It may seem that a fictional institution created to further the research of a fictional scholar and his fictional endeavours would be too abstract and absurd to have any real artistic clout, but Patrick Keiller’s most recent project brings the imaginary to life in a very real and concrete way. Robinson, the enigmatic scholar, seeks to explain the current economic and social condition based on historical events and their remnant markings on the landscape.
I Myself Have Seen It: Photography and Kiki Smith is the product of a decade-long conversation between independent Curator Elizabeth Brown and the artist, examining a little-known body of work to provide important new insights into Smith’s extraordinary career. Aesthetica spoke to Claire Carter, Assistant Curator at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) to learn more.
Cities are often described as living organisms; viewed as subject rather than object. Matthew Picton engages with this traditional of humanising the city by deconstructing the clean, uncompromising aesthetic of the cartographic city plan and imbuing it with the unique history and culture of each place.
David Hall is a formative figure in time-based art. Creditedwith introducing the term “time-based media” into circulation through hiswriting, he followed this by creating the first British course in the subject.In January of this year he was awarded the Samsung Art Lifetime AchievementAward for his groundbreaking work in video art.
Tina Hage (b. Port-au-Prince) is a London-based artist. She grew up in Düsseldorf and studied at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne until 2004 and then completed her Masters in Fine Art at Goldsmiths in 2009. Gestalt, Hage’s first solo-show in London, opened earlier this month at Tenderpixel. We spoke to Tina about her work and future plans.
The 32nd edition of The AIPAD Photography Show New York will open this Thursday 29th March. It promises to be a fantastic show with new by Philip-Lorca diCorcia from David Zwirner, New York and a specially curated exhibition of early French photography at James Hyman Photography, London. A number of extraordinary portraits will be on view from Bonni Benrubi Gallery, New York, who are showing Linda McCartney’s photographs of Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix alongside new portraits of Occupy Wall Street protesters by Accra Scheep at Steven Kasher Gallery.
Massimo Nolletti’s April exhibition at Bar Lane Studios is a wonderful celebration of the sounds and vibrations of everyday life. This series of work represents the endless possibilities of photography in an urban setting, exploring the Australian landscape and all its idiosyncrasies.
An immobile red hatchback, front smashed against a skewed road sign, blares out hypnotic and maniacal club anthems from its boasting stereo system. Beyond, bagpipes coalesce with distant explosions, and someone, somewhere, is cranking a hurdy-gurdy.
Born into a Muslim family in Birmingham in 1978, London-based artist Idris Khan decided to stop practising Islam when he was fourteen years old. Despite this, he is now reknowned for producing Islamic-themed works which garner public acclaim. In a recent interview, Khan likened the practice of reading the pages of the Qur’an to his artistic process, which he described as a continual return to the same place. For Khan, this place appears to be found in the methodic repetition of found texts, written or photographic.
“Do you hear me?” echoes a haunted voice in a vacuous subterranean space while a man crouches in a cell unable to escape the persistence of the creeping and persistent speaker. This is just one of many vignettes encountered in Mark Storor’s most recent collaborative performance acknowledging the experience of homosexuals in the prison system, both as prisoners and guards.
Birdhead’s concern is the flow of power from West to East, as gauged by that thriving metropolis of ever increasing scale, life and culture: Shanghai. Captured in black and white, the city in all its enormity – skyscapers, towerblocks, flyovers – is seen in its potent vastness to host the human activity. We are encouraged, therefore, to view the snapshots – for a snapshot aesthetic is employed – of culture with an eye to the effects increasing power can have.
Among the most common and enduring definitions of design is “problem solving.” A problem arises, the designer analyses it and distils it into goals, and then she creates a roadmap to a solution, working with the means at her disposal. These include the budget, the materials and techniques she can afford and master (for an object like a chair, a lamp, or a bicycle, for instance), or the code and software she favours (for a digital product, such as an interface or an interactive map). She must also consider the requirements of distribution and marketing, if the product is meant for wide dissemination.
To celebrate the unveiling of the Womens Designer Galleries in its London store, Selfridges has commissioned The Film Project – a bespoke short film collection. Intended as an experience rather than a conventional exhibition, the free screenings continue until 26 March at the Old Selfridges in London. For those who can’t make it to London, the short films from available online and we will be screening a selection on the Aesthetica Blog every day this week.
The Freud Museum was Sigmund Freud’s home in the last year of his life from 1938-39. The museum has attracted interest in the contemporary art world having previously worked with artists such as Susan Hiller and Mat Collishaw. The current exhibition, Louise Bourgeois: The Return of the Repressed, presents the artist’s recently discovered psychoanalytic writings as well as other art objects that range from sculptures to textiles. This exhibition curated by Philip Larratt-Smith displays psychoanalysis – the connection between Freud and Bourgeois – through writings and artworks shown here for the first time. Asana Greenstreet speaks to Larratt-Smith about this exciting exhibition:
The title of the current exhibition of photographs by Raeda Saadeh at Rose Issa Projects, London, is well-chosen as True Tales, Fairy Tales brings together and highlights key aspects of the artist’s work. While a number of the images refer to fairy tales, these are not happy ending fantasies, but are deeply rooted in unresolved contemporary issues. Although this exhibition features only photographs, Saadeh is also a performance and installation artist. As is often noted, her background plays a crucial role in her work.
Notorious for his controversial and ethically dubious video-works, Santiago Sierra is a contentious and well-known figure in the field of contemporary art. Both politically and aesthetically provocative, his work combines elements of social and institutional critique to confront the problems of labour and the politics of contemporary culture. Best known for works such as 160 CM LINE TATTOOED ON 4 PEOPLE (2000), or 68 PEOPLE PAID TO BLOCK A MUSEUM ENTRACE (2000); Sierra exploits the terrible inequalities of society to proffer perspicacious insights into the history of art and the realities of neoliberal capitalism.
Having been given the opportunity to exhibit at South London Gallery, Alice Channer took the bold step of creating an entirely new set of works to fill the impressive gallery space. The resulting exhibition, Out of Body, consists only of works made this year, and in many respects, appears to be as much a single installation as ten smaller constituent works.
Irish folk music has played an intrinsic part in the socio-political history of the Irish working-class. Through this medium an injured party could publicly express their frustrations at the hardship and ignominy of servitude placed on them by corrupt landlords or overseers. The folk song traditionally embodied a communal view; venting anger or giving a voice to hopes for a better future. Emotive ballads rallied the masses into believing that they could perhaps enact change.
Marcus Coates is best known for his shamanistic performance works in which he channels and consults animal spirits. This element of his practice has already found its way into Tate Britain’s Triennial 2009 (curated by Nicholas Bourriaud) and in 2010, earned him a retrospective at MK Gallery. In this show, at Kate MacGarry, there is much less overt shamanism, but Coates’ animal connection remains apparent.
Laid out in a sea of colour of gridded artefacts, ordered debris, dust, rust, and taped-up fragments of household objects, Song Dong’s current installation, Waste Not, at the Barbican Curve Gallery, stands as the culmination of the hoardings of the artist’s mother, Zhao Xiangyuan.
War, violence, death – these aren’t pretty topics. Nevertheless they’re topics that are explored in Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf, an exhibition of artwork by Adel Abdessemed. Despite the dark subject matter of the artwork, people were laughing and having a good time at the opening for the exhibition at David Zwirner Gallery.
Yayoi Kusama (b.1929) is Japan’s best-known living artist. Since the 1940s, she has produced a wealth of work encompassing painting, drawing, sculpture and collage as well as the immersive large-scale installations for which she is renowned. Kusama’s art reflects her unique view of the world and is a product of her life experience over a 60 year period, much of which is represented in the form of hallucinatory visions.
Bernini’s Ecstasy of Saint Theresa, a staple in the art historical canon, is known for embodying the conflicted relationship of sex and religion. The penetration of the angel’s arrow is simultaneously so pleasurable and so painful to Saint Theresa, that her reaction resembles sexual gratification instead of religious experience.
You can’t help but feel like you are disturbing an undeniable sense of stillness as you enter the Japan House Gallery at the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation; the floor squeaks under your feet and the chandelier sways slightly. Quietly lurking here, tucked away behind a throbbing Marylebone Street, is the first London solo show of Japanese artist, Akiko Takizawa.