ArtSlant - Contemporary Art Network http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/show en-us 40 [VIDEO] Warsaw Gallery Weekend 2014 <p><iframe src="http://blip.tv/play/gjCDrd8kAg.x?p=1" frameborder="0" width="700" height="413"></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; line-height: 26px; color: #525552;">On the occasion of the <a title="Warsaw Gallery Weekend homepage" href="http://warsawgalleryweekend.pl" target="_blank">Warsaw Gallery Weekend</a> (WGW) 2014 we have just visited eight very diverse positions. The main program of the WGW was supported by 21 local galleries and one guest gallery from Prague. Collateral events were supported by institutions such as Zacheta &ndash; National Gallery of Art, <a title="The Centre For Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw /&nbsp;Interview with Director Fabio Cavallucci" href="http://vernissage.tv/2014/03/24/the-centre-for-contemporary-art-ujazdowski-castle-warsaw-interview-with-director-fabio-cavallucci/" target="_blank">Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle</a>, National Museum in Warsaw, Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Theatre Institute, Adam Mickiewicz Institute or Academy of Fine Arts. This year, the Warsaw Gallery Weekend showed a very precise and accomplished selection of what the reputation of the Polish art scene is based on.

This video provides you with a tour through selected exhibitions that feature works by artists such as Aleksandra Chciuk, Andac Karabeyoğlu, Łukasz Filak, Magdalena Kulak, Kajetan Plis (Leto), Szymon Malecki, Tomek Sacilowski (Piktogram/BLA), Gudrun Kampl (Propaganda), Janek Zamoyski (Czułość), Erwin Kneihsl (SVIT), Aneta Grzeszykowska (Raster), Norman Leto (Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle), Piotr Łakomy (Stereo) and Andrzej Partum, Zbigniew Warpechowski, Roman Dziadkiewicz (Monopol). We also speak with Marta Kołakowska and Jacek Sosnowski, board members of the Warsaw Gallery Weekend. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; line-height: 26px; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; line-height: 26px; color: #525552;">See more on <a href="http://vernissage.tv/2014/10/01/warsaw-gallery-weekend-2014/" target="_blank">Vernissage TV </a></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; line-height: 26px; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; line-height: 26px; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(Image at top: <strong>Gudrun Kampl</strong>, <em>Sk&oacute;ra / Skin</em>, installation view, 2014; Courtesy <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ew/venues/show/42157-galeria-propaganda">Galeria Propaganda</a>, Warsaw.)</span><br /></span></p> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 16:53:34 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Art Project at East London Train Station Tweets Speculative Headlines to Affect Stock Market Algorithms. No, Really. <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In April 2013 the Associated Press&rsquo; Twitter account was hacked, and announced the false report to the world that President Obama had been injured. The offending tweet was immediately removed, but with today&rsquo;s nanosecond-accurate high-frequency trading algorithms, &lsquo;immediately&rsquo; now comprises enough time for a 143 point downturn on the Dow Jones, a &lsquo;flash crash&rsquo; that only lasted minutes. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Although the stock market recovered quickly, the event spurned concern about the worrying algorithmic link between news in the age of social media and the financial markets. What are our responsibilities over our words typed into social media and news outlets? How can we understand the markets when the systems they work on are so complex, fast and irrevocably intertwined with the language on the web?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">On show until 30 November at Banner Repeater, a project space and reading room situated on platform 1 of Hackney Downs station, is <em>Low Animal Spirits</em>, a mixed media exhibition of work by Ami Clarke and Richard Cochrane that directly addresses these questions. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140930081905-Low_Animal_Spirits_by_Ami_Clarke_and_RIchard_Cochrane_-_installation_-_photo_by_Tomas_Rydin.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <div style="color: #000000; font-size: 13px; font-family: HelveticaNeue,'Helvetica Neue',Helvetica,Arial,'Lucida Grande',sans-serif; background-color: transparent; font-style: normal;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Ami Clarke and Richard Cochrane</strong>, <em>Low Animal Spirits</em> installation; Photo by Tomas Rydin<br /></span></div> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The exhibition comprises a video, a projection of the program <em>Low Animal Spirits</em> running above a slab of dark Perspex, a metal sculptural relief of the 2013 flash crash graph, a print of the offending tweet and a text compiled by Ami Clarke called 'In the Pull of Time'. The Twitter account <a href="https://twitter.com/LowAnimalSpirit" target="_blank">@LowAnimalSpirit</a> tweets new headlines generated by the program, some of which almost attempt sense, such as 'wind to capture farms for David Cameron'.&nbsp; </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Together the works generate a number of complex questions around algorithms, value and language and our human versus machine understanding and responsibilities. Accompanying the exhibition is a really worthwhile series of talks.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The phrase &lsquo;low animal spirits&rsquo; refers to mass mentality and the confidence that when lost <em>en masse</em> sends the financial markets into chaos. Visually the projected program is enthralling: what at first appears to be a word cloud begins to move erratically. Sometimes giant words grow and crowd over each other, making them illegible. 'Thick', 'molten', 'peanuts', 'rethinks', 'cosmonaut'. It&rsquo;s clear that it is doing something, but unclear what. Because it is made of words we want to read it, but the scattershot arrival of new words overwhelms any attempt to draw direct meaning from the text. The algorithm mines hundreds of constantly updating online news feeds. Like a financial trading algorithm it is looking for profit margins by examining rareness. Here, news as words with certain values act as expressions of world confidence and concerns&mdash;a visualization of global activity and events as they are reported, repeated, liked and linked to. Interestingly, its rhythm tells you more than the words that comprise it.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">With so much going on the project as a whole is difficult to get a handle on, but I sense deliberately so. The programs <em>Low Animal Spirits</em> mimic are dangerously complex, and their financial effect on us only amplifies this. This exhibition creates a rare glimpse of the phenomenon at work. It produces a way to visualize all that activity, and attempts the difficult task of allowing us to observe a phenomenon we contribute to in minute ways. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140930082022-The-Slots-by-Ami-Clarke-1.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Ami Clarke</strong>, <em>The Slots</em>; Photo by Tomas Rydin</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The multiple modes of display in the exhibition address how we visualize information. Ami Clarke&rsquo;s sculpture, <em>Breaking News - Flash Crash </em>(2014) in contrast to <em>Low Animal Spirits</em> neatly presents a mass of information simply. The system by which news affects trading is impossible to convey in few words, and yet the graph&rsquo;s drastic v shape articulates it perfectly. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The exhibition scratches the surface of many ideas related to algorithmic trading. Clarke&rsquo;s video has all of the visual tropes of the gambling world. Her text is compiled from fiction, theoretical and informational texts, and remixed like much of the internet&rsquo;s news content. The <em>Breaking News - Flash Crash </em>works as a signifier for something much larger. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Before I leave the room the text in <em>Low Animal Spirits</em> slows. 'Hindu' appears. 'Separatism' stays constant for a time. Weirdly the word 'Isis' appears only small&nbsp;&ndash; and vanishes quickly&nbsp;&ndash; while the word 'Revels' is huge and remains fixed. There is no direct meaning generated by <em>Low Animal Spirits</em> but instead the works point at and indulge in the web&rsquo;s complexity to delightfully poetic ends. You leave the exhibition with a thirst for information about the weird world of algorithms.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/377935-phoebe-stubbs?tab=REVIEWS">Phoebe Stubbs</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top:<strong> Ami Clarke</strong>, <em>Breaking News: Flash Crash (detail); </em>Photo by Tomas Rydin)</span></p> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 02:07:41 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Bowie Victims: Confessions from <i>David Bowie Is </i> at the MCA Chicago <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">I&rsquo;m not sure exactly what Jon Savage meant when he referred to &ldquo;Bowie victims&rdquo; in his book about the birth of punk rock, <em>England&rsquo;s Dreaming</em>, but ever since I read that phrase it stuck with me. In a way I identified with it&mdash;being a big David Bowie adherent&mdash;and didn&rsquo;t necessarily consider it as a derogatory term. I figure he meant teens obsessed with Bowie, the young androgynes with their flared high waters and platform boots, teased mullets and green eye makeup, coyly copying the style of Ziggy Stardust with items patched together from charity shops and the backs of their mothers&rsquo; closets.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">***</span></p> <blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>&ldquo;She&rsquo;s all swishy in her satin and tat, in her frock coat and bipperty-bopperty hat. Oh God, I could do better than that!&rdquo;</em></span></p> </blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">***</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140929233656-61ebe14diamonddogs.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">Promotional photograph of David Bowie for <em class="first_child last_child">Diamond Dogs</em>, 1974. Photo: Terry O'Neill. Image &copy; Victoria and Albert Museum.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">It seems rather trendy right now to hate on David Bowie, or at least to hate on the MCA Chicago&rsquo;s exhibition <em>David Bowie Is, </em>which opened this week. The common refrain being a grumble about blatant blockbuster populism and some hunger for ticket sales trumping the &ldquo;real art.&rdquo; To be perfectly honest, I haven&rsquo;t looked forward to an exhibition with such fervent anticipation in a really long time. But as I also mentioned before, I&rsquo;m a self-identified Bowie victim. Perhaps the way viewers will react toward this show is entirely reliant on how they already feel about David Bowie, or about music more generally vis &agrave; vis art.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">***</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The most present, most attuned, most aware experiences I&rsquo;ve ever felt took place not in art museums or galleries, such as in immersive installations or participatory performance art, but rather whilst dancing at underground music venues or house shows. Feeling the deep dark tones of bass vibrate through my feet, through my bones. Inhaling the movements of the crowd. Throwing myself into the pulsating mass of bodies. Thomas Hirschhorn wishes he could only replicate something so raw and vital in one of his installations.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Such experiences resist interpretation. Look at it too critically or too closely and you risk ruining it.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">***</span></p> <blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s not the side effects of the cocaine. I&rsquo;m thinking that it must be love. It&rsquo;s too late, to be grateful. It&rsquo;s too late, to be late again. It&rsquo;s too late, to be hateful. The European canon is here.&rdquo;</em></span></p> </blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">***</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140929234009-eeac32blackout.jpg" alt="" /><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">Cut up lyrics for &lsquo;<em class="first_child">Blackout</em>' from "<em class="last_child">Heroes</em>," 1977. David Bowie. &copy; The David Bowie Archive 2012. Image &copy; V&amp;A Images.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>David Bowie Is</em> can&rsquo;t really be talked about in the same way as you talk about an exhibition of contemporary art created for the context of the contemporary exhibition hall. It&rsquo;s a different animal entirely. But of course context is everything, and the context here is a museum of contemporary art, ergo this is art. It&rsquo;s the tautology that makes everyone uncomfortable.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Does it mean that this exhibition doesn&rsquo;t belong in a museum for contemporary art? No. I don&rsquo;t know. I should hope that our conception of what constitutes contemporary art isn&rsquo;t confined to such narrow definitions that it precludes popular culture, music, design, performance, poetry. The arguments against David Bowie as an artist rest more squarely on a set of unwritten assumptions about pedigree, popularity and pedagogy than any actual appraisal of his truly multi-media output.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The exhibition is quite challenging to judge, however, precisely because of this tendency&mdash;the astounding variety of objects on display, the collaborations, the costumes, the music, the writings, the performances, the videos and installations designed to synthesize his ideas and aesthetics into one consumable, entertaining whole. Bowie himself had very little to do with the exhibition personally, so it&rsquo;s astounding how his archivists, the curators and the exhibition designers have come together to provide this succinct picture of one man&rsquo;s artistic vision.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">***</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">I&rsquo;m a fan of his early work. Ziggy Stardust&mdash;with the glam guitar riffs (performed by the inimitable Mick Ronson) and outer-stellar lyrics&mdash;yes, but particularly his Berlin trilogy&mdash;with that Eno-ambient techno-melancholia&mdash;and lately I&rsquo;ve been enraptured by his Thin White Duke period&mdash;with his delicate growl giving way to that intensely tensile vibrato. He loses me in the 80s and 90s, but what Bowie did in the 1970s was absolutely revolutionary.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">***</span></p> <blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>&ldquo;This ain&rsquo;t rock&rsquo;n&rsquo;roll. This is genocide!&rdquo;</em></span></p> </blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">***</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140929234052-fcb397archer.jpg" alt="" /><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><em class="first_child">The Archer</em>, <em class="last_child">Station to Station</em> tour, 1976. Photo: John Rowlands. &copy; John Robert Rowlands.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">At the press preview someone astutely raised that point that the tone of the show and catalogue was &ldquo;worshipful&rdquo;, rather than critical. Perhaps a lost opportunity: We got mentions of his cocaine addiction and recovery, but there wasn&rsquo;t much of <a href="http://www.cs.tau.ac.il/~alper/Bowie_and_fascism.htm" target="_blank">his forays into Fascist imagery</a>, which could have revealed a much more complex character and cultural viewpoint, for instance. Perhaps the curators too fell victim to the allure and charm of Bowie. It&rsquo;s not that hard to imagine.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">But major exhibitions such as these do not strictly function as platforms for critical apprehension, or even just for fans to admire and get close to the works, but they serve to inspire other artists. Young artists might not be so familiar with David Bowie, and those with interests in performance, music, or writing will no doubt leave the MCA inspired in some way. It&rsquo;s not all nostalgia, or frivolity, or ticket sales. There&rsquo;s something here.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/11505-natalie-hegert?tab=REVIEWS">Natalie Hegert</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(Image at top: Installation view, <em class="first_child last_child">David Bowie Is</em>, MCA Chicago. September 23, 2014 - January 4, 2015. Photo: Nathan Keay. Courtesy of the MCA Chicago.)</span><br /></span></p> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 02:12:24 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list PEZ: 15 Years Smiling with Friends <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Legendary Spanish artist PEZ has just opened a solo show in London, at the Westbank Gallery W11, up until the 24<sup>th</sup> of this month. Following on from a solo gig earlier in the month in Sweden, Pez returns to London for the first time since his 2012 exhibition at Tony&rsquo;s Gallery.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">The propagator of the &ldquo;Funny Happy Barcelona style&rdquo; &ndash; which in its basic form, is a smiling fish &ndash; presents new works on canvas, plus collaborative works with &ldquo;friends&rdquo; &ndash; among them, Sickboy, Stinkfish, Cranio, Cope2, Flying Fortress and The London Police. Look out for new murals too popping up around the city.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Credited as one of the first graf writers to develop a logo in the place of a tag, the friendly-fish loving artist is now based in Bogota with his wife and two small children. Pez&rsquo;s message over the past two decades has been positive energy and good vibes &ndash; it&rsquo;s all about sharing his smile around the world. You can&rsquo;t really argue with that. Unless you&rsquo;re a cynic.</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;Charlotte Jansen</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;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(Image on top:&nbsp; PEZ,&nbsp;<em>15 years smiling with friends</em>, acrylics and markers on canvas.)</span><br /></span></p> Tue, 23 Sep 2014 06:22:33 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Nothing is Set in Stone <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The long stretch of Santa Monica where I once-upon-a-time commuted from a humble craftsman with more roommates than there were rooms to a chi-chi boutique where the diamonds in my charge were given more room to breathe than my fellow tuna-canned bus passengers pressed together in mutually unsatisfactory intimacy. The mood, demeanor, and politics of any given day were, to an extent, influenced by the mode of transportation that morning: bus, bike, lurchy pre-owned vehicle about the same age as me. In Los Angeles, public transport can breed anomie; cars, Stockholm syndrome. On a bike, there is danger but also freedom, a sudden propinquity with the landscape that creates an immediate awareness akin to aliveness.&nbsp; </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">When it comes to sloganeering, t-shirts and bumper stickers are par for the discourse. Sweaters and bicycles make themselves known. Flying by in her politically charged knitwear, Lisa Anne Auerbach looks&mdash;against all odds stacked up by the innocuous connotations of these "mediums"&mdash;pretty fucking radical.&nbsp; </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140923050602-Auerbach1.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">Installation view; Courtesy Gavlak Gallery</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Lisa Anne Auerbach makes words into thingies. &ldquo;As consciousness is harnessed to flesh,&rdquo; in the words of Susan Sontag, so ideas are ostensibly latched to materials until they become not just indivisible, but invisible. Auerbach gently pries them apart with an elegance and acrobatics that go beyond some reductive interplay between form and content.&nbsp; </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Yarnspun compositions like <em>#HASHINGITOUT</em> (2014) is one of several ways homeless ideas get caught in her knitting machine, and silly plays on words become a manifest confrontation with the logorrhea slipping idly through our thumbs on a daily basis. Hashtags do not care to challenge their own disposability. This is why #phraseslikethis tend to appear only on (literally) disposable fashion. Auerbach's knits, whether pinned to the wall like a pious cross-stitch or fashioned into funny fitting outfits, live beyond fashion&rsquo;s ken.&nbsp; </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140923050518-Auerbach2.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #525552; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Lisa Anne Auerbach</strong>, <em>American Magazine #1</em>, 2013. 24 page ink jet printed, custom staple bound, 60 x 30 in.; Courtesy Gavlak Gallery<strong><br /></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The outsized copies of <em>American Megazine</em>, issues #1 and #2 (circulation: five), articulate an essence of form with a keenness and humor artists have been clamoring at since Charles Ray&rsquo;s early '90s mannequin based sculpture. While the language is plain, the mere scale of issue #1 provides lodging for the ineffable anxiety the suburban monolith known as the Mega Church produces only in the most spectacularly failed evangelical hearts.&nbsp; </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Ideas in motion, words on bodies, reading material too unwieldy for a single pair of hands&hellip; in a conceptual double negative, Auerbach marries throwaway ideas with throwaway forms, adding uncanny gestures to lend these couplings an uncanny permanence.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/214407-christina-catherine-martinez?tab=REVIEWS">Christina Catherine Martinez</a></span></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; color: #525552;">(Image on top: <strong>Lisa Anne Auerbach</strong>, <em>#HASHINGITOUT, </em>2014, Knitted wool on linen, 63 x 80 inches; Courtesy Gavlak Gallery)</span></p> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 02:07:58 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Fade into White: Roman Opalka's Infinity <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The magnitude of entropy overcomes one who moves along the two floors of Dominique L&eacute;vy&rsquo;s gallery, viewing Roman Opalka&rsquo;s five-decade quest to render the spectrum of time&rsquo;s (ir)relevance. Two early series prognosticate the honed laboriousness arriving in the French-born Polish artist&rsquo;s most renowned final series <em>OPALKA <em>1965 / 1</em></em> &ndash; &infin; (1965-2011). In this series, comprising 233 paintings in total, 11 shown by the gallery&mdash;each titled <em>D&eacute;tails&mdash;</em>Opalka painted a number progression for forty-six years, beginning with the number one and ending with numbers in the five millions before his death. A single canvas has between 20,000 to 30,000 numbers painted on it in vanishing soft white lines over black paint gradually tinted white. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Quietude has never seemed so palpable, so graciously advanced over time as by this oeuvre-sampling narrative that grapples with self existence, teetering back and forth between absence and presence, struggling eloquently with inevitable obliteration. The oft-made canonicalization of Opalka has him straddling minimalism&rsquo;s and conceptualism&rsquo;s internal logic driven practices, yet inclinations toward expression seep out, poetically, in photograph and audio recordings also viewed and heard in the gallery.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140922152922-LVY047_-_OPALKA_1965-1___0_Detail_993460___1017875_Opalka_005.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>ROMAN OPALKA</strong>, <em>1965/1 -&infin;, D&eacute;tail 993460 &ndash;1017875</em>, Acrylic on canvas, 77 3/16 x 53 1/8inches (196 x 135 cm); Photo Credit: Andr&eacute; Morin / Courtesy Dominique Levy Gallery</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The two early series<em> Etude sur le Mouvement</em> (1960) and <em>Chronomes </em>(1963), separated on one floor from <em>D&eacute;tails</em>, serve as formal studies in building structure through lines and dots. The slashing scribbles of <em>Etude</em> are speckled by unwieldy dots furiously encountering the paper&rsquo;s edge. Two drawings, covered with abstract ink designs on either side are presented in a light-box manner so as to show Opalka&rsquo;s predilection for &ldquo;all-overness&rdquo;&mdash;a term the critic Harold Rosenberg once used to describe Jackson Pollock&rsquo;s mark-making process. But one senses control instead of Action-painter spontaneity here, a characteristic that continues to deliver in two more tediously dotted grid paintings of <em>Chronomes</em>. The delicately rendered lines and dots, which soon become an even-paced flow of number progressions in <em>D&eacute;tails, </em>suggest a peculiar channeling of American painter Agnes Martin (whose work Opalka may have never known) instead of Hanne Darboven or On Kawara, contemporaries of Opalka&rsquo;s with whom he&rsquo;s often compared. Unlike Darboven and On Kawara, who, at times, reference the socio-political, Opalka relinquishes all but the existential.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140922153229-VL_OPALKA_CHRONOME_01.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>ROMAN OPALKA</strong>, <em>Chronome No. 2</em>,1963, Tempera on canvas, 24 x 24 inches (61 x 61 cm); Photo Credit: Vincent Lespinasse / Courtesy Dominique Levy Gallery</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In 1965 Opalka encounters the self-organizing structure that will govern his final series <em>D&eacute;tails</em>. Upon a 196 x 135 cm canvas he places a number &ldquo;1&rdquo; in the upper left hand corner&mdash;a white number on a black background&mdash;from which he proceeds to paint the basic numerical sequence: one to infinity. Because Opalka paints with a No. 0 (think: tiny) loaded brush until all pigment vanishes (at which point he reloads his brush), the numerical progressions appear in linear, wave-like patterns on each canvas, each line the length of a child&rsquo;s fingernail. The title, bearing the infinity symbol, points to the artist&rsquo;s reckoning with absurdity or the irony of attempting to defy mortality in working infinitely. By 1968, Opalka&rsquo;s black backgrounds turn gray, and in 1972 he adds one percent of white paint to each proceeding canvas in the series, reducing the color value until around 2008. Late in his life&mdash;as his own physical colorations whiten&mdash;white numbers, somewhere in the millions now, appear as glistening snowflakes on white canvas. Opalka dubs these white-on-white canvases <em>blanc merit&eacute;</em>: &ldquo;well-earned white.&rdquo; Dominique L&eacute;vy shows her eleven&nbsp;<em>D&eacute;tails</em> in chronological order. Each <em>D&eacute;tail</em> begins and ends with a number&mdash;for example,&nbsp;<em>993460 &ndash;&nbsp;1017875</em>&nbsp;and<em> 5193063 &ndash; 5210330 </em>(the first and last shown, respectively). While they aren't dated, it would be safe to assume these paintings range in date between the 1970s and 2000s. &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Anticipating the monochromatic future of <em>D&eacute;tails</em>, Opalka reinserts himself back into the series, visibly and audibly in 1972. He records himself intoning in Polish the numbers he counts as he paints. A throaty, even-toned voice, like a metronome&rsquo;s slow ticking, enhances L&aacute;szl&oacute; Beke&rsquo;s comparison of the artist to an old ascetic reciting prophetic texts as he transcribes them. Opalka also begins to photograph himself in a white background, taking a black and white passport-styled photo after each workday. In the seven photographs displayed, one gazes upon an aging man, fading into white alongside his work. Words such as &ldquo;sublime&rdquo; and &ldquo;spiritual&rdquo; contribute to the artist&rsquo;s quasi-deification in the gallery&rsquo;s texts and while not inapt, they un-anchor tensions of humanness Opalka poignantly portrays: the irrepressible desire to harness time only to renounce it, to create meaning in numbers only to find them meaningless, and to seek eternal presence while cognizant of death.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/403883-sarah-mills">Sarah Mills</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top: <strong>Roman Opalka</strong>, <em> Etude sur le mouvement, </em>1959 - 1960, Ink on paper, 86.3 x 63.5 x 2.5 cm; Courtesy of the Dominique L&eacute;vy Gallery/Photo Credit:Vincent Lespinasse)</span></p> Tue, 23 Sep 2014 16:06:42 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Niki de Saint Phalle: Are her Nanas Too Sexy? <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">It really is a crying shame that Niki de Saint Phalle wasn&rsquo;t crooked of back, thick of brow, dull eyed with pustulant skin, lank hair, an uneven gait, and a voice that sounded like a hoarse crow hacking its lungs up. At a push I&rsquo;d even settle for poor and dull witted, but she wasn&rsquo;t; she was pretty and rich and aristocratic. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Now, there is nothing wrong with this&mdash;she wasn&rsquo;t the first and she won&rsquo;t be the last artist to come from this milieu&mdash;but there is a problem when her huge and comprehensive retrospective is so liberally plastered with her, it must be said, quite adorable mug (fine-boned, clear-skinned etc.) that it gets in the way of taking the work seriously. Oh the irony!&mdash;I declaimed internally&mdash;that an artist so engaged in her own charmingly na&iuml;ve brand of '60s feminist utopianism should so enamour the curators of her own exhibition that one wonders just what we&rsquo;re all here to see. I ask, was it really necessary to include her face adorning the cover of <em>Vogue,</em> or in a swimsuit (<em>LIFE</em>), or sporting those wonderful Cartier diamonds? Did we need to see quite so many earnest, paint-splattered interviews displayed so prominently? The brave (and cute) Niki staring dead-eyed down the barrel of her rifle? </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140922161504-100710-niki-de-saint-phalle-3.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Niki de Saint Phalle;</strong> image sourced from<a href="http://www.openingceremony.us/entry.asp?pid=1605" target="_blank"> here</a>.<br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The difficulty, of course, is that it makes it hard to take the work seriously. No, I don&rsquo;t believe that pretty girls can&rsquo;t be talented at something other than being pretty, I just think that if they are talented then we perhaps don&rsquo;t need quite so much of the pretty. Oh, world&hellip;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">But what <em>of </em>the show? That&rsquo;s a difficult one. As a body of work it&rsquo;s coherent, colourful&mdash;joyful even&mdash;na&iuml;ve, striking: it has something to say. It reflects its time and it addresses issues both personal and private, and, as a retrospective it <em>is</em> comprehensive. There are lots of rooms, covering the whole of de Saint Phalle&rsquo;s work and output. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">The problem for me is that the work itself feels derivative. It&rsquo;s good, enjoyable to look at, not a waste of time; but maybe it&rsquo;s as simple as the fact her influences are too apparent. There&rsquo;s a touch of Gaud&iacute;, a pinch of Mir&oacute;, a hint of Matisse, and not a little of Heinz Edelmann thrown together&mdash;and they never quite become her own. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140921182338-pink-bride-pompidou.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong>Niki de Saint Phalle</strong>,<em> Leto ou La Crucifixion</em>, 1965, 236 x 147 x 61,5 cm, objets divers sur grillage, Centre Pompidou, Mus&eacute;e national d&rsquo;art moderne, Centre de cr&eacute;ation industrielle, Paris, achat en 1975; &copy; Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI, Dist. RMN- Grand Palais / Georges Meguerditchia</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The strongest works are unsurprisingly the "Nanas" and particularly the earlier ones, before they became smooth and shiny. It&rsquo;s here, with the adornment of found objects, that she demonstrates her talent with colour and composition. And it is a real talent. I found them to be complex and moving pieces of work. Although, in contradictory fashion, my favourite of all was a later one: it had the expression of a disgruntled granny. And what more fitting example of feminine power can be found in the world? I&rsquo;m not sure. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In a final sad irony, and continuing the contradictions of this show, I was struck by the fact that the term "Nana" has relatively recently appeared in French slang, meaning "tits." It is also used, invariably by gel-haired, tracksuit-and-fake-Vuitton-Man-Bag-toting types, to mean "girlfriend" or "girls" in general (normally while they stand casually vaping on the platform of Gare du Nord&mdash;this, or in a gang on the Champs-Elys&eacute;es mocking the rollerblading cops). </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Among the general joy of this show I did get the feeling that de Saint Phalle was a tragic character, albeit a brave one. We should all offer thanks that she didn&rsquo;t experience this final indignity.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/273879-james-loks?tab=REVIEWS">James Loks</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">(Image on top: <strong>Niki de Saint Phalle</strong>, Installation view&nbsp;&copy; Grand Palais, Paris)</span></p> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 03:03:07 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Enduring Materials - Performa: Rashid Johnson's Dutchman at Red Square Baths <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&ldquo;And we&rsquo;ll pretend that people cannot see you. That is, the citizens. And that you are free of your own history. And I am free of my history. We&rsquo;ll pretend that we are both anonymous beauties smashing along through the city&rsquo;s entrails [She yells as loud as she can] GROOVE!&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: right;" align="right"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;&nbsp; Amiri Baraka, <em>Dutchman, </em>1964.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: medium;">We gathered in the lobby of a recently renovated bathhouse at 1914 W Division Street in Chicago&rsquo;s Wicker Park. The time was 11:00pm. Upon arrival, everyone received a large bottle of water, a bathrobe, sandals, and a locker key&mdash;though standard fare for any public bath, it isn&rsquo;t typical theater attire. Yet this was the obligatory uniform for New York-based artist </span></span><a href="http://davidkordanskygallery.com/?aid=20&amp;n=artists" target="_blank"><span style="font-size: medium;">Rashid Johnson</span></a><span style="color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: medium;">&rsquo;s audience. We gathered to see his rendition of <em>Dutchman,&nbsp;</em>the historic 1964 play by Amiri Baraka,&nbsp;an indisputable forefather of American literature. Commissioned by </span></span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://performa-arts.org/" target="_blank">Performa</a></span><span style="color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: medium;"> for its original debut at a New York bathhouse last November, Johnson&rsquo;s cast reconvened for a second time in the artist&rsquo;s hometown Chicago this fall. In the lobby, Johnson explained that this particular Division Street bathhouse had personal significance. During grad school, it was a place he regularly came to decompress and reflect. His studio assistant reminded us that the higher one sat the hotter it was, and to please drink water when we felt it necessary. Down the stairs we went thereafter into the men&rsquo;s portion of the establishment until our assembly arranged itself on three tiers of wooden bathhouse benches, already sweating in the deep dark of a sauna. Johnson took the stage only once in the beginning of the work, standing before the massive great oven to throw two cups of water into the dark pit it contained. Above and behind his head, a sign in all capital letters reminds bathers to add water with caution, lest it get too hot.</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The actors take the stage. Clay (Kevyn States) enters first. He reads the newspaper&mdash;a current issue of the <em>New York Times.</em> Lula (Tori Ernst) then walks on with a purse. With her bathrobe almost closed, a red bikini peers out nonetheless. Everything in the two act play occurs between these two characters&mdash;Clay, a 20 year-old black man, and Lula, a 30 year-old white woman&mdash;as they ride the New York subway. Each actor sits on facing benches, and the rest of the audience fills out the rest of our narrow, cramped quarters. Like a vampy character out of Tennessee Williams play, Lula aggressively goads her costar to his breaking point. She knows his type, she claims. She proves it, mocking his predictability, guessing the names of his friends, and the habits of his parents; mercilessly, she chaffs against his own sense of place in mainstream America. She mocks him for wanting to be a Black Rimbaud, casting racial slurs with stunning expertise, infusing the air with a sexual charge as unpredictable as it is inescapable. Clay is mild mannered by comparison. Level-headed even. Honest. He tends to give people the benefit of the doubt. Observant of social cues. He is the middle class black man and she belittles him for it, driving the history of slavery into his heart like a stake. &ldquo;Boy, those narrow-shoulder clothes come from a tradition you ought to feel oppressed by,&rdquo; she says&mdash;and on and on relentlessly, to such an extent that when he finally responds in kind, he unearths a latent rage so confusing as to destroy any sense of self he&rsquo;d previously assumed. As though to further embody the extent of Clay&rsquo;s crisis, Lula knifes him to death in the final moments of the play. She plans to throw his body outside without consequence while the rest of the audience&mdash;all of us sweating unbearably where we are stacked like sardines in the cramped/dim/hot box&mdash;watch silently like indifferent commuters.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140921175524-00.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The play won Baraka an Obie when first produced at Cherry Lane Theater, putting the poet squarely on the map. Back then it was then unheard of for a black man and white woman to share a stage, audiences responded with polarizing vehemence, sparking a significant discussion about American race relations. Yet the play also feels biographically significant. Born Leroy Jones, Baraka published under the name of LeRoi Jones in the 50s as another member of the Beatnik literati. He ran one literary journal, and a press where he featured his own poetry alongside that of iconic peers like Ginsberg, Kerouac, et al. In 1964, Baraka was still working within that white male world of Greenwich Village. After the death of Malcom X in 1965, however&mdash;just a year after <em>Dutchman</em>&mdash;he left his wife and two children, moved to Harlem, and changed his name to Amira Baraka. Clay&rsquo;s character seems to portend Baraka&rsquo;s biographical transformation, yet while Clay is stone dead at the end, Baraka went on to found the Black Arts Movement: a movement dedicated exclusively to Black American artists and art. Through that office, he furthered his already significant impact, fostering a whole generation of artists.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Intermission was incredible. Everyone spilled out of the sauna with decided relief. One woman stood in the men&rsquo;s cold plunge for the entire ten minutes. Others sidled intermittently up to the rain shower &mdash;&nbsp;a sobering overhead faucet that had only two settings ON or OFF. ON was ice cold. I watched an old man stand under that ice shower for a full minute to cool off. He grinned, sheepishly exuberant. By leaving that room behind, everyone felt better, despite the haunting humidity. Others lounged in reclining beach chairs. I drifted uncomfortably, still too hot, drinking so much water as to feel a little sick.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The moment in between acts was as significant as the staged program&mdash;this bathhouse had closed in 2010 after being open since 1906. When it reopened a few years ago, the entire building was rehabbed. The play offers a similar architectural beginning, even while it changes with every performed context. Last November, Baraka was still alive, having long since retired a Black National agenda for a socialist one. This September we not only feel the absence of the poet, but also the echoes of Ferguson.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Johnson regularly draws on historical legacies. In a 2006 self-portrait, <em>Self-Portrait Laying on Jack Johnson&rsquo;s Grave</em>, the artist lies on his back, exhausted, on the grave of the famous boxing heavyweight champion. Prior to taking the photograph, Johnson had been break dancing on the tomb until he was too tired to move anymore. By dancing on the old athlete&rsquo;s grave the artist is entreating a ghost almost, teasing it to answer&mdash;to laugh or chastise. In the photo, Johnson seems resigned to exhaustion, and yet by lying down parallel to the ground he becomes more in touch with the dead man than ever. He often draws on literary references as well&mdash;Zora Neale Hurston is a regular figure, for example, or W.E.B. Dubois. He&rsquo;ll use the books of astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson as sculptural components, and even asked to borrow then-Senator Barak Obama&rsquo;s suit for an exhibit at The Renaissance Society (to no end). These figures are specific, and Johnson creates specific relations with them, muddling any tendency to stereotype and generalize accomplished African Americans. Titles and materials alike reflect a dense galaxy of biographies. By engaging these figures, Johnson bounces off of them. He studies these figures, and responds. In 2012 he curated an exhibit by Sam Gilliam&mdash;a well-established painter from The Washington Color School&mdash;at David Kordansky Gallery in Los Angeles. &ldquo;One of the things I specifically learned [from Sam and his generation] was that racial discourse was brought to their work, there was a lot of opportunity for projection. What I really hoped to do with my work was to at least be able to define my relationship to race.&rdquo; </span><span style="color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: medium;">(</span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887323884304578328423285066206" target="_blank">&ldquo;The Art of Inspiration,&rdquo; Chloe Schama, Wall Street Journal, 2013</a>). It is as though Johnson is using a kind of echolocation strategy, indexing these exemplary black figureheads into the orbit of his work, while measuring, changing, and adapting his own position. <em>Dutchman </em>is just another example.</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The play becomes a material for Johnson to work with; by working that material, he is able to incorporate not only Baraka&rsquo;s artistic and biographical trajectory, but also his agency in the Civil Rights movement, and even more generally, American history at large. Suddenly the play&rsquo;s script is fertile, dynamic, and ambivalent. Johnson establishes an embodied conduit by staging the production in a bathhouse, such that one must suddenly re-experience an historical moment from a present, subjective sweat. A sweat the Johnson shares with us, sitting as he did amongst the audience for the entire duration. The bathhouse is a significant actor in the play&mdash;as a predetermined condition, and an active agent&mdash;it works upon the audience just as the actors do. Yet also the audience chooses to remain in its discomfort, to endure.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/183982-stephanie-cristello?tab=REVIEWS">Caroline Picard</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(All images: <em>Rashid Johnson&rsquo;s Dutchman</em>, a Performa Commission; Photo copyright Paula Court / Courtesy of Performa)</span></p> Tue, 23 Sep 2014 00:26:50 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list The 3rd Annual Downtown Miami Art Days: Another Incarnation of Street Art <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;">Over the weekend of September 19 to 21, 2014, the <strong>Miami Downtown Development Authority, </strong>in collaboration with various artists, cultural organizations and institutions, presents a three-day art filled event. Various venues including art galleries, theaters, museums restaurants, parks, and cultural centers will host free film screenings, tours, projects, parties, and exhibitions, connecting residents of the city through the arts.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;">In recent years, Miami&rsquo;s public spaces have grown into a cultural landscape. Late last year, the <strong>Perez Art Museum Miami</strong> unveiled a magnificent architecture for international art. Since then, its hanging gardens have flourished over the bay. Just a few months later, <strong>Museum Park</strong> opened next door. Next, the <strong><a href="http://www.miamisci.org/" target="_blank">Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science </a></strong>will open in the same location. These venues will all host events during <strong>Art Days.</strong>&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;">&nbsp;<img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140920192822-TheMirrorEdouard_Duval_Carrie__Alejandro_Mendoza__Luis_Valle__Yamel_Moleiro__Miguel_Fleitas__Juan_Henriquez__Luis_Jimenez__Dario_Posada__Yovani_Bauta__The_Mirror__7_artists_collaboration__Dirk_Janssens.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;">The opening of these cultural institutions is turning Miami into a pedestrian city.&nbsp; Street art is best experienced up close:&nbsp; while walking through the city&rsquo;s streets one is happily surprised by finding art on the walls, sidewalks, and buildings. Throughout the weekend, free transportation between participating venues will also be provided to participants courtesy of <strong>Freebee.</strong>&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;">Here are some of the Street Art highlights:</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><strong><a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/1534406043444121/" target="_blank">Art4Space: A Film By Space Invader</a>:</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;">Space Invader has invaded Miami. Not only are his 8-bit video game mosaics visible through the Magic City&rsquo;s streets, but his &ldquo;Space One&rdquo; balloon was also launched into the stratosphere above the Everglades. Robert (William) de Los Rios of WynwoodMap.com will present a screening of Space Invader&rsquo;s 2012 film &ldquo;Art4Space&rdquo; where he documents the launch.&nbsp; There will be two free screenings at 11:00 A.M and 1:00 P.M each day at the historic <strong>Olympia Theater</strong>.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140920193056-invaderflick.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><strong>&nbsp;</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/670311186391674/" target="_blank"><span style="font-size: medium;"><strong>Giants in the City</strong></span></a></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;">Enormous inflatable balloon structures will be exhibited on the lawn of <strong>Bayfront Park</strong>. One of the pieces, &ldquo;The Mirror,&rdquo; is a collaboration between various Miami street artists including Luis Valle and Buddah Funk. There is also a large inflatable wall that participants can spray paint, getting a chance to be an artist themselves. The event is presented by&nbsp;<strong>Irreversible Magazine An International Art Project</strong><strong style="font-size: medium;">. </strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140920193351-GiantsinTheCity_TheMirror_.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><strong>&nbsp;</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><strong>For a full list of events visit <a href="http://www.dwntwnarts.com" target="_blank">http://www.dwntwnarts.com</a></strong></span></p> Sat, 20 Sep 2014 19:34:44 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Cryptographics: An Interview with Curator's Open Winner Manus Groenen <p style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;">Manus Groenen&rsquo;s show </span><a style="font-size: medium;" href="http://www.artslant.com/chi/articles/show/40817" target="_blank"><em>Cryptographics: A Tribute to the Voynich Manuscript</em></a><span style="font-size: medium;"> was selected as the winner of ArtSlant&rsquo;s Curator&rsquo;s Open, where we asked readers to use our massive database of art to design an exhibition. Now showing at <a href="http://www.expochicago.com/" target="_blank">EXPO CHICAGO</a> Art Fair, Groenen&rsquo;s </span><a href="http://www.artslant.com/chi/events/show/351790-cryptographics-a-tribute-to-the-voynich-manuscript" target="_blank"><em style="font-size: medium;">Cryptographics </em></a><span style="font-size: medium;">brings together twelve unique artworks exploring different forms of marking, both linguistic and pictorial. Reflective of the mysterious text his show honors, Groenen&rsquo;s </span><em style="font-size: medium;">Cryptographics</em><span style="font-size: medium;"> features works touching on the cosmological, the obscured, and the occult. We caught up with Groenen over email to chat about </span><em style="font-size: medium;">Cryptographics</em><span style="font-size: medium;"> and what it was like designing a show through our Curator&rsquo;s Open.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; text-align: justify;"><em><span style="font-size: medium;"><strong>Max Nesterak: How does it feel to be ArtSlant's first ever Curator's Open curator?&nbsp;</strong></span></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;"> <strong>Manus Groenen:</strong> I have to say I feel honoured to have been picked the winner! And I hope that I will be the first of many interesting projects to come! I am very happy with this chance to execute an idea I&rsquo;ve had for a while. It also allowed me to meet some really friendly and interesting artists I would never have met otherwise. I do feel a bit sad about the fact that I can&rsquo;t visit the end result myself and meet the organisation and the artists in person, but that&rsquo;s just the way it is.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; text-align: justify;"><em><span style="font-size: medium;"><strong>MN: </strong><strong>I thought your concept of working off the cryptic 15th century Voynich Manuscript was so inspired. I actually didn't know much about it before seeing your Curator's Open proposal. How did you decide to use it as the inspiration for your show?&nbsp;</strong></span></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;"> <strong>MG:</strong> Well, I&rsquo;m always writing down little ideas whenever they pop into my head and once in a while I check my notes and see which I would like to develop further into an exhibition or another type of project. The Voynich Manuscript had been on that list for quite a while. I once came across an article about it, and it immediately grabbed me and I wrote it down. It was formally intriguing and this idea of an unreadable language is just amazing. The whole thing was and still is shrouded in mystery, but the promise that it holds some important secrets or occult knowledge made the entire book even more appealing.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140920163906-starmaps.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/chi/artists/show/16589-karen-lofgren" target="_blank">Karen Lofgren</a>,&nbsp;<em>Starmaps (maps of night sky from LA in July),&nbsp;</em>2004, leather, plastic, lights, sticks, sponge, 3' x 2.5'x 2'&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; text-align: justify;"><em><span style="font-size: medium;"><strong>MN: That definitely comes through in the show. </strong></span></em><span style="font-size: medium;"><strong>Cryptographics</strong></span><em><span style="font-size: medium;"><strong> celebrates the obscured and unknowable, and I really liked how it turns what is a very frustrating text for scholars into a pleasurable experience for the rest of us. In doing so, you touch on one of the Voynich Manuscript's greatest assets&mdash;that of piquing our sense of wonder. The mystery is the message, so to speak. Paradoxically, it seems the Voynich Manuscript would actually lose meaning by being successfully decoded, like a magician who explains his trick. Would you be devastated if the Voynich manuscript was successfully decoded?</strong></span></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;"> <strong>MG:</strong> Of course I am immensely curious about what the book has to say, like everyone that has attempted to crack it. But I think it will never be able to match the expectations people have built up around it. As you have nicely put it, I think it will lose a lot of its appeal if it would be decoded. To me it&rsquo;s a beautiful symbol of the unknown. It reflects humanity's efforts to find answers to everything, but hopefully some things will always remain an enigma. &nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; text-align: justify;"><em><span style="font-size: medium;"><strong>MN: You've worked as a curator for a number of years, but I can imagine doing the Curator's Open was a different experience. What was the process of curating online like compared to how you normally curate shows?&nbsp;</strong></span></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;"> <strong>MG:</strong> I have been working as a curator for about three years now and I&rsquo;ve done different types of projects, from curating an online project space to organising travelling exhibitions. The process of working is usually sort of the same. I usually start with either a small idea or a certain conceptual framework and try to find artists that can relate to it and work from there. Or I come across some artists that automatically seem to have some sort of connection, that connection can be something formal, conceptual, a shared interest, a certain working method, but also just a really subjective thought I have. From there I start looking for others that might be interesting to add to that little group and start working out and researching a concept for a show. Looking for interesting artists online is usually part of my process, but here it sort of was the entire process, so that was new for me. Usually I have an on-going conversation with an artist in advance, preferably in real life, but usually by Skype or email and then see if and how we can work together, but now I just had to go by the info that I could find online, make my picks and form a show from there.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/684523/tcd3/20140920001527-20140614180932-Hercules.jpg" alt="" width="450" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/chi/artists/show/56487-elaine-parks" target="_blank">Elaine Parks</a>,&nbsp;<em>Hercules,&nbsp;</em>2012, Tar, Bones, Pearls, 12" x 9" x 2" inches&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; text-align: justify;"><em><span style="font-size: medium;"><strong>MN: During the Curator's Open, some of the editors and I curated our own shows for fun. I never fully grasped how much art is in our database. For me, it was interesting to learn about each editor's strategy. I relied mostly on tags to search by subject. Others searched for artists they knew and then worked through those artists' connections with other artists. What was your strategy for searching through ArtSlant's database?&nbsp;</strong></span></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;"> <strong>MG:</strong> Actually I just dove straight into the enormous ocean of art there was in the database! As you say it is overwhelmingly huge. I just started at page one and looked at every artwork and artist that caught my eye. If I liked it I would just save it and keep on going. I&rsquo;ve spent quite a lot of time just going through the pages and picking things I liked. After a while I started looking for some binding element in my selection and reading a bit more about the artists. I looked at my idea notebook to find some sort of theme or concept that would do this selection justice. The Voynich Manuscript was one of the ideas that seemed to have potential from an early stage and I started doing some more research about it. At the same time I kept going through the database with the manuscript in mind and kept looking for art that could be related to it, discarding some of my first picks and adding some new ones along the way. This way an exhibition slowly emerged and the concept became clearer. In the later stages I had some aspects of the Manuscript that I would like to have included in the final show. So in the last stages I started searching for certain tags to fill in some of the conceptual gaps. I ended up with what I felt was a nicely balanced show with some great artworks and a concept that allowed enough space for the works to breathe.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><em>Cryptographics: A Tribute to the Voynich Manuscript will be on view at EXPO CHICAGO from September 18-21.</em><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><em>Visit the show's online catalogue <a href="http://www.artslant.com/chi/articles/show/40817">here</a>.<br /></em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;"> &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(Image on top:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/chi/artists/show/267400-caroline-blum" target="_blank">Caroline Blum</a>,&nbsp;<em>Books of Seeds,&nbsp;</em>2013, Ink and acrylic on canvas, 12 x 16 in.)&nbsp;</span></p> Sat, 20 Sep 2014 16:48:20 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list What’s In A Multiple? <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Just on the basis of massiveness, EXPO CHICAGO&rsquo;s top-tier art fair on Navy Pier could be expected to have pervasive and rippling effects through the art system of Chicago, and ripple it does. Museums line up </span><a href="http://www2.mcachicago.org/exhibition/david-bowie-is"><span style="font-size: medium;">stardusted</span></a><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> blockbusters to coincide with the fair, galleries arrange collector-centric city tours, and the city&rsquo;s Cultural Affairs department antes up sponsorship for a gallery crawl shuttle. For the second year running, one of the EXPO ripples will be EDITION Chicago, a kind of mini-fair specializing in the sale of editioned multiples and held at Chicago Artists Coalition.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">An artist&rsquo;s multiple is typically a small run set of identical or nearly identical prints, sculptures, photographs, media work, or any other reproducible media. But then what separates a screen printed band poster at a craft fair from a screen printed text piece at EDITION? In the post-Warhol age, of course, the definition of what is and what is not art has little to do with the object itself and everything to do with the situational, institutional, yes, even discursive context that frames and presents it. The philosopher Arthur Danto changed the Is It Art game in the sixties with his discussion of artworlds, the communities of artists, critics, curators, gallerists, and collectors set within structures like galleries or museums who, through their interactions, discussions, and negotiated positions enabled something like a seemingly mass-produced Brillo box to suddenly shine with the luster of capital letter Art. At the most basic of levels, then, the simple distinction that these prints are presented by a gallery at an art fair and these other prints are presented by a design collective at a craft fair is all we need to know about which is art art and which is not.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140919041338-Peter_Shear2.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Peter Shear,</strong> <em>Untitled</em>, 2014, watercolor and acrylic spray paint on canvas, 24 x 18 inches; Courtesy the artist and LVL3.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Let me say here that I&rsquo;m not talking about which print has greater or lesser cultural value. The fact that one has Art value over craft value is in part a collective, aggregated hallucination of that very value, one induced by the communal buzzing of professionalized art workers. Of course, to say that an artist&rsquo;s multiple and a set of handcrafted coasters are the same thing except for a perceptual barrier of art worldiness around the multiple is to overly simplify some other important qualities. While not all multiples are numbered into specific editions, many are, and the number of the edition plays into both initial price and longterm value. Sold in order, as edition number increases, so does the initial price, even though lower numbered editions carry a better chance at having higher value later on. In other words, edition #2 of 50 can be purchased at a lower price than #30, even though #2 will probably have a higher valuation further down the line. Designating multiples with specific numbers gives specificity to otherwise identical objects, marking them as unique, and therefore scarce and valuable.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">But these are just art market designations, no? Certainly a base metric to use to describe what happens at an event like EDITION Chicago. Indeed, at the kick-off event held at Soho House on September 10, a panel of four Chicago collectors trumpeted the importance of supporting the local Chicago art community, pointing art-collecting initiates to the non-profit auctions held by spaces like Roots &amp; Culture and Heaven Gallery. These are apt comparison points, as these auctions exist largely to raise operating revenue for these nonprofit spaces. The rhetoric also brought to mind threewalls&rsquo;s Community Supported Art (CSA) program, which uses the metaphor (and business model) of farm-supporting ecological localism to produce and distribute editioned multiples from Chicago artists. Like the Community Supported Agriculture programs it&rsquo;s based on, CSArt ensures that artists have a set minimum order, as well as an influx of upfront cash for supplies. One of the biggest differences between the threewalls program and EDITION Chicago on this front is that part of the draw of EDITION are the galleries coming in from New York City, Mexico City, and elsewhere across Midwest. This is where the unabashed globalism of EXPO spills over onto the unspoken &ldquo;support local&rdquo; tagline of the EDITION mini-fair.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140919041448-Sarah_and_Joseph_Belknap___Fossil_Fields___2014__Special_Edition_for_EDITION_Chicago_2014.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Sarah and Joseph Belknap</strong>, <em>Fossil Fields</em>, 2014, Pigmented silicone, iron, slag, pigmented plastic, 6 1/4 x 8 x 1 1/4 inches; Courtesy the artists and Chicago Artists Coalition.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">At EDITION this year, among the artworks on exhibit are a special edition set of silicone wall sculptures by Chicago-based Sarah and Joseph Belknap commissioned by EDITION and will be exclusively available at the event. Titled <em>Fossil Fields</em>, the small and mute hued pieces have an entrancing, geode-like visual texture and a kind of curdled-milk-supernova beauty. Among other inclusions are some of Peter Shear&rsquo;s casual and spacious paintings (LVL3), Juan Fernandez&rsquo;s deadpan photographs of industrial architecture (Gallery 19), and a smattering of graphic prints from Claudio Dicochea and Enrique Chagoya (Segura Arts Studio), among many others.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">EDITION Chicago takes place at Chicago Artists Coalition on Friday September 19 from noon to 6pm, Saturday September 20 from 11am to 5pm, and on Sunday September 21 from noon to 5pm.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/392403-gan-uyeda?tab=REVIEWS">Gan Uyeda</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top: <strong>Andi Crist</strong>, <em>&ldquo;I Love You, Shakespeare. I Love You Too, Shakespeare.&rdquo;</em> 2014, Plaster, spray paint, 13 x 14 x 12 inches. Courtesy the artist and Chicago Artists Coalition)</span></p> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 18:33:28 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list By Art Is Created That Great Leviathan: Glenn Kaino at Kavi Gupta <p class="BodyA" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">With the opening words &ldquo;By art is created that great Leviathan,&rdquo; Thomas Hobbes launches readers into his seminal work of political philosophy,&nbsp;<em>Leviathan</em>, in which he imagines the State as a great aggregation of the masses into a singular societal body. Drawing its title from Hobbes&rsquo; treatise, LA-based artist </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/chi/events/show/353217-leviathan">Glenn Kaino</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&rsquo;s exhibition at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/chi/venues/show/43411-kavi-gupta-chicago---elizabeth-street">Kavi Gupta Gallery</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&rsquo;s Elizabeth Street location indicates an ambition for superstrata-level political commentary. Despite the impossible loftiness of this reference, the exhibition nevertheless offers a complex, wry, and upward looking political statement in its various contemplations of global instability, alternative models of societal organization, and the political possibilities embedded in representation.</span></p> <p class="BodyA" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The exhibition is built on the conviction that the act of representation is a deeply political one, and thus one freighted with serious weight and responsibility. From this foundational position, the exhibition opens onto larger themes of global unrest and new modes of mass vocalization. A collection of nondescript chunks of street rubble is key to a number of the sculptures. Gathered from zones of violent social upheaval around the world&ndash;&ndash;fragments from the streets of the Syrian civil war, anti-Erdoğan protests in Istanbul, and eruptions of popular anger in Athens, among others&ndash;&ndash;these hand-sized bits of revolutionary weaponry are used in a striking variety of ways. One with particular incisiveness is&nbsp;<em>Don&rsquo;t Bring A Gameboy To A Gunfight</em>, where the artist and a network of online collaborators have 3D scanned and printed the street rubble in fluorescent PLA polymer. Riffing on both the threat posed by 3D printed firearms and the political apathy of Richard Long-style poetics, the work&rsquo;s combination of joyfulness, critique, optimism, and uncertainty characterizes the complexity of many of the pieces that make up the exhibition.</span></p> <p class="BodyA" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20140918194753-Escala-35-300.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p class="BodyA" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Glenn Kaino</strong>, <em>Escala-,</em>&nbsp;2014, Scales, candy, Variable dimensions; Courtesy of the artist and Kavi Gupta Chicago</span><br /></span></p> <p class="BodyA" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="BodyA" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">One of Kaino&rsquo;s go-to tactics in <em>Leviathan</em> is precariousness; he uses careful balancing to create self-supporting and seemingly unstable structures. These works operate by inviting the viewer to imaginatively project the outcomes of physically interacting with the work. For instance, <em>Escala-</em>&nbsp;is a system of ten scales suspended from a high ledge, balancing trays of shimmering, brightly hued candies. In this closed structure, a single disturbance would upset the carefully counterbalanced composition. Of course, the look-don&rsquo;t-touch strictures of the gallery setting prevent any sort of physical interaction with the scales&mdash;a&nbsp;potential stumbling block for a work that seeks to explore ways of transcending systems of zero-sum reward. Yet, by encouraging viewers to inhabit a common inter-subjective space, the work allegorizes the process by which political possibilities are negotiated.</span></p> <p class="BodyA" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Many of the questions Kaino poses will be familiar to anyone who has contemplated the ability of art to enact political change. Indeed, they are fundamental questions that have been addressed in the recent past with manifestos for participatory art or socially embedded practices. These modes of working&ndash;&ndash;the so-called social turn in art&ndash;&ndash;argue that distanced contemplation of art is inferior to active participation, which is supposed to induce higher consciousness by virtue of the physical involvement of the viewer. Rather than participation for its own sake, however, Kaino&rsquo;s work produces its own spaces of empathetic identification, where precarity and violence can be addressed by inhabiting new subjective positions.</span></p> <p class="BodyA" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20140918195557-Excalibur-2-300.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong><strong>Glenn Kaino</strong>,&nbsp;</strong><em>Excalibur,&nbsp;</em>2014, Painted bronze; Courtesy of the artist and Kavi Gupta Chicago</span></p> <p class="BodyA" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="BodyA" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In this way, the first work in the show acts as a summation of the experience. Titled <em>Excalibur</em>, the work is a slingshot aimed at the gallery's entryway. The leather pocket of the weapon is embedded in the wall, while the wooden stick projects into the space and the rubber strap hangs loose, ready to be filled with potential energy. To pull <em>Excalibur</em> from the wall would be, as in the mythic tale of the sword in the stone, to assume the power of political sovereignty, but at the same time it would carry the risk of being in the line of fire. The stick, rubber strap, and sling furthermore turn out to be made entirely of cast and painted bronze&mdash;a symbolic act of transforming blank material into representational, iconic language. With force and precision, the weapon conveys the weight and responsibility of making art. A dense, interconnected mesh of recurring themes and provocations, Kaino&rsquo;s sculptures in <em>Leviathan</em> only appear unstable. With their depth and diversity of meaning, their balance of playful humor and biting critique, and their ability to freshly pose fundamental questions about the utility of representation, these works are as solid and expansive as a creature of the deep.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/392403-gan-uyeda?tab=REVIEWS">Gan Uyeda</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top: <strong>Glenn Kaino, </strong>Installation view of&nbsp;<em>Leviathan&nbsp;</em>with&nbsp;<em>Suspended Animation</em>, found rock conveyor, rocks, Variable dimensions 2014; Courtesy of the artist and Kavi Gupta Chicago)</span></p> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 20:33:56 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Street Artists Sue Over Copyright Infringement: Inspiration vs. Theft <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&ldquo;The good poet welds his theft into a whole of feeling which is unique, utterly different from that from which it was torn.&rdquo;&nbsp;&nbsp; T.S. Eliot</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">From graffiti art covering a burnt-out chapel in a Hollywood blockbuster, remnants of a mural etched on a designer shirt, graffiti is a commonplace influence found in popular culture, a far stretch from the underground where it originated. But, recently, there's been a spate of recent lawsuits involving street artists lately, accusing marketers, designers, companies, and even film directors, of copyright infringement. Surely street art can be an inspiration to other creatives. But when does influence become theft?&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">According to <a href="http://www.juxtapoz.com/graffiti/revok-x-reyes-x-steel" target="_blank">Revok, Reyes and Steel</a> a.k.a Jason Williams, Victor Chapa and Jeffrey Rubin</span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">, major designer Roberto Cavalli derived the designs for his new fashion line from a mural they painted in San Francisco&rsquo;s artistic Mission district. They are suing the fashion label for copyright infringement.&nbsp;</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/20140918054609-Untitled.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">The street artists '<strong>Jaz</strong>', '<strong>Ever</strong>' and '<strong>Other</strong>' working the Buenos Aires mural which is reproduced in The Zero Theorem; Photograph: Hollywood Reporter</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;">Just last month news broke out that Miami&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.artslantstreet.com/articles/show/40454">Ahol Sniffs Glue was suing American Eagle Outfitters</a>.&nbsp; It seems lawsuits are becoming a bit of a trend. Argentinian artists </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://buenosairesstreetart.com/2011/06/all-that-jaz-and-tango-interview-with-franco-fasoli/" target="_blank">Franco Fasoli</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"> and </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://eachone.com/artworks/artists/ever__nicolas_romero_escalada_/browse_al" target="_blank">Nicolas Escalada</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"> &ndash; AKA Jaz and Ever &ndash; along with a Canadian artist, </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://derekmehaffey.wordpress.com/about/" target="_blank">Derek Mehaffey</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">, known as Troy Lovegates or Other, are suing film director Terry Gilliam, production company Voltage Pictures and distributor Amplify Releasing in a US federal court in Illinois, asking for an injunction to halt the film's US September 2014 release. They are also seeking statutory damages, profits and costs. The trio of artists claim Gilliam used their intricate artwork, located in popular Buenos Aires &ldquo;zona de graffiti,&rdquo; to adorn a church in his new film.&nbsp; </span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"> <br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">And that's not all. Maya Hayuk, artist of colorful diamond, drooping-paint patterns &ldquo;Chem Trails&rdquo; located on the Bowery Graffiti Wall, claims Coach and singer Sara Bareilles incorporated her piece into their marketing campaigns, using it to sell products. She is suing them both for $150,000 each.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Are some of these artists stretching it? Is it possible these major designers were simply inspired by artwork similar to their own or are these powerful companies exploiting the independent artists&rsquo; genius?</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/20140918054910-14859952608_a8c8301020.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;"><em>Just Cavalli</em>; from Hollywood Reporter</span> <br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140918055011-jux_rvk2.jpg" alt="" /></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">Courtesy&nbsp;Juxapoz Magazine</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;Monica Torres</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;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(Image on top: <strong>Maya-Hayuk</strong>;&nbsp; Photo From Bowery Boogie)</span></span></p> Thu, 25 Sep 2014 21:40:11 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list In Search of Analogue Photography's Uncharted Territory <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">If any image could be counted as a badge of honor amongst photographer artists, it would be the navel gaze of photographing one's own camera. Like countless others before him, David Benjamin Sherry has also photographed the tool of his trade in all its glory. Among the twenty-nine photographs on view in <em>Climate Vortex Sutra</em>&nbsp;at Salon 94, the artist&rsquo;s traditional large-format camera is shown as a quiet still life upon its tripod&mdash;its bellows left extended as if focused precisely on any number of the other subjects on view. The title of the photograph, <em>Out of My Love for You I will Give You Back to Yourself</em> (all works 2014), is at once a love letter to photography and its own swan song. Despite the camera&rsquo;s noble representation here, it&rsquo;s hard to not immediately think of how obsolete this analogue technology has now become.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In a recent interview with Phaidon, Sherry described his process as entirely analogue: &ldquo;there's no digital manipulation and no computer used. I'm interested in these final days of film photography, and the areas still uncharted within the medium." Maybe producing art like there&rsquo;s no tomorrow for your craft is the same spirit that breathes life into much of Sherry&rsquo;s work. These photographs are a joyous celebration of vivacity, natural beauty, and youth&mdash;perhaps most evident in his self-portrait <em>Adaptive Capacity</em><em>, </em>reminiscent of the late Robert Mapplethorpe. But they are also a nod to the history of photography. David Benjamin Sherry&rsquo;s work revisits the color darkroom with a new optimism and a distinct aesthetic vision.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140918044317-Sherry_DBS298.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>David Benjamin Sherry,</strong> <em>Adaptive Capacity (Self-Portrait),</em> Los Angeles, California, 2014, Gelatin silver print, 14 x 11 inches; Courtesy of the artist and Salon 94, New York</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The color darkroom was the predecessor to today&rsquo;s inkjet printers and once considered part of the core curriculum in photography programs throughout America. Today, due to the rise of digital imaging and the inevitable aging of darkroom equipment (good luck trying to replace a broken Jobo color processor), little interest remains in continuing to teach this method of printing. As many of these classes have now become rarities, the students that are lucky enough to still learn color darkroom techniques will spend hours fine-tuning the color filters to properly balance a photo. This is where David Benjamin Sherry makes good on his promise to delve into those areas &ldquo;uncharted within the medium&rdquo;. The intense color shifts that Sherry uses throughout his work would otherwise be considered malpractice in such an academic environment&mdash;and the results are nothing less than refreshing.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">A favorite subject for Sherry is the vast expanse of the iconic American landscape&mdash;perhaps a direct reference to those early Modernist photographers that paved the way for the medium as a respectable art&mdash;Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, and Imogen Cunningham among others. But when photographed by David Benjamin Sherry, works like <em>Feeling Earthquake</em>&nbsp;and <em>Deep Blue Sea Rising</em>&nbsp;use color in a mode so deliberate and severe that it actually incites another landscape&mdash;that of the psyche and emotions that we as viewers bring to the table. The red shift in <em>Feeling Earthquake</em>&nbsp;evokes feelings tied to that hue&mdash;perhaps stress, or a flood of thirsty heat&mdash;while <em>Deep Sea Rising&nbsp;</em>may neutralize those emotions with a cool shade of blue and a chilly eroticism.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140918044455-Sherry_DBS301.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>David Benjamin Sherry</strong>, <em>Out of My Love for You I Will Give You Back to Yourself</em>, Los Angeles, California, 2014, Gelatin silver print, 40 x 30 inches; Courtesy of the artist and Salon 94, New York</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The wide range of subjects on view touches base with many of the canons considered historical to the medium: the iconic view of the American West, the reclining nude, formal studio portraiture, and camera-less photograms. Surprisingly&mdash;despite the wide variety of subjects&mdash;the exhibition never presents itself as over occupied, choosing to abandon a traditional linear install in favor of a sporadic salon display from floor to ceiling. Each image varies in size and placement, dissolving any anticipation for a narrative between the photos. When seen like this, the photographs are allowed to breathe and take full advantage of the space they&rsquo;re given, without ever forming the hierarchies that typically plague photo exhibitions. Here, a self-portrait is granted the same significance as a dune of sand.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>Climate Vortex Sutra</em> is on view at Salon 94's Bowery space through October 25th. A second exhibition of Sherry's photographs is presented at Danziger Gallery from September 11 &ndash; October 25, 2014.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/400784-gabriel-h-sanchez">Gabriel H. Sanchez</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top: <strong>David Benjamin Sherry</strong>, <em>Climate Cortex Sutra</em> Installation view, 2014; &copy; Courtesy of the artist &amp; Salon 94 Bowery)</span></p> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 11:23:47 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Art Fair Musical: Setting the Stage for IN/SITU at EXPO CHICAGO <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">As Chicago approaches the four day run of its annual art fair, the art world becomes increasingly animated with preparations. This is the moment backstage of an as-yet empty auditorium; red carpets are cleaned one last time as painters touch up their back drops and technicians in black clothes hastily test light and sound sequences. Dancers stretch. Producers sweat, fiddling their mobile devices unconsciously. There is a palpable buzz of anticipation &mdash;&nbsp;an energy not yet disseminated into the greater public, rumors nevertheless spread wildly about what one might expect on opening night. When EXPO CHICAGO opens this Thursday, it will be as if the red curtains have drawn up at last, revealing with it a precise choreography of energy and effort. So begins the musical.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In addition to the booths of over 140 international galleries exhibiting select artists, EXPO CHICAGO platforms IN/SITU works. It&rsquo;s a bit like a play within a play. The fair itself is one production within which another spectacle &mdash; its own exhibition &mdash; plays out. This year the series is curated by Renaud Proch, Executive Director of Independent Curators International who describes his selection as &ldquo;an homage to the city, to what artists take from and give to it, to the abundance of artistic creation and experimental practice that exists here [in Chicago] amid an intense exchange of ideas.&rdquo; Robert Burnier, Fernando Pareja and Leidy Chavez, Cheryl Pope, Michael Rakowitz, Jessica Stockholder, Saya Woolfalk, Ken Gonzales-Day, and Elijah Burgher all install works that &ldquo;provide occasions for pause and reflection throughout the exposition.&rdquo;&nbsp;In so doing they impose different techniques that expand a viewer&rsquo;s physical, political, and historical perspective.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140917151522-love_machine.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Elijah Burgher,</strong> <em>Love Machine, </em>2014, acrylic on unstretched canvas drop cloth, 9 x 6 ft; courtesy of Western Exhibitions, Chicago.</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">2014 Whitney Biennial artist <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/artists/rackroom/123966">Elijah Burgher</a> installs his occult paintings on unstretched canvas, as emerging Chicago sculptor Robert Burnier quotes Esperanto in the title of his deconstructed wooden crate. Ken Gonzales-Day shares an image from his series, <em>Profiled</em>, where the artist took a selection of busts from the Field Museum&rsquo;s historical collection and photographed them together, creating odd juxtapositions that challenge historical narratives. Cheryl Pope&rsquo;s printed nylon banners evoke high school spirit days with deceptive simplicity &mdash; this one, A <em>Silent I</em> says simply &ldquo;I AM A FIGHTER&rdquo; in blue and gold. Or <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/artists/rackroom/25629">Saya Woolfalk</a>&rsquo;s <em>ChimaTEK: Avatar Download Station</em>, part of the third and final installment of <em>The Empathics</em>: a seven-year project based on a fictional group of hybrid female protagonists that have transformed into a for-profit corporation, and in so doing gain access to a &ldquo;chimeric existence.&rdquo; Michael Rakowitz installs a stunning reproduction of The Iraqi Ishtar Gate from 575 BC &mdash; originally a gate into the inner city of Babylon, it was disassembled and rebuilt for a German museum. In Rakowitz&rsquo; iteration, <em>May The Arrogant Not Prevail,</em> the wall is constructed using found Arabic packaging, newspapers, card, wood, and glue. Fernanda Pareja and Leidy Chavez play with analogue technologies in their installation, <em>Opresores Oprimidos</em>. Using old school animation techniques, the artists reflect on cycles of violence that emerge between left and right wing politics.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;<img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140916233927-Boot-Weaving-01-72.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Jessica Stockholder</strong>, <em>Boot Weaving</em>, cut vinyl, hollow core door, acrylic paint, hardware, boot rubber, LED Light and fixture, yellow cups, green extension cord, blue plastic clamp and black plastic clamp, 2014 110.5&rdquo; x 40&rdquo; x 14&rdquo; Courtesy of Kavi Gupta Chicago | Berlin.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The throng of furtive energy will no doubt persist throughout those four days, as visitors, gallerists, collectors, and artists shuffle alike through the exposition halls, busy at times with all-consuming errands, at others overwhelmed with the saturated glimmer of so much aesthetic cross fire. Offering another point of rest, Jessica Stockholder builds an auxiliary point of access. With her characteristic use of vernacular materials &mdash; plastic, paint, driveway mirrors, stools, carpet, chain/airline cables, rolling suitcases, resin, extension cords, lights, mixing bowl/lamp shade &mdash;she erects a structure rising fifty feet high within the exposition hall. Viewers are invited to climb this structure of mass produced materials, to observe the uncanny game board of gallery booths, patterned carpet, and ceiling.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In its interest in the dynamic framework Chicago provides, IN/SITU extends beyond Navy Pier for the first time. Ai Wei Wei&rsquo;s first major public sculpture project, <em>Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Bronze </em>has been on a global tour, and will be unveiled in Chicago on the 17<sup>th</sup> at the Adler Planetarium as part of IN/SITU Outside, a new initiative of the exposition. The twelve bronze heads represent the traditional Chinese zodiac, and like Rakowitz&rsquo;s gate are based on an historic water clock fountain from the 18<sup>th</sup> Century. While those original fixtures were designed by European Jesuits, French and British pillaged the heads in 1860. &nbsp;As though to further the echoing effect of artistic effort, EXPO has collaborated with the Chicago Parks District to install public art works along the Chicago lakefront, while organizing its own suite of installations as EXPO Projects.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;<img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140916234025-zodiac_heads_lg.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Ai Weiwei</strong>, <em>Circle of Animals/ Zodiac Heads,</em> courtesy of Daniel Avila. As installed in New York City, May 4, 2011 to July 15, 2011.</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">I think of <em>Bye Bye Birdie</em> preparing for the imminent arrival of Conrad Birdie. I think of <em>42<sup>nd</sup> Street</em>, or <em>Waiting for Guffman</em>. Or a well-forgotten cheerleading movie c. 2000 where cheerleaders and jocks joined forces to put on a musical and save the day. There is something exhilarating about being swept up in the cavalcade, especially when the opportunity to see an incredible array of work, all in one place, made by artists at the height of their careers comes along with it.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/155816-caroline-picard?tab=REVIEWS">Caroline Picard</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(<strong>Michael Rakowitz</strong>,&nbsp;<em>May the Arrogant Not Prevail,&nbsp;</em>2010, Found Arabic packaging and newspapers, card, wood, glue, 19&rsquo;7&rdquo;x16&rsquo;2&rdquo;x3&rsquo; 2&rdquo;;&nbsp;&copy; Courtesy of artist and Rhona Hoffman Gallery.)</span></p> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 15:16:40 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Graffiti in Galleries: Why Do They Still Not Get It? <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Last week the ASS editorial team was in Paris for our AGM, where we got a special tour of the LASCO project at the Palais De Tokyo. A very amiable and informative guide took us down the basement/security exit&mdash;normally closed to the public&mdash;that for the last two years has housed <a href="http://www.artslantstreet.com/articles/show/36650">a new initiative to bring graffiti into the public gallery</a>: two French artists, Lek and Sowat, have been inviting other artists from their scene to paint the walls of this cavernous underground maze.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">The problem is, like an embarassingly sexy Mum who smokes pot and listens to Nicki Minaj, public galleries just don&rsquo;t get graffiti culture.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">With the title, the Palais de Tokyo aligns the practice of graffiti to the Lascaux cave paintings. There is a parallel to an extent&mdash;both are visual expressions enacting existence. But in the implication that cave painting foreshadows the latter artistic practice, they ignore an entire, unique culture that comes with graffiti.</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/20140915155304-IMG_1706.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;">Bando.</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">The problem is that here again comes a big gallery with an idea of the importance of <em>#graffiti </em>and its impact on culture today, but who doesn&rsquo;t know how to handle it. They don&rsquo;t want it in the gallery, because they can&rsquo;t accept that it is part of &lsquo;contemporary art&rsquo;, nor the fact that successful graffiti writers that have evolved into artists are just as ambitious, with equally as many conceptual concerns, as say, Ed Atkins (who is exhibiting upstairs). But they don&rsquo;t want to keep them out entirely &ndash; as then it would be out of their control.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">So they put it in this literal in-between: they relegate graffiti to an art purgatory, where access is denied to the public except for 1.5 hours a week when visitors can be carefully led through with a guide. The massive irony of this is that those visitors can see any of these artists, at any time, for free, just by walking on the streets of any major city: Paris being one of the best spots in the world for it. (That is, until the capital opened a special unit for buffing and hunting down writers.)</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/20140915155444-IMG_1700.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>Horf&eacute; &amp; Ken Sortais</strong>, <em>Biolensu</em>, Palais de Tokyo, 2014.</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">And the biggest paradox of all: the only artist left outside the underground coven is Cokney, a hardcore train bomber. His work is presented with police reports, and a photograph, evidence used in a prosecution trial (the artist wound up with a fine of more than 200,000 euros). The police description incisively evaluates Cokney&rsquo;s work for the purpose of identification, raising a potentially fascinating question about the phenomenon of the legal authority as art critic&mdash;something that happens in jurisdictions the world over. But in its context here, the corollary seems to be that graffiti can only be legitimized as art by the authority&mdash;legal or cultural.</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/20140915155650-IMG_1709.JPG" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140915155807-IMG_1707.JPG" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140915193407-IMG_1708.JPG" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Cokney</strong>,&nbsp;<em>Guerre du Nord,&nbsp;</em>2014. triptych: photograph taken by police of a Cokney burner; police report including description of the graffiti writer's style; visual interpretation of the police report description by Cokney, painted in the gallery.</span><br /></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;">The tension between the artists and the Palais De Tokyo is suggested in giant mock 500-euro notes that peel down from one ceiling, pasted up by the artist&mdash;an allusion to the inferior sum the artists received to take part in the project.</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/20140915160131-IMG_1705.JPG" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Lek, Sowat, showing the photocopies of the 500 euro note, pasted on the ceiling.</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">It&rsquo;s an insight into the way the major institutes are still holding back when it comes to graf. By curating them into narrow projects that undermine their culture and evade any important questions, public spaces are not allowing these artists to develop their careers. In France particularly, where culture is shaped by venues like the Palais de Tokyo, they can massively influence which artists succeed.</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/20140915155531-IMG_1703.JPG" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Futura 2000</strong>; Palais de Tokyo.</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;">While some curators and smaller spaces have begun to recognize this and break up the paradigm, public galleries are still way off. The participation of so many great artists is testament to the fact these artists do want to show in these spaces, and demonstrates how few opportunities there are to present: but the galleries are just not brave enough. My suspicion is that by using graf artists Lek and Sowat as mediators to invite other artists, they avoided interacting directly with the artists themselves.</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/20140915155559-IMG_1696.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;">entrance.</span><br /></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/20140915155626-IMG_1698.JPG" alt="" /></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;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140915155828-IMG_1701.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;">Philippe Baudelocque</span><br /></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/20140915155853-IMG_1702.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><strong>Vhils</strong>, <em>Scratching the Surface Project</em>, Palais de Tokyo, 2014.</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;Charlotte Jansen</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;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(Top image: entrance to the exhibition. All images: At the Palais de Tokyo; photos courtesy Natalie Hegert)</span><br /></span></p> Fri, 26 Sep 2014 00:41:02 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Art for Everyone: An Interview with BERLINER LISTE Curator Peter Funken <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><a href="http://berliner-liste.org/wordpress/welcome?lang=en">BERLINER LISTE</a> opens this week in a new home at the former postal railway station&nbsp;Postbahnhof am Ostbahnhof. Now in its 11th year, with 112 exhibitors, BERLINER LISTE is the longest running of the trio of fairs opening during the Berlin Art Week. Leading up to the fair Dr. Peter Funken, now in his second year as Curator, took the time to answer some of our questions about Berlin's art scene, his curatorial role, and, of course, what we can look forward to in 2014 edition of BERLINER LISTE.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20140914125823-Dr_Peter_Funken.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">BERLINER LISTE Curator Dr. Peter Funken; Courtesy of BERLINER LISTE</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong><em><span style="color: #525552;">ArtSlant: What is the current art situation in Berlin and how do you see BERLINER LISTE's</span> place in the scene?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">Peter Funken:</strong><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;"> Berlin is a fascinating place for contemporary art, particularly for the production of new art and experimentation. One important reason for Berlin&rsquo;s success in the past was the fact that studios and living costs are low compared with other big cities. A lot of artists were able to live here very well, but this is now changing. Prices are rising, but the city is still big enough that artists can find new possibilities to rent studios even if they are a little outside the center. Districts like <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ber/articles/show/39437">Wedding</a> and Sch&ouml;neweide are becoming magnets for younger artists ... the periphery will be the new artistic center.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">The BERLINER LISTE is the biggest and most international art fair in the city and especially focused on newcomers! It&rsquo;s the only fair where artists can organize booths themselves. This fair becomes more dynamic every year, perhaps because it doesn&rsquo;t have to deal with &ldquo;status&rdquo; problems like some other exhibitions. The BERLINER LISTE doesn&rsquo;t feature so-called <em>Arte Preziosa</em>&mdash;expensive art aimed at high earners&mdash;but rather contemporarily produced work for everyone, produced by contemporary artists. These are above all young people, beginning to explore the meaning of art and discover new aesthetics individually and with a new conscience.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><em>ArtSlant: What is the curator&rsquo;s role in crafting the identity and content of the fair? How does this role differ from a jury or selection committee?</em></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">PF: </strong><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">I don&rsquo;t know what the role of curators should be, but I know my role here&mdash;it&rsquo;s looking for quality, making contacts, and finding out what we can do at the fair to be innovative and exciting. This year, for example, we will feature a fantastic performance festival by <a href="http://www.rabensaat.de/">Richard Rabensaat</a>, an expert on performance, who I have known for a long time. The operational team of the fair is truly brilliant and the majority of decisions are made collectively&mdash;I am the curator but we are all working together. &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20140914130411-Postbahnhof_Aussenansicht.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Postbahnhof am Ostbahnhof, Exterior view; Courtesy BERLINER LISTE</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><em>ArtSlant: How will the new venue play into the 2014 edition of the fair?</em></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">PF:</strong><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;"> The former postal railway station, the Postbahnhof in the middle of Berlin and close to Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain will host the exhibition for the first time. The light flooded halls, urban ambience, and unique location directly on the Spree river create the optimal space for the presentation of contemporary artwork. The immensely attractive building near the East Side Gallery provides a metropolitan, historic environment.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">We can assume that Franz Kafka&rsquo;s letters from Prague to Felice Bauer in Berlin came through here&mdash;what a wonderful thought!</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><em>ArtSlant: How do you see the relationship between BERLINER LISTE and the new K&Ouml;LNER LISTE? As curator of both, do you want to cultivate unique identities for each fair or are you trying develop a signature look/character across the franchise?</em></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">PF:</strong><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;"> Berlin and Cologne ... both are interesting cities but they are very different&mdash;that includes the art fairs. The BERLINER LISTE is bigger but the fair in Cologne is held directly in the neigborhood of the famous Art Cologne festival&mdash;and lot of visitors come to see what is happening around DOCK.ONE. The K&Ouml;LNER LISTE exhibits just galleries, and in Berlin the prices for art are more moderate.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><em>ArtSlant: What are you most looking forward to about the BERLINER LISTE this year?</em></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">PF:</strong><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;"> I hope for really good autumn weather, good food and good drinks&mdash;nice people who are interested in art and in people. With 112 galleries, project groups, and artists, the BERLINER LISTE will once again be the largest of the Berlin art fairs. And our exhibitors will not only come from Germany and Europe, but also from the USA, China, Israel, Japan, Korea, Nigeria, and Columbia. We know the BERLINER LISTE cannot (yet) compete with the likes of Art Basel or Frieze, but instead it&rsquo;s an exhibition where art, painting, photography, graphic works, and sculpture can be discovered and purchased for relatively low prices (maximum &euro;10,000). We aren&rsquo;t focused on famous artists but we offer curious visitors the chance of finding out for themselves what entices them in our large selection.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">For the first time this year we have a special section for limited editions and a program of performances during the day. I convinced Richard Rabensaat to organize a mini-festival for this fair. And this year we also feature a prize winner, the unbelievably good photographer <a href="http://torstenschumann.de">Torsten Schumann</a>&nbsp;</span><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">(*1975) who lives in Berlin.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><em>ArtSlant would like to thank Dr. Peter Funken for his assistance in making this interview possible.</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">[Image at top: <strong>Martin Praska,&nbsp;</strong>3Hühner, 2012, Oil and acrylic on canvas, 50x60cm; Courtesy of&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: x-small;">Ruth Sachse | Kunst der Gegenwart, Hamburg]</span></span></p> Tue, 23 Sep 2014 16:20:12 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Berlin on the Brink: The rent is too damn high—but the art's pretty damn good at Berlin Art Week <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">A green banner spans a cream-colored <em>Altbau</em> adjacent my local organic grocery store in Sch&ouml;neberg: <em>APARTMENTS FOR SALE</em>. Above the banner, tenants have hung green signs in their windows, enacting a checkerboard of protest that mines the graphic identity of the brokerage firm presumably trying to sell them out.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">I stop to read them.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>Rented&mdash;we have lived here 3 years! Rented&mdash;we have lived here 45 years! Rented&mdash;we have lived here 78 years</em>! The last sign makes me feel slightly ill, so I chase down a middle-aged woman who has just exited the building. She doesn&rsquo;t live there herself, but explains that she provides in-home care for a 93-year-old woman who lives here. Although they haven&rsquo;t been officially asked to leave, with the fate of their building in flux, residents feel uneasy.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Since returning to Berlin this May after three years living in the United States, I&rsquo;ve noted that the pendulum swing of the city now seems to oscillate between uneasiness and jubilance&mdash;a shift perhaps felt most clearly in its real estate market and art scene. Everyone around me is in a buying frenzy. And by that I don&rsquo;t mean that they&rsquo;re snapping up and flipping apartments. No, they're diligently (and anxiously) searching for a place that they can afford. For those existing on an artist or writer&rsquo;s income this seems like the last chance&mdash;if there&rsquo;s even still a chance&mdash;to purchase an apartment here. Everyone is a little on edge. Berlin&rsquo;s artists, and the energetic, improvisational culture that they&rsquo;ve built here, have given a tremendous boost to both the city&rsquo;s long- and short-term tourism over the past decade. Yet many have found themselves enmeshed in an increasingly precarious state: with shrinking studio spaces, rising real estate prices, and stagnating wages. Berlin is no longer a state of exception&mdash;if it ever was one.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">But the buzz continues to grow. Now entering its third year, the <a href="http://www.berlinartweek.de/de/berlin-art-week.html" target="_blank">Berlin Art Week</a>, which will run from September 16-21, typifies the city&rsquo;s stance on culture: initiating well-funded institutional collaborations geared towards an international audience. In addition to the fairs <a href="http://www.artberlincontemporary.com/" target="_blank">abc art berlin contemporary</a> and <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ber/articles/show/40788" target="_blank">POSITIONS</a>, the week will feature openings at most of Berlin&rsquo;s prominent art venues, as well as <a href="http://www.artficonference.com/" target="_blank">Artfi&mdash;the Fine Art and Finance Conference</a><strong>. </strong>Yet, despite my concern about the predicament of the city's creative class, Berlin Art Week&rsquo;s upbeat slogan <em>Es Gibt Viel Zu Entdecken!&mdash;</em>There&rsquo;s Lots to Discover!&mdash;actually does hold true.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140914075530-kinderhook_and_caracas.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <div><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Juan-Pedro Fabra Guemberena,&nbsp;</strong><em>Noviembre, </em>Work in Progres, Exhibition&nbsp;at&nbsp;Kinderhook &amp; Caracas, September 11 - October 11,&nbsp;2014; &copy; Juan-Pedro Fabra Guemberena</span><span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</span></div> <div><span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</span></div> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">A more positive change that I&rsquo;ve noted since my return to Berlin is the development of its project spaces. Some of the most exciting and incisive projects made here continue to emerge from these small non-commercial spaces and recent initiatives like the <a href="http://www.projectspacefestival-berlin.com/home/" target="_blank">Project Space Festival</a> have not only exposed their activities to a broader audience, but have made strides towards nurturing networks of affinities between like-minded spaces. Several participants in the Project Space Festival will also be participating in Berlin Art Week as jury-selected &ldquo;Temporary Partners.&rdquo; I&rsquo;m especially looking forward to <em>Manifestos Show: Act 1, Inessential Fathers </em>at <a href="http://www.archivekabinett.org/" target="_blank">Archive Kabinett</a>, which will display a small library of feminist manifestos alongside artist videos that produce strategies for reading radical texts. For Scriptings #42, a mobile exhibition and publishing project, <a href="http://www.scriptings.net/" target="_blank">Achim Lengerer</a> will present Elske Rosenfeld&rsquo;s project <em>A Vocabulary of Revolutionary Gestures, </em>a performative treatment of film material linked to significant social moments like a Parisian strike in 1968, the GDR&rsquo;s Round Table in 1989, and Tahrir Square in 2012. At <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ber/venues/show/29952-kinderhook-caracas">Kinderhook &amp; Caracas</a><strong>, </strong>Juan-Pedro Fabra Guemberena presents an intimate body of work that departs from a letter written to him by his mother while she was incarcerated as a participant in the Uruguayan guerilla movement against the dictatorship in the 1970s.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140914075655-meschac_gaba.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <div style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 26px; font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Meschac Gaba,&nbsp;</strong><em>Meschac Gaba:&nbsp;</em><em>Museum of Contemporary Art</em>, at the&nbsp;</span><span style="color: #525552; font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px;">Deutsche Bank KunstHalle, September 20 - November 16,&nbsp;</span><span style="color: #525552; font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px;">014, Architecture Room, from <em>Museum of Contemporary African Art,</em> 1997-2002, Installation shot at Tate Modern, July 3 &ndash; September 22, 2013; &copy; Meschac Gaba, &copy; VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2014</span></div> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">A few exhibitions stand out among Berlin Art Week&rsquo;s official offerings. Art Week funder <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ber/venues/show/4976-kunsthall---deutsche-bank">Deutsche Bank Kunsthalle</a> will show seven of the twelve rooms in Meschac Gaba&rsquo;s <em>Museum of Contemporary African Art</em><em>. </em>Unlike landmark &ldquo;global&rdquo; exhibitions like <em>Magiciens de la Terre, </em>Gaba&rsquo;s temporary and transformable museum exists in conceptual space of exchange between Europe and Africa. Meanwhile<strong>, </strong><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ber/venues/show/5112-neue-gesellschaft-f%C3%BCr-bildende-kunst-ngbk">Neue Gesellschaft f&uuml;r Bildende Kunst (NGBK)</a> presents the ambitious project <a href="http://theultimatecapital.org/" target="_blank"><em>The Ultimate Capital is the Sun: Metabolism in Art, Politics, Philosophy, and Science</em>.</a> The exhibition features work by Pratchaya Phinthong, Clemens von Wedemeyer, and Timur Si-Qin, among others, and a symposium will be presented in collaboration with Akademie der K&uuml;nste on October 25-26. 2013 Nationalgalerie Prize winner Marianna Castillo Deball will present <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ber/events/show/351623-parergon"><em>Parergon</em></a><em>, </em>a project developed specifically for the historic hall at <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ber/venues/show/4977-hamburger-bahnhof---museum-f%C3%BCr-gegenwart">Hamburger Bahnhof.</a> This large-scale installation devotes itself to the &ldquo;biographies of things&rdquo; and examines the migration and reorganization of the museum&rsquo;s collections, buildings, exhibits, and protagonists. Similarly keyed to the theme of the archive, which seems to have unwittingly peppered nearly all of the recommendations that I&rsquo;ve made for you here, <a href="http://doku-arts.de/" target="_blank">DOKU.ARTS</a> presents the five week-long festival <em>Second Hand Cinema</em>, which examines the use of archival footage in documentary, essay, and compilation films. Anyone looking to avoid the opening day of the abc art fair could treat themselves to a screening of <a href="http://doku-arts.de/2013-14/en/programme/2014/To-Hell-with-Culture" target="_blank"><em>To Hell With Culture</em></a> on September 18th<em>, </em>an essay film about the poet, art critic, and anarchist Herbert Read.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/36171-jesi-khadivi?tab=REVIEWS">Jesi Khadivi</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(Image on top:&nbsp;<strong>Mariana Castillo Deball</strong>. <em>Parergon</em>, Exhibition at&nbsp;</span></span><span style="color: #525552; font-size: x-small;">Hamburger Bahnhof &ndash; Museum f&uuml;r Gegenwart, September 20, 2014&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">&ndash; March 1, 2015, <em>Ethos und Pathos. Die Berliner Bildhauerschule 1786 &ndash; 1914</em>, Image showing exhibition opening at Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, 1990; &copy; Landesarchiv Berlin, F Rep. 290, 316540, Photo: Ingeborg Lommatzsch)</span></p> Mon, 15 Sep 2014 15:42:25 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Taking Up POSITIONS: Checking In With Berlin’s Newest Art Fair <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Kristian Jarmuschek takes a shallow breath and almost disappointedly utters, &ldquo;That is the second time I&rsquo;m asked about the market today. What is with everyone wanting to talk about the market?&rdquo; The POSITIONS team and I are seated in the center of one of the gallery rooms of <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ber/venues/show/4797-jarmuschek-partner">Jarmuschek+Partner</a> on the Potsdamer Strasse discussing the upcoming launch of Berlin's newest art fair incarnation, </span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://positions.de/" target="_blank">POSITIONS Berlin</a></span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">. The room is lined with neat bundles of VIP invite cards and press material stacked in boxes on the floor. Jarmuschek has more pressing matters on his mind than the state of the art market.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">After a fifteen-year run, the 2011 collapse of the fair Art Forum left its youthful satellite fair, Preview Berlin, forced to reckon with the question of what it represented. No longer the emerging art counterpart to the city&rsquo;s premiere showcase, Jarmuschek&mdash;the fair&rsquo;s long-time co-director&mdash;was forced to redirect the boat, shifting the identity of the event from &ldquo;emerging&rdquo; to &ldquo;established.&rdquo; An easier-said-than-done task that left many galleries scratching their heads.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&ldquo;This didn&rsquo;t work in the head of the gallerist,&rdquo; explains Jarmuschek. &ldquo;In their minds we were the upcoming fair and not meant for established spaces with previously noted repertoires.&rdquo; At the end of 2013, they were forced to admit it: the show was over.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">During Berlin&rsquo;s Gallery Weekend this past May, however, it was apparent that curiosity still lingered. &ldquo;Many colleagues were very curious what our next move was. What happens now? It was clear the old model would not work. There were no more two, three, five-year-old galleries we could showcase as emerging. We needed other clients, different colleagues and other spaces.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">There was a need for perspective and parameter shifts. &ldquo;Years ago, collectors came to Berlin to discover a hidden young talent in the second courtyard in an old empty building in Prenzlauer Berg. That&rsquo;s over now.&rdquo; Time has passed and we&rsquo;re in a new situation. This team is well aware of that and they have taken up a new position.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20140914090953-positions_venue.jpg" alt="" />&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Kaufhaus Jandorf,</strong>&nbsp;Brunnenstr. 17-21, Berlin, Exterior view; &copy; Positions Berlin, 2014</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>The new old space</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Together with the seasoned team of Preview Berlin, Jarmuschek conceived of a more open format fair. POSITIONS shines a light on the contemporary art landscape and invites relevant and established galleries to present their current positions on the creative panorama and contemporary discourse.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The fair will be taking up residence in the old Gr&uuml;nderzeit-style Kaufhaus Jandorf building in Berlin Mitte. The venue allows for not only a direct link to the city&rsquo;s past, but it also promises to create an interesting interplay between the pristine artwork and what POSITIONS team member Heinrich Carsten refers to as the &ldquo;rotten architecture&rdquo; of the venue.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&ldquo;There aren&rsquo;t so many of these venues left in Berlin anymore.&rdquo; The space is far from a white cube. During recent years what once was a warehouse in the former GDR has become an alternate venue for exhibitions that&rsquo;s comfortable showing its seams, cracks, and chipping paint, instead of hiding them.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140914073817-Kreitner_dr.julius_ap.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Siegfried Kreitner, </strong><em>Malteserkreuz / Rot</em>, 2008,
Aluminum, electric motor - 2 rotations / min, neon system, Height 220 cm, width 17 - 27 cm<strong>; </strong>Courtesy of the artist and Galerie julius | ap, Berlin</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>Who&rsquo;s in and who&rsquo;s out</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">"While in the recent past art fairs in Berlin developed rules to regulate exhibitors by theme or by how established the gallery was POSITIONS gently shies away from these strict boundaries," explains Jarmuschek. "Our point is to showcase a collaboration between gallery and artist(s) and the quality of this interaction.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The new fair has also woven the beginnings of a more complicated web of relationships, exposing those perhaps not oft exhibited relationships like pupil-teacher, collector-audience, or even that of a non-collector visitor, a demographic that is so often found wandering through fairs confused and exhausted, passing by grids of white cubes.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Jarmuschek goes on: &ldquo;We have opened [the fair] up to collectors who will be showcasing their favorite artists. We hope this motivates collectors in later years to share their works in future editions. If you see that only 5% of all artists are represented by a gallery, it&rsquo;s interesting to see what else people choose to present and make visible. Additionally we have invited the <a href="http://www.frauenmuseumberlin.de/" target="_blank">Frauenmuseum</a> of Berlin and their project &ldquo;Be a Collector in 5 Minutes&rdquo;&mdash;showcased this past July in <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ber/venues/show/40511-48-stunden-neuk%C3%B6lln">48 Stunden Neuk&ouml;lln</a>&mdash;which allows fair visitors to select from an assortment of works of your choosing, hang, display (with a chair, table, and flowers) and pose for a photo with their art.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&ldquo;We would like to do more things like this in the future,&rdquo; chimes Carstens. &ldquo;To depart from this type of serious money above all thing and to have more colorful, playful vantage points presented. And it&rsquo;s fun to watch art, not so serious.&rdquo;&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/147418-nicole-rodriguez?tab=REVIEWS">Nicole Rodriguez</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top: <strong>Ralf Kopp, </strong><em>Gier frisst: FREIHEIT</em>, 2014, Installation in public space, Variable size; Presented by the collection Haupt, Berlin and POSITIONS Berlin)</span></p> Mon, 15 Sep 2014 02:51:55 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Sorry Bill: Ripley and Snow on William S. Burroughs' Artwork <p class="FreeForm" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>ArtSlant's resident London critics and lovers Philippa Snow and Thogdin Ripley </em></span><em style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">first met at a William S. Burroughs show. They recently r</em><em style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">evisited the artist and writer's work in&nbsp;</em><span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">Animals in the Wall</span><em style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;at London Newcastle Project Space.</em></p> <p class="FreeForm" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></p> <p class="FreeForm" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>Thogdin Ripley:</strong> I'm going to put my cards right here on this table to start with. I've always been a big fan of Burroughs&rsquo; writing&mdash;he was one of the most inventive writers and at times one of the best, in my opinion&mdash;but I've never, never really got on with his work as a visual artist. And I can say after seeing this exhibition: I still don't.</span></p> <p class="FreeForm" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>Philippa Snow:</strong> It actually pains me a little to agree with you on this&mdash;not because I'm willfully obstinate, but because I'm one of those people, as you know, who is a little bit slavish in my devotion to him as a writer. But yes. If I'd come to it cold and expected the work to be by someone entirely different, I might have said that a lot of it was "dreck." Or a synonym for "dreck" but with the same number of letters. (Perhaps that's unnecessarily harsh, but I've decided to take a firmer-than-usual stance to offset my usual Burroughs mania. I'm interested to see whether that makes you the Good Cop by default.)</span></p> <p class="FreeForm" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>TR:</strong> A functioning police state needs no police, though, eh? I see the artistic analogy&mdash;the visual analogies, really&mdash;with the cut-ups from his writing, in fact the cut-ups always seemed to be so process-led that they crept over that divide and transformed the literature into something else, something that was akin to visual art. But the point always was that that process, reconfiguring the words in surprising ways according to chance or, perhaps, letting a truer, hidden meaning rise up, that process always <em>imparted</em> meaning, even at its most obscure. These... I don&rsquo;t see that there is anything. What am I missing?</span></p> <p class="FreeForm" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140912112134-warhol.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="FreeForm" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="color: #525552;"><strong>William S Burroughs</strong>, Warhol, <em>A Portrait in TV Dots... we is all made of, waiting to be observed...,</em> Spray Paint on Paper; Courtesy</span> <a href="http://www.burroughs100.com/">Burroughs 100</a></span></p> <p class="FreeForm" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="FreeForm" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>PS:</strong> I will say that although I don't particularly feel very much for them, I will acknowledge that they do feel as modern as a number of other works which I also don't feel much for, but which are fashionable right now: I could imagine them showing in Zurich and having been made by some twenty-three-year-old wunderkind, and looking much the same as they do, and getting a good reception.</span></p> <p class="FreeForm" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">At the time, I think I mentioned those <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/articles/show/39367">Andy Warhol drawings that he did on the Amiga</a>: they still appear in vogue, because what's in vogue currently is a kind of pastiche of the art of the eighties and nineties. I don't know, just an observation. They don't feel dated, even if they aren't especially visionary, either.</span></p> <p class="FreeForm" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>TR:</strong> Yeah, but it's <em>William Burroughs</em>, though, isn't it? And his art, I want it to be as searingly brilliant as the way his writing became. That sense of hanging over some vast kind of precipice as you read him, with the steady creak of the noose tightening, whilst your body&mdash;spurred on by its own deep reaction&mdash;takes the trembling steps toward the edge with each page you turn. I mean he's <em>so</em> exciting to read. I remember when I first saw his visual stuff just being really, flatly disappointed. And as I said I still am.</span></p> <p class="FreeForm" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">I see the links between the stenciling paint over and over, masking out with whatever into asemic writing-looking patterns, and Brion Gysin's long-running work on glyphs and calligraphy, which then overlap his (Gysin's) designs for the Dream Machine [also presented at the exhibition], but Burroughs... He takes the idea, and, what?&mdash;sprays "FUCK" on an old piece of chipboard in neon yellow? I don't see how it can be re-interpreted, really. The shortcut is to assume he just fell into the same trap as Dali as he got older.</span></p> <p class="FreeForm" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140912112720-effigy.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="FreeForm"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="color: #525552;"><strong>Yuri Zupancic</strong>, <em>WSB Speaking Effigy</em>, Mixed Media Installation; Courtesy</span> <a href="http://www.burroughs100.com/">Burroughs 100</a></span></p> <p class="FreeForm" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>&nbsp;</strong></span></p> <p class="FreeForm" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>PS:</strong> I think we should probably take a minute at this point to acknowledge the fact that we drew a certain amount of entertainment from the exhibition's being "sponsored by Whole Foods and Planet Organic," presumably because when one thinks of William Burroughs, one immediately thinks of clean-living and pleasantly-packaged kale. But then if I think about a piece of chipboard with FUCK painted on it, I think of a comfortably-racy gallery show in a trendy but uninventive neighbourhood. And then I DO think of clean-living and pleasantly-packaged kale. So the sponsorship suddenly makes sense.</span></p> <p class="FreeForm" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">I guess the issue we both appear to be having is that the Burroughs behind this kind of work is the same one whose face appears over and over again in the other artists' tributes (and as I said, I can't think of a worse slow death for a provocateur than to become the kind of super-icon whose portrait gets painted in these "works inspired by" shows)&mdash;The Man, The Myth, The Legendary Edgy Dream-Dinner-Party Guest, instead of the real deal. (Next time: Rentokil sponsorship, no?)</span></p> <p class="FreeForm" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>TR:</strong> Ha, yeah, "give Mr Burroughs as much morphine as he likes" but tell him to stay the damned hell away from the spray cans. Sorry, Bill.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/265136-philippa-snow?tab=REVIEWS">Philippa Snow</a> and <a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/387041-thogdin-ripley?tab=REVIEWS">Thogdin Ripley</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="FreeForm" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top: <strong>William S Burroughs</strong>, <em>NO TRESPASSING</em>, Lithograph, Limited Edition of 100; Courtesy <a href="http://www.burroughs100.com/"><span style="color: #525552;">Burroughs 100</span></a>)</span></p> Tue, 16 Sep 2014 00:37:09 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Effectively Ineffective: Matthew Barney’s <em>Drawing Restraint</em> at the Art Gallery of Ontario <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/trn/venues/show/13346-art-gallery-of-ontario">Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> is currently holding an exhibition of video works by American artist, Matthew Barney. The works belong to </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/trn/events/show/349180-drawing-restraint"><em>Drawing Restraint</em></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;a long-term, ongoing project Barney started in 1987. Thus far, he has produced nineteen installments in the series, of which three&mdash;<em>Drawing Restraint 2</em> (1988),<em> 6</em> (1989) and <em>17</em> (2010)&mdash;are looped on display. The exhibition similarly unfolds in three parts.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>The Show</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The gallery&rsquo;s visitors may harbor the expectation to immerse themselves in the hyper-visual cinematic experience for which Barney&rsquo;s video works are commonly known. On first impression, entering the space delivers the opposite: The venue is large, with tall white looming walls, a row of chairs placed in the floor&rsquo;s middle. From where the viewer is sitting, about six feet above eye level, four television screens are installed on three adjacent walls. <em>Drawing Restraint 2</em> and <em>6</em> sit opposite of one another, and <em>Drawing Restraint 17</em> lies on the central wall, shown on two flat screens. The installation&rsquo;s lack of audio adds to the sensory scarcity in the exhibit that one notices immediately. After watching the three works, it is clear that this choice of curation is ideal&mdash;while I might not have walked into an exaggerated cinematic display, each video here stands out, breathes, and reinforces Barney&rsquo;s voice. In addition to emphasizing the conceptual merit of the <em>Drawing Restraint</em> series, this choice allows us to draw common threads between the formal elements of these particular three works, despite their narrative differences.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140912041620-DR6_front.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong><span style="font-size: x-small;">Matthew Barney</span></strong><span style="font-size: x-small;">, <em>DRAWING RESTRAINT&nbsp;6</em>,&nbsp;1989, Documentation still; &copy; Matthew Barney / Photo: Chris Winget. Jointly owned by Laurenz Foundation, Schaulager, Basel; and The Museum Of Modern Art, New York, Richard S. Zeisler Bequest and The Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Fund (both by exchange)</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>The Task</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>Drawing Restraint</em>, going on its twenty-seventh year of production, proposes the process of art making as parallel to athletic training. Barney expresses that <em>something</em> gains form through resistance, whether that is the human body, or a work of art. This output is in art as it is in physical struggle; through repetition, a task can be conducted or (perhaps even) completed. Each video displays cast members, including Barney himself, engaging in strenuous activities that at times seem impossible to complete. In <em>Drawing Restraint 2</em>, Barney is shown in an energetic and sporadic battle against gravity and his own physical abilities to draw while harnessed. The gritty black and white video (5 min. 1 sec. loop) represents Barney&mdash;bound with ropes&mdash;in an attempt to draw whilst climbing and jumping on wooden planks placed at awkward angles within the room. The obstacles he confronts act as physical restrictions, rendering his aim to draw nearly impossible. <em>Drawing Restraint</em> is, tongue-in-cheek, an appropriate title for this video work.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">That is further conveyed in <em>Drawing Restraint 6</em>.&nbsp;Barney is shown jumping on a small trampoline, which is placed on the floor of a room with white walls. The artist extends both arms up in an attempt to peel paint chipping from the ceiling above. The video (3 min. 57 sec. loop) presents a tenuous, seemingly endless, and fruitless exercise. Barney transforms a mundane act into a complex goal, stressing the presence of the body as at once a vehicle and an obstruction.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The two aforementioned installments share the common quality of futility; the tasks that Barney engages in are never actually completed, nor are they intended to be completed. A woman standing behind me in the gallery whispers to someone, &ldquo;<em>What is this guy doing?&rdquo;</em> in a muffled chuckle.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">This persistent ineffectiveness, as a common quality between these videos, is an unobvious characteristic in the more recent installment in the series. 2010's&nbsp;<em>Drawing Restraint 17</em> (32 minute loop), displayed on two high definition flat screens, develops a longer and more suspenseful narrative. The crisp images in the video involve Barney and a number of other participants. Each member is always shown in the midst of an activity; the main character, a blond young woman, conducts the most difficult tasks&mdash;whether it be digging the earth with a heavy shovel or climbing the walls of the Schaulager museum in Basel, Switzerland. What sets this later installment of <em>Drawing Restraint </em>apart from Barney&rsquo;s earlier work for the series is the suggestion of a grand ending&mdash;a final closing to the loop of physical exertion, otherwise done in vain.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140912041816-DR17-2309HG_.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong><span style="font-size: x-small;">Matthew Barney,</span></strong><span style="font-size: x-small;"> <em>DRAWING RESTRAINT 17</em>, 2010, Production still; &copy; Matthew Barney / Photo: Hugo Glendinning. Jointly owned by Laurenz Foundation, Schaulager, Basel; and The Museum Of Modern Art, New York, Richard S. Zeisler Bequest and The Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Fund (both by exchange)</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>The Commitment</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The goal of <em>Drawing Restraint</em> is not to conclude a set task, but instead to demonstrate that there is indeed an ongoing struggle, and that both the body and art will be given shape only through resistance. Emphasized in the absurd physicality and strenuous tasks that Barney and the participants engage in, the commitment they make with their bodies is parallel to the very commitment required for the project&rsquo;s longevity.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">An aesthetic divide that the audience may appreciate in this exhibition is the emphasis of time&rsquo;s passage shown in the choice of technology. The first two videos (made in 1988 and 1989) are played on two old, bulky TVs. The technology immediately locates the works within a particular point in history. The installation of the old TVs contains a certain honesty&mdash;metal wall-mounts and thick, black wires are visible to its viewers. Conversely, <em>Drawing Restraint 17</em> is presented on two large flat screen TVs&mdash;while the installation is visually true to its time of production, the display is seamless. Unlike the grainy black and white images shown in the previous two works, the latest part in the series is presented in high resolution, colored images. The presentation&rsquo;s high quality technology more closely resembles an impressive feature film, which is perhaps why most visitors in the gallery have their heads turned towards <em>Drawing Restraint 17</em>. The passage in time, evident in even the simplest modes of display, brings the viewers&rsquo; attention to chronology, creating its own narrative channel.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Just as the performers in the works, watching Barney&rsquo;s series involves a deal of commitment as well. The repetition, the exhaustion, and the ultimate lack of resolution resist giving viewers what they crave: a reward, closure. But after all, that was never the point.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/396844-yoli-yoanna-terziyska">Yoanna Terziyska</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">[Image on top:<strong> Matthew Barney</strong>, <em>DRAWING RESTRAINT 2</em>,&nbsp;1988, Documentation still; &copy; Matthew Barney / Photo: Michael Rees/ Courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels. Jointly owned by Laurenz Foundation, Schaulager, Basel; and The Museum Of Modern Art, New York, Richard S. Zeisler Bequest and The Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Fund (both by exchange)]</span></p> Sun, 14 Sep 2014 08:43:59 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Not So Pretty In Pink (And Why That's a Good Thing) <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Imagine a summit called by feminist activists and artists representing all of the nuanced wings of the movement. In this time of uncertainty about the role of feminism in the art world, these delegates wonder who could best represent the complexities of feminism and feminist theory without apology. The name they arrive at is Lily van der Stokker, whose new show at Koenig &amp; Clinton is a sprawling pink spectacle comprised of flowery sculptures and wall paintings that illustrate the artist&rsquo;s theoretical and artistic astuteness.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Van der Stokker, who lives and works in New York City and in Amsterdam, is well known for her candy-colored, Woodstock-esque drawings, paintings, and large-scale installations. She combines flamboyantly meaningless phrases and exclamations&mdash;oopy, ucky, uffy, and puffy&mdash;with highly sophisticated commentaries on the art world. Her greeting to viewers at Koenig &amp; Clinton hangs on a makeshift shop sign that one might see in a thrift store: <em>only yelling older women in here/nothing to sell</em>. <em>Huh</em> seems flippant and frivolous and mindless, but it is in this understatement that van der Stokker lulls viewers into complacency, only to shock them into attention.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140910161252-LvdStokker_KoenigClintonInstallationView9_72DPI.jpeg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Presiding over the exhibition, firstly, is a feminist bastardization of the great heterosexist construct of the monochrome, the discourse that, in its urge to reject the decorative and the handmade, has often represented the deterministic impulse of the male genius-artist. By evoking a kitschy, store-bought Babies "R" Us ambience alongside the history of the avant-garde, van der Stokker brings her aesthetic commentary into the realm of gender, thereby combining sexual politics with the formal qualities of her work. Color becomes not only a representative of gender roles, but also a metonym for the historical and conceptual underpinnings of painting. With quietly ominous rolls of toilet paper placed inconspicuously throughout the gallery, van der Stokker recalls Judy Chicago&rsquo;s 1972 installation for the iconic <em>Womanhouse</em>, <em>Menstruation Bathroom</em>. For both Chicago and van der Stokker, the stuff of the body, be it blood or the stereotypical colors that swaddle our children, has the capacity to become paint, to oscillate between artistic and activist worlds.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">However, it would be simplistic to say that using pink is the sole criterion for criticality; van der Stokker supplements her intervention with incisive theoretical commentary that walks hand-in-hand with the overwhelming environment she has created. An enormous drawing that adorns the gallery wall,<em> Laying Here Together</em>&nbsp;(2014), is composed of two cloud-like shapes that are stacked upon each other and share a boundary, while maintaining their distinctness.<ins cite="mailto:William%20%20Simmons" datetime="2014-09-09T11:07"></ins> As drawings that come alive with a silent dialogue between them, these larger-than-life &ldquo;bodies&rdquo; invite us to consider the nature of difference. The handwritten phrase for which the piece is named, "very nice to lie here together, lovely to be next to you; we are the same," is a sentiment that not only points to the artist&rsquo;s interdisciplinary approach, but also to the politics of difference that govern her thinking. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In her combination of drawings like <em>Laying Here Together</em> with color-coordinated sculptures and readymade rolls of toilet paper, van der Stokker brings together different artistic approaches&mdash;</span><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">most obviously painting and sculpture&mdash;</span><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">that are literally forced to lie together, in the same way that she seeks to consider the interaction of the monoliths of gender. The erotics of the exhibition beget a celebration of all aspects of the sexual experience, yet, in </span><em style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">Laying Here Together</em><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">, there is certainly something melancholic about the segmented figures&rsquo; impossible yearning to exist as one. Who are these figures, and how do their genderless bodies reconfigure our understandings of sexuality as a simultaneously aesthetic and social phenomenon? What sort of gendered or artistic dynamic does van der Stokker hope to evoke? The answer is left tantalizingly unclear.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140910161341-LvdStokker_KoenigClintonInstallationView4_72DPI.jpeg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Van der Stokker proves that theory need not be boring, that the &ldquo;feminine&rdquo; need not be retrograde, and that stupidity does not equal a lack of criticality. She interpenetrates a beautifully shameless exhibition with incisive questions about the way bodies and identities relate to each other. What results is a celebration of difference through van der Stokker&rsquo;s simultaneous critique and affirmation of a specifically feminine viewpoint. She attempts to mediate what could be labeled an &ldquo;essentialist&rdquo; vision through more contemporary visions of gender and sexuality. Van der Stokker loses sight of none of the conflicting strands of feminism, and revitalizes socially-conscious work in an increasingly insular and simplistic art world.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/402210-william-j-simmons">William J. Simmons</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(All images: <strong>Lily van der Stokker,</strong> <em>Huh, </em>Installation view<em>;</em> Courtesy the artist and Koenig &amp; Clinton, New York / Photo: Jeffrey Sturges, New York)</span></p> Fri, 12 Sep 2014 07:50:32 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list The Importance of Being Awkward at Portland's Time Based Arts Festival <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Awkwardness is arguably a failure in a relationship to the terms of interaction. In our hyper-mediated 21<sup>st</sup> century we live increasingly curated lives where each action or image is constructed for specific, often distinct, audiences. We have become skilled at navigating multiple modes of communication and mediated performance that resist the risks of connection. Cautious of the misstep, we compartmentalize to avoid the slip into reading from the wrong script, preaching to the wrong choir&mdash;vigilant not to say the wrong thing, reveal too much of ourselves, or ask too much of the other.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Yet in all of this careful risk assessment and avoidance we miss much of the possibility our constant connectedness is supposed to offer. Intimacy is not easy. Vulnerability is not a direct line to feel-good unencumbered connectedness. Instead, we find often that we feel uncomfortable. Embarrassed. It is in the awkwardness or discomfort of the failed script that we begin to build&mdash;almost in spite of ourselves&mdash;connection. Not the connection of networks of consensus but something hard won through continuing to share space and be together through misunderstanding, discomfort, and embarrassment.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">While the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art's committed artist-focused structure intentionally resists imposing overarching curatorial themes, common concerns arise out of the relationships formed with artists and the development of each year&rsquo;s works. In PICA's second year under Artistic Director Angela Mattox, direct encounters with the audience&mdash;in what Mattox has referred to as &ldquo;generous provocations&rdquo;&mdash;continue to be central to many of this season's projects.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Many of the artists included in the 12<sup>th</sup> annual Time Based Arts festival, TBA:14, commencing tomorrow at PICA, use not only immediate engagement and direct address of the audience, but also intensely constructed and skilled aesthetic articulations in varied media to unleash what we so often try to avoid: our shared vulnerability. In so doing they make us uncomfortable, uneasy, and deeply present.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20140910161336-BodyCartographyProject_SuperNature_TadaFrancesca_2.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>BodyCartography Project,</strong>&nbsp;<em>Super Nature (an installation); </em>Photo: Tada Francesca;&nbsp;Courtesy PICA</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Performers draw the audience into intimate, often complicated engagement through the use of dance, music, and spoken word. <em>Super Nature (an installation) </em>by </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><strong><a title="BodyCartography Project" href="http://pica.org/event/bodycartography-project/" target="_blank">BodyCartography Project</a></strong></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> invites an audience of one into an enclosed performance space with a single dancer; each dance can last up to twenty minutes. In private with no distinction markers between performer and audience, individuals must confront their choice of how they do or do not join in the performance.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>Death of the Pole Dancer&nbsp;</em>and <em>Macho Dancer</em> by </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a title="Eisa Jocson" href="http://pica.org/event/eisa-jocson/" target="_blank"><strong>Eisa Jocson</strong></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> are distinct but related dance performances exploring modes of seductive movement by a female pole dancer and the male Filipino &ldquo;Macho Dancer.&rdquo; Jocson performs both gendered seductions asking the audience to consider not only what but <em>how</em> we perceive intentionally sexually provocative gendered performances.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20140910161539-CynthiaHopkins_ALivingDocumentary_JeffSugg1.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong><span style="font-size: x-small;">Cynthia Hopkins,<em>&nbsp;</em></span></strong><span style="font-size: x-small;"><em>A Living Documentary</em>; Photo: Jeff Sugg; Courtesy PICA</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><strong><a title="Cynthia Hopkins" href="http://pica.org/event/cynthia-hopkins/" target="_blank">Cynthia Hopkins</a></strong></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&rsquo; humorous <em>A Living Documentary </em>utilizes multiple personas as a means to openly discuss with her audience her individual experience struggling to make a living as performing artist and poses larger questions about contemporary socioeconomic conditions.</span><span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">One of the most elaborate projects is </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a title="Mammalian Diving Reflex" href="http://pica.org/event/mammalian-diving-reflex-2/" target="_blank"><strong>Mammalian Diving Reflex</strong></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&rsquo;s <em>All the Sex I&rsquo;ve Ever Had</em>, which is part of a larger international traveling project that has been to Scotland and Singapore, to name but a few. Performed by local residents in each of its international stops, performers relate recollected details of their sexual lives beginning from their birth through to the present. Sexuality here is not only recounted in terms of &ldquo;actual&rdquo; sex per se, but also includes awkward, intimate, and often very funny instances of sexuality spanning from very earliest childhood memories of one&rsquo;s body through to the most recent experiences of participants as elderly people.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">TBA:14 continues to expand PICA's mission to bring challenging contemporary work to Portland and offer artists a unique space to test and develop new projects. In addition to main stage performances and nightlife festivities called The Works, there is also a program of visual art, <a href="http://pica.org/event/tba14-3/"><em>As round as an apple, As deep as a cup</em></a>, including new commissions from Emily Roysdon, Jennifer West and Lisa Radon. Organized by curator Kristan Kennedy, these works &ldquo;rely on poetics&hellip;the study of how different parts come together, contributing to the never-ending search for &lsquo;subject&rsquo;,&rdquo; continuing the dialogue with interrelation and intimacy that pervades the festival.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Opening Thursday September 11<sup>th</sup>, for ten days <a href="http://pica.org/programs/tba-festival/">TBA:14</a> brings together works from renowned international as well as local artists organized around the central hub of Fashion Tech, 2010 S.E. Eighth Ave. The festival is spread throughout a number of venues and some alternative spaces.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/200738-danyel-ferrari?tab=REVIEWS">Danyel Ferrari</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">[Image on top: <strong>Mammalian Diving Reflex,</strong> <em>All the Sex I've Ever Had; </em>Photo: Lucia Eggenhoffer;&nbsp;Courtesy PICA]</span></p> Thu, 11 Sep 2014 09:20:55 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list For Marlene Dumas politics are always personal <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Since its long anticipated reopening in September 2012 the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam has served up some fine shows: The </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/articles/show/33011">Mike Kelley retrospective</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> was, if somewhat airtight, quite comprehensive, and Jeff Wall&rsquo;s </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><em><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/articles/show/38792">Tableaux Pictures Photographs 1996-2013</a>&nbsp;</em></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">could easily compete with the grand overview nine years ago at Tate Modern. But with <em>Marlene Dumas: The Image as Burden</em> the museum has hit a new high point. The retrospective of the nation&rsquo;s best-known painter is by far the best exhibition the new Stedelijk has mounted to date.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The last Dumas retrospective in The Netherlands dates back to 1992. Following that year&rsquo;s <em>Miss Interpreted</em> at the </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/venues/show/1882-van-abbemuseum">Van Abbemuseum</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, the South African born artist shot to art stardom on a global scale. Her works command six figure prices at auctions and she is celebrated as one of the most influential painters of our time, heralded as a role model by art academy students the world over. Top institutions such as the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (2007), the MoMA (2008) and </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ew/events/show/134761-tronies-marlene-dumas-and-the-old-masters">Haus der Kunst</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> (2010) have organized solo shows. But the current exhibition in Amsterdam, the city she moved to in 1976 and in which she has been living and working ever since, is the first she is really pleased with&mdash;she said so during the press preview.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140910145740-models_001.SM-MARLENE_DUMAS-SEPT.2014-PH.GJ.vanROOIJ_original.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Marlene Dumas</strong><em><strong>,</strong> </em><em>The Image as Burden</em>, Installation view including <em>Models</em>, 1994, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Photo: Gert-Jan van Rooij</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>The Image as Burden</em> brings together a staggering number of works: nearly two hundred paintings, drawings, and collages. Acquiring them from museums and collectors worldwide&mdash;the Stedelijk, which has been collecting Dumas since her first participation in a group show in 1978, owns thirty-nine works&mdash;is a feat in itself. Teaming up with Tate Modern and Fondation Beyeler, where the exhibition will be travelling to next, must have helped. For the spatial arrangement, the London and Basel curators should take their cue from the Stedelijk&rsquo;s Leontine Coelewij. Spread out over no fewer than sixteen rooms, <em>The Image as Burden</em> elegantly avoids clutter or breathlessness. Keeping in mind Dumas&rsquo; own, oft repeated adagio, &ldquo;a painting needs a wall to object to and space to relate to,&rdquo; the individual works have been granted ample room. The arrangement is thematic instead of chronological. Following a subdued rhythm large works alternate with smaller canvases, bright colors with murky earth tones. The 112 portraits that make up <em>Black Drawings</em> (1991-1992) at the beginning of the exhibition have a fitting counterpoint in <em>Models</em> (1994), the one hundred female faces at the end of the circuit.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The relatively small room halfway through the exhibition holds the oldest works in the show. This collection of collages and drawings from the seventies sheds light on Dumas&rsquo; early development as an artist. She had only just left South Africa, where under Apartheid art didn&rsquo;t feel like an adequate vehicle for expression or action. In the Netherlands, however, she didn&rsquo;t exactly find the open-mindedness she had hoped for. <em>I won&rsquo;t have a potplant</em> (1977), an almost violent drawing of domestic flora, speaks volumes in this respect. <em>Don&rsquo;t talk to Strangers</em> (1977), consisting of the opening and closing lines of friends&rsquo; letters, is evidence of the homesickness and the sense of alienation she must have felt at times. The number of early collages is limited and that&rsquo;s a pity. But the curator has obviously chosen to concentrate on painting, the medium Dumas is best known for&mdash;a justifiable decision.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">It&rsquo;s amazing to see how much power Dumas is able to harness in thinly applied layers of paint. The four colossal babies portrayed in <em>The First People</em> (1990) are simultaneously endearing and monstrous. The 1999 re-workings of pornographic images&mdash;a boy with a purple penis, a girl with blue buttocks&mdash;are extremely direct and exciting in all ways but sexual. Dumas&rsquo; Osama bin Laden (2010) brings about a shock of recognition, but that emotion is immediately overruled by something more complex than hatred or contempt since the artist presents him not as a terrorist but as the father of Omar.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140910150122-The_Image_as_Burden__1993__tiff_original.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Marlene Dumas</strong>, <em>The Image as Burden</em>, 1993, Oil on canvas, 40 x 50 cm.; Private collection, Belgium / Copyright Marlene Dumas; Photo: Peter Cox</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The exhibition&rsquo;s title is taken from a small, almost unassuming work from 1993. It shows a dark male figure carrying a white female. Dumas based the image on a still from the 1936 romantic drama </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0028683/" target="_blank"><em>Camille</em></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, featuring Robert Taylor and Greta Garbo. But in the painter&rsquo;s abstracted depiction one could just as easily recognize the soldier rescuing a child during the Beslan school hostage crisis of 2004, a similar news image from riots in Soweto, or&mdash;of course&mdash;a classical piet&agrave;. Dumas injects her images with meaning upon meaning, reference upon reference. It burdens the picture, loads responsibility on the artist&rsquo;s shoulders. But at the same time the image also exists as &ldquo;just a painting&rdquo; and can be considered a burden in its own right.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Death, sex, guilt, shame, sexuality, and racism are the themes Dumas has been returning to over the past four decades. Never does she approach them in the abstract or absolute way of an activist. She literally attaches them to faces and bodies, thus humanizing them and at the same time welcoming in ambiguity and confusion. With Dumas the political is always personal, and personal emotions combined with universal themes hardly ever make for easy reading. That&rsquo;s what lends Dumas&rsquo; work its stamina.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&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; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top: <strong>Marlene Dumas<em>,</em></strong> <em>The Image as Burden</em>, Installation view, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Photo: Gert-Jan van Rooij)</span></p> Thu, 11 Sep 2014 08:17:23 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Donkeys are stubborn, eagles are noble, and pigs are greedy. An Interview with Alessandro Gallo <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">The (m)animal clay sculptures of Alessandro Gallo present humans moving in form, doctrines and in space; whether it is depicted as a bipedal donkey in surrender (<em>Surrender</em>) or several human-animal hybrids in a more obvious state of transit in <em>Metro</em>. Animal heads rest on anthropomorphic bodies and suggest carrying more of the human role through their rendered posture, clothing and setting; the half-rooster, half-man is holding baguettes with a gaze off to the distance, the hybrid hare is sitting on a cardboard box and the topless lizard man is covered in tattoos. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Gallo humorously captures fleeting moments lost to daily absorption. The figures are unaware of themselves in a way that breaks away from metamorphosis or mythology being the cause for their bizarre corporeal makeup. The biodiversity simply exists in an urban reflective state. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Gallo has displayed these pieces, along with other media including screen-prints, at the Italian Pavilion in the 54th Venice Biennale and in solo exhibitions at the Jill George Gallery in London and the Marco Canepa Gallery in his hometown of Genoa, Italy. His first solo show in New York City will take place on September 6<sup>th</sup> at the Jonathan Levine Gallery.&nbsp; </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140909133548-Beginning_of_a_great_adventure.jpg" alt="" /><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Alessandro Gallo</strong>,<em> Beginning of a great adventure</em>; Courtesy of the artist and Jonathan Levine Gallery</span><br /></span></p> <hr style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" /> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><strong><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Stephanie Berzon: The presence of animals in art is rich in symbolism and metaphors. What is the relationship you see between human nature and the subjects in your work?</span></strong></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>Alessandro Gallo:</strong> Animals display biological features and behavioral patterns that can be extended to humans, lending themselves to embody the basic disposition of a person. Animal heads represent our inclinations and background, like a genetic legacy from imaginary ancestors&mdash;but also some cultural belief or even simply a mood or a temporary state of mind.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">All animals tell a different story: every species has different features. Some of which can be applied metaphorically to humans. The chameleon, for example, can change skin color and has independent eyes that can see in all directions, qualities that would benefit an opportunist. Some animals are carnivores, other&nbsp;vegetarian. Some chase, others run away.&nbsp;&nbsp;Some eat carcasses. Some are cold blooded. Some thrive in swamps, some crawl in the desert, some are nocturnal and so on.&nbsp;Other animals have a strong cultural and folklore history. Donkeys are stubborn, eagles are noble, and pigs are greedy. Every language and culture has numberless associations between animals and emotions, i.e. 'angry like a bull', 'horny like a rabbit', &lsquo;monkey business&rsquo;, &lsquo;culture vulture&rsquo;, &lsquo;rat race&rsquo; and so on.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Whether from nature or culture, animals evoke direct associations that need little mediation, and in so they are ideal in illustrating and embodying&nbsp;our basic disposition or nature.&nbsp;Which is why they've been used: they embody abstract values and vices across all ages and cultures in numberless stories and myths.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140909133815-I_feel_good.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><strong>Alessandro Gallo</strong>,<em> I feel good</em>; Courtesy of the artist and Jonathan Levine Gallery</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><strong><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">SB: Are you superstitious?&nbsp;</span></strong></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>AG:</strong> I guess I am, moderately so. I don&rsquo;t really really believe in it but some superstitions traditional in Italy or specifically in my family (especially from my grandmother) still survive in my everyday life as funny rituals. I don&rsquo;t really think that wearing that particular shirt is going to affect the outcome of some event but wearing it for that occasion reminds me with humor of how important that outcome is for me.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><strong><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">SB: Tell me a story of a 'funny ritual' that still exists in your life. I was raised in South Florida and superstition sort of suspends the land&rsquo;s spirit.</span></strong></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>AG:</strong> I guess the silliest small superstition ritual happens at dinner tables. I never pick the saltshaker from someone else's hand directly. It's considered to bring bad luck. He or she will have to put it on the table and then I'll pick it up. It comes from my Grandma Marta, she did it all of the time. I guess it's a tongue in cheek family thing. I did some research. Salt was extremely precious in ancient Rome so as to be used as currency. The word 'salary' in English comes from the Latin term 'salarium' meaning ' (soldier's) allowance to buy salt, from 'sal' meaning 'salt'. Because of its value it was important to determine the moment when the property, and the responsibility, passed from the seller to the buyer. To avoid any dispute on spillage, the bag of salt was placed on the floor between the two and then the exchange of hands. That doesn't make it rational but at least it's interesting.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><strong><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">SB: How else do you think your Italian identity has impacted your work?</span></strong></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>AG:</strong> Some people told me that the way I try to render fabric in my pieces reminds them of art they've seen while traveling in Italy. Perhaps. Although I don't think that coming from Italy affects directly what I do and how I do it. When it does it is very difficult to articulate and measure. Surely Italy impacted me as a man. I've lived 12 years in England, I love traveling and I often do. At the moment I'm in the process of moving permanently to the US. But Italy, and Genoa in particular, will always be my home, that's for sure, and, as they say, there's no place like it.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140909134751-Come_fly_with_me.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><strong>Alessandro Gallo</strong>, <em>Come fly with me</em>; Courtesy of the artist and Jonathan Levine Gallery</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><strong><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">SB: Please discuss the light switch moment that turned you to study art instead of pursuing law after your studies in Genoa.</span></strong></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>AG:</strong> There&rsquo;s always a before and an after when we make big decisions and choices but what led me to it was actually a very gradual process. There were a lot of good reasons for pursuing both options. I was doing very well in my law studies and I have that type of personality that enjoys researching, whatever the subject. I also loved painting and drawing but somehow I initially feared the risks connected with making it a profession. At some point logic alone was not enough to come to a conclusion and I just had to dive, following my inclination. It took me a while to understand how lucky I was to have one.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><strong><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">SB: Research is usually a solitary venture. How would you describe your personal relationship to the research process?</span></strong></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>AG:</strong> Some research is solitary especially the main concepts running through your work. As solitary is growing and learning, professionally and personally, although some people beside you can make it, sometimes, at least a little easier. Some things can be learned but can't be taught. Some others can and I think it's important to surround yourself with people that know more than you about it. When I started working with clay I realized how many technical aspects were essential to get good results and I was very lucky to meet a few very capable people that were willing and able to share their knowledge. I learned a lot from workshops, residencies, apprenticeships, studio sharing and mentorships.&nbsp;That information is then processed, filtered and made your own in a solitary way, yes. And I obviously kind of enjoy it.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140909134131-She_belongs_to_me.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Alessandro Gallo</strong>, <em>She belongs to me</em>; Courtesy of the artist and Jonathan Levine Gallery</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><strong><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">SB: Did you make art as a child?</span></strong></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>AG:</strong> Yes. Since I can remember. I&rsquo;ve always loved drawing.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><strong><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">SB: I am curious about the choice of subjects in your the collaborative piece with Beth Cavener, </span></strong></em><strong><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Tangled Up In You</span></strong><em><strong><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">. The rabbit and the snake: I couldn&rsquo;t think of two animals more opposite symbolically.</span></strong></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>AG:</strong> My collaboration with Beth on that particular piece was limited to the narrative choices, drawing and painting of the imagery running through the snake body as a Japanese style tattoo echoing snake skin's natural patterns. Concept, design and sculpting are all Beth&rsquo;s. I guess she&rsquo;d be the right person to answer your question. All I can give is a subjective interpretation that&rsquo;s as good as anybody&rsquo;s. Besides I think that one (of many) fascinating aspects of her work is that it is always open to many different emotional and intellectual considerations and responses.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">That work represents a conflict between two forces, the snake and the rabbit. It can be read as a fight between two different agents but also as an internal psychological struggle between opposing drives or beliefs. I&rsquo;ve always seen it as a self-portrait.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140909134341-The_man_who_sold_the_world.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><strong>Alessandro Gallo</strong>, <em>The man who sold the world</em>; Courtesy of the artist and Jonathan Levine Gallery</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><strong><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">SB: From what I can recount, chess has occurred twice in your body of work in the form of a screen print and chess piece sculptures resting on a checkerboard. Do you play?</span></strong></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>AG:</strong> I love chess, its ruthlessness and its intellectual and logical discipline. It&rsquo;s incredibly fascinating, suggestive and challenging to me. I play online, when I can, and always less than what I&rsquo;d want. I&rsquo;m an &lsquo;amateur&rsquo;, from Latin &lsquo;amare&rsquo; that means &lsquo;to love&rsquo;. I&rsquo;ve studied quite a bit but not enough to compete with the very good ones.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><strong><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">SB: Would you describe your relationship to art as ruthless and disciplined? Duchamp once said that 'while all artists are not chess players, all chess players are artists'...</span></strong></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>AG:</strong> I think you always need a lot of self-discipline or at least you do given my personality traits, driven to perfection and prone to distraction. Not only in art. I've known about Duchamp's passion for Chess for a long time. I came across a few of his best games too. Chess is art and war, logic and imagination. I don't think that all chess players are artists&mdash;only the very good ones.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><strong><span style="color: #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;">SB: Is there an animal you most identify with?</span></strong></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><strong>AG:</strong> The donkey because he&rsquo;s proverbially stubborn stupid, and works hard. I use it as a reminder not to take myself too seriously.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&mdash;Stephanie Rae Berzon</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(Image at top: <strong>Alessandro Gallo</strong>, artist photo; Courtesy of the artist and Jonathan Levine Gallery)</span><br /></span></p> Wed, 10 Sep 2014 10:43:31 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Views of Nuart 2014 in Stavanger, Norway <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;">Reflecting on my experience at the Nuart Festival this weekend in Stavanger will take some time. It was a week filled with art, music, parties and panels, with much to digest and consider. But here's some photos from the week to tide you over while my full report is forthcoming. More photos can be found on <a href="http://instagram.com/ass_mag" target="_blank">our Instagram account</a> (ass_mag, get it?), also <a href="http://instagram.com/wallkandy" target="_blank">here</a>, <a href="http://instagram.com/nuartfestival" target="_blank">here</a>, <a href="http://instagram.com/vnamagazine" target="_blank">here</a>, <a href="http://instagram.com/hookedblog" target="_blank">here</a>, and by searching #nuartfestival</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140909114954-stavangerport.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;">The landscape in Stavanger is stunning.<br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140909115036-tiltnorwayflag.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;">Tilt.<br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140909115121-spy.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;">Spy.<br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140909115156-water.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;">Port of Stavanger.<br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140909115230-swoon_choe.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;">Swoon and David Choe.<br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140909115358-dabsmyla.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;">Dabs Myla.<br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140909115436-herakut.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;">Herakut.<br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140909115510-valandsturget.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;">The V&aring;landst&aring;rnet above the city, hit by graffiti writers Rebel and Mask and more...<br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140909115703-hush.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;">Hush.<br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140909115724-workingontiltmural.jpg" alt="" />View from the bridge of the crew working on the Tilt mural (not in the shot).<br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140909115823-cat.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;">Nice kitty...<br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140909115855-numusic.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;">A DJ at the Numusic Festival.<br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140909115933-vhils.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;">Vhils.<br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140909115959-books.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;">The bookstore at the exhibition.<br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140909120029-etamcru.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;">Etam Cru.<br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140909120054-whatson.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;">Martin Whatson.<br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140909120118-downtown.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;">Downtown Stavanger.<br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140909120148-tremblin.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Mathieu Tremblin documenting local graffiti writer ASMA interacting with his piece.</span><br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; line-height: 26px; color: #525552;"><span style="color: #000000;">&mdash;Natalie Hegert</span><br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; line-height: 26px; color: #525552;"><span style="color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(image at top: Str&oslash;k at Tou Scene)</span><br /></span></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; line-height: 26px; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> Tue, 09 Sep 2014 12:14:58 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Required Viewing – Chicago: Pictures for a Generation <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Of the multitude of exhibitions opening this September in Chicago, one stands&mdash;or falls&mdash;singularly into view. A complete series of work by Maccarone artist Sarah Charlesworth that helped to define the Pictures Generation will be shown for the first time at the Art Institute of Chicago. The series, entitled <em>Stills</em>, features figures falling from great heights, suspended in front of buildings that function more as a frame than as a backdrop&mdash;static yet tense. Teasing the weight and reserve of &ldquo;the fall&rdquo; in conceptual art with cinematic drama, the falls in the complete collection of fourteen works act in the manner of a reprise: seven of the cropped images were exhibited in 1980, but the others that were prepared by the artist were never enlarged or printed. In 2012, Charlesworth completed the series specifically for the museum&mdash;here, the new and old images will blend in seamlessly, united once for the advent of the exhibition. </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/chi/events/show/349314-stills"><em>Sarah Charlesworth: Stills</em></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> at the AIC, opening September 18 through January 4, will be the first US solo exhibition of the artist&rsquo;s work in fifteen years.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Fall, fall. With that, we can jump in too.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">An unprecedented number of institutional alignments are set to come to Chicago this fall art season&mdash;not a single museum or organization will be vacant. Opening in time with </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.expochicago.com">EXPO CHICAGO</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> in the third week of September, a stellar line-up of museum exhibitions will join the Art Institute, many of which will run through the remainder of the year and into 2015.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140905054713-Charelsworth_Unidentified-Man-Ontani-Hotel.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Sarah Charlesworth</strong>, <em>Unidentified Man, Ontani Hotel, Los Angeles, </em>1980, printed 2012, from the series <em>Stills. </em>The Art Institute of Chicago, promised gift of Liz and Eric Lefkofsky; &copy; Estate of Sarah Charlesworth; Courtesy the Estate of Sarah Charlesworth and Maccarone.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Another definitive highlight is Viennese, Berlin-based artist Josef Strau,</span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/chi/events/show/346662-solo-exhibition"><em>The New World Application for Turtle Island</em></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/chi/venues/show/2353-renaissance-society">The Renaissance Society</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, which will present an installation of his work that was recently produced in Mexico City. The exhibition intersects the believable with the diaristic, the realistic with myth&mdash;starting with the seduction of the Europeans with Native Americans, and reimagining that history in Strau&rsquo;s characteristic stream-of-consciousness approach. Where atrocities meet incredible acts of kindness and generosity, Strau traces the more relatable history of the Americas under a fictive guise, told in the first-person from the supposed perspective of an &ldquo;outsider.&rdquo; Strau is described as &ldquo;an artist who writes and a writer who makes art,&rdquo; and the exhibition promises to be poetic, affecting, and enthusiastic&mdash;with a sort of treasure hunt narrative that reimagines an adventure told many times. The exhibition opens September 21 and runs through November 9&mdash;you can view the exhibition poster </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.renaissancesociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/STRAU_Poster_web.pdf">here</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Not all exhibitions will be so permanent: a Performa Commission of Rashid Johnson&rsquo;s </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="https://www.eventbrite.com/e/rashid-johnson-dutchman-chicago-tickets-9122197739"><em>Dutchman</em></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, which premiered at the historic Russian &amp; Turkish Baths in New York City's East Village as part of the Performa 13 Biennial, will be co-presented by the MCA Chicago and <a href="http://www.artslant.com/chi/venues/show/2244-moniquemeloche-gallery">Monique Meloche Gallery</a>. The Red&nbsp;Square&nbsp;Russian&nbsp;and&nbsp;Turkish&nbsp;Baths will host here, with performances running late into the night from September 16&ndash;21.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Gallery exhibitions are also not to be missed. Kavi Gupta will open with concurrent shows of Mickalene Thomas on Washington Blvd., in </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/chi/events/show/353220-i-was-born-to-do-great-things"><em>I was born to do great things</em></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> and Glenn Kaino at Elizabeth St., with </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/chi/events/show/353217-leviathan"><em>Leviathan</em></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, a fitting title for the powerful one year-old space. Autumn Ramsey, a bright and iconic local painter with a keen sensibility for form and abstraction, will be on view in a self-titled solo-exhibition at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/chi/events/show/354674-autumn-ramsey">ADDS DONNA</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, using source imagery from a range of cultural and historic motifs</span><span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">&mdash;from ancient Greece to Japanese prints</span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">. </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://andrewrafacz.com/exhibition_works.php?s_id=89">Robert Burnier</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, known for his sculptural and intricately folded wall-pieces will be on view at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/chi/venues/show/3714-andrew-rafacz-gallery">Andrew Rafacz</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> in <em>Inland Delta</em>; Sterling Lawrence and Christalena Hughmanick will open a two-person exhibition entitled </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://documentspace.org/761/"><em>Form Without a Room</em></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>, </em>opening at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/chi/venues/show/35589-document">DOCUMENT</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, using a rejected Burberry raincoat fabric as a primary material to investigate the history of the surgical knot as a form.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140905054848-AndrewRafaczGallery000989.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Robert Burnier,</strong> <em>Iom</em>, 2013, Primer on aluminum, 16.5 in x 12 in.; Courtesy of the artist</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Perhaps a knot is the perfect metaphor to end with for the beginning of this 2014 season. There is much to see here in the city, and one can only hope that the proliferation of events leaves you falling into and on top of these exhibitions, coming out pleasantly entangled.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Look out for all your Chicago fall coverage, coming soon on ArtSlant.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/183982-stephanie-cristello?tab=REVIEWS">Stephanie Cristello</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top: <strong>Josef Strau,</strong><em> Installation view;</em> Courtesy Vilma Gold)</span></p> Sun, 07 Sep 2014 10:33:21 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list The Middle as a Means to an End: <em>The Chicago Effect</em> at the Hyde Park Art Center <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In the forward-thinking exhibition </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/chi/events/show/346655-the-chicago-effect-redefining-the-middle"><em>The Chicago Effect: Redefining the Middle</em></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, curators Allison Peters Quinn, Christopher K. Ho, and Megha Ralapati explore the notion of the Middle, coinciding with the 75th anniversary of the </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/chi/venues/show/2366-hyde-park-art-center">Hyde Park Art Center</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> (the &ldquo;Center&rdquo;). Of course, defining the middle is not an easy task. The mere attempt to define &ldquo;it&rdquo; and its ubiquity is confusing&mdash;but this exact confusion makes the experience of the show all the more intriguing.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In the instance of the exhibition, which comprises ten artists&rsquo; works and projects in collaboration with other art organizations</span><span style="font-size: small;"><a title="" href="#_ftn1">[1]</a>,</span><span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;"> two aspects of the past appear: there is a passion for a past that is <em>escaping</em>&nbsp;and for a past that acts as a <em>reproduction</em>. In this exhibition, as well as in their wider programming, the Center asks a series of self-critical questions: What does an institution&rsquo;s history tell us about the present? What do artists need now? How does the Center&mdash;as a mid-size institution&mdash;relate to others? These questions seem to be symptoms of a mid-life crisis&mdash;another &ldquo;middle&rdquo;&mdash;a conflicted existence that is positively trying to resolve itself.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140905052311-Image_1_Devon_Dikeou.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Devon Dikeou,</strong> <em>Pay what you wish, but you must pay something</em>, 2011-2014, Wood, Plexiglass, paint, Dimensions variable.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Rather than deal with hard distinctions or dogmatic oppositions, the artists in the exhibition work <em>around</em> a place&mdash;a crossing space, an intersection where the differences are at once blurred and vague. The exhibition is displayed in the lower gallery of the Center as well as in the hallways. It is itself in the middle of everything. The first piece viewers see are donation boxes, entitled <em>Pay what you wish, but you must pay something</em> (2011-2014) by Devon Dikeou. Like Duchamp&rsquo;s well-known <em>Fountain</em>, they are both artwork and non-artwork at the same time. Dikeou asked multiple museums to let her replicate and display a copy of their donation boxes, procuring nine boxes from museums like the Warhol Museum, Cincinnati Museum, Bass Museum, Denver Museum of Art, Clyfford Still Museum, and others. Dikeou&rsquo;s installation points to the administrative aspect of art and the artist herself as a mediator. The project also recalls Marx&rsquo;s &ldquo;commodity fetishism,&rdquo; in that the perception of social relationships in production is not between people, but rather between money and exchanged commodities. Here, the donation boxes act as mediators between the public and the museum.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Similarly, the artist duo Essex Olivares&rsquo; <em>Office Riddim </em>(2014) presents a choreographed performance of administrative activities in an office. Patrick Meagher&rsquo;s <em>The Fifth Dimension</em> (2011-2014) has a marketing look&mdash;similar to a CEO slide show presentation&mdash;though its contents are more interpersonal, an instruction on how to relate to others. Both works have an aspect of self-discovery under their organizational surface. They join Dikeou's contribution to portray the seemingly banal, but in fact essential aspects of administration and policy.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In <em>Untitled (Series R)</em> (2010), Assaf Evron generates five photographs of a tall, precast concrete wall. The enigmatic construction, which was in fact photographed sitting against the landscape of the desert in Israel, acts as an industrial replica of itself; the piece is an experience based in reproduction. The works are displayed in the lower gallery of the Center in a compelling way: four works are separated from the primary work that hangs by the entrance/exit of the gallery. The distance between the pieces evokes another wall that has yet to come. The photographs contain bureaucratic connotations; the premade walls are municipal developments. However, the five photographs point to additional aspects of the &ldquo;middle&rdquo;: movement, transportations and separation. Evron&rsquo;s concrete wall is found in a halfway location, in the intermediary space between point A to point B.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140905052402-Image_3_Robert_Burnier.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Robert Burnier</strong>, <em>Revokon</em>, 2014, Wood and enamel, 27 x 27 x 27 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Andrew Rafacz Gallery.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Similarly, Lan Tuazon&rsquo;s <em>Parking Lot Island </em>(2010) and <em>Parking Lot Landscapes</em> (2011) focus on how transient space is organized. Tuazon, interested in the parking lots of Manhattan as connectors between spaces and people, explores the lot as its own type of landscape. The &ldquo;middle&rdquo; can also be defined as a way to create something new with the old, such as in Robert Burnier&rsquo;s work. Burnier, who is well known for his folded aluminum wall pieces, utilizes instead his old painting frames to create two crates. He chooses to title his pieces in Esperanto, a constructed international auxiliary language, and uses both text and form as grounds to represent a neutral territory for communication.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Jan Tichy receives the hallway as a location to display his works&mdash;a marginal but frequently transited space. Tichy&rsquo;s poetic <em>Installation no.21</em> (2014) is a site-specific work commissioned by the Center for a permanent video fa&ccedil;ade. &ldquo;I see it as activating the building&rsquo;s fa&ccedil;ade with time based light animations,&rdquo; explains Tichy. The visuals of the work, composed of multiple projections facing the upper windows of the Center, are comprised of abstract shapes and forms that follow the structure of the building. Light itself, at the core of Tichy&rsquo;s oeuvre, offers infinite possibilities as a medium to make visible the invisible. In lightening the Center&rsquo;s architecture, Tichy illuminates the more hidden aspects, and often over-looked elements of the institution.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">While at first glance <em>The Chicago Effect: Redefining the Middle</em> appears to focus on the history and identity of the Center and the City, it is about much more. The exhibition echoes &ldquo;institutional critique&rdquo;&mdash;it exhibits a passion for the past that follows the art of the 1970s, while also reflecting the bureaucratic necessity in the artwork&rsquo;s reproduction. However, the artists here point to existent bureaucracies as necessary entities in society: they are preoccupied with the art <em>making</em> rather than moving away from it. Instead of trying to construct new models of institutions, <em>The Chicago Effect </em>attempts to find it. The show locates a moderate model for producing work&mdash;as an artist, for the existence of an art institution, and the establishment in general. It is about a &ldquo;middle&rdquo; where two directions intersect, one crossroad with two middles: inward and outward, at once.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><hr style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" align="left" size="1" width="33%" /> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: small;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref1">[1]</a></span><span style="font-size: small; color: #525552;"> The Hyde Park Art Center partners with multiple national organizations: the HPAC's neighbor, the School of the Art Institute, the Rhode Island School of Design, Michigan's Cranbrook Academy of Art, the Illinois Institute of Technology, IDEO Innovation And Design Company, the Green Lantern Gallery, DePaul University and the University of Chicago&rsquo;s Science of Philanthropy Initiative.</span></p> </div> </div> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/171869-ionit-behar">Ionit Behar</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">[Image on top: <em>The Chicago Effect</em>, 2014 (installation view). Left:<strong> Marissa Lee Benedict</strong>, <em>Solo mesoporos</em>, 2013-2014, Hand-built Maine peapod rowboat, 55-gallon barrel, helium tank, carbon dioxide tank, water sample (Chicago River), scaffolding, emergency weather radio, clamp lights, 6 x 25 x 16 feet. Right: <strong>Assaf Evron</strong>, <em>Untitled (series R)</em>, 2010, Archival inkjet prints, 1 out of 5 in series, 70 x 70 cm. Printing courtesy of Document. Photography courtesy of Tom Van Eynde for Hyde Park Art Center]</span></p> Mon, 08 Sep 2014 07:02:08 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list No Longer Lonely (but maybe still a bit brutal): September Openings Across Los Angeles <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The long languor of summer never truly fades in Los Angeles, but the heat simmers down just enough for the long sunsets to subside into cool nights, when prodigal travelers hurry home from sunstroked beaches and slaving artists vernissage across the city. Autumnal LA, though it certainly colors, hardly chills. Art exhibitions thickly dapple across this considerable town: Giuseppe Penone at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/events/show/350699-ramificazioni-del-pensiero-branches-of-thought">Gagosian</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> and Sam Falls at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/events/show/353863-solo-exhibition">Hannah Hoffman</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> on the 5th. On the 6th, Culver City unbolts with </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/events/show/353384-band-of-none">Ryan Mosley</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> and </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/events/show/352638-a-book-and-a-medal-disentanglement-equals-homogenous-abstractions">Edgar Arcenaux</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> at Susanne Vielmetter, Fay Ray at&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/events/show/350706-part-object">Samuel Freeman</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, and Katherine Bernhardt at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/events/show/348452-doritos-and-diet-coke">China Art Objects</a>.</span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;A few miles away off Santa Monica and Highland Dashiell Manley opens </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/events/show/354381-company-and-conversations">Redling Fine Arts</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> and Doug Aitken does it again at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/events/show/348197-still-life">Regen Projects</a></span><span style="font-size: medium;">,</span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> and just up Melrose Steven Baldi opens at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/events/show/354382-branded-light">Thomas Duncan</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">. The same night at 6150 Wilshire, </span><a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/events/show/350695-20-years-at-acme"><span style="font-size: medium;">ACME</span></a><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;celebrates its 20th anniversary whilst Matthew Ronay solos at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/events/show/350719-solo-exhibition">Marc Foxx</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, Rirkrit Tiravanija collaborates with a redacted Superflex at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/events/show/347360-solo-exhibition">1301PE</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, and </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/events/show/349513-the-invisible-subject">Ambach &amp; Rice</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> shows photos and objects from Deborah Hede, who quotes with image and word Jack Kerouac, who described Los Angeles: &ldquo;the loneliest and most brutal of American cities.&rdquo; LA can be hard to be sure, my city of trafficky solitude and secret gardens, harder when attempting to catch too much, to see all the things. But new knowledge teases and the flickering neons of Hollywood on the following Sunday with a curated show by Olivian Cha and Eli Diner at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/events/show/351461-new-gravity">Overduin &amp; Co</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> and Tobias Madison at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/events/show/354738-deficiency-depletion">Freedman Fitzpatrick</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> are too tempting, as is one of the final performances at Public Fiction for its Tragedy + Time series on the other side of the city in Highland Park. &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140904172246-DKG_RJ_1_L.jpeg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Rashid Johnson</strong>, <em>The Long Dream</em>, 2014, burned red oak flooring, black soap, wax, spray enamel, vinyl, steel, bamboo, shea butter, books, plants, mirrored planter, 133.87 x 140.25 x 12inches (340 x 356.2 x 30.5cm); Courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, CA Photography: Martin Parsek</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The following weekend demands further travels and travails over a crisscrossing city, brutal in its distances but intimate once arrived. Certain events warp gravity in their own direction, and one such is the inauguration of a new space by a significant gallery, Rashid Johnson premieres&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/events/show/351058-islands">David Kordansky&rsquo;s newest space</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> near Kayne Griffin Corcoran off La Brea. Designed by Kulapat Yantrasast, the building makes an experiment begun by art students in Chinatown a little over a decade ago into one of the most consequential homegrown galleries in the city. Back in Culver City, Rhys Ernst &amp; Zackary Drucker continue their collaboration at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/events/show/350310-post-relationship-x">Luis de Jesus</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, while in Chinatown Claire Nereim displays her newest otherworldly objects at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/events/show/346817-solo-exhibition">Jancar Jones</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> and in West Hollywood, Phil Chang shows a series of process-based monochrome photographs over at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/events/show/351859-pictures-chromogenic-and-pigment">M+B</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">. And while Kordansky&rsquo;s bends the scene in a new direction, another big move for </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/events/show/353860-tromp-loeil-depression">Young Art</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> from a sweet space in Chinatown on Bamboo Lane to bigger digs in Hollywood shifts more energy away from the still experimental vivacity of C-town towards the more gallery-oriented but still energetic scene scattered around H&rsquo;wood.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140904172359-Nereim_Pair.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Claire Nereim</strong>; Courtesy of the Artist and Jancar Jones Gallery, Los Angeles</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">And amidst all these are invitations from new and alt spaces that are probably cooler (or if not cooler, certainly more spirited) than all the above: <em>Bathymetry</em> at the new (or new to me) <a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/events/show/354759-bathymetry">Del Vaz Projects</a> that curiously includes a performance from a principal harpist in the Utah Symphony; the huge group show organized by Secret Recipe at <a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/venues/show/48022-3-days-awake">3 Days Awake</a> on Saturday, the 6th, at 7pm, 4300 W Jefferson Blvd; or, most interesting to me out of the underground shows, the Aaron Wrinkle and Michael Decker collaboration at Chin&rsquo;s Push on 4917 York Blvd at 5pm on Friday the 5th (I give the addresses, as many of these places don't always have websites to speak of). All these solos and group shows, performances and grand moves are even more than last season, and more than the season before that. Los Angeles&rsquo; summer languor seems to be growing less languorous, the city a little less spacious, and hopefully with each new citizen, and for us, each new artist and exhibition space, this town becomes a little less lonely, a little less brutal, and just maybe, a tiny bit more artful.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/12307-andrew-berardini?tab=REVIEWS">Andrew Berardini</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(Image on top: <strong>Deborah Hede; </strong>&copy; Courtesy of the Artist and AMBACH &amp; RICE)</span><br /></span></p> Fri, 05 Sep 2014 22:36:18 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list The British (and the French) are coming!: Veterans meet new arrivals during Brussels Art Days <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">That Brussels has a thriving art scene is no longer a secret to the international art community. We&rsquo;ve reached the point where some media have even baptized what was formerly regarded as a dull and grey city as the &ldquo;New Berlin.&rdquo; There&rsquo;s no better moment to check it out with your own eyes than during the seventh edition of </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.brusselsartdays.com/2014/" target="_blank">Brussels Art Days</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> (BAD), Brussels&rsquo; reply to the Gallery Weekend in Berlin you might say. Twenty-nine galleries open their doors next weekend, while others not affiliated under the BAD-umbrella also get in on the event and open new shows.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Brussels has a healthy art scene: Over the past couple of years, more and more artist-run spaces have popped up, while </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/articles/show/39348">more collectors</a></span><span style="font-size: medium;"> <a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/articles/show/39340">started showing</a> </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/articles/show/40335">their collections</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> and sometimes even open their own venues (like </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/venues/show/44319-cab">CAB</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, currently presenting Richard Jackson&rsquo;s </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><em><a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/events/show/344084-car-wash">Car Wash</a></em></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, in which brand new cars are trashed and painted over). There&rsquo;s also more activity on the gallery side of things, where big shot galleries with dependents&mdash;both </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/venues/show/23849-xavier-hufkens">Xavier Hufkens</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> and </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/venues/show/23783-galerie-rodolphe-janssen">Rodolphe Janssen</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> recently opened a <a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/venues/show/39696-xavier-hufkens---107-rue-st-georges"><span style="color: #525552;">second</span></a> <a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/venues/show/43039-galerie-rodolphe-janssen---livourne-32"><span style="color: #525552;">venue</span></a>&mdash;rub shoulders with smaller galleries and project spaces.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140904170456-mattias_dornfeld.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Matthias Dornfeld</strong>, <em>Untitled (Streifenr&ouml;ckchen)</em>, 2014, Acrylic on canvas, 140x100cm; Courtesy of the artist and Waldburger Wouters, Brussels</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">A recent proof of that dynamics was the opening of a new gallery cluster close to the Sablon antique district in June. Five galleries moved into the same site, a stately mansion with a building with a more industrial feel to it. One of the galleries is </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/venues/show/26883-galerie-micheline-szwajcer">Micheline Szwajcer</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, a <em>monstre sacr&eacute;</em> from the Belgian art scene, who recently exchanged Antwerp for Brussels. During BAD, she presents </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/events/show/353925-petals-on-the-wind---group-show">a group show</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> with the artists from her roster, including top-notch names like Stanley Brouwn, Angela Bulloch, Carsten H&ouml;ller, and David Claerbout. One of Szwajcer&rsquo;s neighbors is the equally highly respected </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/venues/show/24200-galerie-jan-mot">Jan Mot</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> gallery who invited Mario Garcia Torres to curate a </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/events/show/346015-a-situation-in-which-an-argument-can-be-discussed">group show</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">. </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/venues/show/24194-galerie-catherine-bastide">Catherine Bastide </a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">dedicates a solo to the African American artist </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/events/show/354168-gold-people-shit-in-their-valet">William Pope.L</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, who shows a series of gestural, abstract paintings in which one can decipher certain words often dealing with race. These are sometimes combined with objects scattered throughout the gallery space. The newly rebranded gallery </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/venues/show/24202-galerie-waldburger-wouters">Waldburger Wouters</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> brings a solo of the German artist </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/events/show/348481-die-sch%C3%B6nheit-der-frau-des-b%C3%A4ckers">Matthias Dornfeld</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, whose paintings have a neo-expressionist and deliberate na&iuml;ve touch. And </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/venues/show/47909-mon-ch%C3%A9ri">Mon Ch&eacute;ri</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, situated together with Waldburger Wouters in the rear part of the building complex, brings a solo of </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/events/show/353261-floridian-gut">Dominic Samsworth</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, known for his unusual material choices which often involve plastic.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140904170639-PopeL_Painting-crop.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>William Pope.L; </strong>Courtesy of the artist and Catherine Bastide, Brussels</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Mon Ch&eacute;ri might be the latest of many French galleries settling into what, for some, is considered a tax haven during the &ldquo;Fran&ccedil;ois Hollande era,&rdquo; but </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/venues/show/12306-galerie-nathalie-obadia---bruxelles">Nathalie Obadia</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> was one of the first to make the step from Paris to Brussels. She presents her first solo show of the Cuban artist </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/events/show/347379-kicking-the-can-down-the-road">Ricardo Brey</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, who has been living in Belgium for more then twenty years since the late Jan Hoet invited him to Documenta IX. Brey will present drawings, sculptures, and also pictures he took in Havana and combined with found objects, hence stretching the format of the medium of photography.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">That Belgium has always been the crossroads&mdash;or battlefield&mdash;of Europe is also reflected in the contemporary art world. Besides a strong presence of French galleries, now the British have also start coming&mdash;such as new kid on the block </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/venues/show/48011-christopher-crescent">Christopher Crescent</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, who exchanged London for Brussels. During BAD, the gallery </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/events/show/354544-diest-shaw-town">combines work</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> from two different artists: British, New York-based Dan Shaw-Town and N&eacute;stor Sanmiguel Diest. Shaw-Town makes paintings with wild abstract gestures, combining them with typographic elements resulting in pieces that are not restricted to the canvas but also include objects that have been painted over. His work goes well together with the elder Spanish Sanmiguel Diest, whose paintings are also layered and put the medium into question. With the arrival of Christopher Crescent, Brussels illustrates once again that it is not just attracting big shot Parisian galleries opening second venues, but also young galleries with smaller spaces but big ambitions.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/377999-sam-steverlynck?tab=REVIEWS">Sam Steverlynck</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; font-size: x-small;">[Image on top: <strong>Ricardo Brey,</strong><em> Nine incantations, </em>2010, Mixed media, 20 x 29 x 29 cm (7 7/8 x 11 3/8 x 11 3/8 in.)<em>; </em>Courtesy Ricardo Brey &amp; Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris/Bruxelles]</span></p> Sun, 07 Sep 2014 07:46:26 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Art critic pattern blindness: On ignoring trends in Amsterdam this September <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">One of my colleagues crafted </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/40564">his city&rsquo;s fall preview </a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">around the challenge of choosing exhibitions to visit when there&rsquo;s so much to see. It&rsquo;s a difficult task we all face, and quite frankly, I might have taken this approach myself. Instead, when charged with writing about September offerings I ended up looking for patterns; like a gallery staging a summer group show, I wondered what ad hoc themes I might attach to Amsterdam art this month. Of course, it&rsquo;s a task more hopeless than trying to see too much art, though maybe with the right algorithm and a massive computer to run the computations I could find statistically significant factors no one&mdash;neither gallerist nor artist&mdash;knew they&rsquo;d yielded. (And maybe get headhunted by ArtRank in the process).</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Alas, I have no such program. And really, as ever, there&rsquo;s something for everyone: painting and new media, hot new solos and establishment retrospectives, </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.unfairamsterdam.nl/" target="_blank">hip </a></span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.unseenamsterdam.com/" target="_blank">art fairs</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, and artworks political, conceptual, and formal. With such diversity in mind, here are some mini-trends and outliers I&rsquo;m looking forward to in Amsterdam* this month:</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140904163047-Nuclear_Family_original_dumas.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Marlene Dumas</strong>, <em>Nuclear Family</em>, 2013, Oil on canvas, 200 x 180 cm; &copy; Marlene Dumas / Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel; Photo: Peter Cox</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The biggest name recognition this fall comes, unsurprisingly, from the </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/venues/show/2489-stedelijk-museum">Stedelijk Museum</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> which will launch Marlene Dumas&rsquo; first retrospective in the Netherlands in twenty years: </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/events/show/350005-the-image-as-burden"><em>The Image as Burden</em></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">. The exhibition will include nearly two hundred of the Cape Town native&rsquo;s works ranging from the iconic to the lesser-known, including drawings straight from her Amsterdam studio. For one of the Netherlands&rsquo; most beloved painters, the attention seems long overdue (ArtSlant will have the complete report next week).</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The idea of &ldquo;image as burden&rdquo; hints at the friction between an image&rsquo;s ostensive subject and the painterly gesture. It also leads nicely into my nearest success at identifying a trend in the handful of exhibitions exploring image making in the twenty-first century, including artists who &ldquo;break down the fourth wall&rdquo; to reveal the digital, or perhaps photographer-ly gesture. This season </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/venues/show/2488-foam---fotografie-museum">FOAM</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> will present </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/events/show/349970-shadows-patterns-pears">a solo show</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> of </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/38814">Paul Huf Award </a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">winner Daniel Gordon&rsquo;s lush portraits and still lifes, which are constructed IRL from images found online. A second FOAM exhibition, </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/events/show/349973-under-construction-new-positions-in-american-photography"><em>Under Construction &ndash; New Positions in American Photography</em></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, will highlight nine photographers who rethink their medium. Some see photographs and digital source materials as renewable objects; others shatter their images&rsquo; illusions, revealing the tools, craft, and apparatuses that made them. Artists include Jessica Eaton, Lucas Blalock, Sara VanDerBeek, and </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/articles/show/40075">Owen Kydd</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> and if it&rsquo;s anything like the eponymous issue of <em>FOAM Magazine</em> preceding it, it will be a challenging and visually delightful presentation.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140904163602-Rozendaal-2014-IntoTime_14_05_04.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Rafa&euml;l Rozendaal</strong>, <em>Into Time 14 05 04</em>, 2014, Lenticular painting (unique piece), 120 x 90 cm; Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij;&nbsp;Courtesy of the artist and Upstream Gallery, Amsterdam</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Along similar lines, </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/venues/show/2510-upstream-gallery">Upstream Gallery</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> will present </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/events/show/346031-shifting-optics"><em>Shifting Optics</em></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, featuring seven artists for whom digital techniques and imagery are not limited to new media and the traditionally digital domain. Works made especially for this exhibition will incorporate the digital across a variety of media, including painting, video, textile, and an iPhone app. Artists include Rafa&euml;l Rozendaal, Shannon Finley, Travess Smalley, and Tabok Robak.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Shifting again, you&rsquo;ll catch two new film presentations with political perspectives this month. </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/venues/show/2483-annet-gelink-gallery">Annet Gelink</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> will present </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/artists/rackroom/23575">Yael Bartana&rsquo;s</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> latest project, </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/events/show/349537-true-finn-tosi-suomalainen"><em>True Finn</em></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, which debuted this year in Helsinki at the IHME Contemporary Art Festival. Themes like immigration, identity, and nation building recall her <em>And Europe Will Be Stunned&hellip; </em>trilogy (2007-2011), </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/articles/show/13188">featured previously</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> at the gallery, and feel particularly relevant within the current geopolitical climate. Over at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/venues/show/2500-galerie-ron-mandos-amsterdam">Ron Mandos</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> Isaac Julien&rsquo;s latest solo also tackles today&rsquo;s pressing issues; the British filmmaker&rsquo;s most recent film, </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/events/show/346188-playtime"><em>PLAYTIME</em></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, will explore links between the art world and the global financial crisis, featuring actors like Maggie Cheung and James Franco with auctioneer Simon de Pury playing himself.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140904163844-Charles_Avery_-_What_s_so_great_about_Happiness.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Charles Avery</strong>,<em> Untitled (What&rsquo;s so great about Happiness?), </em>2014, Pencil, ink, acrylic and gouache on paper, 97 x 70 cm | 38.2 x 27.6 inches; Courtesy of the artist and GRIMM Gallery, Amsterdam</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">If you enjoyed </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/events/show/350489-nobson">Paul Noble</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/venues/show/14798-museum-boijmans-van-beuningen">Museum Boijmans</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> this summer (and, how could you not?) you might like </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/articles/show/30721">Charles Avery&rsquo;s</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> second solo show at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/venues/show/24071-grimm-gallery">GRIMM Gallery</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">. Both artists have been doing their own obsessive thing for years&mdash;namely, building fantasy worlds&mdash;and while each has top-notch gallery representation, their practices don&rsquo;t really correspond with contemporary narratives. Noble&rsquo;s drawings are more impressive, but Avery&rsquo;s world is more convincing. </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/events/show/345071-whats-so-great-about-happiness--the-people-and-things-from-onomatopeia">This exhibition</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> of all new work will introduce more characters to Avery&rsquo;s invented island through drawings, furniture, and interior design objects.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140904163934-destroy_lund.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Jonas Lund</strong>, <em>Studio Practice</em>, 2014, Example of the advisory board's appraisal system with a range slider between destroy/sign; Courtesy of the artist</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">For a rather suiting end, check out Swedish artist Jonas Lund&rsquo;s </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/events/show/350733-studio-practice"><em>Studio Practice</em></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/venues/show/44619-boetzelaernispen">Boetzelaer|Nispen</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">. You can </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://studio-practice.biz/" target="_blank">start watching the show today</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> in real time, though you&rsquo;ll have to wait &lsquo;til it&rsquo;s over to find out what you can buy. Painting-making is outsourced to four artists who use parameters detailed in a 300-page book made by Lund. An advisory board comprising artists, art advisors, gallerists, and collectors will review each painting online to determine whether it should be destroyed or signed and sold by Lund. I look forward to seeing if the resulting body of work reveals any trends and patterns.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">* I&rsquo;m limiting my picks to Amsterdam, but there&rsquo;s so much happening </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/events/show/354528-the-vincent-award-2014">in The </a></span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ew/events/show/354526-solo-exhibition">Hague</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.a-tub.org/" target="_blank">Rotterdam</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/events/show/350025-all">and</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> even </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/events/show/349993-fragment">further</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> afield, you&rsquo;ll need to check back for our coverage throughout the season.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/95201-andrea-alessi?tab=REVIEWS">Andrea Alessi</a></span></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; color: #525552;">(Image on top: <strong>Daniel Gordon</strong>, <em>Still Life with Fish and Forsythia</em>, 2013, C-Print,<em>&nbsp;</em>50 x 60 inches; &copy; Daniel Gordon / Courtesy of the artist and Wallspace, New York)</span></p> Thu, 04 Sep 2014 23:46:20 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list Epic Battle: Secret Walls Pits Local Artists Against Each Other in Live Art Performance <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: Arial; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Billing itself as &ldquo;the World&rsquo;s premier live art battle&rdquo;, Secret Walls recently kicked off its second series in Hong Kong at the city&rsquo;s iconic Fringe Club. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: Arial; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Created in 2006 by Terry Guy at a bar in London, each event features two white walls side by side, 90 minutes on the clock, booze, a live DJ and two artists with the mighty black marker for battle. The winner is chosen based on a 3 point system, with input coming from judges and the all-important crowd vote, scientifically measured by a decibel reader. In epic fashion, the yearly event spans 5 months with four qualifying rounds, two semifinals and finishing with the grand finale in December, where the series winner is announced. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: Arial; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140902172157-p.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: Arial; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">From its humble underground beginnings, Secret Walls has grown internationally via social media and word of mouth marketing with similar events taking place throughout Europe and NYC. Showcasing an impressive mix of emerging and established artists from all walks of street art life, the battles have a decidedly unique and raw feel. In Hong Kong, it&rsquo;s nice to see the passion back in original local art, especially as it is lacking a price tag.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: Arial; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Hong Kong&rsquo;s sold out event paired local artists Alex Wong and Jay Cawdell against each other in what proved to be a spirited competition of live performance art.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">Cawdell, who participated in Hong Kong&rsquo;s inaugural Secret Walls last year, drew inspiration from the present battle, creating a scene starring himself and his opponent in a final throw down. With his trademark style of heavy dark lines and solid, clean shapes, Cawdell proves a formidable opponent to the most established of street artists.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: Arial; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Meanwhile, Wong seemed to defy time, creating a highly detailed mural in the allotted hour and a half time frame. His work took a more imaginative theme with ice cream cones and a supporting cast of characters in an old school style, while impressively filling the entire white space with even the smallest content.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: Arial; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140902175753-secretwallxhongkong27_08_14_17.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: Arial; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Sponsor Absolut Vodka and MC R VEE kept the crowd pumped throughout the night, with the latter officially announcing Wong as the winner of Series 2, Round 1. He will now move on to the first semifinal in November, battling a yet to be determined artist of equal skill.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: Arial; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Post battle, the walls are (sadly) painted over so you&rsquo;ll have to attend the event in person to experience the thrill of art being created right before your eyes. Pick up tickets to Round 2, set for 8 September, <a href="http://www.eventbrite.hk/e/secret-walls-x-hong-kong-series-2-round-2-tickets-12845909461" target="_blank">here</a>. </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;Peter Augustus</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: x-small; color: #000000;">(All images: Courtesy of Dee Wai and Josh Law for Secret Walls)</span></p> Thu, 04 Sep 2014 09:22:31 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list From Classic Painting to Graffuturism: Poesia, Reflexive, at the Shooting Gallery <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;">Beyond his individual work, artist Poesia has made a huge impact on the world of graffiti. As the founder of the site <a href="http://www.graffuturism.com" target="_blank">Graffuturism.com</a>, the artist launched a movement that resulted in group shows everywhere from Los Angeles to Paris. In San Francisco, he recently curated the show </span><span style="font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslantstreet.com/articles/show/39242">A Major Minority</a></span><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;">, which showcased the work of more than 100 artists from more than 18 countries. In both his curatorial work and his style, the artist continues to inspire budding talents in the graffiti and street art spheres.</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140831183128-_MG_3318.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Poesia</strong>, <em>Death of Marat,</em> Mixed media collage, 7.5x9.5in.; Courtesy of the artist &amp; Shooting Gallery</span><br /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;">But at White Walls Gallery, the attention comes back to the unique work he creates himself. For &ldquo;Reflexive,&rdquo; the artist presents new work that include large-scale pieces, clearly showing the many styles that influence him. Not only does he find inspiration in street art and graffiit but also in classic painting, with many of his works feeling abstract and even Cubist in nature, while his Old Masters series makes direct references to Classical pieces. One piece cleverly bases its composition on &ldquo;Death of Marat&rdquo; by slicing the classical piece with geometric shapes. The harsh lines seem to place this classic painting into another time altogether. As with many of Poesia&rsquo;s pieces, one must look for meaning in these strange shapes &mdash; or simply enjoy the composition that arises from them. The show is on until September 6th.<br /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140831183509-_MG_3313.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Poesia</strong>,&nbsp;<em>Eve</em>, Mixed media collage, 8.5x11in.; Courtesy of the artist &amp; Shooting Gallery</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: x-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140831184737-_mg_3358_m.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Poesia</strong>,<em>&nbsp;The Age of Bronze</em>, Mixed media on reclaimed postcard, 4x6in.; Courtesy of the artist &amp; Shooting Gallery</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: x-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140831184133-l.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Poesia</strong>,&nbsp;<em>Mary on the Rocks</em>, Mixed media collage on photograph, 18x12in.; Courtesy of the artist &amp; Shooting Gallery</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: x-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140831184403-_mg_3341.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Poesia</strong>,&nbsp;<em>Untitled Study</em>, Mixed media on paper, 8x8in.; Courtesy of the artist &amp; Shooting Gallery</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: x-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140831184628-ll.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Poesia</strong>,<em>&nbsp;Vulcan Presenting Venus with Arms,</em> Mixed media on canvas, 96x54in.; Courtesy of the artist &amp; Shooting Gallery</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&mdash;Eva Recinos</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">(Image on top: <strong>Poesia</strong>, <em>Poesia Letter Study II, </em>Mixed media on paper, 14x10in.; Courtesy of the artist &amp; Shooting Gallery)</span></p> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 23:10:34 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/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/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/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/ew/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ew/Articles/list