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Rebecca Catching

Frontdoor Cultural Institutions in Phnom Penh   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 11/18/09

Reyum Institute of Arts and Culture #47 Street 178 (Across from the National Museum of Cambodia) P.O. Box 2438 Phnom PenhCambodia http://www.reyum.org/ Though thoughts of Cambodia and art most often lead to images of 12th century moss-encrusted temple carvings, Cambodia in fact, has a very interesting emerging contemporary art scene. Phnom Penh boasts a growing number of galleries and spaces such as Metahouse (see flavor pic), the French Cultural Center and Reyum Institute of Arts and Culture.... [more]

Meta_house_night Meta House: Film & Media in Phnom Penh   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 11/18/09

      This non-profit art space, run by filmmaker Nico Mesterharm, is another axis of activity in Phnom Penh. On any balmy evening you’ll find the patio crowded with artgoers who flock there to see the exciting program of locally produced and foreign documentaries and films. There is a distinct German bent – with funding from the Goethe institute – but a surprising amount of variety. Previously screened films include “The Wave” 2008 a German film about a teacher creates a false dictatorship in t... [more]

Bamboo_shot_ Earth, Water and Fire   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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CHAN Dany, Peou Sam-An and Than Sok, Phe Sophon at French Cultural Center / Centre Culturel Francais November 18th, 2009 - November 21st, 2009
Posted 11/18/09

  There is something very endearing about collecting – gathering scraps of cloth, discarded bits of plastic and working them into something startling and new. Part of it is the ritual of gathering, and part of it is the phoenix-like transformation of the materials. The idea hunting and gathering forms the central premise for “Accumulations” a recent show of young Cambodian artists on show at the French Cultural center at Phnom Penh in Cambodia until November 21. Phnom-Penh based American curator, Erin Gleeson, writes in her cu... [more]

20090807150107 Second Skin   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Liu Bo Lin at Vanguard Gallery August 28th, 2009 - September 20th, 2009
Posted 9/2/09

      Beijing artist, Liu Bolin made his name for his camouflage photographs, whereby with the help of painted clothes and body paint, he attempted to blend into his surroundings. His photos explore the relationship between man and his environment and how in China the individual is often swallowed up by the whole. In his latest sculpture series, he flips this idea around to look at the ego and the individual. In Getting Accustomed to Impermanent, Liu’s two fiberglass replicas of himself dominate the un... [more]

Batniji Collateral Damages   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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at La Biennale di Venezia (Venice Biennale) June 7th, 2009 - November 22nd, 2009
Posted 7/13/09

The collateral events, like the pavilions, were a very mixed bag – it was like the biennale threw a party and everyone was invited – even those who should have been left off the guest list such as Liu Zhong (“In Praise of Nature”) and his traditional Chinese painting renditions of dull-eyed sheep – reportedly sponsored by the Chinese government. Many of the shows seemed to fall between the realms of completely irrelevant expressionist painting and poorly conceived conceptual art.There were... [more]

Polish_pavilion Best in Show   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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at La Biennale di Venezia (Venice Biennale) June 7th, 2009 - November 22nd, 2009
Posted 7/13/09

  Ah the pavilions – what to do about this motley crew. All too often they are hijacked by government bureaucrats who choose curators they know will put up a safe show, unlikely to ruffle any feathers. Still, the pavilions nonetheless offer an interesting barometer of a particular government’s attitude towards contemporary art. Some governments--Iran, USA and the UAE--came off as woefully out of touch. Feel free to disagree, but it’s doubtful that anyone goes to the Biennale to see middlin... [more]

Pascale_marthine_tayou4 World on a String   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Jumana Emil Abboud, Georges Adéagbo, John Baldessari, Rosa Barba, Massimo Bartolini, Thomas Bayrle, Simone Berti, Mike Bouchet, André Cadere, Paul Chan, Nikhil Chopra, Moscow Poetry Club, Tony Conrad, Roberto Cuoghi, Keren Cytter, Gino de Dominicis, Nathalie Djurberg, Anju Dodiya, Elena Elagina, Cerith Wyn Evans, Öyvind Fahlström, Lara Favaretto, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Spencer Finch, Ceal Floyer, William Forsythe, Yona Friedman, Sunil Gawde, Gilbert & George, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Sheela Gowda, Tamara Grcic, GUTAI, Guyton\Walker, Gonkar Gyatso, Jan Håfström, Anawana Haloba, Rachel Harrison, Florian Hecker, Susan Hefuna, Carsten Höller, Koo Jeong-A, Joan Jonas, Miranda July, Rachel Khedoori, Toba Khedoori, Moshekwa Langa, Sherrie Levine, Arto Lindsay, Renata Lucas, Goshka Macuga, Igor Makarevich, Gordon Matta-Clark, Cildo Meireles, Aleksandra Mir, Yoko Ono, Jorge Otero-Pailos, Blinky Palermo, Lygia Pape, Anna Parkina, Philippe Parreno, Pavel Pepperstein, Alessandro Pessoli, Falke Pisano, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Att Poomtangon, Marjetica Potrc, Sara Ramo, Tobias Rehberger, Pietro Roccasalva, Tomas Saraceno, Amy Simon, Simon Starling, Xu Tan, Pascale Marthine Tayou, Wolfgang Tillmans, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Grazia Toderi, Bestué Vives, Ulla von Brandenburg, Madelon Vriesendorp, Tian Tian Wang, Richard Wentworth, Pae White, Haegue Yang, Huang Yong Ping, Chu Yun, Héctor Zamora, Chen Zhen, Anya Zholud at La Biennale di Venezia (Venice Biennale) June 7th, 2009 - November 22nd, 2009
Posted 7/13/09

Curator Daniel Birnbaum chose a clever theme in this year’s curated biennale exhibition. It has almost endless scope and he did a fairly good job of making sure that the artists fit the topic – even if that did sometimes mean equating “making installations” with “making worlds”. The art was generally of high quality, interactive, thought provoking and yes, even fun.The first and most entrancing work was Lydia Pape’s “Ttéia I, C. 2002” – a black void shot through with glinting gol... [more]

Caf01_low_res National Gallery Café   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 6/25/09

Cafétéria des Beaux-Arts 380 Sussex Drive Ottawa, Ontario Canada K1N 9N4http://www.gallery.ca/english/445.htmAt the confluence of the Rideau Canal and the Ottawa River, the National Gallery’s Café offers up stunning views of both Ontario and Quebec. Grab a cup of tea and gaze up at the stately oxidized green roof of the National Library of Canada and the smokey stonework of the Parliament Buildings behind. Watch the navy currents burble in front of the dun colored rolling façade of the museum... [more]

Web_echinocactus_grusonii Magic Realism   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Scott McFarland at National Gallery of Canada April 11th, 2009 - September 13th, 2009
Posted 6/16/09

  Perhaps one of the most interesting exhibitions in the BC Scene British Columbian art festival was the very lucid photo exhibition of Scott McFarland. The Vancouver-based photographer has produced what looks like Jeff-Wall inspired staged narratives but while Wall was known for his filmic lighting and set ups, Macfarland employs a heavy element of post production. His simple landscapes, backyards and gardens evoke the crisp northern light and lush surroundings and of their settings (Vanco... [more]

Web_moore_uncertain_pilgrimage_glasses_for_going_west_2006-07 Nomads   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Geoffrey Farmer, Hadley+Maxwell, Myfanwy MacLeod, Gareth Moore, Althea Thauberger at National Gallery of Canada April 17th, 2009 - September 30th, 2009
Posted 6/16/09

Nomads, a collection of art from Canada's west coast province of British Columbia, fulfilled its remit in the sense of being wholly and completely aimless. Though the show purported to be about the concept of wandering, few artists appeared to address this theme even tangentially (producing site-specific artwork in Italy which deals with mortality and transcendence is a bit of a cop-out). Gareth Moore was on course with an installation work based on his voyage through Canada. The artist... [more]

Interview with Khaled Hafez  
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4/4/09

Mar. 2009 - Dressed in a dapper blue black suit, crisp shirt with briefcase Khaled Hafez sits at odds with the riotous surroundings of his studio – where tables, cupboards and chairs, almost all available surfaces are plastered with a dense papier mache of images. We see pinup girls placed alongside ads for Ponds face cream plastered over headlines such as “Privacy Issues” and “Boiling Point” worlds which look as if pulled from a tabloid version of Good Housekeeping. Hafez has created a powerful body of vide... [more]

4 Man Walking   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Ibrahim El Haddad at Mashrabia Gallery February 22nd, 2009 - March 19th, 2009
Posted 3/6/09

        Though Ibrahim El Haddad's artistic language of drips and drabs, traces and overlays, coffee cup stains and circles carved as if with a fingernail out of thick swathes of paint employs a familiar vocabulary of modernism, there is something very Cairo about it. Like the years of accumulated grime that coat the buildings, his paintings bear a patina of built up ideas and etched out thoughts. In one series we see a man striding across canvases so small they could fit in a handbag. One bro... [more]

2 Constructions and Hidden Monsters   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Nermine El-Ansari at The Townhouse Gallery February 15th, 2009 - March 11th, 2009
Posted 3/6/09

Located in a lane clogged with parked cars in Cairo's auto-repair district, Townhouse is one of the main engines of the Cairo art scene - powering a number of workshops, residencies and community outreach programs. Nermine El-Ansari's exhibition picked up on the gritty urban atmosphere - a series of almost naïve drawings, inky agglomerations of apartment buildings drawn haphazardly on various kinds of graph paper often sinking into hi-lighter blue pools of water. They posses a charming naï... [more]

555941482_a9c9d9cf54 Felfela   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 3/6/09

Felfela Sitdown restaurant: 15 Hoda Sharawi St,Cairo (off of Talaat Harb, a five minute walk from Midan Talaat Harb)Take away: 15 Talaat Harb Street,Cairo (a five minute walk from Midan Talaat Harb) Just a few minutes walk from Townhouse you'll find Felafela restaurant with a charming cavelike interior hung with trees and vines where you sip creamy lentil soup or indulge in a heavenly dish of rice pudding. The restaurant offers a wide range of local specialties such as dawoud pacha with kos... [more]

2607457262_0d35735dcb Jumeirah Walk   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 2/16/09

Jumeirah Walk Dubai Marina, Dubai         Across the aquamarine water of the Marina you'll find Jumeirah Walk. Done in traditional sand-colored Emirati style architecture it features chi-chi boutiques and outdoor cafes where you can grab a cup of Arabic coffee and people-watch or pick up those ruby and diamond studded stilettos that you've always been meaning to buy. --Rebecca Catching (*Image: Jumeirah walk, by peevee@ds.) [more]

1 Surrealist Mirages   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Alireza Massoumi at Carbon 12 Dubai January 17th, 2009 - February 27th, 2009
Posted 2/16/09

        Massoumi's paintings feel like the result of strange, starvation-induced hallucinations brought on by a month-long slog through the desert. The traveler lost in a state of permanent existentialism, starts to see the landscape morph around him; a warm inviting bonfire materializes in front of him, meanwhile a falcon with a gleaming eye stands nearby giving a look that says, "I know what you're thinking, don't think you can fool me". Even the earth toned mountains picked out in flambo... [more]

94 Derivative at Best   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Ali Al Abdan, Khalid Juma Ahli, Azza Al Qubaisi, Saggaf Abdullah‚ Saad Saif Albusaeedi, Abdullah Al Amiri, Ahmed Al Ansari, Ahmed Arshi, Mohammed Al Astad, Ebtisam Abdul Aziz, Bushra Badri, Hasna Abu Baker, Khalid Al Banna, Reem Ali Beljafla, Ahmed Saleh Buaisha, Raghda Bukhash, Mohammed Bulehye, Alia Ali Al Daheri, Latifa Saeed Al Falasi, Lamya Gargash, Reem Al Ghaith, Fatima Ghazi, Mohammed Al Habtoor, Khaled Nasser Al Haddadi, Khameis Al Hefaity, Moosa Al Helya, Jawaher Bilal Al Hosani, Wejdan Abbas Ibrahim, Fahad Jaber, Khulood Mohammed Ali Al Jabri, Nawaf Al Junaibi, Khulood Khoory, Nawal Khoory, Matar Mohammad Lahej, Jalal Luqman, Khalid Al Mahmood, Nassim Al Majed, Sonia Majeed, Dr. Najat Makki, Lateefa Bint Maktoum, Sheikha Wafa Hasher Al Maktoum, Mohammed Mandi, Salma Al Marar, Lamees Fares Al Marzouqi, Salah Al Marzouqi, Obaid Sorour Al Mas, Salama Al Mazroui, Fatema Al Mazrouie, Amna Rashid Al Mehrezi, Salma Al Merri, Hind Mezaina, Camelia Mohebi, Faiza Mubarak, Khoula Mubarak, Shamsa Sultan Al Mutaiwei, Sheikha Alyazia Bint Nahyan Al Nahyan, Mariam Al Nakhi, Samira Al Noaimi, Wafa Sultan Al Olama, Mohammed Al Qassab, Sheikh Salem Al Qassimi, Sheikha Farima Bint Saqr Al Qassimi, Sheikha Maisa Al Qassimi, Sheikha Sara Faisal Al Qassimi, Abdul Kader Al Rais, Musab Abdul Qader Al Rais, Huda Al Riyami, Mouza Saeed Al Sabousi, Wasel Safwan, Maisoon Al Saleh, Abdul Rahim Salim, Alya Al Sanad, Alia Al Shamsi, Kholoud Sharafi, Hassan Sharif, Hussain Sharif, Karima Al Shomely, Aisha Al Suwaidi, Jamila Al Suwaidi, Mona Al Khaja ‚ Noor Al Suwaidi, Sumayyah Al Suwaidi, Abeer A Tahlak, Khalil Abdul Wahid, Mohammad Youssef, Amna Al Zaabi at Gallery One (UAE) February 20th, 2009 - April 16th, 2009
Posted 2/16/09

        Despite the grand blueprints for a thousand and one museums, Abu Dhabi is still a sleepy little town in terms of the arts with only three galleries. So when the government body Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) announced that Anne Baldassari, Director of the Musée National Picasso in Paris would curate "Emirati Expressions", a highly trumpeted exhibition of Emirati artists, tongues began to wag. Despite generally favorable coverage in the local press, what was on the w... [more]

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