ArtSlant - Contemporary Art Network http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/show en-us 40 Whose Work Is It <em>Really</em>? On the Much-Maligned Role of the Artist's Assistant <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The job of artist&rsquo;s assistant has a confusing reputation in the press. Articles about the <a href="https://www.google.nl/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=7&amp;cad=rja&amp;uact=8&amp;ved=0CDQQFjAG&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F2014%2F08%2F28%2Farts%2Fdesign%2Fformer-assistant-to-jasper-johns-pleads-guilty-in-thefts-of-artworks.html&amp;ei=E1N1VK-DK4SDNqmdgMAE&amp;usg=AFQjCNHXwCxttySD6711CYIna9SCqqyzWw&amp;sig2=9f-Ef5PxP3NtTVJJpONaxg&amp;bvm=bv.80642063,d.eXY" target="_blank">ongoing saga</a> of </span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Jasper Johns'&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">civil suit against his longtime assistant James Meyer for the theft and sale of $3.4 million of his drawings is a prime example of the way the media talks about the relationship between artist and assistant. The horrifyingly giant and blatant theft aside, </span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://www.vulture.com/2014/11/jasper-johns-assistant-theft-james-meyer.html" target="_blank">this recent Vulture article</a>&nbsp;<span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">about the incident presents the power difference between an artist and his assistant as tauntingly acute and palpable. There is the usual implication that assistants are failed artists wanting a piece of the action, hoping their job with a star will get them there. But the bigger problem, made apparent in the mention of &ldquo;silent armies of assistants,&rdquo; is the stranger and harder to comprehend notion that the genius artist only wishes to be alone all the time, tirelessly creating without any external input or bother&mdash;and that the assistant&rsquo;s job is to stealthily put everything in place.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1349639/Artist-Damien-Hirst-hire-apprentice-20k-10m-masterpiece.html" target="_blank">This <em>Daily Mail</em> article</a> about a job advert for Damien Hirst&rsquo;s studio is another less subtle version of a negative portrayal, coupled with incredulity over the prices that Hirst&rsquo;s work achieves.&nbsp;In reality, even in Hirst&rsquo;s studio&mdash;the focus of many a horror story about painters with MFA debt painting nothing but dots for months at a time&mdash;this narrative is only a half truth. For every disgruntled ex-employee there are many more happily taking the paycheck. You are actually hard pressed to find an article about the topic of artist&rsquo;s assistants that doesn&rsquo;t feature Hirst, which probably says much more about Hirst than it does about assisting in general.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The flipside of the&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">artist&rsquo;s assistant</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;job fantasy loved by the media is a romanticization of the relationship. The closeness between Lucian Freud and his assistant David Dawson is the wish fulfillment of this fantasy. Theirs <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2013/sep/01/david-dawson-lucian-freud" target="_blank">was portrayed</a> as a deeply and touchingly fulfilling relationship in which the assistant gave up most of his time and painting career in the service of his master and was eventually rewarded with a house in Kensington.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141126043228-Fr_d_ric_Bazille_-_Bazille_s_Studio_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Fr&eacute;d&eacute;ric Bazille</strong>, <em>Bazille's Studio,&nbsp;9 Rue de la Condamine</em>, 1870, Oil on canvas; Mus&eacute;e d'Orsay, Paris; From left to right: Pierre Auguste Renoir sitting, Emile Zola (standing on the stairs), Eduard Manet and Claude Monet (with the hat) next to Bazille, talking about one of his paintings; Via <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fr%C3%A9d%C3%A9ric_Bazille_-_Bazille%27s_Studio_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg" target="_blank">Wikimedia Commons</a></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Perhaps the continued return to these polarizing and overly reductionist ideas are simply a product of the role&rsquo;s secrecy. Many large-scale studio operations make their employees sign confidentiality agreements, which only increases the idea to the outside world that the labor is somehow thankless or that all the employees are being screwed. The truth is always much more boring. Confidentiality protects future projects in their infancy. For megastars like Jeff Koons it&rsquo;s probably also <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2014/jul/03/jeff-koons-master-innovator-whitney-money-art" target="_blank">protecting his collectors&rsquo; investments</a>. But on a smaller level nondisclosure contracts safeguard novel techniques and the content of upcoming exhibitions not yet made public. They'd be no different in a design firm.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">These typical media portrayals are a million miles from the reality of the job, which is eloquently outlined in Graham Beck&rsquo;s insightful 2008 article &ldquo;<a href="http://www.brooklynrail.org/2008/02/artseen/a-portrait-of-the-artist-as-a-young-assistant" target="_blank">A portrait of the Artists as a Young Assistant</a>." Jasper Johns and Lucian Freud are reduced, albeit differently, to the myth of the artistic genius. Artists like Koons and Hirst are typically depicted as art factory CEOs with dollar signs for pupils. What&rsquo;s most interesting is that at the heart of both of these ideas is a difficulty the public seems to have with the honesty and integrity of artistic endeavor. These stories aren&rsquo;t about artists&rsquo; assistants; they&rsquo;re about the artist as a figure the media would rather mythologize than learn anything about.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In reality, assisting can be a useful part of a learning process that can&rsquo;t be taught entirely at art school. It isn&rsquo;t for everyone. I have friends who work as PAs for artists, as manual fabricators, as CAD technicians, and even as engineers on large-scale studio projects, not to mention as preparators who stretch and prep canvases or make molds. None of us ever discuss the problem the media has with an artist signing a work they haven&rsquo;t 100 percent made themselves, because that problem doesn&rsquo;t exist for makers, buyers, or sellers of art, and it never has. Anthony Caro worked for Henry Moore; the Chapman Brothers worked for Gilbert and George; Marc Quinn was Barry Flanagan&rsquo;s assistant; Ed Fornieles worked for Anish Kapoor; and many little or hardly known artists will continue to work for better known artists till time immemorial. The list will go on and on, and none of them will ever wonder about the status of the artist genius or question whose name appears on the work.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/377935-phoebe-stubbs?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Phoebe Stubbs</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at top:&nbsp;Rodin observing work on the monument to Victor Hugo at the studio of his assistant Henri Leboss&eacute; in 1896; Via <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Auguste_Rodin_-_Monument_to_Victor_Hugo.jpg" target="_blank">Wikimedia Commons</a>)</span></p> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 16:28:59 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Alchemists, Necromancers, and Magicians: An Alternative History of Illusion and the Moving Image <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The moving image has a long-standing relationship with trickery: deceiving the eye, suspending disbelief, displaying the impossible. In fact, it's devilishly good at it.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Everybody's heard about the audience who ran screaming from the oncoming train at the premiere of the Lumiere Brothers&rsquo; <em>L'Arriv&eacute;e d'un train... </em>(1895). I recently read a suggestion that they ran partly to avoid being crushed by a steam train and partly because they knew doing so offered them bit parts in an anecdote that would last the ages.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141125221243-L_Arrivu00E9e_d_un_train_en_gare_de_La_Ciotat.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">The Lumiere Brothers&rsquo; infamous&nbsp;<em>L'Arriv&eacute;e d'un train...&nbsp;</em>(1895)&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Our collective understanding of the screen image has developed and matured since then. We carry movie studios in our pockets, learn Film Theory in 6th grade. Film has become a sophisticated and constantly adapting post-structural system of signs and meaning, but the desires of the moving picture pioneers endure in contemporary visual media as if the old magi had never left the director&rsquo;s chair. Evidence of moving images&rsquo; magical origins can be tracked across history from its inception up to the present day.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Alchemical projections: stars, necromancy, and the homunculus</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The first movie producers and directors existed long before cinematographic apparatus associated with the art today. They were alchemists and magicians like Paracelsus, Giovanni Fontana, and Athanasius Kircher. Prior to the development of the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_lantern">Laterna Magica</a>, a 17th century image projector, they studied and presented the movement of heavenly bodies, tracking their passage across the night sky.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In these light shows the constellations were attributed character and plot, with epic stories of sex, death, and heroism. However these actors&mdash;despite being punctual and dependable&mdash;responded poorly to instruction and the magicians could only dream of the day all those little points of light would be under their direction.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141125220130-Dee_and_Kelly_raising_the_dead_-wiki.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Dee and Kelley raising the dead; Via <a href="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ea/A_Magician_by_Edward_Kelly_%28cropped%29.jpg?uselang=en-gb" target="_blank">Wikimedia Commons</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The same individuals also sought fame with claims to be able to fabricate life in the form of the homunculus, a man-made being, and with necromancy, the art of animating and bringing the dead back to life. These pursuits would often achieve only limited success and were highly taxing for the alchemists. John Dee (1527&ndash; 1608), for example, would spend long, cold nights in graveyards with fellow magus Edward Kelley (1555-1597), standing ankle-deep in London clay trying to rouse and commune with the dead, or bent over his obsidian mirror scrying (a sort of early method of Skyping with the netherworld) until his head hurt. Paracelsus undertook some laborious and seriously icky magical workings to create a homunculus only to have it run off while he was fixing a bite.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The development of early movie technology, adopted by these individuals, can be seen within this context as presenting great convenience to its users. As its <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sU9AfktYLQg&amp;t=0m19s" target="_blank">capability to generate illusion</a> develops previous approaches become obsolete and are abandoned by all but the most diehard. (Dee and Kelly later forewent the graveyard for nights indoors and some wife-swapping sex magic.) Nonetheless the ambitions of these pioneers&mdash;to evoke cosmic fear with claims of magical abilities to create life, to animate the dead&mdash;prevail.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141125223648-Phantasmagoria_-_wikimedia_commons.png" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Phantasmagoria:&nbsp;Etienne Gaspard "Robertson's Phantasmagoria in a sinister disused cloister of an old Capucine chapel in Rue des Champs, Cours des Capucines, Paris, 1797; Via <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:1797_Robertson_phantasmagoria_CapuchineChapel_RueDesChamps_Paris.png" target="_blank">Wikimedia Commons</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Of course, it wasn't all plain sailing. Occultist and magician Johann Georg Schr&ouml;pfer (1730&ndash;1774) did well duping audiences in his Leipzig coffee shop into believing he could summon demons and raise the dead through masterful use of the magic lantern, developing primitive animated slides and projecting them onto smoke. He sold a lot of mokka and his repertoire would go on to become the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phantasmagoria">Phantasmagoria theatre</a> and travel the world. Schr&ouml;pfer, however, became so convinced by the specters he had created he believed they were real and had beef with him. With a flash of light and a puff of smoke he undertook his final performance by blowing his brains out with a pistol. The patrons screamed as the image hit the wall.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Early cinema and the seeds of &ldquo;life&rdquo;: photography, optical toys, and magic lanterns</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141125223355-Nice_Kinetoscope_image_-_wikimedia_commons.jpg" alt="" /></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Kinetoscope image of "Annabelle" by William K. L. Dickson (1860-1935); Via <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Annabelle.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Annabelle.jpg" target="_blank">Wikimedia Commons</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Pre-cinema technology took on new energy as photography, optical toys like zoetropes, and the magic lantern were combined to create new systems given names reflecting their abilities to bring images to life: Bioscope, Biograph, Vitascope. At its simplest, giving the illusion of life is a trick more easily achieved than it sounds. Imagine a blank white screen and place upon it a dot or squiggle. If we imagine the dot moving up and down or jiggling from side to side, it's not long before our brains want to attribute it the status of &ldquo;living.&rdquo; Movie magic would appear to require tricking the eyes into believing what they are seeing is real&mdash;only to the extent that we are happy to ignore everything that is clearly not. We place great trust in our eyes and they can have direct effect on our hearts, bypassing the brain entirely.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">As the film material these devices used became increasingly sensitive to a broader spectrum of light and so too did the resolution of the film emulsion. The surface of each film frame would be coated with an increasingly higher number of microscopic silver halide crystals, which captured and displayed ever more convincingly realistic images.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Stars: faking the astral body</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">As the cinematic medium developed, and as early narrative structures were devised, what we think of today as a movie emerged. The players in early dramatic efforts were kept, by their producers, uncredited, unknown, and underpaid. Producers had seen the demands for control and profit sharing the leading lights of the stage could make, and sought to keep their stable of film actors as little more than bodies, marionettes performing a function onscreen.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">But when directors like D. W. Griffith began to play with the apparatus&mdash;to utilize the close-up shots, in particular <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reaction_shot">the reaction shot</a> highlighting the actor&rsquo;s emotional response&mdash;something odd began to happen.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141125221615-Nice_image_to_highlight_the_stars_section_.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Florence Lawrence; Via <a href="http://mythicalmonkey.blogspot.com/2011/02/silent-oscars-1906-1914part-three.html" target="_blank">Mythical Monkey</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The audiences began to imagine relationships with these oneiric effigies of light and shadow, and in the absence of credits they named them. The Biograph Girl, The Imp Girl, Little Mary&mdash;on the faces of these simulacra audiences saw the hopes and dreams of a new era and they fell in love with them with a degree of suspension of disbelief and rapport akin to a mass outbreak of de Cl&eacute;rambault's syndrome.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The bewitching had been quite inadvertent on the part of the producers, but it didn't take long for them to pick up on its potential and seek to exploit it. They sought to breath further life into the illusion, fleshing out the personas of the new idols. Very soon their prot&eacute;g&eacute;s underwent name and background changes, elocution coaching, makeovers; their social and love lives were planned, scripted, or falsified. The power of the producers to make these idols out of nothing is in many ways akin to an alchemical process. What, after all, could be more magical than transforming a body into a radiant star?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The industry fell into an orgy of decadence at this stage. Aleister Crowley blew through Tinseltown during this era, making study of the coked up debauchery as he might the behavior of wild animals on one of his mountain peregrinations. The ecstasy of the dream factory made even the Great Beast blush.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong><em>The Terminator</em></strong><strong>: SFX and the craft of subterfuge</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141125222132-SFX_Masters_workshop_.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">SFX Masters Workshop; Via <a href="http://www.glowingdial.com/Project%20UFO%20Page/images/starlog20_sfx_p3photo_workshop_low.jpg" target="_blank">Glowing Dial</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">It's not just the movie star that plays a roll in the continuation of the tricks and illusions of the long-bearded first fathers of film. The art of special effects is in direct lineage to many of the magical practices and methods of subterfuge from the golden era of alchemy. Prior to CGI, the techniques of the &ldquo;SFX masters&rdquo; read like the contents page of a grimoire: animatronics, prosthetics, the Sch&uuml;fftan process, pyrotechnics, motion control. Stereotypically these masters were often hirsute, squirrely men of the dream factory who spent their days not in the LA sunshine but in windowless backrooms pouring latex or detailing glass eyeballs.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Their fascinating and secretive art pinnacled around the late 1980s. At this point CGI effects gained ground simultaneously destroying everything that had come before it and completely setting it free.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">A good example of practical (that is, non-digital, live-action) SFX at its peak is the motel room sequence in <em>The Terminator</em> (1984). In this scene the titular cyborg/homunculus repairs his metallic skeleton and the fleshy mask that covers it. The set-piece is quite superfluous to the plot. It could be said to demonstrate the capabilities of the antagonist cyborg, but these have already been well established at this stage of the film. It could also be seen to add production value in playing to the audience appetite for &ldquo;gore&rdquo; and effects of the time.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">But it is also a true Laterna Magica moment where the driving narrative pauses and we, the audience, are simply invited to awe at the illusion of the homunculus, the living dead, the demon projected on the wall. It is a highly self-reflexive landmark in SFX where the subject becomes an active participant in the illusion, modifying his own mask and means of artifice.</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141126153512-terminator.PNG" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In a making-of video actor Arnold Schwarzenegger draws on all of his powers of eloquence to explain just how convincing the illusion was&mdash;<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OI8pLF62HY&amp;t=4m50s" target="_blank">even he wasn't sure if he was looking at his own head or that of the dummy</a>.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Max Headroom: ersatz digital man</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141125223000-Maxheadroom_wiki.jpg" alt="" /></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Max Headroom; Via <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Headroom_(character)" target="_blank">Wikipedia</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">There has been sustained pressure on the creators of illusion to constantly improve on and outdo what has come before. Sometimes the demands and appetites of the audience get ahead of what is actually achievable at the time. In the same year that <em>The Terminator</em> was awing audiences, a new type of presenter appeared on British TV. Max Headroom was a media savvy, fast-talking, digital commentator and pop-video-jocky.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">For fledgling cyberpunks and media-philes he was just what the world had been waiting for&mdash;an entirely computerized man-made-man who encapsulated the plasticity of television and was, as the first CGI star, the shape of things to come. But the illusion that was Max ran deeper still. CGI was not yet capable of generating an amiable human face (especially not on UK TV budgets) and Max was, in fact, London-based American actor Matt Frewer in a ton of makeup and a plastic suit. Even Max's trippy screensaver style background was a fraud&mdash;not computer generated but created using conventional cell animation.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>CGI and the zombie redux</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Those disappointed by the fraudulent Max Headroom wouldn't have to wait long for computerized image technology to deliver. Indeed, it would make a spectacular impact in movies such as the sequel to <em>The Terminator</em> in 1991.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">As well as populating films with a plethora of groundbreaking onscreen effects, CGI and the digital control yearned for by Max Headroom's makers provided another sort of illusion to protect the investments of the producers. Stars, both astral and onscreen, die. And when a star of a big budget Hollywood blockbuster expires during production, the show must go on.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">CGI has offered producers the chance reanimate the dead and have stars fulfill their contracts from beyond the grave. Oliver Reed, who after years of notoriously fast living sadly passed away after a protracted piss-up in a Maltese pub, was one of the first to receive this treatment. His part as Antonius Proximo in <em>Gladiator</em> (2000) was completed using CGI imagery, perhaps slipping it into the peculiar sub-genre of Sword-and-Sandal-Zombie flick.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">We all enjoy a good zombie movie and they are valid part of this history, but what Ollie Reed and, since then, Paul Walker, Roy Schneider, etc. have experienced is more akin to the true zombie mythos than most movie imaginings. In Haitian folklore the zombie is not so much a rampaging cannibal as an unfortunate called back from the tranquil sleep of death to work and toil again under the strict instruction of a zombie master.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Delivering these thespians a posthumous early morning call back to life is in the tradition of necromancy and as such is not for everyone. Whereas this treatment was seen as appropriate for Oliver Reed, Brandon Lee, and others, some directors and producers have stated that such an approach would be in poor taste. Director Christopher Nolan, who lost Heath Ledger during filming of <em>The Dark Knight</em> (2008), stated that he had too much respect for the late actor and his family to &ldquo;resurrect him.&rdquo; More recently, after the equally tragic loss of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Francis Lawrence, director of <em>The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1</em> (2014), said he had no intention of engaging in any &ldquo;digital trickery&rdquo; (though I wonder how he got the shot of Katniss downing that bomber with her bow and arrow without it?)</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">There is clearly something hierarchical at work here: some actors, it seems, never die, while other do. It's reminiscent of the oligarchical system of death and the beyond recognized by the ancient Egyptians or the Vikings for whom the safe passage to and assurance of an afterlife was only for a select few.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>RIGGED: CGI&rsquo;s video art avatars</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141125221821-kw_kate_cooper_rigged_03_300dpi.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Kate Cooper</strong>,&nbsp;<em>RIGGED</em>, 2014; Courtesy of the artist and KW, Berlin</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">There is&nbsp;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/ber/events/show/355851-rigged---schering-stiftung-art-award">an exhibition</a>&nbsp;currently showing at the KW in Berlin by Kate Cooper called&nbsp;<em>RIGGED&nbsp;</em>(2014). It's a multiscreen, mixed media installation that features some breathtaking CGI video of a completely digital female protagonist&mdash;possibly the most advanced example in fine art to date. She could be, and in a sense is, Lara Croft's granddaughter though she's probably as much a descendant&nbsp;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/ber/articles/show/40261">Lynn Hershman Leeson's Roberta Breitmore or Agent Ruby</a>. She is depicted working out then failing, lying awkwardly on the floor.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">All the powers of illusion that the early metteurs en sc&egrave;ne wished for when they lit the lantern for the first time are now within reach. There are two million pixels on an HDTV screen, eight million on the 4K screen tipped to become the consumer standard within the next five years; 8K will have 30 million. With all those little points of light, what is most striking about the technology that went into <em>Rigged</em> is the feeling that there is total control over every pixel. The healthiest human eye has one hundred and twenty million rod and cone sensors. We are getting pretty close to being able to completely manipulate the digital image: the ultimate tromp l'oeil.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">And yet there is no sense of triumph in <em>Rigged</em>, but rather a feeling of vulnerability and even loss. A recorded voiceover accompanying the images speaks of the capability for digital media to download, replicate, and in doing so become more permanent than flesh. There is a sense of identity being eroded by media. Viewing this hyperreal image, a perfect living fabrication with big, beautiful, dead eyes we may wonder: <em>has the illusion gone too far?</em> Have we created a Golem that will somehow be our undoing? I'm told there is an emptiness, a vague but abiding void felt by those who use magic to achieve their objectives. Magic comes at a price. In a world so invested in images that we so often unquestioningly believe, have we managed to pull the wool over our own eyes? Within this expanded reality of images will we, as the haunting voice in <em>Rigged</em> laments time and time again, and in tradition of the illusionist before her,disappear completely?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/372591-guy-parker?tab=REVIEWS">Guy Parker</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at top: "Optic Projection fig 404" by Athanasius Kircher; From&nbsp;<em>Optic Projection: Principles, Installation and Use of the Magic Lantern, Projection Microscope, Reflecting Lantern, Moving Picture Machine</em>, by Simon Henry Gage and Henry Phelps Gage, Ph.D. Ithaca, New York, Comstock Publishing Company. 1914, page 676; Via <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Optic_Projection_fig_404.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Optic_Projection_fig_404.jpg%20" target="_blank">Wikimedia Commons</a>)</span></p> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 15:38:09 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Blimey! Art in London's Changed <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I recently came across Matthew Collings&rsquo; mid-nineties book<em> Blimey! From Bohemia to Brit Pop</em>,&nbsp;a no-holds-barred, bystander-style, verbal diarrhea of a monologue about the London Art World and its eccentricities. It&rsquo;s so delightfully outdated not even two decades on that it makes you both inwardly cringe and want to read on in a &ldquo;why isn&rsquo;t art like this anymore?&rdquo; kind of way. I was momentarily left mourning an irreverent art attitude I was too young to experience. For a while I was genuinely sad about this.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">What&rsquo;s fascinating about <em>Blimey!</em> is that it captures the start of what has been a seismic shift in London&rsquo;s art atmosphere and attitude. Back then London felt unique, special for a bit, but that feeling now looks historic and a bit quaint&mdash;a giddy moment that didn&rsquo;t last long.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Almost twenty years on, V22, the studio group and London-based art collective are releasing the catalogue for their 2011&ndash;2014 exhibitions titled <a href="http://www.v22collection.com/events/exhibitions/young-london-catalogue-2011-2014-book-launch/%20"><em>Young London</em>,</a> which, as a showcase for artists working in the city, provides a contemporary counter picture to the nineties world Collings presented. But more than just as bookends for this time of change, the counterpoints themselves made me look more generally at what&rsquo;s different and why&mdash;from the impossibility of writing criticism like <em>Blimey!</em> anymore because of the centrality of research in subjects that surround art to its practice; to the lack of cheap physical spaces to show art, like the infamous nineties warehouse shows; to the impossible-to-emulate career models of the YBAs after their astronomic economic success in post-80s ramped-up consumerism. Despite the seeming difficulties these factors have on art-making, the artists in the <em>Young London</em> book have made these constrictions productive. Art always seems to find a way to play the cards it's dealt.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141125111536-unnamed-1.jpg" alt="" />&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Cover of&nbsp;<em>Blimey! From Bohemia to Brit Pop, </em>by Matthew Collings; Photo: Phoebe Stubbs</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Collings&rsquo; section on galleries was particularly telling of change: &ldquo;We imagine that galleries are gleaming white cubes but in reality they mostly look like old fashioned tea rooms or bespoke tailors or jewelers. Like a Mary Poppins or Upstairs Downstairs world of fake old-style poshness. Collectors seem to like it.&rdquo; Now galleries are mostly gleaming white cubes inside, painted in shades of neutral grey or black outside&mdash;always matte, never gloss.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141125110424-Galleries.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Image: Phoebe Stubbs&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The choice is now white box or not, but the "nots" are no longer physical spaces. The artists in <em>Young London</em> tend to have multivalent practices. Lucky PDF, for instance, experiment with different media platforms&mdash;playing with TV and online magazines&mdash;existing in many formats at once. The work you see often seems to be documentation for something you can never experience as a single entity. <a href="http://www.danielswan.co.uk/%20">Daniel Swan&rsquo;s</a> digital animations&nbsp;move the viewer through worlds reminiscent of corporate lobbies and are applied liberally with trippy visual effects and creepy music, transposing the artwork itself to a purely digital format that displays a fascination with corporate consumerism.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">When the works of these artists are shown in the gallery there is a noticeable shift towards creating relationships within the artists&rsquo; own different modes of working&mdash;between their images and objects, videos and sculptures, paintings and material explorations. <em>Young London</em> artists&rsquo; work tends away from the single image or object&mdash;creating a dialogue with itself. Gabriel Hartley&rsquo;s crumpled looking objects, for instance, appear to have a symbiotic relationship to his paintings of intensely meshed knotty forms. Benedict Drew&rsquo;s videos and objects imply connections to each other and invade and transform the spaces they inhabit.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Collings makes a big deal in <em>Blimey!</em> of what he calls &ldquo;the secret code&rdquo; of art speak. He called art magazines &ldquo;the mystery section,&rdquo; adding that &ldquo;art criticism now can only be real if it&rsquo;s secret, even though it&rsquo;s nothing like other secret worlds, science or psychology or philosophy, say.&rdquo; And yet artists responded to this feeling in the nineties by getting on board with the &ldquo;secret&rdquo; languages, by developing complex research practices, remixing art speak with that of philosophy, politics, and pop culture. David Raymond Conroy&rsquo;s recent work at Modern Art Oxford, <em>PPE or It is Spring and I am Blind,</em> uses the method implied by the study of PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics) to determine artifice from sincerity in found objects and images.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">It&rsquo;s hard to tell at this stage whether the combination of deep theoretical research and mixed up pop culture will further isolate art or invite others to the study party. With all the talk of &ldquo;interdisciplinarity&rdquo; and the boom in Art PhDs, I am excited by the possibility that the latter might be true.</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141125111924-unnamed-2.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Interior of <em>Blimey!</em> by Matthew Collings; Photo: Phoebe Stubbs</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Reading <em>Blimey!</em> is like looking at old family albums. It&rsquo;s amazing to see what&rsquo;s happened to the art that was in its rebellious teenage phase back then and now is blue chip. The works that seem to me to be in their gangly teenage phase in <em>Young London </em>are the strange combinations of digital projections with cobbled together sets like Hannah Perry&rsquo;s work, or the image-objects that drift about in space like Anthea Hamilton&rsquo;s kooky sculptural collages. These are ways of working across media which displace the viewer into a non-space within the gallery, half there, half not there, looking into archived and cross-pollinated materials. These kinds of practices seem to me to be evidence of the working out of the shifts between digital and physical practices&mdash;between a language that was visual and is now academic&mdash;and as such have the most direct parallels with the excitement and coming-of-age-ness that in the nineties manifested as abjection and consumerism. <em>Young London</em> is a list of artists worth watching.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/377935-phoebe-stubbs?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Phoebe Stubbs&nbsp;</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image on top:&nbsp;Zoe Anspach's Book Cover for V22 Young London)</span></p> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 20:09:13 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Street Art Reality Show or How the US Killed Another Subculture <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 26px;">"That's not real. Tell me that's not real. Is it?"&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">"This is the worst thing I've ever seen :("</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">"FUCK THAT."</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">"Whack."</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">"Die."</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">These were just some of the comments I received when I started to share a trailer that landed in my inbox for the first season of <a href="http://www.oxygen.com/shows/street-art-throwdown" target="_blank"><em>Street Art Throwdown</em></a>, which premiers on Oxygen network on February 3, 2015. Trying to swallow down the small bit of vomit that rose in my throat as I watched the anninhilation of a culture, I realized it&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">was only a matter of time; in fact, it's surprising it took so long, when walls are being rented on a monthly basis to artists, and 12-year-old rich kids are walking around in Obey hats while their heinous creator sips on a King size Coca Cola and parps out his phony ideology while yelling at his wife.&nbsp;</span></p> <div id="fb-root">&nbsp;</div> <p> <script type="text/javascript">// <![CDATA[ (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); // ]]></script> </p> <div class="fb-post" data-href="https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=1547866505449215" data-width="466"> <div class="fb-xfbml-parse-ignore"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=1547866505449215">Post</a> by <a href="https://www.facebook.com/StreetArtThrowdown">Street Art Throwdown</a>.</div> </div> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">America: world champions at inventing the most effective subcultures and then destroying them with their own hands. D</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">escribed as "a&nbsp;new groundbreaking, adrenaline-charged competition series," <em>Street Art Throwdown </em>will follow a&nbsp;carefully selected group of contestants (of&nbsp;diverse sex and ethnicities, of course) as they participate in an increasingly absurd series of weekly "challenges" in a desperate bid to win $100,000, which will in no way cover the total and complete loss of any artistic credibility the participants will suffer as a result of the show. Their moral guide through this is scumbag "judge" Justin Bua, friend of Eva Longoria, among his other remarkable achievements and accolades.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Making sure not to miss a single cliche from the handbook of Shit Shows; expect a cacophonous orgy of tears, fights, overcoming obstacles, children, bandanas, and joy, proving that in the end this is not just a programme about street art&mdash;it's about life.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Take some of these amazing moral lessons:</span>&nbsp;</p> <p><br class="Apple-interchange-newline" /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">"Art literally changed my life."</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; text-align: left;">"I'm not gonna let anything stand in my way."</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">"I'm breaking boundaries by just being myself."</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">"We are surrounded by all of the walls that are meant to keep us apart, but once we paint on them, it brings us all together."</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">"I'm one tough cookie."</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">"This is art for the people."</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">But the best message by far:&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">"Getting recognized can take years.... Until now."</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/162742-char-jansen?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Char Jansen</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image on top: via <a href="https://www.facebook.com/StreetArtThrowdown?fref=ts" target="_blank">Street Art Throwdown</a>'s Facebook page)</span></p> Thu, 27 Nov 2014 00:03:13 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list New London Exhibition to Showcase Contemporary Middle Eastern Satire <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">A group exhibition opening this week at&nbsp;</span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" href="http://www.eoaprojects.com/exhibitions/type/london-gallery/never-never-land">EOA Projects London&mdash;</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">a 400 square metre commercial space in London dedicated to Middle Eastern contemporary art</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&mdash;sees six artists from the region tackle some of the vital social questions for modern Middle Eastern culture, from repression and economy to surveillance and ideology. Crucially, the art here introduces a component that is often missing from much contemporary political art: humor.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 26px;">Curated by Amal Khalaf, the show reminds us of the importance of satire in challenging the status quo: in Arab culture, it has been a prevalent force against malevolent regimes, from the ancient poetry traditions to the Arab Spring revolts. Now more than ever, laughter has a currency.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141125090233-yc_p_5_copy_3__large.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Ahmed Mater</strong>, <em>Yellow Cow Performance</em>, Pigment Print, 140 x 210 cm</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Looking at the biographies of some of the artists themselves shows how well-equipped they are to take down stereotypes. Ahmed Mater, for example, works as an artist and a medical doctor in Saudi Arabia, and is the cofounder of&nbsp;<a href="http://edgeofarabia.com/">Edge of Arabia</a>, a collective cross-border cultural iniative founded in 2003 during the last Gulf War. Bahrain-born&nbsp;Hasan Hujairi is a composer and sound artist who is studing traditional Korean music in Seoul.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Aesthetically, the show looks super fresh: it will present photographs and animations alongside appealing video works including Monira Al Qadiri's 4-channel installation inside a beautiful wood and screen structure in which Japanese influences can be traced (the artist was educated in Tokyo)&nbsp;and emerging Saudi artist&nbsp;Arwa Al Neami's 7-minute short film <em>Never Never Land</em>, about the&nbsp;Mahrajan Abha theme park in Abha, where screaming and shouting on rides is banned (pictured above).&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141125155124-img_7206-img_7214__large.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px;"><strong>Monira Al Qadiri</strong>, <em>Muhawwil (Transformer)</em>, 2014, 4-channel video installation with wooden structure and screens, 350 x 350 x 260 cm</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 26px;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 26px;"><em>Never Never Land</em> opens on Friday 28 November and runs through January 11 2015 at EOA Projects,&nbsp;40 Elcho Street, London.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 26px;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;Char Jansen</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image on top: <strong>Arwa Al Neami,</strong> <em>Never Never Land</em> (video still), 2014, Digital Video, 07:35)</span></p> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 16:01:06 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Invisible Politics: The Problem with the World's Tiniest Sculptures <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Earlier this month, London-based artist Jonty Hurwitz made headlines with his <a href="http://www.jontyhurwitz.com/nano/" target="_blank">3D-printed "nano" sculptures</a>. Each sculpture is approximately 80 x 100 x 20 microns&mdash;so small that they can only be viewed using an electron microscope.</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The sculptures are an impressive, ambitious use of 3D printing technology in fine art. With help from the Weizemann Institute of Technology, Hurwitz used over 200 cameras and a groundbreaking 3D printing technique referred to on his website as &ldquo;Multiphoton Lithography.&rdquo; The process took ten months to complete. Photos on Hurwitz's website show the tiny sculptures, most depicting female nudes, on the head of an ant, in the eye of a needle, and on a human hair.</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141124212946-human_hair_intensity-01.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Although Hurwitz certainly pushes the limits of an exciting new technology, I wonder if the sculptures themselves are anything but click-bait novelty items. Size isn't everything, and the sculptures themselves, of idealized female nudes, are both generic and unconsidered. In one sculpture, <a href="http://www.jontyhurwitz.com/trust/" target="_blank"><em>Trust</em></a>, a woman steps forward, her feet firmly planted, one arm reaching boldly in front of her. Her body appears striated in the photos, which show her traversing a human hair and the eye of a needle. Another, <a href="http://www.jontyhurwitz.com/intensity" target="_blank"><em>Intensity</em></a>, depicts a group of nude women, completely bald, whose feet appear to be disintegrating, liquefying. A third sculpture,<a href="http://www.jontyhurwitz.com/cupid-and-psyche-gallery" target="_blank"> <em>Cupid and Psyche</em></a>, is modeled from the Antonio Canova work of the same name. What does it mean that Hurwitz has shrunken the human body to the point where it is beyond human perceptual abilities and thus effectively invisible? And what does it mean when a male artist makes <em>female</em> bodies invisible? The implications are troubling to say the least.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141124213229-Trust-needle-full-heavenly-01.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">So much of contemporary art is about drawing our attention to what is hidden. It's about revealing the invisible, the secret, the misrepresented&mdash;that which is deemed unfit for human eyes by news outlets, advertising agencies, and governing bodies. To reverse that trend, to make art that cannot be seen except with the aid of a screen, is thus a highly political act; in a world dominated by imagery, an art of intentional invisibility could be very powerful. But only if the subject matter and site-specific placement were more carefully considered. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In the surprisingly perilous world of skin cells and dust particles, the stakes are quite high: soon after the sculptures were created, as Hurwitz and one of his colleagues rotated the sculptures on a glass pane to better see them beneath the microscope, they were accidentally crushed, destroyed because they could not be seen.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/409204-emily-greenberg?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Emily Greenberg</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(All images: <a href="http://www.jontyhurwitz.com/nano/" target="_blank">Jonty Hurwitz</a>)</span></p> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 13:36:56 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Why Gillian Wearing Should Have Won the Vincent Award <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">To be talked about&mdash;positively or negatively, it hardly matters&mdash;is the principle aim of every art prize with an exhibition attached to it. Of course, reward or encouragement are the motivational labels attached to them but PR is the true driving force. For a good many years the Turner Prize was the prime example of a "successful" art prize exhibition. All of Britain would be talking about the nominees and the winners, down to the proverbial cab driver, who wouldn&rsquo;t need a lot of encouragement to air his own <em>Sun</em>-informed opinion about Tracey Emin&rsquo;s unmade bed, Martin Creed&rsquo;s flickering lights, or Grayson Perry&rsquo;s transvestite act.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">This has never been stated out loud, but secretly the biennial Vincent Award was set up in 2000 as a sort of continental Turner Prize. The Broere Foundation sponsoring the award left little to chance: t</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">he nominations committee and jury consist of topnotch art world professionals and the 50,000 euro prize money places the award amongst the biggest in Europe. But the fact that the award was on hold for six years and that the exhibition has restlessly moved first from the Bonnefanten Museum (2000-2004) to the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (2006-2008) and subsequently to the GEM in The Hague, doesn&rsquo;t engender the feeling of establishment a prize of this stature needs. Moreover, previous winners&mdash;Wilhelm Sasnal and Neo Rauch among them&mdash;are of solid quality but haven&rsquo;t been able to whip up any kind of debate or real public enthusiasm. And the 2014 edition and its winner, Anri Sala, aren&rsquo;t going to change this.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141124161426-anri_sala_2.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Anri Sala,</strong> <em>RAVEL RAVEL</em> (Still), 2013, HD video projection on 2 screens, colour, sound: multichannel Duration: 20 min 45 sec. each; Installation view, <em>Ravel Ravel Unravel</em>, French Pavilion, 55th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy, 2013; &copy; Anri Sala Courtesy Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris; Marian Goodman Gallery, New York; Hauser &amp; Wirth, Zurich / London; Photo: Marc Domage</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Don&rsquo;t get me wrong, Anri Sala is a world class artist; his videos, with their long static shots and often deeply melancholic undertone, are instantly recognizable. Every biennale of some importance has included them; last year Sala represented France in Venice. His oeuvre is informed by the social and political context of his home country Albania, but with the exception of documentary works such as <em>Dammi I Colori</em> (2003) in which Sala interviews the mayor of Tirana, Edi Rama, this usually remains implicit, wrapped in a thick blanket of poetry and music.</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The installation that has landed Sala the Vincent Award combines three earlier works. The videos deconstruct the punk classic "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" by The Clash, which is played here by barrel organs and music boxes. Despite their mechanical nature the renditions all sound different because of the varying speeds at which the machines operate, but together the choppy fragments weave into a dreamlike sound tapestry. It&rsquo;s quite mesmerizing and easily gets stuck in your head, spinning around for hours. But although poetic and playful, the work lacks a sense of urgency. It does not really transcend the direct sensory experience. The filming locations, a derelict modernist concert hall in Bordeaux and the historical site of Tlatelolco in Mexico City, are supposed to underline the end of ideology and herald a new era of individuality, but this is not very convincing. All in all, Sala has done better before.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141124161531-pierre_huyghe-4.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Pierre Huyghe,</strong> <em>Untilled</em>, 2011-2012 (detail); Courtesy the artist; Marian Goodman Gallery, New York, Paris; Esther Schipper, Berlin; Commissioned and produced by dOCUMENTA (13) with the support of Colecci&oacute;n CIAC AC, Mexico; Fondation Louis Vuitton pour la creation, Paris; Ishikawa Collection, Okayama, Japan; Photo: Pierre Huyghe</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">And that&rsquo;s true for all nominees of this year&rsquo;s Vincent Award. It makes visiting the exhibition a bit of an anti-climax: the stellar line-up raises expectations that aren&rsquo;t fulfilled. Manfred Pernice&rsquo;s sculptural installation <em>Plateau_Cassette (Fontainbleau)</em> ticks all the thematic boxes for contemporary sculpture &mdash;it&rsquo;s about interior-exterior and public-private, blurs the line between plinth and work, acts like an architectural environment inviting the viewer to become part of it&mdash;but feels a bit stiff. Willem de Rooij&rsquo;s sound installation <em>Illulissat</em> relies too much on contextual information to be convincing; without the text explicitly referring to Mondrian&rsquo;s <em>Lighthouse at Westkapelle</em> and Bas Jan Ader&rsquo;s ocean travels all you&rsquo;re left with is the eerie sound of sleigh hounds. And Pierre Huyghe&rsquo;s film <em>A Way in Untilled</em>, featuring bees, weird fungi, and a dog named "Human" presented exotically in Kassel&rsquo;s Documenta park, is very entertaining. But like Steve McQueen&rsquo;s <em>Giardini</em> (2009), of which it is reminiscent, it divides the audience into avid fans and sceptic non-believers&mdash;either you love it or you hate it and there is not much to argue about.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141124162005-wearing.png" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Gillian Wearing</strong>, <em>BULLY</em>, 2010, Color video for projection with sound, 7'55";&nbsp;Courtesy the artist and Maureen Paley, London. Photo: Daniel Nicolas</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Gillian Wearing&rsquo;s presentation in The Hague is not her best ever either, but it is the best of all the nominated works on show. In her self-portraits as Robert Mapplethorpe or a generic photographer she plays with archetypes and addresses the issue of identity and belonging. Even more topical is the video in which she has victims and perpetrators of bullying confront their demons through roleplaying. After the more formal portraits which always keep the viewer at arm&rsquo;s length, the video really hits home emotionally. Wearing truly presents an artistic position combining conceptual depth, evocative power, and social relevance. It&rsquo;s the kind of art that makes you want to go out and discuss it with friends, colleagues, maybe even a cab driver.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/356010-edo-dijksterhuis?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Edo Dijksterhuis</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at top:&nbsp;<strong>Gillian Wearing,</strong> <em>Me as Cahun Holding a Mask of My Face</em>,&nbsp;2012, Framed bromide print, 157.3 x 129 x 3.3 cm - 61 7/8 x 50 3/4 x 1 1/4 inches; &copy; Gillian Wearing, courtesy Maureen Paley, London)</span></p> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 16:27:10 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list A FB Chat with the Creator of SAIC Secret Admirers <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 26px;"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/saicsecretadmirers">SAIC Secret Admirers</a> was started in March of 2013. The Facebook page for anonymously posting amorous yearnings quickly took off, garnering likes from over 50% of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago student body. While speculation swirled as to who was behind the page, the secret was kept until just recently when artist Anna Russett came forward as the administrator behind the page. We sat down over Facebook to chat about Secret Admirers, butt stuff, and social media as a platform for contemporary art.</span></p> <p><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20141121172824-001.jpg" alt="" /><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20141121172839-002.jpg" alt="" />&nbsp;<img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20141121172850-003.jpg" alt="" /> <img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20141121172902-004.jpg" alt="" /><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20141121172917-005.jpg" alt="" /> <img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20141121172940-006.jpg" alt="" /> <img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20141121173015-007.jpg" alt="" /> <img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20141121173306-008.jpg" alt="" /> <img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20141121173321-009.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">You can follow Anna on instagram <a href="http://instagram.com/annarussett">@annarussett</a>, twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/annarussett">@annarussett</a>, and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/arussett">youtube</a>.</span></p> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 15:49:28 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Why I think Jonathan Jones' Art Criticism is Tyrannical <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><a href="http://www.theguardian.com/profile/jonathanjones" target="_blank">Jonathan Jones</a> writes an art blog for the <em>Guardian</em> newspaper. I read his column with the same morbid fascination I used to reserve for those times when I&rsquo;d come across a piece by Julie Burchill. Which is to say I begin with the nascent thrill of knowing my pique is going to be stimulated, followed by a good bit of private outrage, and finally a satisfying wallow in indignation. None of these are particularly attractive human characteristics; they are, however, pleasurable and best practiced either in private or with those close to you as audience. Good material helps, and on this front there is no shortage.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">JJ seems to have two modi operandi. The first is telling us that something is crap (always something modern), the second is placing something in an art historical context. I am content with neither. Occasionally we have a combination of both.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I know it&rsquo;s surprising to anyone who has followed my writing on ArtSlant that I&rsquo;d get the old opprobrium worked up over anyone being negative: it&rsquo;s true, I&rsquo;m a great fan of negativity and believe that in our sterile, "commercially viable" world it&rsquo;s an important voice that is getting lost from the media. However, there are ways and there are <em>ways.</em></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Sample title: &ldquo;<a href="http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/jonathanjonesblog/2014/nov/13/why-photographs-dont-work-in-art-galleries" target="_blank">Flat, Soulless, and Sterile: why photographs don&rsquo;t work in art galleries.</a>&rdquo; A piece released to coincide with the opening day of Paris Photo, that rarest of things: an art fair about which I&rsquo;m (moderately) positive. This is what we&rsquo;d call one of JJ&rsquo;s combo-pieces, and his argument runs thusly: photography is not as good as painting, painting is good because it has depth and takes time, ergo, photography looks stupid on the wall of an art gallery. Discounting the entire surface/depth argument, while in passing quoting a man Jones&rsquo; has called &ldquo;our greatest visual prophet&rdquo;'s take on this&mdash;let&rsquo;s be honest&mdash;contrived dichotomy:&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">"If you want to know all about Andy&nbsp;Warhol,&nbsp;just&nbsp;look at the&nbsp;surface&nbsp;of my paintings and films and me, and there I&nbsp;am. There's nothing behind it."&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">My problem with this piece is that it suffers from confirmation bias. Sure, we all do it. We all find examples or reasons to support our own opinion and no one is neutral. The problem comes when, in a piece about Art photography, Jones has to discount <em>all</em> Art photography in order to make his point. The examples he gave were an exhibition of nature photography at London&rsquo;s Natural History Museum and a competition of portrait photography won by a fashion photographer (his argument being that wasn't as good as Caravaggio). Well ok, bravo&mdash;but what about every other photographer from Cartier-Bresson to Andreas Gursky? And is comparison to Caravaggio really a valid criteria to dismiss something? And does the fact you found an exhibition boring really warrant the dismissal of an entire genre?&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Whew. The experience of writing about Jones is somewhat akin to reading him.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141121124801-man-ray-dust-breeding-1920.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Man Ray</strong>,<em> Dust Breeding</em>, 1920&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The Caravaggio trick is one we see performed time and time again. It highlights a quiet, but pervasive, rift within those involved in the discourse around art, what we could call the theory/history divide. Theoreticians criticize Historians for being seekers of objective truth about art, a position they see as being dictatorial, reductive, market-driven, stupid, and irrelevant. Historian&rsquo;s accuse Theoreticians of being obtuse, ill-informed, irrelevant, pedantic, and self-reflexively self-obsessed. All of the above is probably true.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">There is, however, a less ideological problem with using art historical criteria to judge contemporary work, and this is, simply put, that history has already filtered all the crap out of history. The passage of time is the greatest benchmark by which artists can measure themselves: essentially, will they be remembered in 100 years? In 500? In 1,000? Or, indeed, next week?</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The problem with it is that&mdash;as JJ could no doubt tell you in a lengthy essay on the Paris Salon of 1874 or the Salon des Refus&eacute;s&mdash;it&rsquo;s really difficult to know what will make it big in historical terms. Sometimes it is the most popular artist of the day (Anselm Kiefer isn&rsquo;t a bad bet), but sometimes not. More importantly, looking <em>backwards</em> isn&rsquo;t the best way to identify what will be remembered for <em>now</em>. This is, if anything, a guess into the future, not the past.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The point is that, firstly, this approach is not soundly based; not everyone is Caravaggio, and we&rsquo;re not always looking for what Caravaggio gives us from art. We want other things as well, and not even that&mdash;we&rsquo;re not just looking for what the great masters give us. Sometimes we want discreet, quiet, funny, and&mdash;god forbid&mdash;maybe even slightly crap art. If it gives us, the viewer, the observer, a rewarding experience, who cares what it compares to?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141121124852-Behind_the_Gare_Saint_Lazare1932-760990.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;">&nbsp;<strong style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Henri Cartier-Bresson</strong><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">,&nbsp;</span><em style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Behind the Gare Saint-Lazare, Paris</em><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">, 1932, printed later silver gelatin print</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Secondly, my criticism of JJ is that it is cowardly and dull to constantly find this territory as your safe ground. It is dogmatic and tyrannical, and, in doing so, you both conform to the worst stereotypes of a critic and remind me of the bitter and drunken uncle at a wedding, throwing about absurd statements you mistake for insight in the hope that someone might pay you some attention/give you some pity.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">This doesn&rsquo;t&nbsp;mean I&rsquo;m going to stop reading your articles.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/273879-james-loks" target="_blank">James Loks</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image on top:&nbsp;<strong>Andreas Gursky,</strong>&nbsp;<em>The Rhine II</em>', 1999; &copy; Courtesy Monika Sprueth Galerie, Koln)</span></p> Sat, 22 Nov 2014 09:20:30 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list YouGov's New App Lets You Find Out What Tracey Emin Fans <em>Really</em> Like <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">It has been announced that fans of Damien Hirst describe themselves as moody, love TV's Ross Kemp, and eat vegetarian bangers and mash, according to a remarkable new web app launched this week by internet pollsters <a href="https://yougov.co.uk/profiler#/" target="_blank">YouGov</a>.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141120130729-photo_2.PNG" alt="" /></span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The app, which collates data from over 190,000 UK YouGov members has already kicked off a Twitter storm as people can find out for themselves what the most leftwing cheese is or the remarkable fact that if you like Tracey Emin, your third most likely favorite film is the Samuel L. Jackson remake of <em>Shaft</em>.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Illuminating insight into the tastes and habits of the British or a fun procrastination tool? There is very little surprise in discovering the typical Chapman Brothers aficionado is a London-based Gucci wearing man who listens to Nick Cave, eats vegetable thali and thinks that "basically Marx was right."</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141120130559-photo_1.PNG" alt="" /></span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">A little while of scrolling around the site's beautifully designed algorithms, a secondary game emerges. It is called YouObvs, where you predict, beforehand, how obvious the combinations are going to be. Like a bizarre public access Tory think tank, where graduates wearing motivational ties gesticulate around pie charts informing them that the archetypal hummus consumer is a vaguely left-leaning woman in fashion design with a cat, who loves AbFab, <em>Amelie</em>, and "likes to surround myself with a diverse range of cultures and ideas."</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141120130705-photo_4.PNG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><br /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">And what of YouGov itself? Current CEO, the remarkably named Stephan Shakespeare, stood in the 1997 UK Election as Conservative MP for Colchester. Sadly, there were no results for Stephan Shakespeare, nor any for Colchester. There is, however, a listing for a Colchester FC lover, who, according to YouGov, is a 60+ man, with less than &pound;125 a month disposable income, a love of Leona Lewis, JD Sports, Pizza Rustica, and birdwatching. Is that you Stephan Shakespeare? Is that you?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/408013-paul-hanford" target="_blank">Paul Hanford</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(All images: screengrabs from YouGov)</span></p> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 03:40:08 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Post-Capitalist Hip Hop Videos: Our Absurd, Dystopian World <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; text-align: left; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Hip Hop and capitalism could be said to share the same ideals. American Hip Hop and the American Dream promote the same goal of self-made material success through carefree consumerism. Money&mdash;and spending it&mdash;saturates songs and artist monikers (Curren$y, Rich Gang, 50 Cent, All$tar, etc.).</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Hip Hop&rsquo;s aesthetic identity has traditionally communicated just as much about consumerist society as its songs. But as confidence in capitalism is waning, with the mass disillusionment following global economic crashes, society is changing. A specific anti-capitalist movement has yet to really take hold, but if consumerisim becomes obsolete, what will happen to Hip Hop?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Since the 90s, when Hip Hop was appropriated by corporate advertisers who recognized it as the most powerful marketing tool available in the US, it has been enmeshed in the product placement game. The good thing for the majority of the mainstream Hip Hop artists was that being a brand ambassador millionaire was a comfortable place to be&mdash;they could get rich and stay true. 50 Cent, P. Diddy, Jay-Z and Dr. Dre are the current highest earners, according to <em><a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/zackomalleygreenburg/2014/04/16/the-forbes-five-hip-hops-wealthiest-artists-2014/">Forbes</a></em>,&nbsp;each with estimated fortunes of $500 million upwards.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">But now, when stars like A$AP Rocky rap the mantra &ldquo;Pussy Money Weed,&rdquo; wearing Ksubi jeans, Givenchy, or Air Jordan Retro 4&rsquo;s, claiming to be the first to mix high fashion with street wear, we know it&rsquo;s a consumer myth.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">So back to aesthetics: if it&rsquo;s possible to strip Hip Hop back and focus for a moment on the ideology expressed through its visuals in recent music videos, they seem to prefigure a post-capitalist world. In my opinion, it&rsquo;s not about sex or race politics any more, but reflecting back a futile cycle where we covet aspirational goods. &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Take Kanye for example. He is, in some ways, the anti-hero of post-capitalism. His painful public appearances, his "dark" records ruminating on classism and racism, his stories of rejection by the Fashion elite, his marriage to hyperreality&rsquo;s "no.1 person on Instagram." He is lost in a new world where materiality disintegrates. All aspirations, once you get closer to them, are an illusion.</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/anRkutaPS9w" frameborder="0" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">A look at some of the recent videos from pop Hip Hop stars: the dystopic vision depicted in Earl Sweatshirt featuring Tyler The Creator&rsquo;s "WHOA"</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 26px;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 26px;">(2014),</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 26px;">&nbsp;directed by Wolf Haley, paints the picture of a failed consumer&rsquo;s life. The swimming pool surrounding by super hot women becomes a dirty, dried up, lonely pond, the pimp mansion a caravan. The trophy girlfriend is transformed into an acid-casualty Grandma dancing ballet. It&rsquo;s an eerie, warped hallucination that, for me, perfectly conjures up the weird post-capitalist world we inhabit.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; text-align: justify;">And what about Nicki Minaj&rsquo;s record-breaking video for "Ananconda" (2014)? Arguably, rapper Minaj is devoid of any sense of irony. But the aesthetics of her butt-focused video are too surreal to be taken seriously. The female body as a sexualized object/empowered subject debate roared in its wake. But for me it&rsquo;s neither. It&rsquo;s weird, it&rsquo;s dystopic. It&rsquo;s a visual interpretation of how it is to be alive in our world now&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">too absurd to be taken as serious.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; text-align: justify;">(At least before, buttocks were believable&mdash;here they&rsquo;re heady, gaudy, ridiculous.) It&rsquo;s like Minaj is throwing us back extreme ass, because after all, that&rsquo;s what we all asked for. As commentor </span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; text-align: justify;" href="http://www.youtube.com/profile_redirector/104853968746427104647"><strong>sralmy2</strong></a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; text-align: justify;"> reminds the viewer: &ldquo;I half jokingly said a decade ago that videos would eventually look like a strip club, everyone laughed like I was going way too far. I was right, and 12 yr olds all over the world are now lap dancing. WTF people?&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">People are afraid of these undualting behinds because they&rsquo;re the end result of the warped world we&rsquo;ve all created. The way I see it, they&rsquo;re not presented&mdash;as in traditional Hip Hop fare&mdash;as an abject aspiration. It&rsquo;s all too bizarre for people to take it at face value. But then of course it is pop culture, and people might not care to look too deep.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 26px;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/P9aoY7w2md4" frameborder="0" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Among the parodies to pop up in response to the record-breaking video is the "Anaconda FART remix," a whole two minutes and twenty seconds in which each succulently bouncing bottom is set to a harmony of different comical fart sounds. Which reminds us that ass is not a prize&mdash;ultimately, it&rsquo;s a shit machine.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">But the King of the dystopic post-capitalist music video has to be Migos, whose "Versace" (2013) is the embodiment of the hallucinatory, psychotropic quality of a world where objects don&rsquo;t make sense anymore. The music&mdash;repetitive at best, or at worst, described in the words of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.youtube.com/profile_redirector/105979018150383591018"><strong>Bro army sucks</strong></a> &ldquo;<em>What in the fuck is this raging moronic horrible shitty fucking music?&rdquo;</em>&mdash;combined with the hi-def, hi-gloss absurdity of the video&rsquo;s visuals, are for me again a reflection not an adulation: it shows the bombast of all the usual Hip Hop iconography.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/rF-hq_CHNH0" frameborder="0" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">It&rsquo;s stretched to such an extreme that I see it as a genius commentary on how steeply we&rsquo;re rooted in obsessive-compulsive consuming. We can do and achieve anything and yet all we do is continually desire material goods. It&rsquo;s a way of portraying what Slavoj Zizek says in the intro to his "Pervert&rsquo;s Guide to Ideology": the tragedy of modern existence is that when we think we escape reality in our dreams, we are still just repeating the same thing. More simply, as one Migos commentor, <a href="http://www.youtube.com/profile_redirector/100069799777133911224"><strong>LuckyMusiqLive</strong></a>, puts it, &ldquo;this video just proves our generation is messed up.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/mxrqzNpuf94" frameborder="0" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="https://www.google.nl/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=2&amp;cad=rja&amp;uact=8&amp;ved=0CCYQFjAB&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.artslant.com%2Fglobal%2Fartists%2Fshow%2F162742-char-jansen%3Ftab%3DREVIEWS&amp;ei=kKluVPaDHNC1sQSHnoGYDg&amp;usg=AFQjCNGhLMgjJxHLPNPicTNqOLzSYL-lFw&amp;sig2=kmG1AUtIUw6y2VxCF5pvMg&amp;bvm=bv.80185997,d.cWc" target="_blank">Char Jansen</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">(Image on top:&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; text-align: left;">Kanye West, October 2013; Via Flickr user&nbsp;</span><a class="owner-name truncate" style="font-size: 12px; text-align: left;" title="Go to U2soul's photostream" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/u2soul/" data-track="attributionNameClick" data-rapid_p="48">U2soul</a>)</p> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 16:00:22 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list The Internet Will Not Be Fooled: On Hubris and Russia's MH17 Photoshop Fail <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">On November 15th, an article titled &ldquo;<a href="http://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/11/15/russia-photoshop-kremlin-mh17-ukraine-crash/" target="_blank">Kremlin Has Mastered Propaganda, But Not Photoshop: Fake MH17 Photo Lights Up RuNet</a>&rdquo; was posted on Global Voices. The article detailed an event that occurred a few days before that had since become a widespread source of mockery and digital response, first on RuNet and then beyond. RuNet, for those unfamiliar, comprises Russian-language internet domains and websites&mdash;the essential digital component of contemporary Russian culture. The RuNet sensation was the release of an official photo by the Kremlin, a &ldquo;purportedly new satellite image presenting unbeatable &lsquo;proof&rsquo; of Ukraine&rsquo;s fault in the Malaysia Airlines MH17 plane crash.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The crash of Malaysia Airlines MH17 on July 17, 2014, presumed to have been shot down, resulted in the deaths of all 298 people on board and occurred in the territory of the Ukraine controlled by pro-Russian separatists. Examinations are ongoing, but there is mounting evidence that suggests the separatists were responsible, having obtained a missile from Russia. Judgment from the international community swiftly followed the crash, with Russia already in a precarious position for its role in the Ukraine and subsequent annexation of Crimea. Still struggling to clear its name, or at least obfuscate the preponderance of evidence that suggests its involvement, the &ldquo;satellite image&rdquo; was meant to assure&mdash;if only the Russian people themselves&mdash;that the West was incorrectly laying the blame on Russia. The Kremlin was unprepared for the response: the person who Photoshopped that image did a horrible job.</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Интересно, изображение Боинга они прямо загуглили тоже? Или совпадение? Первая картинка в выдаче &laquo;Боинг вид сверху&raquo; <a href="http://t.co/e5MyH07UWQ">pic.twitter.com/e5MyH07UWQ</a></p> &mdash; Максим Кац (@max_katz) <a href="https://twitter.com/max_katz/status/533359491904188416">November 14, 2014</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/%D0%B2%D0%B5%D1%80%D1%81%D0%B8%D1%8F?src=hash">#версия</a> Боинг сбили фашиствующие инопланетяне... <a href="http://t.co/4z25E7UBjb">pic.twitter.com/4z25E7UBjb</a></p> &mdash; Reincarnation. (@TukvaSociopat) <a href="https://twitter.com/TukvaSociopat/status/533360496435810304">November 14, 2014</a></blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">It took no time at all for bloggers to pick the image apart. For a country and a regime that has been so meticulous about propaganda, this is both embarrassing and confusing. The key to the misstep is a fundamental misunderstanding of the difference between textual and visual data. Rhetoric by itself can be fact-checked, but if loyalty is already entrenched, it is the fact-checker who is suspicious. With images, though, and particularly &ldquo;official&rdquo; images&mdash;those endorsed and distributed by the state&mdash;loyalty can only go so far if the viewer possesses the ability to break down those images, visually analyzing them through the lens of a technology that they themselves understand and use. A person who understands how Photoshop and other image-manipulation technologies work is forced to question the motives of the &ldquo;official&rdquo; as they physically deconstruct the visual images. It isn&rsquo;t the same as a falsehood aridly passed on to an enthusiastic audience, weary of or uninterested in the truth of the parts or the whole. A fabricated image distributed by the Russian government, too lazy or unqualified to exercise any quality control, is a thing that necessitates questioning. The ability of citizens to visually analyze even news photographs not only puts the government at a disadvantage it did not anticipate&mdash;in this situation it allowed for crowdsourced mockery.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">A state and leader that have no need to worry about the trust of their own people found themselves blamed for a tragedy that the entire international community felt and reacted to. The hubris of that state, one that steadily limits popular access to free information, seems to have resulted in a belief in that state&rsquo;s monopoly on knowledge extends to the workings of new media technologies and the ability of ordinary citizens to analyze visual information. Russia may want to consider hiring a few of them to determine the calibre of the official photos the next time around.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/409210-kristen-ray?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Kristen Ray</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at top: "The image Russian state TV claims is proof that MH17 was shot down by a Ukrainian fighter jet. Screenshot from 1tv.ru." Via: <a href="http://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/11/15/russia-photoshop-kremlin-mh17-ukraine-crash/" target="_blank">Global Voices Online</a>)</span></p> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 05:05:49 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Five Minutes with Daniel K. Sparkes <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><a href="http://www.danielsparkes.com/">Daniel K. Sparkes</a> (a.k.a Mudwig in a previous incarnation) is a British artist whose offbeat approach has seen his work pop up in the most unusual spots all over the world, including Wroclaw, The Hague and Sheffield&mdash;alongside weighty venues such as <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/venues/show/1781-jonathan-levine-gallery---529-w-20th" target="_blank">Jonathan LeVine NY</a> and <a href="http://www.artslant.com/lon/venues/show/5073-somerset-house-trust" target="_blank">Somerset House London</a> (as part of upcoming <em>Mapping the City</em>).&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Sparke&rsquo;s take on everyday life mixes surreal playfulness with humorous textuality: a "fur" print t-shirt was a recent eye-catcher. Thematically, he sets about the apocryphal world myths of modern capitalist life; r</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">ecurrent visual tropes include meat, dismembered bodies, and cigarettes that dissect the visual language of advertising portraiture. The conflict of modern existence is explored further in his landscapes, inflitrated by the urban machine. With a group of peers Sparkes has been a key part of a Comic Abstraction movement&mdash;a bunch of young artists who reference a bygone era of comic animation, but with their own motives. Some of their work is included in the publication, <em><a href="http://editions.galleriesgoldstein.com/product/asbestos-curtain-book">Asbestos Curtain</a>,</em>&nbsp;produced by Galleries Goldstein, London.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Leading up to his exhibition opening next month at&nbsp;</span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: 12px;" href="http://www.sva.org.uk/"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">SVA</span>&nbsp;</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">space, w</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">e had a five-minute chat with the Stroud-based artist on his life and times</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141119132119-7_duvro2012smaller.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <div class="title" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>Duvrow Pencil Rides South</em>, 2012,&nbsp;Gouache on photograph 37 x 53 cm; Courtesy the artist&nbsp;</span></div> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em><strong>Char Jansen:&nbsp;Why are you interested in dissection?</strong></em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Daniel K. Sparkes:&nbsp;</strong>It&rsquo;s a&nbsp;paradoxical&nbsp;thing for me, definitely that curious tendency towards macabre imagery coupled with a squeaky squeamishness. &nbsp;It&rsquo;s a polarized response. I squirm and wretch when I watch <em>Embarrassing Bodies</em> as they&nbsp; lop off the rectal cysts and plop them in the metal dishes. But I still go back for more and find myself Googling photos of exploded suicide bombers.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I like to see how much I can horrify myself. I dissect things in my work to try and surpass comic abstraction at its &ldquo;Pop art&rdquo; level by evoking a gallows humor element in order to stir&nbsp;conflicting emotions. <em>Itchy and Scratchy</em> was always the best part of <em>The Simpsons</em>.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141119132005-4_leopardfsmaller.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">2014, Gouache on Print, 30 x 41cm; Courtesy the artist&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>CJ: Do you have a favorite butcher shop?</em></span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>DKS:</strong> Not really. I&rsquo;m not into that smell&nbsp;of refrigerated death or trays of cow feet with flies on. I saw a few sausage shops in Poland that I liked the look of. That was because they had huge close-up pixelated, sun-faded photographs in their front windows obscuring the aforementioned sausages.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141119112007-11_Daniel-K-Sparkes_22_v2.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span>&nbsp;</p> <div class="title" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><em>DRC,</em> 2012,&nbsp;Gouache on photoprint, 60 x 40 cm; Courtesy the Artist&nbsp;</span></div> <div class="title"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></div> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>CJ: What are your thoughts on Stroud?</em></span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>DKS:</strong> Stroud is hip according to the <em>Guardian</em> and, more recently the <em>Financial Times</em>. It&rsquo;s got a winning farmers' market, plenty of self-congratulatory pubs you will have to drive to to get your dinner presented on a roof tile. The Cotswolds have certainly become very popular with people who don&rsquo;t want their kids to go to grow up in Brixton.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The Missus and I have always likened Gloucester to Los Angeles, a McPetworld-sprawling, sparse freeway outlet but with saving grace of an exceptional medieval cathedral in the middle. This theory could cartographically make London equal to New York and&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">therefore&nbsp;Stroud the UK&rsquo;s Hollywood Hills! (Hmmmmm.)</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I feel attached to this place it as my family tree (breeding puddle) can be traced back 350 years to two particular streets in this town. Also, there are lots of long barrows, hilltop copses, dried out canals and crumbling taverns for&nbsp;me to draw from.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141119132303-14_The-First-Door-_-Vessels-.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <div class="title" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><em>Meta Snout,</em> 2011,&nbsp;Russell Maurice and Daniel Sparkes; Courtesy the artists&nbsp;</span></div> <div class="title" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></div> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>CJ: The most banal thing that has ever happened to you&mdash;and how did you react to it?</em></span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>DKS:</strong> Cripes, I can't remember the exciting things that have happened let alone the banal things. No idea.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>CJ: What did you do yesterday from start to finish?</em></span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>DKS:</strong> Water, waffles (Birds Eye), eggs, asparagus, grape juice, coffee, internet, shower, paint gf's toenails, internet,&nbsp;drawings, <em>True Detective</em> (x2 episodes), drawing. Repeat some bits). It was a Sunday. Not much else.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/162742-char-jansen?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Char Jansen</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">(Image on top: Daniel K. Sparkes,&nbsp;<em>Badger</em>; Courtesy the artist)</span></p> Wed, 19 Nov 2014 20:26:40 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Is Immersive Art Too Easy? On "Getting It" and Having Fun <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">I was in a conversation with the curator Lucia Schreyer the other day. We were discussing the latest exhibition at Palais de Tokyo; we have differing opinions about it. I enjoyed the show very much. Once again it seemed as though the PdT had curated an exciting, interactive exhibition, fully using the space they have available and successfully iterating the concept of "Inside." Lucia didn&rsquo;t like it so much. Her complaint was that it is too spectacular, like "a Luna Parc" for adults, and to be honest, it is a fair criticism, including, as it does, a plastic cocoon-like structure suspended several meters from the ceiling that you get to crawl around in, an experience I found by turns captivating, scary, and, unfortunately, smelly (not in a good way). PdT have also used their space to perform disorientating tricks and reveals with the way you discover various pieces, which lends the show its immersive feel.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141119095511-mike_nelson.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><strong>Mike Nelson</strong>, <em>Studio Apparatus for Palais de Tokyo ou The Exorcism</em>, 2014, Installation view of <em>Inside</em>, Palais de Tokyo;&nbsp;Photo : Andr&eacute; Morin</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">But so what of it? Well, Lucia&rsquo;s criticism is an interesting one as, in a sense, it calls on us to take art quite seriously, and this is something I&rsquo;m loathe to do. My reasons for this are many: firstly, and on a most basic level, I like things that make me laugh, as I believe most people do. It is also a way of puncturing a lot of the chin stroking seriousness which goes with the art world, the kind of voice that says "this is <em>very</em> important," and comes with a lot of the pseudo-intellectual clap-trap so often served up with contemporary art in order to convince us that it is "<em>very</em> important" (and also worth lots of money). But then again, in typically contradictory fashion, I do also believe that art is <em>very </em>important. But more of this later.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">On top of simple viewer pleasure at something light hearted, there is also, of course, the very serious side to joking, and even an argument that the form of the joke has become one of the pre-eminent forms in contemporary art since Mr. R Mutt. So often contemporary work likes to situate itself in proximity to the double meanings, ambiguity, the satirical power of humor, the double take, the unexpected, and also, crucially, the insider/outsider dichotomy set up by a joke, i.e. "do you get it?"</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">There&rsquo;s a similar mechanism to this either/or question at work with the issue as to who the joke&rsquo;s on. And this is a good question: is it the public who are somehow not being served by the work that is being made? Is it the institution who is treating it very seriously? Or is it the collectors who are, after all, paying exorbitant sums of money for&mdash;I don&rsquo;t know&mdash;a plastic model of a chocolate Santa Claus holding a large butt plug? Or is it on anyone who doesn&rsquo;t get it"?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">There are, of course, no answers to these questions, and absolutely no way of ever answering them, which is, in turn, perhaps why they are so popular with artists because it lets them talk with multiple and contradictory voices. An amusing, if perhaps a little cowardly, position to take.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The other big problem with both these mechanisms is that they are elitist. The ones inside are all shiny and happy and part of the big art club, while those outside are confused, dissatisfied, and humiliated. Maybe not a good thing, but on a human level something we all clearly enjoy&mdash;when we&rsquo;re on the inside.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141119134538-buchel.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Christoph B&uuml;chel</strong>,&nbsp;<em>Simply Botiful</em>&nbsp;at Hauser and Wirth in 2007 Photo: James Loks</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">However, coming back to Lucia&rsquo;s comments, I don&rsquo;t think that her problem with the PdT was humor; it was actually the level of immersion/interactivity, which is, in itself perhaps one of the big trends in art, as it currently is in theatre. Now, I love immersive works of art and can immediately think of two that stand out as some of the best experiences of art I&rsquo;ve had (Conrad Shawcross&rsquo; <em>Chord</em>, and Christoph B&uuml;chel&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.hauserwirth.com/exhibitions/36/christoph-buchel-simply-botiful/view/" target="_blank"><em>Simply Botiful</em></a>, if you&rsquo;re interested), and again I&rsquo;d identify it as one of the really contemporary parts of the contemporary experience. But then what can be the criticism?&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The way that I can understand Lucia&rsquo;s criticism is that it&rsquo;s perhaps too lazy of us, indicative of our society where everything must be easy, and fully on offer while demanding as little as possible&mdash;and there is some truth in this. Sure, experiencing&nbsp;<em>Simply Botiful</em> required that we climb down ladders and crawl around in tiny passages.&nbsp;<em>Chord </em>required trekking into the darkness of an underground tunnel. But, these are easy feats in comparison to&mdash;as I have spent a lot of time previously doing&mdash;sitting in front of one painting for any considerable length of time and actually looking at it. It is lazy in the sense that it doesn&rsquo;t require any imagination of the viewer. We just have to be there. And the problem with this is maybe that we do value things.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/273879-james-loks?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">James Loks</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><em style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">Lucia Schreyer is currently curating a cycle of work at Galerie Primo Piano, Paris&nbsp;</span></em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image on top:<strong>&nbsp;<em>&copy;&nbsp;</em>Numen/For Use, </strong><em>Tape Tokyo</em>, 2013; Photo : Junpei Kato courtesy Spiral/Wacoal Art Center)</span></p> Wed, 19 Nov 2014 15:19:36 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Arts and Banking: Umpqua's Foray into the Arts <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Corporatism pervades the art world: BMWs are wrapped in Jeff Koons vinyl, museum exhibitions and art fairs are sponsored by global financial institutions, one mega luxury conglomerate even has <a href="http://www.fondationlouisvuitton.fr/content/flvinternet/en.html">an entire museum</a>. It's a simple fact now: money and art go hand-in-hand. Usually, the issue taken up is the cooption of art for financial/political purposes and the impure state in which this leaves art but, frankly, it&rsquo;s hard to believe this argument is still around let alone received as valid. Not since the thawing of the Cold War has government taken a lead role in sponsoring contemporary art practices&mdash;art was left wanting. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In the last decade, the pace of art and money's codependence has only quickened. While cross-promotions between luxury brands and artists are legitimizing for both, anyone outside of that distinct bubble of luxury&mdash;artists and spectators alike&mdash;were left jilted, shamed, perhaps, to find that an artist who had brought them joy and commiseration could so boldly side with unattainable wealth. It&rsquo;s a tricky relationship, art and corporatism, but it&rsquo;s one that will last. The Soviets and the Americans both knew the marketing value of art very well. Art can inspire our emotions and our unconscious faster and more deeply than the best textual rhetoric.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20141118192044-image_3.jpeg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">What if we ignore this (false) assumption that art was at some point free from market forces and contractual existence? What if we view art as a relational practice amongst individuals that is constantly surrounding us and accept the adage Life = Art. When someone is paid to interact with a customer in a certain way, is this performance art? It would not take a great logical leap to say, &ldquo;Yes.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In this vein, an American bank based in Portland, Oregon, has transformed itself. Over two decades, they have gone from a regional, branch-based bank to a 22-billion-dollar company with ice cream trucks that give away free ice cream. Yes, FREE ice cream.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20141118192151-Ice_cream_truck.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">As an American fucked over by a parasitic banking system throughout my life, I'm skeptical. We're all skeptical. It's second nature at this point: a deep mistrust of anything "financial" that survives on fees of 2+% and pays back interest of &lt;1%. Banking seems rarely more than a great con and yet was the focus of the US government&rsquo;s largest bailout&mdash;a telling sign of how fundamental an industry it is to be sure. But still, we&rsquo;re&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">all skeptical.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">This past weekend, Umpqua made its first major foray into arts exhibitions with&nbsp;<em><a href="https://www.umpquabank.com/exhibit">EXHIBIT:GROWTH</a></em>. How it got to the point of hosting art exhibitions is a decades-long journey.&nbsp;Even prior to the latest bank failings, Umpqua knew they needed to do some PR work. Twenty years ago, around the time when ATMs became primary points of consumer banking, Umpqua implemented a new &ldquo;store&rdquo; model </span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">to fundamentally change what a bank meant for people</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">. Store managers were given great say in how their stores were run, including how they could participate within their community. This community engagement has taken many different forms including hosting stitch-and-bitch meet ups, seminars, open WiFi, and lectures. This approach, coupled with an open and communicative workplace culture, worked. Umpqua expanded and the store model became a norm for the company.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20141118192122-Queen_Anne.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Back to 2014 and art exhibitions. <em>EXHIBIT: GROWTH </em>takes place inside of a geodesic dome at&nbsp;Portland&rsquo;s Director Park, the exhibition centers on an interactive installation by creative teams <a href="http://fakelove.tv/">Fake Love</a> and <a href="http://themillplus.com/">Mill+</a> and features artists Aaron Rayburn, Blaine Fontana, Huy Bui, Michael Murphy, and Tofer Chin. The exhibition concept was born of the same kind of disconnect between the public's faith and the banking system that lead Umpqua to develop a new cultural model for their company. Eve Callahan, Senior VP of Corporate Communications, put it this way: &ldquo;Money is a taboo subject, like sex, politics, and religion. People are probably more comfortable talking about sex, politics and religion today than they are about money and this really puts them at a disadvantage&hellip; Money is at the core of everything we do.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In order to develop a positive relationship between people and money, Umpqua wanted to get people to physically and emotionally experience growth and potential. Ms. Callahan put the impetus behind engaging artists to transform the public's perception through art thusly: "Artists tackle difficult and complex subjects everyday. That's what they do. They create conversation and inspire people to engage, whether it's with an idea, other people, or with themselves and so we became enamored with the idea of getting artists to help us explore the idea of human potential." To this end, an interactive, kinetic installation was produced that displays unique growth patterns as individuals in front of the screen move their bodies.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Umpqua's foray into the world of art poses an interesting revolution in arts patronage. By considering artists as a vital resource in grassroots marketing that can actively shape the psychological engagment of consumers, contemporary art may just find itself in a more secure place where it can be allowed to grow and flourish as well.</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/84518/3mfh/20141119005522-Growth-9777-_1_.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/website/joel-kuennen" target="_blank">Joel Kuennen</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(All images courtesy of Umpqua. A sculpture by Blaine Fontana at bottom)</span></p> Wed, 19 Nov 2014 13:16:44 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Do We Need Galleries Anymore? The Utility of Online Exhibitions <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Making the art world accessible to anyone with an internet connection. </span></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; padding-left: 300px;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;Artsy</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Visual art is rarely understood unless it is reckoned with in person. Even then, it is often difficult to really see what an artist is trying to express, especially with the many abstract works that have come out of modernism. A huge part of the viewing experience involves being able to face works that artists created in real time and in real space. Being able to comprehend and feel what Mark Rothko felt when he painted his large color fields is something that can only really be considered in the physical presence of his work; one fails to actually comprehend the emotion when encountering his works&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">in a book or on the internet</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">. At the same time, the digital age has allowed art to become more accessible in many ways. We learn about art through slides, books with glossy pictures, and the endless stream of images on Google, Flickr, Tumblr, and Instagram (to name but a few). With these new (and old) systems of visual dissemination in full effect, is there a need for museums and galleries anymore? I'd argue that there is plenty to be learned from online exhibitions and resources, but that the brick and mortar custodians of art and material culture provide an essential service that cannot be replaced by immaterial facsimiles in the digital domain.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In the spring of 2014, the Guggenheim hosted a major James Turrell exhibition. Most of the works were light sources that transformed various spaces throughout the museum, most notably the main atrium. At the very top of the spiral walkway you encountered the final room of his show. Standing in line for 45 minutes, I fell into a conversation with an older woman and her son behind me. They asked me about the artist, and though I'm no expert, I explained that the significance of a light installation is typically how it manipulates the appearance&mdash;the size or atmosphere&mdash;of a room or space.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141118194359-James_Turrell.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Photo and curatorial information provided from James Turrell&rsquo;s exhibition website on the Guggenheim Museum exhibition page.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Through a dark haze in that final room I could identify a black rectangle painted on the wall with two dim lights shining onto it. The more I looked at the rectangle, the more I was able to see images from my imagination come into play. It was almost like looking at the sun, blinking and encountering bright images; these illusory silhouettes seemed magical. Upon leaving <em>Iltar</em> (1976), that final installation, the family I had spoken with in line exclaimed that they didn&rsquo;t get it, that they didn&rsquo;t see anything at all. What I am curious to know is, would unmoved viewers understand these works if they were to see them elsewhere? Can a book or the internet really tell people all of the information they seek to know or feel about a work of art?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Turrell's light works are experiential and notoriously unreceptive to photographic reproduction, but that doesn't mean they haven't joined the legions of images of artworks online. In the last few years, the internet has boomed with infinite resources to provide images, context, and information about art. Various social media platforms have made it their goal to exhibit all visual works. The upside to these digital resources is that they make the art world available for educational purposes and in depth personal exploration. Additionally, they make artwork available to people who cannot afford to visit far-flung artworks and museums in person. With online materials, viewers are able to learn about art without leaving their computers, smartphones, or electronic resources provided in libraries and some museums. The internet is undoubtedly a valuable resource for viewing, learning about, and perhaps even democratizing art, yet the <a href="http://www.aam-us.org/docs/center-for-the-future-of-museums/demotransaam2010.pdf" target="_blank">American Alliance of Museums has observed</a> that the internet is also responsible for removing spectators from viewing art in traditional spaces because of the convenience of their digital devices.</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;Are online exhibitions a benefit or a detriment to artworks?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In his famous essay "A Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," Walter Benjamin writes about art reproduction, and focuses on the importance of a work&rsquo;s authentic aura and essence. The aura is sacred, specific to every work of art; it might reveal the artist&rsquo;s touch or intent. When an admirer purchases a print of Picasso&rsquo;s <em>Les Demoiselles d'Avignon</em> at the MoMA gift shop, she is not purchasing the actual work but a copy of it. While that print might remind an admirer of past experiences with this painting or Picasso&rsquo;s oeuvre more generally, it is distant and removed from the original. It does not express the same feeling or power as Picasso&rsquo;s authentic painting, rather a likeness to it.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141118194417-picasso_MoMA.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Pablo Picasso</strong>, <em>Les Demoiselles d&rsquo;Avignon</em>, 1907, Oil on canvas;&nbsp;&copy; 2014 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">This is the problem with reproduction and viewing artworks on alternative forums. While viewers are able to take home memories and view their favorite artists on the internet, the images they favor are pulled farther and farther away from their intended in-person encounter. The same could be said for watching films. Seeing a movie in a theatre is a unique experience: the darkness, the projection shining brightly onto the large screen, the sound blasting to fully encapsulate the audience. It can be a surreal experience to be part of or surrounded by a film. Taking a movie home and watching it on a laptop or TV changes the experience and atmosphere, often allowing life&rsquo;s distractions to interrupt and draw your attention away from the main attraction. &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Not everyone agrees, and perhaps some mediums are more suited to digitization than others. For example, Jonathan Jones argued in an&nbsp;<a href="http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/jonathanjonesblog/2014/nov/13/why-photographs-dont-work-in-art-galleries" target="_blank">article</a> in <em>the Guardian</em> last week that photography should <em>only</em> be viewed on the internet and not exhibited as a lifeless image in a gallery. Jones writes: &ldquo;It just looks stupid when a photograph is framed or backlit and displayed vertically in an exhibition, in the way paintings have traditionally been shown. A photograph in a gallery is a flat, soulless, superficial substitute for painting.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Indeed, online exhibitions of digital works are a different story, especially because the computer screen is the interface in which such works are created.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Whether interactive or virtual, there are plenty of d</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">igital native works that are not made for gallery walls, but are meant to exist solely within the cyber world. There's no argument that these are best viewed on screen. There are other digital works, however, that&nbsp;use the computer to create and manipulate imagery which will then be printed on paper and exhibited in a real world art space.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Viewing this sort of work online might provide the illusion of a digital artist's experience when working in this paradigm. For example, MoMA held an exhibition in 2008 called </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2008/elasticmind/#">Design and the Elastic Minds</a>, </em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">which was installed within the museum but also contained a digital component that added a more interactive approach to the traditional show. The website not only provided further information about the exhibition, but it also squared with the exhibition concept more broadly. MoMA and the <em>Design and the Elastic Mind</em> artists explained their mission as a way to showcase the importance of designers:</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Designers have the ability to grasp momentous changes in technology, science, and social mores and to convert them into objects and ideas that people can understand and use&hellip; Designers give life and voice to objects, and along the way they manifest our visions and aspirations for the future, even those we do not yet know we have.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141118194434-MoMA_Design.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Screenshot of MoMA's&nbsp;<a href="http://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2008/elasticmind/" target="_blank"><em>Design and the Elastic Mind</em> website </a></span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Likewise, the Smithsonian American Art Museum has a portion of their <a href="http://americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/online/">website</a> devoted to online exhibitions which act as extensions or perhaps even stand-ins for their physical shows. Their online platform allows spectators to peruse and learn about current and travelling shows without being at the gallery.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Exhibitions like these, which contain an added digital component to a physical show can be helpful and convenient; they educate and provide further information for viewers. It&rsquo;s when the online exhibition exists on its own that it threatens to remove the greatest power and emotion from physical works of art, providing a false illusion of meaning to spectators.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141118194502-Smithsonian.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Screenshot of <a href="http://americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/online/estes/" target="_blank"><em>Richard Estes&rsquo; Realism</em> online exhibition</a> as displayed on the Smithsonian American Art Museum website</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">As museums and galleries continue to grow and expose more and more artists to the greater public, <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/articles/show/41187" target="_blank">they often cater to their audience</a>. What does the public look for when they engage with a work of art? Often, they look for truth, familiarity, something which is moving, or even a representation of the real. If spectators rely solely on the imagery found on online exhibitions, physical art objects become skewed and slowly disappear into the infinite domains of the internet; art loses its meaning. Without a gallery or a museum to exhibit physical works, would viewers be able to truly fathom the power and presence of these physical objects? Where would they live? Without art spaces to exhibit work, art objects will slowly lose their power and presence to the cyber world, shifting the artworld deeper into a digital paradigm&mdash;when there is plenty of room for both. &nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/409890-andrea-zlotowitz" target="_blank">Andrea Zlotowitz</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at top: <a href="http://instagram.com/artsy" target="_blank">Artsy's Instagram homepage</a>)</span></p> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 19:17:49 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Fake It Till You Make It: A Few Words on Forgery <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Picasso&rsquo;s oft quoted &ldquo;Good artists borrow, great artists steal&rdquo; is one of those dubious chestnuts likely repeated in the halls of art schools enough to be painted over the doors. William S Burroughs&rsquo; notion of language as a virus presupposes that nothing or little of what we say is original&mdash;everything starts out as a borrowing, a theft. Theft, forgery, fakery, authenticity, and homage underlie all art and literature, always softly shadowing their meaning and troubling their values.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Appropriation, an illicit borrowing and common enough practice in art of the last half-century, differs notably from forgery in that, however temporary, the latter contains an element of deception. This can get messy.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">
Practically speaking, there are "real" art fakes floating out in the world, and they regularly cameo in art scandals and discussions, the most famous case likely being Hans van Meegeren&rsquo;s fake Vermeer, that was widely admired till of course it was revealed as a forgery. Though Orson Welles&rsquo; <em>F is for Fake</em> tells the story another famous forger, Elmyr de Hory, the film touches upon themes of what is &ldquo;real&rdquo; art, a really beautiful sort of film essay on authorship and authenticity.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141118191426-Duchamp_Fountaine.jpg" alt="" height="375" />&nbsp;<img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141118191440-_Fountain__by_Marcel_Duchamp__replica_.JPG" alt="" height="375" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><strong>Marcel Duchamp:&nbsp;</strong>Left: Original&nbsp;<em>Fountain&nbsp;</em>(1917), Photo: Alfred Stieglitz; Right:&nbsp;<em>Fountain</em> replica at&nbsp;Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, Photo: <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:%27Fountain%27_by_Marcel_Duchamp_(replica).JPG" target="_blank">Kim Traynor</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Marcel Duchamp's original <em>Fountain</em> (1917) is lost to time. Before his death however, he editioned authorized copies, which of course some swindler made a few extra of, are these illicit extras any more real or fake than their brothers? Economically speaking, symbolic value and authenticity, no matter how actually porous, underlie much of the fiction that holds together modern life. The only thing that makes the fiction of a country a functional reality is if other countries, that is other fictions, recognize it as such. Real money, a measure of value in these capitalist times, is itself a kind of fiction, in the US built entirely on faith. It would not surprise me of course if sooner or later, if we're ever post-scarcity, if we dispensed with the illusion of money altogether and began to value the authors and makers much more than their products. Living humans tend to be more difficult to forge.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Philosopher Jean Baudrillard wrote about this better than I can, but he wouldn't mind our dalliance with the subject.</span>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">No gesture better reveals the often painful but ultimately hollow authority of power than an undermining of their symbols, so forgery and counterfeit can be revolutionary gestures. Even if dependent on original authors, let us only forge the work of the dead as the deceased rarely get to enjoy the profits of a resale. Forgery in this sense only really damages the unequal economy that underlies the trade of authenticity. We might then in forgery be able to tip the system in the favor of those without.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">That moment of transference between fake and real in all this still, at least for now, has practical value.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Kurt Vonnegut wrote in the intro to Mother Night that the moral of that book is that we are what we pretend to be. There's that moment when material becomes art, an avocation becomes a vocation, where we become who we pretend to be, imaginary belief manifests real actions and the fake becomes real.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">All art begins as a bluff, with or without revolutionary spark, monetary greed or a sense of humor about simulacra.</span>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">If you&rsquo;re not rich and powerful, the old saying holds true: Fake it till you make it.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><br /><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/12307-andrew-berardini?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Andrew Berardini</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">(Image at top:<strong>&nbsp;</strong></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><strong>Han van Meegeren</strong>, <em>The Supper at Emmaus,</em></span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">1936-1937,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">Old canvas, relined, 115 x 127 cm; Collection:&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam)</span></span></p> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 04:33:14 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Art's Post-Internet Identity Crisis <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In his essay&nbsp;<a href="http://culturetwo.wordpress.com/2014/03/31/why-i-hate-post-internet-art/" target="_blank">&ldquo;Why I Hate Post-Internet Art&rdquo;</a> Brian Droitcour complains that &ldquo;the post-internet art object looks good online in the way that laundry detergent looks good in a commercial.&rdquo; He bemoans the art object that looks like it has leapt off the screen into the gallery to pose for its photo before being disseminated online. His criticism is that such objects are too aware of the gallery system, playing to the capitalist brand mentality of the art world&mdash;the image/object as a linkable, thumbs up-able thing. His recent extension of this, an&nbsp;<em>Art in America</em>&nbsp;article titled <a href="http://www.artinamericamagazine.com/news-features/magazine/the-perils-of-post-internet-art/" target="_blank">&ldquo;The Perils of Post-Internet Art&rdquo;</a> arrived in my periphery, in the way that things do on the web, at the same time as a slew of other texts and videos proposing different positions on what it might be to be &ldquo;post-internet&rdquo; or &ldquo;post-digital.&rdquo; Using artworks on view in London at the moment I tried to figure out what could be going on.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141117143844-Jonas_Lund__Return_of_Investment_2.jpg" alt="" />&nbsp;</span><strong style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; text-align: center;">Jonas Lund</strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; text-align: center;">, </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; text-align: center;">Return of Investment 2, </em><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Courtesy &nbsp;the artist Carroll/Fletcher&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="text-align: justify; font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In an article in </span><em style="text-align: justify; font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Afterall </em><span style="text-align: justify; font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">called <a href="http://www.afterall.org/journal/issue.37/from-narcissism-to-the-dialogic_identity-in-art-after-the-internet" target="_blank">&ldquo;Identity in Art after the Internet&rdquo;</a> Melissa Gronlund suggests the &ldquo;post-internet&rdquo; work addressing identity can be distinguished from the 70s video monologues in its move towards the dialogic, for instance in seeking constant validation via confessional front-to-camera web-cam style, acknowledging a &ldquo;public horizon within identity.&rdquo;</span><span style="text-align: justify; font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;Cinzia Cremona&rsquo;s exhibition&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>Intimations Project</em>&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">at <a href="http://www.artslant.com/lon/venues/show/28474-arebyte-gallery" target="_blank">Arbyte</a> in Hackney Wick opens this week. Her &ldquo;videoperformances&rdquo; use the new internet-popularized relationship with the screen to interrogate shared private moments. Cremona&rsquo;s work deals with precisely the idea of reflective identity, implicating the viewer in her constant questions and pulling subjectivity into question.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141117143533-Wish_You_Were_Here.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small; text-align: justify;"><strong>Cinzia Cremona</strong>, still from <em>Wish You Were Here&nbsp;</em></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Ryan Trecartin&rsquo;s and Lizzie Fitch&rsquo;s show at <a href="http://www.artslant.com/lon/events/show/349443-priority-innfield" target="_blank">Zabludowicz Collection</a> is a full audio, all senses engaged assault from these reflectively generated identities pushed as far as they can go. The videos are all presented in viewing spaces with headphones, united by loud music and lurid green walls. Trecartin&rsquo;s characters extrovertly perform and form themselves in their language. Everything is always inflected, half asking and yet not waiting for a response. Gronlund&rsquo;s article identified Trecartin&rsquo;s work as typifying a social dimension of &ldquo;post-internet.&rdquo; The characters dress alike, speak alike, ape each other&rsquo;s behavior and language. Language is reduced to bite-sized reinterpretable chunks, style is compressed to a single image, which are then amplified and disseminated through repetition.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The premise for Trecartin&rsquo;s and Fitch&rsquo;s films is an audition for a game&mdash;a device to deal with the desire to be so not real that you&rsquo;re animated, literally. Music syncs with the words every now and then, diverting the action and digital animation kicks in. For viewers who are made to feel more like a participant via the immersive set, it&rsquo;s like an invitation to participate in a John Waters film, a sense that something pleasantly terrible is happening and you&rsquo;re already halfway down a slippery slope. &ldquo;We don&rsquo;t have a safe word in this safe space,&rdquo; says one of the characters. More so than identity works from the 70s onward, works dealing with the identities the internet fosters have become more complex, expressing the trickiness of the line between artificial and not. Like a safe place with no safe word, there&rsquo;s no out or withdrawal from an online identity. It lives on in the digital archive. You can only make more.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141117135526-f_Zab_Trecartin_032.jpg" alt="" /></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Lizzie Fitch/Ryan Trecartin</strong>, <em>Priority Innfield</em>, 2013, Installation view Zabludowicz&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Collection, London, 2014; Photo: Stuart Whipps</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; text-align: justify;"><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Around the same time as the aforementioned articles appeared, the exhibition <em><a href="http://www.carrollfletcher.com/exhibitions/33/overview/" target="_blank">Unoriginal Genius</a></em> at Carroll/Fletcher Project Space, curated by Domenico Quaranta, was announced. The title takes its name from <a href="%20http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/wasting-time-on-the-internet" target="_blank"><em>Uncreative Writing</em></a>, a book by the conceptual poet and UbuWeb founder,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Kenneth Goldsmith, who is currently&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">teaching the first university class on <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/wasting-time-on-the-internet" target="_blank">wasting time on the internet</a> (Goldsmith quotes Marjorie Perloff is his own title). Wishing to update the term &ldquo;genius,&rdquo; Quaranta argues that these days understanding and control of information is more important than creative originality. A genius is now a remixer, editing and selecting images, data, sound, text, and refusing to conform to the rules of gallery engagement. Works like Jonas Lund&rsquo;s </span><a href="returnofinvestment.net" target="_blank"><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Return of Investment</em></a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> (2014), which lives online as an advertising space that can be bought, confront art as an inconsumable product that sells itself. Downstairs the appropriation is made more acute: Emilie Brout &amp; Maxime Marion&rsquo;s video </span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://www.cliches-movie.net" target="_blank"><em>Clich&eacute;s</em></a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> (2014)&nbsp;uses algorithmically-mined stock footage for images that sync with the content of the "Fuck You Monologue" delivered by Ed Norton in </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">25th&nbsp;Hour</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">. The simple displacement of images to the audio is like a refreshing slap of virtual irony&mdash;both very and not-at-all original.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141117131646-Emilie_Brout___Maxine_Marion__Cliches.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Emilie Brout &amp; Maxine Marion</strong>, <em>Cliches, 2014,&nbsp;</em>Courtesy the artists and Carroll/Fletcher</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Droitcour&rsquo;s conception of post-internet isn&rsquo;t wide enough to include the complex identity work of Cremona or Trecartin or this shift towards remixed content that plays in and on the internet. It focuses on objects as images, and the gallery as a detatched mode of viewing art. And yet for the Trecartin/Fitch collaboration, the object-sets in which the work is filmed and presented are weird hybrid objects in the gallery, half about shaping a video viewing experience and half about sculpting a full bodily experience. They transgress the &ldquo;post-internet&rdquo; label.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Korakrit Arunanondchai&rsquo;s show at <a href="http://www.artslant.com/lon/venues/show/45051-carlos-ishikawa" target="_blank">Carlos Ishikawa</a> exemplified all of these traits: a reflectively developed identity, mass art idea appropriation, and a disregard for typical gallery viewing. He adds to this mix the brand ideology inherent in internet culture. His "paintings" are made from bleached, burned, copied denim&mdash;ideas from every male painter grappling with pushing beyond the medium&mdash;and reformed into a flaming tracksuit for sale by<em> DIS Magazine</em>'s&nbsp;<a href="http://disown.dismagazine.com/collections/korakrit-arunanondchai">DISown</a>. This flaming "sweatsuit" is, indeed, a linkable, thumbs up-able thing, and yet its self-reflexive capitalist knowingness is likeable. Arunanondchai&rsquo;s got&nbsp;a post-internet art attitude that&rsquo;s bigger than glib, more confident, while referencing and appropriating like crazy from the artworld it lives in&mdash;a game that&rsquo;s both one-upmanship and like biking with stabilizers.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141117135752-IMG_4567Edit.jpg" alt="" />&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Korakrit Arunanondchai</strong>, Installation view,&nbsp;<em>2557 (Painting with history in a room filled with men with funny names 2)</em>&nbsp;(with Korapat Arunanondchai), Carlos/Ishikawa, London, 2014l;Copyright the artist; Courtesy of Carlos/Ishikawa, London</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In her introduction to <a href="http://www.artslant.com/lon/events/show/351379-mirrorcity-london-artists-on-fiction-and-reality" target="_blank"><em>MIRRORCITY</em> at the Hayward Gallery</a>, curator Stephanie Rosenthal uses the allegory of J. G. Ballard&rsquo;s <em>Concrete Island</em>&mdash;a story in which a man stranded in the middle of the intersection between the M4 and the Westway withdraws into his mind, surviving on his wits and the contents of his car&mdash;to evoke the London artist in the digital age. Rosenthal selected artworks for the show which, like Trecartin and Fitch&rsquo;s version of post-internet, often create immersive worlds. The focus here is on the digital as information to be mined&mdash;be it as text, image, video, audio, or as modes of research.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In Lindsay Seer&rsquo;s <em>Nowhere Less Now (iamnowhere)</em> (2014) a huge shipwrecked hull contains eye-like projection orbs, distorting her videos. She's mined an archive for congruent stories through which research links have become narrative devices. She slips from expressions of a love of dance to the horror of a fascist regime. The &ldquo;i&rdquo; of iamnowhere at once loses and forms itself in information. <em>MIRRORCITY</em>'s&nbsp;interior worlds are so independently compelling that it&rsquo;s hard to orient yourself from one to the next. Even Emma McNally&rsquo;s drawings need to be built into a space on their own. Map-like and vast, they seem to have specific meaning redacted, leaving the sense that there is no real space not drawn on by data, like the NightSky app&rsquo;s constellation mapping revealing a series of dots, dashes, points and lines overlaid onto the world.</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141117140248-DSC_6327.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><strong>Lindsay Seers</strong>,&nbsp;<em><span style="text-align: left;">Nowhere Less Now 4,&nbsp;</span></em><span style="text-align: left;"><em>(iamnowhere)</em> 2014&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The interior connectedness inherent in the works in <em>MIRRORCITY</em> is somehow incongruent with the communal connectivity implied in digital culture. Sadly, <em>MIRRORCITY</em> as a group show suffers because the works end up being closed off next to each other and come off as inward looking, with their own internal logics. And yet this very fact, that the web draws you in down its research holes, seems evidence of the biggest identity crisis of them all. Artists using the internet are introverts mining information to pose as extroverts, failing to fulfil the net&rsquo;s utopian promise, never less and yet more connected.</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/377935-phoebe-stubbs?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Phoebe Stubbs</a></span></p> <div style="line-height: 26px;"> <div style="line-height: 26px;"> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref1">&nbsp;</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at top: <strong>Ryan Trecartin, </strong>Still from <em>CENTER JENNY</em>, 2013;&nbsp;<strong>&copy;</strong>&nbsp;Courtesy of the Artist and Zabludowicz Collection)</span></p> </div> </div> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 05:46:50 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list The Kiss of Death: Gruesome Depictions of Love in Art <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">As the saying goes, all art is, in the end, about sex or death. They're the two oldest themes in art history. But then at some point someone must have thought, how about getting them both in there, and creating the best art ever? And then a lot of other people thought that'd be a good idea too. And then it went to some weird grisly places and became a bit scary.&nbsp; Here's our selection of the most macabre love moments in art.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Joel-Peter Witkin, <em>Kiss</em>, 1982</span></strong></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141116102523-Jo_l_Peter_Witkin_-_Le_baiser__1982_.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">King of the Bizarre, Witkin's grotesque take on the romantic kiss is mild compared to some of his other works: to make this one, he took a severed dead head and sawed it in half. It's the same guy! I guess love does turn you soft.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Martin Skauen, <em>Kiss,</em> 2007</span></strong></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141116104554-galmgm_kiss.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; text-align: justify;">Image courtesy the artist &nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Nothing says "I love you" like an orgy of decapitated heads.</span></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Francisco Goya, <em>Saturn Devouring His Son</em>, 1819-1823</span></strong></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141116104942-Francisco_de_Goya__Saturno_devorando_a_su_hijo__1819-1823_-1.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; text-align: left;"><strong>Francisco de Goya;&nbsp;</strong>Via <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Francisco_de_Goya,_Saturno_devorando_a_su_hijo_(1819-1823).jpg" target="_blank">Wikimedia Commons</a></span></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">One of the most horrible inversions of paternal love, Goya's rendition of the Greek myth carries a particular poignance since only one of his own six children survived to adulthood.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Caravaggio, Judith Beheading Holofernes, 1598-1599</span></strong></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141116105240-Caravaggio_Judith_Beheading_Holofernes.jpg" alt="" /><br /></span></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small; text-align: left;"><strong>Caravaggio;&nbsp;</strong>Via <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Caravaggio_Judith_Beheading_Holofernes.jpg" target="_blank">Wikimedia Commons&nbsp;</a></span></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Judith was depicted by a lot of artists. The story goes that she seduced the general Holofernes, got him drunk, and then lopped off his head. What a bitch! Except she did it for her people yo.</span></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Pedro Almodovar, <em>Matador</em>, 1986&nbsp;</span></strong></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141116102704-matador4.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I remember watching this film at age 17 in Spanish class. The opening scene is a man masturbating to a horror flick.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Toshio Saeki, <em>Untitled</em></span></strong></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141116102744-toshio-saeki-1.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="p3" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Image courtesy the artist&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p3" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; text-align: justify;">After all, Japan is known for its abundance of weird fetishes, and Saeki is no exception&hellip;</span></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">William Cobbi</span><span style="font-size: medium;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">ng, </span></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><em>The Kiss</em>, 2004</span></span></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="//player.vimeo.com/video/32983595" frameborder="0" width="700" height="525"></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://vimeo.com/32983595">The Kiss (2004)</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user8799792">William Cobbing</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p> <p class="p5" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Ever feel like your partner is messing with your head? Or that your head is made of clay? This is that. In video art form.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p5" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p5" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Erwin Wurm, <em>Kiss</em>, 2013</span></strong></p> <p class="p5" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141116102849-erwin-wurm-presents-synthesa-at-lehmann-maupin-designboom-06.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="p8" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Image blowging.com</span></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Wurm contorts the physical and emotional side of love into sausages.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Ren&eacute;&nbsp;Magritte, <em>The Lovers</em>, 1928</span></strong></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141116102932-7341046518_acc80bec16_b.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="p3" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Via <a href="http://www.wikiart.org/en/rene-magritte/the-lovers-1928" target="_blank">WikiArt</a></span></p> <p class="p3" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">It's said that this work is about the frustrating mystery ever present between lovers. The creepy enshrouded faces that appear in Magritte's work are great for fetishists, too.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p3" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p3" style="line-height: 26px;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>The Kiss of Death</em>, 1930</span></strong></p> <p class="p3" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141116103010-kiss-of-death-poblenou-barcelona-3.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="p9" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">Barcelona&rsquo;s Poblenou Cemetery attributed to Jaume Barba,</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">Photo:&nbsp;<a href="http://prafulla.net/">http://prafulla.net</a></span></span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://prafulla.net/"><br /></a></p> <p class="p9" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Lurking in Barcelona's Poblenou Cemetery, a likely spot for romantic picnicking, is this fine sculpture, resting on the grave of a textile manufacturer. The apparent ecstasy on the handsome young deceased's face as he is kissed by the winged skeleton is undeniably charged with eroticisim: perhaps suggesting the beginning of a beautiful phantas-magical relationship. Alternative interpretations is that's just his bitch resting face. &nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p9" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p9" style="line-height: 26px;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Alfred Kubin, <em>Kiss</em>, 1903</span></strong></p> <p class="p9" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141116105426-y.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="p9" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Alfred Kubin; Via&nbsp;<a href="http://monsterbrains.blogspot.com/2011/04/alfred-kubin.html" target="_blank">Monsterbrains</a></span></p> <p class="p9" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">This weekend Azealia Banks announced her preference for white men for certain sexual acts. I think she said something about a "stiff upper lip." This Austrian Symbolist's 19th century depiction would be just her bag.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p9" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p9" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;ArtSlant Team</span></p> Mon, 17 Nov 2014 00:10:02 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Pierre Cardin Museum Opens in Paris: A First Look <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">You know, call me a sucker, and tell me that I should be over these kinds of petit exercises in social one-upmanship, but I do still get a little frisson of excitement when I&rsquo;m rolling around Paris with an "exclusive" invitation in my pocket. It's one of the perks of the dirty job of criticism/journalism/whatever it is you want to call what I do. The folly of such an attitude was aptly displayed last night when, after a day of only mild bragging, I arrived at the "cocktail" for the opening of Pierre Cardin&rsquo;s new museum in the Marais to discover a queue stretching out of the courtyard and down the street. It seems my exclusive press invite was also available to download off the website, and who&rsquo;d have known that Pierre had so many fans (over 1,500 of them apparently)? Not me, clearly. So popular was the event that I actually failed to gain entry to the museum, thereby presenting something of a problem for this pending review.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141114202801-Pierre_Cardin_Queue.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">My dilemma was solved today by the kindness of Ren&eacute;e Taponier, the museum's conservator, who generously took the time to guide me around the museum despite it being closed until fully opening next week. My advice would be if you&rsquo;re ever offered a private tour of museum, take it. No matter which museum it is. Which isn&rsquo;t to say that the Pierre Cardin museum is not interesting. It is, in fact, remarkably interesting.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Let me also make one things clear: when it comes to fashion I am deadly, albeit it only in the sense that there are few things more dangerous than a man with a bit of knowledge (a long way to say I don&rsquo;t know a lot about fashion), so I can&rsquo;t really comment on any of the fashiony things you might notice&mdash;signature items, particular features, silhouettes, and so on&mdash;but I was sufficiently impressed that I will recommend it to friends who work in fashion, although they will probably turn their noses up, but then again, they almost invariably do. After all, they work in fashion.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141114202859-Pierre_Cardin_2.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The thing with the museum is that up until this point my awareness of Pierre Cardin was solely connected to my elder brother&rsquo;s "casual" fascination somewhere in the mid-eighties, and, while I&rsquo;m not saying that the fashion choices of football hooligans aren&rsquo;t interesting, what surprised me was how, despite not knowing anything, I still had the impression that I recognized so many of these designs. They are truly iconic in that they&rsquo;re unwittingly fixed in your consciousness via movies, posters, and imagery. It seems the designer's niche was that particular conception of futuristic which bloomed in the sixties and waned in the early nineties, and, given the atrium space and the way the mannequins are displayed, the museum feels a little like you&rsquo;re mingling at a chic party on the set of a Roger Vadim movie. We also get to see a lot of accessories and furniture that Cardin designed that are cool, na&iuml;ve, outrageous, and really dumb in that nice "would anyone really wear that?" kind of way.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">And this is it, I guess: What&rsquo;s surprising for me, as one who has frequently been disparaging of fashion, is just how intrinsic to a particular moment in cultural history the clothes people were wearing&mdash;or just dreaming of wearing&mdash;were. And how, when you mingle with these clothes you get a real sense of what that moment was. If you're in Paris, in the Marais, you could do a lot worse than visit.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141114203031-Pierre_Cardin_3.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141114203106-Pierre_Cardin_1.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/273879-james-loks?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">James Loks</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(All images: Museum Pierre Cardin, <em>Past Present Futur</em>; Photos:&nbsp;the author)</span></p> Fri, 14 Nov 2014 20:40:10 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Gulf Artist Collective Brings Their Diplomatic Parody to the Middle East <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Representatives of The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (The Gulf Cooperation Council, or GCC in abbreviation) deliberate while seated in red silk chairs around a polished wooden table engraved in gold leaf. GCC, a collective of eight artists largely of Kuwaiti origin have installed <em>Micro Council,</em> a doll-sized replica of the table in the center of an otherwise empty and sterile exhibition space at Sharjah Art Foundation. The table huddles weakly beneath the glare of LED lights streaming from a grandiose gold ceiling, referencing the nondescript yet luxurious conference halls and hotels where forums, accords, or even art fairs are held in the region.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Reclaiming phrases commonly bantered among ministry officials in speeches and memorandums, GCC calls itself a &ldquo;delegation,&rdquo; and the members Nanu Al-Hamad, Khalid Al Gharaballi, Abdullah Al-Mutairi,&nbsp;Fatima Al Qadiri, Monira Al Qadiri, Aziz Al Qatami, Barrak Alzaid and Amal Khalaf convene for &ldquo;summits&rdquo; around the world. The group&rsquo;s name&mdash;which implies that these young artists speak for their entire generation&mdash;coupled with the idea that a one-year-old collective could stage or merit a retrospective, is deliberately pretentious, and a parody on power and how it is used or misused humbly or extravagantly by decision-making bodies.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141114180304-GCC_3.jpg" alt="" /><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><strong>GCC,</strong> <em>Berlin Congratulant</em>, 2013, Glass, brass, metal, and zirconica diamond trophy on marble-veneered pedestal,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">Installation view at <em>GCC: Achievements in Retrospective</em>, 2014, Sharjah Art Foundation Art Spaces;&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">Courtesy of Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin and Sharjah Art Foundation</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The second portion of the exhibition has been installed in <em>Bait Habib Al Shalwani</em>, a repurposed historic home that flanks the Foundation&rsquo;s newer minimalist spaces. Step into any government minister&rsquo;s office in the Gulf and expect to encounter a shelf of carefully polished crystal awards engraved to commemorate various forums and inaugurations. GCC satirizes the custom with an installation of ten awards celebrating each of the cities in which the collective has gathered since its 2013 inception. Garish cubic zirconia bedecks a replica of a ship&rsquo;s wheel, while the glass base is engraved with the bumptious phrase, &ldquo;Berlin Congratulant.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The trophies draw attention to both the commercial business of government swag and to the emptiness of a group of artists or diplomats honoring one another at the conclusion of a nondescript summit that may not have in fact accomplished much of any lasting impact. This contrast between the contrived and timeless is further strengthened by a sound installation in which a female speaker blandly reads aloud the GCC's charter article by article over a loudspeaker. At times the empty recording competes for attention with the haunting call to prayer projected from the blue-tiled mosque located just next door.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141114180844-GCC1.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><strong>GCC</strong>, <em>Topocelia</em>, 2014, Gypsum board, spotlights, LED lights, steel reinforcements, paint, Installation view at <em>GCC: Achievements in Retrospective</em>, 2014, Sharjah Art Foundation Art Spaces; Image courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">An <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/events/show/324336-gcc-achievements-in-retrospective" target="_blank">exhibition of the same title</a> was presented at MoMA PS1 over the summer, but the works have been rearranged here to respond to the architectural environment of Sharjah Art Foundation. The MoMA retrospective was far more provocative and displayed a series of photographs (including a mock diplomatic negotiation set in the Swiss Alps) that added an element of performance and engaged playfully yet meaningfully with various symbols and tropes of Gulf culture. One who has viewed both incarnations of the exhibition can&rsquo;t help but wonder if these images were pointedly left out in Sharjah due to concerns of offending a hometown crowd. Regardless, this is an exciting and thoughtful exhibition by a group that is going places. It has been well placed at a progressive institution that is at the forefront of the emerging GCC art scene.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/409513-danna-lorch?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Danna Lorch&nbsp;</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at top:&nbsp;<strong>GCC</strong>, <em>Figure B: Micro Council</em>, 2013, Wood, brass, acrylic glass, glass, gold leaf, paint, Installation view at <em>GCC: Achievements in Retrospective</em>, 2014, Sharjah Art Foundation Art Spaces; Image courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation)</span></p> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 10:02:27 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Gallerist Head to Head: Bea de Sousa, Christopher Kulendran Thomas, and Kristin Luke in Conversation <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Christopher Kulendran Thomas is an artist/art strategist whose approach I have long admired. When&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I invited him to realize a project at my London gallery&nbsp;<a href="http://www.theagencygallery.co.uk/" target="_blank">the Agency</a>, he brought me <a href="http://theairinnvenice.com/" target="_blank">The Air Inn Venice</a>&nbsp;(TAIV) and its&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">creator, LA artist Kristin Luke. Christopher met Kristin when she originally curated him at TAIV, along&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">with her own practice and contributions by Ed Fornieles and Renzo Martens, in her California pad.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Now Christopher is curating TAIV for the Agency. A three-way dialogue ensues as the exhibition is about&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">to happen: <em>The Air Inn Venice - Winter 2015/14&nbsp;Fuck It All Sunrise Getaway</em>&nbsp;opens at my space on Evelyn Street on 19 November.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I asked Christopher and Kristin some questions that were on my mind.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;Bea de Sousa, November 2014</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141114105259-IMG_4042.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Documentation from&nbsp;<em>Art In The Face Of Radical Evil&nbsp;</em>at The Air Inn Venice</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>&nbsp;</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Bea de Sousa:</strong> What is The Air Inn Venice for you?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Kristin Luke</strong>:&nbsp;The Air Inn Venice could be understood as a hyperobject. It is an ongoing, intermittent project&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">space in the format of a beach-side vacation home, located in Venice Beach, Los Angeles.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Originally a painter&rsquo;s studio, then an Airbnb vacation rental, now The Air Inn Venice, its multi-</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">functional architecture and interior design are deployed as a way to rethink divisions between&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">producer, product, spectator, participant, guest, host, actor. It is an artwork, which includes&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">others&rsquo; artworks and its widely dispersed audience as its material.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Christopher Kulendran Thomas:</strong>&nbsp;The philosopher Timothy Morton coined the term "hyperobjects" in 2010 to describe entities&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">that are so massively distributed in time and space as to transcend localized comprehension at&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">a human scale. A different more <a href="http://www.academia.edu/4779183/Beyond_the_Contemporary_round-table_discussion_with_Amanda_Beech_Robin_Mackay_and_Suhail_Malik_as_part_of_the_series_21st_Century_Theory_">rationalist</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; text-align: left; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">understanding of this type of <a href="https://www.upress.umn.edu/book-division/books/hyperobjects">object</a>&nbsp;presents a&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">challenge to Contemporary Art as a paradigm today. In the television age art as a cultural form is&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">specifically intended for spectatorship, requiring the viewer to complete the artwork with their&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">own interpretation of it. However today&rsquo;s most ubiquitous networked media platforms (like Google&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">or Facebook) take us not simply as spectators but as their very materials for algorithmically data-</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">processed purposes that remain mostly invisible. Just as Morton understands ecology without&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">a distinction between <a href="http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ecology-without-Nature-Timothy-Morton/dp/0674034856">nature and technology</a>&nbsp;these networks can be understood as sites of&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">intersection between human and non-human materiality.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141114105401-IMG_3201.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Documentation from&nbsp;<em>Art In The Face Of Radical Evil</em>&nbsp;at The Air Inn Venice</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>&nbsp;</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>BdS:&nbsp;</strong>What is the value of deliberate and consensual collaborations between artists?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>KL:&nbsp;</strong>For me making work is always a collaboration, and not just with people who would call&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">themselves artists. I&rsquo;m currently looking at cooperative structures in premodern societies,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">such as idiorrhythmic monasteries and even Neolithic social formations as attempts at using&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">collaborative structures to initiate societal shifts. The way in which the historical precedents&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">include dispersion, network, and embeddedness as the very material of the movement, deserves&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">a deeper comparison with art practices and social dynamics that blur the boundaries between&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">artist and spectator. You couldn&rsquo;t achieve alternative social structures and ways of subsisting&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">them as a sole author.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>CKT:</strong> It seems to me that the underlying category distinction that is being dissolved here is the phony&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">binary between subject and object upon which the fantasy of autonomy is based. Beyond the&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">humanist myth of authorship, a distributed "hyper art object" like The Air Inn Venice might itself&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">be understood not in terms of either artistic or interpretational autonomy but rather in terms of&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">negotiating agency within its contiguous ecologies of interdependencies.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>BdS:</strong> Where is the value in the reappropriation of works?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>KL:</strong> I would prefer the term reinstrumentalization&mdash;a conscious wrenching of an artwork, or any&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">kind of object, from its original context. In <em>The Social Life of Things</em>, Arjun Appadurai describes the&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">mutability of a society&rsquo;s relationship to objects, or "things," as the network around them changes,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">that it is "things-in-motion that illuminate their human and social context." Objects are engaged&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">in "encoding"&mdash;they act as a kind of delivery service for a legible social text, an ideological force, the&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">syntax and vocabulary of which is determined prior to the message.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In <em>Struggle and Utopia at the End Times of Philosophy</em>, Francois Laruelle supports a radical vacancy,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">a negative, non-philosophical future. The only way to talk about the future is to assume that an&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">aspect of it will always be unknown to us in the present. In these instances of non-identification, of&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">illegibility, material culture creates a glimmer of possibility for the radicalization of utopian thought.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>CKT:</strong> This type of strategy takes affective experience as part of its materiality (or as part of the&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">process) rather than as its sole purpose. Like Facebook itself, emotions are processed as fuel for&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">dispersed operations. But whilst both Facebook and Google have populations of users bigger than&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">any democratic nation, neither is particularly good at producing discursive space toward its own&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">democratic accountability. It is in this unregulated terrain that art might be mobilized to redirect&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">flows of attention to scrutinize the structuring of power. I'm interested in this interrogation of&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">biopolitical ethics as an examination of <a href="http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Birth-Biopolitics-Lectures-1978-1979/dp/140398655X" target="_blank">how authority is collectively distributed</a> and how governing&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">is dispersed.<br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141114190640-IMG_3491.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Christopher Kulendran Thomas (works from the series&nbsp;<em>When Platitudes Become Form</em>), May 2014</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>&nbsp;</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>BdS:&nbsp;</strong>Do art concepts need exhibition spaces?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>KL:</strong> When the materials which make up an artwork include the exhibition space itself and all its&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">possible functions, as is the case with The Air Inn Venice, the concept breaks down under such&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">metonymic restructuring. The expanse of the networks along which TAIV is dispersed could not be&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">contained solely within a physical space. TAIV exists through taking up live broadcast, promotion,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">virtual models, business, and advertising as its materials. The exhibition space is incidental to the&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">artwork, not the reverse.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>CKT:&nbsp;</strong>Beyond the exhausted logic of the "readymade" (bringing artefacts of the commercial world into&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">the context of art for gallery-bound interpretation), we've been talking about strategies of doing art&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">through commercial processes, where spectatorship becomes part of art&rsquo;s materiality rather than its&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">purpose. The context of art here opens up discursive space within platforms of capitalization. It is in&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">this space that we can ask where political agency might lie when it&rsquo;s rooted not in a fantasy of critical&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">distance but in the actuality of navigating or redirecting ecological entanglement.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;Bea de Sousa</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Bea de Sousa is a curator and the Founder/Director of the <a href="http://www.theagencygallery.co.uk/">Agency Gallery,</a> London.</span></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(All images: Courtesy of <a href="http://theairinnvenice.com/post/101675650603/art-the-in-the-face-of-radical-evil-ethical" target="_blank">The Air Inn Venice)</a></span></p> Tue, 18 Nov 2014 14:22:54 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Learning to Look as a Gallery Moves On: Cameron Crone at Jancar Jones <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">By way of introduction, Cameron Crone's first solo-show at Jancar Jones, <em>Reflow the Logic Board</em>, is a testament to just how strange and surprising photography can get. The artist presents color photographs of to-scale beach towels, their terrycloth weaves intervened with kitty litter dripped-sand-castle-y patterns, all laid out on some mysterious concrete ground. Crone has also fabricated a series of urban-aqueduct-cum-skate-ramp sculptures, with terrazzo beveled curves and arcs. The work is very approachable, very sensual, very much to scale with the human body: our limbs and torsos.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141113185015-RVD_4287_WEB_1.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">By way of contextualization:&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Jancar Jones is on the move!</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The gallery is currently in LA&rsquo;s funky Chinatown, and Crone&rsquo;s </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Reflow the Logic Board </em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">is the last exhibition at this venue. Many galleries have opened doors in this neon-lit, turtle pond-dotted neighborhood; many galleries have moved away from Chinatown, and continue to excite in new digs.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Unlike in other galleries&mdash;and perhaps as a testament to the Jancar Jones general congeniality and mirth&mdash;a homeless gentleman with dusty grey dreadlocks and darkened clothing has silently attended every single Chinatown opening. He will tote a cold beer in hand. He will stand against one of the glowing white walls. He will not speak to anyone. He will occasionally make brief and arresting eye contact. <em>What is he thinking</em>, I ask myself.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141113183757-RVD_4354_WEB_0.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Cameron Crone</strong>,&nbsp;<em>Pocket</em>, 2014, terrazzo, 15 x 23.5 x 12 in; Courtesy of the artist and Jancar Jones Gallery</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">He tells me with his eyes, Cameron Crone&rsquo;s <em>Upside Down Arch</em>, in yellow and green-specked porcelain white terrazzo, is a place to rest one&rsquo;s gaze. A floor sculpture, <em>Upside Down Arch</em>, teases as a tech deck finger skateboard half pipe; a cat scratcher; a chair. <em>Pocket</em> is a blushed red terrazzo shape, a presence called out of the side of an emptied pool. A body organ-colored nook or cranny.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I see him. Standing between photographs <em>Overlay 3 </em>and <em>Overlay 2</em>&nbsp;his figure activates the works' proportions. I realize the towels in the photographs are to scale; torsos can be torsos. The kitty litter sand patterns swell and warp in one&rsquo;s perception, charged by a kind of recognition that neither confirms nor denies&mdash;like tracking paw prints, like memory. <em>Overlay 1</em>, <em>Overlay 2</em>, and <em>Overlay 3</em> are images that prompt "slow looking." I emulate the thoughtful, silent viewer&hellip;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141113184026-RVD_4332_WEB_crop_0.jpg" alt="" />&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Cameron Crone</strong>,&nbsp;<em>Overlay 2</em>, 2014, archival ink jet print, 57 x 32 inches, edition of 2 with 1 AP; Courtesy of the artist and Jancar Jones Gallery</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The dreadlocked man wants to champion this work because it is funny, because it is hard or difficult, because the matter of the forms determines the colors, its saturated and sand-colored tones. <em>Reflow</em> is regurgitating empirical norms, what we know to be true of photography and form. Crone&rsquo;s sensibility is nested in sensitivity to surface, light, and texture: the fundamentals of photography. In a word, Crone approaches sculpture with these elements in mind, literally sanding the terrazzo by hand, and, also by hand, sifting cat litter across the tops of towels. <em>Reflow the Logic Board </em>is a show about what happens when two or more surfaces make contact, interact.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">At the last opening reception in Chinatown the man and I look at each other&mdash;<em>is this the last time?</em>&mdash;and he smiles. &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/364194-chelsea-rector?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Chelsea Rector</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at top:&nbsp;<strong>Cameron Crone</strong>, <em>Overlay 1</em>, 2014, archival ink jet print, 57 x 32 inches, edition of 2 with 1 AP; Courtesy of the artist and Jancar Jones Gallery)</span></p> Thu, 13 Nov 2014 21:31:22 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Crossover Career Fail: Vanessa-Mae's Olympic Fiddle <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Following a radical departure into skiing at the Sochi Winter Olympics, mega-selling violinist Vanessa-Mae has been found guilty of another type of fiddle.</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Finishing last out of 67 skiers and racing for Thailand as Vanessa Vanakorn, the FIS (International Ski Federation) announced this week it has banned the artist from competitive skiing for four years for race fixing. Their ruling states she only qualified for the Olympics after her results were manipulated at four&nbsp;races, organized at the request of Vanessa-Mae's own team, in Krvavec, Slovenia in January of this year. At these qualifying races, the FIS found that Vanessa-Mae had fixed race times, a number of absent skiiers were listed as participants, and for some of the races, the weather was so bad they couldn't even have taken place.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">FIS president Gian-Franco Kasper told the AP: "At first we were laughing when we heard it. But then we realized it&rsquo;s quite a serious thing.&rdquo;</span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The image of the 35-year-old performer, situated deeply in that surreal twilight between conformist musical pedigree and bizzaro exhibitionism, in her skis, midway down slalom, is a violin close-up short of one of her music videos. It's certainly in the same ballpark as "The Devil's Trill" (10 million YouTube hits): Vanessa-Mae in Stetson, in a lavish fantasy ice cave, her smile part seductive, part as if her very life depended on it.</span></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; <iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/nQ798THmR5Y" frameborder="0" width="700" height="525"></iframe></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Will the ban effect those impressive music sales? Unlikely. Like other cultural stars who have at some point attempted an unexpected career change, it offers a <em>Zelig</em>-like glimpse into the nature of transformation. But, like a crab prized out of its shell, what lies exposed is often best left forgotten. For every Steve McQueen, flourishing gracefully into one of the world's foremost film makers, there's the awkward question of Russell Crowe's singing career.</span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Most high profile career changes are kept on the sideline, or at least involve a very secure safety net: James Franco's compulsive Renaissance Man tendencies have yet to see him remove Seth Rogan from speed dial; the Bowies and Madonnas know that another album is always what the public need to forget the taste of their less successful screen outings.</span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">To her credit, Vanessa-Mae's response is fairly unbothered. &ldquo;With my limited experience at my age I&rsquo;m happy I made it down,&rdquo; she is quoted in <em>The Guardian</em> as saying. &ldquo;It was kind of rock and roll because I nearly crashed out three times.&rdquo;</span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p4" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/408013-paul-hanford" target="_blank">Paul Hanford</a></span></p> <p class="p4" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p4" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image on top: Vanessa Mae holding Olympic torch; Photo: &nbsp;Yemisi Blake from London, United Kingdom; Via <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vanessa_Mae_holding_olympic_torch.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Vanessa_Mae_holding_olympic_torch.jpg" target="_blank">Wikimedia Commons</a>)</span></p> Thu, 13 Nov 2014 17:39:08 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Framed: Digital Art's New Home in Your Home <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Where does digital art live? Today, it&rsquo;s usually found on your computer. While networked practices, hacks, and coded mixed-media practices are supported through scattered exhibition spaces and sites like Rhizome, digital art&mdash;art made using digital tools (think gifs), including digital photography, created to be viewed on a screen&mdash;hasn&rsquo;t found much of a home away from your computer screen. Until now.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Last year, in New York, a small start up raised hundreds of thousands of dollars over their modest <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/electricobjects/electric-objects-a-computer-made-for-art">Kickstarter goal</a> to create a programmed, framed, screen to display digital art in the home. Backed by a team of programmers, developers, and one established curator, <a href="http://www.electricobjects.com/">Electric Objects</a> launched with the mission of untrapping &ldquo;beautiful objects&rdquo;<a title="" href="#_ftn1">[1]</a> from our TVs, phones, and computers, where they get lost amongst the distraction of noises and alerts. For around $500, one can own the E01 in either a black or white frame. Once hung on your wall, you can cast your own images, or works from the Electric Objects gallery, onto the screen. Designed solely as a way to view art, the EO1 displays one image at a time, which can be changed through an app that also contains ways to share and network with friends who also have the product.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141112182524-Kara-gif.gif" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">From Electric Object&rsquo;s Lookbook; Photo:&nbsp;<a href="http://jstn.cc/" target="_blank">jstn</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Electric Objects is not alone in their efforts. San Francisco-based <a href="https://depict.com/about">depict</a> launched last year with a mission to build a dynamic app that would allow artwork to be cast to extant screens in your home through Chromecast and other similar services one might already have. However, this month they just announced they too are developing a framed screen for purchase, yet to be released. With a goal &ldquo;to democratize access to art, and to connect people to what inspires them,&rdquo; depict works directly with artists to create new works for their galleries that customers can &ldquo;subscribe&rdquo; to stream monthly, or purchase a digital copy (at around $15) for their personal collection to display anytime they&rsquo;d like.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141112183356-2_Daylighted_Screenshot.png" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Screenshot from&nbsp;<a href="http://daylighted.com/" target="_blank">Daylighted.com</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Also in San Francisco is the even more commercial&nbsp;<a href="http://www.day-lighted.com/index.html">Daylighted</a>, a company that has developed a screen for businesses that will rotate digital images (at this time photographs only) from their galleries in clients' hotel lobbies or waiting rooms. With Daylighted, the screen also comes with a &ldquo;label&rdquo; to place to nearby so customers can learn more about the art and even purchase it. A copy will be sent to the customer&rsquo;s home and the hotel/business will receive 15 percent commission on the sale&mdash;basically inviting hotels to get into the gallery business.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Certainly these initiatives offer new commissions and sales opportunities for artists. And, important to the digital realm, both depict and Electric Objects&mdash;much like digital editions platform&nbsp;<a href="http://www.seditionart.com/" target="_blank">Sedition</a>&mdash;protect the work of the artists they commission by not allowing unique artworks to be downloaded (meaning works cannot be easily duplicated or pirated). Aside from Daylighted, which currently contains prosaic photographic collections such as &ldquo;Summer&rdquo; and &ldquo;Romantic Paris,&rdquo; Electric Objects and depict have hired curators who work directly with artists to create series for their platforms, most of whom work at least in some part with digital tools as a part of their practice.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">A quick glance at depict&rsquo;s featured artworks reveals a mixture of swirled paint-like motifs and photos of picturesque Iceland, but there is also more conceptual work by emerging artists. Andre Woolery worked with collaborator Victor Abijaoudi to make abstract painterly works created by capturing the oily remnants of fingerprints left on screens after playing Angry Birds or spending time on Facebook. Are they portraits of a human or of an app? Are they humanizing technology or playfully painting a picture of our love affair with our phones? Magnus Gjoen has created a dark, strange series juxtaposing images alluding to war, religion, and death with decorative arts&mdash;the kind you see in your local art museum. Electric Objects, too, has a mix of street and landscape photography, plus more abstract digital projects by emerging and established artists including Casey Reas (forthcoming) and Dina Kelberman.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141112183509-4_Andre_Woolery_on_depict.png" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Andre Woolery&rsquo;s&nbsp;<em>Invisible&nbsp;Hieroglyphics, Facebook App&nbsp;</em>(2014) on&nbsp;<a href="http://depict.com/" target="_blank">depict.com</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Supporting digital artistic practices is as much about the screened product as it is about creating a context for the work. Much like galleries produce catalogues, Electric Objects has a sleek section of their website dedicated to hosting interviews with their artists and panel discussions about digital art (as does depict), and it has partnered with the New York Public Library to launch an artist-in-residence program where the selected candidate will mine the library&rsquo;s map archives to create work for the platform. The first resident was San Francisco-based <a href="http://zine.electricobjects.com/interviews/jenny-odell">Jenny Odell</a> who will be finishing up her residency at the beginning of next month. Electric Objects will also be participating in Hyperallergic&rsquo;s <a href="http://hyperallergic.com/160347/explore-networked-culture-and-contemporary-art-in-miami-with-hypersalon/">Hypersalon</a> in Miami during the art fairs this December.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">It&rsquo;s certainly worth paying attention to the <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ew/articles/show/41253" target="_blank">companies and tools</a> that are creating conversations around digital art and artists in new ways. While the face value of these products is the opportunity to view digitally made images, gifs, and animations away from the distraction of our internet browsers, what may prove more valuable from a broader perspective is the possibility of creating a new market system for distributing work and supporting art. Will these new platforms and systems be absorbed into the capitalist art world, compete with it, or offer new, unexpected&mdash;perhaps even democratic&mdash; alternatives?&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">While I don&rsquo;t really support the concept of &ldquo;paintings are too expensive so we want to create a startup and make a product that you have to buy to democratize art&rdquo;<a title="" href="#_ftn2">[2]</a> (especially when these products have a shelf life of about seven years), I do think that the cultural capital surrounding the products&mdash;the potential of institutional collaborations and the development of an infrastructure for supporting artistic practices&mdash;holds the potential for these products to not fall into the dusty depths of a cacophonous art world. What quantitative measures for creating collective objectives around digital art will come of these panel discussions and art fair participations? Ultimately, I&rsquo;m most curious to find out just how far artists will be able to push the limitations of these platforms in meaningful ways.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/186890-kara-q-smith?tab=REVIEWS">Kara Q. Smith</a></span></p> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><br clear="all" /><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;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref1">[1]</a> From Electric Object&rsquo;s &ldquo;home&rdquo; page: &ldquo;There&rsquo;s more art on the Internet than in every gallery and museum on Earth. But many of these beautiful objects are trapped.&rdquo;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> </div> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref2">[2]</a> From depict&rsquo;s &ldquo;About&rdquo; page: &ldquo;None of us could afford to drop thousands of dollars on physical paintings, and we wanted everyone to have the opportunity to own something unique and beautiful.&rdquo;&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at top:&nbsp;From Electric Object&rsquo;s Lookbook; featuring artist Sara Ludy. Photo:&nbsp;<a href="http://jstn.cc/" target="_blank">jstn</a>)</span></p> </div> </div> Fri, 14 Nov 2014 05:40:58 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list #TerribleDecisions: #CosbyMeme Edition <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The lack of foresight and the unwillingness to learn from recent history resulted this week in Bill Cosby tweeting a photo of himself smiling under the words &ldquo;Happy Monday&rdquo; with the instructions, &ldquo;Go ahead, meme me! BillCosby.com/CosbyMeme #Cosby Meme.&rdquo; In his solicitation of public response, Cosby chose a medium in which he had no control or editing power over the results. The tweet has since been deleted, after it got exactly what he asked for.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>It's *amazing* that Bill Cosby's PR thought <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CosbyMeme?src=hash">#CosbyMeme</a> was going to go well. <a href="http://t.co/4Vn7FOS3tM">pic.twitter.com/4Vn7FOS3tM</a></p> &mdash; Alby (@Alby) <a href="https://twitter.com/Alby/status/532496307882311680">November 12, 2014</a></blockquote> <script charset="utf-8" type="text/javascript" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">A tweet is arguably itself a discrete visual event and can be analyzed as such, but the type of meme that combines a photograph with text, as Bill Cosby&rsquo;s does, merges the graphic with the textual into a one-dimensional image. The separate layers of meaning no longer enjoy the privilege of bilateral interpretation. The comedian&rsquo;s visage is instead wrapped in the words &ldquo;rapist&rdquo; and &ldquo;14 allegations.&rdquo; The various references to his rumored sexual assaults now hug and surround his smiling face.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CosbyMeme?src=hash">#CosbyMeme</a> utterly backfires. Lesson: understand how your brand is perceived before you start <a href="http://t.co/b8c5GoEGmj">http://t.co/b8c5GoEGmj</a> <a href="http://t.co/Y43uayZTdb">pic.twitter.com/Y43uayZTdb</a></p> &mdash; Sifiso Mazibuko (@SifisoMaz) <a href="https://twitter.com/SifisoMaz/status/532444430150930432">November 12, 2014</a></blockquote> <script charset="utf-8" type="text/javascript" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The fatal mistake of the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/mynypd" target="_blank">#myNYPD</a> hashtag, JPMorgan&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/twitter/10448715/JPMorgan-cancels-Twitter-QandA-after-tirade-of-abuse.html" target="_blank">Twitter Q&amp;A</a>, and now the #CosbyMeme is that they believe(d) in their ownership of their visual digital presence. They hired PR teams who do not divest them of this fanciful, outmoded belief in their own power, and the result is an infinitely accessible archived fallout of their hubris. The words attached to, inscribed under, or on top of an image become the part of the image. They become iterations of the same image.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>How about this one, is this one okay... RT <a href="https://twitter.com/BillCosby">@BillCosby</a>: Go ahead. Meme me! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CosbyMeme?src=hash">#CosbyMeme</a> <a href="http://t.co/1sKnvLdyQl">pic.twitter.com/1sKnvLdyQl</a></p> &mdash; Jason Steele (@FilmCow) <a href="https://twitter.com/FilmCow/status/531949688753496065">November 10, 2014</a></blockquote> <script charset="utf-8" type="text/javascript" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Campaigns&mdash;advertising, activist, and otherwise&mdash;do not &ldquo;share&rdquo; a reciprocal relationship with the internet. Power is almost unprecedentedly so skewed to the latter that it requires strategic thinking unique to people who study the way digital information technologies shift from day to day. PR officials no longer enjoy the unidirectional flow of information through media sources in the way they even recently did. It is a mistake for any person or organization requiring public representation to ignore the harmful implications of the outdated in favor of the comfort of the classic, seemingly potent, easy to understand suggestions of dying media tactics.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">It takes a great deal of self-importance to believe that one&rsquo;s own image is immutably sacred regardless of the mutations it is about to undergo.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/409210-kristen-ray?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Kristen Ray</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at top: The now-deleted Cosby tweet)</span></p> Wed, 12 Nov 2014 17:13:46 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list The Year's Best Drone Videos (So Far) <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Drone photography and video, like 3D printing before it, is currently hovering above a saturation point where it&rsquo;s no longer so novel that it's inherently cool. To get us excited you&rsquo;re going to have to do more than release your quadcopter above a bucolic landscape and set the resulting panoramic footage to a soothing soundtrack. The medium ain't the message.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">We&rsquo;ve already featured&nbsp;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/ew/articles/show/41276" target="_blank">drone porn</a> and <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/41283" target="_blank">drone art</a>&nbsp;on ArtSlant today.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In honor of what's become an impromptu Drone Day, here are some of our favorite drone videos of late. (We promise, they aren't all sweeping panoramas!)</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Okay Go's "I Won't Let You Down"</strong></span></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;<iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/u1ZB_rGFyeU" frameborder="0" width="700" height="394"></iframe></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Obviously, we&rsquo;d be remiss to not mention Okay Go&rsquo;s latest music video, which debuted last month to viral internet fame. Combine drone videography with Honda UNI-CUBs (the lazy man&rsquo;s Segway?) and outsized choreography&mdash;all shot in an almost unbelievably perfect single take&mdash;and you&rsquo;ve got a recipe for drone video success. We're buying the hype.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Cirque du Soleil's SPARKED</strong></span></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; <iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/6C8OJsHfmpI" frameborder="0" width="700" height="394"></iframe></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic," quotes Cirque du Soleil&rsquo;s September drone video release. The video isn't shot using drones, but rather integrates them into its choreography. Drones become whimsical dancing lampshades set to twee French music in this fantastical collaboration between&nbsp;Cirque du Soleil, ETH Zurich, and Verity Studios.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Hong Kong protesters filling city streets</strong><br /></span></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; <iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Q919bQOThvM" frameborder="0" width="700" height="394"></iframe></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>&nbsp;</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Sweeping panoramas get interesting when they get topical. The scale of the recent Hong Kong student protests was captured gorgeously in this one drone video. Bonus points for eschewing cheesy music.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Drone flying through fireworks</strong></span></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;<iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/a9KZ3jgbbmI" frameborder="0" width="700" height="394"></iframe></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">We&rsquo;ve seen a drone </span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfLCb4ewDDc" target="_blank">get head-butted by an angry ram</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">, so we know that a little bit of danger goes a long way in a drone video. This footage of a drone flying through a massive West Palm Beach fireworks display is astounding. Minus points for adding cheesy music (we recommend muting the Andrea Bocelli and adding your own soundtrack).</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Drones dance the Tango</span></strong></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;<iframe src="//player.vimeo.com/video/103019777" frameborder="0" width="700" height="394"></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://vimeo.com/103019777">Multiple Robots - Dancing Tango</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user21447094">Venanzio Cichella</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The above video from&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; text-align: left;">University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign PhD student&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; text-align: left;">Venanzio Cichella (</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvRTALJp8DM" target="_blank">this one</a>&nbsp;from University of Pennsylvania's GRASP Lab)</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;don't have the slickest production value, but they show pioneering drone technology that should put awe (and a little bit of fear) into viewers' minds. The tango-dancing drones aren't in it for the passionate dance moves; they're demonstrating "Trajectory Generation, Collision Avoidance, and Cooperative Path Following of Multiple Multirotors."</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The future is here. I, for one, welcome our new drone overlords.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;The ArtSlant Team</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at top: Okay Go, Still from "I Won't Let You Down")</span></p> Tue, 18 Nov 2014 15:59:43 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Preview: A New Exhibition Documents East London's Drag Community <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Just over a week ago, legendary East London gay pub <a href="http://www.thejoinershoreditch.com/" target="_blank">The Joiners Arms</a> announced it will be closing its doors (not the first announcement <a href="http://www.artslant.com/sf/articles/show/41226" target="_blank">of this sort</a> we've covered lately). At the heart of&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Hackney's LGBT club scene since 1997, the</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;pub has been an institution that helped combat homophobia in the area, and remains an important venue for the growing gay and transvestite culture that has since become a community.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">As if on cue, a new series of photographs&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">documenting and celebrating the East London tranny scene&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">will be presented in the city (<strong>Update</strong>: the exhibition opens&nbsp;December 4, 2014 at Milkbar, 3 Bateman Street, Soho). A&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">collaboration between artist Ted Rogers, who became a part of the tranny family over a year ago, and London-based portrait photographer Ki Price, <em>House of Trannies</em> highlights all the expected fabulousness, ostenstatiousness, and fun of these nocturnal performers. Behind the scenes shots&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">follow them through a typical night's performance, and&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">also depict the Drag Queen alter-egos in their family units and home environments.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The images also speak more widely of social change in East London, which has been steadily&mdash;and for some, controversially&mdash;developed. Though many remain dubious about the gentrification of the Hackney area&mdash;many independent businesses and long-time residents have been forced out&mdash;<em>House of Trannies</em>&nbsp;suggests that through difficult times&mdash;from the homophobia of the 80s and 90s to the neighborhood's reestablishment as a middle class hotspot&mdash;these figures continue to express themselves freely, in an evolving, tolerant, and diverse Hackney.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141111112105-KiPrice_Houseoftrannies06.jpeg" alt="" /><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141111112120-KP_Fracking_Hell09.jpeg" alt="" /><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141111112136-KP_Fracking_Hell11.JPG" alt="" /><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141111112248-photo_4.JPG" alt="" /><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141111112150-photo_2.JPG" alt="" />&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&mdash;ArtSlant Team</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(All images courtesy Ki Price and Ted Rogers)</span></p> Fri, 14 Nov 2014 19:38:45 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Giving Up Control: Two Artists Who Do Drones Differently <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Two recent New York exhibitions put a new spin on the specter of the drone within art and technology. This past Saturday was the last day to see <em>Sky Burial, </em>Rick Silva's solo show of drone art at <a href="http://transfergallery.com/exhibitions/2014/10/sky-burial/" target="_blank">Transfer Gallery</a> in Bushwick. Meanwhile, across the East River, <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/venues/show/268-bitforms-gallery" target="_blank">bitforms gallery</a> presented its second week of <em>Shellshocked </em>with four drone pieces by Addie Wagenknecht.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Wagenknecht and Silva join a long list of contemporary artists making drone art, but the ways they approach drones are decidedly innovative. Most drone art has primarily fallen into two categories: drone as tool and drone as subject matter. Many photographers, for example, have embraced commercial drones to take stunning aerial photographs, and some <a href="http://motherboard.vice.com/read/the-graffiti-drone-an-interview-with-katsu" target="_blank">graffiti artists</a> have even used drones to tag hard to reach targets. In these cases, drones have functioned as a purely technical tool to push traditional media in new directions; the drones are a means to an end. The works themselves do not necessarily comment on drones, nor do they explore drones as aesthetic or conceptual tools themselves.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141111002008-rick_silva.jpg" alt="" /> </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Rick Silva</strong>,<em>&nbsp;Circling, </em>2014,<em>&nbsp;</em>archival print on aluminum,<em>&nbsp;</em>22.5 x 40 in.;&nbsp;Courtesy of the artist and Transfer Gallery, New York</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Other artists have taken militarized drones as subject matter for their work. Politically self-conscious, these works often highlight the government secrecy and lack of public information surrounding drone strikes. <a href="http://www.paglen.com/?l=work&amp;s=drones&amp;i=4" target="_blank">Trevor Paglen's photographs</a> of drones fall in this category, as do&nbsp;<a href="http://booktwo.org/notebook/drone-shadows/" target="_blank">James Bridle's </a></span><a href="http://booktwo.org/notebook/drone-shadows/" target="_blank"><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Drone Shadow</em></a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://booktwo.org/notebook/drone-shadows/" target="_blank"> series</a> and his <a href="http://instagram.com/dronestagram" target="_blank">Dronestagram</a> project. Although these works give visibility to the hidden drone war, they don't always evoke the terrifying aesthetics of drones and their implications; the strategies employed by these artists could very easily be adopted to comment on and raise awareness about government secrecy more generally.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In contrast, Wagenknecht and Silva capture something much more elemental and experiential about drones. Their work occupies a curious middle ground where commercial drones function as an artistic medium&mdash;a medium whose defining formal attribute is the absence of human gesture and control. When I look at their works, I'm not just made aware of drones but am fully experiencing them.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141111002545-10293568_849178535103350_3581685117712786285_o.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Rick Silva,&nbsp;</strong><em>Sky Burial,&nbsp;</em>2014, Installation view at Transfer Gallery; Photo: Mattie Hillock; Courtesy of the artist and Transfer Gallery</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">For his&nbsp;</span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Sky Burial </em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">performance project Silva asked collaborators to submit photographs which he then lifted hundreds of feet into the sky with quadcopter drones. The performance alluded to Tibetan Buddhist funeral practices where the body is placed on the top of a mountain to be eaten by birds of prey. At Transfer, the video documentation of these &ldquo;sky burials&rdquo; shows the photographs ascending, fluttering in the wind, before the video pauses, the image pixelating as the drone loses contact with its remote and its artificial intelligence takes over. An error message flashes across the screen: &ldquo;Phantom Connection Broken.&rdquo; The drone continues to carry the photograph up, but we can no longer see the footage. It is here, at the point where the connection is lost, that the true terror and essence of drones is fully expressed: artificial intelligence overtakes what was relegated to the natural or spiritual realms.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141113135423-aw_shellshock-installview2_hr.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Addie Wagenknecht</strong>, Installation view of&nbsp;<em>Shellshock&nbsp;</em>at bitforms gallery,&nbsp;2014; Photo: John Berens; Courtesy of the artist and bitforms gallery, New York</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Wagenknecht's work also reflects on this surrender of human gesture to machine. </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Shellshocked </em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">features four paintings created by a small drone equipped with paint and given simple flight commands like &ldquo;barrel roll,&rdquo; &ldquo;take off,&rdquo; and &ldquo;land.&rdquo; Part of Wagenknecht's </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Black Hawk</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> series, the works question what it means to remove the body from both art making and war making. The earliest of these paintings are done with black acrylic on white canvas. They look like Rorschach ink blots only more violent and linear, evoking debris falling from the sky or an explosion on the ground. One of the paintings is hung traditionally; another is playfully propped in the gallery corner, the apparent target of a small plastic tank covered in rhinestones. The effect is comical but serious&mdash;it recalls Tiananmen Square's Tank Man and the human tank drivers who stopped and refused to run him over. The installation sets up a contrast between the tank and drone, between old weapons that operate with a human touch and new weapons that distance the aggressor and victim.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Opposite these are two newer drone paintings with heat and UV sensitive pigments on transparent vellum. Long and narrow like tapestries, they resemble smoky paintball explosions in black and bubblegum pink. With their bright, spattered paint, the works reference abstract expressionism but with a notable distinction that seems to capture so perfectly the dangers inherent in drone technology. The highly physical act and bodily movement of dripping paint on canvas&mdash;or killing a human being, for that matter&mdash;has been removed, the human gesture replaced by a remotely operated machine that, in all likelihood, won't stop. This is what separates Silva and Wagenknecht's drone art from that of their contemporaries. By exploring their remoteness, they capture something invisible but essential about drones: the distancing between bodies.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/409204-emily-greenberg" target="_blank">Emily Greenberg</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at top:&nbsp;<strong>Addie Wagenknecht</strong>,&nbsp;Installation view of&nbsp;<em>Shellshock&nbsp;</em>at bitforms gallery,&nbsp;2014;&nbsp;Photo: John Berens, Courtesy: bitforms gallery, New York)</span></p> Thu, 13 Nov 2014 13:56:22 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Allison Wade Makes Text Message Breakups an Art Form <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/684523/tcd3/20141110174410-slide_378072_4457216_free.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Breaking up has never been easy. It's also never been easier, thanks to text messaging. &nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">In her first New York solo exhibition, Allison L. Wade presents an entire series of artworks devoted to the breakup text message. Set against painted and photographed backgrounds on differently sized canvases, each work features a single text sent during one of Wade's own romantic failures, either by Wade herself or one of her exes. &nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">They range from the tragic, "I knew you would do this to me," and desperate, "This is my last attempt to get in touch with you before I feel like a stalker!" to the utterly bizarre and comical "WTF!!! You left for Ibiza without me," and "Sorry I have been out of touch this week. There was a snow storm and I have been watching movies." &nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><a href="http://www.rickwesterfineart.com/exhibitions-archive/allison-l-wade.html" target="_blank"><em>It's Not You</em></a> builds off Wade's previous series <em>Break-Up Texts</em>, first released at PULSE Miami in 2013, which blew up on social media and were the most shared images from the fair on Twitter and Instagram.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/684523/tcd3/20141110174451-wade_6644.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/684523/tcd3/20141110181342-slide_378072_4457196_free.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/684523/tcd3/20141110174018-ihandledthingspoorly.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Ripped from their contexts, Wade's sometimes confusing, other times profound snippets of conversation articulate the disconnectedness of human communication in the age of digital media. Furthering this confusion are the seemingly random backgrounds she chooses for each message. One subtlety is set in red text against a red background: "Before the misundestandings [sic] get out of hand, I'd like to speak with you." Another, channeling those corny motivational office posters defining "Respect" and "Teamwork," features several color gradients and a Kodak stock image of a woman with a bunch of produce. It reads "I handled things very poorly and wanted you to know that I am sorry." It's not really clear why Wade has made any of the artistic decisions she has. Everything just feels random, but then again, break ups are seldom as clear cut as we would hope.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/684523/tcd3/20141110173954-0037.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/684523/tcd3/20141110174059-imalreadygone.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">In what is perhaps the best-known example of virtual break up artworks, Sophie Calle created a similarly interesting response to e-dumping. For <em><a href="http://www.paulacoopergallery.com/exhibitions/56" target="_blank">Take Care of Yourself</a></em>, created for the French Pavilion of the 2007 Venice Biennale, Calle orchestrated a multi-media exhibition featuring text analysis, portraits, and filmed performances based on women's interpretations of a breakup letter she received via email. An exhaustive study of emotional turmoil reaching to the level of comedy, Calle's show built off responses from 107 women (including two made from wood, a psychic, and a parrot), who each added another dimension to Calle's romantic hardship. &nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">If you're really into dwelling on the past, Zagreb offers perhaps the world's most definitive overview of breakups at their <a href="http://brokenships.com/" target="_blank">Museum of Broken Relationships</a>, an entire museum dedicated to showcasing the artifacts of heartache and romantic failure. A kitschy glass horse figurine, a bread pan&mdash;no object is too insignificant to drudge up the memories of crushing despair. There's even an old cell phone a guy gave to his ex-girlfriend so that she couldn't call him anymore, an ingenious solution to torturous breakups that drag on and on.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Wade's show adds a post-internet art take to the enduring fact is that breakups suck.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Her exhibition runs through January 10, 2015, at Rick Wester Fine Art in New York.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/684523/tcd3/20141110173926-00020.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/684523/tcd3/20141110174259-wade_6635c_72.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/684523/tcd3/20141110174227-wade_6441.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">(All images courtesy of Allison L. Wade and <a href="http://www.rickwesterfineart.com/" target="_blank">Rick Wester Fine Art</a>, New York)</span></p> Mon, 10 Nov 2014 20:35:23 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Drones Make Love Not War <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Ever had the feeling weapons technology would be better suited to making love, not war? Brooklyn film company <a href="http://ghostcowfilms.com/" target="_blank">Ghost + Cow</a> have too, and have made the world's first porno filmed by drone.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">The most immediate thing that hits you about the trailer of <a href="http://www.droneboning.com/" target="_blank"><em>Drone Boning</em></a> is how picturesque it all is; military tech manages to capture gliding shots over San Franciscan beaches, orchards, and mountain vistas. Rutting couples are placed artfully around the natural canvas in a way that wouldn't look out of place in a Matthew Barney film. Remember that desert orgy collage towards the end of Antonioni's <em>Zabriskie Point</em>? Well, <em>Drone Boning</em> could almost be its digitalized grandchild.</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="//player.vimeo.com/video/109274211" frameborder="0" width="500" height="281"></iframe></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141111145233-drone_boning.png" alt="" /></span><br /><br /><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Although it is unlikely <em>Drone Boning</em> will whet (or, ahem, harden) the appetites of the late night net searching crowds, it does point to an ongoing relationship between military tech and its reappropriation in culture. Bass music producer Steve Goodman's book <a href="http://mitpress.mit.edu/books/sonic-warfare" target="_blank"><em>Sonic Warfare</em></a>&nbsp;portrays the role the military have taken in using sub-bass frequencies, known as Sonic Booms (or sound-bombs) over Gaza Strip. While Porn&mdash;the true snakeskin oil salesman of the moving image world&mdash;has always vested an exploitative interest in technology. Who can forget 1999's <em>The Uranus Experiment Part 2</em>,&nbsp;featuring the world's first zero gravity cum shot, set, oddly enough, to a specially composed musical score by Liam Howlett from The Prodigy and Robert Del Naja from Massive Attack?</span><br /><br /><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Although hardly a shadow of the Radley Metzger epics of the 70s, the auteur who, in epic bonkathons like <em>The Opening Of Misty Beethoven</em>, genuinely believed there should be character development, reasonable acting and witty dialogue, <em>Drone Boning</em> does offer, if nothing else, a side entry into that curious subgenre of film: Porn with other stuff in it than just sex.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/408013-paul-hanford" target="_blank">Paul Hanford</a>&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">(All images: <a href="http://www.droneboning.com/" target="_blank"><em>Drone Boning</em></a>)</span></p> Tue, 11 Nov 2014 18:27:38 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list A (Virtual) Studio Visit in the Most Secretive Country in the World <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">North Korea is often prefixed with the words "the most secretive country in the world." It was therefore a surprise to discover not only that the country has a rather unusual embassy in London&mdash;a suburban home in Gunnersbury quite far from the center&mdash;but also that it recently opened its doors to visitors for an art exhibition.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141110004135-North_Korean_Embassy_in_London__photograph_by_Mark_Hillary.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">The North Korean Embassy, London; Photo: Mark Hillary</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">The exhibition was short-lived&mdash;lasting only three days&mdash;but after being mobbed by press on day one, its popularity has opened the door to the possibility of a repeat, and there are rumors of potential art exchanges and residencies. Despite the secrecy, North Korean art does make its way out of the country, mostly to Australia where there are a lot of collectors, but it is rare to see it in London, and the embassy is an unusual choice as a location for the show.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">A "review" or appraisal of the work in the show would be a weird activity for a contemporary art network such as this. It comes from a totally different idea of art making. Most North Korean paintings are socialist realist and even the most benign promote nationalistic ideologies. Naturalism is an important idea in North Korean art, but it is hard to prise it apart from the ideology that might not be immediately apparent. Mount Paektu, for example, even when depicted naturalistically or in what is known as "Korean style," is seen by North Koreans as the birthplace of the revolution and therefore holds a power invisible to non-North Koreans.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The North Korean art and studio system, when I started to read more about it, began to hold much more fascination for me than the work itself. It functions like the traditional craft guilds of the 14th century, except that students first go through university, and having studied multiple genres and forms in art, such as ceramics, drawing, "Korean style" painting or embroidery, they choose their subject matter, method, and develop a style. The best university graduates are then employed by large studios, such as Mansudae, in Pyongyang, but unlike guilds these studios are on a vast scale; Mansudae employs over 700 artists and an overall staff of 4,000, turning what we think of as a visual art studio into something akin to a Hollywood studio. With this puzzling idea of a giant studio in mind and a sudden itch to know more about what it looks like I took to Flickr to understand it visually.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Not many foreigners are able to go into the studios, but a few have and have shared images with the rest of us. I love nosing around people&rsquo;s studios, and the promise of a virtual tour was a bit of a click hole:</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141110004532-A_mount_Paeku_expert_paints_in_a_traditional_style__photograph_by_Taver.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">A Mount Paektu expert paints in the traditional style. Photo via Flickr user <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/taver/15124710077/" target="_blank">Taver</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141110003241-An_artisst_working_on_an_embroidery__photograph_by_Marcel_Druck.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">An artist working on an embrodiery. Photo via Flickr user <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/mardruck/8349523644/" target="_blank">Marcelo Druck&nbsp;</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141110003642-An_artist_decorating_a_ceramic_vase_in_the_Mansudae_style__photograph_by_Benjamin_Jakabek.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">An artist decorating a vase in the Mansudae style. Photo via Flickr user <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/brj_bringin_the_shit_up_in_here_bitches/8734270484/in/photostream/" target="_blank">Benjamin Jakabek</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141110003710-An_artist_known_for_his_bold_ink_drawings__photograph_by_Clay_Gillard.jpg" alt="" /><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141110003847-An_artist_poses_in_front_of_his_painting__photograph_by_Marcelo_Druck.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">An artist poses in front of his painting; Photos via Flickr user&nbsp;<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/mardruck/8348456231/in/photostream/" target="_blank">Marcelo Druck</a></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141110004440-Public_art_at_Mansudae_studio__photograph_by_Clay_Gilliland.jpg" alt="" /><span style="font-size: x-small;">Public art at Mansudae studio. Photo via Flickr user&nbsp;</span><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/26781577@N07/15546300172/in/set-72157645785419497" target="_blank"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Clay Gilliland</span></a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">While the naturalistic art might not be that interesting, whoever made this painting of the Kims inspecting pots needs to defect. I have a feeling they would earn a fortune over here.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141110003809-Kim_Jong-Il_and_Kim_Il-Sung_looking_at_vases_produced_in_Mansudae__photograph_by_Benjamin_Jakabek.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">A painting of Kim Jong-II and Kim II-Sung looking at vases produced in Mansudae; Photo via Flickr user <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/brj_bringin_the_shit_up_in_here_bitches/sets/" target="_blank">Benjamin Jakabek</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/377935-phoebe-stubbs?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Phoebe Stubbs</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image on top: Large mosaic within the Mansudae complex. Photo via Flickr user&nbsp;<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/26781577@N07/" target="_blank">Clay Gilliland</a>)</span></p> Mon, 10 Nov 2014 12:37:28 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list The Black Mirror: ISIS, Branding, and the Western Imagination <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The terrorist group ISIS, the proclaimed Islamic State, has done an overwhelming amount of work to inject images&mdash;and fears&mdash;into the minds of the West. Their professional use of modern language, entertainment industry tropes, and technology blends with medieval horrors to generate what could be considered the most successful PR campaign of the year. Its success reflects an age of instant shared information and the extremes of visual branding. That a&nbsp;reactionary organization with anti-modern ideologies can so effectively harness our attention&mdash;more so than other global villains&mdash;speaks a lot about ISIS, but it also says something about us.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The James Foley execution, the first viral beheading, is the news event that got the highest public attention in the US in the last five years, according to a poll by the&nbsp;<a href="http://online.wsj.com/articles/wsj-nbc-poll-finds-that-almost-two-thirds-of-americans-back-attacking-militants-1410301920" target="_blank">Wall Street Journal/NBC</a>. It constitutes a huge success for a terrorist group whose name was little known until only four months ago&mdash;and it shows how successful their digital media campaign has been. By using techniques from the West against the West&mdash;effectively enlisting the media in its dissemination&mdash;ISIS has set a new bar for terrorist threats against America. They proffer a mirror reflecting a distorted Hollywood, unbelievable&mdash;but more real than real.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="BodyA" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141109190517-ISIS_geniune_recruitment_poster_showing_videogames_GTA.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="BodyA" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Still from ISIS's Grand Theft Auto 5 <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2014/09/20/isis-uses-gta-5-in-new-teen-recruitment-video/" target="_blank">recruitment video</a></span></p> <p class="BodyA" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="BodyA" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Their videos resemble reality shows: each week someone is eliminated. The only difference is that the viewers aren't calling in their decisions. Western commentators have remarked that this is an attempt at building a routine, much like the advertising promos before &ldquo;house eviction&rdquo; on&nbsp;<em>Big Brother</em>. They&rsquo;ve produced&nbsp;<a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/video/news/video-1126889/Fourth-John-Cantlie-video-released-ISIS.html" target="_blank">news and commentary</a>&nbsp;too, with hostage (Briton John Cantlie) as anchor, and a blockbuster trailer featuring a parodied version of George W. Bush&rsquo;s &ldquo;Mission Accomplished&rdquo; speech and the White House going up in flames.</span></p> <p class="BodyA" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&ldquo;They have fun in the Islamic State,&rdquo; says Artur Beifuss, author of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Branding-Terror-Logotypes-Iconography-Organizations/dp/1858946018" target="_blank"><em>Branding Terror: The Logotypes and Iconography of Insurgent Groups and Terrorist Organizations</em></a>, commenting on the high production value and calculation put into ISIS videos. &ldquo;You can see they have been more successful in this part of their brand. For example they make movies, full of action and nicely cut. They film parades through towns and they are very arrogant, but it is more appealing for recruits to see that image of the group.&rdquo;</span></p> <p class="BodyA" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Gaining prominence following&nbsp;the chaos of the Syrian civil war, ISIS have sought to swallow large swathes of Middle Eastern land&mdash;they have already amassed more territory than the UK&mdash;to have solid grounds for their Islamic State, the future worldwide Caliphate. In support of their Middle Eastern takeover, their international marketing campaign aims to scare the Western public, but more so, to lure more jihadists from around the world to their cause. </span></p> <p class="BodyA" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The main feature of this campaign was introduced this summer, when they started to post the high-end horror videos on YouTube every other week showing their captives surrender and be killed in the most harrowing way: slow and bloody beheadings that echo Saladin's&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">infamous</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">12th century campaign against the Christian crusaders. This video campaign has had a tremendous effect; it, rather than any of the other horrors that have been documented in Syria (like the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime) has roused the US and its allies to deploy bombs and troops in the Middle East.</span></p> <p class="BodyA" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141109190548-Jihadi_John_-_ISIS_executioner.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="BodyA" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Terrorism, in essence, tries to flip the asymmetric battlefield in the underdog&rsquo;s favor. In terms of recognition, ISIS confronted what every start up company, designer, or artist taking their first steps faces: How can you stand out when competing against stronger opponents? What makes you special? What advantages and disadvantages do you have? ISIS aren&rsquo;t that big in numbers&mdash;current CIA estimates put the mark at around 30,000 men&mdash;nor are they particularly strong in the militaristic sense. ISIS lacks support from large organizations or nations. Virtually everybody is against them. What they do have is knowledge. With many militants recruited from western countries, ISIS knows us more than we know them. And so, with their knowledge of us, they have set themselves up to be a true mirror for today&rsquo;s western society. And they know another thing, too: there&rsquo;s nothing more frightening than a mirror.</span></p> <p class="BodyA" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">During and following the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, images and metrics of the violence both meted out and sustained by western forces were typically discarded by the media and repressed by the public, in a war that has taken the lives of more than 100,000 non-combatant Iraqis.&nbsp;On the Internet&rsquo;s eternal primetime ISIS&nbsp;shows the grotesque violence usually seen only in video games and movies. They show us what we were deliberately trying to avoid, what we have become. And that&rsquo;s what truly scares us.</span></p> <p class="BodyA" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/101642/4cut/20141109190630-John_Cantlie_in__lend_me_your_ears_.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="BodyA" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">We live in a world where, maybe at noon, today, during lunchtime, your phone will beep and the screen will tell you that another video of a beheading is out there waiting for you. Dare you watch? Crashing planes into towers is old, TV stuff. Top-notch productions of vile executions, fit tightly to your iPhone&rsquo;s screen&mdash;these make all of today&rsquo;s fears of technology and of being alone suddenly surface, right there during lunchtime. That&rsquo;s the future. No more weird-looking grandpas with beards squatting in a cave somewhere. Instead, a fearless, giant man, exposed in the open desert breeze, a gun strapped to his belt and a small knife in his left hand&mdash;that&rsquo;s all it takes. Allah is in the small details.</span></p> <p class="BodyA" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="BodyA" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;Omer Raz</span><span style="text-align: left;"><br /></span></p> Tue, 11 Nov 2014 11:14:50 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Stolen Berlin Wall Memorials Shift Focus to EU Borders Amidst Anniversary Celebrations <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Right on the heels of Berlin&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ber/articles/show/41262">1.5 million euro celebration marking 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall</a>, a collection of iconic memorials&mdash;erected for those who perished during the Wall&rsquo;s oppressive existence&mdash;have been stolen.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">For the last decade, white crosses have stood at various locations on the former border in remembrance of those who died trying to escape East Berlin into the West. As of last weekend only empty metal frames remained where seven of the crosses had stood on the bank of the Spree just meters away from the German house of parliament. In their place was left a note: &ldquo;There is no thinking going on here.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141109145541-3.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Task force against inhumanity of the wall crosses; Photo &copy;&nbsp;Paul Wagner</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Last Monday, five days before Berlin commemorations officially began, the crosses resurfaced, but far beyond the former border of East Germany. Marking the outer edges of Europe, they reappeared installed on walls and fences in Greece, Bulgaria, and Melilla, Spain. Claiming responsibility was the political activist performance art group <a href="http://www.politicalbeauty.de/" target="_blank">The Center for Political Beauty</a>, led by artist and organizer Philipp Ruch, who cited the purpose of the relocation as a critique of Europe&rsquo;s hypocrisy in fortifying its new borders while celebrating the fall of old ones. The group claims to have distributed the crosses to refugees in the forests outside Melilla, some of whom have spent years trying to cross the 11-kilometer-long fence into Spanish territory. &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141108232048-4.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">The Wall of the Dead at the EU external borders; Courtesy&nbsp;Zentrum f&uuml;r Politische Sch&ouml;nheit</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Embellishing the political action is an online <a href="https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/erster-europaischer-mauerfall">crowd-funding page</a> that explains the aims of the project and includes plans to send three activist coaches from Berlin to Greece to &ldquo;tear down the European wall.&rdquo; Titled the <em>Erster Europ&auml;ischer Mauerfall</em> (the First Fall of the European Wall) the campaign raised 5 1/2 times their initial goal in the first six days of the campaign. Calling today&rsquo;s enforced barriers the &ldquo;European curtain&rdquo; in reference to the pejorative Western term for the border of the former Soviet Union and its bloc of allies (including the Berlin Wall), Ruch explains his aims to &ldquo;remember not the past, but to remember the present&mdash;and tear down the EU&rsquo;s external walls not with warm words but with bolt cutters.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Earlier this year The Center for Political Beauty had expressed their disappointment in the German government for their limited reaction to the 76,000 applications for asylum by Syrian refugees via <em>1 in 100</em>, an ironic call to action to help the German government decide which children should be rescued (and, in turn, which should be abandoned). The participant-led "fake" online vote was part of a broader project with another elaborate "fake" campaign in which the German Ministry for Families was shown promising to rescue 55,000 children and place them in the care of German foster families. The number was symbolically 1 percent of the total number actually in need of help and was based directly on the model of <em>Kinderstransporte</em>, the method which saved 10,000 Jewish children from their deaths in Nazi Germany.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141109182509-5..jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Melilla; Photo&nbsp;&copy; Patryk Witt / Zentrum f&uuml;r Politische Sch&ouml;nheit</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">While the group has received a deluge of disapproving remarks from German officials (there are rumors that the group is being investigated for grand larceny), it&rsquo;s difficult to dispute they have a knack for making visceral and urgent the all-too-often intellectual understanding of memorials. Capitalizing on social media, alternative fundraising, and media dispersion tactics, the group is reviving the memorial as a call to remember and take responsibility for our present&mdash;not just as a reminder of the past.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/147418-nicole-rodr%C3%ADguez?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Nicole Rodriguez</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at top: Melilla; Photo&nbsp;&copy; Patryk Witt / Zentrum f&uuml;r Politische Sch&ouml;nheit)</span></p> Mon, 10 Nov 2014 23:51:08 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Visions from the Present Future: Artissima's Top Emerging Artists <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Now entering its 14th year, Artissima&rsquo;s Present Future is an acknowledged launch pad for the careers of emerging young talent. Indeed, internationally renowned artists such as Dora Garc&iacute;a, Jeremy Deller, Ryan Trecartin, and Phil Collins all had early presentations in this section of the fair. This year, 20 artists have been selected by a team of five international curators: Luigi Fassi, Catalina Lozano, Piper Marshall, Jamie Stevens, and Xiaoyu Weng. Each curator&rsquo;s distinctive aesthetic sensibilities&mdash;not to mention overarching conceptual concerns and particular engagements with the &ldquo;contemporary&rdquo;&mdash;have resulted in a dynamic and layered, if somewhat uneven, selection of solo presentations.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Unlike other sections of the fair, which snake around the convention center demarcated by brightly colored wayfinding vinyl installed on the ground, Present Future forms a dense cluster directly in front of the main entrance. A blank, unstretched canvas, laptops, cables, records, and various bric-a-brac littering a large portion of the floor greeted early visitors to the preview. While most gallerists relaxed and awaited visitors, several attended to last minute installation details: hanging a final work, applying labels, or (a popular sight) smearing daubs of white paint directly onto the wall with a finger to hide nail holes.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141106210250-Foto.JPG" alt="" width="600" /></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Dawn Kasper at work</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">At first glance, Dawn Kasper&rsquo;s quiet, industrious tinkerings&mdash;moving small items, playing music on a laptop, adjusting cables&mdash;could be taken for the work of a gallery preparator or a musician preparing for a performance. A small outcropping of chairs abutted Kasper&rsquo;s work station where visitors could share a moment with her free-floating, yet intimate performance. The everyday accumulation of objects and gestures often makes it unclear where the fumbling ends and the performance begins, which is perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of how Kasper directs her audience&rsquo;s attention. When a woman, presumably from Kasper&rsquo;s New York gallery, David Lewis, came over to apologize for not being able to locate a bucket. Kasper looked up from repeatedly dragging her paint-covered hands down the unstretched canvas on the floor to respond sunnily, &ldquo;No sweat!&rdquo; Unbeholden to any particular theme, the strength of Present Future resides in its artists. In this spirit, I&rsquo;ll share a few more of my personal favorites:</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141107064234-jeremiah_day.png" alt="" width="450" /></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">Jeremiah Day</span></strong></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">,&nbsp;<em>The Frank Church - River of No Return Wilderness</em>, 2012&ndash;2014; Courtesy Arcade Fine Arts and Ellen de Bruijne Projects</span><em><br /></em></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Immediately adjacent to Kasper, the American artist Jeremiah Day had a fascinating work co-presented by <a href="http://www.arcadefinearts.com/" target="_blank">Arcade&nbsp;Fine Arts</a> and <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/venues/show/2503-ellen-de-bruijne-projects" target="_blank">Ellen de Bruijne&nbsp;Projects</a>. The Berlin-based artist primarily uses photography and performance to investigate issues of historical memory and place. His research-based project <em>The Frank Church - River of No Return Wilderness </em>(2012&ndash;2014)<em>&nbsp;</em>comprises a video, photographs, mural, and archival documentation relating to the former American senator Frank Church, who led investigations into the FBI and CIA&rsquo;s harrassment of Martin Luther King and the Black Panther Party. The installation at Present Future places Church&rsquo;s political investigations of covert government activity into dialogue with an eponymous state wildnerness park.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Chinese artist Yang Xinguang's painting </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Whipped on Canvas </em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">stretches diagonally across a corner of <a href="http://www.artslant.com/cn/venues/show/10290-boers-li-gallery" target="_blank">Boers-Li</a>&rsquo;s booth, cinched on each end with twine. The work&rsquo;s title riffs on a Chinese homonym, meaning both &ldquo;abstract&rdquo; (<em>chou xiang</em>) and &ldquo;whipped image.&rdquo; The installation situates the canvas, p</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">ainted with gestural whipstrokes,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">as both the site and the victim of a violent act.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141106212026-5__Toril_Johannessen__Unlearning_the_Muller-Lyer_Illusion.jpg" alt="" width="300" /><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141106212045-3__Toril_Johannessen__Unlearning_the_Hering_Illusion.jpg" alt="" width="300" /></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Toril Johannessen</strong>,&nbsp;<em>Unlearning Optical Illusions, Unlearning the Muller-Lyer Illusion</em> (left), <em>Unlearning the Hering Illusion</em> (right), Both: 2014, Photographed textile, 1:1 120 x 170 cm (unframed) Edit 1/3+ 1AP; Courtesy <a href="http://www.oslcontemporary.com/" target="_blank">OSL</a>, Norway</span><br /></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Norwegian artist Toril Johannessen continues her exploration of perception with a suite of photographs entitled <em>Unlearning Optical Illusions&nbsp;</em>that depicts Dutch wax cloth. The two-dimensional pattern on each cloth suggests a three-dimensional design. Johannessen deconstructs the illusions using accompanying text panels and instructions on how the viewer can eliminate the text panels from their field of vision by engaging a blind spot in the optic nerve.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">American artist Rachel Rose&rsquo;s mesmerizing <em>A Minute Ago </em>(image at top), was&nbsp;shot on the grounds of Phillip Johnson&rsquo;s Glass Housein Connecticut. Rose rotoscoped Johnson from archival footage and placed him frame by frame into her new footage, achieving a spectral presence heightened by the aritst&rsquo;s haptic editing and a swirling, layered soundtrack.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/36171-jesi-khadivi?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Jesi Khadivi</a></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at top: Rachel Rose, <em>A Minute Ago</em>, 2014, HD Video, Dimensions variable; Courtesy of <a href="http://www.artslant.com/par/venues/show/43310-high-art" target="_blank">High Art</a>, Paris)</span></p> Fri, 07 Nov 2014 14:04:44 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list 25 Years After the Fall of the Wall a Public Art Project Remembers with Light <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Seventy thousand citizens gathered on the streets of the East German city of Leipzig on October 9th, 1989, after churches opened to accommodate protesters disillusioned with the oppressive East German regime, the Cold War, and the structural and geographical scar the Berlin Wall had represented for the past 28 years. This massive confluence was the culmination of weekly prayer meetings organized by Christian F&uuml;hrer, the pastor of St. Nicholas Church. Some might call it a stretch to conclude that this single demonstration was the spark that fanned flames of protest that ultimately brought down the regime in the autumn of 1989, though many have proposed and echoed the notion. A quarter century later, that eve at the least stands as potent symbolism of the populace moment that would build over the next month. As the streets of Augustusplatz in Leipzig filled to the brim with protesters clutching hope and candles close, a collective consciousness began bearing witness.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141106194806-25_Archiv_Bundesstiftung_Aufarbeitung__Fotobestand_Uwe_Gerig__Bild_6389.jpg" alt="" /><span style="font-size: x-small; text-align: center;">Berlin after the opening of the Wall on November 11, 1989, view of Brandenburg Gate and crowds;&nbsp;Archiv Bundesstiftung Aufarbeitung Fotobestand Uwe Gerig</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Now, </span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://www.artslant.com/ew/articles/show/33804" target="_blank">just over a year after the removal of a section of the Berlin Wall to make room for a building project</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">, Berlin rallies to celebrate the 25th&nbsp;anniversary of the historic fall of the Wall. Slinking through the city today, its traces are increasingly elusive as luxury apartments spring up all over the ever-growing international districts of the city&rsquo;s center, pushing the scar ever further into distant memory. To reinvigorate the consciousness of the people, the non-profit cultural organization Kulturprojekte and the Berlin Wall Foundation, at the initiative of the State of Berlin, have called on a mobilization similar to that seen the night October 9th&nbsp;in Leipzig: an invitation to bear witness and an urgent call to collectively remember.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141106193707-11_LICHTGRENZE_Engelbecken__c__Kulturprojekte_Berlin_WHITEvoid_Christopher_Bauder__Foto_Daniel_Bueche.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Visualization of the&nbsp;<em>LICHTGRENZE&nbsp;</em>at Engelbecken; &copy; Kulturprojekte Berlin_WHITEvoid / Christopher Bauder; Photo: Daniel B&uuml;che</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">From November 7&ndash;9, Berlin will be temporarily bisected by the </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Lichtgrenze</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">, a 15 km installation of 8,000 luminous white balloons designed by Christopher and Marc Bauder.&nbsp;The balloons will float from Bornholmer Stra&szlig;e to Mauerpark in the city&rsquo;s north, from the Berlin Wall Memorial on Bernauer Stra&szlig;e to the Reichstag, past Brandenburg Gate and Checkpoint Charlie in the city center, to the East Side Gallery along the Spree River in the east. Collectively, they will vibrantly re-expose the historical fission of a city. If the skies are clear, the split should be visible from space.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141106193431-10_LICHTGRENZE_Park_am_Nordbahnhof__c__Kulturprojekte_Berlin_WHITEvoid_Christopher_Bauder__Foto_Daniel_Bueche.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Visualization of the&nbsp;<em>LICHTGRENZE&nbsp;</em>at the Park at Nordbahnhof; &copy; Kulturprojekte Berlin_WHITEvoid / Christopher Bauder; Photo: Daniel B&uuml;che</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The biodegradable latex balloons will be set on flexible carbon rods extending 11 feet high, reflecting the original Wall's dimensions. Along the border 100 information boards will narrate specific events related to the locations, including deaths related to border crossing and a video collage of Wall-related historical martial will be displayed on 14 LED screens along the </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Lichtgrenze</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">. A culminating community event at 7pm on Sunday will send all the balloons soaring into the sky as Beethoven&rsquo;s 9th&nbsp;Symphony echoes through the streets at the Brandenburg Gate.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141106194253-Detail_of_Fall_of_the_Wall_Website_Campaign_2.png" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Commentary on <a href="https://fallofthewall25.com/" target="_blank">Fall of the Wall 25</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">While the physical gesture might seem imbued with finality&mdash;a letting go or a cathartic purge&mdash;there has been an effort to reconcile this with a struggle to retain, to never forget. Social media and online community rallying has played an influential roll in democratizing the event beyond the borders of the city. People were able to sign up to become balloon release patrons on the event's micro-site </span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="https://fallofthewall25.com/">Fall of the Wall 25</a><strong style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">.</strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> Parallel with the installation, stories, memories, and wishes are being collected on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the event&rsquo;s website, resulting in an online vault that commemorates and sheds lights on today&rsquo;s perspectives both domestic and aboard. People around the world are invited to participate using the online portal to become a symbolic, virtual balloon patron, releasing their stories to the online community.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">You can read and contribute stories about the Berlin Wall <a href="https://fallofthewall25.com/" target="_blank">here</a> and check out the project video, below, to see more imagery from <em>Lichtgrenze</em>:</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;<iframe src="//player.vimeo.com/video/105754237" frameborder="0" width="700" height="394"></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://vimeo.com/105754237">LICHTGRENZE</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/fallofthewall25">Fall of the Wall 25</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/147418-nicole-rodriguez?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Nicole Rodriguez</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at top: Visualization of the&nbsp;</span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">LICHTGRENZE</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">at Brandenburg Gate; &copy; Kulturprojekte Berlin_WHITEvoid / Christopher Bauder; Photo: Daniel B</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&uuml;che)</span></p> Mon, 10 Nov 2014 22:18:06 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Tony Blair is the Face of East End Restaurant Decor and Other Adventures in Misappropriation <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In an Italian restaurant on Broadway Market in East London a poster hangs in a nice, clean frame above the heads of diners.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Centered squarely, slam in the middle of</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">flag colors,&nbsp;mock-up parts of vintage Fiats, and a certain nostalgic tint of the chrome Rome of fashion and Fellini, this poster advertises the 2004 Mark Wahlberg American remake of <em>The Italian Job</em>, itself a remake of the extravagantly xenophobic anti-Italian original.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Further deepening the fascinating role of cultural misappropriation in the restaurant trade: a favorite Vietnamese canteen, a mile or so north in De Beauvoir Town, Hackney, features a framed photo, a pride of the house if you will. The staff, seen clad in kitchen aprons and waiting gear, are pictured alongside Tony Blair. Step a little closer, however, and you realize it's the Madame Tussauds' Tony Blair. There they are: the staff standing proud, aprons on. I imagine them all setting off on the Bakerloo Line, like a guerrilla operation undertaken by the heroes of a Wes Anderson movie. Queue up. Take photo. Huge fuck off print. Whack it in a frame. Stick frame above tropical fish tank.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">A friend asked me later about the state of disintegration of the De Beauvoir Blair, as she is thinking of compiling a book where she commits to photographing every existing waxwork of a particular celebrity and then compiling them in descending order of sag and disintegration. I'd have to say, on a scale of one (meaning intensely lifelike) to ten (used up candle) the De Bouvoir Blair is convincing enough to make me think from where I sit a few tables back that the satayed tofu must be of sufficient standard to please a former PM.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Blair himself, though, is a study in disintegration. A Shakespearean tragedy about how a man incapable of admitting one action the entire world knows he's responsible for, transformed an (at the time) young, enthusiastic leader into something you&rsquo;re more likely to encounter in Dorian Gray's attic. The physical decay on the outside may be startling, but it also offers us the possibility of hope. Imagine those sleepless nights as the bombs dropped over Fallujah; imagine the severity of heartburn, the psychiatrist&rsquo;s bills longer than a roll of Kerouac manuscript. That is what we see on Blair&rsquo;s face: the outward embodiment of guilt, an externalized signifier that although the truth may not have exited his lips, human frailty is telling us a different story.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141106202117-photo.JPG" alt="" width="350" />Flashback to 1997: New Labour sweep to victory on history's last dying breath of socialist optimism. Blair (waxworks rating: a sparky, enthusiastic One, the spunk of an idealistic village GP) invites Noel Gallagher, hero of the Britpop era, round to number 10. Noel&rsquo;s strumming of a Union Jack-decorated guitar chimes harmoniously with an era that celebrates British optimism in the very style of the morals and aesthetics of <em>The Italian Job</em>. In <em>The Italian Job</em>, another very English Noel (Noel Coward) parades up and down as a black American composer (Quincy Jones) reworks English football chants and pageantry into a rousing soundtrack, simultaneously designed to belittle the very nation of Fiats and fashion whose top cultural export I am lunching on.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Back in the Italian restaurant my pizza is faultless, crispy, delicious and served with a warm glint the unique privilege of a long established family business. Above me, Mark Wahlberg looks down.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/408013-paul-hanford" target="_blank">Paul Hanford</a>&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: small;">(Image on top: Via&nbsp;<em>The Telegraph</em>)</span></p> Thu, 06 Nov 2014 20:23:14 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Cattelan Commands Italians to <em>Shit and Die</em>: A First Look <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">This past Wednesday evening, the arty crowd in Turin paid no heed to Maurizio Cattelan&rsquo;s &ldquo;exhortation.&rdquo; Considering the line outside Palazzo Cavour, Cattelan's command,&nbsp;<em>Shit and Die</em>&mdash;the title of the most eagerly-awaited event of this year&rsquo;s edition of <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ew/venues/show/19507-artissima" target="_blank">Artissima</a>&mdash;has not been taken literally by anyone. Rather than warily getting out of the way, shitting, or dying, a throng of curators, artists, critics, and collectors&mdash;myself included&mdash;couldn't wait to invade the rooms of the 18th century building.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">This group show, conceived by retired-artist-turned-curator Cattelan, his partner-in-crime Marta Papini, and Palais de Tokyo&rsquo;s Myriam Ben Salah, is a varied and bizarre constellation of objects, artworks, and stories that take Turin&mdash;with its history and peculiar cultural traditions&mdash;as a starting point. This "highly subjective, obsessive and irrationally non-exhaustive composition&rdquo; (as described in the press release) is divided into seven sections and features works by 60 international artists.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">As I walked through the crowded chambers of the Palazzo (it goes without saying that the most packed rooms were the open bar and the &ldquo;Free Penis&rdquo; area&mdash;see point no. 7, below), a short book by Italian writer Dino Buzzati came to my mind. <em>The Great Portrait</em> (1960) is a sci-fi novel that tells the story of an anguished scientist (Endriade), who tries to create a giant, talking computer-machine, buried under a mountain. Endriade&rsquo;s venture is driven by the will to revive his dead wife Laura in the form of a mechanical, everlasting mechanism, and the result is an incomplete, personal, and desperate portrait of a beloved and lost person. I thought of <em>Shit and Die</em> as a sort of eccentric, capricious portrait of Turin, flawed and imperfect as the creation of Buzzati&rsquo;s scientist. Nothing in this show aims at completeness; coherence and rigor make way for imagination and sense of humor.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In case you ended up in Turin,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">here are a few exhibition highlights (and suggestions):</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141106150641-9-Shit_And_Die_ph_Zeno_Zotti.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong><span style="font-size: large;">1.</span></strong> When you climb Palazzo Cavour&rsquo;s majestic staircase, please don&rsquo;t tear off all the one-dollar greenbacks that cover the walls. That is an installation by Eric Doeringer. It plays with the notions of accumulation, serial production, and assembly lines, in relation to Turin&rsquo;s industrial tradition. If money can be industrially produced, can happiness also be manufactured?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141106150744-12-Shit_And_Die__ph_Zeno_Zotti_.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: large;"><strong>2.</strong></span> Don&rsquo;t miss the room devoted to Turin artist Aldo Mondino. It features his multicolored rug-paintings and a tower made of <em>torroni</em>&mdash;resist the temptation to pocket one of them and, if you&rsquo;re hungry, go to the first pastry shop around the corner.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;<img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141106151145-14.Carlo_Mollino_Alinari.jpg" alt="" width="500" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Carlo Mollino</strong>,&nbsp;<em>Untitled</em>, 1963; Courtesy Carlo Mollino /&nbsp;Raccolte Museali Fratelli Alinari (RMFA), Firenze</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: large;"><strong>3.</strong></span> Have a look at Carlo Mollino&rsquo;s photographs of female nudes, alongside Carol Rama&rsquo;s paintings, and note the extraordinary affinities between these two Turin-born artists. Immediately after, try to concentrate in front of Sarah Lucas&rsquo; mobile sculpture <em>Nicole</em> (an arm attached to the wall, moving up and down, simulating the act of male masturbation).</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141106151627-3-Shit_And_Die_ph_Zeno_Zotti.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: large;"><strong>4.</strong></span> Admire a contemporary version of a portrait gallery inside a Piedmontese Palazzo: one room hosts the painted portraits of celebrities from Turin (including starlets and singers), made by artists such as Will Benedict, George Condo, Lara Favaretto, Francesco Vezzoli, and many others. In a corner of the gallery, a glass case containing the skeleton of Professor Giacomini&mdash;the founder of the Museum of Human Anatomy in Turin&mdash;will remind you of the <em>vanitas</em> inherent to any portrait.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141106151748-11-Shit_And_Die__ph_Zeno_Zotti_.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: large;"><strong>5.</strong></span> &ldquo;Fetishit&rdquo; is one of the most visually effective sections in the exhibition. Here you can see the original studio of the first Italian Prime Minister Camillo Benso the Count of Cavour (1810-1861), completely covered by a sheet of transparent material. Sniff the odor of plastic in the room and imagine the specter of Cavour wandering around.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141106153553-10-Shit_And_Die_ph_Zeno_Zotti.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: large;"><strong>6.</strong></span> Enter the last room and try to remember how long you&rsquo;ve been in the Palazzo. The sound of Martin Creed&rsquo;s 39 metronomes will make you think: <em>it&rsquo;s time to go</em>.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141106215853-IMG_4771.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Ari Marcopoulos'</strong> fanzine. Did you think we'd show you the penis? That would spoil the surprise!</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: large;"><strong>7.</strong> </span>But before leaving, don&rsquo;t forget to pop in the &rdquo;Free Penis&rdquo; area. There you will find artist Ari Marcopoulos welcoming you with a curious photo fanzine (penis is inside!)</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/316918-federico-florian?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Federico Florian</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Unless otherwise noted, all images:&nbsp;<em>Shit and Die</em>, Installation views,&nbsp;Palazzo Cavour, Turin, 2014;&nbsp;Photos: Zeno Zotti; Image at top: Ari Marcopoulos's fanzine, 2014)</span></p> Fri, 07 Nov 2014 06:36:07 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Bringing Art to Your iPhone: The Best Art Apps and Online Commissions <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Around 80 percent of the art encounters I have these days begin on my phone, tablet, or computer screen. In most cases I am attempting to find out what's going on and where, so I can then see it in person. But the "where to see it" question is a digital art minefield. Pretty quickly we&rsquo;re into the daft question of whether it is more real to see a digital work on a large format screen in a gallery than on a phone. Does a show need to have an opening with warm beer and too many people to have "opened"?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Art apps and digital art organizations are on the rise. Because of the nature of the works and technologies they deal with, it is interesting to see how they are tackling the new questions that arise from digital art encounters: where they are, how they come to be, what they encompass, and what their reach into galleries and museums should be. This is therefore my list of the best apps and digital commissioning groups around at the moment. They&rsquo;re a mixed bag of ways of seeing and engaging with art. Some are about actually going out to galleries, but making the task less one of laborious-list-making and more touch-of-a-button easy; others are about finding art in your inbox, or on your screen, or building up a digital art collection so that you finally have a valid use for your last generation iPad.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>Artforum</em>&rsquo;s artguide app</span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141105163139-artforum1.png" alt="" width="300" /><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141105163156-artforum2.png" alt="" width="300" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Annoyingly, given that it is still the ruling artworld/adworld megalith of a publication, the top of my list is <em>Artforum</em>&rsquo;s <a href="http://artforum.com/guide/" target="_blank">artguide app</a>. I know, I know, we should support the little guys instead, but imagine an <em>Artforum</em> where the ads actually link to a map that GPS locates you, and each gallery nearby is represented with a green dot for open and a red one for closed. Never again will you trek to Lisson to find its doors shut. It lists exhibitions by area for seven world cities, links to gallery websites, and lists critics&rsquo; picks. As far as an app that makes seeing commercial and museum gallery shows easier, this is as good as it has gotten so far.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">$2.99 <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/artguide/id508043725?mt=8&amp;ign-mpt=uo%3D4" target="_blank">in the iTunes store</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Opening Times</strong><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141105160453-Screen_Shot_2014-11-04_at_17.37.38.png" alt="" /></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Video, as soon as it became an almost entirely digital medium, was bound to find itself answering the "how to encounter digital art" question. </span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://otdac.org/" target="_blank">Opening Times</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> is one of two organizations you should definitely sign up to and keep an eye on. It is a not-for-profit commissioning body focusing on digital art practice. The website presents the results of online residencies, features a guest-edited reading resource, and hosts screenings. Its varied output contains all sorts of surprises, like a curated "reading list" that combines information about apps, Googlemaps, and artists&rsquo; videos into an overall theme that does much more than a traditional reading list could. Signing up means you receive emails with the opening times of the video viewings and their links.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Free</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>&nbsp;</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Vdrome</strong><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141105160852-Screen_Shot_2014-11-05_at_5.08.23_PM.png" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.vdrome.org/index.html" target="_blank">Vdrome</a> is <a href="http://lux.org.uk/" target="_blank">LUX</a>&rsquo;s project partner, which automatically made it stand out, and is produced by <em>Mousse</em> magazine, so its credentials are top notch. It is a website that functions in a similar way to Opening Times, but instead has placed itself at the intersection of art house cinema and artists&rsquo; video. Its high-resolution screenings are available online for a limited period and are announced via regular emails, meaning they can be viewed on your phone, tablet, or computer.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Free</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Akerman Daly&rsquo;s Flash 500</strong><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I am including </span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://akermandaly.com/flash500/about/" target="_blank">Akerman Daly</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> in this list because, like the others, the way I mostly encounter their publishing is on my phone, as they host an online library of art and writing. </span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://akermandaly.com/flash500/about/" target="_blank">Flash 500</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">was a publishing project that brought art writing direct to your email inbox. Thirty-five artists were commissioned to write 500 words exactly. The result is a beautifully kooky and varied collection from artists like Fiona Banner and Milly Thompson. Charlotte Young&rsquo;s </span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://akermandaly.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/AD-Flash500-8-YOUNG.pdf" target="_blank">contribution</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">is a hilarious script of an encounter between the Plasticine figure Morph and his young cousin, who has a drink problem, including stage directions like &ldquo;Morph is pissed in the American sense because Chas is pissed in the British sense.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Free</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>S[edition]</strong><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141105162502-sedition1.png" alt="" width="300" /><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141105162516-sedition2.png" alt="" width="300" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="https://www.seditionart.com/apps" target="_blank">S[edition]</a> is equal parts fascinating and horrifying. It is a digital art viewing, trading, and owning platform that has the slightly annoying tag line: &ldquo;turn screens into art.&rdquo; I&rsquo;ve included it because I find it really intriguing. The editions are often huge, running into the thousands, which means you can own a Jenny Holzer for &pound;57 or a Matt Collishaw for &pound;30. The company&rsquo;s vision is that in the future we&rsquo;ll have a bunch of tablets or high-resolution screens constantly displaying our digital works, which we can change depending on who&rsquo;s coming to dinner. As a trading platform it also acts as a kind of digital art Top Trumps. Once an edition sells out&mdash;it may take a while, as a Michael Craig Martin runs in an edition of 5000&mdash;the works can be traded or cashed in, so there&rsquo;s a sense in which, albeit in a crude art market capitalism/sleek designy hybrid way, it provides a mini model for how digital art can be bought and sold. So far it seems that this is the only site or app directly dealing with the problematic issue of resale for digital art, and it is unclear what provision is being made for future technology upgrades, but for those reasons it is interesting to keep an eye on it.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">App: free <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sedition-art/id468642152?ls=1&amp;mt=8" target="_blank">in iTunes store</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Editions: from&nbsp;&pound;5</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/377935-phoebe-stubbs?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Phoebe Stubbs</a></span></p> Thu, 06 Nov 2014 15:06:27 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list How Many Photography Museums Can a Country Have? <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Suppose you&rsquo;re a collector of Dutch photography, you have no kids (or they are uninterested barbarians), and you&rsquo;re reaching that age when you start thinking about your legacy. Which institute would be most suitable for a donation? Which museum would be the best new home for your collection?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The Netherlands has the luxury of having not one, not two, but no fewer than four museums dedicated solely to photography. That&rsquo;s an unusually large number for such a small country. A Swiss collector wanting to donate doesn&rsquo;t have to think twice before turning to the Fotomuseum Winterthur; his Finnish counterpart would almost automatically decide on the Finlands Fotografiska Museum. But a Dutch collector would have to weigh the pros and cons of the <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/venues/show/16985-nederlands-fotomuseum" target="_blank">Nederlands Fotomuseum</a>, <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/venues/show/7554-huis-marseille-museum-voor-fotografie" target="_blank">Huis Marseille</a>, <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/venues/show/2488-foam---fotografie-museum" target="_blank">FOAM</a>, and the <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/venues/show/47592-fotomuseum-den-haag" target="_blank">Fotomuseum Den Haag</a>. And as of last Friday the choice has become even more difficult. On that day <em>Modern Times: Photography in the 20th&nbsp;Century</em> opened in the Rijksmuseum. The exhibition marks the reopening of the Philips Wing after reconstruction, but it&rsquo;s also the museum&rsquo;s coming-out event as a serious collector of photography. The private donor now has five options to consider.</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The photography museum is a pretty recent phenomenon; twenty years ago there were none in this country. Back then photography was not considered a fully-fledged art form, and its status in the market was marginal, comparable to that of video art today. A boom in the art market, the massive influx of new, rich collectors, and the resulting relative scarcity of blue chip artworks changed all that, and photography was quickly accepted as a bona fide medium. Prices increased quickly; in November 2005 Richard Prince&rsquo;s <em>Untitled (Cowboy)</em> (1989) was the first photograph to cross the one million dollar threshold at auction. Fifteen works have since followed suit, with Andreas Gursky&rsquo;s <em>Rhein II</em> holding the current record with $4,338,500.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">During the 1990s photography museums popped up around the world, but what happened in The Netherlands was without precedent; within a period of four years the four photography museums all opened their doors. Huis Marseille was the first, in 1999. Two years later FOAM settled in a townhouse only a stone&rsquo;s throw away. In 2002 the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag turned a former extension from the sixties into two separate museums, one for contemporary art and one for photography. Last to arrive on the scene but carrying with it the most historical baggage was the Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam, which incorporated the Nederlands Fotoarchief, received a major endowment from Hein Wertheimer in 2003, and moved to its present location in 2007.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141104172932-Garden_gallery_2_C_Maarten_Brinkgreve.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">FOAM, Garden Gallery 2;&nbsp;&copy; Maarten Brinkgreve</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Sketching the landscape of Dutch photographic institutions beyond these historical particulars takes a lot more words and is less straightforward. FOAM is by far the most active and visible of the four institutions. It has a fast-paced program, which occasionally branches out to other locations. Through a magazine, a busy activities calendar, and an art fair (</span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/articles/show/40969" target="_blank">Unseen</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">), FOAM succeeds in reaching out to young photography enthusiasts and well-heeled donors alike. For a while its focus was mainly on street photography, with great solo and group shows with work by Robert Frank, William Eggleston, Lee Friedlander, Mitch Epstein, Daido Moriyama, Joan Colom, and the like. Even though this week the spotlight is on Vivian Maier, FOAM seems to have moved on to other pastures: fashion photography, loosely thematic shows, the latest developments as seen through the lens of the youngest artists, and an occasional veteran like Roy Villevoye&mdash;a bit of everything really.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141104174418-huis_marseille.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Val&eacute;rie Belin</strong>,&nbsp;<em>Still Life with Dish</em>, 2014; Collection Huis Marseille, exhibited in <em>de Marseillaise /&nbsp;fifteen&nbsp;years of collecting</em>, 2014;&nbsp;Courtesy Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris/Bruxelles</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Huis Marseille is less fickle in this respect. In step with its stately location, a 17th&nbsp;century monument, the institution operates in a more temperate manner, more museum-like. Here, long-running, full-scale presentations occupying the entire venue contrast FOAM&rsquo;s two or three parallel mini-exhibitions of shorter duration. Broadly speaking, &ldquo;documentary photography&rdquo; is the mainstay in Huis Marseille, ranging from David Goldblatt&rsquo;s intense images of contemporary South Africa to </span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://www.artslant.com/chi/articles/show/38237" target="_blank">Rob Hornstra</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&rsquo;s impressive </span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/articles/show/38178" target="_blank"><em>Sochi Project</em></a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">. The problem with Huis Marseille is that its presentations sometimes tend towards a certain stiffness, squeezing the air out of a very lively medium.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">During its early years the museum in The Hague carved out its own niche by concentrating on staged photography. Shows by Gregory Crewdson, Loretta Lux, Ruud van der Peijl, Desiree Dolron, and Erwin Olaf alternated with more historical presentations of work by Emmy Andriesse, Erwin Blumenfeld, and Gerard Fieret. The annual <em><a href="http://www.zilverencamera.nl/">Zilveren Camera</a></em> exhibition brings photojournalism into the museum, and portrait photography also has a slot in the program. Once again, one could argue that diversity gets in the way of distinction.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141104172127-umbra-viviane-sassen.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Viviane Sassen,&nbsp;</strong><em>Zone # 01</em>&nbsp;(Umbra series), 2014; &copy; Viviane Sassen / Courtesy of the artist and Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The reason for this tendency towards dilution is that these three museums basically operate like &ldquo;kunsthallen&rdquo; (exhibiting rather than collecting institutions). Their own collections are modest&mdash;both Huis Marseille and FOAM recently showed theirs for the first time, revealing young, contemporary holdings containing a few hundred works at most. With the Nederlands Fotomuseum it&rsquo;s a whole different story. The storage and restauration facilities are impressive and its collection is huge, comprising more than three millions slides, negatives, and prints. The Nederlands Fotomuseum administers the personal archives of 129 Dutch photographers. Logically this should be the national center for photography, a status the museum aspires to openly and attempted to emphasize at the 2007 reopening by publishing <em>Dutch Eyes</em>, a historical overview of photography in The Netherlands. The Rotterdam museum does not get its message across, though. And once again, the reason is lack of a clear profile. The exhibition program is a smorgasbord of national greats (Ad Nuis, <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/articles/show/39077" target="_blank">Viviane Sassen</a>), discoveries like Mark Cohen, art crossovers (Alfredo Jaar, David Claerbout), historical presentations (Doisneau), and popular thematic shows.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141104175211-mt_RP-F-F00634.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">Eadweard Muybridge</span></strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">,&nbsp;<em>Gallop; Thoroughbred Bay Horse, Bouquet</em>, 1885&ndash;1887, Collotype, Plate from <em>Animal Locomotion: an Electro-Photographic Investigation of Connective Phases of Animal Movements</em>, Philadelphia, 1887; Collection Rijksmuseum</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has been collecting photography since 1975. The majority of the 140,000 prints in collection are from the 19th&nbsp;century, but in the last ten years, during the renovation, the scope has broadened to include 20th&nbsp;century and even contemporary photography. The 400 vintage prints in <em>Modern Times</em> are of world class quality with works by Brassa&iuml;, Man Ray, Robert Capa, Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Eadweard Muybridge, Weegee, and Andr&eacute; Kert&eacute;sz. Dutch photographers are strongly represented as well: Paul Huf, Cas Oorthuys, Ed van der Elsken, Emiel van Moerkerken, Gerard Fieret, and Sanne Sannes, but also contemporaries such as Henk Wildschut, Vincent Mentzel, Ad van Denderen, and Celine van Balen. The museum's latest acquisition dates from last year: a ten-part work by Viviane Sassen.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The Rijksmuseum has the best and the biggest development department of all the Dutch museums; it&rsquo;s not only effective in bringing in financial donations but also estates. Add to this the higher status connected to donating to &ldquo;the national museum&rdquo; and it&rsquo;s easy to see why a lot of photography collectors will in the future choose the Rijksmuseum as their beneficiary. This will further weaken the position of the specialized photography museums and the national photographic heritage will become even more fragmented. Unless, of course, the institutions come to a collective, non-competitive strategy and&mdash;more importantly&mdash;start making clear choices and investing in consistent, distinctive identities.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/356010-edo-dijksterhuis?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Edo Dijksterhuis</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">(Image at top:&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><strong>John Gutmann</strong> (1905&ndash;1998),&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><em>Class, Olympic High Diving Champion Marjorie Gestring</em>, Gelatin silver print, San Francisco, 1936; Collection Rijksmuseum, with the support of Baker &amp; McKenzie Amsterdam N.V.)</span></span></p> Tue, 11 Nov 2014 23:57:13 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Hallowqueen! At MoMA PS1: A Costume Recap <p style="text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">MoMA PS1 threw their annual Halloween Ball last Friday - the theme this year: Hallowqueens! The galleries remained open during the costume ball making for some interesting juxtapositions.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">First, four dumpsters sat in the courtyard marked with "THROW YOUR ART AWAY", <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/31/arts/design/bob-and-roberta-smith-art-amnesty-at-moma-ps1.html?emc=edit_th_20141031&amp;nl=todaysheadlines&amp;nlid=19002287&amp;_r=0">a project</a> from Bob and Roberta Smith (actually one person) that asks gallery goers to bring in their old art and treat it as the commodity it is. If your art is lucky (read: good enough), MoMA will display it on the second floor for a day before disposing of it.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20141103144517-IMG_0162.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Second, and most important, the curation</span> <em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Zero Tolerance</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">, by&nbsp;Klaus Biesenbach and Margaret Aldredge placed the night's celebratory bacchanal in stark contrast with the most vile aspects of humanity. In one room, something like 25 video screens played footage from protests during violent backlashes against those asking for the most basic of human dignities. Everywhere you turned, people were getting the shit kicked out of them for being a minority of one sort or another. It just didn't stop. All this while in the next room, Yoko Ono's&nbsp;</span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acb15JsCGSk"><em>Give Peace a Chance</em></a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;chanted through the white walls.</span><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20141103145824-IMG_0207.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">But what else is a celebration other than a conscious forgetting of the negative? We walked back outside, momentarily sobered, and got another drink. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In that spirit, here are some of the best costumes of the night:</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20141103145500-IMG_0188.jpg" alt="" /><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20141103145355-IMG_0175.jpg" alt="" width="600" /><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20141103145407-IMG_0177.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20141103145435-IMG_0194.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20141103145447-IMG_0170.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20141103145513-IMG_0192.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20141103145539-IMG_0235.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;" dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20141103145625-IMG_0241.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20141103145636-IMG_0158.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;" dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20141103145705-IMG_0239.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20141103145726-IMG_0233.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20141103145740-IMG_0231.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20141103145757-IMG_0223.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20141103145811-IMG_0190.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20141103145847-IMG_0166.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Images and text by <a href="http://www.artslant.com/website/joel-kuennen">Joel Kuennen</a></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> Mon, 03 Nov 2014 19:41:42 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list The Rockefeller Family Estate's Idiosyncratic Picasso Tapestries <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Sleepy Hollow, a small Hudson Valley town best known for its place in Washington Irving&rsquo;s 1820 tale of the headless horseman, is also home to another lesser-known oddity: 15 incredibly detailed large-scale, hand-woven tapestries that painstakingly imitate Picasso paintings. Commissioned by Nelson Rockefeller in 1955 for his family&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.hudsonvalley.org/historic-sites/kykuit" target="_blank">Kykuit Estate</a>, the tapestries are the work of atelier Madame J. de la Baume D&uuml;rrbach,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">though they are often attributed to Picasso himself, who worked&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">in collaboration with the studio, providing images of his paintings to replicate and authenticating the works upon completion.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The tapestries&rsquo; existence is a strange testament to the Governor&rsquo;s pragmatism. Rockefeller preferred renditions of Picasso&rsquo;s work in a more durable form than painting, one that might allow them to travel easily.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In addition to their promising shelf life, Rockefeller was also attracted by their significantly low cost compared to the prices of Picasso&rsquo;s original paintings (though they were paid for by the square centimeter).&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Despite their travel-ready medium, the majority of the tapestries will leave the estate for the very first time next month for an exhibition at the&nbsp;</span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="https://www.samuseum.org/exhibitions/upcoming-exhibitions/624-picassos-tapestries">San Antonio Museum of Art.</a>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141108172721-picasso_tapestry.jpg" alt="" /><br /><span style="font-size: x-small;">Photo: &copy;&nbsp;Mick Hales</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Usually, 15 of the tapestries are housed in the basement of the main house, which Rockefeller had transformed into one of the stranger art galleries I have ever visited. Sadly, you are unable to see them at your leisure, but rather as a small part of a guided tour of various aspects of the estate. I opted for the Classic Tour, but you can really ball out with the three-hour Grand Tour. The lecture blends details of the Rockefellers' political history, religious heritage, Ming dynasty ceramics, and a car collection. You will also be ushered past works by Alberto Giacometti, Constantin Brancusi, David Smith, George Braque, Alexander Calder, and Joan Mir&oacute;, to name a few.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">While the works are revered by some and casually dismissed by others, I found myself in a state of wonder looking at the translation of such famous paintings into these meticulous textiles, complete with Picasso&rsquo;s signature woven into the bottom right corners. It is a relief that they will be freed from their basement home and accessible to a broader public in the San Antonio Museum of Art, even if only for a few months.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/408592-tara-plath" target="_blank">Tara Plath</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at top: Kykuit Estate; Photo: Ad Meskens)</span></p> Sat, 08 Nov 2014 17:28:53 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Searching for Christ's Penis <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The marking of the centenary of the First World War seems to have provided a good excuse for many galleries to revisit some of the greats of Expressionism. Namely, the unholy, and unholily popular trinity of Dix, Grosz, and Schiele, three men who, in recording their everyday lives and tumultuous surroundings in lividly-colored, pinched perspectives, also let the burgeoning sexuality of youth pound priapically against the quivering doors of the traditional nude. Ahem. Grosz&rsquo;s early portfolios <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/articles/show/41092" target="_blank">are being shown at the Highgate Gallery</a>, replete with ass-forward demimondes; Dix is included as part of Manchester Art Gallery&rsquo;s <em>The Sensory War;</em>&nbsp;and a selection of Schiele&rsquo;s drawings have been brought together for the first time at the Courtauld. Dubbed<em> Radical Nudes,</em> the show aims to present Schiele as a figure who went beyond the nude as a representation of the human body, or even as a traditional subject for honing the artist&rsquo;s skill, and presented the viewer with his own truly naked reality.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Schiele is revered for his honesty, his skill in elucidating his own self-alienation (and by extension the wider schism in modes of artistic realism in the early years of the 20th century), and, perhaps most famously, the extreme sexuality of his studies. The banner overhanging The Strand shows one of the titular women, prominently rouged nipple and all; the display halfway explains why the show is so well attended, as well as our continuing fascination with his work. Time hasn&rsquo;t dampened one bit Schiele&rsquo;s harnessing of pornography&mdash;or to use the kinder term, eroticism&mdash;as a valid output for fine art: sex still sells. In fact, as a contemporary viewer it&rsquo;s relatively easy to connect the drawings&mdash;with their libidinously obsessive stretching and distorting of the forms both male and female; their antagonistic or seductive stares to the viewer; their deliberately-posed juttings and bendings; and the posed, slack, ecstasy/agony mouth of the martyred saint&mdash;with much modern day commercialized sexual iconography.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141031181629-EgonSchiele12.png" alt="" /></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Egon Schiele</strong>,&nbsp;<em>Woman in Boots with Raised Skirt</em>, 1918, Black crayon, 43.5 x 28 cm; Private collection c/o Richard Nagy</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Somewhat disappointingly we are spared&mdash;whether through curatorial machinations, or a final snip of the censor&rsquo;s blade (this <em>is</em> the Courtauld, after all)&mdash;the confrontational excesses of Schiele&rsquo;s more onanistic portraiture (dispelling my original thought that <em>there are people masturbating in the galleries!</em>). But the multiple feminine glans of his nudes still glow brightly as carmine gashes, both figuratively and very literally, upon the exhibition-room walls. Though the write-ups for the pictures are (perhaps too) quick to politely point the slavering viewer toward the fineness of line and the interesting use of space and color, Schiele&rsquo;s original, undoubted pruriency has a tendency to snarl more loudly.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In fact, the floors of the gallery as a whole are rife with the shock of the nude. Journeying through the other rooms after viewing the show, it&rsquo;s hard not to judge each example of bared flesh by the same weird pomo/porno scoreboard: <em>Hundreds of </em><em>sybaritic</em><em> coquettes in your area, just waiting to be sketched!</em></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141031181937-Woman_With_Black_Stockings_1913__Gouache_Photograph__Richard_Nagy_IN_EXHIBITION.jpeg" alt="" /></em></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Egon Schiele</strong>,&nbsp;<em>Woman with Black Stockings</em>, 1913, Gouache; Photo courtesy Richard Nagy</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Still on the top floor, the vanilla symmetry of Modigliani&rsquo;s </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Female Nude </em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">(1915)&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">tips me a wink&mdash;the explanation on the adjacent wall telling me how </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">curvy Iris is fascinated by feminism, but only if it means she gets her own way</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;but post-Schiele her frankly too-pink body just doesn&rsquo;t cut it, and I travel on. One floor down, several Christs hang limply, loin-cloths naughtily skimming ultra-toned hips. But this is pure softcore, in stark contrast to Schiele&rsquo;s marked penchant for the mirror and the study of self&mdash;where </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">self </em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">refers almost exclusively to tufty legs and </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">membrum virile</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">. I spend a while looking at the various crucifixions throughout the gallery, noting the near-nakedness of each, and comparing the faraway eyes and His undressing form to the Viennese flesh-show upstairs, before the slow dawning that I&rsquo;ve spent considerable time&mdash;really&mdash;searching for (whisper it) Christ&rsquo;s penis.</span></p> <div style="float: left; width: 350px; font-size: small; text-align: center; margin-right: 30px;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141031184552-Reynolds_Cupid-and-Psyche_Courtauld.jpeg" alt="" width="350" /><br /> <p style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; color: #525552;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Joshua Reynolds, <em>Cupid and Psyche</em>, 1789&nbsp;<br /></span></p> </div> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In another room, Joshua Reynolds' restored <em>Cupid and Psyche</em>&nbsp;(1789) captures the post-coital couple at a very interesting stage in their relationship, picturing The Most Beautiful Woman in the World about to spill some really hot oil. Reynolds&rsquo; interpretation is sexually underwhelming, though, with not a Golden Ass to be seen. Elsewhere, Gaugin&rsquo;s Tahitian wife reclines ambiguously exposed in <em>Nevermore&nbsp;</em>(1897), spiritually bored or at prey to the two figures who stalk the background&mdash;the nude as encapsulation of an <em>ennui</em> as keen as any page 3 stunner&rsquo;s strictly professional smile-to-camera<em>. </em>On the opposite wall, Manet&rsquo;s plump bather sits skyclad on the meadow&mdash;fully frontal in her gaze, at least. In mute communion with the viewer, she is a challenge to&mdash;and reflection of&mdash;Parisian 19th century fears about the rise of prostitution, and more generally the influx of immigrants into the capital. At the time, it was sensationalist and considered sordid in the extreme&mdash;so much so that &Eacute;mile Zola fictionalized the controversy in a novel. As I pass there are a gaggle of students diligently sketching her in charcoals, but then, to paraphrase a sympathetic Zola: no one goes to the gallery to be scandalized.</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/387041-thogdin-ripley" target="_blank">Thogdin Ripley</a></span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Body" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at top:&nbsp;<strong>Egon Schiele</strong>,&nbsp;<em>Male Lower Torso&nbsp;</em>(detail), 1910, Black chalk and gouache, 44.8 x 28.1 cm; Courtesy the Leopold Museum, Vienna)</span></p> Fri, 31 Oct 2014 18:54:38 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Disorder, then a Good Death: What's Scarier than a Skull? <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I <a href="http://www.npr.org/2014/10/08/352765943/a-mortician-talks-openly-about-death-and-wants-you-to-too" target="_blank">read recently</a> about a group in the States called <a href="http://www.orderofthegooddeath.com/" target="_blank">The Order of the Good Death</a>, who describe themselves as &ldquo;a group of funeral industry professionals, academics, and artists exploring ways to prepare a death phobic culture for their inevitable mortality,&rdquo; a mission which seems like both good sense and nonsense in equal measure.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I myself am what I suppose could be labeled death-phobic. The many other things of which I am afraid &mdash;mechanical or puppet clowns, ventriloquist's dummies, clusters of objects, gruesome eye-injuries, giant isopods, et cetera, et cetera&mdash;pale in comparison with my fear of death. For me, this fear is a hangover from a childhood spent in churches; it is not a fear of the act of dying, but a fear of the possible existence of an afterlife, and as such the usual signifiers of death which appear in art have no special hold on me. </span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141031074112-Delvaux_Sleeping_Venus.jpeg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Paul Delvaux,</strong>&nbsp;<em>Sleeping Venus</em>, 1944, Oil on canvas; Collection Tate Gallery, London</span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I was never much good at seeing the anamorphic skulls in Holbein <em>just so</em>, but scholars assure me that they are intended to remind me of my own mortality; likewise Van Gough's <em>Skull of a Skeleton with Burning Cigarette </em>(1885&ndash;86), which&mdash;like pretty people smoking branded cigarettes in the movies&mdash;makes me antsy to flip the lid of my zippo, or Delvaux's skeletal pervert surveying a girl, which just makes me aroused. Warhol, in his screenprints of skulls, is only playing at Hammer Horror nastiness&mdash;the real death is in his paintings of electric chairs and suicides, or in the faded eyes of his fiftieth Norma Jean. Did Marilyn Monroe believe in hell? I believe she lived in it, temporarily. Look at the most half-there of the sceenprint diptych and you can conjure, within its negative spaces, the memory of the grim barbituate bottle in situ on her nightstand. If we could see Marilyn's skull, it would scare us for different reasons &mdash;the end of life repurposed to mean the end of beauty. Death, sometimes, is the end of suffering.</span></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141031074753-Andy_Warhol_Marilyn_Diptych.jpeg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Andy Warhol</strong>,&nbsp;<em>Marilyn Diptych</em>, 1962, Acrylic on canvas; Collection of Tate Gallery, London</span></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">There is one skull, though, with which I have had a contentious relationship in a gallery context, and that is Damien Hirst's <em>For the Love of God&nbsp;</em>(2007), which was on display at Tate Modern when I <a href="http://www.artslant.com/lon/articles/show/30450" target="_blank">reviewed his retrospective</a> a few years ago. On that occasion, I didn't care to queue to go into its guarded booth. In part, this is because I have never been much impressed by diamonds (too <em>obvious</em>, somehow, to really be glamorous; too in love with their own irridesence, and in cahoots too closely with the halogen spotlight), but it is also because what I knew I would find inside was too smug, too cruel, and too brutally predictable for me to bear. Hirst does death incredibly well, and his best work obsesses over it (<a href="http://www.damienhirst.com/the-physical-impossibility-of" target="_blank"><em>The&nbsp;Physical Impossibility...</em></a>, say, or <a href="http://www.damienhirst.com/a-thousand-years" target="_blank"><em>A Thousand Years</em></a>, or even <a href="http://www.damienhirst.com/the-acquired-inability-to-esca-4" target="_blank"><em>The Acquired Inability To Escape</em></a>, which represents the kind of death which is both spiritual and incremental, measured in smokes). <em>For the Love of God</em>, though, appears to have nothing to do it. Or, to look at it from a different perspective: the kind of death it concerns is not the death of the body, or the spirit, or the soul, but of the purpose and the reputation. A critic's life is one which is spent half-submerged in the clues and suggestions of others, dredging truth; this artwork snaps a diamond jaw at them.</span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141031075743-For_The_Love_Of_God.jpeg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Damien Hirst</strong>,&nbsp;<em>For the Love of God</em>, 2007, Platinum, diamonds, and human teeth; Photo:&nbsp;Prudence Cuming Associates &copy; <a href="http://www.damienhirst.com/for-the-love-of-god" target="_blank">Damien Hirst</a> and Science Ltd.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">This&mdash;the idea that art itself is meaningless, and that the critic himself or herself is a rube in their divination, that the artist laughs at them the way an atheist laughs at a believer&mdash;is perhaps more terrible, somehow, than the idea of death: it's ceasing to </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">mean </em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">or to</span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> matter</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> instead of simply to be. Diamonds are forever, even though critics are not. It's not death I'm afraid of, or the skull&mdash;it's what comes after. More than that, though, it's the image of Monroe realizing, on her death bed, that the whole world thought her a dumb blonde; it's the image of a Priest discovering that God looks at him and laughs. Skulls! A good motif for a silver ring, but besides that, who cares? More frightening than death is knowing you've squandered each moment before it.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/265136-philippa-snow?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Philippa Snow</a></span></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at top:&nbsp;<strong>Vincent van Gogh</strong>,&nbsp;<em>Skull of a Skeleton with Burning Cigarette</em>, 1885&ndash;86, Oil on canvas, 13 x 9.6 in.; Collection Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam)</span></p> Fri, 31 Oct 2014 13:17:59 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list [VIDEO] Oxymoron of Normality at DEPO Istanbul <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em><a title="The Oxymoron of Normality" href="http://www.depoistanbul.net/en/activites_detail.asp?ac=116">The Oxymoron of Normality</a></em>&nbsp;at&nbsp;<a title="Depo Istanbul website" href="http://www.depoistanbul.net/en/">DEPO T&uuml;t&uuml;n Deposu L&uuml;leci</a>&nbsp;in Istanbul, Turkey, is an exhibition which brings together artists from Poland and Turkey. Organized by the&nbsp;<a title="Galeria Arsenal, Bialystok" href="http://galeria-arsenal.pl/en/exhibitions/the-oxymoron-of-normality-polish-edition.html">Arsenal Gallery</a>&nbsp;in Bialystok, Poland, the show is part of the cultural program of the 600th anniversary of the Polish-Turkish diplomatic relations in 2014. The Oxymoron of Normality. We are Europeans, but perhaps not in a full sense is curated by Monika Szewczyk and aims to cover the condition of countries in the area of Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans. It features the artists Can Altay, Fatma Bucak, Hera B&uuml;y&uuml;ktaşcıyan, Hubert Czerepok, Oskar Dawicki, Anna Konik, Zbigniew Libera, Franciszek Orlowski, Jadwiga Sawicka, Konrad Smoleński, Ali Taptik, Marek Wasilewski, and Piotr Wysocki. The exhibition runs until November 30. In this video, curator Monika Szewczyk talks about the concept of the exhibition, and the artists Ali Taptik, Franciszek Orlowski, Marek Wasilewski, Fatma Bucak, and Hubert Czerepok talk about the work they present in the show.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Read more on </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://vernissage.tv/2014/10/29/the-oxymoron-of-normality-at-depo-istanbul/">Vernissage TV</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">.</span></span></p> <p><iframe src="http://blip.tv/play/gjCDsNF5Ag.x?p=1" frameborder="0" width="720" height="433"></iframe></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 at top: Screen capture from Vernissage TV reportage.)</span></p> Thu, 30 Oct 2014 21:29:30 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Artist Profile: Mona Hatoum—State of the Union <blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 24px; text-align: left;">In this recurring series, ArtSlant will introduce a number of international artists making the best in contemporary art.</em></p> </blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Picturing the international is no easy task. <a href="http://whitecube.com/artists/mona_hatoum/">Mona Hatoum</a>, born in Lebanon 1952, does so with ease&mdash;as if manifesting the aesthetics foreign policy out of thin air, using familiar objects to craft sleek, suggestive environments that appear governmental in their use. The UN aesthetic turned sexy. The clinical yet open quality of the work (policy, of course caters to everyone, though its image is guided by the Westen world) takes the inoffensive, calculated symbols of global inclusion&mdash;maps, gridded globes, institutional tile barriers, instructive signs&mdash;to stage a second world, the fiction of the international experience. One piece in particular drove me to look at her work, an installation of <a href="http://whitecube.com/exhibitions/mona_hatoum_hot_spot_masons_yard_2006/"><em>Hot Spot</em></a><em>, </em>which was installed at her exhibition of the same name at <a href="http://whitecube.com">White Cube</a> back in 2006.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141030173429-Hot_Spot_detail.png" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><em>Hot Spot</em>, 2006, Stainless steel and neon tube,&nbsp;230 x 223 x 223 cm</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The piece occupies the entire room with red light, though its structure is notably smaller. A life-sized metal globe is wrapped in a neon map of the world, delicately placed on the curved structure, as if fluidly drawn on. The globe is slightly tilted, like a decorative one you would find on a senator&rsquo;s desk; its structure is see-through&mdash;you can see the lines delineating the Americas through the shape of Africa. The boundaries that draw these familiar countries and continents are themselves hot&mdash;Hatoum suggests as hot as lava, ready to burn anyone who touches them. The only safe place to be is with the lines of your own country, albeit a hollow and precarious terrain, as if citizens within these sectors could fall through to the other side of the world&rsquo;s metal cage in an instant. The world is lit up.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The myth of intercontinental access is more important now than it was in 2006 when the piece was made. Indeed, Hatoum&rsquo;s work pictures these constructs of access, almost like propaganda, in the context of the current events that continue to inform them, change them, make them more relevant&mdash;or as one can only hope, one day render them completely obsolete.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141030175317-continental-drft-1200x800.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>Continental Drift</em>, 2000, Stainless steel, glass, iron filings, electronic motor, timer, 33 x 420 cm diameter. Installation view at the Tate Britain‬‬</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141030175406-Hatoum-Cage_a_Deux.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>Cage-&agrave;-deux</em>, 2002, Mild steel, painted medium-density fiberboard, 201.5 &times; 315 &times; 199.5 cm; Photo by Hugo Glendinning; Courtesy Galleria Continua, San Gimignano/Beijing/Le Moulin</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141030175443-Greater_Divide.png" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>Grater Divide</em>, 2002, Mild steel, 204 x 3.5 cm (variable width); Photo: Iain Dickens</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141030175526-waiting_is_forbidden.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>Waiting is Forbidden</em>, 2006&ndash;2008</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141030175606-parasol_unit.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>Present Tense</em>, 2008. Installation view at Parasol Unit, London</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141030175627-Bunker.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><em>Bunker</em>, 2011,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">22 mild steel tubing structures, d</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">imensions variable; Photo: Hugo Glendinning</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/183982-stephanie-cristello?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Stephanie Cristello</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">(Image at top:&nbsp;<strong>Mona Hatoum</strong><em>,</em>&nbsp;<em>Hot Spot</em>, 2006,&nbsp;Stainless steel and neon tube.)</span></p> Tue, 04 Nov 2014 10:05:56 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Taking a Museum of African Art to the Bank <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">When the world thinks of Africa at the moment, the conversation seems to stop on the deadly West African virus, Ebola. For a less alarmist and fear-stoked impression of a massive continent, Meschac Gaba&rsquo;s <em>Museum of Contemporary African Art</em> (1997-2002), on view at Berlin&rsquo;s Deutsche Bank Kunsthalle until November 16, is currently offering insights&nbsp;through the eyes of one money-minded artist from Benin.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Funny&nbsp;coincidence this show is hosted by a Deutsche Bank-sponsored gallery, as Germany <a href="http://www.thelocal.de/20141029/germany-slips-in-business-rankings" target="_blank">has&nbsp;been slipping lately in business rankings</a>. Even though Germany ranks higher than Greece and Spain, it falls behind Denmark and Finland as a place to do business, <a href="http://www.doingbusiness.org/rankings" target="_blank">according to the&nbsp;World Bank</a>. But while the German economy might not be at its peak, we all know by now that&nbsp;<a href="http://www.economist.com/blogs/baobab/2014/05/africas-booming-contemporary-art-scene" target="_blank">the African art scene is thriving</a>.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141030124626-gaba00.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The first thing you&rsquo;re greeted with at the show is a raw flag graced with the tough-looking, badass Berlin bear. It welcomes guests to the Berlin version of the project, which debuted at <a href="http://www.museumofcontemporaryafricanart.com/entree.html" target="_blank">Documenta XI </a>and was most recently shown at the Tate Modern. Gaba&rsquo;s museum-within-a-solo-show show is typically divided into 12 rooms for the official installation. Here, we have seven. From the best of them, the Draft Room has old Benin banknotes placed beside golden rocks (yes, there is financial porn), while the Humanist Space offers eight gold bikes for rent, with the proceeds going to humanitarian causes in Africa.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141030124850-gaba06.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">The Architecture Room</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The Architecture Room allows viewers to act like kids again and build their own museum with wooden blocks, which is essentially the starting point for Gaba, who carved out a name for African art with this "museum," made from 1997-2002. The room squares well with a city like Berlin, where everything is do-it-yourself, from the new&nbsp;<a href="http://www.kindl-berlin.com/" target="_blank">KINDL art space&nbsp;</a>in a former brewery, to the Hamburger Bahnhof museum in a former train station. There&rsquo;s even a cheeky tree called the &ldquo;Artist&rsquo;s Bank,&rdquo; sprouting dollar bills filled with portraits of famous artists&mdash;think of Jackson Pollock&rsquo;s face on 20 Leones or a moody-looking Pablo Picasso on 10 Francs&mdash;artists who mostly &ldquo;made it&rdquo; financially in the art market. Even though Berlin thrives as a culture capital,&nbsp;financial goals&nbsp;are not the central theme of many artists who live here.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141030124920-gaba02.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">The Art and Religion Room</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Probably the most intriguing is the Art and Religion Room, which is set of cross-shaped, wooden, low-cost shelving units filled with devotional objects of various religions. Everything you need is here: candles, crosses, even tarot cards. Gaba responds here to the West&rsquo;s fascination with African belief systems. When museums&rsquo; African collections are filled with ritual objects, contemporary African art can fall way below the radar. The oversimplification is like thinking everyone in Canada lives in an igloo, or all Americans are rednecks.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Symbols of Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism (Ganesh gets a cameo) are on display on the do-not-touch shelves. Arranged as equal faiths, they&rsquo;re all set alongside wooden African faith figurines. (Art has historically played a role in the advertising of religion, after all).</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Naturally, the gift shop is considered part of the show. Yes, you can get indie pins and t-shirts, but in true Berlin spirit, there is also a small flea market-esque section with both inexpensive and high-value items. Find a hand-painted wooden bottle opener in a variety of different flag motifs for $20 each. Gaba curated in works by other artists, too. Olafur Eliasson is selling his mass-produced <em>Little Sun</em> solar lamps, which were created for Ethiopia, for only $25 each. Find pieces by Laura de Monchy and Wangechi Mutu. With so much ingenuity, it&rsquo;s almost a surprise that even 17 years after this project began, it hasn&rsquo;t been kickstarted into a permanent Museum of Contemporary African Art. Even if the German economy sinks, you can always hawk your wares at the gift shop.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/241816-nadja-sayej?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Nadja Sayej</a></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">(Image at top: <strong>Meschac Gaba</strong>, Architecture Room (detail), from&nbsp;<em>Museum of Contemporary African Art</em>, 1997-2002); Courtesy of the artist /&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">All images courtesy of the artist)</span></span></p> Thu, 30 Oct 2014 20:46:02 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Halloween-a-bramovic: Four Unspooky Costumes for the Lazy Art Appreciator <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Halloween, for me, is the true &ldquo;most wonderful time of the year,&rdquo; and so it came as no real surprise to be asked to outline a few costume suggestions for the readers of this website. While most of my own clothes can do double-service as both everyday wear and Hammer-Horror garb alike, I recognize not everyone reading is capable of making the same assertion.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">(I should note that when this article was first proposed to me by an Editor, it came with the suggestion that I dress my partner&mdash;who is also a contributor at ArtSlant&mdash;in each of the suggested costumes, a request which was met with a polite but pointed silence over the pub table later that evening. I respect his decision in this, as I do in all matters, but still believe in my heart of hearts that he would have made an excellent Marina Abramovic.)</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">What I have come up with, below, is a list of ways in which you might dress up as a <em>so-well-known-that-it&rsquo;s-obvious&nbsp;</em>artist without too much effort. There are many more possibilities: Frida Kahlo (that&rsquo;s your beat, Cara Delevingne, and quite possibly your calling), Salvador Dal&iacute;, Vincent Van Gogh (<a href="http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fake-Head-Body-Parts-Ears/dp/B00168WVPW" target="_blank">it&rsquo;s very easy, around Halloween, to buy a prosthetic ear</a>). You are sensible, reader, and I&rsquo;ve no doubt creative&mdash;why else would you be combing ArtSlant for a costume idea? I am merely sowing a few seeds. Grow your own familiar <a href="http://www.dailypilot.com/media/photo/2011-11/65836148.jpg" target="_blank">oil-paint sunflowers from them</a>, if you prefer.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Marina Abramovic</span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141030105137-MarinaHalloween.png" alt="" /></span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Here, via BlouinArtInfo, is Marina in her own Halloween costume circa 2011&mdash;she&rsquo;s wearing her own graduation gown and a Yohji hat. It&rsquo;s very conceptual, though I have no earthly idea what she is dressed up as.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">There are two observations I would make from <a href="http://www.artslant.com/lon/articles/show/39927" target="_blank">observing the three-dimensional Marina Abramovic up-close</a>, as opposed to in a photograph, and those two observations are as follows:</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; padding-left: 60px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&bull;&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The fact of the matter is, even if you are an art student in your early twenties, you will require at least a half-wand of concealer on your burgeoning eye-bags to look half as taut and unlined.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; padding-left: 60px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&bull;&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">She has very soft hands. This is not, I will grant you, a visual part of the costume: nevertheless, a few drinks into the function you may find yourself recreating </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">512 Hours</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> with your fellow guests (there is no one so easily led into a corner as a house party drunk&mdash;this is one of life&rsquo;s certainties). A good moisturizing routine the week prior will add a much-needed lacquer of authenticity. It will also allow you to slip out of a too-enthusiastic grip.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Aside from this, I would suggest you could put together a decent costume using simply:</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; padding-left: 60px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&bull;&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">An outfit which is either red or black, and has either the look of the robes of a pagan Goddess or the pantsuit of a 90s cult-leader.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; padding-left: 60px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&bull;&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">A long black &ldquo;witch-wig&rdquo; from any good supermarket or costumier, or&mdash;in the case of myself&mdash; your own hair.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Et voil&agrave;! The artist is present. An optional extra: </span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://www.wikihow.com/Cry-for-a-Play-or-Other-Performance">the stage-school trickery required to make yourself cry</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Naked Jeff Koons</span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">An option for the reader who is </span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="https://nyogalleristny.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/koons-butt.jpg">really</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">, </span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://images.nymag.com/news/intelligencer/intelposts101011_koons_560.jpg">really</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">, </span><a style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;" href="http://liberallifestyles.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/koons-17-made-in-Heaven.jpg">exceptionally</a><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> brave. You could do his whole braces stockbroker look, of course, but where&rsquo;s the fun in that? If you lack the requisite physique, there&rsquo;s always a muscle-suit&mdash;this one in particular does recall his recent </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Vanity Fair</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> feature:</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141030105606-HumanMuscleSuit.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Human muscle suit, back view, from <a href="http://www.flexdesigncostumes.com/" target="_blank">Flex Design Costumes</a></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; text-decoration: underline; text-align: justify;"><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">David Hockney; also Andy Warhol</span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">David Hockney is an artist, I believe <a href="http://www.artslant.com/lon/articles/show/38666" target="_blank">I have said once before on this site</a>, whose look is both marvelous, and constructed as if with a Halloween costume in mind&mdash;as though you could find, somewhere on the web, a &ldquo;British Artist&rdquo; all-in-one costume in a polythene bag which contains the three vital elements:</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; padding-left: 60px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&bull;&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Thick, bottle-top glasses.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; padding-left: 60px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&bull;&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">A baby-blonde wig.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; padding-left: 60px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&bull;&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">A clashing outfit in Prince-of-Wales check, stripes, polka dots, colored-chinos-and-contrast-shirt, with a bow-tie.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Hockney is also an excellent choice for a costume because a lazier person might allow their wig&mdash;along with a slightly different pair of glasses&mdash;to do double-service for Warhol at another event over the same weekend. Amazon (and I was right about the generic &ldquo;Artist&rdquo; label, at least for the wig) has made the same observation:</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141030110552-Artist_s_wig.png" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">"Artist Wig" via <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Artist-Platinum-Wig-Costume-Accessory/dp/B001FXHALS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1414666907&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=artists+wig" target="_blank">Amazon</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">For Andy, you will need spectacles in a more Wayfarer-style, a polo-neck or a Breton shirt, and a bored affect.&nbsp;Direct your eyes to the top of this article, and you will notice that dressing as Warhol&nbsp;is so simple that&mdash;to quote the classic contemporary art detractor&mdash;your five-year-old could do it</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I look forward to seeing your efforts on Instagram (or I would, if I had it).</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/265136-philippa-snow?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Philippa Snow</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(Image at top: Child Warhol Costume via<strong>&nbsp;</strong><a href="http://ohhappyday.com/2012/10/little-artists-costumes/" target="_blank">OhHappyDay</a>, 2012)</span><br /></span></p> Thu, 30 Oct 2014 16:23:22 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list How to Paint with Snoop Dogg: A GIF Tutorial <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 24px;">Rearrange your sock drawers. Rapper turned painter turned Lion turned hosier Snoop Lion just released a fresh line for your feet. Working with Swedish sock company Happy Socks, Snoop and the creative team at Cashmere Agency developed a collection of three designs inspired by his foray into painting. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 24px;">"The Art of Inspiration" <a href="http://www.happysocks.com/us/colabs/snoop-dogg-collection/" target="_blank">sock collection</a> includes the navy and white paisley-patterned "Snoop Dogg Gin &amp; Juice," the brightly colored paint supply-themed "Snoop Dogg Painter," and "Snoop Dogg Stripes &amp; Plants," a rasta response to footwear including the iconic pothead tricolor with red Ethiopian lions and vibrant green pot leaves.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 24px;">To promote the release, Happy Socks created an amazing video offering a rare glimpse into Snoop Lion's creative process, which we've broken down for you into easily consumable GIFs and insights from the artistic process according to Snoop. </span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 24px;">Enjoy.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 24px;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20141029164140-snoop-gif-1.gif" alt="" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 24px;"><strong>Step #1: Gotta get your mind right.</strong> "My process when I get ready to paint, I definitely gotta have a blunt cuz the blunt is inspiration to the creation."</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 24px;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20141029155104-snoop-2.gif" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 24px;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20141029155144-snoop-3.gif" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 24px;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20141029155325-snoop-4.gif" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 24px;"><strong>Step #2: Tunes.</strong> "I like music. I listen to old school music when I'm painting."</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 24px;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20141029155415-snoop-5.gif" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 24px;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20141029155550-snoop-6.gif" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 24px;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20141029155631-snoop-7.gif" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 24px;"><strong>Step #3: Finish.</strong> "When I do get to the end, it is a boundary that I do like to get to. I feel like there is enough on here, I'm within, I've done enough. It's cool. I like the way it looks. Put it out there."</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 24px;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20141029155734-snoop-10.gif" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 24px;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20141029155956-snoop-11.gif" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 24px;"><strong>Step #4: Sell that shit.</strong>&nbsp;"I know that I&rsquo;m an artist and that my paintings mean something and people are going to be interested in them and want to buy them. And have them hanging up in their walls and their favorite spots."&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 24px;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20141029160109-snoop-12.gif" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 24px;"><a href="http://www.dazeddigital.com/artsandculture/article/22267/1/catch-a-glimpse-of-snoop-dogg-the-artist-in-action">VIDEO</a> (h/t <a href="http://www.dazeddigital.com/artsandculture/article/22267/1/catch-a-glimpse-of-snoop-dogg-the-artist-in-action">Dazed</a> )</span></p> Wed, 29 Oct 2014 16:42:00 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list A Cool, Darkling Swirl: Benjamin Millepied’s LA Dance Works at the Ace <p style="text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">What literature is to words and music is to sound, dance is to movement.&nbsp;Refined into a language&mdash;from the cosmic shimmy to the mash-potato, Viennese waltzing to a raver&rsquo;s speaker humping, and of course, that formal staging from ballet to music videos we call simply&nbsp;<em>Dance&mdash;</em>we take movement and communicate joy or boredom, despair or titillation, or if good, all of the above. &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Seeing the LA Dance Project last weekend at <a href="http://www.acehotel.com/losangeles/theatre" target="_blank">the Ace</a> in Los Angeles, it was hard not to find the whole affair intensely beautiful. Stylized as hell, drawing as it does from the ancestry of ballet, perhaps some immediacy is lost, but in the hyper-refined atmosphere of that art form, it&rsquo;s pretty hard to find anything quite so lively.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">With <em>Dance</em>, the kind that has conservatories and companies devoted to its practice, the presumption of course is that these movements are very difficult, requiring many years of formal training to acheive expertise. Ballet, for one, pushes the human body to the limits of possibility, legs arcing heavenward, toes crunching under the balanced weight against gravity, the whole exercise resembling often some kind of medieval torture routine for anorexic Russians perfected by Beaux-Arts aestheticians.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Modern dance freed movement to be something different; the dancers did not have to be bird cages wrapped with skin but humans: chunky, fleshy, real. But even after that revolution, the idea of a performance repeated to perfection and presented in a formal theatre certainly persists. (Though the best witnessed, admittedly informal, dance performance of my life was a party after an altogether excellent Michael Clarke-authored performance at 356 Mission this last year: a gang of trained dancers free from choreography and a little bit drunk, moved, jumped, gamboled, backflipped, and splitsed with heartbreaking and soul-stirring spirit, and best yet, I could dance in the shadowy gallery with them.)</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">This past weekend&rsquo;s performance of Benjamin Millepied&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.ladanceproject.com/" target="_blank">LA Dance Project</a> attempted to inject and layer the casual and modern into the old repetitions, often asserting the individual dancers against the heavily designed groupthing. For neophytes, a little reductive history: George Balanchine and later Mikhail Baryshnikov both attempted to modernize ballet, make it something a little more relevant outside of rehashing perfect and perfectly tired 19th-century technique. Millepied continues that renovation, but with a slick, darkling style that made him a perfect collaborator for Darren Aronofsky in his film <em>Black Swan</em> (2010), a movie about a ballet dancer's aspiration and control driving her mad. (Millepied has also done numerous collaborations with visual artists, many of them from LA, including Barbara Kruger, Mark Bradford, and Sterling Ruby.)</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">For Millepied, displayed in the performance of his newish troupe at the Ace Hotel this past weekend, the movements are difficult and strange, like the whirling jumps of dancers moving never quite in unison but sometimes together. Sexy if never quite raw, again and again the performers swirl about each other like human centrifuges. The hard stasis of ballet tradition loosened into something a little weirder. &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1629/2ij/20141027235632-Screenshot_2014-10-27_at_4.55.40_PM.png" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Anthony Bryant and Stephanie Amurao of LA Dance Project in William Forsyth's "Quintett"&nbsp;(1993) performed at the Ace Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, Oct 24-26, 2014.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Still pretty refined as these things go, the form has been freed in LA Dance Project to be a little bit more playful and (as far as I can tell) abandons most of the more obvious moves associated with classical ballet (no toe-crackling slippers or dead Russian Christmas pageants here). The first of three pieces &ldquo;Morgan&rsquo;s Last Chug&rdquo; (2013), liberally plays quotes from Samuel Beckett's play&nbsp;<em>Krapp&rsquo;s Last Tape</em> (1957) mixed with what I was pretty sure was the synthy sweep of <em>A Clockwork Orange</em>&rsquo;s (1971) title music (Wendy Carlos&rsquo; spooky electrified version of a Henry Purcell funeral march from 1695, which is to say an experimentally moderne take on a classical work). Beckett&rsquo;s one-act is about a man who recorded himself throughout a long life on reel-to-reel spools and near the end is playing back those recordings. The attachment to the past destroys the man, the spools filling in for the real life he ought to have lived. Somewhere in the strange, different voices of the vastly different people a single human is over a lifetime, between all the various pasts and the remembering of the present, exists the ineffable heart of lived existence. The mash-up of music and movement might make this performance plumb post-modern, but its references feel like something that came after that movement&rsquo;s smirking self-referentiality. The tension here is between the weight of the past and how we might remember it in the present, reflected in the mixed movements of the dancers and its bag of musical, literary, and choreographic borrowings and innovations. &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Soundtracked by the nerve-wracking beauty of Philip Glass&rsquo;s repetitive orchestrations, Millepied's own new "Untitled" tenses between control and release, however highly aestheticized. The fashionably fascist costumes of dancers clad in wife beaters and slick, gridded black-and-white skirts and shorts are set against changing backdrops&mdash;from solid black to stark white to the smeary colors of dawn/dusk to the bare stripped brick and pipework of the back of the stage. The scenography of the arranged bodies resembled Peter Greenaway&rsquo;s painterly films, another modern take on classical composition.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">In the last of the three pieces, William Forsyth&rsquo;s &ldquo;Quintett&rdquo; (1993), casual play and thrushing joy is built right into the performance. The women broadly smile whilst in between flourishes; the dancers jostle and josh, slapping each other on the ass and playfully poking their partners.&nbsp;(Is it creepy that playfulness is choreographed? I guess I never question it in theatre, but when fiction butts up against its expository display here it brings into question how we as an audience are expected to experience contemporary dance.)</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">Like his countrymen's work in other media&mdash;artist Claude Leveque&rsquo;s prison of silver bars and rippling silk flags in the 2009 Venice Biennale's French Pavilion, or Leos Carax&rsquo;s <em>Holy Motors</em> (2012)&mdash;Millepied's stylization trumps the immediacy of felt emotion, giving us something radiant in its brightness but never quite warm. (That Millepied is even comparable to contemporary artists in other media probably says something notable about his crossover here.) Though in dance the hot, sweating body is always inescapable, the cool freneticism of Millepied&rsquo;s compositions however perhaps smartly mirrors our own post-human experiences criss-crossing art-directed shopping malls in cold glass towers, the possibility of emotion and sensuality, a rarely freeing distraction from the surge of traffic, automotive and human, under the heatless blue light of LED streetlamps.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; font-family: georgia, palatino;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/12307-andrew-berardini?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Andrew Berardini</a></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">(Image at top: Rachelle Rafailedes and company&nbsp;of LA Dance Project in Benjamin Millepied's "Untitled" (2014) performed at the Ace Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, Oct 24-26, 2014.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">All photos by Rose Eichenbaum.)</span></p> Thu, 30 Oct 2014 16:29:47 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Marina Abramovic to Help Others Sit Really Still for a Really Long Time and Count Rice <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">Legendary performance artist Marina Abromovic announced today her next public workshop aimed at helping others push beyond their own physical and psychological limits of sitting really still for a really long time while doing something really boring.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;">In partnership with the Italian furniture maker <a href="http://www.moroso.it/morosoworld/news/counting-the-rice-table-marina-abramovic/?lang=en" target="_blank">Moroso</a>, the <a href="http://www.immaterial.org/" target="_blank">Marina Abromovic Institute (MAI)</a> will present "Counting the Rice" at this year's Art Basel Miami in December. Participants will try to sit these scary-looking modernist torture tables designed by Daniel Libeskind for a minimum of six hours while they count and separate rice from lentils.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;">The project also has a new twist: you can buy it. As part of the project, Moroso will release a limited edition of 30 "Counting the Rice" tables along with a collection of other designed objects, the proceeds of which will go to supporting the MAI. (The irony of Abromovic's immaterial art institute releasing a collection of designed objects is not lost on us.)&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p2" style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;">The first iteration of this project was presented earlier this year in the Cortile d'Onore cloister at Milan University during Design Week 2014, where they used Italian art students as their rice-counting, concentration-building victims. Subsequently, the project was opened up to the public at Centre d'Art Contemporain in Geneva in May. A four-hour long YouTube video on that <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaXBLwuq7Uc" target="_blank">here</a>.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;">While both earlier iterations used wooden versions of the design, Moroso will present a new design development at Art Basel Miami: "high-performance cement."&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;">Of the design, Moroso writes: "The slab of cement folds over itself, enfolding and pushing the body to carry out the performance"&mdash;or confess to a crime you didn't commit&mdash;"while the vigorous gestural expressiveness of the form is embossed across its surface with complex geometries that give a sense of visual fragmentation." &nbsp;</span><span style="color: #000000; text-align: left;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;">In keeping with the newly developed strong artistic ties between Abromovic and the Italian furniture manufacturer, "the seat takes on a dialectical dimension that goes beyond function to become the metaphor for the virtual union between the visionary genius of Marina Abramovic, the creativity of Daniel Libeskind, and the leading producer of Italian-made design that is Moroso."&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;">The first table in the limited edition was <a href="https://paddle8.com/work/marina-abramovic/38274-counting-the-rice-table" target="_blank">auctioned off</a>&nbsp;at the Fondation Beyeier in Basel last month.&nbsp;Along with the cement "Count the Rice, Bitch" collection, Moroso announced plans to release yet another version at Art Basel Miami designed by Patricia Urquilo.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; text-align: justify;">(Image at top:&nbsp;The "Counting the Rice" Chair Designed by Daniel Libeskind for Moroso in cooperation with the Marina Abromovic Institute)</p> Fri, 14 Nov 2014 05:50:13 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list A Certain Disney Utopia: Ysabel LeMay’s Photo-Fusions <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Who said Disney was dead? Ysabel LeMay&rsquo;s staggeringly beautiful photo-fusions, currently on view at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://vervegallery.com/index.php?p=artist_gallery&amp;a=24&amp;g=1&amp;r=1&amp;e=24-037">Verve Gallery</a></span><span style="font-size: medium;">,</span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> prove otherwise.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Ysabel LeMay is a commercial graphic artist turned painter turned photographer. Each image is made up of hundreds of photographs, collaged together using Photoshop to create grand representations of nature, bounty, and beauty. Her work is more cinematic than painterly: each digital C-print has a plexi-face, whose glossy sheen intensifies the work&rsquo;s decorative sensibility, and ultimately gives LeMay&rsquo;s finished compilations a certain Disney utopia feel.&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/20141003124210-Wander.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>Ysabel LeMay,</strong> <em>Wander</em>, 2014, C-Print, 24 x 72 inches; Courtesy of the artist and Verve Gallery of Photography</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;">In <em>Wander</em>, we peek through leafy branches at serene water as birds comingle and sweep through misty sprays. Each plant and animal adopts a character whose personality emerges via digital enhancement and thoughtful positioning. While the individual photographs used to compile the whole aren&rsquo;t necessarily distinguishable, the birds and wildlife that intertwine and overlap in LeMay&rsquo;s work form make-believe paradises. The scenes do not logically make sense, but visually they are enjoyable and luscious vignettes. <em>Whispers </em>is a large vertical photograph with a gushing white waterfall boasting white flowers that sprinkle down amidst the droplets. It&rsquo;s almost matrimonial, pure, and lacelike. <em>Circa 1930</em> appears aged, compiled from splattered watermarks and weathered patches that encircle an incredible blush-colored bouquet brimming with the antiquated virtuosity of a classical still life.</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/20141003123633-023_The_Transmitter.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>Ysabel LeMay,</strong> <em>The Transmitter,</em> 2011, C-Print, 48 x 72 inches; Courtesy of the artist and Verve Gallery of Photography</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;">LeMay&rsquo;s landscapes do not show brush marks, and their surfaces are too glossy to be confused with oil painting, but their saccharine whimsy is reminiscent of Rococo and would not be entirely misplaced amid Fragonard&rsquo;s flowering foliage. LeMay&rsquo;s photographs are devoutly unpeopled, seeking instead to entertain an entirely unencumbered indulgence in nature.</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;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141003160558-passing_by.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: xx-small;"><strong>Ysabel LeMay</strong>,&nbsp;<em>Passing By</em>, 2011, C-Print, 48 x 48 inches; Courtesy of the artist and Verve Gallery of Photography</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: xx-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141003161130-Cosmic_Nursery.jpg" alt="" /></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: xx-small;"><strong>Ysabel LeMay</strong>,&nbsp;<em>Cosmic Nursery</em>, 2014, C-Print, 48 x 63 inches; Courtesy of the artist and Verve Gallery of Photography</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: xx-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20141003161326-Nightlife.jpg" alt="" /></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: xx-small;"><strong>Ysabel LeMay</strong>,&nbsp;<em>Nightlight</em>, 2014, C-Print, 24 x 72 inches; Courtesy of the artist and Verve Gallery of Photography<br /></span></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/394156-hannah-hoel?tab=REVIEWS">Hannah Hoel</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>Ysabel LeMay,</strong> <em>Circa 1930</em>, 2013, C-Print, 36x36"; Courtesy of the artist and Verve Gallery of Photography]</span></p> Fri, 03 Oct 2014 16:16:31 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/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/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/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/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list