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The Mechanical Animal Corporation

Review by Regina Papachlimitzou

The Mechanical Animal Corporation, a new Bristol-based theatre company dedicated to creating site-responsive theatre, have chosen an abandoned warehouse in the Paintworks quarter as the set of their first performance. Und, by Howard Barker, is a chilling exploration of the intricate ways in which self-perception, self-deception, and sexual desire at once stem from and overshadow each other in the struggle for survival.

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Aesthetica Short Film Competition 2011 is now Open for Entries

The Aesthetica Short Film Competition 2011 is now open for entries! Last year’s ASF was amazing with entries coming in from over 30 countries worldwide. It was a fantastic experience, and privilege to able to experience such innovative practice. The competition offers filmmakers an opportunity to get work broadcast to a wider audience and we’re keen to see entries from both new and established filmmakers who are driving short film forward.

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The Subversive Force of Images

Review by David Gunn, Director of www.theincidental.com

“I didn’t want to be involved with the currency of images in any way … I was interested in the obsolescence of images”.

As John Stezaker reflects upon the genesis of his artistic practice, he returns again and again to these ideas: removing images from circulation, staging their obsolescence. And at first, as you walk around this exemplary retrospective of his work at Whitechapel, his claim seems oddly incongruent. For Stezaker’s work seems intimately concerned with the social life of the image. Luxuriating in the re-presentation of the found; reinvigorating images with the most simple of transformations. An old film still turned upside down; photographs of a police line inter-spliced with the calm of a ballerina’ studio, a portrait of a cinema starlet obscured by a faded postcard of a rural landscape.

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Rosemarie Trockel’s New Modes of Operation @ Talbot Rice, Edinburgh

Review by Colin Herd

At the heart of this extensive survey of Rosemarie Trockel’s works on paper is a corner-wall of the central gallery devoted to Perspex cabinets displaying what must be about a hundred of Trockel’s “book drafts”. These books, which Trockel has produced in half-formed, unique editions throughout her career, form a fascinating paper-patchwork of Trockel’s recurrent thematic concerns. Unconventionally erotic, sexualized imagery and a thorough attention to the materials she uses characterize Trockel’s practice, which has subtly explored gender politics since she burst onto the art scene in the 1980s with groundbreaking works such as her mechanically produced ‘knitted pictures’, her life-size ceramic sofas or her kitchen stove sculptures.

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Kiki Smith on Nancy Spero – opening at The Serpentine, London in March

Opening on 3 March, The Serpentine Gallery presents the first major exhibition of Nancy Spero’s work since her death in 2009. Nancy Spero (1926–2009) was a leading pioneer of feminist art, and throughout her 50-year career, she created a vibrant visual language constructed from the histories and mythologies of past and present cultures. Nancy Spero was initiated by the Centre Pompidou, Paris,(presented from 13 October 2010 to 10 January 2011), and adapted for the Serpentine Gallery.

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Technologically Augmented Theatre @ Tenderpixel

Preview by Bethany Rex

Scapes opens next week at Tenderpixel in London. A new project part commissioned by Tenderpixel, Scapes is a new installation by media arts collaborative Squidsoup. Scapes conjures into being three-dimensional cities, landscapes and abstract architectures purely from sound, software and light. These visions occupy physical space, but only fleetingly. They leave nothing behind when they, and the sounds that spawned them, vanish.

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Aesthetica New Issue – February / March out Today

Inside this issue we’re exploring some of today’s most innovative artworks. Russian born Anna Parkina explores history and perceptions with her New Works opening in San Francisco whilst Northern Art Prize winner, Haroon Mirza probes cultural and social history with his latest sculptural installations and audio compositions at the Lisson Gallery. Susan Hiller, who is known for fusing conceptual and minimalist art, takes London by storm with a massive retrospective at Tate Britain and simultaneously shows new works at the Timothy Taylor Gallery. The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize announces its shortlist and we explore the works of two emerging women photographers.