ArtSlant - Contemporary Art Network http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/show en-us 40 Dries Verhoeven’s Controversial Grindr Performance Is Back… with Some Changes <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">When Dries Verhoeven decided to put himself&mdash;and all his Grindr dating app interactions&mdash;on public display in real time in Berlin last fall, he had no idea the sort of community outrage he&rsquo;d be met with.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Now the Dutch artist&rsquo;s controversial performance </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Wanna Play? Love in Times of Grindr </em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">is back&mdash;with edits&mdash;after its <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ber/articles/show/40982" target="_blank">Berlin debut was shut down</a> 5 days into a 15-day run last October.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">For the duration of the performance (10 days in its current iteration) Verhoeven lives in a glass trailer where <a href="http://www.wannaplay.nl/" target="_blank">the public can watch him</a> eat, sleep, work, even go to the bathroom. Throughout, the artist uses multiple smartphones to solicit non-sexual interactions from men on Grindr: he asks them to join him in eating pancakes or making sushi, trimming his beard, telling shameful stories or talking about death, playing Scrabble.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150526220242-dries8.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">As ArtSlant&nbsp;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/ber/articles/show/40982" target="_blank">previously reported</a>, the Berlin performance center Hebbel am Ufer (HAU), which hosted the project&rsquo;s debut, shut it down in response to community concerns that Verhoeven was exploiting the users he met on Grindr and infringing on the privacy of gay men. After learning he was unwittingly part of an artwork, one angry participant physically confronted the artist, prompting</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;HAU to host a public forum to discuss growing public grievances, and ultimately leading to the project's early termination.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">So what&rsquo;s changed? For its Dutch premiere, held in Utrecht as part of the SPRING performance festival this week, the artist has revised the project&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.wannaplay.nl/privacy/" target="_blank">privacy protocol</a>. Telephone screens of simultaneous Grindr conversations are still projected onto the back wall of the trailer for all to see. But these remain blurred until each chat partner learns that their conversation will be visible to the public and grants Verhoeven their permission. Their Grindr profile photos remain distorted by a negative filter.</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/20150526173533-dries1.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span>It&rsquo;s currently day 7 of 10, with no shocking incidents reported. Is this a case of lessons learned? Does the fact that the artist is from the Netherlands change the conversation? In Germany he was an interloping stranger in the Berlin gay scene; in Utrecht, he&rsquo;s home.</span><span>&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In an <a href="https://www.springutrecht.nl/artikel/interview-met-dries-verhoeven" target="_blank">interview</a> on the SPRING website, the artist generalizes about his experiences with how German and Dutch viewers respond to art:</span></p> <blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The Dutch reaction to art is still quite often indifference&mdash;it&rsquo;s the other side of our much-praised tolerance. When the Dutch get confused by what they see, and learn they&rsquo;re looking at an artwork, they quickly shrug their shoulders. In Germany it&rsquo;s completely different. When an artwork confuses them, Germans search for a place to air their views. There I become more awake.</span></p> </blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">He continues:</span></p> <blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I hope that the discussion in Utrecht revolves around our changing dealings with intimacy. In Berlin it ultimately focused on privacy vs. the right of the artist. It was an interesting discussion, especially in a country whose past has a rather ambivalent relationship with privacy, but that wasn&rsquo;t the point of the work for me. Due to some changes that I&rsquo;m doing, I want the discussion to move in a different direction. That also means that I don&rsquo;t expect the aggressive reactions. The disaster tourists attracted by the Berlin scandal will be disappointed.</span></p> </blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150527103346-P1160745.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Indeed, in Utrecht the project is hardly scandalous. If anything, it&rsquo;s dull watching the artist&rsquo;s minute-to-minute activities. Situated in a popular square, Verhoeven&rsquo;s &ldquo;glass house&rdquo; attracts plenty of viewers and passersby, but most seem more interested in the exhibitionism (a crowd of about 20 watched the artist shower one evening). The publicity stunt of living in a glass room 24/7 largely overshadows the</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;modern intimacy angle. There is the occasional juvenile giggle from people reading the artist statement&mdash;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&ldquo;Ha! Grindr!&rdquo;&mdash;but the most common</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;responses I observed over multiple visits include:</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&ldquo;I&rsquo;ll meet you by the guy who&rsquo;s in a box for 10 days.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&ldquo;He&rsquo;s living in this thing and texting people.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&ldquo;I hear he shits in public.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&ldquo;The description is nothing like what I&rsquo;m seeing.&rdquo;</span></p> </blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150526172647-dries5.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">To hear the artist tell it&mdash;he posts daily on the <a href="https://www.springutrecht.nl/programma/wanna-play-liefde-tijden-van-grindr" target="_blank">SPRING website</a> and on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/driesverhoevencie?fref=ts" target="_blank">Facebook</a>&mdash;he&rsquo;s having meaningful conversations and interactions with many of the Grindr participants. I don&rsquo;t doubt it. But as an observer, this is something you miss. Ironically, it&rsquo;s when Verhoeven has visitors he&rsquo;s met online&mdash;when he&rsquo;s doing something other than everyday minutiae&mdash;that <em>Wanna Play?</em> becomes the most boring; there just isn&rsquo;t much to see or hear. When a visitor arrives, Verhoeven pulls shut a light curtain and viewers in the square quickly disperse. Voices in the trailer are clearly speaking, but audio is muffled. (For the privacy of participants this all makes perfect sense, of course, though it&rsquo;s worth noting that there&rsquo;s nothing hiding said visitors as they come and go from the trailer.)</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;">It&rsquo;s hard to feel enthusiasm or outrage for the performance in its current guise because, frankly, it&rsquo;s not that interesting&mdash;you can either watch the artist perform the most prosaic of &ldquo;real life&rdquo; activities or gaze at a closed curtain. The removal of any kind of grappling with our current sentiments on privacy has defanged the work of art. The Berlin scandal might have derailed the conversation Verhoeven wanted to be having, but without a direct challenging of the private and public spaces of intimacy, a line that is very blurred in our current techonologically mediated environment, this version of the work does little to interrogate its object: <em>modern intimacy</em>.&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: Dries Verhoeven,&nbsp;<em>Wanna Play? Love in Times of Grindr</em>, 2014/2015, Performance in Utrecht during SPRING, May 21&ndash;30, 2015. Photos: the author.)</span></p> Wed, 27 May 2015 10:34:14 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list The Awkwardness of Averageness: Raymond Pettibon’s American Sickness <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&ldquo;I&rsquo;m not walking down there, there&rsquo;s a body on the floor,&rdquo; my friend said. We were coming out of a pizza place that had a gunshot mark in the TV. &ldquo;Come on, it&rsquo;s fine. She&rsquo;s not dead.&rdquo; As we walked past the disputed human being lying face down in the middle of the stenching sidewalk, she turned on her side and smiled vaguely into the distance with her elderly, meth-lined face.</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/20150522235305-8532ba61f4490b5ce1e2ead6e72f1825.jpeg" alt="" /><span style="font-size: x-small;"><em>No Title (There are beds)</em>, 2015, Collage and ink on paper<br /><br /></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Sickness is something you encounter on a daily basis in Los Angeles. Sinking below the hot hills, the community of Skid Row is a blunt reminder that America is <em>not</em>&nbsp;the socialist state some right-wingers might think it is. Walking in DTLA now it hardly feels different from the vision you get of California from Pettibon's works from the 80s.&nbsp;Raymond Pettibon has always captured the whole array of American sickness&mdash;mental, physical, ideological&mdash;in his art which spews over scraps of paper, as free and uncontainable as projectile vomit. He draws individual and collective suffering, struggling against the anonymous urban machine that degrades us all&mdash;a struggle that is portrayed in various works, from wrestling poses, muscular men clad in underwear, guns, ropes, fire, deranged individuals trying to escape.&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/20150523002307-a76df3ccc03eeef9648ae3f130d74bf4.jpeg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>No Title (When I get),&nbsp;</em>2015, Pen and ink on paper</span></p> <p style="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 astonishing that all of the works in <em>From my bumbling attempt to write a disastrous musical, these illustrations muyst suffice</em>&nbsp;were produced this year (the show opened on April 23, meaning they must have all been created in around three months). In the quantity of his production you feel the urgency and swiftness of his response to everything that surrounds him, also manifest in the amount of ideas and influences his work combines: sport, middlebrow sex, crabs, lice, violence, crime, war, politicians, capitalism, freedom, mass culture. He doesn&rsquo;t stay on one subject long enough to allow the viewer the bourgeois luxury of meaning, but in each there is a repeated theme of pain.&nbsp;<em>&ldquo;My sole intention is to make the reader feel the hurt!</em>&rdquo;&mdash;screams a monochrome drawing, as a man raises a taut hand ready to slap down on the exposed buttocks of another.&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: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150522235402-341000b000600a38b65a8b83414ecde8.jpeg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><em>No Title (My sole intention),&nbsp;</em>2015, Acrylic and ink on paper</span><span style="line-height: 26px; font-size: 12px; text-align: left;"><br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The connections Pettibon makes between text and image are often too personal to be understood, but then they undo each other in a way that, at times, makes you feel closer to the artist&rsquo;s intention.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Maybe that is a deliberate effect of the artist of the viewer, to block any presumptions, and it's never more evident than in&nbsp;<em>No Title (Some try to),</em> placed emphatically as the last or first work that you encounter in the main space: "Some try to reconstruct the illustrators secret designs with deceptive clarity, read intentions and allusions in their works." Pettibon has never sought clarity. And,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">"he just doesn't give a fuck," as Red Hot Chili Pepper&rsquo;s bassist Flea remarks in MOCATv&rsquo;s&nbsp;<em><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0u04EqNVjo" target="_blank">The Art of Punk</a>.&nbsp;</em></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150522234714-e8c6ba19ac13c3284dbbf9404ef181c1.jpeg" alt="" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>No Title (Some try to),&nbsp;</em>2015, Collage, gouache, pen and ink on paper</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The force and spotaneity of Pettibon&mdash;seen as much here as ever, in his 10th show at Regen&mdash;is more than sickness and pain. There is also the awkwardness of averageness; the individualistic capitalist system with all its apparent freedom is tossed back in our face here. Hanging on opposite ends of the gallery are works about money and freedom: a series of drawings on capitalism on one side of the space contrast with one of the exhibition's barest images, of a prisoner behind unending bars. The text, "<em>Let me content myself for a moment with remembering how it felt</em>," an ambigious riddle within the work itself, forms a kind of sequence with a swathe of works alongside it depicting people who find themselves in all kinds of psychological binds, questioning our notion of what freedom means in this over-cooked money economy.&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/20150522234913-ba03c77dcb1f7807fb1d1f1c1eab6902.jpeg" 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;"><em>No Title (Let me content)</em>, 2015, Ink on paper</span><em><br /></em></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;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Throughout the show, framed comic strips depicting mediocre sex, drugs, and violence are disjointed, interupted from a linear flow by the way they are hung between disconnected works. But the rough, hard lines and woodish faces of Pettibon's anonymous protagonists do cumulatively narrate the middling existence, the sticky sleaze and profanity of living an ordinary life, blank people who talk cliches and vacillate between malevolent impulses to consume things, drugs, each other.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>"Yuch! When I turn 16 I wanna blow my brains out!"</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>"If everyone died it would bum on the big drug companies. Capitalism needs customers, y'know."&nbsp;</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em><em>"Piss anywhere, use the mop"</em></em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Really, it is only us at the start and the end of the cycle of sickness. Our own judgement is suspended and trapped in these drawings. It's unrelenting. It's hopeless.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150522234940-1ab58c4f66e05769e3992e5b183d125c.jpeg" alt="" /></em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>No Title (It's a natural)</em>, 2015, Ink on paper</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150522234955-045bcc2f7c27bb230649afb04270bc1d.jpeg" alt="" /></em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>No Title (Men, get your)</em>, 2015, Ink on paper</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;">Ultimately Pettibon is anything but average. His incredible career as an artist has taken him from punk shows to public collections: it is often said that his success is thanks to the way he brings &ldquo;high&rdquo; and &ldquo;low&rdquo; culture together. But nowadays that separation isn't what it once was. The same can be said of mainstream versus underground or subculture. There are qualities in Pettibon's work that can't be sincerely repeated. But his indictment of a sick American nation is unavoidable.&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/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 the top:&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Raymond Pettibon,</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>No Title (I can't resist)</em>,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">2015, Ink, acrylic, pen and graphite on paper.&nbsp;All images: Courtesy of the artist and Regen Projects, Hollywood)</span></p> Tue, 26 May 2015 12:04:09 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list I Like Big Butts and I Can Not Lie? <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Just off a street full of pi&ntilde;atas in DTLA is <a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/venues/show/46247-superchief-gallery-la" target="_blank">Superchief Gallery</a>&mdash;the younger (but larger) sister of Superchief New York. I was here to see the <em>Booty Worship</em>&nbsp;exhibition, alone, because I couldn&rsquo;t persuade any of my friends to come down and see a "butt" show with me. My friends have far more taste than I&rsquo;d realized.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I was greeted on arrival by pink curtain flaps resembling a lady&rsquo;s spread legs. I got out of the taxi, and, conscious that the driver was watching me, sauntered through the pink flaps with as much dignity as I could muster.&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;">Curated by Reginald Pean, an illustrator whose works also appear in the show, the exhibition's premise is: &ldquo;Everyone has one. The best body specific, booty delicious gallery special feature this side of the Pacific! In the City of Angels, all walks of life will be portrayed in the appreciation of butts! It&rsquo;s time to show them off and let &lsquo;em shine!&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/20150526032711-Insuh_Yoon_3.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Insuh Yoon</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;">As a species, we humans are ever more obsessed with different bits of ourselves and currently that bit would appear to be the arse. We have watched as it&rsquo;s grown, turning into its own independent entity, staring in films, magazines, music videos, butt-pumping parties...hopefully soon to have its own chat show. Because now having a dangerously low center of gravity is something we venerate and even operate on to achieve: we will literally PUT junk in the trunk if we don&rsquo;t have enough already.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">We do find some very amusing uses for science.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I had decided to go into this exhibition with a mind as wide open as most of the legs on display and was greeted by Oliver Hibert&rsquo;s work. Hibert&rsquo;s now well known for his psychedelic illustrations for bands like The Flaming Lips and My Bloody Valentine. His trippy contribution portrayed t</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">he back of a beheaded woman with Shiva arms, rendered in his trademark clean, precise lines, black and white, contrasted by the multicolored rainbows spurting out of the woman&rsquo;s executed head. And yet there was a grace about her and something slightly humorous.&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/20150526031501-Oliver_Hibert.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Oliver Hibert&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;">Situated near Hibert&rsquo;s work, on the other side of a manga lady with a butt nine times the size of her head, was a pair of illustrations by Matt Layzell. One, featuring robots with gigantic butts trying to fix each other, entitled <em>Fixing,</em>&nbsp;and another of a baseball player with an enormous ass bursting out of his trousers, were brilliant, in that they made me laugh. I didn&rsquo;t quite get what the "point" of it was, other than to amuse&mdash;but that is a fine enough point as far as I&rsquo;m concerned.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150526031204-Max_Layzell.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Max Layzell</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;">This was the beginning of the realization that, what worked in this exhibition were the pieces that celebrated the juvenility of &ldquo;booty worshipping.&rdquo; Examples of this were&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Rob Corradetti's&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">fantastically silly illustrations of ET with a giant butt and rainbows shooting round him.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Along the same lines were our favorite cartoon characters in butt form by Sam Grinberg, and a</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">nd one of my personal favourites by Penelope Gazen, another childish illustration, that said &ldquo;Her butt was so big her butt had butts,&rdquo; complete with little butt boils all over it.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I mean, it&rsquo;s ridiculous. Of course that&rsquo;s funny! We&rsquo;ve all been 12 years old, we&rsquo;ve all found other uses for our schoolbooks. There&rsquo;s a nostalgia to it&mdash;and that&rsquo;s what you should embrace coming to this show.</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 src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150526032011-Sam_Grinberg__.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Sam Grinberg&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;">Yet where I found the exhibition stumbled was in trying to elevate its status to something more than "fun" or strange. When the tone attempted to become poignant&mdash;sexual or even the dreaded "edgy"&mdash;it became either naff, clich&eacute;d, or just sexist.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In this category there were plenty of illustrations by men of women tied up in bondage, or aggressive paintings of women receiving oral sex from anyone available, it appeared, and some more &ldquo;cutesy&rdquo; bondage illustrations by women.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Also on display were photographic works, some of them looking like they should be on the cover of a Mills and Boon romance novel, others ressembling actual meat, such as the woman tied so tight with pieces of string at first I thought it was a picture of a country ham. (Have I missed something here? Are cured meats erotic?)</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/20150526031938-Cheryle_Georgette_Arent.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;Cheryle Georgette Arent</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;">Others, such as many of the occult scenarios depicting naked virgins, just looked like a checklist: goblet, tick, naked virgin, tick, ram skull, tick, candle, tick, lack of atmosphere, tick. </span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Someone even had the inspired idea to make a mural of "belfies"&mdash;the butt selfie inspired by all time fave cultural icon, Kim Kardashian. Thank you Kim. Then there was this photo booth:</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/20150526032030-11013220_783360765112809_2_88741098763282303_n.jpg" alt="" />&nbsp;<span style="font-size: x-small;">Malie Huffman, <em>Man Eater</em></span></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;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I know, you think it&rsquo;s funny to be gross. And congratulations, this is gross. Even if I <em>really</em> try and find it amusing in any of the few respects available to me, it is still revolting, and I&rsquo;m not really sure what the point of it was other than to occupy the 12-year-old boys accompanying their elders to the exhibition.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Suddenly I realized I hadn&rsquo;t noticed any male butts being worshipped or ridiculed in this exhibition&mdash;bar a skeleton policeman, and that was hardly this graphic. It just seems we aren&rsquo;t as fascinated in men being put into bizarre, contorted, and humiliating positions. So why is no one sexualizing the male butt? Even the female artists in this show were focused on female asses. (The above photobooth was the creation of a woman). I&rsquo;m not saying we <em>should</em>. I&rsquo;m just confused as to why there was a lack of mocking of the male butt at this exhibition.</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 style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I have nothing against butts. After all, I have one, as the exhibition rightly says, and I don&rsquo;t want to make an enemy of it. I also believe there is no shame in a bit of juvenile humour, our greatest writers in the English language&mdash;Jonathan Swift, Shakespeare, Chaucer&mdash;they all loved a little arse joke in between some of the finest social commentary ever created, so it has its place and I am one of its champions. It&rsquo;s just that these Barbara Cartland bums with roses next to them, or this new "tacky is cool" vibe with marigolds and cigarettes and fishnets&mdash;we&rsquo;ve seen a thousand times before already. And the bondage&mdash;oh my god are we not bored of the bondage yet? If you&rsquo;re trying to be edgy, it&rsquo;s not edgy anymore, Universal have released a film about it, your mum&rsquo;s probably read the books, she might have even bought the rope by now. Why not try and be good or amusing or interesting instead?&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">With a subject like butts, the work needs to be original or funny&mdash;anything that wasn&rsquo;t just felt out of place. The exhibition had the potential to be a better one, had it been more committed to the narrative of this theme.</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/20150526032238-Horse_and_Unicorn_drawings.JPG" alt="" /><span style="font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;Horse and Unicorn Drawings <em>In My Bedroom</em></span></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;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">There is a second exhibition coming up in New York, with a different set of "booty worship" works. If you&rsquo;re in the area buying pi&ntilde;atas I think you should see it. There&rsquo;ll be works in there to make it worthwhile for anyone who&rsquo;s willing to go in with an open mind. Or go in with the mind of a 12-year-old boy and you&rsquo;ll adore the entirety of it.</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/20150526172634-11121991_783361941779358_8682738084594125458_o.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Via <a href="http://superchieftv.goodsie.com">Superchief Gallery&nbsp;</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;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I think as a woman, if you have any passionate opinions about what women are to our society&mdash;you have to accept that you&rsquo;re going to an exhibition about bums. There is a fine line between amusing and offensive, and that line usually gets blurred when the idea of &ldquo;poignancy&rdquo; or &ldquo;edginess&rdquo; become the sole task of the artwork. There are many examples of people stumbling way over this line in the exhibition.&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 style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I gave the friends who wouldn&rsquo;t join "Betty Butt" stickers&mdash;they actually went down very well.</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/416261-jade-angeles-fitton?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Jade Angeles Fitton</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: Lauren E. Thomson and Lu Goodbag.&nbsp;All images: Jade Angeles Fitton)</span></p> Wed, 27 May 2015 16:01:36 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list Made-Up with Danny Volk: S1E14 with Amber Ginsburg <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:&nbsp;"Made up... of what?" asks performance artist Amber Ginsburg, as she ruminates on the origins of cosmetics and decides to use an altogether different material for Danny's makeover.&nbsp;<br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/IipzzH4hv3U" 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> Sat, 23 May 2015 14:24:40 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list Ai Weiwei and Joan Baez Receive Amnesty International Honor <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">For the first time, Amnesty International awarded their annual Ambassador of Conscience Award to a visual artist.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Ai Weiwei received the international honor, which was presented at an award ceremony Thursday night at the Berliner Festspiele in Berlin, in absentia. The artist can&rsquo;t leave China, being under government surveillance and having his passport revoked.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In place, he designated London&rsquo;s Tate Modern curator Chris Dercon to accept the award on his behalf. The award is devoted to human rights activists, proactive protesters who speak out and contrast Edmund Burke's famed statement that &ldquo;all that is needed for evil to triumph is for good people to stand by and do nothing.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">As it turned out, Dercon called Ai Weiwei&rsquo;s six-year-old son, Ai Lao, to join him at the awards ceremony. Ai Lao jumped on the public stage for the very first time (&ldquo;aside from classroom presentations,&rdquo; said his mom) to accept the award and say into the microphone, &ldquo;I really hope my dad gets his passport back.&rdquo;</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/20150523134157-preisverleihung_014.JPG" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">Tate Modern Director Chris Dercon and Ai Weiwei's son Ai Lao accepting the award on the artist's behalf. <br />Courtesy:&nbsp;Amnesty International / Henning Schacht</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;">This year, the Ambassador of Conscience Award was given to Ai Weiwei alongside American folk singer, Joan Baez, who has released 30 albums over the past 50 years. Patti Smith showed her support, introducing Baez&rsquo;s award with a tearful recitation of the singer and activist&rsquo;s accomplishments, which range from performing at rallies alongside Sammy Davis Jr. to singing at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963 before Martin Luther King Jr.&rsquo;s infamous speech &ldquo;I Have A Dream.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&ldquo;We have to keep being a thorn in the side of injustice and to draw as much blood as we can,&rdquo; said Smith. &ldquo;Life seems more corrupt than ever but I pin my faith on new generations.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The Ambassador of Conscience Award, founded in 2003, recognizes human rights leadership. Previous winners include Nelson Mandela, U2, and Peter Gabriel. This year, the Art for Amnesty director Bill Shipsey was happy to announce the award went to two cultural heroes &ldquo;who are not only activists but also artists,&rdquo; he said.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Curator Cheryl Haines presented a touching speech on working with Ai Weiwei on his Alcatraz exhibition (the back of her glittery gold coat read &ldquo;Ai Can&rsquo;t Be Here&rdquo;). &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a great privilege for working with Ai Weiwei, but it became much more than an art project,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;He couldn&rsquo;t leave the country and I had to go to Beijing six times. I remember asking him how I could help. He said, &lsquo;You can help bring my art to a broader audience.&rsquo;&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Since detained and beaten without charge in 2010 and 2011, Ai Weiwei is censored on the internet in China after inspiring a politically-critical, individualistic movement through his artwork. Instead of winning a gob of cash&mdash;it isn&rsquo;t a money award&mdash;&ldquo;Weiwei is using the award to address the fate of those who have given much more than he does and speaking up for other people,&rdquo; said Dercon.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Activists the artists considers in way worse situations than himself include civil rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang, who faces eight years of prison, imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize-winning poet Liu Xiaobo, journalist Gao Yu, women&rsquo;s rights activist Su Changlan, activist Liu Ping, and academic Ilham Tothti.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Smith offered some insight on her own ways of helping. &ldquo;My activism is just in the form of smiles, prayers, singing a song, helping a kid get up who has fallen down,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;You have to do something little every day, no matter how small it is.&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/241816-nadja-sayej" target="_blank">Nadja Sayej</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;">(Image at top: Patti Smith and Tate Modern Director Chris Dercon, who accepted the Ambassador of Conscience Award on Ai Weiwei's behalf this week. Photo: Nadja Sayej)</span></p> Sat, 23 May 2015 14:11:30 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list On Troll Caves and Rose Gardens: Jon Rafman and Keren Cytter at Feuer/Mesler <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In Jon Rafman&rsquo;s 2013 film, <em>Still Life (Betamale)</em>, we watch furries and hentai sourced from the deep web while a flat voiceover delivers a speech about leaving one world to enter another. It&rsquo;s the promise virtual realities offer us: escapism. This idea is at the center of </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Grand Tour</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">, the inaugural two-person show featuring new works from Rafman and Keren Cytter at Feuer/Mesler, one of two new Lower East Side galleries founded this year by Zach Feuer and Untitled director Joel Mesler (the second gallery, Mesler/Feuer, occupies the same space Untitled once did).</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;">As in <em>Still Life (Betamale)</em>, much of Rafman&rsquo;s work has investigated the more disturbing ways people construct their lives around the computer, both virtually (online gaming communities, fetishistic subcultures of the deep internet, etc.) and physically (the spaces in which the computer sits in the home of heavy users, referred to by Rafman as &ldquo;troll dens&rdquo; or &ldquo;caves&rdquo;). His recent work explores these same themes and environments in large-format prints, depicting den desks and keyboards littered with detritus: empty energy drink- and coffee-containers, half-eaten foods gone to rot, over-the-counter pill bottles, and so on. These prints act as a kind of portal between the real world and the virtual one.</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/20150519230419-JR7707_15.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: normal;">Jon Rafman,&nbsp;<em>You are Standing in an Open Field (Waterfall)</em>, 2015, Archival pigment print, polystyrene, resin,&nbsp;58 7/8 x 78 &frac34; x 3 &frac14;".&nbsp;<br />Image courtesy of the artist and FEUER/MESLER<em>,&nbsp;</em>New York</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;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Juxtaposed with the keyboards in the foreground are stock images of waterfalls and sunsets, like those found on old desktop screensavers, or generic Homer-esque paintings of boats battling sea at storm. All six prints are covered in clear resin, which, applied unevenly and to different degrees, as if spilled or sprayed, imbues in the work a tangibility. Not to mention a cheeky joke, the resin invoking the various sticky substances&mdash;soda pop or semen&mdash;one might find around computer dens.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Projected in the corner of the gallery&rsquo;s first room is Cytter&rsquo;s video, <em>Rose Garden</em>. The work is a kind of pastiche of Luis Bu&ntilde;uel&rsquo;s surrealist film <em>The Golden Age</em> (1930). It&rsquo;s set in a rural bar called the Rose Garden, presumably named after the slogan of an infamous Marine Corps recruitment poster which hangs inside: &ldquo;We Don&rsquo;t Promise You a Rose Garden&rdquo;. However, this slogan, ignorantly repurposed by the military, was taken from the 1964 memoir, <em>I Didn&rsquo;t Promise You a Rose Garden</em>, about a schizophrenic woman who creates her an elaborate make-believe world in her mind.</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/20150519230519-Rose_Garden_Still.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">Keren Cytter,&nbsp;<em>Rose Garden</em>, 2014, Video still,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">8 min. 57 sec.</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">Image courtesy of the artist and FEUER/MESLER,</span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">New York</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;">This is appropriate given the style of the film: multiple plots coexist independently, their scenes overlapping. The storylines comprise loose reenactments of scenes from Bu&ntilde;uel&rsquo;s film, yet are incongruous and delivered without introduction or exposition. A middle-aged man crows about his teenage son, who stands next to him polishing a shotgun; a woman is wooed by a man while her boyfriend buys drinks at the bar; a man in the back whispers dirty talk into a payphone; the female bartender smiles on the other end of the line. The dialogue is generic, as if written by a child, and at times doesn&rsquo;t sync up with the actors&rsquo; mouth movements. The soundtrack changes moods, none of which fit the visual. The film feels like an alternate reality.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The final work in the show is a collaboration between the two artists and a conversation between their interests. In the second gallery room sits a large wooden and aluminum box built by Rafman, titled <em>Cabinet</em>. The box, unfinished, its skeleton exposed, is an isolated viewing space designed specifically for watching a film by Cytter. Inside the box sits a single chair, its back big enough to block the view in and out. While sitting in it you can see only the TV in front of you, which plays Cytter&rsquo;s film, <em>Siren</em>, on repeat.</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 src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150519230642-Grand_Tour_Install_1.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Keren Cytter/Jon Rafman,&nbsp;<em>Grand Tour</em>, 2015, Installation view at FEUER/MESLER, New York.&nbsp;Image courtesy of the artist and FEUER/MESLER,&nbsp;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;"><em>Siren</em> is a collage of digital footage, video from on-computer camera, and a screen share of Cytter&rsquo;s own monitor as she edits the very film we watch. Instead of focusing its attention on the machinations of cinema, as <em>Rose Garden</em> did, <em>Siren</em> is interested in the various ways in which video lends itself to narration, fictional or biographical, real or implied. It&rsquo;s part art-house, part student project, part parody. It also samples video from other sources, a small post-appropriationist gesture.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The idea of &ldquo;avatarization&rdquo; is at the center of both artists&rsquo; works, albeit in different capacities. For Rafman, it&rsquo;s the digital avatar, a descendant of McLuhan&rsquo;s theory of technology as an extension of the person&mdash;a prosthesis. Rafman is interested in the people who live more in virtual reality of the internet than they do in real life, where they sit behind a computer screen. Cytter, on the other hand, conjures a conceptual avatar, like a mask in theater, a narrative device that frames the way we understand an individual&rsquo;s identity. In both circumstances, artificial worlds are created around the central subject, be it cyber geeks or people who make movies of their lives. These are the people who live in their own rose gardens.</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/425651-taylor-dafoe" target="_blank">Taylor Dafoe</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;Jon Rafman,&nbsp;<em>You are Standing in an Open Field (Jungle)</em>, 2015, Archival pigment print, wood, resin,&nbsp;59 &frac14; x 44 x 1 &frac12;".&nbsp;Image courtesy of the artist and FEUER/MESLER<em>,&nbsp;</em>New York)</span></p> Wed, 20 May 2015 18:05:16 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list An Actual Location for This Moment: Gabriel Sierra at the Renaissance Society <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Gabriel Sierra creates structures of relation, platforms where humans, architecture, and paper media collaborate on the creation of artworks. His current exhibition at the Renaissance Society&mdash;the first solo exhibition in the United States for the Bogot&aacute;-based artist&mdash;is a scatter piece of sculptures, rules, and relationships in which 14 constructions, mostly in modernistically white plywood, lie on the gallery floor. They look at first like a kind of stern minimalism in the Ren&rsquo;s soaring angular ceilings.<a title="" href="#_ftn1">[1]</a> This straight-faced formalism, it turns out, is a ruse, the butt of a joke that requires viewers to sully the seriousness that their forms suggest.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Upon entry, the visitor receives <a href="http://www.renaissancesociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Sierra_AssemblyInstructions_FINAL.pdf" target="_blank">ASSEMBLY INSTRUCTIONS</a>, a how-to guide for putting together the actions that constitute the works and a self-help manual for gathering in assembly with other humans. &ldquo;Please only access designated areas and platforms if able to perform the instructions below&rdquo; the sheet reads, establishing a rule system ostensibly based on ability, but actually based on the arbitrary facts of one&rsquo;s intersectional identity: <em>Area for 21-year olds to stand for 21 minutes with their hands in their pockets</em>; <em>Area for five non-Americans</em>; <em>Stone for children and small adults to stand up and look through the window into the opposite window</em>. Not a 21-year old? Not non-American? Not a small adult? The piece is not open to you. Look elsewhere.<a title="" href="#_ftn2">[2]</a></span></p> <p class="Body" 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/20150519172331-sierra_2.jpg" alt="" width="500" /></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Press releases for the exhibition showing eight different titles</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The show has eight titles, one for each open hour, to be swapped out in rotating shifts so that a visitor walking into the exhibition <em>How the Outside Leaks into the Room</em> may exit from the exhibition <em>Smells Like 100 Years Old. </em>The titles are changed in the entrance hallway each hour, as are the eight press releases, their texts identical save the titles. The exhibition consists of 14 sculptural zones, 3 of which operate differently in the morning than they do in the afternoon, so let&rsquo;s call that 17 zones, which we can multiply by the number of discrete exhibition titles: eight. The exhibition&rsquo;s 14 sculptural platforms bloom through time into 136 variations.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150519173549-RS_9902.jpg" alt="" /><br clear="ALL" /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Gabriel Sierra, Installation view, 2015. Courtesy The Renaissance Society. Photo: Tom Van Eynde</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Some instructions ask the visitor to confront the ambiguities that live on the edges of qualitative and quantitative boundaries. <em>Area for people wearing old shoes</em>; <em>Stand 6&rdquo;, 8&rdquo;, and 12&rdquo; off the ground</em>. How many shoe birthdays make a pair of shoes old? How might one determine 8 inches from the ground on a gently sloping platform? Ergonomic modernism suggests that the objects and structures we use should reveal themselves to our hands and eyes, that they should give notice of their function. Sierra&rsquo;s structures reverse these terms of functionality, hiding their use value somewhere in the conceptual space between the object, the user, and the instructions for use.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The exhibition casts a glance at modernist architecture and formalist sculpture, turns away, and laughs. It tells you to drag your dirty old shoes over the pristine white plane, to contemplate the cosmos while chugging fizzy water, your thoughts of transcendental disembodiment stymied by burps. Architecture is the organized practice of humans framing and ordering the chaos of the outside, a practice that Sierra embraces and sends up with absurdity and mirth.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150519224537-sierra_1.jpg" alt="" /><br clear="ALL" /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Gabriel Sierra, Installation view, 2015. Courtesy The Renaissance Society. Photo: Tom Van Eynde</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><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;">While linkages between the platforms, the instructions, and the exhibition titles reveal a number of recurring themes&mdash;insides versus outsides, representations of time, 21-year-oldness&mdash;one with particular subtlety and an unexpected degree of pathos is the image of the closed gallery. From 10am through 11am each day, the exhibition title is <em>Monday Impressions</em>, and from 2pm to 3pm it&rsquo;s <em>In the Meantime (This Place Will Be Empty after 5:00pm)</em>. In a similar vein, a small strip of white wood in the corner carries the instructions <em>Area for considering Mondays, when the gallery is closed</em>. These gestures of self-effacement carry a memento mori slap, realigning attention from the humans on the platforms to the platforms themselves, their object lifespans, and the ways that institutions, like the physical structures that house them, carry through time beyond us. <em>Smells like 100 years old</em>.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><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;">&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;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <div style="line-height: 26px;"><hr style="line-height: 26px;" align="left" size="1" width="33%" /> <div style="line-height: 26px;"> <p class="FootnoteText1" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref1">[1]</a> Since Mathias Poledna&rsquo;s removal of the steel truss ceiling for his exhibition at the end of last year, the Ren&rsquo;s space feels newly exciting in itself; a hard-edged, upward-oriented, churchy pod that functions as a white cube without the boredom of being a cube.</span></p> </div> <div style="line-height: 26px;"> <p class="FootnoteText1" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref2">[2]</a> Of course, setting up rules like these only invites their violation, a stance to regulation that Sierra builds into the instructions with nearly impossible dictates like <em>Area for two people to stare into each other&rsquo;s eyes without blinking for 10 minutes. </em>If a city park planner fails to provide a pathway to link high trafficked areas, users will go ahead and carve a cow path into the grass; design paternalism has its limits.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="FootnoteText1" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="FootnoteText1" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at top: Gabriel Sierra, Installation view, 2015. Courtesy The Renaissance Society. Photo: Tom Van Eynde.)</span></p> </div> </div> Wed, 20 May 2015 19:12:39 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list Notes from the Third Space: the 61st International Short Film Festival Oberhausen <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The Oberhausen Short Film Festival, which hosted its 61st edition from April 30&ndash;May 5 this year, promotes the moving image's most essential and investigational format since its beginnings&mdash;and it feels like there&rsquo;s never been a better time for the short film.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Without polemics or soap-boxing, but with much food for thought, a sense of what is happening in the world of short film today was woven into diverse screenings, talks, and special programs. Whether the festival&rsquo;s works or thematic concerns were new or old, retrospective or cutting edge, the context and thinking in the overall curating was entirely seated in 2015. From avant-gardism in 70s London to 3D art films, artist-run film labs to Finnish video humor, here are the 2015 artist highlights and most interesting questions raised at Oberhausen.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>&nbsp;</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Profiles: William Raban</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/20150519151425-JockMcFadyenstudio_1.jpg" alt="" /></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Still from William Raban's&nbsp;<em>72-82</em>&nbsp;(2014) showing artist Jock McFadyen in his Acme house in the 1970s. Via <a href="http://www.acme.org.uk/commissions/williamrabanfilm" target="_blank">Acme Studios</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;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Screened as part as a profile of the UK filmmaker William Raban, <em>72-82</em> (2014) presents a collected chronicle of the all but lost history of avant-gardism in an entirely disappeared London.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Rather than an attempt at a definitive history this is an assemblage of spoken recollections and recovered ephemera from a selection of artists who, under the auspices of Acme Studios, were probing new ground in performance, sculpture, film and intervention in 1970s London. Through cooperation with sympathetic local councils they were given the chance to occupy large properties marked for future demolition. Participating artists provide voice over commentary run along side imagery of flyers, photos, and rare footage of actions and artworks filmed by Raban, who was a member of the collective.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">From these fragments and memories the filmmaker very cleverly plots historical narratives, versions of events that focus on contemporary issues: housing, availability of property, artists and galleries interaction with wider communities, consumerism and broader attitudes to emerging art practice are issues are explored through the memories of the artists involved with Acme during the period&mdash;as are the veracity of their memories themselves.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Without heavy handedness, resisting for instance temptation to juxtapose the 1970s images of dilapidated, terrace rows of housing, clad in corrugated iron with before-and-after, present day images of their current state of gentrification, this is a historic appraisal of a bygone era entirely pertinent to today and now.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The film offers a view of a time in London when studios suitable for large works and sculptural projects were not only available but in such abundance and open to reinterpretation that they could be cut up, like chunks of sculptors alabaster. Works like Kerry Trengrove's <em>Eight Day Passage </em>(1977) explored a journey through the fabric of the buildings themselves, digging a 20-foot tunnel through the ground to escape a cell created in his studio. This was around the same time as Gordon Matta-Clark was doing the same in New York and Paris. There are, in fact, many parallels between the New York artists&rsquo; movement centered around Soho and the community centered around Acme in London.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Today digging down into the soil might be the only possibility of finding an inner city space to live and work for most artists. Raban's film holds back on the rose-tinted nostalgia but hulks of wrecked and leaking, slumland never looked so much like utopia.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">For any seed-bomb flinging Hipster who thought Guerilla Gardening was something new, there are accounts of how the artists discovered and followed a community of people living in this highly run down area who were keeping livestock and growing vegetables in their back gardens, removing the fencing between them to create larger communal areas. The Acme area artists were interested in an art that engaged with neighbors and local communities, that critiqued consumerism at a time when it was less destructive and all encompassing than it is today.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">With this type of practice now all but impossible in cities like London and New York this could be merely a nostalgic lament on the loss of a more open city. But ultimately that isn't the true nature of the story here. The coda is more optimistic: despite everything else, the type work the more progressive Acme artists championed&mdash;conceptual, performance, mixed media&mdash;has in subsequent decades been accepted as legitimate art practice. Their story is, if only in this regard, one of victory.</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>Theme: The Third Image&mdash;3D Cinema as Experiment</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/20150519153505-cochemare_vaisseau.jpg" alt="" /></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">Chris Lavis/Maciek Szczerbowski, (Canada), <em>Cochemare</em>,</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;2013. Courtesy of&nbsp;61st International Short Film Festival Oberhausen</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Another prominent feature at Oberhausen this year was the series of talks and screenings presenting the emerging movement of artists working in 3D, seeking to redefine and populate the space between viewer and screen the way the sensational Hollywood mainstream has done so for years.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Due to monocular vision impairment, I&rsquo;m not able to see 3D&mdash;but it's not everyday one witnesses the declaration of a new avant-garde even with one eye closed. The strength and potential of material was questioned as was the rigor of any declaration of intention or sense of a collective manifesto across participating artists.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Experimental 3D allows a re-evaluation of approaches that have been the backbone of avant-garde film and video, historically producing its canon of film and video makers. The technology that is driving this is&mdash;like film in the early 20th century or video in the 60s and early 70s&mdash;still at an early stage of it's development. The 3D work produced now may prove equally valuable as a gateway into further work bound to appear in Virtual and Augmented Reality, etc., not necessarily with the objective to further suspend disbelief but rather as a new means for exploring and interacting with the visual image.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">That fact that there is no widely accepted language of Artists&rsquo; 3D available to create discourses around the work can be seen as frustrating&mdash;members of the discussion audience pressed for clearer explanations from the filmmakers. There seemed a general questioning of the caliber of some of the work; were they truly involving 3D in a methodology divergent from that employed by the mainstream? The suggestion was that Hollywood has never quite managed to capitalize on 3D and now technology has allowed the avant-garde to pick up the torch and unlock its potential&mdash;but has this really happened yet?</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;">The answer looks unclear, a kind of simultaneous yes/no/don't know. But isn't that how a fledgling avant-garde should look? Wouldn't too many answers suggest a territory already well trodden?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I think the frustrations and rifts caused by the 3D program at Oberhausen are completely in keeping with an emergent avant-garde and, as such, they should be embraced. If it could be explained to a comfortably seated film critic in a sentence, would it be bona-fide avant-gardism? However long it takes to become part of an officially recognized avant-garde tradition, what is certain is that it isn't going away anytime soon. I think the program will be looked back on as a great success and an important step towards integrating a new medium even if it has yet to manifest anything like itself as a cohesive movement or entirely convince audiences of its potential.</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>Podium: Artist-run Film Labs&mdash;Old Ties or New Concepts?</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/20150519152942-724491.jpg" alt="" /></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Esther Urlus,&nbsp;<em>Konrad and Kurf&uuml;rst</em>&nbsp;(2013-2014), Screened by <a href="http://lightcone.org/en/film-9065-konrad-kurfurst" target="_blank">Lightcone</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;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">As with the 3D program some of the most interesting ideas and vivid impressions of Oberhausen 61 came from the post-screening discussions and a <a href="http://www.kurzfilmtage.de/en/festival/sections/podium/">series of podium events</a> that looked at topics relevant to short and experimental film and video today.</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;">A panel discussion on the practice and function of artist-run film labs, chaired by Vassily Bourikas, considered questions of contemporary requirements for film stock and what part artist-run labs can play in meeting them. Just what does a post-film, filmmaker environment look like today?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The imagery thrown out in the discussion was rich, varied, and not entirely pessimistic. The post-film film world is a terrain where industrial film equipment lays on the street, cast out by film labs for appropriation just as found footage and occasional short ends were 20 years ago. Now the experimenters are invited to take the lot&mdash;anything missing can be self-built using online how-to's. This is a time when a preference for the use of film is questioned as a fetish, as pandering to a fad, when the act of providing and running a 16mm film projector is considered a performance, when the archivists and arts curators keep the films of the old masters safe while technicians who maintained the equipment they were filmed and printed on disappear penniless into retirement, taking their knowledge and skills with them.</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;">And then of course the stock... the precious stock. Think of a 1980s straight to video post-apocalyptic movie where petrol, water, or munitions have become worth a hundredfold their weight in gold. In our imagined world raw film stock has run out and filmmakers battle for that final roll of 8mm Tri-X lost under the rubble of post-analogue wasteland.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">An archivist on the panel confesses that Anthology Film Archives has 60,000 feet of Kodak print film cryogenically frozen in a vault somewhere under NYC and somebody in the audience boasts of owning the last K40 Super 8 cartridges known to humanity. It begins to feel reminiscent of a YouTube survivalist prepper&rsquo;s how-to video.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">One of the panel, the remarkable Ester Urlus, has been home brewing film emulsion and rolling out her own film stock. Her advice is simple yet inspirational: get or make a film coating machine and start making your own. Her <em>Konrad and Kurf&uuml;rst</em> (2013-2014) was in evidence at the festival as part of distributor Lightcone's screening and it demonstrates how, by reviving the approaches of film's pioneers, its future is returning to the hands of its true innovators.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Apparently increasing numbers of projects are being made and submitted to festivals on film. Is this a true revival or, as suggested, a form of fetishization? Might film&rsquo;s imminent extinction provide the attraction: a sense of one last chance to shoot on film before the stuff runs out and the cameras stop whirring? Just as the art dealer assigns value to the dead artist, do artists have a penchant for dead-media?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Still referred to as Celluloid, a material not used in cinematic film since the mid 20th century, perhaps there has always been a bit of nostalgia inherent in film, and yet the strongest ideas to come from the discussion are entirely progressive. Rather than resurrecting analog vs. digital dichotomies, collaboration and sharing resources are essential. The future of artists film lies in its embracing of various digital media, utilizing them to help keep film around and keep it contemporary.</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>Profile: Erkka Nissinen</strong></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/20150519151942-2._________vantaa.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">Erkka Nissinen (Finland/Netherlands), <em>Vantaa</em>,</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;2</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">008. Courtesy&nbsp;61st International Short Film Festival Oberhausen</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;">In an environment of such doubtful certainty what could be more reassuring than the world of total and absolute uncertainty&mdash;a place where philosophical theory and psychoanalysis play ping-pong with a wonderful world of daftness? Welcome to the lurid empire of Erkka Nissinen, an enigma from central Finland. If you're looking for a man capable of bravery and sacrifice for his art, who refuses to have his optimism cured, forget about Herzog throwing himself onto cacti or Chris Burden being shot in the arm! Nissinen demonstrates his commitment by hobbling around on his knees screaming for yogurt in <em>Vantaa </em>(2008), coming onto a panda in <em>Night School</em> (2007), or in <em>Rigid Regime</em> (2012) boldly running the risk of offending countless double (or triple) amputees.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">His films play with themselves, so to speak. Self reflexively, they question framing, editing, and sound with structural approaches and tropes, constantly reminding the audience of their own artifice.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">And then there is the humor. In the UK, where no artist or performer is handed the title of creative genius more freely than the comedian, it is said that great comedic talent always comes with a good dose of insanity. I don't think Nissinen is insane (I met him, he seems okay) but he does understand how to utilize completely bonkers&nbsp; humor to strip away at cozy concepts like normality, reality, and the self. Beneath them we discover mad staring men with bad glue-on beards and wigs lecturing monotonously in otherwise empty rooms.</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;">At one of the late screenings I was the only one watching the International premiere of Paul Sharits&rsquo; <em>3D-Movie</em> (1975) without wearing anaglyphic glasses. I enjoyed Sharits&rsquo; vibrant color swarms and accumulated resolution but envied the crowd as they gasped at the exhilaration of plunging into the filmic third dimension, silently cursing the impotence of my right eyeball. But then, a thought: <em>is mine a unique perspective here?</em> Does this qualify me as being a leading practitioner in a new sub-cultural trend: artists&rsquo; 3D film viewed in 2D? Non-stereoscopic readings of 3D art films? After four days at Oberhausen, anything seems possible.</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/372591-guy-parker?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Guy Parker</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;">(Image at top:&nbsp;Santiago Caicedo, (France),&nbsp;</span></span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Come Coco</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">, 2006, Courtesy&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: x-small;">61st International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Theme:&nbsp;The Third Image&mdash;3D Cinema as Experiment)</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><br /></span></p> Tue, 19 May 2015 16:17:05 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list Chronicles of a Fleeting Culture <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Famed for her portrayal of the upper class in New York, New England, and Long Island, Tina Barney&rsquo;s work is an ethnographic study of the bourgeoisie. The eleven works on view in this retrospective are snapshots from a play where if one stares long enough, one might hear the muffled dialogue of Barney&rsquo;s subjects travel through time. With shots capturing characters in mid-motion, such as </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The Reception</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;(1985), the viewer is pulled into the scene right before a significant event is about to occur. At first glance, words like drama, money, and glamour come to mind. But while the surface is relucent, there&rsquo;s a heartbreaking vulnerability underlying each composition: t</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">he women's faces are marked by a palpable melancholy. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In <em>Jill and I</em> (1993) the protagonist at the forefront stares with haggard eyes that betray a disenchantment no amount of money is able to mend. With<em> Lipstick "New York Stories, W Magazine" </em>(1999), two women appear to be getting ready for a night on the town. The younger one stands in front of a mirror applying lipstick with a nonchalant gesture denoting a daily routine. The other is seated, staring at the camera, making a humorous face that isn't enough to mask her vacant glance. Everyone is dutifully reading the lines of a script that was handed to them at birth, along with the silver spoon in their mouth.<br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a title="Beverly, Jill and Polly, 1982 chromogenic color print 48 x 60 inches (c) Tina Barney, Courtesy of Paul Kasmin Gallery" rel="nofollow"><span style="color: #000000; line-height: 14.3000001907349px;"><img style="vertical-align: middle; margin: 10px;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/775211/x8bb/20150518172735-Beverly__Jill_and_Polly.jpg" alt="Beverly, Jill and Polly, 1982 chromogenic color print 48 x 60 inches, (c) Tina Barney, Courtesy of Paul Kasmin Gallery" /></span></a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: 14.3px; color: #000000;"><span style="color: #000000;">Tina Barney, <em>Beverly, Jill, and Polly</em>, 1982, Chromogenic color print 48 x 60 inches, Courtesy of the artist and Paul Kasmin Gallery</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 14.3px; color: #000000;"><span style="color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">In&nbsp;<em>Beverly, Jill, and Polly</em>&nbsp;(1982), the stage announces a play where racial and socio-economic codes of conduct dictate each character&rsquo;s behavior. A black maid leans over&nbsp;a pile of magazines tossed on the wrinkled sheets of the bed she is about to make. Set around the time when the &ldquo;Black is Beautiful&rdquo; movement had started to fade, her gaze is fixed upon a page where an airbrushed white woman with cherry lips and long black lashes silently dictates the standards of beauty.&nbsp;In the background, Jill sits at her vanity station following the rules set forth by the woman in the magazine. Polly stares into the distance; her gaze betrays ennui. All three women are caught in their solipsistic moment amidst a bedroom floor rampant with a mess that mirrors their class-based entrapment. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Flash forward 24 years later, <em>The Limo&nbsp;</em>(2006), portrays another dynamic, this time between two males. On the right side of the frame sits a white man in a grey suit with peroxided hair and designer shades that make it unclear where he&rsquo;s looking. His crossed legs and hands betray a lack of assertion. On the left, a black man wearing only a blazer&mdash;identical to the man sitting next to him&mdash;locks eyes with the viewer. With his open arms and legs, he dominates the interaction. <br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Amidst this sea of faces adorning the walls of the gallery, one recognizes Leo Castelli who brought to light Roy Lichtenstein and Richard Serra, among others. In&nbsp;<em>Mr. and Mrs Leo Castelli, W Magazine</em>&nbsp;(1999) the gallerist and art collector is seated in his home, surrounded by pieces from his pop-art collection. He stares with an authority akin to that exerted by heads of state. Mrs. Castelli stands behind him holding a black cat that matches her outfit. Caught in the midst of a hair toss that echoes the sculpture behind her, she could almost be a Lichtenstein girl.</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/775211/x8bb/20150518172905-The_Wheelbarrow.jpg" alt="The Wheelbarrow, 2005 chromogenic color print 70 x 88 inches, (c) Tina Barney, Courtesy of Paul Kasmin Gallery" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">Tina Barney,</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;<em>The Wheelbarrow</em>,</span></span><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;2005, Chromogenic color print 70 x 88 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Paul Kasmin Gallery</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Hung on the back wall of the first room,&nbsp;<em>The Wheelbarrow </em>(2005), taken from the series&nbsp;<em>Small Towns,&nbsp;</em>makes a noteworthy statement by being the largest print in the show. Unlike Barney&rsquo;s earlier work from the eighties and nineties featuring members of her immediate circle shot in opulent indoor spaces, this image of a resident of Westerly, Rhode Island, is devoid of lavishness. The setting is rural. A young man is standing behind a wheelbarrow, holding a shovel full of dirt. By highlighting this piece in the display, the artist implies that her work isn&rsquo;t a mere comment on wealth. Rather, it is an ode to traditions, and a relentless quest for an elusive Americana.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><br />&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/398157-lara-atallah?tab=REVIEWS" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Lara Atallah</a><br /></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;Tina Barney,&nbsp;<em>Mr. and Mrs. Leo Castelli, W Magazine,&nbsp;</em>1998, chromogenic color print, 48 x 60 in 121.9 x 152.4 cm Edition of 10.&nbsp;&copy; Courtesy of the Artist and Paul Kasmin Gallery)</span></p> Tue, 19 May 2015 21:17:47 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list The Enduring Issues of Non-Western Exhibitions in the West <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Los Angeles County Art Museum has been serving as a fortress of non-Western Contemporary art in California. With previous exhibitions concentrating on the Far and the Middle East, LACMA has made promising attempts to alter the Western hegemony in Western institutions by showcasing non-Western art. With its current exhibition&nbsp;</span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Islamic Art Now: Contemporary Art of the Middle East</em><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">, </em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">LACMA presents a cross section of Middle Eastern and Islamic Art (for want of better terms). However, when we look closer at the tendencies of North American and Western European institutions to include non-Western artists and art in their collections, exhibition agendas, and programming over the last two or three decades, this is no big surprise; rather it serves to highlight the urgency of dissecting, examining, and criticizing these attempts thoroughly by looking at how these artists are represented, displayed, and marketed.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>Magiciens de la terre</em>&nbsp;("Magicians of the Earth") at the Pompidou Center in 1989 is regarded as the first international exhibition to set the bar for non-Western exhibitions taking place in the West. It marked a milestone for the representation of non-Western art and launch of cross-cultural dialogues. Projected as a response and criticism to <em>Primitivism in the 21st Century: Affinity of the Tribal and the Modern</em><em>&nbsp;</em>at MOMA in 1984,&nbsp;<em>Magiciens</em>&nbsp;was controversial, receiving responses both applauding and harshly condemning it.<a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/43045#_ftn1">[1]</a>&nbsp;Jean Hubert Martin, the exhibition's curator&nbsp;intended for this show to correct the problem of &ldquo;100 percent of exhibitions ignoring 80 percent of the earth&rdquo;; to dissect Western oriented art; to confront problems presented by many exhibitions that perpetuated a colonialist mentality; and to criticize the conceit of the aforementioned&nbsp;<em>Primitivism</em>&nbsp;exhibition. For Martin,&nbsp;<em>Primitivism</em>&nbsp;fell into the orientalist and colonialist methodology and reconstructured the Western hegemony by categorizing the works as "modern" and "primitive" from the beginning. As explicated in depth by Edward Said in&nbsp;<em>Orientalism</em>, the West had created a perception of the East through images, texts, and discourses and crafted a dichotomy of the geographical lands as "theirs" and "ours" by categorizing the people as "us" and the "other." Associating the West with constant progress, development, and succession, the imperial and colonial establishments exercised power onto the Orient. In the end, the West used Orientalism by &ldquo;making statements about it, authorizing views of it, describing it, by teaching it, settling it, ruling over it (&hellip;) for dominating, restructuring, and having authority over the Orient .&rdquo;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/43045#_ftn2">[2]</a></span><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12px;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150520004043-Les_magiciens_de_la_terre__retour_sur_une_exposition_l_gendaire__Centre_Pompidou___15001120549_.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: normal;">A 2014 Pompidou Centre exhibition revisited the importance of <em>Magiciens de la terre</em> using&nbsp;archival materials and an exhibition designed by Sarkis. <br />Photo: Jean-Pierre Dalb&eacute;ra via <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Les_magiciens_de_la_terre,_retour_sur_une_exposition_l%C3%A9gendaire_(Centre_Pompidou)_(15001120549).jpg" target="_blank">Wikimedia Commons</a></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: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Following the trajectory of Said&rsquo;s criticism,<em>&nbsp;</em><em>Magiciens</em>&nbsp;aimed to expose&nbsp;<em>Primitivism</em>&nbsp;as steeped in the illusion of&nbsp;<a href="https://www.msu.edu/course/ha/491/buchlohwholeearth.pdf" target="_blank">Eurocentric superiority</a>.&nbsp;But the exhibition fell short of its&nbsp;goals, despite its numerical balance between Western and the non-Western contemporary artists. It was criticized for reinforcing the Orientalist idea that it wanted to criticize in the first place with its reference to "magicians" in its title, and for Martin's unwillingness to use the term "artists" to describe the contributors to the exhibition, as well as for his "local" attributions of the selected non-Western works.<a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/43045#_ftn4">[3]</a>&nbsp;In the end, some critics have evaluated<em>&nbsp;</em><em>Magiciens</em>&nbsp;as a tokenist&nbsp;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/43045#_ftn5">[4]</a>&nbsp;exhibition, which provided a hasty, unsophisticated selection of non-Western artists, claiming that it was neither a contribution to the representation of non-Western art in the West, nor to the dialogue within the Western art scene.</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">How much has changed for non-Western art exhibitions opened in the West since then? For instance, to what degree are biennials successful in providing artists with alternative platforms outside the confined borders of the institutions, where they can immediately respond to social, political, and artistic developments of art and foster cross-cultural dialogues questioning political and aesthetic definitions in the globalized art world?</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;">Perhaps Okwui Enwezor&rsquo;s <em>Documenta 11</em> in 2002 was the first real attempt to undermine the Western hegemony in Western biennials (and other recurring mega-exhibitions like Documenta, triennials, etc.). The exhibition endeavored to examine the issues of postcolonial theory, globalization, cross-cultural, transnational, cosmopolitan art, with a team of six curators from different parts of the globe who were actively engaged in the international art scene. These curators invited artists to Kassel from countries that had never been represented there before. Enwezor envisaged this exhibition as a platform of global art and a "postcolonial constellation"&nbsp;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/43045#_ftn6">[5]</a>&nbsp;in which the issues of representation of the "other," postcolonialism, diversity, difference, hybridity, and diaspora would be discussed by a variety of a practitioners such as artists, architects, sociologist, anthropologists, art historians, curators, critics and so on. Constructing the exhibition in five platforms, Enwezor wanted to keep <em>Documenta 11</em>'s&nbsp;geographic scope significantly broad.<a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/43045#_ftn7">[6]</a>&nbsp;The exhibition at Kassel was the fifth of these "platforms," and included venues for lectures and discussions that actively and critically explored the relationship of contemporary art to political and social issues. Not much has changed in the biennial format in the West since <em>Documenta 11</em>. The selected artists were mostly well-represented non-Western (diaspora /jet set globetrotter) artists or Western artists.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/43045#_ftn8">[7]</a>&nbsp;The statistics have also not changed with regards to exhibitions happening in Western institutions: while there is a proliferation of exhibits that concentrate on certain non-Western geographies, the issue of representation of artists selected for these exhibitions remains a major issue.</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-size: 12px;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150520010229-800px-Okwui_Enwezor.jpg" alt="" width="500" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Okwui Enwezor. Photo: Andrew Russeth via <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Okwui_Enwezor.jpg" target="_blank">Wikimedia Commons</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">LACMA&rsquo;s&nbsp;<em>Islamic Art Now</em>&nbsp;provides us with useful examples for examining these issues. The exhibition features 25 works in a range of differing media, including photography, sculpture, video, and installation art, by 20 artists from the Arab world. The artists include renowned names from the non-West (mostly diaspora) such as Shirin Neshat, Susan Hefuna, Lalla Essaydi, Mitra Tabrizian, Mona Hatoum, Hassan Hajjaj, Wafaa Bilal, Barbad Golshiri, and Youssef Nabil.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.lacma.org/sites/default/files/exhibition%20advisory_Islamic%20Art%20Now_FINAL_0.pdf">LACMA&rsquo;s</a>&nbsp;Curator of Islamic Art, Linda Komaroff, claims that the exhibition exemplifies the brilliance of artists from the region with their local and global characteristics, asserting that: </span></p> <blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The artists in this exhibition are not reinventing Islamic art but rather repurposing it as a form of personal expression. The contemporary works share a similarity with historical Islamic art in terms of their use of writing in the Arabic alphabet as a means of both communication and decoration, as well as their brilliant use of color and superb balance between design and form.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/43045#_ftn9">[8]</a>&nbsp;</span></p> </blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">These descriptions&mdash;specially the emphasis on the local/global dichotomy&mdash;is problematic, especially if we think about how the West has been defining non-Western artists for so long. In other words, instead of focusing on the artistic aspects of the works, more emphasis is put on the identity of the artists, and how they interpret the issues of the global world with their "local" point of view. Komaroff may have good intentions in showcasing contemporary artists from the Middle East and relating them to Islam but the very categorization of "Islamic art" or "Middle East" is challenging.</span><span style="font-size: 12px; text-align: left;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p> <div class="field" style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150520010725-ma-3286876-WEB.jpg" alt="" /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></div> <div class="field" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Mona Hatoum, <em>Prayer Mat</em>, Nickel plated brass pins, compass, canvas, glue. Gift of the Peter Norton Family Foundation (AC1996.13.1) Courtesy LACMA &copy; Mona Hatoum</span></div> <div class="field" style="text-align: center;"><span style="line-height: 26px;">&nbsp;</span></div> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Mona Hatoum&rsquo;s&nbsp;<em>Prayer Mat&mdash;</em>first exhibited in the 4th&nbsp;Istanbul Biennial, 1995&mdash;is interpreted with its reference to Islam. The work, which is made from thousands of nickel-plated brass pins glued on a canvas, with a compass placed at its center, in this context, can be read straighforwardly with its references to Mecca and Islam. However, this veils other interpretations and aesthetic references in the work, such as Guy Brett&rsquo;s description of this work as "a poetic imagi-nation-streching invention, that re-circles on itself to evoke the cosmic wonder of a starry sky."&nbsp;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/43045#_ftn10">[9]</a>&nbsp;Of course, as a curatorial decision, it is possible to contextualize the work with its connection to Islam, but the problem is that the categorization or interpretation does not reach beyond that.<a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/43045#_ftn11">[10]</a>&nbsp;The same goes for Nasser Al Salem&rsquo;s&nbsp;<em>God is Alive, He shall not die,</em>&nbsp;a neon installation of the inscription of Allah in Arabic. Since Al Salem&rsquo;s work is essentially Arabic written word, he considers himself to be first and foremost a calligrapher. Yet instead of using ink and paper, the traditional mediums of calligraphy, he incorporates neon lights and wooden columns, which allow him to encompass contemporary art and design perspectives in his work. Reading his work as a mere product of "Islamic art," confines Al Salem&rsquo;s art into the boundaries of this category and foreshadows other aesthetic and conceptual aspects. Although the works are inspired by the Koran and tenets of faith they diverge from the usual subjects of calligraphy ("<em>Hamdillah,</em>" which translates as "praise to God" and "<em>Bismillah,</em>" which translates as "in the name of God") and even include quotidian words. Ultimately, Al Salem&rsquo;s work ventures far outside of traditional boundaries of Islamic art and resonates more with waves of contemporary 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/32120/1dkh/20150520160719-M2013_125.jpg" alt="" /><br /><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: normal; text-align: justify;">Susan Hefuna,&nbsp;<em>Woman Behind Mashrabiya I</em>, 1997, Face-mounted laser C-print on Kodak Premium Paper. LACMA, Purchased with funds provided by Ann Colgin and Joe Wender, Kelvin Davis, John and Carolyn Diemer, Andy Gordon and Carlo Brandon, Deborah McLeod, and David and Mary Solomon through the 2013 Collectors Committee.&nbsp;&copy; Susan Hefuna. Photo&nbsp;&copy; 2014 Museum Associates/LACMA</span></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; line-height: normal; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Lalla Essaydi&rsquo;s&nbsp;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/ew/articles/show/42808" target="_blank"><em>La Grande Odalisque</em></a>&nbsp;(2008)<em>&nbsp;</em></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">is another work which cannot be impounded in the same category. The photograph</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;incorporates layers of Islamic calligraphy applied by hand with henna on top of a model reclining in a pose directly inspired by 19th Century Orientalist painting. Beyond being a part of Islamic art, this work is primarily a critique of European exoticism and Western orientalism, as well as of patriarchy. Quoting the form of </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">La Grande Odalisque</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> by Ingres, it is a reminder of 19th-century Orientalist painters of Europe and America, who went to the Muslim world and depicted an imaginary view of the East. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Similarly, Shirin Neshat&rsquo;s&nbsp;</span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Speechless</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">, a now iconic black-and-white image of veiled woman, covered with black inked text, is also a critique of patriarchal society and of the Western view of Muslim women, more than it is a work of "Islamic art." Using the four symbolic elements in this series&mdash;veil, gun, text, and gaze&mdash;she intends these images to be ambiguous, for they contradict a Western notion of Muslim women diminished and desexualized by the veil. Similar ideas are also found in Susan Hefuna&rsquo;s&nbsp;</span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Woman Behind Mashrabiya 1,</em><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">an almost-abstract photograph of a woman behind the Islamic architectural form <em>mashrabiya</em>. Without a doubt, these artists are distinguished names in the global contemporary art world and their works are of equal importance. But this aside, the predicament remains as to what degree they are the representatives of "Islamic art" or indeed "Middle Eastern Art." How does LACMA substantiate these categorizations? And why does the exhibition concentrate mostly on identity-oriented works?</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/20150520161646-M2012_60.jpg" alt="" width="500" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: normal;">Shirin Neshat,&nbsp;<em>Speechless</em>, 1996, Gelatin silver print and ink. LACMA. Purchased with funds provided by Jamie McCourt through the 2012 Collectors Committee.&nbsp;&copy; Shirin Neshat, Courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York | Brussels. Photo&nbsp;&copy; 2014 Museum Associates/LACMA</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;">The way in which the curator attempts to substantiate her categorization is of note:&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">she states that "Islamic art is difficult to define. It means different things&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">to different people." She acknowledges the&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">precariousness of these terms and pledges to scrutinize, undermine, and&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">work over these categorizations within a Western institution, and in this sense, the exhibition reaches towards a dialogue around the validity of a term such as "Islamic" as&nbsp;a meaningful art-historical classification. In this way, the exhibition is an important contribution to the&nbsp;non-Western exhibition organized in the West as way to unravel "Islamic" in terms of art and cultural discourse.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> However,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">this acknowledgement does not approach a solution to the problem of&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">representation of non-Western artists in the West. Aside from the fact that&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>Islamic Art Now</em>&nbsp;constitutes a contemporary&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">manifestation of LACMA's world-renowned and historical Islamic art&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">collection and endeavors to demonstrates the deep connection between&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">past and present via the identity-based selection of artists, it is still cemented in</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;the stereotypes that riddle Western&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">perceptions of the Middle East.&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/418487-p%C4%B1nar-%C3%9Cner-y%C4%B1lmaz?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Pınar &Uuml;ner Yılmaz</a></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <div style="line-height: 26px;"><br clear="all" /><hr style="line-height: 26px;" align="left" size="1" width="33%" /> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref1">[1]</a> Enwezor, O. (1999)&nbsp; &ldquo;Introduction&rdquo; Oguibe O., Enwezor. O.&nbsp; in (ed.) <em>Reading the Contemporary. African Art from Theory to the Markeyplace</em>,&nbsp;Cambridge: MIT Press, 9.</span></p> </div> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref2">[2]</a> Said, E. (1978) <em>Orientalism, </em>New York: Vintage, 3.</span></p> </div> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref3">[3]</a> https://www.msu.edu/course/ha/491/buchlohwholeearth.pdf</span></p> </div> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref4">[4]</a> Thomas Mc Evilley&nbsp; has provided an extensive review of the exhibition in Mc Evilley, T. (1995) &lsquo;The Global Issue&rsquo;, <em>Art and Otherness</em> in NY: Mc Pherson, 153-158. To access the article please <a href="https://www.msu.edu/course/ha/491/mcevilleyartandotherness.pdf">see link.&nbsp;</a><br /></span></p> </div> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref5">[5]</a> Tokenism is the practice of making a symbolic effort to recruit a small number of people from underrepresented groups in order to give the appearance of diversity within a homogenized group. To read a criticism of a tokenist approach please read Zimmer, Lyyn, 1988 &ldquo;Tokenism and Women in the Workplace: The Limits of Gender-Neutral Theory&rdquo;, in Social Problems, Vol. 35, No. 1, 64 - 77&nbsp;</span></p> </div> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref6">[6]</a> Enwezor, O. (2008) &ldquo;Postcolonial Constellation&rdquo; in Smith, T., O. Enwezor and N. Condee (ed.s) <em>Antinomies of Art and Culture: Modernity, Postmodernity, Contemporaneity</em>, Durham: Duke University Press</span></p> </div> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref7">[7]</a> The&nbsp;first platform, Democracy Unrealized&nbsp;took place in Vienna, Austria, from&nbsp;March 15 to April 20, 2001. Platform 2, Experiments with Truth: Transitional Justice and The Processes of Truth and Reconciliation, took place in New Delhi, India, from&nbsp;May 7 to May 21, 2001, and consisted of five days of public panel discussions, lectures, and debates and a video program. The&nbsp;third platform Cr&eacute;olit&eacute; and Creolization, was held on the West Indian island of St. Lucia in the Caribbean between&nbsp;January 12 and January 16, 2002.&nbsp;Platform 4 was held in Lagos from&nbsp;March 15 to March 21, 2002,&nbsp;Under Siege: Four African Cities, Freetown, Johannesburg, Kinshasa, Lagos, engaged the current state of affairs of fast-growing African urban centers in a public symposium, along with a workshop, &ldquo;Urban Processes in Africa. See here for&nbsp;<a href="http://www.documenta11.de/archiv/d11/data/english/index.html">more info</a>.<br /></span></p> </div> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref8">[8]</a> To access the statistics of artists in the biennials please look at Chin- Tao Wu&rsquo;s extensive research and explanation in Wu, Chin-Tao, 2009, &lsquo;Biennials without Borders&rsquo; in New Left Review 57.</span></p> </div> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref10">[9]</a> Guy Brett, &lsquo;Survey&rsquo;, in Michael Archer, Guy Brett and Catherine de Zegher,&nbsp;Mona Hatoum&nbsp;(London: Phaidon, 1997), 77.&nbsp;</span></p> </div> <div style="line-height: 26px;"> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref11">[10]</a> For an extensive interpretation of Mona Hatoum&rsquo;s work please read Edward Said&rsquo;s &lsquo;The Art of Displacement: Mona Hatoum&rsquo;s Logic of Irreconcilables&rsquo; in Saloni Mathur&rsquo;s <em>Migrant&rsquo;s Time</em>.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><br /></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: Mitra Tabrizian,&nbsp;<em>Tehran 2006</em>, 2006, LightJet C-Type print. LACMA. Gift of the Buddy Taub Foundation, Jill and Dennis A Roach, Directors, through the 2014 Collectors Committee.&nbsp;&copy; Mitra Tabrizian. Photo&nbsp;&copy; 2014 Museum Associates/LACMA)</span></p> </div> </div> Fri, 22 May 2015 14:37:32 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list The Plural Present: Artists Research Unconditional Love <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In <em>Six Memos for the Next Millennium</em>, Italo Calvino illustrates, with the aid of an Italian folktale, how love might be a force of attraction that holds the very craft of a story that brings seemingly disjunct events together. King Charlemagne, spellbound by a ring, falls in love with whoever possesses it: a young girl, an old man, and finally, a lake. &ldquo;To hold this chain of events together, there is a verbal link, the word 'love' or 'passion,' which establishes a continuity between different forms of attraction. There is also a narrative link, the magic ring that establishes a logical relationship of cause and effect between the various episodes.&rdquo;</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;">At the <a href="http://www.societyforartisticresearch.org/" target="_blank">Society for Artistic Research</a>&rsquo;s Spring Event of performance lectures at the Chelsea College of Arts, London, a theme of <a href="http://www.societyforartisticresearch.org/fileadmin/autoren/pdf/unconditional_love.pdf" target="_blank">"Unconditional Love"</a> held the varied sequence of essays together, featuring artists and theorists across time, geography, and disciplines.</span></p> <p class="Body" 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/20150518222647-EmmaCocker_web_large.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Emma Cocker, Via <a href="http://www.marbledreams.com/" target="_blank">Marbled Reams</a></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In a time when the apocalypse is always around the corner and dystopian futures are the only speculation, this seminar felt like the wind blowing suddenly in the opposite direction. And yet the love spoken about was not a rapturously romantic one, nor one of amorous delusion or blind bathos. The performances curated by Emma Cocker and Joanne Lee spanned from the personal to the political to the perpendicular and the peripheral. So precisely planned was the segment that the title itself bore immense weight. In <em>Care + Attend</em>, care harks back to its etymology, curate, and attend, to wait. Barthes, a philosopher to whom the curators refer, said that &ldquo;a lover is the one that waits.&rdquo; In the intervals of expectation, we, the audience, flit between being curators and attenders of that which we experience. The visual &ldquo;+&rdquo; invites the audience to treat their subjects with almost medical care and attention.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Situated around the banquet hall of the Chelsea College of the Arts, the corniced high ceilings and low-lit chandeliers imposed a regal air, imbuing the performances with the particular irony elicited through the fission of tectonic time periods. It was precisely in this coincidence&mdash;or gap&mdash;between real time, archaic time, and duration that is experiential time, that the performers + audience reveled in.</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;">In the catalogue, each artist&rsquo;s piece is described alongside its duration. Time and the structural intricacies of Cocker and Lee&rsquo;s curation almost overwhelm the individual pieces themselves, so much so that the whole event becomes a single installation, collapsing the three hours that had both elapsed and contracted.</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;">The curators&rsquo; introduction was a proposition to both attend to concentration and to distraction&mdash;reflecting the hysterical lovers&rsquo; psyche&mdash;so that we swiveled between a lecture at the main stage, videos on our sides, upstairs on the balcony and behind, everywhere, sound in the distance and a sliver of light allowing a glimmer of a moving body. The curators were well aware of this:</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <blockquote> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px; padding-left: 60px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">We were also thinking about the writing of Hannah Arendt and H&eacute;lene Cixous, both of whom advocate the necessity of withdrawal, a temporary turning of attention away from the stimulus of the world in order to attend more closely, indeed to think. In the perpetual decision-making or the resigned soft focus, we become participants in a &ldquo;frantic epistemology.&rdquo; &nbsp; &nbsp;</span></p> </blockquote> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The three videos&mdash;by Victoria Gray, Martin Lewis, and Brigid McLeer&mdash;depict barely discernible movements of the hand, echoing the introduction in which we are invited to pursue the infra-ordinary, the detail, wallow in the wait of Boredom. In sharp contrast, a piece by Joanne Lee, <em>Surface Attention</em>, sped things up. A whirl of words, flashing so fast, send signals up your spine as you become aware that in the desperate grasping for a sentence, you have experienced what it is like to fall in unrequited love.</span></p> <p class="Body" 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/20150518223323-vgray45.jpg" alt="" /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;Victoria Gray,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.victoriagray.co.uk/berthing-bone" target="_blank"><em>Berthing Bone</em></a>, 2014, HD Video still</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/15683837" frameborder="0" width="500" height="375"></iframe>&nbsp;</p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Brigid McLeer,&nbsp;<em>Isola</em>, excerpt</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Mark Leahy stands at the balcony&mdash;a kind of Juliet&mdash;as we look up in admiration, listening to his words alliterating in association, forming narrative, forming nonsense, forming a net of wistful longing.</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;">Along similar lines of lilting prose was Emma Cocker&rsquo;s <em>Close Reading</em>, in which time dilates in &ldquo;microscopic observation,&rdquo; as she attends to her own language with such care that it magnifies every word, often minimizing meaning. Perhaps words that alliterate are a kind of anthropomorphic intimacy. They pick up each others&rsquo; mannerisms, they make music even when they&rsquo;re mute, they are simultaneously affectionate and elusive: </span></p> <blockquote> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&hellip;language is not only to be <em>looked at</em> for its sense; consider the attendance of the other senses. Certain language must be rolled in the mouth before it can be fully digested. Words are sonorous as much as signifying units; the soundness of a text tested&mdash;even tasted&mdash;by tongue and lips as much as by the mind. Care for the curve and bend of every letter of every word. Linger longer over every phoneme. Recall the &ldquo;part that breath plays in verse&rdquo;. Practice the <em>p</em>losive <em>p</em>leasure of the <strong><em>p </em></strong><strong>or </strong>fricative<strong><em> f &hellip; f &hellip; f</em></strong>. Become sensitized to the sibilant <strong><em>s &hellip; s.</em></strong></span></p> </blockquote> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">All the while Hester Reeve carries a book on an easel, reading at different points in space.</span></p> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I think of love, often, as a kind of plural present. The kind of attention required in this piece, and the care with which it was delivered, forced the audience into a kind of removed presentness: </span></p> <blockquote> <p class="Default" style="line-height: 26px; padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The invitation was towards a quality of present-ness, an invitation to <em>attend </em>for the duration, to <em>be moved</em> by the different unfolding energies and intensities, receptive to the different relations and connections between diverse practices as they are brought into temporal and spatial proximity.</span></p> </blockquote> <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/90633-himali-singh-soin?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Himali Singh Soin&nbsp;</a></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: x-small;">(Image at top:&nbsp;Brigid McLeer,&nbsp;<em>Isola</em>, 2007/9, Video Still, Single screen video loop, 110 min.)</span></p> Tue, 19 May 2015 13:23:56 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list Robin Hood in Times of Digitally Induced Relativism <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In the fall of 1987 John Knoll and his girlfriend Jennifer flew to Tahiti. For months they&rsquo;d been working on the computer graphics of the film </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Who Framed Roger Rabbit</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> and they needed a well-earned rest. It was at the pristine Bora-Bora beach that Knoll took a photograph which in the decades ahead became an icon of international geekdom: Jennifer, seen from the back, sitting topless on the white sand with the almost fluorescent blue ocean as backdrop. The picture would have remained just another entry in the family album had Knoll not gone on to invent Photoshop. When demonstrating the new software at Apple he used the image because it easily lent itself for all kinds of technical treatments. &ldquo;Jennifer in Paradise,&rdquo; as the picture was dubbed, was soon shared, cloned and tweaked by techies worldwide.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">For artist Constant Dullaart, Knoll&rsquo;s holiday snap constitutes the &ldquo;original Photoshop meme,&rdquo; the patient-zero of the visual tsunami unleashed daily by Instagram, Flickr, and dozens of other image sharing and editing programs. For his best-known work to date Dullaart reproduced <em>Jennifer in Paradise</em> in 72 panels, using a different Photoshop function for each image. The work is a monument to the appropriation and manipulation of imagery, which has penetrated every detail of our daily lives since the invention of Photoshop a quarter of a century ago.</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/20150518184136-google-invert1.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Constant Dullaart, <em><a href="http://therevolvinginternet.com/" target="_blank">The Revolving Internet</a>,</em> 2010, domain name, javascript, html</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;">Only in a few instances is digital enhancement of images disapproved of or even frowned upon. The jury of World Press Photo has over the years disqualified contenders for deleting parts of reality or aesthetically upgrading new images. And the practice of digitally molding fashion models into sticklike frames has been condemned for presenting young women with unrealistic role models. But besides journalistic integrity and body image concerns over unhealthy stereotyping, there&rsquo;s not a lot of ethical no-no&rsquo;s holding back our urge to alter images beyond the traditional photographic manipulation of light, angle, and shutter time. We even seem to have quietly accepted the fact that basically every picture we&rsquo;re presented with is somehow digitally doctored. &ldquo;What you see is what you get&rdquo; has become &ldquo;what you get is what you see.&rdquo;</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; text-align: left;">The ever-expanding internet has engendered a kind of &ldquo;absolute relativism.&rdquo; Images exist within a context of likewise images, making them recognizable and &ldquo;readable.&rdquo; But in a realm with limitless capacity to create ever-new universes, no image is without context. It renders all images equally possible, equally true and&mdash;eventually&mdash;equally acceptable. We, consumers, have been swept up in the dynamics of it all, cutting loose value, truth, and reliability from the gold standard of real life.</span>&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Internet artists have responded to the phenomenon in different ways. Someone like Petra Cortright dives headlong into the technical toolbox and confronts the world as a happy-go-lucky tour guide in the United States of Virtuality.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/rackroom/177446-ed-atkins" target="_blank">Ed Atkins</a>, on the other hand, is more concerned with the physical disconnection the internet presents and infuses his avatars with existentialist angst.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Constant Dullaart is more of an activist, examining and criticizing the assumptions underlying the downtrodden paths of the digital highway system. In an interview he once said that &ldquo;the industrialization of image manipulation that Photoshop enabled is actually a form of cultural imperialism.&rdquo; His <em>Jennifer in Paradise</em> series can be seen as an act of resistance, an attempt to beat the capitalist Moloch with his own images and tools. By enlarging and exaggerating Dullaart opens our eyes to the subtle mechanism of manipulation we&rsquo;ve come to accept as normality.</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/107035478?color=ffffff&amp;title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0" frameborder="0" width="600" height="338"></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;">Constant Dullaart,&nbsp;<em><a href="https://vimeo.com/107035478">High Retention, Slow Delivery</a>&nbsp;</em>(2014)&nbsp;from <a href="https://vimeo.com/user3333603" target="_blank">voornaam achternaam</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com" target="_blank">Vimeo</a>, <br />Commissioned by <a href="http://espacevirtuel.jeudepaume.org/constant-dullaart-high-retention-slow-delivery-2474/" target="_blank">Jeu de Paume</a><br /></span></p> <p style="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;">Fittingly, the show at De Nederlandsche Bank is organized as part of the bank&rsquo;s &ldquo;Innovation Month.&rdquo; A small screen placed awkwardly askew in the middle of the room presents Dullaart&rsquo;s essay on social media. The artist <a href="http://jeudepaume.espacevirtuel.org/" target="_blank">bought 2.5 million fake followers</a> and set about equally distributing them over Instagram accounts of art institutions and art professionals. These often function as a channels for selling art, taking the popularity contest of Facebook one step further and effectively casting the audience in the role of commodity. By equalizing the accounts Dullaart nullified their relative worth and neutralized them. The printed out placards with ghost profiles look like posters for an election that has obviously been rigged.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">While during Innovation Month the bank&rsquo;s personnel is undoubtedly schooled in technological singularity, cybercrime, and whatnot, digital native Dullaart has chosen to present mostly physical art works, driving home his point even more effectively. By translating the virtual to the physical he highlights the ethical blind spots inherent to the internet. Being at the vanguard of image manipulation Photoshop is his preferred target. Both simple and powerful is the massive glass plate he engraved with Photoshop&rsquo;s characteristic brushstrokes. Translucent, it leaves the wall behind it recognizable enough, but the tools of transformation can never be denied.</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/20150518183930-HEALED_Eyjafjallajokull.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">Constant Dullaart, <em>Eyjafjallajokull</em>, from series <em>HEALED</em>, 2011-ongoing, Spot Healed disaster images, lambda prints, variable sizes</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><br /></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;">For his <em>Healing</em>-series Dullaart employed Photoshop&rsquo;s healing brush&mdash;a tool implying that some images are to be considered sick and in need of virtual medical care. The artist selected photos depicting the explosion of an oil drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico and the nuclear disaster in Fukushima. In their healed state they look like a romantic sunset and a soothing Jasper Johns monochrome. It&rsquo;s a bit like Thomas Ruff&rsquo;s aestheticized pixel images but with a more vicious bite.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Like Ruff, Dullaart also poses the question of authorship and ownership. While internet superpowers like Facebook-appropriate snaps uploaded by individual users and blatantly enlist them for marketing and advertising purposes, tech companies tend to be extremely protective of what they consider their property. An army of lawyers is on stand-by to curtail the free movement and use of images on the internet. Dullaart tricks the internet giants at their own game by turning the tables and stealing from them. He did so with <em>Jennifer in Paradise</em> and now he&rsquo;s done it again with images taken from John Knoll&rsquo;s website. He printed and overlayed them with engraved glass mimicking Photoshop brushes. On the wall of the art space the tiger behind ice crystals and the bamboo stalk obscured by milk glass stop being stock photography and become something else altogether. Robin Hood has struck 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">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: Constant Dullaart, <em>Jennifer_in_Paradise</em>, re-distributed digital image (first image ever Photoshopped), encrypted message, 2013)</span></p> Tue, 19 May 2015 12:57:16 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list Dreaming in Daylight: Creative Time in Central Park <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">If you happen upon a couple in 1920s garb having a heated discussion about love on a park bench in Central Park, don&rsquo;t worry, you didn&rsquo;t fall asleep watching Netflix. If you spot a pastel solar-powered ice cream truck handing out soft-serves that tastes like sunshine, you&rsquo;re not hallucinating. If you happen upon an Icelandic sailboat revolving around an island on the Harlem Meer while a brass band plays a <span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">haunting melody, no, you haven&rsquo;t died and gone to Valhalla.</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Creative Time, a 40-year-old organization based in New York, has done it once again. Most will remember Kara Walker&rsquo;s A Subtlety as being the highlight if not <a href="http://jezebel.com/kara-walker-addresses-reactions-to-a-subtlety-installat-1646613230">must-do photo-op</a> of Frieze Week 2014. This year, the public arts organization has commissioned seven artists to create works that inhabit Central Park North. A somewhat ignored section of the famous green space, the north end has gone through major revitalization in the last 35 years, thanks mostly to the co-sponsoring organization, Central Park Conservancy, which approached Creative Time on the occasion of their 35th anniversary.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I spent yesterday morning at&nbsp;<em>Drifting in Daylight</em>, the culmination of Creative Time and Central Park Conservancy's collaboration. <em>Drifting</em> runs Fridays and Saturdays, 12-6pm, May 15&ndash;June 20. The daydream began at the Dana Discovery Center in Central Park North and then meandered around the Harlem Meer, a large pond south around The Ravine, through the North Woods, home of the forest nymphs, to the Great Hill.</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/xhFXNRlvU_s" frameborder="0" width="420" height="315"></iframe></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Ragnar Kjartansson's&nbsp;<em>S.S. Hangover</em>, a rehabbed Icelandic fishing boat that some might remember from the Venice Biennale two years ago, sails in a continuous loop around Duck Island. A brass sextet in formal evening wear plays a melancholy but triumphant composition by Sig&uacute;r Ros member, Kjartan Sveinsson. In and out of time, the circular motion of the boat, the coda of the song, <em>S.S. Hangover</em> comes around again and again like a weekend hangover.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&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-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/2qpss1n9cf/" target="_top">A lenticular billboard by Karyn Olivier, Here and Now/Glacier, Shard, Rock #driftingindaylight</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 May 14, 2015 at 7:54am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <script type="text/javascript" src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js" defer="defer"></script> <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;">Strolling past the Meer, a lenticular billboard by Karyn Olivier picks up on the theme of history and time with a brilliantly direct intervention. <em>Here and Now/Glacier, Shard, Rock</em> combines three images of Central Park. The first is an image of the scene directly behind the billboard so that from a certain angle, the billboard fades into its surroundings. The second image appears: a shard of pottery with an oriental theme. The shard was found in an excavation of Seneca Village, a community founded by free black people that existed in what is now Central Park between 82nd and 89th. <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/28/nyregion/unearthing-an-african-american-village-displaced-by-central-park.html" target="_blank">Seneca Village</a> is often held up as a model of a time when the pervasive segregation that defined the 19th and 20th century wasn&rsquo;t an issue, a time when two ethnic groups, Irish and black, could live side by side. Of course, both Irish and black were marginalized and Seneca Village was destroyed to make way for Central Park. It wasn&rsquo;t ideal, but the story goes that tap dance came from this early mixing pot. The third image&mdash;of a glacier&mdash;recalls the Wisconsin glacier that once covered Manhattan, leaving behind the large iconic boulders that erupt from Central Park. <em>Here and Now</em> collapses three points in the history of Central Park into an image that lends perspective to the present and the future of this landmark.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;">&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/2qq6xZn9e1/" target="_top">Solar powered ice cream truck by Spencer Finch, Sunset (Central Park) #driftingindaylight</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 May 14, 2015 at 8:05am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <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;">Forward. Down the path a gaggle of children have already found Spencer Finch&rsquo;s <em>Sunset (Central Park)</em>, a solar-powered ice cream truck painted in soft pastels and serving an ombre of soft serve to match the colors of the sunset over Central Park. Finch goes to great lengths to quantify colors: he catalogued the colors of the park&rsquo;s sunsets, doing watercolor studies, then matched the colors of the truck and the ice cream.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;">&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/2qsZIMn9Rk/" target="_top">Private Moment by David Levine, reenactments around the park from famous movies #driftingindaylight</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 May 14, 2015 at 8:18am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <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;">David Levine&rsquo;s contribution to <em>Drifting</em> might be the most dreamy of the works. Within a world so embedded in visual culture, where filmed drama is enough to supplement lived experience, the moment you come across one of his eight movie reenactments there is a shift. You question whether what you are seeing is real. You categorize it as theatrical but there is no stage, no 4th wall, and the actors walk off as if you came into just a random couple&rsquo;s interaction. <em>Bullets Over Broadway</em> (above), <em>The Royal Tenenbaums</em>, and <em>Cruel Intentions</em> are just a few of the iconic movies Levine borrowed from for his piece, <em>Private Moment</em>. The private moment of watching is made a public act.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;">&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/2qtxfLn9UT/" target="_top">Alicia Framis' Cartas al Cielo #driftingindaylight</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 May 14, 2015 at 8:30am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <script type="text/javascript" src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js" defer="defer"></script> <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;">Walking up a hill, a small chrome orb similar to Anish Kapoor&rsquo;s <em>Cloud Gate</em> in Chicago sits gleaming in the sunshine. <em>Cartas al Cielo</em> by Alicia Framis is a postbox to heaven. Next to the globe is a stand with postcards that viewers are asked to write missives upon and slip into the slot of the orb to send up to the sky. The postcards will become part of the documentation of the work.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;">&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/2qv7fbn9YX/" target="_top">Lauri Stallings, And all directions, I come to you #driftingindaylight</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 May 14, 2015 at 8:49am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <script type="text/javascript" src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js" defer="defer"></script> <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;">We then head down a trail into the deep North Woods, along a bubbling stream. Just as you start to get into the hike, dancers in flowing dresses are spotted lingering and laying by a waterfall. Lauri Stallings and her troop, glo, are performing <em>And all directions, i come to you</em>. These forest nymphs recall some of the first photographic hoaxes and within the setting of Central Park, transform and elevate the North Woods into a magical place, somehow more rustic now that one might spot sprites.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;">&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/2q0qyin9RI/" target="_top">Nina Katchadourian, The Lamppost Weavers, one of three impromptu bird nests positioned around the park #driftingindaylight</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 May 14, 2015 at 9:30am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <script type="text/javascript" src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js" defer="defer"></script> <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;">Along the West Drive that hems the North Woods, pairs of sneakers hang off a lamppost. It appears that the birds have taken to them, adding strings, straw and detritus to transform them into nests. Nina Katchadourian&rsquo;s <em>The Lamppost Weavers</em> takes objects that might be found in the setting of the park and imagines that these human materials have been repurposed by nature. There are three installations along West Drive, each making use of the natural and human environments, creating a sense of ambiguity between the two.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;">&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/2qxpp0n9bu/" target="_top">Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Black Joy in the Hour of Chaos #driftingindaylight</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 video posted by artslant (@artslant) on May 14, 2015 at 9:04am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <script type="text/javascript" src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js" defer="defer"></script> <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;">Finally, we climb the Great Hill where a large tent lies flat on the ground, a bullseye of black, green, and red. Around the edge is written Black Joy in multiple languages. Marc Bamuthi Joseph&rsquo;s <em>Black Joy in the Hour of Chaos</em> is play and performance, somber celebration. Joseph, a community leader, performance artist and musician created this performace that incorporates elements of hip hop, rap, jazz, spoken word, and dance to express the contentious position of being black in America. &ldquo;Black lives matter when we&rsquo;re dead.&rdquo; &ldquo;It&rsquo;s mo(u)rning in America.&rdquo; The lyrics and the performance of Black Joy is so on point it will probably pull some tears from you. The culmination of the performance presents the characters raising the tent, the outer edges propped up with poles. A large center pole is brought under the tent and the center slowly rises as the chant goes on, then *pop*, the pole pierces the center and the tent of Black Joy sinks back down to earth. The choir softly sings, &ldquo;Ohh black joy&hellip;&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/website/joel-kuennen" target="_blank">Joel Kuennen</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: <em>Drifting in Daylight</em>, Photos:&nbsp;the author)</span></p> Fri, 15 May 2015 19:49:48 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list Specter of Strategy: Vern Blosum’s Late Work <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">It deserves attention that with </span><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/42992" target="_blank"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Frieze</span></a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/42992" target="_blank">&nbsp;Week</a> underway in New York, Essex Street would open an exhibition of an anonymous artist. </span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://www.essexstreet.biz/exhibition/74" target="_blank"><em>Late Work</em></a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> by Vern Blosum&mdash;a pseudonymous painter associated with the Pop Art movement, though never officially canonized&mdash;features the only work produced by the artist since his appearance in exhibitions from 1961&ndash;64. This work, which was shown again to the public in 2013 after being rediscovered by gallerist Maxwell Graham, among a few others, is familiar to those who know his graphic image and text pairings within a contemporary context, though not as historical markers. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">This slippage is common for Blosum&rsquo;s work. Resurfacing only recently, his compositions fit non-anachronistically within a brand of irony commonly found in contemporary painting. Here, allusions are met with puns, and the image referent included with the text is always slyly undercut by its caption. While the work only once appeared contemporary, the exhibition currently on view </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">is </em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">recent&mdash;all supposedly produced in 2015. Blosum&rsquo;s work appears before us, bold and challenging, clinical yet sentimentally handled, not as a progression of a practice produced over a span of nearly 60 years, but as a radical jump in time that conducts business as usual. Where the work from the 1960s was forward-thinking, sharp, and speculative&mdash;a type of pre-irony that was done in earnest&mdash;viewing </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Late Work</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> now, in the year it was made, Blosum&rsquo;s instinct seems just right.</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/20150515041547-horse_fly.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Vern Blosum,<em> Horse Fly</em>, 2015, Graphite on paper</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 a critique of the work as counterfeit seems immediate and plausible&mdash;the artist conveniently reappearing on the scene to fill a market need&mdash;the work deserves more than this facile read. As an artist whose name has been reduced to a symbol of his work, it makes sense to begin with how Blosum&rsquo;s images are viewed. While the digital documentation of his pieces appears incisive, deliberate, and sterile, there is a wavering element to the surfaces of the paintings (their faulty corrected graphic lines, their stuttering gradients) that betrays their immaculateness. These falters are not calculated, but are symptomatic of accidental errors, moments where perfection is approached but unmet. This affective quality is more revealing in this exhibition, where the gallery is lined, quite simply, with a collection of black framed graphite drawings on paper, installed at equal height. The subject matter is quite pedestrian&mdash;a term that registers as a double entendre Blosum is keenly aware of&mdash;featuring multiple iterations of shallowly drawn road signs, mailboxes, fire hydrants, and telephones. While the depicted objects are common and everyday, so is their regressive reference to the commercialism of Pop style.</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/20150515041714-off_the_hook.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Vern Blosum, <em>Off The Hook</em>, 2015, Graphite on paper</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 idea of Blosum, not as only an artist but as a facet of the work itself, is less elucidatory if he is framed within the realm of the objects he paints. As a type of platonic shadow, the imagined personification of Blosum erases the necessity of a fixed opinion on his character. Just as he places objects within a white field&mdash;a placeless and timeless backdrop of blank canvas or blank paper&mdash;and labels them for viewers, he too is placed within this blankness. Emptiness here does not necessarily constitute a void, as this <em>whiteness</em> is not an unfamiliar backdrop. The seemingly space-less environment of these drawings is a Pop preset&mdash;the pure surface of Warhol&rsquo;s silver paintings met with the attitude of commercial advertisement and product design. What would Blosum&rsquo;s caption be?</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/20150515041815-INSTALL3.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Vern Blosum,&nbsp;<em>Late Work</em>, Essex Street, New York, 2015, Installation view</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;">Beyond Pop, there is a sort of incongruity to the correlation between the written word and its accompanying representation that recalls Magritte&mdash;Blosum&rsquo;s formula is nearly synonymous with <em>The Treachery of Images</em>&mdash;but is redefined by his almost outsider treatment of materials and modestly chosen texts. The taglines used in Blosum&rsquo;s work are not sophisticated enough to illicit the simulacra of the objects he draws; the effect of image/copy is lessened by the front of his persona. These drawings adhere to a standard that is completely reproducible out of necessity. In <em>Horse Fly&mdash;</em>the most adventurous piece in the exhibition&mdash;a mythic energy appears to radiate from the winged figure in the center of the page. The horse is, of course, a symbol that is interchangeable with Blosum himself, a specter of strategy that contemporary art passes through. The work is only difficult to trace if its value is defined by the role of artist that supposedly created it. There is no such thing as fake, only presets where truth means different things. Whether visible or not, the Trojan Horse still rolls.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><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;"><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</a><br /></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;Vern Blosum: Late Work, ESSEX STREET, New York, 2015, Installation view. All Images: Courtesy the Artist and Essex Street, New York)</span></p> Fri, 15 May 2015 13:04:14 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list Top 10 Picks at 1:54 Fair <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Opening Friday, May 15, <a href="http://1-54.com/new-york/exhibitors/" target="_blank">1:54</a> is the latest addition to New York's Frieze Week satellite circuit. Dedicated to contemporary African Art, 1:54 (the name references the number of countries that constitute the African continent) has already run two editions in London.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">By bringing together 16 galleries engaged in the field the fair takes a cultural stand within the art market,&nbsp;an important way to redress the balance of previously neglected and underrepresented regions. Of 16 galleries to present at the fair, half come from Africa (and from just 4 countries: South Africa, Ivory Coast, Morocco, and Nigeria) pointing to abundant contingent issues regarding cultural and economic exchange between the West and the developing world.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">But in this sense, the geographical model manifested as an art fair can actually be helpful. In the context of a museum or gallery show, where there is a didactic or ontological stand to uphold, grouping artists by geography might be hit and miss, sometimes reinforcing stereotypes&mdash;but in the neo-liberal economic fair format there is potential: it's a case of&nbsp;strength in numbers, harnessing interest from both commercial and non-commercial markets.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">What is sadly lacking from the exhibiting artist list, though, is a balance between male and female artists, which can not genuinely represent the complexion of African art being produced now. This seems to be a real oversight, especially given the fact that Koyo Kouoh, curator&nbsp;of Wiels' recent <em><a href="http://www.wiels.org/en/exhibitions/668/Body-Talk-Feminism-Sexuality-and-the-Body-in-the-Work-of-Six-African-Women-Artists" target="_blank">Body Talk: Feminism, Sexuality, and the Body in the Work of Six African Women Artists</a>&nbsp;</em>will be giving a talk at the fair at a launch for the exhibition's catalogue.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Still, if you're going to see any satellites in New York this week, this one looks fresh.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Here are our top 10 picks&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">among the artists presented</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;ranging from the established to the little-known. A third European edition of the fair takes place in October at Somerset House in London.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;">&nbsp;</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/20150513205251-Omar_Victor_Diop___Fr_d_rick_Douglass___2015__Pigment_inkjet_printing_on_Harman_By_Hahnemuhle_paper__90_x_90_cm__Courtesy_of_Magnin-A.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Omar Victor Diop, <em>Frédérick Douglass</em>, 2015, Pigment inkjet printing on Harman By Hahnemuhle paper, 90 x 90 cm. Courtesy of Magnin-A&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/20150513204526-Ayana_V._Jackson___Does_the_brown_paper_bag_test_really_exist__Will_my_father_be_proud___2013__Archival_pigment_print__A.P_1_2__137_x_108.5_cm__Courtesy_of_Mariane_Ibrahim_Gallery.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: normal;">Ayana V. Jackson, <em>Does the brown paper bag test really exist? Will my father be proud</em>, 2013, Archival pigment print, A.P 1/2, 137 x 108.5 cm. <br />Courtesy of Mariane Ibrahim Gallery</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/20150513204838-Ch_ri_Samba___L_employeur_et_l_employ____2013__Acrylic_and_glitter_on_canvas__135_x_200_cm__Courtesy_of_Magnin-A.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Chéri Samba, <em>L'employeur et l'employé</em>, 2013, Acrylic and glitter on canvas, 135 x 200 cm. Courtesy of Magnin-A</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/20150513204853-Lavar_Munroe___Exhibit___2015__Acrylic__spray_paint__latex_house_paint__fabric_paint__tennis_ball__rope__button__staples__band-aids__award_ribbons__string__thread__and_found_fabric_on_cut_canvas__292_x_231_cm__Courtesy_of_NOMAD_Gallery.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: normal;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/42206" target="_blank">Lavar Munroe</a>, <em>Exhibit</em>, 2015, Acrylic, spray paint, latex house paint, fabric paint, tennis ball, rope, button, staples, band-aids, award ribbons, string, thread, and found fabric on cut canvas, 292 x 231 cm. Courtesy of NOMAD Gallery</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/20150513204923-Paul_Sika___Dandelia__1___2012__Photographic_print_mounted_on_light_box__Edition_of_2__60_x_90_cm__Courtesy_of_Galerie_C_cile_Fakhoury.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Paul Sika, <em>Dandelia #1</em>, 2012, Photographic print mounted on light box, Edition of 2, 60 x 90 cm. Courtesy of Galerie Cécile Fakhoury&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/20150513204954-Soly_Cisse___Untitled___2013__Collage__42_x_35_cm__Courtesy_of_Mariane_Ibrahim_Gallery.jpg" alt="" /><span style="font-size: x-small; text-align: center;">Soly Cisse, <em>Untitled</em>, 2013, Collage, 42 x 35 cm. Courtesy of Mariane Ibrahim Gallery</span></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/20150513205159-Lawrence_Lemaoana___I_didn_t_join_the_struggle_to_be_poor___2015__Fabric_and_embroidery__155_x_110_cm__Courtesy_of_Afronova_Gallery.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Lawrence Lemaoana, <em>I didn't join the struggle to be poor</em>, 2015, Fabric and embroidery, 155 x 110 cm. Courtesy of Afronova Gallery&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; text-align: left;">&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/20150513204905-Malick_Sidib____Nuit_de_No_l___1963__Gelatin_silver_print__50_x_60_cm__Courtesy_of_Magnin-A.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;<span style="font-size: x-small;">Malick Sidibé, <em>Nuit de Noël</em>, 1963, Gelatin silver print, 50 x 60 cm. Courtesy of Magnin-A</span></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; text-align: left;">&nbsp;</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/20150513204627-Bobson_Sukhdeo_Mohanlall___Untitled___33___Late_circa_1960-70__Digital_print_on_Fujicolor_Crystal_Archive__Edition_of_10__51_x_51_cm__Courtesy_Bobson_Sukhdeo_Mohanlall_Estate_and_Axis_Gallery.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: normal;">Bobson Sukhdeo Mohanlall, <em>Untitled # 33</em>, Late circa 1960-70, Digital print on Fujicolor Crystal Archive, Edition of 10, 51 x 51 cm, Courtesy Bobson Sukhdeo Mohanlall Estate and Axis Gallery&nbsp;</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/20150515001130-ruby-onyinyechi-amanze.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: normal; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">ruby onyinyechi amanze,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>With the galaxy beneath her she remembered the magic of soaring amidst coconut clouds</em> 2014. Pencil, ink and photo transfer. 200 x 289 cm / 78.74 x 113.78 in. Courtesy of Mariane Ibrahim Gallery&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; text-align: left;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; text-align: left;">&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/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;">&nbsp;</p> Fri, 15 May 2015 14:01:27 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list #FriezeNY: The #Instagrammies 2015 <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">We all like to be a bitch once in a while. After all, gossip, as many historians will tell you, is one of the things that binds our society together and ensures our survival... plus, the art world just makes it a little too easy for us to make fun. If you're fed up with reading about the fair, here's our visual round-up of what's been going down on Randall's Island: from fashion misadventures to absurd aspirational art, here are the</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;2015 Instagrammies, selected from what you've all been posting live and direct from the fair grounds.</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;">Best psychotropic exclamation point&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-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/2oxqyPDRL-/" target="_top">#richardartschwager #frieze #friezeny #exclamationpoint #friezeweek #spruthmagers</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 @mindybond on May 13, 2015 at 2:25pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Most versatile footwear</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/2oy19NQGBH/" target="_top">These boots were made for walkin' an art fair. #FriezeFairfootwear #friezeNY #streetstyle #notmine</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 Diane Solway (@dianesolway) on May 13, 2015 at 2:36pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Best statement about the fair, oh and also society, life, the world, the universe, the cosmos, etc.</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/2oysR_ii_r/" target="_top">#JohnGiorno @elizabethdee @friezenewyork #FriezeNY @friezeartfair</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 Ann Binlot (@annbinlot) on May 13, 2015 at 2:34pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>&nbsp;<span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 26px;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Best replacement for a teddy bear/dildo in bed</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/2omFjjlYf7/" target="_top">Polar #Frieze @friezeartfair #FriezeNY #art #fun #travelgram #artravel #hotellife #NY #artfairs #polar #polarbear #Frieze #frame</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 Luxette (@luxettes) on May 13, 2015 at 12:44pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>&nbsp;<span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 26px;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Best emergency inflatable boobs&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-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/2or-2hG8Rm/" target="_top">#SamFalls at Franco Noero #friezeny #nomadicdivision</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 LAND (Los Angeles Nomadic Division) (@nomadicdivision) on May 13, 2015 at 1:36pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Best impression of what it's like to be in a crowded subway car</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/2oSsMoGqUJ/" target="_top">And the only way out is through the gauntlet of men....profound moment of terror in the phenomenal #fluxus maze. Worth the wait! A must experience. Thank you #FriezeNY !!</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 Doreen Remen (@doreenremen) on May 13, 2015 at 9:55am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>&nbsp;<span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 26px;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Best should be our intern now because he is so cute (if he didn't already have a job as director of the Swiss Institute...)</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/2oXG03ohg6/" target="_top">Simon Castets. Frieze coffee break. #swissinstituteofcontemporaryart #friezeny</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 Isolde Brielmaier (@isolde_brielmaier) on May 13, 2015 at 10:33am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>&nbsp;<span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 26px;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Best (not so) secret message from galleries to visitors</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/2ojP-sCKK3/" target="_top">Pretty much... #irrelevant #FriezeNY</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 Vlado (@v1ado) on May 13, 2015 at 12:19pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <script type="text/javascript" src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js" defer="defer"></script> <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;">Best poncho friends forever (PFF)</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/2oPdMnkWxe/" target="_top">#wearingwatching #poncho giveaway #piacamil#friezenewyork #frieze2015 #frieze #friezeny</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</p> </div> </blockquote> <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;">Best pearl necklace friends forever (PNFF)</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/2qeR2HFVJ2/" target="_top">Significant performance artists Eva&amp;Adele. Love them! @friezeartfair #FriezeWeek #FriezeWeekNYC #FriezeNY #friezetag</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 mikehawkman (@mikehawkman) on May 14, 2015 at 6:14am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <script type="text/javascript" src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js" defer="defer"></script> <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;">Most successful attempt at making a genital/excrement hybrid look mainstream</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/2ray1dj3jA/" target="_top">#KenPrice "Spider Blue" (2011) with two #NanGoldin photographs at #FriezeNY</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 Matthew Marks (@matthewmarksgallery) on May 14, 2015 at 3:03pm PDT<span style="line-height: 26px; color: #000000; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, Sans, 'Trebuchet MS', Tahoma, Verdana; font-size: 12px; text-align: left;">&nbsp;</span></p> </div> </blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"> <script type="text/javascript" src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js" defer="defer"></script> <span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Best famous artist photobomb</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/2ofrtilQaq/" target="_top">The inimitable #GraysonPerry @friezeartfair #friezeny #BritishArtists #Claire #icons</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 Chrissie Shearman (@christinashearman) on May 13, 2015 at 11:48am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <script type="text/javascript" src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js" defer="defer"></script> <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;">Artwork we most want to touch while on LSD</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/2omT2_kW6l/" target="_top">#matthewDarbyshire#friezenewyork #frieze2015 #frieze #friezeny #sleeping #lion</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</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Best Bathroom Antics</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/2pQXJCJ1fa/" target="_top">#erwinwurm #friezeny #nyc</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 Dan Desmond (@d___d___) on May 13, 2015 at 6:54pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <script type="text/javascript" src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js" defer="defer"></script> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Best Coke-induced concentration</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/2q-grRvkE3/" target="_top">Maripol and Vahakn Arslanian painting dots for Jonathan Horowitz 700 Dots at Gavin Brown enterprise at Frieze New York #friezeny #frieze @friezeartfair</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 Paul Laster (@plasternyc) on May 14, 2015 at 10:56am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <script type="text/javascript" src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js" defer="defer"></script> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Best morning-after-coke-binge ensemble</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/2qkM0JpIOi/" target="_top">#GoodMorningWorld</a></p> </div> </blockquote> Fri, 15 May 2015 19:58:55 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list Frieze Frolic: 4 Hours in a Giant Turtle Shell Listening to Hip Hop <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Estonian artist&nbsp;<a href="http://krislemsalu.com/" target="_blank">Kris Lemsalu</a>&nbsp;is no stranger to the art of keeping things weird&mdash;which is exactly what Frieze NY needs this week. Lemsalu, who is based in Berlin, has created everything from phantom sleeping bags to skirts made of playing cards (fit for the Queen of Hearts in &ldquo;Alice in Wonderland&rdquo;). But her secret talent is actually ceramics, an overlooked material in contemporary art pratice. Rather than inhabiting a <em>Do Not Touch</em> world, Lemsalu's gives her sculptures her own fantastical, David Altmejd-esque flair by using ceramics as props in her performance art. Lemsalu smears her ceramic with splashes of paint, creates weirdly shaped cave-like structures and even uses them for her own protection. Her&nbsp;<a href="http://krislemsalu.com/performance-and-portraits" target="_blank">performance art</a>&nbsp;draws a parallel to Peaches (think stuffed pantyhose) as well as Carolee Schneemann (dangling eggs from her crotch). Camping, torched suitcases, and crocodiles in the bubble bath are just a few of the things she&rsquo;s done and now, she brings a touch of the animal kingdom with a bit of much-needed rawness to New York.</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/20150512190735-Kris_Lemsalu_test_photos_2_web.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150512190819-Kris_Lemsalu_test_photos_10.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150512190833-Kris_Lemsalu_test_photos_6_web.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">For this year's edition of Frieze Frame in New York, Lemsalu is featured in a rhinestone-clad turtle shell, where she will do a four-hour durational performance each day of the fair: find her lying upon a gold waterbed with two porcelain tigers. Poking in and out of her shell, this mixed-media installation calls to mind&nbsp;<a href="http://www.tanjawagner.com/de/exhibitions/details/2012-kl-evian-desert/pr-en-kl-evian-desert.html" target="_blank">a previous performance</a>&nbsp;at&nbsp;Galerie Tanja Wagner, referencing the World Turtle which supports and contains the world, according the some folklore and religions. If the giant turtle shell isn't enough, you'll identify her by her black-painted eyebrows (just a little bit Frida) or by following the ceramic trail to person hidden in the visual landscape.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">One has to wonder, though; how someone might prepare for such a long performance work? Before boarding her plane to New York, we quickly asked Lemsalu what she'll be doing and thinking before and after her Frieze debut in a life-sized turtle shell.</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/20150512190933-kris-lemsalu-67089050_905.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&ldquo;My friend Leander suggested me to go to the 5Rhythms dance class in Manhattan&nbsp;tomorrow&nbsp;night,&rdquo; said the artist. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m rather suspicious but in a deep need for proper dancing. After that, a poetry club for some wine and cigarettes. So I will be nicely cooked and able to become equal with the other materials used in the installation. I will listen to hip-hop and mediate the time away.&rdquo;</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/241816-nadja-sayej" target="_blank">Nadja Sayej</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: x-small;">(All images: courtesy the artist)</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> Wed, 13 May 2015 13:59:38 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list Frieze Week 2015 Fair Guide: the Essentials <p style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Frieze Week 2015 unveils a packed and fairly new line up of fairs and exhibitions. This year three exciting newcomers enter the Frieze fold, while just as many depart from the May satellite roster (gone, relocated, rebranded, or rescheduled are Pulse, Cutlog, The Downtown Fair, and The Outsider Art Fair). Despite fewer fairs than Armory Week (which still feels like yesterday, no?), Frieze Week requires just as much planning and perhaps even more legwork: the main event is a ferry or bus ride up and over to Randall&rsquo;s Island, with satellites located from Harlem to Hell&rsquo;s Kitchen, Chelsea to Red Hook, and from the Lower East Side over to Williamsburg.</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">To help you make sense of the week&rsquo;s eight fairs and additional exhibitions, we present this year&rsquo;s indispensable Frieze Guide to fairs, programming, and events.</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><iframe src="https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/embed?mid=zxVgG5QZO0RY.kE1oX8hmjQYA" width="640" height="480"></iframe></span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">Frieze New York</span></strong></p> <p style="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/84518/3mfh/20150513135219-14141484286_386a6dc5e3_z.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Randall&rsquo;s Island Park<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">May 14&ndash;17<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Opening: May 13, preview (invite only)<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">March 14&ndash;16, 11am&ndash;7pm; March 17, 11am&ndash;6pm<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">$44 General Admission (day pass)</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">If you&rsquo;re spending the time to get to Randall&rsquo;s Island, make a day of it: there&rsquo;s more than you can possibly see, and the <a href="http://friezenewyork.com/visitors/eating/" target="_blank">local catering</a> can&rsquo;t be beat. The fourth edition of Frieze New York features nearly 200 galleries, including special exhibition sectors Spotlight, Frame, and Focus (for 20th century artist solos, solo projects from galleries less than eight years old, and highlighted emerging gallery presentations, respectively).</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">As ever, <a href="http://friezeprojectsny.org/projects/" target="_blank">Frieze Projects</a> are a must-see. This year&rsquo;s commissions include Samara Golden&rsquo;s underground sculptures (read our interview <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/artists/rackroom/50541-samara-golden" target="_blank">here</a>), <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ew/artists/rackroom/169968" target="_blank">Korakrit Arunanondchai&rsquo;s </a>bleached denim massage chairs, Aki Sasamoto&rsquo;s personality test-cum-maze, and a <em>Flux-Labyrinth</em>&nbsp;re-do with contemporary artists paying tribute to the 1976 immersive environment. We expect to see it all over Instagram.</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://friezeprojectsny.org/talks/" target="_blank">Talks</a> you won&rsquo;t want to miss: On Friday at 4pm, Thelma Golden, Director of the Studio Museum, Harlem, will be in conversation with Dr. Arnold Lehman, outgoing Director of the Brooklyn Museum, asking <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/42945" target="_blank">a familiar question</a>: Whom do museums serve? This year&rsquo;s even got some humor: on Friday at noon, comedian/artist Casey Jane Ellison host a performative, talk-show-style panel, and on Sunday, 2016&rsquo;s Made in L.A. co-curator Hamza Walker will chair a panel about which artworks we find funny and why.</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://friezenewyork.com/" target="_blank">friezenewyork.com</a></span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, Sans, 'Trebuchet MS', Tahoma, Verdana; font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">NADA New York</span></strong></span></p> <p style="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/84518/3mfh/20150513135329-img_0244.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Pier 36 | Basketball City, 299 South Street, Lower East Side</span><br class="kix-line-break" /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">May 14&ndash;17</span><br class="kix-line-break" /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Opening: May 14, 3&ndash;6pm (invitation only)</span><br class="kix-line-break" /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Public hours: May 14, 6&ndash;8pm; May 15&ndash;16, 11am&ndash;7pm; May 17, 11am&ndash;5pm</span><br class="kix-line-break" /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Free Admission</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">NADA is always a visitor favorite; it&rsquo;s a great place to see solid contemporary art presentations&mdash;and it&rsquo;s free! 106 contemporary art galleries&mdash;including 30 solo presentations&mdash;will participate in the non-profit fair this year. </span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://newartdealers.org/Fairs/2015/NewYork/Programs" target="_blank">NADA Presents</a> is the fair&rsquo;s interdisciplinary programming series. There&rsquo;s a lot on the schedule, but we&rsquo;re dying to learn more about Joshua Smith&rsquo;s speech and slideshow, <em>You inspire me with Your determination And I Love You, Tracey Emin!</em> (Friday, 2pm) and Alina Tenser&rsquo;s performance <em>Selections from Sports Closet</em> (Regina Rex) on Saturday. We think the conversation about &ldquo;Cloud Based Institutional Critique&rdquo; with Mike Pepi, Zachary Kaplan, and Orit Gat (Saturday, noon) will be nicely complimented by Sunday&rsquo;s &ldquo;On Connectivity&rdquo; discussion with a panel of artists from this year&rsquo;s New Museum Triennial.</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://newartdealers.org/Fairs/2015/NewYork" target="_blank">newartdealers.org</a></span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, Sans, 'Trebuchet MS', Tahoma, Verdana; font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair</span></strong></span></p> <p style="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/84518/3mfh/20150513135509-mm_1_72dpi.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">Meleko Mokgosi,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><em>Pax Kaffraria: Sikhuselo Sembumbulu</em>, 2012. Courtesy of Honor Fraser</span></span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Pioneer Works, 159 Pioneer Street, Red Hook, Brooklyn<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">May 15&ndash;17<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Public hours: May 15&ndash;16, 12&ndash;8pm; May 17, 12&ndash;6pm<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">$10 General Admission (day pass)</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">We&rsquo;re most excited for this three-year-old London fair&rsquo;s New York debut. 16 galleries, exhibiting over 60 artists, will take up residence at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn in the city&rsquo;s first fair dedicated to contemporary African art.</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The 1:54 <a href="http://1-54.com/new-york/forum/" target="_blank">Forum</a> will feature lectures, panels, and artist talks. Be sure to check out Friday&rsquo;s roster, including a panel on &ldquo;Global Black Subjectivities: Here and Now,&rdquo; and artist talks with Hank Willis Thomas, Lyle Ashton Harris, Meleko Mokgosi, and Lavar Munroe on the semantics of the term &ldquo;diaspora&rdquo; in contemporary art. (Admission is free with entrance, but seating is limited, so reserve your space.)</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://1-54.com/new-york/" target="_blank">1-54.com</a></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">Collective Design Fair</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20150513135703-friedeberg_ajedrez3_CP.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Skylight Clarkson Sq, 550 Washington Street, West Village<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">May 13&ndash;17<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Public hours: May 13&ndash;16, 11am&ndash;8pm; May 17, 11am&ndash;5pm<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">$25 General Admission</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Collective Design, headed by architect Steven Learner, showcases designed objects and designed thinking from the 20th century onwards in this fair that serves as the annual culmination of Collective Design, a loosely affiliated design collective comprised of industry leaders. This year&rsquo;s Collective <a href="http://collectivedesignfair.com/programming" target="_blank">Focus </a>shines a light on Italian design. Curated by <em>W</em> editor-in-chief, Stefano Tonchi, Focus taps works from Memphis-Post Design Gallery (Milan), Donzella (New York), Nicholas Kilner (New York), and Glass Past (New York) to highlight the significance of Italian design within a global context.</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Want more shiny, geometric surfaces in your life? <strong>NYCxDesign</strong> has brought together <a href="http://nycxdesign.com/events/#.VVNHlNpVikp" target="_blank">hundreds of installations</a> from all five boroughs to explore the concept and use of design in urban life. Each event has been independently curated and organized to showcase the great wealth of design ingenuity in NYC.</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://collectivedesignfair.com/" target="_blank">collectivedesignfair.com</a></span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://nycxdesign.com/" target="_blank">nycxdesign.com</a></span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, Sans, 'Trebuchet MS', Tahoma, Verdana; font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">Art Miami New York</span></strong></span></p> <p style="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/84518/3mfh/20150513135747-APcontemporary1742015T182659.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Sonya Fu,<em>&nbsp;I Imagine</em>,&nbsp;2014. Courtesy of AP Contemporary</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Pier 94, 55th Street and West Side Highway, Hell&rsquo;s Kitchen<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">May 14&ndash;17<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Opening reception: May 14, 2&ndash;5pm (VIP and press)<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Public hours: May 14, 5&ndash;9pm; May 15&ndash;16, 12&ndash;8pm; May 17, 12&ndash;6pm<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">$25 General Admission, $55 multi-day pass, complimentary admission for Frieze VIP cardholders</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Art Miami group, who had run Downtown Fair, has rebranded and launched a new NYC fair under its own name. 100 modern and contemporary international galleries, hailing from as far as Hong Kong (though mainly from Europe and the US), will set up shop on Pier 94.</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The fair features a handful of <a href="http://www.artmiaminewyork.com/media/Downtownfair/AMNY%20Special%20programs_FINAL.pdf" target="_blank">special project</a> booths, but in line with its more commercial vibe is the talk series. Art Miami NY&rsquo;s lectures and panels focus on the art market and practical side of collecting, with subjects such as &ldquo;Art Investments,&rdquo; &ldquo;Art in Real Estate Developments,&rdquo; and &ldquo;Bad Collector: A Primer on What Not to Do.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artmiaminewyork.com/" target="_blank">artmiaminewyork.com</a></span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">FLUX Art Fair</span></strong><br /><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20150513140135-Shahram-Entekhabi.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Corn Exchange Building,81 East 125th Street, East Harlem<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">May 14&ndash;17<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Vernissage: May 13 (Press and VIP preview)<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Public hours: May 14&ndash;16, 11am&ndash;8pm; May 17, 11am&ndash;6pm<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">General Admission: $20</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Head up to Harlem for another of Frieze Week&rsquo;s newcomers. Eschewing a gallery model, the curator-driven FLUX Art Fair brings together </span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://fluxfair.nyc/curators/" target="_blank">guest curators</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> and some 57 local and international artists with presentations on the theme: &ldquo;The 21st Century Artist is a Nomad.&rdquo; Bring your copy of 1000 Plateaus by D&amp;G and settle in for some brainwork.</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">While you&rsquo;re up in Harlem, head down to North Central Park to see Creative Time&rsquo;s&mdash;the folks that brought us Kara Walker&rsquo;s <em>A Subtelty&mdash;</em>newest project, <em><a href="http://creativetime.org/projects/drifting-in-daylight/" target="_blank">Drifting in Daylight</a></em>, Public Art in Central Park.</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://fluxfair.nyc/" target="_blank">fluxfair.nyc</a></span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, Sans, 'Trebuchet MS', Tahoma, Verdana; font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></strong></span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, Sans, 'Trebuchet MS', Tahoma, Verdana; font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">Select Art Fair</span></strong></span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20150513140156-ELLE2.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Center 548, 548 West 22nd Street, Chelsea (formerly the Dia Building)</span><br class="kix-line-break" /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">May 13&ndash;17<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">VIP Preview: May 13, 6&ndash;10pm<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Public hours: May 14&ndash;15, 2&ndash;10pm; May 16, 12&ndash;10pm; May 17, 12&ndash;6pm<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">General Admission: $20</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In its second New York edition, Select will host 44 galleries, with a special focus on Brooklyn&mdash;an entire floor will be dedicated to galleries from the borough.</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The <a href="http://www.select-fair.com/rooftop-at-select/" target="_blank">Rooftop at Select </a>music series includes Lee Ranaldo (of Sonic Youth) and Leah Singer, whose live performance will explore how sound and image interact (VIP night); the 22-year-old NYC rapper Junglepussy (a must-see on Thursday!); and No Wave artist James Chance (Friday). An extensive <a href="http://www.select-fair.com/special-projects/" target="_blank">Special Projects</a> series with installations and <a href="http://www.select-fair.com/performance-art-program/" target="_blank">performances</a> runs throughout the fair, with performances scheduled each afternoon.</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://www.select-fair.com/newyork/" target="_blank">select-fair.com</a></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">SEVEN</span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20150513140433-CEa45oLWgAAY9Rc.jpg-large" alt="" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The Boiler, 191 North 14th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">May 8&ndash;17<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">(remaining) Public hours: May 13&ndash;17, 12&ndash;6pm<br /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Free Admission</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Seven galleries present one artist each at this exhibition/mini-fair, hosted at The Boiler in Brooklyn. This year&rsquo;s edition, organized on the theme<em> Anonymity, no longer an option</em> will feature artists like Katarzyna Kozyra (Postmasters), Addie Wagenknecht (bitforms gallery), and Trevor Paglen(Metro Pictures). Highlights undoubtedly include <em>The Prison Ship Martyr&rsquo;s Monument 2.0, AKA The Snowden Statue</em>, which was removed from Brooklyn&rsquo;s Fort Greene Park last month after its illegal installation.</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.seven-miami.com/2015/04/seven-anonymity-no-longer-option.html" target="_blank">seven-miami.com</a></span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: large;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">Salon Z&uuml;rcher</span></strong></span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Z&uuml;rcher Gallery, 33 Bleecker Street, SoHo</span><br class="kix-line-break" /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">May 11&ndash;17</span><br class="kix-line-break" /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Public hours: May 11, 5&ndash;8pm; May 12&ndash;16, 12&ndash;8pm (Wednesday, 12&ndash;4pm); May 17, 12&ndash;5pm</span><br class="kix-line-break" /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Free Admission</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Held in SoHo&rsquo;s Z&uuml;rcher Gallery, Salon Z&uuml;rcher is now entering its tenth year. The &ldquo;mini-fair&rdquo; features six galleries from New York, Paris, and Amsterdam.</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.galeriezurcher.com/salon-zurcher/2015-new-york-85/" target="_blank">galeriezurcher.com</a></span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: large;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">Fridge Art Fair</span></strong></span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The Holiday Inn 150 Delancey Street, LES</span><br class="kix-line-break" /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">May 14&ndash;17</span><br class="kix-line-break" /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Public hours: May 14, 6&ndash;9pm; May 15&ndash;16, 5&ndash;10pm; May 17, 12&ndash;6pm</span><br class="kix-line-break" /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Free Admission</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Fridge, a very idiosyncratic fair now in its third year finds its home in the Lower East Side for 2015. Run by an artist and exhibiting artists, this fair is about as real as it gets.</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.fridgeartfair.com/">fridgeartfair.com</a></span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;The ArtSlant Team</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> Wed, 13 May 2015 17:42:58 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list Sizing the Immaterial: S, M, L, XL at MCA <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Stratospheres of experience have been described in art since the early narratives of heaven and earth. Since Biblical cosmology, our understanding of time and place has been oriented according to predetermined concepts of measure&mdash;even time is an invented unit. But how do we measure the intangible? In a system where contemporary art is increasingly judged by scale, how do we quantify the poetics of experience?</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/20150512164816-fe424morris_portal.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: normal;">Robert Morris, <em>Portal</em>, 1964. Collection of the MCA Chicago, gift of Mrs. Robert B. Mayer. Photo: Nathan Keay,<br /> &copy; MCA Chicago. &copy; 2014 Robert Morris / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York</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;"><a href="http://www2.mcachicago.org/exhibition/s-m-l-xl/" target="_blank"><em>S, M, L, XL</em></a>, currently on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, manifests this question. This is Chief Curator Michael Darling&rsquo;s most impressive group exhibition since <a href="http://www2.mcachicago.org/exhibition/the-language-of-less-then-and-now/" target="_blank"><em>The Language of Less: Then and Now</em></a>, which took place at the museum back in 2011&ndash;12. The exhibition, which features just five sculptural works selected from over five decades of art since the 1960s&mdash;many of which could surely fit a curatorial scheme as broad as <em>scale</em>&mdash;does not feel empty, but is rather a considered, sober, and challenging presentation that rethinks how size influences our interaction with art objects in the twenty first century. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Here, forms are presented as they ought to be&mdash;meaning that the works and their intended use value serves their purpose. This use is not always function. In a close attention to form, Darling carves out space to consider the relationship of scale to other, less quantifiable categories of feeling&mdash;the viewer&rsquo;s body in space is as equally a subject as the sculptures in the show; the individual affects resulting from the installation range from compression, to anxiety and surveillance, freedom and elation. While <em>S, M, L, XL</em> certainly compartmentalizes the public negotiation of sculpture in a physical sense&mdash;which has become quite familiar within an institutional setting such as the museum, ever striving for <em>engagement</em>&mdash;it also points toward the desire for the incorporeal affects of sculpture. Between the thing, and its subjective interpretation, this exhibition inserts itself as a necessary link to installation-based practices.</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/20150512164305-dce9fMartinKris_TYFFSH_2.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Kris Martin, <em>T. Y. F. F. S.H.</em>, 2011. Collection of the MCA Chicago, gift of Mary and Earle Ludgin by exchange. &copy; 2011 Kris Martin. Photo: Nathan Keay</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 title of the exhibition is in reference to an eponymous publication by Rem Koolhaas for the OMA (<a href="http://www.oma.eu/publications/smlxl/" target="_blank">Office for Metropolitan Architecture</a>). While Koolhaas&rsquo; book frames contemporary architecture through the explosion of the market economy in the face of globalization, the exhibition&rsquo;s only shared tenet is a similar organization&mdash;a type of chronology&mdash;through scale itself. Where essays in the publication were sorted by length, here too are the pieces placed inside the gallery in the order of how they are experienced, with size in mind. The first work is Robert Morris&rsquo; <em>Portal</em> (1964), a signature freestanding passageway that was also included in <em>The Language of Less</em>. Indeed, minimalism is an essential entry point into an exhibition that aims to address the &ldquo;accessibility of sculpture,&rdquo; a goal that is cited in the press release, but is also shared within the interactive expectation of the works on view.</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/20150512164532-6c312west1.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: normal; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Franz West,<em> Blue</em>, 2006. Collection of the MCA Chicago, gift of the William J. Hokin Family. <br />Courtesy of the Estate of Franz West and the Franz West Privatstiftung Archiv. Photo: Florian Kleinefenn</span></p> <p style="line-height: normal; text-align: center;"><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;">In <em>Portal</em>, as with all the works included in <em>S, M, L, XL</em>, the concept of crossing a barrier into another state (which is not always altogether transformative) is consistent throughout. To the right of this piece, Franz West&rsquo;s <em>Blue</em> (2006), viewers cut around the crude baby cerulean plaster screens into a small cavernous space; a seat rewards viewers who make the effort to enter&mdash;pale pastel light bulbs delicately guide the viewer&rsquo;s gaze upward onto the wires, intertwined. Departing from the Koolhaas publication, which focused on the permeation of globalism, Darling instead refocuses travel as an act that can happen in the smallest of spaces. An individual in space can cross boundaries without moving if their mind is positioned correctly; an experience in the gallery can cut across oceans if the perception is right. This sense of existential freedom is illuminated in a work by <a href="http://www.sieshoeke.com/artists/kris-martin" target="_blank">Kris Martin</a>, entitled, <em>T.Y.F.F.S.H</em> (2011)&mdash;an acronym for <em>Thank You For Flying Sies + H&ouml;ke</em>, a nod to the artist&rsquo;s Berlin gallery where the piece was first shown. Viewers enter the piece through the wicker basket of an iconic hot air balloon, installed through a doorway with fans so that the fabric adapts to line the museum walls from floor to ceiling.</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/20150512164635-52ff1RM-XXXX.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Robert Morris,<em> Untitled (Passageway)</em>, 1961. Photo Courtesy Castelli Gallery, New York &copy; 2014 Robert Morris / Artists Rights Society (ARS), 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;">Within this purposefully anachronistic symbol of travel, the inside of the installation functions as an aphorism for a psychedelic trip, where the lines and stripes of color one would typically recognize from afar on the horizon line twist and warp within the gallery. The final piece in the exhibition, another Morris work entitled <em>Passageway</em> (1961), offers a similarly psychotropic experience, though in much simpler terms. Strictly viewed one at a time, the piece consists of a grey doorway down what appears to be a curved hall. Walking into the piece, with slow and metered steps, the walls constrict ever so slightly, the path becoming subtly narrower&mdash;not in a way that is visibly identifiable, but is rather felt. The pressure on the body in this exhibition is a poetic distancing from sculpture as pure form, though its means are stark: maybe travel takes you somewhere or nowhere.</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/183982-stephanie-cristello?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Stephanie Cristello</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: Kris Martin,&nbsp;<em>T. Y. F. F. S.H.</em>, 2011.&nbsp;Collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Mary and Earle Ludgin by exchange.&nbsp;&copy; 2011 Kris Martin.&nbsp;Photo: Robert Wedemeyer.&nbsp;Courtesy of the artist and MARC FOXX, Los Angeles)</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;">&nbsp;</p> Tue, 12 May 2015 19:53:09 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list Art Fairs Aren't Evil, They're Just Boring (Most of the Time) <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Art fairs are evil&mdash;or so I&rsquo;ve heard. They are not the devil incarnate come to steal your children, per se, just the dollar incarnate come to swallow your art. The criticism usually goes something like this: capitalism corrupts art by turning it into a common commodity and (more importantly) depriving it of its critical capacity as a consequence. Because if you are part of a system, you cannot objectively critique or reject that system. You become complicit by default. &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Can you believe such thinking still has currency in many academic, artistic, and political circles? Institutional Critique artists faced this catch-22 when they started showing their work in the very institutions they were critiquing, and yet continued doing it anyway. Theodor Adorno was wrestling with this problem 70 years ago: art is already a part of the culture industry and to believe that art can operate critically outside of culture is illusory at best and fascist at worst. Such belief supposes a metaphysical position from which to judge what is right and wrong and supplants one flawed system with that of another. So what are we to do? Issue a death certificate for art? No. Until we can imagine a way of being that escapes instrumental reasoning and reductive thinking altogether, we oppose and critique from within&mdash;dialectically. With characteristic insight, F&eacute;lix Gonz&aacute;lez-Torres put it simply in an interview with Tim Rollins:</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; padding-left: 60px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">[Y]ou have to circulate an object in the market in order to have a more direct access to power. I&rsquo;ve been waiting for the revolution for a long time and it hasn&rsquo;t come. The ones that have come have done very little to change our ways. Therefore, I don&rsquo;t want a revolution anymore; it&rsquo;s too much energy for too little. So I want to work within the system. I want to work within the contradictions of the system and try to create a better place.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; padding-left: 60px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150511225019-2_-_Frieze_2014__2048x1365__Photograph_by_Marco_Scozzaro._Courtesy_of_Marco_Scozzaro_Frieze_copy.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Frieze New York 2014; Photograph by Marco Scozzaro, Courtesy of Marco Scozzaro/Frieze</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Art fairs are not evil. They&rsquo;re just boring, most of the time. They&rsquo;re like re-run marathons of <em>Friends</em> or every Nickelback album: they beat a bad formula to death. They fail to take advantage of the enormous opportunity and responsibility they possess as a highly visible face for art. All art embodies values, no matter how abstract or silly or minimal it is. Art fairs embody the values of their exhibited artworks. The punchier the artwork, the punchier the art fair. Put a hundred rabble-rousers together under one roof and you get some rabble-rousing. Put a hundred Muzak musicians together and you get one helluva snooze fest.</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">What if we thought of art fairs as people&mdash;with hopes, fears, goals, personas, and flaws? More specifically, what if we thought of fairs as politicians, like the &ldquo;ambassadors of culture&rdquo; they desire to be? Both fundraise, throw swanky parties for rich people, seek press endorsements, try to appeal to everyone generally and to a niche audience specifically, project a desired image, and turn their policies into programs (such as the ones at Frieze Art Fair). Like politicians, fairs would be subject to a critical evaluation of their professed ambitions, the values they stand for, whose <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/39502" target="_blank">tastes they cater to</a>, their impact on current issues, their failed potential, etc. Rather than railing against fairs as co-conspirators with capitalism, we could judge them for what they actually are: embodied values. Would the usual art fair critics rally against a fair that only showed and sold challenging, critical art?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Part of the problem is that art fairs are hydra-headed affairs. They want to be too many things to too many people. They need to be trendy and edgy enough to attract a (younger) general audience willing to pay $$$ at the door. Yet, they must avoid being so edgy and challenging that they dissuade (older) collectors from bringing the art home with them, which would make the exhibiting galleries who are paying $$$$$$$ for their boxes very unhappy. Some fairs manage this better than others. Every fair has at least one gem. Undoubtedly, this week&rsquo;s Frieze, NADA, and Select&nbsp;fairs will have a handful, but what if gems became the norm rather than the exception? What if art fairs, like politicians, were held accountable for their values?</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/101642/4cut/20150511224957-3_-__Frieze__2013__Ryan_McGinley__2048x1365__copy.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Ryan McGinley, Team Gallery, solo booth; Frieze New York 2013;&nbsp;Photograph by Jonathan H&ouml;kklo, Courtesy of Jonathan H&ouml;kklo/Frieze.</span><span style="text-align: justify; font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="text-align: justify; font-size: 12px;">&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/357421-art-vidrine?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Art Vidrine</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;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at the top: Paul McCarthy, Balloon Dog (2013), Hauser &amp; Wirth; The Sculpture Park, Frieze New York 2013;&nbsp;Photography by Naho Kubota, Courtesy of Naho Kubota/Frieze.)</span></p> Wed, 13 May 2015 13:57:16 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list An Insider's Tip for Outsider Art: Lonnie Holley at Frieze Focus <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.jamesfuentes.com/artists/holley/index.php">Lonnie Holley</a> can find layers of history and meaning in the simplest of things, often ones that have been discarded by the rest of us. His sculptures, direct descendants of the oldest forms of African American sculpture, are constructed by combining objects into narrative artworks that commemorate places, people, and events. Most of Holley&rsquo;s works are additionally given clever and sometimes long-winded titles like: <em>Climbing to Paint Your Pane, You Forgot to Give Me Power, or Keeping It Freezing: The Pipeline of Our Mind</em>.&nbsp;The artist will, undoubtedly, be pleased to see that his work is being shown at the alliterative Frieze Focus&nbsp;section of the fair: bring a jacket and wear your glasses.</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/20150511223608-f.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Lonnie Holley&nbsp;<em>Keeping You Out of Harm's Way</em>, 2013&nbsp;Installation View,&nbsp;Courtesy James Fuentes</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: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150511223118-b.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Lonnie Holley, <em>Keeping You Out of Harm's Way</em>,&nbsp;2013, Installation View.</span><span style="font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;Courtesy James Fuentes</span>&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Born on February 10, 1950 in Birmingham, Alabama, Holley began working at the age of five: picking up trash, cooking, washing dishes. But since the late 1970s he has almost exclusively been drawing, painting, sculpting, making photographs, music, and performing&mdash;most recently to crowds at museums, theatres, and music festivals. His works, irrespective of medium, are decidedly improvised, stemming from years spent constructing and deconstructing his original yard show environment in Birmingham, repurposing its elements for new pieces and reacting to the challenges of maintaining it all in a Southern outdoor climate.</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/20150511223133-jfg-2.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Lonnie Holley, <em>Gabriel's Horn</em>,&nbsp;2011,&nbsp;Mixed Media,&nbsp;67 x 51 x 18". Courtesy James Fuentes&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="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 art world, until recently, has largely ignored artists like Holley for all the predictable and not-fun-to-talk-about reasons: race, class, geography, education, and perhaps most importantly, a stubborn support of the status quo. But Holley&rsquo;s works are soon entering the collection of the Metropolitan Museum, and he performed at the Whitney last year. Maybe a solo exhibition at Frieze by James Fuentes will be one more small step in bringing artists like Lonnie Holley out of the proverbial cold and into focus&hellip;</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;Philip March Jones</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;">Philip March Jones is the director of Art Brut specialist gallery&nbsp;<a href="http://www.christianberst.com/en/gallery-presentation.html" target="_blank">Christian Berst</a>, New York LES.</span></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">(Image at the top:&nbsp;Lonnie Holley,&nbsp;<em style="font-size: 12px;">Climbing to Paint Your Pane</em>, 2011,&nbsp;Mixed Media,&nbsp;80" x 40" x 4",&nbsp;Courtesy James Fuentes)</span></p> Wed, 13 May 2015 13:54:13 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list Fashionable Feminism Is a Good Thing <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">There is nothing like going to a trendy event to reinforce the realization that you are a pitiable crone. For those of you who have yet to have this epiphany: it will come. For those of you who have already had it&mdash;please, take this leaflet for my support group, and call the number on the reverse. Perhaps the bad back that I find myself troubled with nightly, hunched over and writing to an ever-present deadline, has come from the dizzying fall from fashionable club-kid Valhallah to the mostly-humdrum earthbound life of the arts editor. Perhaps it simply comes with old age. Either way, the reasons that I mention this are twofold: the first is that the launch for photographer Yasmine Akim's new feminist 'zine <a href="http://vaginadentatayasmineakim.tumblr.com/" target="_blank"><em>Vagina Dentata</em></a> struck me as being a very hip event in and of itself; the second is because I have noticed that feminism in toto has become, in the last six months, another quite radical, of-the-moment party at which to be seen.</span></p> <p class="p1" 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/20150511062649-tumblr_nix0upNr1k1tl5xaoo3_r2_400.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I suspect from having seen the publication that Akim has been a card-carrying feminist for some time, as have I. It's curious, though, to see the movement gain some traction with the bright young things, both online and offline. Feminism is a trend for 2015, and this development is not especially troubling to me. I am able to see the shortcomings of it&mdash;trends, by their definition, pass, and leave the things they have touched with an un-hip patina&mdash;but right now, I cannot object. I can object to the trendiness, in certain awful circles, of electro-swing; I can rail against the cronut. I am maddened by Normcore, and Health Goth left me positively snarling. That said, the fact that Beyonce Knowles performs in front of a backdrop which reads FEMINIST in lieu of doing the coy, not-a-feminist-because-I-like-men dance in all of her interviews feels like something. I see girls with underarm hair on the Topshop escalator. I note <em>Cosmopolitan</em> interviews with Taylor Swift&mdash;which, admittedly, I am unlikely ever to read&mdash;advertised with cover lines that scream: &ldquo;I'M PROUD TO BE A FEMINIST!&rdquo; A project like <em>Vagina Dentata</em> would always have existed: aside from its clear continuation of the authentic and historic cannon of feminist zine-making, it has real heart, a sense of soul, and&mdash;<em>hallelujah!</em>&mdash;an agenda that pushes intersectionality. But feminism's new cool may yet expand its audience, which is a good thing. I dream of Urban Outfitters selling pro-woman literature to our teens. For them, the novelty won't have worn off;&nbsp; the battle is not yet exhausting.</span></p> <p class="p2" 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/20150511062751-tumblr_nj29fwmIRZ1tl5xaoo2_r3_1280.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Aside from the magazine itself, which describes itself as being comprised of &ldquo;portraits taken of inspirational women that Yasmine Akim knows on a personal level...[as well as] written reflections on their lives and the freedom manifest within radical expression,&rdquo; I should probably note that the opening also included an element which provoked a twinge in my own particular Good Feminist's Achilles' heel: a costume from a performance artist's work which was soaked in ersatz &ldquo;menstrual blood.&rdquo;&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Much to my own chagrin, I am not merely ambivalent about the process of menstruation&mdash;I actively loathe it. For me, it has always been an unbelievably painful experience, an emotional bore and, quite frankly, a pointless exercise given my lifelong and unwavering dislike of children. That I am able to speak so freely about such things on the indelible forum of the internet is, I am happy to recognize, a direct result of those advances which we have made in recognizing them as legitimate topics in recent years. That I am choosing to do so has possibly more to do with my current hormonal state. Still, we as a group are not a monolith&mdash;that's the very point of this publication, I suppose. Seeing fashionably-dressed 22-year-olds of either gender reading a 'zine about notable women with a title that alludes to both female genitalia and castration is a sight for sore eyes, either way. Long may our pop-stars and actresses&mdash;and our artists&mdash;bandy the f-word.</span></p> <p class="p1" 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/20150511062723-tumblr_niwzdxHjXF1tl5xaoo1_r1_400.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="p1" 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; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/265136-philippa-snow?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Philippa Snow</a></span></p> <p class="p1" 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; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">(All images:&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">http://vaginadentatayasmineakim.tumblr.com/)</span></span></p> Mon, 11 May 2015 15:19:55 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list The Place of the Museum: Jacob Lawrence at MoMA <blockquote style="padding-left: 30px;"><em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">You see, there are so many kids in this country who look at places like museums and concert halls and other cultural centers and they think to themselves, well, that&rsquo;s not a place for me, for someone who looks like me, for someone who comes from my neighborhood. In fact, I guarantee you that right now, there are kids living less than a mile from here who would never in a million years dream that they would be welcome in this museum.</span></em></blockquote> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">That was Michelle Obama at the opening of the new Whitney Museum in New York last week. <a href="http://www.redflagnews.com/headlines-2015/michelle-obama-attacks-americas-museums-as-places-that-are-only-for-white-people" target="_blank">Racist right-wing rags</a> decried the missive as "race-baiting" but the message is indeed very needed and a short trip uptown to MoMA will show you why.&nbsp;</span></p> <p dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">MoMA has been a contentious site. Contended by tastemakers and aesthetes for its iconic nature and its ability to direct attention and generate conversation in the art world. Controversies and failures, of one kind or another, dot its recent history but none has been seized upon as much as the most recent Bj&ouml;rk exhibition. Generating the feeling of a theme park crossed with a bizarre Graceland-like homage, the Bj&ouml;rk retrospective is a truly strange thing to be housed at the MoMA. However, the exhibition's greatest sin is that it is poorly designed and thinly conceived. It adds nothing.</span></p> <p dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">But this isn&rsquo;t MoMA&rsquo;s greatest transgression at the moment. The true travesty is the tone-deaf marginalization of a well-conceived, timely, and necessary exhibition overshadowed by the art world&rsquo;s tizzy over whether or not a pop artist is an Artist.</span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em><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/20150507133848-01-1024x683.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></span></em></p> <p style="text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">Jacob Lawrence,</span><em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;During the World War there was a great migration North by Southern Negroes During World War I there was a great migration north by southern African Americans,&nbsp;</span></em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">1940-1941. Casein tempera on hardboard. 12 &times; 18" (30.5 &times; 45.7 cm) The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.</span></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">One-Way Ticket, </span></em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">curated by Leah Dickerman,</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> is an exploration of the Great Migration, the mass urbanization of a group of people who came from the rural Jim Crow South looking for opportunity, often as a result of a concerted effort by white Northern businesses to entice cheap labor into the factories that would propel the entire nation into modernity. Given the recent protests by the descendents of this movement against the systemic racism in policing that enforces poverty in our nation's cities, an exhibition that explores the birth of large black urban populations and their effect on the culture of the United States seems like a great idea&mdash;like really, an amazing idea.&nbsp;</span></p> <p dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">As the First Lady pointed out, the museum should be a site that is representative of a people's culture and is often guilty of only representing the culture of white Americans. The dominant cultural narrative in the United States has been one that ignores and stereotypes minorities in favor of presenting a smooth cultural narrative that is founded in whiteness.&nbsp;<em><br /></em></span></p> <p 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/20150507135142-40-1024x684.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Jacob Lawrence,&nbsp;<em>The migrants arrived in great numbers,</em> 1940-41. Casein tempera on hardboard, 12 x 18" (30.5 x 45.7 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Mrs. David M. Levy Peter Nesbett, Michelle Dubois, Jacob Lawrence: paintings, drawings, and murals (1935-1999), Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press, 2000, cat P41-01, pl. 40, p. 53</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Walking off, frustrated after again seeing the waste of space that is the Bj&ouml;rk exhibition, towards the photography galleries in the north wing of MoMA, a wall graphic depicting the population demographics of America's major cities before, during, and after the Great Migration led me towards a small room in the museum's margins that houses <em>One Way Ticket</em> and Lawrence's&nbsp;<em>Migration Series.&nbsp;</em>His most popular body of work,&nbsp;<em>Migration Series</em> tells the story of the mass movement of six million people from the rural South to the urban North that began in 1910. Each panel is accompanied by the original 1941 wall text written by Lawrence which contains the epithet "negro" instead of the 1993 version which uses the term "African American." I didn't notice any explanation as to why the original was used though on MoMA's <a href="http://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2015/onewayticket/panel/1/intro" target="_blank">virtual exhibition</a>.&nbsp;You are given the option to compare the two, as if the linguistic distinction were a curiosity of history.</span></p> <p dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The only people of color I saw in the exhibition were the security guards. Living in Bedstuy, I haven't seen a single advertisement for<em> One Way Ticket</em> though every stop on the G has a poster for <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/42111" target="_blank">Kehinde Wiley</a> at the Brooklyn Museum.</span></p> <p 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/20150507140431-Lynching-flag.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">NAACP,&nbsp;<em>Untitled (A Man Was Lynched Today flag),&nbsp;</em>Flag, announcing lynching, flown from the window of the NAACP headquarters on 69 Fifth Ave., New York City 1936 Photographic print Image: 3 &times; 4" (7.6 &times; 10.2 cm) Sheet: 3 1/2 &times; 4 9/16" (8.9 &times; 11.6 cm) Prints &amp; Photographs Division, Library of Congress, Washington D.C.</span></p> <p dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In another side room, a video of Billy Holiday singing "Strange Fruit" in 1959 played on a loop, alternating with a visibily nervous and distraught Marian Anderson singing at the Lincoln Memorial in 1939. The feeling of tense anguish was palpable and I couldn't help but watch Anderson's face twitch and contort, a discomfort that seemed to extend far beyond the stage. </span></p> <p dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The next room portrayed the realities of being black in America during and after the migration. Images of "land owners and their field hands," protests against lynching (the last official lynching in the US was in 1981), and the new urban lives of migrants portrayed a heavily contested life for the people that would fuel the largest and longest economic boom in the modern world. They would not see a share of the fruit of their labor.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/h4ZyuULy9zs" frameborder="0" width="420" height="315"></iframe></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Perhaps it is a function of the museum to turn anything it displays into a curiosity but there have been many exhibitions that use history to shine a light on the present, to force the visitor to encounter themselves and come to grips with truths and realities that we do not want to face because they are uncomfortable. The use of the 1941 captions as wall text placed Lawrence's paintings in a far away time, it separated us from them, the "negro." The rest of the exhibition, which contains amazing treasures depicting the harsh realities faced by some six million Americans, was soiled by this perceived distance along with the actual, physical marginalization of this exhibition within the site of the museum.</span></p> <p dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The site of the museum is one of whiteness. Until museums accept that they can be a site for all and take the time and foresight to insert themselves correctly into pressing conversations on culture, they will remain a place for some, not all. MoMA, you can start by spotlighting what is most important to this country instead of once again marginalizing a people.</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><br /></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p 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 dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Image at top: Jacob Lawrence,&nbsp;<em>And the migrants kept coming</em> 1940-41. Casein tempera on hardboard 12 x 18" (30.5 x 45.7 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Mrs. David M. Levy Peter Nesbett, Michelle Dubois, Jacob Lawrence: paintings, drawings, and murals (1935-1999), Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press, 2000, cat P41-01, pl. 60, p. 55</span></p> Thu, 07 May 2015 17:47:39 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list New York State of Grind: A Suggestion for New York’s Beleaguered Artists <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Despite ceaseless, futile complaints regarding the stalking reaper of gentrification, the influence of nepotism and money, and the difficulty of making professional progress, for many artists, New York remains the supermassive black hole at the center of the artistic galaxy. The staggering density of galleries, museums, fairs, events, and personalities, all shrouded in the glamorous veil of openings and parties&mdash;dutifully fomented on social media&mdash;convey an immense sense of possibility and opportunity. Such conditions exert a gravitational tug upon prospective creative inhabitants as mesmerizing today as it has ever been, because however challenging the terrain, this remains the New York City of lore. But it is such globe-spanning success that has ironically caused the city to become home to the most parochial and castrated art scene in America.</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;">While it is not of their making, as unsupported artists near the parched base of the dollar tree compete in an overcrowded field, they may be unwittingly perpetuating this circumstance in attempting to garner attention from critics and galleries which are abundantly near, yet so vexingly far. Having sacrificed so much just to get here, let alone remain and survive, it is incumbent upon artists to justify that investment by applying every joule of energy, every dribble of sap, to rising above the morass of peers crushing thousands deep around them.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Artists who cross New York&rsquo;s event horizon soon have revealed to them a path toward their aims. Certain staple programs and recurrent exhibitions have come to act as shorthand markers of an artist&rsquo;s value within the artistic stellar nursery, however deficient or subjective they may be as such. They include The Bronx Museum&rsquo;s AIM Program, the Queens Museum&rsquo;s Queens International, LMCC&rsquo;s Workspace, the Smack Mellon Residency, El Museo del Barrio&rsquo;s Biennial, and the Triangle Residency to name a few. Gaining acceptance to even one of them&mdash;and the press attention trotted out about them as a matter of course&mdash;places artists on a sanctioned circuit, which lends an often intensely sought sense of belonging and legitimacy. The aspiration, but not the certainty, is that it will lead to further exhibitions and the gilded elevation of gallery representation.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">But the process of securing admittance to these programs requires the artist to engage with a rigorous annual process of online research, orientation presentations, applications, networking and deadlines. This is resource- and time-consuming, and comes in addition to finding studio time, visiting openings, maintaining employment and, if you are neglectful, enjoying a social life. These siren opportunities in and near New York are plentiful enough to fulfill an artist&rsquo;s administrative capacity, and while Bemis, MacDowell, or Skowhegan are attractive outlying prospects, the economic challenges of temporarily leaving city-based jobs to attend residencies in other parts of the country that might deepen a resume, often render such endeavors unrealistic. This sets the conditions for a New York-centric obsession to develop.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Unless progress is made, over time the struggle becomes a narrowing glass bridge of hope, with artists fighting rejection fatigue (&ldquo;Thank you for your application. Unfortu...&rdquo;); the galling bittersweetness towards successes of competing friends and acquaintances (&ldquo;Oh, you did! That&rsquo;s fantastic, congratulations!&rdquo;&mdash;translation: &ldquo;How did <em>you</em> get <em>that? </em>I think my lung just collapsed); the stresses of surviving in the city; stultifying gossip over where galleries are migrating to, or what Jeffrey Deitch might do next; and the deafening sonic boom of internationally renowned names blasting through town for their major solo shows.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Dare it be said&mdash;as ought never to be acknowledged&mdash;that such immense and unrewarded effort can cause justifiable frustration, despondency, and professional jealousy. It dawns that artists are in thrall to the arbitrary choices of capricious selection panels, the drip-feed parade of trending new artists in emperor&rsquo;s clothes, the subjectivity of preening expert preferences, all topped off by the insidious mythology of gallery press machines that would posit worthless swill as important art which visitors are then forced to choke on, washed down, if they still serve it, by the cheapest opening reception tipple. Artists then, might be forgiven for thinking that the pot that they don&rsquo;t have to piss in, could arrive pre-plundered at any moment from the other end of the art world rainbow.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The feverish malady of preoccupation with attaining success can be difficult to ignore and exhausting for artists within New York&rsquo;s seething hyperbole, precipitously so if it begins to impact on their studio process. Yet they mustn&rsquo;t permit themselves to become possessed by such macerating demons because eye-rolling sad trombones are on the cultural bouncer&rsquo;s watch list. Maintenance of the rebel yell </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">must</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> be preserved and efforts redoubled as if this crucible of artistic zealotry were Rocky Bilboa&rsquo;s museum steps.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Or, they don&rsquo;t.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Other cities may have to reach out to attract international components and attention, whereas it simply pours into New York, but they offer an alternative approach via an <em>intent </em>that might just be partially transferrable to the metropolis<em>. </em>Recent trips I&rsquo;ve made to various cities were revealing, particularly Dallas. There, every gallery visit was greeted with a warm acknowledgment not only from the front desk but often, from the owner. Being previously conditioned to the miserable sense of intrusion implied by the unblinking stares of Stepford staff at many New York galleries, such friendliness was initially unsettling: what were they <em>thinking</em>? But many relaxing and fascinating conversations later it was clear that they didn&rsquo;t in fact want a kidney, but rather to talk about art. Each gallery suggested, and in one case drove me to, the next gallery, where the discourse continued, from major institutions to artist-run spaces.</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;">Any sense of competition was superseded by vigorous discussion with artists, dealers, curators, and directors involving primarily the work, rather than the trends, money, or myriad fashions of art. The pace of life, even the geography of the city, permitted artists to concentrate foremost on their work, and to discuss it, within an encouraging community environment where collaboration and support, intellectual and structural, is a requirement for the health and expansion of the city&rsquo;s art world, so that the general tilt was toward the benefit of the larger network. While nowhere is comparable to New York&rsquo;s scale or the unique and exciting politics of its vast artistic life, it was restorative to see in Dallas something other than a ferocious turf war between megalomaniac galleries, greedy critics bloated on their own egos, and behemoth institutions, all with their spacetime-warping, cascading influence on artists simply trying to make their way.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">This is not to suggest that harried New York artists relocate to Dallas, New Orleans, or elsewhere. These cities surely have their own challenges. Nor is it to compare like for like, or translate specific characteristics that wouldn&rsquo;t fit. But perhaps, the next time an artist gets up again and pitches back into the thick of New York&rsquo;s brutal fray, it could be made marginally less arduous, by looking out over the battlements, and applying a few tactics borrowed from less gladiatorial art worlds.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><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;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/16357-darren-jones" target="_blank">Darren Jones</a></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><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: x-small;">(Image at top:&nbsp;By Francisco Diez from New Jersey, USA (Times Square, NYC), via <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Times_Square,_New_York_City_(HDR).jpg" target="_blank">Wikimedia Commons</a>)</span></p> Thu, 07 May 2015 17:44:42 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list Relocating Home: Sofia Maldonado in Conversation <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">This interview really began in November over lunch at a neighborhood cafeteria in the arts district of Santurce, Puerto Rico, where I had been unwittingly served freshly grilled iguana rather than my anticipated chicken breast. Sitting across from me was Puerto Rican muralist Sofia Maldonado, whom I had spent the late and muggy morning with at her temporary studio at the <a href="http://mapr.org/es" target="_blank">Museo de Arte Contempor&aacute;neo</a> (MAC). After a stroll through the museums&rsquo; galleries we had gone down the street to grab a bite and discuss her recent relocation back home to the island.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Sofia&rsquo;s work has always been almost immediately recognizable as Caribbean&mdash;its undulating, entangled lines, bold graphic colors and vibrant portraits of local personalities are quickly identified by both Puerto Ricans and outsiders alike as steeped in this very specific culture. But for almost a decade now she had been living and working in New York City, with the occasional stint in Miami, L.A., or elsewhere abroad. Her trips home had been short and planned. Now, she&rsquo;s returned for an indeterminate amount of time, set up a local studio, and started teaching at La Escuela de Artes Pl&aacute;sticas in San Juan.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Six months after beginning the conversation we picked up the topic again remotely while she was traveling in L.A. Having re-settled the artist talked about her anxieties about &ldquo;returning home&rdquo;&mdash;and her evolving notion of what it means to be local.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><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/20150506202044-5.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;"><em>Yukali 2</em>, Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 72 in</span></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;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Nicole Rodriguez: So, can you actually go "home"?</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Sofia Maldonado:</strong>&nbsp;I moved back in November and I really felt disconnected from the scene. Although I had a really potent presence back in the days, after I relocated to New York things continued to change and you begin to naturally disconnect. Coming back is a question of re-integration and trying to become more present in order to re-engage, but also bring some of that perspective and experience back with you to share.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>NR: What has been people&rsquo;s reaction to you returning and beginning to work in San Juan again?</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>SM:</strong> When you are living and working between two places, people always expect you to pick up and leave soon. You get a lot of &ldquo;When are you leaving?&rdquo; questions. I guess you just have to make it official like I did through <a href="https://instagram.com/sofiamaldo/" target="_blank">Instagram</a>. [Laughs]</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;"><strong>NR: As a Puerto Rican&mdash;particularly a traveling artist and cultural producer&mdash;one is always caught startling lines, being a semi-local, only half involved in a conversation. How would you define local? What has that come to mean for you?</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>SM:</strong> It&rsquo;s complex. We live on an island and are a colony, so we have this very strange colonial mentality. We are American but not. We are Puerto Rican but not. From my perspective as an artist there are many ways of being a local. There is the localization, sure, but it is entirely different to have a local mentality.</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/32120/1dkh/20150506211239-Screen_Shot_2015-05-06_at_11.12.14_PM.png" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Installation view: <em>Into Gray</em>, Magnan Metz Gallery, New York, 2013</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>NR: This is the pitfall you were most dreading in November. Losing an international perspective by being back on the island, more isolated. </strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>SM:</strong> Yeah. What I did after living in the U.S. for some time is to plan to come back, set up a studio and teach at the University and try to open up a different dialogue that may not be occurring locally organically. In returning, I feel a sense of responsibility, particularly for the development of the mural.</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;"><strong>NR: How so? Muralism as a genre?</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>SM:</strong> Muralism, urban art. Call it whatever. Currently, there is a big local hype around the genre but I want to take the conversation to the other side of the spectrum and address a more responsible, more informed art and projects. Not everything in urban spaces needs to be a mural. It can take on many forms. This is why I titled my course "Platforms of Urban, Public and Community Art" with the idea of tracing these differences from murals to graphic interventions, public and community arts to even how to write a proposal&mdash;an element which is really missing in the education of artists in Puerto Rico.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="float: right;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150506201819-8.jpg" alt="" /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>Graphopoli</em>, Urban Art Biennial, Puerto Rico, 2009</span></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/20150506201834-3.jpg" alt="" /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; text-align: left;">Installation view: <em>On Painting</em>, the Modern Art Atlantic Centre (CAAM), Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, 2013</span></span></p> <p 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; text-align: left;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>NR: How is the class going?</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>SM:&nbsp;</strong>The budget is limiting. But we recently just opened up the class and did a Skype talk. That was a very new thing for [La Escuela de] Artes Pl&aacute;sticas. Incredibly interesting. My focus has been really on this educational component.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>NR: How is it different to produce locally versus abroad?</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>SM:</strong> I feel like your local community is a great place to start ideas. It&rsquo;s like a restart button. You can go there and in a very refreshing and comfortable place create a new body of work. Touch base. Give back. Go away. Come back. But contribute something. What people are able to experience in Puerto Rico is very limited. You aren&rsquo;t going to be able to see international artists everyday. The museums cater largely to local artists. It&rsquo;s up to us with a more international background to contribute ideas we&rsquo;ve experienced and bring them back to the conversation.</span><strong style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; text-align: left;">&nbsp;</strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><strong style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; text-align: left;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150506211724-Screen_Shot_2015-05-06_at_11.17.04_PM.png" alt="" /></strong></p> <p 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; text-align: left;"><em>No future?</em>, 2013, acrylic and urethane on canvas, 36 x 30 in</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; text-align: left;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>NR: Less chorus, more dialogue?</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>SM:</strong> To be clear there is a local dialogue. I&rsquo;m not saying there is not. But it&rsquo;s insular. Of course this happens everywhere. Here in L.A. right now I talk to people and people don&rsquo;t really travel that far that often. It&rsquo;s not like in New York or Berlin where you talk to people and they are always coming and going. &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve been here, I&rsquo;ve been there.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>NR: But it&rsquo;s different, right? If you are a local in L.A. you still have more opportunities to talk to different types of people passing through. Versus in P.R. no one is coming to you to give you ideas for free. You need to venture out.</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>SM:</strong> As an artist engages on a more international panorama you need to bring different influences back to the community. Juni [Figueroa] is a good example of this. He is based in Puerto Rico and always has been, but he has sought an international career that has placed both him and Puerto Rico on the contemporary art map simultaneously. By having this interaction with different scenes he becomes a bridge between a local and international community. And that helps the local ideas evolve.</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;"><strong>NR: As a cultural producer there is a major sense of responsibility and opportunity there.</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>SM:</strong> Exactly. If museums directors and curators don&rsquo;t travel, don&rsquo;t read, don&rsquo;t have outside advisors the same content gets repeated over and over again and the conversation becomes almost a parody of itself, leaving a local community visually bankrupt. For me it was really refreshing to travel to Berlin and visit spaces like the Hamburger Bahnhof where I was able to see entire rooms dedicated to only one or two works. Fresh curatorial approaches that give way to different ways of experiencing. I felt instantly how much we needed this.</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/20150506202004-9.jpg" alt="" /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; text-align: left;"><em>Caribbean Links II</em>, 2013, Gouache on paper, 11 x 15 in</span></span></p> <p 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; text-align: left;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>NR: Do you think there is room for this conversation in Puerto Rico?</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>SM:</strong> Artists like Juni [Figueroa], Chemi [Rosado], Bubu [Negr&oacute;n] or myself&mdash;artists that are traveling all the time&mdash;often feel like they are not part of the local schema because the community might no longer understand where you are trying to go. So all of a sudden you don&rsquo;t have space in your own country because institutions and patrons want to cater to just what&rsquo;s happening there. This is an education problem. People seem comfortable with only a certain type of artwork and set of topics. Additionally, there aren&rsquo;t many spaces to exhibit; there are only maybe two galleries that have an actual international dialogue and if you are none of those then you have to escape. And make your own path.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>NR: Do you think the lack of outside references can kill local creativity? </strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>SM:</strong> Definitely. Without any visual education or more involved global perspective you begin to make your own rules. The fear is that you become increasingly irrelevant to what is happening on the international arena.</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/20150506202019-10.jpg" alt="" /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; text-align: left;"><em>Caribbean Links II</em>, 2013, Gouache on paper, 11 x 15 in</span></span></p> <p 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; text-align: left;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>NR: What is needed in order to make your own path?</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>SM:</strong> We need creatives with different mentalities. After six months I can say that I feel pretty comfortable and engaged in what&rsquo;s happening on the island. Though I&rsquo;m not rooted to the local discussion like I once was, I&rsquo;m creating my own space. I think that&rsquo;s important. And in the end that&rsquo;s the nice thing about Puerto Rico. You have that possibility. So for the moment I&rsquo;m creating projects, documenting, all with the idea of having it exported. I&rsquo;m looking into giving a course at the University of Puerto Rico with a cycle of international conferences about the "public" and the "ephemeral"&mdash;a conversation that still does not exist here. I&rsquo;m also pitching for a project in Caguas&mdash;actually I have a meeting with the Caguas city major coming up. My plan is to take an abandoned building before it gets remodeled and do a painting and installation project alongside a series of workshops touching on themes of the local economy and how prevalent abandoned buildings are on the island. This will be sometime this summer.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Puerto Rico is a studio for me&mdash;a project generator. So for now: to be continued. Let&rsquo;s just wait and see.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;">&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/147418-nicole-rodr%C3%ADguez?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Nicole Rodriguez</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-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">(Image at the top:&nbsp;Installation view: <em>Into Gray</em>, Magnan Metz Gallery, New York, 2013)</span></p> Thu, 07 May 2015 16:20:09 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list Bottling Local: Oh, the Smell of Amsterdam in the Spring... <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">First comes a wave of chlorophyll: a fresh and forward odor, the smell of tender green. Then, when the first vapors thin in the air and the nose digs deeper, the wood follows. It&rsquo;s darker, heavier, earthier&mdash;soothing and more serious after the initial playfulness.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The French have Yves Saint-Laurent&rsquo;s eau de toilette, Paris, in its compact&nbsp;pink bottle. New York is well taken care of with Bond 9 having designed a different smell for every borough&mdash;and I&rsquo;m not even mentioning Donna Karan&rsquo;s entire line of perfumes carrying the city&rsquo;s name. But it was probably Gishlain that took the idea of city-themed perfumes to its extreme with its <a href="http://usa.thescentofdeparture.com/about.php" target="_blank">The Scent of Departure</a>&nbsp;line: seventeen perfumes dedicated to cities worldwide, from Munich to Miami. However, none of these olfactory homages to great cities are as literal as <a href="http://eaudamsterdam.com/" target="_blank">Eau d&rsquo;Amsterdam</a>, which was launched in 2014. Most perfumes try to summon up an idea, an abstract notion like romance, energy, or mystery, but Eau d&rsquo;Amsterdam truly duplicates the city&rsquo;s smell. Or at least one of its most dominant ones. During spring.</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/20150506193131-van_iep_tot_parfum_-_illustratie_Monique_Wijbrands.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">From Elm to Perfume. Illustration:&nbsp;Monique Wijbrands</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 most important ingredient of Eau d&rsquo;Amsterdam is the elm. It&rsquo;s not the official city tree, but with over 75,000 specimens within the municipal borders it might as well be. Amsterdam is the city with the highest elm density in the world. In the twentieth century the elm population in Europe and the US was decimated by two waves of the Dutch elm disease, caused by a microfungus dispersed by dark beetles. The disease was first described by two Dutch biologists, Bea Schwarz and Christina Johanna Buisman, hence the name. But the Dutch also took to breeding resistant cultivars and rapidly replacing ailing trees. So, while elsewhere more than ninety percent of elms died, Amsterdam has kept its signature tree.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The history of the elm in Amsterdam dates back to the seventeenth century. The city was flourishing and growing, new canals were being dug that needed landscaping. The elm turned out to be the ideal city tree: a fast grower (a centimeter in diameter every year), sturdy, and quite elegant with its V-shaped branches. The elm is easily the most popular tree in the city center: number two on the list, the plane (<em>Platanus</em>), is outnumbered 894 to 5,271. The Amsterdam canals having been granted the status of Unesco World Heritage Site kind of promotes the elm to a more official status as well.</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/20150506193449-elm_seed_and_leaves.jpg" alt="" width="325" /><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150506193540-IMG_8117.JPG" alt="" width="325" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">This is all really interesting information, but you could be living in Amsterdam your entire life and not be familiar with the elm. As trees go, the elm is a bit plain. It&rsquo;s not as robust as the chestnut, not as eccentric as the oak, not as regal as the beech. But there is one moment during the year when the elm makes itself known to city dwellers. In spring, usually between the second week of April and the third week of May, the elm blossoms and spreads its seeds like fluffy light green snow. It was during one of those spring afternoons in 2011 that artists Lieuwe Martijn Wijnands and Saskia Hoogendoorn found themselves on a terrace, wondering about this wonderful natural confetti. Then and there, they decided that the elm deserved its own festival, comparable with the cherry blossom parades in Tokyo and Washington DC.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">This became <a href="http://springsnow.nl/" target="_blank">Springsnow</a> and it&rsquo;s growing every year. Elm-inspired artworks are on display; documentaries are made about the tree; Reinier Sijpkens, who has been floating on the city&rsquo;s canals with his one-man orchestra for 25 years, composed an homage to the elm together with theremin promotor Fay Lovsky; and there are a bunch of pop-up events celebrating spring. Linking everything together is the Elm Walk, starting at the botanical garden next to the EYE Film Museum, home to 32 different species of elm, and winding through the historical center. The city&rsquo;s &ldquo;tree mayor&rdquo; Hans Kaljee talks about the city&rsquo;s eldest elm (at the Nieuwe Herengracht, planted in 1891), the tallest (at the Oudemanhuispoort, measuring 35 meters), and the specimen planted in remembrance of astronaut Wubbo Ockels, who was a great conservationist.</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/20150506192950-10404413_10205552660805859_2478656731674016239_n.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In a city this packed with activities it&rsquo;s difficult to stand out, though. Wijnands and Hoogendoorn needed something more tangible than a website and a map to get their enthusiasm across, not to mention a source of income to pay for their festival. Thus, Eau d&rsquo;Amsterdam was born. That&rsquo;s, of course, more easily said than done. Elm mucilage is used medicinally as a soothing demulcent, and during the great famine in Norway in 1812 the tree&rsquo;s bark proved to be edible after cooking, but never before has it been used as the basis for a perfume. But working collaboratively with perfume designer Tanja Deurloo of Annindriya and the creative department of International Flavors &amp; Fragrances they pulled it off. At the 2014 edition of Meesterlijk, an Amsterdam based fair for design and applied arts, they presented their first tests. The first limited edition, sold in a box decorated with a Hendrik Keun painting from 1773 showing the trees in full bloom, is almost completely sold out. A second edition, this time containing more blossom, is being produced right now.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">And more uses of the elm have been discovered. The candy makers of Papabubble have developed a Spingsnow Candy, containing elm seeds. And Stadsplank uses the wood of cleared trees to make artisanal cutting boards, with the origin of the tree engraved. But these will probably never have the same impact as Eau d&rsquo;Amsterdam. The power of scent can hardly be matched. Scientific studies show that pheromones are crucial for falling in love: you stick with the person who smells like home or who you feel at home with. I guess it works that way with cities as well.</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">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: Photo:&nbsp;Giuseppe de Bruijn)</span></p> Thu, 07 May 2015 00:37:39 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list How Two New Satellites Challenge San Francisco's Art Fair Scene <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Aside from artMRKT, two other art fairs happened in San Francisco this past weekend:&nbsp;</span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://www.startupartfair.com/about/" target="_blank">StARTup Art Fair </a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">and </span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://parkinglotartfair.tumblr.com/image/117564619049" target="_blank">Parking Lot Art Fair</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">. E</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">ach attempted to unfold controversial aspects of what it means to gather en masse, and to expose the public to a variety of artists in one place for a concentrated amount of time. The venues missed and seized opportunities, respectively, and&nbsp;each presented their own set of risks surrounding the art fair model.</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/20150506190619-15_parking_lot_fair.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;Parking Lot Art Fair installation view, held at the artMRKT parking lot, Saturday May 2, 2015</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/20150506190707-2._startup_pool_shot.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">stARTup art fair held at the Hotel Del Sol, May 1 &ndash; 3, 2015</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;(center sculpture) Tania Houtzager,&nbsp;<em>VBH,&nbsp;</em>2011, Epoxy Resin, Fiberglass, LED&rsquo;s</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;">stARTup, which was held at Hotel Del Sol, came into fruition last fall when co-Founders Ray Beldner&nbsp;and Steve Zavattero wanted to create a space&nbsp;specifically for artists who are not represented by galleries. Following the satellite hotel fair model, such as that of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.aquaartmiami.com/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=10&amp;tabindex=9&amp;dealerid=27487&amp;curidx=3&amp;back=name" target="_blank">Aqua Art Miami</a>, in which hotel rooms are typically occupied by galleries representing artists, stARTup attempted to turn the tables. The vision was that artists could sell their work on their own terms, keeping 100 percent of the sale proceeds. All of this sounds very founded in art advocacy; however, the logic that artists should invest their own money in a fair platform for exhibiting their work is still problematic&mdash;one is tempted to say it is a case of &ldquo;pay to play.&rdquo; Nevertheless, the artists do get a bit more for their money, as the arrangement also includes other perks that fairs offer, such as press coverage and, of course, exposure. The fair was sponsored by Shopify, and the organizers held workshops offering tutorials for how to complete a transaction and to follow through with collectors so that the artists could ring their own sales.</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/20150506192907-14_parking_lot_fair_install.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Parking Lot Art Fair installation view, held at the artMRKT parking lot, Saturday May 2, 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;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">However, the business model of the stARTup fair was too spontaneous in terms of generating sponsorship to front the cost for artists. A call went out on Facebook and other social media outlets to announce the platform and to entice artists to participate in a juried panel (for a submission fee) to exhibit at the fair. If selected, the artists would invest their own money&mdash;in excess of $2,500 or more&mdash;to participate. The fair founders put up the money up front, and the artist fees were required to cover the cost of operations such as insurance and security staffing. But this rationale seemed to be clouded by the notion that the investors needed to recoup their costs, whereas the participating artists&rsquo; recuperation of funds was dependent on sales. The likelihood of selling at a fair is ambiguous&mdash;as with any kind of venture that doesn&rsquo;t have the history or the substantial support to glean interest from buyers (as the more established fairs do).</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Thus, there are positive and negative arguments for the entire venture. Fairs can be an advocate for artists; one of their purposes is to elucidate what art is doing in the world. Yet for the most part the fair was a missed opportunity for artists to do something more controversial or to make a statement in situ, taking the hotel as a conceptual site into consideration. The fair seemed to be too aligned with the baggage that comes with commodification, rather than focusing on the conceptual or intrinsic value of the art being represented. The fair did, however, feature (at no cost) several non-profit art organizations including <a href="https://www.rootdivision.org/" target="_blank">Root Division,</a> an artist residency and gallery space, and <a href="http://creativegrowth.org/category/news/" target="_blank">Creative Growth</a>, an organization from Oakland that educates artists with developmental, mental, and physical disabilities. Heather Marx also sponsored artists to do site-specific works, including Paul Clipson&rsquo;s sound and film piece installed in an outdoor stairwell.</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/20150506193356-8_creative_growth.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Creative Growth installation view featuring Terri Bowden, John Hiltunen, Gina Damarell, Sherrie Aradanas, stARTup art fair</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/20150506193610-6_paul_clipson.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Paul Clipson, staircase video projection, stARTup art fair</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;">Overall, the artists were challenged with respecting the space constraints, but it seems that the long leash given the artists to do whatever they wanted with their rooms (and many had really tasteful and imaginative ways of dealing with this) worked best for those who could wrap their heads around the strangeness of the rooms or whose practices were more site contingent. In short, the rooms needed to be curated; many artists would have benefitted from having their room curated&mdash;had the emphasis been on showing their best and most challenging works. Instead many showed several selections from multiple bodies of work or small works that could easily be sold and taken away. Though a necessary business strategy, it only perpetuated the fair commodification problems that plagued it in the first place. Painters suffered the most in this setting&mdash;though&nbsp;there were some stand out works.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Painter <a href="http://amstohr.com/" target="_blank">am&nbsp;St&ouml;hr,&nbsp;</a>for example, created a bright and inviting site specific work especially for the ceiling of the room, which she encouraged visitors to experience while lying on the bed looking up. Her multi-colored, expressive works on Yupo paper created a dizzying and psychedelic effect on the eye, which St&ouml;hr equates with the crisp and sometimes glaring California light. <a href="http://www.kaufmanarts.com/work/wall-drawings/" target="_blank">Jennifer Kaufman</a> removed the beds and included two large eight-foot canvases resting on cinderblocks, in addition to creating site specific adhesive vinyl wall drawings throughout the space, including on the floor and ceiling. In both of these cases the artists took the opportunity to make bold statements that readily conveyed the meaning of their works as not simply formal commodity, but as bold statements about painting&rsquo;s potential to activate space.</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/20150506193804-3_am_storh_installation.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">am St&ouml;hr, installation view stARTup art fair held at the Hotel Del Sol, May 1 &ndash; 3, 2015</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/20150506194206-5_jennifer_kaufman.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Jennifer Kaufman, installation view stARTup art fair held at the Hotel Del Sol, May 1 &ndash; 3, 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;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Conversely, <a href="http://www.christhorsonstudio.com/" target="_blank">Chris Thorson</a> used the room as an all-encompassing installation that directly commented on the hotel room itself. The bed was mussed&mdash;its pillows and blankets arranged as if someone had slept there&mdash;a carefully folded t-shirt (<em>Frenemy</em>) and crumpled cable knit sweater (<em>Rock</em>), both fabricated out of gypsum Hydrocal were set on the bed. Other trompe-l'&oelig;il Hydrocal accoutrements scattered the room, including a banana (<em>Cavendish III</em>), grape stems (<em>Thompson Seedless I &amp; II</em>) dirty socks (<em>Bro Palace</em> series) and factice remote controls (<em>Chameleon</em> series) for the television; which she later turned on to daytime tacky game shows. The installation was so convincing that many people peeked in and went away, thinking that the room was in disarray and not cleaned up. One visitor came in and stated: &ldquo;I&rsquo;m not sure what&rsquo;s the art.&rdquo; This was a good thing.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Thorson was ambivalent about participating in the fair, and chose to use the opportunity as a way to challenge traditional art systems. The entire room was transformed into something that it is not, while still maintaining an estrangement from the fair context through the careful use of the objects that she dressed in the space. The installation was titled <em>The Stranger</em>, after Albert Camus&rsquo; book of the same name. A thoroughly convincing set of cast silver and bronze keys also titled <em>The Stranger</em> are set on the bureau next to the actual hotel stationary notepad and a lone Hydrocal glove from the series <em>Lost</em>. At work in the room was a conceptual <em>double entendre</em> between the concept of the &ldquo;guest&rdquo; as someone who visits a hotel, and the concept of gallery-goers as visitors. The title of the work becomes all the more poignant when considering that gallery-goers are not considered guests at galleries, but rather strangers to the work they view&mdash;always on the outside looking in or at the work.</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/20150506194542-11_chris_thorson.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Chris Thorson, installation view, installation view stARTup art fair held at the Hotel del Sol, May 1 &ndash; 3, 2015</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">While taking some issue with the business approach and the marketing angles that the fair organizers implemented, the idea of stARTup is an important one worth revisiting because it shook up the fair model and opened up the potential for even more challenging future projects. That said, Parking Lot Art Fair Founder and Director Jenny Sharaf and Program Manager Emily Reynolds wasted no time (the website went up on March 9) and spent almost no money in putting together a fair that took place on May 2 for only five hours. Located in the parking lot adjacent to the artMRKT fair at Fort Mason Marina, the renegade fair was free to participants, and since it was in a public space with no formal demarcation (other than a big chalk sign drawn on the sidewalk and bright pink name labels for the exhibitors), anyone happening upon the event could also roam it for free.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Cars gingerly circled the spaces looking unsuccessfully for a place to park nearby before making their way into Fort Mason to artMRKT, which cost $26 to attend. In an interview Sharaf stated, &ldquo;The timing and location of Parking Lot Art Fair was incredibly strategic. I wanted collectors and art patrons to find us on their way into artMRKT.&nbsp;The visitors that stumbled upon us ended up also being our marketing team." She pointed out that many satellite fairs often set up around major fairs, &ldquo;so that collectors can hop around to the different openings on fancy van shuttles and check out the different scenes.&rdquo; In fact, stARTup was offering such a service, since they were only about six blocks from artMRKT at the Hotel Del Sol. Sharaf views the clustering strategy as a strengthening one that also offers, &ldquo;a wonderful 'listicle' opportunity for arts writers/bloggers.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Meanwhile, Sharaf and Reynolds&rsquo; &ldquo;all in&rdquo; curating approach included over 100 participants who are all active players in what can be called the most vital pulse of contemporary art in San Francisco right now. The range included galleries such as <a href="http://etaletc.com/" target="_blank">Et al.</a> in Chinatown and a pop-up curated by <a href="http://www.colpapress.com/pages/curated-by" target="_blank">Colpa Press</a>, projects by <a href="http://www.thethingquarterly.com/" target="_blank">The Thing Quarterly</a> and the <a href="http://www.wondermentconsortium.com/" target="_blank">Wonderment Consortium</a> as Sunshine Alliance, to individual artists&mdash;way too many to name. The atmosphere was not only convivial, but also engaging, witty, and spontaneous. Participants employed all manners of making the unusual location site specifically relevant; from U-Hauls to boats to their own cars, blankets on lawns and tailgate pancakes. &ldquo;I think it falls on the artists of the city to create engaging creative moments that bring our community together. We have to create the art scene that we want to live in. No one else will do it for us.&rdquo;</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/20150506194409-17_christian_parking_lot.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;<span style="font-size: x-small;">Christian Davies, Parking Lot Art Fair installation view</span></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;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Sharaf has a point, one which was on my mind when speaking with other people about Parking Lot Art Fair. On several occasions it was mentioned that Parking Lot "allowed" artists to take risks because there was no money at stake. However, this is flimsy logic. Risk is part of seizing opportunity and requires a lot of guts. Both fairs did something disruptive for San Francisco's art fair scene with very little time to plan, and hopefully their efforts spark inspiration from others to come forward&mdash;whether it&rsquo;s an additional satellite next year, or the emergence of more artist-led initiatives. The key message is to just take the risk do something different.</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" 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</span><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">:&nbsp;</span></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">Chris Thorson, installation view, installation view stARTup art fair held at the Hotel del Sol, May 1 &ndash; 3, 2015</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;">&nbsp;</p> Fri, 08 May 2015 01:23:26 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list We Are All Synecdoches <blockquote> <p class="Body" style="text-align: left; padding-left: 30px;" align="center"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em style="text-align: left;">You are standing in a field looking at the stars. Your arms are resting freely at your side, and you see that the distant stars are not moving. Now start spinning. The stars are whirling around you and your arms are pulled away from your body. Why should your arms be pulled away when the stars are whirling? Why should they be dangling freely when the stars don't move? Local physical laws are determined by the large-scale structure of the universe.</em></span></p> <p class="Body" style="text-align: left; padding-left: 30px;" align="right"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>&mdash;</em>Ernst Mach, Mach&rsquo;s Principle </span></p> </blockquote> <p class="Body"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">So here we are, algae in water, growing out of stillness and forming slippery connections everywhere. As we slither, rust, and our stomata breathes, we form mycelial nets, so that we, eukaryotes enclosed in membranes, are inextricably linked with the water, the rock, the air, the ether of every interface with which we exchange nutrients.</span></p> <p class="Body"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Let us then imagine that these membranes are neurological molecules of the mind: consciousness. We live the world in a complex web of neurons&mdash;synapses&mdash;transmitting signals across millions of meters in minutes. We and the world activate each other, forming cross-signals: axons of information and intuition brushing up against each other to form filaments of what we call &ldquo;experience.&rdquo;</span></p> <p class="Body"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The local and the universal host each other: we will see three variant instances in which this occurs across disciplines&mdash;language, music and the (pseudo)sciences&mdash;such that the parts of each piece necessarily create and are created by (or destroy and are destroyed by), the whole.</span></p> <p class="Body"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; *</span></p> <p class="Body"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In <em>Mr. Palomar</em>, Italo Calvino divides the book into three sections, each containing three sub-parts which in turn contain three super-parts. This geometric structure begins to mimic the story itself: there are three entities that allow the story to exist. These are Mr. Palomar, the world, and consciousness. Calvino delineates the structure in the book&rsquo;s index, in which the three sections function alternately as visual, anthropological and speculative narrative. But these definitions progressively blur until the world simply cannot exist without Mr. Palomar thinking it into being. When he thinks of death, he dies, and the story ends. Not only is the self dependent on the world, it impacts the world. The story&rsquo;s mechanics also begin to mimic this: its super parts quickly make up its primary categories.</span></p> <p class="Body"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Oulipian writers such as Calvino were writing at a time when they could already foresee a systemic technology&mdash;the internet&mdash;overwhelming distinct experience. Thus, ironically, the novel&rsquo;s mathematics do not flatten the &ldquo;I,&rdquo; but rather enhance its inherent delusion.</span></p> <p class="Body"><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/20150506181317-Untitled.png" alt="" width="500" /></span></p> <p class="Body"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; *</span></p> <p class="Body"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Bertrand Lamarche, contemporary artist and 2012 winner of the Marcel Duchamp Prize, describes, in his drawing <em>Time-Travel Theory</em>, the dissolution and resurrection of the self as it listens to music. The tension of the work itself lies in its schematic romanticism, its false rationality, and minimal anthropomorphism.</span></p> <p class="Body"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The progression of the piece is as follows:</span></p> <blockquote> <p class="Body" style="padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">You hear a piece of music for the first time.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">You have the uncanny sensation that you&rsquo;ve heard it before.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Your present self crashes into a past axis of time.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">You feel unlike yourself, transformed.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">But this state of metamorphosis is in constant flux.</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Even as you bump into the past and stumble upon the present, the future is upon you, and you begin spiraling toward it, looping over and over again. Your eternally recurring present changes the past.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The past is no longer the past.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">All norms of time collapse, as do you. You fall. You spin about your own axis.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Then you recompose.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">No longer linear, you look like a record.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">A vinyl, except not concentric, but eccentric, unstable, de-centered.</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">You feel as though you live outside of society.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Your inner life and the event of music, the emotion, or the melancholy it induces, creates an aberration in conventional protocol.</span></p> </blockquote> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150506183758-Screen_Shot_2015-05-06_at_8.37.42_PM.png" alt="" />Bertrand Lamarche, </span><a href="http://www.bertrandlamarche.com/works/2012-TIMETRAVELTHEORY.html" target="_blank"><em style="font-size: x-small;">Time Travel Theory</em></a><span style="font-size: x-small;">, 2014, Pencil on paper, 146 x 42 cm</span></span></p> <p class="Body"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Like Mr. Palomar, who feels exterminated from the world, the &ldquo;self&rdquo; in this drawing, pivoting inextricably on the axis of time, is affected by an experience outside of it so much so that the self merges and becomes the music by which it has been transformed. Walter Pater described music as the highest form of art because its form is indistinguishable from its being. The self, upon listening to a piece of music, becomes the music.</span></p> <p class="Body"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Default"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; *</span></p> <p class="Default"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Default"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Now, to extend the local to the galactic, then watch as the galactic collapses into a single point: does outer space exist because we do? How can we escape from the egocentricity that dawns from this perspective? Where there is no consciousness, is there anything at all? How do we know? Kenneth Goldsmith, in </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Uncreative Writing</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">, describes knowledge in the digital age as tucked in code behind images. He makes an argument for the creator as perpetrator of crafting information from the world: &ldquo;The thought of all that invisible language racing through the very air we breathe is overwhelming: television, terrestrial radio, shortwave, satellite radio, citizen band, text messages, wireless data, satellite television, and cell phone signals, to name but a few&hellip; I&rsquo;ve transformed from a writer into an information manager, adept at the skills of replicating, organizing, mirroring, archiving, hoarding, storing, reprinting, bootlegging, plundering, and transferring.&rdquo; In a sense, Goldsmith refers to scale, to bring the great out there here.</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The video below reflects the event horizon of knowledge itself and in doing so, interrogates lost archives. Utilizing an image capture of every black hole on Google&rsquo;s search, the experience of outer space flies by in a whirl, simulated neons and imagined voids absorbing everything that is imposed upon us. The images we have of black holes are merely the <em>face</em> of the black hole, the event horizon, past which we have no knowledge. The black hole devours everything around it. A massive topology collapsed into a single node.</span></p> <p class="Body"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/GIHiXShcGOg" frameborder="0" width="700" height="394"></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Himali Singh Soin, <em>A Voiding A Paradox&nbsp;</em></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></p> <p class="Body"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The speed and repetition with which the images disappear begins to mimic memory itself: how we put away moments, how we grasp the past, how it repeats and how, repeatedly, we loosen the webs that we forget to remember. As pieces of darkness with high gravitational pulls that seem to bend light and devour stars, black holes appear as monsters of the night. We experience this sensation, perhaps, in our everyday lives. Massacred ideas, hopes and dreams hanging on a horizon long-gone. Dead spaces in our minds when we have read too much, dark places in our hearts when we have loved too hard. Such is a black hole that arises from <em>too much</em> gravity: a nothing created from abundance, a conjunction that fragments a sentence, a truth seen via a lie. Knowledge lost by forming.</span></p> <p class="Body"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; *</span></p> <p class="Body"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="color: #000000;">But there are holes everywhere.&nbsp;</span>The great outer space, the whole world and our individual selves are carefully connected, yet there are points of missed contact, interrupted relations, fault lines. But these breakages also begin to look like us: an individual&rsquo;s inner fault lines, a psychological disruption. The local and the spatial mutually create and destroy each other.</span></p> <p class="Body"><em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">In order to write this, I deliberately chose the pronoun &ldquo;we.&rdquo; The self, no longer separate from the global, must address itself in a kind of simultaneity, a togetherness that bears responsibility for &ldquo;our&rdquo; actions, creating a very specific phase in time, the Anthropocene. Every step we take/make affects the global whole. Later, satellites will be seen as stars. We are not separate from space.</span></span></em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><br /></span></p> <p class="Body"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/90633-himali-singh-soin?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Himali Singh Soin</a></span></p> <p class="Default"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Default"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at top: Earth selfie / Earthrise. Photo: <a href="https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/image_feature_1249.html" target="_blank">NASA</a>)</span></p> Thu, 07 May 2015 16:14:24 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list Lost in the Local <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I take a night train to Milwaukee with an overloaded shoulder bag, a bottle and a half of red wine in me, and full of hope. On the way north I reread articles on the great artist migration from big cities to bankrupt ones, to the exurbs&mdash;be born rich or move to Detroit/Cleveland/Jersey City/Belleville. Or Milwaukee, where I&rsquo;d be staying at The Pfister Hotel for a pop-up arts symposium on empowering the local arts scene, the whole affair orchestrated by Niki Johnson, the hotel&rsquo;s artist in residence. Go local!</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Looking out the window at cheap grocery stores and tunnels of excellent graffiti, I remember that Amtrak has its own residency program. Facebook, too. If artists are being priced out of the urban zone, maybe (corporate) residencies will be their only access point in the future. Artist-in-residence in every retailer up and down the Magnificent Mile/Broadway/the Champs&nbsp;Elys&eacute;es. Go corporate support!</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The MKE symposium was to celebrate both of these: the local, small-city arts scene and the completion of Niki&rsquo;s year-long residency at the Pfister. In honor of the occasion, and in bid for coverage, the hotel would be putting me and three other writers up. I glance around the train car: people in discount workwear sipping tallboys or snoring. No obvious arts writers. I connect with them on Twitter, Sid Branca (of <a href="http://badatsports.com/"><em>Bad at Sports</em></a>) and I agree to meet on the platform. Out the window are spotlit waiting rooms, construction machinery bearing vigil in the night.</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/20150506231140-Pfister1.jpg" alt="" />&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">All photo: James Pepper Kelly&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;">Sid is cool, with white-blonde hair, here to meet a friend about their theatre group. She&rsquo;s curious to see if the hotel halls will work for a video project. We walk over the highway together and it feels almost like high school, stopping in a small gas station for cigarettes (Sid) and lottery tickets (me). The wine is still working as we climb up through Milwaukee, wind blowing at our chests one minute, our backs the next. What, I wonder, are we doing here? Sid says this is a regular thing, from time to time she leaves Chicago to eat sausages and drink beer in Milwaukee. I might be here for the same reasons, I think, not sausages or beer but the other part. Go. Local.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">After walking up Milwaukee&rsquo;s wide, empty streets we reach The Pfister Hotel (pronounced &ldquo;Fister&rdquo;). Not what I had guessed at: not quaint, not corporate. No, everything in the lobby is marbled and gilded, fluffed and shined. Painted Victorian women lower their tops while bronzed bare long legs lead up to tilted, childlike hips. Overhead, chandeliers light the cheeks of smirking, naked cherubim. From the hotel lounge/bar comes laughter, ennui, the scent of a hundred (dollar) perfumes.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">A friend of mine once had a studio visit with Doris Salcedo during which the all-star artist declared, &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t want to hear about you and your bourgeois friends!&rdquo; It&rsquo;s easy to empathize. Of course we should care about the working artist&rsquo;s concerns, but having to actually hear them enumerated is dull. I came to Milwaukee from Chicago, The City That Works, expecting the standard talking points around art world economics: student loan debt, the plight of the adjunct, the W.A.G.E. system, lack of collectorship, the sins of mega-galleries, and the numbing standardization of art fairs, to name a few. Retreading these issues, worthy as they are, is usually the art world equivalent of talking about the weather, or the record of your local sports team. Looking round the lobby of the Pfister I wonder if those points are relevant here. What can you say about the weather while sitting in the antechamber to the orgy?&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</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/20150506231218-Pfister2.jpg" alt="" /><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Just off the lobby, in the former Business Center, is Niki Johnson&rsquo;s studio. This is where she&rsquo;s spent 30+ hours per week over the last year. Glass walls and an open door encourage visitors to stop, watch, engage, and Niki is chatting with several of them as Sid and I walk up. I look round the studio, take some pictures, read wall text, but mostly I&rsquo;m watching Niki charm her guests. Later at the bar she&rsquo;ll laugh and refer to the space as a fish bowl and I&rsquo;ll feel sorry for her having to make the same noises every day like clockwork, and impressed with her too, and on some level I&rsquo;ll know that as we sit there, me and Sid and now Kate Sierzputowski too (of&nbsp;<em>Inside/Within </em>and<em> Newcity</em>), that Niki is handling us just as well as anyone.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The three of us keep Niki up late, until we&rsquo;re nodding off, playing our roles as question-askers. The entire time she sparkles. Her role here is the personally magnetic artist and she&rsquo;s damn good at it, self-deprecating and honest and polished&mdash;but almost too much. Behind her the dark bar stretches out, empty aside from our table. Small tealights go out here and there and stay that way. We were talking about what? The bartender spins a beer bottle between his palms to get the last dregs into a glass (never seen that one before), shortly after kicks us out. We laugh our way back to the hotel, up the elevator, and I notice a gift basket waiting in my room: cheeses, mustard, dip-able pretzels. I read through Pfister press releases while chewing Gouda. Pretzel crumbs are everywhere but I don&rsquo;t notice because I&rsquo;m learning that the Pfister is haunted, at least the Internet says so and some sports teams won&rsquo;t even stay here, but I&rsquo;m losing focus here so I fall into the bed and pass out.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In the morning there&rsquo;s a bright sun over Milwaukee, the wind just as strong. I walk down to the lake where there&rsquo;s an art museum hosting a flower show, then back to the hotel past buff, short-haired insurance employees. If Nelson Algren was right&mdash;loving Chicago is like loving a woman with a broken nose<a title="" href="#_ftn1">[1]</a>&mdash;then is loving Milwaukee like loving her clean-living Boy Scout cousin? If so, the Pfister is that vanilla boy&rsquo;s ID.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Before lunch with the marketing team I explore the hotel lobby. I&rsquo;m happy to see that the hedonism holds up in daylight. I start reading wall labels and thrill to the realization that the text is as idiosyncratic as the artwork. Up on the mezzanine a portrait of Mr. Ben Marcus, the magnate who purchased the property in the early 60s, smiles out at me. There&rsquo;s also a woman there peering out from beneath an Alice in Wonderland hat, not smiling, tapping on a classic typewriter. The Narrator- in-Residence, I guess based on last night&rsquo;s PR binge. She stares at me a minute then starts tapping faster.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">At lunch the writers (now joined by <a href="http://artfcity.com/author/corinnakirsch/">Corinna Kirsch</a>, Art F City) sit down with three members of the Pfister&rsquo;s marketing team. We cover the details of the press releases, which, surprisingly, I seem to somehow remember. All three of them love working for the Pfister, or, more accurately, for The Pfister Hotel&rsquo;s holding company, Marcus Hotels &amp; Resorts, a division of The Marcus Corporation (NYSE: <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=MCS&amp;ql=1">MCS</a>). Mentally I flip what&rsquo;s instantly &ldquo;problematic&rdquo; &mdash;who doesn&rsquo;t love to bash corporate?&mdash;but it&rsquo;s a reflexive impulse. The Pfister gives the AIR studio space, pays her, feeds her, gives her latitude to make use of the hotel&rsquo;s resources and propose projects. Hence the symposium, which Niki proposed, and The Marcus Corporation inviting us all to Mil-town. During the talking points I fantasize about being rich and investing ethically: only corporations with AIR programs.</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;">Towards the end of the meal things pick up: one of the employees starts describing her hobby as a competitive dog-track trainer. At this point the Pfister has my complete respect: how, how does it completely fail to be normal?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">And then, the symposium. I wish I could say that the arts speakers did well by the Pfister&rsquo;s weirdness. I wish that we&rsquo;d met in that haunted ballroom, old man Pfister looking down on us from back balcony, and truly realized where we were. Speakers could talk about the poetry of wall labels, the painting of a regal lion hanging up high by the ghost, how this spectacular art collection of hope and perversion came to Milwaukee and how we should face it today.</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;">But that didn&rsquo;t happen. We hear about how to write for grants, that we should talk to strangers, that someone writing for Hyperallergic said something about Kehinde Wiley and there are a lotta blog comments. That &ldquo;there is art writing out there.&rdquo; When an earnest young man insists that &ldquo;community is about food but it&rsquo;s not about cocktail parties.&rdquo; I walk out to go buy toothpaste.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I walk through the cold, bright city, thinking about Charles Pfister&rsquo;s &ldquo;vision for &lsquo;The Palace of the People<ins cite="mailto:James%20Pepper%20Kelly" datetime="2015-05-03T21:07">&rsquo;</ins>&hellip;[w]here anyone would be able to walk through the doors and gaze upon the work of famous artists from Europe and America.&rdquo; Why, then, are the symposium&rsquo;s speakers coming off self-conscious and defensive? We sit there in the inner chamber, surrounded by raw possibility, and they want to talk about whether it will rain. Go local?<a title="" href="#_ftn2">[2]</a>&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Back at the Pfister the art press table taps away avidly. Corinna is live-blogging for Art F City, Sid and I snapping out tweets, Kate loading her computer with notes. We drink lots of coffee, and soda, then Sid leaves and Kate and I steal beers from the caterers out in the central staging area while Corinna grabs her gift basket lager from her room. Up front a trio of presenters bluster in the language of self-help manuals, something about creative communities and branding. I look around the room. Does anyone understand what they&rsquo;re talking about? Beside me, Kate raises her hand. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m from Chicago and not familiar with your work. Can you explain what you do?&rdquo; The man guffaws. &ldquo;How long ya got?&rdquo; After that, we&rsquo;re treated to several minutes of an incomprehensible explanation from the brand specialists.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The sun goes down outside and the last speaker, painter and former Pfister artist-in-residence Reginald Baylor, takes the stage. Baylor jokes, poses, delivers copious biography about himself as a young man. Baylor charms. His dubious message&mdash;concentrate on direct sales to the suburbanites of middle America&mdash;isn&rsquo;t what sticks. He winds up, we laugh, and then it&rsquo;s over and Niki&rsquo;s up there thanking everyone. And her piece of artwork being dedicated to the Pfister is borne up the front of the aisle and it&rsquo;s a little crib-like structure for from a fairy tale, laced with feathers, and finally there&rsquo;s a little bit of fantasy in the room. Niki won some notoriety making a portrait of the Pope with condoms some years back, and I&rsquo;m glad that she found her way to the Pfister which otherwise has played it safe and innocuous with its residents, and that she orchestrated this gathering because how else would I ever have known that such a place existed, a temple impervious to our pedantry?</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 src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150506231325-Pfister4.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">That night after,&nbsp;Kate and Corinna and I go to a bar for journalists with a dead cat (locals look down their noses at it but we don&rsquo;t care) and after Kate and I stop by the hotel&rsquo;s city-view dark bar, I take the elevator back down to the lobby. It&rsquo;s 2a.m. In eight hours I&rsquo;ll be on an Amtrak back to Chicago, but before then I want to breathe in the air here and spend just a little more time staring at this thing I can&rsquo;t make sense of. Mr. Marcus, with his fixed grin, watches me as I pass him on the stairway. I walk round the circular floor on each level, taking in every blushing painting and softly lit landscape. The carpeting is thick so that I become a silent witness to the invisible guests, their sounds drifting out into the hallways. Laughter, loud talk, quiet TVs, small groups bringing together their noises in the night. The seventh floor, Niki&rsquo;d said, I hear there&rsquo;s a kitchen there that&rsquo;s locked and no one&rsquo;s ever allowed in&mdash;too haunted. Sounds come and go in the hallway but not a person to be seen, not even over my shoulder (which I check, again and again and again).</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In the other hotel tower, the unhaunted one, Sid and Kate and Corinna are asleep, and Niki too. And tomorrow we&rsquo;ll pick up our lives and talk about Theaster Gates and adjuncting and #activism but at this very moment Charles Pfister&rsquo;s ghost is stepping in stride with me just one floor away, admiring the collection he built a hundred years ago while working to bring culture to Cream City. Somewhere across town nonprofits and collectives are dreaming about community but here in The Pfister Hotel everyone&rsquo;s asleep and I&rsquo;m lost, Charles&rsquo;s ghost bearing down on me, gut out, pausing here and there to stroke the ornate frames of his favorite pieces. By now the paintings are positively leering at me. I stop, exhausted, and suddenly the sounds of hardcore sex surround me: slapping, pounding, moans building up to voice-snapping octaves. Full-throated. I look down at the carpet, spinning. After the climax, a voice: &ldquo;Oh, yeah&hellip;. That was for a you.&rdquo; And then silence.</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/20150506231355-Pfister3.jpg" alt="" /></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/346862-james-pepper-kelly?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">James Pepper Kelly</a></span></p> <div style="line-height: 26px;"><br clear="all" /><hr style="line-height: 26px;" align="left" size="1" width="33%" /> <div style="line-height: 26px;"> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref1">[1]</a> An image that I admit the power of but also find heinous. &ldquo;Dated&rdquo; would be the conservative way to put it. The problem is precisely that sense of allowance by which the broken nose is accepted and deemed valid, and incorporated into some self-mythologizing hype about what&rsquo;s &ldquo;real&rdquo; while avoiding any ethical considerations at all. Today loving Chicago is like loving made-for-Netflix specials.</span></p> </div> <div style="line-height: 26px;"> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref2">[2]</a> The notable exception is Milwaukee Institute of Art &amp; Design professor Jill Sebastian. She&rsquo;s fresh and fierce and one of the only speakers to spend more than a perfunctory amount of words on audience.&nbsp; &nbsp;</span></p> </div> </div> Thu, 07 May 2015 17:15:34 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list Connecting Commuters: Alejandro Cartagena’s Suburbia in a Toronto Subway Station <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><a href="http://scotiabankcontactphoto.com/public-installations/383"><em>Contacting Toronto: Expanding Cities</em></a> is a public installation on view as part of this year&rsquo;s <a href="http://scotiabankcontactphoto.com/">CONTACT Photography Festival</a>&nbsp;</span>in Toronto and &nbsp;is located on the platforms and bus bays of Warden subway station&mdash;a busy stop connecting Toronto&rsquo;s downtown to the city&rsquo;s suburbs. It is a site that sees a large volume of daily commuters, who either work or study in the center, making it a particularly relevant location for showcasing Alejandro Cartagena&rsquo;s photographs from his series <em>Carpoolers</em>&nbsp;(2011-2012) and <em>Suburbia Mexicana</em>&nbsp;(2006-2010). Cartagena will display his images for the duration of the festival, replacing the subway posters that typically advertise local services.</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/20150505195107-_1__cartagena_carpoolers_01_1200pxH.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>Carpoolers&nbsp;</em>by Alejandro Cartagena in Toronto's Warden Subway Station, Contacting Toronto, 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;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>Carpoolers</em> shows the daily commute of landscapers and construction workers in Monterrey, a city in northeastern Mexico, where the artist currently resides. Men are seen huddled closely in the back of pickup trucks, traveling to wealthy suburbs to build the fast-growing complexes there.&nbsp; The workers are portrayed in the claustrophobic spaces from a birds-eye point of view, shown among a clutter of tools and paraphernalia.</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/20150505195136-_2__cartagena_carpoolers_02_1200pxH.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>Carpoolers&nbsp;</em>by Alejandro Cartagena in Toronto's Warden Subway Station, Contacting Toronto, 2015</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/20150505195225-_3__cartagena_carpoolers_03_1200pxH.jpg" alt="" /><br /></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;"><em>Carpoolers&nbsp;</em>by Alejandro Cartagena in Toronto's Warden Subway S</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">tation, Contacting Toronto, 2015</span></span></p> <p 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;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Other photographs included in the installation are taken from Cartagena&rsquo;s series <em>Suburbia Mexicana</em>. They present the consequences of the development of Monterrey&rsquo;s poorer suburbs&mdash;we see pictures of uniform homes sprawling into the horizon; lined like soldiers, each house a copy of its neighbor; juxtaposed with these images are portraits of their residents, the human faces of the development. Cartagena is an archivist of this growing suburbia&mdash;documenting the effects of the massive construction of suburban complexes on people&rsquo;s lives, conveying what is a reality for many in contemporary Mexico, but without offering a comment or critique: <em>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t want to have somebody tell me what these realities are, I just want to document what they are&rdquo;,</em> Cartagena told me.&nbsp;</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/20150505195242-_7__cartagena_fragmented_cities_03_1200pxW.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>Suburbia Mexicana</em>&nbsp;by Alejandro Cartagena in Toronto's Warden Subway Station, Contacting Toronto, 2015</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/20150505195258-_8__cartagena_people_of_suburbia_01_1200pxH.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>Suburbia Mexicana</em>&nbsp;by Alejandro Cartagena in Toronto's Warden Subway Station, Contacting Toronto, 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;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Yet the realities he captures are both promising and insidious. Extensive construction of suburban housing started approximately fifteen years ago when PAN (<em>Partido Acci&oacute;n Nacional</em>, or National Action Party), a center-right party, displaced the long-dominant Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). In a short time, developers constructed thousands of new homes. The fast growth proved to be a hasty and poorly thought-out decision. Cartagena points to several problems that accompanied the suburban sprawl. Firstly, the inadequate public transportation available to suburban dwellers, which led in part to the evolution of a heavily polluting car culture: today, Monterrey is the most polluted city in North America.&nbsp; Another issue with the poorly planned mass development was the absence of infrastructures necessary to support and sustain community life (parks, public squares, community centers). These problems alone resulted in the emergence of a generation who lack a sense of community and are defined by going to and from work.</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/20150505195314-_5__cartagena_fragmented_cities_01_1200pxW.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>Suburbia Mexicana</em>&nbsp;by Alejandro Cartagena in Toronto's Warden Subway Station, Contacting Toronto, 2015</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/20150505195326-_9__cartagena_people_of_suburbia_02_1200pxH.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>Suburbia Mexicana</em>&nbsp;by Alejandro Cartagena in Toronto's Warden Subway Station, Contacting Toronto, 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;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">But the picture is not completely negative&mdash;there are some residents who are content with their new lifestyles. Buying a home in suburbia carries kudos, one associated with success and independence&mdash;the Mexican version of the American dream. Purchasing a house is an accomplishment: <em>&ldquo;people are still in love with home ownership,&rdquo;</em> comments Cartagena. Though there is a sense of cynicism in the developers&rsquo; exploitation of that dream, with their enticing slogan <em>&ldquo;progress is home ownership&rdquo;</em>. The realities of congested and expensive city living in Mexico has made buying a home in the suburbs attractive but the attempt to copy and paste the American module without supplying community infrastructure has resulted in the &ldquo;<em>subtle construction of a generation of voiceless people</em>&rdquo; according to Cartagena.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The subtle social effects of this kind of construction are not worthy of world media attention when urgent social issues such as the drug war, poverty and corruption in contemporary Mexico prevail, often sensationalised by the global press. Cartagena&rsquo;s images do not participate in this spectacle. Rather, they aim to capture the slow development and outcome of new suburban complexes and the way in which their inhabitants react to these civic changes. His images are as a subtle as the implications of suburbia&rsquo;s rapid growth&mdash;they are intimate and humane, unobtrusive evidence of social transition.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The installation&rsquo;s location in Toronto resonates profoundly with their host environment, positioned on the border between the city and its suburbs. Commuting viewers experience the echo of suburbia: the cookie-cutter homes, solitude, the promise of self-made success and security, long and often uncomfortable commutes to and from home. Cartagena&rsquo;s images portray a reality&mdash;though vastly different to Toronto&rsquo;s version of suburbia&mdash;that connects through emotional experience to the lives of the growing number of middle-class citizens all over the world, a document that shows both the pride and the humdrum monotony of suburban life, a place of aspiration, comfort and docile stability.</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/20150505195345-_12__Warden_02_1200.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>Contacting Toronto: Expanding Cities</em>&nbsp;in Toronto's Warden Subway Station, Contacting Toronto, 2015. Photo: Jake Fry</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 parallel Toronto suburbs are generally populated with similar peoples, families pursuing a quiet life, and new immigrant populations who cannot afford the city. Toronto&rsquo;s newcomers, contributing to a steadily growing suburbia, come here seeking opportunities for a better life. My family and I immigrated to Canada for the same reason, spending our first years in suburbia; the daily experience of a new immigrant to Canada living in its suburbs is akin to the images seen in Cartagena&rsquo;s photos of new working-class citizens: long commutes to arrive at a blue-collar job, pride in home-ownership as representative of social accomplishment, sprawling landscapes colonized by identical homes, and the promise of self-made success. Cartagena&rsquo;s images will be seen at the Warden Station Subway by the people who inhabit these suburbian spaces, highlighting a salient parallel between two cities and the way in which they experience life at the city&rsquo;s fringes. Yet somehow the connection we feel with the photographs&rsquo; subject matter also destabilizes us: is this 'living the dream'?</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;"><em>&mdash;</em>Yoli Terziyska</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;"><a href="http://scotiabankcontactphoto.com/public-installations/383">Contacting Toronto: Expanding Cities</a></span><em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;">&nbsp;is a&nbsp;CONTACT Public Installation. Curated by Sharon Switzer. Co-produced by PATTISON Onestop and Art for Commuters. Artist&nbsp;represented by Toronto's Circuit Gallery.&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 the top:&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>Contacting Toronto: Expanding Cities</em>&nbsp;in Toronto's Warden Subway Station, Contacting Toronto, 2015. Photo: Jake Fry.)</span></p> Wed, 06 May 2015 22:40:01 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list A Clown for the Machine: Tony Oursler Takes on Surveillance <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">When Edward Snowden released classified information from the National Security Agency to mainstream media in 2013 he was globally marked as either a traitor or a patriot. The top-secret documents revealed that the NSA has been collecting data from anywhere and everywhere, including 55,000 quality images daily through social media and personal communications to use in facial recognition programs. The revelation confirmed civic anxieties that the dreaded future is here: your face can be used against you. However, as with all emerging sophisticated technologies, facial recognition sails in murky, unchartered waters; its full potential is unknown, as is solid legislation around it and its efficiency (a variety of photos of the Boston Marathon bombers were in the facial recognition database, but failed to matched to any identity). The computer application&rsquo;s hidden omnipresence and its relationship with privacy and identity has inspired Tony Oursler&rsquo;s new body of artwork at his fifth Lehmann Maupin solo show.</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 src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150504132425-7N5A5504.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Installation view,&nbsp;photo: Frankie Galland</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The exhibition features several large-scaled panel works of human faces, some coated with reflective or metallic surfaces, with various biometric maps spread across them that analyze certain areas of the face that remain unchanged over time. One freestanding piece highlights spatial relationships on the face with dotted lines, while another uses numbers to point out eye retinas and iris patterns. Computer algorithms are used to extract these features and match them to a person. Oursler, known for projecting his video work onto unlikely surfaces such as smoke, trees, or water, uses flat screens installed behind cut outs for eyes and mouths. However, his new work remains faithful to Ourslerian formality: shifty eyes and mouths whisper &ldquo;now you&rsquo;re a clown for the machine&rdquo; or &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve been hacked all inside&rdquo;&mdash;the dialogue of machines trying to process human emotions. Its conflation creates an existential void, anonymity with the art and ultimately a slight nauseating effect on the viewer.&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/20150504132445-7N5A5460.jpg" alt="" /></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/101642/4cut/20150504132531-7N5A5478.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Photos: Frankie Galland&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">It seems like a natural pursuit for the artist to be fascinated with new technologies that breach privacy and redefine what it means to be human. Oursler, a pioneer of new media art and expressionistic video theater, constantly pushes the limits of his craft and media, using human actors and dialogue to shape the concept. In 2004 he projected his own made-up face onto a meteor sculpture, the ultimate outsider, telling passersby at the Parrish Art Museum that &ldquo;if you understand me, you understand yourself.&rdquo; The multimedia Ourslerian process is to film the eyes and mouth separately, electronically stitch them with the script into one video and then project it on to a surface or screen it from behind (as in the Lehman Maupin show).</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/20150504132514-7N5A5450.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Photo:&nbsp;Frankie Galland&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Oursler also points out that the social affairs and conflicts that happen in reality are mirrored in technology. There exists one black sculpture in the entire show, which raises the topic of <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/articles/show/42421" target="_blank">racism in technology</a> and the question of who is holding the mirror. At the opening reception of the show, the attendees were scanning and identifying the people around them as much as they were looking at the art, inadvertently participating in the very systems the body of art surrounding them discusses. In a gallery setting Oursler&rsquo;s work inherently investigates how far the apple falls from the tree in a creator/product relationship and if technology is reflecting humans or if humans are beginning to reflect technology.</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="Stephanie%20Berzon" target="_blank">Stephanie Berzon</a></span></p> Wed, 06 May 2015 16:15:49 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list Made-Up with Danny Volk: S1E13 with Casey Smallwood <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:&nbsp;Danny sits down with artist and good friend Casey to talk about using friends in your work, transitioning from photo to video, and interacting with a Ronald McDonald statue.<br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/8hocNN4itJc" 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, 01 May 2015 14:47:56 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list Wanksy: Real Social Change via a Giant Comedy Penis <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Comedy phallus graffiti: a long standing symbol of public indecency, raiser of many an&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">adolescent smirk, and, applied in the right context, an act of deprecating terrorism. Sometimes, it might even be all</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;three: imagine a heroic squadron of schoolboys plotting to pin a felt tip cock&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">illustration on the back of a young David Cameron. Imagine the general gusto, the social pride&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">and the giggles they must have experienced.</span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150430175410-11084030_1582493291998851_7051467910816193842_o.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Via <a href="https://www.facebook.com/WanksyRoadArtist">Facebook</a></span></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">One Manchester resident, known publicly by the simple tag name of Wansky, has been chalking giant&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">phalluses around the city's many potholes: a cock crusader anonymously chalking into&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">action after seeing friends injured in pothole-related bike accidents. And like some&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">incidental superhero from the Marvel Universe breaking the law for the public good, the&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">authorities are actually taking notice. Within 48 hours, according to the Manchester Evening News&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">(MEN), many of the potholes the "artist" had helpfully marked up had been.. ahem... filled in.</span></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150430175715-1959995_1582493668665480_4179756570331995390_n.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Via&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/WanksyRoadArtist">Facebook</a></span></p> <p class="p3" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">"I wanted to attract attention to the pothole and make it memorable," Wanksy told MEN.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">"Nothing seemed to do this better than a giant comedy phallus.&rdquo;&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p3" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Like Anonymous&rsquo; adoption of the V for Vendetta/Guy Fawkes masks, is Wanksy subverting&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">an existing signifier into a socially activated form of branding? A kind of cheeky Batman&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">logo? The idea of demonstrating one public indecency to highlight another&mdash;dangerous road&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">conditions and public welfare&mdash;seems to be, judging by the responses, a successful trade-off for&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">now.</span></p> <p class="p3" style="line-height: 26px;">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p3" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;Paul Hanford</span></p> <p class="p3" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p3" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Image at the top: Via <a href="https://www.facebook.com/WanksyRoadArtist">Facebook</a></span></p> Thu, 30 Apr 2015 18:04:26 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list Artist-Writer-Curator: "Triple Threat" or "Triple Debt"? <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">It started with wordplay.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">This winter, artist, writer, and curator <a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/16357-darren-jones" target="_blank">Darren Jones</a>&nbsp;emailed me musings about the art world equivalent of &ldquo;triple threat.&rdquo; In musical theatre a &ldquo;triple threat&rdquo; is someone equally skilled in singing, acting, and dancing. Are artist-writer-curators, Jones asked, the art world analog to these stars of the stage? Or is this particular combination of professions more accurately described by a turn of phrase: &ldquo;triple debt,&rdquo; or perhaps &ldquo;triple regret&rdquo;? Working across three complimentary, but very different disciplines &ldquo;isn't easy to navigate,&rdquo; he wrote to me. &ldquo;It can be awkward when mismanaged, and yet it affords those that do it a unique position, and insight across all three practices.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">This play on words grew into a discussion in which Jones considers the politics, challenges, and perceptions of those who work as artists, curators, and writers. We spoke about his own practice(s) and insights into being a triple debtor: How does he introduce himself? Are the disciplinary lines ever blurred? Is this about money? And when is it okay to curate your own work into an exhibition? &nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <div style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150501152639-jenkins.jpg" alt="" /><span style="line-height: 26px;">&nbsp;</span></div> <div id="artwork_info"> <div id="artwork_title" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: normal;"><em>HANGMAN #1,&nbsp;SIKKEMA JENKINS / MERLIN JAMES REHANG</em>, 2015, In this series gallery exhibitions are <br />rehung with suggested improvements to the curation, Top image is original / bottom image is my rehang.</span></div> </div> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: small; line-height: normal; text-align: center;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Andrea Alessi:</strong>&nbsp;<strong>Can you start by telling me a bit about the history of your three practices. What came first?</strong></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;"><strong>Darren Jones:</strong>&nbsp;&nbsp;I was an artist first, having studied painting in Edinburgh and then at Central Saint Martins in London. After graduation, I set up a studio in Hackney&mdash;which was then the heart of the burgeoning East End art scene&mdash;with two friends, the English painters Jo Wilmot and Coco Hewitt. With so many artists in that area we knew that it was imperative to make connections and promote ourselves rather than hope for a dealer to come knocking (Charles Saatchi&rsquo;s shadow was cast across the art scene at that time due to the success of the YBAs.) In 1997, with Jo and Coco, I formed the Shopfloor Collective. That consolidation of minds, contacts, and resources created energy and attracted collaborators. I loved being a part of it. We discussed our interests, argued, and put together our own shows in our Belsham Street studio. Later we curated bigger events in various London galleries and spaces. We invited our friends and fellow artists to participate and the value of cultural community became apparent.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">While words had been a part of my visual art for some time, and I had written poetry since childhood, art writing would come much later. My first published piece was for&nbsp;<a href="http://www.transitiongallery.co.uk/garageland.htm" target="_blank"><em>Garageland Magazine</em></a><em>&nbsp;#6</em>&mdash;an opportunity that came to me through people I had known during our Shopfloor days, so it is all connected.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>AA:</strong> <strong>Is there a hierarchy?</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>DJ:</strong> I would say that it is a constant rotation, depending upon what project is most pressing or engaging. Words are the thread connecting the three practices. Today I&rsquo;m predominantly a text based artist; I write about art for various publications; and when I'm curating an exhibition I begin with forming the title and introduction.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>AA:</strong> <strong>How do the three practices affect your identity? How do you introduce yourself?</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>DJ: </strong>They are all natural appetites within me. I am always an artist, always a curator, and always a critic, but reconciling those quite different roles into one resolution is elusive, and I think perhaps not even desirable. Each of them have the capacity to excite me at different times.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">There is an odd switching between them verbally. Introducing myself as doing all three is excessive, so I often pick one or two depending on the circumstance, not to diminish the other practices, but for efficiency. How my peers consider me or define me, if they consider me at all, crosses my mind too. All three areas are currently coalescing within my visual art practice so that I am making artwork <em>about</em> curating and writing.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>AA: Quite a few ArtSlant contributors are also artists. Ryan Trecartin just co-curated the New Museum Triennial, and increasingly curating can even be seen as a manifestation of artistic practice: Cindy Sherman&rsquo;s 2013 Venice Biennale contribution, for example, was a mini-show she curated within Massimiliano Gioni&rsquo;s sprawling <em>Encyclopedic Palace</em>. </strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Is the phenomenon of people being artist-writer-curators (or some combination of the three) on the rise, or has it always been this way? Historically, many artists wrote manifestos, or meditated about their work and that of their peers or forebears. And of course, there were (some major!) exhibitions organized by artists: the original Armory Show (1913), the First Impressionist exhibition (1874). Are we revisiting old history here, or do we think more artists are writing and curating today than ever before?</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>DJ:</strong> Being an artist <em>and</em> curator is common enough because while they involve different skills, to my mind, they are not so far removed from each other. And as you say there is precedent (although there is a difference between artists who curate, and academic curators who are not artists). But being a critic <em>additionally</em>, is rarer because that is a distinct role; there you are stepping away from the physicality and involvement of making, installing and showing work in order consider it, from an objective position, in a wider art-historical and socio-political context.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The critic has no hand in the production of an artwork or exhibition. Making or curating art is about having an idea and then presenting it to your audience so that they may form their own interpretations. Critiquing art is about being a part of that audience, making an argument, and then drawing together your conclusions to offer specific points. In a sense, artists/curators and critics come at the artwork from opposing directions.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>AA:</strong> <strong>"Triple debt" implies three professions in which practitioners are financially struggling&mdash;perhaps even suggesting that the reason one might choose to do all three is because they are unable to make a living doing just one. Getting paid, working for free, and having one's labor valued are huge problems in the art world. How do you think this plays into professional decision-making? </strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>DJ: </strong>Taking on all three practices theoretically widens the scope of income streams. One could make money from selling artwork, writing reviews, and receiving curatorial fees. But that probably remains in principle rather than practice, because being a "triple debtor" doesn't guarantee receiving those monies over someone concentrating on one practice. You are still competing with everyone else, and actually in a less concentrated way than someone who is an artist <em>or</em> curator. In fact having outlay in all three areas could end up being more of a "triple regret."</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><img style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150430164128-private_viewing.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <div id="artwork_title" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>THAT GUY'S A KUNT #3</em>,&nbsp;<em>SITE SPECIFIC DRAWING FOR DALLAS MUSEUM OF ART,</em> 2015, Pencil on paper, 8.5" x 11"</span></div> <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>AA:</strong>&nbsp;<strong>Whether they reconcile or synthesize some of your practices or not, you do suggest some disciplinary crossover. You've been making art&nbsp;<em>about</em>&nbsp;writing and curating, for example. Can you talk a bit about this work?</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>DJ:</strong>&nbsp;In the&nbsp;<em>Art World Watch</em>&nbsp;series&mdash;a play on Human Rights Watch&mdash;I make visual commentary on the art world generally.&nbsp;<em>The Hangman</em>&nbsp;pieces are photographs of exhibitions, installations, or individual artworks in galleries that make an impression on me curatorially, for a show being overcrowded perhaps, or because I am appalled at the quality, or ubiquity of the work. &nbsp;I take a photo and rehang the exhibition or amend the artwork in photoshop, so that I have before and after images. The intent is not to insult the original curator or artist, rather it is a natural response to the act of looking at exhibitions as a critic, and then responding through my own art.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Also within the <em>Art World Watch</em> series I engage with museum and gallery spaces. At the Dallas Museum of Art, I made a quick TV show-themed text piece that read &ldquo;private v<strong>ewing</strong>&rdquo; and hung it in the museum. At the New Orleans Museum of Art, I played around with their institutional signage, doing what it asked me not to. I think of these as artistic drive-by gestures, brief responses made while I&rsquo;m in the situation.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Recently I used Photoshop to rearrange the text in a Jenny Holzer piece at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. I also photographed her text reflected in glass moving out across the museum&rsquo;s lake. It seems that the art world has canonized her to the point of being able to walk on water.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In another line of inquiry, those preposterous lists of important/emerging/trending artists, conjured up by critics are nothing but a boon to egos and increasing web traffic. They are often without an ounce of objective reasoning. I like the <a href="http://submergingartistsscheme.blogspot.nl/" target="_blank">Submerging Artist Scheme</a> for artists 45 and older, presented by the Big West Festival in Australia, which is funny, but has pathos. My response to all these hyperbolic lists is the headline &ldquo;List of the most Important Living Artists,&rdquo; on an otherwise blank sheet of paper, or, &ldquo;List of Artists who Have Pledged Never to Exhibit Their Work Again.&rdquo; It&rsquo;s long.</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/20150501152325-holzer.jpg" alt="" width="400" /></span></p> <div id="artwork_title" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: normal;"><em>THE HANGMAN #2</em>,&nbsp;Reworked Jenny Holzer at Modern Art Museum of Forth Worth&nbsp;<br />(Top image original presentation), 2015, Photoshopped digital image</span></div> <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>AA:</strong> <strong>Another thing you brought up to me earlier was a conceptual overlap between your curatorial and artistic practices&mdash;curating as an extension of art making, which is something we see in galleries, but also in biennials and large exhibitions a lot these days: an artist takes their invitation and curates a show within a show. You mentioned wondering how you could frame what others were doing within the context of your interests, "the notion that 10...or 20 artists might disseminate the ideas better than one."</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>I'm curious about this idea, but also about whether there are other instrumental relationships between your practices. Art in service of writing; criticism in service of curating, etc.</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>DJ:</strong> &nbsp;The idea was that multiple artists would offer many angles on any given theme and increase the breadth of an exhibition&mdash;more than I could do alone&mdash;while sharing resources and spreading the word. It&rsquo;s expansive rather than isolationist. A great recent example of this&mdash;which I had nothing to do with and which was organized by artist, Heyd Fontenot&mdash;is a fantastic show at the <a href="http://www.centraltrak.net/" target="_blank">CentralTrak Artist Residency</a> in Dallas, titled <em>Who&rsquo;s Afraid of Chuck and George?</em> Dozens of the artists&rsquo; friends and colleagues contributed work to the show. The opening night was a celebration of the lives and work of the artists Brian K. Jones and Brian K. Scott as well as the contributors. It was a marvelous way for the Dallas scene to coalesce around its practitioners. All three practices relate in that way and supply the initial materials for each other. &nbsp;At this stage they are inextricably linked.</span><span style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>AA:</strong> <strong>Who are some other triple regretors whose work you admire? Are there some people you think are doing something particularly unique&mdash;be it in a combined way, or separately across several practices?</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>DJ: Emmanuel Cooper</strong> was an art critic, a renowned potter, publisher, teacher, editor, broadcaster, author, gay rights activist, and curator. I met him when I was 19 and new to London. His energy, industriousness and commitment to his varied causes was astonishing. I think he instilled in me the idea that one can be accomplished in many areas, if one has the work ethic and interest required.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Phong Bui</strong> is a fascinating practitioner of his crafts. In addition to helming <em>The Brooklyn Rail</em>, he is an artist, a writer, and a curator. He is also a teacher, radio host, and to my ear, a philosopher. He is one of the most dynamic people I know, and his ability to bring people together, as he would say "in solidarity" is unique.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Carlos Rigau's </strong>work as an artist is partially about extreme social idiosyncrasies and peripheries of Miami life. Carlos also runs General Practice, a space that operates between Miami and New York. His interests lie in setting up an experimental platform that is unencumbered by the sleek economics of the Chelsea model. General Practice, currently located in Brooklyn, might be considered an artistic workshop of trial and play, community involvement, and creative industry. Vitally, Carlos has a social intelligence and charisma without which I don't think General Practice could function quite as it does.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Jose Ruiz</strong> is an artist, curator, and teacher. He founded Furthermore in DC, which began as a digital print studio and has now expanded into exhibition/design services and artist publications as well as offering educational programs to support young artists in the area. In addition he is a co-founder&mdash;with Chad Stayrook and Brian Balderston&mdash;of &nbsp;Present Company, an exhibition and performance space in Brooklyn. I met Jose when he was the curator&mdash;with Erin Sickler&mdash;of the 2009 Queens International.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Michael Petry</strong> is an internationally exhibiting artist, a curator, writer, author, director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, and co-founder of the Museum of Installation, both in London. I'd like to ask him how keeps pace with all of these projects!</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I'll stop there because I'm starting to feel lazy in comparison to all of these driven individuals.</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/20150501153047-A_Fool_Review1.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: normal; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><em style="font-size: x-small;">BUT ENOUGH ABOUT ME: REDACTED ARTNEWS BJORK REPORT LEAVING THE AUTHOR'S COPIOUS SELF-REFERENCES&nbsp;</em></span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: 10px; text-align: center;">"STATE OF EMERGENCY: BIESENBACH&rsquo;S BJ&Ouml;RK SHOW TURNS MOMA INTO PLANET HOLLYWOOD"</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: 10px; text-align: center;">, 2015,&nbsp;8.5 x 44"</span></p> <div style="line-height: 10px; 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;"><strong>AA:</strong> <strong>What are some of the occupational hazards of being an artist/curator/writer? When can you include your own work in a show, for example?</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>DJ:</strong> There are some frustrating aspects. The artist-friends of mine who I am closest to are such in part because I love their work so much. Naturally I want to write about their exhibitions, but that's is a tough area to navigate. Placing my own work in an exhibition is case by case. I've done it before and felt wretched about it afterwards, and other times it wasn't a problem. One learns. It depends on context. When I curated a large international exhibition of Scottish art at Hunter College Galleries in New York, it was not appropriate to include my own work, whereas the exhibitions I organized at St. George's Church in Queens or Trinity Museum grew out of my own practice and my connection with spiritual spaces, so there it was appropriate to include it.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>AA:</strong> &nbsp;<strong>You say "triple regret," but can you imagine it any other way?</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>DJ:</strong> I'm being droll with the wordplay, but yes, I love it, and while it is a lot of work to manage them all at the same time, it is how I need it to be in order to pursue my creative interests.</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" target="_blank">Andrea Alessi</a> and <a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/16357-darren-jones" target="_blank">Darren Jones<span style="line-height: 26px;">&nbsp;</span></a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="line-height: 26px;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><span style="line-height: 26px;">(Image at top: Darren Jones,&nbsp;<em>PETER SCHJELDAHL IS TIRED BUT I'M WIDE AWAKE</em>,&nbsp;Edited digital image from MoMA's exhibition&nbsp;<em>The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World</em>.&nbsp;Original image, left. My removal, right, 2015. All images: Darren Jones. Courtesy of the artist)</span></span></p> Sat, 02 May 2015 15:29:02 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list Peel Slowly and See: Bill Jensen's Ego-less Abstraction <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">There was a time in modern music when the role of the artist changed from being the custodian of cultural knowledge to something more of an autobiographer. We might choose that moment in the late sixties when Lou Reed abandoned the writing of pop ditties about boys and girls to focus on his own, more personal interests, like boys and girls and heroin. In other art forms this sea change was happening; in comedy, where once jokes were shared, un-authored, between performers in Vegas, the Catskills, and New York City clubs, Lenny Bruce made comedy suddenly personal&mdash;talking about race, politics, cops, censorship, and heroin. It is tempting to suggest that in painting this shift had happened decades earlier, particularly in that sub-category of painting called &ldquo;abstraction.&rdquo; Once artists like Kandinsky, Rodchenko, Dove, and O&rsquo;Keefe had looked for universal symbols&mdash;a folk art, as it were&mdash;of the collective unconscious. Jackson Pollock, Barnett Newman, and Mark Rothko, in particular, overturned all that&mdash;with Pollock famously eschewing commonality by stating, &ldquo;I am Nature.&rdquo;</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/20150429163829-SingleChu-LR-1.jpg" alt="" width="400" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>Single Ch&rsquo;u</em>, 2014&ndash;2015, Oil on linen,&nbsp;52 x 42 inches</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 is of some importance to note that while all artists probably became aware of these changes, there were some, like Bob Dylan, who sought to give voice to their own stories, while at the same time acknowledging the deep history of their medium. Dylan began as a folk musician, in the tradition of Arlo Guthrie, and transitioned into the premier autobiographical storyteller of his generation, yet he never completely abandoned the idea of a collective musical unconscious. Bill Jensen, whose career has been devoted to maintaining the ideas of abstract painting, may represent, in a period where we have artists who create &ldquo;zombie formalist&rdquo; paintings, a folk tradition in painterly abstraction more akin to Dylan than Reed.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Jensen strives for an ego-less, unpretentious practice devoid of preconceived outcomes, surrendering to the painting process, allowing it to determine the path and destination of his work. His intensive layering and reworking of the canvas results in highly tactile and seductive surfaces: paint is plastered on, scraped off, seeped, dredged, brushed, and smoothed until a certain &ldquo;presence&rdquo; is achieved; he attempts to create paintings which, like self-contained beings, affect the world around them&mdash;a characteristic he refers to as &ldquo;emotional density.&rdquo; In the work shown at Cheim &amp; Read, Jensen riffs on subjects taken from Chinese poetry, Michelangelo&rsquo;s Sistine Chapel, the icons of Andrei Rublev, and contemporaries, like Jasper Johns and Carroll Dunham.</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/20150429163249-StudyLHTransg-LR-1.jpg" alt="" width="400" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>Study for Left Hand Panel of Transgressions</em>, 2013, Oil on canvas, 261/8 x 20 inches</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 room in the exhibition holds a mini-exhibition-within-the-exhibition, containing small, exquisitely painted variations on Michelangelo. <em>Study for Right Hand Panel of Transgressions</em> (2013) and <em>Study for Left Hand Panel of Transgressions</em> (2013) morph Michelangelo&rsquo;s Laoco&ouml;n-like figures into a writing mass of intestinal shapes,&nbsp;&agrave; la Dunham, against a harsh orange ground reminiscent of fifties-era Francis Bacon. The biomorphic shapes twist and turn, seeming to wrestle, fuck, and fight all at the same time. Jensen&rsquo;s use of the triptych also reminds us of Bacon, who used the classic format to create oblique narratives, while heightening the strangeness of the abstract figure.</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/20150429163606-Jensen-4-LR.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>Message</em>, 2011&ndash;2014, Oil on linen, 40 x 50 inches&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 is in the second gallery, though, we see Jensen the folk artist. In <em>Double Sorrow +1 (GREY SCALE)</em> (2014&ndash;15), <em>Message</em> (2011&ndash;2014), and <em>Louhan (Violet II)</em>&nbsp;(2013&ndash;2014), Jensen combines elements of Johns&rsquo; stenciled, black-and-white puzzles and handprints; Julian Schnabel&rsquo;s signature purple scratched splatters and biomorphic white blobs; and Basquiat&rsquo;s drop cloths covered in studio detritus, coffee cup stains, and smudges. It is not to say that Jensen&rsquo;s interest in working from the memory of nature, as he has so ably done in the past, is gone entirely&mdash;<em>Single Ch&rsquo;u</em> (2014&ndash;2015) is pure, vintage Jensen&mdash;but rather he has begun to absorb the memory of culture, a shared painterly culture, into his process. In contrast to younger painters like Joe Bradley or Oscar Murillo who merely ape a vapid simulacrum of abstract painting&rsquo;s vocabulary, Jensen incorporates a larger and deeper understanding of the history of his chosen style. If it weren&rsquo;t so seemingly pejorative a term, we might be tempted to say that Jensen performs a generic form of abstraction. If one is tempted to find some reductive form of criticism of these new works, or Jensen&rsquo;s strategy as a whole, and attempt to dismiss it as out of step with the moment, one would do well to go, quickly, and listen to Stevie Ray Vaughn&rsquo;s version of Hendrix&rsquo;s cover of Dylan&rsquo;s &ldquo;All Along the Watchtower.&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/216789-bradley-rubenstein?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Bradley Rubenstein</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: Bill Jensen,&nbsp;<em>Louhan (Violet II)</em>&nbsp;2013&ndash;2014, Oil on linen, 28 x 23 inches. All images courtesy of the artist and Cheim &amp; Read, New York)</span></p> Wed, 29 Apr 2015 17:59:37 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list Gallery Weekend Berlin Preview: <em>The Unreliable Narrator</em> at Campagne Première <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Truth is complicated. We live in a world bombarded by coded messages that urge us to perk up, pay attention, take sides, and weed out those that are trustworthy from those that are less so. In film, television, print, and online we are in a constant state of self-definition: this is us, that is them. We define ourselves against a backdrop of trusted leaders, voices, guides, and influencers. But ultimately, how can you tell the truth? How can you </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">tell</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> the truth?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">As part of this year&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.gallery-weekend-berlin.de/" target="_blank">Gallery Weekend&nbsp;</a></span><a href="http://www.gallery-weekend-berlin.de/" target="_blank"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Berlin</span></a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;and in collaboration with London-based gallery </span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://www.artslant.com/lon/venues/show/11813-waterside-contemporary">waterside contemporary</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">, </span><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ber/events/show/378802-the-unreliable-narrator" target="_blank"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Campagne Premi&egrave;re</span></a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> will host an exhibition of British artist duo Karen Mirza &amp; Brad Butler titled </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The Unreliable Narrator</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">. Taking its namesake from the exhibition&rsquo;s centerpiece video, the show is an examination of the influence of perception, conditioning, power, and privilege. A work whose intent is set on persuading viewers to question the role of a narrator in truth-telling and the ability to find one concise truth in the context of war.&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/20150429161357-MG_3631_Mirza_Butler_-_Unreliable_Narrator_-_waterside_contemporary.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>Detail: Act(s)</em>, 2014, Installation</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;">Located on the third floor in the interior garden at Chausseestrasse 116 and lined with windows overlooking the courtyard, the gallery&rsquo;s main hall is flooded with natural light. Entering the space, one is greeted by a stark demarcation: a red theater curtain bisects the space, setting the stage. Visitors immediately find themselves in what appears to be a school classroom. A neon sign spelling out &ldquo;you are the prime minister&rdquo; buzzes against the crimson curtain and hangs forebodingly over a single row of wooden school desks. Atop each is the first page of an entrance exam to the prestigious Eton College, a British educational institution known to have produced 19 of Britain&rsquo;s prime ministers. Based on a real scholarship examination from 2011, the page has a singular question, a singular scenario. Visitors immediately and unwittingly are assumed as stand-ins for test-taking student candidates. They are asked to picture themselves as heads of state in 2040 in order to write a speech justifying &ldquo;necessary&rdquo; and &ldquo;moral&rdquo; use of military force against civilian protesters. An urge to take a seat and gaze out the window as a student contemplating their future in a classroom suddenly takes hold.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><img style="margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto; display: block;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20150429160849-MG_3635_Mirza_Butler_-_Unreliable_Narrator_-_waterside_contemporary.JPG" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>You Are The Prime Minister</em>, 2014, Installation view</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;">Behind the curtain, the video work <em>The Unreliable Narrator</em>&nbsp;focuses on the tragic events of the 26 November 2008 led by a group of Pakistani jihadist gunmen, including a three day siege of the Taj Mahal Hotel, that led to 166 deaths and hundreds injured. Playing on two separate screens in a windowless confine, the film braids together multiple narrative strands ultimately producing a sensual all-consuming imminence so often doled out by the media, doses willingly consumed by the contemporary news junkie.</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/20150429161156-Mirza_Butler_-_The_Unreliable_Narrator_-_still_09.jpg" alt="" /></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/20150429161212-Mirza_Butler_-_The_Unreliable_Narrator_-_still_13.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>The Unreliable Narrator</em>, 2014, Video 2-channel installation with audio, 16&rsquo;20&rdquo;</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 accompanying audio is similarly jolting and disorienting, placing the spectator in close proximity to both the events and the bodies of the perpetrators themselves. On the one hand, the feet-on-the-ground first hand accounts of the attacks are taken from intercepted phone calls between the young (and obviously inexperienced) gunmen and their controllers in Pakistan. Carried out on their Blackberries, the conversations shed light on attacks that seem produced and performed by and large for the media and for the benefit of their endless replay on YouTube. Alternately, the dominant&mdash;almost omniscient&mdash;narration, recalling a Western style newscast, is carried our by female writer and activist Rahila Gupta. As the film progresses, jumping from violent scene to violent scene, a once seemingly impartial narrator becomes increasingly sensationalist, subjective, and even mocking, arrogantly dispensing sweeping statements producing the lustful sensation of permanent emergency.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">While the artists&rsquo; voices are conspicuously (or apparently) absent from the list of unreliable narrators set before us, the exhibition gestures at a fog of war so often overlooked and echoes the questions set forth by Judith Butler in her 2009 <em>Frames of War</em>. &ldquo;What happens when a frame breaks with itself is that a taken-for-granted reality is called into question, exposing the orchestrating designs of the authority who sought to control the frame.&rdquo; This suggestion signals and warns against multiple coexisting narratives, conditioned dominantly by the winners, the conquerors, the writers of history.</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/147418-nicole-rodr%C3%ADguez?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Nicole Rodriguez</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at top: Karen Mirza &amp; Brad Butler, <em>You Are The Prime Minister</em>, 2014, Neon sign, 220 x 12 cm.&nbsp;All images courtesy of the artists, waterside contemporary &amp; Campagne Premi&egrave;re)</span></p> Thu, 30 Apr 2015 13:52:34 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list If You Build It, They Will Come: The Inauguration of a New Era at the Whitney <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Picture this: on a sunny day, you are walking through the meatpacking district in Downtown Manhattan. You walk down the cobblestone streets, passing the high-end clothing stores; you pass the Standard Hotel and stumble upon the foot of the High Line. &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">As you approach Gansevoort Street, you notice a new building that doesn&rsquo;t look like the others: bordering the West Side Highway, you walk towards this large, strikingly asymmetrical building and are dumbfounded by the pure magnitude of its structure. This building is the all new Whitney Museum of American Art.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Designed by Renzo Piano, the new building&rsquo;s mission is to &ldquo;create an environment in which visitors will be encouraged to connect deeply with art through an irreplaceable first-hand experience,&rdquo; according to Adam D. Weinberg, the Whitney&rsquo;s Alice Pratt Brown Director. Almost twice the size of its former home, the Whitney&rsquo;s gallery spaces have benefitted immensely from their new spatial arrangements. Piano&rsquo;s design was conceived as a &ldquo;laboratory for artists&rdquo; and aims to provide an engaging environment not only for artists, but for critics, scholars, curators, and creatives alike.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Attending the press day with several ArtSlant staff last week, our morning began with addresses by Adam D. Weinberg, Donna de Salvo (Chief Curator and Deputy Director of Programs) and the building&rsquo;s designer Renzo Piano (who referred to the building&rsquo;s lobby as a&nbsp;<em>piazza larga</em>&nbsp;during his speech, causing ripples of laughter throughout the room). During 40 minutes of speeches, the audience&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">saw the dramatic entrance of the fire department and medics who came to attend to</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;woman who collapsed (we hope she is ok); Lightening the afternoon,&nbsp;</span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">New York Magazine</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&rsquo;s Senior Art Critic and ham Jerry Saltz did his social waltz around the museum and was sure to converse with everyone in sight; my personal favorite activity was observing every attendee&rsquo;s perfectly structured outfit, as the corridors turned into a temporary runway.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">On Friday, May 1, the new Whitney Museum opens to the public with <em>America Is Hard to See</em>, which examines art in America ranging from 1900 to today. Pulling works from the Whitney&rsquo;s permanent collection, the&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">enormous building's&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">galleries illuminate the collection's gems, some of which have never been presented before. W</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">e were blown away by the architecture of the new premises: this is truly how art should be seen. The galleries are f</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">looded with natural light, and none of the internal walls of the exhibition spaces are permanent meaning that each exhibition can take on the space freely and in new ways.</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: normal; 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/20150427140630-31_426_HopperE.jpeg.jpg" alt="" /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Edward Hopper, 1882‑1967,&nbsp;<em>Early Sunday Morning</em>,&nbsp;</span></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">1930, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from&nbsp;Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney&nbsp;&copy; Whitney Museum of American Art</span></p> <p style="line-height: normal; 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-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Amidst the grand entrance to the museum, the four elevators that take you to the galleries are themselves an art work. Entitled&nbsp;<em>Six in Four</em>, the elevators are tangible imaginative installations by Richard Artschwager, each one different. &ldquo;<a href="http://whitney.org/file_columns/0004/0593/artschwager_elevators.pdf" target="_blank">Employing materials such as plastic laminate, glass, and etched stainless steel, the four elevators are the culmination of a body of work based on six themes that occupied Artschwager&rsquo;s imagination since the mid-1970s: door, window, table, basket, mirror, and rug.&rdquo;</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">The new building features interactive terraces for each floor, allowing for traditional interior art space, while affording movement outside. The terraces and immense windows incorporate a vast amount of natural light within the galleries and grant a mimetic relationship to the outside world. Hosting some exceptional sculptures and communal sanctuary, the Whitney&rsquo;s new terraces interweave the building&rsquo;s incredible geometries. They also provide some of the most breathtaking views of Manhattan&rsquo;s skyline&mdash;a proper scene to remind visitors of the museum's roots.</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/20150427142020-630.019_608.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Photograph by Nic Lehoux</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Organized chronologically, the current exhibition presents works such as Georgia O&rsquo;Keeffe&rsquo;s soft colors, Max Weber&rsquo;s abstract compositions and John Covert&rsquo;s lightly collaged paintings, on the top floor, the smallest floor of galleries, focused on works created between 1910 and 1940. As the exhibition continues, viewers encounter works from 1925-1960 and&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">1950&ndash;1975, where the exhibition advances into the present with the emergence of new technologies and the expanded use of a wider range of materials.</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">(While the dating arrangement does not flow consecutively, the movements these works chart allow for the intricate map of American art to speak exuberantly and passionately).&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Between Robert Rauschenberg&rsquo;s <em>Satellite</em> and Thomas Downing&rsquo;s illusionistic painting <em>Five</em>, the mid-century artworks encourage viewers to question what they see. The entire floor flows with the energy of chaos, compulsion and madness. It&rsquo;s brilliant. &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">The climax of the exhibition comes on the 5th floor (our advice, start from the top and work your way down) hosting works from 1965 to today. Here Jean-Michel Basquiat, Nam June Paik, and Mike Kelley are among the blockbusters. Each floor is a self-contained era in American Art, the marks of the dawn of new artistic expression, a visual representation of contemporary culture, social history, and politics.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Weaving through the galleries with an in-depth historical lens, </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">America Is Hard to See</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> illustrates the formative years of American art&rsquo;s evolution and development.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: normal; 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/20150427140932-2011.3a_i_LigonG.Tif.jpg" alt="" /><span style="font-size: x-small;">Glenn Ligon (b. 1960),&nbsp;<em>R&uuml;ckenfigur,</em> 2009, Neon and paint, 24 &times; 145 1/2 &times; 5in. (61 &times; 369.6 &times; 12.7 cm).&nbsp;</span></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Painting and Sculpture&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Committee&nbsp; 2011.3a‑i.&nbsp; &copy; Glenn Ligon&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: normal; 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;">A new building is a perfect opportunity to address the blurred lines of American identity and what it means for "American Art" and for a Museum of American Art. Who is represented here? Artists born in the Americas, those who have adopted this as their home, or is this definition unnecessary&mdash;as diverse as America itself?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150427140740-70_16_BechtleR.jpg" alt="" /><span style="font-size: x-small;"><br /></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: normal;">Robert Bechtle (b. 1932).<em>'61 Pontiac</em>, 1968‑1969, Oil on canvas, 59 3/4 &times; 84 1/4in. (151.8 &times; 214 cm).&nbsp;Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Richard and Dorothy Rodgers&nbsp; &copy; Robert Bechtle&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-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">The Whitney has created a space to embody community. Natives and tourists alike are sure to be in awe of this new home for a fundamental collection of American art, one that scintillates with the cultural production of decades in the beating heart of New York City.</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-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&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: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">(Image at the top:&nbsp;<span style="text-align: left;">View from the Hudson River. Photographed by Karin Jobst, 2014.)</span></span></p> Mon, 27 Apr 2015 16:50:11 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list Branding a Genre: INSA's Gif-iti <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Is it possible to trademark a whole genre of art? UK-based artist INSA has done just that, and gives an insight into the practicalities of defending your art in the digital era. In his most recent project, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXtSnq-Nvro">INSA&rsquo;s Satellite Gif-iti </a>(racking up more than 2.5 million views at the time of writing) the artist puts a behemoth brand stamp on the earth, endorsed in a 3 minute film&mdash;which sees the artist paint a carpark the size of two football pitches in Rio De Janeiro, and create a Gif from images shot from a satellite in space. The BBC, and even, <a href="https://instagram.com/p/1sYnQaRxhm/?taken-by=insa_gram">Lil Wayne</a>, are talking about it.<br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; text-align: left;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150423033242-INSA-London.gif" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">INSA, London, 2011</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In 2011, INSA created his first Gif-iti piece in Belgium. At the time, his main motivation was to push his practice to the next level, taking graffiti beyond the buff and into cyberspace where it would live better and longer. IRL, INSA had already paid his dues: he started out painting graffiti aged 13, when he would take buses down to London to paint trains (and he spent a stint in prison at age 21) and has gone on to produce exhibitions, products, and large scale installations (including his <em><a href="http://www.insaland.com/blog/the-insa-bubble/">Self Reflection is Greater Than Self Projection</a>,</em> London 2012) as well a short film for <a href="https://vimeo.com/37184040">Channel 4</a>.</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/20150423135919-INSAxINKIE.gif" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">INSA x INKIE, Belgium, 2011</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">While early Gif-iti works clearly reference graffiti (big, bold tags, with highlights and shines as an in-joke to fellow graffiti writers) later Gif-iti works have developed not only in their technical complexity but in their thematic concerns. Galvinising medium-as-message, INSA's recent Gif-iti pieces (take <em>Cycle of Futility</em>, or <em>C'est La Vie</em>) are a satirical comment on a URL existence, and the paradox of online materialism.&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/20150423140005-INSA-Deptford.gif" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">INSA, London, 2012</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/20150423135703-TheCycleOfFutility-Animated.gif" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">INSA, <em>The Cycle of Futility</em>, London, 2014</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">INSA&rsquo;s previous "graffiti fetish" style had already been ripped off and reappropriated all over, but he understood his Gif-iti innovation was something he was going to have to protect as closely as his identity. Advertisers soon cottoned on to the visual power of his Gif-iti work and it became the artist&rsquo;s&mdash;who rarely produces conventional physical works&mdash;most desirable asset. Trademarking his brand was about protecting his ability to earn from his creations&mdash;but it wasn't just about the monetary value.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The process of creating these Gif-iti pieces is technically complex and laborious. In each Gif-iti wall, individual layers are painted by hand, some comprised of up to 16 layers. Protecting the Gif-iti brand was also a way to claim that technical innovation and differentiate it from other kinds of digital and gif art where the maniuplation is applied digitally. I</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">n order to fully understand the concept art work, it was fundamental that the Gif-iti brand exist. &nbsp;&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/20150423033206-RoskildeFestival-Animated.gif" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">INSA, Rosekilde Festival, 2014</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">When imitators and fan works did appear, INSA was mirred in that greyish area of intellectual property. Ideas aren&rsquo;t easy to safeguard, and more so with mass exposure across the web. Though regulations are designed to encourage innovators to make new things and be fairly compensated for their work, it&rsquo;s impossible, due to the nebulous nature of the net, to track everyone&mdash;and when someone uses your idea for profit, you're likely to get pissed.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In Norway last year, a group of artists painted what they claimed as &ldquo;the world&rsquo;s largest Gif-iti&rdquo; as an ad for an energy drink. Since there was no mention of his name, INSA considered the project an infringement and in response, he went to Taiwan and painted an even bigger Gif-iti: &ldquo;that piece is fucking huge, 8 stories high. I would never have actually attempted to do a Gif-iti piece this big&hellip; but before I went out to Taipei I saw that some painters in Oslo had taken the Gif-iti idea and done a big advert with it. I couldn&rsquo;t let that be the case.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; text-align: left;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20150423033123-StreetView-1000.gif" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">INSA x Madsteez for Pow! Wow! Taiwan, 2014</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Rather than taking legal action, INSA's way of defending his brand is an example of a head-on approach to enforcing intellectual property rights in an environment in which authorship and originality become murky and soluble. Instead of engaging in a lengthy legal battle INSA's answer seems to be to go bigger and louder to reassert his ownership.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">On a broader level, his take on branding reminds us of the competitive culture of creating now, and the struggle of making a profitable art form that remains the property of the artist. &nbsp;&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/20150423034248-Paradise-INSAxROIDS.gif" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">INSA x Roids, Hawaii, 2014</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; text-align: left;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;Char Jansen</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>Char Jansen is an assistant to INSA</em>.&nbsp;</span></p> Thu, 23 Apr 2015 20:28:43 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list I Was an e-Erotica Editor <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Rape is taboo, says my boss. The heroine cannot be raped during the span of the novel, though having been raped previous to the events of the story is acceptable, as long as it is not described explicitly.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I ask my boss if fingers count. I had a manuscript the other day in which the heroine had fingers inserted inside her without consent, and I am curious, do I tag this as rape, or no?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">There is a silence as my boss considers this. That would not need to be tagged, my boss decides. Rape is not rape unless it is with a penis, she decides. Meeting adjourned.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">For the last year and a half I spent eight hours a day editing bottom-of-the-barrel tripe from a dark, musty corner of the e-book erotica industry spawned by <em>Fifty Shades of Grey</em> and the <em>Twilight</em> series. While my experience may not be representative or even typical of the e-erotica industry as a whole, it was thorough and specific. This is an industry, I had gathered, that was woman-centric, empowering, and sex-positive. This is an industry, I now know, that can be lazy, narrow, prejudiced, and un-self-aware. This is an industry that turned me into a petty, daily arbiter of whether or not fingers counted. This industry&rsquo;s privileged place as an emancipator of kink and fount of sexual empowerment is misconceived and dangerous.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Vampire-Romance-TWILIGHT-vampire-paranormal-ebook/dp/B00TV81EKW"><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/20150422203050-51ebw002uBL._SL_300___1_.jpg" alt="" width="400" /></span></a></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;">Our books were obsessed, varyingly but relentlessly, with tropes like hair washing. There is surely nothing wrong with a little erotic bathing, but when coupled with the heroine being spoon-fed, sat upon laps, carried across even the smallest distances, and given post-coital wipe-downs by omnipresent &ldquo;warm wash cloths,&rdquo; the effect is distinctively infantile or geriatric. The heroine uniformly has no financial independence, saved from the horror of having to work for a living by millionaire heroes. How can e-erotica be sex-positive when it promotes such a grotesquely lazy kind of sex? The protagonist is endlessly rewarded with sexual acts and compliments for being a brave, strong woman, when she has spent most of her time weeping and being kidnapped. Is anyone who expects to be thus coddled entitled to sex? Adulterating any sexual act with a sense of entitlement is a recipe for villainy. After eighteen months of parsing the language of entitlement, I came to see these e-erotica heroines as just that: villains.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Teeth-Nails-Tails-Mounted-Alaska-ebook/dp/B008PT2O0M"><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/20150422203117-9781419935657.jpg" alt="" width="400" /></span></a></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;">Can anything that so roundly denies its own identity as pornography truly be sex-positive? The masturbatory intent of these books is clear. The poor quality of the writing itself is baffling and unquestionable. E-erotica has a great many things in common with mainstream pornography: prolific output, low production costs, democratic zeal. Why, then, does e-erotica look down its nose at pornography, and bristle at being described as such?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">My boss once told me not to refer to the sex scenes directly when giving authors feedback, as it made many authors uncomfortable to be faced with their own creations. E-erotica is full of people who consider themselves avid readers, though many of them exclusively read erotica&mdash;a distinction as absurd as compulsive porn viewers who watch porn to the exclusion of everything else considering themselves film buffs. E-erotica is only okay if it is <em>distinct </em>from porn, if it is <em>better </em>than porn, and right now, it is not empowering to anyone.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">For an industry that prides itself on body positivity and acceptance, on embracing women of all physical types, e-erotica can be shockingly cruel. The hypocrisy of lauding their heroines for being curvy in the same breath as slut-shaming their rivals for being stick-thin seems to be lost on the great majority of authors. Pathetic ex-husbands and villainous stalkers are uniformly small-penised and weak, good guys predictably buff and well-hung. Many of our books display a closed-minded contempt for anything that deviates from a narrow norm (usually tired, rote BDSM vocabulary), in direct contradiction with its fa&ccedil;ade of experimentation and open-mindedness.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The e-books published by the company I worked for explore some dark territory without seeming to realize it. Taking a cue from yaoi manga, our manlove authors (gay male erotica written by women for a female audience) had to be repeatedly reminded that we would not publish characters under the age of 18. In order to work around this restriction, the effeminate submissive characters in these books were often made to be sickly, malnourished, sexually and physically tortured by villains, and thus unnaturally small and youthful in appearance. The implications of pedophilia are clear enough, though sometimes authors go as far as to give these submissive boys speech impediments or physical disabilities to enhance their childishness further, so that they are only able to communicate in toddler sentences and need to be carried like babies. It is not my intent to argue for or against the presence of pedophilic themes in fictional erotica. What is disturbing, however, is the ubiquitous denial that fetishes such as pedophilia and bestiality are present in these e-books. The same authors that enjoy writing about werewolf &ldquo;knotting,&rdquo; a phenomenon in which a dog penis enlarges once inside the human vagina to prevent disconnection, would be deeply offended to have their work categorized as bestiality. Similarly, the viral </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Twilight</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> trope of a paranormally immortal man &ldquo;imprinting&rdquo; on a baby girl so that he remains her protector until she reaches the age of sexual consent left many authors aghast at their work being tagged as pedophilia. The erotica world is rife with these denials through codifications. This hypocrisy leads to the feverish cultivation rather than an open examination of fetishes like pedophilia and bestiality. Cutesy euphemisms and slick branding in e-erotica used to protect readers from their perversions seems to fuel and perpetuate the more fucked-up aspects of what gets them off rather than allowing a place for conceptual play and release.&nbsp;Much like my boss&rsquo;s hairsplitting over the definition of rape, it is the reluctance to acknowledge these dark tropes as what they are that is disturbing, rather than the basic fact of their existence.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">By identifying as ubiquitously and uniformly sex-positive and empowering, this particular corner of the e-book erotica industry has sought to protect itself from earnest critique: feminist commentators are often reluctant to wholeheartedly criticize a force that has introduced so many women to their own sexuality&mdash;and rightfully so&mdash;even if that sexuality is wrapped up in a lot of potentially harmful tropes.&nbsp; Simultaneously, any outsiders (vanillas) who understandably recoil from the sheer weirdness and grotesquery of e-erotica&rsquo;s alien yet reactionary ideology ideologies are dismissed as narcs, rubes, or bullies. The result is that the e-erotica industry, or at least this particular brand of it, builds a callus against any criticism and gets darker and darker, unintentionally and increasingly absurdist, even nihilist in its repetition of themes, in the way a word chanted over and over both loses and gains meaning..</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">If you are disturbed by this trend, you are: a vanilla who could never possibly understand; a cruel high school bully who hates readers of all kinds; or a pretentious feminist who wants to ruin sex for everyone. Overly defensive erotica advocates find it easier to exist in a world of these three enemy stereotypes than to examine the complicated, upsetting roots of their own subculture. It may be frightening or sad to explore why these tropes are so precious to them. The overwhelming fixation on copious vaginal fluid, for instance, may speak to the average post-menopausal erotica author who is insecure about her body, as might the surprising size of the external clitoris of most heroines, which gets larger as a woman ages. The submissive, childish boys in the manlove genre may be a proxy for women who are uncomfortable, for whatever reason, placing themselves in a sexual scene. There is a widespread dogma in e-erotica that BDSM can cure all ailments, from frigidity to PTSD to past abusive relationships and rape. The insistent prevalence of this unfounded notion may suggest that a great many authors and readers suffer from these traumas, and are actively seeking a way to process it through sexual release. Is e-erotica a cathartic outlet for pain and insecurity, or is it a snake oil cure-all sold to women who, for all we know, don&rsquo;t have adequate access to mental health treatment or literature?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The only way to disabuse e-erotica of its lazy prejudices and insidious dogma is to stop allowing it the security blanket of sex positivity. Imagine if we were to only analyze male-centric internet pornography from an assumption of its being sexually empowering, and how little we would learn from it.</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;Lesley Dixon</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Image at top can be found at this <a href="http://www.twcslibrary.net/viewstory.php?sid=1523">link</a>.&nbsp;</span></p> Thu, 23 Apr 2015 20:28:22 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/chi/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/chi/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/chi/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/chi/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/chi/Articles/list