Rarely does an artist invoke thoughts of Nothing like Rachel Whiteread (that’s capital N nothing, by the way – the greater idea of nothing, rather than nothing at all. The loudest negative silence within all possible comprehension, effectively; it is the kind of nothing that fills the silences in Pinter plays). Her famous House – made, some might be shocked to recall, in 1993, with the artist herself turning fifty this year – was a screaming grey-block slab of Nothing; her Judenplatz... [more]
When James Edson, owner of Mowlem Street’s Wayward Gallery, was first told about Seba Kurtis’ new book, Kif, little deliberation was needed upon deciding whether or not to show Kurtis’ collection of illuminating photographic work. After reading less than a paragraph from the accompanying book, James became entirely convinced by the heartfelt tale of two migrant friends caught up in the gruelling business of smuggling drugs.
Kif, in what is the Wayward gallery’s first show of 2013, pre... [more]
The Museum of Everything’s founder James Brett is perhaps an incongruous addition to the Collector’s Catalogue – since he frowns at the idea of being labeled a collector.
Collector, hoarder, or fanatic – what is so compelling about the Museum’s activity is their novel approach to promoting and presenting artists.
Brett, somewhat of a talismanic leader in this – almost intimidatingly so – has punctured the bubble that is the art world, by representing the underrepresented, but also by ci... [more]
Serena Korda's work is a very practical sort of magic: evoking elaborate mythologies and belief systems of days past, while remaining firmly in the here and now through a lo-fi materiality and engagement with site and community. Aping the Beast, her current exhibition at Camden Arts Centre brings together three works themed around animals, animism and the power of ritual.
Dormant in the centre of the main gallery, like a B-movie prop in cold storage, is a fifteen-foot Godzilla-inspired monster puppet of... [more]
Associating John Stezaker's work with the movies feels like an obvious fit; his aesthetic, in general, is one of another era of high cinematic splendor – a silver-screen photofit populace, cut-up from Hayworth's hair, and Cary Grant's jawline. The famously-symmetrical are typically used for slashed-up perversions of every golden rule about beauty; all myth about ideal proportion. Even the landscape postcards – the canyons, the rivulets and the mountains – which Stezaker uses are somehow... [more]
Espionage is a fitting subject for Passage, an installation that itself acts as a sort of sleeper agent, adopting the shape and tone of the culture that it seeks to infiltrate: namely, a certain type of cinema, and a certain type of cinema-going experience, both relics in today's brightly-lit digital world.
The project—directed by Jules Wright, with photography by Thomas Zanon-Larcher and score by Billy Cowie—currently resides within the cavernous Boiler House of The Wapping Project, follo... [more]
Staring directly at Vivienne Westwood's vagina made me think of a number of things; mostly, however, it made me think about the difference between Nude and Naked, the nude – one assumes – being somehow formalised, and lacking in sex appeal. The vagina in question forms the centerpiece of Juergen Teller’s retrospective at the ICA, the exuberantly entitled ‘Woo!’
(Hard to imagine any other photographer using such a title; harder, still, to imagine one living up to it with the same dumb-... [more]
The most fun you can have at an art fair is to pretend you have money, make up an imaginary budget, then promenade snottily around, arousing gallerists, deliberating over what to buy. Some people of course do actually have money – god bless their souls for spending it on art, please keep doing so – and the London Art Fair is good for its unintimidating and unpretentious atmosphere – the Business Design Centre in Angel is so unglamourous, and stands are layered tightly together, so that you... [more]
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]
The prospect of walking into a room that is filled with one hundred square metres of torrential rain is not one that most of us would relish: but the prospect of playing god and controlling the rain is another thing altogether. Random International’s Rain Room latches on to this dichotomy by creating both a challenge and a source of euphoria with a deluge of rain that you can walk through without getting wet.
As you enter the Barbican’s Curve Gallery, an attendant assures you that you will... [more]
We love compiling retrospective round ups as much as the next. Our aim at Artslant in London is to cover as much as we can with an open mind: from the institutional blockbusters to one-night-only backstreeters, and with an appropriate breadth of voices. Hence we’ve come up with an alternative list to trade in (and, alright, rebuff just a little) the predictable choices on this year’s ‘best ofs’.
1. Lucian Freud at the National Portrait Gallery – swap for – Louise Bourgeois, Freud Gallery
Freud proved his p... [more]
Graffiti artists accept the emphemeral nature of their artwork – it’s intrinsic to their working method from the start. They don’t expect longevity; the impact of a work has to continue in some other, more subliminal way, to endure, and that all hangs on the first impression the viewer has of the work – another component that is key to the way a graffiti artist has to work.
The omnipotent Nicholas Logsdail suggests in the latest issue of Elephant magazine that the YBAs is one of the only... [more]
I don’t know about you, but November has rushed passed me with the speed of a slap in the face, and I am ready to bet that this coming month will be no different.
The 3rd of December is already here, and with it will come news of this year’s Turner Prize winner, announced tonight in a live broadcast from Tate Britain. For those of you who have yet to see the show for yourselves, now is your last chance to place your bets before the jury announces its verdict. With last year’s edition taking p... [more]
Justin Hammond is an independent curator, art writer and publisher. In 2007 he devised the Catlin Art Prize, an annual showcase for the most talented new artists in the UK and later went on to compile The Catlin Guide, widely recognised as the essential reference for collectors of emerging artists. In 2010 he published An Unspoken Arrangement to coincide with Alex Ball’s debut solo exhibition, and as part of The Makers' Union curated Mike Ballard's Whose Coat is that Jacket You’re Wearing?, h... [more]
Guns & Cameras by Alex Field Sylvia Ballhause, Niki de Saint Phalle, Agnès Geoffray, Jean-François Lecourt, Christian Marclay, Steven Pippin, Émilie Pitoiset, Rudolf Steiner, Ria van Dijk, Patrick Zachmann at The Photographers' Gallery
October 12th, 2012 - January 6th
Shoot! Existential Photography has at its origins a fairground game that rose to popularity in the post-First World War years. The Photographic Shooting Gallery encouraged participants to shoot a gun at a target with the aim of hitting the bullseye, but whereas usually they would win a prize, in this variant at the centre of the target activated a camera and took a photograph of the shooter, capturing the moment the shot fired. The reward was a photograph of yourself in a situation in which you wo... [more]
The Serpentine Gallery—which at times can feel like a summer pavilion, a cabin, a conservatory or a private chapel—always seems to attain its most sacred air in the autumn, when the light is failing and the mist rises to blur the view to the road. There is of course a certain degree of standard-issue white-cube-ness to the interior; however, this is offset by architectural hangovers from the building's past life as a 1930s tea house, and the gallery's most successful exhibitions tend to be th... [more]