo: Murat Germen</span><span style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p1" style="text-align: center;"><span style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">While addressing prevalent subject matter, situations, and aesthetic codes from Southeast Asia, the exhibition's artists also offered critical insights into Southeast Asian culture by pointing out the recent developments, conflicts, and changes in the region's socio-political milieu. M</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">aking it even more intriguing, t</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">he exhibition also forged some connections to local histories and art in Istanbul,.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In the entrance of the exhibition, the audience met Alwin Reamillo's ongoing <em>Nicanor Abelardo Grand Piano Project</em>. Transforming the only locally made grand piano, produced by his late father, Reamillo presented it to the audience to play as a reminder of the trade liberalization of the region and the disappearance of small local businesses. This interactive setting not only dazzled the visitor but also made them think of Turkey&rsquo;s own past, with recent privatizations in the government sectors.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150303121520-arter_the-roving-eye_photo-credit_copyright_murat-germen_2014_20.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Alwin Reamillo, <em>Piano,</em> 2010, Exhibition view: <em>The Roving Eye</em>, ARTER, 2014, Photo: Murat Germen</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Another interactive work was on the ground floor: Lee Wen's <em>Ping-Pong Go Round</em>. In a formal and conceptual subversion of ping-pong, the game is played not on a standard rectangular table, but around a donut-shaped one. The artist aims to change the dialogue between two players on opposite sides by introducing a different perception of the game's limitations and give new possibilities of a broader dialogue.&nbsp;On the second floor, Sutee Kunavichayanont's <em>History Class Part 2</em> reproduced a classroom environment with 23 desks, each engraved with historical moments chosen from a long period from Thailand's early constitutional era to the present Thaksin period. Visitors were given the task of reproducing these moments by rubbing crayons over the engraved images. In that sense, this work did not only shine a light on Thai history, but also made connections to Turkey&rsquo;s near past and its confrontations with history.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150303121630-arter_the-roving-eye_photo-credit_copyright_murat-germen_2014_13.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="p1" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Lee Wen,&nbsp;<em>Ping Pong Go-Round,</em> 2013 Exhibition view: <em>The Roving Eye</em>, ARTER, 2014, Photo: Murat Germen</span></p> <p class="p1" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">With its sophisticated play of perspectives, the exhibition as a whole was easily accessible to those within and outside the local context. <em>Roving Eye</em> placed particular emphasis on works that embraced experience, interactivity, and participation,&nbsp;which eventually could connect with the visitors in Istanbul. An ostensibly regional focus played on making connections to the local&mdash;becoming part of a long history of Istanbul's artistic trajectory toward a new sort of global. No matter what the future has in store for Istanbul, there is no doubt that the city needs exhibitions of this kind, in which the emphasis on Euro-American-centric exhibitions is scrutinized, Western construct geographical terms are dissected, and new venues for cross-cultural interactions are created.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;Pınar &Uuml;ner Yılmaz</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"> <p class="normal" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref1">[1]</a> Bydler, C. (2004) <em>The Global Art World Inc. On the Globalization of Contemporary Art</em>, Uppsala, Sweden: Uppsala University, 56.</span></p> </div> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"> <p class="normal" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref2">[2]</a> Keyder, C. (1999) &lsquo;The Housing Market from Informal to Global&rsquo; in <em>Istanbul Between the Global and the Local</em>, New York: Lowman and Little Field,146</span></p> </div> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref3">[3]</a> Madra B. (1996) &lsquo;Contemporary Art Goes Again in Historical Spaces and the Trends of the 80&rsquo;s Come to Istanbul&rsquo; in <em>Post - Peripheral Flux: A Decade of Contemporary Art in Istanbul</em>, Istanbul: Literat&uuml;r Press, 105</span></p> </div> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"> <p class="normal" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref4">[4]</a> Erdemci, F. (2007) &lsquo;Breaking the Spell, Re-routing&rsquo; in Erdemci F., Germaner S. and Kocak O (eds.) <em>Modern and Beyond: 1950 &ndash; 2000</em>, Istanbul:bilgi University Press, 255.</span></p> <p class="normal" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="normal" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at the top:&nbsp;</span><span style="text-align: left;">Vahap Avşar,&nbsp;<em>Sıfır/Cypher,</em>&nbsp;1991, installation view from <em>Number Fifty: Memory/Recollection II</em> exhibition)</span></p> <p class="normal" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> </div> </div> Tue, 10 Mar 2015 17:07:15 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list Yes, Selfies Can Be Feminist. But... <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I was naively unprepared for the wave of vitriol I woke up to&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">on Twitter</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;from Caitlin Stasey, the 24-year-old former </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Neighbours</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> actress and founder of herself.com, following my article last week which attempted to discuss several interesting new art exhibitions and platforms&nbsp;that deal with female self-image online:&nbsp;</span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://www.artslant.com/ew/articles/show/41960" target="_blank">"Can Selfies Be Feminist?"&nbsp;</a></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/onaartist">@onaartist</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/ArtSlant">@ArtSlant</a> this article declares tht self expressions of nudity r countr productive 2 feminist agenda w no real explanation as 2 y</p> &mdash; caitlin stasey (@caitlinstasey) <a href="https://twitter.com/caitlinstasey/status/563418562493440003">February 5, 2015</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/ArtSlant">@ArtSlant</a> C. You are condemning women for participating in projects they deem necessary and important D. What contradictions?</p> &mdash; caitlin stasey (@caitlinstasey) <a href="https://twitter.com/caitlinstasey/status/563229879382970368">February 5, 2015</a></blockquote> <script charset="utf-8" type="text/javascript" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/ArtSlant">@ArtSlant</a> then learn to write</p> &mdash; caitlin stasey (@caitlinstasey) <a href="https://twitter.com/caitlinstasey/status/563233590226350080">February 5, 2015</a></blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The fundamental thing is we (both women and men) all</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;want freedom in terms of our own bodies. We don't want to be persecuted for expressing ourselves (in images, or in words). And, given the values of the western world, these are freedoms we are in many ways lucky to be able to discuss.</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;Some, like Stasey, would argue that the&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">confident&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">dissemination of body positive images on the web is revolutionary enough for these representations to overcome sexist readings online: the only way to desexualize an image is to propogate the signifiers of sexuality in a non-sexual context. But is the&nbsp;<em>only</em> way to challenge the view of female bodies as sexual objects to normalize a non-sexualized view of them?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">There's no one way to consider this complicated issue.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/ArtSlant">@ArtSlant</a> BODY POSITIVITY IMAGES ARE NOT SEXUALIZED BY ANYONE BUT THE VIEWER. man it must hurt to be so wrong. Bye.</p> &mdash; Lucas Neff (@RealLucasNeff) <a href="https://twitter.com/RealLucasNeff/status/563230722467446784">February 5, 2015</a></blockquote> <script charset="utf-8" type="text/javascript" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I accept Stasey and her cohorts&rsquo; ideas as part of the same idealism for a better world that I share: to forward the agenda of body positivity, to create a safe space for women online and in the real world, to stamp out&nbsp;rape culture.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Confident photographs of one's body can be inspiring and empowering, both for the creator and for the viewer. Selfies can indeed be a tool for artists to create, and to use their own likenesses as a way to open dialogue on the way we project ourselves online. Sharable selfies in the digital domain&nbsp;</span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">may</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;be an empowering paradigm.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">But it's undeniable that the internet has produced a new range of challenges for </span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">artists, female </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">and&nbsp;</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">male</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;not only for feminists&mdash;and primary among these challenges is the issue of context and audience.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; text-align: justify;">Our actions and conversations don't take place in a vaccum&mdash;indeed, the horror vacui of the internet is effectively the opposite of a vacuum</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150208100406-slide_399170_4922164_free.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">London-based photographer Nadia Lee Cohen, <a href="http://nadialeecohen.com/"><em>100 Naked Women</em></a>, 2015</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Sharability, likeability, and virality can place creator's images out of their control.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">When you share an image&mdash;just as if I write a text that can be misunderstood&mdash;you have to accept that it can be misused.</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;And t</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">he issue is not only about how the artist or subject of an image feels about their artwork being apprehended and used improperly. It's also about the effect produced in viewers, and how it educates other prosumers. As an example of the way art work can be appropriated into the very context they are critiquing, artist Ivonne Thein, told&nbsp;<a target="_blank">ArtSlant&nbsp;</a>in an interview last year, of her reaction when her anti-anorexia images appeared on "pro-ana" websites for girls looking for anorexia inspiration:</span></p> <div id=":hm.co" class="JL"> <div id=":hr.ma" class="Mu SP"> <blockquote> <div id=":hr.co" style="padding-left: 30px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 26px;">I have struggled to find my work on pro-ana websites. If I do, than I contact VG Bildkunst, which is a German union who covers my copyright, to have them deleted. I don&rsquo;t want them promoting anorexia but seeing them on the sites shows me the big impact that images have in Western society. We have a responsibility when we create images and bring them to the internet. Of course I don&rsquo;t feel guilty about my images being appropriated because I explain how this work is an unambiguous statement and it was never my aim to change society. I see this work more as a visual and critical statement on social currents.</span></div> </blockquote> <div>&nbsp;</div> </div> </div> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">This doesn&rsquo;t mean censorship of body/image is the answer. But the more these issues are discussed&mdash;as is being done by the many artists I covered in my previous article, as well as below&mdash;the closer we might be to finding some progressive strategies for self-production online. Or at the very least, ways of circumnavigating the difficulties artists face in using bodies and images of themselves.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In one of the many Twitter conversations spurred from my original article, Jennifer Chan,&nbsp;co-curator of the online exhibition&nbsp;<em><a href="http://www.bodyanxiety.com">Body Anxiety</a></em>, wrote:&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/carrieriehl">@carrieriehl</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/artwerk6666">@artwerk6666</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/onaartist">@onaartist</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/caitlinstasey">@caitlinstasey</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/ArtSlant">@ArtSlant</a> I think we can act out and exist ways men don't only find appeasing</p> &mdash; jennifer chan (@jenninat0r) <a href="https://twitter.com/jenninat0r/status/564912813462663168">February 9, 2015</a></blockquote> <script charset="utf-8" type="text/javascript" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; background-color: #ffffff;">There are many platforms online that promote a critical engagment with images of female bodies&mdash;and there are young female artists out there who are also pushing towards this new language: among them, <a href="http://amaliaulman.eu/" target="_blank">Amalia Ulman</a>, <a href="http://www.dafyhagai.com/" target="_blank">Dafy Hagai</a>, and projects such as <a href="http://girlsgetbusyzine.tumblr.com/" target="_blank">Girls Get Busy</a> and <a href="http://illuminatigirlgang.com/" target="_blank">Girl Gang Illuminati</a>.&nbsp;While most of these address women, they invite a united and proactive discussion of the problems we have to face as humans.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In terms of the arts, it seems an entirely new visual language is being produced&mdash;one that uses humor, like Nadia Lee Cohen's&nbsp;<em><a href="http://nadialeecohen.com/" target="_blank">100 Naked Women</a>&nbsp;</em>(above), for example&mdash;that might sever the historical link of the aesthetic to sexism.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; text-align: center;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150206110305-Screen-Shot-2015-01-17-at-2.08.34-PM.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Faith Holland. Screengrab via <em>Body Anxiety</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">One artist who suggests new, subversive ways of creating art and using the body online is cyberfeminist Faith Holland, whose&nbsp;<a href="http://bodyanxiety.com/gallery/faith-holland/" target="_blank">work</a>&nbsp;is included in&nbsp;<em>Body Anxiety</em>. Holland's work plays with the visual language of porn&mdash;without nudity&mdash;as well as her own image. She explains her method&mdash;and the unwanted contradictions sometimes revealed by audience reactions to her work:</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><br /></span></p> <blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; padding-left: 60px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I&rsquo;ve worked with pornography and sexuality for the last few years, but I had been (purposefully) avoiding bodies altogether and worked solely in abstraction and metaphor.&nbsp;<em>Porn Interventions</em>&nbsp;is a divergence from this, in which I try to throw a wrench (and some humor), into the free flow of porn on RedTube. Despite the fact that there&rsquo;s a proliferation of porn on the internet, a vast majority of it looks exactly the same&mdash;same flow, conventions, poses, camera angles, etc. (I can attest to this as I am currently gathering cum shots for another project and it&rsquo;s quite monotonous.) I wanted to inject something different into that flow, something that would function asymptotically to pornography. So the videos try to invoke porn codes (BBW, solo play, licking, sucking, whip cream), but without actually being porn itself. Importantly, there is no &ldquo;real&rdquo; nudity in the videos. Despite those intentions, I have received a &ldquo;fan video&rdquo; from a man jerking off to my work, which is also included in&nbsp;<em>Body Anxiety</em>.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; padding-left: 60px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Humor is important to me and my work because it opens up avenues to talk about issues that could otherwise be didactic. It also creates the possibility of capturing the attention of &ldquo;the fapping public,&rdquo; who are not getting the T&amp;A they&rsquo;re looking for when they click on my video. The selfie, however, is not something I think of much in relation to my work. Using my own image/body in this work is partially a matter of convenience for a lo-fi zero dollar practice, partially gets rid of the issue of casting and the responsibility of putting someone else&rsquo;s likeness on a porn site (particularly since I circulate those images inside AND outside the porn context), and finally functions as a challenge to use my chubby, not "porn-ready" body. There is a rich history of artists who use their own bodies and are influential to my practice like Carolee Schneemann, VALIE EXPORT, Eleanor Antin, etc. (all pre-&ldquo;selfie&rdquo;).</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> </blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; background-color: #ffffff;">Women everywhere are actively grappling with this issue. Another witness to its complexities&mdash;and the explosive reactions that can exacerbate them&mdash;is BBC Radio One presenter Jameela Jamil, who spoke to the <em>Guardian</em> last year about the criticism she received after voicing her opinions on Miley Cyrus' recent behavior:</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; background-color: #ffffff;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="https://embed.theguardian.com/embed/video/media/video/2014/apr/02/miley-cyrus-criticism-reaction-terrifying-jameela-jamil" frameborder="0" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">When I spoke to Jennifer Chan<em>&nbsp;</em>in an interview last week, she highlighted what are for me some of the key struggles of online feminism:<br /></span></p> <blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; padding-left: 60px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I know my feminism might be different from other womens' feminisms, and not all women who have feminist beliefs may identify as feminist and that's fine... we can still do feminist things, and have feminist conversations without mentioning the F word. It is definitely anti-feminist to shit on feminism and other women's attempts to help women. I think growing up with the internet, we're indirectly influenced or aware of raunchy behaviour in porn that is mostly targeted at men, hopefully people become aware of that.&nbsp;I'm weary and sad about women treating each other as sexual competition when they use the terms "bitch" or "slut" on each other. I also wonder if I'm antifeminist for critiquing women who participate in mainstream representation that appeases straight men (Beyonce). The pornstar Stoya has said she is a feminist, but she doesn't think it can be considered a feminist thing to be having sex on camera where some episodes show her being slapped/degraded, but she enjoys exploring her sexuality on camera so that's her thing.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; padding-left: 60px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I just think popular representations are problematic for all other women who face lived realities of sexual harassment/assault/sexist comments, but maybe at the end of the day it's because I believe there is a way&mdash;whether one is considered conventionally attractive or not&mdash;to actively push back against those types of objectifying representations, it even comes down to how you pose. And artists might have a responsibility to analyze that... or we're just perpetuating what the entertainment industry delivers. So, artists aren't required to use their body, but to be aware and critical of these regimes of representation whether by remix (Hannah Black), transformation of body types and parts (Andrea Crespo) or poetic response (Aurorae Parker) is just as powerful... sometimes just being present as different is.</span></p> </blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; padding-left: 60px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/162742-char-jansen?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Char Jansen</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at top: Dana Boulos, via Girlfriends)</span></p> Tue, 10 Feb 2015 19:33:46 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list Exposing Visual Rhymes: An Interview with Mario Ybarra Jr. <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><em><strong>This interview was <a href="http://www.artslant.com/chi/artists/rackroom/450" target="_blank">originally published</a> way back on ArtSlant Chicago, in May, 2008, on the occasion of&nbsp; Mario Ybarra Jr.'s exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago. The LA-based artist is known for his installations drawing from pop and street culture, including a recent solo show examining the mythos of Scarface at LA's Honor Fraser Gallery. Right now his work can be found <a href="http://nomadicdivision.org/exhibition/mario-ybarra-jr/" target="_blank">on a billboard in Mobile, AL</a>, part of Los Angeles Nomadic Division's Manifest Destiny Project.</strong></em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"> Mario Ybarra, Jr. is a LA-based visual and performance artist who has created room-sized installations all over the world and most recently right here in Chicago for the Art Institute of Chicago. This year Ybarra was also selected to participate in the Whitney Biennial. Beneath Ybarra's friendly demeanor lies a keen observer who is quick to expose visual rhymes in seemingly unrelated sources and to expand and build upon those connections until a cohesion is reached, or as he might say, a story. Ybarra graciously met with ArtSlant's Abraham Ritchie while putting the finishing touches on his installation at the Art Institute. Ever the raconteur, Ybarra talked about his native LA, baseball and King Arthur. Below is an excerpt of our conversation.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img style="margin: 10px auto; vertical-align: middle; display: block;" src="/userimages/3151/PICT0018.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <hr style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" /> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><em>Abraham Richie: I think a lot of Chicagoans, and everyone, might want to know what the connection is between Southern Los Angeles, Catalina Island and Wrigley Field? It&rsquo;s kind of funny to think that Wrigley Field had a &ldquo;secret brother&rdquo; or something like that on the West Coast, because I am not sure that many people remember or know about this other Wrigley Field.</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>Mario Ybarra, Jr.:</strong> Well that&rsquo;s where this whole project started for me. About a year ago Lisa Dorin, the Assistant Curator in the Contemporary Art Department, asked me if I wanted to come up with a proposal to do a Focus project here at the Art Institute of Chicago, and I said I would think about it a little bit. The way that I try to work is that I try to make some kind of relationship between a personal experience, or my personal understanding or knowledge and the place that I show. I don&rsquo;t like the idea of coming in and claiming an expertise on a place that I know nothing about. I&rsquo;ve found that doing something that starts in the realm of the personal and then taking it out to another place and trying to make relationships between those two places is the most successful tactic for me. . . I try to make bridges, so to speak.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">As a kid we would take trips out to Catalina Island, which is part of the Channel Islands, about 26 miles off the coast of Los Angeles. I remember part of the tour was the local history. They&rsquo;d always tell us that William Wrigley, Jr. owned Catalina Island and he had famous movie stars of the time going out there, like Clark Gable. His Chicago Cubs would go out and have their spring training there. The main town there is called Avalon and it gets its name from [Wrigley&rsquo;s] niece, who told [Wrigley] to name it that after the Avalon of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and those stories. So it has this mythological side of it too. It has real histories, the local histories, of it being owned by Wrigley, and it has this mythological history through the King Arthur association. My studio back in LA is on Avalon Boulevard and they named [the street] that because that&rsquo;s where the boats used to take people out to Avalon Harbor on the island. I started doing research about that, I&rsquo;m like a de facto historian, and I found that Wrigley, along with owning the island, owned this other Wrigley Field that was in South Central Los Angeles on Avalon and 66th street. So we had the Avalon Harbor on Catalina Island, my studio on Avalon, this field that Wrigley owned was also on Avalon, I just kept following the line. I thought I could take this story from Avalon, to Avalon Boulevard, to my studio, to Avalon were the stadium was, to all the way down Highway 66 to Chicago and the Art Institute.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">I&rsquo;m figuring out ways to make these relationships between historical figures like William Wrigley, who was important to historical cities like Los Angeles and Chicago, and bring these stories together somehow, make bridges between the stories. Between what I know and my experiences and the places that I go.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><em>AR: Sports are the site of an obvious physical conflict and throughout the exhibit are interesting juxtapositions: the Mexican flag and the U.S. flag, the sword and the baseball bat, the fist of the Revolution and an image of a capitalist&rsquo;s private island. The history of the island reflects conflict as well, in the seventies it was occupied by the Brown Berets. How are sports, especially baseball, viewed both literally and metaphorically for this project, and the issues it raises?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>MY:</strong> Well I have always thought of the history of baseball as particularly related to the United States. It&rsquo;s billed as &ldquo;the American Game;&rdquo; it&rsquo;s not really played around the world at all other than some Latin American countries, like the Dominican Republic where all these new players are coming from and where young people are specifically groomed to be ball players. But in relation to the United States, and this comes from the different things that I have watched or read, the developments of social movements in the United States almost always came ten years later than in the ball game itself. Baseball has been very slow to change, and it hasn&rsquo;t changed really over the few centuries its been played here. But it still has these kind of leading edges. Let&rsquo;s take for example the story of integration and civil rights. Jackie Robinson starts playing with the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1950's and certain places, like schools, weren&rsquo;t integrated until the early sixties or late sixties. Baseball reflects a little bit in advance the kind of social movements that will happen in the United States.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Another thing that I think is very interesting in terms of conflict and it being a spectator sport, even though there are rival teams and most big cities have their own team, [there is a sense of unity]. Before professional baseball, each little town would have a team, even though there was a sense of rivalry or competition, the people were brought together as spectators to cheer on their team. So even though there was a site of conflict, it wasn&rsquo;t like it was Rome and gladiators were getting fed to lions [laughter]. There is a sense of sportsmanship [. . .]</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Related to issues of capitalism and revolution, or acts of civil disobedience, there is a sense of teams. I play off that with the posters, we have here a baseball with two bats crossed, but instead of a regular team you have the Brown Beret guys who tried to occupy the island in 1972 so they&rsquo;re like &ldquo;the team.&rdquo; The idea of &ldquo;the team&rdquo; is important too and the metaphor of a team. The idea that everyone has their positions but also act as a unit is very important and is a metaphor for myself.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="/userimages/3151/PICT0019.JPG" alt="" width="338" height="443" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><br /><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><em>AR: The idea of teams is also apparent in this wall of flags you have installed. What are the flags we have here?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>MY:</strong> This is the state of Illinois&rsquo; flag. The flags are also stadium-esque, they always have them. The other thing, again about making relationships, is this is the state of Illinois&rsquo; flag, which has an eagle perched on a rock holding a shield and in his mouth is a banner. I thought that is very interesting, because over here is the Mexican flag, and again we have the eagle, this time perched on the cactus, and the snake in his mouth pretty much mimics the banner in the Illinois flag. Those kinds of aesthetic relationships and symbolic choices are very interesting.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img style="margin: 10px; vertical-align: middle;" src="/userimages/3151/PICT0015.JPG" alt="" width="430" height="328" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><br /><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><em>AR: Even looking at the Illinois flag, that&rsquo;s more of an Aztec style eagle than a typical American-style eagle.</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>MY:</strong> Yeah. Those are the kinds of things I noticed in my visits to Chicago to prepare for this show, last year and earlier this year. I started seeing these kinds of relationships, like the Illinois flag&rsquo;s similarity to the flag of Mexico.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">This row of flags will start off with the U.S. flag, the state of Illinois flag, Chicago flag, Los Angeles flag, state of California flag, and the Mexican flag. We have these different relationships between these two places starting with the cities and then going to the states. We have the state of Mexico flag, even though California is not part of Mexico, it used to be part of Mexico, but it&rsquo;s related to the histories that we have here. Catalina Island was occupied by the Brown Berets because in the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, which separated the Southwest from Mexico after the Mexican-American War, the island wasn&rsquo;t specifically mentioned. This is why the Brown Berets tried to occupy it.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">There are interrelationships between the two places [Chicago and LA]. I thought that was another kind of metaphor for the show, in terms of Wrigley being this character and starting with him, saying no man is an island, or no city, or no country or land is an island. They&rsquo;re all in relationship, in context, to their neighbors. Imagine if we thought that we could do everything, under our own power, we&rsquo;d get ourselves in trouble. We can talk about it in relationship to land, in relationship to people. Or no island is a man, we could even switch it.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">I wanted to draw these kinds of relationships together, one between Los Angeles and Chicago, two between Mexico and the States, three between baseball and mythology. Different symbolic orders, things like ships or bubble gum.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em>ArtSlant would like to thank Mario Ybarra, Jr., Jenny Gheith and Lisa Dorin for their assistance in making this interview possible. Additional thanks to the Anna Helwing Gallery and the Art Institute of Chicago</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">-<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/16747-abraham-ritchie?tab=REVIEWS"><span style="color: #000000;"> Abraham Ritchie</span></a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">(Top image: <strong>Mario Ybarra Jr</strong>, Manifest Destiny Project billboard, 2014; Courtesy of LAND. All other images are installation views of <em>Take Me Out. . . No Man Is an Island</em>, 2008; Courtesy of the Artist)</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> Wed, 19 Mar 2014 21:52:42 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list F.A.T. Lab, F.A.T. GOLD Europe: Five Years of Free Art & Technology <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">I crouched down, picked up a marker, and tried to remember the illegible scribble that used to be my &ldquo;tag&rdquo;: a gesture of sharp points and steady curves punctuated by a strategic line slashed through the whole inscription. In high school I would trace it onto book covers and notepads and think I was cool. It came to me eventually, the first delivery unsteady as I carefully considered which shapes fit where; in a second, more successful attempt, I let my arm do the work, confidently forging my mark in muscle memory.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140302140558-me_tagging.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Yours truly, tagging the graffiti wall, <em>F.A.T. GOLD Europe</em>; Photo: Ben Harvey.</span></p> <div><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"> <br /></span></div> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">I was in Eindhoven attending the Free Art and Technology (F.A.T.) Lab&rsquo;s exhibition <em>F.A.T. GOLD Europe</em>&nbsp;at <a href="http://www.mu.nl/" target="_blank">MU</a>, which ended in January. The show, which also took place in April last year at <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/venues/show/335-eyebeam?tab=VENUE" target="_blank">Eyebeam</a> in New York, was a sort of five-year anniversary round up of the Internet collective&rsquo;s practice. (F.A.T. Lab has now entered its seventh year, but the originally scheduled retrospective was put on hiatus in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.) But back to the incident at hand. Why, at an exhibition dedicated to a network ostensibly operating online, was I contributing my meager tag to a sanctioned graffiti wall?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140302140845-installation_view1.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: x-small;"><em>F.A.T. GOLD Europe</em>, installation view, MU | De Witte Dame, Eindhoven; Photo: Andrea Alessi.</span></div> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">The connection isn&rsquo;t so far fetched. Some of F.A.T. Lab&rsquo;s twenty-five <a href="http://fffff.at/people/" target="_blank">members</a>&mdash;an international network of artists, engineers, scientists, lawyers, and musicians&mdash;are themselves graffiti artists. Their core values, which include &ldquo;spreading open source and free ideals into popular culture&rdquo; through DIY entrepreneurship, open source, and activism, have more than a few intersections with street art. On the one hand, art on the Internet can be viewed through a street lens: it can bypass normal distribution channels, appealing directly to viewers. Turning the comparison on its head, street art can be seen as a form of &ldquo;hack&rdquo;&mdash;an unendorsed appropriation of space, medium, or idea.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140302135918-ideas_worth_spreading.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Evan Roth</strong><em>, <em><a href="http://fffff.at/ideas-worth-spreading/" target="_blank">Ideas Worth Spreading</a> (TED Talks)</em></em>, at MU | De Witte Dame, Eindhoven; Photo: Andrea Alessi</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">In his recent book, <a href="http://viralart.vandalog.com/read/" target="_blank"><em>Viral Art</em></a>, <a href="http://blog.vandalog.com/" target="_blank">Vandalog</a> blogger RJ Rushmore looks at how the future of street art, with its focus on &ldquo;unmediated distribution,&rdquo; might find a natural home in the digital domain. He uses the term &ldquo;Viral Art&rdquo; to describe both shareable and invasive online practices that have an affinity, if not a direct evolutionary line, to street art (n.b. &ldquo;Viral&rdquo; here implies a level of approachability that excludes some older forms of Internet Art. The pioneering duo JODI, for example, have a great exhibition at <a href="http://www.showroommama.nl/nl/" target="_blank">Showroom MAMA</a> in Rotterdam right now that isn&rsquo;t particularly accessible or viral). F.A.T. Lab&rsquo;s <a href="http://fffff.at/category/projects/" target="_blank">projects</a> don&rsquo;t always fall within the categories Rushmore outlines either&mdash;viewers may seek out content rather than encounter it serendipitously&mdash;yet they do open onto notions of self-dissemination, egalitarianism, activism, and anonymity. In fact, there are examples at MU of some of the <a href="http://viralart.vandalog.com/read/chapter/google-bombs/" target="_blank">very</a> <a href="http://viralart.vandalog.com/read/chapter/katsu-getting-up-in-digital-space/" target="_blank">works</a> discussed in Rushmore&rsquo;s text&mdash;namely, <a href="http://fffff.at/ideas-worth-spreading/" target="_blank"><em>Ideas Worth Spreading</em></a>, a mock-up TED Talk stage where visitors can record images of their own &ldquo;talk&rdquo; to share online, and <em>40,000 GML Tags</em>, a massive screen showcasing graffiti gestures in <a href="http://fffff.at/tag/gml/" target="_blank">GML</a>, or Graffiti Markup Language, &ldquo;a file format designed to be a universal structure for storing digitized graffiti motion data.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140302140719-kopyfamo.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Geraldine Juarez, <a style="font-style: italic;" href="http://fffff.at/kopyfamo-free-copyright/" target="_blank">Kopyfamo'</a>, watermark on mirror, at MU | De Witte Dame, Eindhoven; Photo: Andrea Alessi</span><em> <br /></em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Some F.A.T. Lab projects exist in the real world, others are strictly manifest online, and many straddle the two&mdash;that is, projects shaped in the real world and shared online. The MU exhibition, curated by <a href="http://www.lindsayhoward.net/" target="_blank">Lindsay Howard</a>, highlighted them all, offering documentation, online viewing stations, and even physical objects and artworks. Where <em>F.A.T. GOLD</em> differed from the typical exhibition was that most works were not autonomous objects, but rather reproducible examples of a wider practice. Motivated viewers could (and can) recreate many of these works on the web or at home*, and the materials for some projects, like an <a href="http://fffff.at/obama-google-glass-prism-mask/" target="_blank">Obama PRISM mask</a>, were even available at the exhibition.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140302140049-free_universal_construction_kit.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><em>F.A.T. GOLD Europe</em>, installation view with&nbsp;<a href="http://fffff.at/free-universal-construction-kit/" target="_blank"><em>Free Universal Construction Kit</em></a>, MU | De Witte Dame, Eindhoven; Photo: Andrea Alessi</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Good fun is always on the menu: in <em>F.A.T. GOLD</em> there was a sub-genre of works touting the douchiness of Google Glass and its adopters, and a presentation of Greg Leuch&rsquo;s viral Add-on <a href="http://fffff.at/shaved-bieber/" target="_blank"><em>Shaved Bieber</em></a>, which censors all mentions of Justin Bieber online (earning Leuch more than a little hate mail from teenage fans). But some of the best and most shareable projects are greater than their capacity for the lulz. The <a href="http://fffff.at/free-universal-construction-kit/" target="_blank">Free Universal Construction Kit</a> is a set of adapters that makes ten brands of children&rsquo;s construction sets, like Lego and K&rsquo;Nex, interoperable. It&rsquo;s eminently cool/novel/clever, but it also visualizes the ways in which childhood playthings ostensibly meant to spark creativity are limited by proprietary measures. The F.U.C.K. undermines these protective implements, removing barriers to cross-trademark creativity. The exhibition featured a complete set of adapters, a construction/play station, and a 3D printer that staff members kindly set to printing new pieces whenever visitors turned up. (3D models of the adapters in .STL format are available online for <a href="http://www.thingiverse.com/uck/designs" target="_blank">free download</a>.)</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140302140151-facebook_id_card.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Tobias Leingruber</strong>, <em><a href="http://fffff.at/tag/fb-bureau/" target="_blank">Facebook Identity Card</a></em>, video presentation of ARTE Creative, <em><a href="http://fbbureau.com/" target="_blank">Social ID Bureau</a></em>, 2012,&nbsp;portrait of Mark Zuckerberg,&nbsp;at MU | De Witte Dame, Eindhoven; Photo: Andrea Alessi</span><em> <br /></em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">F.A.T. Lab&rsquo;s perspective seems carefully poised between an irreverent techno-optimism (&ldquo;look at these cool things we can do!&rdquo;) and deep skepticism at the ways in which technologies can be regulated, marketed, and used for power and control. Given these positions, in which use of certain technologies seems self-evident, it&rsquo;s easy to forget that not everyone has access to the distributional paradigm shift that is the digital domain. Rushmore&rsquo;s account also overstates viral art&rsquo;s present accessibility: an encounter with this type of work is more likely to be spread within specific enclaves of Internet activity, with limiting factors being not geography, but usage. The case for &ldquo;unmediated&rdquo; distribution is further undermined by the cryptic algorithms used by Facebook and Google for post placement and search results&mdash;the very systems F.A.T. Lab exploits when images of their fake TED Talks turn up in search results. In a destabilizing twist, F.A.T. Lab often coopts the very technologies and systems it protests (or defends).</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140302140313-skatekeyboard.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Tobias Leingruber</strong>, <em><a href="http://fffff.at/skatekeyboard/" target="_blank">Skatekeyboard</a></em>, keyboard attached to skateboard deck,&nbsp;at MU | De Witte Dame, Eindhoven; Photo: Andrea Alessi</span><em> <br /></em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">In a way, that&rsquo;s why it was such a treat to see some of F.A.T. Lab&rsquo;s works in physical form, Away From Keyboard as it were. <em>F.A.T. GOLD</em> did a great job of making works and ideas accessible to people who might not be tech-savvy or know what terms like &ldquo;net neutrality&rdquo; and &ldquo;Open Web&rdquo; mean. Or those who aren&rsquo;t necessarily ready to accept or understand this sort of practice as &ldquo;art.&rdquo; The exhibition was forward looking, but also rooted in the past and present&mdash;a thought-provoking bridge between time, technologies, and disciplines. Be it in a subway tunnel or on a homepage, a mark on the wall is a sign of presence; it can be a declaration of ego, of resistance. Or like my clumsy signature, it can be an affirmation, a &ldquo;Like&rdquo; or an &ldquo;upvote&rdquo;: I was here, with so many others, and I want to be counted.</span></p> <p><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140303002936-compubody_interface.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Becky Stern</strong>,&nbsp;<em><em><a href="http://fffff.at/knitted-compubody-interface/" target="_blank">Knitted Compubody Interface</a>&nbsp;</em>(<a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Laptop-Compubody-Sock/" target="_blank">knit one</a> yourself!), at MU | De Witte Dame, Eindhoven; </em>&copy; Photo: Andrea Alessi</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">*The MU exhibition ended on January 26th, but interested readers can see the projects <a href="http://fffff.at/category/projects/" target="_blank">online</a> or in the new <a href="http://fffff.at/the-fat-manual/" target="_blank"><em>F.A.T. Manual</em></a> (available for purchase or <a href="http://www.lulu.com/shop/domenico-quaranta-and-geraldine-ju%C3%A1rez/the-fat-manual/ebook/product-21251172.html" target="_blank">free download</a>), released on the occasion of the exhibition and the collective&rsquo;s five-year anniversary.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&mdash;Andrea Alessi</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140302141000-installation_view3.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <div>&nbsp;<span style="font-size: x-small;"><em>F.A.T. GOLD Europe</em>, installation view, MU | De Witte Dame, Eindhoven; Photo: Andrea Alessi</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: x-small;">Image on top: <em>F.A.T. GOLD Europe</em>, installation view, MU | De Witte Dame, Eindhoven; Photo: Andrea Alessi.<span style="color: #000000;">]</span></span></div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Mon, 03 Mar 2014 00:40:07 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ber/Articles/list