ArtSlant https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/show en-us 40 Under the Radar: Moth Dust | Kate Pincus-Whitney | Joe Sobel <table style="width: 100%;"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <table align="center" border="0" style="width: 100%;"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p><span style="font-size: medium;"><em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; line-height: 24px;">ArtSlant is an open Arts community with over 200,000 free, user-generated <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/intros/plans?utm_source=Radar&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Subs" style="color: #097ff5; text-decoration: none;">artist profiles</a>. The support of our community is an essential part of our mission &mdash; from our <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/editorial?utm_source=Radar&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Mag" style="color: #097ff5; text-decoration: none;">magazine</a> to our <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/33747" style="color: #097ff5; text-decoration: none;">residency</a> and <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/8456?utm_source=Radar&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Prize" style="color: #097ff5; text-decoration: none;">prize</a>. Every week our editors select the best artist profiles from under the radar. </span></em></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium;"><em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; line-height: 24px;">Follow your favorite artists to see new work and exhibitions by adding them to your <a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/articles/show/11143" style="color: #097ff5; text-decoration: none;">watchlist.</a></span></em></span></p> <hr /> <p><a href="https://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/486035-moth-dust?utm_source=Moth-Dust&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar" style="text-decoration: none;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: large;"><span color="#097ff5" face="georgia, palatino" georgia="" large="" palatino="" size="4" style="color: #097ff5; text-decoration: none;">Moth Dust &ndash; New York City, Berlin, Helsinki</span></span></a></p> <p><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ew/works/show/1051133?utm_source=Moth-Dust&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1051133/u3azr9/20170613231202-moth-dust-portrait-photographer-nyc-international-center-of-photography--18.jpg" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="100%" /></a></p> <table width="100%"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ew/works/show/1051137?utm_source=Moth-Dust&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1051137/y8wnrh/20170613231204-moth-dust-portrait-photographer-nyc-international-center-of-photography-0630.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ew/works/show/1051141?utm_source=Moth-Dust&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1051141/y8wnrh/20170613231207-moth-dust-portrait-photographer-nyc-international-center-of-photography-5499-2.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ew/works/show/1051140?utm_source=Moth-Dust&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1051140/y8wnrh/20170613231205-moth-dust-portrait-photographer-nyc-international-center-of-photography-4621.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <hr /> <p><a href="https://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/482575-kate-pincus-whitney?tab=PROFILE?utm_source=Kate-Pincus-Whitney&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar" style="text-decoration: none;"><span style="color: #097ff5; font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: large;">Kate Pincus-Whitney &ndash; Los Angeles, New York</span></a></p> <p><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ew/works/show/1046465?utm_source= Kate-Pincus-Whitney&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1046465/u3azr9/20170513194217-Midnight_Snack-_Easy_Cheez_and_Caviar.jpg" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="100%" /></a></p> <table width="100%"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ew/works/show/1046491?utm_source=Kate-Pincus-Whitney&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1046491/y8wnrh/20170513233455--Good-_Girl_s_Allowence.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ew/works/show/1046462?utm_source=Kate-Pincus-Whitney&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1046462/y8wnrh/20170513194155-Mightnight_Snack-_Flamin__Hot_Cheetos.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ew/works/show/1046493?utm_source=Kate-Pincus-Whitney&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1046493/y8wnrh/20170513233509-13_PincusWhitney__Kate__4_Open_Closed_Help_Needed_1.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <hr /> <p><a href="https://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/98037-joe-sobel?utm_source=JoeSobel&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar" style="text-decoration: none;"><span color="#097ff5" face="georgia, palatino" size="4" style="color: #097ff5; font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: large;">Joe Sobel &ndash; Paris</span></a></p> <p><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ew/works/show/1051026?utm_source=JoeSobel&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1051026/u3azr9/20170613184139-641A0510.jpg" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="100%" /></a></p> <table width="100%"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ew/works/show/1051029?utm_source=JoeSobel&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1051029/y8wnrh/20170613184150-641A0517.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ew/works/show/1051028?utm_source=JoeSobel&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1051028/y8wnrh/20170613184149-641A0516.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ew/works/show/1051031?utm_source=JoeSobel&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1051031/y8wnrh/20170613184158-641A0535.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <hr /> <p style="text-align: center;"><em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 24px;">ArtSlant supports thousands of contemporary artists through our outreach and exposure programs&mdash;come join the best online arts community today!</span></em></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="padding 0px;" width="25%"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/8456?utm_source=Radar&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Prize" target="_blank"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/84518/3mfh/20170213165906-ArtSlant_Prize_IX_2017-01.jpg" style="width: 100%;" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="25%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/par/foundation?utm_source=Radar&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Residency"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20150605182447-residency-logo-300.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="25%"><a href="https://www.amazon.com/s?marketplaceID=ATVPDKIKX0DER&amp;me=A2JPU387EQQ9HR&amp;merchant=A2JPU387EQQ9HR&amp;redirect=true" style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20150605182634-sales-room-200-logo.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="25%"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/intros/plans?utm_source=Radar&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Subs"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20150605182549-profile-subscriptions-logo-300.jpg" width="100%" /></span></a></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 16:20:51 +0800 https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Artist Migrations from SF to LA Are Shaping West Coast Aesthetics and Identity <p>On this particular Saturday in May, it&rsquo;s unusually quiet in the Tenderloin as I walk from BART up Larkin Street. The San Francisco neighborhood is known for its seedy characteristics, its history of vice, homelessness, happy ending massage parlors, strip clubs, dive bars, single occupancy hotels, and social service centers. Today it feels like a level of caring has taken place, with some new businesses now occupying previously vacant storefronts&mdash;the rawness is still there, it just doesn&rsquo;t feel as bedraggled and dangerous.&nbsp;Maybe it&rsquo;s the heat&mdash;a blazing 65 degrees that feels like 80 by our SF standards.</p> <p><em>I left LA in 2011 to escape the heat.</em></p> <p>I am on my way to see the exhibition <em><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ew/events/show/449149-expat">EXPAT</a></em> at R/SF projects. The show interested me because I am myself a Los Angeles transplant, and the show features artists who all moved to LA from SF. In fact, two of the artists, Greg Ito and Matt Lipps, lived in LA, moved to SF, and then returned south in the last couple of years. For <em>EXPAT</em>, R/SF wanted to bring the artists back to San Francisco to establish a cross-pollinated identity for the two cities, and to create a stronger contemporary art presence encompassing the entire West Coast.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170622151650-3._RSFprojects_EXPAT_11.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><em>EXPAT</em>, installation view at R/SF projects, 2017. Courtesy of the gallery</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Artist and R/SF project co-founder Anička Vr&aacute;na-Godwin briefly moved to Los Angeles to take advantage of the city&rsquo;s opportunities, but returned recently after becoming homesick for the project space she had co-founded. &ldquo;I missed the energy here,&rdquo; she said, and the atmosphere of the Tenderloin.<a href="#_edn1" name="_ednref1" title="">[1]</a> There really isn&rsquo;t anything like the Tenderloin in LA.</p> <p>San Francisco, in comparison to LA, is a very small town, which suits those who welcome a slower pace, the compact &ldquo;big city feel,&rdquo; historical architecture, and cooler weather&mdash;not to mention its reputation as a safe-haven for innovators, intellectuals, the LGBTQ+ community, and anarchists alike. But there&rsquo;s an elephant in the room: the rise in population over the last five years, driven by masses of tech companies, their workers (or those hoping to be), and those taking advantage of this new population in need of culture and living spaces. The resulting real estate greed of almost criminal proportions has out-priced many low-income people, working class families, and artists from their shops, studios, and homes.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170622151612-4._PeterWu_Helene_XII_2017.jpg" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Peter Wu, <em>Helene XII</em>, 2017, Archival pigment transfer on perforated projection screen, 25 x 18 inches. Courtesy of the artist</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For many artists in <em>EXPAT</em>, the move to Los Angeles was a practical one: it&rsquo;s cheaper to live there, there is more available studio space, and there are more galleries, artists, and opportunities.<a href="#_edn2" name="_ednref2" title="">[2]</a> For others, it&rsquo;s the city&rsquo;s energy. Peter Wu shared a story via email:</p> <p style="margin-left: 80px;"><span style="font-size:16px;">After graduating from SFAI, me and two classmates (Aaron Garber-Maikovska and Jason Hwang) moved out to LA. We were some of the first which turned into a mass exodus to this city. We realized that the rent was too high in SF but we also wanted to be near our art school heroes like Mike Kelley, Paul McCarthy, and Jim Shaw.</span></p> <p style="margin-left: 80px;"><span style="font-size:16px;">Upon moving here to LA, I started working at Patrick Painter Inc. This was a crazy moment for me. I had so many romantic ideas of the art world which were quickly crushed by being exposed to its inner workings (good and bad). I chose to work there as this is where our heroes were showing. Later on I was fortunate to have the opportunity to show with the gallery&mdash;a momentary dream come true.</span></p> <p style="margin-left: 80px;"><span style="font-size:16px;">Los Angeles has an energy to it where you feel like you have to get things done. Maybe it was just me, but in SF I felt content with just getting by. Maybe we were afraid of the saturation of artists in New York but there is a slow burning fire here. Not aggressive but, at the [same] time, the potential to become a real threat. We like that space, it&rsquo;s just our pace.</span></p> <p>Many of the artists in<em> EXPAT</em> were able to find work spaces up to five times the size for the same price they were paying in SF. They found more freedom to explore scale and materials, to make messes and to step back from the work and see it clearly, without the walls &ldquo;caving in.&rdquo; In addition, some artists described the psychological relief of not having to worry about the cost of living, which allowed for more mental creative space.</p> <table align="right" width="400"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="padding: 10px;"> <p style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: large; color: #1f1f1f;"><span style="font-size: x-large;"><em>&ldquo;There is a slow burning fire here...We like that space, it&rsquo;s just our pace.&rdquo;</em></span></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>Furthermore, some described how the sheer volume of galleries&nbsp;expands opportunities&nbsp;for building relationships and becoming part of an ambitious and globally recognized contemporary art circuit. <em>EXPAT </em>artist Jake Ziemann participated in a group show at LA-based Shulamit Nazarian in 2016. In an email he described the decision to move south&nbsp;after that show: &ldquo;[It] felt like the logical next step in my career to extend my community, expand my practice, and to be in more immediate contact geographically with an art scene that both felt foreign to me and in which I had already begun to participate.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170622151339-5._MattLipps_Curtain.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Matt Lipps, <em>Untitled (Curtain)</em>, 2010, C-print, ed. 5/5, 44 x 33 inches. &copy; Matt Lipps. Courtesy of the artist and Jessica Silverman Gallery</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p>Photo-based artist Matt Lipps moved from LA to the Bay Area a few years ago to take a full-time academic appointment. Lipps exhibits his work regularly at Jessica Silverman Gallery in SF and at Marc Selwyn in LA. He recently moved back to LA; he realized that his 17 years&rsquo; worth of relationships with colleagues and peers there was &ldquo;home.&rdquo; He described via email how, upon returning, he was able to find a space &ldquo;I can&nbsp;<em>grow into,&rdquo;</em>&nbsp;rather than a space to merely &ldquo;fit&rdquo; into. Thematically his work changed, too.</p> <table align="center" width="650"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="padding: 10px;"> <p style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: large; color: rgb(31, 31, 31); text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-large;"><em>&ldquo;Not only did I have space and time to slow down and breathe, but I think that feeling is reflected in the work.&rdquo;</em></span></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>&ldquo;The first show I completed back in LA, <a href="http://www.mattlipps.com/Looking-Through-Pictures-2016" target="_blank"><em>Looking Through Pictures</em></a>, was much more contemplative&mdash;not only did I have space and time to slow down and breathe, but I think that feeling is reflected in the work as well.&rdquo; The piece he showed in <em>EXPAT</em>, <em>Untitled (Curtain)</em>, is from 2010, and was created while he was still in SF. It&rsquo;s part of a series titled <em>Horizon/s</em>, after the 1950s magazine of the same title. The series, as had a majority of his work since 2004, used cut-out and propped up &ldquo;paper dolls&rdquo; arranged in theatrical dioramas. The new work is more self-reflexive, using the negative space that remained from previous cut-out works such as <em>Untitled (Curtain).</em></p> <p>A week after visiting R/SF projects, I took a trip to LA. While there, I stopped by <a href="http://www.hilde.co/" target="_blank">HILDE</a>, whose Director Hilde Helphenstein recently relocated from SF to open her gallery on Washington Blvd., a quick jaunt east of the gallery cluster in Culver City. On view through July 17 is <em><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ew/events/show/449150-hydrogenesis" target="_blank">HYDROGENESIS</a></em>, an exhibition by artist duo <a href="http://ohl-dc.com/" target="_blank">Ohlsson/Dit-Cilinn</a>, who were my classmates at California College of the Arts. While at their show, I happened upon Jake Ziemann and Julie Henson, who were both included in <em>EXPAT</em>, and who now share a huge studio in Boyle Heights. I dropped by the space to talk about their work and relocation.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170622151208-7._JakeZiemann_Medium_standing_here_until_you_make_me_move_Front.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Jake Ziemann, <em>standing here until you make me move</em>, 2016, Spray paint, acrylic, and gouache on ceramic, wood, cardboard, plaster, and graphite powder, 28 x 8 x 7 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Shulamit Nazarian</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <table align="left" width="400"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="padding: 10px;"> <p style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: large; color: #1f1f1f;"><span style="font-size: x-large;"><em>&ldquo;My move to Los Angeles has made me realize how connected my personal state is to my work.&rdquo;</em></span></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>When I showed up, Ziemann was working outside in a roomy tool shop with saws and worktables. Since moving into his new studio, he has been making work that hangs in mobile-like configurations from the ceiling, emphasizing notions of precariousness and instability. &ldquo;I believe my move to Los Angeles from San Francisco has made me realize how connected my personal state is to my work,&rdquo; he said. Elaborately knotted ropes bind small ceramic clumps to long wooden poles; they&nbsp;entwine a ceramic arch-shape. The knots restrict and support the pieces in these suspended states. One particularly alluring piece consists of an old painting sewn into tube shapes, filled with concrete, then tightly bound and left to dry. The ropes were later removed, leaving behind the remnants of the squeezing process frozen in time.</p> <p>The studio&rsquo;s huge main room provides a perfect spot for photographing work, staging studio visits, or hosting gatherings. Henson had just deinstalled her solo exhibition at Anat Ebgi, and the work was set up in the main room. Of the artists in <em>EXPAT</em>, Henson&rsquo;s work is the most overtly socio-political. She juxtaposes silhouettes of women athletes with images of women from fashion magazines. Using mirror, acrylic, and plywood, her materials reiterate &ldquo;the cold language of advertising,&rdquo; she said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170622151129-6._JulieHenson_Triumphant_Return_2.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Julie Henson, <em>The Triumphant Return</em>, 2016, Inkjet print and flocking on plywood, 34 x 22.5 x 37.5 inches</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <table align="right" width="400"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="padding: 10px;"> <p style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: large; color: #1f1f1f;"><span style="font-size: x-large;"><em>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t feel &lsquo;comfortable&rsquo; here.&rdquo;</em></span></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t feel &lsquo;comfortable&rsquo; here,&rdquo; Henson says. Meaning, she doesn&rsquo;t feel that sense of comfort, or perhaps boredom and stagnation, that one feels when they are settled in a spot. Here she is always working on her art. Since moving to LA, her work became more sculptural. Still using images from magazines &ldquo;and turning them back into solids,&rdquo; she is now taking things a step further. The bodies are now three-dimensional, slotted like segmented building toys, and then repositioned as teetering and awkward giant amulets, jewels, or trophies. They seem to signify the way that female bodies are glorified and commodified in the media, yet oftentimes seen only as parts. &nbsp;</p> <p>Henson is married to Seth Curcio, who was using an unoccupied space at their studio as an office. He is the previous co-founder and publisher of <em>Daily Serving</em>, and is now the Senior Director of Shulamit Nazarian Gallery where he has just curated his first show, <a href="https://www.artslant.com/ew/events/show/449151-broken-language"><em>Broken Language</em></a>, which includes Josh Faught, an SF textile artist, and Greg Ito, whose work is also in <em>EXPAT</em>. Since moving to LA, Ito has been working on several bodies of new paintings using multiple narrative vignettes on single canvases. These are based on the story of his grandparents who were interned together in a camp during WWII, where they managed to find love despite the harrowing times. In the paintings, two hands posing in a variety of gestures are featured adjacent to imagery common in children&rsquo;s fantasy stories. The narratives reiterate uncertain outcomes in the face of danger or the midst of deceit. Lone boats float on a calm sea with smoke in the distance; a lick of flames curls out of a second story bedroom window.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170622151101-7GregIto_Soothsayer.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Greg Ito, <em>Soothsayer</em>, 2017, Acrylic on canvas, 31.5 x 23.75 inches. Courtesy of the artist</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Throughout the work in <em>EXPAT</em> there seems to be a subtle darkness looming, despite the hopeful promise of Los Angeles, whether Ito&rsquo;s bittersweet love stories, Ziemann&rsquo;s sculptural existentialism, or Hansen highlighting the enduring social exploitation of female bodies. In contrast, Petra Cortright mines digital data in her practice, and her video work in <em>EXPAT</em> includes herself as subject. Her post-digital-selfie cinematic pieces seem very LA. Bailey Hikawa&rsquo;s <em>Refrigerator Feelings</em> is another exception. She painted her first stand-alone painting after moving to LA, replete with washy soft colors and abstract shapes playfully floating on an almost nude canvas.</p> <p>Perhaps <em>EXPAT</em>&rsquo;s darkness is a case of &ldquo;no matter where you go, there you are.&rdquo; In some ways the question &ldquo;Does location matter?&rdquo; seems simply answered by the fact that every artist bio or press release states the city where an artist works and lives; people may even confer &ldquo;zip code cred&rdquo; to a given location. But is it to be expected that an artist would make a sudden and radical shift, drastically changing their work after moving to a new location?&nbsp;If the goal&mdash;as seems to be the case with <em>EXPAT</em>&mdash;is to create or identify a West Coast artistic relationship between LA and SF, one that acknowledges the ever shifting back and forth of ideas and bodies, what will the new place-identifying moniker be? &ldquo;LA/SF&rdquo;? Is it even important? With <em>EXPAT</em>, the subjects and conceptual concerns ultimately remain true to the artists&rsquo; ongoing practices, no matter where they lay down roots.</p> <p>I drive back to SF through the heartland on the 5. It&rsquo;s 95 degrees, and the air conditioner (that I don&rsquo;t need in the Bay Area) is not working. I finally arrive home in Oakland, to the cool ocean breeze, and a bright pink sunset. It is after all, still California.</p> <p><em><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ew/events/show/449149-expat" target="_blank">EXPAT</a> ran May 14&ndash;June 4 at R/SF projects, San Francisco.</em></p> <p><em><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ew/events/show/449151-broken-language" target="_blank">Broken Language</a> continues through July 1 at Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&mdash;<a href="https://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/1872-leora-lutz?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Leora Lutz</a></p> <div>&nbsp; <hr align="left" size="1" width="33%" /> <div id="edn1"> <p><span style="font-size:14px;"><a href="#_ednref1" name="_edn1" title="">[1]</a> R/SF has some safety in numbers with <a href="http://jessicasilvermangallery.com/" target="_blank">Jessica Silverman Gallery</a> and the <a href="http://www.tenderloinmuseum.org/" target="_blank">Tenderloin Museum</a>&nbsp;as nearby neighbors.</span></p> </div> <div id="edn2"> <p><span style="font-size:14px;"><a href="#_ednref2" name="_edn2" title="">[2]</a> Los Angeles is the second largest city in the United States, with more than 18 million inhabitants sprawled across over 4,800 square miles of the total Greater LA region. About ten years ago I did a casual count of active galleries and museums in the Greater Los Angeles region that were listed in a locally distributed comprehensive gallery guide. The total exceeded 400&mdash;from the Inland Empire to the edge of the water in Santa Monica, from the southern edge of Orange County to the top of the Palisades&mdash;and those are just the ones listed in the guide. Today, the number exceeds 800. In comparison, a recent quick tally of an SF-based gallery guide listed only about 70 venues for a city with 850+ thousand inhabitants spanning 48 square miles, or 7+ million people spanning 6,900 square miles for the entire Bay Area region.</span>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;">(Image at top:&nbsp;<em>EXPAT</em>, installation view at R/SF projects, 2017. Courtesy of the gallery)</span></p> </div> </div> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 16:03:10 +0800 https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Wednesday Web Artist of the Week: Milos Rajkovic aka Sholim <p>Milos Rajkovic aka <a href="http://sholim.com/" target="_blank">Sholim</a> is a Belgrade-based gif artist and &ldquo;digital surrealist&rdquo; who creates wonderfully mind-bending visual puzzles. Behind Rajkovic&rsquo;s visual wit is a subversive sense of humor that he puts to work tackling diverse socio-political topics like corporate culture, religion, and our dependence on technology. His meticulously constructed tableaux are often created from manipulated vintage found footage giving them an uncanny quality that defies time and space.</p> <p>Welcome to the strange and wonderful world of Milos Rajkovic.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" class="giphy-embed" frameborder="0" height="480" src="https://giphy.com/embed/3o6ZsWcC4xlQ3TrZCw" width="480"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Christian Petersen: What were you like as a kid?</strong></p> <p><strong>Milos Rajkovic:</strong> As a kid in the 90s I really enjoyed that era&rsquo;s MTV music videos.</p> <p><strong>CP: What was your first experiences with a computer like?</strong></p> <p><strong>MR:</strong> I think it was 1990 or 1991 when my father bought his first PC 286 with a black and white screen. My first memory about some sort of &ldquo;animation&rdquo; is from that period. I drew simple objects in AutoCad then I moved it with the mouse to different positions on screen. Then by clicking the undo and redo buttons they magically moved. I was 5 years old.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" class="giphy-embed" frameborder="0" height="480" src="https://giphy.com/embed/l2QZY6AxfQIIwWIj6" width="480"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>CP: How would you describe your personality?</strong></p> <p><strong>MR:</strong> Passionately patient.</p> <p><strong>CP: When did you first start experimenting with gifs? </strong></p> <p><strong>MR:</strong> During the MySpace era I started to experiment with gifs as form of art and promotion. I really loved MySpace because it allowed you to create your page full of gifs but the internet back then was too slow for it and that&rsquo;s why everything with that site fell apart. A couple of years later, when the internet became faster and gifs became larger (over 1 or 2 megabytes), Tumblr was a place where whole gif art story began.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" class="giphy-embed" frameborder="0" height="480" src="https://giphy.com/embed/3oz8xG6LrP4ziY8sr6" width="480"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>CP: How did growing up in Serbia influence the art you now make?</strong></p> <p><strong>MR:</strong> It influenced me a lot. Serbia is a small and sometimes off the radar country in Europe and I realized that if I want to be noticed I&rsquo;d need to work twice as much as somebody from France on something that is five times more authentic than something someone from England can create.</p> <p><strong>CP: How would you describe your relationship with social media?</strong></p> <p><strong>MR:</strong> I love it a lot because it&rsquo;s almost free and it&rsquo;s the best tool for promotion art and inspiring other people.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" class="giphy-embed" frameborder="0" height="480" src="https://giphy.com/embed/l41Yz18qKoSmESS6A" width="480"></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>CP: In your view, how has the internet changed creativity in general?&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><strong>MR:</strong> It changed it in a way that I don&rsquo;t like very much. Now creativity entertains people instead of being inspirational.</p> <p><strong>CP: Your work is very political. What issues do you feel most strongly about?</strong></p> <p><strong>MR:</strong> I am from a part of Europe where a lot of political shit happened in last 25 years. Because of that it feels very relevant to create something about it.</p> <p><strong>CP: Most net/gif artists try and avoid being so directly political. Why do you think that is?</strong></p> <p><strong>MR:</strong> Because they don&#39;t have a clear attitude about it.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" class="giphy-embed" frameborder="0" height="480" src="https://giphy.com/embed/l3q2sGeZz7DDcMf4I" width="480"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>CP: You say that people have an &ldquo;unhealthy dependence on technology.&rdquo; How will that change humanity?</strong></p> <p><strong>MR:</strong> This is a great question but I don&#39;t want to go deep into it. I just want say that I hope that it won&#39;t change humanity in negative way.</p> <p><strong>CP: Do you think there&nbsp;will ever be a significant reaction against it?&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><strong>MR:</strong> Since the industrial revolution art is constant reaction against it and it should always be.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" class="giphy-embed" frameborder="0" height="480" src="https://giphy.com/embed/xT1XGw4KikKyVKfYSQ" width="480"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>CP: Your work is very modern but also often has a vintage aesthetic.</strong></p> <p><strong>MR:</strong> I don&#39;t like 3D or VR because it&rsquo;s synthetic/unnatural. That&rsquo;s why I use recorded footage or interesting segments from old movies. Also I want to pay respect and create homages to the times that pass away. For me that&rsquo;s a natural flow of creativity in art.</p> <p><strong>CP: Why is humor important in your work?</strong></p> <p><strong>MR:</strong> Humor is essentially needed in art&mdash;especially if you have a serious message to share. It creates balance and it&rsquo;s like a brake for not being extreme. That&#39;s most important. Just imagine Public Enemy without&nbsp;Flavor Flav: it would be a really, really, really serious band.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" class="giphy-embed" frameborder="0" height="480" src="https://giphy.com/embed/l41YoxIiomxXvYQ5a" width="480"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>CP: Do you begin with a fixed idea for your gifs?</strong></p> <p><strong>MR:</strong> Sometimes it&#39;s a fixed idea and sometimes the footage that I found or shot dictates the flow of finding the idea.</p> <p><strong>CP: How much experimentation is involved?</strong></p> <p><strong>MR:</strong> Maybe 90 percent!!!! I go into experimentation because it always pushes me away from the safe zone and that&rsquo;s the place where real magic happens.</p> <p><strong>CP: How long, on average, does it take to make one gif?</strong></p> <p><strong>MR:</strong> I never measure time. The only thing that is important to me is that I am happy with the work I create.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" class="giphy-embed" frameborder="0" height="480" src="https://giphy.com/embed/xTiTnkMSBP4efjmtTq" width="320"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>CP: Do you feel like you are part of a global gif art scene or net art scene?</strong></p> <p><strong>MR:</strong> I feel like I am part of a community of creative people who use the internet to unselfishly share art with the rest of the world.</p> <p><strong>CP: Would you describe yourself as a surrealist? </strong></p> <p><strong>MR:</strong> I would like to describe myself as a digital surrealist. I&rsquo;m a big fan of lowbrow or pop surrealism painters and that&rsquo;s something that influences me the most.</p> <p><strong>CP: What has the reaction been like in Belgrade/Serbia to your art?</strong></p> <p><strong>MR:</strong> When I explain to someone that you can live and have a career by doing this kind of stuff the reactions are positive. But if I don&#39;t have the will to explain then people think that I am bored AF and that&rsquo;s why I have a lot time for doing this. Haha, it&rsquo;s funny.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" class="giphy-embed" frameborder="0" height="480" src="https://giphy.com/embed/xUPGcEliPvaZxoJuKI" width="480"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>CP: What are your thoughts on the monetization of net/digital art?</strong></p> <p><strong>MR:</strong> My work is an ad that circulates online and I have a lot of requests (sometimes annoyingly a lot) for working on some projects but as long as your ad is quality there&rsquo;s no worries.</p> <p><strong>CP: What do you do besides making art?</strong></p> <p><strong>MR:</strong> Live my life.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/441718-christian-petersen?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Christian Petersen</a></p> <p><em>We run an online magazine, so of course, we&#39;re interested in what&#39;s happening with art on the web. We invited online gallerist, founder, and curator of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.digitalsweatgallery.com/" target="_blank">Digital Sweat Gallery</a>, Christian Petersen, to write a bi-monthly column for us. Every other Wednesday he selects a Web Artist of the Week.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;">(All images: Courtesy of the artist)</span></p> Thu, 22 Jun 2017 20:35:10 +0800 https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list What Can We Learn from Art Boycotts Today? <p>When Manifesta, the roving biennial of European contemporary art, based its 10th iteration in Saint Petersburg, Russia, it sparked a wildfire of protests. This was 2014, and opposition to the relationship between the biennial and the cultural core of Russia was robust and complicated. Protesters objected to an administrative body responsible for repressive laws, enacted by Putin, that criminalized the LGBT community, the suppression of activists and dissenters, the annexation of Crimea, and so on. Maria Kulikovska was among the artists who withdrew from the biennial, and would later stage a <a href="http://www.mariakulikovska.com/254/" target="_blank">protest action</a> where she lay, wrapped in a Ukrainian flag, on the Hermitage steps. She proclaimed in an open letter: &ldquo;As an artist and a citizen of Crimea, Ukraine, I cannot take money from the hand that brought trouble to my family, forcing them to flee from our home. I do not know what else I can do except hope that our boycott, our silence, which can sometimes be amongst the loudest cries of the world, can stop this war and only then proceed to the &lsquo;production&rsquo; of art.&rdquo;</p> <p>High-profile boycotts such as Manifesta 10&rsquo;s rekindle the long-standing dispute about the efficacy of acts of non-compliance, particularly ones uniquely situated within the art world. Boycotters who demand voice and agency are criticized by skeptics who demand a clear end-game for the commotion. The latter are often quick to deny the potential for boycotts to strike a blow to broader economic and political systems, or even effect any substantial change within the art sphere itself. Further, these debates recurringly circumambulate a set of questions: How can a boycott&rsquo;s success be measured? Is it a meaningful action of solidarity with broader struggles? Is withdrawal less conducive to transformation than engagement? Is it a pointless and self-defeating pursuit, an attention-seeking antic?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170619143518-Screen_Shot_2017-06-19_at_15.51.59.png" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Perhaps wanting the last word on the matter, Manifesta 10&rsquo;s head of public programs, Joanna Warsza, assembled and edited a reader on boycotts and contemporary art called <em><a href="http://www.sternberg-press.com/?pageId=1711" target="_blank">I Can&rsquo;t Work Like This</a></em>, published by Sternberg Press this January. While the book&rsquo;s essays are split into sections related to specific protests (boycotts of the 13th Istanbul Biennial, Manifesta 10, 19th Biennale of Sydney, and 31st Bienal de S&atilde;o Paulo), the parameters of &ldquo;art boycott&rdquo; shifts depending on the particular writer. Some stick to withdrawals by artists; others group boycotts with strikes, protests, and further acts of non-compliance that include institutional critique and exhibitions with dissenting content. In 2017, art boycotts are an ever-present part of the cultural and political landscape. The <a href="https://j20artstrike.org/" target="_blank">#J20 Art Strike</a> in January, which called for the halting of work on Inauguration Day, counted over a thousand artists and institutions as signatories. Amidst broader conversations about the possibilities and limits of individual or group acts of refusal against cultural and political regimes, it seems an especially opportune moment to reflect on the discourse surrounding art boycotts and general boycotts, and focus on the political and cultural shifts that changed public attitudes toward artists&rsquo; transformative potential on politics.</p> <p>Boris Buden, in the essay &ldquo;Fetish of the Boycott,&rdquo; declares boycotts &ldquo;a mechanism of exercising superiority.&rdquo; They have &ldquo;no real impact,&rdquo; he goes on, citing the Manifesta 10 boycotts as lacking a &ldquo;real influence on Russian politics.&rdquo; The protest actions around the biennale included Kulikovska&rsquo;s aforementioned performance and a <a href="https://www.change.org/p/hedwig-fijen-we-ask-that-manifesta-2014-reconsider-st-petersburg-as-their-next-location">petition</a> launched by artist Noel Kelly, whose demand to suspend Manifesta 10 &ldquo;until Russian troops are withdrawn from the Ukraine&rdquo; garnered over 2,000 supporters. Later came the <a href="https://chtodelat.org/b9-texts-2/vilensky/chto-delat-withdraws-from-manifesta-10/" target="_blank">public withdrawal</a> of the artist collective Chto Delat, followed by the withdrawal of artist Pawel Althamer. To Buden, although the boycotts involved dozens&mdash;thousands if you count the petition cosigners&mdash;policies and institutions remain unbudging, rendering these actions futile. Not only futile, he claims, but hypocritical, as artists are inherently complicit in matrices of subjugation by way of the art world&rsquo;s unequal relationships to other industries and the state (for example, <a href="http://brooklynrail.org/2016/03/artseen/cameron-rowland-91020000" target="_blank">art institutions&rsquo; entanglement in the prison labor system</a>, as Cameron Rowland demonstrated in the work <a href="http://artistsspace.org/exhibitions/cameron-rowland" target="_blank"><em>91020000</em></a>). Boycotts, argues Buden, are a &ldquo;fetish&rdquo; action &ldquo;to calm tensions that arise from contradictions.&rdquo;</p> <p>In his essay &ldquo;Notes on the Art Boycott,&rdquo; Dave Beech articulates a similar, albeit less patronizing, analysis of art boycotts as a symbolic gesture. Beech differentiates between the industrial strike and the art boycott, noting that the latter&rsquo;s withdrawal of labor typically doesn&rsquo;t have the direct impact on productivity and profit of mass organized workers&rsquo; strikes. He links the lineage of art boycotts instead to consumer boycotts, &ldquo;dependent on the aggregation of individual acts&rdquo; of ethical consumption, and the &rsquo;70&rsquo;s movement of institutional critique, which reasserted political activism into art. Practices such as institutional critique, and later social practice art, attempt to make visible the underlying forces of art institutions and systems, approaching art as a conspicuous platform for ethical, moral, and civil ideas.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170619143649-Untitled.png" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: 12px; text-align: center;">Joanna Warsza and &Aacute;gnes B&aacute;sthy, from&nbsp;</span><em style="font-size: 12px; text-align: center;">I Can&#39;t Work like This: A Reader on Recent Boycotts and Contemporary Art</em><span style="font-size: 12px; text-align: center;">. Sternberg Press, 2017</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The criticism of art boycotts as a conspicuous and even aestheticized gesture of political action is similar to the enduring criticisms of institutional critique, relational aesthetics, and social practice, all subsumed under the umbrella of overtly socially and politically engaged art. In <a href="http://isreview.org/issue/90/critique-social-practice-art" target="_blank">a critique of social practice art</a>, critic Ben Davis claims that artistic practices that are posited as politics tend to emphasize individual efforts over collective organizing, overshadowing the politics at hand. Circling back to Beech&rsquo;s distinction between art boycotts and general worker boycotts, unlike workers who strike to negotiate with a long-term workplace, artists often have less investment in maintaining their relationships with the institutions they&rsquo;re boycotting.</p> <table align="right" width="400"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="padding: 10px;"> <p style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: large; color: #1f1f1f;"><span style="font-size: x-large;"><em>&ldquo;How can we reinvoke the history of art boycotts as acts of political solidarity?&rdquo;</em></span></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>In this formulation, boycotts are only deemed fruitful if they can deliver their demands&mdash;of halting a biennial, or forcing troops to end their occupation&mdash;and are otherwise considered self-serving. Arguments like these, preoccupied with rigid parameters of effectiveness, foreclose the possibilities of dissent. But history reveals rich and abiding relationships between art and politics, and Gregory Sholette&rsquo;s essay in<em> I Can&rsquo;t Work Like This </em>lays forth a compelling counterargument for the claims that the two are mutually exclusive. Instead of focusing on the influences of institutional critique, his essay &ldquo;Art Out of Joint: Artists&rsquo; Activism Before and After the Cultural Turn&rdquo; traces the catalyzing moments for art and politics in the &rsquo;60s, when &ldquo;loosely organized coalitions brought cultural producers together with student protesters, striking workers, and civil rights activists in acts of political solidarity.&rdquo; As examples, Sholette lists <a href="http://www.as-ap.org/content/artists-and-writers-protest-against-war-vietnam-or-artists-protest" target="_blank">Artists and Writers Protest Against the War in Vietnam</a>, citing it as the first overtly politicized postwar artists&rsquo; collective; the militant tactics of the anarchist collective <a href="http://www.halfletterpress.com/black-mask-up-against-the-wall-motherfucker/" target="_blank">Black Mask/Up Against the Wall Motherfuckers</a> of &rsquo;66; and Situationist International&rsquo;s affiliation with striking university students in France in &rsquo;68. These actions were integrated with broader struggles, in support of the anti-war movement and striking workers.</p> <p>Sholette notes that artists&rsquo; engagement in direct protest considerably narrowed by the &rsquo;80s, as &ldquo;tradition-bound cultural institutions and art world patrons pushed back against this dangerous blurring of categories.&rdquo; While art boycotts grew again in popularity, their value had diminished as the art world backed away from &ldquo;notions of wholesale social and political confrontations and change,&rdquo; and many became disillusioned by artists&rsquo; muddled interpretations of the political, which conflated collective resistance with daily individual decision-making, aesthetic experimentation with political organizing.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170619143724-black_mask.png" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Black Mask group on their way to Lincoln Center. Via&nbsp;<a href="https://www.joaap.org/issue9/mindelartstrike.htm" target="_blank">Journal of Aesthetics &amp; Protest</a></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The tensions and contradictions within the profusions of &ldquo;resistance art&rdquo; are encapsulated in the boycotts of Creative Time&rsquo;s 2011 exhibition <a href="http://creativetime.org/programs/archive/2011/livingasform/about.htm" target="_blank"><em>Living As Form</em></a>, which focused on&nbsp;socially engaged art. Creative Time&rsquo;s artistic director Nato Thompson wrote of the exhibition that &ldquo;[living] itself exists in forms that must be questioned, rearranged, mobilized, and undone.&rdquo; The boycotts protested the show&rsquo;s tour stops in Israel, drawing attention to the hypocrisy that a show of politically engaged art <a href="https://news.artnet.com/exhibitions/creative-time-defends-living-as-form-tour-stop-in-israel-40327" target="_blank">was</a> &ldquo;appearing at Israeli venues including Technion, a university with ties to the Israeli military.&rdquo; Artist groups such as Decolonizing Architecture and Allora &amp; Calzadilla eventually pulled out. For certain audiences, the controversy pinpointed the loss of faith in art to engage in political resistance in material ways. While relational art, and even social practice, was developed to form constructive opposition and restitch the disconnections between people and their communities, these intentions had been subsumed by the art world as a new category, the political entr&eacute;e in the aesthetic menu.</p> <p><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170619143802-I-cant-work-like-this_cover_364.jpg" style="margin: 20px; float: left;" />How can we reinvoke the history of art boycotts as acts of political solidarity? It&rsquo;s a question that isn&rsquo;t as lofty as it is dire. Boycotts are among the only forms of direct action that many artists can access in these situations. To revisit the words of Manifesta 10 boycotter Maria Kulikovska: &ldquo;I do not know what else I can do.&rdquo; Boycotts, it can&rsquo;t be understated, are often last-resort courses of action for artists, primarily marginalized artists, to push back against the oppression, appropriation, and tokenization that impact their lives and communities. This point is starkly absent from the criticisms of boycotts as self-serving. In recent history, we recall acts of refusal such as Adrian Piper&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.artnews.com/2013/10/25/piper-pulls-out-of-black-performance-art-show/">withdrawal</a> from the exhibition <em>Radical Presence</em>, and the YAMS&rsquo; <a href="http://www.complex.com/style/2014/05/the-yams-collective-has-withdrawn-from-the-whitney-biennial-because-of-objections-to-joe-scanlans-work">withdrawal</a> from the 2014 Whitney Biennial, both confronting racism in the curatorial decisions surrounding the exhibitions. These actions, some of the best-known instances in the arts in recent memory, asserted the power in refusal, as well as demonstrated the power of the symbolic gesture. They made clear that accountability wasn&rsquo;t a backdoor bureaucratic process, but could be demanded instantly and materially.</p> <p>Regarding the future of art boycotts, Sholette recommends that &ldquo;the task is not to wield [them] solely for cultural producers or their elite audiences, but instead to turn it outwards towards whole populations that are increasingly caught in the cruel cycle of precarity.&rdquo; At this moment, when the political potency of art is widely deemed depleted, when artists and institutions are experiencing a crisis of faith in their ability to respond to and challenge the socio-political contexts in which they find themselves, may these histories provide a compass, or at least the compass&rsquo; wind rose.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&mdash;Minh Nguyen</p> <p><em>Minh Nguyen is a writer and organizer of exhibitions and programs based in Seattle.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;">(Image at top: Maria Kulikovska, <em>254</em>, Unauthorized protest action during Manifesta 10. <a href="http://www.mariakulikovska.com/">Photo: Dana Kosmina. Courtesy of the artist.</a>)</span></p> Tue, 20 Jun 2017 19:39:14 +0800 https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Denise Treizman Answers 5 Questions <p><em>This is&nbsp;5 Questions. Each week, we send five questions to an artist featured in&nbsp;<a href="https://www.artslant.com/ams/articles/show/47790-under-the-radar-denise-treizman-tadasuke-jinno-am-hanson" target="_blank">Under the Radar</a>, our weekly email highlighting the best art on the ArtSlant network. This week we seek answers from</em>&nbsp;<em><a href="https://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/312083-denise-treizman" target="_blank">Denise Treizman</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>What are you trying to communicate with your work?</strong></p> <p>Using materials that we encounter in our everyday life, I am trying to make the viewer shift his perspective, even if for a short moment in time. I am hoping I can open a door that encourages the audience to see things in a different way and appreciate the beauty embedded in simple gestures and materials. I want to challenge their preconceived perceptions about what can and cannot be considered an artwork, as well as where and how art is supposed to be encountered. Using mundane objects that are known but become slightly unfamiliar when included in my pieces, I want viewers to travel in time, making associations that come from their own personal experiences or memories in relation to these materials.</p> <p><strong>What is an artist&rsquo;s responsibility?</strong></p> <p>I think it is important to constantly push the limits, to not let the work become still&hellip;always strive to get out of our comfort zone so that the work stays fresh. But the most important thing to me is to make work that comes from the heart; that is true to whom I am, to my process, and to the way I see the world.</p> <p><strong>Show us the greatest thing you ever made (art&nbsp;or not)?</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170619125852-futbolisarte.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Futbolisarte poster. Design: ekis.cl&nbsp; Photos: <a href="http://www.schkolnick.com" target="_blank">http://www.schkolnick.com</a></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In 2010, in Chile, I developed a huge project called <a href="https://vimeo.com/72756861" target="_blank"><em>FUTBOLisARTE</em></a>. It was the time of the Soccer World Cup in South Africa. That same year, in Chile (where I am from) sadly there was a devastating earthquake and tsunami that destroyed many cities in the country. With the whole soccer fever going on, because our national team had qualified to go to the cup after 16 years of absence, I decided to merge Soccer and Art to help those in need. I was able to get the original soccer shoes donated by the national team players and invited renowned artists from the local scene to transform one shoe into a work of art. The second one was autographed by the soccer player to whom it belonged, and together they were assembled into individual sculptures. These were exhibited and then auctioned in a huge fundraising event to rebuild a school. With the project, we raised over $50,000, but also important, with the exhibition, art was brought closer to a public that is not generally attracted to cultural activities.</p> <p><strong>Tell us about a work you want to make but never will:</strong></p> <p>Every time I discover a new material or learn a new technique I think of endless possibilities for new installations. Many times these ideas involve having access to big exhibition spaces, budgets for materials, teams of assistants, and more. I don&rsquo;t like to think of these ideas as things that I will never be able to make. Instead, I think of them as dream projects that are just postponed until the right time arrives. And I hope that is sooner rather than later!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170619130320-20170406045439-3_Hasta_la_Vista__Maybe.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><em>Hasta La Vista, Maybe</em>, 2016</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Who are three artists we should know but probably don&rsquo;t?</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.davidjjacobs.net" target="_blank">David Jacobs</a>, <a href="http://david.laveneno.org" target="_blank">David Pe&ntilde;a</a>, and <a href="https://www.paulinarutman.com" target="_blank">Paulina Rutman</a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&mdash;The ArtSlant Team</p> <div> <hr align="left" noshade="noshade" size="0" width="100%" /></div> <p><em>ArtSlant is an open Arts community with over 200,000 free, user-generated&nbsp;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/intros/plans" target="_blank">artist profiles</a>. The support of our community is an essential part of our mission&mdash;from our&nbsp;<a href="https://www.artslant.com/ew/articles/editorial" target="_blank">magazine</a>&nbsp;to our&nbsp;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/33747" target="_blank">residency</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/8456?utm_source=Radar&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Prize" target="_blank">prize</a>.&nbsp;Follow your favorite artists to see new work and exhibitions by adding them to your&nbsp;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/articles/show/11143" target="_blank">watchlist.</a></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Mon, 19 Jun 2017 21:04:06 +0800 https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Under the Radar: Romily Alice Walden | Dain Mergenthaler | Katya Grokhovsky <table style="width: 100%;"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <table align="center" border="0" style="width: 100%;"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p><span style="font-size: medium;"><em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; line-height: 24px;">ArtSlant is an open Arts community with over 200,000 free, user-generated <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/intros/plans?utm_source=Radar&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Subs" style="color: #097ff5; text-decoration: none;">artist profiles</a>. The support of our community is an essential part of our mission &mdash; from our <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/editorial?utm_source=Radar&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Mag" style="color: #097ff5; text-decoration: none;">magazine</a> to our <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/33747" style="color: #097ff5; text-decoration: none;">residency</a> and <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/8456?utm_source=Radar&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Prize" style="color: #097ff5; text-decoration: none;">prize</a>. Every week our editors select the best artist profiles from under the radar. </span></em></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium;"><em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; line-height: 24px;">Follow your favorite artists to see new work and exhibitions by adding them to your <a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/articles/show/11143" style="color: #097ff5; text-decoration: none;">watchlist.</a></span></em></span></p> <hr /> <p><a href="https://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/486033-romily-alice-walden?utm_source=RomilyAliceWalden&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar" style="text-decoration: none;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: large;"><span color="#097ff5" face="georgia, palatino" georgia="" large="" palatino="" size="4" style="color: #097ff5; text-decoration: none;">Romily Alice Walden &ndash; London / Berlin</span></span></a></p> <p><a href="https://www.artslant.com/lon/works/show/1051202?utm_source=RomilyAliceWalden&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1051202/u3azr9/20170614124356-UTOPIAS__IRL__URL__Romily_Alice_1.jpg" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="100%" /></a></p> <table width="100%"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/lon/works/show/1051209?utm_source=RomilyAliceWalden&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1051209/mf2ji7/20170614124424-FullSizeRender_20.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/lon/works/show/1051212?utm_source=RomilyAliceWalden&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1051212/mf2ji7/20170614124502-Neon_Portrait__7_Romily_Alice.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/lon/works/show/1051205?utm_source=RomilyAliceWalden&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1051205/mf2ji7/20170614124410-IMG_7392.jpg " width="100%" /></a></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <hr /> <p><a href="https://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/415736-dain-mergenthaler?utm_source=DainMergenthaler&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar" style="text-decoration: none;"><span style="color: #097ff5; font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: large;">Dain Mergenthaler &ndash; Brooklyn</span></a></p> <p><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ny/works/show/1030657?utm_source= DainMergenthaler&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1030657/u3azr9/20170216210825-Mergenthaler_D_02.jpg" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="100%" /></a></p> <table width="100%"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ny/works/show/1030649?utm_source=DainMergenthaler&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1030649/mf2ji7/20170216210736-_MG_9256.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ny/works/show/1030668?utm_source=DainMergenthaler&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1030668/mf2ji7/20170216210933-yohasdollar.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ny/works/show/1030666?utm_source=DainMergenthaler&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1030666/mf2ji7/20170216210914-wishing.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <hr /> <p><a href="https://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/233356-katya-grokhovsky?utm_source=KatyaGrokhovsky&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar" style="text-decoration: none;"><span color="#097ff5" face="georgia, palatino" size="4" style="color: #097ff5; font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: large;">Katya Grokhovsky &ndash; Brooklyn</span></a></p> <p><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ny/works/show/1036963?utm_source=KatyaGrokhovsky&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1036963/u3azr9/20170315191624-KatyaGrokhovsky_1.jpg" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="100%" /></a></p> <table width="100%"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ny/works/show/802922?utm_source=KatyaGrokhovsky&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/802922/mf2ji7/20140408054457-KatyaGrokhovsky1.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ny/works/show/717412?utm_source=KatyaGrokhovsky&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/717412/mf2ji7/20130717034136-Grokhovsky_Katya_10.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ny/works/show/776151?utm_source=KatyaGrokhovsky&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/776151/mf2ji7/20140203234114-Grokhovsky-Katya-2.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <hr /> <p style="text-align: center;"><em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 24px;">ArtSlant supports thousands of contemporary artists through our outreach and exposure programs&mdash;come join the best online arts community today!</span></em></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="padding 0px;" width="25%"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/8456?utm_source=Radar&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Prize" target="_blank"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/84518/3mfh/20170213165906-ArtSlant_Prize_IX_2017-01.jpg" style="width: 100%;" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="25%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/par/foundation?utm_source=Radar&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Residency"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20150605182447-residency-logo-300.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="25%"><a href="https://www.amazon.com/s?marketplaceID=ATVPDKIKX0DER&amp;me=A2JPU387EQQ9HR&amp;merchant=A2JPU387EQQ9HR&amp;redirect=true" style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20150605182634-sales-room-200-logo.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="25%"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/intros/plans?utm_source=Radar&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Subs"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20150605182549-profile-subscriptions-logo-300.jpg" width="100%" /></span></a></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> Fri, 16 Jun 2017 18:01:37 +0800 https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list 40 Years On, Skulptur Projekte Münster Keeps Troubling the Idea of “Public Space” <p>Distinct from the droves of international biennales and triennials birthed in recent decades, the <a href="https://www.skulptur-projekte.de/#/" target="_blank">Skulptur Projekte M&uuml;nster</a> (Sculpture Projects M&uuml;nster) sets itself apart as an unparalleled cultural moment once every 10 years that places strong emphasis on site-specificity and encourages long-term artistic study. The decennial&rsquo;s first edition in 1977, curated by Klaus Bussmann and Kasper K&ouml;nig, sparked controversy by radically implanting works of renowned sculptors in M&uuml;nster&rsquo;s conservative public space. Then as today, the projects stood in stark contrast to the near-timeless city, whose postcard-ready urban fabric of reconstructed historical facades smooths out the city&rsquo;s wartime traumas.</p> <p>In the four decades since &rsquo;77, the Skulptur Projekte have come to be seen by M&uuml;nster&rsquo;s citizens and financiers less as a series of heretical interventions and more as a valuable cultural asset and unique selling point. Thus the recently inaugurated fifth edition, which gestures toward new territory in nearby Marl, renews its commitment to &ldquo;public space&rdquo; by addressing the different ways it is produced conceptually, representatively, and physically across social and geographic&mdash;or at least regional&mdash;divides.</p> <p>This year&rsquo;s Skulptur Projekte, curated by Marianne Wagner, Britta Peters, and Kasper K&ouml;nig (who has remained on the curatorial team since &rsquo;77), continues to stand for a humanist&mdash;or at least human-oriented&mdash;version of democratic public space positioned against commodification, capitalist acceleration, and homogenization. They are able to do so by securing their own autonomy: from the beginning, the Skulptur Projekte have operated almost exclusively on public financing; they have been free to the public; and with K&ouml;nig&rsquo;s continuous artistic direction, they have been able to resist a desired tourism-maximizing increase in frequency. The established 10-year rhythm allows time for long durational projects to unfold next to sculptures that demand intensive planning and construction efforts. Being plural, the Skulptur Projekte are regarded more as an infrequent concatenation of singular sculptures and projects presented within a common frame, rather than a homogenizing entity. The themes addressed by the curatorial team in their process of invitation, evaluation, selection, and realization of projects fall into the background of a diverse public exhibition. What unifies the realized projects is a shared insistence on site-specificity, whether that is expressed formally, thematically, or both.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170615145020-09_Schuette.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">(left) Thomas Sch&uuml;tte, <em>Kirschens&auml;ule</em>, 1987. &copy; Skulptur Projekte 2017. Photo: Henning Rogge (right) Thomas Sch&uuml;tte, <em>Melonens&auml;ule</em>, 2017, Installation in Marl. Photo: Thorsten Arendt</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The Hot Wire</strong></p> <p>The Skulptur Projekte&rsquo;s naming of a satellite location in the city of Marl, which hosts a joint project with the Skulpturenmuseum Glaskasten titled <em>The Hot Wire</em>, signifies a provisional shift in focus away from affluent M&uuml;nster toward another more stymied city in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. K&ouml;nig went so far as to refer to the city as an important &ldquo;antipode&rdquo; to M&uuml;nster while discussing Marl&rsquo;s concerning move to the far right in its most recent election. On the one hand, Marl, a municipality founded from an agglomeration of proximate towns in 1936, was marked by a utopian (first fascist, then modernist) orientation toward the future. In its relatively short history as a city, Marl grew rapidly to economic and cultural prominence, propelled by flourishing coal mining and chemical industries. It had planned for major population growth before deindustrialization and population decline set in at the turn of the 21st century. M&uuml;nster, on the other hand, has long been an anchor in the history of western civilization, itself the site of the signing of the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, which ended the Thirty Year&rsquo;s War and set the foundation for a world system based on nation states. M&uuml;nster is predominantly Roman Catholic, is home to around 49,000 students, and is known for its extraordinary bicycle friendliness&mdash;a model city whose debt to history still prevents radical modes of spatial practice from being enacted.</p> <p>While the question of public space would be more starkly differentiated between M&uuml;nster and a city in former East Germany or, say, a city closer to M&uuml;nster&rsquo;s true geographical antipode in Polynesia, the differences that arise between M&uuml;nster and Marl become interesting in that both share a lasting affinity for public sculpture. In Marl, two open-air exhibitions took place under the header Stadt und Skulptur (City and Sculpture) in 1970 and 1972, featuring works of German sculptors alongside those of Swiss and Dutch sculptors, respectively. Just one year later, in 1973, the people of M&uuml;nster were outraged by the installation of George Rickey&rsquo;s sculpture <em>Three Squares Gyratory</em> in a public park, which gave rise to Skulptur Projekte &rsquo;77 as a response (and further provocation). As the story goes, Marl was once modern and optimistic about future growth, while M&uuml;nster was dwelling in the past, ambivalent about the aesthetic trappings of modernity. The dream of Marl&rsquo;s planners turned into the nightmare of deindustrialization, while M&uuml;nster&rsquo;s conservativism ironically led it eventually to become a Mecca for sculpture.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170615145119-07_Gerdes_Marl.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170615145148-06_Gerdes_Muenster.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Ludger Gerdes, <em>Angst</em>, 1989, (above) Location in Marl (below) Re-located installation in M&uuml;nster. &copy; Skulptur Projekte 2017. Photo: Henning Rogge</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>The Hot Wire</em> addresses the linked but divergent histories of the two cities by means of material exchanges between them. Spurred by a straightforward idea to trade sculptures between the two cities, it evolved into a collaboration involving new productions. Artists Lara Favaretto, Thomas Sch&uuml;tte, Sany, and Jo&euml;lle Tuerlinckx&rsquo;s new works made for Marl are complimented by temporarily transplanted sculptures by Richard Artschwager and Reiner Ruthenbeck as well as an exhibition of models from past Skulptur Projekte, including unrealized works. In reciprocity, Ludger Gerdes&rsquo; <em>Angst [Fear] </em>(1989) and Olle B&aelig;rtling&rsquo;s filigree iron sculpture <em>YZI </em>(1969) have been relocated from Marl&rsquo;s aging modernist city center to the environs of M&uuml;nster&rsquo;s central LWL-Museum, which hosts new projects together with an exhibition from the Skulptur Projekte archive.</p> <p>The choice to bring visibility to Marl comes at a point when political discourse across Europe is lurching right, and other deindustrializing cities in Germany and abroad are forced to adapt their economies or fall into economic and social obscurity. As demonstrated by growing restrictions to freedom of speech worldwide, democratic public space as an imperfect humanist concept is (and always has been) under threat by latent xenophobia. As the far right manifests and metastasizes in public space, the old tools of political correctness and theoretical pedantry fail over and over again. Rather than addressing threats to public space by proselytizing a perceived audience with politico-aesthetic sermons, the Skulptur Projekte exhibit instead a highly localized practice, rooted in global concerns, that appeals to visitors embedded in a particular context. In Marl and M&uuml;nster alike, everyday spaces become the starting coordinates for new lines of flight.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170615145238-01_Bunte.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Andreas Bunte, <em>Laboratory Life</em>. &copy; Skulptur Projekte 2017. Photo: Henning Rogge</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Skulptur Projekte 2017</strong></p> <p>A total of 35 new works respond to specific local conditions for this year&rsquo;s Skulptur Projekte. Spread mostly throughout M&uuml;nster, with some in the aforementioned Marl, the projects include sculptural works and interventions ranging from the hand-held to the architectural in scale, as well as performative and video-based works. Several projects involve or even require the use of a smartphone or internet capable device in order to be accessed, opening up the internet as an extension of public space that at the previous edition in 2007 had only begun to go mobile (the first iPhone was announced that year). The few projects that not only exceed established notions of &ldquo;public space&rdquo; but, furthermore, invoke novel, even speculative vectors for its maintenance and development, make the greatest contribution to Skulptur Projekte&rsquo;s renewed commitment to public space as a place for difference. The following projects&mdash;emblematic in their ability to broaden established notions of public space&mdash;represent only a cross-section of the extremely wide gamut of artistic practices involved in this year&rsquo;s Skulptur Projekte.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170615145323-13_Pierre.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Pierre Huyghe, <em>After ALife Ahead</em>, Skulptur Projekte 2017, Ice rink concrete floor; Sand, clay, phreatic water; Bacteria, algae, bee, chimera peacock; Aquarium, black switchable glass, conus textile; Incubator, human cancer cells; Genetic algorithm; Augmented reality; Automated ceiling structure; Rain; Ammoniac; Logic game. Photo: Ola Rindal</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The most admired work of &rsquo;17 is likely to be Pierre Huyghe&rsquo;s large-scale installation <em>After ALife Ahead</em>, which transforms a disused indoor ice rink into a technologically cultivated alien biotope. Before entering the building through a side door, visitors are greeted with yellow signs warning against bees and the risk of stumbling. Once inside, they are confronted by a heavily excavated ground plane with shards of the original reinforced concrete floor slipping and sliding into the raw earth below. Mud structures resembling giant anthills grow skyward from the pit, puddles with algae incubate yet invisible life forms, white peacocks tip-tap in the rafters, and small sea creatures swim about in a tinted-glass aquarium at the center of the rink&rsquo;s scarcely perforated exoskeleton. All the while an air compressor emits spurts of unknown gas and a dim light sleepily pulsates in the aquarium. UFO-like black sunshades mysteriously open and close in the distant ceiling above&mdash;and with an augmented reality app, they fly around the artificial sky. If public space exists in the world Huyghe has constructed for us, it can only be the result of collaboration between living organisms and technological devices, or between terrestrial life and inhuman reason.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170615145408-05_Deller.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Jeremy Deller, <em>Speak to the Earth and It Will Tell You,</em> 2007&ndash;2017. &copy; Skulptur Projekte 2017. Photo: Henning Rogge</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Jeremy Deller&rsquo;s <em>Speak to the Earth and It Will Tell You</em> straddles artistic practice, anthropological study, ecology, and publishing. For Skulptur Projekte &rsquo;07, he asked some 50 garden allotment associations in M&uuml;nster to keep diaries on the everyday life of their urban agricultural plots, which are not only used for growing one&rsquo;s own fruit and vegetables but are also vital sites of social encounter. Deller handed each association a large, empty, hardbound green book to accumulate fragments like photographs, announcements, anecdotes, poems, pressed flowers, and so on. Ten years later, the resulting library is now exhibited at one such allotment association in M&uuml;nster. Visitors are invited to leaf through the books and instructed to exercise caution: their next stop is in the museum collection. The work publicly exposes aspects of a culture that often stays obscure to those not directly involved, making a semi-private space fully public. Importantly, this act of &ldquo;Ver&ouml;ffentlichen&rdquo; (usu. &ldquo;publishing,&rdquo; lit. &ldquo;making available to the public&rdquo;) takes place directly at the site of its production, troubling the distinction between private and public even further.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170615145437-11_Wagner_DeBurca.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">B&aacute;rbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca, <em>Bye Bye Deutschland! Eine Lebensmelodie</em>. &copy; Skulptur Projekte 2017. Photo: Henning Rogge</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A third and final example&mdash;though there are many more to consider, including the works by Peles Empire, Mika Rottenberg, and Hito Steyerl&mdash;is possibly the most proletarian, the most intentionally humorous, and surely the most camp of them all. B&aacute;rbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca&rsquo;s <em>Bye Bye Deutschland! Eine Lebensmelodie (Bye Bye Germany! A Melody of Life)</em> is a <a href="https://vimeo.com/221232855" target="_blank">video</a> work exploring the culture surrounding Schlager, a popular genre that amounts to more than just &ldquo;hit songs.&rdquo; In Germany, Schlager is an integral sing-along backdrop to normative German life, typically invested in the reproduction of the institutions of gender, the family, marriage, and &ldquo;the people.&rdquo; In essence, it&rsquo;s &ldquo;the people&rsquo;s music,&rdquo; and for that reason it is often overlooked or simply ignored by the cultural elite. Presented inside the dimly lit and comfortably kitsch Elephant Lounge club in M&uuml;nster&rsquo;s old town, the video resonates so deeply with its context that it becomes impossible to imagine screening it anywhere else. Following the lives of M&uuml;nster locals Markus Sparfeldt and Steffi Teumner, both voice-doubles for famous Schlager performers, the video slips and slides from scenes of mundane daily routine dominated by family life into vibrant and immersive moments of fantasy in song.</p> <p>With humor, humility, and a pinch of voyeurism, the protagonists tell their story in distinct yet interdependent ways. On one side, they bring viewers into their lives through direct public observation (e.g. shots of Teumner walking around M&uuml;nster with a baby carriage; footage from a drone camera landing in Sparfeldt&rsquo;s hand while seated at a park bench). On the other, they recreate their dreams and express their desires in a powerfully cinematic, musical form. Wagner and de Burca&rsquo;s work at once breaks down the barriers between public and private, low and high culture, and ironically reinforces them through the codification of &ldquo;real&rdquo; and &ldquo;fantasy&rdquo; spaces. In this way, it resembles life more than any other work this year.</p> <p><em><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ew/events/show/448676-skulptur-projekte-2017" target="_blank">Skulptur Projekte M&uuml;nster &rsquo;17</a> runs through October 1, 2017.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&mdash;<a href="https://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/477171-benjamin-busch?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Benjamin Busch</a></p> <p><em><a href="http://www.benbusch.info/" target="_blank">Benjamin Busch</a></em>&nbsp;<em>is currently researching critical modes of architectural production within the field of spatial practice. Treating architecture as a symptom of abstract processes, his artwork and writing investigate complex fields of relations within the built environment.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;">(Image at top: B&aacute;rbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca, <em>Bye Bye Deutschland! Eine Lebensmelodie</em>. &copy; Skulptur Projekte 2017. Photo: Henning Rogge)</span></p> Thu, 15 Jun 2017 22:59:31 +0800 https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list David Hannon Answers 5 Questions <p><em>This is&nbsp;5 Questions. Each week, we send five questions to an artist featured in&nbsp;<a href="https://www.artslant.com/ams/articles/show/46569-b-stylecolor-333333under-the-radar-david-hannon-jessica-simorte-philippe-safireb" target="_blank">Under the Radar</a>, our weekly email highlighting the best art on the ArtSlant network. This week we seek answers from</em>&nbsp;<em><a href="https://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/463029-david-hannon" target="_blank">David Hannon</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>What are you trying to communicate with your work?</strong></p> <p>I am exploring the role of fantasy in queerness and perversions of the body. The interiors I create are a disorienting place that reveals the horror of the everyday. In my most recent&nbsp;performance, <em>Mantle</em>, I made an immersive installation and embedded myself in a flat and then interacted with the audience to help me bring an oversize necklace back into a constructed domestic interior where the necklace unsettlingly rests in the space.</p> <p><strong>What is an artist&rsquo;s responsibility?</strong></p> <p>It certainly is an interesting and scary time to be making work but I&nbsp;want to bring the personal public, especially queer identity&nbsp;issues. The way Felix Gonzalez-Torres does is especially poignant.&nbsp;An artist&#39;s responsibility therefore is to bring what is invisible, visible.&nbsp;Like a magician.</p> <p><strong>Show us the greatest thing you ever made (art or not)? </strong></p> <p>Aforementioned in the first question, I made this giant necklace!&nbsp;It is 22 feet long and part of my MFA thesis show:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170609150335-unnamed-1.jpg" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Tell us about a work you want to make but never will:</strong></p> <p>Although I do not have a piece directly in mind,&nbsp;I want to include other performers in my installations, similar to Mike Kelley&#39;s <em>Day is Done</em> installation and accompanying video works, and perhaps with more collaboration&mdash;because collaboration is very important! &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Who are three artists we should know but probably don&rsquo;t?</strong></p> <p>You probably know these artists but I love how they incorporate the digital and sculptural together:</p> <p><a href="https://www.gregorybennett.net/" target="_blank">Gregory Bennett</a><br /> <a href="http://jacolby.com/home.html" target="_blank">Jacolby Satterwhite</a><br /> <a href="http://www.joiriminaya.com/" target="_blank">Joiri Minaya</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&mdash;The ArtSlant Team</p> <div> <hr align="left" noshade="noshade" size="0" width="100%" /></div> <p><em>ArtSlant is an open Arts community with over 200,000 free, user-generated&nbsp;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/intros/plans" target="_blank">artist profiles</a>. The support of our community is an essential part of our mission&mdash;from our&nbsp;<a href="https://www.artslant.com/ew/articles/editorial" target="_blank">magazine</a>&nbsp;to our&nbsp;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/33747" target="_blank">residency</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/8456?utm_source=Radar&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Prize" target="_blank">prize</a>.&nbsp;Follow your favorite artists to see new work and exhibitions by adding them to your&nbsp;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/articles/show/11143" target="_blank">watchlist.</a></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Mon, 12 Jun 2017 19:03:43 +0800 https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Wednesday Web Artist of the Week: Eva Papamargariti <p>Originally from Greece and based in London, <a href="http://evapapamargariti.tumblr.com/" target="_blank">Eva Papamargariti</a> reflects and analyzes the rapidly transforming relationships between &ldquo;material and immaterial&rdquo; matter in our new digital world. Papamargariti&rsquo;s work contains complex visual (and often audio) collages in which impossible organic forms constantly evolve, mutate, and entwine.</p> <p>No matter how utterly alien her work can seem, it retains consistent feelings of a deep human familiarity&mdash;which only adds to its uncanny sensibilities. Lurking behind the work&rsquo;s gratifying bright colors and psychedelic surrealism lies an unsettling emotional depth that never really allows the viewer to get a firm handle on what exactly it is they are experiencing. Papamargariti reveals, illustrates, and renders a third plane that now exists somewhere between all of our physical and digital realities.</p> <p>Papamargariti&rsquo;s solo show <em><a href="http://transfergallery.com/precarious-inhabitants-eva-papamargariti/" target="_blank">Precarious Inhabitants</a></em>, &ldquo;a series of works addressing issues of symbiosis and transformation between human, AI machines, animals and other organic and synthetic bodies,&rdquo; is currently showing at Transfer Gallery through July 8.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170607150825-6.jpg" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Christian Petersen: How has your relationship with computers changed since you started using them?</strong></p> <p><strong>Eva Papamargariti:</strong> I started using computers at the age of 12 and my main activity was to play games on&nbsp;5&frac14;-inch floppy disks with my brother&mdash;so my relationship with them changed a lot since that era. Back then&nbsp;I could never imagine that they would become the first object I would touch every morning when I wake up and also I could never even remotely think that I would use them as the main tool to create art.</p> <p><strong>CP: What were your early online experiences like?</strong></p> <p><strong>EP:</strong> It was an exciting era specially because you would feel the mystery and charm of something that was still unknown to a majority of the users. Now most of our online activities seem predictable, or to say it better, I believe the element of surprise is missing a lot.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170607150900-18.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170607151922-17.jpg" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>CP: You studied architecture at one point. What influence has that discipline had on your art?</strong></p> <p><strong>EP:</strong> I graduated&nbsp;from architecture five years ago. The transition was quite natural cause I was already studying at a school that had a quite wide curriculum mixing new media, art, and architecture. We actually had many tutors that were artists themselves. When I was doing my diploma thesis I started uploading some very simple gif animations on Tumblr just because I was really fed up with architecture, to be honest. During this period and after my graduation, gradually I started uploading more and more stuff while I was taking a break from anything that was architecture-related. That helped me understand that maybe my ideas could be better communicated through art.</p> <p>I wasn&rsquo;t the kid that always wanted to be an architect&mdash;I was just searching for something, and I considered architecture to be diverse and more open thematically in terms of what the courses provided compared to other studies, so I went for it. The influence that it had on my practice and art is really important and I think I am lucky to have experienced architecture at this specific school where we were encouraged to get out of the normative and stereotypical way of thinking. A recurring theme in my work is an attempt to dissolve, distort, and understand space through embodied experience through the use of digital mediums. Architecture is still present in what I do.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170607150936-GIF_3.gif" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>CP: What was the first artwork you made using a computer that you recognized as &ldquo;digital&rdquo; art&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><strong>EP:</strong> I guess it was my first series of animated gifs that I did while playing basically on 3ds Max. They would always be some fragments of space, objects, and bodies moving in frenetic ways. I think it was around 2012 that Lorna Mills somehow saw my work on Google+ and contacted me to create gifs for the <a href="http://fuckyeahsheroes.tumblr.com/">Sheroes</a> series in Canada created by Rea McNamara and co-curated with Lorna. I was super excited with this when it happened!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170607151216-13.jpg" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>CP: It&rsquo;s interesting looking at your <a href="http://evapapamargariti.tumblr.com/archive" target="_blank">Tumblr archive</a> and seeing your progression from experimental video and photography, to gifs to glitch art,&nbsp;to 3D digital art. How would you describe that journey?</strong></p> <p><strong>EP:</strong> My work now feels so much different than what I was doing five or six years ago. The answer is simple: I was trying things in order to find what was, at that particular moment, the best way to express my state of mind. As I was creating more I felt the need to change the tools and means that I was using, because each of these has their own materiality and rules. It&rsquo;s totally different to talk about a subject through video versus gifs, for example. But I also like to get involved in things and situations that are new to me.</p> <p>Lately I try to create more sculptural work and I also film in real locations. I feel that right now I can filter, support, and build my work more effectively through a combination of mediums and dynamics instead of using only 3D design. Video, photography, drawing, 3D design, gifs, etc. are tools that I use according to the outcome and intention&nbsp;I want to achieve each time.&nbsp; I don&rsquo;t feel that I should be bound to one medium in order to create art. I changed a lot through these years personally and creatively, so my art and how I make it would inevitably change along with me.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170607151151-14.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170607151950-15.jpg" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>CP: Your bio says that you &ldquo;explore the relationship between digital space and (im)material reality.&rdquo; What is that relationship&nbsp;and how is it changing as the digital space expands?</strong></p> <p><strong>EP:</strong> This relationship is mainly defined by the way our body and mind stands and perceives these in-between conditions whose boundaries are continuously amplified but also blurred as the simultaneity of the two states becomes more and more pronounced through the use of digital devices. Our eyes and hands are getting used to existing in a dual situation as digital space expands to objects, surfaces, and interfaces. These days it&rsquo;s not only our body parts that start to experience the difference but also our mind has altered in terms of how we read, absorb, and redistribute information through and to our surroundings. This relationship that I am trying to explore through my work is always n-dimensional and palimpsestic. What interests me more is this process of &ldquo;re-writing&rdquo; on this in-between area of material and immaterial, and the traces that both physical and digital actions leave as we move forward.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170607153346-11.jpg" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>CP: There&rsquo;s always a lot of elements to your work, a hyperactive spirit. Is that a reflection of your personality?</strong></p> <p><strong>EP:</strong> Yes and no. It certainly reflects my personality but my body sometimes reacts and gets slow. When I was in architecture school I had an amazing tutor that was telling me that my personality is somehow multifocal. Back then I couldn&rsquo;t understand what he might have seen to say something like that; it just didn&rsquo;t make sense. As years went by I totally realized how right he was. I am somehow dispersed between states, references, ideas, balancing between thought and action; I always do multiple things simultaneously and I get easily bored by situations. When this restlessness becomes a feature of my work it is detached from the personal level and&nbsp;mainly reflects&nbsp;a state of non-stop, complex procedures that we are facing in the physical and digital realm.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170607150015-12.jpg" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>CP: People that work in 3D reference rendering a lot. How would you describe your relationship with rendering?</strong></p> <p><strong>EP:</strong> Intense! I refer to rendering all the time and my friends that are not involved in digital art and 3D design still wonder how it can be so complicated. It&rsquo;s a process that involves time and that factor is enough to understand how problematic but also charming it can be. As technology advances rendering times and processes are becoming shorter. With game engines and specific renderers, you can render in real time.</p> <p>There is a magic element to it that attracts me though, since we build something and then, in order to actually see this creation, we need to pass through these layers and make the invisible visible somehow. I have cursed many times because of rendering, but I kind of enjoy it also.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170607150050-7.jpg" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>CP: Your work has become more &ldquo;organic&rdquo; over the years. What interests you about trying to create biological forms digitally?</strong></p> <p><strong>EP:</strong> I am very much interested in the way technology looks at nature and biological forms and the tense areas that are being created while this &ldquo;gazing&rdquo; takes place. My work the last two years deals a lot with themes that connect human action, natural surfaces, tech biomimicry, and animal behavior. I am really intrigued by the condition of observing and &ldquo;mapping&rdquo; natural ecosystems in order to collect data, information, and knowledge that then come back to us in different forms and procedures.</p> <p>There are many interesting paradoxical and contradictory situations embedded in these processes from a scientific point of view, but also through a more vernacular lens. For example, I find night camera trail footage fascinating, especially when it is&nbsp;used to pattern movements of animals. I find the particular moments&nbsp;where the animals&nbsp;accidentally look at the camera extremely intense, almost revealing a relationship built on the action of watching and being watched.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170607151733-01.jpg" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>CP: Your work often uses very bright colors, but I feel a sense of discomfort or even darkness behind that. </strong></p> <p><strong>EP:</strong> I agree. As I mentioned before, I am quite challenged by the idea of containing multiple meanings in my work and observing the same in the work of others. Using a bright color palette doesn&rsquo;t mean that the work itself emits happiness or uncontrolled energy. I am very much tempted by intense contradictions in art, and people even. I prefer it when ideas can make themselves visible through a slight process of &ldquo;digging&rdquo; and color certainly dictates a mood, but I will never consider it to have a protagonistic role in what I do. It is always a factor that works in combination with other things. To say it better, color in my work is usually&nbsp;used as a concealment factor rather than a revealing factor.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" mozallowfullscreen="" src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/167957360?color=edfce3" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="640"></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><a href="https://vimeo.com/167957360" target="_blank">Facticious Imprints (Extract)</a></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>CP: Do you think your work is political?</strong></p> <p><strong>EP:</strong> Yes, although most of the time this happens in a more subtle than loud way. I believe work that is being created these days inevitably is political one way or another. There are so many urgent issues around us happening on multiple levels that is impossible not to get affected. Choosing not to get affected is also a political decision, I guess, although dangerous. But still, it is a decision that reflects a certain conscious stance.</p> <p>I definitely believe that political involvement is quite crucial nowadays. Important parts of my work deal with how we position ourselves toward others and through the constantly altering surfaces and spaces that surround us socially, technologically, and environmentally. So the political aspect is there intentionally for sure. I would never deal with themes that don&rsquo;t trigger a sense of immediacy inside me, but I would also never create work just for the sake of being political. This would be totally dishonest towards myself and whomever would engage with the work.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170607150646-4.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170607152030-5.jpg" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>CP: New media has become a vital home for the expression of feminist and gender ideas. What about the medium</strong><strong> makes it a particularly interesting way to explore those issues?</strong></p> <p><strong>EP:</strong> I think new media can be very dynamic and vibrant and it&rsquo;s true what you said: we have seen some great new media works related to feminism and gender. In those cases, I believe the medium totally matches the intention, which is a very important factor while exploring issues that need to be communicated in a quite clear and bold way.</p> <p>Also, new media is characterized by a certain peculiar kind of flexibility and fluidity. It can take different forms and contain multilayered ideas. Plus it is more easily disseminated and adapted&mdash;it seems more open, inclusive, and receptive as a condition, while at the same time it can create more effectively a sense of collective perception and action. At the same time, it&rsquo;s less male-dominated in comparison with sculpture or painting, though I have seen some really intriguing sculpture, performative, and even spoken word work lately that deal with the same issues. In the end it&rsquo;s a matter of how you attempt to express your ideas and the actual content of them, not only the medium through which you are expressing them.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170607151711-3.jpg" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>CP: How would you define the current difference between working as a digital artist and a &ldquo;traditional&rdquo; artist?</strong></p> <p><strong>EP:</strong> I would say the most striking difference is the pace at which the tools of digital artists are shifting. It feels almost like the tools sometimes choose and act before us. I don&rsquo;t like very much to distinguish artists and art in general but I would say that the challenges to this medium have to do with the relation between the initial concept and the final execution. When you don&rsquo;t deal with many tangible forms then there is a slight danger of getting lost in a stream of endless probabilities.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s important to find the right balance and mechanism to link idea and outcome in order to achieve a result that is not just taking superficial advantage of the digital features, but embeds their characteristics and structure giving actual meaning to the work.</p> <p>Despite that, this process contains much openness; it is quite liberating not to have rigid limitations from the medium, and that is an important element that differentiates digital art from &ldquo;traditional&rdquo; art in my opinion. On the other hand, the sense of corporeality in traditional mediums is sometimes unbeatable, although I believe VR, for instance,&nbsp;gives us the potential to overcome this. Still, the way the majority of VR work is being made somehow leaves this feature out or deals with it in a rather facile way, and this is certainly something that needs to be reconsidered seriously.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" mozallowfullscreen="" src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/206556921" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="640"></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><a href="https://vimeo.com/206556921" target="_blank">Always a body, always a thing - Trailer</a></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>CP: Tell us about your new show at Transfer Gallery.&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><strong>EP:</strong>&nbsp;I am very happy to have a solo show at Transfer Gallery. Kelani Nichole is doing great work there all these years. I am showing a three-channel adapted version of my last video work <em>Always a body, always a thing</em>, and a sculptural video piece combining four screens on the floor of the gallery. The space has been transformed to an immersive dark projection cave. The title of the show is <em>Precarious Inhabitants</em> and it deals with a series of interconnected issues surrounding amorphy, liquidity, invasive species, plasticization, biomimetic behavior, body malformations on amphibians based on real cases, and the ontology of&nbsp;recording and tracking devices.</p> <p>The three-channel projections construct a system of three parallel narrations. One is a narration of amorphous amphibians that are trying to define and sense their bodies and limbs; the second is a dialogue between humans and invasive species; and the third is a monologue from the side of the human solely. I have used a mix of techniques and materials for the videos which include 3D-rendered environments, game engine simulations, footage I shot in different natural locations, found archival material, and micro-camera, endoscopic recordings from critters, synthetic, and organic surfaces. I would say it is one of the most complete, if not the most complete, and diverse work I have done so far.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170607151338-10.jpg" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>CP: What else do you have coming up?</strong></p> <p><strong>EP:</strong> I have another show running in London, at Assembly Point gallery, <em><a href="http://assemblypoint.xyz/projects/" target="_blank">Obscene Creatures, Resilient Terrains</a></em>, a collaboration between me and&nbsp;Theo Triantafyllidis. I am participating in a group show in Milan that starts June 8 called <em>Non Standard</em>, curated by Mattia Giussani,&nbsp;and features new and recent mixed media works by myself, Lea Collet &amp; Marios Stamatis, Anne De Boer, Joey Holder and&nbsp;Anna Mikkola. I am also participating in&nbsp;TRANSFER Download at&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/HeKBasel/" target="_blank">HeK</a>,&nbsp;taking place during Art Basel, and then I am working on three projects I will announce soon; I am trying things for them I have never done before so they feel very interesting and challenging!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170607153009-16.jpg" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/441718-christian-petersen?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Christian Petersen</a></p> <p><em>We run an online magazine, so of course, we&#39;re interested in what&#39;s happening with art on the web. We invited online gallerist, founder, and curator of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.digitalsweatgallery.com/" target="_blank">Digital Sweat Gallery</a>, Christian Petersen, to write a bi-monthly column for us. Every other Wednesday he selects a Web Artist of the Week.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;">(All images: Courtesy of the artist)</span></p> Thu, 08 Jun 2017 00:57:05 +0800 https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Art World Irreverence Meets Cultural Politics in AVAF’s Self-Appropriating “Re-Transpective” <p>Eli Sudbrack isn&rsquo;t your typical art world denizen. One half of the collective assume vivid astro focus (or AVAF for short), the Brazilian-born Sudbrack currently splits his time between New York and his adopted hometown of S&atilde;o Paulo, where he crafts work at the intersection of pop culture, queer, and net aesthetics, all with an anti-establishment sensibility.</p> <p>Art world punk rockers, assume vivid astro focus have collaborated with the likes of Lady Gaga and Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Gar&ccedil;ons, while at the same time producing sight-specific installations all over the world. A diverse cross-section of their highly colourful, subversive work is now the subject of a &ldquo;re-transpective&rdquo; titled <em><a href="https://www.artslant.com/mia/events/show/445280-assume-vivid-astro-focus-avalanches-volcanoes-asteroids-floods" target="_blank">avalanches volcanoes asteroids floods</a></em>, originally commissioned for an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbra and currently on view at Fredric Snitzer Gallery, in Miami.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170606161354-Astro_Focus_10_Print.jpeg" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Turning convention on its head Sudbrack forwent the traditional retrospective model, opting instead to appropriate images from AVAF&rsquo;s decade-and-a-half history. The duo work as a collective and have never collaborated with a curator on their projects. For <em>avalanches volcanoes asteroids floods</em>, the artists edited and printed images of their work onto carpets which they layered throughout the exhibition along with paintings, prints, and never-before-seen video pieces that survey the collective&rsquo;s tongue-in-cheek oeuvre.</p> <p>&ldquo;We hardly ever save anything from our installations; it all goes to the trash,&rdquo; joked Sudbrack. &ldquo;For us it&rsquo;s always about having a dialogue with the space, so our approach is different every time we do an installation. It&rsquo;s not really interesting to just reproduce work without its context.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;Trashing&rdquo; their installations is not so much an anti-capitalist statement, as a restructuring of art as a happening rather than as object. Though collectors and museums have purchased various AVAF installations throughout the years, the physical remnants of past work become a fait accompli. It&rsquo;s only by activation that the objects become imbued with the artistic zeal AVAF intend.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170606161554-Astro_Focus_3_Print.jpeg" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Sudbrack founded the collective in 2001 and was later joined by his partner Christophe Hamaide-Pierson in 2005. Their irreverent and colorful work takes an unabashedly critical look at gender and its socio-political implications, often with an exuberant &eacute;lan that dares to questions the limits of free speech itself. At first they started by appropriating images from advertising, pop culture, and other artists&rsquo; work, transforming them first into psychedelic collages, and then original, abstract prints. It&rsquo;s an evolution that mirrors the implications of evolving technologies and image economies within an art context.</p> <p>&ldquo;With the internet it&rsquo;s so easy to appropriate images, that it&rsquo;s almost pointless to try,&rdquo; explained Sudbrack. &ldquo;We&rsquo;ve sort of evolved from appropriating other images to appropriating our own, which is partly why we&rsquo;re calling this is a &lsquo;re-transpective.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170606161642-Astro_Focus_7_Print.jpeg" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Apart from the transposing their own work for the current show, <em>avalanches volcanoes asteroids floods</em> was curated with a special focus on the socio-political struggle of trans women. AVAF&rsquo;s work has always lent a transgressive view of traditional gender codes, but the current exhibition borrows heavily from various de-contextualized representations of trans bodies in a slew of media. Mixing images of trans women from pop culture as well as their own images, the works serve as a celebration of figures underrepresented in the art world. The end goal is not just increased visibility in art, but to highlight the harsh and often violent existence these women face in their everyday lives.</p> <p>AVAF started exploring the transbody with geometric motifs in 2013, when they exhibited work in S&atilde;o Paulo featuring images of local trans women mixed with their bright, abstract prints. By appropriating their own images of trans women, especially those from Sudbrack&rsquo;s hometown, the duo pivoted back to a deeply personal reference in their work. During the summer of 2016, as they were going through their archives selecting work for the current show, the Pulse nightclub shooting inspired to artist to highlight those themes in the &ldquo;re-transpective.&rdquo;</p> <p>Yet, don&rsquo;t let the show&rsquo;s serious political bent fool you. Despite Sudbrack&rsquo;s preoccupation the struggle of trans women across the globe there are plenty of pieces in the current show that speak to the collective&rsquo;s irreverent sensibilities and refreshing disregard for art world conventions.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170606161459-Astro_Focus_4_Print.jpeg" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Take <em>Artboredom (Shitty)</em> (2008)&mdash;reproduced for the current exhibit&mdash;where the pair responded to a less than flattering <em>Artforum </em>review of a 2007 New York installation that took on the waning Bush administration. Instead of reacting with bluster, they made a fake <em>Artboredom</em> publication, and put crap on the cover. &ldquo;I just thought it was a shit review,&rdquo; explained Sudbrack. &ldquo;They were just lazy, they didn&rsquo;t even talk to me.&rdquo;</p> <p>The current exhibition is just the start of AVAF&rsquo;s Miami footprint. Their work has also been commissioned for a special installation at Faena Forum on Miami Beach. The brand-new home of Faena Art, a non-profit that aides and highlights work of international artists, founded by Argentinian hotelier Alan Faena and his wife Ximena Caminos. AVAF&rsquo;s collages will be featured on the floor of an indoor roller skating rink in the forum. The activation of the space is part of Faena Art&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.faena.com/blog/article/second-sundays/" target="_blank">Sunday Sessions</a>, a special series programmed throughout Miami&rsquo;s blistering summer months, housed at their new Forum building.</p> <p>While the elaborate trappings of a retrospective have always been the hallmarks of art world success, it&rsquo;s clear AVAF couldn&rsquo;t be less interested in a coronation. For Sudbrack and Hamaide-Pierson, their work&mdash;new, old, or a transposition of both&mdash;always serves to point out hypocrisies, excoriate power structures, and raise more than a few eyebrows, hopefully all at the same time.</p> <p><a href="https://www.artslant.com/mia/events/show/445280-assume-vivid-astro-focus-avalanches-volcanoes-asteroids-floods">avalanches volcanoes asteroids floods</a><em> continues at Fredric Snitzer Gallery, Miami, through June 19.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/448412-neil-vazquez?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Neil Vazquez</a></p> <p><em>Neil Vazquez is a Miami-based writer and Northwestern University graduate. He usually can be found sipping overpriced coffee, walking his golden retriever, or profusely sweating in yoga classes around town.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;">(All images: assume vivid astro focus, <em>avalanches volcanoes asteroids floods</em>, Installation view at Fredric Snitzer Gallery, Miami, May 6&ndash;June 19, 2017. Photo: Zack Balber. Courtesy of Fredric Snitzer Gallery)</span></p> Thu, 08 Jun 2017 19:07:14 +0800 https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Heather Rasmussen Offers a Contemporary Feminine Take on Early Surrealist Tropes <p>Heather Rasmussen&rsquo;s <em>Body Variations</em> began with her recreating three iconic pieces by surrealists Hans Breder, Rene Magritte, and Ujj Zsuzsi. In these &ldquo;recitations,&rdquo; Rasmussen arranged her own body among objects and possessions familiar to these surrealists to create studies in the form of three Polaroids. The &ldquo;choreography&rdquo; of these three studies opened up new modes of working for Rasmussen, who is also a dancer. In the process of remaking these artworks, Rasmussen was able to imagine the new series of photographs and sculptures that make up her current <a href="https://www.artslant.com/global/events/show/443704-body-variations" target="_blank">exhibition at ACME. gallery</a>.</p> <p>The works of 20th century surrealists fragmented and manipulated the form of the female body, sometimes objectifying it by using detached limbs or obscuring the model&rsquo;s face. Rasmussen&rsquo;s images, in contrast, expand and enliven the feminine form, even when her face is hidden. Using her own body as subject in staged photographs, she reflects her identity as a woman and dancer. Incorporating phallic squash, mirrors, plaster casts of her own limbs, as well as herself as material for her photographs, Rasmussen&rsquo;s still-life compositions almost resemble collages. <em>Untitled (legs and mirror #2)</em>, which recalls Breder&rsquo;s mirror photographs, multiplies Rasmussen&rsquo;s limbs in a spiraling pattern recalling an aerial shot of synchronized swimmers. A gigantic squash is placed coyly in the center of the circle of legs. Her pointed toe hints at her background in ballet.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170605115855-HR_Untitled_LegsMirror2_24x32.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Heather Rasmussen, <em>Untitled (Legs and mirror # 2)</em>, 2016, Pigment print, 24 x 32 inches, unframed. Courtesy of the artist and ACME., Los Angeles</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Rasmussen&rsquo;s placement of objects is precise, as is her choice of color and texture. The mirrors are positioned in just the right angles to convey optical illusions, as in <em><a href="http://www.acmelosangeles.com/exhibitions/2017-5-heather-rasmussen/?view=images#12" target="_blank">Untitled (holding leg over chair with mirror)</a></em>, where the image in the mirror looks slightly vaginal but also aligns with the artist&rsquo;s neck and leg. Monochromatic schemes create a morbid sensibility by making it hard for the eye to distinguish between Rasmussen&rsquo;s body and the background. Images such as <em>Untitled (three legs in a mirror with towel, yellow) </em>and <em>Untitled (leg on blanket on blanket)</em> confuse flesh, plaster, and fabric, invoking images of death and decomposition.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170605115830-HR_Untitled_ThreeLegsTowel_24x32__1_.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Heather Rasmussen, <em>Untitled (Three legs in mirror with towel, yellow)</em>, 2016, Pigment print, 24 x 32&quot; inches, unframed. Courtesy of the artist and ACME., Los Angeles</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By using her own body as matter in her work, Rasmussen points to the fragmentation of being an artist, who figuratively &ldquo;puts oneself in one&rsquo;s work.&rdquo; Her photographs and assemblages also reflect the materiality of being a contemporary artist, such as the accumulation of commodities in her own studio, which can often feel cluttered until properly arranged. The sculptural assemblage <em>Untitled (Worktable #2)</em> arranges phallic squash with clips and plywood, combining objects intended for both the foreground and background of her photographs and blurring the line between process and product.</p> <p>What is unique to Rasmussen&rsquo;s work is that the movement behind the photograph or sculpture is given equal importance to the final product. She not only places her own image into her photographs; she reveals the steps through which she arrived there. By displaying the original assemblages next to photographs of them, Rasmussen presents preliminary materials in conjunction with polished images. Photographs and still-life assemblages do not suddenly appear fully formed, and Rasmussen&rsquo;s work hints at the thought and labor that goes into each piece.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170605115814-HR_WorkTable2_1.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Heather Rasmussen, <em>Untitled (Worktable # 2)</em>, 2017, Mixed materials, 34 x 32 x 47 inches. Courtesy of the artist and ACME., Los Angeles</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The original remakes of the three surrealists&rsquo; work are displayed in the gallery&rsquo;s office, removed from the exhibition&rsquo;s main installation. Those three polaroids, which Rasmussen took for the original &ldquo;recitation,&rdquo; served as practice material for Rasmussen&rsquo;s photographic interpretive dance. In displaying both the assemblages and these original studies, Rasmussen allows the viewer to see the movement and thought process behind each of her photographs. Rather than relying on the mysteriousness of the surrealistic dreamscape, or the myth of artistic genius, <em>Body Variations</em> builds off Rasmussen&rsquo;s multidimensional creative process.</p> <p><em>Heather Rasmussen&rsquo;s&nbsp;</em><a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/events/show/443704-body-variations" target="_blank">Body Variations</a><em>&nbsp;continues at ACME. through June 10.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/452094-sola-agustsson?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Sola Agustsson</a></p> <p><em>S&oacute;la Agustsson is a writer based in New York. She is working toward her MFA in Fiction at Columbia University and has contributed to The Huffington Post, FLAUNT, Bullett, Hyperallergic, Salon, and ArtSlant.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;">(Image at top: Heather Rasmussen, <em>Untitled (Three legs and squash in mirror, yellow)</em>, 2016, pigment print, 30 x 40&quot; inches, unframed. Courtesy of the artist and ACME., Los Angeles)</span></p> Mon, 05 Jun 2017 22:36:56 +0800 https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list A Body in Crisis: Can the Aesthetics of Horror Embody Fear? <p>The affliction of horror is an experience both embodied and detached. White washes over your face, the blood rushes from your cheeks toward more essential functions. Capillaries constrict, drawing what they can spare. Your body hollows. Fear is rooted in uncertainty, but its sensation is a bodily affliction as much as a mental one. Entire markets have been built on its replication, assimilation, and distribution.</p> <p>To feel horror is unbearable, but to experience its aesthetized and familiar representation is to only <em>think </em>it is unbearable. While the qualities of this &ldquo;aesthetic horror&rdquo; in the twenty-first century remain marked by Gothic traits&mdash;such as myth or metaphor, the supernatural and uncanny, the corporeal and cruel&mdash;they are no less present in our contemporary vernacular. In the face of ever-absorbed atrocities, a society steeped in an unending spectacle of suffering, the terror present in our time is entirely un-supernatural, immediate, and close. In the context of a global crisis fueled by fear, how dissimilar are today&rsquo;s monsters from Gothic renderings of the other?</p> <p>Artists such as Dora Budor, Jon Rafman, Cindy Sherman, and Jordan Wolfson, among others, have navigated horror in recent exhibitions. But in place of its Gothic tropes&mdash;the monster or vampire, the splintered tree, the pseudo-scientific gore&mdash;an alternate series of archetypes arises: perversely animated hybrid machines, artificially superstitious installations, and self-aware mutilations. Anxieties persist to manifest as apparitions. As if lifted out of the barren and alienated landscape of Romantic fiction, the white cube of the gallery ascends as an otherwise blank setting, a virtual fabrication ripe for pathetic fallacy. We are reminded how often ghosts in films are reflected in the mirror. How the gruesomely aging portrait betrayed its subject. Mediated horror, so present in film and literature, has become ever more prevalent in the aesthetic realm of contemporary art. However, the reversion to nineteenth-century tactics begs: does the increase in picturing monstrosity lie in response to a demand for the art world to shock and revolt, or to an outward zeitgeist&mdash;a reaction to the times?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170605104935-Wolfson_1.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Jordan Wolfson, <em>Colored Sculpture</em>, 2016. Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner, New York</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In Jordan Wolfson&rsquo;s installation, <em>Colored Sculpture</em>, which debuted at David Zwirner in New York in 2016, a marionette of a young boy, bound and suspended in chains, is thrashed along an animated circuit. The attacks would be murderous if performed on the human body. As he is pulled and thrown across the space, lacerations streak across his limp figure. While the manic hysteria of the work is calculated&mdash;the code is pre-arranged, embedded in the piece&rsquo;s software&mdash;the attack is no less severe. <em>Colored Sculpture, </em>an agent of spectacle and farce, is a caricature of horrific manifestation so acutely focused and built as an image&mdash;the gallery its theatrical stage&mdash;that its inevitable photographic dissemination functions voyeuristically. It is made to be captured by the camera, circulated by its viewers. Each image is crystalline&mdash;splintering and refracting with each gaze into new fetishistic possibilities. In <em>Female Figure </em>(2014), Wolfson&rsquo;s first animatronic work, also on view in the exhibition, the experience was heightened to the status of an erotic nightmare. Attached to the mirrored gallery wall by a rigid pole inserted into her abdomen, the pale blond witch dances garishly and gruesomely. She twists, trapped in her reflection.</p> <p>Through the mirror, we experience her performance as a reproduction. She faces it eternally. In her 1997 text on the uncanny, Rosalind Krauss describes &ldquo;the strategic achievement of anxiety&rdquo; through Hans Bellmer&rsquo;s <em>Dolls</em> (1933&ndash;34), whose formula is &ldquo;to produce the image of what one fears, in order to protect oneself from what one fears.<a href="#_ftn1" name="_ftnref1" title="">[1]</a>&rdquo; Indeed, traversing into and out of fear is a formula that Wolfson practices well&mdash;not as an elegant and complete proof, but rather a fragment of the equation, an imperfect fraction. The comparison to Bellmer here is useful, especially in considering the viral photographic expectation of Wolfson&rsquo;s work. In his latest work on view at the Whitney Biennial,&nbsp;<em>Real Violence,</em>&nbsp;photographic evidence of the piece is rendered impossible&mdash;it its place,&nbsp;the documentation pictures participants in VR headsets, sometimes horrified, fidgeting, as they witness a life-like act of extreme violence.&nbsp;<em>Real Violence&nbsp;</em>extends the image of horror onto the audience itself.</p> <p>Just as the photographs of Bellmer&rsquo;s <em>Dolls</em> were as important as the three-dimensional works they depicted, so too is Wolfson&rsquo;s attitude toward the image. For Bellmer, the emulation of torture was less sadistic so long as it functioned as an image, less menacing than the thing itself. Bellmer&rsquo;s argument held weight at the time. In the twenty-first century, however, where the visual experience of anxiety is nearly synonymous with the digital distribution of the image, Wolfson questions whether such a division (between the original action and its simulacra) is even possible. In both Bellmer and Wolfson&rsquo;s work, it is the viewer, not the artist, who performs the narrative function of the image. Frankenstein may have been galvanized to life, but was left to feel through the world on his own.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170605104847-Bellmer_1.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Hans Bellmer, <em>La Poup&eacute;e (The Doll)</em>, 1936. Courtesy San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. &copy; Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170605104817-Wolfson_2.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Jordan Wolfson, <em>Female Figure</em>, 2014. Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner, New York</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For Wolfson, the image of horror is detached from its experience. While this disjuncture is performed in the gallery under the guise of an assault, the motivation of the work lies in its hyper-visibility. Alternately, the fugitive quality of the horror image is explored in a recent installation by Cindy Sherman, as part of her inclusion in the exhibition <em>Fade In: Int. Art Gallery&mdash;Day</em> at the Swiss Institute in 2016, which assembled 25 international artists along the theme of art&rsquo;s appearance in classic films. Summoning the eponymous portrait from the film adaptation of Oscar Wilde&rsquo;s <em>A Picture of Dorian Gray</em> (1945), Sherman&rsquo;s installation featured the original prop of the painting, which she hung as part of a diptych next to an identically scaled painting veiled in an opaque black velvet sheath. Shrouded, the subject of the painting doubles in its desire to be exposed: what monstrosity lies beneath its surface? Through the structure of a comparative exercise&mdash;the exposed portrait, steadfast and youthful, in contrast with the restricted image on the other&mdash;Sherman elicits dialectic potential. Of course, the one on the left is surrendered as the fake; its source as a set-design, well-known and expected per the exhibition&rsquo;s parameters, betrays its artificial purpose as soon as it is installed. The one on the right, however, remains covert, elusive, obscure. The viewer&rsquo;s will to uncover, peel away, colonize, and conquer the image is the grotesque transformation Sherman frames. Through the lure of presence and absence, both Sherman and Wolfson&rsquo;s works perform on the plane of the image; while the subject of horror inhabits the work, it is not embodied.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170605104614-Budor_1.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Dora Budor, <em>The Architect&#39;s Plan, His Contagion, and Sensitive Corridors</em>, Installation view at New Galerie, Paris, 2015. Courtesy the artist and New Galerie</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Also on view in the Swiss Institute exhibition was work by Dora Budor, whose practice is concerned with the aesthetics of science-fiction film, translated into minimal and hybrid sculptural forms. Budor&rsquo;s monstrosity aims to replicate the relationship to the other through the estrangement of the body. In recent installations, such as <em>The Architect&rsquo;s Plan, His Contagion, and Sensitive Corridors</em> (2015), on view at New Galerie in Paris, and <em>Inhuman</em> (2015) at the Fridericanum in Kassel, a series of wall works featured silicone flesh toned surfaces, blemished with SFX transfer scars and wounds. In the center of the space, a light pink upholstered leather chair with a black plastic base was installed. Entitled <em>Mental Parasite Retreat I</em> (2014), its material is peeled away (as if torn through the skin) to reveal the prosthetic cast of a cyborg&rsquo;s chest. In both instances, the sculpture and paintings transition between object and body, body and object. This inter-state nature produces an insecure sense of repulsion and attraction to their forms. In her most recent installation, <em>Adaptation of an Instrument</em> (2016)<em>,</em> included in the Whitney&rsquo;s <em>Dreamlands: Immersive Art and Cinema, 1905&ndash;2016</em>, thousands of special-effect prop frogs used in the 1999 film <em>Magnolia</em> cover the dimly-lit, pallid green ceiling of the pavilion-like space, reminiscent of other, more ominous scenes in biblical horror. For Budor, the body is mutable and profane&mdash;in place of the psychological potentials of both Wolfson and Sherman&rsquo;s installations, her work falls into a more typically gore vein of Gothic horror.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170605104716-Budor_2.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Dora Budor, Installation view of <em>Adaptation of an Instrument</em> included in <em>Dreamlands: Immersive Art and Cinema, 1905&ndash;2016.</em>&nbsp;Courtesy the artist and the Whitney Museum of American Art</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>All of these works fall within the experience of aestheticized horror. The fissure between image and experience&mdash;i.e., the image of fear, and the experience of terror&mdash;could be said to identify as the fiction its genre has built upon for centuries. The success of horror&rsquo;s reproducibility as a circulated form has in the past lied in its ability to separate the two faculties of sense: the mind from the body. However, wars now stream by our portable screens, genocides are performed in the age of the sharable content. Our times are not sheltered. Palpable atrocities are available via algorithm. As the proliferation of horror in the digital economy becomes more rapidly available, the removed representation typical of the genre has the potential to transcend fiction. The image and experience of fear comes closer to consolidation. Aesthetic horror is necessary now more than ever.</p> <p>Jon Rafman&rsquo;s <a href="https://www.artslant.com/la/articles/show/47523-they-had-whole-buildings-for-that-now-we-use-diapers" target="_blank">recent exhibition at Spr&uuml;th Magers</a> in Los Angeles emulates embodied experience closely. If the potential success of aesthetic horror is marked through the integration of visuality and experience, the dual-register of Rafman&rsquo;s manipulations between subject and circumstance achieves this end. Installed in the second floor galleries, distended foam seating structures&mdash;ghastly and bloated forms, painted in sinuous grey and flesh tones&mdash;set a post-apocalyptic tone for Rafman&rsquo;s hallucinatory, gruesome, and manic films and animations. In the film <em>Poor Magic</em> (2017), an aerial view depicts simulated landscapes, each pared down and virtually &ldquo;setting-less,&rdquo; anonymous and game-like. Upon these backdrops, semi-transparent and faceless figures gather in groups, or sometimes disperse; their bodies are malleable, unceremoniously colliding, crashing into one another, treated as pure boneless matter. The human quality of the animations fades upon extended viewing. &nbsp;In one of the scenes, they fall off the precipice of a hard-edged plane, following one another in a suicidal algorithm. In another animated film, <em>Open Heart Warrior</em> (2016), installed on a three-channel monitor, a picturesque scene of a forest peels away to reveal a small dark room where a horrific body lies, skinned alive yet still breathing. Feeling the awful support beneath you as you watch, that petrified foam, the separation between photograph and sensation falls away. While Wolfson&rsquo;s work nears this precipice, it relies too heavily on the reproducible image to transcend the formal representation of the grotesque&mdash;the completion of the image of horror as an experience in Budor and Sherman&rsquo;s approach is similarly halted. For Rafman, anxiety heightens, paranoia persists. His portrait of contemporary consciousness is unrelenting, bleak and savage.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170605104330-Rafman_1.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Jon Rafman, <em>Open Heart Warrior</em>, 2016, Installation view of
&nbsp;<em>Jon Rafman/Stan VanDerBeek</em>,
 Spr&uuml;th Magers, Los Angeles, January 20&ndash;March 4, 2017. Photo: Robert Wedemeyer.
 Courtesy Spr&uuml;th Magers</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The image and feeling of horror coalesce as one. With respect to all representative forms within the genre, art has struggled to picture its own obsolescence in representing evil, in conjuring real terror. Rafman exposes the latency of representation to elicit both registers of horror, locating a responsive potential for contemporary art to address fear. Without this entry, aesthetic horror is removed and metaphoric. It is not unbearable; it is iconoclastic, safe, manipulated, controlled: the picture of a body in crisis.</p> <p>Blood rushes out of the cheeks, veins constricting on the heels of the body politic.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&mdash;</strong><a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/183982-stephanie-cristello?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Stephanie Cristello</a></p> <p><em>Stephanie Cristello is a Senior Editor at ArtSlant.</em></p> <div>&nbsp; <hr align="left" size="1" width="33%" /> <div id="ftn1"> <p><span style="font-size:14px;"><a href="#_ftnref1" name="_ftn1" title="">[1]</a> Rosalind Krauss, &ldquo;Uncanny,&rdquo; in Yves-Alain Bois and Rosalind Krauss, <em>Formless: A User&rsquo;s Guide</em>, New York 1997, pp.192&ndash;197</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;">(Image at top: Left: Henrique Medina,&nbsp;<em>Portrait of Hurd Hatfield as Dorian Gray</em>, 1945. Oil on canvas. Private collection. Right: Cindy Sherman,&nbsp;<em>The Evil Twin</em>, 2016. Hidden painting, black velvet. Courtesy of the artist)</span></p> </div> </div> Wed, 07 Jun 2017 00:04:00 +0800 https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Liz Robb Answers 5 Questions <p><em>This is&nbsp;5 Questions. Each week, we send five questions to an artist featured in&nbsp;<a href="https://www.artslant.com/ew/articles/show/48020-under-the-radar-shweta-sharma-lindsay-ellary-caroline-haydon" target="_blank">Under the Radar</a>, our weekly email highlighting the best art on the ArtSlant network. This week we seek answers from <a href="https://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/389143-liz-robb" target="_blank">Liz Robb</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>What are you trying to communicate with your work?</strong></p> <p>Currently I&rsquo;m creating a new collection of work inspired by the colors, textures, history, and life in desert landscapes. It relates the desert&rsquo;s dryness, distinct palette, openness, transparency, and unknowability, using techniques of reflection, obscuring, and suspension of movement. Attempts to reason about the defined but seemingly empty space are organically accomplished through the generation of a familiar grid.</p> <p>After doing residencies in both Joshua Tree and Oaxaca, I&rsquo;m looking to break the two-dimensional grid in favor of more fluid, three-dimensional concepts that consider negative space and light. The built environment will become the blank canvas where I project my vision, pulling from the extraordinary natural environment of the desert, layering ideas, imagery, sound, and traditional textile techniques.</p> <p><strong>What is an artist&rsquo;s responsibility?</strong></p> <p>I try my best to thoughtfully channel my brain and heart through my work. I personally feel responsible for authentically expressing myself in whatever way feels true.</p> <p><strong>Show us the greatest thing you ever made (art&nbsp;or not)?</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170605100809-LizRobb_WoadThreadsLargeWeaving.jpg" /></p> <div style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><em>Woad Thread Weaving</em>, 2013, Cotton threads, wool, rocks, woad, 36 x 64 inches. Photo:&nbsp;Liz&nbsp;Robb</span></div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This piece was transformative for me in many ways. I was studying in Lacoste, France, and for the first time I experienced travel and place from a new vantage point. It allowed me to express myself differently and with new purpose through my work. The materials foraged, dyed, and manipulated were the magic, the process just as important as the final piece.</p> <p><strong>Tell us about a work you want to make but never will:</strong></p> <p>Never say never! Right now the wild ones live in my notebook, but given the right opportunity, may come to life! I&rsquo;d like to create some wildly large works that are over the top and transport the viewer to a new dimension.</p> <p><strong>Who are three artists we should know but probably don&rsquo;t?</strong></p> <p>You probably already know them, but some of my favorites:&nbsp;<a href="http://rebekahgoldstein.com/" target="_blank">Rebekah Goldstein</a>, <a href="http://antonalvarez.com/Thread-Wrapping-Architecture" target="_blank">Anton Alvarez</a>, and <a href="http://www.laurendicioccio.com/sculpture/familiars/2016" target="_blank">Lauren DiCioccio</a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&mdash;The ArtSlant Team</p> <div> <hr align="left" noshade="noshade" size="0" width="100%" /></div> <p><em>ArtSlant is an open Arts community with over 200,000 free, user-generated&nbsp;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/intros/plans" target="_blank">artist profiles</a>. The support of our community is an essential part of our mission&mdash;from our&nbsp;<a href="https://www.artslant.com/ew/articles/editorial" target="_blank">magazine</a>&nbsp;to our&nbsp;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/33747" target="_blank">residency</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/8456?utm_source=Radar&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Prize" target="_blank">prize</a>.&nbsp;Follow your favorite artists to see new work and exhibitions by adding them to your&nbsp;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/articles/show/11143" target="_blank">watchlist.</a></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;">(Image at top:&nbsp;<em>Hulduf&oacute;lk III</em>, 2015, Icelandic wool, reeds, 60 x 20 inches. Photo:&nbsp;Abby Martell)</span></p> Mon, 05 Jun 2017 18:40:18 +0800 https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Under the Radar: Shweta Sharma | Lindsay Ellary | Caroline Haydon <table style="width: 100%;"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <table align="center" border="0" style="width: 100%;"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p><span style="font-size: medium;"><em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; line-height: 24px;">ArtSlant is an open Arts community with over 200,000 free, user-generated <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/intros/plans?utm_source=Radar&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Subs" style="color: #097ff5; text-decoration: none;">artist profiles</a>. The support of our community is an essential part of our mission &mdash; from our <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/editorial?utm_source=Radar&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Mag" style="color: #097ff5; text-decoration: none;">magazine</a> to our <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/33747" style="color: #097ff5; text-decoration: none;">residency</a> and <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/8456?utm_source=Radar&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Prize" style="color: #097ff5; text-decoration: none;">prize</a>. Every week our editors select the best artist profiles from under the radar. </span></em></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium;"><em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; line-height: 24px;">Follow your favorite artists to see new work and exhibitions by adding them to your <a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/articles/show/11143" style="color: #097ff5; text-decoration: none;">watchlist.</a></span></em></span></p> <hr /> <p><a href="https://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/477864-shweta-sharma?utm_source=ShwetaSharma&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar" style="text-decoration: none;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: large;"><span color="#097ff5" face="georgia, palatino" georgia="" large="" palatino="" size="4" style="color: #097ff5; text-decoration: none;">Shweta Sharma &ndash; Mumbai</span></span></a></p> <p><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ind/works/show/1033674?utm_source=ShwetaSharma&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1033674/u3azr9/20170301190646-IMG_3877.JPG" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="100%" /></a></p> <table width="100%"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ind/works/show/1033694?utm_source=ShwetaSharma&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1033694/mf2ji7/20170301190820-IMG_5305.JPG" width="100%" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ind/works/show/1033617?utm_source=ShwetaSharma&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1033617/u3azr9/20170301180716-Art.007.jpeg" width="100%" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ind/works/show/1033619?utm_source=ShwetaSharma&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1033619/mf2ji7/20170301180726-Art.009.jpeg " width="100%" /></a></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <hr /> <p><a href="https://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/475157-lindsay-ellary?utm_source=LindsayEllary&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar" style="text-decoration: none;"><span style="color: #097ff5; font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: large;">Lindsay Ellary &ndash; Dallas</span></a></p> <p><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ew/works/show/1026625?utm_source= LindsayEllary&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1026625/u3azr9/20170124165649-82200024e.jpg" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="100%" /></a></p> <table width="100%"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ew/works/show/1026649?utm_source=LindsayEllary&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1026649/mf2ji7/20170124170554-02430008.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ew/works/show/1035892?utm_source=LindsayEllary&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1035892/mf2ji7/20170311204520-89630007.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ew/works/show/1035906?utm_source=LindsayEllary&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1035906/mf2ji7/20170311210248-16790002e.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <hr /> <p><a href="https://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/476055-caroline-haydon?utm_source=CarolineHaydon&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar" style="text-decoration: none;"><span color="#097ff5" face="georgia, palatino" size="4" style="color: #097ff5; font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: large;">Caroline Haydon &ndash; Los Angeles</span></a></p> <p><a href="https://www.artslant.com/la/works/show/1028384?utm_source=CarolineHaydon&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1028384/u3azr9/20170201035704-IMG_1091.JPG" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="100%" /></a></p> <table width="100%"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/la/works/show/1028392?utm_source=CarolineHaydon&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1028392/mf2ji7/20170201035723-IMG_1127.JPG" width="100%" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/la/works/show/1028401?utm_source=CarolineHaydon&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1028401/mf2ji7/20170201035732-IMG_4983.JPG" width="100%" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/la/works/show/1028385?utm_source=CarolineHaydon&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1028385/mf2ji7/20170201035714-IMG_1014.JPG" width="100%" /></a></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <hr /> <p style="text-align: center;"><em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 24px;">ArtSlant supports thousands of contemporary artists through our outreach and exposure programs&mdash;come join the best online arts community today!</span></em></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="padding 0px;" width="25%"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/8456?utm_source=Radar&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Prize" target="_blank"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/84518/3mfh/20170213165906-ArtSlant_Prize_IX_2017-01.jpg" style="width: 100%;" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="25%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/par/foundation?utm_source=Radar&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Residency"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20150605182447-residency-logo-300.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="25%"><a href="https://www.amazon.com/s?marketplaceID=ATVPDKIKX0DER&amp;me=A2JPU387EQQ9HR&amp;merchant=A2JPU387EQQ9HR&amp;redirect=true" style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20150605182634-sales-room-200-logo.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="25%"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/intros/plans?utm_source=Radar&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Subs"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20150605182549-profile-subscriptions-logo-300.jpg" width="100%" /></span></a></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> Mon, 05 Jun 2017 17:50:11 +0800 https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Simon Birch’s 14th Factory Mirrors the Decline of Globalization <p>As the European Union signals its <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/29/politics/merkel-trump-europe/" target="_blank">distancing</a> from a seven-decade transatlantic alliance, as the United States <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/31/climate/trump-quits-paris-climate-accord.html?_r=0" target="_blank">joins</a> Nicaragua and Syria as the only other nations to demure from the Paris Climate Agreement, as a realignment of global hegemonies occurs before our eyes, there is no better time to reflect on the narrative of globalization. <em>The 14th Factory</em>, a warehouse-sized installation currently open in Los Angeles, is the culmination of a life&rsquo;s work for Simon Birch. A Brit, transplanted to Hong Kong for the majority of his adult life, Birch has lived a life precipitated by the global reality we&#39;ve all been born into.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/84518/3mfh/20170531194053-9__1_.jpg" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>The <a href="http://the14thfactory.com/" target="_blank">14th Factory</a></em> in name pays homage to the Thirteen Factories which served as the West&#39;s main trading post in China during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. The factories were successively destroyed during the first and second Opium Wars as they became conduits of oppressive and exploitative trade relationships. This history of resource exploitation holds over in the politics of today as the West uses the cheap labor caused by <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-labour-idUSKBN18R062" target="_blank">a lack of enforced labor laws and complicit governments</a> to support an unsustainable consumer economy. I recently sat down with Birch for an interview (below) to discuss his vision and experience in creating this epic visual narrative.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="450" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/L2gzIBjuLWk" width="800"></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:10px;">Video courtesy of <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNAQskTbNaYdJCEAtuGgMgg" target="_blank">Matador Network</a></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p>Birch&rsquo;s <em>14th Factory</em> provides a place for reflection. There are no answers there but all too often we remain unaware of the inter-dependence and exploitative nature of our global society fraught with the themes Birch brings to the fore. Collision, crisis, resolution, transformation&mdash;the hero myth that Birch calls upon attempts a universality. Balancing the specific and the universal is the story of globalization now as the discourses of postcoloniality do their job, reflecting back on the exploitation of the past to mitigate the exploitative impulse of now. How does one balance development with respect? How does one consume responsibly while honoring the labor involved? How do we proceed conscientiously and how do we elevate the oppressed, both at home and abroad, to a place where they can participate in a meaningful and conscious engagement as a global society based on universal equality? What myths must be created and which myths must remain?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/84518/3mfh/20170531194129-26.JPG" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/84518/3mfh/20170531194158-14.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/84518/3mfh/20170531194208-18.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/84518/3mfh/20170531194222-2__2_.JPG" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Check out the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/matadornetwork/videos/10155310704904394/" target="_blank">360 video tour</a> on Facebook.</p> <p><strong>Dates</strong>: March 11, 2017 - June 30, 2017</p> <p><strong>Location</strong>: 440 N. Ave 19 Los Angeles, CA 90031</p> <p><strong>Donation</strong>:&nbsp; $18 online and $22 at the door. Youth, Seniors and Military get discounted tickets for $14 online, and residences for the Lincoln Heights neighborhood with a zip code of 90031 are eligible for free entry. Get advanced tickets through&nbsp;<a href="http://wl.seetickets.us/the14thfactory" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(50, 50, 50); transition: color 0.15s ease-out;" target="_blank">See Tickets</a>.</p> <p><strong>Participation and Donation Opening hours</strong>:&nbsp;Please visit&nbsp;<a href="http://www.the14thfactory.com/" style="font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; text-align: initial; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(50, 50, 50); transition: color 0.15s ease-out;" target="_blank">The14thFactory.com</a><span style="text-align: initial;">&nbsp;for more information.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&mdash;<a href="https://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/153044-joel-kuennen?tab=REVIEWS" rel="nofollow">Joel Kuennen</a></p> <p><em>Joel Kuennen&nbsp;is the Chief Operations Officer and a Senior Editor at ArtSlant.</em>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:10px;"><span style="text-align: initial;">(All images courtesy of The 14th Factory and The Confluence Group. Special thanks to Nathaly Charria.)</span></span></p> Sun, 04 Jun 2017 16:12:21 +0800 https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Galleries Representing Felix Gonzalez-Torres Are Editing HIV/AIDS from His Legacy: It Needs to Stop <p>There is no artist more synonymous with the poignancy, wistfulness and desolation of art made within the crucible of the HIV/AIDS crisis than Felix Gonzalez-Torres (1957&ndash;1996). Within the maelstrom of that government-sponsored holocaust, his experience of it, and its effects on his communities, he created work of such melancholic grandeur and romantic sorrow, that decades later&mdash;even among the relentless torrents of the art world&rsquo;s digital age&mdash;his legacy remains a touchstone of unsurpassed, reflective power.</p> <p>Or, it doesn&rsquo;t.</p> <p>In the two-page press release for the current Gonzalez-Torres exhibition at David Zwirner Gallery in New York&mdash;which now co-represents the artist&rsquo;s estate with Andrea Rosen Gallery&mdash;there isn&rsquo;t a single mention of HIV/AIDS, his pivotal relationship with his lover Ross Laycock (1959&ndash;1991), his status as an HIV positive, out gay man, his death from AIDS-related complications, or his cultural heritage as a Cuban-born American. These are all inextricably understood factors that have influenced his work. Instead, the focus is entirely on the formalist tendencies, minimalist qualities, and multifarious readings of his work that the gallery hopes might be reached if troublesome biographical information is omitted from this astonishing document.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170529193505-FGT3.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Felix Gonzalez-Torres, <em>Untitled (A Portrait)</em>, 1991/1995. Photo: the author</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The exhibition text mentions <em>Untitled</em> <em>(A Portrait)</em> (1991/1995)<em>, </em>which consists of white phrases appearing sequentially on a black screen&mdash;including &ldquo;a merciless cardinal,&rdquo; &ldquo;a night sweat,&rdquo; &ldquo;a white blood cell count,&rdquo; &ldquo;a hateful politician,&rdquo; &ldquo;a new lesion,&rdquo; and &ldquo;a shortness of breath,&rdquo; among more benign expressions&mdash;explaining that &ldquo;the subject(s) remain unspecified,&rdquo; and the piece invites &ldquo;viewers to provide their own imagery and associations.&rdquo; No, it doesn&rsquo;t. The piece is firmly situated in the realm of politics and introspection regarding illness/HIV, prejudice, decline, and perhaps hope. In fact it <em>provides</em> the viewers with suggestions of imagery.</p> <p>Also noted&mdash;barely&mdash;is <em>Untitled (Ross)</em> (1991), a pile of candies in multi-colored wrappers, with an ideal weight of 175 pounds. Viewers may take the sweets, and the gallery may replace them. A similar candy spill, <em>Untitled (Portrait of Ross in L.A.)</em> (1991), was shown in 2010 at the National Portrait Gallery in <a href="https://www.artslant.com/ny/events/show/139779-hideseek-difference-and-desire-in-american-portraiture?tab=EVENT">Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture</a><em>. </em>The curators of that show, David C. Ward and Jonathan David Katz, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4iiLMJru7SY">describe</a> that work as a diminishing likeness of the artist&rsquo;s partner from his healthy weight of 175 pounds, in the political context of AIDS. Of their display, a Zwirner representative told me that the piece had no correlation to Ross&rsquo;s healthy weight.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170529193428-FGT1.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><em>Untitled (Ross)</em>, 1991, Installation view at David Zwirner Gallery, May 2017. Photo: the author</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>According to the Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation, the artist never confirmed either way, and suggested that both explanations are too definitive. Including <em>Untitled</em> and <em>Ideal</em> in names of artworks were Gonzalez-Torres&rsquo; strategies to resist specific meaning, the Foundation said. But when the work mentions &ldquo;Ross&rdquo; there is only so much interpretive openness an artist can demand, especially when layered with the pathos of historical distance, and the coalescence of public opinion on the underpinning of the work, which would seem to favor the explicit link to Ross, and is arguably as valid as the artist&rsquo;s supposed intent.</p> <table align="left" width="400"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="padding: 10px;"> <p style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: large; color: #1f1f1f;"><span style="font-size: x-large;"><em>&ldquo;To continue insisting on openness above all else is a disservice to his legacy.&rdquo;</em></span></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>The closest fly-by of incontrovertible principles comes with the flaccid concession that the artist&rsquo;s works &ldquo;implicate the body itself.&rdquo; This is understatement defined. What is this mania for needing art to be as open-ended as possible, even evolving it away from its truths to make it so? Yes &ldquo;a hateful politician&rdquo; fits today&rsquo;s unhinged circus, but spinning the work as endlessly attachable to every new era risks thinning its credibility to the point of meaninglessness. To write such an introduction to Gonzalez-Torres&rsquo; oeuvre <em>without</em> discussing the deep wells of experience from which it was drawn, is insidious literary fraudulence that displays cinematic denial and retrofitting deviance.</p> <p>This is not an isolated example. In a three-part exhibition of Gonzalez-Torres&rsquo; work held in 2016, between Andrea Rosen Gallery, in New York, Massimo De Carlo, in Milan, and Hauser &amp; Wirth, in London, the press release again makes no reference to pertinent aspects of Gonzalez-Torres&rsquo; life, but rather <a href="https://www.hauserwirth.com/exhibitions/2784/felix-gonzalez-torres-curated-by-julie-ault-and-roni-horn/view/">explains that</a>:</p> <p style="margin-left: 80px;">every exhibition provides the opportunity for a more expansive, complex conceptualisation of the artist&rsquo;s practice rather than an attempt to present (or preserve) a singular concrete or &lsquo;correct&rsquo; interpretation of the work.</p> <p>and that the choices of the curators:</p> <p style="margin-left: 80px;">may encourage viewers to project the other possibilities of exhibitions that the uniquely open and transformative nature of Gonzalez-Torres&rsquo;s work allows.</p> <p>Gonzalez-Torres&rsquo; work is <em>not</em> &ldquo;uniquely open.&rdquo; It is uniquely located within distinct socio-cultural and political constituencies that such tortured language flagrantly suppresses.</p> <p>Similarly, the Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation&mdash;housed on the same 500 block of West 24th Street as Andrea Rosen Gallery, and whose president <em>is</em> Andrea Rosen&mdash;elucidates no personal details on its website. &ldquo;AIDS&rdquo; appears only if that acronym is part of an exhibition title listed in his <a href="http://felixgonzalez-torresfoundation.org/?page_id=64" target="_blank">76-page CV</a>. The Foundation does <a href="http://felixgonzalez-torresfoundation.org/?page_id=63" target="_blank">intend to foster</a> &ldquo;a diverse exchange on critical topics regarding the work of Felix Gonzalez-Torres,&rdquo; which is coolly worded toward structural and aesthetic concerns.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170529194321-10788507753_e0d58e10c9_k.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Felix Gonzalez-Torres, <em>Untitled (Portrait of Ross in L.A.)</em>, 1991. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/mark6mauno/10788507753/in/photolist-hrkVun-7x3yWX-aavku2-76KJMm-7x4wUP-7CKi3D-9sM1wp-j2eheJ-7x3tyM-fLkv1u-6r2Hja-7x7gQw-gqkdns-mnf5yD-aavkcF-mnemFx-7F8rc2-7x3oJg-7x7ces-oQQuz-7x7duW-8iBvXq-oQR3t-58fUAn-7CKhCg-7x3t76-gqmdui-c2pfSs-dUBqqW-dUvN7K-7Fcjfj-7JD7jj-7x3q2X-7x3n62-7x3npp-7x7iib-aavkm4-6rfuXL-RuZBbh-7x3tmi-7xUKcu-7x3uwV-7EsKTt-58k6Hh-7x3pKM-3pK2LC-7x3p5R-7x3nJZ-pL7rfu-7x3qkD" target="_blank">mark6mauno</a></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Asked about the omissions, David Zwirner Gallery offered the preference of Gonzalez-Torres himself for witholding his narrative&mdash;something he implemented in press releases during his lifetime. That may be so, but when an artwork leaves the artist&rsquo;s studio, it is no longer his or the gallery&rsquo;s prerogative to demand how it is discussed, seen, or understood. Multiple readings need not come at the exclusion of crucial biographical interpretations, particularly ones that have gained dominance. This is especially so when the artist became as prominent and the arc of his personal story so bound to his practice as is the case with Gonzalez-Torres.</p> <p>Andrea Rosen Gallery referred an inquiry for comment to the Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation, which keeps an active archive on every aspect of the artist&rsquo;s continuing career, though they do not hold a collection. They often act as a liaison between potential loanees and institutional or individual owners, and work with curators on publications as well as loan agreements. The Foundation was generous in response, and as might be expected, impressively knowledgeable. Their response was similar in tone to Zwirner:</p> <p style="margin-left: 80px;">While Gonzalez-Torres specifically chose to leave the meaning of his artworks open to new and changing contexts, the details of his life and the socio-political circumstances under which his work was made are certainly compelling entry points to the work.</p> <p>They understand that,</p> <p style="margin-left: 80px;">the press release that accompanies the Zwirner exhibition does focus on the formal aspects and the contextual openness of the work, but that doesn&rsquo;t negate other readings of the work. We find that, most often, information about the artist&rsquo;s personal biography is incorporated in similar texts, reviews, press releases, etc.</p> <p>Such acrobatic explanations by these institutions are conspicuous for their promotion of constant new readings while relegating what have come to be considered as foundational impulses of the work to mere discardable starting points.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170530141547-4289453043_f476942b34_b.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><em>Untitled (Golden)</em>, in 75 Reasons to Live at SFMOMA. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/ari/4289453043/in/photolist-7x3yWX-7DdkE8-76KJMm-7x4wUP-7CKi3D-j2eheJ-9sM1wp-7x3tyM-fLkv1u-6r2Hja-gqkdns-7x7gQw-7CKhCg-c2pfSs-dUvN7K-6rfuXL-RuZBbh-7xUKcu-7EsKTt-pL7rfu-58k6Hh-7x3tmi-3pK2LC-7x3uwV-7x3pKM-7x3p5R-7x3nJZ-oQRn7-7x3qkD-75AsQi-7x3uVa-7x3yEp-7CKibK-7x7kvE-q3zFDS-p6GRAH-mnf5yD-aavkcF-mnemFx-7F8rc2-JZEPS5-oQQuz-8iBvXq-oQR3t-7x3oJg-7x7ces-7x7duW-58fUAn-gqmdui-7x3t76" target="_blank">Steve Rhodes</a></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The consensus of fondness that has formed toward the humanity in Gonzales-Torres&rsquo; work means that the subtleties and complexities of his conceptual strategies to defy specificity and keep the personal in check&mdash;focusing on equally or more important facets to him and his handlers&mdash;have been overwhelmed by the weight of history, hindsight upon that moment of unutterable loss, and affection for his poetic brilliance. Romanticism overpowers Minimalism here. So that to continue insisting on that openness <em>above all else</em>, is a disservice to his legacy. Even his wishes for the work are of secondary importance to the affecting power of his presence. Is that not the ultimate success of art: to connect so broadly beyond even the parameters set by the artist?</p> <table align="left" width="400"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="padding: 10px;"> <p style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: large; color: #1f1f1f;"><span style="font-size: x-large;"><em>&ldquo;I can&rsquo;t help but feel as if the exclusion is supposed to make me feel small, unwanted, disconsidered.&rdquo;</em></span></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>It is therefore torrid artifice and duplicity on the part of the stewards of his legacy to hide behind what the artist preferred twenty years ago, when it was from that intimacy that his art derived a relevance and vitality that still burns so fiercely today, particularly for the constituencies&mdash;both older and younger generations&mdash;traditionally appreciative of and implicated<em> in</em> those areas of his work; artists living with HIV/AIDS, LGBTQ communities of color, and the Queer/Art communities generally. For these stakeholders, the party line espoused by more powerful custodians of his legacy can feel like violent erasure.</p> <p>To be clear, Gonzalez-Torres&rsquo; work<em> is</em> often discussed in academic and artistic spaces in the context of HIV/AIDS, recently in <em>Art AIDS America</em> (2016) at the Bronx Museum, and in the aforementioned <em>Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture </em>(2010&ndash;11). But responsibility for those central issues ought not to be relegated and devolved outwards, piecemeal and fragmented, to group exhibitions at other galleries, however eloquently it is done, while the most comprehensive, international solo exhibitions of his work organized by the guardians in charge of his legacy shirk their responsibilities. Should they not be front and center, leading discourse and research on <em>all </em>aspects of his work and biography?</p> <p>Ted Kerr, writer, organizer, and former programs director at Visual AIDS, considers that:</p> <p style="margin-left: 80px;">In not seeing sexuality or HIV mentioned in the biography of an artist I so closely relate to my own thinking around HIV and sexuality I can&rsquo;t help but&nbsp;feel as if the exclusion is supposed to make me feel small, unwanted, disconsidered. Are there not enough of us that relate to his work in this way to matter? Or is it that we don&rsquo;t have enough money? It stings to have all our work, consideration, passion, projection, and scholarship not merit even a single mention, a line of reckoning.</p> <p>Zwirner, Rosen, and the Foundation know today what the artist could not have known at the time of his death: that the work has come to function as a pinnacle of timeless, elegiac contemplation on that awful period of decimation. And that this role of the work only increases with time.</p> <table align="right" width="400"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="padding: 10px;"> <p style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: large; color: #1f1f1f;"><span style="font-size: x-large;"><em>&ldquo;He liked that he could slip into the houses of power... and then come out once housed within the institution.&rdquo;</em></span></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>He may not have wanted it to be seen under <em>only</em> those terms, and naturally the architecture and anatomic formulas of his work must be considered. He bucked minimalist stagnation in regard to isolationist object-hood by making the viewer an agent of its alteration; he placed moments of the utmost privacy into the public sphere, jarring the expected vernacular of commercial advertising space; he socialized conceptualism; and he utilized the sparest of materials to elicit profound emotional return. But none of those strategies require the literary dismissal of one set of circumstances in favor of another. These concerns extend beyond Gonzalez-Torres own background. Bill Arning, Director of the Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, who was close to the artist notes that:</p> <p style="margin-left: 80px;">Felix was a complicated fellow and frequently contradicted himself but he was pretty open about the moment when audience members would look at what appeared to be a classic straight minimal object and find out it was made by a gay Latino man.&nbsp;He liked that he could slip into the houses of power passing as a fellow traveller of Judd and Andre and then come out once housed within the institution. He was very specific about the works being informed by watching Ross fade away, lose weight, and disappear from his life, and I am pretty sure he would be more pissed off by the omission of the mention of the specifics of Ross&rsquo; death&mdash;that was his biggest sorrow&mdash;than his own.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170530141944-4358851233_4dc11a7545_b.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Installation view of&nbsp;<em>Specific Objects without Specific Form</em>&nbsp;retrospective at Wiels, Brussels, February 2010. Photo:&nbsp;<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/marcwathieu/4358851233/in/photolist-7Df8y9-7DcZKZ-7DcPUD-7CptSt-7DfY4W-7DbfBt-7Dfzqh-7DfhMS-7DfQqm-7DfdDf-7DcB7t-7DeVgC-7DbXwR-7Dd7ja-7DbKnM-4TtYnF-7Ddg2z-7DcWpc-7Dgr19-7DeKs5-7DgPy3-7Db32T-7Dg6rW-8KF9zh-fM7z7o" target="_blank">Marc Wathieu</a></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: large; color: rgb(31, 31, 31); text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-large;"><em>&ldquo;This artist&rsquo;s connections to the AIDS crisis still have much to teach us about living in our bodies, relating to others, and gratitude for our health.&rdquo;</em></span></p> <p style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: large; color: rgb(31, 31, 31); text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p>This quest for new contexts was pursued in a series of two-person exhibitions between 2005 and 2011 at Andrea Rosen Gallery wherein Gonzalez-Torres was paired with other artists. Naturally, varied interpretations <em>can, </em>within reason, help to keep the work active, and these were intriguing projects, but seeping through those press releases is always a sense of the life that birthed the work, though it is hardly mentioned. Of <em>It&rsquo;s Just a Matter of Time</em> (2002), held simultaneously at Sadie Coles in London and Andrea Rosen in New York, the work offers,</p> <p style="margin-left: 80px;">an opportunity to perpetually reevaluate meaning, the work evolves to take on layers as the world impacts on the work. Recent global events allow these works to be reread in the light of an ongoing historical framework.</p> <p>and</p> <p style="margin-left: 80px;">interpretation is not necessarily consistent but shifts with location, pointing out the freedom and need for a non-homogenous point of view.</p> <p>Always this zealous drive to steer interpretation past the elephant in the room. To what end? Reaching more buyers? Raising him into the pristine pantheon of twentieth century straight, white, male minimalist titans? Even outside the art world the educational potential of the work, seen by thousands across the globe, is diminished. Erik P. Mortensen, Nurse Practitioner, is a nationally respected health care provider and lecturer, specializing in HIV/AIDS and Primary Care. He told me that,</p> <p style="margin-left: 80px;">people forget that as we have become so good at treating HIV/AIDS, it&rsquo;s now more a shameful disease as opposed to a violating disease. Young medical providers often don&rsquo;t know how to treat AIDS, only HIV infection, which is much less complicated. So many of us grew and expanded as people because of those who bravely journeyed through with their lanterns lit. They helped teach us to appreciate and embrace our own health and our own diseases. This artist&rsquo;s&nbsp;connections to the AIDS crisis still have much to teach us about living in our bodies, relating&nbsp;to others, and gratitude for our health.</p> <p>With its current exhibition, Zwirner Gallery&mdash;along with Rosen and the Foundation generally&mdash;are perpetrating a shameful act of redaction, and a reckless disregard for what most admirers of Gonzalez-Torres&rsquo; work hold dearest, particularly in New York City. Zwirner&rsquo;s directive denies the very communities to which he belonged, and continues to inspire. Whether from HIV/AIDS fatigue or for economic or canonical gain, such misguided revisionism must be abandoned because in these contexts this artist&rsquo;s voice has unfinished business. The galleries may have control of his legacy, may be able to make money from it, but it belongs to us all, and keeping it alive requires accepting what it has become. It might be appropriate to allow Gonzalez-Torres the closing words:</p> <p style="margin-left: 80px;">I want to have power. It&rsquo;s effective in terms of change. I want to be like a virus that belongs to the institution. All the ideological apparatuses are, in other words, replicating themselves; because that&rsquo;s the way the culture works. So if I function as a virus, an imposter, an infiltrator, I will always replicate myself together with those institutions.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/16357-darren-jones?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Darren Jones</a>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Darren Jones is a Scottish, US-based critic and artist. His new book,&nbsp;with David Carrier,&nbsp;</em>The Contemporary Art Gallery: Display, Power and Privilege,<em>&nbsp;is available now.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;">(Image at top: Installation view of <em>Specific Objects without Specific Form</em>&nbsp;retrospective at Wiels, Brussels, February 2010. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/marcwathieu/4359625056/in/photolist-7DfdDf-7DcB7t-7DeVgC-7DbXwR-7Dd7ja-7DbKnM-4TtYnF-7Ddg2z-7DcWpc-7Dgr19-7DeKs5-7DgPy3-7Db32T-7Dg6rW-7Dgkyy-7DcHBn-7Db4Vz-7DfVkS-7DcgWt-7DeZZ9-7DckWz-7DgiCG-7DeXpS-7DbmYV-4TybJh-7DbA4T-7Dgcgd-7DeNt5-7Dd5dB-7Dc63t-7DfEPh-7DgtGf-7Df5JY-7DaQqx-7Dby4p-7DeLRY-7DdbKe-7CtiPs-7DeBbw-7Dce6p-7DaMqv-7Deyny-7DaRNX-7DbC3p-7DesQC-7CtvwC-7Dap4T-7Dft87-7DaHbv-7DaBzX/" target="_blank">Marc Wathieu</a>)</span></p> Wed, 31 May 2017 05:14:23 +0800 https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list An Artist Dinner Dishes Out Brexit, Break-Ups, and Views of a Lonely (Former) Planet <p>Pluto, the former ninth planet of our solar system, discovered in 1930, was demoted to &ldquo;dwarf planet&rdquo; in 2006, breaking the hearts of 90s kids everywhere. The enduring interest in Pluto&rsquo;s re/declassification was made evident this year, when several sites for space enthusiasts released stories stating that NASA had reinstated the celestial body to its former planetary status. As it turns out, the joke was not so far from reality: a recent <a href="https://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2017/pdf/1448.pdf">proposal</a>, led by Alan Stern, the principal investigator of the New Horizons mission to Pluto, claims that the current definition accepted by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) is &ldquo;too narrow and doesn&rsquo;t jibe with what people understand planets to be,&rdquo; and suggests a reclassification which <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/bridaineparnell/2017/02/21/pluto-could-become-a-planet-again/#2864e876f6dc">might allow for Pluto&rsquo;s reinstatement</a> if accepted by IAU.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170529145454-performance-39.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Işıl Eğrikavuk,&nbsp;<em>Pluto&#39;s Kitchen</em>, &ldquo;Song of Blue Cheese: My heart was cold and blue as ice before I met you,&rdquo; 2017. Courtesy of Block Universe and Open Space Contemporary. &copy; Martina O&#39;Shea</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In her most recent work, <em>Pluto&rsquo;s Kitchen</em>, Istanbul based artist, Işıl Eğrikavuk mines Pluto&rsquo;s planetary demotion and break-ups to address Brexit. The performance, co-commissioned by Block Universe and Open Space Contemporary London, is a kind of participatory dinner theatre, which plays at the ideas of borders and inclusion amidst Pluto&rsquo;s taxonomic dramas. Texts taken from Pluto&rsquo;s transitional history are mixed with quotes from British Prime Minister Theresa May and &ldquo;tips on surviving a break up&rdquo; gleaned from self-help websites directed toward women. Performers read them like forlorn love letters pulled from back pockets and bra straps between courses of a dinner Eğrikavuk designed with a local chef to reflect the &ldquo;phases&rdquo; of a love affair and breakup: a &ldquo;growing pie,&rdquo; &ldquo;a roast from the heart,&rdquo; a &ldquo;flowering soil.&rdquo;</p> <p style="margin-left: 80px;">Actor 2</p> <p style="margin-left: 80px;">Dear Pluto, there is one last thing I want to say before I say goodbye.<br /> I am the world, the earth, the source of life.<br /> Years will go by, humans will die, and so will their borders<br /> Yet, you and I will stay alive,<br /> And continue our eternal drive</p> <p style="margin-left: 80px;">Actor 3</p> <p style="margin-left: 80px;">#5 Be honest but sensitive.&nbsp;No one likes to get dumped. But we at least appreciate the truth when it&#39;s over. Unless, of course, the truth is, you&#39;ve met someone better, or that you&#39;re just plain bored with the relationship.</p> <p style="margin-left: 80px;">Actor 4</p> <p style="margin-left: 80px;">So my dear friends, let me say this.<br /> We will continue to be reliable partners, willing allies and close friends.&nbsp;We still want to buy your goods and services, sell you ours, trade with you as freely as possible, and work with one another to make sure we are all safer, more secure and more prosperous through continued friendship.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170529150551-performance-30.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Işıl Eğrikavuk,&nbsp;<em>Pluto&#39;s Kitchen</em>,&nbsp;2017. Courtesy of Block Universe and Open Space Contemporary. &copy; Martina O&#39;Shea</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Pluto&rsquo;s Kitchen</em> echoes a career-long commitment to wedding narratives of love, geopolitics, and mythology through an interweaving of fiction and fact, document and fable. Eğrikavuk, who earned her undergraduate degree at Istanbul&rsquo;s Boğazi&ccedil;i University in literature and her MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Performance, has been playing at the edges of fact and fiction, journalism and storytelling, throughout her career. Upon returning to Istanbul after school, she worked as a journalist covering local news and writing the weekly column &ldquo;High on Contemporary Art,&rdquo; where she commented on the intersection of daily news and contemporary art for the national newspaper <em>Radikal</em> for three years. The series played on the trope of &ldquo;Dear Abby,&rdquo; wherein often-fictional readers would write in with questions.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170529145046-3-pal_50x32.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Image from Pars Pınarcıklığlu&rsquo;s &ldquo;3P&rdquo; project for Taksim Square</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>From &ldquo;Dear Abby&rdquo; letters to daytime talks shows, from pop music to fairy tales, Eğrikavuk uses strategies of entertainment and fiction to open up the rigid binary narratives of geopolitical news and to invite alternative, sometimes whimsical or absurd re-imaginings. Her 2012 collaboration with Turkish artist and filmmaker Jozef Amado, <em><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGTpPbbA7fM" target="_blank">Change Will Be Terrific</a></em>, presciently addressed the then-unknown future of Taksim Square a year before municipal plans to &ldquo;pedestrianize&rdquo; Taksim sparked protests in Gezi Park and the violent attacks on protestors by police. <em>Change Will Be Terrific</em>, performed at SALT in its since-closed Beyoğlu location, was presented as a live taping of a daytime TV talk show with real and fictional guests including Egyptian writer Amira Hanafi, chef Yasser Dallal, and architect Pars Pınarcıklığlu who introduced his &ldquo;3P&rdquo; plan for Taksim. The &ldquo;3P&rdquo; project proposes that Turkey buy three significant architectural wonders from its neighbors&mdash;the Pyramids of Egypt, the Greek Parthenon, and Palmyra from Syria&mdash;and exhibit them alternately in Taksim Square, functioning as a form of &ldquo;aid&rdquo; to Turkey&rsquo;s neighbors and a solution to what Pınarcıklığlu identifies as Turkey&rsquo;s failure to produce new cultural sites. The talk show <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09mVM6Sx7eo" target="_blank">concludes with &ldquo;Karar Bizim&rdquo; (Our Decision)</a>, a song written with and performed by rap artist Fuat Ergin. Further pointing to the porous border between fiction and reality, &ldquo;Our Decision&rdquo; later became an oft-sung <a href="https://www.izlesene.com/video/fuat-ergin-karar-bizim-gezi-parki/6965466" target="_blank">anthem of protestors</a> in Gezi Park.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170529144927-havva-otel2-ANIMATION.gif" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><em>Time to Sing a New Song</em></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>More recently, Eğrikavuk&rsquo;s video <em>Time to Sing a New Song</em> was turned off by municipal police, purportedly due to an anonymous complaint<em>. </em>The looped animation of a female figure with the text &ldquo;Finish up your apple, Eve!&rdquo; had been installed on a screen atop the Marmara Pera Hotel as part of the community-driven public art project YAMA. With no clear answer for why the piece was removed, Eğrikavuk and her students produced a performance out of the experience. After reading and performing a modern fairytale version of Adam and Eve, in which Adam works for the municipality and Eve works as cleaning staff for the hotel, Eğrikavuk connected speakers to her phone and called the municipality offices to enquire about her censored artwork. Performers danced to hold music for 15 minutes before everyone shared the frustration as the artist received only delays and vague answers. Eğrikavuk later received an email citing &ldquo;visual pollution&rdquo; as the reason for the removal of the work and YAMA&rsquo;s other projects&mdash;a statement anyone familiar with the visual landscape of Istanbul, filled with ubiquitous advertisements and video screens, would find laughable.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170529150644-performance-62.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Işıl Eğrikavuk,&nbsp;<em>Pluto&#39;s Kitchen</em>,&nbsp;2017. Courtesy of Block Universe and Open Space Contemporary. &copy; Martina O&#39;Shea</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Jacques Ranci&egrave;re once noted that &ldquo;the real has to be fictionalized in order to be thought.&rdquo; In our current international climate&mdash;wherein censorship seems ever expanding, facts are &ldquo;alternative,&rdquo; reality in politics and media seems up for grabs, and the status of the nation, or even a planet, is uncertain&mdash;Eğrikavuk&rsquo;s absurd fictions offer a tactic not only for criticism but for survival and sustenance. She never discounts the impact of popular culture or entertainment on the imagination&mdash;and on our social and political realities. Her practice weaves humor and the vision of another possible into the fabric of what makes up our daily lives: daytime TV, shared meals, the stories we tell. As Eğrikavuk herself puts it: &ldquo;Fairytales and stories are often considered to be &lsquo;light&rsquo; or &lsquo;feminine&rsquo; or &lsquo;childish,&rsquo; but actually they are so powerful. Because they are not direct&mdash;they appeal to this other thing&mdash;and there is so much power to the child&rsquo;s imagination we all carry.&rdquo;</p> <p><em>Işıl Eğrikavuk&rsquo;s </em>Pluto&rsquo;s Kitche<em>n will take place May 30th in London. Book <a href="http://bit.ly/2qtd5Vc" target="_blank">here</a>.</em></p> <p><em>Eğrikavuk and Josef Er&ccedil;evik Amado&rsquo;s collaboration, </em>Every Kind of Myth is Written With Care /&nbsp;Her T&uuml;rl&uuml; Mit &Ouml;zenle Yazılır<em> (2015), is currently included in </em>After the Fact<em>, an exhibition at Lenbachhaus in Munich exploring contemporary art in relationship to propaganda in the 21st century, May 30&ndash;September 17. </em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&mdash;<a href="https://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/200738-danyel-ferrari?tab=REVIEWS">Danyel Ferrari</a></p> <p><em>Danyel M. Ferrari is an artist and independent researcher currently based in Istanbul, Turkey.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;">(Image at top: Işıl Eğrikavuk,&nbsp;<em>Pluto&#39;s Kitchen</em>,&nbsp;2017. Courtesy of Block Universe and Open Space Contemporary. &copy; Martina O&#39;Shea)</span></p> Tue, 30 May 2017 03:25:25 +0800 https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Under the Radar: Bat-Ami Rivlin | Hanna Washburn | e-oul <table style="width: 100%;"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <table align="center" border="0" style="width: 100%;"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p><span style="font-size: medium;"><em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; line-height: 24px;">ArtSlant is an open Arts community with over 200,000 free, user-generated <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/intros/plans?utm_source=Radar&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Subs" style="color: #097ff5; text-decoration: none;">artist profiles</a>. The support of our community is an essential part of our mission &mdash; from our <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/editorial?utm_source=Radar&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Mag" style="color: #097ff5; text-decoration: none;">magazine</a> to our <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/33747" style="color: #097ff5; text-decoration: none;">residency</a> and <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/8456?utm_source=Radar&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Prize" style="color: #097ff5; text-decoration: none;">prize</a>. Every week our editors select the best artist profiles from under the radar. </span></em></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium;"><em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; line-height: 24px;">Follow your favorite artists to see new work and exhibitions by adding them to your <a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/articles/show/11143" style="color: #097ff5; text-decoration: none;">watchlist.</a></span></em></span></p> <hr /> <p><a href="https://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/480548-bat-ami-rivlin?utm_source=Bat-AmiRivlin&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar" style="text-decoration: none;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: large;"><span color="#097ff5" face="georgia, palatino" georgia="" large="" palatino="" size="4" style="color: #097ff5; text-decoration: none;">Bat-Ami Rivlin &ndash; New York</span></span></a></p> <p><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ew/works/show/1041023?utm_source=Bat-AmiRivlin&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1041023/u3azr9/20170406222804-Rivlin_BatAmi_18.jpg" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="100%" /></a></p> <table width="100%"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ew/works/show/1041032?utm_source=Bat-AmiRivlin&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1041032/y8wnrh/20170407053835-Ami-01.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ew/works/show/1041049?utm_source=Bat-AmiRivlin&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1041049/y8wnrh/20170407055156-Rivlin_BatAmi_6.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ew/works/show/1041024?utm_source=Bat-AmiRivlin&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1041024/y8wnrh/20170406222809-Steve_photoshopped.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <hr /> <p><a href="https://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/472529-hanna-washburn?utm_source=HannaWashburn&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar" style="text-decoration: none;"><span style="color: #097ff5; font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: large;">Hanna Washburn &ndash; New York City</span></a></p> <p><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ew/works/show/1046244?utm_source= HannaWashburn&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1046244/u3azr9/20170512153617-melancholic.jpg" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="60%" /></a></p> <table width="100%"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ew/works/show/1046255?utm_source=HannaWashburn&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1046255/y8wnrh/20170512153623-phlegmatic.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ew/works/show/1046256?utm_source=HannaWashburn&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1046256/y8wnrh/20170512153624-sanguine.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ew/works/show/1046251?utm_source=HannaWashburn&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1046251/y8wnrh/20170512153622-phantomlimb4.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <hr /> <p><a href="https://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/477657-e-oul?utm_source=e-oul&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar" style="text-decoration: none;"><span color="#097ff5" face="georgia, palatino" size="4" style="color: #097ff5; font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: large;">e-oul &ndash; London</span></a></p> <p><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ew/works/show/1037681?utm_source=e-oul&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1037681/u3azr9/20170327093148-ChrystalEpicodeTatemodern_Pital_rainbow.jpg" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="100%" /></a></p> <table width="100%"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ew/works/show/1039514?utm_source=e-oul&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1039514/y8wnrh/20170328184553-NewM_cloth22_a.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ew/works/show/1037679?utm_source=e-oul&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1037679/y8wnrh/20170316083523-Chrystal_s_epicode_AverityOfRace.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="33%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/ew/works/show/1040043?utm_source=e-oul&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Radar"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/work/image/1040043/y8wnrh/20170331192035-IMG_7104_s.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <hr /> <p style="text-align: center;"><em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; line-height: 24px;">ArtSlant supports thousands of contemporary artists through our outreach and exposure programs&mdash;come join the best online arts community today!</span></em></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td style="padding 0px;" width="25%"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/8456?utm_source=Radar&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Prize" target="_blank"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/84518/3mfh/20170213165906-ArtSlant_Prize_IX_2017-01.jpg" style="width: 100%;" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="25%"><a href="https://www.artslant.com/par/foundation?utm_source=Radar&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Residency"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20150605182447-residency-logo-300.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="25%"><a href="https://www.amazon.com/s?marketplaceID=ATVPDKIKX0DER&amp;me=A2JPU387EQQ9HR&amp;merchant=A2JPU387EQQ9HR&amp;redirect=true" style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20150605182634-sales-room-200-logo.jpg" width="100%" /></a></td> <td style="padding 0px;" width="25%"><a href="http://www.artslant.com/ny/intros/plans?utm_source=Radar&amp;utm_medium=image&amp;utm_campaign=Subs"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/84518/3mfh/20150605182549-profile-subscriptions-logo-300.jpg" width="100%" /></span></a></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> Fri, 26 May 2017 21:15:51 +0800 https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Girl on Girl: The New Book Exploring the Female Gaze in Photography <p>What does it mean for a woman to pick up a camera and point it at herself, or at another woman? Is there something unique to be found behind the lens, in the gaze of the female photographer?</p> <p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Girl-Age-Female-Gaze/dp/1780679556" target="_blank"><em>Girl on Girl: Art and Photography in the Age of the Female Gaze</em></a> is an ambitious new book that sets out, if not to resolve this question, then to open it up, to unfold it through the exercise of prolonged looking. Over a year and a half, arts journalist Charlotte Jansen (who is, full disclosure, a former editor of this publication) interviewed 40 female artists from 17 countries who are making photographs of women today.</p> <p>With works largely spanning the last five years, <em>Girl on Girl</em> is not an exhaustive or historical anthology. Instead, it&rsquo;s a contemporary register of a unique moment and image economy, one in which we are seeing&mdash;or at least liking, commenting on, sharing, or swiping past&mdash;more images than ever before. And more than ever before, these images have been made by women.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170413140912-9781780679556._Main.png" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In her candid introduction, Jansen writes about &ldquo;learning to look at women&rdquo; at a time when the images we typically see of women are much more complicated than the circumstances in which we view them: ads, magazine covers, social media. She writes:</p> <p style="margin-left: 80px;">Photographs taken by women do not only exist as a counterpoint to the male narrative. A photograph is an impulse&mdash;and challenge&mdash;to enquire, not a representation of truth. More often than not, I find that the photographs of women by women I see point me back to my own prejudice and misconceptions. Thanks to the generosity of the photographers on these pages, I had the chance to question my viewing habits and dig below the spectacle of surface.</p> <p>Over nearly 200 well-illustrated pages, Jansen asks us to consider a broad catalogue of photography: we find selfies and self-portraits; works that embrace overt feminism (and #feminism), and others that eschew it entirely; there&rsquo;s fashion, glam, and beauty; there are formal exercises, post-internet investigations, conceptual and documentary undertakings; there&rsquo;s humor, even horror! What Jansen&rsquo;s book smartly makes clear is that there is no singular female gaze. And it would be unfair to assume there were: why would the photographic output of 40 women be anything other than 40 unique practices?</p> <p>&ldquo;<em>Girl on Girl</em>,&rdquo; writes Jansen, &ldquo;is ultimately a meditation on the agency women are taking over the images that are made of them.&rdquo;</p> <p>In anticipation of the <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Girl-Age-Female-Gaze/dp/1780679556">U.S. book launch on April 18th</a>, we&rsquo;re sharing the first interview in <em>Girl on Girl</em>. For South African photographer Zanele Muholi, the stakes of visibility and representation of women&mdash;particularly black, lesbian, queer, and transgender women&mdash;are high. From Muholi&rsquo;s gaze to ours, the art of photography, and the art of looking itself, can be a life-affirming act.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>ZANELE MUHOLI: A LIVING ARCHIVE</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:22px;"><em>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s about claiming the spaces, taking back power, owning our voices and our selves and our bodies, without fear of being judged.&rdquo;</em></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170413141229-ZANELE_MUHOLI_Katlego_Mashiloane_and_Noshipo_Lavuta_Ext._2_Lakeside_Johannesburg_2007.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Zanele Muholi,<em> Katlego mashiloane and Noshipo Lavuta, Ext. 2, Lakeside, Johannesburg</em>, 2007</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In autumn 2016, I was walking around the exhibition <em>Zanele Muholi: Isibonelo/Evidence</em> at the Brooklyn Museum, New York, the most significant museum survey of the award-winning artist&rsquo;s work to date. A young boy was there visiting with his mother. I watched him put the headphones on and stare up at the screen that was showing Muholi&rsquo;s 2012 video <em>Being Scene</em>, depicting blurry footage of bodies&mdash;lesbian couples, including Muholi and her long-term girlfriend&mdash;making love. I looked at his mother, who shrugged and laughed. The was probably the boy&rsquo;s first encounter with sex, and it was an interracial, lesbian couple. It was a rare moment in which I realized how art can shift our perceptions of gender, sexuality and identity. &ldquo;I am hoping to break down those notions around what is to be seen and what is not,&rdquo; said Muholi in an interview about the exhibition at the time. &ldquo;I want to encourage young artists to think of photography as a possibility, as work&mdash;to think of art for consciousness, and in turn, museums as spaces where we can carve a new dialogue that favours us.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170413141518-ZANELE_MUHOLI_Beloved_I_2005.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Zanele Muholi,<em> Beloved 1</em>, 2005</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Photography in South Africa has long been intertwined with its political turbulence, and Muholi, the first black, gay, South African photographer to make a significant space in the country&rsquo;s cultural history with her work, is part of a legacy of photographers who have challenged their reality from the inside, from South Africa&rsquo;s first black photographer, Ernest Cole, to David Goldblatt, George Hallett and Peter Maguabane. In post-apartheid South Africa, however, inequalities persist.</p> <p>With a background in journalism and activism for women&rsquo;s empowerment, in 2006 Muholi embarked on her best-known work to date, the ongoing project <em>Faces and Phases</em>, photographing members of the LGBTI community she belongs to, in townships of South Africa and the African diaspora. As an active, involved member of this community, Muholi is not distanced from her subjects: over the years, Muholi has returned to shoot follow-ups of them&mdash;an affirmation in a place where black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people are persecuted.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170413141552-ZANELE_MUHOLI_Xana_Nyilenda_Los_Angeles_2013.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Zanele Muholi,<em> Xana Nyilenda, Los Angeles</em>, 2013</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p>To the outsider, what is striking about <em>Faces and Phases</em>, made up of more than 250 portraits, is not only the content of the images but also their quantity: this living archive of women has a powerful presence that contradicts the pandemic belief that being gay is un-African. Muholi explains: &ldquo;It&rsquo;s about claiming the spaces, taking back power, owning our voices and our selves and our bodies, without fear of being judged. Saying that we are here, without fear of being displaced.&rdquo;</p> <p>South African constitutionally has the most liberal attitude towards homosexuality on the African continent&mdash;same-sex marriage is legal, and anti-discrimination laws exist&mdash;yet brutal violence, corrective rape and murder are a daily reality for LGBTI people, and Muholi raises these tragic failures against her people through her work. Each portrait represents a different story&mdash;a struggle and a triumph&mdash;but together they are part of a powerful collective force. Muholi&rsquo;s work is firmly rooted in the local, and her perspective of the situation she is living in, here and now. Yet a portrait in itself does not tell us the complexity of its subject&rsquo;s story. What we see first, and foremost, in Muholi&rsquo;s work, is the humanity common to all women, irrespective of their sexuality, gender or race. For Muholi, as a visual activist, photographs can change our world.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20170413141339-ZANELE_MUHOLI_ZaVa_III._Paris_2013.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Zanele Muholi,<em> ZaVa III, Paris</em>, 2013</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Charlotte Jansen is an arts and culture journalist and editor-at-large at <em>Elephant</em> magazine. </strong></p> <p><em>From </em>Girl on Girl: Art and Photography in the Age of the Female Gaze<em> (April 2017). Reprinted with permission of Laurence King Publishing. </em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&mdash;The ArtSlant Team</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;">(Image at top: Zanele Muholi,<em> Zinzi and Tozama II Mowbray</em>, 2010. All images:&nbsp;From <em>Girl on Girl: Art and Photography in the Age of the Female Gaze</em> (2017) by Charlotte Jansen.&nbsp;&copy; Zanele Muholi, courtesy of Stevenson Cape Town and Johannesburg.)</span></p> Thu, 20 Apr 2017 02:03:24 +0800 https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list