What Do Kim and Kanye Have to Do with the New Photography Aesthetic? by James Loks Jeremy Ayer, Emile Barret, Olga Cafiero, Alexia Cayre, Philippe Fragnière, Nicolas Haeni, Romain Hügli, Romain Mader, Tiphanie Mall, Douglas Mandry, Cyril Porchet, Jimmy Rachez, Maya Rochat, Priscillia Saada, Tristan Savoy, Jean-Vincent Simonet, Armand Yerly at Galerie Azzedine Alaïa
November 15th - December 15th
I'm a bit late on the whole Kanye craziness, but have, after a couple of hours of jaw dropping internet research, finally arrived in apocalypto ego-mania land. Wow. It is a special place to be.
It's like there's the purest form of intoxication in what he's saying and in a sense at a certain point his inner sense of being a god-ness almost becomes logical, like it's the pinnacle of self enactment, and like the next-big-thing motivational seminars. The interesting thing though, besides the wonder a... [more]
James Loks is a Paris-based staff writer for ArtSlant. On the occasion of Paris Photo he thought it would be worth taking the time to ask himself some questions concerning the nature of art fairs, photography, and lack of real world Lynchian characters.
Initial impressions of Paris Photo?
Very cold. If you post on the website that press registration begins at two pm, it's a really good idea not to then decide that it starts at five. The ensuing confrontation between a bunch of disgruntled journa... [more]
People in museums move like assholes.
This dynamic may be little more than a distant memory for those privy to the luxury of sparsely-populated art spaces: via opening receptions, press previews, off-hours viewings organized by friends of friends, or just the good fortune of being free most Monday mornings.
Unfortunately, when confronted with the work of an artist who seeks to interrogate, interrupt, obfuscate, or otherwise f*ck The Space of the Museum, privileged classes of museum-goers may be fo... [more]
FIRST IMPRESSIONS: CROWD CONTROL
Christina Catherine Martinez jumps a few hurdles to get into FIAC
Bureaucracy is as much a part of France’s mythic national character as wine, cheese, or chicness itself. I began my month long stay in the City of Light (a light which, I’ve noticed, emanates mainly from the Eiffel Tower, twinkling dreamily through the upper-floor windows of those who merely want to sleep at night) prepared to dismantle these clichés with encounters and anecdotes testi... [more]
Bureaucracy is as much a part of France’s mythic national character as wine, cheese, or chicness itself. I began my month long stay in the City of Light (a light which, I’ve noticed, emanates mainly from the Eiffel Tower, twinkling dreamily through the upper-floor windows of those who merely want to sleep at night) prepared to dismantle these clichés with encounters and anecdotes testifying to their opposite.
Unfortunately, the difficulty with which I finally breached the perimeter... [more]
THE FIAC 40TH ANNIVERSARY SHOW
Faire la fête and walk the banks of the Seine with Briony Lewis
It’s that time of year again. As the Grand Palais opens its doors to host the 40th annual Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain, thousands of amateurs d’art, gallery owners and dealers flock to the cultural centre to gawp, gasp and gander. And this year promises even more as FIAC celebrates its 40th anniversary and welcomes 184 galleries from twenty-five countries.
FIAC describe... [more]
As a corollary to FIAC the Prix Marcel Duchamp has had some pretty impressive winners in its time and is, as with all of these types of prizes, a great way for an artist to get some recognition, funding and actual cash. Not as old as the Swiss Art Awards, as prestigious as a Gold or Silver Lion, or as lucrative as some of the big private awards, it is still sufficient to spur on the career of any artist, not least in that it comes with a well funded exhibition at the Pompidou, and allows you to jo... [more]
It’s that time of year again. As the Grand Palais opens its doors to host the annual Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain, thousands of amateurs d’art, gallery owners and dealers flock to the cultural centre to gawp, gasp and gander. And this year promises even more as FIAC celebrates its 40th anniversary and welcomes 184 galleries from twenty-five countries.
FIAC describes itself as “an opportunity to discover an exceptional artistic programme in Paris and in France.&rdqu... [more]
Over the past fifteen years Berlin has carved itself a niche as the most vibrant artistic city in Europe, a place to find both galleries and working artists of all ilk. It has become synonymous with the type of creative energy that seems to push forward, always seeking new boundaries and forms. As such it makes an interesting contrast with Paris, a city that has previously taken this role but is now perhaps too stable, too comfortable, and maybe too expensive, to compete.
In a way, within this context,... [more]
Though it has proved its mettle in disposable boat construction and DIY prom couture, the most interesting functions of tape are metaphysical. Gangly schoolchildren and polished movie actresses alike take their positions in front of a camera according to bold silver or yellow strips laid out on the floor. Toes on the line, please. Chin up. Now don’t move from that spot. Art Directors and household decorators with low-levels of anal retentiveness plan out their above-sofa picture compositions wi... [more]
As part of its contemporary art programme this year, Musée Rodin invited Erik Samakh to hold a solo exhibition in the museum garden. Describing himself as a “hunter-gatherer” of images and sounds, Samakh always aims to create a unique experience for the audience; for this show, the artist has created a sound installation in the rose gardens surrounding The Thinker and The Three Shades, and an installation of ten natural stone blocks placed throughout the rest of the garden.
If we can blame contemporary art exhibitions for being inaccessible to the general public because of their conceptualism, it is also true that urban art exhibitions often tend to focus on aesthetics only. Indeed, some of them are not much more than a static alignment of canvases whose main purpose is simple retinal seduction. However, spontaneity, with all the ingenuity it implies, remains an essential feature of this art born in the street.
So how can the urban artist benefit from this spontaneit... [more]
Digital Disappointment by James Loks GRÉGORY CHATONSKY, DuroSport Electronics, Benjamin Gaulon aka Recyclism, Jonathan Puckey (Moniker), Do it yourself book scanner (Daniel Reetz), Julian Oliver et Danja Vasiliev at Jeu de Paume
October 23rd, 2012 - March 11th, 2014
I guess the title kind of gives it away? But you know, you've got to have expectations to be disappointed and here's the problem: when you put together the two words 'online' and 'exhibition' you can imagine wandering through this vast and surprising digital world where new and previously unimagined forms of artistic stimulation are assailing your senses from every quarter; or you can see the two antithetical things, an exhibition being that immersive, fully realised, interactive, texturally correlat... [more]
59 Rivoli- Squart Collective59 Rue de RivoliParisOngoing
Number 59 Rivoli was abandoned for fifteen years before it was squatted by a group of artists in 1999. After a couple of years of wrangling and campaigning the building was bought by the municipal government of Paris, renovated to make it safe, and passed over to the collective, who had now formalised their existence under the name '59 Rivoli'.
I visited it as it seems to be an example of the kind of progressive attitude to suppo... [more]
This is a terrible show and I loved it.
By any of the criteria by which most of the galleries I normally visit judge themselves it was, what, I don't know what to say, a joke? A disaster? A farce? As appears to be my normal approach I'm going to talk about two things, the gallery first, then I'll get on to the artist…
The gallery was a mess! There was Bert Stern's work on the walls, with one or two other random photos thrown in, as well as lots of other pictures from other photographe... [more]
A very very big show in a relatively small room by James Loks Lewis Baltz, Uta Barth, Lothar Baumgarten, Walead Beshty, Lucas Blalock, Mark Borthwick, Josh Brand, Jean-Marc Bustamante, Talia Chetrit, Anne Collier, Sarah Conaway, Luc Delahaye, Thomas Demand, Liz Deschenes, Rineke Dijkstra, Saul Fletcher, Lee Friedlander, Amy Granat, John Houck, Barbara Kasten, Annette Kelm, Josh Kolbo, Luisa Lambri, Elad Lassry, Leigh Ledare, Tim Lee, Jochen Lempert, Hanna Liden, Armin Linke, Sharon Lockhart, Jean-Luc Moulène, Catherine Opie, Eileen Quinlain, Alison Rossiter, Melanie Schiff, Collier Schorr, Bruno Serralongue, Shirana Shahbazi, Erin Shirreff, Stephen Shore, Alec Soth, Thomas Struth, Jeff Wall, James Welling, Chris Wiley at Galerie Marian Goodman - Paris
June 28th - August 2nd
I've become increasingly aware of how people find negative reviews so much more entertaining than positive reviews, and so I'm about to let everyone down. This is a really great show, and an unusual one, and interesting for lots of different reasons; but really one main one. It's also worth saying that the title/name of the exhibition really is fitting for the experience of seeing the show.
The big main thing to say is it's a curated show, although Jens Hoffmann prefers the tag 'exhibition maker' t... [more]