ArtSlant - Contemporary Art Network http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/show en-us 40 Art Fair Musical: Setting the Stage for IN/SITU at EXPO CHICAGO <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">As Chicago approaches the four day run of its annual art fair, the art world becomes increasingly animated with preparations. This is the moment backstage of an as-yet empty auditorium; red carpets are cleaned one last time as painters touch up their back drops and technicians in black clothes hastily test light and sound sequences. Dancers stretch. Producers sweat, fiddling their mobile devices unconsciously. There is a palpable buzz of anticipation &mdash;&nbsp;an energy not yet disseminated into the greater public, rumors nevertheless spread wildly about what one might expect on opening night. When EXPO CHICAGO opens this Thursday, it will be as if the red curtains have drawn up at last, revealing with it a precise choreography of energy and effort. So begins the musical.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In addition to the booths of over 140 international galleries exhibiting select artists, EXPO CHICAGO platforms IN/SITU works. It&rsquo;s a bit like a play within a play. The fair itself is one production within which another spectacle &mdash; its own exhibition &mdash; plays out. This year the series is curated by Renaud Proch, Executive Director of Independent Curators International who describes his selection as &ldquo;an homage to the city, to what artists take from and give to it, to the abundance of artistic creation and experimental practice that exists here [in Chicago] amid an intense exchange of ideas.&rdquo; Robert Burnier, Fernando Pareja and Leidy Chavez, Cheryl Pope, Michael Rakowitz, Jessica Stockholder, Saya Woolfalk, Ken Gonzales-Day, and Elijah Burgher all install works that &ldquo;provide occasions for pause and reflection throughout the exposition.&rdquo;&nbsp;In so doing they impose different techniques that expand a viewer&rsquo;s physical, political, and historical perspective.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">2014 Whitney Biennial artist <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/artists/rackroom/123966">Elijah Burgher</a> installs his occult paintings on unstretched canvas, as emerging Chicago sculptor Robert Burnier quotes Esperanto in the title of his deconstructed wooden crate. Ken Gonzales-Day shares an image from his series, <em>Profiled</em>, where the artist took a selection of busts from the Field Museum&rsquo;s historical collection and photographed them together, creating odd juxtapositions that challenge historical narratives. Cheryl Pope&rsquo;s printed nylon banners evoke high school spirit days with deceptive simplicity &mdash; this one, A <em>Silent I</em> says simply &ldquo;I AM A FIGHTER&rdquo; in blue and gold. Or <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/artists/rackroom/25629">Saya Woolfalk</a>&rsquo;s <em>ChimaTEK: Avatar Download Station</em>, part of the third and final installment of <em>The Empathics</em>: a seven-year project based on a fictional group of hybrid female protagonists that have transformed into a for-profit corporation, and in so doing gain access to a &ldquo;chimeric existence.&rdquo; Michael Rakowitz installs a stunning reproduction of The Iraqi Ishtar Gate from 575 BC &mdash; originally a gate into the inner city of Babylon, it was disassembled and rebuilt for a German museum. In Rakowitz&rsquo; iteration, <em>May The Arrogant Not Prevail,</em> the wall is constructed using found Arabic packaging, newspapers, card, wood, and glue. Fernanda Pareja and Leidy Chavez play with analogue technologies in their installation, <em>Opresores Oprimidos</em>. Using old school animation techniques, the artists reflect on cycles of violence that emerge between left and right wing politics.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;<img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140916233927-Boot-Weaving-01-72.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Jessica Stockholder</strong>, <em>Boot Weaving</em>, cut vinyl, hollow core door, acrylic paint, hardware, boot rubber, LED Light and fixture, yellow cups, green extension cord, blue plastic clamp and black plastic clamp, 2014 110.5&rdquo; x 40&rdquo; x 14&rdquo; Courtesy of Kavi Gupta Chicago | Berlin.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The throng of furtive energy will no doubt persist throughout those four days, as visitors, gallerists, collectors, and artists shuffle alike through the exposition halls, busy at times with all-consuming errands, at others overwhelmed with the saturated glimmer of so much aesthetic cross fire. Offering another point of rest, Jessica Stockholder builds an auxiliary point of access. With her characteristic use of vernacular materials &mdash; plastic, paint, driveway mirrors, stools, carpet, chain/airline cables, rolling suitcases, resin, extension cords, lights, mixing bowl/lamp shade &mdash;she erects a structure rising fifty feet high within the exposition hall. Viewers are invited to climb this structure of mass produced materials, to observe the uncanny game board of gallery booths, patterned carpet, and ceiling.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In its interest in the dynamic framework Chicago provides, IN/SITU extends beyond Navy Pier for the first time. Ai Wei Wei&rsquo;s first major public sculpture project, <em>Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Bronze </em>has been on a global tour, and will be unveiled in Chicago on the 17<sup>th</sup> at the Adler Planetarium as part of IN/SITU Outside, a new initiative of the exposition. The twelve bronze heads represent the traditional Chinese zodiac, and like Rakowitz&rsquo;s gate are based on an historic water clock fountain from the 18<sup>th</sup> Century. While those original fixtures were designed by European Jesuits, French and British pillaged the heads in 1860. &nbsp;As though to further the echoing effect of artistic effort, EXPO has collaborated with the Chicago Parks District to install public art works along the Chicago lakefront, while organizing its own suite of installations as EXPO Projects.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;<img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140916234025-zodiac_heads_lg.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Ai Weiwei</strong>, <em>Circle of Animals/ Zodiac Heads,</em> courtesy of Daniel Avila. As installed in New York City, May 4, 2011 to July 15, 2011.</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">I think of <em>Bye Bye Birdie</em> preparing for the imminent arrival of Conrad Birdie. I think of <em>42<sup>nd</sup> Street</em>, or <em>Waiting for Guffman</em>. Or a well-forgotten cheerleading movie c. 2000 where cheerleaders and jocks joined forces to put on a musical and save the day. There is something exhilarating about being swept up in the cavalcade, especially when the opportunity to see an incredible array of work, all in one place, made by artists at the height of their careers comes along with it.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/155816-caroline-picard?tab=REVIEWS">Caroline Picard</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(<strong>Michael Rakowitz</strong>,&nbsp;<em>May the Arrogant Not Prevail,&nbsp;</em>2010, Found Arabic packaging and newspapers, card, wood, glue, 19&rsquo;7&rdquo;x16&rsquo;2&rdquo;x3&rsquo; 2&rdquo;;&nbsp;&copy; Courtesy of artist and Rhona Hoffman Gallery.)</span></p> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 05:31:45 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Graffiti in Galleries: Why Do They Still Not Get It? <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Last week the ASS editorial team was in Paris for our AGM, where we got a special tour of the LASCO project at the Palais De Tokyo. A very amiable and informative guide took us down the basement/security exit&mdash;normally closed to the public&mdash;that for the last two years has housed <a href="http://www.artslantstreet.com/articles/show/36650">a new initiative to bring graffiti into the public gallery</a>: two French artists, Lek and Sowat, have been inviting other artists from their scene to paint the walls of this cavernous underground maze.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">The problem is, like an embarassingly sexy Mum who smokes pot and listens to Nicki Minaj, public galleries just don&rsquo;t get graffiti culture.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">With the title, the Palais de Tokyo aligns the practice of graffiti to the Lascaux cave paintings. There is a parallel to an extent&mdash;both are visual expressions enacting existence. But in the implication that cave painting foreshadows the latter artistic practice, they ignore an entire, unique culture that comes with graffiti.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140915155304-IMG_1706.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Bando.</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">The problem is that here again comes a big gallery with an idea of the importance of <em>#graffiti </em>and its impact on culture today, but who doesn&rsquo;t know how to handle it. They don&rsquo;t want it in the gallery, because they can&rsquo;t accept that it is part of &lsquo;contemporary art&rsquo;, nor the fact that successful graffiti writers that have evolved into artists are just as ambitious, with equally as many conceptual concerns, as say, Ed Atkins (who is exhibiting upstairs). But they don&rsquo;t want to keep them out entirely &ndash; as then it would be out of their control.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">So they put it in this literal in-between: they relegate graffiti to an art purgatory, where access is denied to the public except for 1.5 hours a week when visitors can be carefully led through with a guide. The massive irony of this is that those visitors can see any of these artists, at any time, for free, just by walking on the streets of any major city: Paris being one of the best spots in the world for it. (That is, until the capital opened a special unit for buffing and hunting down writers.)</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140915155444-IMG_1700.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Horfee.</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">And the biggest paradox of all: the only artist left outside the underground coven is Cokney, a hardcore train bomber. His work is presented with police reports, and a photograph, evidence used in a prosecution trial (the artist wound up with a fine of more than 200,000 euros). The police description incisively evaluates Cokney&rsquo;s work for the purpose of identification, raising a potentially fascinating question about the phenomenon of the legal authority as art critic&mdash;something that happens in jurisdictions the world over. But in its context here, the corollary seems to be that graffiti can only be legitimized as art by the authority&mdash;legal or cultural.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140915155650-IMG_1709.JPG" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140915155807-IMG_1707.JPG" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140915193407-IMG_1708.JPG" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Cokney triptych: photograph taken by police of a Cokney burner; police report including description of the graffiti writer's style; visual interpretation of the police report description by Cokney, painted in the gallery.</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">The tension between the artists and the Palais De Tokyo is suggested in giant mock 500-euro notes that peel down from one ceiling, pasted up by the artist&mdash;an allusion to the inferior sum the artists received to take part in the project.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140915160131-IMG_1705.JPG" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Lek, Sowat, showing the photocopies of the 500 euro note, pasted on the ceiling.</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">It&rsquo;s an insight into the way the major institutes are still holding back when it comes to graf. By curating them into narrow projects that undermine their culture and evade any important questions, public spaces are not allowing these artists to develop their careers. In France particularly, where culture is shaped by venues like the Palais de Tokyo, they can massively influence which artists succeed.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140915155531-IMG_1703.JPG" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Futura.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">While some curators and smaller spaces have begun to recognize this and break up the paradigm, public galleries are still way off. The participation of so many great artists is testament to the fact these artists do want to show in these spaces, and demonstrates how few opportunities there are to present: but the galleries are just not brave enough. My suspicion is that by using graf artists Lek and Sowat as mediators to invite other artists, they avoided interacting directly with the artists themselves.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140915155559-IMG_1696.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">entrance.</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140915155626-IMG_1698.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140915155828-IMG_1701.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Philippe Baudelocque</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140915155853-IMG_1702.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Vhils</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&mdash;Charlotte Jansen</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(Top image: entrance to the exhibition. All images: At the Palais de Tokyo; photos courtesy Natalie Hegert)</span><br /></span></p> Mon, 15 Sep 2014 19:40:15 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Art for Everyone: An Interview with BERLINER LISTE Curator Peter Funken <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><a href="http://berliner-liste.org/wordpress/welcome?lang=en">BERLINER LISTE</a> opens this week in a new home at the former postal railway station&nbsp;Postbahnhof am Ostbahnhof. Now in its 11th year, with 112 exhibitors, BERLINER LISTE is the longest running of the trio of fairs opening during the Berlin Art Week. Leading up to the fair Dr. Peter Funken, now in his second year as Curator, took the time to answer some of our questions about Berlin's art scene, his curatorial role, and, of course, what we can look forward to in 2014 edition of BERLINER LISTE.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20140914125823-Dr_Peter_Funken.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">BERLINER LISTE Curator Dr. Peter Funken; Courtesy of BERLINER LISTE</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong><em><span style="color: #525552;">ArtSlant: What is the current art situation in Berlin and how do you see BERLINER LISTE's</span> place in the scene?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">Peter Funken:</strong><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;"> Berlin is a fascinating place for contemporary art, particularly for the production of new art and experimentation. One important reason for Berlin&rsquo;s success in the past was the fact that studios and living costs are low compared with other big cities. A lot of artists were able to live here very well, but this is now changing. Prices are rising, but the city is still big enough that artists can find new possibilities to rent studios even if they are a little outside the center. Districts like <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ber/articles/show/39437">Wedding</a> and Sch&ouml;neweide are becoming magnets for younger artists ... the periphery will be the new artistic center.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">The BERLINER LISTE is the biggest and most international art fair in the city and especially focused on newcomers! It&rsquo;s the only fair where artists can organize booths themselves. This fair becomes more dynamic every year, perhaps because it doesn&rsquo;t have to deal with &ldquo;status&rdquo; problems like some other exhibitions. The BERLINER LISTE doesn&rsquo;t feature so-called <em>Arte Preziosa</em>&mdash;expensive art aimed at high earners&mdash;but rather contemporarily produced work for everyone, produced by contemporary artists. These are above all young people, beginning to explore the meaning of art and discover new aesthetics individually and with a new conscience.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><em>ArtSlant: What is the curator&rsquo;s role in crafting the identity and content of the fair? How does this role differ from a jury or selection committee?</em></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">PF: </strong><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">I don&rsquo;t know what the role of curators should be, but I know my role here&mdash;it&rsquo;s looking for quality, making contacts, and finding out what we can do at the fair to be innovative and exciting. This year, for example, we will feature a fantastic performance festival by <a href="http://www.rabensaat.de/">Richard Rabensaat</a>, an expert on performance, who I have known for a long time. The operational team of the fair is truly brilliant and the majority of decisions are made collectively&mdash;I am the curator but we are all working together. &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20140914130411-Postbahnhof_Aussenansicht.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Postbahnhof am Ostbahnhof, Exterior view; Courtesy BERLINER LISTE</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><em>ArtSlant: How will the new venue play into the 2014 edition of the fair?</em></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">PF:</strong><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;"> The former postal railway station, the Postbahnhof in the middle of Berlin and close to Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain will host the exhibition for the first time. The light flooded halls, urban ambience, and unique location directly on the Spree river create the optimal space for the presentation of contemporary artwork. The immensely attractive building near the East Side Gallery provides a metropolitan, historic environment.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">We can assume that Franz Kafka&rsquo;s letters from Prague to Felice Bauer in Berlin came through here&mdash;what a wonderful thought!</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><em>ArtSlant: How do you see the relationship between BERLINER LISTE and the new K&Ouml;LNER LISTE? As curator of both, do you want to cultivate unique identities for each fair or are you trying develop a signature look/character across the franchise?</em></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">PF:</strong><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;"> Berlin and Cologne ... both are interesting cities but they are very different&mdash;that includes the art fairs. The BERLINER LISTE is bigger but the fair in Cologne is held directly in the neigborhood of the famous Art Cologne festival&mdash;and lot of visitors come to see what is happening around DOCK.ONE. The K&Ouml;LNER LISTE exhibits just galleries, and in Berlin the prices for art are more moderate.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><em>ArtSlant: What are you most looking forward to about the BERLINER LISTE this year?</em></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">PF:</strong><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;"> I hope for really good autumn weather, good food and good drinks&mdash;nice people who are interested in art and in people. With 112 galleries, project groups, and artists, the BERLINER LISTE will once again be the largest of the Berlin art fairs. And our exhibitors will not only come from Germany and Europe, but also from the USA, China, Israel, Japan, Korea, Nigeria, and Columbia. We know the BERLINER LISTE cannot (yet) compete with the likes of Art Basel or Frieze, but instead it&rsquo;s an exhibition where art, painting, photography, graphic works, and sculpture can be discovered and purchased for relatively low prices (maximum &euro;10,000). We aren&rsquo;t focused on famous artists but we offer curious visitors the chance of finding out for themselves what entices them in our large selection.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">For the first time this year we have a special section for limited editions and a program of performances during the day. I convinced Richard Rabensaat to organize a mini-festival for this fair. And this year we also feature a prize winner, the unbelievably good photographer <a href="http://torstenschumann.de">Torsten Schumann</a>&nbsp;</span><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">(*1975) who lives in Berlin.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><em>ArtSlant would like to thank Dr. Peter Funken for his assistance in making this interview possible.</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">[Image at top: <strong>Martin Praska,&nbsp;</strong>3Hühner, 2012, Oil and acrylic on canvas, 50x60cm; Courtesy of&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: x-small;">Ruth Sachse | Kunst der Gegenwart, Hamburg]</span></span></p> Mon, 15 Sep 2014 13:08:09 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Berlin on the Brink: The rent is too damn high—but the art's pretty damn good at Berlin Art Week <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">A green banner spans a cream-colored <em>Altbau</em> adjacent my local organic grocery store in Sch&ouml;neberg: <em>APARTMENTS FOR SALE</em>. Above the banner, tenants have hung green signs in their windows, enacting a checkerboard of protest that mines the graphic identity of the brokerage firm presumably trying to sell them out.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">I stop to read them.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>Rented&mdash;we have lived here 3 years! Rented&mdash;we have lived here 45 years! Rented&mdash;we have lived here 78 years</em>! The last sign makes me feel slightly ill, so I chase down a middle-aged woman who has just exited the building. She doesn&rsquo;t live there herself, but explains that she provides in-home care for a 93-year-old woman who lives here. Although they haven&rsquo;t been officially asked to leave, with the fate of their building in flux, residents feel uneasy.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Since returning to Berlin this May after three years living in the United States, I&rsquo;ve noted that the pendulum swing of the city now seems to oscillate between uneasiness and jubilance&mdash;a shift perhaps felt most clearly in its real estate market and art scene. Everyone around me is in a buying frenzy. And by that I don&rsquo;t mean that they&rsquo;re snapping up and flipping apartments. No, they're diligently (and anxiously) searching for a place that they can afford. For those existing on an artist or writer&rsquo;s income this seems like the last chance&mdash;if there&rsquo;s even still a chance&mdash;to purchase an apartment here. Everyone is a little on edge. Berlin&rsquo;s artists, and the energetic, improvisational culture that they&rsquo;ve built here, have given a tremendous boost to both the city&rsquo;s long- and short-term tourism over the past decade. Yet many have found themselves enmeshed in an increasingly precarious state: with shrinking studio spaces, rising real estate prices, and stagnating wages. Berlin is no longer a state of exception&mdash;if it ever was one.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">But the buzz continues to grow. Now entering its third year, the <a href="http://www.berlinartweek.de/de/berlin-art-week.html" target="_blank">Berlin Art Week</a>, which will run from September 16-21, typifies the city&rsquo;s stance on culture: initiating well-funded institutional collaborations geared towards an international audience. In addition to the fairs <a href="http://www.artberlincontemporary.com/" target="_blank">abc art berlin contemporary</a> and <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ber/articles/show/40788" target="_blank">POSITIONS</a>, the week will feature openings at most of Berlin&rsquo;s prominent art venues, as well as <a href="http://www.artficonference.com/" target="_blank">Artfi&mdash;the Fine Art and Finance Conference</a><strong>. </strong>Yet, despite my concern about the predicament of the city's creative class, Berlin Art Week&rsquo;s upbeat slogan <em>Es Gibt Viel Zu Entdecken!&mdash;</em>There&rsquo;s Lots to Discover!&mdash;actually does hold true.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140914075530-kinderhook_and_caracas.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <div><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Juan-Pedro Fabra Guemberena,&nbsp;</strong><em>Noviembre, </em>Work in Progres, Exhibition&nbsp;at&nbsp;Kinderhook &amp; Caracas, September 11 - October 11,&nbsp;2014; &copy; Juan-Pedro Fabra Guemberena</span><span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</span></div> <div><span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium; line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</span></div> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">A more positive change that I&rsquo;ve noted since my return to Berlin is the development of its project spaces. Some of the most exciting and incisive projects made here continue to emerge from these small non-commercial spaces and recent initiatives like the <a href="http://www.projectspacefestival-berlin.com/home/" target="_blank">Project Space Festival</a> have not only exposed their activities to a broader audience, but have made strides towards nurturing networks of affinities between like-minded spaces. Several participants in the Project Space Festival will also be participating in Berlin Art Week as jury-selected &ldquo;Temporary Partners.&rdquo; I&rsquo;m especially looking forward to <em>Manifestos Show: Act 1, Inessential Fathers </em>at <a href="http://www.archivekabinett.org/" target="_blank">Archive Kabinett</a>, which will display a small library of feminist manifestos alongside artist videos that produce strategies for reading radical texts. For Scriptings #42, a mobile exhibition and publishing project, <a href="http://www.scriptings.net/" target="_blank">Achim Lengerer</a> will present Elske Rosenfeld&rsquo;s project <em>A Vocabulary of Revolutionary Gestures, </em>a performative treatment of film material linked to significant social moments like a Parisian strike in 1968, the GDR&rsquo;s Round Table in 1989, and Tahrir Square in 2012. At <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ber/venues/show/29952-kinderhook-caracas">Kinderhook &amp; Caracas</a><strong>, </strong>Juan-Pedro Fabra Guemberena presents an intimate body of work that departs from a letter written to him by his mother while she was incarcerated as a participant in the Uruguayan guerilla movement against the dictatorship in the 1970s.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140914075655-meschac_gaba.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <div style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 26px; font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Meschac Gaba,&nbsp;</strong><em>Meschac Gaba:&nbsp;</em><em>Museum of Contemporary Art</em>, at the&nbsp;</span><span style="color: #525552; font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px;">Deutsche Bank KunstHalle, September 20 - November 16,&nbsp;</span><span style="color: #525552; font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px;">014, Architecture Room, from <em>Museum of Contemporary African Art,</em> 1997-2002, Installation shot at Tate Modern, July 3 &ndash; September 22, 2013; &copy; Meschac Gaba, &copy; VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2014</span></div> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">A few exhibitions stand out among Berlin Art Week&rsquo;s official offerings. Art Week funder <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ber/venues/show/4976-kunsthall---deutsche-bank">Deutsche Bank Kunsthalle</a> will show seven of the twelve rooms in Meschac Gaba&rsquo;s <em>Museum of Contemporary African Art</em><em>. </em>Unlike landmark &ldquo;global&rdquo; exhibitions like <em>Magiciens de la Terre, </em>Gaba&rsquo;s temporary and transformable museum exists in conceptual space of exchange between Europe and Africa. Meanwhile<strong>, </strong><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ber/venues/show/5112-neue-gesellschaft-f%C3%BCr-bildende-kunst-ngbk">Neue Gesellschaft f&uuml;r Bildende Kunst (NGBK)</a> presents the ambitious project <a href="http://theultimatecapital.org/" target="_blank"><em>The Ultimate Capital is the Sun: Metabolism in Art, Politics, Philosophy, and Science</em>.</a> The exhibition features work by Pratchaya Phinthong, Clemens von Wedemeyer, and Timur Si-Qin, among others, and a symposium will be presented in collaboration with Akademie der K&uuml;nste on October 25-26. 2013 Nationalgalerie Prize winner Marianna Castillo Deball will present <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ber/events/show/351623-parergon"><em>Parergon</em></a><em>, </em>a project developed specifically for the historic hall at <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ber/venues/show/4977-hamburger-bahnhof---museum-f%C3%BCr-gegenwart">Hamburger Bahnhof.</a> This large-scale installation devotes itself to the &ldquo;biographies of things&rdquo; and examines the migration and reorganization of the museum&rsquo;s collections, buildings, exhibits, and protagonists. Similarly keyed to the theme of the archive, which seems to have unwittingly peppered nearly all of the recommendations that I&rsquo;ve made for you here, <a href="http://doku-arts.de/" target="_blank">DOKU.ARTS</a> presents the five week-long festival <em>Second Hand Cinema</em>, which examines the use of archival footage in documentary, essay, and compilation films. Anyone looking to avoid the opening day of the abc art fair could treat themselves to a screening of <a href="http://doku-arts.de/2013-14/en/programme/2014/To-Hell-with-Culture" target="_blank"><em>To Hell With Culture</em></a> on September 18th<em>, </em>an essay film about the poet, art critic, and anarchist Herbert Read.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/36171-jesi-khadivi?tab=REVIEWS">Jesi Khadivi</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(Image on top:&nbsp;<strong>Mariana Castillo Deball</strong>. <em>Parergon</em>, Exhibition at&nbsp;</span></span><span style="color: #525552; font-size: x-small;">Hamburger Bahnhof &ndash; Museum f&uuml;r Gegenwart, September 20, 2014&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">&ndash; March 1, 2015, <em>Ethos und Pathos. Die Berliner Bildhauerschule 1786 &ndash; 1914</em>, Image showing exhibition opening at Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, 1990; &copy; Landesarchiv Berlin, F Rep. 290, 316540, Photo: Ingeborg Lommatzsch)</span></p> Mon, 15 Sep 2014 15:42:25 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Taking Up POSITIONS: Checking In With Berlin’s Newest Art Fair <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Kristian Jarmuschek takes a shallow breath and almost disappointedly utters, &ldquo;That is the second time I&rsquo;m asked about the market today. What is with everyone wanting to talk about the market?&rdquo; The POSITIONS team and I are seated in the center of one of the gallery rooms of <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ber/venues/show/4797-jarmuschek-partner">Jarmuschek+Partner</a> on the Potsdamer Strasse discussing the upcoming launch of Berlin's newest art fair incarnation, </span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://positions.de/" target="_blank">POSITIONS Berlin</a></span><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">. The room is lined with neat bundles of VIP invite cards and press material stacked in boxes on the floor. Jarmuschek has more pressing matters on his mind than the state of the art market.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">After a fifteen-year run, the 2011 collapse of the fair Art Forum left its youthful satellite fair, Preview Berlin, forced to reckon with the question of what it represented. No longer the emerging art counterpart to the city&rsquo;s premiere showcase, Jarmuschek&mdash;the fair&rsquo;s long-time co-director&mdash;was forced to redirect the boat, shifting the identity of the event from &ldquo;emerging&rdquo; to &ldquo;established.&rdquo; An easier-said-than-done task that left many galleries scratching their heads.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&ldquo;This didn&rsquo;t work in the head of the gallerist,&rdquo; explains Jarmuschek. &ldquo;In their minds we were the upcoming fair and not meant for established spaces with previously noted repertoires.&rdquo; At the end of 2013, they were forced to admit it: the show was over.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">During Berlin&rsquo;s Gallery Weekend this past May, however, it was apparent that curiosity still lingered. &ldquo;Many colleagues were very curious what our next move was. What happens now? It was clear the old model would not work. There were no more two, three, five-year-old galleries we could showcase as emerging. We needed other clients, different colleagues and other spaces.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">There was a need for perspective and parameter shifts. &ldquo;Years ago, collectors came to Berlin to discover a hidden young talent in the second courtyard in an old empty building in Prenzlauer Berg. That&rsquo;s over now.&rdquo; Time has passed and we&rsquo;re in a new situation. This team is well aware of that and they have taken up a new position.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20140914090953-positions_venue.jpg" alt="" />&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Kaufhaus Jandorf,</strong>&nbsp;Brunnenstr. 17-21, Berlin, Exterior view; &copy; Positions Berlin, 2014</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>The new old space</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Together with the seasoned team of Preview Berlin, Jarmuschek conceived of a more open format fair. POSITIONS shines a light on the contemporary art landscape and invites relevant and established galleries to present their current positions on the creative panorama and contemporary discourse.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The fair will be taking up residence in the old Gr&uuml;nderzeit-style Kaufhaus Jandorf building in Berlin Mitte. The venue allows for not only a direct link to the city&rsquo;s past, but it also promises to create an interesting interplay between the pristine artwork and what POSITIONS team member Heinrich Carsten refers to as the &ldquo;rotten architecture&rdquo; of the venue.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&ldquo;There aren&rsquo;t so many of these venues left in Berlin anymore.&rdquo; The space is far from a white cube. During recent years what once was a warehouse in the former GDR has become an alternate venue for exhibitions that&rsquo;s comfortable showing its seams, cracks, and chipping paint, instead of hiding them.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140914073817-Kreitner_dr.julius_ap.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Siegfried Kreitner, </strong><em>Malteserkreuz / Rot</em>, 2008,
Aluminum, electric motor - 2 rotations / min, neon system, Height 220 cm, width 17 - 27 cm<strong>; </strong>Courtesy of the artist and Galerie julius | ap, Berlin</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>Who&rsquo;s in and who&rsquo;s out</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">"While in the recent past art fairs in Berlin developed rules to regulate exhibitors by theme or by how established the gallery was POSITIONS gently shies away from these strict boundaries," explains Jarmuschek. "Our point is to showcase a collaboration between gallery and artist(s) and the quality of this interaction.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The new fair has also woven the beginnings of a more complicated web of relationships, exposing those perhaps not oft exhibited relationships like pupil-teacher, collector-audience, or even that of a non-collector visitor, a demographic that is so often found wandering through fairs confused and exhausted, passing by grids of white cubes.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Jarmuschek goes on: &ldquo;We have opened [the fair] up to collectors who will be showcasing their favorite artists. We hope this motivates collectors in later years to share their works in future editions. If you see that only 5% of all artists are represented by a gallery, it&rsquo;s interesting to see what else people choose to present and make visible. Additionally we have invited the <a href="http://www.frauenmuseumberlin.de/" target="_blank">Frauenmuseum</a> of Berlin and their project &ldquo;Be a Collector in 5 Minutes&rdquo;&mdash;showcased this past July in <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ber/venues/show/40511-48-stunden-neuk%C3%B6lln">48 Stunden Neuk&ouml;lln</a>&mdash;which allows fair visitors to select from an assortment of works of your choosing, hang, display (with a chair, table, and flowers) and pose for a photo with their art.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&ldquo;We would like to do more things like this in the future,&rdquo; chimes Carstens. &ldquo;To depart from this type of serious money above all thing and to have more colorful, playful vantage points presented. And it&rsquo;s fun to watch art, not so serious.&rdquo;&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/147418-nicole-rodriguez?tab=REVIEWS">Nicole Rodriguez</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top: <strong>Ralf Kopp, </strong><em>Gier frisst: FREIHEIT</em>, 2014, Installation in public space, Variable size; Presented by the collection Haupt, Berlin and POSITIONS Berlin)</span></p> Mon, 15 Sep 2014 02:51:55 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Sorry Bill: Ripley and Snow on William S. Burroughs' Artwork <p class="FreeForm" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>ArtSlant's resident London critics and lovers Philippa Snow and Thogdin Ripley </em></span><em style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">first met at a William S. Burroughs show. They recently r</em><em style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">evisited the artist and writer's work in&nbsp;</em><span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">Animals in the Wall</span><em style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;at London Newcastle Project Space.</em></p> <p class="FreeForm" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></p> <p class="FreeForm" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>Thogdin Ripley:</strong> I'm going to put my cards right here on this table to start with. I've always been a big fan of Burroughs&rsquo; writing&mdash;he was one of the most inventive writers and at times one of the best, in my opinion&mdash;but I've never, never really got on with his work as a visual artist. And I can say after seeing this exhibition: I still don't.</span></p> <p class="FreeForm" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>Philippa Snow:</strong> It actually pains me a little to agree with you on this&mdash;not because I'm willfully obstinate, but because I'm one of those people, as you know, who is a little bit slavish in my devotion to him as a writer. But yes. If I'd come to it cold and expected the work to be by someone entirely different, I might have said that a lot of it was "dreck." Or a synonym for "dreck" but with the same number of letters. (Perhaps that's unnecessarily harsh, but I've decided to take a firmer-than-usual stance to offset my usual Burroughs mania. I'm interested to see whether that makes you the Good Cop by default.)</span></p> <p class="FreeForm" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>TR:</strong> A functioning police state needs no police, though, eh? I see the artistic analogy&mdash;the visual analogies, really&mdash;with the cut-ups from his writing, in fact the cut-ups always seemed to be so process-led that they crept over that divide and transformed the literature into something else, something that was akin to visual art. But the point always was that that process, reconfiguring the words in surprising ways according to chance or, perhaps, letting a truer, hidden meaning rise up, that process always <em>imparted</em> meaning, even at its most obscure. These... I don&rsquo;t see that there is anything. What am I missing?</span></p> <p class="FreeForm" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140912112134-warhol.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="FreeForm" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="color: #525552;"><strong>William S Burroughs</strong>, Warhol, <em>A Portrait in TV Dots... we is all made of, waiting to be observed...,</em> Spray Paint on Paper; Courtesy</span> <a href="http://www.burroughs100.com/">Burroughs 100</a></span></p> <p class="FreeForm" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="FreeForm" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>PS:</strong> I will say that although I don't particularly feel very much for them, I will acknowledge that they do feel as modern as a number of other works which I also don't feel much for, but which are fashionable right now: I could imagine them showing in Zurich and having been made by some twenty-three-year-old wunderkind, and looking much the same as they do, and getting a good reception.</span></p> <p class="FreeForm" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">At the time, I think I mentioned those <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/articles/show/39367">Andy Warhol drawings that he did on the Amiga</a>: they still appear in vogue, because what's in vogue currently is a kind of pastiche of the art of the eighties and nineties. I don't know, just an observation. They don't feel dated, even if they aren't especially visionary, either.</span></p> <p class="FreeForm" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>TR:</strong> Yeah, but it's <em>William Burroughs</em>, though, isn't it? And his art, I want it to be as searingly brilliant as the way his writing became. That sense of hanging over some vast kind of precipice as you read him, with the steady creak of the noose tightening, whilst your body&mdash;spurred on by its own deep reaction&mdash;takes the trembling steps toward the edge with each page you turn. I mean he's <em>so</em> exciting to read. I remember when I first saw his visual stuff just being really, flatly disappointed. And as I said I still am.</span></p> <p class="FreeForm" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">I see the links between the stenciling paint over and over, masking out with whatever into asemic writing-looking patterns, and Brion Gysin's long-running work on glyphs and calligraphy, which then overlap his (Gysin's) designs for the Dream Machine [also presented at the exhibition], but Burroughs... He takes the idea, and, what?&mdash;sprays "FUCK" on an old piece of chipboard in neon yellow? I don't see how it can be re-interpreted, really. The shortcut is to assume he just fell into the same trap as Dali as he got older.</span></p> <p class="FreeForm" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140912112720-effigy.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="FreeForm"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="color: #525552;"><strong>Yuri Zupancic</strong>, <em>WSB Speaking Effigy</em>, Mixed Media Installation; Courtesy</span> <a href="http://www.burroughs100.com/">Burroughs 100</a></span></p> <p class="FreeForm" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>&nbsp;</strong></span></p> <p class="FreeForm" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>PS:</strong> I think we should probably take a minute at this point to acknowledge the fact that we drew a certain amount of entertainment from the exhibition's being "sponsored by Whole Foods and Planet Organic," presumably because when one thinks of William Burroughs, one immediately thinks of clean-living and pleasantly-packaged kale. But then if I think about a piece of chipboard with FUCK painted on it, I think of a comfortably-racy gallery show in a trendy but uninventive neighbourhood. And then I DO think of clean-living and pleasantly-packaged kale. So the sponsorship suddenly makes sense.</span></p> <p class="FreeForm" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">I guess the issue we both appear to be having is that the Burroughs behind this kind of work is the same one whose face appears over and over again in the other artists' tributes (and as I said, I can't think of a worse slow death for a provocateur than to become the kind of super-icon whose portrait gets painted in these "works inspired by" shows)&mdash;The Man, The Myth, The Legendary Edgy Dream-Dinner-Party Guest, instead of the real deal. (Next time: Rentokil sponsorship, no?)</span></p> <p class="FreeForm" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>TR:</strong> Ha, yeah, "give Mr Burroughs as much morphine as he likes" but tell him to stay the damned hell away from the spray cans. Sorry, Bill.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/265136-philippa-snow?tab=REVIEWS">Philippa Snow</a> and <a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/387041-thogdin-ripley?tab=REVIEWS">Thogdin Ripley</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="FreeForm" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top: <strong>William S Burroughs</strong>, <em>NO TRESPASSING</em>, Lithograph, Limited Edition of 100; Courtesy <a href="http://www.burroughs100.com/"><span style="color: #525552;">Burroughs 100</span></a>)</span></p> Tue, 16 Sep 2014 00:37:09 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Effectively Ineffective: Matthew Barney’s <em>Drawing Restraint</em> at the Art Gallery of Ontario <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/trn/venues/show/13346-art-gallery-of-ontario">Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> is currently holding an exhibition of video works by American artist, Matthew Barney. The works belong to </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/trn/events/show/349180-drawing-restraint"><em>Drawing Restraint</em></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;a long-term, ongoing project Barney started in 1987. Thus far, he has produced nineteen installments in the series, of which three&mdash;<em>Drawing Restraint 2</em> (1988),<em> 6</em> (1989) and <em>17</em> (2010)&mdash;are looped on display. The exhibition similarly unfolds in three parts.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>The Show</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The gallery&rsquo;s visitors may harbor the expectation to immerse themselves in the hyper-visual cinematic experience for which Barney&rsquo;s video works are commonly known. On first impression, entering the space delivers the opposite: The venue is large, with tall white looming walls, a row of chairs placed in the floor&rsquo;s middle. From where the viewer is sitting, about six feet above eye level, four television screens are installed on three adjacent walls. <em>Drawing Restraint 2</em> and <em>6</em> sit opposite of one another, and <em>Drawing Restraint 17</em> lies on the central wall, shown on two flat screens. The installation&rsquo;s lack of audio adds to the sensory scarcity in the exhibit that one notices immediately. After watching the three works, it is clear that this choice of curation is ideal&mdash;while I might not have walked into an exaggerated cinematic display, each video here stands out, breathes, and reinforces Barney&rsquo;s voice. In addition to emphasizing the conceptual merit of the <em>Drawing Restraint</em> series, this choice allows us to draw common threads between the formal elements of these particular three works, despite their narrative differences.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140912041620-DR6_front.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong><span style="font-size: x-small;">Matthew Barney</span></strong><span style="font-size: x-small;">, <em>DRAWING RESTRAINT&nbsp;6</em>,&nbsp;1989, Documentation still; &copy; Matthew Barney / Photo: Chris Winget. Jointly owned by Laurenz Foundation, Schaulager, Basel; and The Museum Of Modern Art, New York, Richard S. Zeisler Bequest and The Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Fund (both by exchange)</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>The Task</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>Drawing Restraint</em>, going on its twenty-seventh year of production, proposes the process of art making as parallel to athletic training. Barney expresses that <em>something</em> gains form through resistance, whether that is the human body, or a work of art. This output is in art as it is in physical struggle; through repetition, a task can be conducted or (perhaps even) completed. Each video displays cast members, including Barney himself, engaging in strenuous activities that at times seem impossible to complete. In <em>Drawing Restraint 2</em>, Barney is shown in an energetic and sporadic battle against gravity and his own physical abilities to draw while harnessed. The gritty black and white video (5 min. 1 sec. loop) represents Barney&mdash;bound with ropes&mdash;in an attempt to draw whilst climbing and jumping on wooden planks placed at awkward angles within the room. The obstacles he confronts act as physical restrictions, rendering his aim to draw nearly impossible. <em>Drawing Restraint</em> is, tongue-in-cheek, an appropriate title for this video work.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">That is further conveyed in <em>Drawing Restraint 6</em>.&nbsp;Barney is shown jumping on a small trampoline, which is placed on the floor of a room with white walls. The artist extends both arms up in an attempt to peel paint chipping from the ceiling above. The video (3 min. 57 sec. loop) presents a tenuous, seemingly endless, and fruitless exercise. Barney transforms a mundane act into a complex goal, stressing the presence of the body as at once a vehicle and an obstruction.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The two aforementioned installments share the common quality of futility; the tasks that Barney engages in are never actually completed, nor are they intended to be completed. A woman standing behind me in the gallery whispers to someone, &ldquo;<em>What is this guy doing?&rdquo;</em> in a muffled chuckle.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">This persistent ineffectiveness, as a common quality between these videos, is an unobvious characteristic in the more recent installment in the series. 2010's&nbsp;<em>Drawing Restraint 17</em> (32 minute loop), displayed on two high definition flat screens, develops a longer and more suspenseful narrative. The crisp images in the video involve Barney and a number of other participants. Each member is always shown in the midst of an activity; the main character, a blond young woman, conducts the most difficult tasks&mdash;whether it be digging the earth with a heavy shovel or climbing the walls of the Schaulager museum in Basel, Switzerland. What sets this later installment of <em>Drawing Restraint </em>apart from Barney&rsquo;s earlier work for the series is the suggestion of a grand ending&mdash;a final closing to the loop of physical exertion, otherwise done in vain.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140912041816-DR17-2309HG_.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong><span style="font-size: x-small;">Matthew Barney,</span></strong><span style="font-size: x-small;"> <em>DRAWING RESTRAINT 17</em>, 2010, Production still; &copy; Matthew Barney / Photo: Hugo Glendinning. Jointly owned by Laurenz Foundation, Schaulager, Basel; and The Museum Of Modern Art, New York, Richard S. Zeisler Bequest and The Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Fund (both by exchange)</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>The Commitment</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The goal of <em>Drawing Restraint</em> is not to conclude a set task, but instead to demonstrate that there is indeed an ongoing struggle, and that both the body and art will be given shape only through resistance. Emphasized in the absurd physicality and strenuous tasks that Barney and the participants engage in, the commitment they make with their bodies is parallel to the very commitment required for the project&rsquo;s longevity.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">An aesthetic divide that the audience may appreciate in this exhibition is the emphasis of time&rsquo;s passage shown in the choice of technology. The first two videos (made in 1988 and 1989) are played on two old, bulky TVs. The technology immediately locates the works within a particular point in history. The installation of the old TVs contains a certain honesty&mdash;metal wall-mounts and thick, black wires are visible to its viewers. Conversely, <em>Drawing Restraint 17</em> is presented on two large flat screen TVs&mdash;while the installation is visually true to its time of production, the display is seamless. Unlike the grainy black and white images shown in the previous two works, the latest part in the series is presented in high resolution, colored images. The presentation&rsquo;s high quality technology more closely resembles an impressive feature film, which is perhaps why most visitors in the gallery have their heads turned towards <em>Drawing Restraint 17</em>. The passage in time, evident in even the simplest modes of display, brings the viewers&rsquo; attention to chronology, creating its own narrative channel.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Just as the performers in the works, watching Barney&rsquo;s series involves a deal of commitment as well. The repetition, the exhaustion, and the ultimate lack of resolution resist giving viewers what they crave: a reward, closure. But after all, that was never the point.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/396844-yoli-yoanna-terziyska">Yoanna Terziyska</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">[Image on top:<strong> Matthew Barney</strong>, <em>DRAWING RESTRAINT 2</em>,&nbsp;1988, Documentation still; &copy; Matthew Barney / Photo: Michael Rees/ Courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels. Jointly owned by Laurenz Foundation, Schaulager, Basel; and The Museum Of Modern Art, New York, Richard S. Zeisler Bequest and The Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Fund (both by exchange)]</span></p> Sun, 14 Sep 2014 08:43:59 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Not So Pretty In Pink (And Why That's a Good Thing) <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Imagine a summit called by feminist activists and artists representing all of the nuanced wings of the movement. In this time of uncertainty about the role of feminism in the art world, these delegates wonder who could best represent the complexities of feminism and feminist theory without apology. The name they arrive at is Lily van der Stokker, whose new show at Koenig &amp; Clinton is a sprawling pink spectacle comprised of flowery sculptures and wall paintings that illustrate the artist&rsquo;s theoretical and artistic astuteness.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Van der Stokker, who lives and works in New York City and in Amsterdam, is well known for her candy-colored, Woodstock-esque drawings, paintings, and large-scale installations. She combines flamboyantly meaningless phrases and exclamations&mdash;oopy, ucky, uffy, and puffy&mdash;with highly sophisticated commentaries on the art world. Her greeting to viewers at Koenig &amp; Clinton hangs on a makeshift shop sign that one might see in a thrift store: <em>only yelling older women in here/nothing to sell</em>. <em>Huh</em> seems flippant and frivolous and mindless, but it is in this understatement that van der Stokker lulls viewers into complacency, only to shock them into attention.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140910161252-LvdStokker_KoenigClintonInstallationView9_72DPI.jpeg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Presiding over the exhibition, firstly, is a feminist bastardization of the great heterosexist construct of the monochrome, the discourse that, in its urge to reject the decorative and the handmade, has often represented the deterministic impulse of the male genius-artist. By evoking a kitschy, store-bought Babies "R" Us ambience alongside the history of the avant-garde, van der Stokker brings her aesthetic commentary into the realm of gender, thereby combining sexual politics with the formal qualities of her work. Color becomes not only a representative of gender roles, but also a metonym for the historical and conceptual underpinnings of painting. With quietly ominous rolls of toilet paper placed inconspicuously throughout the gallery, van der Stokker recalls Judy Chicago&rsquo;s 1972 installation for the iconic <em>Womanhouse</em>, <em>Menstruation Bathroom</em>. For both Chicago and van der Stokker, the stuff of the body, be it blood or the stereotypical colors that swaddle our children, has the capacity to become paint, to oscillate between artistic and activist worlds.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">However, it would be simplistic to say that using pink is the sole criterion for criticality; van der Stokker supplements her intervention with incisive theoretical commentary that walks hand-in-hand with the overwhelming environment she has created. An enormous drawing that adorns the gallery wall,<em> Laying Here Together</em>&nbsp;(2014), is composed of two cloud-like shapes that are stacked upon each other and share a boundary, while maintaining their distinctness.<ins cite="mailto:William%20%20Simmons" datetime="2014-09-09T11:07"></ins> As drawings that come alive with a silent dialogue between them, these larger-than-life &ldquo;bodies&rdquo; invite us to consider the nature of difference. The handwritten phrase for which the piece is named, "very nice to lie here together, lovely to be next to you; we are the same," is a sentiment that not only points to the artist&rsquo;s interdisciplinary approach, but also to the politics of difference that govern her thinking. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In her combination of drawings like <em>Laying Here Together</em> with color-coordinated sculptures and readymade rolls of toilet paper, van der Stokker brings together different artistic approaches&mdash;</span><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">most obviously painting and sculpture&mdash;</span><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">that are literally forced to lie together, in the same way that she seeks to consider the interaction of the monoliths of gender. The erotics of the exhibition beget a celebration of all aspects of the sexual experience, yet, in </span><em style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">Laying Here Together</em><span style="color: #525552; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">, there is certainly something melancholic about the segmented figures&rsquo; impossible yearning to exist as one. Who are these figures, and how do their genderless bodies reconfigure our understandings of sexuality as a simultaneously aesthetic and social phenomenon? What sort of gendered or artistic dynamic does van der Stokker hope to evoke? The answer is left tantalizingly unclear.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140910161341-LvdStokker_KoenigClintonInstallationView4_72DPI.jpeg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Van der Stokker proves that theory need not be boring, that the &ldquo;feminine&rdquo; need not be retrograde, and that stupidity does not equal a lack of criticality. She interpenetrates a beautifully shameless exhibition with incisive questions about the way bodies and identities relate to each other. What results is a celebration of difference through van der Stokker&rsquo;s simultaneous critique and affirmation of a specifically feminine viewpoint. She attempts to mediate what could be labeled an &ldquo;essentialist&rdquo; vision through more contemporary visions of gender and sexuality. Van der Stokker loses sight of none of the conflicting strands of feminism, and revitalizes socially-conscious work in an increasingly insular and simplistic art world.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/402210-william-j-simmons">William J. Simmons</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(All images: <strong>Lily van der Stokker,</strong> <em>Huh, </em>Installation view<em>;</em> Courtesy the artist and Koenig &amp; Clinton, New York / Photo: Jeffrey Sturges, New York)</span></p> Fri, 12 Sep 2014 07:50:32 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list The Importance of Being Awkward at Portland's Time Based Arts Festival <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Awkwardness is arguably a failure in a relationship to the terms of interaction. In our hyper-mediated 21<sup>st</sup> century we live increasingly curated lives where each action or image is constructed for specific, often distinct, audiences. We have become skilled at navigating multiple modes of communication and mediated performance that resist the risks of connection. Cautious of the misstep, we compartmentalize to avoid the slip into reading from the wrong script, preaching to the wrong choir&mdash;vigilant not to say the wrong thing, reveal too much of ourselves, or ask too much of the other.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Yet in all of this careful risk assessment and avoidance we miss much of the possibility our constant connectedness is supposed to offer. Intimacy is not easy. Vulnerability is not a direct line to feel-good unencumbered connectedness. Instead, we find often that we feel uncomfortable. Embarrassed. It is in the awkwardness or discomfort of the failed script that we begin to build&mdash;almost in spite of ourselves&mdash;connection. Not the connection of networks of consensus but something hard won through continuing to share space and be together through misunderstanding, discomfort, and embarrassment.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">While the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art's committed artist-focused structure intentionally resists imposing overarching curatorial themes, common concerns arise out of the relationships formed with artists and the development of each year&rsquo;s works. In PICA's second year under Artistic Director Angela Mattox, direct encounters with the audience&mdash;in what Mattox has referred to as &ldquo;generous provocations&rdquo;&mdash;continue to be central to many of this season's projects.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Many of the artists included in the 12<sup>th</sup> annual Time Based Arts festival, TBA:14, commencing tomorrow at PICA, use not only immediate engagement and direct address of the audience, but also intensely constructed and skilled aesthetic articulations in varied media to unleash what we so often try to avoid: our shared vulnerability. In so doing they make us uncomfortable, uneasy, and deeply present.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20140910161336-BodyCartographyProject_SuperNature_TadaFrancesca_2.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>BodyCartography Project,</strong>&nbsp;<em>Super Nature (an installation); </em>Photo: Tada Francesca;&nbsp;Courtesy PICA</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Performers draw the audience into intimate, often complicated engagement through the use of dance, music, and spoken word. <em>Super Nature (an installation) </em>by </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><strong><a title="BodyCartography Project" href="http://pica.org/event/bodycartography-project/" target="_blank">BodyCartography Project</a></strong></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> invites an audience of one into an enclosed performance space with a single dancer; each dance can last up to twenty minutes. In private with no distinction markers between performer and audience, individuals must confront their choice of how they do or do not join in the performance.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>Death of the Pole Dancer&nbsp;</em>and <em>Macho Dancer</em> by </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a title="Eisa Jocson" href="http://pica.org/event/eisa-jocson/" target="_blank"><strong>Eisa Jocson</strong></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> are distinct but related dance performances exploring modes of seductive movement by a female pole dancer and the male Filipino &ldquo;Macho Dancer.&rdquo; Jocson performs both gendered seductions asking the audience to consider not only what but <em>how</em> we perceive intentionally sexually provocative gendered performances.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20140910161539-CynthiaHopkins_ALivingDocumentary_JeffSugg1.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong><span style="font-size: x-small;">Cynthia Hopkins,<em>&nbsp;</em></span></strong><span style="font-size: x-small;"><em>A Living Documentary</em>; Photo: Jeff Sugg; Courtesy PICA</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><strong><a title="Cynthia Hopkins" href="http://pica.org/event/cynthia-hopkins/" target="_blank">Cynthia Hopkins</a></strong></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&rsquo; humorous <em>A Living Documentary </em>utilizes multiple personas as a means to openly discuss with her audience her individual experience struggling to make a living as performing artist and poses larger questions about contemporary socioeconomic conditions.</span><span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">One of the most elaborate projects is </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a title="Mammalian Diving Reflex" href="http://pica.org/event/mammalian-diving-reflex-2/" target="_blank"><strong>Mammalian Diving Reflex</strong></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&rsquo;s <em>All the Sex I&rsquo;ve Ever Had</em>, which is part of a larger international traveling project that has been to Scotland and Singapore, to name but a few. Performed by local residents in each of its international stops, performers relate recollected details of their sexual lives beginning from their birth through to the present. Sexuality here is not only recounted in terms of &ldquo;actual&rdquo; sex per se, but also includes awkward, intimate, and often very funny instances of sexuality spanning from very earliest childhood memories of one&rsquo;s body through to the most recent experiences of participants as elderly people.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">TBA:14 continues to expand PICA's mission to bring challenging contemporary work to Portland and offer artists a unique space to test and develop new projects. In addition to main stage performances and nightlife festivities called The Works, there is also a program of visual art, <a href="http://pica.org/event/tba14-3/"><em>As round as an apple, As deep as a cup</em></a>, including new commissions from Emily Roysdon, Jennifer West and Lisa Radon. Organized by curator Kristan Kennedy, these works &ldquo;rely on poetics&hellip;the study of how different parts come together, contributing to the never-ending search for &lsquo;subject&rsquo;,&rdquo; continuing the dialogue with interrelation and intimacy that pervades the festival.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Opening Thursday September 11<sup>th</sup>, for ten days <a href="http://pica.org/programs/tba-festival/">TBA:14</a> brings together works from renowned international as well as local artists organized around the central hub of Fashion Tech, 2010 S.E. Eighth Ave. The festival is spread throughout a number of venues and some alternative spaces.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/200738-danyel-ferrari?tab=REVIEWS">Danyel Ferrari</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">[Image on top: <strong>Mammalian Diving Reflex,</strong> <em>All the Sex I've Ever Had; </em>Photo: Lucia Eggenhoffer;&nbsp;Courtesy PICA]</span></p> Thu, 11 Sep 2014 09:20:55 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list For Marlene Dumas politics are always personal <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Since its long anticipated reopening in September 2012 the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam has served up some fine shows: The </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/articles/show/33011">Mike Kelley retrospective</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> was, if somewhat airtight, quite comprehensive, and Jeff Wall&rsquo;s </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><em><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/articles/show/38792">Tableaux Pictures Photographs 1996-2013</a>&nbsp;</em></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">could easily compete with the grand overview nine years ago at Tate Modern. But with <em>Marlene Dumas: The Image as Burden</em> the museum has hit a new high point. The retrospective of the nation&rsquo;s best-known painter is by far the best exhibition the new Stedelijk has mounted to date.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The last Dumas retrospective in The Netherlands dates back to 1992. Following that year&rsquo;s <em>Miss Interpreted</em> at the </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/venues/show/1882-van-abbemuseum">Van Abbemuseum</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, the South African born artist shot to art stardom on a global scale. Her works command six figure prices at auctions and she is celebrated as one of the most influential painters of our time, heralded as a role model by art academy students the world over. Top institutions such as the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (2007), the MoMA (2008) and </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ew/events/show/134761-tronies-marlene-dumas-and-the-old-masters">Haus der Kunst</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> (2010) have organized solo shows. But the current exhibition in Amsterdam, the city she moved to in 1976 and in which she has been living and working ever since, is the first she is really pleased with&mdash;she said so during the press preview.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140910145740-models_001.SM-MARLENE_DUMAS-SEPT.2014-PH.GJ.vanROOIJ_original.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Marlene Dumas</strong><em><strong>,</strong> </em><em>The Image as Burden</em>, Installation view including <em>Models</em>, 1994, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Photo: Gert-Jan van Rooij</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>The Image as Burden</em> brings together a staggering number of works: nearly two hundred paintings, drawings, and collages. Acquiring them from museums and collectors worldwide&mdash;the Stedelijk, which has been collecting Dumas since her first participation in a group show in 1978, owns thirty-nine works&mdash;is a feat in itself. Teaming up with Tate Modern and Fondation Beyeler, where the exhibition will be travelling to next, must have helped. For the spatial arrangement, the London and Basel curators should take their cue from the Stedelijk&rsquo;s Leontine Coelewij. Spread out over no fewer than sixteen rooms, <em>The Image as Burden</em> elegantly avoids clutter or breathlessness. Keeping in mind Dumas&rsquo; own, oft repeated adagio, &ldquo;a painting needs a wall to object to and space to relate to,&rdquo; the individual works have been granted ample room. The arrangement is thematic instead of chronological. Following a subdued rhythm large works alternate with smaller canvases, bright colors with murky earth tones. The 112 portraits that make up <em>Black Drawings</em> (1991-1992) at the beginning of the exhibition have a fitting counterpoint in <em>Models</em> (1994), the one hundred female faces at the end of the circuit.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The relatively small room halfway through the exhibition holds the oldest works in the show. This collection of collages and drawings from the seventies sheds light on Dumas&rsquo; early development as an artist. She had only just left South Africa, where under Apartheid art didn&rsquo;t feel like an adequate vehicle for expression or action. In the Netherlands, however, she didn&rsquo;t exactly find the open-mindedness she had hoped for. <em>I won&rsquo;t have a potplant</em> (1977), an almost violent drawing of domestic flora, speaks volumes in this respect. <em>Don&rsquo;t talk to Strangers</em> (1977), consisting of the opening and closing lines of friends&rsquo; letters, is evidence of the homesickness and the sense of alienation she must have felt at times. The number of early collages is limited and that&rsquo;s a pity. But the curator has obviously chosen to concentrate on painting, the medium Dumas is best known for&mdash;a justifiable decision.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">It&rsquo;s amazing to see how much power Dumas is able to harness in thinly applied layers of paint. The four colossal babies portrayed in <em>The First People</em> (1990) are simultaneously endearing and monstrous. The 1999 re-workings of pornographic images&mdash;a boy with a purple penis, a girl with blue buttocks&mdash;are extremely direct and exciting in all ways but sexual. Dumas&rsquo; Osama bin Laden (2010) brings about a shock of recognition, but that emotion is immediately overruled by something more complex than hatred or contempt since the artist presents him not as a terrorist but as the father of Omar.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140910150122-The_Image_as_Burden__1993__tiff_original.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Marlene Dumas</strong>, <em>The Image as Burden</em>, 1993, Oil on canvas, 40 x 50 cm.; Private collection, Belgium / Copyright Marlene Dumas; Photo: Peter Cox</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The exhibition&rsquo;s title is taken from a small, almost unassuming work from 1993. It shows a dark male figure carrying a white female. Dumas based the image on a still from the 1936 romantic drama </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0028683/" target="_blank"><em>Camille</em></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, featuring Robert Taylor and Greta Garbo. But in the painter&rsquo;s abstracted depiction one could just as easily recognize the soldier rescuing a child during the Beslan school hostage crisis of 2004, a similar news image from riots in Soweto, or&mdash;of course&mdash;a classical piet&agrave;. Dumas injects her images with meaning upon meaning, reference upon reference. It burdens the picture, loads responsibility on the artist&rsquo;s shoulders. But at the same time the image also exists as &ldquo;just a painting&rdquo; and can be considered a burden in its own right.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Death, sex, guilt, shame, sexuality, and racism are the themes Dumas has been returning to over the past four decades. Never does she approach them in the abstract or absolute way of an activist. She literally attaches them to faces and bodies, thus humanizing them and at the same time welcoming in ambiguity and confusion. With Dumas the political is always personal, and personal emotions combined with universal themes hardly ever make for easy reading. That&rsquo;s what lends Dumas&rsquo; work its stamina.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/356010-edo-dijksterhuis?tab=REVIEWS">Edo Dijksterhuis</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top: <strong>Marlene Dumas<em>,</em></strong> <em>The Image as Burden</em>, Installation view, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Photo: Gert-Jan van Rooij)</span></p> Thu, 11 Sep 2014 08:17:23 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Donkeys are stubborn, eagles are noble, and pigs are greedy. An Interview with Alessandro Gallo <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">The (m)animal clay sculptures of Alessandro Gallo present humans moving in form, doctrines and in space; whether it is depicted as a bipedal donkey in surrender (<em>Surrender</em>) or several human-animal hybrids in a more obvious state of transit in <em>Metro</em>. Animal heads rest on anthropomorphic bodies and suggest carrying more of the human role through their rendered posture, clothing and setting; the half-rooster, half-man is holding baguettes with a gaze off to the distance, the hybrid hare is sitting on a cardboard box and the topless lizard man is covered in tattoos. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Gallo humorously captures fleeting moments lost to daily absorption. The figures are unaware of themselves in a way that breaks away from metamorphosis or mythology being the cause for their bizarre corporeal makeup. The biodiversity simply exists in an urban reflective state. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Gallo has displayed these pieces, along with other media including screen-prints, at the Italian Pavilion in the 54th Venice Biennale and in solo exhibitions at the Jill George Gallery in London and the Marco Canepa Gallery in his hometown of Genoa, Italy. His first solo show in New York City will take place on September 6<sup>th</sup> at the Jonathan Levine Gallery.&nbsp; </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140909133548-Beginning_of_a_great_adventure.jpg" alt="" /><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Alessandro Gallo</strong>,<em> Beginning of a great adventure</em>; Courtesy of the artist and Jonathan Levine Gallery</span><br /></span></p> <hr style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" /> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><strong><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Stephanie Berzon: The presence of animals in art is rich in symbolism and metaphors. What is the relationship you see between human nature and the subjects in your work?</span></strong></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>Alessandro Gallo:</strong> Animals display biological features and behavioral patterns that can be extended to humans, lending themselves to embody the basic disposition of a person. Animal heads represent our inclinations and background, like a genetic legacy from imaginary ancestors&mdash;but also some cultural belief or even simply a mood or a temporary state of mind.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">All animals tell a different story: every species has different features. Some of which can be applied metaphorically to humans. The chameleon, for example, can change skin color and has independent eyes that can see in all directions, qualities that would benefit an opportunist. Some animals are carnivores, other&nbsp;vegetarian. Some chase, others run away.&nbsp;&nbsp;Some eat carcasses. Some are cold blooded. Some thrive in swamps, some crawl in the desert, some are nocturnal and so on.&nbsp;Other animals have a strong cultural and folklore history. Donkeys are stubborn, eagles are noble, and pigs are greedy. Every language and culture has numberless associations between animals and emotions, i.e. 'angry like a bull', 'horny like a rabbit', &lsquo;monkey business&rsquo;, &lsquo;culture vulture&rsquo;, &lsquo;rat race&rsquo; and so on.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Whether from nature or culture, animals evoke direct associations that need little mediation, and in so they are ideal in illustrating and embodying&nbsp;our basic disposition or nature.&nbsp;Which is why they've been used: they embody abstract values and vices across all ages and cultures in numberless stories and myths.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140909133815-I_feel_good.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><strong>Alessandro Gallo</strong>,<em> I feel good</em>; Courtesy of the artist and Jonathan Levine Gallery</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><strong><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">SB: Are you superstitious?&nbsp;</span></strong></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>AG:</strong> I guess I am, moderately so. I don&rsquo;t really really believe in it but some superstitions traditional in Italy or specifically in my family (especially from my grandmother) still survive in my everyday life as funny rituals. I don&rsquo;t really think that wearing that particular shirt is going to affect the outcome of some event but wearing it for that occasion reminds me with humor of how important that outcome is for me.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><strong><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">SB: Tell me a story of a 'funny ritual' that still exists in your life. I was raised in South Florida and superstition sort of suspends the land&rsquo;s spirit.</span></strong></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>AG:</strong> I guess the silliest small superstition ritual happens at dinner tables. I never pick the saltshaker from someone else's hand directly. It's considered to bring bad luck. He or she will have to put it on the table and then I'll pick it up. It comes from my Grandma Marta, she did it all of the time. I guess it's a tongue in cheek family thing. I did some research. Salt was extremely precious in ancient Rome so as to be used as currency. The word 'salary' in English comes from the Latin term 'salarium' meaning ' (soldier's) allowance to buy salt, from 'sal' meaning 'salt'. Because of its value it was important to determine the moment when the property, and the responsibility, passed from the seller to the buyer. To avoid any dispute on spillage, the bag of salt was placed on the floor between the two and then the exchange of hands. That doesn't make it rational but at least it's interesting.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><strong><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">SB: How else do you think your Italian identity has impacted your work?</span></strong></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>AG:</strong> Some people told me that the way I try to render fabric in my pieces reminds them of art they've seen while traveling in Italy. Perhaps. Although I don't think that coming from Italy affects directly what I do and how I do it. When it does it is very difficult to articulate and measure. Surely Italy impacted me as a man. I've lived 12 years in England, I love traveling and I often do. At the moment I'm in the process of moving permanently to the US. But Italy, and Genoa in particular, will always be my home, that's for sure, and, as they say, there's no place like it.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140909134751-Come_fly_with_me.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><strong>Alessandro Gallo</strong>, <em>Come fly with me</em>; Courtesy of the artist and Jonathan Levine Gallery</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><strong><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">SB: Please discuss the light switch moment that turned you to study art instead of pursuing law after your studies in Genoa.</span></strong></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>AG:</strong> There&rsquo;s always a before and an after when we make big decisions and choices but what led me to it was actually a very gradual process. There were a lot of good reasons for pursuing both options. I was doing very well in my law studies and I have that type of personality that enjoys researching, whatever the subject. I also loved painting and drawing but somehow I initially feared the risks connected with making it a profession. At some point logic alone was not enough to come to a conclusion and I just had to dive, following my inclination. It took me a while to understand how lucky I was to have one.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><strong><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">SB: Research is usually a solitary venture. How would you describe your personal relationship to the research process?</span></strong></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>AG:</strong> Some research is solitary especially the main concepts running through your work. As solitary is growing and learning, professionally and personally, although some people beside you can make it, sometimes, at least a little easier. Some things can be learned but can't be taught. Some others can and I think it's important to surround yourself with people that know more than you about it. When I started working with clay I realized how many technical aspects were essential to get good results and I was very lucky to meet a few very capable people that were willing and able to share their knowledge. I learned a lot from workshops, residencies, apprenticeships, studio sharing and mentorships.&nbsp;That information is then processed, filtered and made your own in a solitary way, yes. And I obviously kind of enjoy it.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140909134131-She_belongs_to_me.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Alessandro Gallo</strong>, <em>She belongs to me</em>; Courtesy of the artist and Jonathan Levine Gallery</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><strong><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">SB: Did you make art as a child?</span></strong></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>AG:</strong> Yes. Since I can remember. I&rsquo;ve always loved drawing.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><strong><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">SB: I am curious about the choice of subjects in your the collaborative piece with Beth Cavener, </span></strong></em><strong><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Tangled Up In You</span></strong><em><strong><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">. The rabbit and the snake: I couldn&rsquo;t think of two animals more opposite symbolically.</span></strong></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>AG:</strong> My collaboration with Beth on that particular piece was limited to the narrative choices, drawing and painting of the imagery running through the snake body as a Japanese style tattoo echoing snake skin's natural patterns. Concept, design and sculpting are all Beth&rsquo;s. I guess she&rsquo;d be the right person to answer your question. All I can give is a subjective interpretation that&rsquo;s as good as anybody&rsquo;s. Besides I think that one (of many) fascinating aspects of her work is that it is always open to many different emotional and intellectual considerations and responses.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">That work represents a conflict between two forces, the snake and the rabbit. It can be read as a fight between two different agents but also as an internal psychological struggle between opposing drives or beliefs. I&rsquo;ve always seen it as a self-portrait.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140909134341-The_man_who_sold_the_world.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><strong>Alessandro Gallo</strong>, <em>The man who sold the world</em>; Courtesy of the artist and Jonathan Levine Gallery</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><strong><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">SB: From what I can recount, chess has occurred twice in your body of work in the form of a screen print and chess piece sculptures resting on a checkerboard. Do you play?</span></strong></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>AG:</strong> I love chess, its ruthlessness and its intellectual and logical discipline. It&rsquo;s incredibly fascinating, suggestive and challenging to me. I play online, when I can, and always less than what I&rsquo;d want. I&rsquo;m an &lsquo;amateur&rsquo;, from Latin &lsquo;amare&rsquo; that means &lsquo;to love&rsquo;. I&rsquo;ve studied quite a bit but not enough to compete with the very good ones.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><strong><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">SB: Would you describe your relationship to art as ruthless and disciplined? Duchamp once said that 'while all artists are not chess players, all chess players are artists'...</span></strong></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong>AG:</strong> I think you always need a lot of self-discipline or at least you do given my personality traits, driven to perfection and prone to distraction. Not only in art. I've known about Duchamp's passion for Chess for a long time. I came across a few of his best games too. Chess is art and war, logic and imagination. I don't think that all chess players are artists&mdash;only the very good ones.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><em><strong><span style="color: #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;">SB: Is there an animal you most identify with?</span></strong></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><strong>AG:</strong> The donkey because he&rsquo;s proverbially stubborn stupid, and works hard. I use it as a reminder not to take myself too seriously.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&mdash;Stephanie Rae Berzon</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(Image at top: <strong>Alessandro Gallo</strong>, artist photo; Courtesy of the artist and Jonathan Levine Gallery)</span><br /></span></p> Wed, 10 Sep 2014 10:43:31 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Views of Nuart 2014 in Stavanger, Norway <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;">Reflecting on my experience at the Nuart Festival this weekend in Stavanger will take some time. It was a week filled with art, music, parties and panels, with much to digest and consider. But here's some photos from the week to tide you over while my full report is forthcoming. More photos can be found on <a href="http://instagram.com/ass_mag" target="_blank">our Instagram account</a> (ass_mag, get it?), also <a href="http://instagram.com/wallkandy" target="_blank">here</a>, <a href="http://instagram.com/nuartfestival" target="_blank">here</a>, <a href="http://instagram.com/vnamagazine" target="_blank">here</a>, <a href="http://instagram.com/hookedblog" target="_blank">here</a>, and by searching #nuartfestival</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140909114954-stavangerport.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;">The landscape in Stavanger is stunning.<br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140909115036-tiltnorwayflag.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;">Tilt.<br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140909115121-spy.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;">Spy.<br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140909115156-water.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;">Port of Stavanger.<br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140909115230-swoon_choe.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;">Swoon and David Choe.<br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140909115358-dabsmyla.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;">Dabs Myla.<br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140909115436-herakut.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;">Herakut.<br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140909115510-valandsturget.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;">The V&aring;landst&aring;rnet above the city, hit by graffiti writers Rebel and Mask and more...<br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140909115703-hush.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;">Hush.<br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140909115724-workingontiltmural.jpg" alt="" />View from the bridge of the crew working on the Tilt mural (not in the shot).<br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140909115823-cat.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;">Nice kitty...<br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140909115855-numusic.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;">A DJ at the Numusic Festival.<br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140909115933-vhils.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;">Vhils.<br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140909115959-books.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;">The bookstore at the exhibition.<br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140909120029-etamcru.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;">Etam Cru.<br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140909120054-whatson.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;">Martin Whatson.<br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140909120118-downtown.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;">Downtown Stavanger.<br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140909120148-tremblin.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Mathieu Tremblin documenting local graffiti writer ASMA interacting with his piece.</span><br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; line-height: 26px; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; line-height: 26px; color: #525552;"><span style="color: #000000;">&mdash;Natalie Hegert</span><br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; line-height: 26px; color: #525552;"><span style="color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(image at top: Str&oslash;k at Tou Scene)</span><br /></span></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; line-height: 26px; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> Tue, 09 Sep 2014 12:14:58 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Required Viewing – Chicago: Pictures for a Generation <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Of the multitude of exhibitions opening this September in Chicago, one stands&mdash;or falls&mdash;singularly into view. A complete series of work by Maccarone artist Sarah Charlesworth that helped to define the Pictures Generation will be shown for the first time at the Art Institute of Chicago. The series, entitled <em>Stills</em>, features figures falling from great heights, suspended in front of buildings that function more as a frame than as a backdrop&mdash;static yet tense. Teasing the weight and reserve of &ldquo;the fall&rdquo; in conceptual art with cinematic drama, the falls in the complete collection of fourteen works act in the manner of a reprise: seven of the cropped images were exhibited in 1980, but the others that were prepared by the artist were never enlarged or printed. In 2012, Charlesworth completed the series specifically for the museum&mdash;here, the new and old images will blend in seamlessly, united once for the advent of the exhibition. </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/chi/events/show/349314-stills"><em>Sarah Charlesworth: Stills</em></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> at the AIC, opening September 18 through January 4, will be the first US solo exhibition of the artist&rsquo;s work in fifteen years.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Fall, fall. With that, we can jump in too.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">An unprecedented number of institutional alignments are set to come to Chicago this fall art season&mdash;not a single museum or organization will be vacant. Opening in time with </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.expochicago.com">EXPO CHICAGO</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> in the third week of September, a stellar line-up of museum exhibitions will join the Art Institute, many of which will run through the remainder of the year and into 2015.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140905054713-Charelsworth_Unidentified-Man-Ontani-Hotel.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Sarah Charlesworth</strong>, <em>Unidentified Man, Ontani Hotel, Los Angeles, </em>1980, printed 2012, from the series <em>Stills. </em>The Art Institute of Chicago, promised gift of Liz and Eric Lefkofsky; &copy; Estate of Sarah Charlesworth; Courtesy the Estate of Sarah Charlesworth and Maccarone.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Another definitive highlight is Viennese, Berlin-based artist Josef Strau,</span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/chi/events/show/346662-solo-exhibition"><em>The New World Application for Turtle Island</em></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/chi/venues/show/2353-renaissance-society">The Renaissance Society</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, which will present an installation of his work that was recently produced in Mexico City. The exhibition intersects the believable with the diaristic, the realistic with myth&mdash;starting with the seduction of the Europeans with Native Americans, and reimagining that history in Strau&rsquo;s characteristic stream-of-consciousness approach. Where atrocities meet incredible acts of kindness and generosity, Strau traces the more relatable history of the Americas under a fictive guise, told in the first-person from the supposed perspective of an &ldquo;outsider.&rdquo; Strau is described as &ldquo;an artist who writes and a writer who makes art,&rdquo; and the exhibition promises to be poetic, affecting, and enthusiastic&mdash;with a sort of treasure hunt narrative that reimagines an adventure told many times. The exhibition opens September 21 and runs through November 9&mdash;you can view the exhibition poster </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.renaissancesociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/STRAU_Poster_web.pdf">here</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Not all exhibitions will be so permanent: a Performa Commission of Rashid Johnson&rsquo;s </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="https://www.eventbrite.com/e/rashid-johnson-dutchman-chicago-tickets-9122197739"><em>Dutchman</em></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, which premiered at the historic Russian &amp; Turkish Baths in New York City's East Village as part of the Performa 13 Biennial, will be co-presented by the MCA Chicago and <a href="http://www.artslant.com/chi/venues/show/2244-moniquemeloche-gallery">Monique Meloche Gallery</a>. The Red&nbsp;Square&nbsp;Russian&nbsp;and&nbsp;Turkish&nbsp;Baths will host here, with performances running late into the night from September 16&ndash;21.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Gallery exhibitions are also not to be missed. Kavi Gupta will open with concurrent shows of Mickalene Thomas on Washington Blvd., in </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/chi/events/show/353220-i-was-born-to-do-great-things"><em>I was born to do great things</em></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> and Glenn Kaino at Elizabeth St., with </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/chi/events/show/353217-leviathan"><em>Leviathan</em></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, a fitting title for the powerful one year-old space. Autumn Ramsey, a bright and iconic local painter with a keen sensibility for form and abstraction, will be on view in a self-titled solo-exhibition at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/chi/events/show/354674-autumn-ramsey">ADDS DONNA</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, using source imagery from a range of cultural and historic motifs</span><span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">&mdash;from ancient Greece to Japanese prints</span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">. </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://andrewrafacz.com/exhibition_works.php?s_id=89">Robert Burnier</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, known for his sculptural and intricately folded wall-pieces will be on view at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/chi/venues/show/3714-andrew-rafacz-gallery">Andrew Rafacz</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> in <em>Inland Delta</em>; Sterling Lawrence and Christalena Hughmanick will open a two-person exhibition entitled </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://documentspace.org/761/"><em>Form Without a Room</em></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>, </em>opening at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/chi/venues/show/35589-document">DOCUMENT</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, using a rejected Burberry raincoat fabric as a primary material to investigate the history of the surgical knot as a form.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140905054848-AndrewRafaczGallery000989.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Robert Burnier,</strong> <em>Iom</em>, 2013, Primer on aluminum, 16.5 in x 12 in.; Courtesy of the artist</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Perhaps a knot is the perfect metaphor to end with for the beginning of this 2014 season. There is much to see here in the city, and one can only hope that the proliferation of events leaves you falling into and on top of these exhibitions, coming out pleasantly entangled.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Look out for all your Chicago fall coverage, coming soon on ArtSlant.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/183982-stephanie-cristello?tab=REVIEWS">Stephanie Cristello</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top: <strong>Josef Strau,</strong><em> Installation view;</em> Courtesy Vilma Gold)</span></p> Sun, 07 Sep 2014 10:33:21 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list The Middle as a Means to an End: <em>The Chicago Effect</em> at the Hyde Park Art Center <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In the forward-thinking exhibition </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/chi/events/show/346655-the-chicago-effect-redefining-the-middle"><em>The Chicago Effect: Redefining the Middle</em></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, curators Allison Peters Quinn, Christopher K. Ho, and Megha Ralapati explore the notion of the Middle, coinciding with the 75th anniversary of the </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/chi/venues/show/2366-hyde-park-art-center">Hyde Park Art Center</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> (the &ldquo;Center&rdquo;). Of course, defining the middle is not an easy task. The mere attempt to define &ldquo;it&rdquo; and its ubiquity is confusing&mdash;but this exact confusion makes the experience of the show all the more intriguing.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In the instance of the exhibition, which comprises ten artists&rsquo; works and projects in collaboration with other art organizations</span><span style="font-size: small;"><a title="" href="#_ftn1">[1]</a>,</span><span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;"> two aspects of the past appear: there is a passion for a past that is <em>escaping</em>&nbsp;and for a past that acts as a <em>reproduction</em>. In this exhibition, as well as in their wider programming, the Center asks a series of self-critical questions: What does an institution&rsquo;s history tell us about the present? What do artists need now? How does the Center&mdash;as a mid-size institution&mdash;relate to others? These questions seem to be symptoms of a mid-life crisis&mdash;another &ldquo;middle&rdquo;&mdash;a conflicted existence that is positively trying to resolve itself.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140905052311-Image_1_Devon_Dikeou.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Devon Dikeou,</strong> <em>Pay what you wish, but you must pay something</em>, 2011-2014, Wood, Plexiglass, paint, Dimensions variable.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Rather than deal with hard distinctions or dogmatic oppositions, the artists in the exhibition work <em>around</em> a place&mdash;a crossing space, an intersection where the differences are at once blurred and vague. The exhibition is displayed in the lower gallery of the Center as well as in the hallways. It is itself in the middle of everything. The first piece viewers see are donation boxes, entitled <em>Pay what you wish, but you must pay something</em> (2011-2014) by Devon Dikeou. Like Duchamp&rsquo;s well-known <em>Fountain</em>, they are both artwork and non-artwork at the same time. Dikeou asked multiple museums to let her replicate and display a copy of their donation boxes, procuring nine boxes from museums like the Warhol Museum, Cincinnati Museum, Bass Museum, Denver Museum of Art, Clyfford Still Museum, and others. Dikeou&rsquo;s installation points to the administrative aspect of art and the artist herself as a mediator. The project also recalls Marx&rsquo;s &ldquo;commodity fetishism,&rdquo; in that the perception of social relationships in production is not between people, but rather between money and exchanged commodities. Here, the donation boxes act as mediators between the public and the museum.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Similarly, the artist duo Essex Olivares&rsquo; <em>Office Riddim </em>(2014) presents a choreographed performance of administrative activities in an office. Patrick Meagher&rsquo;s <em>The Fifth Dimension</em> (2011-2014) has a marketing look&mdash;similar to a CEO slide show presentation&mdash;though its contents are more interpersonal, an instruction on how to relate to others. Both works have an aspect of self-discovery under their organizational surface. They join Dikeou's contribution to portray the seemingly banal, but in fact essential aspects of administration and policy.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In <em>Untitled (Series R)</em> (2010), Assaf Evron generates five photographs of a tall, precast concrete wall. The enigmatic construction, which was in fact photographed sitting against the landscape of the desert in Israel, acts as an industrial replica of itself; the piece is an experience based in reproduction. The works are displayed in the lower gallery of the Center in a compelling way: four works are separated from the primary work that hangs by the entrance/exit of the gallery. The distance between the pieces evokes another wall that has yet to come. The photographs contain bureaucratic connotations; the premade walls are municipal developments. However, the five photographs point to additional aspects of the &ldquo;middle&rdquo;: movement, transportations and separation. Evron&rsquo;s concrete wall is found in a halfway location, in the intermediary space between point A to point B.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140905052402-Image_3_Robert_Burnier.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Robert Burnier</strong>, <em>Revokon</em>, 2014, Wood and enamel, 27 x 27 x 27 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Andrew Rafacz Gallery.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Similarly, Lan Tuazon&rsquo;s <em>Parking Lot Island </em>(2010) and <em>Parking Lot Landscapes</em> (2011) focus on how transient space is organized. Tuazon, interested in the parking lots of Manhattan as connectors between spaces and people, explores the lot as its own type of landscape. The &ldquo;middle&rdquo; can also be defined as a way to create something new with the old, such as in Robert Burnier&rsquo;s work. Burnier, who is well known for his folded aluminum wall pieces, utilizes instead his old painting frames to create two crates. He chooses to title his pieces in Esperanto, a constructed international auxiliary language, and uses both text and form as grounds to represent a neutral territory for communication.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Jan Tichy receives the hallway as a location to display his works&mdash;a marginal but frequently transited space. Tichy&rsquo;s poetic <em>Installation no.21</em> (2014) is a site-specific work commissioned by the Center for a permanent video fa&ccedil;ade. &ldquo;I see it as activating the building&rsquo;s fa&ccedil;ade with time based light animations,&rdquo; explains Tichy. The visuals of the work, composed of multiple projections facing the upper windows of the Center, are comprised of abstract shapes and forms that follow the structure of the building. Light itself, at the core of Tichy&rsquo;s oeuvre, offers infinite possibilities as a medium to make visible the invisible. In lightening the Center&rsquo;s architecture, Tichy illuminates the more hidden aspects, and often over-looked elements of the institution.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">While at first glance <em>The Chicago Effect: Redefining the Middle</em> appears to focus on the history and identity of the Center and the City, it is about much more. The exhibition echoes &ldquo;institutional critique&rdquo;&mdash;it exhibits a passion for the past that follows the art of the 1970s, while also reflecting the bureaucratic necessity in the artwork&rsquo;s reproduction. However, the artists here point to existent bureaucracies as necessary entities in society: they are preoccupied with the art <em>making</em> rather than moving away from it. Instead of trying to construct new models of institutions, <em>The Chicago Effect </em>attempts to find it. The show locates a moderate model for producing work&mdash;as an artist, for the existence of an art institution, and the establishment in general. It is about a &ldquo;middle&rdquo; where two directions intersect, one crossroad with two middles: inward and outward, at once.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><hr style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;" align="left" size="1" width="33%" /> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: small;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref1">[1]</a></span><span style="font-size: small; color: #525552;"> The Hyde Park Art Center partners with multiple national organizations: the HPAC's neighbor, the School of the Art Institute, the Rhode Island School of Design, Michigan's Cranbrook Academy of Art, the Illinois Institute of Technology, IDEO Innovation And Design Company, the Green Lantern Gallery, DePaul University and the University of Chicago&rsquo;s Science of Philanthropy Initiative.</span></p> </div> </div> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/171869-ionit-behar">Ionit Behar</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">[Image on top: <em>The Chicago Effect</em>, 2014 (installation view). Left:<strong> Marissa Lee Benedict</strong>, <em>Solo mesoporos</em>, 2013-2014, Hand-built Maine peapod rowboat, 55-gallon barrel, helium tank, carbon dioxide tank, water sample (Chicago River), scaffolding, emergency weather radio, clamp lights, 6 x 25 x 16 feet. Right: <strong>Assaf Evron</strong>, <em>Untitled (series R)</em>, 2010, Archival inkjet prints, 1 out of 5 in series, 70 x 70 cm. Printing courtesy of Document. Photography courtesy of Tom Van Eynde for Hyde Park Art Center]</span></p> Mon, 08 Sep 2014 07:02:08 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list No Longer Lonely (but maybe still a bit brutal): September Openings Across Los Angeles <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The long languor of summer never truly fades in Los Angeles, but the heat simmers down just enough for the long sunsets to subside into cool nights, when prodigal travelers hurry home from sunstroked beaches and slaving artists vernissage across the city. Autumnal LA, though it certainly colors, hardly chills. Art exhibitions thickly dapple across this considerable town: Giuseppe Penone at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/events/show/350699-ramificazioni-del-pensiero-branches-of-thought">Gagosian</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> and Sam Falls at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/events/show/353863-solo-exhibition">Hannah Hoffman</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> on the 5th. On the 6th, Culver City unbolts with </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/events/show/353384-band-of-none">Ryan Mosley</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> and </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/events/show/352638-a-book-and-a-medal-disentanglement-equals-homogenous-abstractions">Edgar Arcenaux</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> at Susanne Vielmetter, Fay Ray at&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/events/show/350706-part-object">Samuel Freeman</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, and Katherine Bernhardt at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/events/show/348452-doritos-and-diet-coke">China Art Objects</a>.</span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;A few miles away off Santa Monica and Highland Dashiell Manley opens </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/events/show/354381-company-and-conversations">Redling Fine Arts</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> and Doug Aitken does it again at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/events/show/348197-still-life">Regen Projects</a></span><span style="font-size: medium;">,</span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> and just up Melrose Steven Baldi opens at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/events/show/354382-branded-light">Thomas Duncan</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">. The same night at 6150 Wilshire, </span><a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/events/show/350695-20-years-at-acme"><span style="font-size: medium;">ACME</span></a><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;celebrates its 20th anniversary whilst Matthew Ronay solos at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/events/show/350719-solo-exhibition">Marc Foxx</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, Rirkrit Tiravanija collaborates with a redacted Superflex at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/events/show/347360-solo-exhibition">1301PE</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, and </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/events/show/349513-the-invisible-subject">Ambach &amp; Rice</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> shows photos and objects from Deborah Hede, who quotes with image and word Jack Kerouac, who described Los Angeles: &ldquo;the loneliest and most brutal of American cities.&rdquo; LA can be hard to be sure, my city of trafficky solitude and secret gardens, harder when attempting to catch too much, to see all the things. But new knowledge teases and the flickering neons of Hollywood on the following Sunday with a curated show by Olivian Cha and Eli Diner at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/events/show/351461-new-gravity">Overduin &amp; Co</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> and Tobias Madison at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/events/show/354738-deficiency-depletion">Freedman Fitzpatrick</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> are too tempting, as is one of the final performances at Public Fiction for its Tragedy + Time series on the other side of the city in Highland Park. &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140904172246-DKG_RJ_1_L.jpeg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Rashid Johnson</strong>, <em>The Long Dream</em>, 2014, burned red oak flooring, black soap, wax, spray enamel, vinyl, steel, bamboo, shea butter, books, plants, mirrored planter, 133.87 x 140.25 x 12inches (340 x 356.2 x 30.5cm); Courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, CA Photography: Martin Parsek</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The following weekend demands further travels and travails over a crisscrossing city, brutal in its distances but intimate once arrived. Certain events warp gravity in their own direction, and one such is the inauguration of a new space by a significant gallery, Rashid Johnson premieres&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/events/show/351058-islands">David Kordansky&rsquo;s newest space</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> near Kayne Griffin Corcoran off La Brea. Designed by Kulapat Yantrasast, the building makes an experiment begun by art students in Chinatown a little over a decade ago into one of the most consequential homegrown galleries in the city. Back in Culver City, Rhys Ernst &amp; Zackary Drucker continue their collaboration at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/events/show/350310-post-relationship-x">Luis de Jesus</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, while in Chinatown Claire Nereim displays her newest otherworldly objects at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/events/show/346817-solo-exhibition">Jancar Jones</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> and in West Hollywood, Phil Chang shows a series of process-based monochrome photographs over at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/events/show/351859-pictures-chromogenic-and-pigment">M+B</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">. And while Kordansky&rsquo;s bends the scene in a new direction, another big move for </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/events/show/353860-tromp-loeil-depression">Young Art</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> from a sweet space in Chinatown on Bamboo Lane to bigger digs in Hollywood shifts more energy away from the still experimental vivacity of C-town towards the more gallery-oriented but still energetic scene scattered around H&rsquo;wood.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140904172359-Nereim_Pair.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Claire Nereim</strong>; Courtesy of the Artist and Jancar Jones Gallery, Los Angeles</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">And amidst all these are invitations from new and alt spaces that are probably cooler (or if not cooler, certainly more spirited) than all the above: <em>Bathymetry</em> at the new (or new to me) <a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/events/show/354759-bathymetry">Del Vaz Projects</a> that curiously includes a performance from a principal harpist in the Utah Symphony; the huge group show organized by Secret Recipe at <a href="http://www.artslant.com/la/venues/show/48022-3-days-awake">3 Days Awake</a> on Saturday, the 6th, at 7pm, 4300 W Jefferson Blvd; or, most interesting to me out of the underground shows, the Aaron Wrinkle and Michael Decker collaboration at Chin&rsquo;s Push on 4917 York Blvd at 5pm on Friday the 5th (I give the addresses, as many of these places don't always have websites to speak of). All these solos and group shows, performances and grand moves are even more than last season, and more than the season before that. Los Angeles&rsquo; summer languor seems to be growing less languorous, the city a little less spacious, and hopefully with each new citizen, and for us, each new artist and exhibition space, this town becomes a little less lonely, a little less brutal, and just maybe, a tiny bit more artful.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/12307-andrew-berardini?tab=REVIEWS">Andrew Berardini</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(Image on top: <strong>Deborah Hede; </strong>&copy; Courtesy of the Artist and AMBACH &amp; RICE)</span><br /></span></p> Fri, 05 Sep 2014 22:36:18 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list The British (and the French) are coming!: Veterans meet new arrivals during Brussels Art Days <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">That Brussels has a thriving art scene is no longer a secret to the international art community. We&rsquo;ve reached the point where some media have even baptized what was formerly regarded as a dull and grey city as the &ldquo;New Berlin.&rdquo; There&rsquo;s no better moment to check it out with your own eyes than during the seventh edition of </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.brusselsartdays.com/2014/" target="_blank">Brussels Art Days</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> (BAD), Brussels&rsquo; reply to the Gallery Weekend in Berlin you might say. Twenty-nine galleries open their doors next weekend, while others not affiliated under the BAD-umbrella also get in on the event and open new shows.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Brussels has a healthy art scene: Over the past couple of years, more and more artist-run spaces have popped up, while </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/articles/show/39348">more collectors</a></span><span style="font-size: medium;"> <a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/articles/show/39340">started showing</a> </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/articles/show/40335">their collections</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> and sometimes even open their own venues (like </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/venues/show/44319-cab">CAB</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, currently presenting Richard Jackson&rsquo;s </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><em><a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/events/show/344084-car-wash">Car Wash</a></em></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, in which brand new cars are trashed and painted over). There&rsquo;s also more activity on the gallery side of things, where big shot galleries with dependents&mdash;both </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/venues/show/23849-xavier-hufkens">Xavier Hufkens</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> and </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/venues/show/23783-galerie-rodolphe-janssen">Rodolphe Janssen</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> recently opened a <a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/venues/show/39696-xavier-hufkens---107-rue-st-georges"><span style="color: #525552;">second</span></a> <a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/venues/show/43039-galerie-rodolphe-janssen---livourne-32"><span style="color: #525552;">venue</span></a>&mdash;rub shoulders with smaller galleries and project spaces.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140904170456-mattias_dornfeld.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Matthias Dornfeld</strong>, <em>Untitled (Streifenr&ouml;ckchen)</em>, 2014, Acrylic on canvas, 140x100cm; Courtesy of the artist and Waldburger Wouters, Brussels</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">A recent proof of that dynamics was the opening of a new gallery cluster close to the Sablon antique district in June. Five galleries moved into the same site, a stately mansion with a building with a more industrial feel to it. One of the galleries is </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/venues/show/26883-galerie-micheline-szwajcer">Micheline Szwajcer</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, a <em>monstre sacr&eacute;</em> from the Belgian art scene, who recently exchanged Antwerp for Brussels. During BAD, she presents </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/events/show/353925-petals-on-the-wind---group-show">a group show</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> with the artists from her roster, including top-notch names like Stanley Brouwn, Angela Bulloch, Carsten H&ouml;ller, and David Claerbout. One of Szwajcer&rsquo;s neighbors is the equally highly respected </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/venues/show/24200-galerie-jan-mot">Jan Mot</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> gallery who invited Mario Garcia Torres to curate a </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/events/show/346015-a-situation-in-which-an-argument-can-be-discussed">group show</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">. </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/venues/show/24194-galerie-catherine-bastide">Catherine Bastide </a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">dedicates a solo to the African American artist </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/events/show/354168-gold-people-shit-in-their-valet">William Pope.L</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, who shows a series of gestural, abstract paintings in which one can decipher certain words often dealing with race. These are sometimes combined with objects scattered throughout the gallery space. The newly rebranded gallery </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/venues/show/24202-galerie-waldburger-wouters">Waldburger Wouters</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> brings a solo of the German artist </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/events/show/348481-die-sch%C3%B6nheit-der-frau-des-b%C3%A4ckers">Matthias Dornfeld</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, whose paintings have a neo-expressionist and deliberate na&iuml;ve touch. And </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/venues/show/47909-mon-ch%C3%A9ri">Mon Ch&eacute;ri</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, situated together with Waldburger Wouters in the rear part of the building complex, brings a solo of </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/events/show/353261-floridian-gut">Dominic Samsworth</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, known for his unusual material choices which often involve plastic.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140904170639-PopeL_Painting-crop.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>William Pope.L; </strong>Courtesy of the artist and Catherine Bastide, Brussels</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Mon Ch&eacute;ri might be the latest of many French galleries settling into what, for some, is considered a tax haven during the &ldquo;Fran&ccedil;ois Hollande era,&rdquo; but </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/venues/show/12306-galerie-nathalie-obadia---bruxelles">Nathalie Obadia</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> was one of the first to make the step from Paris to Brussels. She presents her first solo show of the Cuban artist </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/events/show/347379-kicking-the-can-down-the-road">Ricardo Brey</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, who has been living in Belgium for more then twenty years since the late Jan Hoet invited him to Documenta IX. Brey will present drawings, sculptures, and also pictures he took in Havana and combined with found objects, hence stretching the format of the medium of photography.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">That Belgium has always been the crossroads&mdash;or battlefield&mdash;of Europe is also reflected in the contemporary art world. Besides a strong presence of French galleries, now the British have also start coming&mdash;such as new kid on the block </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/venues/show/48011-christopher-crescent">Christopher Crescent</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, who exchanged London for Brussels. During BAD, the gallery </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/brx/events/show/354544-diest-shaw-town">combines work</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> from two different artists: British, New York-based Dan Shaw-Town and N&eacute;stor Sanmiguel Diest. Shaw-Town makes paintings with wild abstract gestures, combining them with typographic elements resulting in pieces that are not restricted to the canvas but also include objects that have been painted over. His work goes well together with the elder Spanish Sanmiguel Diest, whose paintings are also layered and put the medium into question. With the arrival of Christopher Crescent, Brussels illustrates once again that it is not just attracting big shot Parisian galleries opening second venues, but also young galleries with smaller spaces but big ambitions.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/377999-sam-steverlynck?tab=REVIEWS">Sam Steverlynck</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="line-height: 26px; color: #525552; font-size: x-small;">[Image on top: <strong>Ricardo Brey,</strong><em> Nine incantations, </em>2010, Mixed media, 20 x 29 x 29 cm (7 7/8 x 11 3/8 x 11 3/8 in.)<em>; </em>Courtesy Ricardo Brey &amp; Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris/Bruxelles]</span></p> Sun, 07 Sep 2014 07:46:26 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Art critic pattern blindness: On ignoring trends in Amsterdam this September <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">One of my colleagues crafted </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/40564">his city&rsquo;s fall preview </a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">around the challenge of choosing exhibitions to visit when there&rsquo;s so much to see. It&rsquo;s a difficult task we all face, and quite frankly, I might have taken this approach myself. Instead, when charged with writing about September offerings I ended up looking for patterns; like a gallery staging a summer group show, I wondered what ad hoc themes I might attach to Amsterdam art this month. Of course, it&rsquo;s a task more hopeless than trying to see too much art, though maybe with the right algorithm and a massive computer to run the computations I could find statistically significant factors no one&mdash;neither gallerist nor artist&mdash;knew they&rsquo;d yielded. (And maybe get headhunted by ArtRank in the process).</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Alas, I have no such program. And really, as ever, there&rsquo;s something for everyone: painting and new media, hot new solos and establishment retrospectives, </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.unfairamsterdam.nl/" target="_blank">hip </a></span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.unseenamsterdam.com/" target="_blank">art fairs</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, and artworks political, conceptual, and formal. With such diversity in mind, here are some mini-trends and outliers I&rsquo;m looking forward to in Amsterdam* this month:</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140904163047-Nuclear_Family_original_dumas.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Marlene Dumas</strong>, <em>Nuclear Family</em>, 2013, Oil on canvas, 200 x 180 cm; &copy; Marlene Dumas / Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel; Photo: Peter Cox</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The biggest name recognition this fall comes, unsurprisingly, from the </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/venues/show/2489-stedelijk-museum">Stedelijk Museum</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> which will launch Marlene Dumas&rsquo; first retrospective in the Netherlands in twenty years: </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/events/show/350005-the-image-as-burden"><em>The Image as Burden</em></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">. The exhibition will include nearly two hundred of the Cape Town native&rsquo;s works ranging from the iconic to the lesser-known, including drawings straight from her Amsterdam studio. For one of the Netherlands&rsquo; most beloved painters, the attention seems long overdue (ArtSlant will have the complete report next week).</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The idea of &ldquo;image as burden&rdquo; hints at the friction between an image&rsquo;s ostensive subject and the painterly gesture. It also leads nicely into my nearest success at identifying a trend in the handful of exhibitions exploring image making in the twenty-first century, including artists who &ldquo;break down the fourth wall&rdquo; to reveal the digital, or perhaps photographer-ly gesture. This season </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/venues/show/2488-foam---fotografie-museum">FOAM</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> will present </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/events/show/349970-shadows-patterns-pears">a solo show</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> of </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/38814">Paul Huf Award </a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">winner Daniel Gordon&rsquo;s lush portraits and still lifes, which are constructed IRL from images found online. A second FOAM exhibition, </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/events/show/349973-under-construction-new-positions-in-american-photography"><em>Under Construction &ndash; New Positions in American Photography</em></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, will highlight nine photographers who rethink their medium. Some see photographs and digital source materials as renewable objects; others shatter their images&rsquo; illusions, revealing the tools, craft, and apparatuses that made them. Artists include Jessica Eaton, Lucas Blalock, Sara VanDerBeek, and </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/articles/show/40075">Owen Kydd</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> and if it&rsquo;s anything like the eponymous issue of <em>FOAM Magazine</em> preceding it, it will be a challenging and visually delightful presentation.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140904163602-Rozendaal-2014-IntoTime_14_05_04.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Rafa&euml;l Rozendaal</strong>, <em>Into Time 14 05 04</em>, 2014, Lenticular painting (unique piece), 120 x 90 cm; Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij;&nbsp;Courtesy of the artist and Upstream Gallery, Amsterdam</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Along similar lines, </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/venues/show/2510-upstream-gallery">Upstream Gallery</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> will present </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/events/show/346031-shifting-optics"><em>Shifting Optics</em></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, featuring seven artists for whom digital techniques and imagery are not limited to new media and the traditionally digital domain. Works made especially for this exhibition will incorporate the digital across a variety of media, including painting, video, textile, and an iPhone app. Artists include Rafa&euml;l Rozendaal, Shannon Finley, Travess Smalley, and Tabok Robak.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Shifting again, you&rsquo;ll catch two new film presentations with political perspectives this month. </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/venues/show/2483-annet-gelink-gallery">Annet Gelink</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> will present </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/artists/rackroom/23575">Yael Bartana&rsquo;s</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> latest project, </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/events/show/349537-true-finn-tosi-suomalainen"><em>True Finn</em></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, which debuted this year in Helsinki at the IHME Contemporary Art Festival. Themes like immigration, identity, and nation building recall her <em>And Europe Will Be Stunned&hellip; </em>trilogy (2007-2011), </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/articles/show/13188">featured previously</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> at the gallery, and feel particularly relevant within the current geopolitical climate. Over at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/venues/show/2500-galerie-ron-mandos-amsterdam">Ron Mandos</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> Isaac Julien&rsquo;s latest solo also tackles today&rsquo;s pressing issues; the British filmmaker&rsquo;s most recent film, </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/events/show/346188-playtime"><em>PLAYTIME</em></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, will explore links between the art world and the global financial crisis, featuring actors like Maggie Cheung and James Franco with auctioneer Simon de Pury playing himself.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140904163844-Charles_Avery_-_What_s_so_great_about_Happiness.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Charles Avery</strong>,<em> Untitled (What&rsquo;s so great about Happiness?), </em>2014, Pencil, ink, acrylic and gouache on paper, 97 x 70 cm | 38.2 x 27.6 inches; Courtesy of the artist and GRIMM Gallery, Amsterdam</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">If you enjoyed </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/events/show/350489-nobson">Paul Noble</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/venues/show/14798-museum-boijmans-van-beuningen">Museum Boijmans</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> this summer (and, how could you not?) you might like </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/articles/show/30721">Charles Avery&rsquo;s</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> second solo show at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/venues/show/24071-grimm-gallery">GRIMM Gallery</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">. Both artists have been doing their own obsessive thing for years&mdash;namely, building fantasy worlds&mdash;and while each has top-notch gallery representation, their practices don&rsquo;t really correspond with contemporary narratives. Noble&rsquo;s drawings are more impressive, but Avery&rsquo;s world is more convincing. </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/events/show/345071-whats-so-great-about-happiness--the-people-and-things-from-onomatopeia">This exhibition</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> of all new work will introduce more characters to Avery&rsquo;s invented island through drawings, furniture, and interior design objects.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140904163934-destroy_lund.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Jonas Lund</strong>, <em>Studio Practice</em>, 2014, Example of the advisory board's appraisal system with a range slider between destroy/sign; Courtesy of the artist</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">For a rather suiting end, check out Swedish artist Jonas Lund&rsquo;s </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/events/show/350733-studio-practice"><em>Studio Practice</em></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> at </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/venues/show/44619-boetzelaernispen">Boetzelaer|Nispen</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">. You can </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://studio-practice.biz/" target="_blank">start watching the show today</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> in real time, though you&rsquo;ll have to wait &lsquo;til it&rsquo;s over to find out what you can buy. Painting-making is outsourced to four artists who use parameters detailed in a 300-page book made by Lund. An advisory board comprising artists, art advisors, gallerists, and collectors will review each painting online to determine whether it should be destroyed or signed and sold by Lund. I look forward to seeing if the resulting body of work reveals any trends and patterns.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">* I&rsquo;m limiting my picks to Amsterdam, but there&rsquo;s so much happening </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/events/show/354528-the-vincent-award-2014">in The </a></span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ew/events/show/354526-solo-exhibition">Hague</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.a-tub.org/" target="_blank">Rotterdam</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/events/show/350025-all">and</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> even </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/events/show/349993-fragment">further</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> afield, you&rsquo;ll need to check back for our coverage throughout the season.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/95201-andrea-alessi?tab=REVIEWS">Andrea Alessi</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top: <strong>Daniel Gordon</strong>, <em>Still Life with Fish and Forsythia</em>, 2013, C-Print,<em>&nbsp;</em>50 x 60 inches; &copy; Daniel Gordon / Courtesy of the artist and Wallspace, New York)</span></p> Thu, 04 Sep 2014 23:46:20 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list A London fall primer for everyone (but especially Internet lovers) <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">Autumn is high season for art and it&rsquo;s an impossible task to keep up with the Smoke&rsquo;s endless openings. Best to spread it out and try to see something of everything. The best exhibitions will kick off the season before Frieze takes over in October and demolishes everything artistic in its path. With this in mind, I&rsquo;ve pulled together a little bit of this and a little bit of that&mdash;but basically, it&rsquo;s all about the Internet.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;"><strong>Best exhibition for British Art: <em>MIRRORCITY</em>, the <a href="http://www.artslant.com/lon/venues/show/4598-hayward-gallery">Hayward Gallery</a></strong> </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">I can&rsquo;t remember not finding a show at the Hayward interesting. They have one of the best public spaces in London, and a great curatorial vibe. <em>MIRRORCITY</em> is about artists established in London who are confronting living in the digital age&mdash;particularly examining the fold between physical and virtual space. Unlike other fall exhibitions' more experimental approaches to this trending theme, <em>MIRRORCITY</em> is a more accessible way to access complex ideas, through installations, performance, painting, video and more. There are works by more than twenty artists including John Stezaker and Susan Hiller who appear alongside up-and-comings like Hannah Sawtell and LuckyPDF. An alternative newspaper created by Tom McCarthy accompanies the show.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><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;"><strong>Best spot for pretending to look at the art: James Bridle at <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ew/venues/show/44773-bold-tendencies">Bold Tendencies</a>, Peckham Multi-Storey Car Park</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">It&rsquo;s already too cold, but you could wear a wool poncho and go down to Bold Tendencies, on the roof of a car park in Peckham, for a last chance to see their annual installation project there (you&rsquo;ll be in Peckham but if you&rsquo;re too scared, just stay for a drink at Frank&rsquo;s Caf&eacute;, Bold Tendencies' partner project and culinary operation on the roof). Generation Yawn will enjoy the excuse to leave with the last train.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20140903150358-fornieles.jpg" alt="" /></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Ed Fornieles</strong>; Courtesy of the artist and Chisenhale Gallery, London</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><strong style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">Best exhibition for Conceptual Art: Ed Fornieles,&nbsp;<em>Modern Family</em>, at <a href="http://www.artslant.com/lon/venues/show/2639-chisenhale-gallery">Chisenhale Gallery</a></strong></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">It&rsquo;s always nice as an arts writer to chart the progress of artists you follow. My <a href="http://www.artslant.com/lon/articles/show/18152">first ever article</a>&nbsp;for ArtSlant was about the work of emerging British artist Ed Fornieles, a graduate of the Ruskin, who was always pushing an experimental brand of art through performance, sculpture, and installation. His work has often been provocative&mdash;in 2011 he organised Animal House, a kind of "perfomance" work, which was an American college party where 120 guests partook in drugs, drink, and sex, encouraged in the guise of art.</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;">Since then he&rsquo;s exhibited at Frieze Frame and the Serpentine, and recently moved to L.A. where he has grown up a bit. Now he&rsquo;s coming back to London to do a solo show, <em>Modern Families</em>,&nbsp;at Chisenhale. Fornieles has been part of a kind of emerging micro-movement of young London-based artists who are responding to virtual reality, modern fantasy, and the psychology of the digital era. <em>Modern Family</em> explores the ideology of family as constructed through various media, finding an intersection between our subjective and collective desires.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">A programme of talks, panel discussions, and performances runs concurrently with the exhibition.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>Best exhibition for Sculpture: Richard Stone, <em>gleam</em>, <a href="http://www.artslant.com/lon/venues/show/33762-kristin-hjellegjerde-gallery">Kristin&nbsp;Hjellegjerde Gallery</a>, Opening 12 September</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Emerging artist Richard Stone is moving away from his early body of material hybrids. He created these from found antique porcelain and marble objects, coating them in wax or dipping them in liquid metal until they acquired new meaning (in a process he calls, a "reversal of making"). Now, he proposes to create sculptures with a different approach to his "interventions." Rather than allowing the viewer to distinguish between the found object and the artist&rsquo;s distortion of it, in <em>gleam</em>&nbsp;he unifies the two. Stone&rsquo;s work is interesting in its confrontation of context in relation to sculptural practice: what meaning do objects hold when they are displaced or when they are imbued with a new purpose?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20140903152828-ma-find-out-what-really-happens.jpg" alt="" /></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Michele Abeles; </strong>Courtesy of the artist and Sadie Coles HQ, London</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>Best show for Political Art: Michele Abeles, <em>Find Out What Happens When People Start Getting</em> <em>Real</em>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/lon/venues/show/2546-sadie-coles-hq---south-audley-st">Sadie Coles HQ</a>, Opening 4 September</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Another post-internet artist showing this autumn in London is New York-based Michele Abeles, who mimics digital techniques by hand in her sensuous, disorienting photocollage work. After exhibiting in MoMA&rsquo;s <em>New Photography</em>&nbsp;exhibition last year, Abeles is producing her first show for Sadie Coles HQ, which will spread across the gallery's South Audley Street space. It features a jungle-inspired installation, found photographs, and algorithmically derived works. Complex and fascinating.</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;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20140903153841-6668_1000-1.jpg" alt="" /><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Francesca Woodman</strong>,&nbsp;<em>Untitled, </em>Rome, Italy, 1977-1978, (I.144), Gelatin silver estate print, 25.4 x 20.3 cm, 10 x 8 inches; Courtesy of Victoria Miro, London</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>Best show for Photography: Francesca Woodman, <em>Zigzag</em>, <a href="http://www.artslant.com/lon/venues/show/42571-victoria-miro-mayfair">Victoria Miro Mayfair</a>, Opening 9 September</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">Francesca Woodman&rsquo;s singular body of work has inspired a generation of artists, from Nan Goldin to Cindy Sherman. This exhibition examines an aspect of Woodman&rsquo;s photography that has rarely been explored: composition. Looking into the zigzag motif that informs the structure of much of Woodman&rsquo;s photography&mdash;including ten never seen before silver gelatin prints from her estate&mdash;sheds a fascinating light on an artist who died tragically young but whose work still resonates widely.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/162742-charlotte-jansen">Charlotte Jansen</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">[Image on top: <strong>Lindsay Seers</strong>, <em>Nowhere Less Now</em> (interior), 2012; Commissioned by Artangel; Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), Hobart, Australia; Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE. Courtesy of the artist and Matt's Gallery, London]</span></span></p> Tue, 09 Sep 2014 09:11:01 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Epic Battle: Secret Walls Pits Local Artists Against Each Other in Live Art Performance <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: Arial; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Billing itself as &ldquo;the World&rsquo;s premier live art battle&rdquo;, Secret Walls recently kicked off its second series in Hong Kong at the city&rsquo;s iconic Fringe Club. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: Arial; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Created in 2006 by Terry Guy at a bar in London, each event features two white walls side by side, 90 minutes on the clock, booze, a live DJ and two artists with the mighty black marker for battle. The winner is chosen based on a 3 point system, with input coming from judges and the all-important crowd vote, scientifically measured by a decibel reader. In epic fashion, the yearly event spans 5 months with four qualifying rounds, two semifinals and finishing with the grand finale in December, where the series winner is announced. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: Arial; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140902172157-p.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: Arial; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">From its humble underground beginnings, Secret Walls has grown internationally via social media and word of mouth marketing with similar events taking place throughout Europe and NYC. Showcasing an impressive mix of emerging and established artists from all walks of street art life, the battles have a decidedly unique and raw feel. In Hong Kong, it&rsquo;s nice to see the passion back in original local art, especially as it is lacking a price tag.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: Arial; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Hong Kong&rsquo;s sold out event paired local artists Alex Wong and Jay Cawdell against each other in what proved to be a spirited competition of live performance art.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">Cawdell, who participated in Hong Kong&rsquo;s inaugural Secret Walls last year, drew inspiration from the present battle, creating a scene starring himself and his opponent in a final throw down. With his trademark style of heavy dark lines and solid, clean shapes, Cawdell proves a formidable opponent to the most established of street artists.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: Arial; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Meanwhile, Wong seemed to defy time, creating a highly detailed mural in the allotted hour and a half time frame. His work took a more imaginative theme with ice cream cones and a supporting cast of characters in an old school style, while impressively filling the entire white space with even the smallest content.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: Arial; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140902175753-secretwallxhongkong27_08_14_17.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: Arial; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Sponsor Absolut Vodka and MC R VEE kept the crowd pumped throughout the night, with the latter officially announcing Wong as the winner of Series 2, Round 1. He will now move on to the first semifinal in November, battling a yet to be determined artist of equal skill.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: Arial; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Post battle, the walls are (sadly) painted over so you&rsquo;ll have to attend the event in person to experience the thrill of art being created right before your eyes. Pick up tickets to Round 2, set for 8 September, <a href="http://www.eventbrite.hk/e/secret-walls-x-hong-kong-series-2-round-2-tickets-12845909461" target="_blank">here</a>. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&mdash;Peter Augustus</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">(All images: Courtesy of Dee Wai and Josh Law for Secret Walls)</span></p> Thu, 04 Sep 2014 09:22:31 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Naked Ladies and More <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">With the world reeling from recent global events that have severely impacted on our collective conscience&mdash;the barrage of scenes of manmade destruction, death, and disaster a vivid testimony of the dark side of humanity&mdash;visiting <em>The Human Factor</em> at Hayward Gallery&nbsp;was oddly cathartic.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Of course, the curators were not prophets, but in bringing together twenty-five years of sculpture through twenty-five artists they have created a perspicacious and timely exhibition that reflects on something primordial: the beauty, the hilarity, and the awfulness of being human.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Crudely, the show is split into two "moods" over two floors: "dark" and "light." First we get the darkness &mdash;the grotesque and incomprehensible side of the human body and the things it can suffer and enact. Swiss artist Thomas Hirschhorn&rsquo;s indelible mannequin sculptures were particularly hard-hitting. He turns texture into meaning, and in the crass way he assembles his sculptural works (dirty-looking plastic vitrines, cheap materials) he conveys the horrific obliteration of life. In <em>4 Women</em>&nbsp;(2008), female mannequins are referenced by number to roughly printed internet pictures of corpses in increasingly extreme states of decomposure. The final picture is so badly deformed that it no longer resembles a body, but rather the terrible texture of the blue foam that engulfs the mannequins in the vitrine. It&rsquo;s difficult to look at, especially since Hirschhorn selects images of victims of war and violence.</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/20140902142827-Urs_Fischer__Untitled__2001._Installation_view__The_Human_Factor__Hayward_Gallery_2014_____The_Artist__Photo_Linda_Nylind.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>Urs Fischer,</strong> <em>Untitled</em>, 2001, Installation view, <em>The Human Factor</em>, Hayward Gallery 2014; &copy; The Artist / Photo Linda Nylind</span><br /><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Moving upstairs, the tone is suddenly lighter&mdash;made so by the appearance of works by Ryan Gander and Urs Fischer, two artists who combine humor and the human form. Fischer has said of his ironic skeleton figures that they are "funny characters" rather than symbols of death. His <em>Skinny Sunrise</em>&nbsp;work is primarily about sending up, as too is his brilliant <em>Untitled</em> (2001), one of the most effective pieces in the show. This wax sculpture of a pinkish, lardy female figure progressively melts during the exhibition; Fischer looks back, towards canons of sculptural practice as protest&mdash;quite literally creating a "burning effigy"&mdash;and forward with his own humorous questions about the way we portray ourselves and our relationship to our own bodies as we&rsquo;re affected by time. Maurizio Cattelan&rsquo;s <em>Him </em>is another piece of black comedy in three dimensions, but it can&rsquo;t be described without spoiling the effect.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">There are some problems with placement here&mdash;and this perhaps one of the main criticisms of the show. It&rsquo;s a difficult task to give each sculpture a correct space, while also adhering to the kind of flow by sentiment the exhibition seems to set out. Instead, it sometimes jumps from one emotion to another; the divisions don&rsquo;t quite allow enough time to digest the impact of each.</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/20140902142114-Paul_McCarthy__That_Girl__T.G._Awake___2012_2013__detail___Installation_view__The_Human_Factor__Hayward_Gallery_2014__Photo_Linday_Nylind____Paul_McCarthy.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Paul McCarthy,</strong> <em>That Girl (T.G. Awake),</em> 2012&ndash;2013 (detail), Installation view, <em>The Human Factor</em>, Hayward Gallery 2014; Photo Linday Nylind, &copy; Paul McCarthy</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;">When you walk finally into a further subsection, housing Paul McCarthy&rsquo;s <em>That Girl</em>&nbsp;(2012&ndash;2013), another emotion is introduced: awe (mixed with arousal, and confusion). McCarthy is Frankenstein. His three-part work is just amazing. The sculptures are impossibly life-like; you'll only find clues that they&rsquo;re fake if you stare inside the ears or scrutinize the fingernails. As an artwork, or simply as a feat of craftsmanship, it&rsquo;s the highlight of the show. Of course, it&rsquo;s a naked female body, or rather, three naked female bodies, and that raises all the usual questions&mdash;but if we share one thing, it&rsquo;s a fascination with seeing people in the buff, and here you&rsquo;ve an excuse to stare at a perfectly molded nipple.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">There are many concerns and drives in this all-3D show: too many to grapple with simultaneously. However, the overriding feeling when you leave is that the human form is an astonishing vehicle with huge political, sexual, and economic potential. <em>The Human Factor&nbsp;</em>is a sobering reminder of this, a way to make sense of what&rsquo;s going on around us, good and bad.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/162742-charlotte-jansen?tab=REVIEWS">Charlotte Jansen</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>Pierre Huyghe</strong>, <em>Liegender Frauenakt (Untilled 2011-2012),</em> 2012, Installation view, <em>The Human Factor</em>, Hayward Gallery; &copy; Photo Linda Nylind]</span></p> Tue, 09 Sep 2014 09:42:16 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list From Classic Painting to Graffuturism: Poesia, Reflexive, at the Shooting Gallery <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;">Beyond his individual work, artist Poesia has made a huge impact on the world of graffiti. As the founder of the site <a href="http://www.graffuturism.com" target="_blank">Graffuturism.com</a>, the artist launched a movement that resulted in group shows everywhere from Los Angeles to Paris. In San Francisco, he recently curated the show </span><span style="font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslantstreet.com/articles/show/39242">A Major Minority</a></span><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;">, which showcased the work of more than 100 artists from more than 18 countries. In both his curatorial work and his style, the artist continues to inspire budding talents in the graffiti and street art spheres.</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140831183128-_MG_3318.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Poesia</strong>, <em>Death of Marat,</em> Mixed media collage, 7.5x9.5in.; Courtesy of the artist &amp; Shooting Gallery</span><br /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;">But at White Walls Gallery, the attention comes back to the unique work he creates himself. For &ldquo;Reflexive,&rdquo; the artist presents new work that include large-scale pieces, clearly showing the many styles that influence him. Not only does he find inspiration in street art and graffiit but also in classic painting, with many of his works feeling abstract and even Cubist in nature, while his Old Masters series makes direct references to Classical pieces. One piece cleverly bases its composition on &ldquo;Death of Marat&rdquo; by slicing the classical piece with geometric shapes. The harsh lines seem to place this classic painting into another time altogether. As with many of Poesia&rsquo;s pieces, one must look for meaning in these strange shapes &mdash; or simply enjoy the composition that arises from them. The show is on until September 6th.<br /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140831183509-_MG_3313.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Poesia</strong>,&nbsp;<em>Eve</em>, Mixed media collage, 8.5x11in.; Courtesy of the artist &amp; Shooting Gallery</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: x-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140831184737-_mg_3358_m.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Poesia</strong>,<em>&nbsp;The Age of Bronze</em>, Mixed media on reclaimed postcard, 4x6in.; Courtesy of the artist &amp; Shooting Gallery</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: x-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140831184133-l.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Poesia</strong>,&nbsp;<em>Mary on the Rocks</em>, Mixed media collage on photograph, 18x12in.; Courtesy of the artist &amp; Shooting Gallery</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: x-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140831184403-_mg_3341.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Poesia</strong>,&nbsp;<em>Untitled Study</em>, Mixed media on paper, 8x8in.; Courtesy of the artist &amp; Shooting Gallery</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: x-small;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140831184628-ll.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Poesia</strong>,<em>&nbsp;Vulcan Presenting Venus with Arms,</em> Mixed media on canvas, 96x54in.; Courtesy of the artist &amp; Shooting Gallery</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&mdash;Eva Recinos</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">(Image on top: <strong>Poesia</strong>, <em>Poesia Letter Study II, </em>Mixed media on paper, 14x10in.; Courtesy of the artist &amp; Shooting Gallery)</span></p> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 23:10:34 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Our Man in Berlin <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In a Marsden Hartley painting beats the dark heart of the twentieth century. The thin slice of globe-trotting work from 1913-1915 presaged some of the most ecstatic and iconic tropes to come.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In a Marsden Hartley painting is the synthetic seed of Pollock&rsquo;s urgency and John&rsquo;s cool, detached symbology. Both men seemed to filch from Hartley&rsquo;s rainbow palette, alternately whipped into creamy pastels or shot through with matte, inky blacks.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The brief period straddling the outbreak of World War I that is the whole of this show covers three distinct styles from these three crucial years in three modest rooms. There is an an almost ecclesiastical triangularity in the clamoring, upwardly mobile composition of the paintings done in pre-war Berlin, on a Steiglitz-funded jaunt through Europe intended to &ldquo;complete&rdquo; the then 36-year-old&rsquo;s education. The plaintive joy of pageantry in <em>The Warriors </em>(1913) is anchored by a central curving shape, like a pope&rsquo;s hat, or a section of cupola off the Florence Cathedral, or a seated Buddha&mdash;yet the ultimate point of convergence seems just out of frame.</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/20140830074146-marsdenhartley3.png" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Marsden Hartley,</strong> <em>Portrait,</em> c.1914-15, Oil on canvas, 32 1/4 x 21 1/2 inches; The Collection of Frederick R. Weismen Art Museum at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Bequest of Hudson D. Walker from the lone and Hudson D. Walker Collection.</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 a Marsden Hartley painting is a picture of Modernism as a broken promise.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">After the death of Lieutenant Karl von Freyberg, a young soldier whose exact relationship to Hartley is never fully parsed, the colors grow bolder, popping against those heartbreaking chalkboard-black backgrounds. (The conservationist&rsquo;s referendum makes it yet unclear if this development is a straightforward act of mourning or simply a by product of Hartley&rsquo;s reuse of canvases at that time.) The spectacle of war is no longer an orderly parade, but an inextricable field of signs. <em>Portrait of a German Officer </em>(1914) is not a neatly arranged stack of traits, but a wrangling of evocations, a radial composition on the verge of explosion.</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/20140830074246-marsdenhartley2.png" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Marsden Hartley,</strong> <em>Abstraction (Military Symbols), </em>1914-15, Oil on canvas, 39 1/4 x 32 inches; Toledo Museum of Art, Purchased with funds from the Libbey Endowment, Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, 1980.</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 a Marsden Hartley painting is the wintry tang of a college crush&mdash;the aloof magnetism of that well-traveled American boy who somehow alighted in the periphery of your mundane suburban topography. You can never know this boy because he loves boys, but this hurt allows the interiority of men to be as vast and unknowable as your own. Maybe it allows you to leave as well.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In a Marsden Hartley painting is hidden the key to its own mysteries, made just for you: &ldquo;What I have to say is not local or material.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/214407-christina-catherine-martinez?tab=REVIEWS">Christina Catherine Martinez</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><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>Marsden Hartley</strong>, <em>The Iron Cross, </em>1915, oil on canvas, 47 &frac14; &times; 47 &frac14; inches; &copy; Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis; university purchase, Bixby Fund, 1952)</span></p> Sat, 30 Aug 2014 14:54:34 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list <em>David Bowie Is</em>: Star Power – An Interview with Michael Darling <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>David Bowie Is,</em> coming to the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago in just a few weeks, is unprecedented to the extent that it is the first massive solo show the MCA has ever given to a musician. But as James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator Michael Darling discusses below, he was drawn to the exhibition because Bowie emulates the blending of media, the crossing over of disciplines he finds so relevant to contemporary artists&rsquo; practices.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Darling was kind enough to sit down with me this month and explain how the globe&ndash;trotting blockbuster will be articulated by the MCA. In addition, he outlines an MCA permanent collection exhibition they are putting together to coincide with the show, entitled <em>Body Doubles</em>, which both directly and indirectly fleshes out some of the more complex themes that emerge in Bowie, citing gender fluidity in particular.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Perhaps the centrality of outer space to many of Bowie&rsquo;s works and personae will find a warm welcome in Chicago, given the Afro-Futurist bedrock that under-appreciated artists like </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.sunraarkestra.com/">Sun Ra</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> have cultivated and </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.cauleensmith.com/">Cauleen Smith</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> have mined. Just as Bowie is a crossover artist, there is the hope that the Bowie show will have crossover appeal by bringing non-art, and potentially even non&ndash;museum going, audiences through the MCA&rsquo;s doors. In many ways, <em>David Bowie Is</em> is momentous for that reason as well&mdash;it marks a sea change at the MCA, and represents the first of several soon-to-be-announced exhibitions that Darling has in the works, highlighting unexpected makers in boundary blurring shows.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140830081145-793ca13sukita.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">David Bowie, 1973. Photo: Masayoshi Sukita. &copy; Sukita / The David Bowie Archive..</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong><em>Thea Liberty Nichols: Can you contextualize the exhibition for us? I know it originated at the </em></strong></span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.vam.ac.uk/"><strong><em>Victoria and Albert</em></strong></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong><em> (V&amp;A) in London, an art and design museum in Great Britain&mdash;can you talk about how the MCA got it, since it is the only US stop, and how it situates within the program of the museum? What does it mean for American audiences?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>Michael Darling:</strong> We heard about the show early, let them know of our interest, and committed to it&mdash;we were talking to them from the beginning about it as an exclusive presentation. Because of the content and nature of the show, we really think this could be something that draws visitors from the West coast and from the East coast, as well as our local community. This circumstance is something that is fairly unique for our exhibitions, except for the hard-core art people that will come for certain shows. We&rsquo;re definitely seeing that anecdotally already from reservations that are coming in from all over the world.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Over the years, we have regularly gone outside of the visual arts in our programming here, and like to pepper the program with things like architecture or design, or most recently we did the </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www2.mcachicago.org/exhibition/modern-cartoonist-the-art-of-daniel-clowes/">Daniel Clowes show</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">. So it is already a regular part of our diet to break up our hard core visual art stuff with these things that are a little bit extra curricular, that stretch the notions of contemporary art and culture in a way, so this definitely feels to us like one of those type of shows. However, it is also new in the sense that we have never done anything with a musical artist in this way. Of course the fact that we already have this vibrant performance program also makes this feel less foreign to us, and the fact that Bowie&rsquo;s career is exactly the same kind of career that I look for in the artists that I track and want to exhibit&mdash;</span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www2.mcachicago.org/exhibition/isa-genzken-retrospective/">Isa Genzken</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> is a great example. I mean, I just love how she is constantly reinventing herself and never getting stuck in a rut and always looking for the next thing. It is something I always tell young artists when I am visiting with them. That is sort of what I think defines a great career, and Bowie is the epitome of that in the musical world in terms of all these different personas he has created over the years, always changing with the wind and having a really good nose for the zeitgeist.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">One of the things I think is really fascinating is if you start looking at the tour for this show&mdash;the exhibition is travelling to every different type of museum out there. I mean, the V&amp;A is more of a culture and design museum, so it makes sense there; here it is a contemporary art museum and we have made it our way; </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.ago.net/david-bowie-is-coming-to-the-ago-this-fall">Toronto</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> is maybe a more general fine art museum; and in </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.mis-sp.org.br/icox/icox.php?mdl=mis&amp;op=programacao_interna&amp;id_event=1462">S&atilde;o Paolo</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> it was in a museum of sound and image. In <a href="http://saison-2015.philharmoniedeparis.fr/activites/exposition/14731-david-bowie?vnc=kaHtLdh9pCcOSUK55umyd-HXgqPhgXP8EG_Jy-xfTFI&amp;vnp=1&amp;date=2015-03-03&amp;heure=23:59"><span style="color: #525552;">Paris</span></a>, it is going also to a music museum, and in Berlin, at the </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.davidbowie-berlin.de/en/">Martin Gropius Bau</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, more of a general-purpose kind of exhibition hall. So it is funny that people in these different countries are finding different hooks for the show, which is an amazing testament to Bowie in that he can cross over all these different disciplines. I also think it is fascinating that the show is not at the </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.rockhall.com/">Rock and Roll Hall of Fame</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">. It has some elements of those kind of rock and roll shows&mdash;in that the hard core Bowie fans will really geek out on these hand drawn lyric sheets that have never been seen before&mdash;but it feels like it is a broader cultural commentary on the period he lived through and helped to define in so many different ways. I think that is why it&rsquo;s interesting to us, because it works both ways: for people that are really knowledgeable (about Bowie) and people that are more interested in the ideas of his career.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140830080943-1430f8vainstall.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">Installation view,&nbsp;<em>David Bowie is</em>, Victoria and Albert Museum, London. March 23 - August 11, 2013; Courtesy The David Bowie Archive; Photo &copy; Victoria and Albert Museum, London.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong><em>TLN: What can audiences expect to see and hear? What is the David Bowie Archive and how much of that is going to be on view?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>MD:</strong> The David Bowie Archive exists because somehow, miraculously, over the years Bowie&rsquo;s saved all this stuff, going back to the earliest days of his career. It has become a bit more professionalized now, with staff that look after it, all based in New York. They were contacted by the V&amp;A with this idea of doing a show and they said yes, so the archives were really kind of opened up for the V&amp;A curators to go and rummage through and select pieces to start building a story. I do not know all the statistics, but I think this is still just a fragment of what they have there, so this is a carefully curated and selected group of objects even though there are 400 things in the show. To me, I really see the costumes as these markers of different points in Bowie&rsquo;s career. They anchor the materials on view, they are very sculptural and incredibly visual, but then surrounding them are hand written lyric sheets, contact sheets from photo sessions, finished photographs that kind of concretize these different periods as they were represented to the public&mdash;video footage, stage bills, you name it. Everybody that walks through the show is wearing headphones that register these sensors in the floor so that if you are looking at a Ziggy Stardust costume you are listening to Ziggy-era music. The exhibition is very immersive in that way. Viewers are always hearing primarily David Bowie music, but sometimes there&rsquo;s also voice over commentary contextualizing things, from Bowie himself or other experts and music historians.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong><em>TLN: Bowie strikes me as really self-aware in terms of how he has manufactured these really distinct personas and mythologies surrounding himself. He has moved through many periods and genres of music throughout his career, but I think he&rsquo;s best known for one particular thing: his break out moment or his star moment, even though he is still working. Is this exhibition taking a purview of Bowie&rsquo;s entire career and trying to make sense of it as an aggregate? What is the big picture statement you see it making about the cultural relevance of David Bowie?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>MD:</strong> Yes&mdash;I mean, this phenomenon starts when he was sixteen and was already kind of managing his image, the look of the photo shoot and wardrobe, and then goes right up to 2003 when his last concert tour happened. It is not exhaustive because I am sure there are some things that are left out in that chronology, but it does show how actively he was participating in the creation of each of these different characters, making story boards for videos or stage sets or costume designs, and letters back and forth between him and different designers or his tailor. It reminds me of someone like Andy Warhol, kind of cultivating his image in a very self-conscious way, which just seems very modern and not narcissistic. It is more a professional way of being&mdash;that this is a business and in making my art I need to control all these elements of it, steering people down the path that I want them to follow.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong><em>TLN: Do you think Bowie knew about Warhol&rsquo;s time capsules?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>MD:</strong> I know he spent time in the Warhol factory, and we have got some great footage of him in there, but it seems like from the documentation that he and Warhol did not really connect. And of course Bowie wrote the song &ldquo;Andy Warhol&rdquo; that Warhol did not really like so much, but I do not know if anybody else knew about the time capsules until Warhol&rsquo;s death. I think Bowie really identified with Warhol in some ways&mdash;they met and Bowie did a screen test with him&mdash;but they just did not click.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong><em>TLN: But then he does a really interesting job playing Warhol in the </em></strong></span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.miramax.com/movie/basquiat/"><strong><em>Basquiat film</em></strong></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong><em>!</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>MD:</strong> Yeah, I think so too.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The show is kind of about the fact that this is the first time anybody has done anything like this. You almost have to ask: why didn&rsquo;t anyone do this before? Here is this man sitting in plain sight and he had done all these things over the years&mdash;once you see it all laid out in front of you you&rsquo;re like, of course! </span><br /> <br /><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> I come away from it recognizing how relevant he has been to culture at so many different touch points. To me, it is not dissimilar from a visual artist who has had all these kind of amazing chapters in their life that get pulled together in a retrospective exhibition. It serves that same purpose in that way. It is funny because people might think of Ziggy Stardust immediately, but then I think you start to realize when you hear a song, oh yeah, he was also big in the '70s and in the '80s and in the '90s. We are still hearing Cadillac commercials with David Bowie in them. His presence is really kind of everywhere; his music kind of seemed to break through to this big audience in all these different decades. It is pretty incredible.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140830081002-6033d9bodysuit.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">Striped bodysuit for&nbsp;<em>Aladdin Sane&nbsp;</em>tour, 1973. Design: Kansai Yamamoto. Photo: Masayoshi Sukita. &copy; Sukita / The David Bowie Archive 2012.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong><em>TLN: With Lady Gaga or Kanye West or these artists who do a little bit of everything, outside of their field, I think the ground breaking nature of Bowie doing that at the time that he did it might get a little lost. Can you talk more about the different disciplines he crossed over into throughout his career?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>MD:</strong> That is definitely something that comes out in the show&mdash;how connected he was to other fields. You see him, for example, in Warhol&rsquo;s factory and collaborating with William S. Burroughs, and all these different fashion and costume designers that end up being very influential in their own fields&mdash;not to mention other musicians, like Iggy Pop. But there is also a whole section of the exhibition that deals with his theater appearances and films&mdash;that kind of multi-disciplinary quality really comes out and you realize again: Bowie is not just staying still, and he is not just a pop star, he is really trying to borrow and have dialogue with all these different fields. We are seeing this as a contemporary phenomenon. It feels right to us that an artist would venture out and not stay in their field.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">To complement this, we are curating a show at the same time as the Bowie exhibition called <em>Body Doubles,</em> mostly from our collection, that similarly deals with ideas of fluid gender and identity. We will feature a brand new Lorna Simpson video installation and a new Wu Tsang video installation that the museum just acquired, but also work by Cindy Sherman, Bruce Nauman, Paul McCarthy, and Hans Bellmer&mdash;these works begin to show a contemporary art variant of the things you see in the Bowie show. The exhibition anchors the Bowie show in the MCA&rsquo;s own identity and collection. While it is not explicit, I think the coincidence of the concurrent exhibits will be evident. Of course, we do not want to lock it down, but we would like to point out work with very similar concerns.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong><em>TLN: There&rsquo;s a nice coincidence of timing with </em></strong></span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.expochicago.com/"><strong><em>EXPO CHICAGO</em></strong></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong><em>, and the whole fall crush as well.</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>MD:</strong> Yeah, once that all started lining up it was definitely like, &ldquo;ok, this is looking pretty amazing.&rdquo; The alignment is a little gift for the EXPO folks, as well.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/27452-thea-liberty-nichols?tab=REVIEWS">Thea Liberty Nichols</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>ArtSlant would like to thank Michael Darling and Karla Loring for their assistance in making this interview possible.</em></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: <em>Album cover shoot for Aladdin Sane, </em> 1973; &copy; Duffy Archive &amp; The David Bowie; Photo: Brian Duffy ; Archive/Design: Brian Duffy and Celia Philo; make up: Pierre La Roche)</span></p> Sat, 30 Aug 2014 09:32:20 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Buy a Print, Buy a Pint: Common Bar, Manchester <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Buy a print from a rising artist and still have change for a pint: at Common Bar, the venue and bar central to Manchester&rsquo;s creative scene.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Situated at the beating heart of Manchester&rsquo;s trendy Northern Quarter&mdash;an area where a Banksy has been lovingly preserved with a Perspex box (only for that to be covered in stickers and fresh street art), Space Invader aliens loom over you from the red brick of buildings, and Manchester heroes (including the city&rsquo;s own appointed Creative Director, the famed graphic designer Peter Saville) are immortalised in mosaic on the side of the iconic Afflecks Palace&mdash;Common Bar aims to counter the tendency to reminisce about glories gone by, by dedicating the walls of its bright and vibrant bar to the artwork of an impressive roll-call of local, national and international artists.</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/20140828104249-IMG_0652.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Iwan Roberts and Duncan Sime, the creative forces behind the art and events at Common Bar tell ArtSlant STREET about their unique proposition: &ldquo;When Common opened its doors back in December 2004, starting out with quite plain walls, someone questioned if their bar was actually finished,&rdquo; says Sime, adding, &ldquo;But I think that was its intention, to showcase some of the best art around using its blank walls as a huge canvas.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">The very first exhibition was a collaboration between Guy Mckinley, Matt Sewell and Lynsey Casson. Common now has three exhibition spaces and has gone on to showcase work from Dot The Eyes, Superdead, Jim Medway, Rob Bailey, Ruse, Matt Sewell, Paul Hemmingfield, Guy Mckinley, Chris Gray, Zoe Byrne, Roy McCarthy, Dr Me, Savwo, John Butcher, Nick Robertson, Rabbit Portal, Jon Burgerman, Ghost Patrol, Pin, David Bailey, Lows Bors, Mr Gauky, DXTR, Mr Penfold, Adam Mead, Kristian Jones, Steve Hockett, Teacake, Text Book, Caroline Dowsett, Alex T Frazer and many more.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&ldquo;In the past most of it has been about artists from in and around Manchester; it then slowly extended its way around the North West,&rdquo; explains Sime. &ldquo;We have now hosted artist work from Berlin, New York and London, to name but a few. We are always looking at extending our artistic circle, that's what it's about isn't it?&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/20140828104321-common_vino_jan2013_manox_001.jpeg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&ldquo;My personal favourite pieces of work are [by] 'Billy/Alex' a great artist from Berlin&mdash;she is such a pleasure to work with; her work is super bright and cheerful&mdash;and of course Rob Bailey's current exhibition, although I am quite glad we have completed his trilogy of work, if we have to work together again we may kill each other&mdash;worth it though, looking at the work,&rdquo; he adds.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Rather than just static decoration, the work featured at Common Bar is changed regularly, and since it is more often than not painted directly onto the walls as murals as opposed to confined to a series of frames, has the effect of completely altering the overall feel and ambiance of the venue each time. &ldquo;It can go from 1000s of A4 pieces of pasted riso up on our wall to a big tree right in the middle of the bar,&rdquo; says Roberts. "It&rsquo;s a beautiful thing.&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/20140828104412-P1050402.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&ldquo;Because anyone can hang pictures on a wall, most venues don't really think much about the process of putting art on the walls; we like to push boundaries and each other,&rdquo; says Sime. &ldquo;Common is an integral part of the Northern Quarter and as part of that we represent the creative and artistic side of this through our exhibitions. We hope that the work we put in attracts the right people and this is what a lot of the business is based upon: nice people in a nice bar.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&ldquo;I think we see a lot of needless work up on walls in various venues in Manchester,&rdquo; offers Roberts. &ldquo;And a lot of these are put up without any thought on space and how the space can benefit the work. We are fortunate to have a great pool of artists, designers, musicians, etc. in Manchester and beyond. We never struggle to find talent, although we struggle to find the energy and time to shine a light on all of them."</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/20140828104500-P10.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Where the exhibition does comprise prints and framed one-offs, customers are able to support the artists by buying some of the work at an affordable price point. &ldquo;I&rsquo;d like to think that people can buy a piece and still have change left over for a pint,&rdquo; says Roberts. &ldquo;The medium most of the artists use (risograph, screen printing) lends itself to making the work affordable. We&rsquo;ve displayed paintings prior and they&rsquo;ve done well, especially Chris Drury&rsquo;s show&mdash;he did really well. You often see many painted canvases in a few establishments with mind blowing price tags and most of the work is often pants and out of place. It's cool that people can come to Common see a &pound;20 limited-edition screen print and buy it. I have about eight John Powell Jones originals, six Steve Hocketts, countless Dave Baileys all up in the house because everything is so accessible. It&rsquo;s cool that we can make all these amazing artists' work so easy to take home with you.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Common, 9 Edge St, Manchester, Greater Manchester M4 1HW</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><a href="http://www.aplacecalledcommon.co.uk" target="_blank"><span style="font-size: medium;">http://www.aplacecalledcommon.co.uk</span></a></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;Laura Havlin</span></p> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 19:17:41 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Simple Pleasures <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Given that we are in the zombie month of August when most galleries are closed, your faithful correspondent decided that it was time to go and check out some permanent public art: Daniel Buren&rsquo;s 1986 installation <em>Les Deux Plateau</em>, apparently more commonly known as <em>Colonnes de Buren</em>. I&rsquo;m assuming that for such a worldly audience as ArtSlant&rsquo;s, these titles need no translation. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">But what is it? Well, it&rsquo;s a grid of 260 candy-stripped columns, in a grid of candy-stripped lines in the 3000-square meter courtyard of a former royal palace, now a fashionable shopping arcade (a more fitting use of the term "shopping arcade" I challenge you to find). The majority of the columns are of uniform height (albeit with variation in a double cruciform pattern) and on one side, where the ground falls away, the columns maintain their height relative to the others. Furthermore, along the three lines of the double cross a metal grid runs over a sunken trench&mdash;apparently some kind of ventilation system&mdash;and here the columns extend below the surface. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140828082227-colonnes.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Daniel Buren, </strong><em>Les Deux Plateau</em> installation view; Courtesy of the Artist and Palais Royal</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">As research for this article, I took to the time to sit in the courtyard and look at this piece of work. It is impressive. It&rsquo;s not invasive; it&rsquo;s quite quiet, yet it manages to manipulate and blend with its context, to reimagine it and create something special in a site that was previously a car park. The grid delineates spaces and zones; they open the courtyard and make one more aware of its scale. The above ground/below ground movement of the columns emphasize the architecture of the city, the extension into unseen structure. They are also jaunty&mdash;there is something cheerful about the stripe, isn&rsquo;t there? And as I sat and looked at people jogging by, business people on phones, nannies pushing prams, tourists taking photographs, I thought&mdash;this is an unusual thing, isn&rsquo;t it? A piece of public art that isn&rsquo;t monumental, that people pass on a daily basis as part of their normal interaction with the city, and yet it doesn&rsquo;t disappear into the background? </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140828082359-les-deux-plateaux.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Daniel Buren,</strong> <em>Les Deux Plateau</em> installation view; Courtesy of the Artist and Palais Royal</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Of course, there is something to be said about Buren&rsquo;s conceptual statement of limiting himself to stripes 8.7 centimeters wide and so on. How such a small formal mechanism can be made to serve great purpose&hellip; etc&hellip; but, as I sat there, I realized that really none of these people care about this. I don&rsquo;t think they care about the words or the cleverness that can surround this work, and so, in a sense, I didn&rsquo;t think I needed to. The single most remarkable thing about this work for me is that people basically do the same thing when they enter it: either they walk through and look at it, or, if they are going to interact with it, they climb on top of a column, and all, more often than not, for the purpose of taking a photograph. The more adventurous sorts try and climb on as high a column as they possibly can, and the tallest, at about 1.5 meters is just about as high as a relatively healthy human can climb (someone who isn&rsquo;t a specialist, that is). Then, when they have mounted their column, whether for a photograph or not, they turn and smile at the people who are either also standing on columns or standing down below on the ground looking up at them. It is a smile of simple pleasure.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/273879-james-loks?tab=REVIEWS">James Loks</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top: <strong>Daniel Buren,</strong> <em>Les Deux Plateau</em> installation view; Courtesy of the Artist and Palais Royal)</span></p> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 19:40:46 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list September in New York: Maneuver the mania <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">There is a shift in every August when this art critic&rsquo;s inbox goes from near vacancy to nearly too packed to approach. The slim pickings of late summer exhibitions explode into a buffet of delicious opportunities. Great art, it seems, is everywhere in the city and the challenge (for me) is to not grotesquely over consume, which has taken years of practice and willpower development. And even still, it&rsquo;s not a guarantee. In fact, despite my best efforts to maneuver the mania I have not yet moved through a fall season without seeing more art than I intended to. I really can&rsquo;t help myself, but that doesn&rsquo;t stop me from trying to make a plan. Here are a half a dozen shows that I&rsquo;m already itching to visit.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Vastly ambitious art projects that take years&mdash;even lifetimes&mdash;to work through tend to inspire feelings of awe, dedication and a sense of single minded pursuit that seems increasingly rare in our culture of instant updates and groupthink decision making. <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/events/show/352395-painting-"><em>Roman Opalka: </em></a><em><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/events/show/352395-painting-">Painting &infin;</a>&nbsp;</em>at <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/venues/show/41642-dominique-l%C3%A9vy-gallery">Dominique L&eacute;vy</a> will pay tribute to the French artist who began painting numbers on canvas in 1965 and didn&rsquo;t quit until his death in 2009. The material isn&rsquo;t new, but the show is presented with fresh scholarship and a collection of paintings and works on paper from earlier in his career that haven&rsquo;t been seen often in New York. Hopefully the show will put a new light on Opalka&rsquo;s legendary lifework.</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/20140828074538-McCollum_PerfectCouples_SetOf60_-24646_2.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Allan McCollum</strong>, <em>The Shapes Project: Collection of Sixty Perfect Couples</em>, 2005/2012, Acrylic with varnish on wood in sixty parts, Each panel size: 10 x 10 inches; 25.4 x 25.4 cm,&nbsp; Installation dimensions variable, Each panel is signed, identification numbered and dated on reverse, AM 14/017; Courtesy of the artist and Petzel, New York</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In a related vein, <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/venues/show/36626-petzel-gallery">Petzel Gallery</a> is hosting Allan McCollum&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/events/show/354291-the-shapes-project-perfect-couples"><em>The Shapes Project: Perfect Couples</em></a>. Back in 2005 McCollum set out to create a unique shape for every person on the planet; he estimated around 31 trillion. For this show McCollum plans to link up shapes in a way that will suggest human relationships. That might sound simple enough, but McCollum has a track record for exposing mind-bending complexities behind seemingly straightforward endeavors.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Similarly retrospective, one of my favorite Brooklyn galleries, Pierogi, will launch its twentieth anniversary exhibition this September. The plan, apparently, is to pack the place, which should not be too hard. The quantity of tremendous artists whose work has graced the walls of Pierogi over the last two decades is astounding. The challenge, I imagine, will be figuring out how to hang it all.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">As a sort of counterpoint to the big Pierogi show, I&rsquo;m eager to see Rachel Sussman&rsquo;s exhibition at <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/venues/show/46285-pioneer-works">Pioneer Works</a>, <em>The Oldest Living Things in the World</em>. Sussman has been traveling the globe working on this project since 2004, collaborating with scientists on multiple continents to photograph and catalog life forms that have been going for 2,000 years or more. I have an inkling this show will astound with its scope and images of deeply aged beauty.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20140902134722-Ragnar_A-Lot-of-Sorrow-18.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Ragnar Kjartansson and The National,</strong> <em>A Lot of Sorrow</em>, 2013, Six hour performance by The National of their song "Sorrow," <em>A Lot of Sorrow</em> by Ragnar Kjartansson took place at MoMA PS1, as part of Sunday Sessions. Sunday Sessions is organized by Jenny Schlenzka, Associate Curator with Mike Skinner, Producer and Alex Sloane, VW Fellow. Photograph: Elisabet Davids</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">If existing on Earth for a couple thousand years can be thought of as a durational project, then a working metaphor might be a band playing a three minute tune for six hours, without stopping. That&rsquo;s what The National managed to do last year at the behest of Icelandic artist Ragner Kjartansson. Their performance is now being presented as a single channel video, cheekily titled <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/events/show/354270-a-lot-of-sorrow"><em>A Lot of Sorrow</em></a>, at <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/venues/show/29403-luhring-augustine-bushwick">Luhring Augustine</a>&rsquo;s Bushwick space. (The National&rsquo;s tune is called, simply, &ldquo;Sorrow.&rdquo;) This may be the most boring music video ever made, but then again it may not be. What&rsquo;s exciting is the possibility of such an extreme endeavor, no doubt a marvel just to ruminate upon.</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/20140828075232-La_Town_press_4.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Cao Fei</strong>, <em>La Town</em> (still), 2014; Courtesy of the artist and Lombard Freid Gallery, NY</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;">Also working in video, but in a wildly different direction, the Chinese artist Cao Fei will be presenting her new work, <em><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/events/show/354267-la-town">LA TOWN</a>,</em> (2014) at <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/venues/show/415-lombard-freid-gallery">Lombard Fried</a>. Fei&rsquo;s last major work was the sprawling digital village she created on Second Life, <em>RMB City</em>, where the artist spent a lot of time in the guise of her avatar, China Tracy, interacting with many who chose to visit. Like <em>RMB City</em>, this new work is based off a masterfully crafted diorama in which the dramas of life unfold. However, she&rsquo;s returned from the digital realm to the world of plastic and wood, and she&rsquo;s brought in a sound track that gives the video (or at least the trailer) a strong narrative thrust.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">These six shows will anchor my initial forays into the fall season. They will be the destinations, but as is so often the case in this city, one rarely gets to one&rsquo;s destination without making a few stops along the way.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/5828-charlie-schultz?tab=REVIEWS">Charlie Schultz</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:&nbsp;<strong>Rachel Sussman</strong>, <em>Llareta #0308- 2B31 (2,000 + years old, Atacama Desert, Chile)</em>;&nbsp;Courtesy the artist and Pioneer Works]</span></p> Tue, 09 Sep 2014 08:57:50 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Too Much Van Gogh: A journey from 3D to 2D and back again <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">There&rsquo;s </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/visit-vincent" target="_blank">some buzz</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> in New York this summer because all seventeen of the Met&rsquo;s van Gogh paintings are on view together for the first time in over ten years. That&rsquo;s nice, though an abundance of van Gogh paintings isn&rsquo;t something that preoccupies us too much here in Amsterdam. In fact, right now we&rsquo;ve got too many&mdash;including quite a few of the ones currently installed at the Met.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Packed wall-to-wall in the basement of the Beurs van Berlage these days are some two hundred digitally &ldquo;re-created&rdquo; paintings amassed under the modest title: <em>Van Gogh: The Ultimate Collection</em>. The traveling exhibition, a reincarnation of <em>Van Gogh: My Dream Exhibition </em>(2012-2013), is organized by </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.localworld.nl/" target="_blank">Local World</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, a Dutch communications bureau, and it&rsquo;s the type of thing you&rsquo;d find right at home in, say, Las Vegas, Disney, or another place where mimicry cheerfully supersedes authenticity. But we&rsquo;re not in Vegas. We&rsquo;re in Amsterdam. And <em>The Ultimate Collection</em> is open for business a mile and a half from the <em>actual</em> largest collection of van Gogh artworks in the world&mdash;</span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ams/venues/show/4241-van-gogh-museum">the Van Gogh Museum</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;and about sixty miles from the second largest collection, the </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ew/venues/show/18930-kr%C3%B6ller-m%C3%BCller-museum">Kr&ouml;ller-M&uuml;ller Museum</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> in Otterlo. What can one learn from facsimile when reality beckons around the corner?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">On a beautiful July morning my colleague Manus Groenen and I met in Amsterdam for a day of feasting our eyes on van Gogh. We&rsquo;d see it all: the &ldquo;ultimate&rdquo; and the real. We&rsquo;d discover what could be gleaned from the virtual that might be overlooked in the flesh. Remember: we did this so you don&rsquo;t have to. Our reactions follow.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Andrea Alessi, August 2014</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/OeDCL-YKvps" frameborder="0" width="640" height="390"></iframe></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">Courtesy YouTube</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;"><strong>Andrea Alessi:</strong> I don&rsquo;t know about you, but I really wanted to give <em>Van Gogh: The Ultimate Collection</em> the benefit of the doubt. Even so, I think we were feeling a bit snarky going into this experiment, weren&rsquo;t we?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>Manus Groenen:</strong> Yes, I wasn&acute;t sure what to expect. I tried to approach the whole thing as the average tourist and just be open minded, but my art historical side was critical from the start. If you are brave enough to call your exhibition <em>The Ultimate Collection</em> without having any actual van Gogh paintings&mdash;that alone made my skin crawl.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>AA:</strong> One of the things I think we were both wondering was: who is going to this exhibition, and why are they choosing it over visiting the Van Gogh Museum? Do you think we found any answers?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>MG:</strong> If you are an average tourist who just wants to see Amsterdam highlights, I can imagine visiting <em>The Ultimate Collection</em> sounds interesting. The show doesn&acute;t hide the fact that it only shows re-created works. This allows the exhibition to include prints of works that you can&rsquo;t see in the Van Gogh Museum because they belong to other museums or private collections from all over the world. They even have a section where you can see works that don&rsquo;t exist anymore because they are missing or destroyed!</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>AA:</strong> That was probably the coolest part, I should add. It was installed in an ornate vault, accompanied by tales of theft, fire, and Nazis&hellip;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>MG:</strong> Besides that, the exhibition claims to show van Gogh&rsquo;s works as he intended them. &ldquo;The colour and detail that has been lost in the passing of time are restored, thanks to cutting-edge digital imaging technology.&rdquo; The promise of seeing the ultimate show, all of his best works, the way van Gogh intended them does sound appealing. The fact that they included seven of his works in 3D animation even got me a bit excited. I don&rsquo;t really mind innovative ways of making historic art more appealing to the audience. I expected an immersive experience in the lines of </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://grandeexhibitions.com/traveling-exhibitions/van-gogh-alive/" target="_blank">this one</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;definitely not the real thing, but a fun way to experience van Gogh&rsquo;s work.&nbsp; </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>AA:</strong> Yes! That sort of over-the-top, outsized experience is exactly what I was hoping for. As you said, and to their credit, the staff at <em>The Ultimate Collection</em> were clear that this is something very different from the Van Gogh Museum. In hindsight, I see it as an exhibition about a historical figure&mdash;who could have been an artist, a musician, a politician, a doctor&mdash;that just happens to be illustrated by &ldquo;paintings,&rdquo; whereas the Van Gogh Museum privileges the art. There&rsquo;s almost an inverse focus, despite some of the same tools, themes, and strategies being used: both had a roughly chronological layout and both addressed the chemical changes in paint color over time, one in an obviously more sophisticated way.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>MG:</strong> Yes, I agree with your point on storytelling. The fact that colors change over time is an interesting issue. Seeing the actual paintings after seeing their (screamingly bright) recreations did make me wonder about van Gogh&rsquo;s intentions more. The Van Gogh Museum devotes two rooms to exactly these problems concerning fading colors, the artist&rsquo;s intention, and conservation.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>AA:</strong> I hadn&rsquo;t realized van Gogh <em>knew</em> how volatile some of his colors were&mdash;particularly red. His awareness further complicates notions of intention. The Van Gogh Museum quotes the artist as saying: &ldquo;All the colors that Impressionism has made fashionable are unstable, all the more reason to boldly use them too raw, time will only soften them too much.&rdquo;</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/20140828065240-installation_view_with_portrait.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><em>Van Gogh: The Ultimate Collection</em>, Installation view with overzealous spot lighting</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>MG: </strong>That was amazing to see after seeing the other show first. The attempts at recreating van Gogh&rsquo;s intended colors in the Beurs van Berlage were interesting, although they appeared a bit cheap and didn&rsquo;t go into the research behind it that much. It was quite psychedelic at times. There were some remarks in the guestbook that said things like &ldquo;yes, we were stoned watching this!&rdquo; with drawings of marijuana leaves and bongs. This more colorful and trippy 3D van Gogh might be a good exhibition to visit stoned. When sober, the real thing would be your best choice.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>AA:</strong> From what I hear, the Van Gogh Museum is pretty great to visit high. Maybe the 3D animations were meant to imitate the classic tourist activity of getting baked before visiting the Van Gogh Museum. Not only did <em>The Ultimate Collection </em>replicate the paintings, but it also replicated the van Gogh tourist experience! Meta.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>MG:</strong> What offended me most is the pretense that this exhibition shows van Gogh&rsquo;s work &ldquo;as he himself envisioned it&rdquo;! That is quite a powerful claim to make, especially for a show with only prints. If you make this promise you should deliver an amazing show, backing it up with loads of research and evidence of which almost none is shown. I think it would be hard to find van Gogh complain in one of his letters about the fact that his paintings weren&rsquo;t 3D animations or cheap prints. So please don&rsquo;t make these kinds of statements.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>AA:</strong> Ha! How do you <em>really</em> feel? I agree that the execution was a disappointment. The works were unframed, printed on firm board. A couple were pretty low-res. The wall colors were distracting and text from the previous exhibition was still visible through the paint. The spot lighting was awful. Some of the images were crooked&mdash;I straightened one out!</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">I&rsquo;d rather leave it there though and instead think about what we learned in comparison, because, let&rsquo;s face it, by the time we went to the Van Gogh Museum we&rsquo;d never been so excited to see some van Gogh paintings in our lives. And I think we were particularly tuned in to things like color, brushstroke, and technique. Do you have any observations about seeing the very same works we&rsquo;d seen in reproduction in person?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>MG:</strong> I&rsquo;ve gotten used to seeing reproductions of artworks as images, be it online or in books. I think I even have a van Gogh tie hidden somewhere. (A gift people seem to think an art historian appreciates because I&rsquo;ve got a Dali one as well.) But these reproductions tend to reduce a painting to an image and mere decoration, but a real painting is more than an image&mdash;it is an object too&mdash;and especially things like visible brushstrokes, the mass of pasty clods of paint and the way light and shadows work on these make the originals much more vibrant than any reproduction.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140828065425-potato_eaters_comparison.jpg" alt="" /></strong><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">Like they teach you in art history class: don&rsquo;t trust reproductions! The differences you can&nbsp;<a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vincent_Van_Gogh_-_The_Potato_Eaters.png" target="_blank">find</a>&nbsp;<a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Van-willem-vincent-gogh-die-kartoffelesser-03850.jpg" target="_blank">online</a>&nbsp;demonstrate how widely they can vary.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Vincent van Gogh<em>, </em></strong><em>The Potato Eaters</em>, Nuenen,&nbsp;April 1885, Oil on canvas, 82 &times; 114 cm (32.3 &times; 44.9 in); Collection Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam; Courtesy Vincent van Gogh Stichting <br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>AA:</strong> Exactly. It was unbelievable how much we missed that in the imitations. The <em>texture</em> of the paint and brushstrokes was so critical by comparison. In some instances the colors were muddier&mdash;particularly in paintings from van Gogh&rsquo;s early Dutch period. <em>The Potato Eaters</em> and some early still lifes are so dark you can hardly see what&rsquo;s happening. In <em>The Ultimate Collection&rsquo;s</em> &ldquo;restored&rdquo; version there appeared to be a mysterious light source other than the lamp hanging from the ceiling. There were also a couple early paintings&mdash;such as <em>Avenue of Poplars in Autumn</em>, with its yellows and oranges&mdash;that were so vibrantly retouched I hardly recognized them in the Van Gogh Museum.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">I want to go back to the 3D animations. We both kind of liked them&mdash;you wanted the 3D <em>Almond Blossom </em>as your screensaver!&mdash;and it would have been great if everything was hyper-real like that. In the Van Gogh Museum gift shop there were 3D printed copies of a few paintings (on sale for a mere 25,000 euro). These were fascinating. If <em>The Ultimate Collection</em> had used a technique like that, it would have been a very different story. It would have opened onto what&rsquo;s real, what&rsquo;s important in looking at an artwork: does aura matter? But <em>The Ultimate Collection</em> images were so clearly reproductions&mdash;and not very good ones&mdash;that it kind of cut that discussion off.</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/20140828065717-manus_and_almond_blossoms.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(left) Manus looking at 3D animation of <em>Almond Blossoms</em> in <em>The Ultimate Collection;</em> (right) Manus looking at 3D printed reproduction of <em>Almond Blossoms</em> in the Van Gogh Museum gift shop. (Did we just blow your mind?)</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><strong>MG</strong><strong>:</strong> Yes, I did like the 3D animations! There was one featuring a painting van Gogh made in the Saint-Paul Asylum in Saint-R&eacute;my&mdash;they used it to create a strange, being lost paranoia effect, which I liked. I wouldn&rsquo;t mind seeing one of those in the Van Gogh Museum as a fun gimmick to enhance the drama of the story for those with less imaginative capacities. I expected it to be more over the top, cut off ears coming right at you and stuff.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">I agree with you that this discussion about the real thing versus reproductions isn&rsquo;t complicated by <em>The Ultimate Collection</em>. But it did make me excited about the real thing. To leave Benjamin&rsquo;s notion of the Aura alone, perhaps it&rsquo;s more appropriate to call the real artworks celebrities. Doesn&rsquo;t matter how many movies Brad Pitt is in, in reality he still is swarmed by fans and paparazzi that want to make even more images of him. The unique real thing is what people still want to see. Even if it&rsquo;s just for the duration of the time the audio tour stops you in front of a painting, people love spending time with the real thing. Perhaps just for the feeling of having been there, but still that counts for something.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/95201-andrea-alessi?tab=REVIEWS">Andrea Alessi</a> and <a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/248299-manus-groenen?tab=REVIEWS">Manus Groenen</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>Vincent van Gogh</strong>, <em>Self-portrait with Bandaged Ear, Easel and Japanese Print</em>, January 1889, Oil on canvas, 60 &times; 49&nbsp;cm; Collection of the Courtauld Institute Galleries, London / Two reproductions of the same van Gogh painting, as </span><span style="font-size: x-small;"><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-portraits_by_Vincent_van_Gogh#mediaviewer/File:VanGogh-self-portrait-with_bandaged_ear.jpg" target="_blank">found</a></span><span style="font-size: x-small;"> <a href="http://www.wikiart.org/en/vincent-van-gogh/self-portrait-with-bandaged-ear-1889#close" target="_blank">online</a></span><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">)</span></p> Sun, 31 Aug 2014 20:09:44 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Lucas Samaras' Offerings from a Restless Soul <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The path to the Lucas Samaras exhibition,&nbsp;<em>Offerings from a Restless Soul</em>, at the Metropolitan Museum proved to be a fortuitous one. It led me though the Greek and Roman Galleries, filled with remnants of classical art, works that undoubtedly inspired Samaras, a Greek-born artist who came to America in 1948.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Two works stayed with me as I made my way to the Samaras show: the marble head of a youth, attributed to the Greek sculptor Polykleitos, with its strong muscular face, aquiline nose, and locks of hair carved carefully in the stone, and a statue of a kouros (youth), ca 590-580 BC, said to be one of the earliest marble statues of a human figure, which marked the grave of a young Athenian aristocrat. Chuck Close&rsquo;s painting of Lucas Samaras, <em>Lucas I</em>&nbsp;(1986-7), in the intervening contemporary gallery, 915, created a good link between the two galleries hosting Samaras&rsquo; show.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Samaras and Marla Prather, Curator in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art, have installed sixty works for <em>Offerings</em>, mostly drawn from the museum&rsquo;s collection, though seventeen pieces were newly gifted by the artist. The show came to being as a collaboration between the artist and the curator and Samaras&rsquo; influence is apparent in many of the curatorial decisions.</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/20140826072206-Untitled_Drawing_1963.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Lucas Samaras</strong>, <em>Untitled</em>, Drawing, 1963;&nbsp;Courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The show&rsquo;s title, <em>Offerings from a Restless Soul</em>, came from Samaras who is clearly a man of literary inclination. He prefers the word &ldquo;offerings&rdquo; to &ldquo;exhibit,&rdquo; which creates a sense that this show is less structured and more personal. Is this modesty on his part or rather a political statement, a criticism of the formality of many art exhibitions?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Although the show might be understood as a retrospective, with work representing different moments and styles in the artist&rsquo;s long career, it is not organized chronologically. Rather, works are grouped by types: charcoal drawings, pin art, dot drawings, photo-transformations, self-portraits, and constructions&mdash;an extraordinary diversity, however uneven, from a man who was also an actor and writer.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Samaras was very engaged in the installation. He not only helped install the work but&nbsp;also designed the walls in the spaces. Gallery 914 is wallpapered in a design taken from one of his pastel drawings and in Gallery 916 striking colored arches frame the walls. The wallpaper is particularly effective, creating another layer or complex background for the pastels hanging on it.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Undoubtedly, the most impressive part of the exhibit is Samaras&rsquo; small pastels, or &ldquo;colored dust&rdquo; as he calls them. These are intricate and often surreal works, where geometric motifs are occasionally interlaced with nude bodies. There is a powerful tension between the chalky medium and Samaras&rsquo; geometric grids, lines, squiggles, and shapes, distinguishing these drawings. In the wall text accompanying the pastels, we learn that Samaras drew on sheets of paper in his lap, completing several compositions in one sitting: &ldquo;Then,&rdquo; he wrote, his &ldquo;mind and hand would have absorbed too much color, too much chalk,&rdquo; and he would stop. The description of his process seems to fit these free-association works which feel as if they were completed rapidly.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">These early pastels from the 1960s (he also returned to work in pastels in 1974 and in 1981) are so dense with color that they resemble fabric woven of artful dots and lines. Samaras repeats sequences of colors in patterns, often subtly altering the shapes of the objects.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In <em>Untitled Drawing (</em>1974) his palette moves through a succession of colors, with grey on the outside edge of the square and dark blue in the center, but if you look carefully, the centers vary in shape and size. This is Samaras playing tricks with what we see, creating repetitions that are not quite repetitions.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In <em>Untitled Drawing</em> from August 7, 1961, a man peers into a red device, much like an x-ray machine, where we see red stuff inside a body that suggests internal organs. Samaras&rsquo; use of dabs of color, red and orange in the lower half of the work, contrast markedly with the squiggles of white, green, and blue. Here, as in all of his works, the human form is muscular, reminiscent of the marble head sculpted by Polykleitos.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Other works in the show are clever but lack, somehow, the power of the pastels. Two <em>Chair Transformations</em>, sculptural pieces from 1969-1970, stand in the middle of Gallery 914. For Samaras, whose name in Greek means &ldquo;saddle maker,&rdquo; the form of chairs clearly holds a personal appeal. One chair in the exhibit, fabricated in 1969, was originally covered with cotton batting which became soiled over time. The artist&rsquo;s response, a decade later, was to strip the chair down to its original frame and to marbleize its surface with white on black paint, a new work of art.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Family history, too, plays an important role in Samaras&rsquo; work. After learning that his mother had a miscarriage before he was born, Samaras began his <em>Wound</em> paintings. One of them, <em>Wound #18</em>, hangs on its own wall in Gallery 916, a thickly textured acrylic, with a deeply riveting, red wound.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">A gift of Sculp-metal, a clay-like material, resulted in the artist creating wall-mounted reliefs, several with razor blades, pins, and mangled cutlery. These works are not Samaras at his best and although he wrote that he was interested in the tension between the Sculp-metal surface and &ldquo;the pricking intrusion,&rdquo; that tension is not apparent. Despite the blade and the sharp objects, these works do not have the raw power of his <em>Wound</em> painting.</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/20140826072406-Remnants_from_18_Happenings_in_6_Parts.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>Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg</strong>, Remnants from <em>18 Happenings in 6 Parts, </em>1959;&nbsp;Courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art</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;">The last piece in the show is a canvas with black vertical stripes and circles by Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg that was rescued by Samaras from Allan Kaprow&rsquo;s <em>18 Happenings in 6 Parts</em> (1959) at the Reuben Gallery in the East Village. Although he participated in many of Kaprow&rsquo;s Happenings, Samaras did <em>not</em> contribute to this work. We are left wondering why end with this piece?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">On balance, Samaras has offered us a thought provoking show, one that reveals much about the artist even when it seems to conceal.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/193600-roslyn-bernstein?tab=REVIEWS">Roslyn Bernstein</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> Lucas Samaras</strong>, Installation view; Courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art)</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 20:31:41 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list A World's Fair tribute in a New York neighborhood mash up <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">New York City has always been a draw for an eclectic mix of artists working across the visual and performing arts. Its underground pubs and speakeasies, expansive loft spaces, museums, sidewalks, and streets have served as creative inspiration for all kinds of movements including jazz, expressionism, Fluxus, hip-hop, and punk. Despite all of that creative energy and expression, the city has also been a beautiful breeding ground for social and cultural dissonance. While New York may not be known for the kind of territorial neighborhood culture akin to a highly segregated &ldquo;city of neighborhoods&rdquo; like Chicago, space and community do matter here. Our island is only about 13.5 miles long and nearly just under 2.5 miles across at its widest. In reality, East isn&rsquo;t actually that far away from West, but sometimes it&rsquo;s just easier to stay local. As rental and real estate costs have skyrocketed alongside stagnant incomes, all New Yorkers&mdash;especially artists&mdash;seem to be on a never-ending hunt for space to match their incomes and expenses. That hunt, though, often requires social sacrifice. What happens when creative communities are forced together for financial rather than social reasons?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">In an effort to explore connections between cultural geographies, artistic scenes, and factors influencing them, Rachel Uffner Gallery presented <em>The Crystal Palace</em>, an expansive group exhibition named after the first World&rsquo;s Fair held in London in 1851 and in celebration of the 50th anniversary of New York City's own 1964 World's Fair. The exhibition features artists affiliated with local Uptown and Downtown scenes working across genres ranging from Pop to Surrealism, figuration, assemblage, and more. Many of the artworks were borrowed from the vast archives of <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/venues/show/43852-richard-l-feigen-co">Richard L. Feigen &amp; Co.</a>, the estate of Stan VanDerBeek, and other private lenders. Notably, the mail art and collages of Ray Johnson (1927-1995), an active and somewhat reluctant participant in New York&rsquo;s 1950s Downtown scene, make a strong appearance in the exhibit. With artwork mixed together and installed without regard to chronology or genre, Rachel Uffner&rsquo;s sleek space, which is located outside of traditional gallery districts&mdash;even the burgeoning one in the Lower East Side&mdash;provided the perfect blank canvas for considering questions about hyper-local and intra-city difference.</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/20140824101218-DG-2-PH.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Daniel Gordon,</strong> <em>Crescent Eyed Portrait</em>, 2012, Chromogenic print, 40 x 30 inches; Courtesy of the artist and Wallspace Gallery</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Stan VanDerBeek&rsquo;s collage <em>Science Fiction</em> (1959) riffs on ideas about modernism with a surrealist flair. In the collage, a man with a cigar in his mouth and a winding key in his back is surrounded by time pieces and typewriters. Images of a bustling metropolis that fill the remainder of the image&mdash;people crowded into the streets and hurrying about&mdash;suggest not only the march of time but also industrial progress. Contemporary critical darling Daniel Gordon is represented by <em>Crescent Eyed Portrait</em> (2012), a chromogenic print from the &ldquo;Still Lifes, Portraits &amp; Parts&rdquo; series that carries echoes of collage in its staging. The shadowed profile of a young woman&rsquo;s face is visible the background while the found, cutout images used to create her shadow reveal the layers of her composition in the foreground: a cut slit for one of her eyes, torn, curling paper as her mouth and teeth, and glued bits making up her hair. These works were not installed near each other, but both felt timeless in their critical reflections. VanDerBeek&rsquo;s images evoke social concerns of the 1950s like the hysteria about &ldquo;little green men,&rdquo; the wonders of space, and technology; Gordon&rsquo;s staged and posed photographs press further, inviting comment on the effects of technologically manipulated images.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Ray Johnson&rsquo;s mail art piece <em>Untitled (Blue Bunny with Pop Art)</em>&nbsp;(1958-94) also playfully juxtaposes images contemplating the pace of modern culture. The lower left corner shows a red Mickey Mouse-like figure with a risqu&eacute;-looking Minnie Mouse wearing high heels fused to it&mdash;perhaps a nod to the evolving ideas about the role of American women&mdash;while ghostly blobs in grays and blacks hover in the background. A portion of the lingering figures have been traced with dotted scissor guides, and beneath them, Johnson wrote instructions that the cut portion should be removed and sent to the artist Robert Indiana in care of Paris gallerist Denise Ren&eacute;. Across the way, Anya Kielar&rsquo;s macabre sculpture <em>Les Doubles Dames</em> (2011) acts like a surrealist cabinet of curiosities or demented game of exquisite corpse. Painted plaster and burlap body parts&mdash;breasts, feet, forearms&mdash;hang from rope tied to trundles suspended across a wooden frame, creating the eerily disembodied remnant of a human being.</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/20140824101430-AKI-4-SC.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #525552;"><strong>Anya Keilar, </strong><em>Les Doubles Dames</em>, 2011, Plaster, paint, glue, burlap, rope, wood,&nbsp; artwork: 84 x 36 x 12 inches base: 6 x 40 x 14 inches; Courtesy of the artist and Rachel Uffner Gallery</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">New York&rsquo;s so-called Uptown and Downtown, or high and low divisions can be arbitrary at worst and situational at best. An old saying about change in the city goes something like, "If you don&rsquo;t like the neighborhood, just wait because it will change soon enough.&rdquo; New scenes are emerging constantly; new people are always discovering new sources of inspiration from what&rsquo;s around them. Forced communing is never ideal, but real magical creativity can blossom when artists are forced out of their cultural or geographic comfort zones. Reaching out across boundaries doesn&rsquo;t automatically ensure the flattening of culture. <em>The Crystal Palace</em>&nbsp;shows how mixing up spatial geographies also contributes to the vibrant eclecticism of city life.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/124946-lee-ann-norman?tab=REVIEWS">Lee Ann Norman</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top: <strong>Stan VanDerBeek</strong>, <em>Science Friction, </em>1959, Collage, paint, and ink , Framed: 35.6 x 48.9 cm; &copy; Courtesy of the estate of Stan VanDerBeek)</span></p> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 12:23:59 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list NUART FESTIVAL 2014. "Beneath the pavement, The Beach" <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">I&rsquo;ve been doing a bit of studying up lately. So far I&rsquo;ve learned that the rules concerning the sale of alcohol in Norway rival those I&rsquo;ve encountered in Utah: not available on Sundays, or after 6pm most days; for some reason there&rsquo;s a couple of days in May that are totally off-limits; oh and supermarkets only sell beer that&rsquo;s 2.5% alcohol (worse than Utah&rsquo;s 3.2!), for the stronger stuff you&rsquo;ve got to go to someplace called Vinmonopolet (I&rsquo;d venture a guess that literally means &ldquo;wine monopoly&rdquo;), which is a state-run non-profit organization. And of course if you buy a beer at a bar, it will likely set you back around $13. Can&rsquo;t be easy to be an alcoholic in Norway! Seems like I&rsquo;ll be nursing that beer all night.<span style="font-size: small;"><a title="" href="#_ftn1"><span style="color: #000000;">[</span></a></span></span><span style="font-size: small;"><a title="" href="#_ftn1">1</a><span style="color: #000000;"><a title="" href="#_ftn1"><span style="color: #000000;">]</span></a></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="color: #000000;"><span style="color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140823152016-10527276_10152123833271213_3089871717000820581_n.jpg" alt="" /></span></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">I&rsquo;ve undertaken this research because I&rsquo;m headed to Norway, to Stavanger, for this year&rsquo;s Nuart Festival, featuring artists like Tilt, Martin Whatson, Icy &amp; Sot, Borondo, dotdotdot, Mathieu Tremblin, Maismenos, M-City, Levalet, Spy, Etam Cru, Andreco, fra.biancoshock, and others who will be painting the town red&hellip; and blue, and black, and yellow&hellip; I&rsquo;m happy to announce that I will be representing ArtSlant for Nuart Plus (September 4-6), where I will be joining the likes of RJ Rushmore of Vandalog, Carlo McCormick, Evan Pricco of Juxtapoz, Brooklyn Street Art&rsquo;s Steve Harrington and Jaime Rojo, to discuss the state of the art, the rise of muralism and street art&rsquo;s activist roots. You can find the </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.nuartfestival.no/nuart-plus">schedule of talks here</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">And take a look at the epic teaser video Nuart just released a few days ago:</span></p> <p><iframe src="//player.vimeo.com/video/103081754" frameborder="0" width="700" height="394"></iframe></p> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/103081754">NUART FESTIVAL 2014. PROMO</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/nuart">NUART</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">You can also read </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslantstreet.com/articles/show/36969">our report from last year</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">, by Jonathan Roze.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Now, back to my research, where I am&mdash;likely unnecessarily&mdash;trying to master a few Norwegian phrases...</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">See you in Stavanger!</span></p> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140823152222-Nuart_Plus.jpg" alt="" /></div> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140823152256-nuart2014-flyer_for_website.jpg" alt="" /></div> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140823152317-nuart-plus2014_flyer_web.png" alt="" /></div> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140823152126-san_spy_madrid_spain-6.jpg" alt="" /><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; color: #000000;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref1"><span style="color: #000000;">[</span></a></span><span style="font-size: small;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref1">1</a></span><span style="font-size: small; color: #000000;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref1"><span style="color: #000000;">]</span></a> But not likely during this, which I&rsquo;m heartily looking forward to: </span><span style="font-size: small;"><a href="http://www.artslantstreet.com/venues/show/42873-nuart-festival">Fight Club</a></span><span style="font-size: small; color: #000000;">.</span></p> </div> </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;">&mdash;Natalie Hegert</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">(All images: Courtesy of NuArt Festival)</span></p> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 19:54:24 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list RELIGION . P$YCHEDELIC$ . HIP HOP <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Beijing based artist Chen Tianzhuo&rsquo;s new solo show, &ldquo;PICNIC PARADI$E BITCH,&rdquo; at the Bank Gallery in Shanghai is not to be missed. On the second floor of what appears to be an old worn down British style building is an exhibition that will send your mind tripping on Cantonese dwarf rappers, transsexual gangsters, marijuana induced hallucinations, and live carnal performances involving My Little Pony tail butt plugs.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The young artist received his undergraduate degree in graphic design at Saint Martins and his masters in fine art at the Chelsea College of Art and Design, spending a total of seven years in the UK before returning to China to kick-start his art career. Europe&rsquo;s creative environment largely influenced his outlook on the possibilities of art, catapulting his practice across a wide variety of mediums and forms. While beginning with painting, sculpture and installation, Chen dabbled in fashion and is currently developing a new leaning towards performance and happenings. Just last year, his solo show &ldquo;Tianzhuo&rsquo;s Acid Club&rdquo; at Star Gallery in Beijing created a cult like gathering of artists, buyers, drug dealers, and everyone in between to join together in one night of dance and fun. The remnants of the party remained on show in the space for a month after.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140823094349-023.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The current exhibition at Bank Gallery is an extension of this interest in performance. Two of the main pieces are the videos <em>PICNIC</em> and <em>PARADI$E BITCH</em> (both 2014) that make up the title of the show. <em>PARADI$E BITCH</em> is a two-channel video that depicts two neon-yellow-haired little people, tattooed with Chen&rsquo;s signature iconography&nbsp;&ndash; Hinduesque multi-limbed and multi-breasted women, marijuana leaves, hands, eyes, Ouroboros&nbsp;&ndash; adorned in bling, viciously spitting out Cantonese rap, while an eyebrow-less Asian woman dances between them in a brightly colored hockey jersey with LED light beams shooting out of her mouth.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Chen calls <em>PICNIC</em> the teaser for his up-coming &ldquo;hip-hopera,&rdquo; <em>ADAHA</em>, which he will be producing next year in collaboration with performance artist Beio. In the video an androgynous character puts on a space helmet connected to a bong and as he gets high, he starts hallucinating about a strange character in a sling and Sailor Moon bondage mask dancing butoh in front of neon lights arranged in the shape of a halo. The end of the video shows both characters and the two dwarfs, this time in silver and blue panda make-up, posing as Mary Magdalene, Jesus and the angels, in the death of Jesus Christ. During the opening, the wooden stage in Bank Gallery was utilized to stage an even more outrageous live performance by Beio and Liron Qian that is rumored to have brought some in the audience to tears of discomfort.</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/20140823094518-7.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Chen&rsquo;s work is a festival of cultural and visual juxtaposition, mixing past and present, religion and subculture, East and West, the holy and the taboo. It tramples over social norms of what is acceptable and appropriate, creating a unique aesthetic through garish visual choices. It is a breath of fresh air in Chinese art scene.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>&ldquo;PINIC PARADI$E BITCH&rdquo; will be up at Bank Gallery until August 31<sup>st</sup>. To see more of Chen&rsquo;s work, visit his website at </em></span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://tianzhuochen.com" target="_blank"><em>http://tianzhuochen.com</em></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>. Find PICNIC at </em></span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="https://vimeo.com/84060157" target="_blank"><em>https://vimeo.com/84060157</em></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>. Find PARADI$E BITCH at </em></span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="https://vimeo.com/102807393" target="_blank"><em>https://vimeo.com/102807393</em></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>. To see a video of his fashion design, visit </em></span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWEfBdLHHnw" target="_blank"><em>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWEfBdLHHnw</em></a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>.</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/371399-vivian-xu?tab=REVIEWS">Vivian Xu</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;">[All Images: <strong>Chen Tianzhuo(陈天灼)</strong>, performance shots of "<em>ADAHA</em>"; &copy; Photography by Zhuang Yan; Courtesy of the Artist]</span></p> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 14:34:13 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list (cosmic) love and coffee in the times of digital alienation: Gia, Amalia, Rosetta, Marina <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>Pink</em> is the color of teenagers' cheeks when they&rsquo;re secretly falling in love</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">For the third time in <em>Palo Alto</em> by Gia Coppola, they meet. It&rsquo;s daytime. They study at the same high school but not the same class. So much has happened since that disastrous party, they both thought it was over, their untold love would not survive. Walking towards each other, they pretend to not notice the disturbing presence of the other getting closer. They slow down their pace, in perfect harmony&mdash;look at each other. Silent bodies oozing adolescent love. He hands her a candy&mdash;does he mumble &ldquo;Milky Way&rdquo;?&mdash;she says she loves it.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Promise of eternal love. Her pink cheeks are burning. Urged by that unbearable shyness, she leaves without turning back.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt; text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">⁂</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>Cosmic latte</em> is the average colour of the universe according to a gaggle of astronomers at Johns Hopkins in 2001 (and art, according to me today). <em>From Beige to Sepia</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Sitting alone in her L.A. hotel room, she looks aimlessly at the skyline carved against the infinite horizon. She&rsquo;s heart-broken, lost in translation posing in front of a bland luxurious beige background. I picture her gazing into infinity.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Silent decay in L.A. Teenage lovers on Instagram, bleached hair, non-surgical surgery, silicon curves, sugar daddy, Yves Saint Laurent sandals. A subtly constructed universe of off-white averageness and discursive post-Marxism allows for wild online commenting to camouflage her compulsive self-documentation into art. Some people say flat white is the new latte.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Stalled in a maudlin adolescence, Amalia is smarter than your average hate.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140826162104-10406571_10204231768497148_9031428470398503978_n.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">June 2014 Facebook wall post by Amalia Ulman; Courtesy Amalia Ulman</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt; text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">⁂</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Notes on hook up culture, or the cosmic Ophelia</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">She endlessly speculates on a blurry picture, probably taken ages ago. So often, people try to look younger, hotter, smarter. As much as she studies its shape, behavior, and tries to see what it would look like in real life, it&rsquo;s only when they finally meet that she will know that it fulfills her expectations. It&rsquo;s been over a decade. Relying solely on probabilities and algorithms, only a crush would lead to the potential understanding of the origins of life.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt; text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">⁂</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Headline: Spacecraft Rosetta meets Chury, the comet. Philae, the lander, crashes.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt; text-align: center;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">⁂</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><em><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Two or Three Things I know about her</span></em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Melancholia whispered in a monochromatic tone. In the clip: a long, uncut, close-up shoot of a cup of black coffee. Held by an invisible actor, whose presence is only suggested by his soft, nostalgic voice, a spoon stirs the warm liquid. The remnants of foam are spinning like a real-time weather forecast.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&ldquo;(&hellip;)Since I cannot stop finding myself guilty although I am innocent, since every event changes my daily life, since I&rsquo;m constantly failing at communicating, I mean at understanding, at loving, and at being loved, and since every failure makes me feel my loneliness, since&hellip; since&hellip;(&hellip;)&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;Jean-Luc Godard,<em> 2 ou 3 choses que je sais d&rsquo;elle</em>, 1967</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Next shot. The close-up evolves into a dark abstract background on which a little planet or molecule of coffee foam is slowly fading away. The lulling voice keeps its litany.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/263155-elise-lammer">Elise Lammer</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(Image on top:&nbsp;<strong>Gia Coppola</strong>, Still from <em>Palo Alto</em>, 2013; Courtesy Gia Coppola)</span><br /></span></p> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 14:52:45 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Spiral Stories: Simon Starling at the MCA Chicago <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">An Italian/Polish Fiat, wheels to the wall, is anchored over your head. In the next room, two slabs of marble dominate the space&mdash;250 kg from Italy, one ton from China&mdash;floating above the floor. They support each other by means of a simple pulley. Further into the exhibition, helium-filled jacks hold up and balance a 4,900 lb. plate of Romanian steel. These three works are given top billing in <a href="http://www2.mcachicago.org/exhibition/simon-starling-metamorphology/" target="_blank"><em>Simon Starling: Metamorphology</em></a><em>,</em> the artist&rsquo;s first major American museum survey.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Starling is overdue for recognition in the United States, where a handful of one-person shows and representation by Casey Kaplan gallery in New York City stand in stark contrast to a stellar European record: prestigious exhibitions dating to the mid 1990s, participation in both the 50th and 53rd Venice Biennale, and the 2005 Turner Prize. As <em>Metamorphology </em>curator Dieter Roelstraete explains, &ldquo;That type of work [the Romanian steel piece, <em>Bird in Space, 2004</em>] is not well represented in the American museum landscape. It&rsquo;s work that has an investigative quality, that is quite research driven, and that interrogates history and art history in particular.&rdquo;<a title="" href="#_ftn1">[1]</a> This scarcity makes the MCA exhibition, together with <a href="http://www.artslant.com/chi/events/show/338367-pictures-for-an-exhibition"><em>Simon Starling: Pictures for an Exhibition</em></a>, a site-specific companion show at <a href="http://www.artslant.com/chi/venues/show/2369-the-arts-club-of-chicago">The Arts Club of Chicago</a>, all the more welcome.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</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/20140822040218-Simson_Starling_Fiat.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">Installation view, <em>Simon Starling: Metamorphology</em>, MCA Chicago. June 7 &ndash; November 2, 2014; Photo: Nathan Keay, &copy; MCA Chicago.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Eleven works are on display at the museum, ranging from large sculptural installations to photographic triptychs to slide documentation of a performance. Starling&rsquo;s major themes&mdash;an overriding interest in each medium&rsquo;s formal qualities, art historical stories, and the power of transformation&mdash;appear again and again, unifying the exhibition. At play are countless references to interconnected historical, art historical, economic, social, and political points of information. Seeing these coalesce in a single piece is dizzying.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>Birds in Space, 2004</em> is a multilayered reinvention of the famous bronze <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bird_in_space" target="_blank"><em>Bird in Space </em></a>from early 20th century artist Constantin Brancusi. Starling&rsquo;s piece references not only the formal considerations of the Brancusi sculpture, but also riffs on its tortuous path through the American legal system. Part of the joy of studying Starling&rsquo;s work comes from tracing the various threads that bind each piece together, unexpectedly intertwining or looping back on themselves. Part of the danger is getting caught in the framework, not seeing the steel for the story. Viewers are faced with the task of mentally balancing the physical work itself against the stories that contextualize it.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">This is not an easy undertaking, because <em>Metamorphology </em>is rich with stories; as noted by the <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/simon-starling-museum-of-contemporary-art-metamorphology-pictures-for-an-exhibition/Content?oid=13802820" target="_blank">Chicago Reader</a>, &ldquo;there&rsquo;s wall text, which is part of each work rather than external to it, and which Starling writes himself.&rdquo; Stories are arguably more important in <em>Pictures for an Exhibition</em>. Here, Starling searches out each of the artworks shown in two installation photographs of Brancusi&rsquo;s 1927 exhibition, re-photographing each work from the same angle and distance as they appear in the 1927 images. Using the same type of large-format, now antique Deardorff cameras, <em>Pictures for an Exhibition </em>includes the vintage images, Starling&rsquo;s cameras, his new silver prints, and stories that alternate fluidly between the provenance of Brancusi&rsquo;s works over the last eighty-seven years and Starling&rsquo;s adventures as he tracks each piece down.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140822040303-Starling_marble.jpg" alt="" /><br /></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">Installation view, <em>Simon Starling: Metamorphology</em>, MCA Chicago. June 7 - November 2, 2014. Photo: Nathan Keay, &copy; MCA Chicago.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The works&rsquo; tightness of structure can be incredibly satisfying to read and understand, much like a mystery novel or a crossword puzzle. It can also, however, suffer from the same drawbacks of cleverness and implied disposability. While the back-stories are necessary to understanding and fully appreciating the work, they also help to encourage an expository reading, dismissing further considerations. Starling&rsquo;s own monograph essay is alternately fascinating and frustrating<a title="" href="#_ftn1">[2]</a>. Made up of historical and economic stories, Starling traces the ups and downs of the modernists, their well-to-do friends, and the culturati who acquired Brancusi&rsquo;s works over the years. There are some captivating stories as histories intersect with bootlegging, family drama, and architectural innovation. Frankly, it is also a drag. This information&mdash;the dynasties, the price points, the corporations&mdash;does it add up to more than its own accumulation?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Throughout both exhibitions, it can be hard to tell just who is in control of the artist&rsquo;s work&mdash;Starling, or the endlessly spiraling stories he devotes himself to. When the stories are in control, the work is excellent; which is to say&mdash;when Starling is in control, it is superb. When not, the work risks faltering under its own conceptual weight. Regardless of this possibility, Starling&rsquo;s penchant for highlighting connections is impressive. Nineteen sixty-seven&mdash;a year Madeleine Grynsztejn attributes to the founding year of the MCA and Starling&rsquo;s birth year, a &ldquo;happy coincidence&rdquo;&mdash;is also marked by the founding of the National Accelerator Laboratory, later renamed Fermilab. The connection may appeal to Starling given his enduring interest in hard science. It is a transformation&mdash;an alchemical process&mdash;from object to object. At times, mentally processing Starling&rsquo;s work feels comparable: a sifting of information, a search for the illusive quark&mdash;the moment when information becomes art, solid gold.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Roelstraete&rsquo;s contribution to the monograph, sharing the same title of the exhibition, discusses such transformations while also linking them to the mysterious (creative product) into value (capital). Between the essays accompanying both exhibitions&mdash;which can be seen as an essential aspect of the work itself&mdash;a balance is stuck between explaining Starling&rsquo;s work methods, his intentions, his work itself, and his placement in the art world of today.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>Metamorphology </em>is playfully complex, erudite and engaging. Winning combos. See it, and hope that the American museum landscape starts featuring more work like this soon.</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="color: #525552;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref1"><span style="color: #525552;">[</span></a></span><a title="" href="#_ftnref1">1</a><span style="color: #525552;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref1"><span style="color: #525552;">]</span></a> As told to </span><a href="http://www.chicagogallerynews.com/news/2014/5/twice-as-nice-simon-starling-at-the-museum-of-contemporary-art-and-the-arts-club-of-chicago">Chicago Gallery News</a><span style="color: #525552;">.</span></span></p> </div> <div style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: small; color: #525552;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref2"><span style="color: #525552;">[</span></a></span><span style="font-size: small;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref2">2</a></span><span style="font-size: small; color: #525552;"><a title="" href="#_ftnref2"><span style="color: #525552;">]</span></a> Written to accompany his exhibition at The Arts Club, entitled &ldquo;This Thing Is Made to Perpetuate My Memory, or Notes on the Provenance of an Exhibition.&rdquo;</span></p> </div> </div> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/346862-james-pepper-kelly?tab=REVIEWS">James Pepper Kelly</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top:<strong> Simon Starling</strong>, <em>Bird in Space, 2004</em>, 2004; Photo: Nathan Keay, &copy; MCA Chicago)</span></p> Sat, 23 Aug 2014 00:01:03 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list What does vanitas look like today? <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">A human skull rests atop a modest wooden table flanked by a chronometer, books, musical instruments, an earthenware pot, and swathes of silk. Harmen Steenwyck&rsquo;s <span style="color: #525552;"><em><a href="http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/harmen-steenwyck-still-life-an-allegory-of-the-vanities-of-human-life">Still Life: An Allegory of the Vanities of Human Life</a>&nbsp;</em></span>(1612-1656) is emblematic of the vanitas genre, most commonly known for its intimate tabletop tableaux alluding to the transient nature of all worldly goods and pursuits. Upon entering <em>Vanitas &ndash; Nothing is Forever Anyway</em> at Berlin&rsquo;s Georg Kolbe Museum, one immediately encounters an alternative reading of the still life: a tabletop encrusted with old food, utensils, matchbooks, business cards, and receipts.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Daniel Spoerri transformed these remnants of a meal with the Icelandic artist &Eacute;rro into an artwork when he affixed their leftovers to the table and hung it on the wall. While one could certainly claim that </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.schnepel-foundation.com/ausleihen/">this work</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> shares some of the qualities of vanitas paintings&mdash;namely its focus on transience and ephemerality&mdash;Spoerri&rsquo;s assemblage lacks vanitas&rsquo; moral and religious undertones. Less a call for moderation in the face of earthly pleasure, Spoerri&rsquo;s sculpture instead functions as a conceptual portrait of an encounter: a portrait in absentia, rendered in the actual contents of the meal. While this might seem like a fine distinction, it raises the question of how vanitas&mdash;traditionally deeply entrenched in the task of conveying moral and religious values&mdash;might function in a secular art world.</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/20140821044908-Pawel-Althamer-Fabio-2013-plaster-an-plastic-on-metal-construction-105-x-100-x-120-cm-_-Pawel-Althamer-courtesy-neugerriemschneider-Berlin.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><strong>Paweł Althamer</strong>, <em>Fabio</em>, 2013, Plaster and plastic over a metal structure, 167 x 55 x 50 cm; Photo: Jens Ziehe, Berlin; &copy; Paweł Althamer / Courtesy neugerriemschneider, Berlin</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The Georg Kolbe Museum exhibition gathers together works by fourteen international artists who reinterpret classical vanitas motifs like skulls, timepieces, rotting fruit, and flowers in contemporary sculpture. Pawel Althamer&rsquo;s recent sculptural series <em>Venetians </em>(2013) comes the closest to a contemporary manifestation of vanitas<em>. </em>In keeping with Althamer&rsquo;s interest in mysticism, he cast the faces of Venetian residents for the 2013 Venice Biennial, presenting these beatific looking casts on hollowed out bodies held together by sinewy stretches of plastic. These abstract, haunting figures express Althamer&rsquo;s assertion that the body is a vehicle for the soul while also reimagining the body as part man, part machine.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Otherwise, the works in the exhibition can be roughly divided into two categories: those that use perishable materials, such as Japanese artist Reijiro Wada&rsquo;s <em>Freeze </em>(2006/2014) which depicts actual fruit decaying in real-time behind three sheets of tempered glass, and those that celebrate what the exhibition&rsquo;s curators have called a &ldquo;poetics of disintegration,&rdquo; such as Alicja Kwade&rsquo;s <em>Kaminuhr </em>(2014), a line of neatly labeled glass bottles that contain the finely ground dust of a pulverized mantelpiece clock. The latter fares better than the former in this ambitious, if at times overly literal exhibition, and also seems to propose what secular vanitas might look like. A shining, wall-mounted sphere ticks ominously (another work by Alicja Kwade), reflecting the viewer&rsquo;s face instead of telling the time. Immediately adjacent, Katja Strunz&rsquo;s work <em>Crack Initiation Testing </em>(2012) shakes a set of nineteenth century clocks within a Perspex case to the point that they are no longer functional. Elsewhere, Tom&aacute;s Saraceno&rsquo;s installation presents a fragile living web that is crafted by spiders over the course of the exhibition.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140821044956-vanitas_installation_view.jpg" alt="" /></em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;"><em>Vanitas &ndash; Nothing is Forever Anyway</em>, Installation view with work by<strong> Alicja Kwade, Katja Strunz, Paweł Althamer,</strong> and <strong>Kei Takemura</strong>, Georg Kolbe Museum, Berlin 2014; Photo: Enric Duch</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><em>Vanitas&mdash;Nothing is Forever Anyway</em>&rsquo;s emphasis on time and its disintegration implicitly dovetails with current dialogues surrounding crisis, precarious labor, acceleration, and the internet. Yet if the disintegration of time has surpassed the passing of time in the contemporary vanitas, would it stand to reason that the motifs used to express this shift might change as well? What might an expanded lexicon of vanitas motifs include in our current era? A Sad Mac?&nbsp; A half-built apartment block? A refugee raft?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/36171-jesi-khadivi?tab=REVIEWS">Jesi Khadivi</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">(Image on top: <strong>Reijiro Wada</strong>, <em>Freeze, </em>2006/2014, Glass, brass, fruit, 160 x 260 x 30 cm; Courtesy of the Artist)</span></p> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 18:48:37 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list The Art World's Intrinsic Conflict of Interest: Curating the Private Collection with the Public Trust <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The cousin, flip side, and feeder to the museum, in today&rsquo;s money-saturated world of contemporary art, is the private collection. The necessity of this relationship might be surprising to the average museum visitor, who often looks to museums as the centers of the art world. Private collections, however, shape our understanding of art history and production not only by determining which artworks are available for display and loan, but by actively applying curatorial labor towards their care and interpretation. Who gains from these relationships, and what sustains them? Are they necessary for the functioning of the art world, and if so, why? What are the responsibilities of curators, entrusted with public institutions, when dealing with private collections, and to whom are they responsible?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The liaisons between the worlds of the collection and the exhibition are curators: both museum curators who build relations with collectors to secure important loans and contributions, as well as a younger, new brand of curator using collections as a space to build their careers without an institutional foothold.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Curators are often tasked with &ldquo;friend-raising&rdquo;&mdash;with establishing strong networks of donors and potential donors to support museum exhibitions and acquisitions. These relations can take many forms, and often research, social activity, and professional fundraising blur into one activity. Massimiliano Gioni, when he joined the New Museum as Associate Director and Director of Exhibitions, kept his role as the artistic director of the Trussardi Foundation, a private non-profit that mounts contemporary art exhibitions (it does not collect). He has held the position since 2002. The Kadist Art Foundation counts among its advisors Jens Hoffman, Larry Rinder, and Hou Hanru: all of whom oversee museum or exhibition programs. It was recently announced that Michael Darling, Chief Curator at The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, is leading a selection committee to acquire a work for the offices of Northern Trust, a wealth management firm with over $200 billion in assets.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Is there not a conflict of interest inherent when the custodians of public museums simultaneously curate private collections? The Association of Art Museum Curators leaves the question of ethics up to each individual museum, stipulating in its advice section only that curators avoid &ldquo;conflicts of interest.&rdquo; Accepted activities include having a curator&rsquo;s travel, food, and lodging paid for on a trip, if the trip fits the category of &ldquo;donor cultivation.&rdquo; Conflicts include gifts from donors and collectors, and sometimes even accepting work themselves. There is little guidance on whether the influence of a donor or collector over a curatorial program might be too great, or on how much of a curator&rsquo;s time and advice may be spent with a collector.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Within the art world, museums still set the standard for critical debate, the resuscitation and reexamination of artistic legacies, and scholarly research within the art world: their exhibitions are the most consistently reviewed, they command the largest spaces, and they attract the most visitors. But they no longer have a monopoly on that work. Indeed, while the museum standard appeals to private foundations and collectors for partnerships, those partnerships are creating a more fluid border for museum sovereignty.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Meanwhile, young curators no longer need to follow the traditional script: to train for a PhD then look for a research or curatorial assistant post with the hope of eventually securing a museum curating job. Private collections are offering an alternative route, using private dollars to sponsor the apprenticeship and training that used to happen almost exclusively in museums.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;<img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140821013319-Palazzo_Re_Rebaudengo_MAURIZIO-ELIA.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;">Fondazione Re Rebaudengo, photo Maurizio Elia.</span> <br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">The self-titled Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo runs a residency program for young curators nominated from prestigious curatorial studies programs like Bard, the Whitney ISP, and Goldsmiths. The curator spends four months with the collection, culminating with an exhibition of contemporary Italian art drawn from it. Similarly, the Demergon Curatorial Award invites MA students to propose exhibitions based on works from the collection of D. Daskalopoulos, a collection of international contemporary art with an emphasis on Greek artists. The Demergon foundation also hosts curatorial exchanges between the UK and Greece. The prize is co-sponsored by the Whitechapel Gallery in London.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Pool, an initiative founded last year by curator Beatrix Ruf with wealthy patrons Maja Hoffmann and Michael Ringier, has given three young curators opportunities to mount exhibitions drawn from Hoffmann and Ringier&rsquo;s collections at Luma Westbau in the L&ouml;wenbr&auml;u Art Complex. It plans to expand the number of collections available, offering a sort of meta-collection for the curators&rsquo; proposals. Pool has assembled a superstar roster of artists and curators as advisors, with Philippe Parreno, Liam Gillick, Tom Eccles, and Hans Ulrich Obrist. This roster signals a major shift in our thinking about the seriousness of curating private collections. As Ruf told <em>Art Newspaper</em>: &ldquo;&lsquo;Pool&rsquo; does not interpret private collections as merely the representation of individual preferences, but rather as a contemporary document.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Indeed, as contemporary documents, private collections are actively shaping the public&rsquo;s relation to art. Any curator working with objects, and especially those working with contemporary art, must learn not only the theories and disciplines taught in graduate school, but also the rosters of major collectors and foundations in the landscape. As long as there are eager young curators to fill the roles in both institutions and private collections, and as long as institutions rely on private donors for the immense sums needed to collect, insure, and ship artworks, these partnerships will proliferate.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Collecting, then, might be seen as its own sort of curatorial project. In the past, collecting shaped taste.&nbsp;</span><span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">Today, with the growth of these programs and open relationships with museums,&nbsp;</span><span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">such partnerships might seem a natural part of the way the system functions. But when prominent museum curators working in the public trust are also on the payrolls of private collections, we should see the conflicts of interest for what they are and view these activities with a healthy sense of skepticism.&nbsp;</span><span style="color: #525552; font-size: medium;">They may be shaping the very structure of knowledge within the art world.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/329714-ryan-wong?tab=REVIEWS">Ryan Wong</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(Image at top: &lsquo;Go! You sure? Yeah.&rsquo;, A POOL exhibition, Curated by Nicola Ruffo and Tanja Trampe, November 23 - January 19, 2014; Courtesy POOL.)</span><br /></span></p> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 15:01:41 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Car Culture: the 14th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Los Angeles, California is synonymous with car culture. From lowriders to hot rods, Woodies and Super Deluxes, customized historic cars are a commonplace sighting on the streets of LA. At the height of the movement in the 1970s, the historic locus of the lowrider cruise was Whittier Boulevard, and throughout the city of Whittier one can see signs of this cultural heritage.</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/20140820105954-03.JPG" alt="" /></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;">Newly local to the area, I checked out the </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://whittieruptown.org/events-in-uptown/2014-uptown-car-show/" target="_blank">14th Annual Uptown Whittier Car Show</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"> on August 16. Greenleaf Ave bustled with locals, car aficionados and their families, regarding the rows of automobiles-turned-art-objects lining the street, while a panel of judges appraised the contestants of the Calendar Girl Competition, a row of barbers gave haircuts <em>en plein air</em> to customers seated in vintage barber&rsquo;s chairs, and a constant stream of people circled through </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.lowdownanddirtydesigns.bigcartel.com/" target="_blank">the Lowdown in Uptown</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"> boutique to check out their lowrider-inspired art show.</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/20140820105759-24.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">The car show is open to any classic car (all makes and models 1979 and earlier), and the variety was astounding. Shiny or matte, polished or rusted, built up or stripped down, ornamented or strikingly unadorned, each car clearly reflected the personality of its owner. Details and accessories abounded, historically accurate or whimsically eccentric, all meant to enhance the aesthetic vision of the car; in some cases the absence of details served the same purpose, for instance in the removal of door handles so as not to interrupt the smooth line of the car&rsquo;s body (known as a &ldquo;shaved&rdquo; look). There were cars so low to the ground they resembled panthers in repose, resting on their haunches, ever ready to pounce. Cars like mid-century visions of the future, all bubbly curves and cartoonish grills. Quirky VW Beetles, replete with vintage surfboards on the roof rack. Cars with teeth. Pinstripe masterpieces. Fins for days. It&rsquo;s quite clear that the pursuit of the perfect car is an art form unto itself.</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/20140820110150-04.JPG" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140820105907-06.JPG" alt="" /></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/20140820105932-15.JPG" alt="" /></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/20140820105834-19.JPG" alt="" /></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/20140820110042-07.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140820110304-08.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: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140820110103-14.JPG" alt="" /></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/20140820110130-26.JPG" alt="" /></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/20140820110220-09.JPG" alt="" /></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/20140820110242-23.JPG" alt="" /></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/20140820110327-10.JPG" alt="" /></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/20140820110358-22.JPG" alt="" /></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/20140820110433-25.JPG" alt="" /></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/20140820110455-11.JPG" alt="" /></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/20140820110542-21.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;<img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140820110955-12.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140820110025-13.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: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140820111022-18.JPG" alt="" /></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/20140820111042-20.JPG" alt="" /></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/20140820111106-17.JPG" alt="" /></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/20140820111125-16.JPG" alt="" /></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/20140820111145-05.JPG" alt="" /></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/20140820110518-27.JPG" alt="" /></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;Natalie Hegert</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(All images: Courtesy of the author)</span><br /></span></p> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 22:47:34 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Language of the Wall: Istanbul’s first exhibition on graffiti and street art <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Graffiti and Street Art in a museum setting have a new audience, at the Pera Museum in the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beyo%C4%9Flu"><span style="color: #000000;">Beyoğlu</span></a> district of Istanbul. Curated by the museum&rsquo;s Roxane Ayral, &ldquo;Language of the Wall&rdquo; is the first exhibition of its kind in Turkey to bring graffiti indoors in an academic setting, taking over three floors of the private museum. For its introduction, Ayral has chosen an impressive roster of international artists as well as familiar locals to educate the Istanbul art connoisseur, including Futura, Carlos Mare, Cope2, Turbo, Wyne, JonOne, Tilt, Mist, Psyckoze, Craig Costello (aka KR), Herakut, Logan Hicks, C215, Suiko, Evol, Gaia, Tabone, Funk and No More Lies, plus photographs from the archives of Martha Cooper, Henry Chalfant and Hugh Holland. Along with the museum exhibition, Ayral has extended her street art lesson into the city proper, bringing murals by most of the artists to legal walls in neighborhoods scattered across Istanbul.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;">Being a relatively new movement in terms of art history and recognized by the art market in terms of monetary value only recently, street art has progressed in a sense; yet this attention and acceptance has come at the dismay of some graffiti purists, who find work done in the studio or on canvas to lack the authenticity or spirit that street pieces have. With this in mind, Ayral chose to set &ldquo;Language of the Wall&rdquo; apart from other museum shows. Instead of presenting each artist&rsquo;s studio work, she has turned over the museum itself, having each artist create a site-specific work directly on the walls. The effect is less stoic than a traditional show of rows of canvases inside a white cube; it brings the viewer face to face with each artist, each mural dwarfing the visitor into an immersive experience with each piece. Being that Istanbul and the Pera Museum are late to the game, perhaps Ayral learned from the mistakes of exhibitions already past. But either way, her choice to use the pristine private museum walls itself as a giant canvas sets &ldquo;Language of the Wall&rdquo; apart from being &ldquo;just another street art exhibition.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140820072024-MIST.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small;"><strong>Mist</strong>; Courtesy of the artist and Pera Museum</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;">At this scale, and without the confines of the distance between the viewer and the canvas, visitors can examine the detail and work that goes beyond just tagging. For example, stencil artist Logan Hicks&rsquo; pieces for the show enable a better understanding of his intricate and painstaking process by allowing visitors to go nose to nose with his multi-stencil layer murals&nbsp;&ndash; which are unusually crisp on the museum&rsquo;s carefully gessoed wall, rather than a textured wall of the streets. The same goes for C215, whose multi-layered portaits of his daughter Nina are accompanied by a film about the artist&rsquo;s journey from painting illegally to using his art for social justice. French artist Tilt brought his own bus to the Pera, installing the bisected vehicle directly on the wall before creating his masterpiece. It is hard to believe that Mist&rsquo;s enormous abstract wall, which shows a trompe l&rsquo;oeil of highly magnified spray lines, was painted with spray cans. In this multi-colored mural, the artist has shown his expert can control, with precise, purposeful lines and edges.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;">British duo Herakut&rsquo;s piece is an immersive environment, adding cardboard, photography, neon and drawing to their iconic figurative renders to create a powerful installation that pays tribute to the origins of street art (including a distorted photograph of the artists with New York icon Futura, which appears as an upsidedown metal pot on the head of the main figure). This piece is a stand out in an already impressive show, showing Herakut&rsquo;s abilities to add more layers to their powerful work in a gallery setting. Futura&rsquo;s piece itself seeps into Herakut&rsquo;s installation, before it blooms into the artist&rsquo;s signature abstraction in bold red, black and white.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;">Another artist evolving beyond painting is Carlos Mare, aka Mare139. Mare has taken inspiration from his early days of painting New York City subway cars in the 1980s to the third dimension, translating the loose stylistic loops of tagging into abstract swirls of curved metal. The hanging sculptures have the curvaceous characteristics of a graffiti tag, giving them the appearance of being lightweight, even though they are made from layers of different textured metals. The resulting sculptures can be read as both abstract and having graffiti origins, changeable by the context in which they are presented.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140820072156-Logan_Hicks_Sol_Kanat.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Logan Hicks</strong>, Courtesy of the artist and Pera Museum</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;">To accompany these freshly painted site-specific pieces (and to give breadth to the education process) are documentary photographs by Martha Cooper, Henry Chalfant and Hugh Holland, who captured the iconic beginnings of graffiti culture in the 1980s.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="color: #000000; font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium;">&ldquo;Language of the Walls&rdquo; may gain attention as being Istanbul&rsquo;s first exhibition on graffiti and street art, but it holds its own, too, as an extensive and experiential exhibition of the medium.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&mdash;Lori Zimmer </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">(Image on top: <strong>Tilt</strong>; Courtesy of the artist and Pera Museum)</span></p> Sat, 23 Aug 2014 10:14:16 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Miami’s Ahol Sniffs Glue Sues American Eagle Outfitters for Copyright Infringement <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Graffiti art that graces city walls stands resolutely apart from other forms of art: it can&rsquo;t be purchased, owned and moved into a gallery or private home like a canvased painting (<a href="http://www.artslantstreet.com/articles/show/37743">usually</a>). As part of a city&rsquo;s public landscape, graffiti art belongs to everybody and nobody&nbsp;&ndash; just like the streets they adorn. But, many images sketched along the walls of neighborhoods, such as Miami&rsquo;s Wynwood area, are original creations, conceived by some of the world&rsquo;s most prominent artists like Shepard Fairey, Retna, Anthony Lister&nbsp;&ndash; and locals like Ahol Sniffs Glue. Although the paintings are for public pleasure, it is clear they do belong to someone, for they are signed with claim of their originator. Having an elementary understanding of American copyright laws, unspoken street laws and, well, basic decency, it is common sense that reproducing one of these works to promote a private enterprise without asking the artist (its true owner) for permission is just wrong.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140819051524-AEOMEDELLINOPENINGedited.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">So how is it that a corporate giant, who one assumes has intelligent people running its advertising campaigns, didn&rsquo;t exhibit such common sense? Last March, American Eagle Outfitters came to Wynwood to shoot a campaign for their summer clothing line. The teen atelier took photographs of models along the world-famous art-filled concrete landscape. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140819220851-o-AHOL-COLOMBIA-570.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">But the company went too far. They took one particular mural &ndash; &ldquo;Ocean Glass&rdquo; by local Cuban-American street artist Ahol Sniffs Glue&nbsp;&ndash; and used it to promote their brand, without consulting him first. Ahol&rsquo;s characteristic sleepy eyeball design was used in advertisements on the company&rsquo;s website, social media pages, billboards, and store displays. Moreover, the clothing conglomerate hired &ldquo;artists&rdquo; to &ldquo;recreate&rdquo; Ahol&rsquo;s mural on an eight-foot store display in Medellin, Colombia. The imitators marked a sloppy reproduction of &ldquo;Ocean Glass&rdquo; with the corporation&rsquo;s signature black eagle, claiming ownership over Ahol&rsquo;s optic, azure design.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140819220107-1o-AMERICAN-EAGLE-AHOL-SNIFFS-GLUE-570-1.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140819220122-2o-AMERICAN-EAGLE-AHOL-SNIFFS-GLUE-570-1.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140819220150-4o-AMERICAN-EAGLE-AHOL-SNIFFS-GLUE-570-1.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">So, Ahol Sniffs Glue, a.k.a David Anasagasti, is now suing American Eagle Outfitters for copyright infringement, and rightly so. By splashing their label across the artist&rsquo;s signature work, AEO has&nbsp;&ldquo;essentially incorporated&nbsp;Mr. Anasagasti&rsquo;s artwork into [their]&nbsp;own brand identity,&rdquo;&nbsp;the lawsuit alleges. The suit seeks not only monetary compensation for the works that have been used, but also a permanent injunction that would prohibit the company from using photos or likenesses of the&nbsp;work in the future. To corporations like American Eagle Outfitters, perhaps it will set a precedent and ensure that artists like Ahol Sniffs Glue are protected from this kind of inexcusable theft.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&mdash;Monica Torres</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(All images: Courtesy of the author)</span></span></p> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 22:12:43 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Weird guys with severed heads: an interview with PANG <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><em>Your background is in Fine Art &ndash; how have you developed your style back in London and how has it changed?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">I studied classical oil painting in Italy for four years and I came back to London around seven years ago. I have always moved around in my work and gone through phases, and Italy in a way felt like another artistic experiment, but the technique we learnt in the studio was from the 19th century, and the sheer discipline of it was a big shock when I first arrived. I had never spent more than one day on a piece let alone three weeks. But I soon got into it. It provided me with a thorough training, and we started by drawing casts of Greek and Roman statues, then moving to real people, then from charcoals to oil paint.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">When I came back to London I found it harder than I had before to make hard, sharp lines, to create graphic images but also include midtones and shading, and the balance is something I still struggle with at times. I look at Picasso's etchings and he really had that balance. Nearly all of my work is figurative but I often use landscapes or interiors to exaggerate perspective, and faces are a huge part of my work, and that definitely stems from my training in Italy. But stylistically the classical painting and my illustration could not be more different so in terms of development, it seems to jump around rather than evolve coherently.</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/20140819040443-IMG_9963.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><em>How and when did you decide to start doing your work out on the street?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">I've always loved the look of old rough walls and especially entire derelict buildings, but somehow it never occurred to me to paint outside until it was suggested to me by another artist, Float. I knew I liked street art and paintings on the side of buildings but I knew nothing about it. She encouraged me to start doing stuff outside and it suddenly seemed absurd I hadn't done that before. So I started to. That was about just over a year ago. I started mainly around Hackney Road which has a few good back streets. Brick Lane too, where I discovered most of the art I now feel so familiar with.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">At first it was just a few squiggles and drawings but it became addictive because I was discovering all the other street art at the same time and there was so much to take in and so many different forms. I loved it! Paste-ups, stencils, spray-paintings, brush paintings, sculpture...Ridiculous not to have noticed it all before.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><em>You&rsquo;re very prolific in Hackney Wick (where I happen to live, though I&rsquo;ve never caught you painting!). When do you usually do your pieces?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">I guess I usually paint in the week days during the daytime but it really depends, weekends are also a good time (although there are more people about which is a bit difficult). I used to only work at night but that was when I did stuff around Hackney Road and Brick Lane and they were smaller drawings, or paste ups, and since I knew very little about it and the practice of it I assumed the only way I could do it was at 3am...</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/20140819040512-543471_443297435739512_2033111723_n-2.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><em>Can you talk a little about the recent exhibition in London?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">I collaborated with Sophie Mason and Benjamin Murphy, and we came up with "Morella"; the exhibition was named after a creepy E.A.Poe story. It was one giant floor to ceiling mural in black and white. The months leading up to it were surreal because the three of us we were in one room together, hour after hour, day after day, painting onto every inch of the walls with our tiny brushes. The room is hidden away behind a shoe shop that has just opened in Shoreditch. We wanted to create an atmosphere based on the idea of an obsessive person or artist in their own environment, so the first thing we painted onto the walls was more space, we painted more rooms into it and lined out as many walls as possible within the actual walls.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">This way we were able to hang the works "into" the mural and create more perspective.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Everything in that room was black and white. We painted the floor and ceiling black and kept the walls white with all the drawings over it in black, and all the pieces we created to hang in the space were black and white. I liked the idea of the room being like one gigantic and slightly crooked drawing. We got weirder and weirder throughout, not just in our drawings. By the end we had such weird things painted on the walls and in some of our pieces we worried slightly about any children coming to our opening night&hellip; Luckily though a lot of things went unnoticed!</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Almost everything was created in that room, very little was done in our own studios, we wanted to collaborate on every single piece as well as the mural itself. Most things were started only to be finished by someone else, and we had complete freedom to paint over each other's work if something didn't sit right or if someone else's idea barged in. In the end it was an amazing experience; I've never collaborated to that extent with any other artist.</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/20140819040604-photo_1.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><em>You&rsquo;re one of only a few women working currently in London in this vein, but your </em></strong><strong><em>style is quite masculine, at least thematically&hellip; Do you feel at all you have something to prove (being both a woman, and not starting out as a graffiti writer) or does the anonymity of the whole process give you some freedom? Is it even an advantage being a woman in a male-dominated field?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">To be honest, I couldn't possibly make my art more "feminine" or ethereal if I tried. In terms of proving myself, since I started out not knowing much at all about street art or the artists, I didn't really have much perception of them; I couldn't imagine what they looked like let alone whether it was an advantage or disadvantage to be a woman in this world. My art has always been the way it is, at least in its androgyny. I don't think it makes much difference to be female, does it? Having said that, I love the fact that people think I'm a man when they see my work! It's funny.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><em>Not coming from a graffiti background, do you feel there&rsquo;s a divide between writers/street artists?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Maybe. I don't think it's a malicious divide but maybe there is a slight gap between the two cultures.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><em>Who are the characters you paint?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">I have no idea. Just weird guys with severed heads. I prefer painting figuratively, it comes more naturally to me. Actually the content does change from time to time. It used to be cowboys but they come up less nowadays. I don't know why I never paint women, but I suspect it's because I don't know how to draw long hair. I guess that explains the lack of clothing on my characters too!</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/20140819040643-IMG_9381.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><em>You&rsquo;ve collaborated with Millo &ndash; how did that come about? Any other collabs you&rsquo;ve particularly enjoyed?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Benjamin Murphy introduced me to Millo when he was at Ben's studio once. We then all went to Ibiza together for a week to take part in a charity event. We managed to paint around the town a few times and found an abandoned amphitheatre and hotel to paint in. The piece in Shoreditch came about because Millo didn't have time to finish it, so Ben asked me if I wanted to. I've collabed many times with fellow PMT crew members Seeds One, Himbad and Saki and Bitches. There have been a few massive paint sessions with up to 20 artists which have been great too! Float is another artist I've collaborated with quite a few times.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><em>I&rsquo;ve noticed some pieces on wood placed around &ndash; what&rsquo;s your thinking behind these?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Do you mean the ones around Hackney Wick? They are pieces of wood I find around. Then I draw on them and leave them around outside. I guess it's with the idea of Free Art Friday in mind but I don't know if I've ever actually managed to do it on a Friday!</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/20140819040812-IMG_9426.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><em>Have you started to paint on the streets elsewhere?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">If I go abroad I definitely try and paint if I can. In Paris I've done some stuff, in Rome also a few small pieces and in Palermo a month ago I painted as much as I possibly could. Which was easy because the people there tend to govern themselves so permission was never an issue. I would just ask the nearest person to the wall I wanted to paint and no one ever said no. Plus, tons of beautiful and derelict walls and buildings. My dream city...</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><em>How do you earn a living from what you do?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">I get commissions. It's usually oil paintings, collage, illustration or drawings I am asked to do. Occasionally I get album cover / flyer / wedding invitation type commissions too. The oil paintings take the longest. My most challenging commission this year was of three kids standing in front of their own favourite street art in Vienna. I had one vision of it but something completely different came out, so I battled with it big time. Normally I have a vague vision, which will spur me on, which might only arrive seconds before my pen touches paper, but it usually works out roughly the way I saw it in my head. With this painting, I had imagined it painted in a classical style but depicting an urban scene. It did not emerge like that at all, and I had to accept it eventually. But it did annoy me.</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/20140819040729-CIMG0867.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><strong><em>What&rsquo;s next for you?</em></strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">I'm preparing for a solo exhibition towards the end of the year. I'm drawing onto wood panels with colouring pencils and fine liner pens. I'm pushing myself to be as detailed as I possibly can. I'm looking at a lot of ancient art, mainly Japanese but also Egyptian, Aztec and Indian. I'm also painting any wall I can get my mitts on. At least once or twice a week I end up painting outside somewhere.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&mdash;Charlotte Jansen</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(All images: Courtesy of the artist.)</span><br /></span></p> <p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--></p> <p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves/> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> 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SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="footnote text"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="annotation text"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="header"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="footer"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="index heading"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="35" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" QFormat="true" Name="caption"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="table of figures"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="envelope address"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="envelope return"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="footnote reference"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="annotation reference"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="line number"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="page number"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="endnote reference"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="endnote text"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="table of authorities"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="macro"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="toa heading"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="List"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="List Bullet"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="List Number"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="List 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="List 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="List 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="List 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="List Bullet 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="List Bullet 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="List Bullet 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="List Bullet 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="List Number 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="List Number 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="List Number 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="List Number 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="10" QFormat="true" Name="Title"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Closing"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Signature"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="0" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Default Paragraph Font"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Body Text"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Body Text Indent"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="List Continue"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="List Continue 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="List Continue 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="List Continue 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="List Continue 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Message Header"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="11" QFormat="true" Name="Subtitle"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Salutation"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Date"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Body Text First Indent"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Body Text First Indent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Note Heading"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Body Text 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Body Text 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Body Text Indent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Body Text Indent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Block Text"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Hyperlink"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="FollowedHyperlink"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="22" QFormat="true" Name="Strong"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="20" QFormat="true" Name="Emphasis"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Document Map"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Plain Text"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="E-mail Signature"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="HTML Top of Form"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="HTML Bottom of Form"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Normal (Web)"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="HTML Acronym"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="HTML Address"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="HTML Cite"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="HTML Code"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="HTML Definition"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="HTML Keyboard"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="HTML Preformatted"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="HTML Sample"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="HTML Typewriter"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="HTML Variable"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Normal Table"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="annotation subject"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="No List"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Outline List 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Outline List 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Outline List 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Simple 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Simple 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Simple 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Classic 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Classic 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Classic 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Classic 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Colorful 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Colorful 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Colorful 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Columns 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Columns 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Columns 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Columns 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Columns 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Grid 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Grid 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Grid 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Grid 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Grid 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Grid 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Grid 7"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Grid 8"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table List 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table List 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table List 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table List 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table List 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table List 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table List 7"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table List 8"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table 3D effects 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table 3D effects 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table 3D effects 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Contemporary"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Elegant"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Professional"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Subtle 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Subtle 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Web 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Web 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Web 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Balloon Text"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="Table Grid"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Table Theme"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" SemiHidden="true" Name="Placeholder Text"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="1" QFormat="true" Name="No Spacing"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" Name="Light Shading"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" Name="Light List"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" Name="Light Grid"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" Name="Medium Shading 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" Name="Medium Shading 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" Name="Medium List 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" Name="Medium List 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" Name="Medium Grid 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" Name="Medium Grid 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" Name="Medium Grid 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" Name="Dark List"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" Name="Colorful Shading"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" Name="Colorful 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<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" Name="Dark List Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" Name="Colorful List Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" Name="Light Shading Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" Name="Light List Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" Name="Light Grid Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" Name="Dark List Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" Name="Colorful List Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" Name="Light Shading Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" Name="Light List Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" Name="Light Grid Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" Name="Dark List Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" Name="Colorful List Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" Name="Light Shading Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" Name="Light List Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" Name="Light Grid Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" Name="Dark List Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" Name="Colorful List Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" Name="Light Shading Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" Name="Light List Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" Name="Light Grid Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" Name="Dark List Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" Name="Colorful List Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" Name="Light Shading Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" Name="Light List Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" Name="Light Grid Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" Name="Dark List Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" Name="Colorful List Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="19" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Emphasis"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="21" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Emphasis"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="31" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Reference"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="32" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Reference"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="33" QFormat="true" Name="Book Title"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="37" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" Name="Bibliography"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" QFormat="true" Name="TOC Heading"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="41" Name="Plain Table 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="42" Name="Plain Table 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="43" Name="Plain Table 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="44" Name="Plain Table 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="45" Name="Plain Table 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="40" Name="Grid Table Light"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="46" Name="Grid Table 1 Light"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="47" Name="Grid Table 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="48" Name="Grid Table 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="49" Name="Grid Table 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="50" Name="Grid Table 5 Dark"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="51" Name="Grid Table 6 Colorful"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="52" Name="Grid Table 7 Colorful"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="46" Name="Grid Table 1 Light Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="47" Name="Grid Table 2 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="48" Name="Grid Table 3 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="49" Name="Grid Table 4 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="50" Name="Grid Table 5 Dark Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="51" Name="Grid Table 6 Colorful Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="52" Name="Grid Table 7 Colorful Accent 1"/> 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Name="List Table 6 Colorful Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="52" Name="List Table 7 Colorful Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="46" Name="List Table 1 Light Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="47" Name="List Table 2 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="48" Name="List Table 3 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="49" Name="List Table 4 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="50" Name="List Table 5 Dark Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="51" Name="List Table 6 Colorful Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="52" Name="List Table 7 Colorful Accent 6"/> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--></p> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 21:46:51 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Give in to the Dream: OSGEMEOS Moon Opera <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">The new project of OSGEMEOS in the Fortes Vila&ccedil;a Gallery in S&atilde;o Paulo is an experience of vertigo that leads directly to the unconscious. Entering the first room of the exhibition one is faced with dozens of their iconic yellow people &ndash; their signature image&nbsp;&ndash; plus a variety of other characters, spread through countless paintings, sculptures and installations, assembled next to each other to form an immersive environment. In the center of the room a vortex made out of doors of all sizes seems to pull all these characters along with the viewers into the dream-like universe created by the duo. The vortex epitomizes precisely the moment in which we are about to fall asleep and fall into unconsciousness, with the doors representing a passage to other dimensions.</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/20140818154655-63415735_big.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">The doors and windows always present in their works are also a point of contact and a connection between seemingly disconnected pieces. Even though each artwork contains a story and is a world in itself, small doors and windows sometimes denote a passage and an entrance into the world represented in the next painting, each work containing the key to open the door and understand the next work. &ldquo;Everything is connected&rdquo;, they say, leaving clues all the way along, giving the public a sensation that there is an erratic underlying narrative being drawn in front of our eyes. The public can identify references to Brazil&rsquo;s folk art and northeastern culture, but are still unable to identify the story, or stories, being told.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">The overwhelming profusion of colors, shapes and pictorial styles makes the attempt to understand this narrative an exhausting task though. Soon enough, the observer is compelled to give up on any effort of rationalizing or interpreting and we surrender to their surreal landscapes and recurrent imagery. By then we start noticing the dreamy sensuality of the characters with fluid contours including some nude female figures, which stand out in the middle of the predominantly masculine yellow characters. Despite the nudity and sensuality they also preserve an air of innocence, that permeates the entire current production of the artists.</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/20140818154740-63452697_big.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Passing through a small door in the corner of the first room, we enter another space where we find the big surprise of the show: a giant 3D kinetic sculpture in form of a zoetrope, which gives life and motion to the OG iconography. Surrounded by ocean and moonlight the installation features a soundtrack composed in partnership with Ben Mor and DJ Zegon. The result is striking and absorbing. Our minds take a little while to believe the reality our eyes are recording. Looking at the piece for the two minutes it is in motion, one feels like being on the other side of the vortex represented in first installation and inside of an oneiric dimension where the surreal becomes tangible. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Leaving this space still slightly unsettled the public is presented with another installation reproducing a child&rsquo;s bedroom whose walls consist of a video. This interactive installation allows the viewers to deviate the patterns of its itinerary interfering in the way the artist&rsquo;s images seem to be drifting in the screen. </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/20140818154805-63463401_big.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Far away from the urban chaos that marked their first years of production, <em>Moon Opera</em> seems to further consolidate the unique aesthetic language for which the duo are recognized worldwide. The migration of OSGEMEOS&rsquo; work to traditional exhibition spaces has allowed them to experiment with new supports, material and techniques and create environments where people could penetrate their works&nbsp;&ndash; and minds. </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Even though they continue to use spray paint, their work can hardly be defined as street art these days. The work of OSGEMEOS is now better understood in relation to other artists such as Yayoi Kusama, Jean Tinguely and even Frida Kahlo (as the official press release points out). Their magic realism, the excessiveness and obsessive recurrence of their iconography recreates a distinctive universe of that of the streets, a sensual, kaleidoscopic universe that appeals to all sorts of publics, especially to those who lost their capacity to be carried away by imagination. Like it or not, it is impossible to leave the <em>Moon Opera</em> without being taken by it all &ndash; if even for a brief minute or two.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Pictures and videos of the exhibition can be seen on their official </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://instagram.com/osgemeos" target="_blank">Instagram</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"> and </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Os-Gemeos/207835592677428" target="_blank">Facebook</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"> pages.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140818154838-63432311_big.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140818154908-63409085_big.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140818154940-63474837_big.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&mdash;Vivian Mocellin</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">(All Images: <strong>OsGemeos</strong>, <em>Exhibition view, </em> 2014; &copy; Photo: Eduardo Ortega / Courtesy Galp&atilde;o Fortes Vila&ccedil;a)</span></p> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 02:39:48 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Diversity in Autonomy: São Paulo’s Independent Art Spaces <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Independent, autonomous, alternative, experimental. These are some of the designations used to name several arts spaces inaugurated in recent years in Brazil and especially in S&atilde;o Paulo. The variety of nomenclatures doesn&rsquo;t constitute a mere semantic shift or strategy to escape classification; it actually reflects a vast plurality of practices and positions. These spaces are as experimental as the art they produce; everything&mdash;their architecture, artists, projects, programmes, managerial approaches&mdash;is a relentless, non-linear and tentative process. Questioning is more recurrent than any certainty, and changes are a constant. There is always a certain feeling of impermanence in the air. But despite the differences, the underlying aspiration that connects these spaces is the desire for independence, freedom, and resistance, enunciated in different ways but always present in every statement they produce. The question that remains, though, is: against whom are they fighting, what are they trying to resist, from whom do they want to be freed?</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">It seems like there is not an answer for this question, but a plurality of possible responses. The enemy being fought here is invisible, evasive, and lubricous; it can be the art market, the government and its bureaucracies, capitalism, the system at large. It appears in the form of official narrative, institutional discourse, and other microphysics of power that tend to appropriate the arts reducing it to its exchange value. It is against this voidance that these independent art spaces seem to have risen, and it is this exact attitude that gives them a political importance, even when the art they produce is not necessarily political in the traditional sense. While the Brazilian arts scene emerged globally with the opening of many commercial galleries and art fairs in the last decade, it is this heterogeneous group of independent initiatives that is playing an essential role in the reception, development, and promotion of experimental art in the country today. More than creating a place for artistic expression, they create a noise that reverberates with different voices and desires, giving visibility to types of art that don&rsquo;t find a place in the traditional arts circuit.</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">These spaces are spread through the whole city, but in the last two years there has been a concentration of them in downtown S&atilde;o Paulo. The area, once wracked by crime and violence, is now experiencing a revitalization. Architecturally stunning, the region boasting the addresses of some of the major art institutions in the country&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/sp/venues/show/14488-pinacoteca-do-estado-de-s%C3%A3o-paulo">Pinacoteca</a>, <a href="http://www.artslant.com/sp/venues/show/45670-centro-cultural-banco-do-brasil-s%C3%A3o-paulo">CCBB</a> and Caixa Cultural&mdash;has also seen a wave of openings of new culture-oriented places such as </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/balsa26/timeline" target="_blank">Balsa</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> (which defines itself as a space for encounters with no fixed opening hours) and commercial initiatives such as the </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://redbullstation.com.br" target="_blank">Red Bull Station</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> (that promotes interdisciplinary projects involving music and arts, including a residency program and regular workshops/seminars). All of them were attracted to the area by the decadent and elusive charm that emanates from its sumptuous baroque and neoclassical buildings, as well as some of its astonishing early-modern edifices such as Copan, designed by the acclaimed Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer.</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140817192243-Piv__exterior.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Piv&ocirc; exterior; Courtesy of the author</span><br /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">It is this S-shaped building, highly influenced by the ideas of Le Corbusier, that houses the most talked about of the independent art spaces:&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/sp/venues/show/47756-piv%C3%B4" target="_blank">Piv&ocirc;</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">. Occupying an abandoned dentist office that spreads across a good part of the first and second floors of the building, the non-profit cultural organization's emphasis is on the interlacement of arts, architecture, urban planning, and critical theory, especially through projects that are directly related to the space they inhabit&mdash;the Copan building&mdash;its historical and socio-political aspects, as well as its surroundings. For example, artist Lais Myrrha's &ldquo;<a href="http://www.pivo.org.br/exposicoes/lais-myrrha-pivo-produz/">Gameleria</a>&rdquo; project, exhibited on the former mezzanine of the Copan, was an investigation of the biggest civil accident in Brazil&rsquo;s history, which killed over 100 workers in 1971 during the construction of a Niemeyer edifice in the heyday of modernism. In an effort to protect the image of the modernist utopia, media exposure of the accident was limited, instituting a kind of social amnesia which erased the tragedy from the official narrative of modern Brazil. Myrrha restitutes this memory, creating a kind memorial and gravestone of the accident in the heart of one the landmarks of the modernist project and Niemeyer&rsquo;s career. On the second floor of Piv&ocirc;, artist Erica Ferrari's <a href="http://www.pivo.org.br/exposicoes/erica-ferrari-pivo/">Corpos d&rsquo;&Aacute;gua</a> (Bodies of Water) investigates the condition of the rivers in S&atilde;o Paulo. Fundamental in the foundation and development of the city, they have undergone harsh transformations, being virtually erased from the city&rsquo;s landscape to open way to concrete and urbanization&mdash;a metaphor of the political and social complexity of Brazil&rsquo;s biggest city.</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Not too far from Piv&ocirc;, we f</span><span style="color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: medium;">ind <a href="http://www.artslant.com/sp/venues/show/47757--aurora" target="_blank">.Aurora</a>, an autonomous art space formed and managed by five artists (Bel Falleiros, Diogo Lucato, Francesco Di Tillo, Gabriel Gutierrez and Laura Davina) and an exhibition designer (Claudia Afonso). It serves as a studio, exhibition space, and a place for artist exchanges, with programmes that include talks and projects by guest artists. One of these projects is </span><a href="http://www.en.pontoaurora.com/vitrine/" target="_blank"><span style="font-size: medium;">Vitrine</span></a><span style="font-size: medium;">, a mini solo exhibition space where guest artists are invited to occupy 1.5 square meters of .Aurora&rsquo;s space with their work. The current edition,&nbsp;<em>(Re)</em>, is a collaboration between the performer </span><a href="http://www.pipa.org.br/pag/shima/" target="_blank"><span style="font-size: medium;">Shima</span></a><span style="font-size: medium;"> and artist Raquel Schembri, consisting of an exchange of letters exploring each other's creative process. Their correspondence will now be unveiled to the public, culminating in a performance in November during the Vitrine group exhibition. In addition, .Aurora offers a space dedicated to independent publications, artists' books, and multiples; it presents site-specific installations in its second-floor windows; and it runs&nbsp;</span></span><a style="font-size: medium;" href="http://www.en.pontoaurora.com/dialogos-2/" target="_blank">Dialogues</a><span style="color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: medium;">, an ongoing series of dialogues and talks with professionals from various fields</span><span style="font-size: medium;">.</span></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140817191943-phosphorus_exhibit_solo_by_Gustavo_Ferro.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Gustavo Ferro</strong>, Installation view at Phosphorus; Courtesy of the gallery</span><br /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Deeper in the center of the city we find two other independent initiatives: </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/sp/venues/show/47758-phosphorus" target="_blank">Phosphorus</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> and </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/sp/venues/show/47759-paper-box-lab" target="_blank">PaperBox Lab</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">. The spaces are located a few minutes walk from each other in S&eacute;, the region where the city of S&atilde;o Paulo was born. In fact, before a reconfiguration in the traffic, both spaces shared the same address&mdash;Rua do Carmo, the first street of the city&mdash;as artist </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://gustavoferro.org">Gustavo Ferro</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> tells us. He keeps a studio at PaperBox Lab, but together with founder Maria Montero coordinates Phosphorus, now located at Rua Roberto Simonsen in a historic house built in 1890. Opened in 2011, Phosphorus shares the space with a clothing archive called Casa Juisi, and includes temporary studios, space for residencies, exhibition rooms, an open library and living room. Born from the founder&rsquo;s desire for a place for encounters, discussions, and collaboration, it seeks to be free from commercial and institutional restraints, inventing alternative forms of material and intellectual autonomy. Currently participating in the </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.phosphorus.art.br/filter/resid%C3%AAncia-phosphorus">residency program</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> are the artists Glayson Arcanjo, Janaina Wagner, M&aacute;rcia Beatriz Granero, and Daniel Albuquerque, whose group exhibition opened on August 17th and showcases the results of their work at the space. Meanwhile, to help support the operations of the not-for-profit space, Maria Montero opened </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/segaleria">Galeria S&eacute;</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> in the same building, a venture that despite being for-profit, remains committed to exposing experimental art such as Deco Adijanam&rsquo;s. His debut exhibition comprised pieces made mainly of debris, stumps, and pieces of wood; his poetry materialized itself in the form of objects, installations, and assemblages.</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">Five minutes away is </span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">PaperBox Lab</span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">, occupying three levels of another historic building, which was found abandoned by Angelo Palumbo, a Brazilian artist from the '80s pop generation. Totally reformed, the place now has now an impressive structure including exhibition spaces, meeting rooms, lounges and individual ateliers, besides an ongoing programme of talks, workshops, and seminars&mdash;some of them open to the public. Without a curatorial agenda guiding the space, the artists are free to produce independently or to collaborate. The only rule is that they have to stay for at least a year, which is the time they consider necessary for the maturation of a work. Visiting the studios we can find artists working on varied practices and in different languages, with a mix of new artists and more established names, such as </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.jorgefeitosa.com">Jorge Feitosa</a></span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"> and&nbsp; </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="http://claraianni.com">Clara Ianni</a>,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">who is represented by <a href="http://www.artslant.com/sp/venues/show/28799-galeria-vermelho">Galeria Vermelho</a> and selected to be part of the 31st S&atilde;o Paulo Biennale opening next month.</span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140819230734-paperbox_lab_exhibit_space.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Paperbox Lab</span><br /></span></p> <p class="Normal1" style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">If the proximity of these independent spaces was merely geographic at first, they have recently started a conversation between each other, which resulted in the launching of </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/circuitocentrosp?fref=ts" target="_blank">Circuito Centro</a>,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">a project that aims to create networks and collaborations between art spaces located in the center (including others not mentioned in this article). The results of this cooperation remains to be seen. Each space is a clear reflection of the personalities, beliefs, and desires of the artists, curators, and other agents involved and even though their differences might be more manifest than their similarities, it is possible to recognize that above all, what unites them goes far beyond the eclectic nomenclature with which they identify themselves. These independent, alternative, self-run spaces are above all authorial projects born out of the desires of their founders to restitute an affective dimension to art production by embracing the whole creative process in its material and immaterial aspects. More than mere physical spaces, they constitute places of resistance and a battlefield for the freedom of thinking, making, and being.</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;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/384098-vivian-mocellin?tab=REVIEWS"><span style="font-size: medium;">Vivian Mocellin</span></a></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #525552;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(Image on top: Copan building from the air; Courtesy of the author)</span><br /></span></p> Tue, 09 Sep 2014 14:41:36 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list 5Pointz Demolition to Begin: Another Nail in the Coffin of NYC <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Demolition may commence any day on New York City&rsquo;s 5 Pointz, the sprawling concrete structures occupying an entire city block famously polychromed by an array of styles that over the past ten years made it one of the most recognized graffiti landmarks in the world.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Owner of the Long Island City, Queens site David Wolkoff had the art painted over last November in preparation for tearing down the former warehouse that had housed art studios at below market rates. Wolkoff &nbsp;was granted a special permit to develop two luxury hi-rise apartment towers, allowing him to bypass existing zoning regulations in the once working class industrial neighborhood. Both towers will exceed 40 stories in height and will contain a combined one thousand luxury apartments as well as 50,000 square feet of retail space.</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/20140817110410-P1050604.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">A lawsuit seeking damages for destroyed artwork has been filed by a collective of graffiti writers, and response by the developer&rsquo;s proposed artist work and display spaces in the new development remains uncertain. What does remain clear? Yet another unique culture-making resource has been lost forever, distancing New York ever further from its post-war art capital status and propelling a future when that city will be nothing but an unlivable playground for the world&rsquo;s wealthiest.&nbsp; </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140817110444-P1050601.JPG" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&mdash;Howie Stier</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(All images: 5Pointz in September, 2011. Photos by Natalie Hegert)</span><br /></span></p> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 15:31:46 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list It's a Cruel Cruel Summer at Jonathan LeVine Gallery <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">People say galleries get slow in the summer in New York, but there is nothing lacklustre or mundane about the group exhibition <em>Cruel Summer </em>at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery. Curated by collector and graffiti historian Roger Gastman, the exhibition&rsquo;s title is derived from the popular song featured in the original Karate Kid film by Bananarama. The music video portrays the three female band members causing trouble and dancing throughout New York City&nbsp;&ndash; including a Dukes of Hazard-esque car chase that involves throwing bananas at the police. Overall the show is inspired by that summer of 1984 &ndash; Gastman also mentions the first Macintosh personal computer and the Olympics as influences. With this exhibition, he successfully captures that same energy he felt in 1984. Featuring the work of over 20 international artists, the exhibition brings together all the excitement and colors of that summer, without looking dated.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/1538/2dh/20140819222916-DabsMyla_Orange_Blossom_L.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>Dabs Myla,</strong><strong>&nbsp;</strong><em>Orange Blossom</em>,&nbsp;acrylic on cradled wood panel; Courtesy of the Artist and Jonathan LeVine Gallery</span><br /></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 exhibition fills up both of Jonathan LeVine&rsquo;s gallery locations. In particular, the 23rd Street gallery features large-scale installations by Dabs Myla, a married artist duo. Originally from Melbourne, the couple&rsquo;s work narrates their life together. The installation is an assortment of walls painted by the artists and the various works together tell a story: paintings feature their signature style and reveal their inspirations and love for traveling, graffiti, and food: translating on the various chosen canvases as dancing hotdogs, cartoon cigarettes and other personified animals. It&rsquo;s like reading a comic book but instead of frames, the characters jump from painting to vases and onto the walls of the gallery. The couple&rsquo;s collaborative style contrasts nicely with mixed-media collages by Shepard Fairey and drawings by Parisian artist Horfe, who also derives inspiration from animations, with quite different but equally dynamic results.</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/20140813164916-VenomFreedom-L.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><strong>Installation view, </strong>Courtesy of Jonathan LeVine Gallery</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;">Many of the artists in the exhibition grew up in the 1980's or 1990's, while others were already writing graffiti &ndash; such as the legendary Blade and Eric Haze. Niagara&rsquo;s femme fatales speak to the chaos caused in the video of Bananarama, running amok in New York. The exhibition connects thus two generations of graffiti writers and street artists. Encompassing sculpture, textiles, illustration, and collage, it also reveals the many different practices that continue to expand the definition of street art. In the 20th Street gallery, the Ben Venom hand-made quilt, entitled <em>All The Aces, </em>welcomes visitors when they first step into the space<em>. </em>Using recycled fabric, the typically delicate art of quilt making is juxtaposed with a roaring tiger head centered in a spider web. Decorated with knives, dice, severed hands, and even a grenade, the quilt is one great example of what Jonathan LeVine Gallery does best: it&rsquo;s all in the surprise elements.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><em>Cruel Summer</em> is a moment to explore how an era informed, influenced and produced these artists and how it continues to inspire their practices today.</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/20140813164959-NiagraHuskMitNavn-L.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><strong>Installation view, </strong>Courtesy of Jonathan LeVine Gallery<br /></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;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&mdash;Matthew Keeshin</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">(Image on top:<strong> Pose</strong>, <em>Honey</em>, acrylic, spray paint and paper on Clayboard panel, 48 x 36 inches (121.92 x 91.44 cm)</span><span style="font-size: x-small; color: #000000;">)</span></p> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 22:31:05 +0000 http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list http://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Psychedelic-Politic: An Interview with Abby Martin <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">In a week when the world roiled&mdash;when rockets rained on Israel and Israeli troops let loose into the Palestinian territory of Gaza, and when, as if the world stage were in fact a formulaic three-act Hollywood action blockbuster, a civilian jetliner blasted into oblivion over Ukraine leaving an incredulous global audience gasping for the credits to roll&mdash;Abby Martin, a Russia Today (RT) TV host, immersed in this hell-broke-loose cluster-fuck of a news week, ended it by stepping away into the art world. Namely, into the haven of a Washington D.C gallery where her intimate, jewel-box like graphic paintings are getting the exposure they merit. The five works on paper&mdash;now part of the summer group show at Randall Scott Projects in Northeast D.C&mdash;describe an inner experience, a voyage recounted in precise lapidary lines and a Jungian field-day of symbols, each a horror vacui composition that echoes the intensity Martin delivers on her news show (<em>Breaking the Set</em>). </span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Having never spoken at length about her art work, Martin eagerly shared insights into her motivation and process with Artslant STREET, talking on the phone from Washington D.C .</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: medium;">&ldquo;It started off as catharsis&mdash;a visual diary that I can&rsquo;t display through language,&rdquo; said Martin, explaining how she began painting a decade back. &ldquo;People just see this firey person who is pissed off all the time, but I&rsquo;m inspired by nature</span>, <span style="font-size: medium;">abstract imagery, different cultures. My painting goes along with my way of looking at the world&mdash;that&rsquo;s what I&rsquo;m trying to encapsulate in these pieces.</span><span style="font-size: medium;">&rdquo;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140823103112-FESTIVAL-OF-EARTH.jpg" alt="" /></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Abby Martin</strong>, <em>Festival of Earth</em>, 2014, 6.5x7&rdquo;, Collage, paint pen, on panel; Courtesy of the artist</span><br /></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: medium;">A </span><span style="font-size: medium;">dizzying variety of figurative images appear in <em>Festival of Earth</em> (2014), one of the smallest pieces in the show; from an ornamented elephant to a tiny-hatted creature that may have playfully popped out of the trippy <em>Mr. Do!</em> arcade game circa 1980, it keeps the eye roaming in a vortex around the composition. &ldquo;I love Alex Gray, and Andy Goldsworthy I&rsquo;m infatuated with, and I follow a lot of Juxtapoz, low-brow art,&rdquo; confides Martin, speaking of her varied artistic influences, and the whole pronounced aesthetic presence evokes the psych art of another generation. One can see elements, for example, of a psych rock album I pull out of my record bin&mdash;1968&rsquo;s St. John Green&mdash;with its swirling cosmic dragon cover art, as well as the shaman drawings of Graham Hancock, the <a href="https://www.google.co.uk/search?es_sm=91&amp;q=ayahuasca&amp;spell=1&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=HfXoU5aLBMeP7Ab73YCQDg&amp;ved=0CBwQvwUoAA" target="_blank">ayahuasca</a>-eating journalist with a penchant for tripping balls.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Martin uses paint pens, &ldquo;pound[ing them] into paper until they burst,&rdquo; and while crafting these paintings she generates a rhythm that for her is therapeutic. &ldquo;I start looking for images, thumb through magazines, National Geographics, cut out images and put them in different themes and colored schemes. Then [while painting] OCD goes into full effect. I obsess over the perfection, every dot has to be perfect, dozens of hours, twenty layers&hellip;&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140823103310-Ganesha-Nagarani.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><strong>Abby Martin</strong>, <em>Ganesha-Nagarani</em>, 2014, 8x7&rdquo;, Collage, paint pen on panel; Courtesy of the artist</span><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Though her recent painting is highly ornamental, another strain of Martin&rsquo;s graphic output is overtly political. In work distinct from the pieces showing at Randall Scott displayed on her online portfolio, Martin avers the convictions of the Occupy movement, from which she first emerged as a blogger. &ldquo;Before I did <em>Breaking the Set</em>&nbsp;I did more political work, but now since the show is so time consuming, it&rsquo;s a team effort, but I&rsquo;m constantly writing, editing, researching, booking guests&mdash;my choice is not to have politics as the focus of my work.&rdquo; But, Martin says, a return to this style is likely in the future.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Cultural manifestations of the Occupy movement continue to be seen as street art across the globe, with work directly addressing issues of wealth inequality, United States militarism and corporate hegemony; those concerns too inform Martin&rsquo;s paintings such as <em>Killing Hope</em>. Not in a dull, ironic, agit-prop style so played out (as in the recent Shep Fairey/Ernesto Yerena immigration piece, for example) but in a quaintly wistful return to the art of another generation. Her painting <em>I Pledge to Empire</em>, an American flag emblazoned with skulls and swastikas, evokes protest banners I saw at the Rock Against Racism/Reagan Central Park hardcore show in 1984. But that&rsquo;s the year Martin was born.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140823103759-BP_S-HOLOCAUST-OF-SEA-CREATURES.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><strong>Abby Martin</strong>,&nbsp;<em>BP'S HOLOCAUST OF SEA CREATURES</em>; Courtesy of the artist</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">An acrylic painting, <em>Killing Hope,</em> denounces President Barack Obama for branding his election campaign and buying propaganda&mdash;ie. collaborating with Shepard Fairey, perpetrator of the &ldquo;Hope&rdquo; image, which was to play a role in garnering the youth vote. &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve spoken about this [on TV] and I think it&rsquo;s completely bizarre: he created this propaganda symbol, but he&rsquo;s said he&rsquo;s disappointed and I give him props for that.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140823103452-SKULL-EXPLODING.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><strong>Abby Martin</strong>, <em>SKULL-EXPLODING</em>; Courtesy of the artist</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">An intense, desperate work, <em>Breathe and Try Not Die,</em> can easily be read as what Occupy activist and author Chris Hedges theorizes is the corporate agenda to manifest a sense of hopelessness, and acquiesecence. It is anything but, explains Martin. &ldquo;It points to times when there&rsquo;s an overwhelming sense that life doesn&rsquo;t make sense,&rdquo; spurred, she says, by a dark period in her life<strong>. </strong>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s an encouragement to work through it. You have to breathe, and take it slow.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">Martin not only maintains a street art sensibility in the economy of materials she uses but in the attitude she holds towards fine art. Her talk turns to galleries and art academies, then she takes the art world down in a breathless ground and pound: &ldquo;Art, for me, real art, is such a labor of love and your soul is poured in, so when I see work that is completely bland, that says nothing, and hear those who pontificate about how profound their art is? I think that whole gallery scene is bullshit and a lot of the art is a lot of shit. It seems very elitist to me and very exclusionary and that&rsquo;s why I believe a lot of people react negatively; they get convinced they shouldn&rsquo;t pick up a pencil or a paintbrush. But if art can bring people joy and inspiration and also have them think, if it speaks to them&mdash;like my Nazi flag [<em>I Pledge to Empire</em>] I&rsquo;m making it that obvious, very extreme very over the top&mdash;if it can create a dialogue than I&rsquo;ve succeeded.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/3215/4yn/20140823103605-CRISIS-OF-CIVILIZATION.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small; color: #000000;"><strong>Abby Martin</strong>,&nbsp;<em>CRISIS OF CIVILIZATION;</em> Courtesy of the artist</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: medium; color: #000000;">While living in a communal art house in San Diego, Martin collaborated on a wall painting adorning a raw food restaurant. &ldquo;I have the greatest respect for people that do mural work,&rdquo; she said, recounting how she worked aside Canadian graffiti writer BIRD on one giant mural installation, &ldquo;and it was the most amazing thing I&rsquo;ve done, and I would love to do that more.&rdquo; And as there&rsquo;s nothing worse than half-finished novels and artists with unresolved visions hampered by time and expense, let me put out the call: we can bypass the mundane Kickstarter thing; someone rack the paint and get this artist a wall. Her sketchbook sized paintings grown into a larger-than-life scale&mdash;that&rsquo;s a world I would want to walk into.</span></p> <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-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;">&mdash;<span style="font-size: medium;">Howie Stier</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; color: #000000;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">(Image on top: <strong>Abby Martin</strong>, <em>RIOT-COPS</em>; Courtesy of the artist)</span><br /></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif; 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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