A global overview of how contemporary artists incorporate text and the written word into work that speaks to some of the most pressing issues of the 21st century
Artists investigating how creativity can be deployed to establish empathy and communication between incarcerated people and the public outside the prison
Reilly addresses the urgent need in the contemporary art world for curatorial strategies that provide alternatives to exclusionary models of collecting and display. In so doing, she provides an invaluable source of information for current thinkers and, in a world dominated by visual culture, a vital source of inspiration for today’s ever-expanding new generation of curators
I was expecting the curator’s ideas of transience, instability and uncertainties to be translated into powerful works that directly engage with some of today’s most pressing and depressing concerns. I got very little of that. I got plenty of clouds (including a couple of atomic ones), foam, puddles, waves and fountains though.
Fortunately, the biennale also features a surprisingly high number of sound works, extraordinary visual and emotional experiences and, here and there, a couple of more politically-minded artworks
Pazugoo, a gooey, collectively modifiable uranium glow-stick waving Pazuzu, the Sumero-Asyrrian demon of contagion, epidemic and dust, is proposed as a marker for the presence of nuclear waste products
In 2007, three artists officially changed their names and adopted the one of Janez Janša, a very powerful, right-wing and generally unpleasant political figure embroiled in accusations of corruption and authoritarianism.
The administrative procedure not only turned their lives into a perpetual performance but it also altered their private, civil and artistic lives in ways they had not always foreseen
Alone or with the help of local communities, these artists have cleaned up polluted areas, planted wheat field, provided pollinators with colourful and appetizing flowery landscapes, built hanging and floating gardens, initiated edible and medicinal urban farms, developed schemes for sharing excess food and bred more resilient chicken breeds
Sholette lays out clear examples of art’s deep involvement in capitalism: the dizzying prices achieved by artists who pander to the financial elite, the proliferation of museums that contribute to global competition between cities in order to attract capital, and the strange relationship between art and rampant gentrification that restructures the urban landscape
Intuitively, we already know that the key to more unified societies lies in a mix of resistance, remembrance, borrowing from other cultures, dreams and empathy. Many of the artists in the show illustrate what happens when these abstract notions are turned into real life stories
Because it’s almost 40 degrees this week in Turin and i’m in a murderous mood, i’m going to split my review of the show into two parts. Today, you get the depressing bits and as soon as temperatures have cooled off a little, i’ll be back with the works that speak of solidarity, hope and compassion. It’s not all bad though because 1. i loved that show so much i visited it twice and 2. i’m going to open the quick gallery tour with one of my favourite artists
Informed by several years of research in the Australian outback desert, It Was Like Experiencing a Fold in Time, She Said bridges the gap between, on the one hand, the landscapes, mythologies and life of outback and aboriginal communities and on the other hand, the brutal origins of our technological ‘progress’
Alienation represents a potential to expand the horizons of our current lives, to think and act progressively and usher in change. Thus M9 wants to welcome the alien, also the alien in us, without preconceptions of familiar and foreign. It wants to welcome the alien as a challenge to the present as well as a promise of better, extraordinary futures
Momentum 9, The Nordic Biennial of Contemporary Art, opened a few days ago in Moss, Norway. Its focus is Alienation, a pertinent theme for a time characterized by deep social and economic inequalities, new forms of rabid colonialism, atmospheric turmoil, transhumanism, closing borders and relentless questioning of democracy
In this age of Brexit and shortsighted nationalism, of austerity and politicians pinning for the crucifixion of abortion, same-sex marriage and freedom of movement, an exhibition that breathes hedonism and transgression is not just amusing, it is also necessary because it compels us to reflect on the fights we fought, won and lost again. On the values and rights we should never take for granted
Socle Du Monde, the biennale that opened a few weeks ago in Herning (Denmark), celebrates artists who have “accepted the challenge of turning the world upside down”
Socle du Monde, the oldest Danish biennale is one of the most aesthetically pleasing art events i’ve attended over the past few years. But because the event is inspired by the masterpiece of a renowned exponent of conceptual art, it is also a biennale that conveys ideas, provocations and moments for reflection. I’ll get back next week with a post discussing these ideas and provocations but right now, here are some visual impressions of the biennale
Widener’s super computing mind leads him to use his own algorithms to elaborate numerical puzzles and games that only intelligent and independently-thinking machines of the Singularity age will be able to fully enjoy and understand
The newly commissioned works investigate repetition through works as diverse as an improvised performance based on the sounds of war, the exploration of the traces left by an UFO seen over the village of Bir-Nabala, a patchwork blanket that is knitted and then unravelled in echo of the Palestinian-Syrian refugees who have to rebuild their life with each displacement, the reviving of an archival photo of a 1970s Palestinian female fighter through various moments in the history of post-Nakba Palestinian art, etc.
Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Bat Opera, 2013 Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Bat Opera, 2005 Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, who used to […]
Perry can be a bit rude but he’s never vulgar. He observes and satirizes British society, its classes, tastes and rituals but he does so with kindness. His vases look traditional but as you go nearer, you realize that they bear crude images and cheap tabloid headlines
From painting to digital technologies to crowdsourcing, over the last few decades the means of making artworks have become more extraordinary and diverse. Yet we rarely consider the implications of how art is made
With an emphasis on the ‘now’ and the most recent exhibitions, this book examines the variety and richness of curating practices today, from public commissions by Art Angel to experimental projects such as the ‘Ghetto Biennale’ in Haiti or the Rhizome digital archive
The piece is made of Exxon, Shell, BP, and Mobil oil cans, but overnight, the local gallery staff had them secretly changed to Petronas labels. Though this violates the contract, I decided to keep the piece in the show because of the strange situation this tampering creates–a nationally owned oil company rushing to put its logo on a piece of art that is highly critical of the oil industry and what it appropriates and extracts
Over the past 45 years, the members of the collective have been documenting the industrial communities living along the river Tyne, the fishermen, the shipbuilders, the people working in the coal and steel industry, but also their families, the unemployed and the marginalized communities. The result is a vast archive of photos and films that present both both artistic and historical value
The Age of Collage is a striking documentation of today’s continued appetite for destructive construction. Showcasing outstanding current artwork and artists, the book also takes an insightful behind-the-scenes look at those working with this interdisciplinary and cross-media approach
Verlag für moderne Kunst has launched a collection of art audio CDs. I’m coveting the Jake and Dinos Chapman, the David Lynch one and crying my eyes out because the Jonathan Meese is in german only (although i did enjoy listening to the audio snippet in which he talks about stuff that are metabolisch and pornografisch.)
The one i had to have right here right now is the audio CD of conversation excerpts with Jeremy Deller
By reinventing an obsolete low-tech sound wave generator in this all-digital age, Bzzz ! serves as a commentary on the history of technology and a tribute to unprocessed, unsampled analog sound : in a word, the raw sound of electricity
Geraud Soulhiol’s extraordinary drawings portray existing football stadium that are not only crumbling but have also been colonized by more traditional icons of architectures such as cathedrals, local monuments, skyscrapers designed by starchitects, fortresses, factories, etc
Felice Varini named the work he made for the Cardiff Bay “Three ellispes for three locks” but everyone there calls it “The Barrage Circles.”
Like most of Varini’s works, this one is an anamorphosis, a distorted projection or perspective requiring you to occupy a precise vantage point to reconstitute the image. The most famous example of anamorphic perspective in art is the skull in Hans Holbein painting, The Ambassadors
Images from a video portraying a bizarre creature that owns two heads, one of them floating on a long long neck
Making and using software can be experimental, humorous and aesthetically rich.
The international exhibition Funware deals with this Fun-factor in software development, and the many ways in which artists have run off with it in past and present
Form+Code discusses the role of software in visual design, art, and architecture. It hopes to generate interest in creating visual and spatial form with software across diverse fields by focusing on the history, theory, and practice of software in the art
In the exhibition JULIE NORD – XENOGLOSSY we are invited into a strange home, where nothing looks as usual. Doll-like girls with shiny, almond eyes, bunches of flowers and cute little animals tempt us to take a closer look at the pictures. It all looks enchanting, but a closer look at them confronts us with an abundance of grotesque hybrid creatures, sculls and meat-eating plant
The Biennial of Photography and Visual Arts has invited about a hundred artists to question society’s growing desire for control, surveillance, and regulation. A worrying tendency which leaves space for accident, irrationality, for the unexpected and the absurd
Among Daisy Ginsberg’s latest activities are a residency at SymbioticA, a collaboration with James King and Cambridge University’s iGEM 2009 grand-prizewinning team and then there’s Synthetic Aesthetics. The project investigates shared territory between design and synthetic biology, invites exchange of existing skills and approaches, and enables the development of new forms of craft and collaboration
In a series of symbiotic encounters and parasitic relationships, the solo presentations are often interrupted by incongruous presences or perturbed by unusual juxtapositions: drawings by Kara Walker surround a tomb by Urs Fischer; Maurizio Cattelan’s homeless man kneels down in front of Kiki Smith’s Bat Woman; Robert Gober’s haunted rooms incorporate Gregor Schneider’s architectural fragments, etc.
Nathalie Djurberg makes candy-coloured plasticine puppets who have have orgies, who torture each other and suffer alien, abusive relationships. Djurberg, who won the Silver Lion award for best young artist at the Biennale, was the super star of Venice. I went to see her video installation 3 times and the room was always jam-packed with people drooling over her animations and taking photos of her monstruous flowers as if their lives depended on it. Not that i acted any differently
Laboral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial in Gijón has opened a very very good exhibition a few days ago. ‘FEEDFORWARD – The Angel of History’ addresses the current moment in history where the wreckage of political conflict and economic inequality is piling up, while globalized forces–largely enabled by the “progress” of digital information technologies–inexorably feed us forward. I’ll write about it in details in the near future but i’d like to share with you straight away one of the most interesting artworks i’ve discovered there
I doubt there are many galleries like heliumcowboy. First there’s that name. Charming and puzzling. Not even an interview with the gallery director has helped me uncover its origin. Then of course there’s the artists the space represents. Since its opening in 2003, heliumcowboy has been showcasing artists ‘who are capable of pushing boundaries, are a little underground and whose aesthetic is the forecast of art’
With this project, Hans E. Thorsen wishes to explore how the reconstruction of another artists work can be worked into ones own production and how the public artwork will transform inside the white cube, with its many corners and structures.