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20130731185000-l1060921 Design That Matters: Interview with Till Wolfer of N55   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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N55, Till Wolfer at Het Glazen Huis July 21st, 2013 - September 22nd, 2013
Posted 7/31/13

Two and a half years ago, the Danish artist collective N55 developed a new bicycle design in collaboration with artist and designer Till Wolfer. The designs can be downloaded from an open source, the materials bought from pretty much any DIY shop in the world, and the bikes can be made with simple hand held tools. The aim is to reclaim production. Until the 9th of September the bikes are being exhibited at the Glazen Huis (Glass House) in Amsterdam’s Amstelpark, as part of the exhibition project Zon... [more]

20130704072727-communitas_original When Things Fall Apart   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Aernout Mik at Stedelijk Museum May 4th, 2013 - August 25th, 2013
Posted 7/4/13

Growing up in the Netherlands in the late eighties as the child of a liberal, creative, and slightly mad family meant that on Sunday morning, church was replaced by Rembo en Rembo. Broadcast by a television network producing possibly the best and most inappropriate children’s television ever made, Rembo and his friend Rembo – two ultra camp chavs in their late twenties – looked at society through bright pink, star shaped glasses (to match their seventies glitter suits) and taught... [more]

20130525171811-pinkpony_57_299_supernatural_etalage5-1-web Breaking Bread with the Pink Pony Express   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 5/25/13

One of the exhibitions that caught my interest a little while back was a show called Supernatural, put together by the artist collective Pink Pony Express. In February this year they transformed an empty building in the Kolenkitbuurt in Amsterdam West (dubbed the city’s worst neighbourhood in 2009) into a pop-up exhibition space. On the floor of the space they made a mosaic installation using old bread from the local Muslim community. Bread, according to the Koran, is holy and should not en... [more]

20130523075329-the_secret_life_of_cities Nature vs. Neglect   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Gabriel Lester at Galerie Fons Welters April 27th, 2013 - June 1st, 2013
Posted 5/23/13

From the perspective of a panther looking for prey, awkwardly hiding behind urban foliage, Gabriel Lester filmed and photographed the streets. Leaves of trees, ivy, and blossoms dominate his images while the tarmac, cars, and people in the background continue on with their days. Lester quietly observes non-spaces while the world passes him by. Why? Flicking though Lester’s monograph How To Act, I couldn’t help but notice an obsession with the mundane. His installations, captured i... [more]

20130416063610-grimm_imagepress1 The Brussels Scene: Conviviality and Good Vibes   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 4/16/13

Brussels. Sounds like mussels. And maybe a comparison between the two isn't completely out of this world. An oddly shaped, introverted entity, which has no particularly distinct features; looks pale, grey, and weirdly aggressive from the outside but provides a lot of protein to those who persist and dig in. In a recent article in The New York Times (Art Market | Big in Belgium, 3/20/13), Jim Lewis interviewed Art Brussels' new artistic director Katerina Gregos. She described Brussels as a city... [more]

20130327121410-video_still_2 A world less pleasant   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys at MuHKA Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp February 8th, 2013 - May 19th, 2013
Posted 3/27/13

I didn’t plan to write about this exhibition – I intended to write about another show at the Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen (M HKA), Moments on Moments, which features video works by prominent female performance artists. But as soon as I entered the exhibition space on the top floor of M HKA, I knew something was wrong. Chaotically curated, the works were displayed too close to one another, the screens were too small, sounds overlapped, and one of the televisions hadn't even been... [more]

20130324052446-yours_in_solidarity__installation_at_manifesta_9__2012 Reading Anarchism   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Nicoline van Harskamp at New Art Space Amsterdam (NASA) March 10th, 2013 - May 19th, 2013
Posted 3/24/13

Clutching cups of tea from thermos flasks to warm our hands on a cold evening in a classroom-like space at NASA (New Art Space Amsterdam), I and roughly thirty others listened to a Dutch film maker expressing his love for a 19th century anarchist. Cees Hin, one of the evening’s speakers, had grown great affection for Voltairine de Cleyre. Especially after googling her name and seeing her eyes – her words had apparently made less of an impression on him than her looks. De Cleyre (1866 -... [more]

20130205160518-0 An Unusually Soulful Affair : Peripheral Events at Art Rotterdam   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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at Art at the Warehouse February 5th, 2013 - February 10th, 2013
Posted 2/5/13

With the dull smell of hired carpet and the overkill of artificial smiles, art fairs can be the kind of places where, if it wasn't for the rare chance that you may bump into Will Ferrell, you'd rather shoot yourself in the appendix than waste your time by hanging around. But then there's this one. The art fair in Rotterdam is coming up and, as a welcome breath of fresh air, the city is about to show us some good old-fashioned character with which we can feed, instead of deplete our tender souls. Espe... [more]

20130128124849-1 Of urban filth and winter pilgrims   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Izaak Zwartjes at Upstream Gallery January 26th, 2013 - March 2nd, 2013
Posted 1/28/13

Art loving Amsterdam!! Where were you on Saturday?? Yes, the relentless cold and three inches of snow made the Van Ostadestraat a treacherous destination, but I'd expected the Dutch to be more courageous, ready to brave the weather for something good and a free beer. The opening of Izaak Zwartjes' exhibition at the Upstream Gallery was, apart from a few bespectacled friends who enthusiastically exchanged ideas gathered around the drinks table, deserted. It was unusually quiet. Undeservingly so. Cro... [more]

20130114064623-bosman The Importance of Being Ugly   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Daniela Bershan, Bas de Boer, New Sculpture Department, Lorenzo Quintanilla, Monica Tormell, Anne Verhoijsen at W139 December 15th, 2012 - February 10th, 2013
Posted 1/14/13

When entering A Matter of Time and Space at W139, the first thing you encounter is a horse's ass. Not very inviting, no, even blatantly rude. The ass, staring you in the face from its shiny white plinth, is part of Matthijs Bosman’s installation A Monument to Courageous Failure (2012). The entire piece resembles a monument: very classical, man on horse. It's not a beautiful piece - not trying to be either. It’s bluntly grotesque, made from the patently incompatible materials of chicken wire... [more]

20130113174954-o ‘Quiet, contemplative and captivating’   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Mariko Mori at Royal Academy of Arts - Burlington Gardens December 13th, 2012 - February 17th, 2013
Posted 1/13/13

In 1995, Japanese artist Mariko Mori, who had recently completed her degree at the Chelsea College of Art and Design, created a self-portrait. In it she appears with spiky purple hair wearing oversized headphones, white boots, pink tights, a latex kilt, a black top with blue sleeves and futuristic plastic bracelets. She's surrounded by brightly coloured bouncy balls, and is smiling. The work is called Birth of a Star. By portraying herself as a 90s pop queen, Mori commented on an image-driven c... [more]

20121021190155-3 It's the physicality that counts   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Anish Kapoor at Lisson Gallery October 10th, 2012 - November 10th, 2012
Posted 10/21/12

On opening night, in a gallery filled with Frieze visiting art collectors, it was hard to appreciate the subtlety of Kapoor's new work. Surrounded by pouting people pondering over £80,000 price tags, the playfulness of the organic sculptures easily got lost. It was almost tempting to dismiss the works as things seen before, and to brush over the novelties and head for the bar. But Anish Kapoor's work inevitably evokes a desire to explore; his new works, like his larger scale installations i... [more]

20120820113803-5 The Impossible Heap   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Ewa Axelrad, Hang-Up Pictures Contemporary Art Gallery, Edward Coyle, Kieron Dennis, Zavier Ellis, Asgar/ Gabriel, Chris Andrew Jones, Alexis Milne, sarah pager, Lucas Price, Daniele Villa at GALERIE8 July 18th, 2012 - August 26th, 2012
Posted 8/20/12

Tucked away between a newly opened restaurant and some new-built studio apartments in a block of flats in Hackney, Galerie 8 is situated in the lobby of the building, struggling to mask the fact it is a transitory space with the unappealing characteristics of an airport or a doctor’s waiting room. It is difficult not to let this geographical discomfort affect one’s experience of the exhibition, especially because the concept and the setting of the show are in many ways each other&rsqu... [more]

20120722230113-graham_hudson The physical residue of human existence   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Patrick Cole, Rhys Coren, Jess Flood-Paddock, Jeremy Glogan, Graham Hudson, Oliver Osborne, Samara Scott, John Tiney at The Sunday Painter June 22nd, 2012 - July 22nd, 2012
Posted 7/22/12

So as it turns out, smoking does not only lead to a slow and painful death. In the heads of gallerists of Peckham, it also prompted something more positive and life affirming: in the shape of an art exhibition. For their latest show, which closed yesterday, The Sunday Painter explored -- admittedly after a night of excessive but productive lubrication – the possibilities of creating an exhibition around a small heap of cigarette ash that had been lying in a toilet cubicle for ‘approx... [more]

20120520084354-o More Foie Gras, Please   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Greta Alfaro, Poppy Bisdee, Gabriella Boyd, Jonny Briggs, Adeline de Monseignat, Max Dovey, Tom Howse, Ali Kazim, Soheila Sokhanvari, Julia Vogl at Londonewcastle Project Space May 3rd, 2012 - May 25th, 2012
Posted 5/20/12

In a space filled with beautiful people indulging on foie gras canapés and strawberry cocktails someone silenced the audience to announce the winners of the Catlin Art Prize 2012. I couldn’t help but suppress the feeling that the culinary extravagance was in slight contradiction with the introductory text in the exhibition catalogue, in which Paul Carey-Kent aptly writes that the main downside for recently graduated artists is the current state of the economy – and that only a m... [more]

20120422191935-po_2012_mother_200_c4826_p Paulina Olowska at Simon Lee Gallery   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Paulina Olowska at Simon Lee April 13th, 2012 - May 31st, 2012
Posted 4/22/12

Coincidence had it that I saw the current Paulina Olowska exhibition within thirty hours of attending a talk on Liberation Porn – The Radical Politics of Seventies Gay Male Sex Film, given by scholar Ryan Powell. Besides the pretty patent differences between these events, there were some worthwhile analogies to be drawn in subject matter and ideology between the two. The extraordinarily insightful talk explored how the loosening of censorship in the late 1960’s in the United States enabled... [more]

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