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Aesthetica June/July Issue is Here!

The June/July issue of Aesthetica comes with the subtitle of “Shifting Perspectives”. Concentrating on identifying new ways of seeing and challenging the status quo, asking questions and seeking answers Shifting Perspectives” is not to be missed.

Tracey Emin: She Lay Down Deep Beneath the Sea at Turner Contemporary, Margate

On the edge of the South East coast, a small seaside town is welcoming back its most famous daughter, Tracey Emin. Banners from her last visit still adorn Margate, reading “Welcome Home Tracey!” in pink italics, but although she has clearly returned home before, this visit is perhaps her most important yet. She Lay Down Deep Beneath The Sea at Turner Contemporary is her eagerly anticipated first solo show in her hometown. As part of the London 2012 Festival, this exhibition contains recent and new work; it is a gift to Margate – “I wanted to make work that was completely new because I owe it to Margate for all Margate’s given me…”, Emin says, “…I want Margate to be celebrated again.”

The Cunning Little Vixen at Glyndebourne Festival 2012

The Glyndebourne opera festival, held every summer in the sumptuous grounds of the Sussex country house that gives it its name, is steeped in glorious tradition. Founded in 1934 by Sir John Christie and his wife, soprano Audrey Mildmay, it has over time become one of the go-to operatic events in the UK, offering visitors the chance to enjoy world class productions, explore the beautiful house and gardens that host them, and while away the long interval that’s so key to the proceedings with a picnic and a stroll in their finery.

Wichita Recordings Takeover at The Hepworth Wakefield

As part of the Wakefield Artwalk the Hepworth Wakefield has teamed up with Wichita Recordings to present an evening of free live music featuring one of our favourite indie folk band’s, Peggy Sue alongside DJ Nick Scott. What better way to spend your Wednesday? If you can’t wait until then, there’s a lovely little trailer above to whet your appetite.

Wichita Recordings Takeover at The Hepworth Wakefield, 5 – 9pm, 30/05/2012.


Manifesta 9, The European Biennial of Contemporary Art in Genk, Beligum

Since its first edition 15 years ago, Manifesta has been concerned with the idea of breaking down barriers, crossing borders and building bridges. Incorporating exhibitions, performances, multi-media experiments and broadcasts, Manifesta 9 highlights the very best of creative thought, research and experimentation, involving individual artists and artistic communities from diverse backgrounds from all around the world. Manifesta is the only nomadic contemporary art biennial, changing its location every two years in response to a variety of social, political and geographic considerations. Hopping from Rotterdam to Luxembourg to Frankfurt in previous years, this year’s Biennial will be held in Genk, making Manifesta a truly pan-European event.

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The International Festival of Typography and Poster Design in Poland

The third edition of the International Festival of Typography and Poster Design is focused on the relationship between Polish and Belarusian graphic design. Despite the geographic proximity and strong historical connotations between both countries, the question of mutual references in the field of graphic design are under discussed.

Open Architecture Competition for a New Floating Cinema!

This week UP Projects and The Architecture Foundation announced an Open Call to design a new permanent Floating Cinema. Filmmaker artist duo Somewhere (Nina Pope and Karen Guthrie) will be devising a varied and vibrant programme of on-board screenings, unusual canal tours, talks and workshops to take place on board the craft which will launch to the public in June 2013.


Liverpool Biennial 2012: Full Programme Announced

The Liverpool Biennial, now in its seventh incarnation, is billed as the largest contemporary art festival in the UK. This year’s programme was announced today by the Biennial’s new director, Sally Tallant. It’s difficult to pick highlights from such a rich and diverse programme but we have done our best by picking our “Top 5″ below. 


Androgynous Aesthetics: Interview with Brendan Jamison

For the past seven years the Northern Irish based artist, Brendan Jamison has amassed a significant body of work. Jamison appropriates diverse media including wax, wool, sugar cubes and pins to create a wide range of sculptural outcomes that explore binary polarities. Comparisons can be made to works by artists such as Jim Lambie, Phyllida Barlow, Georg Herold, Thomas Houseago, Mike Kelley and Anselm Reyle.

Angela Darby interviewed Jamison to consider the relationship between his work and the curatorial project The Warning Art Gallery.


Interview with Dancer and Choreographer Noé Soulier

Noé Soulier’s credentials are pretty impressive and he seems to have a knack for doing two things time. Soulier won first prize at the Danse Élargie with his work Little Perceptions whilst studying for his BA in Philosophy at Nanterre University and then went on to work on his solo Ideography whilst completing his MA in the same subject at the Sorbonne. Soulier’s work links the philosophical to the artist, exploring the relationship between movement and thought. Combining disparate theoretical standpoints, which seemingly have little to do with each other,  the young dancer and choreographer uses strategies from music, dance and film.

Soulier’s UK debut will be a double bill in the Lilian Baylis Studio at Sadler’s Wells including Le Royaume des Ombres (The Kingdom of Shadows) and D’un pays Lointain (In a Country Far Away). Aesthetica spoke to Noé  about his work and subverting the inner logic of ballet.

E6.  Excavation - Xuzhou (pottery figures)

The Search for Immortality: Tomb Treasures of Han China at The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

The Search for Immortality: Tomb Treasures of Han China features over 250 treasures in jade, gold, silver, bronze and ceramics and is an important exhibition of ancient royal treasures ever to travel outside China. Discovered in the royal tomb of the early Han Dynasty, as well as bounty happened upon in recent decades in the tombs of Zhao Mo, ruler of a semi-autonomous  kingdom South of the Han Empire, this exhibition relates the story of the quest for immortality and struggle for imperial legitimacy in ancient China’s Han Dynasty. Previously displayed in two separate museums in China, the catacombs’ contents have been united for the first time at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, permitting visitors to compare and contrast the two ancient powerhouses. 

The Casualties of Modern Life: Lara Favaretto at MoMA PS1, NYC.

Much of Lara Favaretto’s (b. 1973) work alludes to the casualties of modern life, often referring to the body and the natural environment through mechanical and industrial forms that change and degrade. Automated car wash brushes whirl repeatedly, wearing themselves down against metal plates; a platoon of compressed air tanks randomly empties itself, blowing silent party favours in a weak salute; fans constantly recompose a landscape of confetti. These animist machines celebrate their absurdity, taking on lives of their own.

Currently on show at MoMA PS1 is the first survey of Favaretto’s work from the past 15 years alongside new pieces made specifically for the show, including a new site-specific installation that extends through all of the galleries. The exhibition also features the first presentation of the extensive archive of images that the artist has collected as source material and inspiration.

Lara Favaretto: Just Knocked Out, 03-05-2012 until 10-09-2012, MoMA PS1, 22-25 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, NY, USA.


Be Bold, Be Original, Be Distinctive: Scene Stealers, Film4.0

Film4 is challenging aspiring filmmakers to recreate iconic moments from its 30 year film history for Scene Stealers, a new creative talent search launched under its innovation banner Film4.0.

Scene Stealers aim to discover brilliant new talent – in particular those working in other creative mediums, in new ways, or with new technologies  by tasking entrants with re imagining renowned scenes from past Film4 productions, in just two minutes or under. 


The Aesthetica Short Film Festival is looking for filmmakers who are driving the genre of short film forward through inspirational and innovative works. We are currently open for entries but only until the 31st May. For more information on how to submit please

Steven Dickie, Great Leap Forward, 2012

Happy Birthday Hoxton Art Gallery

In celebration of their 1st anniversary, Hoxton Art Gallery are showing The Pleasure Principle. We took this opportunity to speak to Director Matthew Nickerson about what makes the gallery different and what to expect from their latest show.

'Let's Hang Out'. Carpet tiles, vinyl, Velcro. Julia Vogl. Photo ©2012 Peter Hope

Julia Vogl wins the Catlin Art Prize 2012

Huge congratulations to Julia Vogl who has been selected as this year’s winner of the Catlin Art Prize. Let’s Hang Out invites visitors to create a communal area by selecting coloured carpet titles that correspond with Julia’s pastime suggestions. A colour is designated to each activity (“Call Mum”, “Tweet” and so on). The work evolves throughout the duration of the exhibition while encouraging visitors to interact – and hang out.

Aesthetica has been following Julia Vogl’s work since she won the Aesthetica Creative Works Competition in 2011. Following her success in the competition, we spoke to the artist about her work and the idea of social practices in art. Click this link to read the full interview.

The Catlin Art Prize 2012, Londonewcastle Project Space, 03/05/2012 – 25/05/2012, 28 Redchurch Street, Shoreditch, London, E2 7DP.

Credit: Julia Vogl Let’s Hang Out (2012)
Photography: Peter Hope

Could you be the next Julia Vogl?

The Aesthetica Art Prize is a celebration of excellence in art from across the world. Previous finalists include Marcus Jansen, a leading modern expressionist who joins a legacy of artists featuring in Absolut Vodka’s artistic campaigns and Bernat Millet, also shortlisted for National Portrait Gallery’s Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize. To find out more about how to enter see:


Gloria Zein: I Can’t Stop the Dancing Chicken at Goethe Institut, London

German artist Gloria Zein was awarded the Cass Prize for Sculpture in 2011. I Can’t Stop the Dancing Chicken has been commissioned by the Goethe-Institut London to mark the reopening and 50th anniversary of the institute. Zein’s work consists of sculptural interventions both outside and inside responding to the identity of the building and the structure of the institute.

The historic building in Exhibition Road will re-open to the public following extensive restoration and modernisation this Sunday 20th May. There will be music from rock band Silbermond, traditional German food, and a series of film screenings chosen by the artist from the Institut’s extensive archive. Covering the last 50 years, the films all explore ideas of freedom and resistance and will be accompanied by short works by the artists Fiona Chambers, Marcus Coates and Anita Delaney and the director Helke Sander.

All events are free. Full programme available here:

I Can’t Stop the Dancing Chicken (2012)
Photo: Richard Bryant

Art on the Street: Spaceboy’s Black Ark Installation in Edinburgh

It seems like more and more corporate commissioned street art projects are popping up lately. The latest sees Scottish-artist Spaceboy, part of the Rough Cut Collective, team up with renowned East London design studio Black Ionica to create a comic in the street.

As part of the Make with a Red Stripe campaign, which has seen the famous beer brand launching a series of public arts projects (such as a giant game of Space Invaders on a Manchester wall), Spaceboy (aka Mike Inglis) pasted his illustrations on six shutters of Newhaven harbour.

It’s a little heavy on the product placement but it’s worth a watch.


The Aesthetica Short Film Festival is looking for filmmakers who are driving the genre of short film forward through inspirational and innovative works. We are currently open for entries but only until the 31st May. For more information on how to submit please visit:

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Jane McAdam Freud: Family Matters at Gazelli Art House, London

The National Portrait Gallery’s retrospective of works by Lucian Freud has been a remarkable success with visitors flocking to see the many portraits of the late artist.  It is timely that Gazelli Art House pairs their new exhibition Family Matters with works by Jane McAdam Freud as interest in the Freud family peaks. 

Liliane Tomasko: Deeper Dark at Kerlin Gallery, Dublin

When the art world learned of the invention of photography in the mid 19th century many statements were made which prophesied the doomed fate of painting, none more memorable than Paul Delaroche’s aphorism “from today painting is dead”. With the luxury of hindsight we can reflect on the prematurity of such alarmist claims, yet to this day it remains curious to see the results when artists employ both painting and photography in their work. Swiss born Liliane Tomasko is one such artist. Advancing the possibilities of still life painting into a new domain, Tomasko constructs still life arrangements from various materials such as paper bags and fragments of windows photographing them with a Polaroid camera and then creating paintings based on the images. 

Adriana Groisman: Voices of the South Atlantic at Ffotogallery, Penarth

Argentinian-born photographer Adriana Groisman’s Voices of the South Atlantic has been in development for nearly eight years and marks the 30th anniversary of the Falklands/Malvinas war. Rooted in the 1982 Falklands/Malvinas War, it includes the voices of people who fought on both sides, as well as civilians who were directly affected by it. Examining issues of war and its consequences, its premise is that fear and loss are universal and that pain and trauma affect both the losers and the winners. 

Slavs and Tatars

The Eclecticism of Human Experience: Printin’ at MoMA, New York

Printin’, tucked next to Diego Rivera’s solo exhibition, runs in conjunction with the larger print survey Print/Out currently showing at MoMA, New York. Print/Out is the third large scale exhibition organised by MoMA’s Department of Prints and Illustrated Books since 1980. It is unclear as to whether these two earlier iterations had accompanying exhibitions but, in this case, the smaller show is by far the more interesting. 

Monumenta 12: Daniel Buren’s Kaleidoscopic Vision at the Grand Palais, Paris

Daniel Buren has punctuated the last 40 years of art with unforgettable interventions, controversial critical texts, thought-provoking public art projects and engaging collaborations with artists from different generations. Buren’s latest work, Excentriques forms part of Monumenta 12 at the Grand Palais in Paris. An artistic interaction on an unparalleled scale, Monumenta 2012 continues until 21 June 2012. We’ve heard it’s going to be sunny in Paris this weekend and the moment when the sunlight comes through the vast glass atrium of the Grand Palais transforms the work into a glistening and vibrant coloured pool of light. It’s not to be missed.

Pieces of Eight, PSL. Annica Karlsson Rixon

Pieces of Eight at Project Space Leeds

Project Space Leeds stands close to the banks of the River Aire, not far from the city centre. Swollen by the recent, apparently unrelenting, deluge, the river courses with an unsettling energy sufficient to inspire an ancient sense of animism. Following its bank towards the exhibition space becomes an almost spiritual pilgrimage. Not far, and almost parallel to this portion of the Aire, is the Leeds-Liverpool canal. Compared with the Aire, the canal with its factitiousness and artifice seems to represent the mercenary zeal and efficiency of the industrial revolution. These opposing, aqueous twin sisters of the city centre serve only to heighten the conflict of forces behind Pieces of Eight. The PhD-led works of the exhibition come at a time when higher eduction is becoming more market driven and customer-focused. Debates about the validity of PhD research by artists become more and more heated. The intention in collecting such work together is to display excellent contemporary art that is, not an example of academic practice-led research, but just happens to be such. The pilgrimage is well rewarded with a challenging array of spectacles.

Flights of Fancy at Tatton Park Biennial, Cheshire

The human urge to reach for the impossible and aeronautical innovation are the twin sources of inspiration behind Flights of Fancy, Tatton Park’s third biennial of contemporary art. Biennial curators Danielle Arnaud and Jordan Kaplan of Parabola have invited artists and writers to respond to the themes in the context of the National Trust’s Tatton Park in Cheshire, using the Park, Gardens and Mansion to display their works. Aesthetica caught up with the curators to find out more.

Arturo di Stefano: Lasting at Purdy | Hicks, London

Ever have a moment, just a tiny fragment of time, that you wish could be preserved for eternity?  Not necessarily anything special, beautiful but not mind-blowing, just something that inspires some sort of feeling within.  Arturo di Stefano captures these moments in paint so that they can become Lasting, the title of the exhibition of current works at Purdy | Hicks.

In the Space of the Beholder – Contemporary Sculpture at Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich

Nine rooms in the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich,Germany are currently dedicated to 25 selected works by 20 international artists in the exhibit In the Space of the Beholder – Contemporary Sculpture. Slightly overshadowed at the moment by the success of Women, featuring the works of Picasso, Beckmann and de Kooning, In the Space of the Beholder, is nevertheless an impressive collection of work which has evolved over the 10 year history of the Pinakothek der Moderne.

Image and Identity in Iran: Bi Nam at Ffotogallery, Penarth

Curated by Amak Mahmoodian, Bi Nam is a group exhibition exploring image and identity in Iran. This is the first show in the UK representing the work of a group of contemporary Iranian photographers and it’s only on until 12 May so do not miss it! The photographic and video content of the show explores the cultural and social life of modern Iran, with an emphasis on religion, gender and identity.

© Alex Prager, Courtesy M+B Gallery, Los Angeles

Pulp Fiction: Alex Prager: Compulsion at M+B, Los Angeles

Alex Prager (b. 1979) is an American photographer and filmmaker who lives and works in Los Angeles and New York City. This exhibition features a selection of colour photographs as well as a new short film Le Petit Mort, with accompanying film stills.  It is part of a series of works that is being exhibited simultaneously at two other galleries – Michael Hoppen Gallery in London until 26 May and Yancey Richardson Gallery in New York until 19 May.

Mulberry Interviews Frieze Projects Artists

Mulberry interview some of the artists from Frieze Projects alongside Cecilia Alemani – curator of the project. Focusing on the artworks and how the participants worked with the site on Randall’s Island, the video gives an insight into the work involved with this debut Frieze New York.


The Street as Subject: Street Art

A collision of the traditional and the contemporary is currently being presented at Bradford 1 Gallery. It would seem that Street Art, which has moved on from the painted wall to print-making, has evolved into a resonant and democratic medium of expression and reflection. Certainly here, traditional as well as popular images and modes of communication are subverted, and often with irony. Comment is made on current events and contemporary life. But does the presentation of the Street Art in a gallery, away from direct interaction with the urban environment itself, rob it of greater democratic resonance?

Abstract Typography: Michael Dean: Government

Perhaps unexpectedly, the primary concerns of Michael Dean’s (b. 1977) Government do not include satire, contemporary politics or acerbic finger pointing and it is refreshing to encounter an exhibition with such a value-laden title that is concerned instead with the fundamental worth of the term rather than its party-political resonance.

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Daniel Linehan: Zombie Aporia | Lilian Baylis Studio | Sadler’s Wells Theatre | London

Text by Grace Henderson

Zombie means living and dead. Aporia means logical contraction. The title of choreographer and performer
Daniel Linehan’s latest work is a hybrid of two words that have never been joined together before – at least not according to Google. In Zombie Aporia, Linehan sets out to create unusual hybrids; musical rhythms colliding with opposing dance rhythms, or physical manipulations that result in the distortion of the voice.

Like much of Linehan’s choreographic output, this work is intent on softly obscuring the line that separates dance from the everyday affectations we all use to express ourselves. Zombie Aporia is showing next week on 9 and 10 May. Daniel Linehan talks us through his latest work.

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Sara Greavu & Phil Hession: Titanic Toast | Golden Thread Gallery | Belfast

Text by Angela Darby

Of the many urban myths surrounding the Titanic’s legacy one predominant legend describes how Protestant dock workers in Belfast chalked the letters NPH (“No Pope Here”) on the ships bow thus dooming its maiden voyage. Another tale includes a curse of destruction from an Ancient Egyptian mummy named Amen-Ra whose body was on board in the hold. With the Titanic centenary celebrations predictably focusing on the standard facts the curator of Titanic Toast Peter Richards, Director of The GT Gallery, challenged invited artists Sara Greavu and Phil Hession to “explore alternative narratives and the question of how we remember.” 



It’s now only one month until the deadline for The Aesthetica Short Film Festival 2012 (ASFF) and here in the Aesthetica offices, we’re getting very excited. We’ve already had some excellent entries from filmmakers across the world, and with an amazing line-up of masterclasses and networking events with the likes of Warp and BAFTA, ASFF 2012 is going to be truly spectacular!

Time is running out for you to get involved! If you want to take part in this fantastic event, and share your work with an international audience, visit to enter today.

Poppy Bisdee, Measure

The Viewer as Spectator, Subject or Performer | The Catlin Art Prize 2012 | Interview with Poppy Bisdee

Text by Bethany Rex

The Catlin Art Prize, an annual event showcasing the most promising art school graduates one year on

from their degree exhibitions, opens tomorrow at the Londonewcastle Project Space and includes new work by artists who demonstrate real potential to make a mark in the art world during the next decade. Following the publication of the Catlin Guide 2012, the shortlist of artists taking part includes: Gabriella Boyd, Poppy Bisdee, Jonny Briggs, Max Dovey, Ali Kazim, Adeline de Monseignat, Soheila Sokhanvari and former winner of theAesthetica Creative Works Competition, Julia Vogl. Working across painting, sculpture, performance and film, the shortlist is incredibly diverse, however, there was something about the work of Poppy Bisdee that caught our eye.